《Unkillable Loser》Chapter 21: Contract
Bobby Grant POV:
After Tony was taken away we were all brought to a room with only Altru, us, and Shanks. The guards that surrounded us the whole day were gone and this would be the best time to escape but no one was stupid enough after all of the things they saw today, especially since Shanks was still here.
Altru looked…. Exhausted. He was still upright and standing tall with a royal air, but it was blunted and his smile seemed a lot more forced than earlier in the day.
“Well, what a day we’ve had. I’m not afraid to admit that this has been one of the worst summonings in our empire's history. No tutorial, one of you was immediately hostile, one has been taken away for trial by the head church of our empire, and there is still a devotee of a god who, while not hostile, is known for making…. rash decisions.”
Altru pinched the bridge of his nose with his fingers and gave a Tony-level sigh.
“I can’t really fathom what you have all been through today. We really are trying to treat you as heroes in this time of need despite these…. complications.”
I could legitimately feel spikes of malice hitting my back. I didn’t want to turn around and I already knew it was May staring daggers at Altru. I just moved a little left to clear her line of sight and get out of what felt like a silent firefight. Despite the hostility she still hadn't said anything since her threat in the place they took Tony earlier.
Altru gave one more sigh and turned to May.
“Tony will be fine. If the goddess wanted him dead she would have outright said so on his page, and also she would have spoken to her designated saint. Our goddess does not hold back on true enemies, so Tony is not a true enemy. I can’t say that he will be treated well, but he will live.”
“Not good enough.”
I think May must have been using some of the power of her god as she spoke because the room felt like it was put under pressure. I felt my ears pop and start ringing quietly.
In direct contact with this pressure Altru did not bend even a little bit. He slammed his foot on the ground and the pressure disappeared like it had never existed.
“Miss May, get yourself under control. As I’ve said many unfortunate things happened today but I AM NOT YOUR ENEMY!”
He shouted the last bit and May replied shortly.
Man this bitch is gonna get us all killed. I get where she is coming from but just chill would ya?!
Altru turned to Shanks.
“Give me a contract.”
Shanks looked shocked, but quickly handed over a rolled up piece of paper and a pen. Wait, is that a ballpoint pen? What the fuck is with the tech here?
Altru went to a desk in the corner of the room and motioned May to sit across from him, which she did silently.
Altu spoke loud enough for all of us to hear though he was obviously talking directly to May.
“These contracts are made by the gods. While expensive, they provide the best assurance that someone will follow their word. After all, the penalty for breaking the terms in a contract like this is death, enforced by the entire pantheon and executed by the god of death himself.”
And I thought contracts were scary in our world…
Altru wrote out a contract as fast as lightning. He then turned it to May for her to view. After she read it with a cold look on her face she looked up at Altru.
“This isn’t good enough.”
“Whatever you say I can’t guarantee more than this. The church holds power nearly equal to my authority, though not that of my father. I can guarantee his life as well as no outright torture, but if he really is a heratic the church will not sit idly and let him simply be imprisoned. I am also bound to the word of our goddess and will have to fulfill her will. This contract is the best I can do with my power.”
May read the contract again.
“Then I want you to add something.”
“What is it?”
“Add something that defends the rest of us from persecution for no legal reason. I won’t allow myself to be pushed around for my link to the God of Light, and I want the rest of us defended so that you can’t simply shout ‘heretic’ and treat us like Tony for no reason.”
“I can grant that, though it will be stipulated that excess breaking of empire law will remove the protection. I also cannot control the church directly and this contract is limited to those who are directly controlled by the empire.”
Uh, did May just shield us? Why is she our representative all of a sudden? I certainly didn’t vote for her.
“Then please sign here. If you break the terms in the contract that pertain to you the contract will also take your life, this is not a one way street and we need some assurance that you won’t rampage with your powers.”
Thank you president May for your noble sacrifice, you now have my vote to be our leader. I’m not gonna sign the death contract.
May nodded and signed, then Altru signed as well. The contract glowed golden and then disintegrated to dust before our eyes.
“Contract established. I hope for this to be a step in the right direction for all of us here, not just May. Know I’m willing to put my own life on the line if it means currying the favor of you heroes. I do not take the fact that I’ve pulled you from your homes unwillingly lightly. If not for the extraneous circumstances I mentioned earlier you would all be getting a parade in the streets by now. If anyone has anything they need from us they can ask me or Shanks personally, you deserve that much.”
Altru had gotten up in the middle of his speech and stood in front of us all again. May, while not exactly friendly looking, at least wasn’t outputting a hostile aura. She was mumbling to herself and I could only guess she was chatting with her god. Well, if she isn’t going to ask then I will.
“So, what the fuck are we supposed to do now?”
Shanks frowned while Altru gave a small smile. Guess cussing at a prince doesn’t sit well with his knights, not that I’m gonna stop, I’ve gotta maintain my image for now.
“First and foremost on our list of tasks is getting each of you set up with lodging and food. We had to leave the dining hall earlier so some dinner will be brought to each of your rooms. As for future plans we would like to commence training your abilities right away. We have not yet determined each of the roles you will all play and it will become more apparent where you can help the most once you have all practiced your powers. Even if… you have the idea of not working with us for too long, it won’t hurt to get some basic training in if you want to survive here. From what the others summoned have said in the past this planet is much harder to make a living on than where you came from. Focusing on increasing your natural gifts will give you a huge leg up.”
Altru paused and thought for a moment, no one interrupted him. When he lifted his head he looked resolute.
“The hardliners in the empire will be adamant about making you tools of war. We are in a disadvantaged situation against the demons and we need forces which is why we resorted to the summons in the first place. It would be hard for you to understand now, but know we had to make heavy sacrifices beyond just money to perform the summoning ritual and we can’t do it again. After having heard your situations I don’t want to force anyone here to work on the frontlines, and I don’t want to be hostile to you all, but do know we need you. Also keep in mind that if our empire falls there might not be any human country left that can stop the demons, meaning life here would become impossible anyways. I hope you’ll come to work with us in some capacity and I’ll try to be on your side, which is why I want you to come to me and Shanks with requests. Let us help each other out, because as unfortunate as this situation is it is irreversible. So we can only move forward.”
Well fuck. Altru seems so sincere about this whole thing but I can tell that me and everyone else are having the same thought. ‘What about Tony.’
What Altru said might have convinced me earlier but we’ve seen how the empire treats people they don’t like, and Altru certainly didn’t help Tony without being threatened by May. The only thing I agree with is that taking advantage of the empire and their training won’t hurt. I’ll need to be strong if I want to leave or if I want to stay.
After Altru stopped talking we were quickly given rooms in the castle. Each person got their own room and they were fancy as fuck. The bed was nicer than the one I had back home and the furniture was all fancy. I hated it.
At least the food they brought was good. Grub fit for a knight apparently. It felt weird after all the caste staff left, quiet. Individual rooms meant we couldn’t talk to each other, probably trying to prevent a ‘summoned rebellion’. It took a long time to get to sleep that night so I had time to think. I probably should have been having some deep thoughts about my lost life back on earth or the horrible demons we might need to face here, but I’m too simple for those deep thoughts.
All I could think about were the movements of Shanks I’d seen that day. The inhuman power. I admired it, I wanted it.
I also thought about May occasionally, the different kind of power you could get from a connection with a god. If I could get both….
Before I went to bed I made my plan for my new life. A simple plan, and one that fit the simple me.
Get strong, and do it fast.
I won’t be pushed around here like I was in my past life. I have no intention of being forced on any path by the demons, the empire, or anyone the fuck else.
Tomorrow, just like every day before, Ima work my ass off to get what I want.
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