I’m awoken from a lovely dream involving ubiquitous indoor plumbing, a sexy game of beach volleyball, and me not being ten fricken years old by a blood curdling scream. I promptly turn over and try to go back to sleep.
Sadly, two more equally loud and fully curdled screams along with a “manly bellowing” of pain seal my fate of waking up far too soon.
‘It’s too early for this shit. The sun is barely up. Come back in eight to ten years when I’ve hopefully figured out how to get my magic working and can reach the damn cupboards properly.’
Another round of screams make it clear that whatever is happening is happening, now.
‘Ok, I get it already. Keep it down. Can you try to die horribly using your indoor voice maybe?’
I roll out of bed and into something resembling clothing.
‘I think my pants are on backwards and may also actually be a shirt. Oh well, good enough.’
I make my way to the kitchen wondering where my parents got off to and, more importantly, if there is anything for breakfast. As soon as I arrive though, I get a bad feeling as a plate of eggs is on the table along with a note.
‘Oh crap kadoodles. Really? They left a note? With early morning screams? This is going to turn out badly, isn’t it?’
I munch on the eggs while skimming the note and find out they went to work . . . at a merchant’s stall near the main southern gate . . . the same direction the screams are coming from.
‘Well, shit. I actually like them too. I best hurry. Those two really are pretty good parents, but they could get lost in a round room. Trouble just seems to find them. I suspect that this is somehow a karmic punishment for something, getting stuck bailing them out constantly.’
I shovel the last of my eggs into my mouth and start looking around the kitchen slash living room for some sort of weapon. I soon find that the only options are a short butcher’s knife and a very small hammer from the junk drawer.
‘Ah yes, the slightly sharp knife of mild food preparation and severe self injury. It’s good for plus one damage to the enemy. Infinite bonus damage if you can enter Yandere mode. Sadly, I can’t. But at least I found this oh so massive hammer of tininess. The good old junk drawer let me down. It is funny how every kitchen, stone age, bronze age, space age, old age always has a junk drawer.’
I make my way outside and follow the screams.
It only takes me about ten minutes of slight jogging while trying my best to resist the urge to just go back to bed to find a group of a dozen or so monsters furiously trying to make their way into Wolfgang’s smithy and a few munching on the screamers from earlier. The variety of monsters is almost impressive. No two are alike with a cat woman, a . . koala woman, maybe, some kind of black centaur, and several others. They are pulling at the broken remains of the front door while Wolfgang and his apprentices are furiously fighting them off with spears while trying to board up the door.
‘Ok, let’s hope this doesn’t go terribly. I have weapons at least. If only I was emotional enough to fall into Yandere mode . . . and also wasn’t freaking ten years old.’
I get into a protected position and manage to make eye contact with Wolfgang. His eyes go wide, but he doesn’t say anything. After a few moments, he makes a hand signal that I assume means something to someone and the spears suddenly pull back inside the shop.
The monsters take the opportunity and press in tight to the opening, grasping and flailing to get in. I then also take the opportunity to get closer for the attack.
As I’m crouched down and waddling towards them, a certain something catches my eye. One of the monsters, a wolf headed and fur covered one, holds a Skycutter. The blackened adamanthril blade suddenly fills me with a stupid amount of hope.
‘Hot damn. That stupid trainwreck of a spell actually worked. This is ridiculously perfect timing. Don’t worry little pointy stabby, murder friend, I’m coming. Even if you probably won’t have any mana either, at least your enchantments were made right and should last a few billion years. Now I’ll just need some mana and I’ll be golden, but one problem at a time. But maybe, just maybe the Dream Link in the the Skycutter’s enchantment core will work better than what I can do manually. One can dream at least.’
I creep toward the wolf woman hoping to liberate my dimension crossing sword before she notices. Sadly, she notices. A twitch of her nose is all the warning I get before she whips around and stares at me like a prime cut of beef.
‘Ok, I always forget how disconcerting being stared at like food is. I’m sorry cow friend, I’ll never stare at you like your are burger waiting to happen ever again . . . until I forget, then you are walking bacon wrapped fillets once again.’
The woman lets out a snarl and launches at me. I manage to duck under her rather poor swing and score a hit to her inner leg with my knife of minus one sharpness. She lets out a howl of pain and frustration mirroring my own groan at missing her artery.
Thinking to end the fight before it starts going downhill, I quietly say, “Command module theft protocol active,” in hopes to use the defense system of the sword against her.
Predictively, this world doesn’t cooperate and all I get for my efforts is the attention of two more monsters.
The koala woman from earlier turns away and tries to tackle me. When she misses, the wolf woman takes the opportunity to smack me in the temple with the large diamond in the sword pommel and drop me like a sack of bricks. I let out a very “manly bellowing” of pain as my head hits the cobblestones. I let out a slightly less manly screech as the crazy woman takes a large chunk out of my leg.
“Not so fun, is it boy? Don’t worry though, I’ll only eat a little and save the rest for later. If you taste good, I might even keep you around till we can mate.” The woman says with a raspy voice.
‘Anytime now Skycutter. You can shock the piss out of her whenever, like right fricken now before she tries to make a sorcerer sandwich out of me.’
As the woman bends down for another ounce of flesh, my amazing, wonderful sword finally cooperates. An underwhelming but effective jolt of electricity makes the woman drop the Skycutter onto the cobblestones while clutching her hand. Her head is still perilously close to my legs and my personal sword so I grab the Skycutter and plunge it into her left eye socket and deeper into her brain before she can properly react.
As the life leaves her eye, I barely see a thin stream of what looks like black and white dust come out of the wound, travel along my blade and then sink mostly into to me and a little into the large spherical diamond of the the sword’s control core.
The whatever it is feels odd as it soaks into the skin of my arm. It almost seems like I should be able to make it to . . .something, but each time I almost get control of it, it just floats away to hide somewhere else in me. It is both odd and frustrating, like squirrel.
‘This is . . . weird and, for me, that is really saying something. This feels kind of like Life Energy, but not quite. Of course it isn’t cooperating to any attempt to control it just like Life Energy. It’s just my luck to find some mysterious energy source and be completely incapable of controlling it despite it not being straight Life Energy.’
A tiny flash of purple light from the Skycutter’s core stops my complaints instantly as I realize the enchantment core managed to create a small but viable Dream Link. I send a mental query to the sword and find the Dream Link existed for ten nanoseconds and then failed. It did charge the sword up to a three ten thousandth of a percent of full at least.
‘Hot damn, again. Whatever that stuff was, it must have let the Dream Link activate even if it was miniscule. We might be back in business even if that business looks to involve a lot of killing.’
I try to make a small Dream Link myself and am finally met with success. The weird dust energy quickly flows through me to the Dream Point next to my heart and somehow provides stability to it. Though, as soon as I start to pull a modest amount of mana through the link, the strange energy burns away and the link’s built in protection closes it again.
‘Well, shit. At least I got some mana, woefully little it may be. I guess I’ll just have to clean up the rest of these monsters and then redefine what a “modest amount of mana” is. I’m almost afraid to try to pull any biomass through. That’ll probably fail spectacularly but I’m already tired of being a kid.’
Between the mana in the Skycutter and the little bit I gained, I manage to turn on the Electromagnetic repulsive force blade enchantment to give the sword some better stopping power and make up for the fact that my arms are like sticks.
‘Can’t beat a good old EM force blade. Infinitely sharp cutting edge goodness for the win.’
The koala woman makes the dubious decision to charge me again despite my blade glowing light purple. She once again misses and I take off her head for her efforts.
When her body hits the floor, it seems to wake the other monsters, even the ones snacking, to my presence and they charge me in mass.
‘Couldn’t you have waited till my leg isn’t leaking like a siv. I appreciate your eagerness to help me get a Dream Link going again, but a five minute breather would be good too.’
The monsters come at me like hungry, wild animals and it is all I can do to fend them off while hobbling with my leg. I cut hands, claws and legs of the dozen or more woman as they make a mad scramble to get ahold of me.
After a few seconds they back me close to a wall even though most of them are missing something or another. When one finally succumbs to a leg wound I gave her, I take the chance to break through their line. I use a little burst of mana to make a sudden flash of purple light and then I take a leaping tumble under a clawed arm and come back up swinging behind them. I quickly take out the blindly grasping women with several slashes and stabs to the guts and chests with one losing a head as she tries to sniff out my location instead of waiting for the flash blindness to recede, not that it would have helped.
‘That sucked, like a lot. My leg is killing me. Isn’t the saying “take a bite out of crime” not “take a bite out of a sorcerer”?’
The weird energy once again flows out of the monsters upto my sword and finally into my arm. It seems to flow out of their death wounds, along the ground, and then upto the tip of my blade with a little bypassing and flowing into my legs. Very odd.
I have little time to consider the oddity as I hear my parent’s friend Wolfgang say behind me in his deep and slightly raspy voice, “By the twins lad, how the hell did you do all this now?”
“No time Wolf, you know where my parents got off to? They aren’t hold up in there with you are they?” I say unintentionally letting a rare bit of worry leak into my voice.
“No, no they aren’t. They stopped by earlier talking about the gate market earlier. But lad, that is where this lot came from. You don’t want to go up there even if you did find some fancy sword. Do you even know how to use that thing?”
I give him a blank look then look to the disemboweled corpses around me and then look back at him blankly.
“Ok, I suppose you do though I have no idea how. I do know your parents wouldn’t want you going up there. Come on inside and we’ll wait out this mess till the guard gets here.” He says with worry written across his burly features.
“Sorry Wolf, can’t do that. My parents are good folks and I’ll be fine. Thanks for the tip though. Get back inside and fix that damn door!” I yell over my shoulder as I limp away.
As I walk and limp, I establish another Dream Link and this time pull the absolute minimum flow of mana through it. The link holds with only a miniscule amount of monster girl energy burning away per second. Unfortunately it is also a miniscule amount of mana.
Still, I use what I can and patch up my leg. I don’t have enough available biomass to replace the muscle really, so I have to work to redistribute what is there and fix the skin over it. I don’t have the time or mana to perfectly fix all the nerve endings, so it hurts like the dickens but works.
‘Yay, I have mana, an abysmally small amount of mana, but mana at least. I could probably make a ten watt light bulb, maybe. I guess it’s not all doom and gloom though. The link is pathetic, but at least I’ve recovered all of my primary memories from the vault. I also managed to find a Skycutter. I really am quite amazed that the multidimensional tracking spell I used to make it find me again actually worked. I’m also kind of amazed I planned that far ahead. I would have certainly preferred one of my traveling spacial rings, but beggars and chooser and all that jazz.’
I finish healing my leg from the quite annoying bite wound courtesy of the crazy wolf lady I just killed and walk normally, albeit still in pain, towards the remaining sounds of battle.
It doesn’t take long to arrive and see a not so great sight. One of the city gates has a hole in it four people wide. A group of monsters is inside battling it out with a very ragtag group of locals. A dozen corpses in guard’s uniforms explain why it is now blacksmiths and butchers fighting as opposed to spearwomen and archers.
‘Shit. Shit shitty shit shit. I already killed a dozen or more monsters. How damn many are there? They are basically wild animals before being “tamed”. How did they form a damn army? The better question is why the hell do I get myself into shit like this? I’m ten. Freaking ten. I’m basically powerless. I’m barely able to heal my own injuries and keep this Skycutter charged enough for a EM force blade. I guess when it rains, it pours. The least this universe could have done is send normal, ugly monsters at me. I could kill them all day long with no problems. As it stands I’m going to be sexually scarred. Why the hell do almost all of them have to be smoking hot? It really isn’t nearly as fun as it seems.’
I sneak around behind the group of monsters as I see the impromptu militia start to buckle. I push a little bit of mana into my newly found Skycutter and activate the submicron thick EM force blade enchantment built into it. Then I start the killing.
I stay low to the ground, which is pretty easy being ten and all, and run behind the largest knot of fighting. A quick slash through the black of the head with my sword drops a cat woman that was about to tear out a human woman’s throat. A slash through the side takes down what I think is a bear woman but could just be a hair monster. A poke through the heart ends a giant beetle bottomed lady. And so they drop like flies.
I put all of my three million years of sword experience and the effortless killing power my magic enhanced blade to work slaughtering the cute but murderous women in front of me. I send quick but deep cuts through stomachs, necks, and spines to drop them with the least effort possible as my ten year old body is really starting to feel the burn.
‘To think, I’m actually being efficient about my strokes not out of some adherence to mastery, but because my arms feel like they will literally fall off any moment now. Hopefully I get to sleep after this for a week, give or take a year or two.’
I somewhat mindlessly continue to work my way through dozens of monsters depending on my short stature and the monster’s tendency to be easily preoccupied to both keep me safe and make the killing easy. After several long minutes, only a few are still standing and I have gathered enough miasma from the fallen monsters to open another Dream link.
I concentrate for just a moment to connect to the heart of my power using the miasma gathering in my body to protect the link and avoid causing a mass extinction. I manage to get the link going, but it soon starts to strain against the Fabric of this Reality when I expand it to much more than a trickle.
‘Good news. I have more mana. I think I could even push a Time Dilation if I had to and perhaps a twenty watt light bulb. Bad news. My Dream Link is both tiny and the miasma is quickly getting burned away keeping it open. I don’t think I could even bring any biomass through it. I guess I’ll be stuck growing up normally. . . . This sucks Imaginary Listener-Kun. Sucks major donkey balls.’
As my Dream Link start to fizzle out, I shut it down early to conserve miasma. I look around and see the entire reason I’m out here. My parents.
I arrive just in time to take the head off of the alligator like woman who had eaten most of my very dead mother’s right leg, clothes and all. I then snap my sword around and stab another wolf woman like the one that took a bite out of me earlier as she stands over my father’s corpse seemingly trying to decide if she should eat him or try to mate him . . . somehow.
‘I’m sorry mother and father. You deserved better than this. I’m apparently a day late and two parents short. At least you died together. You two truly loved each other . . . and me despite my grumpiness. I hope you can rest in peace and find each other again.’
I focus on the two of them and the connection I felt they had and push a little of my power into them as I quietly say, “May your love always find each other and guide you to happiness. You have certainly earned it.”
A brief flash of light purple light fills my vision as I finish my impromptu blessing.
‘Ok, so objective one has failed. Now objective two is kill shit until I don’t feel as bad about failing objective one. This I can do. This I am quite good at. I definitely have more than enough practice at it.’
As if the multiverse is mockingly answering my desires, I turn towards the gate just in time to see a new, far larger group of monsters approaching at a run.
‘Yay . . . more of them. Just what I always wanted. It’s funny how the multiverse always seems to oblige when it is time to heap on the bullshit. I did just request more things to kill I suppose, but I wasn’t really thinking a small army. More like a squad or perhaps a monster girl scout troop. Man, I could really go for some thin mints right about now.’
The dull throb throughout much of my battered, miniature body makes me want to go home and sleep for a week, but the stark realization that the only thing holding the veritable army charging to the gates back is the fact the gates are still mostly closed by one, easily removed, bar makes me put one foot in front of the other, albeit slowly.
‘Once, just once, can’t someone else be the only one able to stop shit like this. I mean, come on now. I’m fine with sharing the glory. Really. In fact, I’m canceling objective two. I did what I could for them. I’m good now. So all these monsters can go fuck off elsewhere. I’ll just wait here. Patiently. Anytime now ladies. FML.’
I reach the breach just as the first few monsters do. I use the mana I just gained to slightly enlarge the EM force blade on my sword and much more importantly to put on a three times Time Dilation on myself. I then get back to what the multiverse always seem to want me to do. I start killing them.
While the Time Dilation is nowhere near what I normally use, it is still enough that the monsters don’t have a ghost of a chance. I weave around slow swings of claws and clubs to deliver quick, precise, merciless death blows mostly to their stomachs and chests as I’m only around four foot tall. I soon have a pile of disemboweled, beheaded, and stabbed corpses around me partially blocking the gate and causing the monsters to crawl over their fallen to get in. It just makes an already easy, if macabre, job that much easier.
‘Once again, good news. Most of these monsters are still pretty much feral and about as smart as a box of rocks. Bad news, my arm is about to fall the hell off. I am also going to start having issues just reaching them if this pile gets any bigger. I’m already tired of being a kid. Why couldn’t this universe just not be such a giant asshole about this? Just a few tons of biomass, that’s all I ask. I just want to be able to properly make a halfway decent shell and not need a step stool just to reach the cabinets. Is that too much to ask?’
The distant yet closing sound of hooves pulls me out of my complaints and gives my tired body some hope. The villagers behind me give out a ragged cheer as the cavalry arrives.
I barely manage to duck out of the way as they send a volley of arrows through the hole and into the much smaller mass of monsters left on the other side. I decide to get the hell out of Dodge when a group of armored infantry runs up to the gate and starts to pull monster corpses aside so the mounted units can charge through to finish the job I started.
When I turn around though, I all but bump into a horse that someone just had to put right the hell in front of me. I might also be feeling slightly snippy.
I turn around and see the horse isn’t a horse but a centaur in chainmail that is barely concealing a massive bust and helmet that completely covers her face except for two eye holes. Right behind her is a human in similar armor but without the helm but with a hard look on her equally hard face.
The weather hardened woman on top of the horse with boobs looks down at me and says, “Did you do all of this?”
‘Really? That is what you are asking? Not “are you ok kid” or even a “why is your sword glowing?” Ok, deep breath. Remember Jason, you effectively don’t have your powers right now. While the temptation to smite her into another state of matter is tempting, you can’t do it right now without causing a universal scale extinction event. Later. Definitely later.’
“The gate was like this when I got here. I’ve just been fighting in hopes that the mass on the other side doesn’t make it through. I am rather glad you lot are here though. I’m going to go take a nap,” I say letting the mass of weariness built up in my bones show through.
The woman gives me a look like a disapproving teacher not buying my line about having to poop after eating the school tuna casserole, but she doesn’t say anything further. Soon she turns back to the battle and seems to dismiss me from mind.
‘I know I just thought that I would be fine sharing the glory, but this is legitimately going to chap my ass. Seriously lady. Ya just going to give me the “you are totally full of shit but I can’t quite prove it” look and just walk away. Well screw you too. I really need a drink. And a nap. And to not be ten anymore.’
I slink away from the annoying woman and the battle as a whole assuming that either the guards have it under control or I’m just too tired to care at the moment.
As I walk towards a now empty home, I hear heavy breathing from a particularly dark shadow in the deserted alley to my left.
‘I should just keep going. I really should. Surely it is just a big rat of some sort despite rats not actually being a thing here. Come on Jason, just go home. You are too tired for anymore bullshit. But . . . I could probably use the miasma. Who knows when I’ll be able to slip out of this damn place to get more. They treat men like national treasures here. Well guarded. Very delicate. Nice to look at. All that crap. I guess I’m making one quick stop . . . I hope.’
I turn towards the noise and find myself face to upper thigh with a seven foot tall woman with four arms, a large club like branch in each hand, very green skin, and a crappy cloak and rags that barely cover her. I push a little mana back into my sword and prepare for one last swing before I finally get my nap.
‘A sorcerer’s work is never done it seems. Just please die quietly and not somehow drag me into more of a mess lady. I’m so very tired and you shaking like a leaf isn’t helping things.’
When the monster woman starts to shake a bit too much and drop one of her branches, I let a sigh, deactivate my sword, and walk passed her.
When she stands there, seemingly frozen still, I say in an oh so tired voice, “Come on. I’ll find a place to stash you till we can figure something else out.” When she stays put like a green statue I annoyedly yell, “Now! Unless you want the kill happy cavalry to come find you.”
My words finally snap the woman out of her trance. She drops her three remaining clubs, bends over so she isn’t quite as massive, and pulls her cloak around her tighter. She then walks a few steps behind my tired, pained ten year old self and dooms me to never getting a much deserved nap.
‘Once again, how the hell do I get myself into this kind of crap? I lost a good set of parents and the one thing I want at the moment, a good nap, is looking like a distant dream. Somehow I just know this chick is going to be a pain. At least she’s kind of cute in a gigantic four armed way. If only I wasn’t ten years old damnit.’