His Soul is Marching On to Another World; or, the John Brown Isekai (Fall of the Slave Harem)
Welcome, folks of all kinds and dimensions, to the Annual Curry Mountain Brawl!
From the top enters a new contender in this year’s brawl, Mister John Brown from Connecticut! He has a special thing just prepared for this occasion folks, and he’s ready to spice up this year’s contest.
And standing at the bottom, staring at his rival standing at the small cliff, is Bipedal Bear! It is at quite a disadvantage, some of you might know, for it has picked the low ground for this fight. Yet this veteran of the mountains looks like it is not willing to give up its title this easily, it has besieged old Brown and is not intent on leaving.
The contestants are staring at each other, with killing intent the likes of which have never been seen before, looking to see who’ll strike first. Brown seems to be holding a helmet containing a boiling mixture of highly concentrated lye.
What does he inte- oh my God, he’s going straight for the eyes! Old Brown has gone for the forbidden “chemical warfare” technique, long banned by the Geneva Convention. Luckily for him Geneva is not a city in Gemeinplatz. He has poured the burning liquid down from the cliff to the head of the bear, blinding his opponent!
Chances aren’t looking good for bipedal bear, folks. It seems to just be running around wildly, trying its best to strike at its opponent. Though, if Brown approaches, it could still be dangerous with its sharp claws, folks, so don’t tune out just yet!
Old Brown seems to be planning to descend the cliff, perhaps looking to escape before the bipedal bear can notice him. Can he do it folks? Can this new contender in the brawl earn a place at the top, or will he become tonight’s dinner?
…Wait a second, the bear is down, folks! It has slipped on a bar of soap that found its way to the battlefield! What an unfortunate accident, even Brown seems surprised at this predicament! I-It seems that the bear is not moving anymore. Is this the end of the road for the bear?
One, two, three…
…eight, nine, ten! That’s a KO!
What an unexpected twist, folks! This year’s champion of the Annual Curry Mountain Brawl is John Brown!
Adventurers, the people that most stories about another world focus on. They are adventurous, brave folk who’ll stop at nothing to throw their lives on the line for fame and glory. From their ranks rise heroes, fiends, and everything in between. They protect the common folk; they slay monsters that threaten the realm… Those would be the words that a layman would use to describe adventurers.
A cramped room, a floor dirtied with unspeakable substances, and a mass of unwashed, rowdy folk. Those would be the words that’d describe the adventurers of Azdavay, or the adventurers of any far-away town for that matter.
There in a dank room sat a group of three around a round table, drinking and smoking their hard-earned money away. Their sense of fashion resembled a Renaissance Fair where no one knew how medieval people dressed. Among the most atrocious of their crimes against fashion were the random bits of metal plate, none of these plates in a place that’d protect anywhere vital, stuck throughout their body. None of them wore a helmet in a bid to show off their overly pompous hair. In short, the most important thing for adventurers wasn’t practicality or survivability. The most important thing was looking cool while doing their job.
The conversation around the table was a dull one, consisting of bits and bobs about the adventurers’ adventures and other drudgeries.
“Shinasi, it’s been getting harder and harder to find mountain slimes nowadays.” began an older adventurer, chewing on some tobacco that had been imported from the east. He had a giant scar that travelled from the bottom to the top of his head, most assumed that this scar must have been earned in honorable and glorious battle. In fact, he had earned this scar when he had dueled another adventurer in an argument about what portion of the loot they got to keep. “I always end up finding useless slime corpses instead. Business has been drying up lately.”
“You don’t say Shakir!” replied a younger man, with great sarcasm in his voice. He had an assortment of scars too, righteously earned when he was travelling through the treacherous realms of his thorn-infested backyard. The only piece of armor he wore was a small steel plate over his heart that was fastened by two belts, the rest of his hairy chest was bare (thankfully he was wearing pants). He was slurping on some cheap wine as he spoke. “It’s obviously the man-bears waking up from hibernating. They’ll calm down in a week or two.”
“He’s probably right. Believe me, those things are vicious.” added the only woman in the group. Shakira’s lack of sensible clothing could only be matched by Shinasi. “You know, that Vadanabe Ceneriko, or whatever he was called, I bet he was eaten by a man-bear.”
Shakir grumpily grumbled at the thought of his ‘comrade’ who he hadn’t seen for a while. “Such a shame too! That boy had one of those ‘cheat skill’ things. And he had a slave to boot!” He shook his head, chewing his tobacco even more intensely. “Such a shame, such a shame…”
Shinasi shrugged. “Eh, plenty of otherworlders end up in the mountains. We’ll probably get a new one coming here eventually.” He chuckled and then added “If they survive.”
Their conversation was cut short by someone entering the Adventurer’s Guild building; there was a bell hung to the door that made it easy to hear guests. “Here comes an otherworlder now.” said Eleonore, watching a familiar figure enter the room. This figure was a young male Awmereighkan, quite a common species of otherworlder, who had been staying in Azdavay for around a year or so. He usually gave them easy yet well-paying quests to gather some ingredients. The adventurers were quite fond of him because of that.
Today though, unlike his usual calm self, the Awmereighkan seemed to be quite disturbed. He quickly walked up to the counter where the guild’s receptionist lay, barking something in broken Low Gemeinplatzish.
Shakir tilted his head, trying to get a good view through the crowd in the guild. “Young man has got one of his eyes covered with bandages. What happened?” He received his answer as the receptionist rung the bell on her desk, signaling an emergency quest.
“Hear ye, gather ye!” This announcement from the receptionist caused great excitement among adventurers. Emergency quests tended to be profitable, after all.
“Adventurers of this guild! Sir Jacob Smith of Florida has informed us of a great emergency! Please- please no pushing, stand in even rows as I relate to you the contents of your quest!”
Tonight was a beautiful night like any other. Moonlight shimmered on to puddles of water, snow no longer being in sight as spring banished the last vestiges of winter. Flowers, hardly seen in the moonlight, sprung forth to welcome the new season. A catgirl was running from slavery, trying her best keep herself under the cover of darkness.
The last few days had been hellish for Ayomide. Her old master wasn’t the type to just lay down and accept losing a significantly valuable piece of ‘property’. The damnable adventurers over at the guild had been hunting her down, keeping her on the run. She hadn’t been able to catch a wink, or anything to drink. Her muscles, doing their best to keep her upright during the chase, ached like they were ripping apart from their seams. It didn’t help that the mountains she had escaped to were still cold; the revealing maid outfit from the café did nothing to protect one from Mother Nature.
Ayomide could easily see in the dark, like others of her kind, but she had slowly started to lose focus and clarity in her sight as the night marched on. Suddenly, she tripped on a log that she hadn’t paid attention to in her wild run.
She found herself laid flat on the ground, the wet ground making her feel even colder than before. Struggle as she may, Ayomide was unable lift herself up anymore.
This is it…
Her vision fading, Ayomide found herself smiling during what might be the last moments of her admittedly short life. At least she was dying a free woman. That’s what mattered in the end, Ayomide thought.
…suck it, Jacob…
Brown woke up along with the first rays of sunshine visiting his cave. He groaned in pain when he felt his back aching like he had been on the rack for the entire night. The old man had been forced to sleep on the floor of the cave for a few weeks now; the spine of someone entering his sixties didn’t react well to having to spend the entire night laying on stone. Brown heard some concerning crackles come from his poor spine as he straightened himself.
“Yawn… thank our Heavenly Father above for keeping me alive for another day. Ow, ow, Lord help me, ow…” Brown winced once more as he tried to get up, his right arm being of no use. The wound that the bear inflicted had gotten awfully discolored. He was afraid that it might be infected; having to amputate his own arm was definitely not going to be fun if that was the case.
Finally managing to rise and shine after ten minutes, Brown made his way out of the cave to acquire food for the day. He’d have smelled the wet earth and the fresh smell of the blooming flowers if he hadn’t placed the bear’s hide next to the entrance. Brown and his father before had been tanners; it wouldn’t have been proper to let good hide waste away. The hide, stretched on a makeshift rack made of stray logs, smelled awful as it was covered in animal dung. Brown hadn’t covered the hide in dung just for the fun of it; covering leather in dung was what helped it soften up (thanks to the bacteria found in the dung, unbeknownst to Brown). He planned today to begin tanning the leather using the tannin he had gathered from the logs of pine trees from the forest below.
Thus, old Brown jumped down from the small cliff leading to his cave, only to have his morning routine be interrupted by an unexpected visitor.
“Miss, are you okay? Oh Lord…” Brown rushed to greet his visitor.
On the ground lay a woman of particularly short stature, unmoving as if she were a corpse. Her dress had been dirtied and torn greatly; Brown had to avert his gaze while approaching her to avoid seeing anything indecent. Her face was as dirty as her clothes, beneath a layer of dirt and grime lay black skin with a slight tinge of crimson. Her hair was ginger, barely noticeable beneath a layer of mud, standing in stark contrast to her dark skin.
Brown crouched to get a better view of her and was relieved when he saw that his visitor was still breathing, even if only barely managing to do so. He used his uninjured arm to drag the young woman out of the mud, covering her with his coat so that she wouldn’t be exposed anymore to the elements. Then he rushed back to his cave to quickly find something for her to eat and drink, his mind in a state of great worry about the wellbeing of his guest.