Chapter 1 – Awaken

I was looking at a glistening book on the table, a [Skill Book], albeit a very low ranked one at that. [Fireball], an F ranked spell that only the most unfortunate beginners start with.

But this skill book took a majority of my remaining inheritance, and all of my savings. I was known to be a fairly smart guy before everything went to shit, so I planned ahead before spending most of my money

In the worst-case scenario, I still have enough funds to last me at least a few months.

In the best-case scenario, as planned, I would consume this skill book and hope for a semi-decent talent when I awaken.

Getting this skill book was not easy, but it was the only way to awaken if you did not awaken naturally. The rich had no problem awakening themselves, their children, and their children’s children

I look at the skill book again before steeling my resolve and picking it up. Bringing it close to my chest, I close my eyes.

A few seconds pass before I see a flash of light, even though my eyes are closed. Opening them, the book in my hands had disappeared, and at the corner of my eyes something else had appeared

[Noah]

[Vitality: 10]

[Focus: – ]

[Strength: 10]

[Skill(s): Fireball]

Shining with blue light, the words brought confusion more than relief to me. Where the hell were the numbers for focus?

From the released knowledge, ever since the apocalyptic event that killed more than a billion people occurred, a new magical world took its place. People that are termed as Awakened appeared and others could also become awakened through learning [Skill book] that can be dropped from killed monsters

Yes, monsters. Magical beings that most commonly reside in dungeons, and occasionally come out whenever a dungeon break occurs.

Since more than a year has passed, it became common knowledge that those who are awakened are able to use skills, whether inherently gained or from skill books, to perform amazing feats and vanquish monsters

These awakened beings can increase their strength by killing more monsters and absorbing the [Life Cores] they drop, which add to the three attributes: [Vitality][Focus] and [Strength]

Sigh. So why the f.u.c.k is my [Focus] empty?

I try not to become depressed as I feel my body change somewhat after I awakened. I seem to have become slightly stronger, and can instinctively cast the skill I just learned

The problem is, can I even cast skills if I don’t have any Focus?

Why the hell is there no number though? My exhilaration of awakening was slowly fading away as I couldn’t figure out the numbers, or lack of thereof, on the blue screen in front of me

Looking back, nothing like this seems to come to mind from the news and everything I have been paying close attention to.

Sigh, I’ll have to figure it out as I go, [Vitality] and [Strength] are average, and [Focus], what is required to cast skills and increase the damage you do, is black…

Can I even cast [Fireball] if I don’t even know how much [Focus] I have? Usually, most average awakanees can cast F tier skills 5 times before they completely deplete the energy in their body. The larger your [Focus], the higher tier the skills you can cast and the more times you can cast them

Since Awakened Mages are extremely powerful, [Focus Cores] are much more in demand than [Vitality Cores] and [Strength Cores]

Awakened Mages can shoot their skills at a long distance and not even give the monsters a chance to retaliate, while Awakened Berserkers and Awakened Knights have to get up close to fight

I was hoping to awaken to become a Mage…

Sigh, without wallowing in melancholic thoughts anymore, I try the last hail mary I can, actually casting the skill I just learned

[Fireball], a common F rank skill that many F ranked Awakened have. I step out of my small apartment and head to an empty barren field behind the apartment complex

Rent had become increasingly more expensive nowadays, as buildings that had high security where you won’t suddenly lose your life were high priced. I had to move quite a distance to get to the barren field before I could begin testing my first skill, and possibly my last

Hyping myself up, I raise my hand in front of me and call out, [Fireball]

A small ball of flames came to light in front of me, much to my shock and disbelief

Along with the shock came exhilaration. I can still cast skills even though my [Focus] bar doesn’t show anything?!

Putting my shock aside, I command the fireball to move forward before it exploded a few meters from me

Wanting to test to see if I can at least cast the average 5 fireballs that normal F ranked Awakened can cast, I keep ongoing

[Fireball]…[Fireball]…[Fireball]….

Three more fireballs were shot and exploded in front of me, increasing the shock and happiness in my heart. At Least I have average skills, even if it doesn’t show on the stat panel!

Weirdly enough, I did not feel any less energy in my body…Well, my [Focus] was blank, to begin with, so I didn’t really feel much.

I focus once more as I cast what is probably my last fireball until I rest for a while before I can cast again

[Fireball]

The fifth fireball flew out and exploded just like the ones before

With a smile on my face, I wiped the perspiration on my forehead while feeling relieved. Being average is not bad, at least with this, I can count myself among the top of many people in the world today

I was still confused on the fact that no numbers were showing on my [Focus] though, which meant I couldn’t get a gauge on just how much energy I had and how many times I could cast my skill

I hesitantly raised my hand again to see just how many times I could cast [Fireball]

…[Fireball]…[Fireball]…[Fireball]…

The more times I cast the skill and more fireballs flew and exploded in front of me, the more shocked I became

…[Fireball]…

The shock soon turned into incredulousness, as I had counted more than 50 fireballs flying from me and exploding

This…

10 times the normal amount of energy an average F rank has?!

I try to breathe to calm myself down. 10 times. That means my energy nears rank D Awakened. That was extremely rare, as long-distance awakened with skills like fireballs can easily take down an F rank monster, and 3 to 4 fireballs or equivalent skills can take care of E ranked monsters. D ranked Awakened individuals also triumph over D ranked monsters fairly easily with good usage of their skills

Am I actually one of the talented awakanees? I try to push down the pride that began rising before calling out another [Fireball], because I still didn’t feel like I was out of energy

This both scared me and made me extremely hopeful in the future. When I kept casting the skill, I didn’t really feel any energy leaving, nor did I feel exhausted

When I reached 100 casts, my shock increased.

When it reached 300, my head was pounding from this unknown situation

When it reached 500 casts, My whole body shook. I breathed heavily before looking around me, I was fairly deep into the barren field and had the cover of trees behind me

Glancing around and making sure there was nobody around me, I rushed back to my apartment to try and calm my nearly exploding heart

500 times I had cast an F ranked skill, and I didn’t feel any exhaustion, what exactly was going on?