《Saharan Successor》Vol. 1 - Chapter 27 - The Fated Encounter
Vol. 1 - Chapter 27 - The Fated Encounter
Entering the capsule, he began the loading sequence that woke him standing next to Fayrene on the decently large seat that allowed two persons on it.
Turning his gaze on her delicate neck and seeing the golden necklace, he could see Fayrene doing the finishing touches on the dress, and before she could react to his sudden appearance, he looked at her face, saying with a calm voice and warm smile.
"It seems you really are as a working bee, constantly adding more to your dress."
"Is that a compliment?" asked Fayrene, who didn't feel repulsed by Mathias's magical appearance, next by.
When she asked that, she smiled, feeling herself calmer while standing around Mathias. Sensing his warmth on her skin, her heart started racing, making her job even harder to complete.
"Mathias, can you help me with some threads?" inquired Fayrene, trying to mask her emotion and having Mathias move from her proximity.
Meanwhile, Mathias, who was remembering the annoying comments of the jeweler, looked at her face, which seemed to drop a bit lower, with her cheeks going a bit pink.
'I would be a dense idiot to not understand those signs from her, but what should I do? I like her a bit, but I don't know if it is to the extent I would view it as real. What if my worry about the beta reset really happens and everything is deleted from the inhabitants of this world, even the smallest correlation of my existence?'
His heart was also beating next to her, which gave him away because Fayrene could hear it fully.
She continued her work, with her face a bit lowered, masking her face that was going bright red. Her thoughts were nothing but on the dress, as Fayrene thought to herself.
'His heart is beating rapidly, and he seems to tremble a bit. Could it be? He likes me too? No way, once he sees all my arm, he will for sure get scared and run.'
Yet, in those moments, in her mind, all the moments they spent together were playing out, especially the one in their first encounter, when Mathias saw a small part of her uncovered forearm.
It was since then that she chose to bandage her right arm fully, so Mathias couldn't see her curse.
'No, I am wrong. Even back then, Mathias still was the same, acting the same and even encouraging me. But how do I tell him that I like him? I never did this before.'
When her heart began racing, it was the moment Mathias got up and walked to the back of the room to take the bundles of threads, but along the way, Fayrene noticed that Mathias held his hand on his chest murmuring something she couldn't quite understand.
'I will wait. Maybe he knows what to do.' thought Fayrene, as she wasn't unsure what to do with her storming emotions.
At the moment he went to take the bundle of threads, he took his time, calming down, and only after a while did he turn out and leave the threads on the workstation and distanced himself.
He checked the game time, which showed 10:25 AM, and with a calm voice, he said to Fayrene.
"I need to be at the Cathedral and finish the cleaning job. You will be fine with the dress?"
"Yeah, don't worry. I should be done by next the following days, also you shouldn't forget about your little project." reminded Fayrene, pointing her finger at the tapestry he began.
Nodding his head, he walked to the workstation, and using his inventory system, he got the canvas, the sketch, and some bundles of threads he used for the kitten's body.
"What do you think of it?"
Hearing Mathias' question, she looked at his face and openly expressed her thoughts.
"The drawing is pleasant to the eye, while the canvas, it seems you just started working on it. You better finish it, so I can see for myself what piece of art you had in mind."
Listening to Fayrene's warm voice and gazing at her violet eyes, he smiled before moving out of the house with a brief notification.
"You will for sure see it done."
Exiting the house, he took the route toward the Cathedral, yet, as he was walking down the periphery streets, he saw some people with scars on their faces and rundown clothes, arms on their sides.
Moving slowly compared to his normal speed, he heard some of those guys talking with each other, seeming to inquire for some lost people.
"Did you notice that team 26 didn't report back to the hideout after one week? Could it be that they were taken out by Crow's Syndicate?"
"I doubt those idiots would be so daring to annoy Crow or his members. We need to investigate this incident and eliminate the one who caused us trouble."
"Should we ask those 'cursed ones' about noticing any incident that implicated those idiots?" asked one thug, the one that seemed to be in charge.
Mathias, who started increasing his speed, making it seem he was a simple citizen, overheard their conversation, and looked coldly at their backs, gazing at the names and levels of those thugs.
This group was of a higher level compared to the Lv. 15 he fought, being fronted by an elite that was level 23 and the lackeys that were level 18 respectively 19.
'I doubt I can take them out since I am only level 10. Maybe once I am level 15, I could start hunting them down and clear Fayrene's quest.'
Opening his status window, he increased his stats with the opened stat points from his level ups and looked pleased with how his character started to look.
Name: Mathias / Class: Beginner
Level: 10(5800/7600) / Title: none
Health: 856/856/ Mana: 276/276
Strength: 50(+5) / Stamina: 36(+4)
Agility:23(+2) / Intelligence: 55(+18) / Stat Points: 0
'Indeed, I have a chance to strike down at the gangs of the periphery once I learn the arcane magic and reach level 15. It should be around the corner.'
'Today, I will clear Jeanne's little quest of cleaning the Cathedral Dome and gain the experience of that quest, followed by later Fayrene tailoring quest and Gabrils quest. I should be at level 14 at that point if I don't hunt or defeat any of those thugs trying to make life hard for others.'
'I sound like some hero wannabe, but at the end of the day, it's a quest that I have to finish. A game, even though it is realistic.'
Finishing his thoughts, he saw the thug not agreeing with the proposal to check on the players and instead moved toward a random location that split away from his path.
Choosing not to pursue them, Mathias entered the main part of Titan and began approaching the Cathedral.
Getting to the stairs, he climbed them, getting to the base of the Church building, and he could notice that there were no sign of players or even a priest in proximity, which had Mathias ponder on what happened around.
"This feels weird. Does the church always get closed on Sundays? I remember my first encounter with the church was on a Sunday, and there was no sign of priests. Barely Gabrils was there to help me around."
As he said that, he walked slowly toward the entrance that was closed down, and remembering the door Gabrils used to check-in and out, he entered the Cathedral using that small door.
Once inside, he got surrounded by some priests who, at Mathias sight, went pale, and with a rushed whispering tone, they told him.
"Outlander, you are not allowed inside the Cathedral. You have to leave."
Getting welcomed by such an approach, Mathias frowned and stopping in place. He used the priest clothes he got from Jeanne, changing into them, later saying to them.
"I am Gabrils substitute for this week. Even then, I can't enter inside the building and do my job?"
The priests scoffed at Mathias and said to him. "Can't you understand that outlanders are not allowed inside today?"
"Man, give me a break. I am here to work. Do you want to find trouble with me? I don't understand what your problem is."
"We can't tell you anything. Those are Bishop Jeanne's orders."
"I see, then here, if I show you this will you leave me alone to do my job?" asked Mathias, not bothered by who the person inside the church building was while showing the 4 priests surrounding him the 'Archbishop Julius Seal'.
"This holy light! From where did you get His Holiness Seal? Are you some thief?" asked one priest that almost got in Mathias's face, questioning his legitimacy.
Mathias's eyes turned colder as he started getting annoyed by how those priests were treating him, without even having a reason despite a special someone being inside.
'Keep shoving your face into mine and see what will happen. Even showing the old man seal, those fools don't let me inside.'
"I got the seal from the old man himself. Find trouble with him. Now, will you let me inside, or do you want to make this into a drama?"
"Yeah, sure, who would believe you, a punny outlander? That seal is for sure a fake one. How could His Holiness even lower himself to grace you with his presence." commented the priest who got into his face, while the other 3 moved closer to him as if readying to push him out of the church.
It was at that moment that he could see their levels, being level 100 NPC's.
'I can't really fight those guys. I am out leveled by a lot, despite having Ragnius with me. I will also break my relation with Rebecca Church if I try to resist those jackasses. Are they really priests? It feels the opposite, looking similar to those thugs.'
"Outlander, you better get out of the Cathedral. Don't make us get physical with you."
Mathias still kept his quiet and asked the priests again. "Are you sure you have the right to get me out of the church when I am substituting Gabrils? I am even wearing the priest clothes given by Bishop Jeanne."
"You are not Gabrils but an outlander. That means you don't have the right to negotiate with us."
Giving a long sigh, Mathias nodded, and calmed his gaze, and started walking out of the Cathedral building with a resigned sentiment. However, when he was about to exit the building, he heard an angelic voice calling out.
"Mathias, I have been waiting for you. Why are you leaving when you still have so much work to do?"
The four priests' expressions crumbled a bit, and when they turned their bodies, they noticed Jeanne walking toward them, looking at Mathias with a gentle expression.
Nevertheless, it was when Jeanne noticed those priests that tried to get Mathias out that had her expression shifted, immediately releasing a cold divine light from her body that pressured the priests in a similar manner the old man did with Mathias.
Jeanne walked toward them and inquired with a cold voice while her body kept releasing divine light.
"What is the meaning of this? Haven't I told you patrolling priests that once Mathias comes to the church, to guide him to me? You just tried to take him out, even though it wasn't required?"
"Your Excellency, we didn't know this person is called Mathias. He didn't introduce himself to us, right guys?" said the one who was most vocal in the group of priests when he sensed the pressuring divine light coming from Jeanne.
Jeanne still looked coldly at the priests and said coldly to them. "So be it, I will not find trouble with you incompetent fools. However, if I see you making trouble again on the Cathedral grounds, I will demote you to monks and send you to the monastery. If you don't like that idea, I might even demote you to simple civilians. I doubt His Holiness the Pope, Devigro, or Archbishop Julius will even care."
"Your Excellency, please don't do this. We really didn't mean it. We thought he was like the rest of the outlanders trying to join the church. If we knew he was the person Your Excellency was waiting we would have guided him to you." said the head of this group, the one most vocal, trying to curtail Jeanne from her anger.
"Enough with your excuses. If you keep spewing your nonsense, I will really demote you."
The priests kept their quiet and looked down, however, their eyes turned colder, feeling humiliated by how Jeanne treated them for only an outlander.
"Let's go, Mathias."
Moving past the priests who had sulking faces, Mathias heard them, saying with anger in their voices, which had him almost draw out Ragnius and stab those bastards in their hearts.
"Damned abomination slut. You think just because you are the daughter of old Julius, you can do as you wish in the Cathedral? Hmph, no wonder you were cursed to become the manner you got, whore."
"There will come a day in the future where we will screw your brains out, whore."
Getting toward Jeanne, still, under the effects of what he heard from the priests, he heard Jeanne said as if she also heard those priests.
"Don't bother yourself with those idiots. It is their freedom to call me whatever their mind chooses to, but everything will end for them once they act. Also, it seems they no longer bother keeping my curse a taboo subject, and it spread out around the church." ended Jeanne saying in a cold voice, a tone that Mathias was enjoying more, feeling intrigued by such coolness rather than the angelic tone.
"Jeanne, I am sorry." apologized Mathias, remembering his talk with the old man.
"About what? You did nothing wrong with those fools who tried to stop you." asked Jeanne,
"No, is not that. Heck, do you think I give a crap about those fools? It is about your curse. The old man told me about it last night after I finished cleaning the praying hall."
When Jeanne heard Mathias, she shook her head, and with a calm voice that sounded colder, added. "Dad also told me about you staying all night to clean the praying room and mentioned that he told something to you about me. I don't care how you address me, but since I look like a woman, act like a woman, it might make you uncomfortable."
"Hah, it seems you noticed my awkwardness."
"Mathias, because of this curse I've been born with, my male body turned into a woman's. As we speak, I am nearing the late stages of this curse, fully becoming a woman, barely having some remanence of my male side in my mind."
Keeping his silence, Mathias just walked side by side with Jeanne, who opened up a bit about her situation. Telling him how she was born a boy, and after she grew up to be a healthy young boy until the age of 12 when from nowhere his body started suffering changes with each year, she was celebrating.
"I don't know who my parents are, I grew in an orphanage, and when I started seeing those abominable changes to my body when I turned 13 years old, I thought I was under a nightmare spread out by Baal himself.
The people around me started to look at me as if I was a monster, point where I left the orphanage and wandered aimless, without a target. Feeling abandoned by life, I tried to end my life."
Saying that, Jeanne raised her priestly dress sleeve and showed Mathias her delicate white arm that had a cut on her wrist, a big one.
She seemed to be in a trance as she walked next to Mathias, and after feeling Mathias's hand on her back and him saying.
"I can't imagine what you went by, but if you ever think about making such a foolish choice as to end this "suffering" without even trying to face it forward, know that I am here to help you, whenever you wish to talk about your hardship, I will be here to give you my ear."
"Thank you, Mathias, but I am fine right now. When I thought I would die in my attempt to end my life, I slowly closed my eyes waiting for me to join hell. However, my fate didn't seem to be so bleak, as Father Julius appeared to heal me. Father Julius was the one to offer me a new home, a new calling, help me fight my demons.
"Each year, my body would change more into a woman, but he would be there to support me, like the father I never had. Now, you have that person who fully embraced the curse being thrown at him, or better said her."
Still with the hand on her back, as he felt her tremble a bit, she turned her beautiful face at Mathias, who was calmly listening to her story, giving his support, and asked a bit afraid.
"You really are not disgusted by this shape I turned into?"
"No, not at all. Sometimes, the exterior of our body is just a shell, and what is inside the person matters the most. Imagine Jeanne, you encounter the most beautiful person in the world, something akin to a goddess, yet that person is a monster inside. You would be bound to a vicious relation if having such a partner. Just imagine the nightmare you would have to suffer."
"Indeed, even when I was a boy, I never wanted to get associated with such people who have dark souls. Even here, I only have Gabrils to talk with, someone who can understand me, and now you. Thank you. Does this mean we become real friends?" asked Jeanne, with a cute voice, gazing at Mathias green eyes with her hazel ones.
"Haha, if you are fine with me. I might not be the best friend, but I am good at listening to people talking."
Jeanne wrapped her arms around Mathias and said to him. "This is something I am not good at, listening to people since I like to talk a lot. Anyway, I am really blessed to meet you."
After that, she broke her embrace, and moving past her intimate talk, she told him with a quiet tone.
"Mathias, we got a guest inside the main hall, and all the extra work you did last night proved out to work out fantastically since the guest was stunned by the cleanliness of the main praying hall."
"Ohh, to think someone would notice and appreciate my work. My little heart beating increased a bit."
*Giggling* "You might not think much about it, but it really did a good impression on that person."
"Regardless, I still have to clean the dome, remember?" reminded Mathias, with a slight chuckle.
"That is correct, so I will not guide you since I have some paperwork coming from the Vatican that dad doesn't want to deal with.It seems Father is in bad relation with Devigro. However, you can't start just yet because it would disturb that person's prayer. Begin when he leaves the Cathedral.
Can you do it, Mathias? Not disturbing that guest?" asked Jeanne in her angelic voice, making Mathias smile a bit and replying to her.
"Is there even a need for such a question? You can take care of your work, while I will get busy with something else until that person leaves."
Jeanne nodded, and with a smile, she split up with Mathias, who walked slowly toward the praying room.
Once he got there, he saw a white long-haired middle-aged man standing at a bench and seeming to have his eyes closed and with his hands bound together into prayer.
He could hear the man murmuring something, but he didn't bother to eavesdrop and getting to a bench at the first row, not too far away from the white-haired man. Mathias took some sheets of paper, inkwell, and writing quill.
'So, you should be the guest of the church? I wonder who you are. From your clothes, it seems some big noble. Whatever, it is none of my business to care about you.'
Like this, Mathias began to write on his historical novel, in an atmosphere that was best suited for his endeavor, a warm silence, sometimes accompanied by the murmurs of the white-haired man, but he wasn't disturbed at all, as he continued his writing.
One hour passed since Mathias started writing, and he had on his right side a lot of sheets of paper he completed, fully written.
He was no longer bothered about his surroundings as he was spell drawn by the plot of his story. However, in the meantime, he wasn't focused on his surroundings.
The white-haired man walked silently and got next to him, masking his presence with some unknown magic.
Like this white-haired man was reading Mathias completed pages, and a smile seemed to perk up on his dignified face.
It was only after some minutes that Mathias stopped from writing and, feeling the presence of someone else next to him, he slowly turned his head to meet the crimson eyes of the middle-aged man who gazed at the same time at him.
"Greetings, Your Excellency. Do you require something from me?"
The white-haired man did a small smile, and pointing at the sheets of paper next to him that were arranged diligently, he said to Mathias in a calm, dignified voice, exuding nobility from the manner of speech.
"Greeting, young man. You really are as direct as your writing. not sparing space for empty talk, but this is also good since I also don't like empty talk. I have some questions for you if you are so kind as to respond to me."
'Question for me? That's really coming from nowhere. Did I disturb his prayer or something, and now he is angry with me? Want to punish me?'
"Sir, did I disturb your prayer by chance? If it is so, I am really sorry."
Juander, who heard Mathias' question, shook his head and replied calmly. "On the contrary, my Aria probably is smiling right now in Heaven, knowing that I managed to meet the great artist who immortalized her in a story. I just want to have a talk with you if you don't find it troublesome."
A Dragon's Curiosity
Synopsis:The world of Ator is ruled by the strong. Through the cultivation of mana and aura heroes emerge and legends are born every day in the battle of civilization against the wilderness. Humans, elves and other humanoid races band together to face the threat of monsters and beasts hiding in dark places.In the forest the child of the strongest monster race is born. Abandoned by its clan and left only with its siblings as family. Taking the seat of a ruler among other monsters was not enough for the beast and it set out to explore the world.8 189
On a fateful afternoon, Chrono wakes up to find out that he can add years to his lifespan thanks to a lightning bolt. What should he do with his newfound power? Ro… I mean, legally earn some money? Become a tyra… run for the Presidential elections and gain power? Create his own hare… warm and happy loving family? How will it change his mundane life, how will it impact the world? Will it be for the best or for the worst? Near the planet’s core, lurking in the shadows, an evil existence is slyly scheming to wipe out the universe of all lifeforms (because yes, there are other living species in the universe, fools!). Follow him on his day to day life as he fulfills his destiny, granting wishes, making dreams come true for his victi… I mean customers; and become the best on Earth (who knows, maybe he’ll also become the saviour of the world at some point).8 295
Truth hides behind action. Delve. A word with many meanings. It may refer to an abyss, a dark place of no return or may also be a refuge, a haven of retreat from the harshness of the outside. None of those are right to me. For me, to delve is to seek the truth. Delving into that dark abyss and coming back with answers. To leave that safe refuge and suffer the pain of the outside just because it is real. This is the story of me delving deep into the truths of the universe. Suffering things that should not be suffered in search of things that should not be known. Once a common man, drowned in the same questions that have plagued humanity since the beginning of times, now I have found my answers. Now I have meaning. Delve, and you shall have yours as well. Jack is a regular citizen of modern society: he works on an office, uses public transport every day, receives a meager salary, and drowns his frustrations with entertainment and alcohol. Maybe, the only thing that sets him apart from many others, is his unique outlook on life. Despite feeling an unfillable void in his soul and suffering from deep depression, he still sees as his duty to be a functional, exemplary member of society. All in order to prove his life-goal point: no matter how good you are, life is still shit. This point-of-view, however, will be challenged by circumstances as a mysterious encounter with a weirdly dressed man takes him to a strange and dark cave. In this place, he will have to fight for his life against fantastical creatures from fiction, and more importantly, get face to face with his own nature. In doing so, he will uncover secrets about the cave that will change both him and all he ever thought to be true.8 102
Gate: War of Two Worlds Shorts
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**for Quravin** It's the summer of 2010, and Evan Barker's older brother Jason has just committed suicide. His devastated parents are reeling from the Recession, his friends are shiftless drunks, and his younger sister has been committed after discovering Jason's body. In an attempt to assuage the trauma his family has experienced and break away from his own shitty existence, Evan decides to grab his portion of the modern American Dream by trying out for that year's American Idol auditions in Nashville. Never mind that Evan's a 21-year-old virgin with a self-image as poor as his social skills. Never mind that he's never even attempted to sing before. In 21st century America, anything is possible, or so Evan's been told by a cultural upbringing of "Follow your dreams" and "Everyone is special" and "True love awaits". Speaking of true love, Evan asks Lily Trent to accompany him on the journey. Lily is a childhood acquaintance with whom he's recently reconnected and developed a crush on. Lately Lily's been working as a stripper, a cynical and jaded young woman who may or may not have her own motivations for joining Evan on the trip. Evan hopes the time alone will spark reciprocal affections in Lily, and an improbable come-from-nowhere triumph on national TV will not only free his family from their blue collar burdens, but win him the respect and love he craves-- not just from others, but from himself. Together, Evan and Lily discover why learning how to fail may be their generation's greatest lesson. Cover art by Gerry Siorek8 195
AKM: AUTOMATED KILLING MACHINES
Future problems need future solutions. With the world in shambles, Japan's cities slowly rebuild into the cyber paradise only a scumbag would love. These scumbags are a gang responsible for multiple crimes and deaths. Combined with a power-hungry Yakuza queen who hates to lose with a sentient android also called an AKM. That's the Tokneo I know and love. (Chapters will be done once a week, posted in the afternoons)8 114