I Level Up With My Family

ILVLUP Chapter 1

Just Another Day

 

A man’s world is found only through family
—Marius Edgewick

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Ding!

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You have finished today’s quest!

Stack 1000 Iron Bars: 10 EXP gained.

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Error: Because of Host’s environment,

EXP cannot be used!

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Transferring EXP to skill-based points,

you have acquired 1 Mastery Point!

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A machine-like voice sounded in the mind of a tall and muscular man in his late twenties who stood within a construction zone. At a glance, his attire and build gave him a sense of tamed wildness. His well-grown black hair fell to his shoulders as his everyday work suit barely covered up his rippling muscles. A glaring scar stretched over his leftmost eye down to his cheekbone. Yet, even this brutal mark couldn’t detract from his deep blue eyes and straight nose mounted on a face that only a god could have sculpted.

He was a truly handsome man by all standards, but sadly, he could only work in this harsh setting. At this moment, he stood like a giant and stared at a stack of neatly arranged large steel bars. Soon, he clapped the dust off his coarse palms and crackled his knuckles with a frown on his face.

“Show mastery,” he spoke in a faint voice. Suddenly, his eyes stared out at the blank space before him as a strange thing hovered; a blue screen with text and numbers akin to a ‘HUD’ from a video game.

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Mastery Point – 7665

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Tsk, such a useless thing, even after all my years, this is all I’ve managed to gather. Yet, even with so many. What’s the point if I cannot use them to do anything? The man contemplated as he soon stared towards a different part of the construction field; his ears perked up as he listened to the voices and movements of his coworkers.

With a look of realization, his eyes shifted upward only to notice that the sky now had a hue of orange-red as his colleagues started to leave, a signal that it was now the end of his shift.

“So it’s this late already. I guess it’s time to leave,” the man said with a lightly shrugged. He gathered his things around him as he moved towards a tool room; his thoughts hung up on the former digits on the blue menu screen.

I was born with a system, yet I cannot use its powers as intended. If anything, my strength is only beyond that of the standard of a human. Such a mess, I suppose it was only helpful in that life I used to live, those days filled with slaughter at each corner.

His pupils flashed with a strange glint of a blood-red. A vague but sinister mood filled his entirety as he recalled his upbringing. He saw himself at the center of a battlefield in his memories, ladened with blood and corpses. An emotionless look was on his face as he held onto the organs of his fallen foes.

While recalling such a scene, his manner had also undergone a slight change. Unbeknownst to himself, a smile rose upon the corner of his lips as if he had a fond memory.

Those were good times… haha, but I shouldn’t wallow too much in such memories. In this day and age, all I care about is my family. The man shook off his thoughts and took out a decorated gold pendant that seemed to have been hand-carved by a woman based on its rose patterned design.

Staring at the pendant, he often wondered what his younger self would think of his present state. Yet, as if answering the question for him. The picture within its enclosure was enough to give him peace. A family of four, himself included, with a wife far too beautiful for the mortal world. A daughter too cute for society and a son who, though seemed grim, had the makings of a king.

Just by looking at the locket, this bulky man smiled with a gentle appearance. He appeared no different from a gentle soul that cherished a priceless treasure. He spoke in a cheeky tone with a light chuckle, “Hehe, my old self would think I did a darn good job.”

He took a deep whiff of the pendant, unable to control himself from the smell of its sweet fragrance before he closed it. He then tucked it into his shirt collar with a more relaxed look on his face.

Following this, he put away his tools in the tool area before he focused on heading back to the worker’s quarters to grab a change of clothes. However, it was right at this moment; a sharp voice sounded from nearby.

“M-M-Marius Edgewick, g-g-get your ass in here right now!”

It was a voice that seemed as if it wanted to raise the wind and command the heavens, a clear sign of anger, but sadly, based on the stuttering, one could tell that the owner was quite flustered.

So, I will face the same end even in this dump of a workplace. How annoying, Marius shook his head with a sigh; he didn’t bother to fuss over it and walked towards the direction of the voice.

While walking, he noticed a few other individuals who trudged nearby; they looked at him and whispered to each other, not even hiding their expressions of contempt and mockery.

“Look, isn’t he that fellow?”

“Yeah, hehe, he’s in for it now.”

“Well, I always knew he had it coming, I guess today’s the day.”

Marius clearly heard their whispers, but as if he didn’t care, he paid them no mind as he stepped by and arrived at a small office, its door wide open as if welcoming a guest.

He walked into the room and looked at the scene with a tinge of surprise; he saw that there was a man in a black suit other than the well-known fat and bald supervisor. He had smooth and well-maintained hair and glasses over his eyes, its frames gave him a sophisticated air.

I was right; that crappy supervisor wouldn’t dare call me out usually. It seems that the upper management has come to sort out my affairs.

As if he didn’t want to show a bothered look, Marius looked apathetic as he stared at the duo with indifference. The supervisor trembled as Marius’ eyes swept across him, but as he glanced at the upper manager nearby, he felt a bit of power surge within to increase his boldness as he cursed out.

“M-Marius Edgewick, you sure hid well! S-Sit down! We have a few words that we’d like to discuss with you.”

Marius smirked at this as he sat down on the fold-up chair and tucked one leg over the other as he placed them on top of the nearby desk. His conduct made it seem as if he didn’t have a care in the world.

Naturally, the supervisor was upset at his behavior, but he didn’t dare to say anything about it as he had gone through the documents in detail, learning things that caused him to panic.

Unlike the cowardly supervisor, the upper manager didn’t seem to have any notable change in expression. He kept his professional demeanor as he glossed over a few documents, then fixed his gaze on Marius as he spoke, “Mr. Edgewick, I take it that you—”

The upper manager was about to say something, but before he could even finish his words, Marius spoke to interrupt him, “Let’s not waste time and get to the point. I’m sure you’ve learned a few things about my past, so hurry up and get on with it.”

As Marius spoke, his entire being had a hint of iciness; the formerly quiet supervisor shuddered as he shrunk back in fear. However, the upper manager didn’t seem phased; someone of his standing has met all kinds of people, and it would take more than words to frighten him.

He looked at Marius with a faint smile as he took a puff of a cigarette and replied, “Haha, a serious guy indeed, from illegal criminal feats down to cold-blooded murder. You, my dear employee, are a dangerous man. I’ve met so many workers before, many with shady pasts, but never would I think to meet one such as you. Heck, if it weren’t for the intentions of ‘certain parties,’ I wouldn’t have been cautioned about you. I am awed by how you’ve managed to get here. You must have had eyes in high places, but it’s a pity; they can’t look everywhere. You should take comfort that you can live in modern society besides suffering a life behind bars.”

The upper manager looked at Marius with a severe expression as if wanting to understand his secrets. Still, before achieving anything, Marius had already risen from his seat and moved towards the door.

Surprised by his action, the upper manager was surprised, but he quickly regained his bearings and spoke mockingly, “Oh, I see that you are also a wise man, Mr. Edgewick. It was an honor having such a fellow under my construction firm, even if it were only for a brief time. You did such excellent work, as shown from the records by Supervisor Kim. Such a shame that it had to come to this. While of benefit, a dangerous man like you is also of great risk. Take care on your way out; you will receive your severance pay in two weeks—also, just a little note for you to take to heart. There are two kinds of people in this world, those at the top and those at the bottom. I take it that you know which lot you belong to, so be more understanding.”

Marius halted his steps at the sound of those words and slanted his head. His pupils which now rested at the corner of his eyes fixed upon the upper manager as he chuckled and replied, “Two kinds of people, you say? Ha ha, you have quite the sense of humor, pal. Tell you what, for that joke, I’ll give you a little lesson. Yes, there are two commonly known kinds of individuals in society. But unknown to many of them is the third. A kind that you within your normal setting will fall prey to at the wave of a hand.”

A cold glint shone within Marius’ eyes; it gave a chilling feeling to both the upper manager and the supervisor; both gulped down and trembled, not daring to push him any further as they watched him leave the office room in silence.

Marius didn’t take long to leave the compound; he put on a change of clothes and took his personal belongings. While he left, no one paid him any attention, as if he were a shadow weaving between the crowd. Such was normal to him, as he didn’t care about mingling with anyone else other than his family.

It wasn’t the first time he had lost a job, and in some senses, he expected this to happen at some point. For as long as he could remember, his world was one of darkness—a life of an assassin like no other, feared by many. Yet, despite leaving behind his former life, he had offended many influential and underworld parties. Of course, with his strength, no one would dare to provoke him outwardly, but with their influence, no matter what kind of field he chose to work in, he was fated to end up like always. Nowadays, he could barely grant his family a stable life in the civilized world. It was an enraging situation, as even if he wanted to kill them, due to the rules of his family’s heritage and the treaty signed by all core parties, he couldn’t strike back in any significant way. Even if he broke those rules, he had to consider the repercussions, especially now that he had a family.

Heh, maybe I was wrong in my thinking all along. Why try to fit in when the entire world rejects you? I’d rather be done with it altogether and live my life the way I want with my family.

Marius stood in a daze with a yearning look, but he soon removed such thoughts as he traveled towards his home. After taking a bus that traveled for a short while in traffic, he soon arrived at a large apartment complex, a building many levels high in a decent city area.

Ignoring the crowd, Marius went towards the building and traveled up the elevator to the tenth floor. After arriving at his destination, he walked through a long hallway with doors on each side and stood before his apartment room; he stared at the small door compared to his bulky frame and sighed while thinking.

Now that I’ve lost this one, I wonder how she’ll feel, knowing that my past has caught up with me here.

Marius had a troubled expression; he didn’t pay this month’s rent and didn’t have much in his savings, and as if that wasn’t bad. His former wealth went back to his employers due to ending his contract outside of his family’s agreement. As such, he was now at the risk of being forced to live on the streets.

Should we rough it into the wilds like in those old times? Ha ha, even that should be quite entertaining.

Marius chuckled as if he thought of something fun. The door before him then opened with a creaking noise that roused him from his thoughts as he saw a world of white, followed by a welcoming but cute and half-broken voice.

“Dadda! Welcuome hoooome!”

 

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