Durrendal here, just wanted to say this is my first attempt in RR and would really appreciate it if readers leave a message or comment to provide some feedback. Kinda encouraging for a writer, isn't it?
Some Important Points To Help You Understand The Work Better
1. The story is almost entirely told in a First-Person POV. What the Protagonist and the other characters say are in quotations.
2. What the Protag thinks is in Italics.
3. Yes, 4th wall is broken several times. Yep. that's a defining point of this story. Readers can expect to be casually talked to by the Protag sometimes.
4. Yes, He does speak to himself sometimes referring to himself in 3rd person. There is a reason for it. Please wait for the exposition.
5. A large part of this work is about parodying the popular and cliched tropes and plot devices in contemporary Japanese Web/Light Novels, anime and manga. It can be meta at times with references, but I will point out the references with footnotes. I can't put footlinks so please check them at the bottom. Sorry.
6. You don't expressly need Otaku knowledge to enjoy this story. It is made for non-otakus too.
7. Don't worry about the quotes and blurbs at the start of every chapter. It is there ina hope that it will set the tone and mood for the chapter, at the same time flesh out the Mythos and history of the World Setting of the Story. The Quotes are fictional, don't trouble yourself googling.
Hmm, the grammar might be just a bit iffy in some parts as the story hasn't been proofread yet. However, Luciferia has very kindly agreed to edit/proofread the story. So, the chapters will slowly be proofread. As of now, The Prologue, Chapter 1, 11 and 12 are done. Will add to the list as more chapters are edited.
Without further ado, here is
Prologue: Gods, Contracts and Frogs
I heard the sound of something snapping as the jaws of a monster clamped down on my arm, gnashing flesh and bone alike. More than the excruciating pain, the smell was what got to me. I couldn’t decide whether to howl in pain or proceed to promptly faint from the stench of the rotting teeth. Even if I didn’t die from the enthusiastic chomping, I’d die of septicaemia from the looks of these teeth.
Oi monster, didn’t your mommy teach you to brush?
Even while I was dying for the second time, mind you, my thoughts were clear. Needlessly clear. I could even feel the blood trickling down my arm, loosing its warmth. The harder I flailed, the more blood I lost. Damn. I thought I could see the pearly gates already. Oh look, flying piglets beckoning me to the great beyond.
A shrill voice broke up my interior monologue. What does a guy have to do here to finish his last monologue!
A pretty red head girl cackled in some unknown language while bobbing up and down, a few inches from my face. She occasionally shivered.
Oh my, her cheeks are flushed too.
The monster seemed positively ecstatic with each time her lower mouth crunched down on my arm. No, not that lower mouth. Her pretty naked frame was attached to the head of the monster that munched down on my arm like cheetos.
Even the fucking demons in this fucking world are fucking annoying. Too many fucks in that sentence? Wait till you hear my story and you’d agree with my vocab.
She drooped down to lick the blood off my temple, which somehow had got torn up in the thrashing. Her form trembled, the little red tongue flickering. I made my fingers into a V and drove them through her eyes. Then I proceeded to make whatever was inside that head into a nice bloody batter.
“Your grammar skills are bad, Ojou-chan”, I hope this counts as a cool last word.
The monster screamed, and spat me out of it’s mouth, while wailing in probably what was sailor-grade Demonese cusses. Red blood dripped down her busted eyeball, soaking up the lush grass underneath.
Yes, yes. I love you too, sweetheart. My half chewed up arm started to throb, pain lanced up my entire body. I spat out a mouthful of blood. With a wry smile I fainted from the immense pain
So, you ask exactly how I got to know this lovely lady? but before that you want to know what the actual fuck is going on?
Let’s rewind a bit. Since the birth of time...no not that far, to just a few hours ago. There I had been, happy that I had finally got to pass the exam. I planned to withdraw some cash to celebrate with my friends. I mean, I did deserve to party hard after all the studying, didn’t I? I had gone to the bank and the eternally grumpy looking cashier was looking through my checkbook, when she simply…froze.
Can’t I not be criticized by at least you guys!? I know I don’t have decent savings! Dammit! I’m just 20!
“If you know what is good for you, put your hands up and slowly get out of the counter, otherwise we will make swiss cheese out of you”, came a gruff voice behind me.
I glanced back-- a man wearing a Tengu mask waved a gun at the cashier’s counter. Oh. So that’s what happening. A bank robbery. I calmly took my checkbook from the receptionist and tried to walk away.
“What are you doing, asshole?” The robber guy shoved his gun at my face, demanding to know.
I, in turn shove my checkbook towards him.
“Look, see my bank account, it’s horrifying enough to give Stephen King some ideas. I don’t have anything to do here, isn’t it? Also, WHY A TENGU MASK?”
Apparently, the guy took offence. Maybe he didn’t like Stephen King. He shove me towards the hall where his accomplices were rounding up people as hostages.
“Shouganai*”, I sighed, prepared to spend some quality time with my hands over my head and threats thrown around. I crouched and sat beside a terrified mother and her child. I hope this gets over soon, I have dinner to make after this.
After some time had passed, I could hear police sirens closing in. Finally, they decide to be here. The robbers froze for a second. The Tengu-Mask barked at his men. The robbers began to move impatiently. One of them hurried over to where I sat and grabbed the mother by her hair and dragged her towards the door. Are they trying to display her as a hostage to get away? Her child ran after them. Oh shit! I sensed the danger and tried to stop her but she ran fast on her little feet. The child grabbed on the leg of the robber dragging her mother and bit down on his leg.
“You son of a …” the robber shouted and hit the little child with the barrel, then pointed the muzzle at her.
Time stretched. I hadn’t even felt my muscles tense when I sprang up and clambered after the child so that she isn’t killed. What am I even doing? I barely shoved her away with a savage thrust when I heard a loud sound. The wide hall seemed to reverberate along with the split second flare of pain I felt in my chest. You know how people talk about how they saw a hole in their chest when they got shot or felt a paragraph worth of emotions when they do something instantaneous? They lie. What happens with a gunshot is, Bang! Sploot! You are dead!
There it is. The tale of the wonderful first time hero Rigel and how he died
The name is Rigel by the way, written with the kanji of…oh dammit. Too many years in Japan have affected my mannerisms.
At any rate, I don’t know why the robber tried to shoot a little girl. Maybe the robber was new and got fidgety; maybe he was a new trainee. Who knows? Losing composure is unbecoming as a professional. Also, Fuck you, cuntheads. I hope the police drill you full of holes, assholes.
I am alive?! a dull throb spread though my body, while my eyes felt like lead.
I woke up in a dimly lit room. Pitch black darkness extended infinitely except for a throne some distance away, facing me. The throne was curiously illuminated. The light is not...spreading to the surroundings? The throne seemed to be made of solid gold and silver. Slowly, as my eyes adjusted, I could make out shapes of bones and skulls on that throne. Some parts of it shone like steel. But even more astonishing--there was a person sitting on the throne.
At a glace, he was a remarkable person. Maybe 25-28 years old, with high cheekbones, an aquiline nose, and a head of rough shoulder length black hair. His skin glowed with faint luminescence. He flipped though a book on one hand and kept his chin on the other. His clothes were black and green, as if some snake had spit its venom on those clothes. He had a crown on his head, made of bones and--are those shadows coiling around it? what the... A chills ran down my spine. My hands shook a little.
Wait, why is he wearing a robe? Why does he have a pair of swords attached to his hips? What is with his horrible fashion?
“What are you supposed to be, O Lord of the faintly glowing cheeks and a tasteless throne?” I knew I was going to pay for this, but I couldn’t help quipping.
“I am a god, and you are dead. Dead men don’t talk. I don’t hate impudence but only from women I want to break.” replied the god of horrible fashion sense.
“You are the God? Shouldn’t you be like…all glowing and with angels instead of this depressing Evil Overlord setting? Also, I am dead!?”
What! I too wanted to have a soulful last moment where I describe everything around, about and with me. That’s how people die in fiction.
“I said a god. Also not of this world. And again, stop talking, mortal. Hear my words and depart, kin of the fallen”, he waved his hands, “You will be sent to another world. You will fight the demons there to defeat the demon lord. I will give you 3 gifts as mandated by the Covenant…”
I hoped this was a dream. What the actual hell did I get high on this time?
“Stop stop..wait. Why? Why was I chosen and why the heck would I fight battles for some other world?” I protested loudly.
“Shut up, mortal. Know your place. You will do as I say because you have no choice, you are dead in your previous world, and have nowhere to go. You will do as I say because you are powerless to refuse. You will do this to provide us with entertainment. Do not think for a moment that you were chosen to be a hero, or that you are special. We gods choose mortals to play with. It is how we entertain ourselves. You are our pawns and nothing more”.
“What? I wont do it! I refuse!” The dream grew more and more lucid. This couldn’t be real, could it?
“You still seem to be misunderstand something”, came the reply in a voice like cold steel. The form of the god seem to blur, as he appeared right in front of me. As fast as lightning, he whipped a staff at me.With a resounding crack, my lower jaw broke and dislocated. He added on in a voice like dripping acid, “You have no choice. Either, struggle and entertain me or die deliberately on the other side. If you do so, I will bring you here and imprison you for eternal torture. You will beg me to kill you, and yours wont be the first skull on my throne either.
I lay there in agony, unable to even make a whimper as I realized somehow, he hadmade me unable to talk. With a warm liquid dripping on my hands, I understood he had ripped out my voicebox too with his sword. I hadn’t even seen him whip out his sword!
The world contracted around me, my vision tunneled in sheer pain and horror. I frantically clawed at my throat, trying to put back the things that were starting to spill out of it. Blood gushed out of me, and disappeared into the dark floor beneath.
“So, then”, he seemed to grow cheerful, “As I was saying, three gifts as per the Covenant and no more. The Gift of Knowledge, The Gift of Might and The Gift of Miracles. Honestly, I would have sent you with nothing, but our games dictate some base decorum, so there you go”.
I felt the relapse of my long standing depression. The realization of being made into a pawn slowly sink in, and a dull ache set in my heart, Fuck this!! I hated the situation with all my might, I hated it with all I was. Yep, this is definitely real, with so much pain, no chance that this is some shroom. The thick smell of iron from my pooling blood wafted up, burning my nostrils.
“Good. That is right. Hate with all your might. Hate with your being. Because down there, only hate can save you, kin of the Fallen”, said the spiteful god, sounding amused as he continued, “I need your consent to send you in another world, Rigel. Please say ‘yes’. If you think you will refuse, you know what will happen”. He shook his sword that he whipped out in a fluid motion. Droplets splattered my face. My own blood!
His face pulled up in a grin, “The Covenant only asks for consent, not how it is obtained.”
“Do you wish to accept Lord Zain’s offer and act as his Vassal and be bound to the rules of The Covenant?”an impassionate androgynous voice resounded in my head.
What? No pop-up windows? Sometimes I wonder what is wrong with my head.
“I guess your silence means ‘yes’”, His Nastiness gloated.
You son of a…you ripped out my voice box! Oddly enough , the pain from my ripped voice box had grown tolerable.
The god made a sweeping motion and my wounds healed. The wounds start to close by itself as I felt nerves and muscles stitch together of their own volition.
“Yes”. I said in a hoarse voice, “Do I get weekly holidays and insurance?”
The god glared at me with his eyebrows raised up, “You really are...impertinent. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have been able to choose you anyway”. he added with a dismissive gesture, “Off you go, go forth and entertain.
He turned away from me, his leather boots squeaked loudly in that silent room,“If you have any questions, fell free to ask anyone who is not me. Though I might pop in when I feel like it. Hope you had a pleasant evening”.
This god. I will kill him someday.
I felt a searing pain flaring on by back, and then I lost consciousness. Not again
I woke up with the sun in my eyes. I lay on a bed of grass, looking up at the pleasant…what the actual hell? There were broken masses across the sky from horizon to horizon in a broad slanted belt. Looking closely, they seem to be clumps of broken landmasses.
Are they something like Saturn’s Belt? More like belts of whatever-land-I-was-sent-to.
There were two more satellites or planets visible in the sky close by. I hope they crash and destroy this world. I was lying in a broad vale, full of trees that extended on all sides. They were quite normal, almost same as trees back on Earth.
I guess expecting glowing trees and talking plants are too much even for Fantasy settings, huh?
As I was thinking to myself, a lovely and mesmerizing voice reached my ears. Someone sung in a foreign and exotic sounding language. I picked myself up and jogged towards the voice.The voice gradually strengthened and it was as if…the voice was pulling me towards it.
“Let’s try to get some info out of the splendid songstress”. I said to myself aloud, as if to dispel the fears of a new world. Talking to myself again, huh?
I suddenly came to a clearing. It was a pond. Lush green and blue and red vegetation ringed the deep green pond.
There you are, fantasy plants.
Oddly, there were no birds or insects on the trees. The area surrounding the pond was silent, except for the ephemeral voice. Tracing the source of the voice, my eyes fell upon a girl. With her back facing me, she was bathing in the waters. Snow white skin rose from the waters. Red hair flowed down her back, dipping into the water. I took a gulp, Now this is a fantasy. On so many levels. I felt like a voyeur upon a sacred scene, even so I stood rooted to the spot. A sense of fascination and danger sent shivers down my spine. Or maybe it is her voice?.
Suddenly the girl turned around and looked at me, in a flash covering herself up with leaves.
I wondered what to do, when the girl beckoned me with inviting gestures, water dripped down her curves. I walked up to her, thinking of what to say… I felt so confused, walking as if in a happy haze.
The girl smiled like an angel and rose up through the water. I mean literally above the water, the girl was attached to a 10 foot high frog like monster. The monstrosity hopped on its two hind legs just like a frog, had a mottled grey-green skin with reddish spots spread on its back.
Far from running away, I stood rooted on the spot. My legs gave way beneth me. The frog opened it’s maw. Two sets of razor sharp fangs lined it’s mouth. Overpowering stench of rotting meat assailed my senses. The girl was attached to the frog’s head , much like the glowing lure attached to an Angler fish, made to lure prey. The girl screeched in a shrill voice, unlike her godly singing before.
I guess I won’t be taking you home tonight, eh?
The monster leapt up unbecoming of it’s huge size and charged at me. My vision tunneled, focusing on the huge set of teeth which loomed in front of me like a badly maintained guillotine. Its jaws chomped down on my arm while it rammed into me at the same time, throwing me against a large tree trunk, blocking my escape. The girl bobbed up and down strangely from her lower body that was attached to the frog head by a thick tentacle...no, like a mermaid, only in place of a tail, this bitch had a demon frog.
The girl smiled at me, her hands rubbed at her nipples, as if the situation excited her. Well, it probably does. Her mouth opened in a grin, a soft sigh escaped her lips as her lower mouth ripped at my hand.
Here we are at the start of the rewind.
*Shouganai= Japanese word meaning ‘Nothing doing’ or ‘It can’t be helped’. Much like Shikata ga nai, which meas the same thing.
Author note: Guys please support me on royalroad too! please post reviews on the fiction page so that I know what you people think about the work. Honestly, this story needs reviews and ratings so that even more people can read it. Please help me! thanks in advance!
Link to RR- HTSAS1o1 on Royalroad