Hunting for a traitor is hard work.
And to make things worse, it’s not the kind of work I can delegate to my subordinates. Otherwise, I open myself up to the risk of that very subordinate being the traitor and spending the whole time they’re supposed to be investigating covering their tracks. And then coming to me with a report implicating someone who’s actually loyal.
The universe might just spit in my eye like this. It has that kind of sense of humor.
No, better to do it myself.Continue reading
The Major is strong.
My arms ache as I swing my sword one more time. Even in my current state, it’s far and away a cleaner, stronger slash than I’ve ever managed during training. This fight has pushed me past my limits time and time again.
However, my sword is once again deflected. Before it can reach its target, an invisible force pulls the blade to the side.Continue reading
I lose consciousness for a few seconds before my body forces me awake, despite its pitiful state. When I open my eyes, I find myself… underwater.
It takes me a moment to understand why I’m underwater.
I was slowed down in this process of understanding by the fact that my heart has stopped beating. Even for me, this is a little distracting.
I read in a book I found in the Springfields’ house’s library that humans consider each other dead once their heart has stopped beating. Even if the afflicted person is resuscitated afterward, through magic or medicine or whatever other means, they are still considered as having been ‘technically’ dead while their heart was silent.Continue reading
Uncle Finram flies fast, even while carrying me along. I have to squint my eyes against the wind. It only takes us a few seconds to reach the harbor.
When Uncle Finram is about to head down, however, I feel his body suddenly stiffen, and we swerve to the side. The change in direction is so abrupt I almost feel sick to my stomach, and my neck stings from the whiplash.
We alight behind a tall warehouse’s wall.
“Uncle, what…?” I start asking while rubbing the back of my neck.Continue reading
I leap toward the god with the paper talismans. My fist, supplemented with telekinesis, is about to snap forward, but before I can attack, an arrow shoots straight toward me from the airborne god with the bow, aiming to pierce through the top of my skull.
Fortunately, I was expecting it. Just because I’m attacking one of my opponents doesn’t mean I’ll disregard anything that happens around me. I’m used to fighting against a numerically superior foe.
A fraction of my left arm explodes, and I use the force of the detonation to spin to the right, my body almost coiling in mid-air around the arrow which flashes past me harmlessly. Still, this arrow successfully countered my rush for the god with the talismans. I’m forced to land, where I find myself on the defensive when a silhouette flashes near me in the corner of my sight. I raise my right arm just in time to block the attack coming for my face.
This guy is really fast…Continue reading
With a breathless gasp, my eyes snap open. Panic and terror filling my heart, I sit up and frantically look around myself.
The sight of a darkened room greets me. For a second, my fear only grows. Where is this? What am I doing in this unfamiliar place? The darkness feels cloying and threatening, as if it’s about to swallow me. But then, reason reasserts itself, and my uncontrolled heartbeat slowly returns to normal. I wipe cold sweat from my brow with the sleeve of my shirt.
My sleep was not particularly peaceful, today.
Is this some sort of joke?
I thought this would be a showcase of the most dangerous techniques on Caldera, executed by the most dangerous individuals on Caldera.
But… bugs?Continue reading
“She shall be honored as a martyr put to death by these heinous criminals, enemies of both humans and majin and reviled by all. Never will we submit to their repulsive designs! No matter where these cowards may hide, they shall be found, and they shall be destroyed to the very last!”
I listen to the child’s ridiculous speech as he extols the virtues of his dead sister and condemns the evils of, well, me. The contents enter in one ear and leave out the other, but I take great care to carve the face and voice of the speaker in my memory, for future reference.
The son of Wayland Adkins.
There will come a day when I drown him in his own blood.Continue reading
I walk quietly through Pamthen, looking around at the rowdy warriors everywhere, drinking themselves silly, picking fights against all and sundry, and generally being a bunch of insufferable assholes.
Pretty much like any warrior anywhere, really.
Right now, I’m not wearing my usual form. I currently look like a stout, old, matronly human woman, with wiry gray hair. I have large muscles and wide shoulders and a battle-scarred, ferocious face. I’m ugly enough that even a drunk, blind idiot wouldn’t even consider touching me. Which is just as I want it, of course. If I appeared in my true appearance in this place, I’d end up in a back alley somewhere with a string of guys taking turns to fuck me, no matter my protests.
As it is, my way is peaceful. The people I see, contestants of this meaningless pissing contest of a tournament along with their attendants and their spectators, all ignore me like I don’t even exist. I take a swig from the bottle of cheap rum I swiped from the ship earlier and enjoy the feeling of the chilly breeze cooling my face flushed from alcohol.Continue reading
“Your clothes are very strange, Miss Akasha. I can’t see any seams at all,” Sirona says, matching her steps to mine and letting Jasper lead the way in front of us. “May I ask where you found them?”
Her interest was piqued when I reached for the black collar around my neck and reshaped my suit. I only added a hood to it. The hood can’t really hide my eyes since my horn prevents it from falling too low, but it should adequately conceal both of my sets of ears. I refused to attach a cape or cloak to my back, though. If I’m going to fight in this tournament, I don’t want any such thing interfering with my movements and providing opportunities for my opponents to grab me. As for whether people question if I’m truly an oni or not, like Jasper feared… well, I’ll let him deal with that. Leaving my tail in full view kind of defeats the purpose of adding the hood in the first place, but I don’t care. I only made a token effort to hide my species so that Jasper would shut up about it.
[…I found it in a Tower.]
“A tower?” Sirona repeats dubiously. “Where was this tower?”Continue reading