Novel Yuusha Isekai! Youjo Suki! [Ch 1-72] [Best girl survey!]

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

?

Whom is the best main girl from Yuusha Youjo?

  1. Don't be dumb, its Aria, of course! She's such a cute baka princess!

    1 vote(s)
    33.3%
  2. Um... you wot?! Kiku is cutest by far! I'll protect her and she'll protect me!

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  3. Naturally, the best is Kaede, yes? I'll have to kill you if you think otherwise...

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  4. Fufufu... you don't need to be a Sage to realise there is no option besides Seria.

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  5. It... it's not like I find Rishya attractive or anything! You idiot!

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  6. Truly very sorrys, but others wrong. Will not move. Kali is my destined one!

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  7. It's scarier than Cultivator, but I want a harem route! Loli is justice! (All of the above!)

    2 vote(s)
    66.7%
  8. None of the above. (Please post a response explaining your choice...)

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. eharper256

    eharper256 Purveyor of Dubious Medicinal Elixirs [since 1885]

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    CHAPTER 69
    BORN TO BE WILD


    So then, Kali... is a Veranian? I guess her tan implies she is from this hotter part of the world.

    Hold up a sec... didn't Seria say something about hot-blooded men with bushy eyebrows?

    I envisaged some muscley barbarian type.

    Wait... I suppose that’s still not far off. She has strong looking abs and legs. She wears a feathery shawl with a big necklace of beads. Let's not focus on her lack of upper-wear. Err... she punches things. Not an axe... but...

    It's been awhile since I did this... I identify her.

    --------------
    S'TAVI KALIASTA MEENAORA
    FIRE HAWK
    LEVEL 7 MARTIAL ARTIST

    --------------
    HP>> 77/145 (=STR+END+50)
    MP>> 8/17 (=INT+PER)
    13 YEARS OLD
    --------------
    Strength 25
    Agility 22
    Endurance 40 (+30)
    Intellect 11
    Perception 6
    Charisma 13

    <<Meenaora Adherant>> (A powerful martial artist, she can channel Fire Spirits into unarmed attacks and as power for her limbs, using her own endurance as a cost, rather than magical power.)
    <<Soaring Blazefall>> (Martial Attack, costs 12 HP, A special jump attack made with temporary super strength.)
    <<Rising Meenaora>> (Martial Attack, costs 9 HP, A special uppercut made with the imbuement of a mythical flaming bird.)
    <<Hexenheight Talons>> (Martial Attack, costs 3 MP, A combat kata, restores vitality with a vampiric multi-strike impact.)
    <<Flash Step>> (Martial Skill, Instantaneous Movement, costs 6 MP)
    <<Combat Fitness II>> (Long martial training regime for years, gives a +20 bonus to Endurance)
    <<Exceptional Vitality II>>
    (Long desert training fosters exceptional resilience beyond norms and appearance, +10 bonus to Endurance and bonus +50 HP.)
    <<Blood of the S’tavi Elders>>
    (Grants bright red hair, +3 bonus to Charisma and Strength).
    <<Steel Will III>>
    (Gains +15 bonus endurance to resist pain and unconsciousness. Does not apply to confusion or fear.)
    <<Mercantilism II>>
    (Gains +6 bonus intellect to calculate financial sums and conversion rates, to haggle, and to appraise the value of goods).
    <<Glass-working Basics>>
    (Has basic knowledge of glass-working, but no practical experience).
    --------------


    Well, that's somewhat of a surprise. I guess she's the HP tank type, with an overwhelmingly higher HP amount than me or the rest of the girls. She attacks using her own vitality for powering her stronger attacks, so I guess it’s needed.

    "Ahaha! To have the filthy gaze of a strong man makes Kali shudder! How fun!"

    Oh crap... I forgot appraisal did that.

    Aria chops me on the head. I go swirly-eyed since she didn't hold back much of her strength.

    "Well... since Elijah accepting new girls is a foregone conclusion, and having further frontline support is always appreciated, welcome to the team, Kaliasta. I hope we'll get along." Aria says.

    Kali observes her closely.

    "Kali likewise thinks."

    They shake hands.

    "But Aria. Why not show if love Elij... kakakaka!"

    What was that!? ...I was still dizzy. I look around and see Kali's hand is being shaken very intensely, and I think it's almost turned into arm wrestling. What on earth?

    "C-crushing through even desert blue steel!? Aria is worthy oppon... friend after all."

    "Yes, yes... I'm sure we'll be good friends, Kaliasta." Aria grins.

    My thunder spirit wants to leap out of my chest to make sparks again.

    Aria's tsundere is pretty adorable at times. But every day I feel I'm closer to an early death before I even catch a whiff of the demon lord.

    But whatever should we do now? Actually...

    "What were you girls doing before over the remains of the skull beast?" I ask.

    "Um... it was my suggestion. We need to bring proof of the beast’s demise to the local guild. Ah! And report about the dead in the rest stop."

    "The... dead in the rest stop? We didn't stay there long but..." Yuuzu asks, gulping.

    "They were slaughtered by the skull beast. I wonder if it was stalking all of the survivors, yes?" Kaede says, deadpan.

    Yuuzu sighs.

    "I did wonder why it was chasing us. We had barely come out of a fight with three skeleton knights when it ambushed us in that chamber. How did it get ahead... the wings... hah..." she thinks out loud.

    "All void based creatures are malicious." Seria shrugs.

    "True of Kuro-chan too! Hahaha!"

    Yuuzu snickers at Kali's rude comment, but Kurono is still off sulking in the corner and doesn't notice.

    Well, I guess we should make time for this nearby city. We're all still fairly exhausted, so backtracking our steps and hoping for a smooth ride upwards is our best bet, and we should escort Yuuzu and Kurono back as well.

    "Shall we go back to the nearby city, then? We can continue to delve further tomorrow, but as Kiku says, we should make a report. And... we should take Yuuzu back."

    Yuuzu sighs and nods. She then looks at me.

    "The escort will be... the least you can do after poaching my front-liner." She smiles wryly.

    "Kali is extra sorrys, Yuuzu!" She bows in twain, leaving Aria aside.

    Yeah, there is that. I shrug and grin. Yuuzu looks to the corner of the room.

    "Will you be alright carrying that skull, Kurono?"

    "...yes..." she whispers, barely audible.

    "Errr... she's going to carry... ah!" I begin to question.

    A void mage. So she can hold more than Rishya's little bag, right? But that things entire skull!? I... I guess she carries that massive longbow in her pocket dimension?

    So they were prying the skull off earlier.

    Well... I don't know why that especially is rattling me, I've already seen weirder things. In any case... it's likely already night outside, and we should make haste.
     
  2. eharper256

    eharper256 Purveyor of Dubious Medicinal Elixirs [since 1885]

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    SIDE CHAPTER KL
    A RUBY OF THE DESERT


    Who is Kali? Kali is Kali. Why ask question of fools?

    Ah! Kali understands! Kali is from Verania, the S'tavi. Kali be the biggest little one of four little runts. Only strong girl. Mother is important, matriarch of flame. Father one of the shining, the master glassworkers. Both flame and glass important to town, so Kali lucky daughter. Mother picked father as a favour to receive her love due to his skill, but Kali thinks she actually liked him. But matriarchs not allowed to like a man.

    Kali come of age. Has been taught mothers fisticuffs, hard work, lots of training, has learning much of the way of the Meenaora, and it custom to become stronger by finding trouble and beating it up. Only strong girls allowed to be trusted in town, vote as elder, and pick men of choice. So many girls mercenary.

    Kali probably silly, but always enjoyed fathers stories about travel and learning to glasswork. Want to travel more than just mercenary time.

    Crafts not allowed for girls though, but Kali still like to see world, so asked to learn money as normal for girls to become traders for the elders. Learning Jezzathan to talk to others very hard. So different to Saskar. But Kali learn well. Got gift of blue steel legs and arms from parents to fight. Left and found big city.

    Hard to go through desert. Many scorpions. But Kali strong. Learn mother’s style well. Crush.

    Big city quite different to big Veranian cavern town. Always reaching to sky. Sometimes strange weak men try to trick Kali, but Kali punch them. Find place where fighter people gather.

    There, find pretty magic lady with golden sand hair and strange girl with big bow that likes kissing other girls. Make trio of strong girls for fighting! Beat up evil! And Yuuzu-chan is now friend, as is Kuro-chan, even if Kuro-chan rude.

    But then, Kali and friends fools. Caught in pinch by scary massive dead. Kali useless. Arm broken. Very hurt. Cannot save friends. Very sad. Maybe about to be in dead book.

    But! From nowhere, a strong man, who makes fire from glass! Who speaks even in Saskar! Who saves Kali and friends!

    Strong man very strange thing. Never seen before! Not tanned enough. Does not have much brows. But still, Kali likes! Uses flame and glass like mix of parents. Very auspicious. Not expected to find husband so soon. But must have!

    Kali has many rivals though. Man is hero? Loved by many strong girls? Very strange. But Kali runt. Not yet matriarch. Cannot command. But Kali will win. She will follow. She will use girl charms. Sorry to leave friends... but must have!

    Will not lose fight ever again. Will be victorious!
    ------
    Yessiree; it's the Kali chapter. Writing in her broken Jezzathan/English is really quite entertaining. :blobReach:
     
  3. eharper256

    eharper256 Purveyor of Dubious Medicinal Elixirs [since 1885]

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    Also, its time for the best girl survey!!
    Feel free to post your reasoning! They've all become kawaii daughters to me recently. I will actually take audience choices into consideration. I'm not guaranteeing Elijah will make the most democratic choice or anything, but I will attempt to write more content for everyone's favorites as time goes on. Anyway, check the poll; your choices for this mission are:
    • Don't be dumb, its Aria, of course! She's such a cute baka princess!
    • Um... you wot?! Kiku is cutest by far! I'll protect her and she'll protecc me!
    • Naturally, the best is Kaede, yes? I'll have to kill you if you think otherwise...
    • Fufufu... you don't need to be a Sage to realise there is no option besides Seria.
    • It... it's not like I find Rishya attractive or anything! You idiot!
    • Truly very sorrys, but others wrong. Will not move. Kali is my destined one!
    • It's scarier than Cultivator, but I want a harem route! Loli is justice! (All of the above!)
    • None of the above. (Please post a response explaining your choice...)
     
  4. eharper256

    eharper256 Purveyor of Dubious Medicinal Elixirs [since 1885]

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    Sorry guys, forgot to mention before, no chapter today, I have a family visitation going on.

    You're all gonna make me cry if you don't vote, by the way! Surely some of you can spare a moment to stop lurking?
     
  5. eharper256

    eharper256 Purveyor of Dubious Medicinal Elixirs [since 1885]

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    CHAPTER 70
    IN PURSUIT OF WISDOM?


    Just as I contemplate our ascent, I get a level-up notification rolling across my retina suddenly.

    'Fifth level achieved. 3 points awarded. Etranger bonus has increased.'

    I seriously feel like I'm the terminator or I'm in some VR game whenever this goes on.

    Actually, isn't fifth level a bit stingier than the previous ones? If it’s a milestone, surely it should be more rewarding? But I guess game conventions have failed to apply in the past.

    Aria wanders up to me.

    "D-Did you get stronger again?" She asks.

    "Huh? Yeah... how did you know?" I ask.

    She blushes a bit.

    "I get this weird tingly feeling. It's like I'm being tickled! It's really weird! I-I figured out it happens each time you get stronger... and it carries on until you do something... hah..."

    Well that is weird. Is it like spamming the summoner with a level-up notice? How cruel.

    She squirms.

    "Do I tickle your fancy right now, then?" I taunt.

    "S-shut up Elijah. Hurry up and learn something before I... ugh..." she looks too uncomfortable to get seriously angry. She starts furiously scratching her midriff, showing off her toned belly.

    Hurhur... I wonder if this is why she was so short tempered just after I took out the Crawler.

    But I'm only an incidental bully, I don't believe in excess cruelty most of the time, so let’s call up the skill tree.

    I think I just need to be more useful in general as the next priority. If I'm in a melee... I'm basically kinda fucked still.

    Although I am still carrying that staff, and that branch of the tree does reach up to rank 6, it's 5 points for the second level, which is why I've given it the slip before. I guess that level up is quite a jump from the novice practices? I suppose it really starts you down the road of staff combat in this instance...

    Perhaps it’s time to start on spells proper? I focus back on the 'minor shock' area and to my surprise, 'spark cannon' is now an option. Did Seria ever cast this?

    However, it's basically ideal. It's the short range burst sounding one, like an electric sawn-off shotgun blast? It's also just two points!

    Lets go for that.

    I see a vision of a scrawny little black haired girl sitting next to beautiful woman with long copper hair. The little girls own hair is still somewhat short, and she seems meek and dressed in a shoddy, baggy tunic. She has an iron neck-chain. But she is endearingly paying close attention to the woman's hands.

    I watch as well. There is a sweeping gesture, three fingers twirling, and then an outstretched palm.

    The woman smiles warmly.

    "Lets see if you can get it this time, Eri-chan. You'll get two rolls if you do!"

    The vision ends.

    Oh! Cripes!

    The little girl is... 'Eri-chan' is Seria!

    It's such a change to see her meek and short haired and in a modest outfit that I didn't get it straight away.

    Huhuhu... I feel like I touched some forbidden history here.

    Well... it leaves me with one point. Despite looking, nothing for the low cost perks my interest, so I guess we're saving this one. I confirm I don't want to spend it to the Multivultus Scientica.

    I look up as Aria lets out a sigh of relief. The itching was really that bad, huh?

    Suddenly, Seria then appears next to me from behind, hand on my shoulder, giving me a start. How does she do that?

    She looks incredulous and is glaring under her eyes.

    "Your thunder spirit just grew to nearly twice the size in an instant! What the heck did you do!" She exclaims, moving right into my personal space.

    Her flat chest is basically pressed right up against me and her grasp is squeezing my shoulder with surprising power. It's not especially erotic considering her anger, though.

    "I chose to learn a thunder spell." I state, matter of factly.

    Her brows knit further, but she releases me.

    "Show me." She orders.

    I step back and turn away from her so as to not hit her and Aria, but she moves back in front, just allowing me two feet of space.

    "Boy... I will not be hurt by electricity." She glares.

    Oh right. I shrug.

    I think about that vision of the woman and the little Seria, and about electricity. Suddenly, my right arm sweeps by its own volition. The full gesture completes almost as if that woman from the vision possessed me.

    There is explosion of shocks and sparks! I did it!

    Seria is bombarded in electricity, but it just runs down along her belly and legs and grounds out, doing nothing. She steps right up to me again, as if inspecting my face.

    "A flawless Spark Cannon. As if I myself did it." She says in my ear.

    Aria has a ‘◊’ mouth in awe. But Seria grunts and looks more frustrated. Her head tilts.

    "Just what -is- that power? It is truly enviable... hah..." she sighs, closing her eyes, and then groans whilst tapping the ground with her foot and her head with her finger.

    Yeah... Multivultus Scientica is pretty creepy at times... but I guess I just skipped a few grades of Thunder Mage School, huh?

    Then she opens her eyes again, looks right in my eyes, and grins so hard I feel her face should split. Her hands grab my face. She gets a slight blush too. Its feverish and kinda ‘scary yandere’ rather than adorable. But... Close!!

    "I do love mysteries. I love you, boy!"

    Uh oh...

    ----
    Scary Yandere Seria appears!!
    Anyway, the chapter was slightly late today... I was distracted by Etrian Odyssey V.
    Don't forget to vote for your best girl. I'll keep moaning like a bitch until you do.
    :hmm:
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2017
  6. eharper256

    eharper256 Purveyor of Dubious Medicinal Elixirs [since 1885]

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    CHAPTER 71
    DON’T WANT A NICE BOAT TRIP


    "Ehhhh!?!? Whuwhuwhaaaat!" Comes from Aria. She looks panicked in the corner of my eye.

    Seria still looks pretty yandere, but then takes a deep breath, and steps out of my space, relinquishing her hold on my face. She turns to look at Aria.

    "Fufufu... I apologise. I did say I would not play with your things, didn't I, princess? To... to clarify... I love Elijah as a magical anomaly. The Etranger is quite an interesting scholarly topic. And he is my student."

    Seria breaks into a jovial laugh.

    It... it didn't seem that way to me, Seria... but I should probably keep my mouth shut.

    Aria's panic dies down at this firm proclamation. I also notice the other girls wandering in front of my vision now. Kiku is blushing and chittering in 'O RLY' mode again at this development. Rishya is sighing, watching Kiku. Kaede still appears unaffected. Kali is bearing a strange, angry looking grimace.

    I clear my throat and turn away from them. Probably a bit of cowardice on my part. I think I'm really truly getting an understanding of the scariness of the harem situation. They're all so cute, though. I wonder if I can't make multiple choices?

    Maybe that's just greedy? Will I hurt them? Wouldn't I suffer a trip on the nice boat? It really is a dilemma.

    "Are we ready to set off?" I question, changing the subject.

    "...I will take the skull... give me a moment." Says Kurono, sighing.

    Kurono steps over the remains of the skull beast. She narrows her eyes and concentrates. I watch, waiting for her to pick it up.

    But it never happens.

    There was a brief whistling crack that makes me jump, like a bullet had just accelerated over my shoulder.

    The skull then seems to blur briefly, like it is in motion, and it is honestly just gone.

    Yuuzu pats her on the shoulder, giving Kurono a complicated expression.

    "How should we move as this enlarged group?" Asks Aria, sidling up to me protectively.

    Kiku appears to have settled down as she does the same.

    "Um... can miss Kali act as further rear guard to protect miss Yuuzu, and miss Kurono?" She instructs.

    "Gotcha, swordsgirl." Kali states deadpan. She looks worried as she files in with her two charges.

    "How often do the changes in layout and re-spawns occur here?" I query.

    "Not that often, in our experiences. The alteration today was quite significant. We had a brief meeting with the... camp before we came down here as a vanguard. We were due to return after gathering information on one of the routes."

    "This is fairly normal for dungeon exploration, Nii. If large threats appear and no one checks in, there is a gradual increase in the party elites that are sent in." Kiku confirms.

    Probing new content with a single party? That sort of thing of thing would never be game with the MMO crowd. There would be hundreds spreading out in a chaos. It makes sense but...

    "Doesn't that make you three a sacrificial morsel, though?" I ask.

    Yuuzu sighs and Kurono looks angry.

    "That is... probably true. The culture of these places and their tight knit communities... they live here... and we... we were the new outsiders. Why would they not... send us?" Yuuzu gives a wry smile.

    Ouch. I probably was insensitive. How strange. I didn't realise they actually lived in the dungeon. You would think it would be a constantly shifting traveller camp but... hmm... I guess to some, it's a livelihood rather than a mere training exercise.

    Kiku shrugs when I give her a brief look. I guess she knows little as well. She did say her father encouraged other word. Perhaps I really wouldn't have liked those people eh? But I also don't think anyone deserved that kind of brutal death...

    "Well, I guess this time that rather backfired on them..." I say, sounding rather morose.

    "Um... It's not your fault, Nii." Kiku pats my shoulder.

    Man, she's a kind girl as well, like Aria. I pat her hand with a clang on her gauntlet.

    She looks flustered and shifty and takes away her hand.

    Oops. Is that putting her on the spot in this situation?

    Well, I can't help it. Barrelling into self-destruction or no, I believe in being honest with the girls as much as I can.

    Am I starting to become exactly the fool of an upstart indecisive protagonist I used to hate? Heh... I wonder...

    Well... twat or not, it’s a far cry from an old life of boredom.
    ----
    PLEASE COMPLETE THE BEST GIRL SURVEY
     
  7. eharper256

    eharper256 Purveyor of Dubious Medicinal Elixirs [since 1885]

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    SIDE AKA
    IS THIS DECEPTION?


    "This room is empty, Princess. I do not believe we need to be of concern, yes?" I say.

    Aria sighs.

    "You're right, Kaede."

    She fidgets, warily watching the small necro-fire on the podium. It is so small that one would barely get a hand inside, never mind allow a skeleton out.

    I have trained in a place like this before. There was a very small dungeon not far from master's house. It was a test for his children to sneak through it unscathed. I didn't pass the test, as I ended up resorting to combat in one instance, and somehow he knew. I got twenty lashes. But it was an educational experience. My young self… had a certain hubris to her, and this was the final stage of forging me into the weapon I am today.

    "You are still worried, yes? I do believe Elijah is no longer quite as fragile as you believe. Or is this just your affection showing itself, like in the manor, I wonder?"

    I blink. All of that came out my mouth!

    Master always said 'a dam, once broken, is hard to stem.'

    Alas, I think I am finally understanding the wisdom of this anecdote a little too late...

    Aria's head snaps to me, and in an instant, she pins me to the wall. She seems a little mad.

    "What do you mean... in the manor!" She cries out.

    Oh right. I don't think she saw me. What a novice blunder.

    Well... now the mistake is made...

    "I mean when you were straddling Elijah and you said you wouldn't mind him having interco...mmmph"

    Aria slams her palm over my mouth suddenly. She has taken on an exceptional shade of crimson, and has an amazingly expressive face. I envy her for this sometimes.

    "Uuuu...you... were..." she stutters

    "Guarding you whilst the two of you were vulnerable in your sleep, yes?" I mumble through her hand, matter of factly.

    She reels backwards as if I punched her in the gut.

    "K-k-kaede..." she stutters.

    "Ah... but Nii-sama punished me for eavesdropping." I add, attempting a morose tone.

    Aria blinks repeatedly. There is a beat or two...

    "Hmmm... he did? Well... I suppose I shan't say anything else then... haahh..."

    Well... he called it a punishment but... there are times when my lack of expression is useful. Is this a deception I should be practicing? Strange.

    "The new attack pattern we practiced was adequate, was it not?" I change the subject.

    "I don't know. It wasn't really enough, even with Kiku's assist." She shakes her head. "It reminds me, though... however did you come up with that?"

    I ponder for a moment.

    "I did not come up with it. It was simply a jutsu I failed to comprehend as a child. I could do the motions, but the spirits would not respond. But seeing that Crawler ablaze... I think perhaps that may have changed... well, this is all conjecture, yes?"

    "Your ability is so mysterious... though I can't talk. I make Seria quite mad by skipping all the steps, teehee!" Aria taps her head with a balled fist and sticks out her tongue.

    Perhaps if I could be as casually cute as her, Elijah might get atop me al... what am I even thinking!?

    "Ah... Kaede... you blushed!"

    I did? Ah...

    Aria narrows her eyes and has a quirky smile.

    "Elijah really has changed us all... hah... what an asshole." She curses as she pounds me on the shoulder. It's kinda painful.

    "A blade cannot choose to..." resonates in my head, and I reactively clutch my face.

    He's an asshole... yes... that is an adequate description. I was satisfied in my role before, but I am turning into a fluttering maiden. What kind of assassin cares for what others think... is concerned for her emotions... is corrupted by her interest... and even... even wishes to obtain a man's favour? I am being broken... and yet... and yet I do not wish to stop the process.

    It is the most I have ever felt for anything. And the true tragedy is that... I am a fool that is joining a six horse pursuit. What madness.

    Aria sighs audibly.

    "What an asshole." She repeats.

    "Indeed." I confirm.

    She looks up in surprise, then starts laughing in a guffaw. I find myself infected.

    Normally I am quiet when the others are jovial... but my facial muscles twitch, and a lyrical noise emits from me. More than just a snicker that I usually force out, it is a lost sound I had forgotten. It doesn't last long but...

    "Huhuhuha... Nii-sama is such a son of a bitch. Even more than master. I hate him, yes! Hahuhuaah..."

    Refuse and hubris spills off my tongue almost naturally. I can't say that! I must stop. I will get lashes until I die!

    No... actually... I won't. I crouch, holding my sides.

    Aria looks wide eyed at me, ruffling her own hair.

    How embarrassing.

    She sighs and mumbles something like 'what have I done...' to herself whilst face-palming.

    Yes indeed.
    -----
    Another Kaede chapter, with Aria this time. Sorry for no chapter yesterday; working late and then distracted by Etrian Odyssey V.
    DO THE BEST GIRL SURVEY!!!!!
     
  8. eharper256

    eharper256 Purveyor of Dubious Medicinal Elixirs [since 1885]

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    SIDE KIS
    FIRMEST RESOLUTION


    Eh wot... I'm quivering...

    Nii smiles at me, and peels himself off me.

    He pushed me up against a wall! What! What is going...

    Ah...

    What a dozy mare I was. I nearly got bisected by that great-sword. The skeleton knight ambushed us from behind and I didn't even notice. I didn't even have a sword out. What a crap rear-guard.

    Aria has instantly killed it though. The spear has actually penetrated the back of the skull with a crack. She seems rather strange right now.

    Its bones collapse whilst the skull remains skewered, the great-sword dropping and skidding next to my foot as it cries those blue tears.

    What a pathetic protector I am... my charges are protecting me. All because I was moping about being a burden before.

    Ah! I was saved! My face burns up... and I feel fuzzy.

    The party has already started to move on, but I am just totally stunned, rubbing my legs together and squirming my back against the wall like some pervert.

    "This is bad. I can only think about Nii... he even saved me again. I must stop. I need to..." I whisper, head down.

    "Ufufufu... dalac sorni mes kataross il vist, sabac kataross il visti."

    What? Seria is front of me suddenly as my head snaps up. How does she do that?

    "That is to say, swordsgirl, 'If I deny my feelings then I only deny myself.' It was one of my master’s favourite anecdotes. Very applicable to magic." She nods.

    Gaah! Fuuuuck!

    I quick-draw a sword and throw it past Seria with a clang almost instinctively.

    "I'm sorry." I immediately apologise. She looks mildly rattled, understandably.

    Did the others not hear it clang? They continue to move, now out of sight.

    "I will forgive you." She says.

    "You shouldn't. Why are so kind to me? You even taught me that resonating sword concept. What is it you want..." I ask all once. I am seriously a fucking idiot questioning someone’s kindness.

    She puts a finger to my lips.

    "You rather remind me of my younger self." She answers, smiling. "Captive to emotions. All fire and thunder. Quite literally... in a spiritual sense."

    She stretches as she relinquishes her finger and her neck chain clinks.

    "A-are you saying I can be a mage? Eh wot?"

    She smiles.

    "Ufufufu. No. You do occasionally attract a pair of fire spirits. But never for long. It would be a fool’s errand to embark on that path. Especially now you have engraved the dispelling mantra on your mind..."

    "In any case... all I am saying is... love in all forms is always humanities gift. Demons rarely understand it... It sounds like nonsense... perhaps it is... but it... it is a never something to suppress." She continues.

    I look on, stupefied.

    "Did you know? Sages die when they lose interest in the world? The spirits do not care for such boring people, and cease to sustain them."

    What is she saying?

    "At one point, barely six months ago... I considered dying. My research was all I had. I had forsaken students after I had to murder one of them for treading the wrong path. Would you believe that my power recently has begun to return to what is was in my youth? And all because..."

    "You have found something to love..." I finish.

    "Fufufu... it is embarrassing when you say it so clearly. When did I become such a deceitful old bat?" Seria sighs.

    I think of her earlier incident, when she proclaimed her 'scholarly' love for Nii. Aria may have been fooled... but...

    How does Nii do it? Saving girls can't be all there is to it. Honesty?

    I blush again, thinking of when he gazed at me so lewdly when we first met.

    All I wanted before was to get stronger to meet Dad and Kako and Celia's expectations. But now...

    Now I want to be strong for Elijah. Is this what Dad was going on about?

    Seria pats me on the cheek.

    "Even if it is doomed to failure. We are..."

    "In this together?" I propose.

    She cackles.

    Then she grabs my hand.

    "Yes. See... you even finish my sentences. We are hilariously similar."

    I grin back. I will protect her too. And Aria, Rishya, and even Kaede and even that weirdo punchy girl.

    It is my duty as a knight. I think I understand Kako a bit.

    My family has sure grown.

    I need to stop dwelling on my mistakes and be the sword for them all.

    If that means a coward like me fighting the lord of demons himself... even if I will die...

    I will not be afraid.
     
  9. eharper256

    eharper256 Purveyor of Dubious Medicinal Elixirs [since 1885]

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    CHAPTER 72
    ELIJAH’S CONCERNS


    The stuffiness of the air subsides as we make our way upwards.

    We at last make our way outside. It’s really damn cold out here now, a stark contrast to the warmth of earlier. I guess deserts are like that.

    The lagoon sloshes silently around my feet. It is still floating with corpses. I wonder why these ones have not dissolved into flames like the skeletons do?

    "What... what happened here!?" Exclaims Yuuzu.

    "Elijah happened." Aria snickers.

    Yuuzu looks momentarily aghast, with creased brows, but nods. It has been an upwards journey of shocks for her, hasn't it?

    I stop and take a deep breath of the air. It's got a weird tinge to it, presumably due to the bodies, but it’s a step up from the mustiness of the dungeon. I look at the girls as they pass by me. It was tough, but we really made it through!

    I close my eyes briefly.

    I think... it’s not only me. They've all gotten stronger. Everyone has learned new skills when I wasn't paying attention, so I can't slack off or be left behind.

    I'm starting to get used to this. I don't know if it’s a good thing, but I'm certainly a different man than I was nary a few weeks ago.

    In such a short time, I've been blessed.

    And cursed, I suppose.

    I'm not dense enough to miss the fact that, at the very least, Aria, Kiku and Seria, at the bare minimum, are starting to get rather affectionate for me.

    I suppose being a dense harem protagonist... has its merits? Ignorance is bliss and all that.

    "You do think to yourself alot, don't you?"

    I open my eyes. It is Yuuzu. The others have moved a fair distance away.

    I give a wry smile.

    "Probably my biggest weakness. I think too much, rather than doing too much." I answer.

    "I see. You are similar to me in some ways, then. I thought, once, that I had no choices in my life. It turns out I only had to stretch out my hand and do something..."

    I turn to look at her. She has creased brows.

    "... and it turns out, my thinking about much of the world was wrong. You must do things." She continues.

    "Solid advice." I reply.

    "More like I am a fool pretentiously waxing lyrical... But doing nothing... fearing the consequences of change... that is more foolish."

    Wait... is this harem management advice...? Surely not. But the twinkle in her eye is suspicious.

    "Do you love Rishya?" She suddenly bombs me.

    What.

    I instinctively snap my head to look up to the other girls ahead. Rishya is arguing (?) with Aria.

    Just who do I like? Isn't it too soon to like anyone? But... in some ways, I have grown to like them all.

    "No wait... you don't have to say anything... that is the best answer… hehe..." She replies, still bearing a funny smile.

    This cunning woman. Did I just react exactly how...?

    "Hahh..." I sigh.

    "Don't be disheartened. It is the sad fate of strong men... errrm... so I hear..."

    She tentatively pats me on the shoulder and walks off to join her cousin.

    Don't I know it?

    Before, I was a generic cog in the machine. Mostly beneath notice. Not likely to often pull off a Casanova with women except a tiny minority with a weird niche for nerds. I exploited the latter occasionally but it never became serious.

    Now, with so much to eat at the table, I am paralysed despite a healthy hunger.

    First world problems, eh?

    Maybe Yuuzu is right, though. I need to stop hesitating and follow my heart.

    If that means hurting them, or buying a ticket on the nice boat, then... well... I need to face that choice like a man. I know I hate indecisive main characters, and hypocrisy.

    At the moment, I don't especially -love- anyone. Maybe that will change. But I -like- them all. I'm clearly a lolicon pervert even if I try to deny it, so I want to do... things to all of them. It’s clearly just lust, so part of me rallies against that. Part of me is trapped by fear.

    Fear of what?

    It's not like the Earth police will suddenly leap out of nowhere and reveal this was all an elaborate sting to catch a suspicious man.

    A perv with interests is not necessarily a paedophile. I don't want to hurt anyone.

    I think that’s it. I'm afraid of what people will think. Will I cross a point of no return? Is it really safe to court a young girl without an accusation of grooming? A fear that you have exploited a certain naivety?

    This will never end. It is the twisted Gordian knot in which I've been trapped.

    Well.

    For better of worse. This may be the path to hell itself.

    But you know what...?

    Screw what people think.

    -----
    Yes Elijah, something something dark side! :blobhero::blobdead:
    I see we have a vast 3 votes now. Thankyou if you're one of those three people.
    EVERYONE ELSE! PLEASE VOTE!! :blobfearful:
     
  10. eharper256

    eharper256 Purveyor of Dubious Medicinal Elixirs [since 1885]

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    SIDE RY
    DEADLY SPIRITS OF LOVE


    Ah... the sun is rising.

    It is quite a sight, but I'm suffering from a persistent ache in my chest so I can't fully appreciate it. I grasp Michael white knuckled and sigh. The city sits eastward from us, and the cracks of a sun can be seen struggling in rays behind it.

    Our group has been walking to Hal-Castemour for about an hour from the dungeon, and it isn't too far now.

    Michael isn't very happy for some reason. I normally feel relieved holding him tightly, but the last few hours, he has been... reluctant to help me. I feel more tired when healing. And it feels as if...

    Yuuzu slinks up next to me and I grimace. She has that annoying mischievous expression she has when she finds something funny, so I recoil a bit.

    Even so... I'm so glad I got to see her again. I love Yuuzu alot. Taking care of Aria made me cry sometimes, and Dad never coming home much did as well. We always stuck together. In school. At home. I was like an annoying little sister, I'm sure. It’s really... But she never...

    Yuuzu suddenly hugs me.

    "I'm here, Rish."

    Tears are spilling from my eyes! What is this!

    "J-jeez... I said I would b-be strong." I choke out.

    "You were." She assures me, hugging me tighter and rubbing my back. I sigh, letting my tears run silently into her big chest. I don't hic or let out any embarrassing whining noises. It would be unbecoming of a lady.

    I let Yuuzu go after a moment, and suddenly Elijah is there behind her. I gasp reflexively and my chest ache returns.

    What is wrong with me!?

    "Rishya-chan, Are you..." He begins.

    "Shut up! I am perfectly fine! It's not your concern! I was just relieved over Yuuzu!" I storm at him.

    He visibly deflates as if just slapped him. I feel my chest twist tighter at this. Why!?

    He takes a breath, smiles, and says "That's good then. I'm happy it all worked out."

    He pats me on my shoulder, and then he turns and walks back over to where Aria is. She has a wry smile, and then also turns away. My chest pain only intensifies and my shoulder itches.

    This douchebag! He is so inconsiderate!

    But he did save Yuuzu. And Aria. And even me.

    I almost crumple on the spot, but Yuuzu holds me again.

    "Are you truly just grateful? Or do you like him?" Yuuzu whispers to me.

    "W-what is there to like!? He's an irredeemable pervert! I hate him!" I snap at her in a restrained hiss.

    "And yet you didn't want him to hear you say that?" She grins. I suddenly hate her as well.

    What is wrong with me...?

    I was supposed to be objective! Aria is clearly in love with that horrible man! And I...

    What kind of friend am I... all I can think about is...?

    Pressing my chest against him like that one time and whispering under my...

    NOOOOOO!

    It hurts. My head is blank. My hand holding Michael burns like I was putting it in a furnace.

    I squirm and feel feint, but Yuuzu holds me like a vice.

    "Rishya..." Yuuzu suddenly says. She... she is so serious.

    "You cannot hold this back. Your spirit. It will kill you." She continues, her voice urgent.

    My tears keep falling and my legs buckle.

    "B-b-b-but... I n-need... to be... s-strong... I-I need... to... protect... Aria f-from him!" I grit my teeth as I hiss. Pain wracks me all over.

    "Isn't the best way to protect her from him not to take him for yourself?"

    Yuuzu kills me.

    She might as well have slipped a knife right down my throat.

    My resolve was truly paper thin after all, was it?

    Why!? Why does that idea fill me with such sinister joy?

    Am I... jealous!?! Why!?

    What is wrong with me!

    What is wrong with me...?

    Ah.

    Nothing is wrong.

    I just love Elijah.

    My heart explodes. But for some reason, it stops hurting. I stop quivering and squirming, my back straightens, and I find my feet suddenly.

    Michael suddenly erupts with power as well. I feel a rush of blood to my head as my heart thumps with new resplendent fury. It's intoxicating.

    "Sendervil loves people to love. The light is with you again." Yuuzu suddenly whispers, sighs in relief, and then lets me go.

    The sun comes up fully now. Rays of light suddenly shine directly in my eyes.

    The light is blinding. The future is terrifying. I am following a disgusting lolicon pervert into hell. I even have no chance of winning, do I?

    But I don't close my eyes.

    What a blind fool I am. It hurts. It hurts so much.

    But I will walk by his side.

    -----
    Poor Rishya... she only wanted to helpful to Aria.
    And yes... I think that light spirits can be a bit sinister as well...:blobspy:
    Also, no Friday chapter again, I know. They might be missed on the run up to Xmas, as I am very busy at work.