“It’s not that funny!” My voice quivering just slightly as both Lucia, and Reol laughed at my misfortune. The usual thickness of my skin unable to protect me from the predicament I faced.
We were currently all in the brightly lit main kitchen, eating what was left in my fridge since with Reol and Lucia around even a fully stocked pantry didn’t seem to be able to last longer than two days.
“Never have I heard wronger words!” Reol currently apple red was banging her fist against the table not even trying to reign in her howling laughter, while Lucia, on the other hand, looked like she couldn’t breathe, the tears streaming down her face as she fought to get air into her lungs.
The cause of all this madness? A pair of new titles I had noticed a few hours after my morning session with Xue.
-(The Titles Barbaric and Idiot Of Fortune have been acquired)-
-(Barbaric- ‘Violence is always the answer, if not you just haven't hit them hard enough.’- Worton, Savage God of Deplora Sev. While this title is equipped The host will receive a 5% boost to Strength, and Agility, but a 10% Decrease to Intelligence. Timid Souls will feel uneasy around the Host.)-
-(Idiot Of Fortune- ‘There is no greater threat to a well thought up plan than one lucky fool.’ Rayhon Advisor to the Kingdom of Ultara. This title, when equipped, will slightly lean less favorable outcomes in the host's favor. Wisdom decreases by 15%. Thanks to the portion of Chaos Element within the host's body this titles probability altering effects are available even when not equipped. If equipped the effect is strengthened by a factor of 5.)-
Like what the fuck, What kind of mindless entity has a sense of humor!
“Winstone, please explain to me how I got these ridiculous titles!”
-(Must I really remind you of your little episode this morning? I doubt the little ladies will let it go if they learn of your legendary battle against the villainous oak tree.)-
I slumped back into the kitchen chair, arms dangling limply over the side. My injuries weres were all but gone. Not even a scar of my heroic triumph over the tree remained, for that at least I was thankful.
A hand rested on my shoulder, a breathless but beaming grin plastered on her face Lucia started to pat me like an adult might to a child.
“It’s ok Lucas, better to be a lucky idiot than a regular one!” Then with a slap to my back, both her and Reol went back to cackling like a pair of harpies.
“The both of you are grade A cunts.” Mentally defeated, I munched on my stale croissant, hoping that they would eventually get bored.
Half an hour later, the fridge was empty, but I was still getting little snickers from the two girls, who in their shared mean spirits seemed to be a little more comfortable around each other.
At least something good had come from my misery I thought helplessly.
“So what's the plan for today, Mr. Bossman.” Having calmed down at last Lucia leaned back in her chair spreading out and resting her legs on my lap like some sort of cushion.
Disregarding her as I was still annoyed, I pulled out my laptop, whose keys looked like they'd been to hell and back if the wear was anything to go by. Glancing at Reol, I saw her turn her face from my gaze when she noticed what I was focusing on.
“So ignoring the state of my laptop we finally know why we're being hunted, and we’re just as fucked as I thought if we don’t do something about it.” I opened a tab which played a video.
“Hey, guys its Twain, here again, keeping you guys updated on the hottest news in the world! A follow up story on yesterdays video! So as hard as the government tried to cover up exactly what was the cause of the billions of dollars in destroyed Detectors and satellites, it was useless effort once I was on the case. For they can not stop me from uncovering the truth! Get this Twainlings! They believe it to be the awakening of a powered individual with at least an SSS Grade. That's some crazy stuff, right! Even Autarky is dumping billions into this in an all-out race against the Guild for the prize. Wish me luck Twainlings! I have to head out because the Guild and the Autarky are on my ass! You’ll never stop the truth you bastards!" With one audacious yet terribly cheesy battle cry the screen cut out as Eric Twain the V-tuber’s video ended.
“Wow, so this is what a male Erica looks like, can't say theres much of a difference.” Eyes glued to the screen Lucia chuckled lightly at her own joke.
“Yeah, if you want the news the governments hiding, you can always get it from Eric. That is if you can stomach his cheesy one-liners.”
At the current age of 32, Eric Twain was wanted in just about every country because of how he was able to uncover the secrets of current events. He wasn't someone who had committed any sort of heinous crimes but he was still classified as a villain because he acted on his own, and since he had somehow been able to avoid everyone, there was no info at all into what sort of power he might have. Though many fevorantly believe it to at least be S Rank, otherwise avoiding all three major factions would have been an impossibility.
“Looks like any other dumbass to me. Acts all excited to build hype over topics that don’t need them, sure he might be giving them the ‘truth,’ but I'm sure he’s leaving plenty out to make you come back for more.” A little bit saltier than expect Reols rejection of Twain was unusual, but I guess that V-tuber like personalities are bound to exist in many worlds or futures where the internet exists.
“Despite the truth there we still get plenty enough that we might never have known. All the news sites are talking about the event, but not a single one is making a point on the fact that this might have happened because of an awakening. Also with Eric's record, I doubt he’d start lying after 13 years.”
I’d been watching the dude since I was 12 and though I’d never admit it, I was a huge fan of the strange man. There was just something funny about watching a cheerful man make fools of the biggest powers in the world.
“Oh, shut it, I know a fanboy when I see it!” Reol who now had nothing else to keep her mouth occupied was fiddling around with something in her hands.
“You make something new again?” Curiosity getting the better of me. I asked the girl.
“Nothing major, but if I had some proper supplies, I could do some serious damage with this little toy.”
“Well, we’ll be talking about acquiring some cash today, so this should help you out too.”
“Good, because I need a lot of stuff, and if you don’t help me get it, I'll do it myself.
Not bothering to show me she stored away her toy just as the kitchens door to the patio opened and a loud thud came from an object that fell to the floor. Hard.
We all stared in shock, with both Reol, and Lucia tensing up, their bodies both shifting to a more comfortable position should making a rapid movement call for it.
“Xue….. what's going on?” We stared at the body she had just carelessly tossed to the floor. Her dress from this morning had changed, she now wore an eggshell white dress that was more mundane than before, though it did little to dim her charm.
“I was just teaching this elf some manners. It’s no wonder her entire race was wiped out from my world. If they were all like this, I doubt the rest of the world would have let them live and prosper without bringing death to their doors.” Despite the tidbit of information, my focus was on Alice and whether or not he was about to die.
Dried blood soaked her side, where it stained the light green leather brown. Her normally beige skin was a sickly blueish white, and her lips like the purple from a healing bruise.
“She’s not dead, is she?” Whatever Alice had done to end up in this state she probably deserved but hell if that meant I was ok with her dying, and bringing me who knows what sort of curse from the pact.
“She lies in stasis, although if something is not done soon, she’ll likely perish within the hour.” Stating the death of Alice like it was just any other daily occurrence, I realized that despite her change in attitude towards me, Xue was still a cold-blooded individual.
Standing up from her chair next to me, I felt Lucia step between me and Xue, a scowl marring her face.
As nice as it was to see her defend me, where was this comradery when she was pissing her self in laughter at my newly gained titles.
Seeing Lucia’s action, Xue paused but merely chuckled, a soft glint in her eye.
“Oh, does this one wish to try me as well?”
“You know dropping a half-frozen corpse on the ground doesn't exactly spell trusting in my book.” Gaze hard, the edge in her voice was enough to cut stone.
Chuckling once again, Xue only looked pleased as she stared downed at Lucia without the slightest of flinches.
“It’s nice to see my disciple has someone defending him so. Well, I suppose I can explain, though briefly, I do not enjoy storytelling.” Sweeping towards Alice with her sleeves Xue began her story on how she turned an elf into a popsicle.
“This elf was watching us during our training, so when I confronted her about her less than kind gazes at you, she started spouting nonsense. Deciding I’d had enough of the foolish girl I was about to return to check on you when the little minx rudely made an attack at me. So I taught her a lesson she’ll be handling for a long time. Now move aside, hmmm I believe your name was Lucia, I need my disciple to stop the little elf from taking the peaceful route. She still hasn’t had her dues.”
Yeah, Xue was definitely someone you didn’t want to get on your bad side. She wouldn't even let someone die if she felt like they hadn’t earned it.
I placed my hand on Lucia’s back gently, the taught lean muscles around her shoulder blades firm to the touch.
“If she wanted to kill me, she had like a million chances. I'll be fine.”
Ignoring me the staring contest went on for another minute before finally Lucia reluctantly move aside but not before she gave me one more curse.
“I hope your title doesn't upgrade somehow from this.”
“From idiot to dumbass, it's not like your that far off.” Reol, who was on the other side of the table, casually added. The tension less impactful for her when she wasn’t directly in the middle of the action like I always seemed to be.
Giving Reol a cold gaze, Xue strode forward to put my hand in hers, pulling me down towards the frozen ice sculpture that was Alice.
“Rember how I explained to you how you seemed to be adept at using your yang?” Strange question out of nowhere, especially when she’d only told me what my yang did.
“Yeah, I remember almost killing myself if that's what you mean.” Ignoring my jab Xue simply continued.
“Well, all living beings have varying levels of Yin and Yang. It is not the same as Essence although the two do complement each other quite well. For men, the Yang is predominantly in control while for women, it's their Yin. The two form a symbiotic balance, complementing each other strengths, while supporting their weakness'. A body can not exist without the two, if one is removed then the only path for the body is becoming a pile of ash or a frozen husk. Since I ripped out the yang that supported her yin, she needs a source to provide it to her until she can reform her own.”
“So, what happens if I can’t?” This was a lot of info to digest, and it was getting into the territory too strange for my tastes.
“Failure will lead to the foolish elfs death, and while deserving of it as she might be, you likely won’t escape unscathed if the Pact acts as it has stated.”
Well great, now I’m responsible despite you being the one who almost killed her.
Throwing caution to the wind I dove into what Xue instructed me to due.
I just hope I don't fuck it up too badly.