The Pagemasters Vol 1 SS3

 


Author: Literataku


Sidestory 3:
The Flames Of Passions Lost

 

 

The chirping of birds and other animals began to slowly bring me away from sleep. My body hurt and I could feel something stabbing me in the back. I open my eyes and find myself staring at the underside of evergreens. Did Ariana and I fall asleep stargazing again? My head was cloudy and hurting as I tried to sit up with a groan.

I couldn’t remember last night, and my head hurt. Is this what a hangover feels like? I’d never had one before because I never drink that much. Not until last night if that was what happened. I looked around with bleary eyes trying to gain my bearings. There was something wrong about this, didn’t something go on last night that stopped me?

I had ended up staying late discussing things with the magazine publishers. They wanted to change the article about me or some reason or another and I was in there arguing over their decisions. Particularly how they wanted to portray my private life as a bachelor, which if things had gone the way they intended wouldn’t be true by the time they published.

I was going to ask Ariana that night, but then there was something else that went wrong. I growl in the back of my throat and punch the ground. Everything just had to go wrong last night, didn’t it? I know she’d forgive me but… What happened?

Storm… there was some storm last night. I never made it to our date. I didn’t even get a chance to get home because of that storm. Matter of fact I shouldn’t be outside if anything I should be in that super-sized library. What the hell is going on?

I manage to get on my feet and look around trying to take in the sights more carefully. This isn’t where I last remember being last night. I was supposed to be in Kyoto, not… Wherever this is. I shook my head trying to clear my mind again, part of the blur not leaving my sight even when I closed my eyes. Some kind of blinking light in the lower corner of my vision. Great now maybe I have a concussion.

I try to focus on it and watch as something unfolds itself in front of my eyes. Am I dreaming? A paper is floating in front of my eyes, hovering like a status message in a video game. I reach up and take hold of it, feeling the paper solidifying in my hands, words starting to form at the top and writing itself down the way.

(Welcome to the Pagemaster Support Systems. This will guide you through the setup process and explain how to begin your task at becoming one of the protectors of the Primary.)

I’m having a dream and I’m not even the main hero in it. Great. I would have thought my ego would be a little bit bigger. I continue to read down the page noticing the form toward the bottom requesting various information you typically saw in RPGs.

It looked like some information was already filled out. But I didn’t have a pen or anything to write with. The paper itself seemed to realize this and erased part of the previous text above the form.

(Just say or think the information that goes in each box and it will fill in automatically.)

Well, this is useful, I guess. I set to work filling in as much as I could reading over my choices and the pre-chosen items listed.

Pagemaster Red Wielder of Fire and Steel,
Name: Daniel Harmon,
Abilities: Self-Knowledge, Self-Healing
Spell Card: |{Sharpen}|

I didn’t know what or who I was going to meet out here so I chose what I felt would be the easiest things to work with for me. Even without a weapon as long as anyone I ran across wasn’t too high leveled I felt confident enough I could beat them down on my own. I didn’t feel like I was going to be stuck using pre-animated or set damage style attacks so that saved things.

Self Knowledge lets me view my various stats without needing to do anything but think about them So I know how close I am to dying. And self-healing is self-explanatory, even if there was a minor self-heal included already, a little extra boost never hurt. It seemed a bit low for an auto-heal function but I learned back when I played MMOs that solo questing was always better to have some self sustain, and it probably got better the higher in experience I get.

After I confirmed everything the page started writing out instruction on the basics, teaching me how to craft and create my own weapons. A low level with this high power ability? My dream seems to be a bit broken, but I wasn’t going to complain if I was going to get an easy mode cheat like this.

It took a few tries and some more details from the page but I had managed to create my dream weapon. This was something I could only use in fantasy dreams and never against a real person. Drawing the katana from its scabbard I smiled to myself looking at the flaming blade in hand. This will do nicely.

I continued to consult the page over various things. Learning how to activate the Card Spell. I applied it to my blade and left it active for now so I could figure out what kind of rate my mana drains with this spell.
Other magic was becoming a complete bust for me. It didn’t matter too much since I should be able to handle most anything without using magic. And if something came along I could hopefully manage to run away or just wake up. Though I was starting to have doubts about this being a dream as more and more about last night started to come back to me.

My thoughts were interrupted by movement and the sound of something talking. Shifting my stance and sheathing my blade for a fast draw if they proved to be enemies. Holding my breath and waiting as I listened to them.

“So then Silence comes up to me and says… ‘Hey, you want to earn some quick souls?’ And I am completely down for it because waiting on Lucy to do anything more than scheme is getting old so I go, ‘sure Sci old buddy.’ and then you know what he tells me?”

A pair of the ugliest looking creatures I had ever seen step out of the trees, talking animatedly with each other they didn’t seem to be giving me any attention. One was bluish-purple with strange markings decorating his face and hands, he appeared to be some mix of leopard with a dolphin if they had been caught weird magical transportation accident. His face with the mouth of a dolphin and two sets of eyes, two in front and two on the sides. A dorsal fin on his back and smooth-skinned arms with furred clawed hands.

The other was at least a more normal fantasy stock creature, almost like a minotaur, if said minotaur had a centaur body with spider legs and an ax-like tail. He laughed listening to his pal’s story, the voice sounding like nails dragging over a chalkboard. Looking at them was igniting something deep inside me. Righteous Rage. Anger that refused to be contained inside me for much longer.

“What did he say?”

“He said some idiot messed with the Atlantean device and turned the world inside out. I didn’t believe him at first. I mean, no Pagemaster would ever screw up this badly right? But here we are. So anyways he says after that ‘kill the companions before he meets up with them. The more **** he does the more the walls of heaven will collapse.”

“Really? A screw up that can ****? The Word must be feeling suicidal if it’s giving a human that kind of power.”

What the hell is ****? It’s like something is deliberately erasing the word from existence even though these two are talking about it. Even if I was some kind of lip reader it was like their mouths glitched out just uttering the words.

The two look at me with a smile, the purple one summoning dark flames from his hands while the other started doing something with the ground. Corrupting the plants around him, making them twisted into nightmare abominations, growing faster and sprouting thorns and strange looking flowers, my only guess was they were going to shoot something at me if I let them.

“Just stay still and we’ll make it fast. Any luck you’ll just be **** and won’t feel a thing. Unless the boss decides to play with your soul. Then you might feel a lot of things.”

I’m going to shut you up really fast, demons. I sink down into a lower stance, bracing my feet to launch forward, tightening myself like a spring. First the plant one, then the dark fire one. My hand gripping around the hilt of my blade.

“Oh look, this one thinks he is a Samurai, or perhaps Shinsengumi?”

I give a quick dangerous smile to them. “Aku Soku Zan.”

Flash! I moved in an instant and used my swift draw, igniting the blade as I slashed toward the minotaur plant demon thing. He pulled back in surprise starting to trip on his own growing plants. It took one swift twist of my hand and I cut downward, making him shriek in pain as the blade slashes between his legs.

I feel the rush of air as his fist tries to collide with my head, twisting to the side and down, flanking him and putting him between me and his friend to keep the other guy from throwing flames at me. The plants growing and shifting, trying to entangle themselves with me as I slash through them, cutting them away and biting the burning blade across the demon’s flank.

“You Idiot Groutah! Get out of the way!”

His friend wasn’t pleased at all. Good. Get angry and make mistakes while I dismantle your friend. I dodged a spider leg kick and countered with a slash up catching the tip with my blade. It was already sharp, but the added effect of |{Sharpen}| made it a blade that could cut through anything. Part of his limb was sent flying as the demon screamed in pain yet again. The added effect of his leg catching fire was just a bonus to all of this.

The leopard-dolphin one was trying to maneuver around to come at me, but I was keeping his friend squarely between us. I wasn’t about to have a two on one fight if I couldn’t help it. The flowers finally showed their ability as purple liquid started firing out of four of them, forcing me to dodge and weave between the spatters, the ground sizzling as the acid ate away at the ground. fortunately, they weren’t very good at rapid firing so I had time to reposition between shots, ducking forward and slashing the flower heads into halves making sure the momentum of the cut aimed straight at the demons behind them. Sending the acid splashing backward.

“The heaven is this guy, Haratchu?” The minotaur demon cried out just before his own acid splashed into him, removing his ability for rational thoughts as he screamed and lost the last of his intelligent thoughts from the pain. Trampling around, stomping into his own plants and kicking wildly as he lost all control and reason. He was completely open to attack so I leaped up and slashed across, separating his head from his body.

Landing and using the momentary pause from the leopard thing to charge in and slash at his hands, removing his ability to casts flames. He screamed and fell backward in shock. Looking at me with horror as he saw the rage in my eyes. He could see that I held no mercy for him nor pity as he tried to scramble away, whimpering and muttering to himself. “NO no no… NO! ” He had lost all will to fight, looking up at me now laying still as I stood over him blade at the ready for the killing blow. “You are going to make this quick right?”

“Damn straight,” I said and slashed downward cleaving him in two.


 


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