Rewrite Chapter 28.4: Imperious Burn!


A note from Scottf14

Welcome back! A little longer than yesterday. :)

Shara sat a little too close to Scott on the couch while they engaged in the time honored tradition of making friendship bracelets. The materials available were actual jewelry quality, sterling silver wire and semi-precious gemstone beads.

Scott held up a ruby bead and admired it in the light. Shiny and clear, no doubt man-made it still held a strangely natural seeming luster that caused him to wonder at its origin. Was Shara secretly wealthy? He lived alone as well, but her house was an actual house and not an old warehouse renovated into a habitable residence. It was a bit hard to accept that she would be able to afford so much house on an entry-level retail salary. She clearly earned money in some other way.

Proud of her accomplishment, she held up a small beaded bracelet and showed it to him. It winked red, blue, and gold in the light. "See. Friendship!"

"How does it show friendship?" he asked her curiously.

A cutesy smile slipped across her lips. "See! The beads are red and blue because of our hair. The gold beads are our friendship value, so precious!"

"I see the red... but why blue for me? My hair is black with a tinge of red," said Scott.

Shara tittered slightly, "Oh, yeah... Your hair is black, huh?"

"Such a rarity for my Scott," she continued in an amused tone.

Scott quirked one eyebrow upward curiously, but she did not explain why her expression was so joyful. Her words made little sense. Other than once or twice in a desperate bid to stand out, he had never dyed his hair blue.

He went back to work on the bracelet that he wanted to craft. Since she seemed interested in a blue and red motif, he created several silver chain links with the tools available then added three red, blue, and gold beads on each end. Between them, he chose to add several letter beads to create the word, 'besties'.

Scott finished up the bracelet then tested the links and clasp to see if they were solidly crafted. The sound of heavy breathing alerted him to something odd. Slowly, he turned to the side and then quickly drew back in shock. Shara's eyes were practically glued to the bracelet. Her mouth hung open slightly, a hint of drool at the corner.

It did not take long before her shocked expression and heavy breathing turned to an expression of growing excitement. A certain sparkle of light appeared in her eyes as she tore her gaze from the simple little bracelet and then reoriented on his face. "Scott..." she said with barely constrained excitement.

He coughed due to the awkwardness of the moment then lifted the bracelet and offered it to her. His face actually reddened slightly, as he had never given a bracelet like this one to a girl since he was a child. In fact, while he had given simple bracelets to Sonja, those were purely functional. The only girls he had ever given a friendship bracelet to were his sister, mother, and Shara back when he was a child. He did try to give one to his dad back then, but that entire memory was one long awkward pause followed by a pat of his head by a bemused father. "Yeah, uh... You can have this if you want it."

Fully expecting that she would snatch it from his hands, Scott was surprised to discover that she did not act with such aggression. If anything, she seemed almost terrified. The sparkle in her eyes intensified, but her hands began to tremble. She bit her lower lip a little then lowered her gaze. In a fit of over-the-top shyness, her face reddening to match the color of her hair, she reached out and gently took the bracelet in hand. "Scott... Thank you."

"Uh, yeah... It's, ah... yeah." He nodded once, coughed, and then began to work on another bracelet. A long awkward pause ensued while Shara gently held the bracelet in her hands, her face as red as a tomato.

Scott looked away from her while he worked. Her expression made him uncomfortable.

She clutched it to her chest for a moment then sighed softly. Eventually, she slipped it on her wrist then held it up to admire it. "Ah, that's interesting. The stats on this bracelet are not bad for a low level item."

"Stats?" Scott suddenly remembered the reason he wanted to make bracelets in the first place. He started to ask her to give him the bracelet for a moment, but she was far too enamored of it for him to try to wrestle it away from her. Instead, he opted to work toward creating a few simpler ones.

Scott crafted two chain bracelets then checked their status. His eyes lit up as he saw a rarity among the bits of status information provided. The quality level was standard. Though the other stats varied.

Silver Chain Bracelet

Equipped: --

Weight: 0.21

Life Force Cost: 2

Level: 3

Accessory Type: Bracelet

Armor Class: 2

Quality: Standard

Agility Reduction: 0

Durability: 19/19

Hardness: 7

Equipment Requirements

CHR: 11


Bonus Armor Class: +2

Special Options

Improve Disease Resistance: 0.01

Improve Poison Resistance: 0.05

It was probably a high-end outlier given his current skills and status. The tools did not have stats, but they definitely made the crafting process easier. There were many factors involved in the fact that he had crafted two standard quality items.

Curious, he opted to try and combine them. Both items had visible stats, and that should theoretically make them viable for synergy.

Shara stopped marveling at her proof of friendship for a moment when Scott began to use his power of synergy. The two bracelets in his hand began to glow. Sweat beaded up along the sides of his forehead then slipped downward as he exerted himself greatly. In the end, the two items flowed together and became a ring.

Silver Band

Equipped: --

Weight: 0.07

Life Force Cost: 4

Level: 2

Accessory Type: Ring

Armor Class: 2

Quality: Standard

Agility Reduction: 0

Durability: 21/21

Hardness: 7

Equipment Requirements

CHR: 12


Bonus Armor Class: +2

Special Options

Improve Disease Resistance: 0.10

Improve Poison Resistance: 0.25

"The stats aren't much, but it's something... I wonder how much life force it can hold?" It had been a while since he did much with his Arcane Ring Mastery skill. The ability to draw mana from the environment was far stronger than the ability to store his life force inside of a ring.

Scott focused his thoughts then made a connection with the ring. Slowly, he filled it with the essence of his life. "Eight points?" It was certainly better than the grass rings, though as long as there was mana that he could generate through the environment it wouldn't amount to much.

"Hmm?" asked Shara in a cutesy tone.

"Ah, this silver band can hold eight points of life force. Seems better than the grass rings that I make. It also helps the wearer to resist poison and disease slightly." Scott eyed the ring once more then nodded. "Synergy fodder, or something to sell I guess?"

"Oh! If you want to sell it, sell it to me?" asked Shara in a cheerful manner.

"Sure. I'll sell you a ring made out of materials you gave me," he said with a laugh.

"I'm serious. You do realize something like that is worth a fortune right now? Right?" She poked him playfully in the arm.

"Yeah, but I have to wait until some future update before I can openly sell stuff like this or it's my ass." Scott grunted in annoyance as he fully recalled that restriction. Nothing prevented him from openly making and selling items to the general public. It was simply that the so-called administration would take umbrage and smite him or something.

Shara was the only relatively normal person whom knew his secret. Sonja was from the dream world, and Ashton was a business fox.

"Well, since you're interested in paying for it... How much do you want to pay?" asked Scott.

Shara made a big production out of the situation for a moment. She tilted her head back slightly, placed her index finger to her lower lip and looked upward. "Uhm... let's see..."

She rattled off the general value of the silver, which was not as much as one might expect given the fact that it was made of a thin wire gauge. The status of the item on Earth, however, was priceless. In the end she said a number.

Eyes wide Scott shook his head. "There is no way I would let you pay that much, even if you could."

Shara placed a hand lightly to her lips and laughed beautifully. "Oh, my precious little Scott... You have no idea."

"You're right. I don't. I also won't. This took me like five minutes to slap together, and I used stuff you let me use." Scott shook his head. "I don't want charity, Shara."

She laughed at him once more. "Fine. How about... Hmm. One hundred dollars and a kiss? Call it cost of labor."

"Five minutes is worth a hundred dollars?" he asked her with a bemused expression.

"When it's used to create a unique item that exists nowhere else in this world?" She leaned forward. "I'll buy it just for the other thing mentioned if you want..."

Scott looked into her eyes for a moment. Despite the confident amusement she tried to project, there was a certain nervousness in her gaze.

Briefly, he flirted with the idea of accepting her offer of a kiss and some money for the ring. However, there was a problem. While he had become more capable of ignoring the voices in his head on most days, they rose to a feverous hateful chorus in that moment. They insisted that if he accept such an offer that he would be the worst kind of trash.

He fought back inside his mind, tried to silence those voices. They became more aggressive. Soon they overwhelmed his senses. It became difficult to see or even to hear properly. Much like how the memory of a bright light might temporarily affect a man's vision, his sense of hearing and sight began to fade away.

In an act of extreme will, he tore free of their screaming cacophony. It took all of the strength that he could muster in order to speak to her in a calm and gentle tone. "You know I can't do stuff like that, Shara..."

She looked into his eyes for a moment. Something happened, something that he did not expect. The nervousness in her gaze disappeared. She leaned forward and stared at him, no through him. Her eyes narrowed, and her lips quirked into a frown briefly before her expression became flat. Shara reached out and took his face into her hands then leaned forward and kissed him on the forehead.

He nearly tore away from her grip due to the hateful nature of the voices inside his head, but something odd happened. They stopped. The hate filled voices disappeared completely. At least, for a brief moment. As though they had been muted, and the volume was slowly turned up from the lowest setting, they returned in time.

Relieved to be free of the forces tearing at his psyche, and lost in the moment, he did not hear something that Shara whispered. "So, that explains it all."

"I expected something, but not this..." Shara leaned her forehead against Scott's forehead. He closed his eyes as a moment of peace descended on him once more. Though, his face lost all trace of tension, hers became a furious mask. Hot tears tracked down her cheeks as she realized that someone, somewhere, was playing a terrible prank on her Scott. Such a thing could not be allowed to stand.

"Hey Scott..." she whispered softly, "You know I'm a Go— ninja, right?"

"Y-yeah," he whispered softly. "You dress like one anyway."

"If you don't want me to pay you to buy that ring.... How about you use it to contract my services...?" she suggested.

"What do you mean?" he asked without moving away.

"Hire me as something of a bodyguard, for instance. I'd be obligated by contract to protect you and your interests..." she answered gently.

"Shara. You take this ninja thing all the way, huh?" he asked, a slight tremor of laughter in his voice.

"It's my second favorite thing," she replied candidly. "So, will you officially hire me?"

"Sure," he said with a snort.

"Offer me a contract..." she pressed.

"Shara..." he said softly.

"Humor me, please?" she asked him gently despite the cold fury etched into her face.

"Shara I'll give you this silver band if you'll come work for me as my bodyguard," he said in a sleepy tone. It had been ages since he had felt such warmth and been so relaxed.

She pulled back from his head then looked him in the eyes. "Contract accepted, Scott."

He balked slightly at first when she leaned in, but when her lips gently pressed against his the expected screaming voices that should have appeared inside his head did not appear. He felt only the soft warmth of her pliant lips. Slowly, his eyes closed and tears welled up in the corners of his eyes. Another true moment of peace descended upon him. Though he knew not where such moments were coming from. He accepted them gladly.

She drew him into a hug, even as her cold and furious mask shifted to a calculating expression. Shara Ardent, mild mannered childhood friend and her alter-ego the Crimson Sharde, had work to do. Someone had messed with her Scott. That someone would be made to answer for it.

A note from Scottf14

If you like this story, try other stories by ScottF14:

Stories on Amazon

Origin ARS Galactic Fist of Legend Freelance Saga | Galataea Crystallim Core | Tactical Phantasia (KU)

Earth Tactics Advance | Realmstrider (KU)

Stories on Royal Road

Monster Girl Focused LitRPG Battle Harem Adventures

Freelance Saga | Galataea Crystallim: Redux | Nocturne | I Hate You Master

Apocalyptic LitRPG Adventures

Blackthorne | Earth Tactics Advance

Alternate World LitRPG Adventures

Origin ARS | Pink Sugar Apocalypse | Fear Rune - The Abandoned Realms

Death Game LitRPG Action Adventures

Galactic Fist of Legend

Modern Day LitRPG Adventures

Impossible Devices

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Gelcube @Gelcube ago

Oho! Shara's all fired up! I think somebody's going to get smashed. And Shara's one step closer to getting into Scott's growing harem. So, you know, win-win!

kain01able @kain01able ago

My fucking good, what did other scott to get so much transdimentional attention?

oridesu @oridesu ago

ooo, are the voices going to get solved or stopped in the rewrite? it was good in the orignial but i found it kinda odd that shara dispite being a god etc couldnt figure out that someone was messing with scott or at the very least find a way to block the voices/ find who did it. look forward to seeing where you go with it this time.

Magoo @Magoo ago

Glad we're up to this point again.


flopezr2018 @flopezr2018 ago

Wow this is a big change from the original version, a change for the better in my opinion.

MInsanity @MInsanity ago

So it looks like that dark lord that wants to turn the "Dragon Queen", if we can call her that, into a pet, is about to get a VERY nasty surprise, XD oh I am going to enjoy seeing that conniving thief of a bastard who would hold all the dragons hostage to force their queen to serve him, and correct me if I am wrong, but isn't this Scott supposed to be hinted at as the current Messiah or whatever, the one that is their lord returning, that is being targeted with nightmares and hellish voices because he happens to resemble the focus of the Fat Scott balad or whatever was being sung? I remember something about that in some earlier chapters, cant remember which one though, but it is one of the rewrite chapters.

And wasn't there something about some elfs/dark elfs earlier, one being a kidnapped and chained child he helped rescue that wants Scott as her future mate as a result afterwards while the other elf/dark elf was the mother of the rescued child, both being from a powerful familiy from across different planes of existence or whatever?

Half temtped to just read from he beginning of the rewrite for a refresher for my memory. Though if I do that, I will need to edit this comment to be more accurate so to speak.


Roxt @Roxt ago

Thanks for the chapter!

While coming out of work tonight, I let out a furious belch. 'That was nice, but not award winning' I thought to myself. *sniff* *sniff* 'Why do I smell burning hair? I becoming a dragon?!?' An odd feeling of pride rose in me as I walked to my car... and now we all know why I dont write anything.