"W-what the hell are you doing?!" Dartanion exclaimed, disgusted. He was tied to a table, wearing nothing but his T-shirt and underpants. A mysterious masked man with long, spiky brown hair towered over him, trying furiously to pull his shirt off.
The man jumped, backing away with his gloved hands up. "Er, it isn't what it looks like."
"I do not associate with men. The heart of a gentleman belongs to ladies alone. Touch me again and I will be forced to unleash my power." Dartanion knew, somewhere deep in his mind, that he had no 'secret power' to unleash, and was really just bluffing based on his own delusions. Although technically, he still didn't know his Unique Skill, so...
"Listen, man... You know what? Screw it. Hugo, can you remove the Soulbind from this shirt?" The man was clearly frustrated.
"You... Are you from Earth?" Dartanion inquired.
"Sure am. But you won't have to worry about that for long," he replied. "We're going to kill you, after all."
A giant of a man clad in ominous-looking black armor ducked under the doorway as he lumbered into the room. "Understood, Lord Brian. The Master may not be pleased with my doing it for you, though."
"Y-you're going to do what?" Our hero gulped.
"Kill you," said Brian. "As a sacrifice. That fucking weeb of a Master had better come through with this plan of his, or I swear I'll-"
"Did you just say weeb?" Dartanion interrupted. "There is nothing wrong with being interested in Japanese culture. In fact, I myself will be moving to Japan one day. Just because I watch anime, own an extensive manga collection paid for with my mother's money, and have my very own harem of body pillow waifus doesn't mean I'm a weeaboo."
"Oh, god, you're one of them too. Now I really am going to kill you. It's a real shame that shirt of yours gives you enough armor to defend against something as powerful as a Spirit Spear. The rest of your equipment is pretty monstrous as well. Why is it all so overpowered?"
"I-it's because I'm a chosen hero, here to save the world. That's the point of being reincarnated, after all."
Brian cringed. "Honestly, why does everyone who gets reborn here have such a big fuckin' head about all this? I'm level 73, with a rare class, and you don't see me eating my own ass over it."
Meanwhile, Hugo was beginning to cast his magic. The spell was called [Soul Break], and was a way of forcibly breaking a soul bond between a user and an item. It was not a common spell, as it was part of Soul Magic, one of the most powerful and rare types. With a wave of his hand, the huge man cast the spell.
A surge of glowing blue energy poured into the Cursed T-shirt of the Gamer. An incredible amount came from the armored man's hands, and it looked almost as unnatural as a lake being poured into a water balloon that for whatever reason did not fill up at all. In essence, nothing happened. On top of that...
Spell Gained: [Soul Break]
Through your Unique Skill, you have gained the ability and knowledge required to freely cast this spell.
Description: Attempts to nullify the effect of the 'Soulbound' enchantment.
Dartanion felt a surge of adrenaline rush through him. So he had that type of ability...
"W-what? [Soul Break] didn't work?" Hugo recoiled in shock.
Dartanion stared in awe. "Just as I planned," he said, his voice quavering. "This shirt is indestructible. With the powers of this eye, I have protected it." He had assumed his eye was glowing or something, the way it would in an anime or whatever, but it was just normal, and he looked like an idiot.
"Oh, my god, is he for real?" Brian groaned. "Can we just suffocate him?"
"No." Hugo replied sternly. "In order for the ritual to be successful, the sacrifice must be stabbed with a Spirit Spear."
"Whatever. Call the Master. That weeb is as overpowered as they get, he'll be able to handle this." Brian threw his mask on the ground, shattering it. "Screw this role-playing bullshit." He stalked off without a further word.
Hugo sighed. "He will not be pleased..." He held his head in one hand for a few seconds before sending a [Mind Message] to his master once more.
Hugo: Master, Brian and I were unable to undo the powerful enchantments of his armor. We require your assistance, if you would be so gracious to grant it.
Buttering up the Master was always the best way to deal with things. The armored giant felt a bead of sweat drip down his face under his helmet as he awaited a reply.
Elvis: Fiiiine. >:I Gimme a sec tho! I'm arranging my collection~
Hugo sighed. The Master was obviously discontented, but not to the point of anger. It seemed he was in luck.
"Who is this Master, exactly?" Dartanion asked.
Hugo shuddered. "He is an eccentric man... But one who wields great power. Some have named him the most powerful of any of those who've been reincarnated. On top of that, he was one of the first."
"One of the first people to be reincarnated? How long has he been here for, then?"
"Nearly thirty years. Despite that, though, Master's appearance has never changed."
Dartanion felt a pang of jealousy, or maybe it was insecurity. Someone way more powerful than him, and on top of that, he was probably immortal if he'd never aged. And he had powerful servants...
It seemed that our hero's 'main character' complex would do nothing but grow after his arrival in this world.
Just then, a small child stalked in through the doorway. "Haiiiiii," he said, dragging out the word. He looked to be no older than eight, and had long blonde hair with glowing red eyes similar to those of Hugo. Despite being so young and wearing fake cat ears on his head, he radiated an aura of power.
The kid walked up to the table Dartanion had been tied to without another word, and touched the shirt with his left hand. "Hmm..." Blue light started to shine from it as he tried to use Soul Magic to dispel the defenses of the shirt. He stayed like that for nearly five minutes with no visible results.
Dartanion broke the silence. "It seems you are a man worthy of my respect. A fellow enthusiast of Japanese culture, as well as a powerful user of magic." He scratched his neckbeard.
The kid's magic faded. "Really?~ You like anime too?" He beamed.
"As would any man of culture. I was a volunteer professional anime critic for quite some time." Dartanion said.
"Well, in that case, I can't just kill you! You're nakama!" The kid waved his hand and all of the ropes snapped.
Spell Gained: Soul Manipulation
Description: Harness aspects of your own soul to manifest phenomena in the physical world.
Somewhere down the hall, a shiver went down Brian's spine. Instinct told him that something especially cringe-worthy had happened from the room he'd just left.
Dartanion went wide-eyed. He didn't know how to cast spells, but it seemed that he really would be able to replicate any spell he laid eyes on.
"So what's your name?" The kid asked, replacing some of his words with Japanese and others with utter nonsense. "I'm Elvis."
Dartanion got to his feet, not bothering to thank Elvis, much less ask for some pants. "My name is Dartanion Fischer. I am a man of elegance and grace, and I am pleased to make your acquaintence."
"Hey, hey," said Elvis. "What abilities do you have, onii-san? What's your Unique Skill?"
"I am a low level as I am now, but my Skill allows me to copy magic from seeing it," he replied. Dartanion was personally not a fan of using Japanese words in English. He preferred to flex on others by showing off his impressive vocabulary and grammar skills.
"Seriously? Wow! That's amazing, big brother!" He said, half of the words in Japanese. "Wanna work for me, then?" A greedy glint shone in the kid's eye.
"My apologies," said the man standing around in his tighty-whities. 'I will not work under anyone. It is simply a moral of mine." He stroked his beard.
"Oh... Well, that's too bad. I guess I can find someone else to sacrifice." The kid now seemed completely disinterested. "Hugo, you can take him back to the city if he wants to go back."
"M-master, aren't you deciding on this a bit too quickly? With powers like yours, you could force him to work for you like you do with myself and Brian." Hugo tried to reason with Elvis.
"That's no fun. He's only level 1, anyway. Not strong like you two. And he isn't powerful enough to be worth the ritual, either." The young master was completely dismissive. "Take him back."
"W-wait." said Dartanion.
"Oh? Have you decided to take me up on my offer?" The kid raised an eyebrow, half his words in Japanese.
"Don't be shy! I'll accept you into my party at any time!"
"No, it isn't that... Can I have my pants back?"
"Oh, those..." Elvis looked kind of regretful. "The truth is, I incinerated them."
Dartanion was shocked. "Y-you did what? What about the rest of my clothes?"
"Hmm, well, the coat, shoes, and socks didn't fit me either so I got frustrated and just burned them away," The kid smiled. "But you forgive me, right?"
Dartanion was certainly not mature enough to forgive him, but he managed to keep his mouth shut. He'd just lost his biggest advantage in this world. "What about my hat? My fedora. It's vintage."
"Ehhh? But I kind of liked that hat... Why don't you just let me keep it?"
Dartanion gripped him by the shoulders, his face red with anger. "That hat is mine. I won't let you keep it. Give it back right now, or I'll-"
"You'll what?" Elvis said, smirking. "Kill me?"
"No... I'll tell the guards."
"Ha! Baaaaka. Like the guards can do anything. They've been too afraid to come after me for twenty years now. They won't give half a shit if you say I stole some stupid hat."
"In that case, I'll just k-kill you myself." With a thought, Dartanion activated [Soul Manipulation]. The method for activating a spell mentally was similar to how the [Status] was brought up.
He had successfully done it on his first try, but the problem was that he had no idea how to actually use the spell.
"Are you an idiot?~" asked Elvis, smirking. "If you use that wrong, you can just yank your soul out of your own body. If that happens, you could die. In fact, you are already dead." The last part was entirely Japanese, and Dartanion could feel his consciousness start to fade.
Spell Gained: [Soul Command]
Exert the power of your soul to attempt to completely dominate another soul and force it to do your bidding.
"Y-you..." Dartanion, completely out of options, activated his newest spell. He cried out in pain as the effects from using the remaining 90% of his mana pool at once took their toll on him, and his head exploded in pain.
"Kill him." came his command, his eyes locked with Hugo's glowing red orbs.
He felt next to no resistance, like a car running over a pebble. And just like that, a glowing blue spear materialized in Hugo's shiny black gauntlet. Before either of them could react, Hugo drove the spear into his own heart. His glowing eyes slowly faded into complete darkness.
He'd been trying to make Hugo attack Elvis, but that worked fine, too.
The effect that was making Dartanion feel like he was going to pass out suddenly disappeared, as though hands choking him had suddenly left.
"Hugo!" Elvis cried, kneeling at his side. "Don't worry, I'll save you... I just have to patch you up a little..." Teary-eyed, he put his hands together over the fallen giant's midsection. Blue light washed over the two of them, and the glowing red light started to return to Hugo's eyes.
Dartanion was not going to miss this chance. He forced himself to his feet despite the incredible headache plaguing him, and managed to make it out of the small stone chamber into the doorway Elvis had originally come from.
It was made of dark grey stone just like the room he'd already been in, the light of the torches turning it golden. His head felt like it weighed a hundred pounds as he walked, and the fear pulsing through him was the only thing moving him forward.
That kid was cute on the outside, but his level of power was terrifying.
I could beat him if I actually tried... thought Dartanion. I'm just taking a tactical retreat. That's right, this is all part of my plan!
Truth be told, he'd never had a plan. He was running away. Down a hallway he knew nothing about, in his tighty-whities.
Thankfully for him, though, Elvis wasn't coming after him. He continued for nearly five minutes before coming to a room. He opened the door, and his heart leapt.
Inside was one of the most impressive katana collections he'd ever seen. The swords, complete with sheaths, lined the walls, and rugs with recognizable anime characters covered the floor. And in the center of it all, was an ornate marble pedestal that held it. The Holy Grail.
Okay, it wasn't actually the Holy Grail, it was his stupid hat. But to him, it may as well have been. He ran across the room, cradling the untouched hat in his arms. Thank goodness it was safe. If anything had happened to it, he'd... he'd...
Probably still have run. But that wasn't the point.
Once he returned the Nice Guy's Fedora of the Arch-Sage to his head, the crippling headache he'd been suffering from vanished with the acquisition of plenty more mana.
The hat gave a hundred intelligence, which boosted spell learning speed and mana pool size; and two hundred wisdom, which decreased casting time and boosted mana regeneration. It didn't take long for his mana pool to start regenerating.
Curiosity about what else was in the room overcame his desire to run away, if only for a few seconds. Behind the pedestal was what seemed to be a curtain made entirely of sheathed katanas hanging from the ceiling. He gently pushed his way past it, ducking into the room behind it.
This part of the room was much darker. Anime statues and rugs filled the room, and to his left, there was a royal-style bed. There were tons of pillows and blankets. To be honest, Dartanion doubted he would see anything this comfy in this medieval world again. Much less a room this sophisticated and cultured.
So, he let his desire take over and jumped on the bed with a running head start. He thought he heard the sound of wood cracking as he landed, but it was probably nothing. He sighed as he sank into the soft, plushy mattress. But... what was that?
There was something... hard. Under the blankets, here. He tore the six layers of covers back to reveal what seemed to be the hilt of a katana.
He sleeps with a katana beside him? He is even more respectable than I thought. Still... Dartanion grabbed the black-and-gold sword, still sheathed in a very ornate scabbard. It was heavy, and almost three feet long in its entirety.
But what was an adventure in a world like this without a trusty, cool-looking sword? Conveniently attached was a belt that would allow him to hold the sword at his side while walking, or sling over his shoulder. The latter seemed cooler, and he wasn't wearing any pants, so he did just that.
He put his hands on his hips. Now I am a true warrior. The world shall know my name as a powerful warrior who is also a gentleman and would never do anything like imagine having a bunch of women all at the same-
"Disgusting! Don't you pollute my mind with such impure images, God! Go get some pants on, you weird sicko! And be a little more careful with me next time. I'm a powerful sword, you know?" An angry female voice with a British-sounding accent rang throughout his mind.
"W-what? Who are you? Where are you?" Dartanion asked, surprised.
"Just... please get some pants on."
"But, m'lady, I haven't the foggiest of where I might find clothing of that nature."
"Oh, drop the act. I can read your mind, you know!"
"Act? You are mistaken. I am a fine gentleman who is devoted to-"
"The third drawer down in the cabinet to your left. Just spare me the monologue and dress yourself first. I know how your types are. Then get us the bloody hell out of here before he gets back."
Dartanion sighed, and turned to find the cabinet. Sure enough, it was there, and he pulled open the third drawer from the top.
"These are clothes from Master Elvis's past sacrifices. You were lucky to survive. Even I..." She trailed off.
"You mean you were a sacrifice?"
"Indeed. I, like you, am from Earth. I lived in a country called England. I assume you're familiar with it, considering you're an American."
"Of course!" said Dartanion, slipping into a pair of XL jean shorts. "Everybody on Earth knows about the UK. Even if they have intelligence inferior to mine, and they've historically lagged behind the rest of the civilized world in terms of dental hygiene." He grinned at his witty joke, mustard-tinted teeth peeking out from between his thick, extra-chapped lips.
"...Whatever you say. Now get your ass in gear before Elvis comes back." He could feel her soul practically shuddering.
"I was gonna do that anyway." He promptly made his way over to the door, then continued down the hallway as fast as he could.
"Hey, by the way, what can I call you? Do you have a name?"
"...I do. I do not believe our alliance will last terribly long, though, so I'm not quite sure it matters."
"What do you mean?"
His question was answered as five throwing knives sailed past his head, one of them lightly grazing his ear. He jumped, seized by fear, and looked behind him.
There stood an incredibly handsome man dressed in well-fitted iron plate armor. Despite all the covering up, it was clear that he was a very muscular and physically fit man. He had medium-length blonde hair, bright blue eyes and nicely tanned skin. He gave a devilish grin as he started to unsheath two wicked-looking daggers from his belt.
"I've come for you, Amelia!" called the man in a powerful, charismatic voice. "Give me that sword immediately, fiend!"
Dartanion bristled with discomfort. This was exactly the type of man he hated.
"C-Chad! You came for me after all!" stammered Amelia, the spirit of the sword. "I knew you'd come! Oh, quickly, savior, please return me to my lover." She referred to Dartanion.
"Did you say... Chad?" he growled, trying to be dramatic, but his voice cracked on the 'a' in Chad.