He Who Fights With Monsters

He Who Fights With Monsters

by Shirtaloon (Travis Deverell)

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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.

Latest chapters appear here. Books now available on Kindle, Kindle Unlimited, Audible and as paperback here.

All chapters following book 3 are available here, but due to Kindle Unlimited requirements, the chapters from books 1, 2 & 3, except for the first story arc, can no longer be hosted here.

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

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.

This web novel is also available at scribblehub.com

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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
Books available on Kindle, Kindle Unlimited and Audible ago
Chapter 267 (Volume II): A Better Pants Solution ago
Chapter 268: Time to Front Up ago
Chapter 269: The Single Greatest Thing on This Planet ago
Chapter 270: Some Secrets Change You Forever ago
Chapter 271: It Would Be Weirder If Magic Wasn't Responsible ago
Chapter 272: Not the Regular Sort of Dangerous ago
Chapter 273: Boogie Man ago
Chapter 274: More Plausible Than the Reality ago
Chapter 275: I Suggest You Be very Polite ago
Chapter 276: A Leather Coat and Tight, Black Pants ago
Chapter 277: A Knife in Its Sheath ago
Chapter 278: Underworld Bargain ago
Chapter 279: Time to Rip Off the Band-Aid ago
Chapter 280: Bullets, Bikes and Blood ago
Chapter 281: A Good Friend and a Very Bad Enemy ago
Chapter 282: Flavour Text ago
Chapter 283: Time For Context ago
Chapter 284: Brown Trousers Time ago
Chapter 285: The Complete Set ago
Chapter 286: More Valuable Than a Life ago
Chapter 287: Uncontrolled Factor ago
Chapter 288: Agendas ago
Chapter 289: Hegemons ago
Chapter 290: Guilty Conscience ago
Chapter 291: Uncommon Mistake ago
Chapter 292: It's Complicated ago
Chapter 293: A Big Dose of Normal ago
Chapter 294: Moppet ago
Chapter 295: Always Tell the Truth if You Can get Away With It ago
Chapter 296: Discretion is a Good idea ago
Chapter 297: The Cold Eyes of a Stranger ago
Chapter 298: Looking Down the Point of a Sword ago
Chapter 299: What Your Uncle Has Been Telling You ago
Chapter 300: The Moments That Decide Who You Are ago
Chapter 301: I'm Mysterious Now ago
Chapter 302: Hardline Position ago
Chapter 303: Otherwise Best Avoided ago
Chapter 304: Terms ago
Chapter 305: Section ago
Chapter 306: Core Users ago
Chapter 307: What You Call Observing ago
Chapter 308: Not the Monster ago
Chapter 309: Letting Him Run Rampant ago
Chapter 310: Old Testament Power ago
Chapter 311: My Turn ago
Chapter 312: Visually Distinctive Henchman ago
Chapter 313: Of Course It's Him ago
Chapter 314: The Price of Transgression ago
Chapter 315: The Time For Bold, Decisive Men ago
Chapter 316: Technical Issue ago
Chapter 317: The Long Game ago
Chapter 318: A Moment For Drastic Measures ago
Chapter 319: Foiled Plans ago
Chapter 320: Quite the Year ago
Chapter 321: Full Houseboat ago
Chapter 322: A Wizard Did It ago
Chapter 323: The King of Everyone ago
Chapter 324: I Came Back to Show You Wonders ago
Chapter 325: Mercy ago
Chapter 326: Ideal Circumstances ago
Chapter 327: The Blood and Death Guy ago
Chapter 328: A Lot of Anomalies ago
Chapter 329: Pitch Meetings ago
Chapter 330: Moving Forward ago
Chapter 331: Flemish Baroque ago
Chapter 332: Not Ready to Leave ago
Chapter 333: Decision ago
Chapter 334: What You Have to Do ago
Chapter 335: The Direction We Want Them to Go ago
Chapter 336: The Dangers of What I Do ago
Chapter 337: We Were All Monsters ago
Chapter 338: Options ago
Chapter 339: I Need Time ago
Chapter 340: Walkabout ago
Chapter 341: Too Valuable to Lose ago
Chapter 342: All I Can Do is My Best ago
Chapter 343: A Modern Myth ago
Chapter 344: Breakneck Pace ago
Chapter 345: Grand Tour ago
Chapter 346: New Groove ago
Chapter 347: Get to the Chopper ago
Chapter 348: What's Left of Your Principles ago
Chapter 349: Contingencies ago
Chapter 350: Humanity ago
Chapter 351: Media Blitz ago
Chapter 352: Grandmotherly Advice ago
Chapter 353: A Bloke With Vast Cosmic Power ago
Chapter 354: A Very Long To-Do List ago
Chapter 355: Another Step Forward ago
Chapter 356: Tactical Flexibility ago
Chapter 357: Broken ago
Chapter 358: Never Enough ago
Chapter 359: Media Landscape ago
Chapter 360: Instability ago
Chapter 361: Supernatural ago
Chapter 362: Arms Race ago
Chapter 363: Sword-Fighting With No Shirt On ago
Chapter 364: Candid and Authentic ago
Chapter 365: Warmth and Levity ago
Chapter 366: An Intelligent King ago
Chapter 367: Hunted ago
Chapter 368: Gamble ago
Chapter 369: Dying of Thirst in the Desert ago
Chapter 370: Enough Power ago
Bonus Chapter: Silver ago
Chapter 371: Old Affairs ago
Chapter 372: End Run ago
Chapter 373: Giving Face ago
Chapter 374: Not in a Position to Criticise ago
Chapter 375: Honour ago
Chapter 376: They Get to See What I'm Like
Chapter 377: Fanboy ago
Chapter 378: A Very Bad Mistake ago
Chapter 379: An Unexpected Direction ago
Chapter 380: Parade of Delights ago
Chapter 381: Collateral Damage ago
Chapter 382: I Intend to Do Damage ago
Chapter 383: A Chance to Control the Narrative ago
Chapter 384: You Shouldn't Lie to Your Wife ago
Chapter 385: The Decision Has Been Made ago
Chapter 386: First Priority ago
Chapter 387: Node Space ago
Chapter 388: Loaded For Battle ago
Chapter 389: Going For Gold ago
Chapter 390: Prepare For the Rematch ago
Chapter 391: Finish the Job ago
Chapter 392: Inevitability ago
Chapter 393: The Edge of Madness ago
Chapter 394: Trying to Be Merciful ago
Chapter 395: Appreciation ago
Chapter 396: Brooding Loner ago
Chapter 397: High Maintenance ago
Chapter 398: Treachery or Cowardice ago
Chapter 399: Comely Wenches ago
Chapter 400: A Lot Like a Guess ago
Chapter 401: It's Okay to Laugh ago
Chapter 402: Dignified Moment ago
Chapter 403: When Someone is Under Your Gun ago
Chapter 404: When, Not If ago
Chapter 405: Not Entirely Ethical ago
Chapter 406: Ahead of Schedule ago
Chapter 407: Open Wound ago
Chapter 408: Looting a House Burning Down Around You ago
Chapter 409: Domain ago
Chapter 410: Needs of the Moment ago
Chapter 411: A Beautiful Woman and a Sack of Cash ago
Chapter 412: You Have to Be True to Yourself ago
Chapter 413: One More Secret ago
Chapter 414: Instinct is All We Have ago
Chapter 415: Step Back ago
Chapter 416: Guns & Money ago
Chapter 417: Old Habit ago
Chapter 418: It's Still Not About Killing Monsters ago
Chapter 419: Open to the Unanticipated ago
Chapter 420: I'm Going to Bet on Myself ago
Chapter 421: No Perfect Options ago
Chapter 422: Stillness ago
Chapter 423: Whatever We Face ago
Chapter 424: You Really Aren't Local ago
Chapter 425: A Sliver of Hope ago
Chapter 426: End-User Licence Agreement ago
Chapter 427: Negotiations ago
Chapter 428: Another Day for Vampires ago
Chapter 429: Less Freud and More God of Healing ago
Chapter 430: Little Cost in Exploring ago
Chapter 431: Intentions ago
Chapter 432: I Need That Song to Play Out ago
Chapter 433: Wash Them First ago
Chapter 434: The Language of Passion ago
Chapter 435: Forthright Honesty ago
Chapter 436: Pertinent Factor ago
Chapter 437: More Focus on Nipples ago
Chapter 438: The Job That's in Front of You ago
Chapter 439: Going Suspiciously Well ago
Chapter 440: One of Asano's Secrets ago
Chapter 441: Swarm Against Swarm ago
Chapter 442: Necessary Evil ago
Chapter 443: Balls ago
Chapter 444: Which One of Us is the Villain ago
Chapter 445: That Passion Didn't Come From Nowhere ago
Chapter 446: The Upstart Magician ago
Chapter 447: Too Much Over Pride ago
Chapter 448: Trust All the Way ago
Chapter 449: Time to Choose ago
Chapter 450: Four-Score Men ago
Chapter 451: The Very Opposite of Fantastical ago
Chapter 452: Small Mercies ago
Chapter 453: Salus Mundi Suprema Lex Esto ago
Chapter 454: Something Other Than Human ago
Chapter 455: Everyone Calls Me Gary ago
Chapter 456: I'm the Bait in Question ago
Chapter 457: The Past Can Wait ago
Chapter 458: Dragon Lady ago
Chapter 459: What Could Possibly Go Wrong ago
Chapter 460: Kind of His Thing ago
Chapter 461: Of Course He Doesn't Have Pants ago
Chapter 462: Connotations ago
Chapter 463: What a Monster Surge Feels Like ago
Chapter 464: Strategic Doctrine ago
Chapter 465: I've Seen Your Best ago
Chapter 466: Responsible Dad ago
Chapter 467: Surge Protocols ago
Chapter 468: Disappointed or Relieved ago
Chapter 469: More Paperwork ago
Chapter 470: Multi-Talented ago
Chapter 471: Don't Say You Weren't Warned ago
Chapter 472: Contribution ago
Chapter 473: Small-Town Lifestyle ago
Chapter 474: I Don't Need to Invent Icecream ago
Chapter 475: Remaining Unremarkable ago
Chapter 476: A Damn Fine Way to Start Off a War ago
Chapter 477: It Will Not Be Fine ago
Chapter 478: A Story of War ago
Chapter 479: Any Help They Can Get ago
Chapter 480: Supplies ago
Chapter 481: Enemies Even I Would Fear ago
Chapter 482: True Elites ago
Chapter 483: Diligent and Considerate ago
Chapter 484: That Doesn't Make the Pebble Important ago
Chapter 485: They Don't Send Their Best People ago
Chapter 486: An Old Friend That He Had No Time For ago
Chapter 487: Never Underestimate Adventurers ago
Chapter 488: Better Strange Than Scary ago
Chapter 489: Going Overland ago
Chapter 490: Small ago
Chapter 491: Uneasy Allies ago
Chapter 492: Supply Chain Problems ago
Chapter 493: The Hitting It a Bunch Plan ago
Chapter 494: I Liked the Fighting Better ago
Chapter 495: That Usually is My Day ago
Chapter 496: Unyielding Faith ago
Chapter 497: Something He Could Never Get Back ago
Chapter 498: Dignified Young Adventurer ago
Chapter 499: I Can Do Sleazy ago
Chapter 500: An Object Lesson in Foolish Risks ago
Chapter 501: Murky Waters ago
Chapter 502: Integrity is Forever ago
Chapter 503: How Deep a Hole ago
Chapter 504: The Part That Knows How to Quit ago
Chapter 505: Bad Apples ago
Chapter 506: Idiot Plan ago
Chapter 507: The Days They Sing Songs About ago
Chapter 508: The Source of the Madness ago
Chapter 509: A Fair Fight ago
Chapter 510: Put the Mask Back On ago
Chapter 511: I Don't Think You're Angry ago
Chapter 512: Staying with Friends ago
Chapter 513: Meanwhile, Two Weeks Ago in Vitesse ago
Chapter 514: Hegemon's Will ago
Chapter 515: A Story About a Magic Trowel ago
Chapter 516: What It Sent Us ago
Chapter 517: I Am Not Jason Asano ago
Chapter 518: That Powerful and That Old ago
Chapter 519: One Battle at a Time ago
Chapter 520: No One Telling Me I Can't ago
Chapter 521: A Lot More Steps ago

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The start of this story was absolutely amazing. Everything about the way this was handled with the system of magic and all the cool skills and the infinite possibilties for new combinations of essences and powers is great. But after returning back to his own world from being isekaied into a different one, most of the decisions made here have been off putting to say the least.

I really hate the way the MC has acted at this point in the story. It seems like his snarky and edgy attitude has been ramped up to eleven. There are some really awkward interactions between characters that are just so weird I can't even describe how it's wrong to me. The whole relationship with his brother and ex-girlfriend is so cringey I can't keep reading this with the way it was handled. Maybe in other people's views the way it worked out is okay, but for me it's way too cringe.

I'd like to re-emphasize just how much I enjoyed the world building and the system of magic and skills as a whole. It's an amazing way of doing a system and I enjoy seeing all of the different combinations and skills. The action scenes are done well and have thought out into them.

I ultimately cant continue reading this with how the MC is currently acting like the way he is.


Starts interesting, gets old, then slow

Reviewed at: Chapter 377: Fanboy

Standard isekai/gamelit fare. Interesting system. MC starts amusing, which gets a bit more irritating the more often strawmen are propped up to soapbox at. There's also a weird throughline that any kind of group or organization will be revealed to actually be evil/greedy which only Jason who is apparently the one always correct in every decision triumphs over. To be incredibly pithy, considerations like "save ten now or one hundred later" actually are "save ten now and then also the one hundred later, because obviously no one actually should ever consider larger ramifications since things will work out just fine." The few 'good' bits of personality are overshadowed by the sheer unnecessary aggrandizement of everything else he does. Its very much how a person who describes themself as an 'honest straight-shooter' thinks they are like, except actually they're a dick and tact/manners are pretty fair and reasonable things. Being frequently obtuse/lolrandumb is a teenager or friend in-joke thing, adults doing it is offputting, weird, and concerning when done to every stranger you bump into.

And then we are back to Earth and go through the same book but reskinnedt- learning the Magic World because he's teaching people, learning about these orgs which have always existed (#WeUrbanFantasyNow).

So at this point, its basically gone the way of Legend of Randidly Ghosthound in that it recycles, repeats, and drags out events to milk that sweet sweet patreon monies.


They story starts strong, first 100 chapters are gold. After Jason survives his 10th no win situation and some how gets an upgrade everyime. Fight scenarios start to lose the thrill when you know the outcome. The best part of the story was the witty dialogue, but after the MC goes back to earth it feels forced. Also everyone on earth is either dumb or weak, making it even less believable. But some how have been dealing with magic for hundreds of years... the story just goes so far down once Jason goes back to earth. 

A lot of the characters feel set up just to make the MC look better. Making them seem forced if not fake. Don't flow well making it hard to connect with characters. So when they die it doesn't really matter because you just don't care.  

Worst part is this was suppose to be a fantasy novel, but after main character goes back to earth the story becomes a PC/political hack show. Heavy on the judgment on who is politically correct and who is wrong. If you don't agree with authors views on politics which seep through every time Jason talks. Capitalism is evil and socialism/communism are gods gift. There is no difference between the earth section and watching CNN, poor story lots of judging. 

daytime damage

Action and power system good, diatribes bad

Reviewed at: Chapter 444: Which One of Us is the Villain

First arc was decent, but the MC goes on diatribes about how he and his view of the world are superior to all others. Still fun to read for action and plot. Arc 2 takes a nosedive as it becomes filler city. So much pointless banter is 50% of the story now instead of advancing the plot forward to the point that it's almost painful to get through. Will drop and might check back later in a year or two perhaps to see if it goes anywhere.


Good story, sadly MC killed it in Earth

Reviewed at: Chapter 290: Guilty Conscience

Normally I don't review stories, but this is the case of a story that a loved, which degenerated into something I loathe... So...


Story started out great and plot even after return to Earth is very interesting. The thing that kills story is MC... Prior to return back home to Earth everything was still ok, there were some hints of future story killer, but it was not a problem, but in Earth... Ohhh boy, author forgot moderation, almost everything is about Politics, though shall not kill, more politics, lots of whining, our MC having existencial crisis almost every chapter... Plot wise I can't wait to return to world he was summoned (can't remember name), but while being at chapter 438 in patreon, i drop the story, because at this point MC that loved, slowly become into something that is cancer for story and I feel no positive feelings while reading chapters. Just annoyance.


Unfortunately, as other reviewers have already said, with each arc the story gets worse, everything in the universe orbits around the MC, Jason, and the current



arc is just beyond boring.

What's more, I feel like the stakes are simply non-existent, as whatever happens in said arc won't matter,  

because Jason and his closest family/friends want to leave Earth for the 'magic world' anyway. There are also many inconsistencies within the Earth arc, like the media going above the governments' heads and spreading propaganda as what can be considered 'apocalypse' happens. The govs just seem to take it for weeks or even months. Seriously?

The repeating morality of 'I can't kill because other people will see me as bad' is also obnoxious, Jason has already gone through that, different world, different rules and mindset, plus these people are often at the level of superman, if you expect peace within a society of magically empowered humans, you must be nuts.

Overall, with this and people talking like Jason, and doing everything around Jason, as if they had no goals on their own, the story's rating has gone down from great to beyond mediocre.


Generally good but too in love with the MC

Reviewed at: Chapter 68: Good News For Clive

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.


Each arc gets gradually less interesting. The first one, with the blood cult, was great; there was an element of mystery before we understood the power system and how Jason got to isekai'd, and there was enough comedy to keep things entertaining.

Then things started to degrade, and by the later arcs (as of this review, fighting the Builder cult inside the Reaper's pocket dimention) the fight scenes become incredibly dry. It starts boiling down to "character uses their power, but the enemy countered with their power, then character healed with their healing power." The main characters never seem to lose or be set back in any way. Very boring.

None of the characters are particularly interesting either. Jason starts as a sarcastic, irreverant man with a penchant to get in over his head, which works well with the early story.

But he then stays that way for the entire story as his circumstances change, which is less and less interesting.

The other characters are either bland or unlikable. The villains seem to only exist to make life hard for the good guys, with little motivation. Then they get unceremoniously defeated, with no build up or payoff.

The power system is really loose; I have no idea where the limits are or what powers a character can or can't have.

I've been reading this story for a few months, but I really feel no investment to continue at this point. The story was at its best when Jason was running around naked trying to complete a quest to obtain pants.


To preface this, I've only read book 1, because I read this on kindle, but came here to check out how book 2 is going.  


Style score: 2.5 stars because everyone is fricking Jason, at first Jason, was a unique character, but now literally everyone he talks to is himself.  To be fair though, I do like the power system, and how the author writes imagery, but I hating the dialogue so much, because it's just Jason saying something witty, the other person being annoyed or charmed, and then it's over.  Now, I have no issue with witty characters, but Jason takes it too far, and he's just annoying sometimes.  


Grammar: 4 stars, very minor issues in the kindle release, the reason this isn't 5 stars is that some of the word choices are super odd.  


Story: 2 stars. I read this book because of its title "He who fights with monsters" because I wanted to see fighting, and action, and this book doesn't deliver.  There are maybe 5 times where he fights actual monsters in the book, and like half of the fights are ehh, it's just like "Jason casts a spell, Jason casts a spell, Jason dodge, Jason casts a spell, the enemy dies" which is super lackluster.  Now, I'd have no issue with this if there were some more fight scenes, because then I'd see how he matches up against certain enemies, but nope, literally, 90% of the book is politics, and Jason doing dumb crap around the city.  I have no clue why the book is named as it is, when most of it is Jason dealing with political intrigue, and religions, and other people, it makes no sense.  The really only redeeming feature of the story is the essence system, everything else is just really boring.


Character score: 1/2 star.  In the beginning, all the characters were their own people, Jason was a bedraggled weirdo who had no clue what was happening, Rufus was calm, collected, and wise, Farrah was a bit snarky, but had lots of good information, and Gary was the nice big dude.  Later on, everyone started slowly transitioning into Jason, now everyone is snarky, always has something to say, is sometimes annoying, and is all about politics and stuff. Also, I never understood why people are like "Jason is dangerous" sure, he's witty and takes calculated risks, but he's also super annoying, and he could 100% be thwarted if the villains were a little bit smarter. Straight up, when Jason speaks, it's like he has plot armor, because he can say the stupidest, most offensive crap, and people will just be like "Damn he's good at this" and I don't get it.  The way Jason switches up is also very odd. Like sometimes he's super dramatic, but then sometimes he's extremely toned down, and he kept having issues with killing people, but then has no issue with manipulating them, and threatening them.  



When I was a teenager, I was a bit of a smug, self-righteous atheist, over impressed with my own intelligence. The protagonist of this story is something I could shamefully picture myself writing back then.

His every half baked, awful plan at "social manipulation" of the local nobility and other elite is a success, and what should result in him getting punched or socially ostrasized instead results of some more politically savvy character cooing over how smart he is.

He's openly insulting and heretical towards members of the clergy and actual gods, despite having pretty good evidence they could smear him across the pavement. Besides intentionally getting himself beat up by two priests, he suffers no consequences for this, and in fact the gods like him for some unfathomable reason.

This is a world with cultivation tiers, where each level is vastly above the one before, and might makes right--none of the above makes sense, even with his connection earned by saving the lives of a few powerful people in the beginning. He should be dead or crippled, and I found myself rooting for his opponents.

The initial monster hunting, progression, and joking interactions were good, and it's a shame the character turns into a black hole, as everything revolves further and further around him.