Looking at Gabriel, Mark steeled his heart before saying.
“You talked about change percentages or something of the sort, can you please elaborate on that? Does changing my eye color also count in those percentages?”
At his barrage of questions, Gabriel pondered for a bit before answering.
“Yes, changing your eye color does count, but not that much. Here, let me explain how the whole thing works.”
Finishing her speech, Gabriel created another avatar in the shape of Mark. On top of that character, a percentage appeared, showing 0%.
“In real life, most of the things pertaining to your body are written on your DNA. I assume you already know how that works, but here is a simulation just in case.”
At her words, a double helix showed up. Multiple colored lines were holding the two helixes together.
“You see, this is a simplified scaled-up representation of your DNA. Those colored lines that change color in the middle are nitrogen bases. But you don’t need to bother yourself about these specificities. Just imagine them to be code instructions. There are four of them, with code name A, T, G and C. The order of these instructions is what make your whole genetic code, and decides your characteristics. Now, for example, if I change your eye colors.”
At her signal, Mark’s new avatar’s eyes changed from brown to green. As she did that, Mark’s eyes drifted to the double helix, he could swear that something in it changed. He then looked back at the avatar and noticed that the percentage above him went from 0 to 0.064%. She then changed back the avatar’s eye color from green to brown again, and this time he really did see it, lines in the double helix changing color. The percentage, of course, also went back to 0%.
“I see that you’ve noticed the change in the DNA. The change was small, and that’s why the percentage change that I showed to you was also small. If I did something like change how your bone structure looks like or something of the sort, the change would have been more noticeable, and the percentage would have increased similarly.”
“However, there are some things that the DNA doesn’t dictate, like your muscle density. For those kinds of change, let me show you by example.”
She then looked at my avatar and made each muscle two to three times bigger.
“Now, let’s see how you’ll fare with this body.”
Just as she finished uttering those words, my body instantly felt much heavier. My chest also felt suffocated and my arms couldn’t budge.
Barely able to hold myself from falling down, I gritted my teeth and looked at her.
“This is what a body different from your own feels like the moment you appropriate it. Not that great, right? That’s because not only do your internal organs fail to support such an increase in the weight of your muscle, but your nervous system as well. Your brain keeps giving instruction unconsciously that are tailored to your past body, and this messes up with a whole lot of stuff.”
Mark couldn’t help but agree, he already knew of many horror stories of people trying to be funny and create weird characters, only to mess up their whole account and start again from zero.
“This is why we limit this kind of change, because not only is it bad for the balance of the game, but it’s even worse for the user experience. Look at the percentage of change.”
Checking the value that was above his avatar, Mark was surprised to find it reaching 80%. His couldn’t help but gap a bit. Isn’t this a bit too much?
At his reaction, Gabriel just laughed and said “The numbers don’t make much sense now, do they? Yeah, when you change things that aren’t related to your DNA, the role of the change percentage changes a bit. Rather than being an accurate representation of how much change you made, it’s just a limiter for you not to do something too stupid. After all, no one likes to delete their account and make a new one, especially when that process takes two days.”
After she finished her speech, Gabriel undid the changes to my body and made me go back to normal. She also made the new avatar disappear.
“Okay, I have already talked for way too much. Let’s continue on with your character creation.”
As Gabriel finished talking, Mark looked at his avatar, a grim expression on his face.
Well, she already went through all the trouble of explaining how changing anything related to muscles, bones and internal organs can be a terrible idea. If I just ignore all of that and do it nonetheless, wouldn’t that be way too suspicious? No, I can still fake it. If I make myself look deranged enough, she will most likely think that I’m just being overconfident. Even if she looks up my emotional state, I can still put myself in the mindset of an unstable person. Believe it Mark, believe it. You’re now an arrogant arsehole whose pride has been wounded. No! Stop thinking in full sentences. Chop everything- Don’t let- My mind- I am- I am the best!
Taking a deep breath out, Mark starred at the nonexisting ground for a long time. From his point of view, he could see the stars, galaxies, and quasars clear as it gets. This view made him feel a certain level of serenity, of aloofness also. It was as if he was a god looking at his creation. Then, remembering the words of the angel, the words that he forced himself to think of as synonymous to belittlement and contempt, Mark felt a fire burning in his heart, a fire that risked eating everything.
Suddenly, his eyes drifted towards Gabriel, giving her a sharp look.
“Hey, you said that I could still delete and recreate a character after two days, right?”
At his question, Gabriel simply answered: “Yes, indeed you can delete your character and recreate it when two days pass after deletion.” Her angelic smile could have faked her thoughts if she was standing next to anyone with little experience, but Mark could see through her eyes the amusement.
Haha, whoever thought of burdening AIs with the weight of emotion was a good idea, thank you.
Mark fought hard the urge to laugh his heart out. The fact that Gabriel was amused by his antics means that she still doesn’t suspect anything. Not that he did anything illogical or that could point to him being a time traveler, however, AIs had a frightening observation and analytical power, even the slightest of mistakes might lead to the discovery of his secrets.
“Then, I guess it would be of no problem even if I mess it up. However, you see, I know my anatomy very well, so I doubt that failure would even be part of the equation.”
Mark cringed internally at the arrogance of his tone and the death flags that he raised. But all of this was necessary, so he just bites the bullet and continued on. Turning around to take a good look at his avatar, Mark had a grin on his face. However, this one wasn’t fake, as what he was about to do will solve one of the biggest regrets he had in his past life.
All of those jackasses that laughed at and belittled you – Josh, Leo, Sophie- just because they came later knowing all the tricks. This time we’ll shut their mouth for good.