Chapter 2:

Chapter 1: An Incredible New World (2 of 2)

ColorBound Book 1: A New World of Adventure!

“That waiter girl was nice,” Cynthia said as they walked along the road. “She even gave us a discount because you talked her through that breakdown she had.”Bookmark here

“I hope she doesn’t get in trouble because of that,” Hiro said. “Especially since it’s my fault she had the breakdown in the first place…”Bookmark here

“Look at it this way, now there’s someone willing to give you free discounts on food.”Bookmark here

“Doesn’t make me feel like any less of a jerk though…”Bookmark here

“You’ll get over it, Hiro,” Cynthia said.Bookmark here

“Hopefully…” he sighed.Bookmark here

They passed by a park with a sign that read Dragons Hollow City Park.Bookmark here

“So this city is called Dragons Hollow?”Bookmark here

“Yeah,” Cynthia confirmed. “And it’s Dragons Hollow because whoever named it forgot to put in the apostrophe, so now no one knows if it’s supposed to be the hollow of one dragon or multiple.”Bookmark here

“That’s really weird.”Bookmark here

“I know right?!”Bookmark here

“Thanks for hanging out with me today, Cynthia,” Hiro said.Bookmark here

“Sure thing,” she responded. “What are you gonna do tomorrow?”Bookmark here

“Honestly, I don’t know.”Bookmark here

“Well, what’d you come here for in the first place?”Bookmark here

“I didn’t really,” he said. “I just woke up in this town today without any explanation.”Bookmark here

“Huh?”Bookmark here

“I was hoping to maybe find a school to go to but…”Bookmark here

“Wait, you don’t know?”Bookmark here

“Know what?” Hiro asked.Bookmark here

“Well one reason so many people are in Dragons Hollow right now is because the FuzzyCoats entrance exams are coming up.”Bookmark here

Hiro remembered hearing something about entrance exams before when he encountered those bullies. “Wait, don’t entrance exams happen near the end of summer?”Bookmark here

“Yeah, and it is the end of summer.”Bookmark here

It was early spring on earth last I remember, he thought. So I wasn’t just sent through space but also time. Or it could just be that this planet’s rotation around its sun is different than earth’s. Wait, how long are years here!?Bookmark here

“Watcha thinking about?” Cynthia asked.Bookmark here

“How many days are in a year?”Bookmark here

“365.24 days, duh.”Bookmark here

The exact same as earth, huh? Figures it’d be something lazy like that, he thought.“What day is it?”Bookmark here

“It’s Wednesday, the 16th of Raytide, why?”Bookmark here

“No reason, tell me about that school.”Bookmark here

“You mean FuzzyCoats?”Bookmark here

Hiro smirked. “That’s a stupid name.”Bookmark here

“Why would you say that? The FuzzyCoats Academy for Aspiring Adventurers is not a laughing matter. It’s one of, if not the best high school in the world.”Bookmark here

“Really?”Bookmark here

“Yeah, I’m gonna try to get in myself,” she said before taking a deep breath. “If you’re looking for a school then you should go to FuzzyCoats with me and then we could take school together!”Bookmark here

Well, it would be nice to stay near someone I know from this world, Hiro thought. “That must’ve been what you’re saving money for, correct?”Bookmark here

“Yeah.”Bookmark here

“But how would I get in? I’m almost completely broke.”Bookmark here

“You could get a job.”Bookmark here

“I don’t even know where to begin.”Bookmark here

“You could ask that waiter girl to help you.”Bookmark here

“I feel like that would be taking advantage of her though,” he said. “But I do need every advantage I can get in this world.”Bookmark here

“What do you mean by that?”Bookmark here

“Huh? Uh, I just mean…” Hiro looked for an answer. “I’ve just hit a spot of bad luck lately…”Bookmark here

“Oh, so your luck stat’s low then.”Bookmark here

“Luck stat?”Bookmark here

“Yeah,” Cynthia said, “You know, stats. Those things people use to measure their abilities.”Bookmark here

Like a video game, Hiro thought. “Oh yeah I know, but just to be clear, what are the stats again?”Bookmark here

“You know I can tell you’re lying right?”Bookmark here

“Really?”Bookmark here

“Yeah, especially if you confirm it.”Bookmark here

“Walked right into that one…”Bookmark here

“So there are nine stat types,” she said. “The basic rundown is like this, there’s: Health, which measures one’s regenerative abilities; Strength, which measures raw power; Constitution, which measures defense; Agility, which measures speed and reflexes; Intelligence, which measures how much someone knows; Wisdom, which measures rationality; Charisma, which measures your aura and its effectiveness on others; Affinity, which measures your magical aptitude; and Luck, which measures your, uh, luck. There’s really not another way to put that.”Bookmark here

“Hmm, well I don’t know my stats.”Bookmark here

“We could get you evaluated.”Bookmark here

“I don’t know, sounds like that would cost money,” he said, “And I’m broke, remember?”Bookmark here

“They should give them out at the school during the entrance exams.”Bookmark here

“FuzzyCoats right?” Hiro said, trying to keep a straight face.Bookmark here

“Yeah, it’s a school for adventurers”Bookmark here

“Adventurers? So does that make you an adventurer?”Bookmark here

“Not yet,” she said, “but soon I will be!”Bookmark here

“I might be able to guess this but what do adventurers do exactly?”Bookmark here

“Huh? How would you not know?”Bookmark here

“I think I might but I’d rather get a second opinion before assuming facts.”Bookmark here

“They basically all do the same thing, the only difference is the class.”Bookmark here

“Oh, like paladins, or warlocks, or…”Bookmark here

“What? No,” she interrupted. “You really don’t know what you’re talking about, do you?”Bookmark here

“It’s that obvious huh?”Bookmark here

“So where are you from again?”Bookmark here

Hiro hesitated for a second. “You can keep a secret right?”Bookmark here

“You can trust me.”Bookmark here

“The truth is, I’m from a planet called earth.”Bookmark here

She paused and looked at him before sighing.Bookmark here

“It’s fine if you don’t wanna tell me, but you could’ve at least said so. And if you’re gonna lie, don’t say you’re from earth. Everyone knows that place was abandoned over a thousand years ago.”Bookmark here

“A thousand years ago?! What do you mean it was abandoned!?”Bookmark here

“I don’t know what you’re trying to do, but it’s not very endearing,” she said with an annoyed tone.Bookmark here

She doesn’t believe I’m from earth, he thought. And what’s worse is she thinks that I’m lying to her. I better just drop the subject and apologize instead of trying to explain this.Bookmark here

“I’m sorry,” he said. “Maybe I’ll be able to tell you later.”Bookmark here

“Sure,” she said. “I just won’t tell you where I’m from until then.”Bookmark here

“That works for me,” he said with relief as they reached a crosswalk.Bookmark here

Hiro looked out and saw a truck speeding towards a little girl who was in the middle of the street and not paying attention.Bookmark here

Oh come on! he thought. Isn’t this how I’m supposed to die before getting sent to another world!Bookmark here

“Hey! Look out!” he yelled as he ran and scooped the girl up in his arms. He barely got out of the way as the truck roared on by. As he reached the other side of the road he breathed out a sigh of relief.Bookmark here

“That was close,” he said as he examined the little girl in his arms.Bookmark here

She looked around seven years old and had light brown hair growing all the way down to her feet. Her eyes were shut tight as her body winced in anticipation of what almost happened.Bookmark here

She opened one of her big green eyes before her body relaxed.Bookmark here

“Thanks mister! I thought that was gonna be the end of the line!” she said.Bookmark here

Did this little girl just say end of the line? Hiro thought as he started to put her down. “Are you okay? Can you stand alright?”Bookmark here

“Yeah! I’m fine!” she said as she started to twirl around.Bookmark here

“Are you sure, because you almost got hit by a truck,” he said. “You should probably be a little scared at least…”Bookmark here

“But that was so cool how the truck was coming, vrrrooommm!” she enunciated as she began to act the scene out. “And I didn’t notice until it was too late, but you did and went like ‘Hey! Look out!’ and swept in and saved me from getting hit which probably would’ve hurt a lot like-”Bookmark here

“Are you okay!?” Cynthia said as she approached from behind.Bookmark here

“When did you cross the street?” Hiro asked. “The light’s still red.”Bookmark here

“I jumped over it,” she dismissed. “But I can’t believe that ambulance almost hit this little girl. Those are supposed to save people’s lives, not endanger them.”Bookmark here

“That was an ambulance? Guess I didn’t notice,” Hiro said. “But why was an ambulance driving so fast without its lights on?”Bookmark here

“Oh, hi miss!” the little girl said. “Did you see just now when he ran in front of that truck to save me like a superhero! You should become a superhero! You’re already my hero! Wait, what’s your name Mr. Hero?”Bookmark here

“The name’s Masahiro Misfortune, the Nine-Fingered Menace! But you can just call me Hiro,” he said. “What’s your name?”Bookmark here

“My name’s Cassi!”Bookmark here

“So where are your parents, Cassi?” Cynthia asked. “Are you lost?”Bookmark here

“Well, I know we were staying in a building somewhere,” she said as she tried to remember. “If I saw it again I think I’d recognize it, but right now I’m at a loss…”Bookmark here

“We’ll walk with you until you can find it,” Hiro said.Bookmark here

“Really? Thanks Mr. Hiro and Ms… I forgot to ask your name Ms,” Cassi said.Bookmark here

“My name is Cynthia,” she replied.Bookmark here

“I’ll remember your name forever, Ms. Cynthia!”Bookmark here

“And I’ll remember your name too, Cassi.”Bookmark here

Hiro smiled at the interaction as they began to walk around the city.Bookmark here

After a while Cassi pointed out a skyscraper and they went towards it. It was a generic looking skyscraper and Hiro noticed a parking garage some buildings down on the other side of the street. And on the top row he saw a parked ambulance.Bookmark here

That’s weird, isn’t this the same direction that the ambulance that almost ran Cassi over went? He thought. Why was it in such a rush to get here?Bookmark here

He looked around and didn’t see anything that really looked of any importance, but then again he was new to this world.Bookmark here

Although, he did notice that the parking garage seemed to be full, and there was a decent amount of foot traffic all going towards one place: The building that Cassi had pointed out.Bookmark here

“Hey Cassi, what’s this building you’re taking us to?” he asked. “Is something going on in there?”Bookmark here

“Yeah, the guy watching me is giving a speech in there today,” she said.Bookmark here

“Don’t you mean your dad?”Bookmark here

“Something like that!”Bookmark here

“Hmm…” Hiro said as he began to think. “What kind of speech is he giving?”Bookmark here

“It’s political! I think the one today is about bad adventurers,” she said. “If you want to see it I’m sure Mr. Prism would let you in!”Bookmark here

“Yeah, that’d be nice,” he said before pulling Cynthia back a bit. He then lowered his voice, “I think Cassi’s in trouble.”Bookmark here

“What makes you think that?” she replied.Bookmark here

“Her dad’s a politician who just so happens to be giving a speech today and she was almost hit by an ambulance, which I’m pretty sure is that one over there,” he said while pointing to it.Bookmark here

“I don’t know, it could just be a coincidence.”Bookmark here

“Don’t you think it’s weird that the driver didn’t get out and apologize, or even slow down at all?” he whispered. “I think whoever was driving tried to run her over on purpose and now they show up here? Coincidence!? I think not!”Bookmark here

“It could’ve just been that the driver was so embarrassed after that happened that they wanted to get out of there as soon as possible to avoid judgement,” she said. “I think you may be jumping to conclusions.”Bookmark here

It was true that the main reason he came up with this theory is because nothing big had happened since his reincarnation. And if all the time he spent watching anime and reading manga told him anything about reincarnation into another world, it was that something big was going to happen soon.Bookmark here

“I don’t know,” he said, “But I won’t let anything bad happen to her.”Bookmark here

“That’s a pretty intense thing to promise,” she said. “Especially for someone you just met.”Bookmark here

“Well, I like to think of myself as a pretty intense guy,” he said. “But I won’t let anything bad happen to you either.”Bookmark here

“That’s…” she started before pausing. “…bold. I guess I have to promise not to let anything bad happen to you, too.”Bookmark here

“So, it’s a deal then?” he said while holding out his hand.Bookmark here

“Deal,” she said while taking his hand.Bookmark here

While their hands shook Hiro felt a strange energy, but his train of thought was interrupted when Cassi announced that they had arrived.Bookmark here

Let’s do this, Hiro thought as they walked in. “Hey Cynthia, you see anything suspicious?”Bookmark here

“Why don’t we find out what to do with Cassi before feeding your hunch.”Bookmark here

“I know, I know… How about you find that out while I investigate.”Bookmark here

She was about to give him an answer but he had already separated and started to look around for anything suspicious.Bookmark here

The inside of the building looked normal… -ish… maybe.Bookmark here

It occurred to him that he didn’t know what was considered normal for the inside of a building in this world, so something that seemed off to him might be commonplace in this world.Bookmark here

He then saw what looked to be a security guard.Bookmark here

“Hey, have you seen anything out of place lately?”Bookmark here

“What?”Bookmark here

“You know, anything weird or suspicious? I think someone may be planning something so I’m here to help in any way I can.”Bookmark here

“Oh great, another headstrong brat with a nice flair that thinks he’s unbeatable,” the man said.Bookmark here

“Flair?”Bookmark here

“Look kid, no matter what special powers you were born with it still doesn’t make up for something called experience. So why don’t you just leave this to the professionals and behave yourself,” the man said.Bookmark here

So I guess it’s superpowers and not magic, He thought as he walked away from the man. And they’re called flairs.Bookmark here

“Well, I’m back,” he said as he rejoined Cassi and Cynthia.Bookmark here

“That was quick,” Cynthia said.Bookmark here

“It doesn’t take that long to gather information, like the fact that I’m not a welcome insert into the security force.”Bookmark here

“Did you tell them we brought Cassi back?” she asked.Bookmark here

“Strangely enough that didn’t occur to me…” As Hiro finished speaking, the security guard he had talked to rushed over, pushing him aside with little effort or attention. “Hey!”Bookmark here

“Ms. Cassi!” the man said, ignoring Hiro. “Where have you been!?”Bookmark here

“Oh hi Mr. Vic,” Cassi said. “I was wandering around outside, but then I got lost, and then Mr. Hiro and Ms. Cynthia helped me and brought me back here, and then Mr. Hiro went and talked to you, and then you came over here, and now here we are!”Bookmark here

“Hey, Mr. Vic was it?” Cynthia said, an odd hostility emanating from her. “You might wanna pay more attention to your surroundings. You just bumped my friend aside, you know.”Bookmark here

“Is that a threat?” Mr. Vic asked.Bookmark here

“No, it’s just… someone that I used to hate had that very same problem,” she said as the hostility suddenly faded, replaced with an insincere smile. “Sorry about that.”Bookmark here

Without taking his eyes off Cynthia and Cassi, Mr. Vic pressed his earpiece and said, “I’ve located Cassi Prism. She’s currently in the lobby, with me and two teenagers she claimed brought her back… Are you sure, Mr. Prism? Alright, I’ll wait for you to arrive.”Bookmark here

Hiro, still upset about being pushed aside, deduced from the one side of the conversation he could hear that whoever was in charge was coming to see that Cassi was safe himself.Bookmark here

“I guess people really care about you, huh Cassi?” he said while rubbing her head. “But it makes sense since you’re so adorable.”Bookmark here

It looked like Cassi was about to respond, but then her train of thought switched tracks that very same moment when she saw a certain person who was looking for her.Bookmark here

“Hi Mr. Prism! I’m back!” she squealed as she ran towards a man wearing a black suit with a face mic on him.Bookmark here

“There you are Cassi, I was starting to worry about you,” he said while picking her up. “Especially since Scout told me you ran off without telling anyone.”Bookmark here

“Heh heh… sorry…”Bookmark here

“You can’t just go off exploring like that Cassi, you could’ve gotten hurt or worse.”Bookmark here

“I almost did!” she said excitedly. “An ambulance almost ran me over!”Bookmark here

“What!? Are you okay? You didn’t get hurt did you?”Bookmark here

“I’m fine,” she said before pointing towards Hiro. “He ran out into the street and saved me right before I got hit!”Bookmark here

“He did, did he?”Bookmark here

“And then he and his friend brought me back here!”Bookmark here

“Well, if what she says is true then I guess I’m in your debt.”Bookmark here

“Oh, uh, don’t worry about it,” Hiro said.Bookmark here

“Allow me to properly introduce myself, my name is Liam Prism, and you’ve already met Cassi,” he said. “If there’s ever anything you two need, just ask me, I always pay back my debts.”Bookmark here

“You know, we heard you were giving a speech today,” Cynthia said. “If it’s not any trouble we’d like to watch.”Bookmark here

“It’s not any trouble at all,” Mr. Prism said before looking over their trashy appearances. “But we’re expecting to be packed full, so you may have to watch from the preparation room backstage.”Bookmark here

“It’s because we look like hobos, isn’t it?” Hiro said.Bookmark here

“I’ve got nothing against hobos,” Mr. Prism said. “Why, a hobo just saved my little girl earlier.”Bookmark here

“That hobo was me!” Hiro said. “But all joking aside, that shouldn’t be a problem. I actually think it’s cool that we’d be getting backstage passes.”Bookmark here

“Great, in fact it’s quite relieving that two young people such as yourselves are interested in this kind of thing. After all, the youth hold the future in their hands.”Bookmark here

This conversation continued as they entered the elevator and went up seven floors. They began to get off before Hiro turned around and noticed Cassi remained in the elevator.Bookmark here

“Are you not gonna come with us?”Bookmark here

“I’m seven, politics bore me! I’m gonna go run around upstairs, boop!” she said while pushing a button as the doors began to close. “Bye!”Bookmark here

Mr. Prism then led Hiro and Cynthia to the backstage preparation room. Inside were some screens which he explained would show the stage where he would be giving his speech in a minute.Bookmark here

After he left to do just that Hiro did a quick sweep of the room but didn’t find anything that looked too suspicious. Just some refreshments and a few briefcases around the room.Bookmark here

“Nothing suspicious here.”Bookmark here

“Are you still on that?” Cynthia asked.Bookmark here

“Of course I’m still on that!” Hiro snapped back. “My gut is telling me that something bad is going to happen here.”Bookmark here

As he finished saying that a door in the back of the room opened and a large yellow and red beach ball was tossed toward the other side of the room. As it hit the wall it began to glow and vibrate violently. Hiro could barely process what was going on until it happened.Bookmark here

First there was a loud bang and an intense ringing in his ears.Bookmark here

The next thing Hiro knew pain flushed through his entire body and he was on the floor with blood pooling around him.Bookmark here

It hurts, it burns! It burns! It hurts so bad…!Bookmark here

He painfully forced himself to breathe and lifted his head as he desperately looked around until he found who he was looking for.Bookmark here

About ten feet in front of him Cynthia lay in her own pool of blood. Purple was now his new least favorite color.Bookmark here

“Cynthia… Cynthia! Can you hear me! Please say something…!” he yelled out through his own blood.Bookmark here

He then saw her begin to slowly move and he started to crawl towards her.Bookmark here

He tried to push himself off the ground but his legs wouldn’t respond and his stomach hurt. He clenched his stomach with his left hand only to feel a cold, wet substance start to cover it.Bookmark here

He pulled his hand back and saw it covered in a purple substance. His purple substance. His blood.Bookmark here

His breathing became heavier as he looked back to see his injury and-Bookmark here

His legs were burnt, uneven stubs of what they used to be. His skin was all but burned off from his stomach down, leaving nothing but exposed flesh, and his upper torso was covered in burns.Bookmark here

He would’ve screamed in pain, but he started to vomit blood instead.Bookmark here

“No, no, this can’t… be happening… I can’t… I… I… I don’t wanna die!” He cried out through bloody tears. “I don’t wanna die! Not yet! Not now! Not like this! Please…”Bookmark here

He started to cough up blood as he desperately pleaded with whatever unknown force that could hear him.Bookmark here

He then dropped his head before hearing… bells?Bookmark here

He looked up once more to see something that looked like a pointed boot of some sort with bells on it.Bookmark here

“Hmm… No one was supposed to be in here,” a voice said, it seemed oddly cheerful for some reason. “I guess I can get off with a couple casualties.”Bookmark here

“Help me…” Hiro pleaded.Bookmark here

The figure looked down at him and began to sniff the air.Bookmark here

“You have better things to worry about than me,” the person said. “And although I do take pity on that poor soul of yours, unfortunately the show’s over for you.”Bookmark here

Hiro then heard something weird, like a muffled voice. He couldn’t understand what it said but then the person standing above him answered it.Bookmark here

“Am I not allowed to have a little fun? Oh come on now, don’t be so hurtful! Hold on a sec…”Bookmark here

The person then pointed something towards Hiro, and he heard a click. In the next instant he felt fire dance all over his body, eating away at him.Bookmark here

He screamed out in pain as the fire continued its unholy dance.Bookmark here

It hurts, it burns. It hurts, it burns. It hurts, it burns. It hurts, it hurts, it hurts! It’s pain! I’m pain! What’s pain? It’s hot! Too hot! It burns! It’s hell! Is this hell? Am I dead? Did I go to hell? Fire. Burns. Burnt. Death. Let me die already, I thought I died already. Why haven’t I died already? Is this death? Why is it so long? Why is it so hurt? Why is it so pain? Why is it so burn? Why am I burn? I burn. I hurt. I don’t die. Why don’t I die…Bookmark here

Did I die?Bookmark here

It burned, and then it froze, and then there was no feeling at all, as everything became nothing and Hiro took one final breath.Bookmark here

You can resume reading from this paragraph.