I quickly spring awake, looking around my surroundings frantically. I'm surrounded by all sides by thick, tall trees. Wait, wasn't I fighting in Iraq or Iran or...
I slapped myself. "Keep it together Chase. You are a Marine."
The last thing I remember was driving around with the rest of my squad after clearing a Taliban stronghold. We were in a MRAP, and I distinctly remember a loud exploration, and the next thing I now, I'm in the middle of the woods.
My gear was specifically designed to blend in with the desserts of the middle east, being all tan body armor with a heavy backpack with pounds and pounds of gear. Reminds me of high school when I lugged a crap ton of books everyday.
Thankfully, there was a river nearby, which meant that civilization couldn't be too far away. It was honestly pretty refreshing after a brutal tour in the scorching heat. I first tried to contact the rest of my squad with my radio, but I got no response on the other end. Pretty suspicious.
I decided to simply follow the river and see where it brought me. I still had my carbine with me, with plenty of ammunition, so if trouble broke out, I was ready. It was relatively peaceful, until I heard some movements in the brushes.
I immediately pointed my gun towards the direction of the noise. In this line of work, you can take no chances.
"Come out, I know you're there." I spoke loud and clear.
The next thing I saw caught me off guard. The thing that crawled out from the bushes was a young women who simply wore rags of clothing, and had bright yellow eyes. The most telling part was her canoe limbs and ears, almost as if she were a furry.
But she looked exactly like a character certain book I was all too familar with.
"You sure don't look like the rest of the order men." She spoke in a rough, but sultry voice, taking a few sniffs as she approach. "Ooh, but I can tell you are just as strong as them, if not more!"
"Listen, Poochey, I really don't want to kill you, but I have better things to do than screw my brains out."
"Ether way, I can't resist, tan man. You are officially my husband!" She tried to pounce on me.
It was over in a flash, or a couple, technically. One in the head, and two in the body, to make sure she was dead.
I knew I was literally inside the universe of the Monster Girl Encyclopedia. I read the books a few times, checked out some translated stuff that hasn't been sold yet, and the series if fine if you think of it as just porn. The moment you loom deeper, is when things get pretty disturbing.
The world was in a cycle where heroes would kill the demon lords of the past like an RPG, but a new Demon Lord changed the behaviors of all the monsters, somehow. Instead of killing people, they desperately seek out a human mate to have children. Monster children. If nothing changes, then humanity, and the monsters took go extinct.
Though the later books did say that not all monster girls are rape happy, but there is still that "Extremeist Faction" which is basically and army of sex fiends. And I've seen how the those terrorists in the east act, so I've already have a foul look at Druella's minions ,especially since her mom doesn't keep them in check.
Of course, the humans have there extremists too, the Order. They push back against the spread of the Demon Realm, but to such a degree that they alienate their fellow humans.
I really can't agree with any of their goals, so I swore to stay neutral in this conflict and just find a way back home. At least I'm better than the bigwigs, who thought it was a good idea to stick their noses in a civil war, but more on that later.
While I was filling up my canteen with water, I heard soft footsteps behind me. What would you know, it was probaly Primera, that half human, half elf girl from the books. She had two green pigtails and a dress made up of leaves.
"What in the world are you doing in my forest?" She asked curtly. "You don't even look like any kind of Lescatian! And what is that flag on your arm? I've never heard of a country with such red, white, and blue stripes. Doesn't seem very impressive."
Great. Should I just be honest with her?
"Listen, I'm not from this world." I told her flatly. "I'm a soldier from a country called the United States, and I was in the middle of a battle before I needed up here. Does that explain things?"
The elf's eyes were wide with shock. Serves 'em right for being a smug race no matter what you are reading.
"R-Really? Then where's your sword? Even our musksteers have backup weapons!"
"In most cases, we don't need any backup. This firearm can empty it's 30 round clip in seconds before needing to relode, and its fairly accurate for about 500 meters."
"Uh, I mean 16 feet."
"Your lying! There no way such a weapon could be welded by a mere human!"
I decided to promptly demostrate the power of the good ol M4. It was Probaly extremely reckless to waste ammo and would've gotten me yelled at, but I wanted to put that smug elf in her place.
I shot in three round bursts, into the ground to not accidentally shoot anything. Primera closed her ears since the gun was so noisey. Once it was empty, I reloaded it in her face to show that guns didn't take an eternity to do so. Good thing I didn't fumble it this time.
"What the hell?" She swore, walking away from. "Who in the right mind would give that much firepower to a footsoldier?"
"You are scared of an assault rifle? You hadn't even heard of half of what my army has!"
Primera drew her bow at me, but I could tell she was pretty embarrassed. "Well, you better not be a foreign invader, because those damn monsters are enough trouble. And I'm still a hero, one of the best marksmen in this city state."
"Well, I know a few guys who can make mile long shots, so..."
"Goddammit!" She loosened her bow, and kicked a tree. "How can just regular humans outperform a hero like me! It's like the Chief Goddess's blessing doesn't even matter..."
"Well, with better weapons, it requires better training." I said as I approached here. "Let's just say, especially in my case, training is way rougher than whatever you guys have come up with. The last thing we want is an idiot running around with full auto weaponry."
"Atleast that sounds reassuring. It's not like a basic pheasant can get his hands on this 'full auto weaponry', right?"
"Well... It depends." I didn't want to start explaining her to wonderful world of gun laws.
"Okay, I had enough with this." Primera quickly responded. "There is no way country exist when citizens can challenge the nobles. Anyway, you Probaly want to get into Lescatie, right? You will definitely stick out with that ridiculous gear. It's like you are a mule, for the Chief Goddess's sake!"
"I heard that enough already, thank you very much." I groaned.
"Well, I won't mind to take your stuff for you in my hideout. You will fit in better."
"Uh, sure thing."
We walked in silence through the forest. Thankfully, no other monsters tried to jump us. I knew from my knowledge that Primera gets corrupted by werewolves, so I had to think up of a plan to deal with that situation. Her hideout was a small hut in the trees, camouflaged almost perfectly with the leaves.
I dropped off my pack, and took some of my rations and other stuff with me.
"Whoa, you honestly don't look half bad." Primera commented.
I was nothing special, just an average build (Well, average for a Marine, of course) and some short, blonde hair. I was never for ladies anyways, since family would have gotten in the way for my goal to join the Corps.
"You still want to keep that rifle?" She asked.
"Of course! A marine is nothing without his gun, or something like that."
"Wait, you are sailor or... Nevermind, I'll never understand why your country has weird names for everything."
She began hauling my stuff up into her hut. She was still definitely smug, but I bet she wasn't stupid enough to mess with any of my equipment.
"Cya. My name's Chase."
"Mine's Primera. Don't get raped."
As Primera carried some of Chase 's stuff into her home, a realization struck her.
"He never cared about me being a half breed..."
Thankfully, Primera had a sack where I could store my weapon, so nobody freaks out when they see me. My under clothes, while still pretty suspicious, would at least draw less attention than full on combat armor. The trip to the gates was also pretty eerie, and not a single monster tried to jump me. I guess I'm pretty lucky, huh?
I gotta admit, the gates of Lescatie looked pretty amazing. Tall, awe-inspiring walls, lined with banners with the emblem of the city. Still think my flag is cooler, though.
There was a line of people entering and exiting the city, just like the borders back at home. The person in front of me was a fairly attractive woman, but when I got close, I saw her suddenly stiffen.
"Is there any problem, miss?" I asked politely.
"No no no!" She turned around, and noticed my camouflaged clothing. "Weird clothes you have there."
"Uh, it's my special design. Just splashed on some random colors. I call it "camo.""
"Intriguing. Well, I will let you pass. You look fairly busy and I don't want to keep you waiting."
We switch places in the line. In my peripheral vision, I notice the woman slipping off into the woods. God, I told you I sucked with women.
After a few hours, the line finally reaches the gate. Two guards with pikes eyed me suspiciously.
"What is your business here?" One asked.
"I'm just a mercenary looking for work." I respond with my cover story.
"You look like the type. What's the deal with the clothes, though?"
"It's a custom design of mine."
"Well, it sure is a pretty stupid design of yours. You just put random splashes of yellow paint on your shirt and pants and called it a day? Do you have any standards for art, sir?"
"You are interpreting it the wrong way. The random splashes of art symbolize how random life can be, a splash of goodness and splash of badness..." I laughed about the irony.
"You can pass, sir." The exasperated guard responded, moving out of the way of the gates.
Now that I had access to the city, it was time to put my plans into action. Unfortunately, they were dashed to pieces once I found out a startling truth.
I wasn't alone.
Not too far away from the city of Lescatie, was a war camp filled with many powerful monsters. Demons, dragons, liches, imps, slimes, high orcs and more alluring mamono that are irresistible to the average man.
The head of it all was the 4th born daughter of the Demon Lord, simply called Druella. With countless victories as the general of her faction, Lescatie would be a peace of cake.
"Mistress!" One of her kunoichi spies reported in her tent. "There was a man outside the gates of Lescatie. He had strange clothing, and a unknown firearm in a sack."
"There was reports earlier of gunshots going off in the woods that weren't musket shots. It must be the same man." The lilim locked her lips in glee. "Still, you know how inaccurate those silly sticks are. Even the Order made rapid fire muskets, they would be shooting at nothing but the skies."
"I know, but something is even more concerning. The man had no mana! I couldn't sense it, so he snuck up on me without realizing anything. I feel ashamed that a mere man got the jump on me."
"No mana, huh? I want you in particular to keep a close eye on him. Think of it as redemption."
"Right, mistress! I won't fail you!" The monster replied.
The ninja ran out of the tent, off to hunt for the manaless man know as Chase.