“The White … Rapture?” I ask.
“I’m going to guess this isn’t one of the larger adventurer parties formed in the Human-Kin’s Territory, right?” Lili asks.
“I don’t know what they are, but they’re bent on overthrowing demon settlements, maybe try to take over our territory. Motives aside, we need to save my slave merchant and friends so they can help the others,” Ren says.
Don! Don! Don!
“Shit! They followed me here!” Ren hisses.
“Oh no! Mom!” Lili quickly gets up from her hammock and was about to rush out of the room.
“Lili! Stop! Get me out of this!” I exclaim.
“Aren’t you just going to take this chance to run away?!”
“No, I’m going to beat those bastards down.”
“Are you crazy?! Do you know how many there are?! You’re just a Brawler of all things, and how do I know you’re even speaking the truth?!”
“Wait, Mr. Jinma is still a Brawler?” Ren asks while looking at me with widened eyes.
“… You don’t, I can only give you my word that I’ll save your mom and not run away under the chaos while showing you what a Brawler like me can do. Of course, I’m still your captive, you can always just take me away and save yourself. I honestly don’t care who or what I’m saving, I’m itching to bust heads of bastards who think they can take whatever they want. That, and I really just want to stretch my fighting limbs after being cocooned for the past few hours.”
“… If you manage to pull all of this off, you’re going to tell me how you did it all afterward.”
“I’ll explain whatever I can,” I say as she takes one of her claw-like fingers and glides it through the cocoon’s webbing with ease like a scalpel. “Where’s my bag?”
“I set it at the corner over there.”
After breaking free of the webbing, I quickly go over to my MIB while I hear noise going on downstairs. I dump the contents of all the shiny weapons I stored while keeping all the money and other valuables inside like Ms. Obina instructed me.
“Holy shit, you got an armory in there or something?” Lili asks as I sift through the weaponry on the floor.
“Swords, not my forte. Axes, too unbalanced. Daggers, maybe.”
“Ah, there are two of them. Mr. Jinma, may I borrow the daggers? My ‘Dual-Wielding’ skill is pretty high as a Thief,” Ren says.
A Werewolf in a Thief class? That’s actually pretty badass. “Knock yourself out, kid.”
“… I’m 18,” she says while looking sour at me. She probably didn’t want to sound rude as a slave, but I bet she’s practically screaming ‘I’m not a kid!’ with that statement.
“Ah. My bad. What’s this weapon? It looks like a bat.”
“Excuse me, but that’s a club, not an animal.”
“I’m not talking about that kind of bat.”
“Will you two shut up and get going so we could save my mom?!”
“… The club as a bat it is.” As I pick it up and get a handle on it, something clicks and various moves with the bat-like weapon play like a movie in my head. A corner of my lips twitches a little while imagining the possibilities. “Yeah, I got this,” I mutter while quickly shoving the other weapons back in the MIB and hold it out to Lili. “Hold this for me, would you?”
“Shouldn’t Ren be holding it being a slave?”
“Can you fight like Ren and me?”
“… Not really, but—”
“Then you’re holding the bag.”
Lili clicks her tongue while strapping my MIB on her shoulders.
“Hey! What are you doing?!”
“Don’t fight back, we’re taking you along with everything you have with us!”
“Mom!” Lili exclaims to the fight downstairs.
“Showtime.” I quickly open the door and lead the way downstairs where Ms. Raize is holding off three human guys in white, cult-like robes. I hold us back so they wouldn’t see us.
“I call to thee, Fire, burn away those that taint this world, Flame Burst!” the guy at the very back chants before a spit of fire the size of a soccer ball quickly shoots from waving sort of wand.
The flame burns Ms. Raize, the impact sends her flying and hits the wall behind her.
“Mmph!” Lili tries to exclaim, but Ren quickly covers her mouth to keep her from giving away our position.
“You will cease to resist at once,” one of the cultists say as the two on vanguard approach the wounded mother. The fire caster keeps a safe distance from behind. “We shouldn’t be giving you hideous monsters mercy, but if you value your life, you will give up everything and come with us.”
“I’m sorry, but who are the monsters here?”
I whack the first guy on the side of his head with the club like a baseball bat, sending him flying and hitting the wall to the side that knocks some knick-knacks off the shelves. The second I hit with a backhand swing hard enough to knock him to the floor. Blood leaks from their noses and mouths, and I think I see a few teeth knocked out of their skulls.
“You all right, Ms. Raize?”
“Jinma?!” Ms. Raize exclaims while she looks at me in shock.
“W-What are you doing?!” one of the two guys I hit asks as they get up staggeringly. “Can’t you see we’re trying to help you?! A fellow human?!”
“You’re from White Rapture, right?” I ask while holding my club out to them. “Tell me. What exactly are you? What are you trying to accomplish raiding and destroying these people’s homes? What has these people who’ve been living peacefully until moments ago done to you to deserve this?”
“What are we? We are the people who decided to take a stand for all humanity! We, who’ve been put down by the demis and demons like that disgusting spider freak, for their advantages in strength and magic over the past couple of centuries! We are the voices of the people who won’t put up with this for any longer! We are the people who’ll take the first step into creating paradise, a world where humans rule all, and the demons and demis who’ve put us down would live to serve us—”
“So, you’re a cult of self-righteous, ego-centric pricks trying to play hero. Okay, I get the picture,” I say while closing my eyes and nodding to myself in confirmation.
“How dare you! You, a fellow human, would mock our cause?! You actually side with the evil called demis and demons?!”
“Do I look like I give a damn on who or what you call ‘good’ and ‘evil?’ I’ll save or beat the crap of whoever I want. Right now, I’m seeing a bunch of hero wannabes stupid and crazy enough to think they can do whatever they want for the sake of ‘justice,’ and it’s those kinds of people …”
As I open my eyes, I can imagine how I look while smiling, as it’s something I forbade myself from doing knowing how much it frightens other people as it does for the cultists right now. I’m sure I had this kind of smile on when I faced the Toxic Troll earlier, too, recalling there was a glimpse of fear in his eyes while I wailed on him.
“That pisses me off enough to play the ‘villain’ and beat the crap out of them!”
“W-What’s with that look on his face?! Is he really human?!”
“W-Who cares?! Anyone who’s not supporting our cause is as bad as the evil we’re fighting against!”
“I call to thee, Fire …”
The two guys I knocked down before come at me from the front and back with swords at the ready while the fire-caster prepares another magic attack. Right as I evade and trip the attacker coming in the front, I hold my club behind me to block the sword aiming at my back. I knock that sword out of its trajectory while using that same momentum to deliver a crushing skull attack from above, knocking him down to the floor face first. I then spin while winding up before making a hefty baseball swing at the head of the guy getting up from my tripping him moments ago, sending him flying and crashing through the wall until he hangs over the freshly-made hole.
“Pyreball!” the fire-caster chants before I feel sudden heatwave filling the room.
Taking a quick glance, I see a fireball that would probably reach my chest from the floor in diameter, but it’s not aiming towards me. It’s going towards Ms. Raize who’s backed up to the wall opposite of the front door.
Without thinking, I drop my club and quickly run over to get between her and the fireball. I cover my face with my arms and brace myself for the burning attack.
“Hahahaha~! Take that, traitor! Burn in hell as all the other demons in this world will!”
“… Aaah, this is no good. You burned up half of my good suit.”
My upper half was engulfed by the large fireball for a couple seconds before disappearing immediately. When I checked myself, my suit jacket and shirt burned up into ashes, leaving me incredibly topless. What’s amazing though is that I hardly felt a burning sensation hit me, and there’s no sign of any marks other than the scars on my body. Not even my hair got burned off of my scalp.
To hardly feel any pain, this high SP. DEF from my Dragon Scale Defense is more effective than I thought. Wonder if this is the work of the ‘Divine Makeover’ that’s keeping me this clean? Wish it could’ve included my clothes as well. “Well, at least I’m not completely naked. That would’ve been awkward,” I conclude.
“N-No way, you … you really are like them. Y-You’re a demon!” the fire-caster cult exclaims before running out of the house screaming.
Figuring it wouldn’t be good if he called for back up, I try to stop him in his tracks with my ‘Glare.’
“Glk!” His body completely stops moving, but the momentum causes him to fall face first while dropping his wand. He lies there in a mid-run pose.
Looks like I don’t need to make direct eye contact with them if I want my ‘Glare’ to work, and I didn’t even need to call it out like that description said, either. That’s good, at least, I think as I step out of the house, seeing how we’re in a wide clearing with the trees being a good couple meters away. It’s perfect for me to try something without worrying about damaging my surroundings.
“I wonder …” Making sure the fire-caster stays ‘stunned,’ I point an open palm towards his body.
A bit embarrassing to admit, but with me kept being called a demon by my classmates back in school, I studied mythological beings that could be associated with such a label, along with a little magic and witchcraft. I didn’t have such a case of chuunibyou [TN: middle-school syndrome, eighth-grade syndrome] to believe I could summon magic like a demon would, but I always liked the fantasy genre of manga and anime enough to get so invested in it.
Using the ‘knowledge’ I gained from some books, I try imagining what I want in the spell that the fire-caster last used. Making use of this energy(?) described in books that dwells inside me to make the fireball bigger, maybe the same height as a typical convertible, fast as one, too, feeling the great heat that radiates from the scorching flames, and make the effect last longer—maybe 15 seconds?—enough to knock him out of commission.
I didn’t hear enough of the chant he did to make this spell possible, but if I just spoke its name while keeping these characteristics in mind …
“Pyreball,” I say with a firm, forceful tone.
Suddenly, the fireball I imagined appears in an instant and is shot straight to the fire-caster lying on the ground.
“Wait, what?! N-No! Please! Have mercy—gyaaaaaaaaa!”
The fire-caster’s body is entirely engulfed in the ball of flames, covering a wider area than his on me earlier, and lasting longer just as I had intended. Looks to be a lot more painful than my experience, too.
After many seconds, the large fireball disappears, and a large black scorch mark surrounds the last cultist’s body, butt-naked, bald to the head, and practically charred.
“Y-You … really are a … d-demon …” he chokes out before falling to a limp on the ground.
The victory and level-up tracks play in my head, indicating the end of this battle. Then, a list of notices appears in front of me.
[Congratulations! You have created a new brawling fight style: ‘Slugger Style!’
[You have now learned ‘Slugger Style’ LV 1!
[Conditions met: ‘Club-Wielding’ skills associated with current ‘Slugger Style’ level are available to learn.
[You have now learned ‘Fire Magic LV 3!
[You have achieved the ‘Pyromancer’ title!
[You have now learned ‘Pyreball’ LV 3!]
“… Huh, I feel like I skipped a few steps. Is this normal?” I mutter to myself. “Actually, did I just kill a couple dudes?”
“U-Um … th-the two back there still have a pulse. They’re okay, Mr. Jinma.”
I look back to see Ms. Raize who answered my question, only keeping a safe distance from me. I got a little surprised she got formal on me all of a sudden.
“Thanks to the Immortals’ powers softening the blows, you only hit them enough to KO them. If your … Fire Magic wasn’t lethal enough, that guy should just be out cold, too.”
I quickly go over to the charred body and press two fingers to his throat to find a pulse. “Holy crap … despite receiving 2nd-degree burns, he actually is still alive.”
“Amazing … Mr. Jinma, you’re really amazing! Are you really a Brawler?!” Ren asks me while I could practically see stars in her eyes. Even her wolf tail is wagging erratically.
“If you were capable of doing that, why didn’t you use it when I trapped you?” Lili then asks.
“I didn’t even know I could do magic until 10 seconds ago.”
“You mean that was your first time?! But ‘Pyreball’ is only something you can get when your Fire Magic is at LV 2, right?! And you didn’t say any lines before you cast the spell, yet were still able to do that! How did you do it?!”
“Don’t ask me, I’m just a Brawler.”
“Just being capable of doing that much on your first try, Mas—… I mean, Mr. Jinma, I sincerely apologize for doubting your capabilities for even a moment after hearing your class. I now truly believe you’re able to save my friends and Dondegarm.” Ren then prostrates herself at my feet. “I beg of you, please, help us!”
“Whoa, settle down, I thought me helping you was already established.”
“Really?!” Ren asks with hope glimmering in her eyes.
“More like helping your friends is a bonus while I beat up those bastards from White Rapture. After hearing those motives, I want to show them what kind of ‘demon’ they should truly fear—”
“Thank you! Thank you so much!” Ren exclaims while jumping and hugging my torso with her arms and legs. Her tail wags erratically once more.
I also notice that despite her ragged garb between us, I could feel two modest mounds pressing against my bare upper body.
“O-Okay, Ren, we get it, let’s not get too excited,” I say while pulling her away from me and set her down. How she looks deflated after releasing her hold kind of crushes me on the inside.
“Um … you’ll need this as well, Mr. Jinma.”
I turn to see Ms. Raize who’s holding out the club I dropped moments ago.
“Lili, are you—”
“I’m going to help him, of course. You stay here and keep an eye on those guys until we get someone to bring them in,” Lili answers as I lug my club over my shoulder. Ms. Raize approaches Lili’s side and places a hand on her shoulder.
“You be careful out there … and try to show off your good side to get some points back after your bumpy meeting, if you catch my drift,” she mumbles in Lili’s ear enough that I could hardly hear her.
“Mom! Is this really a good time to be worried about that?!”
“Mr. Jinma, while Lili’s capable of fending for herself, please look out for her if she’s in a bind, and … thank you, for saving me.”
“No problem, and I’ll make sure Lili comes back unharmed … hang on, I’ll be right back.” I quickly run over to the two unconscious cultists inside and search their persons before finding their pouches of money that I put in [Storage]. I head back out with their swords in hand, pick up the dropped wand and check the charred fire-caster. His money pouch is amazingly still unharmed underneath him, as well as what remains of his robes. There’s also something around his neck.
“Are you seriously stealing from unconscious people?” Lili asks.
“I’m merely collecting my winnings in a battle. Adventurers pick up what monsters drop and collect their materials around here, right?”
“I mean … you’re not wrong, but to take it from your own kind with little to no shame … you really are something like a villain.”
“That depends on where you’re standing. At the end of it all, I’m just a Brawler trying to make a living.”
“So cool …”
“Don’t make this any worse, Ren,” Lili scolds.
“Hey, what’s this pendant here?” I ask while holding up the red gem-like pendant that was around the fire-caster’s neck.
“That’s … a Blaze Stone, powering one’s fire-attribute attacks to a good amount. He had that on him, yet Jinma still didn’t get burned?” Lili asks herself.
“Huh, neat. I’m going to store these in here for later.” I then take the cultists’ belongings and money to be put in my MIB that’s on Lili’s back. “All right, all set. Let’s get going, you two.”
“Yes, Mr. Jinma!”
While holding her wound, Raize watches the trio run to the city while bidding them off. A sad smile spreads across her face.
“… I envy not being you right now, sweetie. Go get that man for both of us.”
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Hello and welcome. You may call me Orange Rain, and I looooove orange soda.
I not only like to read novels of many kinds, but I also like to write them. The stories published here will be in webnovel.com as well, so if you can, I'd appreciate it if you could support me on both platforms. I also like to read any professional critiques people may have on my works in order for me to become a better writer.
Thank you for your time, and I hope you'll enjoy what I have in store.