Novel Yuusha Isekai! Youjo Suki! [Ch 1-152]

Discussion in 'Community Fictions' started by eharper256, Jun 28, 2017.

  1. eharper256

    eharper256 Purveyor of Dubious Medicinal Elixirs [since 1885]

    Jun 28, 2017
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    When Elijah, thirty year old civil servant, open lolicon, and anime otaku finds himself in a new world rather than snuggled up to his Flan-chan Dakimakura, whatever will he do? Will his genre savvy and surprisingly unspectacular cheat be able to save the kingdom, and its cute (if dumb) juvenile princess? Or will he go down in a blaze of foolish glory like the ikemen before him?

    Objective: Greetings, my fellow enthusiasts of online novels. I've been reading this stuff for a while, and for some reason, I decided to try and write one for shiz and giggles. It started as an interesting writing experiment, but has since gone all rogue-train on me and developed into something with its own momentum. The original purpose was to try and make a good isekai harem story that doesn't have a beta JP MC, and has unique, interesting girls that are more than just their stereotypes, whilst at the same time making fun of the genre and popular anime and game culture at large. Hope you enjoy; and if you don't I'm all for non-flamey/irrational criticism to help me develop as a writer.

    Genre: Adventure, Comedy, Fantasy, Isekai

    Updates: At the moment, fortnightly updates due to the myriad of crazy rubbish commitments I have. Ah, the days when I could do two a week... (le sigh)

    Also, you can now follow Yuusha Youjo on RoyalRoadL if you like that platform. It's pretty darn frantic and active over there, so give it a try!

    NOTE: If a chapter has a (NSFW) Tag, its more from the intent from than any especially graphic description. It would still be very dodgy if your boss were to read it over your shoulder, mind. XD This is a isekai harem novel, for sure, but I feel the H is best kept in your mind, so whenever it does occur, there is always a timeskip.

    Table of Contents

    Chapter 1
    Chapter 2
    Chapter 3
    Chapter 4
    Side A
    Chapter 5
    Chapter 6
    Chapter 7
    Chapter 8
    Chapter 9
    Side KI
    Chapter 10
    Chapter 11
    Chapter 12
    Chapter 13
    Chapter 14
    Chapter 15
    Chapter 16
    Chapter 17
    Chapter 18
    Side KA
    Chapter 19
    Chapter 20
    Chapter 21
    Chapter 22
    Chapter 23
    Side C
    Chapter 24
    Chapter 25
    Chapter 26
    Side S
    Chapter 27
    Chapter 28
    Chapter 29
    Chapter 30
    Chapter 31
    Chapter 32
    Chapter 33
    Chapter 34
    Chapter 35
    Chapter 36
    Side R
    Chapter 37
    Chapter 38
    Chapter 39
    Side KK
    Side AR
    Chapter 40
    Chapter 41
    Chapter 42
    Chapter 43
    Chapter 44 (NSFW)
    Chapter 45
    Chapter 46
    Chapter 47
    Chapter 48
    Chapter 49
    Chapter 50
    Chapter 51
    Chapter 52
    Side Y
    Chapter 53
    Chapter 54
    Chapter 55
    Chapter 56
    Chapter 57
    Chapter 58
    Side B
    Chapter 59
    Chapter 60
    Chapter 61
    Chapter 62
    Chapter 63
    Chapter 64
    Chapter 65
    Chapter 66
    Chapter 67
    Chapter 68
    Chapter 69
    Side KL
    Chapter 70
    Chapter 71
    Side AKA
    Side KIS
    Chapter 72
    Side RY
    Side KUKL / AA
    Chapter 73
    Chapter 74 (NSFW)
    Chapter 75
    Side KI2
    Chapter 76
    Chapter 77
    Chapter 78
    Side B2
    Chapter 79
    Side C2
    Chapter 80
    !!BONUS!! Images
    Chapter 81
    Chapter 82
    Side RM
    Chapter 83
    Chapter 84
    Chapter 85
    Chapter 86
    Chapter 87
    Chapter 88
    Side AB
    Side R2
    Side BKA
    Side S2
    Chapter 89 (NSFW)
    Chapter 90
    Side KAKL
    Chapter 91
    Side KA2
    Chapter 92
    Chapter 93

    Chapter 94
    Side C3
    Chapter 95
    Chapter 96
    Side M
    Chapter 97 (NSFW)
    Chapter 98
    Chapter 99
    Side KA3
    Chapter 100
    Side AA2
    Chapter 101
    Side R3
    Chapter 102
    Chapter 103
    Side ESKA
    Chapter 104
    Chapter 105
    Chapter 106
    Side MKO
    Chapter 107
    Chapter 108
    Chapter 109

    Side SR
    Chapter 110
    Chapter 111 (NSFW)
    Side C4
    Chapter 112 (NSFW)
    Chapter 113
    Chapter 114 (NSFW)
    Side KI3
    Chapter 115
    Side KL2
    Chapter 116
    Side RS
    Side KL3
    Side F
    Side Y2
    Side C5
    Side AA3
    Side M2
    Chapter 117
    Chapter 118
    Chapter 119
    Side H
    Side KO
    Side M3
    Side S3
    Chapter 120
    Chapter 121
    Side Y3
    Chapter 122
    Chapter 123
    Side LC
    Chapter 124
    Chapter 125
    Side MKO2
    Chapter 126
    Chapter 127
    Chapter 128
    SIDE KO2
    Chapter 129
    Chapter 130
    Chapter 131
    Chapter 132
    Chapter 133
    Side L
    Chapter 134
    Chapter 135
    Chapter 136
    Chapter 137
    Side ASK
    Side RAS
    Side KOML
    Chapter 138 (NSFW)
    Chapter 139
    Chapter 140
    Chapter 141
    Side KAY
    Side M4
    Chapter 142
    Side C6
    Chapter 143
    Chapter 144
    Side AA4
    Side KU
    Side Y4
    Chapter 145
    Chapter 146
    Side AY
    Chapter 147
    Chapter 148
    Chapter 149
    Chapter 150
    Side KAKL2
    Chapter 151 NEW!!
    Side C7 NEW!!
    Chapter 152 NEW!!

    Last edited: Jul 3, 2019
  2. eharper256

    eharper256 Purveyor of Dubious Medicinal Elixirs [since 1885]

    Jun 28, 2017
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    ---A NEW CLICHÉ---

    It's a magic circle. Two chanting wizard types. An extraordinary looking girl is concentrating with a rather constipated expression in front of me with her arms raised. Despite the expression, she looks fantastically cute, silver hair cut in a messy short bob and bright blue eyes. Right in my strike-zone.

    Yep, this is a typical dream I suppose. I'm in an Isekai type thing since I was reading them all day yesterday. Which scenario is this? One of those summoned to be the husband of a great queen. Nn, I like the look of the girl so let’s go with that.

    The particle effects fade from around me. Must have run low on budget. I feel myself land on one-knee, as I was floating before, partially incorporeal.

    There is a cry of jubilation from the wizardly jii-sans. They shout strange words. Shortly after, like some comedy dub of an old Chinese martial arts flick, a monotone English voice overlaps it with "You did it, Aria-sama!".

    Thank you translation-function-san! What a lovely name! Let's not waste time. I leap to my feet and immediately pull off my best chuuni pose.

    "Thank you for summoning me, oh great and lovely Aria. I am ready to become your husband!"

    Aria, the silver haired girl, goes through a safari of expressions in a short space of seconds, eventually settling on a furious embarrassed look. A pin drops on the other side of the room whilst she is munching on something to say.

    Oops. Wrong setting I guess. Well... we can do something about...

    I get a palm-print slap worthy of the shoujo heroine she appears to be, and artistically soar across the room.

    You what.

    YOU WHAT?!?

    My face impacts the cold stone floor whilst I am in shock; causing my naked form some painful rug burn.
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  3. eharper256

    eharper256 Purveyor of Dubious Medicinal Elixirs [since 1885]

    Jun 28, 2017
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    ---CHAPTER 1---

    Ok, so that was a blunder. As we all know, one does not feel pain or court death in dreams. Therefore, this is actually real. Fear my Logic skills. I was in the debate society.

    This is troublesome. Let’s look at the facts. I took on a rather embarrassing pose in front of a juvenile looking girl and proposed. Whilst naked. Hmm.

    "W-W-W-What are you doing!? Why are you sat with your legs crossed and your hand on your chin! What's wrong with you!?" Aria shouts, cutely puffing her face and balling her fists as she does so.

    Oh. I took the pose of the thinker without thinking about it. Ironic. I think I made Miss Aria mad. She is flanked by the two Jii-san wizards I had nearly forgotten about. They look like they're going to gut me like a fish. They have scary eyes. Are they her guardians? Let’s call them Smith and Jones. Guess I should apologise and gather more information.

    I effortlessly fall into a dogeza from the thinker. Huh. Seems like I'm more agile than I used to be.

    "I offer my apologies. I was so stunned by your beauty, I couldn't contain myself."

    I sneak a peek from the floor. Predictably, she is looking coy and is fidgeting whilst struggling to stop herself smiling. Innocent as expected. I feel like I should adjust my half-rim glasses in a smug fashion, but I'm naked and missing them. Wait. I can see perfectly as well. Weird…

    "E-Even so... Wait! That's not the poiiiinnnnttt HEEEERRE!! Do you know why you are here?"

    Let's go with common cliché number one.

    "I have been summoned to another world for a great task. To stop the Demon King!"

    She looks baffled again. Bullseye! Don't underestimate the genre savvy!

    "T-That's right. The Lord Principal of the Demons, Cultivator N’vstvr, declared war on humanity, and is now on a rampage across the eastern lands."

    Cultivator Nuh’vustuvur? What's with this, a Chinese novel protagonist with a mythos name? I've gotta fight that? That's like going against the gods. Badum-cha! Let’s check...

    "Is this demon leader skilled in martial arts and breathing techniques that give him godly powers?"

    "What? No. He's a six-armed demon-dragon that breathes acid and summons zombies."

    That's a relief. I'd have no chance versus one of those guys. A necrodragon is fine. Probably.

    Aria is still blushing, and apparently realising something at this rather late stage, detaches her baby blue cloak and throws it over my face. It's not an especially flattering colour on me, but I'll take it. I stand and secure it like a skirt with the brooch it comes with. I have to be careful I don't open a door I can't close again, wearing skirts like this.

    Speaking of doors, suddenly, the large double-doors of the stone magical summoning chamber burst open, and a man full of mien strides in, flanked by two knights in full-plate mail holding their swords aloft like they’ve got a job posing as table-top miniatures. As the Jii-san wizards, but not Aria, go down on a knee, I assume this is the king, so I kneel again. Normally this would be playing heck with my knees, going down naked on a stone floor like this, but for some reason I'm feeling full of vitality as well. My injured cheek has also stopped throbbing.

    The man has a hawkish gaze, and is a dignified middle-aged man in his prime. I’d guess he's in his fifties but looks forty, one of those. Unusually, though he does have the greying blonde slickback hair and the piercing blue eyes, he's lacking the beard the king archetype normally has. He wastes no time in slapping Aria in the same way she slapped me. If I was a vindictive sort, I would have smirked, but it seems a shame in this case to mar her cuteness.

    However, after delivering the slap, he hugs her tightly after a short delay. I see, he’s actually a doting father, is he?

    "You fool, Aria. I'm glad you succeeded; but do not worry me like this. You know what happened to Melody."

    Aria looks like she is on the verge of tears (in a different way to when she was embarrassed). She sniffles and looks up at her dad quite reverently.

    "I know, Otou-sama. But I had to do it, and you know it."

    Hmm. Seems like the summoning has an RNG element. Something bad happened to another princess? Whilst I ponder, the king type releases Aria and looks over to me.

    "You may rise, Etranger."

    I do so. But really, translation-function-san, Etranger? Why the sudden French? That said, I'm noticing the sync is rapidly improving. It's almost in time with his lips now, and its gained imperious intonation similar to the King's original words.

    "Has Aria told you of your purpose and abilities? Has she asked you of your affinity?"

    Aria suddenly looks bashful and her gaze drops. She's so cute, I can forgive her earlier violence. But because I feel like messing with her, I put on a confused expression to the king.

    He sighs and immediately gives Aria a stern gaze.

    "I... I... I didn't! Teehee!"

    My god... she actually tried the ‘teehee’ strategy. Including the cutesy fist to the head and the wink. I might die if I had diabetes. The king isn't amused at the sugar his daughter is producing though, and delivers a proper fist to her head, making her swirly eyed. I suppress a snicker with difficulty. Is this like a boy who bullies a girl he likes? I guess it is. Smith and Jones shift on their knees and have murderous eyes for me again. Scary. I decide to repent just in case.

    "My... my lord... do not blame her. I think she was overcome with the shock of my... appearance... She was just beginning the explanation about me fighting a Demon Dragon."

    He looks at me and I beckon to the cape-skirt I have. The king face-palms but seems to come to an understanding.

    "She is just a young girl. I forget sometimes, with how much of a dumb musclebrain she is. It is nice you are so merciful to her, but she doesn't deserve it sometimes."

    Oh? This is new information, I originally thought she was just crazy innocent. This is a baka-princess then? Actually; considering the force of the slap earlier it fits. I didn't think about it considering the noble blue dress she is currently in, but yes, she looks pretty uncomfortable in it, she's really quite young and doesn't have the chest for it. Probably a bit of idiot sword swinging type of girl commonly seen in these things.

    The king sighs and gives me an inclination of the head.

    "Let me start from the top, then. I am King Legato Jeraldine. This is the Kingdom of Jeraldine's capital. I'm sure you have plenty of questions, but first we should get you into a more comfortable place and acquire you some clothes. The formalities in this circumstance are all shot anyway. Then I can explain."

    Guess I don't have much choice. And given this Isekai opportunity, I think it’s worth listening at least.

    The (so far) silent knights turn in lockstep and begin to walk as Legato beckons and turns. Aria also turns and follows, still showing a messy palette of emotions whilst eying me and her father. I guess this is good, if I’m careful I get to sneak peeks at her shapely rear and legs through her form fitting noble dress as we go. I grin internally and follow the young girls behind.
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2017
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  4. eharper256

    eharper256 Purveyor of Dubious Medicinal Elixirs [since 1885]

    Jun 28, 2017
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    ---CHAPTER 2---

    You want to know about me? I'm not too interesting. My name is Elijah. I was a thirty year old civil servant. I lived in the United Kingdom. My job was mostly to feed my anime and games addiction and pay for my high speed internet, but I guess I didn't mind the paperwork. I wore glasses, was slightly overweight, had dull brown hair. Pretty unremarkable, but I had a close circle of friends and was mostly a model citizen. I wasn't a slob or a neckbeard, I kept clean-shaven and well-showered. I had a girlfriend in the past and I slept with her a few times, many years ago.

    Well, besides the high-level nerd-power, I do have a slight other problem. I'm an equal opportunist when it comes to age for girls. Which is to say, I can find appeal in the loli-spectrum. But I wouldn't set my sights too low either. I just really, really appreciate that small section between child and adult.

    I'm not a dangerous man, though. I wouldn't think about hurting a real child. I'm an eldest brother, so that's probably a partial trigger for appreciating the cuteness of blossoming girl and wanting to protect her. But unlike those siscon obsessed fools who have clearly not had a sibling before, I also know just how fantastically irritating girls of this age can be and I sure as hell wouldn't want a relationship with my sisters.

    It's also not like I can't appreciate a mature woman, or the wonders of a good pair of boobs. But the appeal of freshness from a young girl is just even better. It's a strange place, but I enjoy being here, and my preference was even a public secret amongst my friendship circle.

    The last thing I remember is sleeping with my Flan-Chan Dakimakura. So I didn't get acquainted with Truck-san. I guess the first thing to confirm is the circumstances around my being here and what happened to other-world me.

    Legato, the king, nods, as if expecting my question. He steeples his fingers atop the long table we are now acquainted with in a rather magnanimous looking study. Aria is sat to my left, and he is across from me.

    "Of course. For this, I need to explain something understood by our magicians. A summoning of a hero connects to another dimension, and forcibly creates a link between the worlds, and maintains it. In so doing, prana from your previous world flows directly into you. It does so because, fundamentally, you are still a resident of your previous world, and your previous world hence still has a hand in protecting you. It is a somewhat cheeky process, as it means most of the maintenance cost is not shouldered by the summoner. Which would be impossible even for those with great wells of power."

    "So, I am still technically an Earth citizen, as far as Earth is concerned, so it protects me like a foreign embassy would?"

    "That's right. You're quick in understanding. A foreign embassy is a fairly new concept to us since the fourteen kingdoms have allied. Your world already has the concept, I assume?"

    "Yes. In fact, the country I was from was once a great empire, and it believes quite strongly in protecting its own, most of the time."

    "I see. An honourable place indeed. You were a soldier of the empire?"

    I can't stop myself from laughing.

    "Ahahaha... sorry. No. There are many powerful soldiers, and especially sailors, in my land, but no, I was a civil servant."

    Aria and Legato look somewhat surprised. I can't blame them. When I was dressed by maids in front of a mirror, I was truly able to inspect myself for the first time. It wasn't like I was Arnie, but I had a six-pack on my body, and it wasn't of cheap German lager. Legato seems to come to a conclusion.

    "It is your world's hero blessings then; to give you this frame."

    Wow, thanks Gaia. I should recycle more when I get back. Sure beats hitting the gym. Legato looks mildly excited and says:

    "Do you feel ready to fight? What about the guard by the door, do you think you could take him?!?"

    "I do feel stronger than my old self, but I'm sure he could kill me in seconds. I have no battle experience."

    "T-Then... do you have knowledge of great magic imparted to you?"

    "Not to my knowledge, if you'll pardon the pun. In fact, magic doesn't work at all in my world. I'm excited to try it!"

    "A-And... were you not a high ranking civil servant? A learned man? Did you have a big say in your empire?"

    "Not really. I filled in paperwork and talked to people on occasion to get their details. I could probably give you some amateur advice on how my country was run and the good parts of that, because I had a university education, but I don't think I'm an expert."

    Aria and Legato look crestfallen. I guess I'm not much of a hero specimen. Actually, is a moderate stat-up my only cheat?!? I've changed my mind, Gaia, I want a refund! But let’s confirm...

    "So, I take it that summoned heroes, sorry, I mean, Etranger, are meant to have exceptional abilities granted through their bond to their worlds?"

    Legato looks up at me and clears his throat again, taking a sip from a silver goblet of some hard looking liquor that a maid just placed down. Where the hell did she come from? Is this the legendary Ninja-Maid? I should keep an eye on her; she's pretty smoking... and hey... she has honest to god blue hair. I really am in an Isekai! Well... let’s not get excited... let’s see what his response is...

    "Ahem... I'm sorry, yes... we got off track. It is as you say. The bond of protection grants a vast boon of prana across the dimensions. It is not strange for the recipient to gain powerful abilities... called Ougi."

    Really, translation-function-san? Well fine, that's… fine… I guess.

    "And I should know about my powers straight away?"

    "Yes. Our previous example said it was like a flood of memories all at once. He could summon a powerful light-sword from his world, and cast great storms of fire. Ah... he would chant 'Youpens Taytuss Iyndoe!' and know instantly what he was capable of, apparently."

    That was 'open status window', right? The clichés just keep turning up. Well... it’s worth a shot. I nod to Legato and try it. As expected, I get an honest to goodness holo-UI pop up in my retina; that lists my abilities; and they get narrated in my ear as well. I don't remember buying a Glass?



    HP>> 43/43 (=STR+END)
    MP>> 52/52 (=INT+PER)

    30 YEARS OLD

    SKLPNT>> 0 (30 USED)

    ETRANGER REGENERATION (Permanent, +1 HP per Minute)
    Strength 7 (+12)
    Agility 5 (+12)
    Endurance 12 (+12)
    Intellect 19 (+12)
    Perception 9 (+12)
    Charisma 7 (+12)

    (4) <<Civil Servant IV>> (Increases skill with Paperwork, treats Endurance as +40 higher when completing it; original skill)
    (7) <<Humanities Degree>> (Gives appreciation for Literature and Art, boosts Base Intellect by +5; original skill)
    (6) <<Anime Otaku EX>> (Has withstood pain to watch many animes, read many manga and LNs and WNs. Reduces Base Charisma by -2, Boosts Base Endurance by +5; original skill)
    (3) <<Gamer III>> (Has an extensive gaming knowledge and good skill level; not quite a Pro. Boosts Base Perception by +1; original skill)
    (3) <<Gamesmaster III>> (Wide experience in running Tabletop Roleplaying Games, +3 Charisma and Intellect when running a game or telling stories; original skill)
    (1) <<Hardware I>> (Experience in constructing own computers)
    (6) <<Lolicon EX>> (Can defensive support young girls, and take damage from them, with a +50 Endurance bonus. +5 Charisma when viewed by girls aged 11-15; original skill)
    (S) <<Protection of Earth I>> (+12 to all stats; boost as level rises)
    (S) <<Summoned Charge of Princess Aria Jeraldine>> (No Boost- Requires Higher Affection)
    (S) <<Multivultus Scientia>> (Ougi of Earth: Earth's power is allow all potential skills ever learnt by its people, and stored in its collective Akashic Record, to be learnt by its Etranger. Still requires Experience and meeting prerequisites, but no limit on total knowledge and acquired knowledge, and skills witnessed by the Earth Etranger get added to the collective memory as well, as an Earthling is witnessing them. Chant this skills name to activate the full skill-forest.)

    Okay, yes, Earth, you've redeemed yourself again a bit; you offer me Neuromods! And I'm also a Blue Mage! This is versatility city! I chant 'Multivultus Scientica' under my breath, and am indeed presented with a dizzying skilltree that recalls the shit certain exiles had to deal with, only in a full three dimensions for extra mind-fuck. Handily, though, it has a search engine front-page I can operate by thinking and doing little hand motions. I do have some concerns that a certain preference of mine was actually a skill, but… this is useful stuff. But I guess it is pretty underwhelming compared to some Ikemen who can instantly call forth Excalibur and use Meteor Swarm and shit.

    I look up again and the literal skill forest sinks from my vision again. Aria is looking fidgety and Legato is waiting patiently for me to finish, still savouring his liquor.

    “So, how is it? Are you skills just mighty passive boosts!?”

    “Nope, I’ve got nothing!”

    I dropped a bomb, ma! It was fun times! I loved the smell of napalm in the morning!
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  5. eharper256

    eharper256 Purveyor of Dubious Medicinal Elixirs [since 1885]

    Jun 28, 2017
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    ---CHAPTER 3---
    ---LOST WORDS---

    Yes, well… after mildly trolling Legato, I did indeed explain that my Ougi was to learn anything and everything, and I apologised for being a poor hero. He grimaced and Aria looked as though she was about to cry again. Poor girl’s had a lot of emotions today, but I’m thinking this one has a bit of shame mixed in there as she probably thinks her baka-side has wrecked the summon and she can’t live up to her Dad’s expectations and justify his worries.

    After downing another goblet the Ninja Maid produced from somewhere, he continued the exposition dump to me.

    “I am sorry, then, to have called you in this way. Preparations to send you back can be started up immediately, and you should be back in no more than thirty days. Oh, and to return to your original question, as you are separate from your dimension and whilst you are still under your world’s protection, you stop existing in the other world, but equally, you will return, when you do, to a time not far departed from when you left. I don’t know the exact timescale, as that varies by the world, but we have determined it to be quite small. Days equal minutes usually.”

    Like an extended dream then. I could probably spend a couple of years here and still get to work on time tomorrow when I went back. And… it was a Friday night when I left, so make that four years. I might miss some calls, and not make it for the usual gamer’s meet-up, but that’s it. I doubt anyone else would notice much. Kinda depressing when you think about it, but that’s how it goes.

    Of course, I’m not wanted here, though. It seems a shame to waste this opportunity, but I suppose I get why he’s eager to send me back so they can give it another shot… I could be useful, but not without training up loads for skill points. Given the immediate threat, they need someone who can punch the Eldritch Dragon Demon in the face pronto without issue. And someone ideally even stronger than their previous ikemen with Excalibur. I’m guessing he failed, since they know a fair bit about summons.

    “I see. That’s good to know. So you will send me back and try the luck of the draw again? It’s unfortunate, but I understand…”

    Aria looked even more morose and shook her head. It was the first time she had opened her mouth in a while.

    “No, I’m done. You are my Etranger, Elijah. We have formed an inseparable bond of sorts with the process. If I did it again, I would die instantly.”

    “Then; you have more siblings? A twin sister?” I replied with concern.

    “No. I’m the youngest, I’m thirteen this year. That’s it, we’re done…”

    Oh my! She really is dead centre in my strike zone! But… ahem! That’s some shitty news.

    “And Jeraldine, the country, will you be able to seek protection from others? Will other countries summon Etranger as well?” I confirmed with Legato.

    “No. We have long been allies with the adjacent Summerlands; but their hands are full, much like the other three countries which border the demon army and its territories. We are the last on the list to try out the summon process, as we have a heritage with it, as you may have ascertained from our knowledge of the process. Because five nations are united in front for now, we are holding them back, but gradually losing ground, and the regular forces can’t last against demons and the undead forever, when the opponent has limitless stamina and forces. It is said, right now, that we have perhaps a year, and this is with assurance of supplies from our rearmost neighbour, Tessalatoria, whom are not the most reliable, politically.”

    Makes sense. Someone get the nerf-bat on that demon force, it’s too OP to not have to worry about casualties and supply points!

    “As you have probably ascertained, my eldest daughter Cadence summoned the Etranger of world of Aden; Joshua Tiramoris, six months ago, and travelled with him into the demonic forces. They had some successes; but ultimately, he teleported back here, critically wounded, three months later holding her body, and rapidly fading away, returning to his world from the loss of his summoner, in the process. We will never learn what happened, but it was a grievous blow for us all…”

    “…then, in grief, my middle daughter Melody also attempted to summon. I believe she erred, possibly trying to get Joshua again, which cannot be done, or possibly just attempting something beyond her ken. I don’t know for sure. She still lives, but never wakes from a slumber…”

    Cadence, Melody and Aria. There is musical theme going on here, isn’t there? Thinking about it, I think Legato is something like that as well? Um… that’s not important though. Basically, I’m the final shot. Aria’s biggest sister is dead, and big sister is in a coma. Aria is actually crying now; silently into a tissue provided by Ninja-Maid. My new enhanced vision and Lolicon EX skill won’t miss that! This poor little girl. I want to protect her even more now.

    Legato has descended into a sombre mood, understandably.

    I think it through. There’s a lot of danger, by the sounds of things. Originally I thought I would get some boons from this place when I arrived, because that’s the normal scenario, but it seems that’s not the case. I’m going to have to go on a serious quest for skill-points. And I’ve got a year, probably less, to do it. I’m even being offered an easy way out, at the expense of all these people, because I don’t really meet their expectations.

    I don’t know them that well though. Sure, they seem nice people, but I’m not some Shounen Protagonist who fights for their friends. I’m old enough to know that there is no such thing as black and white, good and evil, so I imagine the demon forces have their own viewpoint. I may even be stepping into the shoes of an aggressor, here. And as cute as this girl is, doing her gusu-gusu into her tissue, I have no obligation to risk my life (presumably) for her. I mean, I’ve got a stable life and friends and everything back home. It wasn’t a fantastic life, but I was content enough, wallowing in my own patch of mud.

    So why do I still feel as though I should? I don’t know. But I was never one to allow an underdog to lose for no reason. It tickles my naïve sense of justice.

    This feeling floods me with an annoying sense of duty and swells my chest. Ah! Whatever!

    I stand up suddenly, surprising the father and daughter. Ninja Maid remains stoic as ever. The words fall out of my mouth uncensored and uncontrolled.

    “Aria! I have decided! No matter how much I disappoint you. No matter how much it hurts. No matter how long it is. This quest will bind us and we shall become one together!”

    Sometimes I swear the ‘Lolicon EX’ skill is affecting my speech.
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  6. eharper256

    eharper256 Purveyor of Dubious Medicinal Elixirs [since 1885]

    Jun 28, 2017
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    Thankyou for your views and likes, those who have already checked this out! :D Without further ado, here is chapter 4. There might be a side-chapter shortly after this, but then 5 will be a couple of days later.

    ---CHAPTER 4---

    "Y-you lolicon pervert!" squeals Aria.

    I get a fist to the solar plexus and cough up something dramatically. I think I catch Legato and the ninja maid smirking wryly as I go down; as if to say this is fairly normal occurrence. Also; most surprising is that this world has an equivalent word for lolicon. That or Translation-function-san is really enjoying its job. I hate you. I don't think I'll talk about you in the future.

    I black out, and wake up some undetermined time later. I am on a sofa in the study from before and the light from outside hasn't changed; so it wasn't too long. Aria is still here; stood over me and glaring with puffed out cheeks. The others have gone. Legato obviously has kingly things to do.

    ‘Level up! 1 skill point awarded! (Survival of lethal attack bonus)’ suddenly dings in my ear. Holy shit, Aria, do you not understand holding back?

    Shaking my head in a groggy fashion; I grin to Aria and say "I apologise. I appear to have said something I couldn't control again..."

    "W-what’s up with this stupid vitality!? I d-didn't need to worry..."

    Hmm, that’s right. I imagine this is the result of 'Lolicon EX' as well. I certainly felt the impact, it was like a one-punch; but here I am feeling fine now. I didn't get to test this skill in my life; nor was I aware of the benefits; but it’s nothing if not useful when dealing with emotionally unstable girls with power like this. Going by the description, I also look more handsome to her right now.

    Let’s test that, shall we? I pull my best attempt at a hand-kissing bishounen prince type.

    "I'm truly sorry. I said something embarrassing, right? My filth should not have sullied the ears of one so pure and beautiful. You probably hate me, so if you want me to go..."

    "NO! I... it’s not... agh! It kinda made me feel wan... WAIT! WHAT ARE YOU MAKING ME SAY!?"

    Another gut smash; but it wasn't as bad as the last one. Too easy. Dangerous, though. Just how strong is this girl? I get up from my impromptu breakdancing and see damage numbers briefly flash along my vision (70! CRITICAL! -59 <SKILL>).

    Hmm. If I have stats like this all the time, then... what about good old appraisal-san? That’s another common one in these kind of... Yep, found it with the search function straight away: Identify Other.

    <<You have spent 1 point. Identify Other added.>>

    Suddenly, Aria gets a stat readout in my retina.



    HP>> 59/59 (=STR+END)
    MP>> 11/11 (=INT+PER)

    12 YEARS OLD

    Strength 15 (+20)
    Agility 16
    Endurance 14 (+10)
    Intellect 4
    Perception 7
    Charisma 21 (+6)
    <<Hyper-Strength II>> (Explosive strength gain unbefitting of actual physique, +20 bonus Strength)
    <<Combat Fitness I>> (Long martial training regime, gives a +10 bonus to Endurance)
    <<Spearmastery III>> (Expert with polearms, +5 Strength and Agility when using them)
    <<Blessings of Sendervil>> (Can use Light Magic, Healing Magic, and Blessing Magic using Charisma rather than Intellect as key statistic)
    <<Heal I>> (Healing Magic, costs 6 MP, Heals 25 HP)
    <<Bulwark of Purity>> (Blessing Magic, costs 10 MP, negates the next physical impact on the target entirely)
    <<Noble Blood of Jeraldine>> (Grants Silver Hair, Indigo Eyes, +6 Charisma)
    <<Courtly Pariah>> (Has mostly failed/refuses to learn etiquette. -12 Charisma in noble settings.)
    <<Summoner of Etranger Elijah>> (No Boost- Requires Higher Affection)

    As Legato said, she’s quite a musclehead, huh? I got hit with a 35 Strength attack I guess, doubled by the critical hit. If I didn’t have a certain bonus, it might have insta-gibbed me. This girl is pretty insane. Talk about Warrior Princess Archetypes. Her at-odds with her power prettiness is also right there in the numbers.

    Funny, it felt like time slowed down for a moment whilst I got a stat-readout. This is really like a game in some ways. I was a little worried I was going to go ‘Nai wa’ upon getting this and finding it telling me a spoon is a spoon or something, but this version seems pretty solid; gives you almost all the information I get on my own one, and even time to take it in and think about it.

    Still, I wonder if it will help in fighting the great Cultidragon. I’ve committed to this quest for better or worse now, so I hope I can get more help than a certain shield did. I guess that’s a big question on my agenda now. I’ll ask Aria.

    "So what's next? Do I get any help in going to fight the demon leader?"

    Aria stared at me with an incredulous expression. As if to say I was a fool.

    "You're really seriously doing this? You could die."

    Her fathomless blue eyes looked directly into mine. I chose my words carefully.

    "I understand. But it is really quite simple from my view. I'm a fool that can't leave a crying girl alone."

    Well, there was no lie in those words. But wow, I never thought about it; but don't I have a harem protagonist’s usual sense of justice? It's probably real suspicious sounding though... no one will...

    "Okay. I believe you. Though you are an idiot."

    Pot, meet kettle. Black is the new black. I forgot this girl is also an idiot for a moment. Still...

    "Thankyou for believing me, Aria." I say.

    "If I can't trust the hero I wished to the world for... what can I trust? I just chose to believe in myself." She replies with a sheepish grin.

    Again I was premature, it seems. She put some thought into it after all. She stood up and took on a prideful posture, and rubbed her nose.

    "Well then... I will come with you. I may not look it; but I am good with a spear. You will need all the help you can get!"

    I actually already knew that. But…

    "Didn't you say you were the last princess, though? Isn't it bad to allow the heir to go?"

    So looked mystified for a moment, then put a fist to her palm in realisation.

    "Oh right! Father didn't mention big brother; because only girls can do the summon-thing. He's the heir now. He was between Melody and me and he's annoyingly smart."

    So he took the share meant for you? How greedy. Don't worry Aria, your density increases your gap-moe. Although I can't talk.

    "I'm sure you're smart Aria."

    She smiles ruefully and looks depressed again.

    "No I'm really not. I can't stand books and tutors and dances. I'm a useless princess. But...but..."

    She’s really is a bit self-destructive and lacking in confidence, eh?

    "Butt? You have a nice butt."

    "Eh?! C-can't you go ten minutes without being a perv; j-jeez..."

    She blushes and mutters under her breath. Mission success! Her violent tsundere is falling away pretty rapidly and it looks like I can still abuse this confusion she has over dirty jokes and compliments for the greater good. That’s what I'm doing here, got it?

    "A-anyway! Let’s get more help from the mercenaries guild, that’s what’s next."
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2017
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  7. eharper256

    eharper256 Purveyor of Dubious Medicinal Elixirs [since 1885]

    Jun 28, 2017
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    ---SIDE CHAPTER A---

    My name is Aria Jeraldine. I'm a princess of a pretty country that I love; and I would like to be a good royal for them. I want the people to know I'd do anything for them.

    Unfortunately; I'm a stupid girl who makes lots of mistakes.

    Father loves me; I know he does. But it’s always the fact I resemble my mother, I think, rather than my skills or reliableness (is that a word?) or anything like that.

    Nobody asked me to do the summon-thing. They didn't expect anything from me. I had to go and beg Darence and Flementine to draw the circles for me and do the support without letting Dad figure it out.

    I understand. I wanted to help with everyone being sad; but I messed up my one chance...

    Who is this crazy I got? He's not bad looking; but he's mad! He keeps saying things I don't understand.

    I-It’s not like I don't realise lovelove things go on between men and ladies when they like each other.

    B-But w-why me? If I was Cadence; with her beautiful face and golden drills, or Melody, with her big chest, then his words would stick better. I know men like those things.

    I don't like books and studying. Tutors gave up on me years ago. And even though you can put a dress on me; you can't make me a lady.

    I have lots of tone and muscle a girl shouldn't have. I broke my toys all the time when I was small. I'd rather go out and skewer wicked goblins on my spear than go to a ball. I don't have girly playmates except one girl called Rishya I go to school with.

    So the fact this man is so free with his weird words, his naughty words, to me... it's never something I've had to deal with. So I don’t know what to do. Part of me wants to blush like the maiden I s’pose I am, but most of me is mad that this crazy is just throwing around words like ‘beautiful’, ‘marriage’ and ‘become one’ in my vicinity. We barely know each other! And how can you find a clod of dirt attractive!?

    He’s an idiot. I think I hate him.

    Even so, it doesn’t feel like he’s lying. Which doesn’t make any sense, because he’s actually sneaky. I’m not dumb enough to not realise he’s distracting me. When I was about to think about sad things or dwell on my mistakes; already, each time, he’s teased me or changed things to get my mind elsewhere. He’s decided, despite my shoddy summon-thing, to help us out anyway.

    So maybe I can rely on him. Just a little. And be his spear. At the very least, he’s cleverer than I am, and maybe he has a really clever plan to see me, and the country through our impending doom.
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  8. eharper256

    eharper256 Purveyor of Dubious Medicinal Elixirs [since 1885]

    Jun 28, 2017
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    ---CHAPTER 5---
    ---PRESS A TO CRY---

    Plans for the future: Pick up new party members and grind like a farming bitch.

    An awe-inspiring idea. Unfortunately, I don’t have a strategy guide, and I’m not Korean. So things like fatigue and un-optimised play are going to be real issues. I don’t have any big cheats besides my huge skill tree, and I won’t know the stats of the Megazombie dragon until I meet it. At that point, it will be too late to realise I haven’t got a good enough level.

    Not to mention, I’m from that portion of slothful, indolent citizenry in a developed nation to whom the definition of murder is restricted to using a can of fly-killer. I’m suddenly going to have to de-humanise and slaughter wholesale things for personal benefit. Given the world-state I’m sure eventually one of these things will be at least human-shaped. If I break at that point and can’t take it. If I balk at burning flesh and spilt guts and monster welfare and how things are going to be here. If I try to impose my post-modern ideals into a place where they just won’t fit. If any of this happens, I’m probably a dead man. Or at least, I will be relying on Aria to bail me out.

    This is the real problem. In actual web-novels, it feels like the protagonists are always convenient psychopaths from the start. I guess psychology isn’t the number one concern of the teenage power fantasy. God knows people complain about it anyway.

    But this, this is real. Or at least… I perceive it to be real. Everyone is the protagonist of their own story and all of that.

    To be honest; I don't know how to tackle this predicament right now.

    "D-Do you like the city?" Says Aria, interrupting my stupor.

    "Ah yes. It is as lovely as the girl stood with me."

    "N-ngh t-thats not true..."

    She smiles radiantly as she looks down, blushing, and fidgets again. She loves this place; huh?

    Well, I didn't lie. I didn't expect much; but this city really is something... it has a grandeur that only gothic architecture can provide, crowding a peninsula, and the azure sea stretches out beyond. Flags and banners flap lazily in the wind; the streets are lively, and a sewer ensures it doesn't even smell that bad. Unlike what one should expect from a renaissance-era city, it was clearly planned out to a good extent. Its character is akin to a gentle castle town from my home; but vastly larger.

    "I thought you would be shocked by the vehicles though, it’s kinda boring you didn't react..." Aria cutely puffs her cheeks.

    Ah yes. It has hovercraft! They're not everywhere like earth, and they're slow and not elegant. More like flying steel skiffs. They glide along stealthily though; and some can rise vertically, without fumes.

    "I was a bit surprised. We have steel things called cars in my world that are faster and make smoke and can't fly, but they are similar."

    "Kaarrz? How weird. You said there was no magic, so I thought..."

    "Oh right. It’s not magic. They burn fuel to make it move."

    Aria looks confused as we walk down the concourse; passing another skiff which is loading some merchant’s cargo on-board with big iron pallets. We arrive at a militaristic building which is oozing with people in various martial gear. Some of them nod to Aria, and she seems in a good mood now.

    She has since changed into a green tank top and a pink skirt with a flowing regal blue cloak and matching blue knee socks. There is also a suspiciously Christian-looking holy symbol round her neck and a large blackened steel pike slung over back; over half again her meagre height.

    Despite her lack of armour, it’s pretty majestic and she looks at home with this setup; rather than that noble dress. I knew already she was a spear-girl; but the dissonance between her and her pike is still a startling reminder of her explosive strength.

    Funnily enough; I must not stick out too much even though I’m sure I’ve been gawking a bit. I've been given some chainmail with green livery from the castle to go over my padded tunic, and a solid, beautiful staff. I think Legato and his advisers still weren't too enamoured by me when I was presented to the inner court just an hour ago; but I haven't been thrown out at least.

    I probably look like a guard or ward to this baka-princess. Not that she needs it.

    I follow the confident; strutting paladin princess; passing by furtive glances from warrior types and enter the building. I can assume with some confidence that this is the mercenaries guild.

    Much like when I was on the street, I identify several people on the way inside the large archway using my new skill. Aria is actually pretty powerful compared to the average here; the highest level I’ve seen was a rare few in the high teens, so I guess it’s due to the capital being sort of safe.

    The inside resembles a lively cross between a tavern and an armoury. Many martial looking men and women mill about; some jesting, drinking, and dicing, and others sparring and sharpening weapons. It’s nothing if not atmospheric.

    I should point out everyone is human. No pointy ears or little ones with beards. The ages and hair colours are wildly variable; but that’s all. It’s a mild disappointment to any otaku coming into a fantasy world when he finds there are no cat-girls; I mean, we want them so bad in reality that thousands of dollars fly into kickstarters for games about them. But at least there's the anime hair; and for some reason, since its natural, it actually looks good on people, unlike hair-dyed people on earth.

    I followed Aria to the centre of the building's rowdy common area; where there hovered a trio of peculiarly large brass spheres that swirled with mysterious symbols. Gradually these coalesced into English I could understand, and I could see this was a terminal that worked liked the BBS or forum for the guild. Magitech at it’s finest… and probably saves on them having loads of receptionists.

    Aria tapped new request, and then, request party member. I guess it all truly begins here, huh?
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2017
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  9. eharper256

    eharper256 Purveyor of Dubious Medicinal Elixirs [since 1885]

    Jun 28, 2017
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    For more shiz and giggles, here's a bonus for everyone, an image of our favourite baka-princess, Aria:
    In her combat paladin outfit and princess gown, respectively...
    As always with these things, click that thang to see the full size PNG.
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  10. eharper256

    eharper256 Purveyor of Dubious Medicinal Elixirs [since 1885]

    Jun 28, 2017
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    ---CHAPTER 6---

    "I'm sorry; that's impossible."

    The knight-type backed away from us waving both his hands.

    He was the 30th one to say no to us after hearing the circumstances. It seemed the very concept of fighting the dragon of doom was anathema to most of these people; and we could only skirt around the issue so much.

    Aria looked exhausted. Considering she’s had to do the same sales pitch for three hours its not surprising. People were initially falling over themselves to get a chance to party with her; but each one fled in the face of this fool’s errand.

    I was also feeling anxious. No matter how powerful i could personally get, it would mean nothing if my flanks and backs weren't covered. Those were the basics.

    "Those are all the people I know that are reasonably strong. I could widen it to newbies...but..." Aria notes.

    "If the veterans are saying no, our chances aren't good."

    "Hah...That’s right."

    "Is there anywhere else? A mage college?"

    "That is for old men who talk about magic; they wouldn't go outside..."

    This is the first time I've seen Aria truly furious. She really doesn't like those guys, huh? Well maybe there is a...

    "Um, excuse me?"

    I receive a prod in my spleen. I turn around and see a crimson knight’s visor at chest height.

    Below the visor, which is clicked up at the moment, is a rounded cute face of another young girl. Today really is a good day!

    I give her a radiant smile and she recoils from me. Hmm. Maybe that was creepy. I tone it down a notch.

    "How can I help you, jou-chan?"

    "Oh... um you were looking for party members on the board? I have to tell you that... um... that... your request has been withdrawn... um... too many rejections..."

    The girl in front is quite a mumbler. I glance across to Aria. She just looks tired and says:

    "The guild has rejected the request, then?"

    Two green pigtails protrude from her half helm; and shake as she nods affirmative.

    Aria sighs and turns to me. "This is to be expected, Elijah. We will have to move on."

    "I guess fighting the demon leader is a pretty tall order for these guys." I reply.


    "Yes, it’s why you're such an idiot, accepting this just because of me. Its suicide; you should be at least a swordsmaster to think about standing up to Cultivator. I hope you have a good plan..."

    "Um, excuse me... I..."

    "Yeah... I know. I'll have to figure out something else."

    "Oi! You punks! Listen when I'm talking, bitches!”

    I'm momentarily startled as I look around in confusion. What the heck was that?

    "Yes, you! Get your eyes looked at, I'm right here!"

    Oh my; it was pigtailed helmet girl. She actually has quite a potty mouth when she gets over her mumbling? I also realise the entire guild has gone silent and is staring at us.

    "Um... I mean... if you're ok with it... I would be sort of interested in..."

    Woah, and the meek is back in a flash. The guild goes back to normal as if nothing happened. This is quite interesting.

    Aria clicks her fingers as if realising something and wanders up to stand right next to me.

    "You... would you be the daughter of Kane Arnas?"

    "Um... ah... yes... I am Kiku Arnas."

    "She important?" I suddenly whisper sensually into Aria's ear. Aria gets a spine straightening shiver and blushes whilst glaring at me, but answers the question as she shuffles away, realising her earlier mistake in standing so close.

    "Yes. Kane Arnas is the current, 36th head of the guild. She and her older sister are a bit like celebrities here."

    "Um, that’s not true... I'm just a normal girl."

    I study her in detail. That statement is certainly untrue. She is wearing a chest-plate over a leather leotard; all in crimson, with matching gauntlets and greaves, and several belts. She has short green pigtails and big emerald eyes. And she has two shortswords at each hip?! I also use identify on her...

    HP>> 60/60 (=STR+END)
    MP>> 26/26 (=INT+PER)
    13 YEARS OLD

    Strength 12
    Agility 13
    Endurance 18 (+30)
    Intellect 9
    Perception 17
    Charisma 13

    <<Blade Saint IV>> (Trained since infancy in the use of blades, she has a transcendent level of mastery few can hope to attain, +10 bonus Strength and Agility when using a sword)
    <<Combat Tactics II>> (Excellent understanding of group tactics and military strategy, gains a bonus +10 Intellect for this specifically)
    <<Combat Fitness III>> (Gruelling martial training regime for years, gives a +30 bonus to Endurance)
    <<Parry III>> (Expert at the interception of blows. Bonus +6 Agility and Endurance for this.)
    <<Throwing Mastery II>> (Skilled at throwing Light Blades, +3 Agility to do so)
    <<Flash Step>> (Martial Skill, Instantaneous Movement, costs 6 MP)
    <<Chef III>> (A culinary professional. Gains +4 to all stats for purposes of food preparation)


    Oh my; she's... a parry tank? Nowhere near Aria’s pure brute strength or heal support, but I bet she’s a sight to behold. What's a Tri-Blader? Does this setup mean that she can throw her short swords? That’s pretty whack...

    "I think you're anything but normal; Miss Kiku. Why would you want to join us?"

    Kiku looks around as if paranoid for a moment and whispers under her breath...

    "It... um... I want to... I want to be cool... like Kako..."

    "Kako?" I inquire

    "She's a royal knight, Elijah. The older sister I mentioned. Kako Arnas is a famous flower of the battlefield and one my dad’s right hand men." Aria enlightens me.

    Kiku nods feverishly as if happy about this description.

    " I want to be powerful like sis. Dad says I should go on a long job to be a proper mercenary. Big dragon king… dangerous... but I... um... I think it might be fun."

    '(Swords) Girl’s just wanna have fun' plays in my head.

    "Well... I don't have a problem with it." I say.

    Kiku grins sheepishly and looks happy.

    Aria looks between us and sighs.

    "Of course you don't have a problem with it... you're a lolicon pervert."

    Man... Cat’s out of the bag... I've already been typecast.
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2017
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  11. eharper256

    eharper256 Purveyor of Dubious Medicinal Elixirs [since 1885]

    Jun 28, 2017
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    GO EAST!

    It’s been a day since me; Aria, and Kiku left the capital. We picked up some supplies; and unsurprisingly I got given porter duty...

    I can't complain horribly though. I still have no battle ability to speak of. My Etranger bonus is also making me stronger and fitter and more able to perform the menial labour in any case. It strangely doesn't tire me much even carrying this big rucksack.

    Perhaps not surprisingly; Aria and Kiku also didn't take long to hit it off since they're both weapon swinging muscle-heads at heart. Of course, this means shy (?) Kiku is even more wary of me now since Aria has been gossiping about my antics with her. Ah well.

    My simple plan, unchanged for the moment, is for us to move towards a place where there will be fighting, and observe this until I am comfortable. Also, kill-stealing where possible.

    We actually explained my predicament of skill-less-ness to Kiku in a strategy meeting and she outright laughed so hard she was crying and banging the desk.

    She eventually calmed down though and immediately suggested we go see one of the so called Six Sages who on some random whims would teach people magic really quickly. Kiku explained it was usually a desperation move for magician adventurers with no proper master to learn from or no time to do so, but it sounded like a good idea given my situation.

    The six sages, in this context, were not just McGuffins for opening a castle with ominous piano music: but actually really venerable humans living directly in ancient towers built on prana ley lines and conducting magical research. Typical bloody wizards, in other words.

    Kiku initially suggested the Fire Sage, Tarrant, as being generally the most visited, and also the most amiable besides his riddles and pranks, but he was also the furthest away; and seriously inland, away from the demon front lines. The round trip would be too long so that was vetoed.

    The only one on the way east to frontlines was the reclusive Thunder Sage. No one had seen them for years, so it was a bit of crap shoot; but we could do this on the way to a relatively safe place to fight and train, ominously called the Meadow of Lost Souls. I hope it’s not inhabited by flaming skulls because I sure as heck didn’t bring my chain-gun, or even a plushy doomguy to throw at them.

    Well… worst case, be it refused entry or a stubborn old man, we gain nothing from the tower and just move on with little wasted time. Best case, we train on magic creatures there and get some instructions from a nice happy Jii-san about lightning magic. I can totally deal with that; though I'm sure Indignation costs more than a few skill points.

    We've actually climbed quite high now. The capital looks majestic as ever behind us, sitting pretty on its peninsula. Though I guess it’s rather disconcerting, thinking that this seaside city could be under siege in under two years. Though I've seen some dodgy maps of this land, I still don't quite have a full understanding of the distances involved here, and I wonder just how far the border is.

    The hill is forested in stumpy fig trees; or something similar, and the whole area has a Mediterranean feel to it. Kiku has been occasionally picking peculiar fruits from these trees as we go along. They look almost like fat cartoony lightning bolts; yellow in colour. This, I think, was a milestone for me more than anything else so far in drilling it into my thick skull that this wasn't my home.

    "What are the fruits for, Kiku?" I ask as she skewers another with her sword from a low branch.

    She turns around with a cocked head.

    "Um... you've not eaten mizris before?"

    I shake my head.

    "Oh... hum... it is very useful. It gives nice sharp flavour in soup. Makes tasty, zingy yellow jam or sauce when squished with sweet vanto nuts or sap from the yivenbark. Ok in salad too."

    "I see. A citrus, like a lemon, then. I thought so."

    "Sitt russ? Remm onn? What is that?"

    "Ah, yes, fruits that are sour and juicy and grow in warm places are called citrus in my world. There are lemons, limes, oranges, and probably others I forgot."

    Kiku looks like she’s suddenly charging her laser and will explode in five seconds.

    "That... that’s frickin amazing! You need to tell me about these damn fruits!"

    Oh boy; thought so. Rowdy Kiku came out again. Seems she can really talk about food. That mysterious pro-chef skill she has isn't just a random bonus from her blade handling after all, eh?

    "Ah... I didn't think about it before. Of course... an Etranger would have tasted weird things." She mutters to herself.

    "Um... I want to hear about tasty things from your world!"

    She has stopped and her eyes have lit up. I swear she should be drooling at me. I'm sure I'd be aroused seeing this pleading girls eyes like this if I didn't have the context here. Aria is looking between us like watching a tennis match, with a bemused expression.

    Suddenly; Kiku snaps out of her reverie; and in a beautiful motion, draws and throws a short sword like a throwing knife. It whistles past my ear and shaves a few years off my life.

    "WREEEEEEEE!" Is suddenly heard along with a slick ‘thunk’ noise.

    Aria has also reacted by the time I notice, and has covered ten metres in an instant to the left to impale a small goblin-like creature that is mostly teeth up against a different tree.

    "These damn fucking tree pygmies! Know your damn plate-I mean place! I wanted to talk about fruits... but now it will have to pissing wait." Kiku swears as she draws two more swords in a mighty 'shing'.

    I almost fall on my ass in shock. I guess it’s the first moment of truth.
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  12. eharper256

    eharper256 Purveyor of Dubious Medicinal Elixirs [since 1885]

    Jun 28, 2017
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    Oops, forgot to update the OP with the last chapter. (tries anime girl 'tee-hee')

    On a entirely unrelated note; does anyone have any comments on the stories tone and progress so far?

    After all, I've always wondered if this kind of story would even work; most notably with the protagonist possessing an inherently unlikable trait (i.e. being a lolicon) but I like to think I've made him better than the sum of his parts. Similarly, I've had fantastic fun writing Aria's reactions and Kiku's rowdyness. Of course, I suffer from authorial bias, as all authors do, so its good to check these things, eh?
  13. UniquelySelfless

    UniquelySelfless Well-Known Member

    Jan 6, 2017
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    Solid start. Enjoying Aria's reactions. There is not much to say about the progress so far because it is still in the intro phases, but I am looking forward to seeing how the story develops.
  14. eharper256

    eharper256 Purveyor of Dubious Medicinal Elixirs [since 1885]

    Jun 28, 2017
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    Thanks for posting. Good to hear I'm not hallucinating. Another chapter is about to go up.
  15. eharper256

    eharper256 Purveyor of Dubious Medicinal Elixirs [since 1885]

    Jun 28, 2017
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    Apparently succeeding my discipline roll, I manage to spin on the spot and swing my stave with some good force. The writhing form pinned to the tree truck receives my stave’s brass end, boosted with my modest Etranger strength.

    Various teeth are shattered flying in at least three directions and what I think might be its chest ruptures in a splatter of yellow pus. It reeks of something rotting, and the gunge rolls gradually down the tree like a spilled bowl of custard.

    And then, I vomit.

    Did I mention last night’s stew? It was from a city tavern and was pretty good. I'm reacquainting myself with it now in a dry heave and probably look pretty uncool.

    "Gross, huh?"

    Aria wanders to my left and lightly pounds my back. I look to her; she is holding her spear over her shoulder and patting me with her right hand.

    "Um... so it’s true, he really has never fought before. I didn't think there could ever be someone like that..." Kiku appears to the right to me, flicking some pus from one of her blades, and grasping the one in the tree to remove it with a splitting sound. The corpse drops onto the ground.

    "Still, I di... I know of... um... some who've done worse... heh." Kiku adds.

    "Yeah... don't worry; Elijah, that was a pretty bad first time."

    Aria grins, and then realising something, looks mortified and blushes as she looks away.

    D-Did she accidently make a dirty joke? So cute... it’s instantaneously healing.

    "Aria! We'll make a dirty girl of you yet..." I snicker.

    "N-Noooo... I-I don't want a brain like this idiot..." she cries, crouching away with spear.

    "Haha. Seriously though. Thanks. Both of you."

    Aria looks up with now teary eyes and Kiku is scratching her cheek.

    "You know you can't look cool with vomit on your chin, right, Elijah?" Aria smirks, standing back up.

    Yup... I probably look pretty dumb. I pick up a large broad leaf that is still moist with some dew, and wipe my face. It’s a weird, waxy feeling, but it does the job. It’s not like a brought a box of tissues along after all, although I’m starting to understand the wisdom of the towel being the most important item for any hitchhiker.

    I survey the carnage around me. There were 6 of them in total. It looked there was three pierced and two slashed, plus the impaled one on the tree. I must have installed some comedy censorship mod on this game with all the yellow splatters it’s made...

    "Just what are these things? Are they demons?" I enquire.

    "Tree pygmies? Nuh-uh… Um...They're aggressive little fiends… but they are… um… animals? They live in forested places like this. Dad says they consume carrion and nuts and then die in barren places, starting new trees." Kiku explains.

    "They... they help nature...?"

    Kiku looks puzzled as if she never thought about it.

    "Um... I guess?"

    "They're stupid though; they see people and other animals as carrion as well." Aria adds.

    Well that’s not technically wrong. I was pretty close to being a chew toy corpse moments ago if Kiku hadn't have thrown her sword.

    It's weird, this thing. Stumpy limbs and a massive jaw. Brown green colouration. Kinda nightmare fuel. And I'm not confident about spotting it in a forest myself if it wasn't spewing the yellow blood.

    "Do many adventurers meet their end to things like this?" I wonder aloud.

    Kiku looks stupefied and bursts out laughing.

    "Hahahaha. What silly twat would die to bitches like..." rowdy Kiku appears briefly.

    "Oh! Um... you're serious? W-wow... eh...? Um... well that would be quite a big joke in the guild if it happened. I... uh... I didn't move straight away because I thought you would just swat the pygmies away, Elijah. But its jaw opened and um... I thought something was wrong."

    Good job she did. I didn’t even realise it was there… Cripes…

    "You really are from a country without fighting. It's just not something I can imagine, either." Aria muses.

    "Humph... well there is still fighting in my world. Lots of it. Some places are not peaceful and people die there every day. But it’s to other people, rather than monsters, normally. We have many horrible weapons there. Someone could even press a button and kill thousands in an instant." I explain to the girls.

    "Thousands!? That’s… a big number… bigger than ten!? Way bigger! How is that even possible? Even great magic..." Aria exclaims

    "It would make soldiers useless. Um... It’s a shame you couldn't be summoned with one of those..." Kiku notes with a nod.

    "People are very scared of the things they have made in my world sometimes. There are still soldiers because no one wants to use those things. I don't think I could wish that on anyone."

    "Um... your world is weird, Elijah. Why not end a fight before it begins? Best tactics."

    Yeah, she’s probably right. It’s exactly the problem I thought of earlier, my post-modern developed nation mind-set is just going to be baggage here. It’s not like I’m blind to atrocity after all. I guess I definitely have to work on my guts, for everyone’s sake.

    I breathe out and try to relax. And then I hear a ping noise in my head, and 'level 2 reached! 5 skill points awarded!' flashes over my vision.

    I guess kill-stealing really is a valid strategy in times like this...
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  16. eharper256

    eharper256 Purveyor of Dubious Medicinal Elixirs [since 1885]

    Jun 28, 2017
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    Whatever will I do with 5 skill points? I could wait until the tower and hope for the best, but there’s no guarantee any magic will instantly appear on my skill forest, nor any guarantee of getting to see it in action at all; so I think it’s time to brave the skill tree as soon as we set camp for the evening.

    Kiku is currently pressing C to chop a corpse, Stone-Soup style. Well... not really, she is prying the two central most fangs from the least damaged body whilst wrinkling her nose at the stink. They shift free with a plink. I might be the hero, but her and Aria’s ability to adapt to a situation like this so quick seems like real heroism to me.

    "We best move quickly for a while. The stench of pygmies dying brings along all kinds of carrion feeders; some of those really dangerous." Aria tells me.

    "Um... yes... I would rather not have to deal with a Crawler, at least... um... not without a mage." Kiku agrees.

    We make haste for a while after that. I advise the girls I will gain some skills shortly, and make small talk with them on the way. Kiku is rather interested to learn about Earths fruits so I describe all the ones I remember, and get her to do the same for the fruits here, besides the lemon-like Mizris.

    Ionia is a long thin red one with crisp mellow sweetness, a bit apple-ish but with the looks of a chilli pepper. The Histsmunch is basically grapes except they grow in pods of six. And Jara is a banana that grows in the ground and has a deep brown skin. Finally there is the albino Ghostfruit that grows at night, shielding itself with giant tropical leaves on its tree from the light. It glows purple in the dark and is the principal ingredient of prana enhancing potions.

    She seems most excited about melons. I guess I could crack a joke about her chest, but I think it would fall flat. Haha.

    "Green fruits! That's fucking amazing!" Rowdy Kiku talks to herself again as we are setting up camp.

    "Elijah? You... you're good at putting up tents?" Aria asks.

    Apparently so. I was just applying my knowledge I had from my occasional camping trips as a child, but in an instant, the pegs are hammered and the ropes are set. It’s those improved stats again, surely.

    I shrug, and put a second one up just as fast. The plan for the night is me and the supplies in one, one girl in the other, and they take turns with night watch. I offer to do a watch, but it is pointedly refused. I guess they're better at it... or I’m not trusted. Probably the latter, which is unfortunate. I'm still a gentleman with standards, Aria, even if I have deviant interest. In fact... the thought of protecting the two of them would keep me super alert! Ah well.

    Kiku makes a sauce by mashing and boiling the mizris we obtained. It does indeed make the dried meat rations real nice, just like a stringy lemon chicken.

    "Where did you learn to cook, Kiku?" I ask at the fire that Aria made.

    "Oh! Um... well..." She fidgets a bit and looks confused.

    "D-dad is a domestic disaster... and uh... so is Kako... she thinks cooking is something you do with explosive magic I’m sure... hehe...s-so I had to learn...was forced to... it was… very hard…"

    She looks happy remembering this though.

    "Sounds like they should be the ones learning from you, Kiku."

    "Eh what? Huh... um... no-no way... t-that couldn't be true... I... wot? Y-you fucking moron, they're both way stronger and more awesome than me!"

    "I think you're plenty strong, and full of awesome. They couldn't make this sauce." Rowdy Kiku doesn't deter me from hitting her with the truth.

    "Eh wot? I... but... errm..." Apparently she is unable to refute that. Good. Girl needs more confidence; if anything, given her earlier exemplary combat skill, this is the thing holding her back more than anything, perhaps?

    She is blushing and looking under her eyes at me whilst fidgeting. So cute.

    "He does that." Aria suddenly ninjas behind Kiku in her moment of weakness, sending a shiver up Kiku's spine. Un, Aria is a quick study at bullying techniques used on her.

    "I don't know how such crap can pour from his mouth, but it makes you feel good right?" Aria grins.

    "Uuuu... umm..." Kiku is on the spot, not sure what to say.

    "I've thinked it for a while. We're both from a place where we hear nothing but complaints and lying praise as the par-de-course. So this idiot; sincerely coming out with this stuff like a child, is weird." Aria muses.

    "You'll find I'm fun to play with, too." Had to do it, she fell into that one, haha.

    "Y-you pervert." Aria blushes as well.

    Kiku hangs her head down and starts shaking again. Ready to burst? Yep.

    "Hehe... hahahaha... oh gods I can't... hahaha...fuck me!" Kiku is rowdy and splitting her sides.

    "Gladly! Your tent or mine?"

    "Wah! Wahahaha! Oh... I can't stop. Hahahaha..."

    Actually, that wasn't a joke, Kiku, you're so cute I could eat you up right now; but never mind, let’s not spoil the atmosphere. She laughs for a good minute and then...

    "Um... thanks Elijah." She says quietly, with a beaming smile.

    Aria rolls her eyes; as if to say, holy moly another victim; but the rest of the night, it’s easy to notice that Kiku's shyness around me has been shot and dragged off to the mortuary.

    Damn fine success if I may say so myself. I want to do a guts pose with the fist pump.

    But enough of that, I guess now I’m sat in the tent, I should give some real thought to my skills. What would be immediately useful? Some kind of staff handling? I could get another weapon; maybe borrow a sword from Kiku, and go the generic sword using hero with my spear using sidekick Aria. Heh, fun as that sounds, if anything, I’m the third wheel to Aria and Kiku right now.

    I... I totally didn't just imagine that as a secret bonus route.

    Ahem. Maybe I’m thinking too narrowly.

    For shits and giggles, I enter 'blade summoning' into my skill trees search engine.

    3 results found.

    Not to copy Kiku, but... Um... you what?
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  17. eharper256

    eharper256 Purveyor of Dubious Medicinal Elixirs [since 1885]

    Jun 28, 2017
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    Whu...uh? Which fucking moron is more interested in me rather than my cool sister or dad?

    Um... h-how can you say that?

    I... ok... I am Kiku Arnas.

    I'm a passable swordsman. Dad made me swing blades for as long as I remember. A long run in the morning. Exercises for my legs. Giving me detailed lessons on how to move in a fight, how to think during one. He always said gravely 'you need to be able to protect everything you love, just a moment, and it can all be gone.'

    He always had distant look when he said it.

    I never had a mom, so dad, Kako and the guild were my family. It was always lively when training was finished, and we always went out to have good food, so I got to know lots of nice people. Celia-shishou, the lady at Smoking Horse tavern, was the one we saw the most. I think she liked dad alot, and I think they kissed and hugged naked when they thought me and Kako weren't looking. She taught me some of the basics of cooking when I told her I loved her food, but her training was even worse than dad’s.

    Though dad went away sometimes, leaving his old friend Craig-jii-san to look after us, we had trips where I would follow dad and Kako to places and watch them beat up weak monsters and devils.

    Then, at nine years old, I stabbed a griffon to death.

    It was really scary and I was crying as I did it. Dad was pinning it down with his big tree-trunk arms that were normally so nice when hugging me.

    Maybe I’m just a wuss, but I’ve always been slower and weaker than Kako, and both she and dad would always spank me down in sparring easily.

    I don't hate him, or nee-chan for always being better than me. That's just the way things are. They're older, with more responsibilities, and they're really awesome.

    I was eleven when Kako went to a tournament to find and recruit a new knight at the castle, and of course we went and watched her. Of course she won. It was really amazing! So many people saw how cool nee-chan was!

    But when dad told me I had to go a trip with a party after my thirteenth birthday to 'become stronger and be an adult like Kako', I didn't know what to do. I moped all morning.

    I really don't know what drove me to think that I, of all people, would be an adequate companion to the Princess and the Etranger.

    But it's like it all clicked into place when I saw that man's shit-eating grin. Aria-hime says he's an evil pervert that will eat up girls for breakfast, and I should be wary, but I read his eyes, like dad taught me, and there was no malice there. He swept over me with a deep gaze that felt it was stripping me of my dignity, sure, but for some reason, I almost felt safe. And wanted, when he accepted.

    Well, something's always been wrong with me.
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  18. eharper256

    eharper256 Purveyor of Dubious Medicinal Elixirs [since 1885]

    Jun 28, 2017
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    And to go with the Kiku chapter, here, have an image of her as well:
    The usual applies, click to goto Imgur if you want...
    Isn't she a cutie?
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2017
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  19. eharper256

    eharper256 Purveyor of Dubious Medicinal Elixirs [since 1885]

    Jun 28, 2017
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    CHAPTER 10

    Ok... that's ok. Blade summoning is actually nothing to do with swords dropping from the sky or gates from Babylon.

    Talk about misappropriation, these terms are actually applied by my search engine to sleight of hand and stage magic tricks where they do things like appear to pull swords out of women (and not in a sexual way). There's two versions of that. And then there’s tricks for using a sword attached to your wrist by a wire. How to flick it back to yourself without gutting yourself, I imagine. That’s kinda Hollywood cool, but who in history had this as a real-life skill? How the heck do you train yourself to do that without gutting yourself, in fact? Trial and error is pretty dangerous, surely?

    Regardless, panic over. I thought for a moment silly things like anime skills might be counted and recorded by the Multivultus Scientica, but I guess that would be pretty overpowered.

    Oh well. Anyway, it’s interesting to try and figure out what esoteric things could end up in the Akasha. It’s fairly safe to assume now that most skills would be ones that had a modicum of reality to them. At least for now.

    The standard route in this case would be picking up some of gunsmith skill and abusing the power of ballistics. Problem with that is the materials and tools required, though. I don't think some of these web-authors truly appreciate how precise an art it can be. Drilling rifling in a barrel alone is a hell of a job requiring both good steel and strong tools. It's the job of several professionals to put together an assault rifle, not something an Otaku makes on a Saturday afternoon.

    Spamming the required skills might work in time, but unlike some of these city building scenarios, I'm lacking in time and usable talent. I'm not an engineer, or even a gun enthusiast in the first place.

    So what else would be immediately effective?

    Transmutation type things are another popular one in scenarios like this. You know, ignoring basic chemistry and melting things into component parts. Stuff approaching the old ideas of alchemy.

    I once studied chemistry and enjoyed it an extent but unfortunately failed to get any useful qualification on the matter; hence my branching into an English degree. I could well abuse my new skill to rectify my past inadequacies in this.

    Then, something catches my eye.

    Improvised Explosives I.

    Sounds like the skill for a budding terrorist, but what actually interests me is the fact that it links to '???', which is in turn linked to my 'Identify Other' skill. Why would these two be prerequisites together? Is the hidden one an 'identify explosive material' skill? Seems pretty fishy.

    But for some reason, I really feel like checking it out. I'm pretty sure there’s no takebacksies on this tree, so it could be a waste, but a gut feeling rarely let me down in the past, so...

    Improvised Explosives I obtained! 1 skill point used. You can now create Molotov Cocktails, and basic detonators for plastique and TNT.

    Huh, I’m a real wasteland raider now. Aren't ya proud, ma? It feels like the entire contents of the anarchist’s cookbook and a 101 primer to demolitions were just dumped into my memory. It kinda gives me a headache.

    Well I can get behind that. Booze and oil is around everywhere, so a Molotov creation schematic isn't a bad idea.

    What about the '???'. It reveals itself to be 'Explosive Compound Appraisal'. Oh, so it allows me to see what I could break down things into for making explosives.

    Sure, why not.

    Explosive Compound Appraisal obtained. 1 skill point used. You can now create 'Soda can bombs'. You can now substitute ingredients in explosive recipes.

    Oh those. Cola and weed killer, wasn't it? No way I can obtain those in this world. But the second part is bound to be handy.

    In fact, as if I’m having retroactive knowledge gains, I suddenly appear to realise mizris juice can be used in lieu of cola in the above. What the heck? I guess it’s like natural lemonade or something?

    I look around the tents interior; and a few things that have dropped out the giant sack I was carrying grab my attention.

    It's not text on my retina this time, but an instant savant like knowledge of how useful something would be in a bomb-mixture just by looking at it, even if it’s not native to earth.

    Again, which kind of weird demolition man had this as a real skill? He must have been a pretty scary chap.

    Come to think of it, who the heck had ‘identify other’ in real life?! This is a pretty bizarre mystery.

    Well whatever.

    I also pick up 'Bojutsu I', 'Combat Fitness I' and 'Heightened Threat Awareness' with the other 3 points. The latter especially seemed important given I don't have a natural instinct for combat, and nearly ended up as pygmies chowder earlier.

    It instantly activates on Aria, keeping watch, and even the snoozing Kiku in the opposite tent. Much like training an anti-virus or firewall programme for the first time, I bet it's going to give me false positives for a while which is annoying, but I quickly think to myself that they are allies, and the feeling fades to a soothing calm.

    It’s like a danger-o-meter mood stone I guess.

    I spend about twenty minutes cooking a Molotov after that. We had a huge vial of thick cooking oil that I add to the half bottle of Ionia Cider I still have left over from the strategy meeting at the tavern yesterday, which I then wad up and re-cork. Hopefully Kiku won't be angry...

    Lighting it on fire could be an issue, though. What I wouldn't do for a zippo right now.

    After that; I sleep, wondering just what tomorrow will bring.
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  20. eharper256

    eharper256 Purveyor of Dubious Medicinal Elixirs [since 1885]

    Jun 28, 2017
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    CHAPTER 11

    Apparently it brings Aria's sleeping face.


    Unfortunately, my brand new danger-sense is rising like a geyser.

    I'd like to click up my non-existent glasses and come to the delusional conclusion that she has fallen for my charms; but this would be such a heel face turn for her character that it seems unlikely.

    Clearly this is a standard cliché where a dozy princess comes off her night watch into the wrong tent when she switches with Kiku.

    'It’s a nuclear device! Time is running out!' From a certain games soundtrack plays in my head.

    I move slowly, inching away. I should be able to escape.

    "Ngggh... M-melody... don't... go... p-please... w-wake up..." Aria mumbles.

    Oh for gods sakes. She had to get a teary nightmare like this right now.

    I sigh, anticipating horrible consequences, and hug Aria.

    Being good sucks, dont'cha know?

    "Hehehe... nee-chan's chest is so big and warm..."

    Hnnngh... must keep blood pressure under control. Cuteness rising too fast. She's gonna blow captain! Eject the warp core!

    Although this clearly isn't the right time for it, all I can wonder is what Melody's cup-size must have been for a comment like that.

    Aria's eyes flick open.

    I see, it was 'D' for Death.


    Sometime after I receive my share of punch, Aria is puffing her cheeks out, looking cross as we eat some oat porridge round the embers of the fire. It is topped with more mizris pieces, giving it a sour tang to the thick creamy oats. Very versatile, as Kiku said.

    Speaking of Kiku, she has a dreamy-eyed 'O RLY' expression from completely misunderstanding the situation. Aria's actually mostly cross at this. She seemed to remember her dream and forgave me quite quickly, besides the punch.

    But now Kiku cannot be dissuaded from the idea we are lovers, due to Aria's mistake in tent choice (which Kiku witnessed). The more Aria said, the deeper she dug her own grave, it seems.

    "Oi, Elijah, can you please tell this brat she's totaallly wrong already!"

    "Well excuuuse me princess. It's clear you two are like histmunch in a pod." Snickers Kiku.

    "It's nice you two get along so well. But I can't say we don't have a special connection." I retort with a lolcat face.

    "Elllijaaah!!" Aria cries.

    It's true though. She's my summoner, right?

    That reminds me. Kiku is pretty blasé to Aria. It's a good thing that she's not the vindictive type of royalty. I'm sure there's grounds for both me and Kiku to be executed for treason ten times over. Pretty scary.

    I can almost see the lightning bolts and the dragon and tiger in the background at the moment. Aria's the silver Byakko and Kiku the green Ryuudo. As much as I want to sit and munch popcorn, I should probably do something.

    "Seriously though, Aria summoned me to this world, so of course we have a special connection. However, much to my chagrin, we are not in that sort of relationship. I would always respect what Aria wants, and I’m fairly sure sleeping with me was just a happy accident." I say.

    Aria and Kiku look stunned. And then they look at each other and burst out in laughter.

    "W-what the fucking gods... haha... was that... my sides...!" Kiku chortles.

    "Hehehe... Elijah... you... I can't believe the things you can say with a serious face... hehe..."

    Well, that was not what I expected. But I guess that works too.

    "He's just not like any normal man, is he, Aria?"

    "He's a lolicon pervert pretending to be a gentleman."

    Can't I be both? No?

    Suddenly, I briefly catch a sense of something dangerous above and stand, snapping my head around to look.

    I look at the tree tops but cannot make anything out.

    "Are you worried about the Placktaurus?" Kiku wanders up next to me.

    "It's pretty big, but it’s a plant eater, and only dangerous if you provoke it." Aria sidles up to the other side, pointing to a looming shadow of some winged monstrosity in the sky, bigger than a jumbo jet with at least six massive wings. It’s basically a bloody sky whale. What is it with fantasy worlds and flying whales? How do they even function? And most importantly, can they make friends with a falling bowl of petunias?

    Well, yeah, references aside; that must have been what caused it. More false positives.

    But I look to the grinning girls on both sides, and think I really am living the dream of having a flower on both hands.

    If it wasn't for the impending rise of the death dragon and the end of the world, I might consider myself a lucky man.
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