MTY: Chapter 105

I shuffle the imps off into a nearby alleyway, making sure to put some distance in earshot between us and any possible wandering eyes and ears.

“Is Maou… angry?”

“Did we do something wrong?”

Mak and Kay ask with sad and guilty expressions. After that puff of smoke, they reverted to their previous forms, leaving me looking at two familiar faces that seem to be on the verge of tears.

“Of course not. Just… what happened? Why did you look so different?” I ask as I try to take a deep breath and think

“We got… bigger?”

“Big and strong!” They answer

Well, that tells me nothing. Did they rank up or not? If so why do they look like they always have?

I decide to check their status in my party menu.

Name: Mak
Species: Lesser Demon
Level: 1
Att: 312
Def: 280
Int: 100
Wis: 88
Spd: 320
Dex: 350
Skills:
Blink
Fireball
Transform
Fighting instinct
Name: Kay
Species: Lesser Demon
Level: 1
Att: 312
Def: 280
Int: 100
Wis: 88
Spd: 320
Dex: 350
Skills:
Blink
Fireball
Transform
Fighting instinct

I still can never help but wonder why these two are always so identical to one another. Leaving that aside though, it does seem like they ranked up. So I guess that puff of smoke and them going back to their old appearances was due to this “Transform” skill.

“I think I understand what is going on now. I’m sure Kera will be happy to fill in the gaps.” I say as I close down my menu and motion for the imps to follow me

“Wow! Maou so smart!”

“Maou is awesome!”

Mak and Kay let out in amazement as they begin to follow

As we walk, I can’t help but wonder about their new species. Instead of becoming “Imps” like Bik, they became “Lesser Demons”. Bik grew to look more human, while they grew to look more monstrous. Does one’s personality influence what they become when the rank up? If so that may pose problems in the future.

When I looked through the archive of things I could create, I didn’t see anything about ranking up. What happens if something I created takes an unexpected trait when it ranks up? What if I made something with a hazardous trait like poison? Would it rank up into something that started or spread plagues? With these kinds of dangers present, I’m glad I didn’t keep making monsters like Gero suggested. I could have accidentally started some serious disasters.

“Hey hey! I have good idea!”

Mak says suddenly breaking me out of my daze, but when I turn to look at him he is lunging at my face.

“WHA!” Is all I get out before he is latched onto my head and the world begins to churn

I feel nauseated and fall to the ground, which is significantly more grassy than I recall.

“Princess?” I hear from a short ways in front of me in Kera’s voice

As I peel my surprise imp mask off my head spins one more time as I’m greeted by the sight of a forest rather than the city.  Standing in front of me are Kera, Kiel, and Bik who are all standing in front of a rather large scaled beast.

Fwip!

“No fair! I wanted to move Maou!” Kay pouts as he appears out of thin air

“Before you say anything ju-” Kiel starts but I throw up my hand to stop him

“Just give me a sec, sensory overload.” I say as I close my eyes for a second and let the world stop spinning

sigh “That’s a bit better.” I say as my nausea fades

I motion for Mak to come closer with my hand, and he obediently comes forward.

FWAK!

“Do NOT do that again.” I say as I get back on my feet

I give Kay a glare to make sure he knows to do the same, and his look of swift fear lets me believe he understands. Mak hobbles over to Kays side holding his head.

“Now onto the next issue, why is there a giant lizard creature dead behind you?” I ask as I turn back to the principle offenders

“We… Killed it?” Kiel answers nervously

“Why?” I respond without anger in my voice

“Money?” Kera answers quickly

THWAK!

“Why?” I repeat in the same tone

“WHY ONLY ME?!” Kera yells out as she rolls on the floor nursing her new bump

“Nuh uh! Me too!” Mak pouts

Don’t be proud that I hit you.

I focus my attention back onto Kiel and wait for his answer.

He has been keeping something secret for a while now, and I think it’s about time I was let in on it. Seems like just about everybody else was.

“Um… I was…or rather we were training.” He finally answers after things grow silent

sigh “So that’s what it was. No wonder the Imps ranked up.” I say as I look at the giant lizard

Back in the goblin village, I saw them fighting a boar half this things size and struggle, but this thing looks like it went down without so much as a fight. They must have been getting real strong behind my back.

“I didn’t know that would happen! Kera told me it wouldn’t!” Kiel defends himself, mercilessly throwing Kera under the bus

“Of course I did! That should be common sense! Those two were nearly half the maturity of Bik! Even with your usual nonsense, it should have taken them at least a few years to rank up!” Kera lets out in frustration

If what she is saying is right, then I’m going to have to accept ranking up quickly as a fact of life. Others might not be so lucky as to have the transformation skill though… what should I do?

“So… you’re not angry?” Kiel ask breaking focus

“Hm? Why would I be? I never said that you guys couldn’t train.” I answer trying to understand the question

Maybe I hit Kera too much, I seem to be getting the reputation of someone who explodes about everything. Honestly, it’s kind of cathartic at this point, but maybe she could do without the extra brain damage.

“Well… we did it behind your back, and the Imps even ranked up! Isn’t that going to make things more difficult?” Kiel ask, searching my face for signs of disapproval

“You were trying to get stronger. That’s all there was to it. Right now is rather peaceful, but things are going to start getting hectic before long. I was so focused on my own training, that I forgot about making sure the rest of you were prepared for that danger as well. It seems Mak and Kay can do something about their appearance for now so we won’t worry about it, but it might be best for you guys to stop hunting until we can come up with a solution for Bik.” I explain as I start to ponder solutions again

Aside from Kiri who isn’t around often enough to worry about, we need something that can work for Bik and Kurobe. After the tournament ended I was considering going back into the dungeon to prepare to explore the previous Maou’s castle. If we don’t have a solution then it might be a bit risky to go.

“Since everybody has ranked up once already, should we be safe for a while? I imagine ranking up a second time should take longer than the first right?” I ask Kera

sigh “Yup, though it hardly ever happens cause of how long it takes. Even monsters with long lives that are passed down in a family or clan hardly ever live long enough to see a second rank. I would like to tell you that it was impossible for short-lived creatures like the ones you have, but you seem to love breaking common sense.” Kera explains with an odd expression

If that’s the case then I’m going to be drawing countless eyes if anybody ranks up again. Maybe there is a spell that can change one’s appearance like the skill the imps have… If so I would like to have it myself. The stuff Kera smeared on my horns helps people not see them, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t there. They get caught on things constantly cause I keep forgetting they are there, and I have to check every morning to make sure they haven’t grown anymore.

“Maybe if I…” I mumble to myself

“Um… Mano?”

“Give it up Kiel, she’s in her own little world now.”

 sigh “I’m not even entirely sure why I was worried anymore.”

I hear some chatter behind me, but I choose to ignore it. I’ve got more important things to work out.

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Character stats

Trying to write this chapter has proven a pain because the first thing I need Mano to do is look at the stats on the Imps and I don’t remember any of their skills/stats. After spending about 2 hours looking through chapters to try and find it I decided that I am going to try and keep up a page with the last updated versions of characters stats and skills.

If any of you have a good enough memory or enough time on their hands to help me track down the current stats for all of the characters so I can get the list started the chapter will come out a LOT quicker.

Writing is going more fluidly than I expected it to though, so wait or not and I still think a good chapter is to come.

 

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I’m kind of back

Warning: Not so lighthearted explanation for my absence for those that want it. If you just want to know when more stories are coming skip to the end.

 



Let me start by apologizing for my long absence. I don’t really like to put this out there very much, but I suffer from some really major anxiety issues as well as occasional bouts of depression. Originally I started writing on here as a means of helping that, but after a while, it started to contribute to it. Around the time where I started writing Higeki no Hiro my personal life got really hectic in the “I’m not entirely sure how I’m going to keep a roof over my head” kind of way. I decided to take a long break, but in my anxiety, I couldn’t find a way of explaining that without panicking would always end up bailing. I like to think that I make people’s day a little brighter with my content, and I don’t really like the idea of bumming people out with my problems when they mostly came here for the stories, but I needed a break. That being said, I’m still far from in a good position fiscally, but I’m quite a bit more refreshed mentally and would like to start writing and putting stuff up here occasionally again.



With all that out of the way here’s the important bit. It has been quite some time since the last chapter of either Higeki no Hiro or Maou the Yuusha. It’s hard to get back into the flow of the stories, even if I can remember where I was heading with them, so continuations of them would be rather clunky and off for a while if I continued them.

My question is: Would you guys rather I put out some slightly lower quality chapters of my current series while I got back into the swing of them or a new series altogether that I could keep the flow going right from the start?

Either way, chapters are going to be coming in a fair deal slower than they were before. I deeply regretted the weekly deadline I set for myself, and I don’t want to fall into the same constant rush to finish as before as I felt like it made the overall chapters a bit worse in the end.

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Update

Since I finally got internet back I thought I would give  quick update. Some recent events have piled on in my normal life that has made finding time to write significantly harder, so i’m pretty behind on the third chapter of “Higeki no Hiro” but I do still plan on finishing the series. Unfortunately at this time I can’t really put a time on when the chapter will be coming out, but hopefully this will all blow over soon so I can go back to a normal schedule.

I’ve decided that once I finish Higeki no Hiro, which i’m hoping won’t take too many more chapters, I will go back to writing Maou the Yuusha. Thank you to anybody that has stuck around though all this chaos, hopefully I can get things together enough to get the next chapter out before the end of the week.

 

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Higeki no hīrō: 2

Are you ready?” The voice asked again when I didn’t answer

“Leave me alone.” I replied

Very well.” it returned

Just as I asked the voice remains silent. Being stubborn I do the same for what feels like hours before finally speaking up.

“Why must I do it again? Just let me pass on.” I eventually barked out with a bitter and angry tone

Elaborate. What do you mean by ‘pass on’?” It askeded with slight interest in it’s voice

“Die, pass on, go to the afterlife!” I yelled out in anger feeling mocked by his words

There is no such thing. This is as close as you will ever find to an afterlife.” It answered

“Then let me disappear! Why must I stay here to anguish in my memories?!” I yelled out as tears begin to stream again

I still require you. If you wish to leave then I will send you to fulfill another task.” It answered

“I won’t! There is nothing special about me, find somebody else!” I snaped in anger

I will wait until you are ready.” the voice answered before growing silent yet again

Again I wait. Wait for my anger to fade, wait for the situation to seem any more reasonable than it is. It never does. In the silence there is no distraction to fight off my memories. They fuel my hatred.

“Hey.” I let out in a dry and bitter tone

Are you ready?” It asked in response

“No. Were you watching?” I asked coldly disregarding him

The entire time.” It answered

I swear I hear a slight chuckle in his voice, and my anger swells again. I choke it back and continue.

“Why did they do it? Why did they kill me?” I asked hoping for an answer that would soothe me

Because they feared you. Just as the small one feared your partner.” He answered

In that one statement my world grew red. It finally dawned on me. Tuy killed Aina! They were part of the mage opposition!

“RYHAAAAA!” I screamed out in anger to the void

“WHY NOT JUST SEND ME BACK?! I WAS READY TO LEAVE!” I scream out

There never was a way back. They lied to you so you would do as they asked.” The voice coldly responded

“KRYHAAAA!!” I screamed out again

My memories grow blurry after that. My blind rage continued for some time. In the void I require no sleep so my concept of time is warped, but I can only imagine it must have been days before I calmed down enough to think again.

“Why should I do as you ask?” I asked with a weak voice

After screaming for so long my voice should be rasped, my lips should be dry, but they weren’t. Nothing ever changes here.

You have no choice. Until you are ready, I shall wait.” The voice answered

I was held hostage. That was the deal. I did as he asked or I stayed. My anger had begun to shift to the strange voice. As if to spite him I grew silent again. Every time I did it only ever seemed to hurt me though. The voice never spoke out alone, it never grew impatient, but I was forced to face my demons in the silence.

The silence grew painful on my ears. The only thing that broke it was when I or the voice talked… but my demons only grew stronger with each conversation. It felt like madness was setting in from all sides. My past, my present, and my future all seemed like a different kind of hell.

“Fine. I’ll go!” I finally shouted out in anger and inpatients.

State your wish for your new life then.” The voice said without even a tint of satisfaction in it’s voice

It’s lack of interest in breaking me sparked a new anger that I stomached for the time.

“I get another? That’s rather generous.” I mocked

The voice never answered my sarcasm. It simply left me in silence to pick my wish.

“Fine. I wish for the power to complete my task alone. I have no desire to make any more friends on my journey.” I answered with fire in my tone

Very well, your wish is granted. Use your new powers well as you slay the lord of the demons. Are you ready?” It asked

The question no longer shakes me. Not in the way it did before at least. Now it fuels the fire that seems to burn in my gut. The one that makes me hate my answer.

“Yes.” I said with regret as the world flushed from around me again

“G-Great hero! We have succeeded at last! Please save us!” A meek man in a fancy robe greeted me

My surroundings were similar, yet clearly different. The room was clearly some kind of church, and the symbol beneath me seemed to resemble magic circles from fairy tales in my world. Neither resembled anything from the world I was first summoned to. I was in a new world yet again.

“If you will come this way our great leader will gree-” The small man began excitedly before I picked him up by his collar

“Do you have a way to send me back?” I asked angrily as I stared the small man in the eyes

I dared him to lie to me.

“I-I don’t know! There are many more familiar with summoning magic than I am! Please don’t hurt me!” He spouted in fear squirming around in my hand

“Bring them to me.” I said as I threw the man to the ground and sat on something resembling a stool

“Y-Yes! At once!” The man spouted off as he scurried away

I learned quickly to despise the rat as I waited for far too long. The others in the room waited awkwardly unsure of whether I wanted them to stay or leave for a while, but after some time they all managed to slip away. I didn’t care. I grew irritated as I saw the sky begin to change color from the setting sun. My sense of time was distorted because of my period in the void, but I knew that I had been kept waiting for far too long.

The sky had grown dark before someone finally returned to the room, but it was not a summoner.

“Arrogant hero! You would be lucky if I didn’t sentence you to death for your disobedience.”

The man that entered saying such an annoying statement was none other than the king. He was a small man, not only in character, but in stature. I’m sure his skin wasn’t red, but nearly every time I met him his face was always crimson. Perhaps that was my own fault.

He didn’t enter alone however. Along with him were five warriors of obvious caliber. Each staring at me with the same look of contempt as the king.

“Do you have the means to send me home?” I asked without answering his anger

His pride meant nothing to me. I wanted to return. Not to my own world, my desire for that had long since passed. No, I wanted to return to the world that I rid of the Lich. I wanted Tuy and Mault to tell me why they betrayed me themselves.

“Know your place! What grounds do you have to make request of a king?!” He angrily yelled as he marched towards me

In an instant I closed the distance between us and placed my sword against his neck. Surprised by my speed the warriors all stumbled to raise their swords on me. I wasn’t afraid. In the time I spent waiting I managed to confirm something. My body and equipment were the same as when I died. Without some kind of trap there is no way a normal weapon could do any real damage to me.

“I will ask only one more time before I cut you down and ask someone else. Can. You. Send. Me. Home?” I asked with my anger and irritation beginning to resurface

Surely I had killed humans before, especially against the mages opposition, but I had never grown used to it. At that moment I surprised even myself. The man before me was not human to me. Nobody there was.

“Hmph! If you had only listened to our proposal you would have known that we can you fool! All we ask is that you rid us of the demon lord!” The king yells in my face

With a bit of spit landing in my eye my anger was fit to burst.

“No! You will send me back now!” I yelled

“and why would we do that?!” He screamed back with an ever reddening face

I was done.

“RAAAAAAAAH! Kill him! Kill him now!” The king screamed as I let the sword sink into the fatty flesh around his neck

The next battle happened in a flash. I threw the king away to give myself some space to take down the five that had started charging me despite my hostage. Perhaps as an instinct from my previous life I used the flat end of my blade as I quickly dispatched them.

I have no idea how these five stack up against the warriors of this world, but compared to even a simple soldier of the front line they were untrained fools with shiny gear.

It was only moments after the king himself landed on the ground that the five fools he brought with him followed suit.

“IEEEeee! Don’t kill me! I’ll give you whatever you want!” He pleaded as his face quickly switched to a shade of blue

“Just send me back.” I said as I place the sword against the kings neck again

“Kuh! We… Can’t…” He let out with a look of shame a defeat

“It was a lie?” I asked in the same emotionless tone

“..Yes.” The king eked out as he braced himself for the attack he was sure would follow

sigh

I sheathed my blade and began to walk towards the door. I had no reason to take his life if they didn’t even have a way to send me back. In the first place watching a defenseless man grovel and throw away his pride for the sake of his life quelled my immediate anger. I wasn’t sure where I was going, but my instincts told me to leave.

“W-wait! You can still go home!” The king yelled out with desperation as I approached the door

I stopped, but didn’t turn to look at him. I was tired of his lies. This pause was his last moment to speak.

“The king of the demons should have the spell you seek. Demons are known for making pacts with otherworldly through summons. Surely they must have a way to return home!” He was wise enough to take it

The speed and sureness in his words made a small part of me believe he was telling the truth, but perhaps I had begun to loose hope that I could return. After he finished talking I continued to leave.

“You will need the holy sword! My daugh-” He continued to yell as I left

What was it that gave me this sense of melancholy? How familiar the scene was to my previous life? The fact that I had given in to the voices demands? That I had thrown away my pride as a hero to serve myself? The question haunted me for a great deal of time.

Perhaps due to my lack of direction I began my journey to the demons territory. The towns I passed through were helpful in that regard. Many were quick to tell of the legends regarding the demons, and where they were rumored to preside. What I found rather quickly was that nobody truly knew the location of the demon lord. Many doubted he even existed.

With the lack of evidence surrounding him I might have even questioned his existence myself if not for the voice. I didn’t trust the voice. I knew nothing of his motivations, nothing about why he would even tell me what he did, or if he had ever lied to me. Even still, he gave me a mission. Whatever motivation he had to send me to this world, I can at least meet it along the path to the demon lord. That was what I believed.

I expected to have a bounty on my head after I tossed around the king, but to my surprise word of a hero being summoned never even made it as far as the town I was summoned in. Perhaps the king kept it a secret intentionally to save face, but regardless of the reason I found it convenient. Without the duty of a hero barring down on me I was free to live this life as I wanted. Not as the voice wanted, and most certainly not as the king wanted. I traveled to find the demon lord for my own purposes.

I continued to gather information diligently as I traveled. I talked with merchants, inn keepers, and bards just as I had done in my previous life, but I never learned anybodies name. Likewise I threw away my own name. Names are for those who have a need to remember each other; friends, acquaintances, lovers. I didn’t need those. I didn’t want those. I talked with people for information, nothing more.

This journey was so different from those I had before. For as long as I could remember Aina and Tuy were at my side;  laughing, arguing, and fighting side by side. Even when it was hard, it was always so much fun. Things always looked so vibrant and colorful. I would marvel at the sounds of nature. I don’t see the colors anymore though. I don’t hear the birds or the wind. I see the road, and I continue to follow it.

I met little resistance on my path. Monsters and demons became more common as I drew closer to my goal, but they were a meager distraction. Perhaps the inhabitants of this world are weaker? This world seemed… peaceful. The demons ravaged the land, but by no means as savagely as the Lich did. There was never any tension.

I knew I was drawing close when the miasma began to fill the air around me. A poisonous stench with a purple hue. When it first set in I would find various corpses scattered around. Monsters, animals, humans, even some demons dotted the land as if stricken by an epidemic. This miasma was powerful. Enough so for even me to be worried.

“Purify!”

This was the first time I found use for the gift the voice had given me for this world. It gave me the aptitude to fulfill any role by myself. In my previous life I had very little aptitude with magic, but with this ability I gained the aptitude to cast any spell that my mana could handle. I also gained skill with a bow and various other weapons that I had troubles with in my previous life, but I continued to use a sword out of habit. Using this ability meant that I didn’t have to rely on a healer or a priest to make my way through the purple haze that grew ever thicker.

I won’t say it wasn’t lonely, but I preferred it this way. Nobody to betray me… nobody for me to hurt.

I struggled with my sense of direction in the thick miasma. It was hard to see more than a couple feet in front of myself, and I had been walking for so long that I had lost track of the way I first started walking. I knew however, that so long as the mist grew thicker, that I drew closer.

The miasma was so thick that I no longer knew whether it was day or night. The miasma was the perfect defense in this way. No direction, no sense of time, and an always hostile environment. With the castle lost so deeply in the mist it was impossible for most to reach. Even if you managed to somehow survive the poisonous air, you also had to have the mental fortitude to walk through an endless void with no sense of when you would reach your goal. Maybe I really was the most suited candidate for it in that respect.

After walking for what I could only imagine was a few days I eventually began to notice a light, similar to a flickering flame, shining through the thick poisonous air. It became a lighthouse for me. I feared that it was a trap, but even I was growing fatigued in the miasma. Perhaps the excitement or danger of a trap would be good for me. I couldn’t get the idea of a moth flying towards a flame out of my head.

My worries were in vain however as the air suddenly cleared around me, revealing a castle that seemed to melt away at the edges. It was an amazing sight, but even this hardly shook my stoned heart. I continued on, determined in my goal.

The castle itself was abundant with high ranking demons, many of which attacked at once. At times the battles seemed close, and I worried I might fail, but somehow I would always pull through. Perhaps I was something of a battle maniac, because the thought of fighting the demon lord began to make my heart race.

Make no mistake, I didn’t come here to fight. I tried explaining my situation to nearly every new group of demons that I came across in the castle, but after failing to convince the first several groups of demons that attacked me I lost the opportunity.

“A sly tongued human is invading the castle! He uses mind magic! Attack him, and cover your ears!” began to circulate among those that alerted their friends of my arrival

Listen, i’m going to defend myself. I’m not attacking just because I repelled those that attacked me.

I began to resolve myself that fighting the demon lord was inevitable. I began to feel a heavy painful feeling in my heart at the thought of giving that voice what he wanted yet again.

The castle wasn’t incredibly large in comparison to the vast expanse I crossed to get here, so my arrival at the throne room felt far too quick. Was I disappointed? It felt inappropriate to be, but I definitely let out a disgruntled sigh.

On the throne sat a man nearly twice my height, with deep purple skin and long sharp ears. Two horns protruded from his head, each curving backwards with twist and turns. He wore dark robes of red and black. His overall appearance somewhat reminded me of a vampire. I’ll admit I tried to check for fangs when he spoke.

“So you have arrived unsung hero! To take down my four diva’s so easily… you are truly to be feared! Well then, shall we get to it then? Fight m-”

“No.”

“…Pardon?”

As he began his monolouge I swiftly stopped him. If I was going to leave peacefully then this was my last chance.

“I don’t intend on fighting you, I just have a question I need you to answer.” I explained plainly

“…he.. Hehehe… Mwahahahahhaha! You came this far, all to ask me a simple question?! Perhaps your are not some unknown hero, but a far greater evil than even myself! Very well then, out of respect for your efforts I will answer your question before I kill you.” He exploded with laughter at my statement

“Why was I sent to kill you?” I asked

“You jest surely? Because I have sent countless demons to kill the humans? Is that not why someone sent you?” He responded with confused amusement

“I wasn’t sent by humans. I was summoned to this world by some being with the express purpose of killing you. Why?” I ask as my anger began to boil

Somehow I had become so focused on getting here, that I forgot how ridiculous my story must sound to others. How was I supposed to get the information I needed like this?

“Do you speak in metaphors, or are you simply mad? Regardless, I do not know the answer to your riddle.” He said as the look of respect he previously had faded from his eyes

He might have really thought me mad in that moment.

“Let’s try another then… Why are you attacking the humans?” I asked

The common link between the two worlds was that I was summoned to defeat something attacking the humans. Perhaps the voice like humans enough to send them aid? Are his actions virtuous then? Does he play the role of hero by sending me in against my will?

“Because they have driven us to extinction. Hundreds of years ago humans and demons shared this land, just as countless other races did. The elves, the dwarves, the forgotten, as well as countless others. The humans think they are the superior race, and thus they spent centuries wiping out anything that wasn’t pure-blood human… A demons power comes from it’s resentment towards others. A power I can feel burn brightly in you. Pushed as far as we were, our resentment began to boil, and eventually we gained the upper hand. We are still too few however, and we have little room to expand with so many humans across the land. Humans are a plague that has wiped out most of the world! We will eradicate them so we don’t meet the same fate!” The demon lord explained with explosive anger

True to his word, as he grew angrier his appearance grew more menacing.

Listening to his words confused me again as to the voices purpose. If his story was true, then the voice didn’t act out of some sense of justice, but out of preference of the humans. One final thing bothered me however. I didn’t seem necessary. The humans weren’t at their full potential, I saw that plainly in my travels. If the demons ever attacked in earnest again the humans, then the humans would simply rise to the challenge. The demons would have eventually been eradicated whether I was here or not, so why send me?

As my questions grew, so did my anger. It seemed like my answers were not here after all.

“One last question. Do you know of a method to send me home to my previous world?” I ask trying to steady my anger

“Why would I know such a thing? It is the humans that developed summoning magics, surely if such a magic existed the humans would have it.” He scoffs

I expected to get angry when I learned I was lied to, but I suppose I never put much hope in the red faced kings words. With a sigh I turned to leave. There was no reason for me to be here any longer.

A shooting pain came from my side in the next moment. The demon lord had sent a sword slashing into me. It was rather deep, and it hurt badly.

“I hope you enjoy your answers. You are surprisingly sturdy.” The demon scoffs as he pull the sword from me and waits for me to die

Death came quickly this time, and I was happy for it.

Are you ready?

Though any feeling of contentment were replaced with anger as those familiar words greeted me back to the void.

 

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Higeki no hīrō

Silence. Crushing silence. Even when I open my eyes there is nothing to see, and although I listen with everything I have there is nothing to hear… So this is what it’s like being dead… I always thought I would live a lot longer. I was only in my second year of high-school… I didn’t even get a girlfriend yet! I worked so hard, and tried to be a good person my whole life, and now what? I ended up in limbo or something!

Are you ready?” A voice so loud that it feels like it’s going to crush me suddenly ask out of nowhere

“Aren’t I dead? Why can I still hear a voice?” I ask aloud as I look around for the source

You are dead. As to why you can hear me, it’s because I’ve chosen you.” The voice resounds and echos around me

“Chosen? For what?” I ask giving up on finding an origin

You are going to slay an evil beast for me. One with incredible powers. My followers in another world have asked for a hero, and you will answer that prayer.” The voice explains 

“What? I’m going to be summoned to another world?! That’s so cool! Do I get special powers or something?!” I ask excitedly

So this is my reward for living a good life? No, it had to be for something bigger! I died sticking up for some girl that was being harassed by some hoodlums… One of them stabbed me when I tried to yell for help. Did I end up saving the girl at the cost of my own life?… I’m pretty cool aren’t I?

I will grant you one wish for your new life. This will be my only blessing so choose wisely.” The voice answers bringing me back into the moment

Just one? Should I ask from some amazing attack? Or maybe some amazing magic? I suppose since it’s just one wish it’s like choosing a class isn’t it?

“If it’s just one wish, then I suppose it would have to be a physical boost wouldn’t it? I don’t like pain, so make me strong enough to withstand strong attacks.” I say as my hand hovers over where I was stabbed

I can’t feel anything in this space… but I can still remember then pain. It doesn’t feel like it’s gone anywhere.

Very well. My blessing will grow over time, nurture it well. I suppose it’s time you finally answered my question. Are you ready?” The voice says in a way that shakes me to the core

This feeling coursing through me, is it excitement? Or maybe it’s fear?

I take several deep breaths, despite the lack of any air, and calm myself before answering.

“I am!”

I could swear somewhere in the darkness I could see a smirk begin to form before it all began to wash away. The unending black void suddenly became a myriad of colors. My eyes take a moment to focus, but as soon as I see the flickering lights of flames I realize where I am.

“Hero! The great god has answered our prayer!” A regal sounding voice yells out before I can focus on my surroundings

My eyes begin to hurt, and I have to close them for a moment to let them rest. When I open them again I can see everything. I am currently kneeled down on a strange symbols etched into the ground. The candles and charms around me tip me off that this was the ceremony used to summon me. A man in fancy robes and a golden crown stands before me with arms outstretched with a joyous look on his face.

That man was the king. He told me the story of the great demon that rose up in the west. The once peaceful forest that covered over half the continent had burned as several wars took place between the humans and the evils that spawned from him. The humans were unable to save any of the great expanse of beauty that once covered the land, and now struggle just to keep the demons minions at bay. Defeat is inevitable unless something is done.

“Go! Defeat the king of evil! We will reward you when you return!” The king said proudly as I set off on my journey

I struggled at first. The monsters that littered my path were right out of a fantasy novel. Goblins, Orcs, and even Slimes attacked me by the dozens. I was forced to use hit and run tactics as I only had the power to take down one or two by myself.

I was sure I would meet my premature end yet again when I found myself surrounded on all sides by all manner of monsters. My sturdy body had managed to get me pretty far by itself, but against this many there was no way I would survive. Angry at the injustice I continued to fight, and to my credit I took down more than I had ever managed before, but alas it was too little. When I took a hard strike to the back of my head from one of the Orcs clubs I fell to the ground. As my consciousness faded I felt the sense of pain begin to numb. This was how I met my first companion in the other world.

Aina the mage. She was one of the kingdoms best, if not slightly bullheaded. Magic required a calm and meticulous mind, and yet she burned like a fire. Among mages of similar caliber she was shunned and hated, if not for her talent for her temper. The stiff minded people that made up the various colleges and guilds that practiced magic had no place for her, and like that she was alone. One thing could never be denied however, she had the capability of 10 mages on her worst day.

More monsters than I had the luxury to count burst into flames as various spells discharged around me. In a moment the skirmish had turned into a war-zone with explosions and sounds of electricity all about. Those that weren’t obliterated ran for their lives.

It was over in a flash… or at least that’s how she tells it. I’m not so dumb as to not notice the cuts and bruises she had on her when I woke up. It looks like it was a hard fought battle, and my appreciation for her saving me that day only ever grew.

We became fast friends as we squabbled and laughed in every town we visited on our way to the border of the humans territory. The monsters that made it this far were considered weak, not ever worthy of dispatching the soldiers on the border to eliminate. Various guilds saw to them instead, hiring various adventurers and travelers to  fight the weaker monsters that made it past the raging battle at the border. We decided to join on such guild.

There we met our second companion. Tuy the archer. The guild was small. Only about 20 people ever joined, and even then only about 5 of them regularly came in for subjugation request. One of those members of Tuy, a small blond haired boy. Tuy always went out on request alone, and was known for coming back badly injured. He was always timid and refused any attempt we made to aid him.

One day the guild leader came to us with a worried expression and explained that Tuy had left on a very dangerous request. A Red Ogre had been seen outside of town and the request called for more members than was at the guilds disposal to take it down. Tuy begged people to go with him for the first time, wanting to save the town. When people told him he was crazy to think that so few people could take it down he stormed away with the request in hand.

We rushed to get there in time, but before we arrived the Ogre and Tuy had already met. Tuy moved so fast that he seemed to disappear repeatedly as he stabbed the Ogre over and over again in desperation. The Orge laughed as it tried to swat the fly buzzing around him. Tuy speed was incredible, but he couldn’t do enough damage to make it matter. We took advantage of Tuy distraction to engage the Ogre as well.

We must have fought for hours. The more damage we did the more the Ogre sought to ignore Tuy, but the stubborn kid refused to be ignored. Whenever he was given the opportunity he would stab at the Ogres weak points. The Ogre absorbed everything we threw at him for so long that we thought he would never fall. When he finally did all three of us were exhausted.

After that Tuy opened up to us. He was trepidation about leaving the town he loved so much, but we finally convinced him to join us after a time.  He speed, stealth, and prowess with a bow turned into one of our greatest assets as we gained the upper-hand in any fight we could prepare for.

It was just the three of us for a long time after that. We took down stronger and stronger monsters, and word of our abilities began to spread throughout the land. The guild we had joined became one of the most prominent in the nation. It was a few years before we decided we were finally ready to push back the monster on the front line.

It was a constant war-zone from dusk till dawn there. Magic barriers, ancient artifacts, powerful fighters and soldiers from across the globe.  The humans put everything they had on the front line to try and keep what remained safe. Perhaps it was the fame getting to us, but we decided that we were more than all of that. We blasted onto the front line and tried to push the monsters back. The plan was to move the barrier forward by nearly a mile. If it was successful we would do it again and again until we took back the entire forest. Things did not go as planned.

We were overwhelmed. The monsters here were smarter, faster, and stronger than any that had made it through the barrier. Instead of pushing the monsters back, it seemed as if they simply retreated. We let it go to our heads instead of thinking and pushed forward. Before we knew it the monsters had led us into a trap. We tried to escape when we realized what had happened, but we took some serious damage.

One monster aimed to kill Aina that had lagged behind in our escape. I used my own body to defend her. Even with my body that had grown ever more sturdy over the years the cut was deep. It was obvious I was going to die. Thankfully mine was the worse injury, but neither Aina or Tuy came out unscathed by a long shot.

Although badly wounded themselves they dragged me to the fortress used by the elite soldiers of the border and begged them to save me. Clergy magic wasn’t common by any stretch of the imagination, but there were a few among the elite.

The soldiers looked at me and wore grim expressions as they explained that it would be a waste. Clergy magic was weak and wouldn’t be able to close a wound as large as mine. To try would take more mana than any of their soldiers could spare. They sounded remorseful, but I understood. For a cleric mana is like medicine. When so many come to you for aid you can’t use up everything you have trying to save one incompetent fool that got himself hurt.

Even though I told them to stop Tuy and Aina continued to fight for a way to save me. They argued with the soldiers with tears in their eyes. When I began to feel cold I tried to call them over, but my voice wouldn’t come out. After fighting for years and making such great friends I no longer had many regrets in life, but I felt remorseful that I wouldn’t get to see them again. I couldn’t help but let my tears begin to fall as I watched them fight for me.

“Geez, a hero really shouldn’t cry you know?” I hear through the commotion in a beautiful voice

Although the I lacked the strength to lift my head, I could feel someone pull it back as a glass bottle was pressed against my lips. As the gelatinous liquid slid down my throat the cold numb feeling began to fade. The pain in my chest began to burn as if molten metal had been pored into it, but after several moments both the pain and the burning stopped.

The voice belong to Mault the only daughter of the king. The liquid she had me drink was an ancient potion capable of healing even vital wounds. A one of a kind item unfortunately. She also healed Tuy and Aina using basic healing magic.

The soldiers acted confused and bewildered as to why the princess herself had made an appearance, but they were silenced as she explained that she was here in secret. The princess has always had a talent for healing magic, but her father had forbid her from ever going to the front line. For many years she was content to listen to him, but word of our travels inspired her to run away and fight for the humans safety.

When she asked to join our party we all hesitated. Healers were a rare commodity and we would likely never find another, but something like this could turn us into criminals if the king ever found out. The princess promised to always were as disguise as she had done up to this point, and although wary we decided to let her join us.

With a healer in tow we decided to travel the humans realm once again is search of items and ancient magics to aid us in our fight against the monsters. We spent another 3 years training harder than we had ever done before as we searched for any edge we could get.

I even learned some magic to help me out in a bind from Aina. Learning magic without having any talent in manipulating mana is incredibly difficult. Aina would drill her lessons into me every night. She always seemed to have so much fun when talking about magic. Perhaps part of the reason we never stopped was that it kept our spirits high to practice together.

Eventually we decided that it was time to make another attempt at overcoming the front line. We had become the strongest humans alive. We would often talk strategy over the years, fearing a repeat of our previous failure. Eventually we settled on a new approach. Instead of facing the hordes of monsters head on we would go straight for the source. Nobody had ever actually seen the Evil king before, but we were willing to bet it all on one final battle.

With Tuys help we managed to go unseen for most of our journey. Those that we did come across we would swiftly take out. If we were too make too much of a commotion deep into enemy territory it would be the end. Our only hope was stealth. It was a lot easier than any of us expected as well. After a point the monsters stopped being cautious at all.

It was a surreal sight. The monsters would simply march forward, only ever stopping to rest. They never seemed to eat, and short of seeing one of us they never acted independently. I guess we all just assumed that the monsters were fighting to survive just like we were to a point. Instead they seem to survive purely for the sake of killing us.

It took weeks to reach where the monsters came from. We knew for sure when we had found the source. A cave with deep red smoke poring out from it. We scoped it out for a few days to gather any additional information. In the end the only thing we learned was that monsters would come out roughly every hour or so in large herds.

We waited for the last monster of one grouping to disappear before rushing into the cave. We knew that if we ran into the next group that we wouldn’t survive so we ran through the cave at full speed looking for the origin of the smoke. What we finally came across sent a chill down our spines. A skeleton with a long ornate rob and and crown covered in gems sat limp on a throne of mangled corpses.

“So you arrived at last.” A voice echoed through the halls of the cave

The skeleton remained unmoved however.

“Imperfect. Even you, the one from another world. Imperfect. Are the gods not even capable of perfection? Why? Are they too proud of their mistakes? The humans? This world? Before creation must come destruction. I will destroy this world starting with the gods greatest mistakes, the humans. Then I will create the perfection even the gods could not achieve! You are my last test! The assassin of the gods! Face me hero!” The voice said with an air of madness

With every word we grew more dizzy and nauseated. After the voice finished with it’s speech the cave began to rattle. As the world shook around us we almost failed to see the skeleton rise from it’s throne. We were alerted by the sudden light that began to emit from his hand as he began to float in the air.

“Die hero!” the voice screamed as the light formed a spell and shot towards us

It only managed to graze my arm, but even still it managed to do incredible damage to my now nearly indestructible body. We all instantly knew how powerful the foe we faced was because of this.

Desperately we fought. It felt like time stretched on forever. Knowing that at any moment our already impossible struggle would be made even more so by a group of monsters made us even more desperate for the end. The skeletons body showed no signs of damage no matter how much we hit him with. No matter what hit him he would just regenerate after mere moments.

“Has it been an hour?”

“How do we win?”

“Is this the end?”

All of us asked ourselves these questions as if to make sense of the unfair challenge we faced. Perhaps our desperation, fear, or the strange dizziness that filled the air drove us slightly mad. The reason we were here faded away and it all just blurred into a desperate struggle to survive.

Perhaps this madness was what prompted Mault to use one of her most powerful healing spells on the skeleton. When we saw the gentle light from her spell encompass the fiend our hearts all dropped to our stomachs. We knew that the fight had ended, and that we had lost. Any damage that the skeleton had actually taken was surely gone now. Or so we thought.

“KRYAAAAAA!!!” The skeleton screamed out in pain

Life flooded back into us as we realized our mistake. The creature could only be harmed through healing! We reformed our ranks to protect Mault and rushed in again to attack the monster.

Realizing himself that he was no longer invulnerable he drew back and answered one of the most important questions we had been asking. Where were the monsters? To cover his retreat he summoned three of the highest class monsters we had ever faced, Mithril golems.

The tide of battle shifted as the golems became the main threat. The skeleton drew back as if to recover from the damage, or perhaps due to the mana draw that the monster must have had on him.

Regardless we knew this was our chance, and we weren’t going to let it slip by. I jumped to the front line and drew the attention of the golems. Using one of the ancient artifacts I had gathered in my journey, a amulet with a fierce azure gem in the center, to draw their attention. They battered me with a barrage of powerful attacked. If I let my guard down and failed to block even a single one I was sure to die. As soon as their attention shifted to me however my companions knew exactly what to do. With a buff from Aina, and Tuy pulling her along Mault got behind the golems to face the now weak skeleton.

“No! I refuse to die! Especially at the hands of you filthy humans! Bring the hero to kill me!” The skeleton ranted in it’s madness as it put up its fleshless hand in a fruitless attempt to defend himself

Mault didn’t hesitate for even a moment. She poured every ounce of magical power she had into one final spell and sent it flying at the foul and mad king of evil.

“KRYAAAAAAaaa…” His screams faded to silence as he turned to dust

As if part of the mad king themselves, the golems followed by crumbling into chunks of mithril.

As silence filled the room and the smoke faded tears began to well in our eyes.

“”””WE DID IT!!!”””” We all screamed out in joy before collapsing in exhaustion

 

Our return to the human realm was met with celebration. The death of the king of evil was met with the demise of every monster that had been fighting the humans. With his evil power no longer fueling them it was as if they starved on magical power. For the first time in a near century the fighting had ended. In days it took to travels back through the desolate but peaceful forest the humans had started a massive feast.

When we arrived there was hardly a sober person to greet us, and before too long we were dragged into the party as well. On the first night back Aina confessed her feelings for me. I felt the same way and… well we will leave out that part of the story.

In a few days the king had heard of our battle in detail and arranged a ceremony to reward us. Perhaps that was just an excuse to have another banquet though. We were all recognized as heros of the kingdom that day. Mault revealed to her father that she had run away and joined our party, and the king shed tears of joy over pride of his daughter.

I remembered that I now had the opportunity to return home… but I didn’t really want to anymore. My life here had been so grand that my previous one could never compete.

I was still an ignorant child at that point.

After the initial joy of victory faded from peoples hearts the story of “The Great Lich” began to circulate. The magician that went to far in his research, and nearly caused the end of the world… and the brave princess that defeated him.

Unease began to spread as the people that were already somewhat weary had an entirely new reason to fear the mages. Before long people had placed the blame of the events that transpired squarely on the mages. The more powerful the mage the more hatred the accrued.

Aina turned into a symbol for mages everywhere. The most powerful mage in history, arguably even more powerful than the Lich had been in life. With spells and items lost to history. The fear of something like this happening again triggered a war against the mages… that was sparked by Aina’s death.

An assassin came in the middle of the night a stuck a dagger through her heart.  Even though we shared a bed I never even heard her final breath. My heart grew cold after her death. The fantastical world that I had seen before turned grey without her.

I was angry. Why did she have to die? Because she could be dangerous? Then what of the person that stabbed her in the heart without so much as a fight? I decided to join the war effort. Not all humans opposed the mages, and those that didn’t fought for peace.

Peace never really came though. The war was short but brutal. Terrorist attacks on guilds and colleges turned towns into battlefields. The side that opposed mages was never so organized to have anybody admit defeat, but one day the fighting just stopped. The war accomplished nothing. People still hated the mages, they just never acted on that hatred. Word began to spread that I would cut down anybody that opposed the mages. People began to speak of me like I was a monster, or some dog at the thrones disposal.

I hated it. The fighting, the people, the whispering. I isolated myself. In all of the fighting I never saw Tuy or Mault once. Maybe I didn’t want them to see me anymore. Maybe I believed I really was a monster. That might have been why I decided to live in the desolate forest. After isolating myself for nearly a year a familiar face showed up before me.

Tuy had tracked me down. He said that Mault had been looking for me, and that he had been worried about me. He told me that Mault had been preparing to send me home, and that the materials were gathered if I ever wanted to return.

My thought of home had been swirling in my head for a while. A world without magic, a world where I wasn’t feared. Even if I couldn’t just pick up my life from where I was before, just the idea of living in peaceful japan again was nice.

I decided to go. There wasn’t anything left for me in this world, and the world no longer had a need for me. I arrived at the castle with Tuy several days later. He escorted me directly to the magical symbol I was summoned to this world with. There I met Mault again.

Mault wore a sad look on her face alongside her father as she watched me arrive. The decision was never harder than being in a room with everybody I cared about, and at the same time never easier. Seeing everybody together without Aina… it made it even clearer that she was never coming back.

When the ceremony began I was told to close my eyes. Several of the court mages began to chant around me, using a spell I hadn’t heard before. My body began to feel light, as if it would fly away at any moment… and then pain.

My eyes flew open as I felt a terrible pain in my chest. I looked down to see a knife stabbed into my heart, with a hand still holding it there. My head spun as it tried to understand what was going on. I looked up to see who the hand belong to and my blood ran cold when I did.

“Tuy… why?” I eked out through the blood

“You are too dangerous for this world. Even before the mages you are the greatest threat that the humans stand to face.” Mault explains with a look of superiority

“…Tuy?” I let out again trying to find solace in my friend even after he betrayed me

“Did you even know about my village? What happened to it? After we left… monsters destroyed it. It was your fault! You made me leave!” He began to yell through tears

He said a lot more, but I never heard any of it. My life faded right then and there. The silence of the black void was familiar to me, crushing. This time however it was filled with the sound of my sobbing. I screamed with sadness and hatred to the void for who knows how long. Eventually my eyes grey dry and my voice grew weak. The futility of my cries wore on me. Nobody would hear them, and I didn’t want anybody to. When I had given up and the silence returned is when I heard a voice.

Are you ready?

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Maou the Yuusha hiatus

For a while Maou the Yuusha is going to have a small break. Don’t worry too much, the series certainly isn’t dead, I’ve just hit a bit of a rut where writing for it is difficult. In the first place I had always intended to have other series run alongside Maou the Yuusha, and to pepper in the occasional one-shot for the sake of practice. However with work and other responsibilities taking up most of my time I never had the opportunity to. that’s why for the period that Maou the Yuusha is on break i’m going to be doing just that.

I have a short series called “Higeki no hīrō” that is going to have it’s first chapter released later today that I plan to be running for a while. This story is going to be much shorter, but will have a much more encapsulated story with longer chapters. Hopefully you will all enjoy it as much as I have.

I will also be throwing out the occasional pilot chapter or one-shot for your enjoyment, of which I have a few planned. Not every one will be gold for sure, but I would love your feedback on all of them so I can get an idea of what it is that those of you that already read my stuff enjoy.

Maou the Yuusha will continue as soon as my motivation for writing it returns, but in the mean time I will make sure that at least every Wednesday there is a release of something whether that is a chapter of “Higeki no hīrō” or on of the more one-off works I have planned.

I hope that you will all continue reading during this hiatus, and I promise that Maou the Yuusha will continue before too long.

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