He Who Fights With Monsters

by Shirtaloon

Original ONGOING Action Adventure Fantasy High Fantasy LitRPG Magic Portal Fantasy / Isekai

Jason wakes up in a mysterious world of magic and monsters. He’ll face off against cannibals, cultists, wizards, monsters, and that’s just the first day. He’s going to need courage, he’s going to need wit and he’s going to need some magic powers of his own. But first, he’s going to need pants.

Follow Jason as he makes a place for himself in a world that is strange, yet sometimes strangely familiar. He’ll meet crime lords and aristocrats, gods and monsters on his path from would-be victim to heroic adventurer. At least, he tries to be heroic. It’s hard to be good when all your powers are evil.

Release schedule is 5 chapters per week, Monday-Friday.

Please note: I am Australian and this story is written in Australian English, so there will be less of the letter Z and more of the letter U.

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This web novel is also available at scribblehub.com

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Shirtaloon

Shirtaloon

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Table of Contents
Chapter Name Release Date
Chapter 1: Strange Business ago
Chapter 2: Of Course Magic is a Thing ago
Chapter 3: Local Cuisine ago
Chapter 4: Cannibals and Spelunking ago
Chapter 5: Wizard ago
Chapter 6: Potent Potable ago
Chapter 7: Spoils ago
Chapter 8: Dark Magic ago
Chapter 9: Escape ago
Chapter 10: The Evil Pit of Evil ago
Chapter 11: Dashing Heroics ago
Chapter 12: Sanguine Horror ago
Chapter 13: This is the Part Where We Step Back ago
Chapter 14: Worlds Apart ago
Chapter 15: Outworlder ago
Chapter 16: Rescue Party ago
Chapter 17: A Conservative Pillage ago
Chapter 18: One of Us ago
Chapter 19: I Want a Lava Cannon ago
Chapter 20: By the Power of Grayskull ago
Chapter 21: I Have the Power ago
Chapter 22: Apocalypse Stone ago
Chapter 23: I May have Made a Huge Mistake ago
Chapter 24: Astral Space ago
Chapter 25: Blasphemy is Kind of My Thing ago
Chapter 26: Waterfall ago
Chapter 27: Water, Fall ago
Chapter 28: How Did You All Fit in There? ago
Chapter 29: That's What Adventurers Do ago
Chapter 30: Closing the Door Too Hard ago
Chapter 31: Taming the Beast ago
Chapter 32: Monster Hunting For Beginners ago
Chapter 33: Mistrun River ago
Chapter 34: Waving the Flag for Secular Morality ago
Chapter 35: Greenstone ago
Chapter 36: The Island ago
Chapter 37: A Good Adventurer and a Great One ago
Chapter 38: Just Another Adventurer ago
Chapter 39: Training ago
Chapter 40: Eyebeams and the Ethics of Adventuring ago
Chapter 41: Vulnerable and Exposed ago
Chapter 42: This is the Pits ago
Chapter 43: The Nightingale ago
Chapter 44: Complimentary Ointment ago
Chapter 45: So Much For Atheism ago
Chapter 46: Blatant Manipulation ago
Chapter 47: Mirage Chamber ago
Chapter 48: An Endless, Inescapable Nightmare ago
Chapter 49: A Voice From Home ago
Chapter 50: The Full Keanu ago
Chapter 51: Song of the Nightingale ago
Chapter 52: Pain ago
Chapter 53: Nightlife ago
Chapter 54: Field Assessment ago
Chapter 55: Rune Tortoise ago
Chapter 56: Gary's Gift ago
Chapter 57: Rainbow Smoke ago
Chapter 58: A Man of Malevolent Intellect ago
Chapter 59: Falling Short ago
Chapter 60: Making Music ago
Chapter 61: Trade Hall ago
Chapter 62: Have Some Damn Adventures ago
Chapter 63: Sunk-Cost Fallacy ago
Chapter 64: Take My Wife, Please ago
Chapter 65: Curious Urges ago
Chapter 66: A Stronger Weapon Than the One in Your hand ago
Chapter 67: This is What it Means to Fight Me ago
Chapter 68: Good News For Clive ago
Chapter 69: Dumpling Soup ago
Chapter 70: Rewards ago
Chapter 71: A Bit of Poo ago
Chapter 72: Rat Race ago
Chapter 73: A Grim Sword to Live By ago
Chapter 74: Doing Better ago
Chapter 75: Progress ago
Chapter 76: Preparations ago
Chapter 77: Group Cohesion ago
Chapter 78: Jason Has the Good Biscuits ago
Chapter 79: Sand Everywhere ago
Chapter 80: It's Not Work if You Love What You Do ago
Chapter 81: Crazy Desperation Move ago
Chapter 82: Choices ago
Chapter 83: It makes No Difference to the Ant ago
Chapter 84: Injury & Death ago
Reviews

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Zethuron
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A very enjoyable story with good litrpg mechanics.

Great start so far, im liking this story, certainly a different kind of litrpg that i can recommend others to come read.

The MC, well hahaha. Jason is just such a enjoyable and fun character to read about. Its sort of to be expected from a Australian character. And the other characters arent that far behind in how well written they are. Overall their interactions are fun to read.

Jason is quite confrontial at times and honest about being a atheist, this does really show when he interacts with religious organizations or even the gods themselves, barely treating them with any respect, a thing which is considered suicidial by the denizen of the world he is in, this is inline with his belief of being a atheist, but i feel like its going a bit far. Issues are showing already with this story due to his behavior, i hope its set to change soon, or it could make this story less enjoyable.

While this story started off very strong, while it is still going on strong after forty or so chapters, i feel like it is less than what it was at the start.

So far the world this story takes place in, has been shown to be interesting and well developed, with so much more left to be unveiled over the course of the story. The author sort of went for his own kind of unique world, that uses common elements from Fantasy, but also goes in a original direction. Theres the litrpg aspect of this story, which i find to be quite interesting, the author has made his own kind of litrpg system, borrowing ideas from many different sources, and combined that into the system used in this story while avoiding adding stats to the story. Especially the way the abilities and skills are done, is quite different and unlike most stories, i wonder how the author will go with that, without making the MC go absurdely powerful from that system.

Ill be fair that grammar is sort of a problem, overall it is fine, with there being few spelling errors, but there are quite some mistakes overall, with missing words and thus odd sentences because of that, this story could use a good editing round to edit those out, and make it even better in quality. The recent chapters are better in terms of grammar, even if there are still the occasional mistakes that appear, normally they get spotted and corrected quite fast.

Nice style here, no obvious flaws to be found with it. Overall good pacing, even if fast at times, but i dont mind personally. Its pretty easy to keep reading this story without getting bored at all.

A great story, with much potentional yet left to be uncovered, This can be something actually good and fun, if the author can keep writing and not burn out, especially with the current release speed of chapters. There is the risk of the story stopping being fresh and fun, and turning out to be boring and stale while being full of common tropes, i personally hope the author can avoid going on that route.

Recommended for fans of litrpg, you will most likely really like this fun story thats of a good quality.

 

IrateRapScallion
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Generally good but too in love with the MC

Generally a very well executed story.  If I'd written this 25 chapters ago I would have scored it much higher.  However, since then I've really soured on certain parts of the story, especially the MC.  Did you know that he's a brilliant social manipulator?  Well if you didn't, don't fret!  The other characters will tell you how smart he is, over and over and over!  Everybody loves him, you see, except the people who don't, and that's how you know they're the bad guys.  If I could find somebody to love me even a quarter as much as these people love Jason, I'd have the best wife in the world.

Update: Couldn't take it anymore and dropped it a few weeks ago.  Updated with my final ratings.

Par0xysm
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interesting isekai, snarky mc. But it's overhyped

First of all i would like to say that i quite enjoy this story, but thats mainly because of the MC. But people here on RR need to stop overhyping stuff. it's kind of tiresome. The story is interesting, and quite a fresh take on isekai, but it's NOT a perfect 5. Very few stories actually are.

This is a review of up to chapter 35.

                                                    The Positive:

Characters:

I like the mc, he's the true driving force for the story, and he has a fun and likeable personality. He has a sharp tongue and he's quite witty and fun to read about.

I enjoy the banter in the story, it's well written, and so far the characters feels like they have actual personalities, and aren't just mindless plot puppets.

The System:

The ability/skill/game systems are very interesting and i highly like this kind of system. I just wish we saw more of these kind of ideas for the game-like feel of LiTRPG'S here on RR.

The Grammar:

The grammar is very, very well done. Rarely do i find a story on RR with such good grammar. The very few mistakes and typos i've spotted, have not in any way detracted from the story, the flow, nor my understanding of the chapters.

 

So that was a bit of the postive, now i come to the negative. And again, i really enjoy this story so it's not me being mean or salty.

 

                                                  The Negative:

Worldbuilding:

The world building has honestly been a mixed bag imo. I can clearly see that the author is trying to tell us about the world, but it simply has a very weak impact on the reading experience. I've not been impressed by it so far, and there have been no overaching mystery that has caught my attention nor interest.

Story Progression:

In the beginning the story was quite high on the action and a lot of chapters introduced new stuff and moved along the plot with a nice flow. Then it simmers down to an almost non-existant boil. I think there's been nothing of importance happening for more than 10-15 chapters now.

Spoiler: Spoiler

 Let me give some examples of what i mean: 1. Whats his end goal? 2. Why is he taking his sweet time with everything? 3. He wants to be powerful, but whats the reason beside being an adventurer? And if he wants power, why is he wasting so much time on mundane, and unnecessary things?

Banter and Monologuing:

As i said under positive, i like the banter, and it's very comedic to read about Jason, but too much of a good thing gets stale fast. The chapters seem to waste in avg. more than half of it on banter, and expositions that really do nothing for the story at large.
Even with so few chapters out, it's already feeling like we get too much unnecessary information almost every chapter. And i've already caught myself wanting to scroll down, just to get to the actual 'meat' in some of the chapters, i have refrained from doing so... so far at least.

 Characters:

We get introduced to new side characters a lot, but they don't really have any importance for the plot. Only ones so far that had relevance to the plotline, is Rofus and co. and possibly

Spoiler: Spoiler

Closing Thoughts

To close out i would like to say that this story has a lot of good potential and i already added it to my favorites. I intend to keep reading and following it since it's quite enjoyable.

It's already highly rated, but i do NOT feel it's entirely justified. It's up to a good start, and well written, but it's not THAT good (yet). Give Shirtaloon some useful feedback and time, and then this story might be worthy of the whole slew of 5 star ratings, that people tend to give when something is overhyped. Most of them are waaay too early imo, and very few of them give any useful critique to the stories and the author(s).

But that blame lies with the RR community more than the story or author. People really need to be more critical here i feel.

 

 

 

Alcaron
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This one is interesting.

First of all, skip chapter 9. It does nothing for the story, except be unbelievable unrealistic.

Now, let's get the easy ones out of the way quickly:

Grammar is exellent, no mistakes I found (didn't specifically look for them though).

Writing style is overall great, but has some parts where the infodump is a bit much. Fitting for the story, but too much to be enjoyable to read.

The more difficult parts are story and character scores.

Story: The world and the LitRPG-System are great. Rich in new ideas and interesting mecanics. The overarching plot however is somewhat weak, not bad per se, but lacking in ... motivation? I think is the best word for it.

Character: Let's start with the side characters. They are decent. They fit neatly into the world, but most are too nice to the MC, in a trusting sort of way. They also seem to be affected by the mood of the MC way to easy. Apart from that there hasn't been enough focus on them to say more.

The MC however killed this fiction for me. At first (8 chapters) I really liked him. Snarky, level headed, confused, scared, everything you expect in an isekai situation.

After chapter 8 his fear simply got switched off. 

And in the following chapters he becomes more and more insane or rather his entire persona became compulsive snark.

Further, pain doesn't effect this MC. Sure there is mention of "it hurts", but it effects neither his movement nor his decision making.

At some point I simply didn't enjoy the MC anymore. I still kept going because I wanted to know more about the world and system. But when he started picking fights with every religious person he met it was too much for me. 

The MC thinks his ideals are right and argues with everyone who disagrees. Which would be ok, if his arguments made any sense, but in the world he is in they don't and if he would spent 10 seconds thinking about it he and anyone really would realize that. 

-------------Dropped at chapter 46

Owlish
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The Perfect Stereotypical Millennial

[For the record, written after ch 65]. 

[Edited for: Some of the examples I use in the review could be considered spoilers. I don't think any of them are a big deal, but if you hate knowing anything about a story before reading it, then my tldr is It's good, read it, but I think the main character is a jerk.]

I like the story. It's laugh out loud funny at times. And there's some really cool worldbuilding. But...

The main character is getting annoying. He's actively atheist, in a world where lots of gods exist, and he's met two. I believe he hates the idea of a noble class, without acknowledging the fact that someone needs to kill all the monsters that keep spontaneously generating. He sympathized more with the monsters and cartoonishly evil humans than with the people who kill them. He wants to create a system of socialized medicine. He is able to make nearly everyone his friend, without any special magical skills, and from what little we know he was nothing like that back on Earth. Oh, and he automatically assumes the elf priestess of Purity hates him because she is racist.

And now he's giving the runaround to a guy from the Magic Society, merely because Jason "hates authority," as far as I can tell. 

He's got cool magic powers, but apparently the real struggle is Can Jason Educate These Poor Non-Woke People?

God help us if he ends up in a place with legal slavery.

Manasong
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Average but with concerning problems

TL;DR:Okay Isekai marred with character problems.

 Updated after chapter

Style: This is style is quite odd.

Environments are detailed enough to give you a good view of the scene, so does the actions, allowing you to properly imagine everything.

Except facial expressions and body language, because of this the dialogue stilted and uninteresting, it's only "Jason said", "Other person said" and etc., nothing else to spice up our imagination.

It gives you the feeling of something missing, you also quickly forget the faces of characters since there's no glimpses of descriptions to refresh your memory.

The personalities of characters also feel bland since there's a lack of quirks being shown, like for example a person who smiles a lot, other who's always smirking, another who's always serious, things like this.

 

Grammar: Better than mine. Basically perfect but I'm not a native English speaker.

Story: There's no real ovearaching plot yet, just a story of Jason getting over the shit that has been thrown at him, then learning about this new world and training to get stronger.

Spoiler: Spoiler

Character: Jason, the MC, the problem.

Jason is annoyingly idealistic in the face of death and evil. He also lacks a proper survival instinct.

Spoiler: Spoiler

He might as well be autistic or emotionally stunted. He even does the thing where he doesn't read the situation and spouts memes to people who would never get it, only to receive looks as if he's a weirdo (because he is).

In the end, he's an asshole. It's okay to write assholes but Jason is surviving his assholishness by pure luck, no way someone is that cunning to take to so many gambles and come out (relatively) unscratched. His plot armor is too strong.

singlespace
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Fairly interesting, but suffers from somewhat bland characterization and dialogue that tries too hard.

Ostensibly every character is quite different, but in pratice all the dialogue sounds and feels like it’s spoken by the same person. The humour, cadence, and disposition is pretty much exactly the same between all the dialogue leading to this somewhat awkward feeling that it’s just someone speaking to themselves.

The dialogue’s perpetual attempts to be clever further exacerbates the issue making the singular voice even more obvious. No living breathing person speaks like that.

jacckkko
  • Overall Score

Great start but worrying flaws

Review at chapter 31

So here we go again for a classic litrpg except this one is a bit different. Anyone on royalroad should appreciate this. Instead of the 1000th copycat of the same stats and classes taken from a DnD manual, the author actually put some thought into it and gave us an original and engaging new system.

 

Of course litpg is just a mean to an end. What matters is the story. Unfortunately, the mc just arrived into this unknown world. That means he doesn't really have any particular goals yet and the world building is still shallow. Until now the author has done a pretty good job at spreading information without any excessive exposition. Those first 31 chapters had quite a lot of action and it was a smooth read. I thorougly enjoyed it. Interested to see now how the author will develop this world and also Jason. Until now Jason is just good and exceptionnaly outgoing with a bit of sassyness.

 

Worrying flaws

A big worrying flaw I had almost immedately is about the coins. They are op. Overpowered tools are a detriment to any story because the characters should just use them all the time. For example,

Spoiler: Spoiler

 It reminds of the second Harry Potter book with the rewinding time necklace. That necklace was never used again in the series because it was too op. It will probably be the same with the coins. They are too op.

 

My other worrying flaw comes from the number of abilities. He is supposed to get 20 maybe even more layer. That's a lot and I'm afraid it might bog down the story especially if he uses them actively. If in a fight he uses 10 abilities for example it would be annoying. Even more so because readers will probably forget what they do and you would need to add the description all the time. Imagine having to read through 10 descriptions each and every fight.

pldl
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Main Character is the weakest link

Scores are somewhat based on RoyalRoadl's average level of quality.

Story-wise, world-building, and side-characters are good. It feels like the world is operating on an alien, but coherent logic. The story makes sense for the most part, and the side characters are interesting. I didn't notice any difficulties reading, so grammar is fine as well.

 

The main character is by far the weakest part of the story. Compared to other stories on this site, the characterization is about average. Most of the dumb mistakes at the beginning of the story are perfectly understandable, and he makes smart tactical decisions throughout. Unfortunately, his main characteristic is that he is a compulsive talker. Worse, it is true to form of a real compulsive talker.

People do not like compulsive talkers, and it makes it very difficult to empathize with the main character. Personally, there was an almost instinctual distrust of the main character once the conversations started going. His inability to shut up showed a lack of respect for everyone else, which implied a lack of trustworthiness and integrity. It's why I think a lot of people seem to be especially annoyed with moral quandaries he faces. He provides his opinion on everything, so it's basically worthless. He's so flippant about everything, why can't he be flippant about this shit too? 

He's told to shut up only a few times (too few to be believable, in my opinion), and it seems to garner zero reaction from him. He makes basically no attempt to improve or even acknowledge the comment and continues to interject every sentence with stuff he should know people won't understand.

He's a snarky character with little to show (mostly luck, even with the salt thing).

He's a talkative character with nothing to say.

I hope he goes through a character redemption arc because Overgeared had a similar issue at the beginning, where people HATED the main character. But for Overgeared, it was intentional. The main character showed growth and got incrementally better.

I hope the same would be for this novel, too. We already know he's going to grow in power/skill. He's got a system set up for that.

(Chapter 45)

 

FriedTM
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Really not worth the read unless you're interested in the system

I can honestly say I do not understand the hype for this. I don't really know a logical way to break down some of the issues I have with this so before I go into my negativity rant let me give you some of the positives. The system and the universe is fascinating, in fact that's pretty much the reason I'm sticking here. But with that right off the bat we can start with a big negative. While the system is completely interesting I have found that you can skip basically 90% of the chapters only stopping at system messages read the paragraph above it and follow the plot. This is simply because the author is incredibly focused on mind-numbing character interaction. Now this might have been interesting if the characters where not dancing to the tune of the main character. The most emotional thing I've seen come out of them or anyone for that matter is a little bit of anger that seems like a toddler throwing a tantrum. Everybody is just so incredibly unnervingly calm, everybody either wants to help the main character or is interested in him. Even the villains take interest in him, there's not a second that goes by where he's not the focus of everybody's attention. On top of that interactions range from info dump to just emotionless fluff. The fight scenes are weirdly laid out and his idea of expressing pain is to pass out and then upon waking up make some jokes. On top of that the humor is incredibly random and poorly placed. At best I was neutral to it at worst it annoyed me. Just get to the point where he's trying to get into the adventurer's guild and the three examiners meet him. It's just an unending screeching coming from his mouth that some how woes the pretty lady. What's weird is he's never like that before or since it's just like his character randomly became a different person. Finally consistency oh, none of these characters are consistent on any deeper level than outward traits. They're constantly flipping and flopping for plot or humor. It's just, it's a confusing mishmash that can be skipped 90% of the time.