The Pagemasters Vol 1 SS4

 


Author: Literataku


Sidestory 4:
Turns Of Flames Long Forgotten

 

 

After setting fire to the demon remains I started to consult the page on where I was and what I could do. I was stuck in the middle of a forest with only myself and my abilities. Finally managing to coax some sort of map I began to discover exactly how deep in the forest I was. I was in the southern area of a familiar named kingdom. I knew I had read a story about this place years ago but I couldn’t quite remember what it was about, looked like some village was just north of here.

Course the more important matter was I currently in the middle of the aptly named Demon Forest. Which meant I was probably going to be attacked by more of these abominations. Though if they were like this pair I shouldn’t have too many problems with keeping myself safe. Only if any of them actually had any kind of combat abilities.

I was also starting to believe more and more that this wasn’t a dream. Though I still couldn’t recall what had happened in that library to bring about all of this. Those pieces were still quite fuzzy to me and we’re starting to annoy the hell out of me that I couldn’t completely recall.

Just standing around trying to recall wasn’t going to get me anywhere, I turned to what I guessed was north tanks to the sun’s shifting across the sky and started making my way toward the unnamed village. It would do better to try and get someplace I could get information toward trying to deal with civilization and find this “primary” I was supposed to be protecting.

Making my way carefully through this forest was a problem I was not looking forward to dealing with. Just how many Demons were in the “Demon Forest” to start with? I moved with steady determination, though staying cautious since I didn’t want to be caught by surprise. Just because the first two were idiots didn’t mean I was going to keep that same luck.

“It’ll be easy’ Silence said… ‘He’s in the forest’ he said. And now we’re lost in our own home turf.”

On the other hand, perhaps someone was trying to tell me different. The voice was coming from up ahead and to the right, crouching down I did my best to sneak around trying to avoid contact with the group since I had no idea how many of them were actually there. It was this point I was silently wishing I had taken some hunting lessons instead of focusing on martial arts, thankfully the complaining voice was continuing to be noisy enough to hide my footsteps.

“We could have been anywhere else. But no… we’re here trying to find and kill a newbie Pagemaster and get a ****”

I was trying to be careful not to be seen, watching every step I made while glancing frequently to make sure neither of us could see the other. I half listened to him, while something made large steps followed by a loud smacking sound of a club cracking a skull.

“Ow!”

“Shut up, you’re probably scaring him off.”

A deeper voice joined the complainer’s, I frowned a little and tried to pick up my pace just a little, unsure how far out of range I would need to be before I could start trying to run. The complainer started talking again, good just keep being loud and shrill until I get away.

“How do we know we aren’t dealing with a **** already? What if someone else already got him?”

“Because this one hasn’t been around for a ****. It’s an anomaly.”

I wanted to stay and hope the blabbermouths would continue so I could figure out what **** was, but the threat to my life was far more important right now. Who knew how many more were just standing there not making noise. Could be it as all a trap in the first place.

The conversation switched as ‘complainer’ moved into complaining about the trees again, his voice fading as I moved further away. Good, I hadn’t gotten as close as I had thought earlier. Standing back up slowly I started to break into a slight run. Taking careful glances at the Page to make sure I was still in the right direction and the distance left over.

I had a couple of kilometers to go before I could reach the edge of the forest. I didn’t hear the sounds of any more demons so far. Edging my way closer to what the page told me was a path leading to the end of the forest I started to feel some sort of rumbling in the ground. Looking up through the trees I noticed some strange cloud of dust rising up, some after-trail of an object moving incredibly fast.

I summoned my blade and crouched down to wait and see what would happen and if it would pass by me. The ground nearby was starting to pound as a rumbling started to catch up, the roar passing around me as the sound almost felt like a wall itself as the trees and bushes around me swayed violently from the rush of the air catching up with whatever the thing was.

“Hey look nanodesu~! It’s a living cookie nodesu. Running right here to be served for our lunch nodesu.”

Great, more demons from the sound of the voices. I’m glad I hadn’t tried to run on the main rod this whole time now. But why do they all sound like complete idiots? Is it just some unwritten rule in this world or whatever was going on?

“Run, run, run as fast as you can. You’ll never catch me! I’m the Gingerbread Man!”

I had to stop myself from laughing, suppressing myself by biting my lips. The voice didn’t quite fit how I had ever heard quite thought of that guy. It was like someone had taken a deep voice German accent and filled him with helium. Welp that was one part of my childhood ruined, or may be different. I’m not really sure right now.

“His hands are folded. In half…. Is he flipping us off!”

“I think so nodesu~?”

Now that is a mental image I am not sure I ever needed. But it was a pretty funny one to think of now that it was there. There was a noise of something moving very fast and heading my way. Looking up I almost imagine the sound of car breaks being slammed as the Gingerbread Man stopped in front of me.

Welp, I think I can say I’m stuck in some German styled fantasy land, this guy looked way too much like the stereotype to completely believe it was real. He stared at me, eyes wide as I equally stared back at him. Strange demons were one thing but this was to be another step up on the perhaps it’s not a dream as well.

He started backing up muttering something under his breath, looking at me as if I was the most horrifying creature he’d ever seen. I glanced behind me just to be sure. Yea-up. It was me. He looked like he was experiencing some sort of traumatic flashback.

“…no…n-… River-. no-..” His muttering was so quiet I could barely catch anything he was saying. I never knew that a mouth made of icing could chatter like teeth. I stayed crouched down trying not to move much as I tried to gesture that I wasn’t going to hurt him, slowly lowering my sword toward the ground and letting it go. Big mistake.

“NooooooooOOOoOOOOOOO!!” He wailed as he saw the blade rapidly vanishing into nothing and turned around, his feet turning into almost cartoon styled spinning as he suddenly took off, the blast of a sonic boom from the sound barrier being destroyed deafening my ears and sending me flying forward with a yelp sending me into a roll as I watched him flee back the way he came. Flipping over myself a few times before eating dirt in the middle of some bushes just before the path out of the forest started.

What. The Hell… WHO in their right mind gives fantasy characters zero-point acceleration? That was cheating to the point of absurdity. Someone needs to be hurt for this!
“Quickly! If we hurry we might be able to catch him to eat nodesu~!”

“Nah. but maybe we can have some MacDonalds to eat if he wrecks the village. It’s up that way too…”

Apparently, this set of the peanut gallery of demons wasn’t bright, which was saying something, or not part of the rest of the group hunting for me inside the forest. Either way, it was better to follow these guys regardless, they would lead me to the village and I might score some points saving them if they couldn’t handle these guys. Though they felt way too easy for some reason. And not for a starting location MMO reason.


 


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