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A note from MDW

This is a submission for 2018 NaNoWriMo. An alternate world where Grendel received the opposite power from what happened in the main story. Every time a random event is called for, a dice with a hundred sides (commonly known as d100 in RPG circles) is rolled by the author. The result of this dice roll is shown in curly brackets {xx}.

It is not required to read the other story to understand this one. Also keep in mind that the tagging of both is different. From this point on they will diverge greatly.

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Grendel laid unconscious in the clearing of the Death Willow Meadow. This ominous name came from the willows that grew there, trees with a poisonous sap that allowed only a selected group of creatures with poison resistance to live near its trunks. After defeating the B-rank adventurer party 'The Shining Blades' that were hired by the Baron of Mirfield to slay him, Grendel's willpower failed him and he went berserk.

Wounded and famished, the former Earth-born human reincarnated as a troll in this dark fantasy world committed what could be the most heinous sin an Earth human could think of. In his berserk state, he ate people. Consuming the flesh of people worked as a catalyst and unlocked one of his hidden abilities.

Skill  Human Consumption  unlocked.

Allows the acquisition of monster core points from slain people upon eating a sizeable portion of their flesh.

With low chances, allows the acquisition of special skills or jobs from the same source. This skill cannot be increased using SP.

 

You consumed the flesh of a human. 827 monster core points added. {88} You unlocked the 'Magic Swordsman' job.

You consumed the flesh of a human. 758 monster core points added. {72} You acquired the 'Taunt' skill.

You consumed the flesh of a human. 652 monster core points added. {77} You acquired the 'Fire Magic' skill.

You consumed the flesh of a human. 724 monster core points added. {62} You gained 0.4 points of agility.

 The legacy of Helmholtz the wielder of the legendary sword 'Shining Blade', Grant the knight, Thibaut the fire mage, and Trine the ranger, in the end, were reduced to this. They became food for a monster.

Grendel had a fateful encounter right after spawning in this world with the campsite of a rookie H-rank party of four adventurers hailing from the nearby town of Mirfield. Three of them ran away, but the fourth, a small blonde girl named Helen froze on her bedroll. At that time the former human felt no hostility toward the girl and eventually protected her from a pack of monstrous wolves that smelled her fear. The next day, that bond forged in adversity was put to the test as Grendel protected the girl from a poisoned arrow shot by the master of the local branch of the Adventurer's Guild.

The people of this world is able to survive only because of their walled towns built on sites with extremely low magical flux. There are no villages or hamlets. As monsters depend on ambient magic to survive, they avoid those places. The stronger the monster, the higher the magic level required to sustain it. This low magic site also protects the people from other threats way worse than monsters, but that is a subject better left for later. The exception to that are 'hybrids', the heinous offspring of the impure union between monster and people. Usually, these unions are between a male monster and a captive female of the people races. And this union is something that must be avoided at any cost, lest the frail house of cards humans hide behind crumble.

Failing to kill the girl, the Guild Master mounted a party to search for them, eliminate the monster, and either rescue or kill the girl. This expedition was partially successful. They made Grendel flee to the deeper woods northwest of Mirfield and they also recovered the girl. But distrust had already settled in. In their superstition and ignorance, the leaders of Mirfield decided to just lock away the girl in their stockades, fated to never be reintegrated to society.

But the threat of the troll lingered over the town like an executioner's scythe. In their imagination, now that the monster had sex with the girl he would seek out villagers tending the fields outside the town to sate its lust. They didn't care to find out if they had consumed the impure union or not, but they would be surprised to know the girl was still untouched by any sort of male lust. To solve this threat, the Baron used some of the meager town's resources to hire an elite party of B-rank adventurers, the 'Shining Blades'.

Expecting to find and kill a stupid and uncultured beast, they were ambushed and killed one by one by the schooled and smart former human knew in this world as Grendel the Troll.

And this brings us back to the meadow where the fight just ended. The remains of the four humans that Grendel did not eat were shared by the other monsters that he gathered around him. A troop of around fifty devil Monkeys monsters that looked like black-furred chimpanzees with long, sharp, and vicious claws and teeth and a crested naga called Shraaizar. She had the body of a serpent with a human-like head and humanoid arms attached to the upper portion of the snake body. It resembles a female human torso but there are no breasts or waist. Two rows of spiny frills run down from her head until the end of this torso-like portion. Her scales are light green and a few whiter ones, representing the kinds of magic she can use: Wind and Healing.

After finishing their shared meal the monkeys went on with their business while Shraaizar nested herself next to the sleeping troll, patiently waiting for his awakening. Three days went by in that idyllic but deadly meadow before Grendel woke up. The crested naga didn't move.

"Did I win?" He seemed confused. That was a battle to the death. Of course, he won if he was alive after the fact.

"You fought splendidly. It was an inspiring fight, better than the any before." Shraaizar's eyes sparkled. There were genuine admiration and devotion on those otherwise cold and mesmerizing snake eyes. She points at the place where the monkeys gathered all the equipment and baggage of the humans, "There are your spoils!"

"And the adventurers?" Fearful of the answer, Grendel asked timidly. At the back of her mind, he already knew the answer.

"They are all dead and gone. Don't worry. We shared the leftovers among ourselves. You slept for three days." With a friendly tone, Shraaizar dismissed his worries. Grendel grimaced at the word 'leftovers'.

Little by little his memory of the events returned. He remembered someone shouting something about Helen, the girl he met in the woods near the human town, "Did someone call the name 'Helen'??"

"I don't know, Grendel. I can't understand much of the human speech." The Naga could understand a couple dozen words of the people language that she picked up in her almost three centuries of life, but that was the extent of her proficiency.

Grendel sat and put an effort into remembering what happened. There was a catalyst to his berserk state. A shout. He remembered clearly the voice of a woman shouting something about someone wanting to sacrifice Helen during the coming equinox, a few days away. The effort was not without its toll. The already fragmented mind of the reincarnated human broke a bit more. He struggled and thrashed around, causing the naga to worry.

"Grendel, what is happening??"

Having recovered the entire memory of the incident, including the act of alleged cannibalism, Grendel let loose his anger and frustration in a heart-rending shout, "AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!"

Shraaizar could not let his friend hurt himself. She coiled herself around him and tried to constrict him. She was no match for a Troll's prowess but she was skilled in constricting prey. "Grendel! Keep your mind focused! Don't let go! Monkeys, help me hold him down!!!!" Even so, she had to ask for help from their monkey minions.

Eventually, his rage diminished and he regained control of himself. He looked at the naga with kind eyes and asked with a soft voice, "Shraaizar... Can I count on your loyalty?"

The naga responded with the same feelings. Her upper body swayed back and forth calmly, "Yes, Grendel. Why are you looking at the distance? Towards the human lands..." After a long pause, the experienced monster figured out what was happening, "Are you going on a journey? And we can't go with you, right?"

Grendel lowered his head. He needed to search for Helen. He needed to stop the sacrifice. And if everything else failed, he needed to avenge her. "Right. I am probably going to kill a lot of humans. But I can't take any of you with me. I need you to stay behind and manage the monkeys. Keep them safe so I have a place to return to."

She understood. From the stories Grendel told her about the time he spent with the human girl, added to the fact he was a former human, she understood that the girl held a special place in his heart. And that his mind would never be at peace if he did not act. She resigned herself and opened her own heart, "I do not like it, but I will do as you say. It is fine. You are a strange troll. Using tools. Wearing clothes. Talking about things I don't understand. And now there is something you need to do in the human realm."

Grendel stood up and looked southwest. In that direction, he could find the human town of Mirfield. "Yes. There are also many things from this world that I don't know. I must learn those. The humans won't let me go. And there is someone there I need to kill."

Shraaizar answered while going to the stash of stuff the humans brought,  "I want to see what will Grendel do to the world. I will do as you ask." She took a blue silk ribbon that they had found in the archer girl's things. "Tie this ribbon to my neck. This will be a symbol of our covenant."

Grendel took the ribbon and wrapped it with a beautiful bow around Shraaizar's neck. The naga felt vanity for the first time in her long life. Grendel didn't fail to notice, "You are really tame now."

She caressed the ribbon with her scaled fingers and ushered him on his journey,  "Don't joke... Go on your journey, Grendel. And return to us when you are in need of a place to stay. And kill lots and lots of humans for us."

Title Snake Charmer awarded.
Those that through friendly interactions obtained the unswerving loyalty of snake-kin.
Grants a higher chance of success with friendly social interactions with snake kin.

Grendel left Shraaizar and went to the pile of bags. He noticed there were more bags than humans, a sign that some other people were around. If his memory served him, the woman's voice he heard could well be from Marcy, Helen's redhead best friend. One of the bags had a lot of metal tools. Shovels, pickaxes. Not the kind of thing adventurers carried. He wondered if this was not a care package Marcy sent his way. Their contact was brief. Marcy was part of the rescue party the Guild Master assembled. They didn't even have time to talk, they only shared a few looks back and forth before Grendel pushed Helen out of her hiding place to what he believed would be a safer place with her fellow humans. He had no idea of the plans the Guild Master had for her.

While rummaging through the bags, he noticed something peculiar hidden on the other side of the bag pile, "A rat? With a collar?" He took the collar out and noticed some writing on the inside of the leather band.

Shraaizar approached Grendel and commented, "This rat was dead next to the willows. It had a human smell. You ordered all things with a human smell to be brought to you."

Grendel nodded and invested more Skill Points in the Human Language skill. In this world, creatures were aided by an RPG-game-like system that controlled status, levels, attack, and damage. As creatures killed each other and acquired Experience Points, shortened to Exp they would level up and earn among other things those Skill Points that could be spent at the creature's own discretion on any skills they had. He purchased level 5 of the skill to gain basic literacy. The System's power infused his mind with the knowledge of the language, and he could finally read the collar out loud,  “I belong to Helen, please take care of me.”

He cried. The careful handwriting looked girlish and the clothes in two of the backpacks belonged obviously to different females. The bust size was too different when he compared the underwear of both bags.

Before leaving with a bag filled with tools that he thought would be useful in his journey, he checked his status for modifications that happened during the fight. Several of his skills improved and he had a title that confirmed his suspicions. He was indeed a monster.

Title Man Eater awarded.
Those that are considered people and committed the taboo of eating several people.
Grants 50% more Exp from killed people.
If a human corpse is eaten, earns again as much Exp as the full kill

He left the Death Willow Meadow behind swearing vengeance on those that wronged him. He cursed the world, he cursed himself for committing taboo. He also swore to kill the Guild Master that attempted to kill the girl and now had locked her in prison.

His last vow was the most terrible of all. "A world without you, Helen, I'll kill and burn everything on it."

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Skills Earned from Magic Swordsman:

Skill Elemental Blade level 1 awakened.

Allows the user to imbue his weapon (not only a sword) with elemental powers. Level 1: Fire.

Skill Spell Parry level 1 awakened.

Allows the user to parry spells with his weapon.

Skill Magic Conductivity level 1 awakened.

User can cast spells through his blade, bypassing some of the target's resistances and delivering the spell on his next attack.

Skill Max MP Increase level 1 awakened.

Increases the MP pool by <level> x 25%

Skill MP Recovery level 1 awakened.

Increases MP recovery by <level> x25% and divides MP recovery tick timer by (<level> + 1)

Skill Staff-Blade level 1 awakened.

Increases the power of spells cast with imbued weapons by the same amount as a staff. Adds <level> x 5% to the spell's power.

Skill Tandem Casting level 1 awakened.

Allows the user to cast spells at the same time as a weapon attack with a slight delay and reduced accuracy. Penalties are reverted into bonus at the rate of <level> x 20%. ( -80% at level 1, at level 5 they are 0%, and at level 10 they are +100%)

Other Skills:

Skill Taunt level 1 awakened.

Allows the user to taunt a target, forcing that target to attack user exclusively. For monsters will also greatly increase the 'hate rating' for user.

Skill Fire Magic School level 1 awakened.

Allows the user to cast fire magic spells. Basic spell 'Firebolt' learned.

 


Grendel's Status:

 

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A note from MDW

Next update is November 1st, tomorrow. It will update every day until November 30th. After that who knows???

Please wait at least a week before rating this work here on RR.


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About the author

MDW

Bio: The author would like to reinforce for the umpteenth time that the characters' opinions are their own, may be intentionally wrong, do not reflect my (MDW's) personal viewpoints neither are included in this work to further any political agenda (I don't even live in the same hemisphere or country as you, whichever those are. I'm writing from the Earth-Sun L3 point for all I care). My works serve no purpose other than to tell stories with conflicting viewpoints. Use of the reader's critical sense is highly advised.

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