Am I truly capable of fending off against the United States?

As I wake up, that question swirls around in my mind. My power is currently extremely dampened. But even if that were to be suddenly removed, what would I be able to do against the very same forces of system users I have helped to create?

Let us see about my stats:

























For being just Level 17 of B-Rank, these numbers are quite impressive. I am a lowly [Adventurer,] and yet my abilities go far above what most would expect. I can hold my own in a great many fights.

And let us see about my Destiny Cards:

Download: Rank 5. Absorb 50% of the stats of target for 5 minutes. Cost: 140 LP.

Kaio Blast S: Rank 6. Triples combat stats for 3 minutes. Cost: 1500 LP.

Geowarp: Rank 7. Change the matter type of any matter within a 10-foot radius. Cost: 300 LP.

Major Heal: Rank 4. Gain 3,000 LP. Cost: 0 LP

Major Heal: Rank 4. Gain 3,000 LP. Cost: 0 LP

Major Heal: Rank 4. Gain 3,000 LP. Cost: 0 LP.

Major Heal: Rank 4. Gain 3,000 LP. Cost: 0 LP.

Dig: Rank 2. Gain the ability to dig through dirt and rock at a rapid pace for 60 seconds. Cost: 739 LP.

Irrational Force: Rank 5. Interial mass is cut by 250 KG/s for 60 seconds. Cost: 2000 LP.

Time Bend: Rank 7. Manipulate the quantum waves around you for a temporal attack. Cost: 3333 LP.

Willpower Boost: Rank 4. Enhance the willpower of yourself and everyone around you for 120 seconds. Cost: 1770 LP.

Unfortunately, my status in the U.S. military as it exists now does not benefit me in any way. I currently possess a large load of [Major Heals] almost exclusively because of my role as a teacher; for any C-Rank heroes and above, I trade them these Destiny Cards when they require a quick heal and do not want to level up to reach that point. In that sense, I am more a mule than man.

Many of these cards are too circumstantial to rely on in any combat situation. Sure, [Time Bend] could be very useful, despite its high cost, and I could eviscerate a large number of my foes retroactively so they will have never existed to face me in the first place. But that is a dangerous tactic to rely on in a large way. Everyone on Mystix knows about the tale of the warrior Pigsa, who erased himself out of the time stream because his [Time Bend] skill unfortunately was not strong enough to overcome the mighty King Leopoldian. No one else in this U.S. military likely has the know-how to adequately address such an attack, but I cannot take that chance.

Similarly, while [Kaio Blast S] is an excellent card, it is standard for high ranking [Adventurers] and thus many opponents will possess it as a matter of course. And [Download] will only debuff one opponent, not a whole army.

So, looking at my stats and Destiny Cards and analyzing them deeply, I come to the sad conclusion that I am unable to fend off this growing army of system users on my own. I would perish and be reincarnated on some other world with all my stats gone, thus paving the way for the permanent dominance of those I wished to create. Even if I am secretly a [Demigod,] I stand no chance. Even if I use all my remaining Destiny Points to rank up to an A-Rank [Adventurer,] I stand no chance.

A zero percent chance of success.

Not a zero point zero zero zero one percent chance. Just zero.

With sadness in my heart, I let the normal folks take me and wheel me out of my room, and then into the conference room—the special one from before when I first met President Joe Biden. I have to assume that means he will be here, today, too.

And indeed I am correct. He stands, hands in suit jacket pockets, with two men flanked behind him. One is Mayor Pete, that North Spiran in human disguise, and the other is Agent Miles, who until recently had been my go-to man in all U.S. government regards.

Now, though, I see why he has been absent for a while, based on his new shifted, rotting appearance. He still wears the suit and sunglasses, but his skin is wretched and his appearance slimes. All the hallmarks of a [Toxin] class hero.

So even the non-military agents are accepting the system. This cannot bode well.

Biden gazes on me in a grandfatherly way, before his usual grumpy expression returns. “Kid, I’d like to ask you something.”

“Yes, Mister President?”

“Do you love America? Are you willing to take the oath and become a citizen?”

I shake my head as best as my restraints will allow. “I do not love no respect the country which you serve. It has caused me nothing but harm.”

“Well, that’s a shame, jack, because I thought you might be interested in a full Presidential pardon.”

“Pardon me?”

“A pardon.”

“Yes, I am asking you to pardon me because I do not understand.”

“I’m offering you a pardon.”

“I do not see why you would do that, since I am the one asking to be pardoned.”

“So you want my pardon?”

“No, I simply want you to explain what you mean.”

“I mean I’m going to get you pardoned and released from any and all crimes you have committed or will commit in the future,” Biden says, just barely hanging onto his composure.

“I beg your pardon, but that’s ludicrous.”

“Ah, I see. So you want it after all.”

“No, I don’t mean—Sir, Mister President, I am not under arrest here. I have been unlawfully kidnapped and put into forced labor, which is expressly forbidden by your Constitution.”

All of the men in the room laugh profusely.

“All I’m saying,” Joe Biden tells me, “is that I want you in the field, King Solbourne. We’re just about ready to activate our plan and cross into The Goddess’s Domain. We’d be honored if you could lead our massive military might and help liberate your homeland in the name of freedom. Then when we’re done, you’re free to go. No more kidnapping.”

“No! I cannot!” I exclaim.

Joe Biden’s grumpy face turns into a sneer. “Why not?”

I realize that my usefulness is growing quite thin to these men, and this might be the last chance I get. And yet, I know I cannot allow myself to join in on this invasion. If I do, it may be even worse than if I am there to attempt to stop them myself. If I return to Mystix so soon in my human form, then there will not be a single system user with enough power or influence to fight against them here on Earth. Even that Master Keitou my clone met would not be enough.

No, I must stay and rally everyone, systemless or not, to join against this fight on Earth.

So, in the heat of this single moment, I devise a grand plan all of my own.

“I cannot go, because I have so much valuable work to do,” I explain. “The new soldiers here are not yet strong enough to survive a full-frontal assault against Mystix. You heavily underestimate their capabilities, especially if the whole world is united against you. Therefore, I must plead to continue my duty in making as many capable warriors as possible. Once they have fought against and alongside a Mystix system user, it will help them better understand what they shall face in short time.”

Mayor Pete folds his arms, and Agent Miles puts his hands on his hips. Biden keeps his hands in his jacket pocket, but after a pause, he nods his head.

“Got it,” he says. “But we’ll be increasing your workload three times over, I hope you understand. The liberation operation is coming real soon, and we need our boys out there. As long as you do your patriotic duty, I’ll keep my end of the bargain. Alright?”

“I understand.”

He believes me. They believe me. I may not be as good at reading other people as I sometimes think, but in this I am absolutely confident. Their expressions show surprised relief, as if they were planning to have me executed the moment I refused to assist any further.

Now, though, I have just a little bit more time. I will still be contributing to a system of system users that will lead to everything I hate, but at least I will be able to do so on my own terms.

Biden lets me leave and seems extremely pleased with himself, like everything is going according to his plans. He even allows me to rest for the rest of the day, in the hopes that tomorrow I shall be able to hold to my threefold effort promise.

When I make it back to my bedroom, I immediately try my hardest to establish my mental connection with Francis from far away. Our [Empathetic Link] has grown stronger in recent time, and I have every indication that it will only continue to do so if we continue to train it.

{Francis, are you there?}

{Hey, Eryk. What’s up? You’re usually not in my head during the middle of the day. No training?}

{Not today,} I say through my thoughts. {Actually, I need to beg you of something. Please help me escape.}

{Huh? Really?}

{I swear I would not ask this of you if there was any other option. But the U.S. government is going to strike soon.}

{The... what?}

{I apologize for not telling you the whole truth,} I say, {but I have been in contact with President Joe Biden, and he means to bring war to the multiverse. He plans to invade the other worlds under The Goddess’s control as soon as possible. I believe that it may even be tomorrow.}

{What the hell?!}

{Actually, if you hate me again for withholding this from you, then I shall cease my communications with you. I apologize profusely.}

{Nah, bro. I don’t hate you. You wanted to keep me secret from... Well, that’s friggin’ insane.}

{It is most unbelievable.}

{How’re we going to deal with it?}

{I must be rescued, so that I may be able to thwart Biden’s plans here on Earth. Please... I do not know where I am being held, nor how you could possibly help me. But if there is any way, I will accept it.}

{Honestly, this is the most badass thing I’ve heard in a long time,} Francis tells me. {I can’t tell you how much I’ve missed this. Us going on big adventures, saving the day from whatever ridiculous stuff’s thrown at us, having a few laughs at Delta’s expense and all of that... It was the best time of my life, and I’m so sorry it ended the way it did.}

{No, I am more sorry.}

{Doesn’t matter. If what you’re saying about Biden is true, that means we’ve got a lot of work ahead of us. You focus on surviving, and that’s all you need to do.}

Francis’s words light a fire of inspiration in my heart, somehow. I am very excited just to hear them.

{We are friends again, right?} I ask.


{Will you save me?}

{Hell yep!}


A note from B. A. Baker (Thedude3445)

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About the author

B. A. Baker (Thedude3445)

Bio: I like to watch movies.

Avatar art by Bryan Lee O'Malley.

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