Monster Girl Quest Fanfiction: Brand new world? But where's the popcorn? - 24. Unexpected Happenings
- Monster Girl Quest Fanfiction: Brand new world? But where's the popcorn?
- 24. Unexpected Happenings
I am writing this as an apology for my extended absence. I know you lot have expected me to write more chapters over this time, but I haven’t. I just was silent, without even leaving an authors note on the subject. I am sorry, but my attention from writing have been taken away by some more annoying, yet prevalent issues.
For the duration of my absence, I’ve been bombarded with work. Busy work, large scale projects, community service, but just plain work. Over these months have been pushing myself through it all, making sure to write little-by-little whenever I had the free time to do so.
What I can hope for, is that you don’t see this as something to be expected from me constantly time and time again. Now, as I am able to write with wriggle-room again, I can continue to churn out chapters for you to enjoy.
And without further ado, here’s the next chapter.
Maxwell scowled as he bumped into another person.
It was approximately ten-thirty in the morning in Succubus Village. A normal day by any definition in an obvious Earth ripoff. Where the hell were the Succubi?
There had been people, for sure. The odd group of adventurers to invite him along as he neared closer to the village, another to see him pass into the village. Still, the paths were filled with people moving in a rush, the men who were in the area dispersing themselves throughout the village. Not for the first time, Maxwell wondered if he the people he talked to were just giving out shitty directions.
Then there was the added fact that there were more women than there were men, and according to several residents he had spoken with, it had been that way the entire time. All without the sightings of a succubus. Shit was not adding up.
There has to some kind of leader here. He turned to see a building larger than the ones around it. It was also in the middle of the village. Protection, defense? It didn’t matter. It was a building that had the highest chance of holding some kind of authority within it.
And with it, there came a higher chance of finding Alma Elma as well.
He broke into a quick stride, hurrying down the road.
“Hey, watch it!”
Maxwell turned his head, even as he moved. “I am watching it, mate. Just not watching you.”
He reached an intersection and felt his hair stir up, a little more than what could be excusable as the wind that day. He took that as a cue that he was getting closer to his target. At least he knew where he was going now, not that it would take much to convince him otherwise.
He had a map, but no clues, no detectives and the only clear path was one that was more than less then clear. No one couldn’t blame him for such an uncertain outcome coming into play.
Finding a live Succubus in the not-so subtly named ‘Succubus Village’ should’ve been as easy as finding animals at a zoo. The fact that it wasn’t did not bring any comforting thoughts along with it. Things… were definitely going to get a lot more tougher, with added vagueness as well.
And when that happened, he would need to get a better map. One better than a teacher’s edition. That’s not gonna be easy. Them teacher’s editions be top of the line. That and a haircut. If those were possible.
In the meantime, he’d let things carry on like they were. He’d continue his travels through the world – maybe find a companion or two – and through that, he’d be able to complete his final objective, to bring a new age into existence.
As he came to his destination, the sound of murmuring reached his ears. Weapon management, defense patterns, positioning. Irrelevant to him. The center building sat a few away from him, and there were a few people milling around in front of it. Wooden stairs led up to two large wooden doors.
He passed the group and headed straight for the front door. As he reached for the handle, the doors suddenly opened up, and he stepped to the side.
“Looks like we got the long end on that deal, eh?”
His partner nudged him. “Your jokes are still shitty as always, Francis. ‘Long End, my ass, aren’t they just pushing all the night work unto us. Fuck, not going to have any more time to myself with the shit they’re pulling.”
“Hey, we are getting paid for this, right? Might as well make time for that during the day.”
A sigh. “You wouldn- no, you couldn’t, you can’t understand.”
Sounds like they are some fine lads. Maybe they’d be interested in a long game of inter-dimensional tic-tac-toe.
The interior of the building wasn’t filled with people, and those that were present, five or so, were almost hyper in their activity. All women, they rushed one side of the room to another, shuffling papers to each and every corner of the room. Only one person was more or less alert as Maxwell approached. The woman standing behind the desk.
Again, no succubi in sight. Were they in disguise, in hiding, perhaps? Such thoughts weren’t so far-fetched. The Monster Lord herself did the same thing. Well, it wasn’t important now, not when he’d be able to meet the one in chief in a short while.
“Greetings, how shall I help you today?” She said in a cheerful voice. The receptionist, dirty blonde, wore a blue and white dress, with pink streaks that ran through her hair.
Maxwell caught the briefest flash of a rather familiar feeling on the face of the receptionist as she turned to look at him. Annoyance. Had he still been working as social servant, he would’ve offered to take over. Dealing with many citizens, or rather idiots in a short span of time tended to put quite a toll on most people.
However, he wasn’t on the job, not for several months that was. And as such, he had the ‘customer is always right’ status on his side. Still, he gave her a little, subtle nod. Whether she noticed it or not, that went unknown.
Maxwell sighed. “I’m looking for the Chief-“
“Go back, take a right, then walk five paces, take a left, then a right, walk three paces, look your right. She’ll be there.” She listed off the directions without so much as a pause. He didn’t remember seeing her breath in for her ramble either.
“Go back, take a wha- wha- wha- what?” He rubbed his head. “Can you say that again, but so normal peeps like me can understand. Like slooooower… much slower.”
The receptionist frowned, began to reiterate what she said before. “Go back. Take a right. Walk five paces. Take a left. Take a right. Walk three paces. Turn right. Look to your right.”
“Down, righty-tighty, five bases, left, right, three bases, right, home-run on right.” He listed off the directions on his hands. “I got it?”
“I said paces, not bases.”
He shrugged. “Different strokes for different folks. Anyway, I gotta go like a kid in Math class, so thanks for the directions, Mappie-“
“And we’re out.” Maxwell turned and exited through the door at the end of the back hallway. As the door closed shut behind him, he rushed forward, repeating the directions to himself over and over in his head.
It turned out that the receptionist was wrong. His stop was on his left. His still ringing ears confirmed that. He could practically still hear the old man’s lecture. Something about war, Ilias, and whatnot.
He stopped his hand about an inch above the wood, drew his hand back, then opened the door widely in one swift motion. “Phew, just about knocked on that door.” He stepped in.
It was apparent the house belonged to the Village Chief the moment he walked in. The front room had a dull red carpet built into its floor that lead to opposing sides of the room. One side was cluttered with papers, artworks, a bookshelf overflowing with books and a staircase that lead upwards. Maxwell could make out the words ‘patrol’ and ‘purple sabbath’ on some papers. The most instigating artwork was a clear Mona Lisa lookalike, with some kind of monster instead of a human.
That was concerning, to say the least.
The other side of the room was nowhere as messy. A single brown book sat atop a smooth oak table. There was a couch, a nice chocolate brown. Maxwell took a seat on it, swatted it before hand for insects and dust. Termites loved wooden objects like people liked consumable objects. Customers did not like termites.
The resident of the home stood at the bottom of the stairs, lifted eyebrow and questioning gaze. She had light-green hair, the sort of green that one would expect to only work within an animation. A green dress that ran down to her ankles served as the majority of her clothing, along with a beige bonnet, and hoodwear. Her looks alone would definitely make her the talk of any conversation she got into.
“So,” he paused, took a bite out of the fruit in his hands. The superior plantain, “I got a few questions that I absolutely need answered, for the chief. You are the chief, right? Or did I end up with another receptionist?”
“No, you are correct, I am the Chief of this Village. But I’d like to ask why are you sitting on my couch, and eating like you own the place?”
“Your door was unlocked, and I needed to really cool myself down before I blew my top. Things just don’t appear to be what they seem ’round here. Like the lack of succubi in Succubus Village.”
A sigh, not of annoyance, but of… pleasure? “Are you one of those perverts who came here looking to be attacked by succubi and sent to heaven?”
He frowned. “Perverts attacked… by succubi? The- Most of them, don’t have strength stats. I do not comprehend.”
“An adventurer who does not know of the purple sabbath?” She approached the oak table and sat one of the chairs beside it. “Every one-hundred years, succubi tend to attack… five, six days from now, seeing as their magic is at their greatest during the purple moon.”
“So what you are saying is that this village doesn’t have any succubi in it?”
“Fuck!” he swore, as pulled at the individual threads of the plantain skin. He threw it to the ground, muscles tensed with barely contained rage. No, not rage. It was glee, exhilarating, even. Not that either, he was still mad, infuriated. A mix of the two?
“What’s got you so bothered, pervert?”
He laughed dryly, attempted to wave off his previous words. “Ah it’s nothing, I’d been hoping to run into an old succubus I’d ran into a while back. Reminds me of myself, quite a bit. Alma Elma. I’ve been looking to have a nice chat, fight, maybe something in between with her.”
“The so called, Heavenly Knight of the Wind? Why would you need her?” A ‘tch’. It was quiet enough that had he not been looking for a reaction, he wouldn’t have heard it.
Maxwell leaped unto the table, grabbed her by the throat with his right hand, and pulled her out of the chair. He shoved her to the ground and climbed atop of her so he was straddling her, his knees pressing her arms down. He switched hands, the left one now on her throat and his right edging towards his pocket.
The Chief’s eyes widened and her face began to turn pale as she struggled. She brought a foot up into his back. If she truly was the frail young woman she appeared to be, nothing would’ve changed. The effect was Maxwell flying into the air, his grip on her released.
“You know who she is,” he told her. He turned his body, angled it to get the spin he needed. He landed on all fours, bent forward. He grinned. “And as the mayor of this Succubus Village, you should know of her whereabouts, right?”
She stood up.
She frowned, looked down at him. “I wouldn’t. It’s not like Alma Elma to check in on us- I mean Succubi, let alone lead this village.”
“Sounds like bullshit. I’m pretty sure she’s the ‘Succubus Queen’.” He rose back to his feet.
“She is, but she doesn’t actually enforce her position as the queen of succubi. Sure she has some of the best pleasuring skills out of all succubi, but that doesn’t mean she’s their ‘leader’. She doesn’t lead u- them at all, but to be honest, it doesn’t seem like she even cares about her species. Just going around doing what she wants. That’s what you wanted yes?”
“No.” Maxwell shook his head. He felt so lost, so tired, so unsatisfied. There was one pesky thing he wished to eliminate, talk with, maybe. The who resembled him in too many ways. Alma Elma. She wasn’t in the city she was supposed to be in. ‘Doing her own thing’ without regard for others needs? At the very least, they were similar in that aspect. “No, just tell me where she’d likely to be me.”
“Well,” she said. “That would be the Monster Lord’s castle on Helldongo. As a Heavenly Knight, she might appear there. I’m pretty do have to report to the Monster Lord at some point.”
He raised a hand, pointed towards a map. Specifically on a mountainous island. “She’ll be there?”
“Maybe so, maybe not.” She shrugged. “But why are you so curious about where the Succubus Queen is anyway? Do you happen to be one of those uber, stalker perverts? Or are you some kind of bounty hunter, another hero?”
“It’s… personal. Very personal.” Maxwell stepped towards the door. The Monster Lord’s castle set in a place isolated from the majority of civilization. It was that same old cliche all over again. It made sense, but still.
The ringing in his ears intensified. When had that started? When he woke up into that dream world? When he arrived in the world?
He thought of the Succubus Queen, thought of her in the context of her being a parallel version of himself. A very offset version of himself. Was that why the atmosphere felt so similar around her? It made sense… too much sense.
He internally shivered. Him being related to that Succubus in such a way, let alone any way? That was a scary thought.
The Chief outstretched an arm, blocked his path. “Where are you going?” She looked up into his eyes.
Maxwell looked down, then looked back up. “To find an old and familiar ‘friend’ of mine.”
“You come into a house uninvited, attack me, the Chief of this Village, and expect to leave peacefully?”
“Of course, that’s how things are nowadays. You hold no more use to me NPC, and as such there’s no need for me to stay around you.”
“You will not be getting away with attacking the authority of this village so easily.” She trailed a finger down Maxwell’s shirt, backed away. “I think I’ll take you in, educate you, myself.”
“Oh?” Maxwell drawled out the word, mockingly. “You want a fight? I’m willing to leave peacefully, without causing anymore damage in this area- and that’s practically a one in a lifetime offer coming from me. Nothing will leave this room, and that sounds like a great deal doesn’t it?”
The Chief cupped her hands around her mouth, and yelled. “Help! I require assistance!”
Five people- adventurers, soldiers, whatever – burst into the room, door swinging open. Confused and alarmed, they looked back and forth between Maxwell and the Chief, before settling on the Chief.
These lads just so happened to be standing outside the door? Now that is what I call ‘infinity bullshit’. “Guess you can’t see it.”
One taller than the others stepped forward. “What’s the problem here, Chief?”
She pointed at Maxwell. “This man just came in here and attacked me for no good reason.”
“Hey, I had good reason!”
“Is that so, Chief?” A different one- black haired, shorter gave him a stink-eye. “What do you want us to do to him?”
“Bring him to the prisons. Keep him there for the meantime,” she said. “With the Purple Sabbath on the horizon, we do not have the time to deal with people who are trying to cause distress among us.”
“You hear her?” A blond hair guy said- more like growled to him. He placed a hand on Maxwell’s shoulder, while another did the same from the left. “You will be coming with us.”
“Yes,” Maxwell shrugged, lifted his arms. “I am literally shaking in terror right now, officer. Take me away.”
The Chief looked surprised, as if she expected something different. “You gave up, just like that?”
He cringed. “I wouldn’t call it ‘giving up’. I still do get to leave. And there’s no use in me trying to take on five armed guys by myself in an enclosed space either. Just isn’t practical.”
The tallest adventurer, the one who had a breastplate, simply raised an eyebrow. When no one else commented, he walked up to Maxwell. “You seem very calm for someone who is heading into our prisons right now.”
Maxwell’s eyes narrowed, ever so slightly. “It’s good never to mess with authority. I respect the law, and those in charge with my very life,” he lied.
“Bullshit,” the black-haired one said. “If that were true you wouldn’t be coming here and causing trouble among us. We already have enough trouble on our heads, having to deal with a succubus attack in about a week, and we don’t need to have our fellow people cause problems for us either.”
“What if I told you, I am willing to leave without any trouble, no issues. And to do some monster hunting of my own.”
“So criminals should be exempt from the law, just because they are going to hunt monsters?”
“Of course,” Maxwell answered, smiling. “Since these monsters are the ones who are putting down humans, according to the ‘great’ Ilias, wouldn’t you need all the people you could get? You gotta crack a skull to see the brain matter.”
He didn’t get a response from him other than a disgusted scoff at his crude saying. The taller and blonde haired adventurers gripped their hands on his shoulders and walked, practically guiding him out of the house. The others, let their hands waver by their swords, showed they were prepared to cut him down at a moment’s notice.
A nice gesture, but unnecessary. He didn’t have the will, the need to attack them.
He just kept smiling.
“Man, there isn’t even a proper working toilet in here. They were right when they said TV isn’t reality.” He grasped at the eroded iron bars, then turned, facing his cellmates. That wasn’t right. They were separated by the bars that went up and down walls. “Isn’t that just about right?”
“What the hell do you mean by ‘TV’?” one of them asked- more like spatted out. She was a striking woman with cream colored skin cast to her features. And much like all the other prisoners, was wearing the gray cotton clothing that appeared to be mass produced.
The same couldn’t be said for Maxwell. Even though his clothes probably stunk to high heaven, he refused to give up his lone connection to Earth. His Earth.
Maxwell chuckled. “It’s an inside joke between me and my buddies on the outside.”
“Tell your buddies that they’re a bunch of dumbasses.” The comment came from a lean man that looked more teacher than prisoner. He gnawed on a hardened piece of bread, spilled crumbs over himself and the ridiculous top hat he wore. “You too, included.”
Maxwell smiled bashfully, “Aww, shucks, thanks man. Really means a lot to me.” He looked down, stared at the mucky mush in the bowl in front of him.
“That was not a compliment, greenie.” The bread broke between Tophats’s teeth.
“Greens, greenies. It’s what we call the new meat that shows up every so often. And speaking of new meat, how the everlasting fuck did someone like you get in here?” The woman must’ve noticed Maxwell’s wide-eyed look accompanied with a shrug, since she continued. “You’re far too fresh. You don’t have the scent of someone capable of being locked up in this joint.”
He blinked innocently. Locked up? That was an overstatement. They were just in a large stone building built in the middle of the village. Not to mention most of the bars appeared to have a bit of rust on them. He was even able to keep his clothes. At least, he had ropes tied on his wrists. The same couldn’t be said for the others in the prison with him.
Hell, all they did with his stuff was shove it in some broom closet near the entrance.
No leader-types, none of the confusing hierarchies, drug deals between prisoners and guards. Nothing compared to the prisons back on his Earth. Those had taken heaven and hell to break out of.
“So, what did you do get yourself in here? You probably tried robbing some ‘poor’ merchant, didn’t you? Maybe you had a quick fuck with one of those monster freaks.”
“Why don’t we have chains? I mean, there is this rope, but still.”
“Huh? That doesn’t have anything to do wit-“
“Why don’t we have chains,” he repeated, not caring about the chance of offending her. “I’m really curious, you see. If we- Actually, since we are criminals, why are we left here uncuffed? Really, I had been expecting a lot more from jail. This might as well be house arrest. With a glorified prison, at that.”
“Overheard one of the guards speaking to a superior. Apparently, they’re going to send us off to be bait during the purple sabbath,” she frowned. “No need for them to waste time putting us into chains when we’ll be brought back out in another few days. But enough of that, why don’t you tell us why you’re the only one here who’s bound up?”
“Well, me and that Villager Chief were having a nice little chat. I asked questions, she answered them, y’know that sort of thing. It started when I asked her a simple question and didn’t have it answered.” He sighed, stared at their disbelief, as he scratched the skin underneath the rope. “Ok, I lied. I got an answer, just not the one I wanted. So, I um… strangled her! Just placed my hands around her neck and squeezed.”
The others in their cells clearly got the message; if not by his words, then by the way he clenched his hands around the rope.
There was silence. Maybe it was seconds, maybe it was minutes, hours, even. He didn’t know how long he waited until someone spoke up.
“You attempted to kill the Village Chief,” a prisoner, heavyweight started, “And got your ass thrown in here, because you didn’t like the answers you were given?”
Maxwell wheeled on him, fists clenched. Useless intimidation, his hands were literally tied up. “Is that a problem?” he asked. The smile still remained on his face. Did he hold the highest charge in here?
“No. Just… surprised. That’s all.” He mumbled something intelligible under his breath.
Maxwell ignored that. “Good, good. I’d hate for there to be any troubles between us cellmates, especially since I’ll be needing your cooperation. All of you. I don’t feel like sticking around in here. Seeing the same brick walls everyday would get kind of repetitive, really.”
“You- You’re going to get out of here? Break out of here?” He took in a deep breath, before he began to laugh, along with the other prisoners. “Ha ha ha! Man, that’s some of the funniest shit I’ve heard all week, Ilias damn know I needed that! Hell, we all needed that! Really fuckin’ funny joke you got there, man.”
“It’s at times at this that I’d usually give thanks. But,” the smile dropped from his face, “I am sorry to say this is no joke.”
With that, Maxwell twisted his hands vertically, both appendages moving in opposing directions. There was a tug against his hands, resistance. Then there was none.
He flicked his arms and an arrangement of rope bindings dropped from his wrists to the ground. “Well then,” a hint of a smile appeared on his face. The laughter stopped. “I think it’s time for my big debut.”
“Hmm?” Maxwell turned his head, hands gripping the bars in front of him. Now that he had a closer look, he could see the accumulating rust, the darkened spots on the bars. He could only wonder how breakouts had never occurred. Before now, that was. “What do you mean?”
“Th- Those ropes! How did you rip through them? You don’t look like the strength type of guy.”
Sure, he wasn’t the most muscular guy around, but weeks of adventuring through unknown lands bore their own rewards. “Things are not always what they appear to be,” he answered.
Maxwell winded back his leg, and kicked the side of the bars with the sole of his shoe, pushing them outward. He kicked again, and again, until the bars were fully bent out of their hinges. Nothing was said, the sound of metal against stone filled the surrounding cells.
He gripped the spaces in between the bars and pushed outward, squeezed himself out through the gap he made for himself. Sometimes it paid to have a skinny statue. This was one of those times.
“Ahh man,” Maxwell closed his hands into a fist, cracking his knuckles, “Sure is nice to be out of that ratty ol’ thing. Now, I guess it’s time to begin phase two, three? Hmm, guess the name really doesn’t matter.”
“Phase two?” the woman asked.
“Yes, miss…” He noted how she flinched when he stepped towards her cell. Reactions aside, he was getting tired of referring to her as ‘the woman’.
“Nikos,” she introduced herself.
“Well, Miss Nikos, you’re seeing ‘Phase two’ right now.” He stepped to the side, shifted his weight to a single foot, then kicked forward, pivoting with the added help of his rotation. The bar door fell in, a rather sizable dent marring its shape.
Maxwell waited a minute before speaking. “Are you just going to stand there gawking, or do I need to pull you out myself?”
The unspoken threat did not go unnoticed, as Nikos shuffled out of the new doorway in her cell and stood awkwardly by Maxwell, looking bewildered at the current state of affairs.
“I’m out…” she stared at her hands with nothing less than amazement. “A month in that Ilias to damned fuckin’ cell, and I’m out. I’m out, I’m out…”
Not responding to her mantra, he moved to do the same with the other cells. Walk up, break open, usher out prisoner. He repeated the act six times until he could finally rest his legs. Having supernatural abilities did not automatically negate fatigue toxins. Usually.
I wish I had a cold Sprite right about now. Or an ice cold Coke. Probably going to get neither, now that’s the problem with these backwards societies.
“Hey, greenie.” Maxwell caught Tophat slightly flinching when he turned his head. He still held the ridiculously hard piece of bread in his hands. “If you were able to do all that, how the hell did you end up in here?”
He shrugged, slowly rising up on his feet. “It’s much easier to get out of a pickle when people think you’re a problem already nipped in the bud. Then again, now that I’m forcefully breaking out here, that’ll cause them adventurers to be even more cautious around me. That throws that plan out the window; can’t win them all.”
“Sounds like you have experience dealing with this sort of thing.”
“You could… call it that.”
Adventurers. Now that was an issue he was concerned about, the lack of adventurers – or guards for that matter – rushing through the double doors and collectively whooping prisoner ass.
One might say he was just being paranoid. But despite what most would say, it paid to be paranoid, especially when you were surrounded by boss-level characters who held the capability of squeezing you into paste without much thought.
With a sigh, he clapped his hands, and walked up to the double doors at the end of the hallway. First on the order of things was getting his stuff back, which had unfortunately been manhandled from him by his ‘escorts’. Luck – if he could call it that -, however was on his side, as he was fortunate enough to catch look at where his things had been stored.
A compartment in the head guard’s desk. That was not going to be an easy retrieval. But that was a problem that could easily be triumphed over with the help of his new friends. Their own self-interests withholding.
“Look, I can appreciate the fact that you got us out of that dump, but I am not going to wait around for you to do your magic shit,” the statement came from a woman with a mid-eastern cast to her skin and bobbed hair.
“My magic shit..?” I guess to those inexperienced with the craft would think about that. But wouldn’t that mean I have been surrounding myself with boss level characters this entire time? He sighed. Man, I got to fix my priorities. Hang out with creatures weaker than me, or those that are on my side.
He stared at the group of prisoners huddled in front of the double doors. And I got one of those objectives dealt with.
“Go ahead.” Maxwell smiled, absently waving a hand towards the door. “It’s not like I need you to leave this place. Any of you that is.”
Giving him a frown at his little quip, she slowly pushed open the doors.
Much to the majority of the group’s surprise, nothing happened. No guards bumrushing them, no sudden attack from above or below.
All in all, what Maxwell had expected to happen. If there was anyone guarding the hallway, they would’ve been on his ass the moment he began to break out of his cell. Subtlety nor silence was not his goal in breaking the cells open. That was to draw out anyone behind the door.
There would be no reason to leave prisoners to their own devices in a cell, albeit one of poor quality. No one was dumb enough to that to a potential murderer. However, that did not mean there weren’t other methods of keeping people contained in a single place…
A click could be heard, as the woman stepped on a single tile. With no warning, parts of the wall slid down, and arrows flew out. The woman didn’t even have a chance to react before she was skewered at a multitude of different angles.
All in the span of five seconds.
…Well, that just about confirms it, He thought, as he silently stared at the blood pooling around her body. A trail of blood slowly crept towards the double doors from the body of the deceased- No, that wasn’t accurate. She was still alive, though unconscious, breaths near-silent and ragged. The arrows had pierced her lungs, just barely missing her vital organs. Drowning by blood filling up the lungs was not a death he’d want to experience.
The group of prisoners didn’t seem to know how to react to seeing a fellow prisoner turned into a pincushion right before their eyes. Some of them turned their gazes away, while others frowned at the site. All in all, despite being apparent convicts, at their core, they were human. It made sense for them to be all the more paranoid at the thought of traps. The thought of death.
Maxwell did not hold any strong thoughts or feelings of regret for what happened to the woman. He had guessed there’d be traps up ahead, and now he knew that prediction was correct.
Did he kill the woman? Yes, he was responsible for her death, for it could’ve easily been prevented by him. And therein lied the question- Did he care about the fact? No, he didn’t. But that didn’t mean he was a person that got drunk off of killing people needlessly, a mad serial killer. And he had a good reason for letting the prisoner die; his own well being.
Was it heartless, cruel his fellow man? Yes, but Maxwell could not exactly fulfill his task, his will, his dream if he was dead. Such things were bound to happen when humans react on their own will, rather than those of others.
Maxwell broke away from his inner thoughts, and stepped up to the head of the group. By that point, the woman’s breaths had ceased, marking her as fully dead.
“Well… I think it’d be better for us to take a different path out,” Maxwell said after a couple minutes silence. He wasn’t going to get out of the prison by staring at a human pincushion all day.
The one in the Top hat spoke. “…What different path? There is only one that leads out of this room. And if we take it, I’m sure we would die.”
“Who said you have to only go for the defined paths?”
“What do yo-“
Maxwell was already moving, and struck out at the back wall with the sole of his foot. His ability spurred into action, and spiderweb cracks appeared on the wall. The number of cracks grew until a section of the wall crumbled in on itself. That what lied behind was a path that led to another part of the prison. More specifically, another hallway.
People can say what they want about abilities, but to those with more agility than strength, I can say they definitely pick up the load. A fuckton.
Maxwell turned to face the group, and jabbed a thumb at the currently broken wall behind him. “This is our new way out.”
One of the prisoners, a light-skinned man stepped forward, fists clenched. “If you could do that, why didn’t you do it from the beginning, instead of having her go out through those accursed doors? If you had, Mabel might’ve still been alive!”
“That would’ve required me to run the risk of bringing guards straight to our asses, and besides, I am not an omniscient being capable of seeing the future, or acting on such things.” The thought of such an existence nearly robbed Maxwell of his composure. No matter how small it may be. “Plus, you have no right or place to be judging me under the law. All of you, that is. You’re convicts, prisoners, who’ve managed to find themselves as live bait thanks to your actions- Me as well. We’re all the same, so there’s no need for us to start playing the ‘holier than thou game’, right?”
Maxwell knew what he said could be considered ‘heartless’, but he paid no mind to that at the moment. There were other things to be focused on at the moment.
He did not wait for a proper response back, and walked up to the hole to the ground. A pause, then he bent down to all fours, the hole in the wall to small to be passed through in a standing position.
He pushed aside the debris and emerged on the other side, hands and knees covered in dust. Every escapee always had their hands and knees covered in one substance or another. That was both an essential and inescapable requirement of the trope.
Damp. He could taste it, feel it. Water dripped down from above. Maxwell looked up. Water had collected on the ceiling like a puddle defying gravity, despite the lack on any water sources. Visible ones.
It could only be explained as luck, the fact that he did not end up bringing the ceiling down on himself when he was knocking down the wall. That would be something he’d be watching out for now. Placing faith in luck stats would – one way or another – lead to failure. Especially for his own.
Maxwell cracked his knuckles, and looked both ways. As a prisoner, he’d only saw the entrance, the hall into the cells and the He heard the others escaping behind him, the light murmurs and grumbles under their breaths.
He ignored it, and instead licked both sides of his right hand. He rose it. “Now, tell me how to get out. Will it be this way…” He extended his hand forward.
A brush of air touched the left side of his hand, chilled it slightly. Maxwell turned, and broke into a quick jog, hurrying down the hall. Despite all that had occurred, he knew why he had came to the Succubus Village in the first place; to find Alma Elma. To fight Alma Elma. To kill… he’d deal with that matter when he met her.
They haven’t quieted down? He took a glance backwards. They were trailing behind. Slow, unsteady, unsure, but following him nonetheless. Strange, he could’ve sworn they would’ve gone their own way after his display from earlier.
But what he had forgotten – or chosen to ignore – was the fact that these were desperate people. Lost people. More so in the physical sense than in the spiritual one.
Maxwell stepped over an uneven slab of tile. Even here, there were still traps set from the unsuspecting man, or escapee. That or the construction had just gone to shit in this particular section of the building.
Either way, he did not want to test the theory. It was not worth his life, nor dying for. There were other things, better things that could be paid with death.
Maxwell had found the broom closet from before, a sign above it labeling it as ‘B-2’. What happened to A-1? Did the run out of numbers? He moved the straw broom, sliding it to one side, and stepped into the closet.
His bag, hastily set on a shelf at the end of the closet, had been found.
And unfortunately, it stunk.
“Sweet mama! What the hell is that?!” He wrinkled his nose. Did he put some kind of deterrent inside? No, if he had something like that, he definitely would’ve remembered it. Anyways, the thought of him either buying or building such a thing did not register with his memories.
To Maxwell, the smell – however – it would appear to others – was nothing more than an irritation. Like a spicy feeling in his nose that brought him to the edge of a sneeze, but without the right fuel, the push to bring him over the edge.
He took the bag into both hands and opened it, slightly turning the opening away from him. And what waited for him inside, the cause of his nose irritation was…
“Ugh, my meat.” His face twisted in disgust. No, not disgust- Displeasure. Maggots had not yet grown on the long-bad… chicken? Beef? He couldn’t even remember what kind was on the kebab. “No matter, if I can’t eat it, I can’t use it. Malicious uses, aside.”
He threw the kebabs on the ground and picked up his bag. “Not even keeping possible weapons away from us criminals? What kind of preschool is this prison trying to emulate?”
Maxwell reached into his bag, grabbed a stylus, then jammed it into the back end of the closet and spun it in the same motion. A crack appeared in the wall. Floor to ceiling.
He blew his nose on his sleeve.
Another crack ran the wall, diagonal.
He wiped his sleeve against the edge of the door.
At the third crack, the wall gave out and fell out into the opening provided, slamming against the ground. He leaped into the abyss, and landed on the ground in a crouch.
To his surprise, there was nobody standing in his immediate vision.
But that did not mean there weren’t people outside his view. He looked around, but he heard it first. Two yells, one feminine, the other masculine. Both confused. Both mad.
The sounds came from two figures, standing on a balcony extending from the prison building. He blinked, the setting sunlight in his eyes making it hard for him to see their exact form.
Maxwell ducked under one of them fallen pieces of stone, when saw their heads turn towards him. There would be no more chances to stay hidden. Not here, now that they had surely seen the new ‘escape route’.
“Sir, sir!” A man in leather ran up to the corner around the bend. He was panting, an indicator that he had been running all the way to the clearing.
A large man coated in green flew out of a door to the left. The two on the balcony looked down as well.
“Yes, what is it?”
“Those prisoners, they escaped! We managed to catch one of them in a trap, but she’s um… well, dead. The others however are still alive and are making their way to the entrance.”
The officer in green sighed and rubbed his temple with a free hand. “So, Jin. The prisoners are breaking out, and your first idea is to not do anything to stop them?!”
“Silence. There will be a demotion at hand when I have the time to issue one. We have monsters coming in by the end of the week. This incompetence could cost us all in the battlefield.”
Incompetence. Heh, Maxwell chuckled as he snaked around the various debris. In just a few more feet, he’d need to move – dart really – out into the streets. He was running out of rock to hide behind. He would bring down more debris next time.
“Um, sorry to interrupt you, sir,” ‘Jin’ pointed towards the fallen wall, “But I think I just saw something moving by those rocks.”
“So, one of the escapees,” the officer in green murmured. He turned, glared with narrowed eyes. His hand drifted towards the handle of the sword sheathed at his side. “Please, reveal yourself.”
Not a request.
“Shit.” I thought they were too busy being incompetent!
Maxwell crouched, place a hand to the ground, and let his power fume beneath his feet. A moment later he rushed forward in a sprint, and the ground blew upwards in his wake, spilling dust over his figure.
It was rather rash, but efficient for covering his positioning. Now, all he had to do was not get hit by any of the falling debris-
A flash of metal through the smoke.
Maxwell ducked, turned as the sword passed by him to the left, a five-foot long beast of a weapon. It embedded itself in the wall and he leaped over it as not to clothesline himself.
“I missed,” the officer in green deadpanned, as if he were talking about the weather.
Insane. It must’ve been magic. It couldn’t be explained any other way. How many middle aged men could there be going around throwing five-foot long decapitation devices? He had to say, not many, if not none.
He winced, touching his neck. A cut?
Maxwell lowered his hand, the smell of rust becoming stronger in the air. Blood.
So I did get cut. A little too close to death, that was. It was too much to wish for complete avoidance of the blade. He traced the outline of the cut with two fingers. Shit, that’s gonna leave a scar.
It looked like he was home free, now that the officer had thrown his only sword at him. And they had other things to be worrying about, not just him.
At that moment, a loud scream erupted from the building’s interior. That must be the others. Wonder who’s winning there. Something told him that it would not be the prisoners coming out on top. The lack of weapons, maybe.
“Ugh! Ilias damn it, Ilias damn it all! You two,” The Officer barked. “Flank those dogs trying to get out of their cages. You Jin, you’re with me.”
“What about that Safinian-“
“It is but one prisoner. I will not waste my time chasing down a potential lost, when there are others guaranteed to be recaptured. If he still remains in this village afterward, I will hunt him down then. Not now, understood.”
Good, they were giving up on him. Thank luck for meatshields.
Maxwell swung his arms, then leaped, landing on a wooden crate. He did it again, and this time the platform he stood on was just at the edge of the roof. He stepped over unto the rooftop, then broke into a run.
There was nothing left for him at Succubus Village. He had gotten unfair imprisonment. No succubi, no Alma Elma.
He leaped unto the roof of another building, rolled to break his fall.
He looked up towards the sky. The setting Sun casted a orange-purple across the sky, marking the end of day, the start of night. Had he really spent a day in the village? Time sure passed quickly.
Maxwell felt something twitch in his legs, a longing feeling, hopeful.
“Where am I going to go after I leave this dump? Heaven? No, can’t stand up to ‘Gods’ as I am now, no matter how much I dislike them. I need a a God-killing technique, something capable of harming them. A fatal weakness. An Achilles heel.”
Down below, screams could be heard. Of surprise, of anger, of eagerness. What ever reason, Maxwell tore his eyes away from the scene. He could keep watching, but his needs were better met elsewhere.
The sooner he left the Village, the better.
He set his foot on one rooftop that held poorer construction from the others, and the fall was a quick one. First his feet touched stone, then the wood beneath that stone, then, the air.
Maxwell felt the air escape his lungs as he came to a sudden descent. He pressed his hands down, and began to spin the air beneath him, simulating lift, pseudo-lift.
He panted as he waddled out to the near fringes of the Village. The commotion had awakened some of the locals, getting them out of their sleep, and out of their houses. They broke out into hushed murmurs and not-so hushed murmuring.
They might’ve said some interesting things, but he didn’t hear it.
Maxwell slowed to a walk as he inspected his new surroundings. The lake glowed with a hint of moonlight, a stark contrast to the shadowed-over trees around it.
A bastion of light in the darkness.
“You, human.” The words came out familiar, seductive, even.
Alma Elma emerged, looking smug. She had a hand holding her side, her left arm hanging uselessly on the other. Her shirt was still unbuttoned, showing a body that could make a whore blush. Her skin was pale, perfect with no blemish. Strands of light purple hair fell across widened eyes.
Maxwell had gotten to meet her, the reason he had came.
He could feel himself breaking out a grin that threatened to split his face. Yes, he was excited, ecstatic. It would be a lie to say otherwise. He had been waiting for this moment.
“Yes, I am human,” he said, fighting back a giggle.
Alma let her tail swing idly at waist level, pointed off to one side. Mucus dripped from it in a timely manner, and the smell was pungent enough to be detected from a distance. That was not sexy at all.
“We meet again, from our little dance on the ship, to this moonlit lake. Are you going to take out those little toys of yours and use them on me?”
Maxwell glanced down at his pockets, then looked back up. “Perhaps. But for now, I want to walk the talk,” he answered, smiling.
“Walk the talk?”
Maxwell began to pace around her bent forward, arms behind his back. “Yep. Just as they say, walk the talk, talk,” he paused, took a step back to her side, “the walk.”
He let his right foot swing forward, aiming for her face. Reinforced, but stabilized by his positioning.
She neither made an effort to dodge or defend herself. An invisible barrier, a wind barrier took the blow head on, redirected the force back to his body, along with a blast of cool air. Maxwell opted to go with the blow, turned, twisted his leg, to properly redistribute the force the damage. That barrier was definitely not something to play around with, not that it meant anything to him.
He backed up, increased the distance between the two of them to at least twenty feet.
He could feel the wounds from before reopening, along with the stinging numbness of his foot. Maxwell held a hand against his neck, but the act proved to be futile at stopping the bloodflow. Despite it all, he began to laugh, a childish giggle. Ridiculous, madness. Only moments before he had engaged a confrontation, blew it. This was not proper response for such a situation.
“Are you mad? Laughing at the futility of your actions?” Her voice was mocking, oozing with seductiveness all the same. She slowly ran her tongue over her lips, leaned forward, exposing her ample bosom. “However, that doesn’t matter. After I finish with you~ I’ll leave you in such a broken state~ Wishing for more, begging for more, living for more~ Of my skills~”
“Why do you do, what you do?” Maxwell had to admit, her display did affect him as a male.
Alma, in response, lifted an eyebrow. “Oh? I’m a succubus, Queen Succubus. It is my duty to spread pleasure throughout the world, drown it in the ultimate climax. Why do you ask such silly questions, human?”
“No. That came out wrong.” He shook his head, now free of the previous fit of giggles. Now was the time to ask the correct questions, not just the stupid ones that first came to mind. “What do you think is the most important thing in this world?”
“Ara ara~ Are you supposed to be my mother, asking me such things?” She seemed to be genuinely surprised at the question, if not caught off guard. “Pleasure.”
You have a mother? Maxwell pushed that thought aside, then echoed, “Pleasure? What for?”
“Pleasure… it is the source of all life. Life is formed when a man and woman come together to share pleasure with one another, and from that, others go around to spread pleasure. All actions are done for the sake of one thing. Pleasure.”
Pleasure. He should not have been caught so off guard by such a response, by virtue of the world’s overlying theme. Still, he could not argue against her words. Alma Elma was correct in that pleasure – one way or another – was the driving force behind most, if not all actions taken by humans. Even if someone were doing something they didn’t particularity enjoy, it was for the greater good, a benefit. Overall… pleasure.
“Do all succubi follow this train of thought?”
“Yes.” Alma seemed almost insulted he had asked her such a question. As if she were talking to a child. “Why would we not take the chance to give the world, ultimate pleasure~ To not be able to feel that pleasure, that would be a curse. But since we’re here~~~” She suggestively licked her fingers.
Maxwell lowered his blood-covered hand, replaced it with another.
He had gotten his answers… so why was he still shaking with anticipation. With glee, as well. Alma Elma and the succubi were wind currents, free-moving, with their loyalties extending to only pleasure. He was someone who was wished to break the chains, release the seals placed upon humanity, allow his fellow brethren to rise to their full potential. Someone who would do whatever it took to reach his dream, and allow humanity to willingly make their own choices.
But why was it that he had felt himself on the same wavelength as Alma Elma? Did their wishes align?
No, it was not a possibility. He himself was not a pleasure glutton, let alone some hedonistic-debaucherist. Not in the same sense that most people did. He wished for humanity to break their shackles, to bolster themselves through their own will. However, once said ‘shackles’ were broken, humanity could either lead themselves into ruin or into heaven. The outcome – even if it came at the cost of his own species – did not matter to him. Granted they were humanity’s choices, not another’s.
And that could not be done in a world of infinite pleasure, but one of many trials, hardships. One could call it suffering, even.
“Tch, well,” he raised both blood-covered hands with a smile on his face, “I must thank you for not attacking, or raping me immediately and for answering my questions. I doubt you expected any pop quizzes today.”
“It was my pleasure, Russel, but,” her formally kind and innocent smile went sadistic, “I just want to know, what happened to my innocent little Luka-boy~?”
“Ah, that hero-type protagonist… was not needed. Not any longer, his usefulness to me had ran out.” Maxwell wiped his hand on his jacket. “Honestly, if I stayed by him… I would’ve ended up dead sooner or later. Either by him, or Alice. One of them would’ve caught on, sooner or later.”
In an instant, she closed the distance between the two of them, and breathed in his scent, her hands gripping the collar of his shirt. “I was wondering why you weren’t traveling with that delicious little treat, but to think you two had a falling out~ Now that’s very interesting~ Such a shame that Alice wouldn’t let me play with that boy~ But now that you’re not traveling with that bothersome Monster Lord, you’re a free meal~”
Maxwell lifted a hand to flick her on the forehead, but she was too fast, moving with the wind and out of range. “Perhaps, but you’ve failed my expectations. I’m quite disappointed really,” he chuckled. With no details or features on the lake, the voice carried on in an odd way.
“I’ve ‘failed your expectations’?” She pouted in some kind of disappointment, her hand dropping down to the two sets of buttons restraining her massive bust. “Hora hora~ Is this ultra cwute appearance not enough to satisfy you~ Or do you want to be the one to ravage me~ I’ll even allow it, as a gift to Luka-boy’s friend~~~”
“I don’t particularly care about how much dick you blow everyday, Alma.” He smiled at her stiffened posture. “It’s just a shame that your goals- succubi’s goals not only don’t align with the good will of humanity, but will also be a direct line to its failure. You’re just as much a threat to my plans as Ilias is, Succubus.”
“Aw~” She began in a tone sickeningly sweet enough to make Maxwell shiver. “Comparing me to that wrenched Iliabitch cunt~ Those are quite some strong words there, Russel~ Or should I call you ‘good will of humanity’ hero~”
Hero? Not for me. “Yes, they are strong words. And that is because they are the truth. On the contrary, I think calling me a hero is a bit too strong of a word to call me.”
“I would call you hypocritical,” as she approached, her figure became more visible in the path of the moon’s light, “but you’re not another brainwashed Ilias slave. However, Alice did allow me to attack in self-defense~” Alma stuck out her tongue and winked. “But she never did say how I have to defend myself~”
“I’d tell you not to take this personally, but that ships’ long sailed. You’ll just have take my word as I say that I’m not doing this out of any personal grudge or hate towards monsters, Alma Elma. This is only because you happen to be in my way. The same applies to Ilias as well,” Maxwell said, grinning. He fractionally fiddled a stylus in the bloodied hand behind him. “Don’t worry, I find it just as annoying as you do that I’ll have to kill you now.”
“Oh, kill wittle ol’ me~ I’ve heard that one before~ From numerous people, just as I brought them up to heaven~” Alma didn’t take up any stance, bringing her tail back into view and widening it, left its constants exposed for all the world to see. “Just what are you going to do~?”
Finished by the giant sex-demon tail, thought Maxwell. There was no way he’d live that down.
“I’d rather leave it as a surprise for you to figure out yourself.”
Maxwell leaped forward before Alma could swing her tail forward. It missed, the mass of flesh and the spray of putrid mucus.
Then there was his spinning stylus, that he brought forward in a thrust. That attack was blocked also, not by a barrier of wind, but by a well aimed glob of mucus. Destabilized by the sudden attack, he rolled behind Alma and moved into a position to strike with another stylus. This time at the neck.
Alma Elma quick to react, spun on a heel and raised a flattened hand.
Both combatants aimed to disable each other.
And the attacks that followed drew blood.