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Chapter 1: A Marvelous World and Weird a.s.signments
New York, New York.
Fall came. Weeks ago, the air was warm and the streets in the wide avenues were a deep virescent hues of spring and summer, but are now blushed with scarlet and gold. The earthen aroma is softer, the air cooler and the once empty, desolate high school building once again ushered a group of enthusiastic freshmen.
"Hey, where are you looking at?" A teenage youth with chocolate caramel skin in athletic sweats taps the shoulder of his friend, Jackson.
The youth curiously glances over Jackson's shoulder and sees students pouring into the front entrance, hustling and bustling down the corridors. Old friends greet each other with a hug or a playful punch whereas, the newcomers holds a blank and lost countenance. Seniors stand tall and proud, confidence borne from experience.
"Hm?" Jackson tilts his head. "Ah, it's nothing. Just my first time and the sight simply struck a sense of wonder, caught in a reverie. That's all. Anyways, let's go before the bell rings." His eyes flash and quickly drags his body inside the school building.
"Hey, wait for me!" The caramel-skinned youth sees the figure of his friend grow smaller and fade into the distance. He quickens his pace, following suit.
The monotone buzz of several hundred voices hums like an orchestra. Within the sea of crowds stood a biracial youth suddenly caught in a daze, almost losing balance in the process.
"What is wrong? Is there any errors or problem?" He asks, almost in a warning of impending doom and it seems the worries in his heart increased further.
To others, the youth is known simply by the name Jackson Lin, one of mixed ethnic background—a Chinese American youth, his mother an American and his father a man of Chinese origin. He also held a simple Chinese name, 林锐 Lin Rui.
Decades ago, long before Jackson's birth, his ancestors immigrated to the U.S with dreams of a better life not only for them but for their future generations and offsprings.
A generation later, Jackson's father was born and fell in love with an American woman at the prime of his youth. They married soon after and gave birth to a boy they'd later name Jackson Lin.
As Jackson grew of age, the biracial youth's Western and Asiatic features exuded a sense of charm.
From his eyes comes an intensity, a sort of gentleness, a warm brown fringed with smooth green framed by thick, graceful brows. If observed carefully, you'd find Jackson's jaw, chin, and cheekbones sharp as if personally sculpted by the hands of G.o.d himself. His midnight-black hair shone under the gleaming sun. His fair skin smooth and flawless and his height a little over 6 ft. tall. His symmetrical and alluring features can be considered as a male youth exuding beauty and beauty.
But as fate would have it, Jackson was not Jackson but a person of the name Lin Rui.
In his past life, he lived between the crosses of heaven and h.e.l.l painfully staking his life and overworking to the point of near death, but who'd have thought he'd traverse into the other side of the world during a sudden unexpected shock.
With a new life given to him, Lin Rui was no more, his existence and past scratched off into the deep oblivion. No longer Lin Rui but now Jackson Lin.
However, as he grew of age, he quickly came upon a sudden realization and discovered a slight difference between this reality and his past reality. He came to know the existence of heroes whose names were written in the annals of history, whose mere existence itself was heavenly defying. Their presence was an integral part of Jackson Lin's world.
Jackson came to know of Captain America whose existence dated prior to World War II; his heroic deeds plastered in the National Memorial.
The Stark Industries could also be seen in this world. The prominent, sky-high architectural building stood tall and proud at the heart of New York. Jackson believed such presence gave proof to the existence of Tony Stark.
Jackson in his late stage of infancy and throughout his early childhood was left unaware and ignorant of this world, holding the belief that he'd only crossed into the other side of the world. Foolish him. Little did he know. But as he grew older, the things he saw left and right struck a chord and left him speechless. The world he lived in was no mere illusion. Ordinary beings exist, yes, but there were also super-powered beings.
He wasn't overly shocked nor panic-stricken when he'd crossed into the other side of the world. He could adapt, no big deal. Rather, what left him perturbed and appalled was that he'd crossed into a world of heroes. Moreover, they were heroes of the Marvel Universe.
And there was also this weird system coursing within.
Those two factors made him feel rather helpless.
He has no plans nor does he wish to cause anything in this world deemed earth shattering. Jackson only wishes to live peacefully and settle in without any slight obstruction.
Besides, he's the son of a well-off family with means to live comfortably not because they were rich, but because they're financially stable. They weren't poor but they weren't rich either. Just enough to live a comfortable life.
He also has close familial ties with his parents compared to his past life.
To Jackson, it can be considered the perfect rebirth.
Though the only problem is the mysterious system coursing within, appearing at random random bouts of times and demanding him of tasks too unpredictable, too outlandish, too outrageous, and somewhat childish such as the time when the system demanded Jackson pop the tires of Uncle Morgan's truck who lives next door, or like the time when the system gave him an a.s.signment to swim at a lake in 45 degrees (fahrenheit) weather.
But what he found even more ludicrous was the system's requiring him to hand over his years worth of pocket money to the vagabond situated on the side of the road. Were it at any other times, Jackson would have freely given it all without reluctance. It was not because of his greed but because he long planned to buy an Xbox console with money he saved.
Unfortunately, the system had to be childish regarding this matter.
But of course, as the system issued such tasks, there was bound to be rewards for completion but if failure to complete, a sort of punishment was ensued.
For example, the system previously a.s.signed Jackson to pop the tires of Uncle Morgan's truck. If he completed the task (which he did) the system would reward him up to 5 points. If Jackson failed to complete the given task, a punishment of some sort comes into play such as the confession (a lie) of his feelings towards his male friend.
The points he garnered from the completion of tasks can be exchanged for anything the system held in store provided Jackson has the sufficient points.
Jackson dreamed multiples of times of obtaining the treasures the system stored in its vault. Therefore, although a bit reluctant, Jackson completed many of the system's demands whether it be small or large.
But today, the system's task made Jackson stumble in a whirlwind of confusion. He could not understand nor fathom the system's thoughts.
"You still ask me what's wrong? I am only updating you on the mission! Destroy the relations.h.i.+p between Peter Parker and Harry Osborn. After completion, you'll be awarded 50,000 points. Accept the task or seek punishment."
"What? What is this mission? What does this mean?" He asks anxiously and his heartbeat quickens.
Jackson continues walking forward wholly immersed in his train of thought.
This is truly… too outrageous.
Since his rebirth in this world of heroes whose existence are mighty and supreme, Jackson never once failed the a.s.signments the system prepared for him no matter how arduous it may seem.
But this is just too much.
"What's wrong? You must know high returns without risks does not exist. Why do you question a good mission with high rewards?" The system questions and wonders why Jackson is reluctant.
"This is this and that is that. This mission I feel is not such a good thing. The mission you've demanded of me previously and the mission you demand of me now is too big." Jackson pauses and his...o...b.. flicker.
"I know of the name Peter Parker; he'll become your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man. And Harry Osborn? He's the little green devil. "It's not right for you to make me destroy the relations.h.i.+p between them."
From small to large, the system released missions one after another and Jackson could not help but think that maybe the system may have a hidden purpose.
"What does it matter who they are?" The system scoffs. "Will you accept this mission? Yes or no?"
Jackson did not immediately answer upon hearing the system's inquiry. He can sense the system's hidden purpose, but what is it? And moreover, the 50,000 reward caused b.u.t.terflies in his stomach to run amok.
When he was only a child at the age of three, the system unknowingly appeared in thin air and began to give him a.s.signments one after another. Up until today, Jackson managed to garner 532 points and now the system issued him a mission worth 100x the number of all his previous tasks combined.
"Could I have a moment to think about it?" Jackson hesitated momentarily.
In a world full of heroes, Jackson needed to navigate the waters with caution and this mission the system required Jackson to place discretion as one of utmost importance. Besides, he's not all too sure where to begin with the destruction of the relations.h.i.+p between Peter Parker and Harry Osborn.
"Need a moment? Sure." The system generously agrees and begins to count down. "Five… four…"
"That's unfair!" Jackson's nerves relaxed at first but thereafter, the hairs on his body jumps when hearing the latter part of the sentence.
"Three… two…" The system ignores Jackson's complaints. "O—"
"Okay! I accept!" Jackson hurriedly shouts.
In the end, he can only give in to greed and temptation at the alluring sight of 50,000 reward points. With this alone, Jackson can redeem the things he often dreamed of.
"Accepted! Mission issued. Remember, the time limit is six months. You must accomplish the goal within the time limit. Failure is not an option." After Jackson agreed to the mission, the system replies with glee.
"There is a time limit? Half a year?! It's a bit too fast!" Jackson's brows deepens. This sort of mission is not an easy task to accomplish.
"Do not complain. You've already accepted the mission. In two days time, you'll turn sixteen. When the time comes, I will give you a surprise."
"Oh? Birthday gift?" Jackson replies weakly, too frightened by the system's yearly surprise. "Which birthday gift you've given me that has not surprised me? I only hope this year's birthday gift is less of a scare than all previous times."
"Rest a.s.sured. You can be considered a man of sixteen and such you'll be given a decent ceremony." The system says seriously.
"Well, no matter. Don't let me stop you." Jackson clicks his tongue. "And do not hinder me from my progress either!"
The system nods and drifts off into the depths of his mind.
Jackson casually raises his head and walked towards the entrance of his cla.s.sroom.
"Jackson, wait up! Why are you running so fast?!" The youth in athletic sweats finally caught up, his breath haggard.
"Oh, Tom I'm sorry… I forgot…" His lips curves downwards and his eyes hinted a sort of sorrow. Jackson's conversation with the system caused him to forget his friend.
"It's okay." Tom breathes heavily. "Anyways, is this our cla.s.s? Eh? Why are there people crowded together?" Tom did not blame Jackson for throwing him off the bus. He'd long forgotten the issue and begins to observe the cla.s.sroom. When his eyes looks at the corner, his eyes glinted.
"Well, h.e.l.lo beautiful." Tom says excitedly.
Jackson heard his friend's sudden exclamation and curiously looks over to the corner room.
In the corner, a beautiful flock of girls gathered en ma.s.se and huddles in a circle, catching the eyes of outsiders.
"Oh? Did not expect Peter Parker and Harry Osborn would be our cla.s.smate. This must be luck." Tom says faintly whilst smiling foolishly.
Jackson's head buzzes. Did the system arranged this ordeal or is it merely pure coincidence? So be it. Either way, Jackson will not entangle himself with those two.
Peter Parker is a smart, intelligent guy, but it is not his presence who caught the attention of the ladies. No, it his one and only friend, Harry Osborn, the young master of the Oscorp Industries. The Oscorp Industries is a multi-billion dollar corporation comparable to the Stark Industries.
Harry Osborn's' G.o.d-given attention is in itself justifiable.
"Tom, don't cause trouble. Come on, let's sit. Cla.s.s will begin at any moment." Jackson pats his friend's should before walking towards the seat overseeing the urban scenery from the inside.
Tom shrugs his shoulder and smiles lightly. "I'm just a little surprised." He follows suit and walks towards the seat near Jackson.
Jackson sits down and did not pay further attention to the crowds huddled in the corner room. While waiting for the bell to ring, Jackson begins to formulate a plan to accomplish the mission. A crease formed in between his brows in an effort to search for Spider-Man's history from Jackson's past memories.
He can't remember why the relations.h.i.+p between the future Spider-Man and Little Green Goblin is so good to the point of unbreakable. If there was a rift between their friends.h.i.+p, it would be amended and reconciled sooner or later.
Jackson needed to break their thread of friends.h.i.+p.
Regarding this matter, it is indeed a difficult mission.
Jackson rubs his temples for a slight moment, and his gaze turns to the side. Maybe his friend can offer some help, but when he sees his wolfish eyes gazing towards the flock of pretty women, Jackson lips twitch and his eyes rolls.
"Hey! Is this really worth making 50,000 points?!" He shouts intensely in his heart.
… … …
Translator's Note: h.e.l.lo! Thank you for reading thus far. I like the Marvel Universe hence the translation. Also please, give the novel a rate and review at . Thank you!