I just can't make up my mind on what I want to write, can I? I write a couple chapters of this, a couple chapters of that, a couple chapters of something else. And then drop all the stories...
Apologies for the short segments, but that is kinda how the anime starts off.
Underlined means latin.
Huh? What's going on? I'm supposed to be sitting in front of my computer waiting for the new expansion to launch, not laying on some moss who knows where. And what's with my clothes? These are definitely not what I was wearing.
I stand up and look around, the sight looks familiar and yet entirely new at the same time. Like I had only seen an half decent image of this place before.
This lake is really beautiful. And that giant tree, it's very familiar.
Is this Elder Tales...? What the hell?
I start walking and immediately trip over a branch. That was embarrassing. I look up and a menu opens in front of me, health bars appearing next to the people, marking them as People of the Land. I try tapping the button marking my magic bag and it opens a list of items in my inventory. Ah, there it is, the log out button.
I tap the button and a red Ø symbol appears with a 'failed' sound.
The menu shows my level, 95, which I was able to have already because I was one of the people who tested the expansion pack, so I suppose they pushed it to my main character before whatever brought us here an instant after the release of the new expansion, this meant I was likely the highest level player at the moment, at least on Yamato since I was the highest during the testing phase.
I look at the 'island' in the middle of the relatively small lake, which wasn't really an island since a thin bridge of land connected it. On the island grew a large tree and two players were talking. Both familiar players. The HUD marked them as 'Adventurers,' which was what players were referred to as by the game until now. The two players were both members of the former Debauchery Tea Party and one of them I had done some mercenary jobs with a few months ago.
One of the two players was a half-alv enchanter by the name Shiroe, and the player who I had played with a few months ago, the other was a human guardian by the name of Naotsugu who had quit the game for past a little over two years thanks to work reasons.
Before I follow/meet them I should either figure out how to close the menu our get it out of my face, because I can't see where I'm going like this.
I tap one of the buttons and try to drag it—which was somewhat awkward since I needed to be careful to not push my finger through the button, since it offered no resistance.
It once I drag it to the side the whole menu vanishes, except for the HUD.
I try to tap on my HP/MP bar and it opens into my player card with two opens, collapse and close. The card reads:
Race: Race of Ritual
Skin (Unique): Cat-girl
That's my character alright... one of the very few with this race, thank the stupid low HP, I'm a complete glass cannon, with less than half the HP of a half-alv of the same level, the second lowest HP race.
The race makes up for it to a certain extent with its extreme MP capacity, at more than double base MP of a half-alv of the same level.
Well, the menu in its current state is good enough.
I see that the pair had started walking and start to follow them. Though the cat skin I have was supposed to be purely cosmetic as a reward for being the strongest at the end of testing, it seemed to be improving my hearing and eyesight, since I could see and hear considerably better than in the real world, where I had perfectly good hearing and eyesight and I had no stated buffs to either from anything.
It also seemed to make me a bit more agile and make less noise when walking, though the former of the latter group wasn't that big a difference, the quiet walking combined with improved hearing was perfect in the situation where I was discreetly following someone, especially since sorcerer wasn't the assassin class. Then again, in terms of damage output it was the magic equivalent, a complete glass cannon with high burst damage.
I see Shiroe stumbling every now and then and am suddenly thankful that I made my character basically an exact copy of my real self, at least as close as I could get. Aside from the cat ears and runes on, well, pretty much my whole body except face.
White hair, white skin, red eyes + cat ears and runes on the backs of my hands.
"Thank you very much," says the assassin by the name of Akatsuki, who turned out to be a girl who was like a 12 year old or so in height.
She had gotten a appearance changing potion from Shiroe.
It was now night and a group of Shiroe, Naotsugu and the assassin named Akatsuki—who still hadn't noticed me—were camping out.
The food that I had eaten earlier today was totally terrible and tasted like burnt soggy crackers without salt, and they seemed to have reached the same conclusion, so until I was passing out from hunger, eating was a no-go. Actually, come to think of it, fruits and spices still had flavor, so I could just eat those as much as possible. I could put salt on the stuff that tastes like burnt soggy crackers without salt and make it into burnt soggy crackers.
The next day the little group of 3 visited a guild called Crescent Moon Alliance, whose leader was apparently Shiroe's friend and while I waited I entertained myself by killing flies with precision spells. Or trying, hitting things was pretty hard when actually controlling the body. Instead of a crosshair to aim my spells with I needed to either aim with my hand or just imagine the projectiles direction. Neither of which were all that easy.
"Frost, Pulse Beam, Weak, Accuracy," I chant and channel MP into my hand.
A frosty glow appears in my hand and tries to break free, I aim at a fly sitting on the wall of the guild building and let the projectile go, thanks to the parameters of the spell and the amount of mana I pumped into it, the time it took for it to reach the fly was a minuscule fraction of a second and it left a frosty blue line connecting the former location of my hand and the former location of the fly, which faded within a second or so. I had actually managed to hit the fly this time.
I was very close to it, so not that impressive, but still.
Just as I'm about to cast another spell the door to the guild building opens and they walk out. I cancel the spell, instinctively salvaging some of the mana and follow them.
They eat some food and Shiroe suggests that they figure out the fighting. It might be more difficult for them than it was for me, since I already used voice chants for spells for great versatility, so it was just the different aiming I needed to get used to.
At night they head to Archive Tower Forest, it was a low level open-air dungeon, which, being a dungeon had the property that monsters would attack you, regardless of level. In most situations, monsters at level 25-30 which they would be here wouldn't bother attacking a level 90 party, but here they could train on monsters that couldn't practically kill them.
As Shiroe explains this to his party members a group of level 28 Briar Weasels show up on the path in front of them. They look pretty much like normal weasels, except they have a slightly thorny vine around their tail in a scorpion like shape and they had red eyes. If I recall correctly they shot red blasts with their vines, which would extend upwards and glow green when they were ready to shoot.
As the weasels charged Naotsugu says, "Piece of cake!" And raises his shield.
Judging by how his eyes are moving, he's trying to activate skills through his menu.
"Assassination!" yells the little assassin as she spins through the air and slashes the carnivorous flower enemy in half. The girl had declared herself 'Lord Shiroe's Ninja,' and seemed to be trying her very hardest to protect him.
"How did you do that?" Shiroe asks.
"I don't know, my body just moved on its own," she answers.
"Naotsugu! Don't use commands just feel the motion!" Shiroe yells to the guardian.
"What?" asks Naotsugu.
"Just do it!" Shiroe yells back.
"Alright," says the guardian and puts his shield to the side.
"Shield swing!" he calls out and his shield glows green, swinging to side at inhuman speed and killing the three weasels that had been charging him.
"Fire, Pulse Beam, Weak, Balanced," I chant quietly and channeled mana to my hand, a ball of fire appearing in my hand and seemingly trying to break free.
I aimed at the last weasel and let the bolt loose. Almost instantly a line of fire pierced through the weasel, killing it. Then the fire faded and Shiroe called out, "Who are you!"
"Long time no see, what has it been, 2? 3 months?" I ask, walking out.
"Oh, it's just you," he says, breathing a sigh of relief.
"My Lord, do you know her?" Akatsuki asks.
"She was a member of the Tea Party and probably the strongest Sorcerer I know. Given her particular skill set, it's quite possible she would be able to easily decimate all 3 of us in a fight because we still can't really fight with our own bodies," Shiroe says.
"You give me too much credit, I've been in this world just as long as you have," I say.
"True, but the way you fought even before then was always appropriate for here," he answers.
"Anyway, I'm Mitsu, and I already know who you are," I introduce myself to Akatsuki, seeing as Naotsugu and Shiroe I had already known before.
"I would ask where you've been the past few months, but given your unique style and current level, I'd guess you got to test the expansion?" he asks.
"Correct," I say.
"Managed to level 5 times in 3 months, though I did play like 10 hours a day, for whatever reason, they paid me to do it," I say.
"I've been following you basically from the start, so no point in telling me what you've been up to," I say.
"Huh!?" Akatsuki asks in surprise.
"I was able to follow at a considerable distance thanks to the cat skin that was supposed to be cosmetic, but now is having the effects of increasing my sight and hearing, as well as making it easier to walk quietly," I say.
"So we're heading to Susukino to rescue this Serara girl, who's a member of the Crescent Moon Alliance?" I clarify.
"Were you even paying attention?" Shiroe asks.
"Not really," I answer truthfully.
"You can memorize learn half a dead language to get better at a game but paying attention you just can't manage?" Shiroe asks.
"Hey! I can normally focus just fine, I don't know what's up with me, I just feel like curling up into a ball and taking a nap," I say.
Then go ahead and do that, we're leaving tomorrow," Shiroe says.
I run over to a large nearby tree and climb into it. I think this cat thing is getting to my head... But it was comfortable here, the moss was soft and warm and there was enough room in the split to curl up into a ball.
I close my eyes and immediately fall asleep. Why was I so sleepy? Oh right, I don't think I've slept since we got here... and a night before that.
While they were sleeping I experimented with spells, so that's why I'm so sleepy. I'm an idiot.
Birds chirping is such a nice sound to wake up to.
I try to roll over and... roll out of the tree I forgot I was sleeping in, crashing to the ground.
"Ow ow ow," I mutter as I stand up.
"You certainly slept late," Shiroe says.
"Not like I missed much by not eating breakfast," I say, "Let's go."
"Alright, you have a horse summon flute, right?" Shiroe asks everyone.
We all nod and I take it out of my bag. It's easier to just reach into the bag that's way bigger inside than out and say the name of the item than going through the menu a lot of the time.
We all blow our flutes at the same time and 4 horses run up from nowhere.
We jump on and thankfully our bodies already know how to ride these, because I certainly don't.
We arrive at a nice clearing and I ask, "Oy, Shiroe, don't you think this is far enough?"
"I suppose you're right, besides, the horses need to rest before we can ride them anymore," Shiroe says.
"Far enough for what?" Akatsuki asks curiously.
"You'll see," I say, reaching my hand into my bag and quietly saying, "Gryphon summon flute."
I feel the flute appear in my hand and I pull my hand out of the bag.
Shiroe and Naotsugu had both done the same and we all blew the flutes.
A moment later 3 gryphons swooped down, causing a great deal of surprise in Akatsuki, who was totally adorable.
"Shiroe, your ninja is adorable," I say quietly.
I mount my gryphon as it lands, along with Naotsugu and Shiroe.
"Those flutes are form the Hades' Breath raid..." Akatsuki mutters.
"Get on," Shiroe says to Akatsuki, holding out a hand. Akatsuki responds by turning red to the ears but then reluctantly grabbing his hand and climbing into the saddle.
"I'll go first!" Naotsugu yells and takes off.
I urge my gryphon to take off and with a few flaps of its mighty, majestic wings we're in the air.
Soon Shiroe and Akatsuki join us.
A few hours later we reach a mountain, which because of swarms of level 90+ wyverns we couldn't fly around and so we needed to go through the mountain, through the Depths of Palm.
We land and dismount our gryphons.
I wonder if raw meat is an ingredient, because then technically it should have taste... the cat is definitely getting to my head.
"I've been here many times in the game, but in person it's so huge," Shiroe says quietly.
"Yeah," I say and nod in agreement. Naotsugu and Akatsuki also nod.
We walk into the giant tunnel, which opens into an enormous cavern that has various bridges and such.
"Wait does that mean you're 7 years older than me!?" I ask Akatsuki in surprise.
"Ehh? Where's the light at the end of the tunnel. Did you copy your maps wrong?" I ask Shrioe.
"No, I'm certain this is the right place, besides, you're the one who got to do testing for the expansion, shouldn't you have known about this?" Shiroe says.
"It wasn't here, I guess they didn't want to spoil everything," I say.
"My Lord, above us," Akatsuki says before Shiroe can answer.
A giant rat man about 10 times—if not more—my height dropped down in front of us. As ominous as it looked, it was still only level 68 and had no specific name, so it wasn't going to be that hard to kill. Its rank was party, so that's good, if it was raid then we might have been in trouble, though probably not.
"Looks like we have no choice, let's eliminate it," Shiroe says.
"Split up, Akatsuki, attack from behind, Naotsugu draw its attacks, Mitsu, stay away from it and barrage it with magic attacks," Shiroe orders.
"""Right!""" we all say at the same time.
"Anchor Howl!" Naotsugu yells.
It's a rat man so it will be weak to fire and light and resistant to earth and darkness, should have about no defense or weakness against wind and water/frost.
"Cleansing Dragon's Flame!" I say. An orb of fire, much lighter in color than normal fire appears around my hand. Cleansing is a prefix you can add to many elemental spells, considerably increasing MP usage and damage as well as adding a second damage type, it works with any fire, wind, water, or earth spell. In this case the spell itself is a continuous gust of fire with an approximately 5°—maybe a little less—spread. Well not exactly continuous, one cast of the spell allows you to pause and release the breath for a maximum amount of time spent firing, which slowly gets used up just waiting as well.
In this case, however, I just burn it continuously for the full 10 seconds that the spell lasts.
"Cross Slash!" Naotsugu yells the moment the fire wears off.
"Thorn Bind Hostage!" Shiroe yells, binding the rat in giant thorny vines.
Akatsuki leaps into the air behind it and as she is about to slash it Shiroe points his staff at her and says, "Keen Edge!"
"Assassinate!" Akatsuki says with a spin, a red line appearing across the whole height of the creature, severing all 5 thorns and finishing the creature.
"That was fun, let's hurry and get to Susukino," I say.
As we walk out of the cave we are greeted by a beautiful sunset.
"Wow! It's so beautiful!" I say.
We land in the snowy mountains a few kilometers out from Susukino.
"So we walk in, we take the girl, we walk out, we kill Brigandia, we go back?" I ask.
"Well, approximately," Shiroe answers.
And here we were, surrounded by a good fraction of Brigandia.
"Be careful of the sorcerer girl, her race is the Race of Ritual so her attacks will be strong," Londark says.
"So which one of you is Demi-sauce?" Shiroe taunts.
"Now, now, Shiroe-chi, it's rude to ask so loudly, it's obviously the way to big man over there, isn't that right, Demikas?" the swashbuckler werecat, Nyanta, purrs.
Basically, Shiroe challenges Demikas to fight Nyanta one on one, then when Demikas refuses he taunts him more by saying how Londark would be a better opponent until he finally agrees.
The monk charges at the swashbuckler, who avoids, striking with his rapiers at the monk.
They continue to jump around each other, the swashbuckler not landing any good hits, and down to about 30% HP.
That didn't mean the monk, who was at nearly full, was winning though, as swashbucklers had any number of debuffs they could inflict through their weapons, even without clean hits, so it wouldn't be long before Nyanta squashed this bumbling fool.
Of course, Demi-sauce would cheat before then, Brigandia was never known for playing fair. He would have his healers heal him before he dies and then have his whole group jump the swashbuckler, then Naotsugu would enter the fray and use Anchor Howl to force everyone but Demi-sauce to target him.
Then Nyanta would let Demi-sauce think he was winning and then combined with thorn bind hostage from Shiroe he should be able to easily kill him. My job is just to kill the healers if necessary, though I wouldn't mind dueling with the elf mage, something's off about him and I'd rather he be busy fighting me.
He seems to understand vaguely what's going on.
Oh there it goes.
Nyanta dashes past the monk, striking him repeatedly and quickly draining his HP down to about 20%.
"Enough of this playing around, healers!" the monk orders.
The 4 healers behind Londark cast spells and blue light surrounds Demi-sauce, quickly restoring his HP.
"Now, Serara," Shiroe says.
As he says Serara casts a druid healing spell called Heartbeat Healing... why would he do that? Seems kinda pointless, since she's only level 19. Whatever, if it's Shiroe's idea there's some good reason to it.
"Surround and kill him!" the Monk yells.
The people start to charge at Nyanta and Naotsugu runs out and yells, "Anchor Howl!"
A bright green light erupts from his body and Londark says, "Fine, kill him first!"
Naotsugu can last fine on his own, for a little while at least, and when the time is right, he can use Castle of Stone which combined with Anchor Howl will give Nyanta and Shiroe 10 free seconds.
"I can't do it, I can't heal them both," Serara says, panicking. If the problem had been just mana, Shiroe could have transferred some of my mana to her, since I have plenty to spare, but unfortunately, there was a limit to how much mana you could pump into something.
"Then focus on Nyanta," Shiroe says.
"But Naotsugu-san is in trouble too!" Serara says.
"Do what you can," Shiroe says.
Serara nods and focuses her healing on Nyanta.
The monk sends the swashbuckler flying and then smashes down on him. Nyanta's HP was down to just above 10%.
"Must be hard having just 1 weak healer," Demi-sauce says.
"Just out of curiosity, why do you want her that much?" I ask.
He ignores me.
"It's over for you, I'm sending you to the cathedral a hundred times!" Demi-sauce yells and charges at Nyanta.
Naotsugu's HP drops to the 'very low' zone and he calls out, "Castle of Stone!"
He looks like he turns into yellow, glowing stone and the next barrage of attacks fails to do damage.
"Thorn Bind Hostage!" Shiro calls out, raising his staff.
"You think a bind will stop me!?" the monk asks and strikes at the swashbuckler who approaches slowly.
"Got you!" he yells. The swashbuckler jumps into the air.
Demi-sauce's HP was currently at 11903, meaning that with just one set of thorns the Monk shouldn't die. However, the cooldown is only 15 seconds and 12 seconds had already gone by since he cast the spell.
The swashbuckler falls down and hits the monk 5 times just as Shiroe recasts the spell, he then jumps back at him and hits 4 more times.
A moment later a flash of blueish-purplish light surrounds the monk and when it fades one thorn vine remains. The monk's HP is down to 1.
"Healers! Heal him!" Londark yells creating a fireball in his hand, however, before they can, all 4 of them and Londark collapse. Behind them stands Akatsuki, who sheathes her sword.
"Damn you, enchanter!" Demi-sauce yells and activates one of his skills.
"Stop!" yells Serara and hits him with her wand... which under normal circumstances wouldn't do even 1 point of damage to the level 90 monk, but in this case, it counts as an attack, so it triggered the last thorn, doing 1000 damage.
"I won't forget you, Shiroe the Enchanter!" Demikas yells as he explodes into light.
"I wanted to fight Londark," I say with a slight pout.
"Let's go home," Shiroe says.
"Alright... can I kill something first?" I ask.
"I'll take that for a yes."
"Bring it, little girl," says one of the members.
"Alright, you'll do," I say.
He was a swashbuckler, which means he shouldn't have an particular elemental resistances, in fact, fairly low health as well.
"Immolate," I say and a sphere of fire appear in my hand, almost immediately after he is covered in fire. Given his level—only 76—he burnt to ashes before the spell wore off. I cancel the spell and say, "Boring," dragging it out.
"Seeing a 13 year old cheerfully burn someone to ash is somewhat scary," Naotsugu mutters.
"I wouldn't mind doing it to you as well, express travel to the cathedral in Akiba," I reply.
"You're as vicious as ever," Nyanta says in his 'purring' voice.
"I see you decided to become a cat too?" Nyanta says.
"It was supposed to be a purely cosmetic costume for participating in the test for the expansion, but I think it's getting to my head. I'm constantly thinking about taking naps and even wondered if raw meat would have taste in this world. Then again, the first one could be not having gotten any sleep a few days in a row and the second one just wanting to eat something with taste that wasn't a fruit."
Is that smell... food?
That's just wishful thinking. Or not, since apparently Naotsugu could also smell it, and Akatsuki and Shiroe.
We were sitting by the tents we had set up and immediately all got up, following the smell to find Nyanta and Serara cooking over the fire.
"It seems our hungry campers have found us," Nyanta purrs and hands us each a kabob.
"It doesn't matter if it has smell, it just means it will be even more disappointing when it turns out tasteless," Naotsugu says as we get ready to eat them.
We bite into them and then a fraction of a second later they're all gone.
"How did you do that?" asks Shiroe.
"You have to cook them with your own hands," Nyanta answers.
"We tried that, all we get is wet mush," Naotsugu says, grabbing one of the raw kabobs and putting it over the fire, causing it to isn't turn into purple drippy mush.
"The person must have a subclass of chef," Nyanta explains.
"Wait Chief, does that mean...?" Shiroe asks.
"Indeed, I am a level 90 chef!" Nyanta says.
"I just want more meat," I say quietly.
"So how long have you known each other?" Serara asks, referring to Shiroe and Nyanta.
"All 4 of us," Nyanta says, referring to Shiroe, Naotsugu, me and himself, "were members of the Debauchery Tea Party, with Shiroe and Mitsu going a little more than and less than a year before it was disbanded respectively. It disbanded 3 years ago, so about 4 years."
"So you were all in a guild together?" Serara asks.
"It wasn't really a guild, just a group of people, everyone was in different guilds, a few not being in any guilds," Naotsugu says.
"So that's how you all had the gryphon summon flutes," Akatsuki says quietly.
Then a bit later, "But you just lied to me, there's no way this pervert was in such a legendary group as the Debauchery Tea Party!" she says as she points to Naotsugu.
"I so was!" Naotsugu yells.
"I'm gonna go take a nap," I say and climb into a tree.
"You know we have tents," Naotsugu says.
"She probably just doesn't want to sleep anywhere near a pervert like you," Akatsuki says.
"I tried it the first time because I was too sleepy to find anywhere better and it turns out it can be comfortable if you find a good tree," I say down to them from my perch in the tree.
"You're definitely becoming a cat..." Naotsugu mutters.
"You're just jealous you're so big you wouldn't fit in a tree," I tease.
"You should try it Akatsuki," I add.
"Maybe some other time," Akatsuki says.
I close my eyes and go to sleep, for once actually not wanting to eat something with, ya know, taste.
How was that for a first chapter? Sorry to those of you who were hoping I would post one of my other stories, but write now I'm in a phase where I just write whatever a feel like... as a result I currently have 4 on-going story and one story I might want to bring back which I previously deleted.