He had no interest in this stupid, frivolous ceremony. Rain hated things like this.
He was not what you might call a “good” student in any sense of the word. He was lazy. He was too quiet and unwilling to work cooperatively with others on group projects. He wouldn’t do the homework. He did, however, have a knack for tests.
While he might be failing a class outright because of his lack of motivation and work ethic, he could ace practically any test sent his way. He knew the material, so doing the homework felt so unnecessary. There was no point in wasting his time with it.
Unluckily for him, though most sane people would disagree with that synopsis, he was in the top three test scores for the SAT in the entire state of Hawaii. They basically forced him to go to a little ceremony and get rewarded - his parents and siblings included. They were giving the top three scorers a big prize for finishing high school and doing so well - a level up.
It was supposed to be this big thing so they could really get their foot in the door and get on their way to becoming whatever they wanted when they were older.
So now, Rain’s frail little Latino-Hawaiian ass was standing in two-bajillion humidity weather with his long curly black hair trying its best to strangle him as it stuck to his neck. It framed his shocking ice-blue eyes well. He was on the stage between two other kids that looked waaay too happy to be there.
Yeah yeah yeah, he knew it was important.
Most people didn’t get this sort of opportunity. His parents were so proud. He just… didn’t really have any interest in any of this shit. He didn’t have some grand plan to go into the MAZE and be some great adventurer. He didn’t really have any plans at all for his future. He had no clue what he wanted to do or wanted to become.
The third-place kid went first. His stats averaged ten or so, with his intelligence at a 14. Not bad. People cheered.
He was next, and that unfamiliar tingling sensation just barely roused him from his boredom as he looked at his screen.
Rain Kaiwi -- Role: Civilian Level: 2
Strength: 5 + Endurance: 6 +
Agility: 8 + Charisma: 15 +
Intelligence: 16 + Luck: 20 +
Attribute Points Available: 3+3(bonus) Total: 6
Grand Lucky Stars (Innate, Hidden)
What the hell was that luck? Was he really that lucky? And he knew he was kind of attractive but a 15 in charisma just seemed too much. Plus… his strength and endurance. Ugh. It made him cringe just looking at it. He was such a weakling; something he already knew about, but it hurt to see it in front of your face. His average score was a little under 12, doing the quick math.
At least it was a high average. People cheered. He swore he could see some people off to the side, no doubt with the guild, that were already eyeing him like a steak.
He saw the skill but didn’t click it for now. It was something fancy and important, but he had to allocate his points. People were staring and he really didn’t want to be up here any longer than he had to be.
Rain Kaiwi -- Role: Civilian Level: 2
Strength: 5 Endurance: 10
Agility: 10 Charisma: 15
Intelligence: 16 Luck: 20
Attribute Points Available: 0+0(bonus) Total: 0
Grand Lucky Stars (Innate, Hidden)
He’d let his strength stay low for now. Endurance and Agility were better for keeping him alive.
As soon as his points were in, he shuffled off to the side with the third-place kid. Though… they were all 18, as far as he knew. Could he really call himself a kid anymore? Ah-ha-ha, existential dread, he knew thee well. What the heck was he gonna do with his life?
The first-place winner, a cute, tan, petite girl with amazing, wavy auburn hair that almost reached her ass, was the last to go. Her stats averaged around twelve as well. Her endurance was pretty low, but her intelligence was a point higher than his. For whatever reason, his luck was way higher than the two. Weird.
He didn’t feel like he was a particularly lucky kid. Like, sure. He had a nice family. They weren’t poor but weren’t super well off either. They had food on the table, a sweet pup to play with that was technically his mom’s dog, and he had a few siblings to annoy him. He was pretty average on that front.
The rest of the event was just as boring as the beginning of it, though Rain was eager to get off the stage, so when he finally could it was relaxing. The horde of people wasn’t relaxing, but at least now he wasn’t in the literal spotlight.
The guild people were like hounds. They didn’t want to lose this chance, and more than likely, they were the ones that funded this whole thing. Publicity stunt. Ugh. There was a woman with blazing red hair in a tight dress that approached Rain. Her skin was honey, eyes green; she was exotic.
Now, as uninterested as he was in this whole affair, he wasn’t blind. His bits still worked. He was a healthy young man. This woman was hot, and he was trying, awkwardly, not to stare at her.
“Hi there, mon cher,” she drawled, her accent thick and beyond out of place. She sounded like she came straight out of deep Louisiana, “Thin’ I could speak ta ya?”
“S-sure?” he stuttered, adjusting himself self-consciously, his eyes darting away.
“I wanna set y’all up with a class, cheri,” she said, a grin sneaking into the corners of her mouth, “All three of ya have potential. It’d be a waste not ta go ta a class ‘bout it.”
Ugh… more class. Rain grimaced, forcing a smile to his face, “Ah… yeah, I guess.”
She chuckled, “It’s only a month, darlin’. Not too long or hard. I seen ya grades. I know ya don’t like school. This ain’t the same type’a school, though. Ya learn ta fight. Much more fun. It’d help ya strength, too.”
He opened his mouth to argue but shut it almost immediately. He… couldn’t really argue with that. It made sense. His strength was shitty. Learning how to fight would be fun. Then the other thing was that his parents would ream him if he said no. They weren’t poor, but this was the sort of opportunity they couldn’t afford to pass up. Explorers made a lot of money, and getting to level two wasn’t cheap. If he earned money, he could pay for his siblings to level up. Some of them really wanted to be explorers, even if he was uninterested.
He couldn’t deny them their dreams because of his own selfish desires. Lalo and Thread was cheesy, but “Ohana means family”, well… yeah. Family mattered a lot.
After an awkward amount of silence filled the air, he let go of a small huff he had been holding in, “Fine. Don’t expect a whole lot out of me. If you saw my grades, then you know I don’t do homework.”
“Darling… in the MAZE, it’s do or die. You’ll fit in perfect. There’s no homework, just real, meanin’ful work.”
Rain managed a smile, mostly a fake, polite one since he didn’t know what to say. She pulled him away to behind the stage and pulled a tablet out of what was presumably her bag. She had it open and was tapping in information swiftly.
He had a little bit of an idea of how things went with the guild, since it was now okay to share information with the outside, but it hadn’t been too long since that became a thing. Plus, he wasn’t planning on getting involved with them, so it’s not like he did a ton of research. He kinda wished he had, now that he was apparently stuck with this crap.
“Alrighty. I have ya name ‘n all that jazz in here, hon, we’ll get ya a card and schedule a date for ya class. The other two’ll probably be along with ya. I hope y’all get along fine?” she asked, more in that way that people did to be polite, not like she actually wanted an answer. He understood it, though. This was her job. Usually, MAZE people were like… adrenaline junkies or whatever, so it was no surprise she probably didn’t want to be here doing this talent hunting business. She continued, “Oh, sorry. I never told ya my name, but I know yours. I’m Jane Boudreaux. A pleasure to meet ya, mon cheri. I’m a mage - part of why I’m here. We figured the top scorers would have high intelligence. That makes y’all well suited to the role… not to say ya gotta take it, of course! That’s always your option ‘n yours alone. With that luck a’yours though… maybe a crafter? Who knows. You’ll see what tickles ya fancy when ya in the class.”
System, she was tiresome.
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