The World's Savior is a Deviant?!
“That wasn’t that hard to learn. Now I can kill that immortal fucker next time I see him!” I declared with unbound confidence.
“It took you three hours to do it and you almost fainted. Let’s focus on what we need to do at hand.” Komoria pulled away from my head, her arms gripped tightly around my waist once more.
“That bizarre god seemed pretty happy after Raze Havok learned the Skill. He had hulking biceps appear all over his body. I respect a man with strong muscles.” The scorpion gazed off at the terrain as we made our way through the jungle, ducking every now and then to avoid the prickly brow branches.
“Yeah, I guess he got his original form back since he got some followers. Good for him, I guess….”
At least that is one deed cleared for the day….
“The cannon is close now. Can you see it?”
“What the hell do you mean?" I asked. "We are in a big ugly jungle!” I turned back and saw what she meant, internally renouncing my words. We were actually out of the jungle now and stomping upon withered grass that you would find in early October around a pumpkin patch. Now that I think about it—do we even have months or seasons here? I never really gave a shit before but now I'm kinda curious.
In the distance loomed a cyan-colored building and beside it was the most ridiculous contraption I had ever laid eyes on in this world. It was 50 feet high with a large circular maw and a golden circle on its side. Truly, it was a giant bubble blower, not a cannon.
“First of all, you call that a cannon? What?! And secondly—what is that ugly colored building?”
“Do not insult the Game Master’s home. There's a reason they are the only thing around this area. You will see for yourself real soon.”
I brushed her comment aside. “Yeah, whatever.”
“This place looks phenomenal on the inside!” Komoria squealed as she ran around like a happy child. The interior of this building was painted dark and cryptically like the cosmos I used to see on television through telescopes. They must have been enchanted or something because they were constantly swishing around as if animated on a screen. It was pretty cool all things considered.
A cat beast-kin with short blond hair and a black tux at the end of the room ushered us forward. She stood in front of the only door with a small podium right below her. “Welcome, guests! I bet you are here to ride the Super Mega Cannon, right? How will you pay? With thirty gold coins or a victory ticket?”
30 gold coins? We didn’t have anything close to that. Gold coins were like hundred-dollar bills. Only the rich had that many on hand.
The scorpion walked in front of me, nearly blocking my view with her long tail and body. “We would all like to participate in the victory ticket events, please.”
Why can't that accursed goddess give us a coin printer or something? Does she even want us to succeed?
The receptionist’s eyes lit up like fireworks. “Great! Just walk through each of these doors and await your game. You can watch your friends' events from the magic mirror in your waiting room.”
“'Doors'?” I parroted. “Oh…” There were now three black doors behind her. I walked past the scorpion and headed for the middle door, a bit of pep in my step. I was eager to get this side quest done as soon as possible.
“Wait! Raze! We haven’t talked strategy or anything—“
“Just don’t lose!" I snapped back before opening my door and walking through.
“Good luck!” The happy cat beast-kin said as she waved.
It looked like my bracket was the first of my team Raze. I sat cross-legged on a tree stump chair with six other NPCs lurking around me. Their details were not important, but the game we were playing was. It was trivia on the history of this continent. It was something I knew very little about even though I had already spent sixteen years here messing around. In the middle of our room was a very long mirror that displayed over two-dozen different views at the same time.
There were many types of games occurring then, but the one that caught my eye was a dispute after a one-on-one fight.
The loser was complaining to someone off-screen, but then it showed up. It was a smaller version of that Nebulos thing I saw yesterday that destroyed Komoria's village and spirit. This one was maybe just slightly taller than me with long dark hair and bright blue beams that could be considered as eyes. Their slim body possessed many curves that would lead me to believe it was female. Her chest area which was lightly covered with her long hair was the real selling point of this theory. It failed at fully hiding those things.
The Nebulos seemed like strange, naked beings, crafted from a galaxy or black hole. The man started to yell at the Nebulos and causing more trouble for those around them and the viewers. She said nothing in response. Instead, retaliated by leisurely walking right through him. Her svelte form phased through him as if she was ethereal or ghostly. I thought that was the case, but in the mere second that she spent traversing past the young man, he had withered into an old geezer far past his prime. It was like she had made him experience decades in the span of a second. What was this? Science fiction?!
The old man smiled and waved to the Nebulos before stepping off-screen with her. Seems like he mellowed out, albeit in a rather crazy way.
The Nebulos must be the Game Masters that the scorpion spoke of. They seem like sentient black holes without the sucking of light parts. Maybe they were closer to living snippets of a galaxy. With the ability to devour someone's time, these GMs were not to be fucked with.
“Fuck!” I spat on the ground and took a seat in the spectators' room. I didn’t know jack and easily got easily eliminated. Why did I have to get such a shitty game? Why does RNG hate me no matter where I go?!
I gazed up at the myriad of mirrors stuck to the walls of the room. I didn’t see Komoria in any of them, but the scorpion was in a sumo-like arena with a fat guy. A small ring surrounded them, half the size of a boxing ring. They took turns attempting to shove each other out. The scorpion was clearly at a disadvantage since she couldn't deploy her usual method of combat—punching until she wins. Even with her busted durability stat, she eventually got shoved out. She met me here soon after, her tail drooping the same way Komoria's ears and wings did when she felt down.
“I apologize. I have failed.” She didn’t meet my eyes, her gaze cast downward. She was crestfallen.
“I lost too. These games are probably rigged if you ask me.”
She cracked a smile when she heard that. “Yes, I think so as well.”
“Guess all our hope hangs on Komoria's success. Can we re-enter after she loses?” She was pretty good at games as much as I would like to say otherwise, but if the scorpion and I took the fat L, then there is no way she wouldn't as well.
“Not today, but tomorrow we can," she replied. "It's all a game of chance to get something you are good at.”
“Seems like it,” I mumbled as I continued to watch the games.
Some time went by, but I still couldn’t catch a glimpse of Komoria anywhere. Did she quit before she started or get eliminated faster than me? It was possible, but where was she then?
Eventually, I gave up and decided to watch one of the more interesting games. It was an advanced version of Tag. Two people started off as “it” and if they tagged everyone and brought them on their side, they would win. If the others lasted past twenty minutes then they win.
It was a free for all, which I saw super into as a prior battle royale player in my last life. The sickest dude that caught my eye was this guy wrapped up in white bandages as if he was a ninja or secret assassin—or even a hitman! He was quick and precise with his movements. His crimson eyes blazed into the soul of anyone he fought, causing them to shrivel in fear. Others chased him, but none could catch this monster of a man.
A tiger beast-kin leaped into the tree after him but was sent flying back toward the ground with a metal shrunken, splitting the tree on its trajectory back up like the world's most deadly boomerang.
Hey! This guy really is a ninja! Fuckin' sweet!
There were around five minutes left, but the only one who had yet to be tagged was that MAN. His name on the leaderboards read “JINZO”. It sounded more like a Gamertag than his actual name. It definitely sounded like something from my world.
A group of rogues ganged up on him in a meadow. Each of them had two daggers, a green hue liquid off of it—likely poison. They all dashed at him in unison, going for the defeat path to victory instead of the tagging route. Six flying blades at once would be too much even for this guy... Or so I thought.
He retrieved a pair of swords that were sheathed across his back to parry two of the attackers. The third was held back by another two blades….that jumped out of Jinzo’s chest, metal arms grasping them in their firm hands like a robotic Hindu god.
Woah! Is this guy a robot? We have those here!
I didn’t know they existed in this world., but with the mechanical scanner I use on a daily basis, it seemed plausible.
After he repealed all three attackers, his bandages peeled off. Underneath was a sleek metallic dark blue body with claws instead of fingers. A white headband made of bandages hung tightly from his forehead. He was totally some sort of cyber ninja! Especially with those two arms that attacked from his chest. He looked like a video game villain or imposing rival, and that was alright with me.
His two extra arms retreated back into his chest as he fled from the defeated rogues. Another band of humans ran after him from both sides once he entered a particularly narrow forest section. There was no way to avoid being tagged… But I was proven wrong once again by this mechanical badass. Wings sprouted out of his back, the same as a butterfly with a rainbow color.
"How majestic." Apparently, the scorpion was spectating as well.
He effortlessly fluttered into the air and watched his pursuers comically slam into each other. He landed softly before sheathing his swords. The timer was up. Jinzo, the flying cyber ninja had pulled out the win.
“I wonder what species is under that armor?” The scorpion pondered. "How peculiar."
“Or it could be nothing but wires and gears. He could be controlled by someone else from a distance. Maybe he is just a robot muppet.”
Our conversation briskly came to an end when Komoria wandered into our room with embarrassment written all over her face. “I…uh…managed to secure us a ticket...by sheer luck.”
"I thought you forfeited or something when I didn’t see you on screen. You didn’t steal it, right? Not that I would care..."
She closed her eyes and rubbed her neck, sporting a cheeky smile. “Nah, I won it fair and square. You can thank me later. Let's just get going.
'Nah'? She is acting rather strange.
Then it hit me. She had some affliction on her status card. Perhaps it had finally caught up with her and she didn’t want to worry us. It better not be contagious.
“Whatever," I said with a shrug. Let's go."
“I am proud that you were able to do something that neither I nor Raze could pull off.”
Komoria smiled awkwardly. “It was just luck—really. Can we just leave?”
“Fine. Let's go use this fucking cannon.
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