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A note from hakatri gin

Everyone gets a system and most of them work in different ways, but it will be a pain in the ass to make tens of different status screens so im just describing them unless is a POV chapter, even then i will keep the statistics to a minimum

While waiting for the people to arrive Vance practiced his strengthening magic, it was fairly easy as it just consisted on filling his body with mana and then moving it until it worked, or at least that’s how it worked for him, he jumped, rolled and ran towards trees to hold onto their branches and swing, magic rippling out from his body.

That was the hard part, using mana like that did made him stronger but also sent out waves that could be tracked by any being with mana sensibility so the next step was to minimize the ripples while retaining his strength, this took him several hours of practice and eating cake, god , he was going to miss the desserts.

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Plant Growth 1

---

Body Reinforcement 1

Link/Condition

Ground Link 1

---

---

---

 

Then he took down several branches, each one a little thinner than the previous ones and applied his strengthening magic into them, then proceeded to use them to break other branches from the nearby trees and repeated this process until his control improved enough to turn any random branch into a weapon, just in case.

Vance had a rough plan about how to form a community and having techniques to teach them was crucial to gain their trust and to stop any ideas of taking over themselves, people feared the unknown for a good reason and the little information he had should be maximized until he became strong enough and everyone got used to his leadership.

After building his tunnel Vance realized he could share a connection with it as long as a portion of his mana was always dedicated to it, he had linked himself with all of his land and through that link Vance detected a bird moving on the area, it was a one meter and twenty centimeters tall pheasant walking among the trees and chasing a squirrel.

Their eyes meet...

Their eyes squinted...

They waited...

And waited...

Vance raised his branch...

The pheasant raised its talon...

They dashed out at each other!

The fight was not fierce or ferocious, Vance had to hold himself back from harming the animal while stopping it from harming him with its long talons, the animal had more mass than it appeared and it was a mean beast.

After ten minutes Vance stood victorious while the pheasant gasped for breath, struggling to stand up, Vance held it by the neck and the animal relaxed itself, submitting to its fate.

But Vance didn’t kill it, instead he injected his mana into the animal and released his control of it, allowing the mana to flow according to the nature of the pheasant’s body, the animal was confused but as it was getting ready for death it didn’t struggle when the mana went in, the animal felt invigorated and because of its low intelligence it felt a certain familiarity with the man that had given him a boon.

*****

Edward finally convinced his mother to go and see the old man that had hired him for a week, the woman was very suspicious of an old man luring young boys with money while riding around the town in a van but those bills had been crucial in getting out of the city once radio stopped working, people were not panicking but they were restless and tried to do something to feel in control, those outside the city went to seek for answers and to stock in preserved foods while those inside the city tried to get far away and moved with friends or family as far from human contact as they could, seeking security in isolation.

Nobody knew for sure what was going on but the systems and the lack of a basic technology made them worried, and those pamphlets about the end of the world and monsters arriving soon did little to ease their worries.

Amanda and her son Edward were going to visit her cousins just in case but before that it didn’t hurt to visit the suspicious old man even if just for her son to shut up.

The address they were looking for was in the end of a convoluted road, hidden by the forest and the changes of terrain from the mountain base, but alas, they arrived to see a big warehouse made of thick steel, around twenty containers to one side and a small mountain of coal to the other.

“Lovely place” she said.

Then, at the end of the road they saw a man around his early forties practicing martial arts movement, an enormous pheasant at his side, the man pointed at a branch and the bird shoot towards it and crushed it with a claw.

“And we are out” said the mother while turning in U.

“Mom, wait!” said Edward “We should at least talk to him!”

“Didn’t you said there were pamphlets about monsters? How do we know he is not a madman who raises monsters inside that big steel cage of his.”

“Mom, that’s not a monster, that’s like... a fancy turkey or something.”

Their very productive conversation was stopped when both man and bird jumped over the car and landed in front of them, the man walked close to the passenger seat being careful of not getting pushed by the moving car.

“Boy, you came! Come down and i will give you a briefing” said Vance, very joyful because he just confirmed a new ability and the boy was the perfect test subject.

“Stop mom, let me speak to him at least.”

Amanda was not very convinced but the road was convoluted and the man seemed to have limitless energy while he trotted alongside the car, finally she agreed to stop, not really because of his son but because she felt silly running away from a man that was jogging next to them.

“Do you guys want to talk over some coffee? I have all kinds of cookies to accompany.”

The offer made Amanda feel even sillier because it would be rude to simply say “no, speak there in the middle of the road after coming running after us” she felt like she was being too impolite just because he was a stranger... well, and because he had stacked a lot of stuff on his mountain hideout.

“We will love some coffee” said Amanda as she turned the car again and parked in front of the entrance, they got down and she checked if her gun was still inside her purse, which she took.

They went inside his warehouse, inside there were all kind of metal boxes and it took her a moment to realize they were not boxes but sheets of metal stacked on top of another, there were all kinds of consumables for living and between all of it there was a house.

“You have a house inside your warehouse.”

“Yes?” said Vance “Inside my warehouse i have wares and i have a house, it’s on the name.”

They went inside and sat at the kitchen, Amanda saw Vance opening a big closet filled with many big tins of coffee, then he procured some cookies from another big closet full of them.

“Are you a doomsday prepper” she asked.

“Only since twelve say ago” said Vance “My system reached me a week before everyone else and warned me about all of this.”

“You can speak with your status screen?” asked Amanda.

“There are many kinds of systems” said Vance “Mine gives me an ability based on linking with other entity, both living things and inanimate objects, because of this my link with my system is stronger than other people, and maybe that’s the reason it came to me earlier than average.”

“Wait” said Edward, this could be a talk among adults but he knew the old man from before so he was more comfortable than his mother “Are you saying this started a week before we noticed?”

“That’s the idea, yes” said Vance.

“Then you got a bunker here in a week or so?” said Edward “Are you rich, old man?”

“I was rich” said Vance, “I won the lottery and spend it all on my preparations, its a pretty good bunker, doesn’t it?”

“It is” said Amanda “But what do you want from my son?”

“Our encounter was just random” said Vance “But i am recruiting people to form a community and resist the apocalypse, to grow strong and powerful” Vance grinned when saying that out loud, it sounded silly, but also kind of cool.

“You are crazy” said Amanda.

“But it sounds cool!” said Edward.

The older man and the younger man looked at each other, there may be a generational gap but the trill of challenging the unknown was a romance for all men, they fist-bumped.

“So what now” said Amanda, she was planning to leave but her son was obviously on the same wavelength as the man, in this case it would help if she could find any holes on his plan “Do you expect us to simply join you and follow your lead because you have a week of a head start?”

“Oh no” said Vance “We are entering an age of magic and the mastery of it will be our greatest tool to rebuild our technology, i can give you magic if you want to become my subordinate.”

“Magic?” said Amanda “My system says i can unlock magic if i reach a certain level.”

“Ah, yes” said Vance “But leveling up is a hard task, to do it you have to kill monsters and they will also try to kill you” Vance gestured and the pheasant went to him and let itself to be head patted “The walls between worlds weaken every day, this is just an animal from another word who was able to cross over because it has little mana, but as the walls break creatures with stronger and stronger magic will come, you saw my little friend in action, do you think you can kill something ten times stronger?”

Mother and son looked at each other, Amanda was doubtful of him but her son was very eager to follow him.

“What do i have to do to get magic?” said Edward while his mother scowled.

“It’s pretty simple, my magic works by contracts, i link with you and establish a connection, then we set a condition, as long as you don’t break my condition you will get one type of magic, and if you ever break the condition you will lost the magic i gave you.”

“And what would that condition be?” asked Amanda skeptical.

“Become my subordinate” said Vance.

“I will try” said Edward.

Amanda wanted to object but her son was too thrilled to listen, instead she clutched her purse with one hand and grabbed her gun with the other, she got ready.

“Ok boy, move your chair in front of me” Edward said as he was told and Vance put a hand on his shoulder, both of them saw the system giving them the same notifications.

_Link established...

_Setting up contract...

_Service contract...

_Tier 1...

_Request: protect the bunker - leader: Vance Jack

_Payment 1-magic: Body Reinforcement 1

_Contract type: continuous

_Accept...?

“I accept” said Edward and he felt a wave of magic entering his body, it made him felt more solid and he didn’t reject it.

When the magic stopped pouring he felt as if he as full of energy and that energy wanted to move, which was exactly the case.

“That’s it?” asked Amanda.

“That’s it” said Vance, now let’s go outside so you can test it.

Edward was delighted to see himself jumping like a hero of a martial arts movie and breaking branches with his fists, at the side Amanda was a little proud to see her son becoming so strong, and that pride crushed her worries.

Overall Vance was pretty satisfied, when he dominated the pheasant he realized he could tame it with his mana, or maybe it was already a domestic animal and he accidentally repeated the process to tame it, then he got an idea and adjusted the mana he injected into the bird to works as his strengthening magic, after a while the fancy turkey was able to pull out some fancy moves.

Then his status changed.

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Plant Growth 1

---

Body Reinforcement 1

Link/Condition

Ground Link 1

---

Taming Contract 1

---

 

He assumed the bird was tamed because its mind was small but for the same trick to work on a human he may have to convince them and thus the idea of a contract was born, Edward was his guinea pig and it worked, truth be told everyone could develop body reinforcement on their own, even without a system but it would take months to reach the same level of movement and the level of control over the leaked magic was something he honed up until the end of his five years, it was certainly a desirable power.

---

Plant Growth 1

---

Body Reinforcement 1

Link/Condition

Ground Link 1

---

Contract 1

Taming Contract 1

 

His status changed again.

---

Plant Growth 1

---

Body Reinforcement 1

Link/Condition

Ground Link 1

---

Contract 2

---

 

Fiver percent of his mana was focused on binding with the terrain and another 1 percent was focused on each contract, taking a full seven percent of his tank, he had to train a lot in order to be able to take more contracts while still having mana for himself.

“I see, this has lots of potential.”

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A note from hakatri gin

I was reading He Who Fights Monsters and there was a tyrannical pheasant in a chapter, i found it funny even if it was a mob so i got my own battle pheasant


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hakatri gin

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