Chapter 1:

Not the adventure he signed up for

The Isekai Police: Hero Summonings are Overrated

  A soft chime echoed through the room into Kai Freeman’s ears. The first thing he noticed was that it wasn’t his alarm that was ringing. The second thing he realized was that this wasn’t his bed, nor his bedroom. With a tired groan, he lifted his head up and took in his surroundings with bleary, crust-covered eyes.

  The room he found himself in was quite strange, to say the least. While the walls were painted with a bright, modern periwinkle pigment, the furniture consisted of rustic fixtures such as a stained wooden end table and bed frame. It was as if whoever decorated the place always dreamed of living out in the frontier but never wanted to actually leave suburbia. So this was their compromise; a weird, yet oddly homey lodging.

  Kai didn’t particularly react when he realized where he was, or rather, where he wasn’t. He let out a long yawn and scratched his short, curly hair. It wasn’t the first time something like this had happened, and to him, waking up somewhere so peculiar was preferable to his own room.

  Still in a half-groggy state, the young man floundered around for the source of the alarm, finally swatting the off button after several flails of his thin, body hand. He continued to lay in bed for a few more seconds, before a terrible thought gripped his mind.

  “Oh shit, I’ve got school and I don’t even know where I am! Mom’s gonna kill me for real if she gets another tardy call,” Kai frantically mumbled to himself as he shot out of bed and to his feet.

  Quickly yet carefully rubbing the gunk out of his eyes, he surveyed the room more carefully to figure out whose it was and how he’d gotten there. Details were hard to make out with the lights at a low dim, but it didn’t take long for him to find their controls. Dragging his feet across the soft carpet, Kai flicked a wooden switch and the room burst into full color, almost blinding Kai as he shielded his face from the barely shielded fluorescent bulbs.

  As his eyes adjusted to the luminous intensity, Kai remembered an absolutely ridiculous dream from the day before. He’d experienced his semi-lifelong dream of being taken by a portal to a new life of adventure! Brought into a world of swords and sorcery, he was tasked by a great and powerful king to fight for truth and justice against a great and terrible evil.

  At least, that was how it started. It quickly turned into a nightmare when he realized that the king wasn’t as virtuous as he’d made himself out to be. But thankfully, or not really, the dream then turned outright bizarre. Instead of being sent on some kind of hellish quest, a bunch of other soldiers broke into the throne room armed to the teeth in magical gear, and told him they were there to stop the king.

  Kai shrugged. For a dream, that wasn’t so weird. What was utterly insane however was the part where they informed him that they took it upon themselves to act like a sort of interdimensional summoning police, and were going to send him back home. Like hell, they were! He wasn’t giving up the weeaboo dream that easily!

  After exchanging some choice words, … Kai rubbed his forehead with a groan. He was having trouble recollecting what happened after that. No matter, he’d just grab his stuff, head to class, and try to snuff out that bit of false hope. After rummaging through the end table, Kai found and pocketed his belongings, surprised that what little loose change he had in his wallet was still present. Shaking his left foot, he felt the few dollar bills he had to his name rub against his skin underneath his sock.

  Along with his phone, wallet, and keys, however, was a note written on colorful stationery. Amidst the little rainbow and pink unicorn in the background, was a line of scribbly text that read “Good morning, Kai! Hope you had a lovely night’s rest! You looked so tired after yesterday, and I just had to let you take the good guest bedroom! If you’re still feeling off from everything that’s happened, we have something for that. In fact, we have a lot of somethings! Just ask and we’ll get you something that’ll make things all better!”

  The rest of the note was printed in neat, blocky letters. “Yesterday was not all just a dream. Please pick up the phone when it rings. Cordially yours, Gus and Sheila.”

  There was another line written in chicken scratch at the very bottom. “P.s: Hey, why is my name second?! We’re using my stationery. And I broke out the unicorn and rainbow one just for Kai!”

  Kai looked up from the paper with a look of exasperation and took a deep breath. He knew exactly where he was, and felt a slowly creeping fear at the revelation. It wasn’t every day he accidentally ended up in a drug den, despite how hard he tried to avoid that kind of a crowd.

  But it was obvious that somehow, he must’ve accompanied one of his friends from the day before here, and somehow, someone had snuck something into his food. How else could he describe what was going on? It explained the crazy-sounding duo who’d written the letter and that line about “having something to make him feel better.” Seriously, what could that have meant other than drugs?

  He would never sleep at such a shady place if he could help it. So drugs, yeah. Maybe that explained his strange dream? Whatever the source of that nightmare, it seemed to be out of his system now. But there was still the matter of school. He’d just need to leave before anyone here noticed him, and…

  A sharp trill went out from a nearby table. Kai walked over to its source and found a cellphone like none he’d seen in years. It was a flip phone made out of a silver-painted metal, something that not even the poorest students at his school saw fit to own. That only added to his theory about this being a drug den. It was probably the dealer’s burner phone.

  Realizing that its owner would soon be there to answer the call, Kai quickly pocketed his own belongings, put on his shoes which were parked by the bed, and made his way towards the door at the far corner of the small room. To his chagrin, it was made of solid metal and didn’t budge when he tried pulling on the handle. He began to sweat. This wasn’t some kind of small-timer who set up in a condemned asbestos-ridden haunted house. This was a pro who was ready to deal with a full on police raid! And Kai Freeman was their “guest.”

  In a fit of desperation, the young man steeled his body and slammed his shoulder into the door, hoping to dislodge it. Instead, it rang out in a dull thud, without budging an inch. Kai tried it again, and a third time, his only accomplishment being a sprained arm.

  With a curse, Kai kicked at the ground and walked back to his bed. Maybe he could find some other method of egress? There was another door, this one made of wood instead of metal, that led to a small, half bathroom. A weird looking toilet and sink took up the space, with little room to walk around. Kai looked at his face in the mirror. It was the same as he remembered it, black hair, brown eyes, dark skin, and an expression that showcased a weariness of life, although with the addition of a 5 o’ clock shadow around his chin.

  Kai turned on the tap and splashed some water on his face, hoping the cold shock would help him come up with additional exit strategies. He didn’t see any windows in the bathroom, nor the bedroom he went back into.

  Kai flexed his muscles and began stretching his arms, eyeing the end table. He couldn’t tell exactly what kind of wood it was made of, but it looked sturdy enough. With a heave, he lifted it up to his chest, and turned to face the doorway. If he couldn’t find an exit, he’d just have to make one.

  Before he could do anything with the piece of furniture, however, the front door slid open and in walked a man dressed in thick body armor and a clear plexiglass visor. At his side was a baton and several glass vials, and on his face was a blue-tinted smile.

  “Woah there, what do you think you’re doing with the furniture?” he asked, motioning his right hand towards Kai in a cross between a greeting and a demand for an explanation.

  The young man stood in shock, utterly motionless, as if he were a little kid caught red handed doing something naughty.

  “Why don’t you put that down and we can-”

  Kai hurled the table at the man before breaking into a dead sprint. Just his luck, he’d woken up in some kind of high-class cartel drug den right before a police raid! Like hell he’d get caught, that would’ve dashed his chances of getting into the army as soon as he got out of high school! But what didn’t make any sense was why there’d be such a nice drug den in his neighborhood, and even more so the fact that they’d let someone like him inside it in the first place!

  “Hold up!” shouted the armor-clad officer as he took the brunt of the heavy wooden projectile. With a groan, he caught the end table, only taking a single step back to regain his footing.

  Kai didn’t give him a break, however. With a forceful shove, the man staggered out of the way, letting Kai make it to the doorway. As he was ready to taste sweet freedom, the young man bounced off of another man dressed in similar gear who was waiting behind the first.

  Kai hit the soft carpet with a thud, thankful for not experiencing any carpet burn on the way down, but fearful of the beating he was sure to receive now. He shielded his face with his arms and prayed that it would end soon when they realized he was just a kid, but the pain never came.

  Instead, the first officer held out a hand to Kai, urging him to take it and get back up.

  “Damn, kid,” said the first man with a look of surprise behind his visor. “I’ve seen survivors from Grimdark Worlds act less panicky than you! And you came here straight from Earth?”

  Kai understood some of those words, but got the gist of what the officer was talking about, sort of.

  “But don’t worry, you’re safe here.” There was a smile behind that mask.

  Kai could make out the sincerity behind the sentiment, and took his hand. With a quick tug, the high schooler was back on his feet, already dusting his pants off.

  So these probably weren’t the police, and this was probably not a drug den, judging by the fact that he wasn’t being arrested as some kind of accomplice. Alright, so where the hell was he?

  “How ya goin’, Kai!” came a cheerful voice from just outside the doorway carrying a strong Australian accent. A young woman in a loose fitting T-shirt and rainbow-dyed hair came bouncing into the room, hands behind her back as she gave everyone present a wide grin. “Why didn't ya pick up the phone? We even left you a note telling you to!”

  “Uh,” Kai hesitated, looking towards the lady. “I didn’t think it was mine?”

  “Whose did you think it was, then?” she asked, an inquisitive look on her face.

  “The drug dealer’s.”


  Everyone looked at Kai with bewildered gazes.

  Finally, the first armored man broke the silence. “Is that why you threw the desk at me? What kind of drug dealer wears full body armor?”

  “He thought you were the police,” replied the tie-dye haired woman. “And tried to get outta here before he could be arrested. Am I right?” she asked, turning to face Kai.

  “Yeah, actually,” he responded, his eyes widening in surprise. “How’d you know?”

  “If you didn’t pick up the phone, that meant you disregarded my note! And if you were going to ignore the part about the phone, then you definitely weren’t going to believe the fact that everything that happened to you yesterday wasn’t a dream!”

  Kai simply looked at the smiling woman, not sure how to really proceed. “So… am I under arrest?”

  “Haha! I think we’re going to get along well!” exclaimed the young woman with a chittery laugh. “I’m Sheila, by the way! Probably the most generic name for someone from Australia, but I’m anything but generic!” She threw her hand out towards Kai for him to shake.

  “You still didn’t answer my question,” he replied.

  “Don’t worry, we’re not the police, and you’re definitely not under arrest!” Sheila put a finger to her chin and thought for a second before continuing. “Though a lot of people like to call us the police, at least when it comes to making sure Earthers are treated nicely whenever they’re brought to another World. But it’s not like we have ticket quotas or anything, so you’re safe!”

  Upon hearing the words he was looking for, Kai mirrored the bubbly woman’s previous gesture, though with considerably less gusto. He shook back, letting the barest hint of a smile form on his lips. “So, what’s with the armored guards if I’m actually a guest here?”

  “Standard procedure, apparently,” said Sheila with an uncharacteristic sigh, before she continued to drone on. “My other half in this job, Gus, makes us take some of these guys around whenever we meet anyone new from Earth. He’s always been so paranoid about it, even though I told him someone reacting poorly to them was bound to happen! Oh well, he’s paranoid about everything.”

  “Yeah, so…” started Kai. “I’ve had lots of fun talking to you all, but I think I might be losing my mind, and I really need to get to school. So if you don’t mind-”

  One of the armored men put a hand out to stop Kai, eliciting a panicked duck.

  Sheila placed a soothing hand on his shoulder and exhaled, somehow the relaxation of such a gesture finding its way into him, despite his own frantic breathing.

  “Calm down Kai, it’s a snow day today! You’re still probably groggy and hungry, so how about if you wash up first and we can get breakfast? We can talk about what you remember about yesterday, and fill in any holes in your memory. Would that be fine?”

  “I guess so,” replied the young man. “You could’ve just led with that, you know. Though you look a bit old for a student… I’ll be in the bathroom.” Upon realizing the state of his bladder now that much of his adrenaline had faded, Kai quickly made his way back into the side room and shut the wooden door behind him.

  “Snow day?” asked one of the armed soldiers, sporting a look of confusion. “How’d you get that?”

  “I saw his phone yesterday, the date was January 20th. And the poor kid was so worried about school, I figured a white lie about it would be enough to calm his nerves. Get it? White lie, snow? It only worked because he’s American. If he were from my side of the Earth, I’d have to pray it was July!”

  “Quick thinking,” replied the other soldier. “But how do you think you’re going to explain things to him? Kid freaked out when we talked about the truth.”

  “Slowly, of course!” said Sheila with a grin. “And over a nice bowl of warm oatmeal, no less. People end up surprisingly accepting of their situation with a full stomach; it probably has something to do with shock.”

  “But you’d think there’d be fewer new recruits from Earth who act that way, no?” asked the other armored man. “With how many stories and TV shows there are about it.”

  “One of the many mysteries of the multiverse, my friend! I’m going to wait outside, you stay back and make sure he washes his hands.”

  “Will do.”

Cours Twent