The Swordmaster and the New God
I awoke to find myself on a bright white floor. There was no texture to it at all; instead, the floor felt smooth like glass. I got up from the floor and looked around. Everything around me was bright white, with no discernible elevation anywhere. The room seemed to stretch on for miles with no end in sight in any direction. Even the floor seemed to go on forever below me. The only reason I could tell it was there was due to me touching it.
I turned to see Austin slowly getting up next to me. He looked groggy, like his mind was somewhere else. He touched his hand to his blond hair right before noticing me, making him jump slightly.
Austin got up from the ground. “Hey Kazuma, do you have any idea where the heck we are?”
“I believe that we are in a white room, Austin. The walls are of the white variety, and the floor and ceiling are also of the white variety” I said.
“Thanks, that really helps. I really couldn’t see any of that. You goody two shoes are really great at giving out info.” He said in an extremely sarcastic tone.
Just as I was about to respond, the ground started to shake. A heavenly light shone down from somewhere above us, with an object slowly descending down the stream of light. As the object got closer, I could see that its shape was humanlike. She was in a white dress with a yellow ring above her head. Two feathery white wings shot out from her back, slowing her descent as she landed on the ground.
When she spoke, her voice was soft and kind. “Hello, heroes. I am the angel, Lilith. I am sure you are confused about what is happening to you. I am reluctant to drop such important news to you after you have just woken up, but I do not have the time to mince words. You have both been summoned to another world.”
“Hey Kazuma, you’re now a true isekai protagonist,” Austin said beside me. He was the most laid back person I knew, so his response wasn’t too surprising. He had that American ability to just go with the flow no matter what happened. Something that made me slightly jealous.
“Will we be able to go back to Earth?” I asked the angel, Lileth. Like I had said to Austin earlier, going to another world sounded fun and all, but I didn’t want to lose everything I already had. Unlike your average isekai protagonist, I actually had people I cared about and a future ahead of me.
“No. Unfortunately, when you were chosen, the option to return to your planet disappeared. You are to remain in this world.” Lilith sounded sad when she spoke. It was as if she wished this wasn’t the case.
“Crap. I wanted to watch the super bowl this year. The Chiefs had a chance to have a repeat championship and everything. I waited my whole life for them to do this. At least I have this for a little entertainment.” Austin said while holding up the book that he had been reading when I had found him. Apparently, it got teleported with us.
“We are in a glowing white room, with an angel who is telling us we got sent to another world, and that’s what you’re worried about?” I was freaking out while apparently, Austin thought American football was a higher priority.
“I sort of expected something like this to happen when I met you. Isekai protagonists don’t grow on trees. They’re a rare breed. I’ve read enough novels to know what to look for, you know.”
“Well, that makes one of us.” I turned to Lilith. “You said we were chosen, right? Why were we chosen, and what are we supposed to do?” I tried to stay calm as I asked. I just couldn’t wrap my head around going to another world and losing everyone I cared about. I was just glad I had Austin with me. Without him, I would have probably been having a panic attack. It was all I could do to look and sound normal.
“You two here were summoned because of your potential to defeat the Demon Lord that has been ravaging the kingdom of Palsu for a century.”
Besides me, Austin started laughing uncontrollably. “Are you serious? We’re going to fight the Deamon Lord? What, is he in the Demon Realm, which somehow is literally all desert despite having constant thunderstorms?”
“You are correct Hero. He lives in the Demon Realm in his Demon Castle, where he devises plans on how to take the rest of the kingdom over. The Demon Lord is the greatest menace that Palsu has ever faced.” Lilith said. She seemed to be completely ignoring his laughing, but I saw the tips of her mouth curl in a smile for a split second before she went back to her neutral expression.
Austin took a second to respond as he tried to stop his laughter. “Of course I am. Next, you’re going to tell us that everyone has video game stats and classes.”
“Yes, hero. In the world you will be going to, Enfer, a person’s strengths are measured by their stats, class, and skills. If you focus your eyes in front of you and think the word ‘status,’ your skills will appear before you.”
I followed Lilith’s instructions. When I did, a glowing screen appeared out of thin air in front of me. A wave of calm washed over me at the same time. All my anxieties and worries suddenly disappeared. Going home still felt incredibly important, but I wasn’t stressing about it anymore. It no longer felt like a priority.
Strength:1042 Speed:867 Stamina:905 Intelligence:737 Magic:1902 Luck:100,690
As I looked over my stats page, a few things stood out to me. The first was that all the numbers seemed to be really high. I had read enough light novels to know what numbers were average, and my stats seemed to be extremely good. Maybe Austin was right after all. Maybe I was an isekai protagonist, not that I would ever tell him he was right. The other thing was that class and skills were both inexplicably empty for some reason.
I turned to Austin, who had gotten himself to stop laughing and was looking at his stats, or that’s what I assumed he was doing. From my perspective, he seemed to be staring really intently at absolutely nothing. “Having fun over there?” I asked.
He stopped looking at his stats and turned to me. He had an excited glint in his eyes. His stats must have been good. “Yeah. All my stats seem really high. Maybe you’re not the only isekai protagonist here. I don’t have a class or any skills though. Apparently, I have to earn my cheat abilities. Ugh.”
“Same here. My stats are weirdly high with no class or skills. My luck is especially high. Maybe that’s my reward for all my good works.”
“If they’re rewarding us with luck, then apparently I’m some sort of Moral Jesus. We both know that’s not the case.” Austin said
That was true. Austin had skipped more days this year than I had in my whole life. Despite that, he never got in trouble for it once. Top student privilege, I guess.
“There is a reason for that,” Lilith spoke up and gestured to her left. For some reason, her arm didn’t go up that high, like it was being restrained by something. She seemed to pull on whatever was restaining her arm a few times, then set her arm by her side.
A wheel appeared at her side like one you would see at a festival. “This wheel will be how your class is decided. Once you both spin it, your class and skills will both be assigned, and you will be deposited in the new world.”
Austin walked up before I had a chance to move. “Let’s give this a shot.” He put both hands on the wheel and spun. “I’m probably going to get a crap class, but Isekai here I come! Cheat ability let’s go!” The wheel spun around and around as both of our eyes looked at it. As it slowed down, we reacted to every sound it made. It eventually stopped with the word ‘swordmaster’ on top.
“Heck yeah. There’s the cheat class I was looking for.” Austin walked back while I went to the wheel. “Hey, good luck, future farmer.”
“You’re talking a lot of smack for someone who swings a big stick around,” I said.
“Bigger stick than you ever will. Don’t think rakes and shovels are that big.”
I ignored Austin as I walked over to the wheel. My hands felt the individual pegs as I went to spin. There was no way I would get a bad class. I just had to hope for the best, and then it would happen. That was karma. The wheel went round and round as my future was decided. Eventually, it slowed and landed right between axeman and sage of wind. I couldn’t tell at a glance which one I had gotten.
“Well, that’s a surprise?” I heard Lilith say behind me. She had more emotion in her voice than I had heard up until that point. Yet, despite her intonation, her voice had a somber ring to it. “Your class is the tiny sliver in between the two.”
I looked as closely as I could and saw she was right. In the middle of the wheel where my spin had landed was a tiny sliver that could barely be seen with the human eye. It took me a second to read the single word in the sliver; god.
“Well, that’s not what I was expecting.” Austin had snuck up behind me while I stared at my class. “I guess that’s slightly more impressive than a farmer.”
“Ah yes, slightly. Admit it, you’re just jealous.”
Austin laughed. “Please. Like you said, I get to swing a big stick around. What’s better than that?”
“You’re just jealous,” I repeated myself. I sounded somewhat like a grade-schooler, but it was worth it. It was rare for me to even get close to Austin in a verbal fight, so I needed to push my advantage.
“Just wait until we get down there. Then you will see. I’ll wave my stick better than anyone ever has before!”
“And I thought I was the optimist.”
After we got done joking around, we both looked at Lilith, who looked like she had something to say before sending us off to the new world.
“Before you go, hero’s, I have one more thing to say,” she said, sounding jittery. Lillith looked around nervously, like she expected someone to interrupt her. Her face seemed to become fearful and she started to fidget with the side of her dress. “I-” The second she started speaking, she began to shake like electricity was coursing throughout her entire body. She looked at us as her face contorted in pain. I couldn’t do anything but watch. Austin started running towards her, but he hit an invisible barrier that hadn’t been there earlier. Finally, She looked up and smiled at us. “Good luck.”
The floor beneath us disappeared, and we started falling into the white abyss. I tried to do something, anything, but no thoughts came to my head. When we had started to fall, she stopped shaking and seemed to be yanked up into the ceiling of the white abyss and disappeared seemingly into thin air.
I felt my consciousness start to fade as we fell faster and faster. My mind raced as I struggled to stay awake. I had frozen, unable to do anything. At least Austin had tried. He was good at that, never hesitating. Austin always joked about how I was such a selfless person, but when push came to shove, he always was the one to do something, while I just sat in the corner. Doing little stuff may have worked on Earth, but I wasn’t sure if that would be the case in this new world.