How to Survive as a Genius Spy in the Game Chapter 2 - I Want to Live (1)

Author: Dawn

It was clear what it meant to see shabby alleys and the floor of the market at a lower eye level.

Commoners at best, orphans at worst.

But…

Looking at the worn-out clothes with one sleeve missing, the dirty and foul-smelling body of a skinny child, anyone could tell that I was an orphan.

The unfamiliar dirtiness and stench were making my mind cloudy and unpleasant.

As an orphan whose struggle for survival revolved around eating, there was also a feeling of weakness and exhaustion.

These two combined as negative effects, and I was in a state as if I woke up after drinking too much.

Resentment was the first thing that seeped into my hazy mind.

I didn’t know what their reason was, but if they let me enter the game as they pleased, shouldn’t they have given me a character worth living with?

To be an orphan…

It was astonishing.

‘But still… I have high-ranking traits.’

I quickly spun the happiness circuit.

Let’s calm down. Honestly, an orphan with high-ranking traits was better than most noble households. It meant high-ranking traits were that good.

No, wait a minute.

Come to think of it, before losing consciousness, I clearly heard that Penalty Traits would be randomly assigned.

And there were three of them.

‘This is insane.’

So, I got scammed, didn’t I?

I thought the tutorial was over and I was getting a freebie, but it wasn’t. Give and take. One High-ranking Trait for one Penalty Trait.

‘Damn it. I’m being screwed over in a game and in… reality too.’

I couldn’t call this reality, but now it was.

No wonder for some reason, I could select only one High-ranking Trait and press the create button.

I thought it was a system designed to make it difficult again if players got bored later.

So, I didn’t bother thinking too much about it.

My heart rate increased.

This time, no curses came out of my mouth. That was how serious the Penalty Traits were.

Penalty Traits were truly diverse.

From something moderate to counteract the advantages of High-ranking Traits, to something extreme. There was nothing trivial. That was why they were Penalty Traits.

My mind quickly raced. I tried to recall the Penalty Traits I knew.

-Magic Ineptitude

-Insanity

-Cannibalism

-Extreme Ignorance

-Abnormal Sexual Desire

-Heresy

-Cursed Body

There was no point in continuously rerolling character creation. If you got one wrong Penalty Trait, it would be a real problem.

It was not just about growth being hindered; it was the things that were forced upon you.

With Cannibalism, Abnormal Sexual Desire, or Heresy, if the desires weren’t satisfied, the character’s mental state deteriorated, and if it persisted, the character committed suicide.

If desires were satisfied but it went wrong, depending on the severity, they could become a public enemy of the continent.

Since the game became reality, those desires would likely apply to me as well.

I was someone who lived in modern times. I didn’t want to engage in such actions. Being a cannibal would probably be something I couldn’t handle.

‘Really… If I got to choose a high-ranking trait, they should have let me choose a penalty trait too.’

I complained inwardly, but it wouldn’t change anything. If I was lucky, it might be something like Frailty, or Dullness, and if I was unlucky it might be something like Bad Health, or even Cannibalism…

I’d prefer something related to health so it could be offset by Ironman.

I just hope it was not something like Cannibalism or Abnormal Sexual Desires. I closed my eyes and prayed.

But first, how do I check my traits?

In the game, I could check my talents with a single click, but now I didn’t know what to do. Wait, could I see it with my eyes?

Just as I was thinking I should call a status window, a translucent window appeared before me.

[Carlyn]

-13 years old

The window wasn’t filled with much information. It only showed my name, age, and traits.

It was simpler than the game.

I didn’t have any major complaints. The game didn’t show detailed attributes either.

In addition to this, there were psychological states, family relationships, and family status.

It was one of the reasons why the game was difficult.

Even when fighting someone, there was no certainty about who would win.

That was why I called it a game relying on probability.

Anyway, although it was a little surprising to be 13 years old, it wasn’t important right now.

I shifted my gaze to the trait section.

It was at that moment.

“Ugh!”

With a shout, someone suddenly grabbed me from behind.

Startled, I turned my head, and a muscular man with a scruffy beard was looking at me with a sinister smile.

“You little thief bastard! You’re in trouble now.”

The hand gripping my neck was unpleasantly tight.

If I were to describe my thoughts in words in my head, it would be nothing but “startled” that fit the situation.

What’s happening?

I tried to smile innocently.

“Who are you?”

“Who am I? Who am I? Who am I?!”

The man’s eyebrows rose from his forehead to his temples.

His round eyes were terrifying.

“You little thief bastard. Where’s my money?”

Come to think of it, he called me a little thief from the beginning.

Hmm…

It seems like this body had been stealing before I transmigrated.

Well, it was common for street orphans to pickpocket.

The problem was that the thief was me.

It was the same as being caught before I could assess the situation.

“Did you mistake me for someone else? I’ve never stolen anything.”

“Huh, right. Right of course you’re not a thief… You little bastard, you lie without batting an eye.”

He confidently accused me while laying the blame, but his words weren’t entirely false.

My words weren’t lies, but his words were probably not false either.

So both of us were in an unfair situation.

Damn bastard. I cursed him silently while rolling my head.

A peaceful resolution seemed impossible, so there was only one option that came to mind.

Escape.

But it seemed difficult to break free from the grip of this muscular man by force.

Suddenly, an idea popped into my head: my unique trait called “Winds.”

It was weak, but I could feel that the winds were favorable.

Or should I say, it gave me a slightly lighter feeling in my footsteps?

However, the trait Winds weren’t my priority in this situation.

I focused all my attention on enduring the discomfort caused by filth and stench and adapting to the situation.

But how do I use it?

As soon as I thought about it, I had a feeling that I knew it in my head. The winds, controlled by my will, ripped through the man’s grasp.

With a sudden surge of fatigue, the winds gently created space.

I swiftly turned my body.

Snap! The neckline of my loose-fitting clothes stretched for a moment and slipped out of the man’s hand.

That should be enough.

“Huh?”

A dumbfounded exclamation from the man tickled my ears. I forcefully slammed my knees onto the ground.

For now…

Escape.

* * *

[Disaster strikes the unprepared.]

It was a phrase that frequently appeared randomly on the loading screen of the game. Honestly, I didn’t pay much attention to it and just skimmed past it.

To seriously contemplate such a game like this would be pointless, and it felt like a phrase I had heard somewhere before.

But now…

Suddenly, that phrase came to mind because, quite literally, disaster had struck me.

Was I ready to live in the game world?

If I asked myself, the answer would be a resounding no. The ‘reality’ was much more comfortable.

Unless it was an easy-going game, most people would agree.

But this wasn’t that kind of game—it was Valhǫll, known for its extreme difficulty.

“Hey, you little shit! Stop!”

Even at this moment, a strange, muscular man was chasing after me without giving me a chance to think.

If caught, I would die.

Not literally, but looking at his menacing appearance, it was certain that I would be beaten like dust on a rainy day.

It was highly probable that a mere orphan like me would become half-dead when faced with such a huge figure.

That was why I dashed forward, teeth clenched.

Though my body was weak as if I had aftereffects of excessive drinking and my mental fatigue had increased due to the use of winds, my survival instinct overcame it all.

Of course, sheer willpower alone wouldn’t accomplish everything.

While it was intensifying my mental fatigue, the biggest factor aiding my escape was my unique trait, Winds.

I could clearly feel the winds brushing against my body.

The air resistance was gentle, and even the legs propelling me forward felt light. It even pushed my back ever so slightly.

Of course, the effectiveness of my unique trait was far from what I had hoped for.

‘Well, I guess it can’t be helped.’

This was the beginning of the game.

If I had chosen a well-built character, I would have started as a powerful knight. But now, I had become an orphan.

Furthermore, I was only 13 years old. I probably had to grow gradually.

Still, I was satisfied with the effects of Winds.

Just the fact that a 13-year-old orphan could escape from someone of that size was proof enough.

Of course, being smaller in size and slower than his massive body gave me an advantage in maneuvering through the crowd.

As I turned a corner, someone suddenly appeared. I managed to avoid a collision with a woman, but behind her was a young man. Thump! We lightly bumped into each other.

At that moment, my hand naturally dove into the man’s pocket.

“Sorry…”

What is this? Before I could finish my thought, a bundle of money was grasped in my hand. It was an action that went beyond my control.

It must have been a habit ingrained in the body of an orphan. Just thinking about the reason for being chased right now made sense.

Hmm.

Should I give it a try?

“……”

Before I could finish my thought, my hand tightly clenched the bundle of money. I dashed past the man.

Even I found it difficult to find the reason behind my actions. Could it be that it had become an instinct for me?

There wasn’t much time to assess the situation. Perhaps I passed by while lost in thought.

Oh well. Let’s think positively.

Naturally, whether it was a game or reality, having money was a good thing. Especially since I, as an orphan, wouldn’t have any money to begin with.

I felt sorry for the man, but…

For now, shouldn’t I focus on surviving?

Perhaps because I had entered someone else’s body, my thoughts didn’t feel like my own.

I glanced back discreetly. It seemed like the man hadn’t noticed, as he was only casually brushing off his arm. Behind him, the muscular man was still chasing after me.

The distance between us was gradually increasing.

“This bastard! Stop!”

The man, seemingly quick-witted, seemed to have sensed something and fumbled through his pockets. His face quickly turned into a grimace.

Oh no.

“Get that guy!”

The person chasing me increased to two. It wasn’t my intention, but I had done something unnecessary. I felt a sense of impending doom and kicked my legs.

Since looking back would slow me down, I kept my gaze fixed ahead.

I could feel people’s gazes.

Fortunately, there weren’t any nosy people around. If this were Korea, brave citizens might have chased after me.

I turned the corner and entered another alleyway. The distinct musty smell of the back alley pierced my nostrils.

Shady characters lurked around, eyeing me.

There was one guy who sneakily tried to trip me.

A heartless fellow. I cursed inwardly and leaped over him. I wanted to strike him, but I didn’t have the time.

Unlike the muscular guy, the quick-witted guy proved to be quite agile. I quickly left the alley and turned left.

That’s when it happened.

In the gap between people, a man stood firm.

Thump! A collision similar to before. A strange scent tickled my nose. Could it be cologne?

“Sorry…”

Once again, my hand involuntarily plunged into the man’s chest. This time, too, it was beyond my control.

Instead of a bundle of money, something paper-like was caught.

In an instant, a chill ran down my spine.

It felt like my vision momentarily turned black and white, like a game over screen.

Startled, I let go of my hand.

“Woah!”

“Huh?”

As I passed by, the man uttered a strange interrogative sound. Then, I tried to stomp on the ground, but it didn’t touch the ground.

My line of sight was raised, and my leg struck empty air.

The person I had just collided with had lifted up my clothes. Damn it, I didn’t have time to complain.

I immediately activated Winds. Like before, I aimed to create a gap between his fingers.

“Wow…”

But unlike before, I continued to feel resistance. The grip of his fingers didn’t loosen.

The winds only swirled around the man’s hand. Instead, the man’s exclamation stood out vividly.

My body rotated involuntarily.

A middle-aged man stared intently at my face. He was dressed in a peculiar manner, and his slightly refined face gave off an old-fashioned vibe.

Was he a nobleman?

It seemed like I’d made a big mistake. The two men who were chasing me left the alleyway.

“Excuse me, could you let me go?”

“….”

“What? I didn’t do anything.”

Instead of answering, the middle-aged nobleman tilted his head.

At the moment I thought it was all over, I noticed the nobleman’s gaze. It was something I shouldn’t have seen as a middle-aged man, but…

I’d have to live first.

I swiftly extended my leg.

With just one step, the nobleman evaded my retaliatory kick. It was an absurdly simple dodge.

Thump! And then he landed a blow on my forehead.

“Ouch!”

It hurt so much that my vision flashed. The pain in my forehead made my head feel numb.

When I finally regained my senses, the two men who had been chasing me were standing right in front of me.

“We got this bastard.”

The big guy grinned menacingly at me, while the nobleman seemed to be eyeing me.

“Lord, thank you. This brat stole my purse. May I take him with me?”

It’s over. I thought that, but the middle-aged nobleman shook his head.

“That won’t do.”

“Yes?”

The middle-aged nobleman let go of me. Even so, I couldn’t muster the courage to run away. The atmosphere was different.

The nobleman flicked his gloved hand.

“I will take care of the compensation. I should be the one to take this child with me.”

His deep, low voice exuded a sense of authority and left no room for negotiation.

I, as well as the two men who had been chasing me, looked at him with dumbfounded eyes.

Author's Thoughts

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Dawn

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