Heaven's Dawn
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In the high-end building owned by Lotus Financial Group. The pleading shouts of a man could be heard as he was escorted out. The man looked to be in his late twenties and quite handsome, while another person followed him with the guards.

"Jack, please! I beg you, don't do this to me! For twelve years we fought hand in hand. I gave everything for the rise of this Gaming Studio, please persuade the higher-ups!"

The man called Jack sneered at the man as he kicked him out of the building and threw some documents at him.

"I can not do anything about this, Aether. You were the one who spoke against the decision in the meeting. You should have known there would be consequences. You brought this on yourself!"

Aether's last hope seemed to have been crushed as the colour drained from his face. For twelve years he had worked hard for them, and now he was just thrown out like that. As he slowly picked up the documents and directed his steps to leave, Jack came as close to him so that no one else could hear what he was about to say.

"You know, Aether, after your sister's death, your attitude really pissed me off. You should know that it was me who suggested firing you!" With wide, hopeless eyes, Aether looked at Jack. He could not believe that the person he trusted so much could betray him to this extent. He could only grit his teeth and clench his fists as he got into the cab. He remembered the look of pleasure on Jack's face as he saw his suffering.


Under the starless night sky, in the upper-class neighborhood of Black Rose, White Winds City.

Aether held a wine glass in his hand as he sat silently on the sofa, drinking away his sorrow. He looked at the news broadcast on the screen and was filled with frustration and displeasure.

Glancing at the document folder lying on the table, he sat back with a sigh, reminiscing his life before this moment.

He was the guild leader of [Soul], one of the 3 largest gaming studios in White Winds City. He commanded thousands of players and was known as a famous expert called the Sky King. But now he could only drink alone as a tear ran down his cheek.

It had taken him twelve years to turn Soul from an unknown guild in the city into a guild that could even rival first-rate guilds. But all it took was a few documents, and all the hardships of his bloody battles were blown away before he could even bask in his glory.

Aether never thought that his twelve years of effort would simply be in vain. He had lost everything for the game, only to pave the way for others. All that crumbled just because he opposed the decision to merge Soul with the super-guild [Everlasting Firmament]. Not even 2 days had passed after the meeting when Aether received the response from Blue Lotus Financial Group. He had to delete his level 250 Battle Mage, the account in which he had invested blood and sweat for twelve years, and collect his settlement check and the documents of his termination from Soul.

All he received was 8 million credits, a car, and a mansion near the outskirts of the city. Compared to the 10 established guild cities under Soul in the money-making virtual world of <Heaven’s Dawn>, this was not even a drop in the ocean.

Aether thought of how much he had contributed to Soul, he thought of how much his efforts had benefited the Blue Lotus Groups, and he thought of how, despite all his sacrifices, they had thrown him away like garbage; Aether swore he would take revenge for their actions.

“I am not going to just sit back and take it! At worst, I’ll start all over again!”

He exuded an aura of confidence as he tore the termination contract to shreds! His hand reached for the wine bottle on the tabletop and drank it down whole in several mouthfuls.

Even if he no longer had his Battle Mage account, even if he did not have the thousands of players behind him, the knowledge and experience he had gained in his twelve years as a player would not betray him. As long as his skills remained, he could still rise in Heaven’s Dawn and build his own virtual kingdom!


Early morning. The sun rose to the sky, sunrays hitting an apartment window.

Di! Ting! Di! Ting!

The ringtone of the phone rang continuously.

Aether woke up resentfully and reached helplessly for the phone from the bedside; the effects of yesterday’s drinking still apparent on him.

“Hello, who is this?”

“Hey big brother, it’s me, Emma, are you awake or not?! It’s time for you to wake up! Didn’t you say you wanted to be a professional gamer? Soul Gaming Studio will be recruiting in our school today. If you want to become a core member, get ready quickly!”

Blue Lotus Financial Group had just fired him, so why would he take Soul’s recruitment test?

Aether was a little confused, but then he got angry thinking it was a prank since his sister died in an accident 5 years ago!

“Whoever you are, I just got fired from Soul, so please stop joking around and do not pretend to be my sister.”, He said calmly but in an angry tone.

“Fired? Pretending? Big brother, did you start drinking? Are you not awake even now? How can you get fired when Soul has not even hired a single person yet? Alright, come quickly, they are testing at nine o’ clock sharp.”

Emma had disconnected before Aether could even reply.

Looking dumbfounded at his phone, Aether realized that this broken and old VMax 7 was not his phone. His phone was the latest VMax 15.

Shocked, Aether stood up and immediately looked to see where he was.

In front of him was a messy room, no bigger than 15 square meters. Books and guides on game strategies were lying around almost everywhere, an outdated laptop was on the study table and a closet was right next to the bed. The closet had clothes piled up untidily and a mirror reflecting a familiar face.

Aether flinched in shock when he saw this extremely familiar face.

“How did I become young again?” Aether immediately went to the mirror when he saw himself in his reflection. Only after looking at the mirror and again and again did he believe it was really him.

Last night he had gone to bed in a large, luxurious bedroom, but now he found himself waking up in this rundown room. More than that, he had also become young again.

Aether could still recall some memories of this small room. Twelve years ago, he had lived here. He had reluctantly rented this apartment for over a year so that he could play Heaven’s Dawn and attend college at the same time. It was not until he started earning money in Heaven’s Dawn that he rented a larger apartment.

Thinking back on those exhausting years, his family situation was not rosy either. In order for Aether and Emma to attend college, their parents had accumulated some debts. Still, they made sure they had enough money to pay for their studies, silently suffering themselves. To ease their burden, he had taken a part-time job and rented this run-down room.

He really wanted to change his family’s circumstances, but finding a well-paying part-time job was easier said than done. So he turned to the highly profitable Virtual Reality games. Setting professional gaming as his goal, he even bought a VR Link Set and trained diligently in the game to improve his skills.

Gradually, bread and instant noodles became his daily meals. To save money and time, he avoided social gatherings and parties of his classmates. As a result, he was left out of the class, boys looked at him with disdain, and girls gave him pitying looks from afar. Every time he went to buy noodles, he only had 25 credits in his wallet; he could not even spare money for a sausage, which cost only 3 credits.

“Is this really a prank?”

Aether stared at his younger self in the mirror and the familiar surroundings. He could not help but shake his head in denial.

Even America, who was currently at the top of the world’s technological industry, could not make a person younger. Besides, who would play such a joke on a poor 31-year-old man like him.

Aether looked at the date on his phone.

May 23, 2234

“Don’t tell me I have gone back in time?” Aether showed a bitter smile.

This was impossible. There was no way he could have travelled twelve-and-a-half years into the past.

Aether shook his head, trying to wear off the effects of the alcohol, but deep inside he wanted it to be true, he wished he could come back to this time, to return twelve years back. He went to his laptop and turned it on.

Even if you could change the date on your phone, you could not fake the information on the Internet.

Aether surfed the Internet for several minutes with his eyes wide open, shocked and excited at the same time. Everything he found on the Internet proved that it was May 23, 2234. Even the highly anticipated release of Heaven’s Domain was clearly displayed on the official website, with a countdown to May 30, 7 days from now.

"Oh God! This… this is just too great! Since I came back, I can redo everything! I can save Emma, I can give mom and dad a happy life without worries!" Tears of joy were streaming down Aether's cheeks as he rejoiced in his fate.

While Aether was thinking about all the possibilities that lay before him, Emma's call rang again, urging him to hurry up for the test. But he was very relaxed as he dressed and got ready before heading to White Winds College.

He knew Soul like the back of his hand.

Aether still remembered the Blue Lotus Group's golden boy, Jack Carter, who had started Soul Gaming Studio to get into Heaven's Dawn. Jack had invested a huge sum of credits for recruiting student experts at White Winds College. After successfully passing the test, Aether had become a core member of Soul. At first, his sister did not want to invest time in the game, preferring to focus on her studies. But after some time, when she saw him earning money for the family, she also joined Soul as an outer member. Aether was happy with his situation for quite some time.

For three years under Aether's leadership, Blue Lotus Group operated at a great profit and soon became a large financial group. But Aether never thought that Jack Carter would personally fire him from Soul.

Having regressed back in time, he had an absolute advantage that others did not. Obviously, he would not join Soul just to become a tool of profit. This time he would walk a different path. This time, only for himself and his family. As he had promised himself, he will create his own gaming studio, start his own company, and build his own virtual kingdom!


Just as Aether entered the IT block of the college, he saw two female figures standing near the building. One of them had platinum blonde hair, the same as his. She was a full head shorter than him. The beautiful girl bit her thumb in frustration as she looked around; this girl was Emma.

"Big brother, you finally showed up! Unfortunately, the registration is already over. But this friend has a good relationship with Jack Carter, she can help you sign up!" Emma said in a panic after seeing Aether.

Looking at her, he pulled her a distance away and said in a serious tone, "Emma, neither you nor I are signing up for Soul. We are going to create our own studio."

It was originally Emma who had introduced Virtual Reality games to Aether and the former had pretty good skills. They had played many games together and overcome many challenges, but after she entered college, their family situation turned for the worse, so she stopped gaming and focused more on her studies. During the time she had been playing, she showed great potential in management and administration, so he had recommended those careers for her to work toward. But Aether commanded thousands of players and currently he was far above her level, but he can't manage a guild on his own, so he wanted his sister to be the first vice guild leader.

Emma blanked at Aether's words, she looked at his azure eyes with her confused amber ones. It was so sudden and out of the blue that she could not understand where this idea came from! Not only did her brother seem so different today than usual, he was confident and calm, as if he had everything handled.

"Big brother, what are you even talking about? You do know that Heaven's Dawn requires a VR gaming cabin not a link set. The cheapest one costs no less than nine thousand credits, and you'd also need at least five members to set up a studio. And what about the workplace, salaries and everything else? I can't even imagine the start-up funding. Where are you going to get that kind of money?" They both knew their situation, so Emma wanted to dissuade him from making this crazy decision.

"You are right, sis. Right now I don't even have the money for a gaming cabin, people are a far cry." Aether nodded in admittance but he still had that determined look in his eyes. It was just as she had said, even seventy or eighty thousand credits were considered a small amount. He knew Jack had spent five million credits for the hundred-man studio. Later, he spent even more to improve the quality and strength of Soul.

"Since you understand that, you should join Soul instead of taking the risk. At least it can provide you with the gaming cabin. Otherwise, you can forget about professional gaming, you won't even be able to play the game." Seeing that her brother understood the crux of the problem, Emma sighed in relief and pulled him towards her friend.

Aether shook off her hand, looked at her confidently, and said in a reassuring tone, "I know what you mean, sis, but if you trust me, I can at least get us both a VR gaming cabin. I don't want to be controlled by others and yes, you will be playing too. I have made my decision."

He would not insist that she join now because he knew she would in the future, but the sooner she joined the better. At present, he had no guarantees. Besides, he could not reveal that he had memories from twelve years in the future. He could only hope that Emma would believe him.

Seeing the seriousness in Aether's eyes, she felt that he was acting strangely today. In a VR game you couldn't earn a lot of money in the early stages. How would he even arrange a gaming cabin for the two of them. And even if they could make money in Heaven's Dawn, it would be months before they had enough money together to start a studio. They did not have that much time to waste.

After much hesitation, Emma gave him her trust, apologized to her friend, and hesitantly replied, "All right! You are the boss, big brother. But you have to tell me how you are going to get the VR gaming cabins."

Before she could continue, Aether hugged her as if he had not seen her in years. She could feel tears running from the corners of his eyes. In the previous timeline, they were both very high-level players in Heaven's Dawn, but she had died in an accident seven years after the game's launch. After her death, he had become cold to everyone on his team, and his personality had changed. After seeing her alive, he could hardly control himself from crying out loud.

After a while, he broke away from her, looking away to hide his embarrassment as he pulled Emma by the hand as they left the college. "Where are we going?" Emma asked while still in a daze, she was very confused about his behaviour. It was the first time Aether had cried in front of her, she did not know how to react.

Looking back at her with his red tinged eyes, he grinned as he flagged down a cab on the street and said mysteriously, "To redeem coupon codes."


Aether and Emma skipped the long line in front of the public counter to purchase the VR gaming cabins and directly went to the VIP counter. Emma held onto Aether's jacket while anxiously looking around.

Aether smiled as he looked at the man at the counter. "Hello sir, this is the Virtual Gaming Centre, how can I help you?"

"Hello, I am Aether Valentine, this is my ID. Could you please redeem this code for me?" Aether handed the receptionist a long number on his phone. The receptionist seemed a little annoyed, as many of these scammers had already come to try their luck. Nevertheless, he calmly typed the numbers into the system. Just as he was about to answer negatively, the words got stuck in his throat.

He looked at Aether and said stutteringly, "S-sir, would you please follow me in?"

Hearing this reply, Aether smirked and muttered to himself, "Here I come, Heaven's Dawn!"

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