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I noticed two children standing behind the man, who was suddenly turning red with anger. They flinched away from him, and I realized they had metal collars around their necks as well. They looked like twins, with their green flax looking high water pants, white linen button shirts, and brown caps. Both had brown leather messenger bags on their left hip and over their right shoulders, and small sheathed daggers on their right hip.

<Owner> “Don’t tell me I spent two million Leet for a sword arm with no equipment!” The man bellowed in my face, spittle flying out and at me. That’s strange… I don’t normally dream about things that gross me out.

<Kyuu> “I’m not a swordsman, thief, assassin, sorcerer, knight, archer, or any of those things. The only spell I can cast has no use at present, nor is it likely to be useful in your lifetime. I’ll show you.” My tone could almost be considered mocking, but he did just spit in my face, and I’m invincible in my dreams. While thinking this, I realize I don’t know how to cast my spell. While thinking about my spells, a window pops up in front of me, with the spell labeled “Anchored Moment”. I activate it, thinking about the very beginning of this dream. After all, if I can redo it all, maybe it won’t turn out so weird next time.

<Owner> “DON’T SCREW WITH ME!” The man screamed as he rocked his arm back. He punched me square in the mouth and broke out a tooth. It hurt. A lot. My whole face contorted around his fist and my neck jerked to the side. My feet left the ground from the momentum, and I spun away from him, landing hard on my back a few feet away. My vision turned red, and flashing. The strength left my body, and I spit blood and tooth out.

<Owner> “Oi! You can’t even take one punch before going critical!? I’m never getting my money back! ARGH!! Reena! Lola! Take this loser to the warehouse and give him a weapon. We’re going to the dungeon to see if he isn’t completely worthless!” With that, the man stormed out of the area.

At his command, the two children rush towards me and help me up. One of them holds their hand to my face and white light appears around her fingers as she calls to me “Blessings of the Sun, ruling star of our world, grant your benevolent light to the wretched masses! Minor Heal!”. My vision turns clear again, and I get the strength back in my legs. So this is what going critical is like? I suddenly feel bad for all the times I played the characters that did more damage when they were low on HP. I’m still a little shaken up from being walloped, but I stand straight, and try to finally look around. The building I originally thought was a coliseum was at best a large arena with high columned walls. The center of the area was raised with stone cubes, forming a fighting ring about fifty feet wide and long.

<Lola> “We have to go now, or the owner will get angry. Please follow us, big brother.” One of the children told me with a girlish voice. Until they spoke, I couldn’t tell, but they both seem to be girls of about 14.

<Kyuu> “Big brother huh? How cute, kids.”

<Reena> “Big brother is only a little older than us, but he talks like an old man offering us candy.” One girl said to the other. Hearing what they said, I guess that they must not be human, and live extra long lives to be only a ‘little’ younger than 30 but still look 14.

<Kyuu> “Well, I’m getting to be pretty old. I’m allowed my old man jokes and sayings, right?”

<Lola> “Old man? Big brother is surely only fifteen or so, right?” I look down and realize that my stomach flab was missing. Right! I’m in a dream. I keep forgetting. Wait… I’m not into little girls. This isn’t one of ‘those’ dreams is it? I might just have wake up if that’s the case.

Looking up, I see that the girls had already led me away from the coliseum, and towards a building with no windows.

<Lola> “This is the boss’s warehouse. Pick out a weapon you’re comfortable carrying. We’ve got a long day ahead of us, big brother. Reena and I still have most of our summoning price to pay off, so the owner doesn’t let us come out until we’ve collected a bunch.”

To be honest, I don’t care what weapon I get. I’m just itching to fight some monsters. Though, I’m a little appalled by my dream for having me fight alongside two small, sweet kids. I step into the room, and wonder “How do I know what is good or not?” as I’m picking up a one-handed, broad bladed short sword. This looks like a Roman sword… what were they called again? Spatha? Gladius? Eh, whatever. One of those. I’ll take it.

<Kyuu> “I don’t see any armor or bags.”

<Lola> “Only slaves who buy their own wear armor. If you buy armor, you aren’t paying off your debt with that money. We bought our own bags, but we’ve never put materials in from the dungeon anyway. It was a waste.”

<Kyuu> “How much do you two owe?”

<Reena> “We didn’t have any skills when we were summoned. The total cost was 3000 leet.” I heard that term earlier. Leet must be the currency here.

<Kyuu> “What!? Why the heck was he complaining about me costing two million leet then? How long have you been enslaved, how much do we earn in a day, and what is up with that difference?”

<Lola> “To be honest, we were hoping since you cost so much, you’d be able to blow through the hard stages of the labyrinth and we’d be able to pay ourselves out of slavery. But since you were commanded to tell him what skills you possessed, and you still told him none, we’ve been pretty let down. I’ve only been to our summoning and yours, so I can’t say which of us is unusual. I think our cheaper price is more common though, since we only make about fifty leet a day, and I’ve heard of slaves being freed after a couple months. Two months in the labyrinth won’t make anyone two million anything. We’ve been working in the labyrinth for a month already.”

We come up on a stone arch in the middle of a plaza full of armed people and food stalls. The clanking of a hammer on an anvil is heard nearby. A water-like ripple can be seen in the arch, like it was the smooth surface of a pool that had a stone thrown into it.

<Reena> “Let’s go. If we get in quick, we can avoid talking to the owner. He’ll just get mad again anyway. Party formation! Leader Reena. Add Lola! What’s your name, anyway big brother?”

I get to give myself a cool new adventurer name maybe? Probably not. I wonder how I can view my own information? If I can name myself, I’d like to give myself something more appropriate for the dream. My real name is awfully common, and not really all the great for a swords and sorcery adventure. Like if you ever were playing a serious rpg and your MC was named “Pete”, you’d think it was a horribly boring name for your bad-ass sword-wielding ninja samurai warrior priest. It’s be like naming the most famous wizard in the world something like “Harry”… oh wait.

At that moment, a window popped up in front of me again, like before with the spell name. It showed

[Name: //Unset

Class: Level 1 Time Wizard

EXP : 0/10

Age: 15 (30)

HP: 10 MP: 10 STR: 10 AGI: 10 VIT: 10 INT: 10 MND: 10

Spells: Anchor Moment (10 MP), Recall Moment (3000 MP)

Equipment: Chipped Gladius (+4 stabbing/slashing)

Leet: 0

Debt: 2,000,000]

How to set my name… how about “Set Name: Kyuu”. I always named my rpg dudes this, so I might as well stick to it.

<Kyuu> “My name is Kyuu. Please add me.”

<Reena> “Took long enough to decide big brother. I asked like two minutes ago and you’ve just been standing there like a statue. Party Formation! Add Kyuu!” Reena shouted the last bit, and I felt… how to describe it… a connection to my party members. It’s difficult to put it, but it’s like I just knew where they were, and what their condition was like it was my own body. Very strange.

<Lola> “Let’s go! First floor!” Lola called, running into the ripples of the stone arch.

<Reena> “First floor!” Reena followed suit, running in behind her.

<Kyuu> “Alright, lets go fight some monsters! This is literally what dreams are made of. First floor!”

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A note from KyuuSyron

Fun Fact: Labyrinth is derived from the Minoan word “Labrys”. It means double-axe, or two-headed axe. There was a famous structure in Minoa that was called the “House of the double-axe”, that was quite maze-like. Since the double axe was used there by priestesses to sacrifice bulls, scholars believe these all tie together to form the myth about the minotaur that lived in a maze.

Why are labyrinths called ‘dungeons’? They have nothing to do with imprisonment, or torture. Those are the two words that spring to mind when I think of the European ‘dungeon’. I’d think that perhaps its just a cultural issue, except that in other languages it would just be translated to their equivalent of ‘medieval prison underneath a castle’.


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KyuuSyron

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