Reincarnated As A Villager – Strongest Slow-life – Chapter 22

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It’s a strange thing to mention, but the name of the village I live is Bobra village.

These seemed to have been because the village’s founder during their pioneering days was named Bobra.

Well, the name of any unknown village would have such an origin. It wouldn’t be some name like Oton.

The official name of Bobra’s village center is the Karaya settlement, but most villagers just call it “village”.

When I say that this countryside town is more like a station, I don’t have a sense of what cities here look like.

In the center of such a village, there is a sundry shop, a blacksmith, multipurpose inn, bakery, adventurer’s guild (branch), the office and home of the village head, a meeting place, a medicinal place, daily outdoor park, plaza, all built from back during the pioneering era.

Although it’s a village that is neither great nor bad, when a person compares it to neighboring villages, you could consider it a rich land.

The mountain’s bamboo tax (firewood) is an important fuel for life, but it’s not placed in the village because of risks of fire.

So firewood is stacked in four places, scattered about one hundred meters away from the settlement.

“Barbari, I’ve brought firewood!”


I call out to the old man who manages the firewood as he was sleeping in his cottage.

Each tree is cut down at home, divided as firewood, and then carried to this house. Then, it dries and is eventually brought to the village.

It’s true that it’s easy to bring more to the village, but there are limits in storage capacity at their firewood storage facility (this hut), and a number of people available to manage it.

The management of the firewood is taken care of by only two people, Barbari and Garbalji. However, the village’s youth also help with its movement at night.

“… Ha, ha… Oh, you…”

It may be spring, but if you sleep like that in this place, you’ll catch a cold.

It’s a nice day, but the wind is still cold. It’s not good for a seventy-year-old body.

“I’m lucky enough to live this long.”

It is true that one could be considered fortunate to live up to seventy among these food conditions and the unsanitary environment of this era. He’s satisfied with his life as a firewood curator. It is a satisfying lifestyle.

“Don’t give up now, you can live up to a hundred.”

“Ahahaha! You’re just as always.”

“Just as always, but first, where do I need to put the firewood. “

If I let him, Barbari will talk all day, so I wanted to make sure the chores were finished before we started.

“Sorry to ask you to move it so far, but can you bring it all the way over there in the eastern pile?”

“It’s not that far. I can carry, and it won’t take any more time. Plus, today I have Sari Bali, so it’s fine.”

“Yes, leave it to us!”

Well, I don’t have any expectations from her at all.

“Relieved to see Sari Bali is the same as ever.”

I received a receipt board to prove that I paid the tax (firewood).

This is the countryside of this era. People’s watch each other and used boards in order to prevent fraud. Well, injustice in such a small world is immediately ostracized. These kinds of things prevent famines and excessive events.

“Oh, yeah, Ronda’s grandfather isn’t around?”

Others usually come in the morning, but I come to the afternoon because I do not like crowds. Four days ago I came in the afternoon, and at that time Ronda’s grandfather was coming home from his trip and I was told that I could ask to visit Garbalji in the east.

“Yeah, two days ago, a merchant ship came in, and so we split up.”

Hmm? I heard something interesting somewhere? What is this?

“Why is there a merchant ship in our village?”

Although it is possible for a merchant-class ship to come in from the deep coast, there is no special products or buyers who would make it worth it.

“They seemed to have been accosted by a sea dragon, so they stopped by for repairs.”

I guess they were unlucky.

Basically, the Sea Dragon is a timid creature that only aims for small fish. I’m a good swimmer and usually keep my distance, but if you have bad luck you might run into one.

“Well, it’s bad for them, but its good entertainment for those in the village.”

“The children go and watch every day.”

Then I guess I’m going to look like a kid. It is not every day you can see a merchant ship.

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Time and Place – Chapter 12

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Anger tore through Marideen as she stared down at her sister’s limp body. Demetry casually tossed her to the side as if she was a simple obstruction in his way. He began advancing on Darian, who had not moved a muscle from where he laid, seemingly frozen in terror as he stared at Danelle’s lifeless form.

Rage continued to flow into Marideen. For a second, she felt something deep within her separate. She didn’t know what the feeling was, but it felt like a painful tearing that pierced her chest. Her screaming stopped as a strange kind of numbness washed over her. She knew that her head still throbbed, but she could barely feel it. The throbbing of her head seemed to dim in comparison to the steady beating of her heart. She embraced the beat. It was calming. It was life.

She rose to her feet, her eyes never leaving her sister’s body. Her fist tightened on the pair of knives she had recovered. Her sister was no longer breathing, and she knew Danelle was dead. Marideen had seen the life fade from her eyes. Now, all that was left was a liquid-hot rage. The man before her had turned his back on her. He had killed her sister, and thought her to be nothing. She didn’t care whether he suffered. She did not crave vengeance. She merely wanted him dead. She wanted a life for a life.

“Hey!” she cried out to the man in front of her.

He would acknowledge her before he died. Her voice was calm. She thought her voice should crack. She certainly felt the tears burning her eyes. Instead, her voice was fluid, controlled, and calm. That was how she needed to be. That was the only way her justice could be served.

Demetry stopped his advance on Darian, glancing back at Marideen. After meeting her eyes, he smirked with another insolent smile. Then he turned away from her. The man dismissing Marideen so casually caused burning hot rage to spike through her.

“I will kill you!” Marideen heard her cold controlled voice shout out at the man.

She knew it sounded strange to her ears, but her tongue seemed to be moving of its’ own accord. She moved into a crouch, and began advancing on the man. If he didn’t turn to acknowledge her, then she would simply stab him in the back, either would leave him dead.

With an annoyed sigh, he turned to face her again, ignoring Darian behind him. He opened his mouth as if to say something, then glanced down at the body on the floor at his feet. His eyes flashed in recognition and a smile broke on his face.

“Oh, so she was your sister then?” he asked mockingly, “I suppose I can see the resemblance after all. If you must avenge her death or the like, let us get this out of the way quickly. I bore of this nonsense and I have other more important things to be about.”

He freed his sword arm, letting the sword point out and to his side, her sister’s blood still dripping from the blade. He took a few steps forward, his deadly grace returning. Marideen’s mind worked furiously trying to come up with the best way to take him out swiftly. He was fast, but she could be just as fast. With the rage fueling her, she could be faster. It didn’t matter if he killed her, as long as he joined her.

“I suppose it is suiting that you and your sister die at the same blade. A kind of poetry, perhaps? I am assuming you’re Dairen Cleefe’s kid?” he paused for a second, but must have seen something on her face that encouraged him to continue, “Well, it is a shame, we were not supposed to kill you, but casualties happen in war. I regret things did not turn out better.”

Demetry shrugged flippantly, continuing to step forward smoothly. Marideen repositioned her knives. She planned to go for the middle, feigning an attempt to take out his arms. Then, when he tries to protect them, she will close the distance to prevent him from using the sword.

A quick strike at the neck would be too obvious, but she could aim a bit higher for the nose, attempt to break it. Then she would rapidly switch to the knees, trying to take out his legs, and as he went down, an elbow to the chest. After that, she should have no trouble with cutting his throat.

The thoughts moving through her head felt so casual, so easy. It felt wrong. However, she couldn’t stop herself. She had to continue forward. She had to kill this man. She had to.

Demetry put that vicious, hateful smile back on his face again. He had closed the distance between the two of them with a few rapid steps, bringing up his sword for a downward strike.  As she prepared to dodge and attack, Demetry suddenly jerked. A look of surprise appeared in his eyes.

Marideen stared at the man in confusion. He opened his mouth to say something, but nothing came out. Then he fell to his knees, his sword clattering down to his side. As Demetry’s head came forward, Marideen had to take a step back to avoid him as he fell the rest of the way to the ground with a smack.

At first, Marideen could not understand what she had just witnessed. It took her a few moments before she recognized the knife jutting out of his back. The knife was placed perfectly right through his heart. She glanced up to the source, seeing Darian on the ground near Danelle’s body. He had grabbed one of her knives and flung it at Demetry while he was distracted. Darian was still in the position that he threw the knife in, seemingly frozen in the moment of releasing the knife. A look of surprise encompassed his face much like the look Demetry had had.

It was done. Demetry was dead, but she wasn’t the one to do it. Her anger, rage, and pain were still boiling on the surface. The shock of his sudden demise seemed to do nothing to help her cope. She glared at Darian. She didn’t mean too, but she was so angry, and she couldn’t seem to control how she looked.

Then a thought popped into her head. Demetry was after Darian, whoever he was. Had he not been there, her sister would still be alive. Her sister died because of him. It was his fault. Darian dropped his arm, shrinking back a bit without moving, seemingly being able to read her thoughts.

A sudden touch on her shoulder brought her glaze away from Darian. She spun rapidly, her knives still in hand. Markus raised his hands defensively. She realized that everyone else was conscious and moving.

“We need to get going.” Markus said, an uncomfortably apologetic look on his face.

Behind him, Maximillion was helping Berret to his feet. Berret looked barely conscious or able to stand by himself. A great deal of blood was all over the floor around him. Maximillion seemed to have done what he could to stem the flow of blood and cover the stump where Berret’s arm used to be. Max’s face seemed oddly wooden.


The scream caused every head to turn down the hall past Darian. The scream was followed by the sound of a gunshot. Darian collapsed into a heap next to Danelle’s body. Marideen glanced up at the source of the gunshot. A man stood down the hallway, breathing heavily. He wore a braid similar to Demetry’s, but shorter in length, only coming down about a head’s length past his shoulders. It was clear to Marideen that this man was Demetry’s brother, Aiden.

Without thought, she crouched down over Demetry’s body. In a swift, single motion, she pulled the knife from his back and threw it straight at his brother’s heart. Aiden ducked to his right, hiding behind the wall of the intersection he stood in. The knife flew where Aiden had been, harmlessly flying down the empty hallway. Had Aiden not moved, it would have struck true to its target. Marideen was certain of that. She quickly checked Demetry’s belt, finding a gun he had at the holster.

She pulled it out, firing a warning shot at the corner that Aiden had ducked behind, glad that his gun had not been rendered inert like the rest. Down the hall where her knife had landed, she saw guards running down towards her. She looked back at Markus to see that he was helping Maximil support Berret.

“Let’s go!” she said, beginning to back up.

“What about him?” Markus asked, nodding down the hall at Darian.

Marideen looked out at Darian. He was still alive. The bullet seemed to have struck him in the back, yet he was still conscious. He had started crawling towards them, a streak of blood appearing under him from where he had dragged himself. Their eyes met. If he hadn’t of been there, her sister would be alive.

“Leave him, we don’t have time,” Marideen said, breaking her eyes away from him.

She looked down at her sister’s body. The numbness inside her started to tremble on the edge of pain. Her mind shielded away from it. She turned away and began moving down the hall with the others following. Deep inside, she had the inexplicable feeling as if she was turning away from her sister. Not just her sister’s body. She knew Danelle was dead, and she accepted she could not recover the body. However, it felt like she was betraying her by leaving the hazel-eyed boy.

That was ridiculous. Why would she feel that way? She quickened her pace, moving around the corner towards the waiting escape pod. She told herself it was because the guards were coming and she was out of time, but she could not shake the feeling as if she was leaving something behind.




Aiden carefully adjusted his grip on both guns.  There were three of them and they were injured. Those monsters would pay for what they had done to his brother. He quickly suppressed a pang of fear and anxiety. He took a deep breath as he tried to bring his heartbeat back under control. When he was younger, he had always suffered from panic attacks; it was his brother who had always coached him to overcome his limitations. That was all life is, after all, a series of limitations set to be overcome.

One more breath and he turned, his guns pointed in front of him as rounded the corner. He had already crossed the hall and bent to one knee before he realized the hall was empty. He cursed himself for being so foolish.

He ran up to his brother. He knew he was dead. He hadn’t seen the knife plunge into his brother’s back, but he had seen that woman standing over his body. Still, it hadn’t been her that had killed his brother; there was only one person who could have.

The pain was sharp and deep in his chest. However, he let none of these feelings effect his face. His brother had always taught him to keep a level head, regardless of the situation. He would weep his brother’s death when he had time alone. For now, for the sake of the Taerren Empire, he needed to display strength and discipline. He glanced over at his brother’s sword, which was lying next to his body.

The sword had been in their family for ages. It was always the next in line who held the sword. It was symbolic of the tasks that were set before them. It was made and gifted to their family hundreds of years before, passing from oldest son to oldest son. As part of the discipline, the first son learned to use it. Aiden knew nothing of the sword. He was a good shot with a gun, but no skill with a blade.

He glanced up, looking at the man who had killed his brother. The Lancer’s had left him behind. Uncivilized pests. He was crawling down the hallway, seemingly moving in no particular direction whatsoever, like a cockroach who had lost its leg. A trail of blood stretched under Aiden’s feet all the way to the body he had stepped over on the way to his brother.

From the look of it, he was losing a great deal of blood. His movements seemed to be turning jerky as he began to lose consciousness. Aiden pulled out a large knife he had at his belt. His brother had given it to him. It seemed to be a suiting end for the man who had killed him.

He could hear the guards coming down the hall, they were right behind him. He made an annoyed gesture with his fingers, motioning for several of them to continue on and find the intruders who had left this mess.

Several guards passed by while a few guards stayed behind to protect Aiden himself. Aiden walked over to the man, whose crawling had seemingly stopped now. He kept his patience. The man would die, that was what was important. Kneeling down, he stuck his knee into the man’s back. The man jerked, but was mostly unconscious at this point.

He regretted that the man would not be conscious when he killed him, but he knew to be swift and sure about it. Hesitation was never an option for a ruler. Decisions had to be swift and sure, consequences could be dealt with later.

Grabbing the back of his hair, Aiden lifted the man’s head. He reached around with the knife, ready to slice the murderer’s neck, serving justice.

“NOOOOO!/No! You cannot!” A scream shouted from behind him.

He looked up to see a short panicked woman racing towards him. He released the grip on the man’s hair letting his head slap back on the surface of the floor.

The woman raced between the guards, who let her pass without question. She wore a crumpled lab coat which matched her frizzy auburn hair. Her hawk-like eyes starred down at the body Aiden was crouched over.

“He woke?” She asked, a look of surprise on her face before it started to darken, “and you shot him.”

She turned to glare at Aiden, “Release him to me, he needs medical treatment immediately.”

Aiden matched her glare, “and you are?”

“You know very well who I am, Aiden, I am Dr. Penelope Tanris, and you are about to cut the throat of a multibillion dollar research funded by your father.”

Aiden looked down at the man under him. Not one of those terrorists, it seems. Still…

“He murdered my brother, the prince. I care little of the value of a criminal and murderer,” Aiden responded calmly.

Dr. Tanris’s eyes opened wide as she looked back at the body of Aiden’s brother. Her mouth dropped open. She spoke a quick prayer before turning back to him.

“It…. it must have been a mistake, he was confused, h-how could he… No, he must be preserved, the knowledge is too valuable,” Dr. Tanris’s voice became resolved as she turned back to Aiden. “Turn him back to me, we have already lost your brother, we can’t lose this chance…”

“That isn’t your decision, but your objection has been noted,” Aiden replied, he pulled his hand back, ready to slam the knife into the back of the man’s head.

“Perhaps you should leave the decision making to me?” a voice in front of them said.

Aiden leaped from the man’s back, dropping himself to one knee, his head bowed. Dr. Tanris was down just as quickly, her head bowed much lower, her forehead inches from the ground.

“F-father, I failed you, it-it’s Demetry, he’s…” Aiden looked back at Demetry’s body, uncertain that he could say the words and maintain his outward demeanor.

The Lord Regent said nothing. Instead he walked by them, his flowing robes brushing against the side of Aiden’s face as he walked by. Aiden now noticed a large entourage of advisors and followers behind him. The general was not one of them. He walked up to the body of his son, lightly kicking the body over so that he flopped face-up. Demetry’s eyes were closed, but his skin was already displaying a glossy plastic look.

The Lord Regent looked back at Aiden. Aiden lowered his head and stared at the ground. The Lord Regent leaned down, picking up the sword on the ground. He wiped the blood still staining the sword off on Demetry’s clothing.

He walked up to Aiden, placing the sword over his shoulder. This was the cost of failure. Aiden waited for the final blow from his brother’s sword. It never came. The Lord Regent picked up the sword, turned it around and brandished the hilt towards Aiden. Aiden looked at it hesitantly.

“Your brother’s life was his own responsibility, not yours. He made the decisions that lead him to this fate. That your decisions could not prevent it does not lay fault at your feet. By your choices, whether directly or indirectly, you are now the heir to the throne. Now, you must live with the consequences.”

“Father, I…” Aiden broke off, extending his hand and grabbing the sword, “Thank you father.”

Aiden knew not to argue with his father. His father made decisions, and lived with those decisions, but he would not have them questioned. The Lord Regent walked to Aiden’s side, now looking at the unconscious man next to him.

“This is the man who killed my son?” The Lord Regent asked, his voice cold and collected.

It was not a question. He already knew the answer. He displayed no emotion as he looked down at the man before him. His eyes gave nothing away, no anger, or hate, or any other discernible emotion.

“Your sire, if I may, this is the man found at the excavation site. We still don’t know what he knows, or what he can bring to the Taerren people. This is what we have been waiting for. If you give him to me, all of your funding will come to fruition. We will finally have the answers you have sought for five years…” Dr. Tanris stopped as the Lord Regent raised his hand.

“Father, he is a murderer, he must face punishm-” The Lord Regent raised his other hand towards Aiden.

Like he did with his son, he kicked the body over. The man sprawled out on his back. Aiden had not had a chance to look at the man before. The man had long since stopped moving and his breathing was becoming ragged and shallow. He would be dead within the hour if they did not provide any help anyway.

The man had a strong jaw line and light brown hair that was cropped short. There was nothing remarkable about his appearance. He could have been just like any other Taerren. Had Tanris not insisted he was the one she found, he would have had no way to know that this man had sat in some kind of suspended animation for an untold period of time.

Tanris herself was a Hucton: short gangly people from the Hucton System, a relativity new system to join the Taerren Empire. They spoke with short vowels and chipped off sentences, a manner of speech that often seemed rude to Taerrens. However, this man more closely resembled his people than hers.

After a few moments examining the man, the Lord Regent looked up, “Heal him.”

Dr. Tanris’s face broke into a smile. Aiden fought the urge to say anything, but despite his better interest, a noise of protest escaped his lips.

The Lord Regent glanced over to an advisor who had been trailing behind his entourage.

“We will put him in the Chronos experiment.”

Dr. Tanris blinked. The Lord Regent’s advisor nodded to him in confirmation, making a noise of agreement. Several guards walked in, moving the man to a stretcher before carrying him off. Another group of guards came to take the Lord Regent’s son away, and a third came for the nameless body behind them.

“Sire, this man is needed for our research…” Dr. Tanris began.

“Your research will continue without him. Now, I expect that you’ll want to return to your excavation site at the Iridian planet, so I will send guards to recover your things. I have a ship available to take you there straight away.” The Lord Reagent said, his dark eyes looking down at the short woman.

“Go back?” Dr. Tanris exclaimed, her voice an octave higher than normal and her face red with anger, “I have thousands of documents to analyze here…”

“And I am sure you don’t want your time being wasted analyzing documents when you could be overseeing your research team on site. Of course, if you are no longer interested in leading the team, a replacement can be found.”

Dr. Tanris’s almost seemed to physically shake with anger, but after a second, her face appeared cool and collected.

“Yes, sire.”

She turned and walked away, her back stiff.

The Lord Regent nodded to a nearby guard, “Make sure she finds her way to her ship. Have all her things brought there.”

His eyes glanced back at Aiden. Aiden lowered his glance and bowed to his father. He knew better than to argue with him. He would find out what this Chronos Experiment was. If it didn’t kill the murderer, he could have an accident arranged without his father’s knowledge.

The Lord Regent turned his back on his son, passing between a set of standing guards towards the rest of his entourage. As he moved down the hall, his advisors moved around him to follow.

“Send a regiment out for these terrorists that seem to have escaped. Send the Cyan and the Crimson units. Tell them to capture them, not kill them. And will someone turn off these damned alarms!”

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More News: TAOE Chapter 3 released Also

I have a lot of things going on. I’m certainly not writing this story nearly as fast.

Between translations, Hawtness 1.5, Requiem to the Stars, Editing Time and Place, Wattpad 101, a book I want to finish called “The Zoo”, and of course TAOE (not to mention a Review Paper, a grant, and work in general)… I’m a bit overextended.

If there was one thing you guys think I should be working on, what would it be? I’m closest to finishing Hawtness 1.5 and the Zoo. I have about 50 chapters of T and P written, so I could easily release that faster.

Let me know in the comments if you have a preference. I’ll take it under advisement.

Click Here for Chapter 3 TAOE.

Hawtness – Volume 3 – Chapter 2

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“Yes?” Daniel asked, his voice not the least bit out of breath.

“Why are we running there? Can’t we drive a car or something?” I asked cautiously.

Daniel’s running faltered for a bit. “I didn’t think about something like that. It would be easier for both of us. I do not have a car, but I do own a bike.”

Daniel owned a motorcycle? I suppose that did fit the bad boy persona that he had going on at school. I did learn that his reputation was a little exaggerated though. Sure, he had the tattoos and the earring, and sure he missed a lot of schooling. He also had a habit of growling at people who approached him when he ate during lunch. However, at heart, he cared about his schooling and his friends. It was a misunderstanding, Daniel was sweet, loyal, and caring.

“I’ve never seen you ride a bike before.”

Daniel turned directions, moving back into a full sprint. “I used to do street races when I was younger. It’s not something I like to talk about. It’s dangerous, lot of broken bones and cracked skulls.”

“I can imagine.” I responded, suddenly finding a lot of things about Daniel a lot sexier.

After what seemed like a half hour, he finally slowed down and I glanced around to realize we were standing in a storage rental place. He placed me down and I stumbled a bit, dizzy and windswept from all the running. He ran over to one of the storage units, opening it. I curiously leaned over to get a better look of the place. It seemed to have a couch and a small television in it set up like a living room. Was Daniel living out of this storage unit?

Daniel rustled inside of it for a bit, then came back out with a bike rolling under his hands. I eyed the bike up and down, the sex appeal I felt melting away.

“What the heck is that?” I asked incredulously.

Daniel looked at me confused, “What do you mean? It’s my 21-speed racing bicycle, titanium frame, with reinforced chains.”

“When you said you had a bike, this wasn’t exactly what I had in mind.”

“Oh, it’s alright, it’s got a seat in the back for you.” Daniel seemed so proud of his little bike.

I eyed the seat he was talking about. It was a little screw-on side seat for an extra person to ride sideways. I sighed; it just wasn’t the same thing.

“Alright, let’s get a move on.” I groaned, a little disappointed at the downgrade.

Daniel jumped on the bike, waiting for me to sit comfortably on the seat behind him before turning back and handing me a bicycle helmet while he mounted one on his own head. I sighed again, glancing it up and down before strapping it to my head. Better safe than sorry, I supposed.

“Hold on, I tend to drive fast.” Daniel boasted.

“Just pedal wolf boy.” I teased.

It was at that point that I realized two things. The first was that Daniel had the settings on his bike set to the hardest gauge. The second was that he had mentioned the chains had been reinforced. They were far thicker and stronger than anything I had ever seen on a traditional bike. I realized I had completely underestimated the capabilities of a werewolf.

The bike exploded forward. My butt lurched back, and I lunged forward, desperately grabbing onto Daniel to keep myself on the bike. He flew forward with full force, his legs moving at much the same speed they had while he was running with me. The bike chain tugged with each rapid rotation, propelling the bike at preposterous speeds. We flew out on the street and I let out a scream. The wind whipped at me, threatening to tear the backpack right off my back.

We may not have been riding a motorcycle, but the bicycle certainly moved at comparable speeds. I looked as we flew past a four door sedan, the driver watching us with wide-eyed wonder. Daniel said he was a competitive racer? He should be beating the Tour de France with these neck-breaking speeds.

I was getting used to the momentum when he turned directly into the forest. The bike peeled off the road, landing on a narrow dirt path. The trees buzzed past us and I held onto Daniel even tighter. I buried my head into his soft, warm back. I didn’t have the capacity to be embarrassed, I just didn’t want to go flying off the back of his bike.

The wind whipped by us for what seemed like forever. When Daniel finally slammed on the breaks, I flew forward, my head landing on his shoulder, my body pressing up against him. I took several stammering breaths as Daniel gently grabbed my hands and pulled them off of him. I realized I had been digging my fingers into his skin. His arm had red fingerprints on it. I blushed in embarrassment, but Daniel smiled gently at me.

“Sorry about that, sometimes I don’t realize how far to go. You were right though, this was a lot faster. We’re already at the cabin.”

I nodded numbly, getting off the bike and rubbing my bottom. I had been clinching myself so tightly that my entire lower half ached. I finally glanced up to see a quaint little cabin in the woods, exactly as Daniel had described it. He offered me his hand, and I took it, letting him lead me into the cabin. It was almost surreal. I took off in the middle of the night with a boy, and now we were going to spend the night together in a log cabin.

Daniel led me into the entrance. The small building consisted of two rooms. The receiving room and a bedroom. It seemed to be stocked with the amenities of travel, and had recently been cleaned. It wasn’t dusty at all. The room was a little chilly though. Daniel went over to a fireplace. After turning a knob and pressing a button, a fire erupted between the partially burnt wood logs.

“You should take a hot bath. Make sure to scrub yourself thoroughly. I’ll go outside and chop us some wood to keep the place warm for the night.” Daniel said softly before turning to leave.

As if in a trance, I moved into the bathroom and began undressing. I filled the tub, using bubblebath I had thankfully remembered to pack in my haste. In short order, I was fully immersed in the hot tub. It was only then that I realized how cold I had been. The weather was getting pretty chilly this time of year, and at the speed Daniel had moved I was a bit wind burnt.

After I dried myself off, I stared at the mirror. Should I be doing something special? I had fairly basic pajamas. I didn’t really own any sexy lingerie. Should I be wearing lingerie? Daniel and I were going to sleep in the same bed, but it’s not like I had to impress him or anything. We were just friends. Besides, we’ve both seen each other naked. Imagining Daniel naked right now wasn’t exactly helping the situation.

I sighed, putting on my rather plain cotton pink top and bottom. Maybe Alex and I would need to go out when I got back and find me something a little sexier for next time. Next time, what? Next time I got abducted in the middle of the night by an attractive boy so he can rub his scent all over me like a Cockatoo?

How much perfume was too much perfume? Where should I put the perfume? Should I put on a little makeup? Should my hair be loose or braided? None of this mattered, we weren’t going to do anything. Or were we? Was that my decision to make? He already said he wanted to be my mate, does that mean if I wanted to have sex, he would? It would make it so we wouldn’t have to pretend to the other werewolves.

I slapped my cheeks. Stop that Jane, now was not the time to pull a Samantha. You’re just doing a friend a favor. That was it. The front door slammed breaking me from my thoughts. I sighed, turning away and opening the door, stepping out into the common room.

Daniel was standing there. He wasn’t wearing a shirt, his body slick with sweat as he tossed a few logs onto the fire.

“That should last us the night,” Daniel stood up from the fireplace, turning to me, “I think we-“

Daniel’s voice froze as his eyes laid on me.

“Is there something wrong?” I asked as the silence stretched.

“No,” Daniel blushed, “sometimes I forget how beautiful you are.”

“I’m just in my pajamas, just normal old me,” I tried to laugh it off as a joke.

“No matter what you do,” Daniel shook his head, “you will always look incredible to me.”

With Daniel’s words, a tingle shot up and down my spine. He really needed to stop saying things like that.

Daniel snapped out of it, breaking his eyes away from mine, “I’m sorry, I should go shower as well. It’s already two in the morning. We’ll get a few hours of sleep and head off early. It won’t be a lot of sleep, but the earlier we get there, the better.”

Daniel moved off to the shower, leaving me standing in front of the fireplace, my cheeks as red as the fire in front of me. I didn’t think I could do this. What was coming next was too much. I didn’t know what I wanted. The back of my mind was screaming.

I moved over to the bed, flopping on top of it. It was amazingly soft, smelling much like a forest, much like Daniel. The scent reminded me of the dream before Daniel had dropped by my home. That gave me more blushes. Maybe if I had taken care of a few things in the bathtub, my mind would be a little clearer right now. I couldn’t let little Jane make the decision for me. I needed to be strong.

The door opened and Daniel came out. He wore nothing but his boxer briefs. I suppose I should commend him for wearing that at least.

“I’m sorry, but to in order for us to smell like each other, I figured the more skin contact the better,” Daniel explained seeming more embarrassed and out of sorts than I ever remembered seeing him before, “Not that I’m saying you need to take anything off. I just figured this was for the best.”

Daniel put his hands over his body as if to shield himself from my wondering eyes, and for the first time I realized he was as nervous and uncomfortable about this as I was. The proud little wolf that thought nothing of prancing around naked wasn’t the Daniel I saw tonight. This was the real Daniel, as vulnerable and self-conscious as myself. I didn’t say anything, instead giving him a gesture to join me in the bed.

He moved stiffly and lied down next to me in a supine position, staring up at the ceiling. He almost seemed afraid to turn towards me. He kept his hands at his sides with his fists clinched. I pulled up the blankets and lied my head against his hard, muscular chest. He let out a long breath and I could hear his heartbeat, beating fast. He was nervous, nervous like me.

I took my other hand put it up on his other pectoral, resting it there. I fought the urge to run my fingers over his muscles, although to be honest, it was all I was thinking.

“Good night, Jane,” Daniel strained, his voice several octaves higher than it should have been.

I snuggled my head into his chest, “Goodnight.”

Although, I didn’t expect I’d sleep at all tonight. My body practically hummed. It took every effort not to start kissing his neck. I knew that once we started, I wouldn’t be stopping. No, this would be a very long night. His scent filled me. His heartbeat drummed in my ears.

I didn’t anticipate how comfortable sleeping against Daniel would be. My eyes were heavy and before I knew it, they closed and I started to dream. My dreams weren’t all that different than what I was doing awake. I lied there, holding someone I cared about. Of course, it wasn’t always Daniel. Sometimes, I cuddled Andrew, Rune, Allan, Ryan, Victor, Xavier, or even Alex. I was incorrigible sometimes.

Even Samantha started to show up in my dreams. The two of us held each other under the sheets like we did when we were younger, whispering about boys and irrelevant things. Her perfume scent had a kind of woodsy appeal, her warm breath on my neck. Wait, that wasn’t Samantha’s scent. I opened my eyes a little, letting some of the light shine in.

A woman sat on top of me. Her face worked up into a kind of snarl. My eyes shot open, realizing the woman held down both of my arms.

“So this is the bitch who stole my mate?” The woman growled.

Her face began to morph, her nose becoming snout-like, her teeth growing into long fangs. Her hands grew longer, growing massive claws that wrapped around my wrists and dug into my flesh. She was a werewolf! I let out a shout in alarm.

She gave me what I could only interpret as a sneer, “Well, what am I going to do with you?”

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Reincarnated As A Villager – Strongest Slow-life – Chapter 21

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“You’re still impertinent for a junior, aren’t you?”

I wouldn’t say something like I won’t lose to you. If I was affected by this verbal abuse my heart would break.

… It will be a light trauma…

“I don’t care when you were born.”

Recently, I found it best to handle this light. It’s to protect my heart, but…


I try to quicken my feet and walk away, but I understood that this was a useless effort. I know this but even though I know, a man can’t stop himself. A sad, sad man…

“Because being by yourself is so pitiful, I will help you.”

While saying this, she was already scrambling up into the wagon.

I was immediately defeated, but I remained cool. My body is a child, but I am an adult. It wouldn’t be good if I had a tantrum like some little brat.

“It’s good to help, but what about studying? Have you been able to write the letters I gave you?”

“Well, of course! That was easy!”

It seems she didn’t do them at all.

Geez. It’s difficult to learn characters, so she skipped it by habit. Today, I’ll forgive stupidity – also murder – no, maybe that’s too far. Yeah.

“It should be simple for an 11-year-old. Even Sepuru can learn this stuff instantly, right?”

No, it’d be a mistake to compare her to a Supergirl like Sepuru. Sorry, Sari.

“…No, don’t you think that’s impolite.”

“No, not at all, why?”

Although she’s stupid, she’s still a woman, her intuition is sharp.

“Well, it’s okay I guess. So, what are you doing today?”

What is with that playful tone, can’t she see the firewood in the wagon with her own eyes? Delivering firewood is a duty for people who live in the mountain. This should be a given.

Well, I’m cool so I won’t point it out.

“Let’s drop off the firewood and go to the Adventurer’s Guild and visit Oba-chan. Then we can go to the fishing dock.”

“Why? That’s boring, just the same as usual?”

Geez. This is the case for children. You don’t know how grateful you should be just to have a job.

“Then study at home. Knowledge is wealth. Enrich your life…”

“Hey, guess what? Yesterday, there was a merchant ship in the port somewhere… it was unusual. Where did it come from? Well, it’s about time the caravan comes. I wonder if they’ll open up in the city again?”

Please, at least listen…

Well, it’s not like I demanded a reply. I’ll listen to her story for a moment. Take care of my heart.

“So, Lau falls down…. Really, right?”

I don’t know what she’s talking about because the story already deviated from where she started.

What kind of penance is this?

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Reincarnated As A Villager – Strongest Slow-life – Chapter 20

A word of warning, since I’ve caught up to the previous translator, I’ve lost my, how shall we say, cushion… so the accuracy of the next translations (although I didn’t always agree with him) may take a dip, as I have no tape measure to compare. (Even Arifureta had summaries). So, don’t be surprised… I guess.

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The elevation we sit at on the mountain is about 800 meters, but the slope down is gentle and the sun hits it well.

There are no tall trees, as it is a meadow, so you could probably call our residence a plateau.

I have to go down this mountain to reach the mountain where there are trees to cut down, so when I go to cut down trees I need to prepare for a three-day trip.

Of course, there are huts where several people can sleep while they visit the area to cut trees down, and a path that wagons can easily pass.

Well, as to that, the convenient mountain where we live which contains the mountain village is called sunny mountain, and the mountain where we cut down trees is called the felling ground.

I don’t need to hear any comments about the naming. It’s been named that for a long time now. It’s easier for people to understand and agree to.

Dad was the fourth son born to a different village. Mom was a second daughter of a farmer who was born in this village and had been there since the pioneering era. It is unusual for an outsider and a second daughter to marry, and close to a miracle for them to get their own house. Father worked as an adventurer from the age of ten and used hard work and talent to obtain his fortune. After meeting mother and falling in love, he purchased the land in the middle of the village mountain (the older families generally stuck to lower lands).

Though I say it’s the mountainside, it is a one-kilometer distance away from the village if you traveled in a straight line. A shortcut would cut the time down a lot, but from wagon, it’s about three kilometers.

On this mountain sits twelve families, with almost all of them using pasture to raise animals. As a result, the road formed an s-shape that extended the distance.

Well, while traveling this road, a single girl stood in front of me.

Granddaughter to one of the village elders as well as a grandchild of Onji, she was eleven years old.

Since Onji’s house consisted of four generations and 26 people total, there was some room for the kids to finish daily work early.

Saribari was the youngest from the family, therefore having no job at the moment. Just like Sepuru, she was able to use magic and could cook. From field work to looking after the animals, as an ordinary eleven-year-old girl she lacked the ability. And so, she played by herself and was now standing there waiting for a playmate to show up.

“… Ah, more trouble…”

It would be nice to call her a childhood friend, but when I think of that neighborly brat, only bitterness comes out.

Though she’s eleven, a girl is a girl. Whenever she speaks, she speaks eloquently. Although she’s only a year older than me, she tries to act like a big sister. However, she acts more like a nanny.

Ordinarily, I’d like big breasts (past life). Flat chested girls are – from anywhere, seem to always be out for  – Cough. Oh, that’s it.

“Well, Saribari. How are you doing?”

A nanny is a good job, yes.

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Time and Place – Chapter 11

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How unbelievable! He had not expected to run into the Champion here on a space station of all places. He had felt the pull from the Champion the moment his ship had docked. The pull at his soul, or whatever was left of it, was almost palpable. However, he could not allow anyone to suspect anything. He had stood in agonizing pain, waiting for a moment to find his prey.

The bomb, or whatever it was, that erupted somewhere on the station was just the distraction he needed. As soon as he could get his feet back under him he had fled the ceremony. At first, his target had remained stationary, but as he transversed the halls he found that the Champion began moving.

The loud alarm was now blazing overhead, providing people with a warning to evacuate the station. Periodically, he would pass a strobe light flickering on and off to help indicate the need to evacuate. He worried that the Champion might be heading for one of the escape pods. No matter, he had already fixed his route to intercept him before he reached the escape.

He could not conceive how the darkness would reward him for this, but the rewards would be great. He had not slept in some time. He had not contacted the darkness. Nevertheless, he knew its commands, knew the end that it craved.

He marched through the hallways with a long stride. Soldiers who saw his face immediately knew who he was, and snapped quickly to attention. A few offered encouraging remarks as well. He would occasionally hear a “Glory to the Empire” or an “Honor for the Lord Reagent”.  Most of the soldiers were busy helping evacuate the station though. It didn’t matter, he ignored them all.

On another day, he might have executed more tact, but the compelling nature of this Champion was great. He had never expected it to be this strong. He did not know what his reward would be, but the pleasure of killing the Champion of Fate would be a reward in and of itself.


“Darian, my name is Darian,” Darian repeated, trying to get a grasp on his new situation.

They looked at each other before one of the girls stepped forward and spoke. Pointing to herself, she said the word Marideen. She then pointed to each of the other people, stating what Darian presumed were their names.

Perhaps names weren’t the most important thing for Darian to start with. He was miserable with names and was likely to forget them all anyway, but these names sounded unusually strange. The language the man had spoken was completely indecipherable. Darian couldn’t even guess at what they were speaking. It certainly wasn’t English.

“Well that’s a start, how about you put the guns down?” Darian asked.

The two men stared at him with blank faces. He pointed at the guns and the made a down gesture with his palm. The two men glanced at each other. The dark skinned man chuckled before adjusting his grip on the gun and then aiming it more threateningly. Darian backed up a step, his back pressing against the wall. He made a pacifying gesture and hoped the man understood.

The man who had first spoken, Markus he thought the name was, said something to the other man in a scolding tone. He then turned to Darian and spoke several more incomprehensible words. Markus’s tone made Darian’s skin crawl. It was a little too smooth. Almost like he was talking to a frightened animal rather than another person. Darian supposed the feeling was not far off. He might as well be a frightened animal with how well their ability to communicate was going.

Darian was frightened. He had no clue what was going on. Had the doctor sold him? Was it all some trick to sell him into slavery? He had expected to wake up in the familiar surroundings, but this was too much. The event itself had been unpleasant. He had expected to go to sleep, and wake up a week later without a second thought. That was not how it felt at all.

The sleep he had was not deep; it was quite the opposite. He had felt like he had just experienced a lifetime of restless sleep. Always on the edge of awareness, of consciousness, he had waited for what felt like an eternity. Wherever he was, time seemed to have no meaning. It simply kept ticking away. He had itches and cramps, but could not move to scratch them. It was absolute torture. He knew it had only been a week, but it could have been a year or a thousand years, and it would have felt the same. The doctor would certainly have some explaining to do.

When Darian began waking, the first thing that began to return to him was sight. He didn’t know how he knew this since he had lacked the ability to open his eyelids, but whatever light seemed to pierce through them gave him awareness that he was conscious. Then his hearing returned. It was garbled at first. As it returned, he realized he wasn’t hearing English.

He then began to feel the rush of air as he was being pushed somewhere. After a few minutes, he attempted to move. The shock of his body suddenly contacting the ground jolted him to wakefulness. He was surprisingly energetic. He would have expected to be weak and sore after, but that didn’t seem to be the case.

His eyes shot open and his mind began to work furiously to comprehend the situation. Now that he realized he was in some kind of carpeted hallway surrounded by people dressed in strange jumpsuits, his mind seemed to strike a wall where he couldn’t quite figure out what to do next.

The lights flashing overhead and the sound of an alarm was very disorientating. However, his mind was having no luck growing clearer as he listened to them talk.

“Do any of you speak English?” He asked hopefully.

He hadn’t expected an answer. They glanced at him blankly, clearly as confused by what he said as he was by what they had said. He took a few steps back, angling away from them while keeping his back to the wall. It looked like he was in some kind of corridor and they stood immediately at a three-way intersection in the shape of a T. At least that was a reassurance. If he needed to, he could either run left or right. It was always nice to have a choice, even if neither choice seemed any better than the other.

He took a better look at the people in front of him. Their uniforms told him nothing. There were two men with guns, the third man who spoke too smoothly, and two young girls. The girls appeared to be sisters, with numerous similar characteristics. They both looked younger than he, but the older one had a very serious quality about her that was only more apparent when compared to her sister.

The sister, Danelle, he at least remembered that name, had a very lively innocence to her, but even she seemed to have a set of maturity in her eyes that were seemingly unexpected. They had both been through something, although Darian was good at reading people, not like his father had been.  Unlike Danelle’s sister, her hair was black and cropped short. Both sisters held themselves with a great deal of confidence and assuredness that made them seem beyond the age he would have placed them at.

One of the men took a step forward, and Darian quickly took a step away from them towards the side, scraping along the wall at an angle. He glanced in both directions, the temptation to run hitting him. But where would he run? He had no idea where he was in the first place.


“Well this is going nowhere,” Markus growled, watching the man who had called himself Darian.

Marideen had to agree with him, they needed to get moving and this person was content with just standing there. She quickly considered her possibilities. They could always just knock him unconscious and carry him the rest of the way. However, if the information he possessed turned out to be useful, getting it out of him would be a lot more difficult if they had to attack him.

She suspected that the man had no correlation with the Taerren government. His strange gown, his lack of knowing the language, his odd appearance; all lead her to believe that whatever he was, he wasn’t part of the government. This didn’t mean, however, that he didn’t possess something that could benefit the empire, and thus be something they needed to keep out of their hands.

His face did have many distinctive traits that looked very Taerren. He had very bright hazel eyes and now that they were open, she could see he was quite handsome. She hammered down that last part. She was acting like Danelle now.

Before she could take another action, Danelle took the initiative, taking a step forward. Marideen reached out a hand to stop Danelle, but Danelle made a reassuring gesture to Marideen with a quick smirk. Marideen dropped her hand, allowing Danelle to continue.

She took several steps slowly towards the man who called himself Darian. His body tensed. As he did, Berret and Maximil tightened their grip on their guns, ready to fire at a moment’s notice. When Danelle noticed this, she gave them a quick glare. The two men glanced over to Marideen, whom after a moment reluctantly gave them a nod. When did they start differing to her? This was new.

They lowered their weapons grudgingly as Danelle took a few more steps forward, her hands raised in a pacifying gesture. Darian lowered his hands, his eyes glaring at her with mistrust.

“It’s okay,” Danelle said in a soothing gesture, taking the last step forward, her hands out in front of her now inches from his chest.

She lifted her hand, brushing his hair back behind his ears. A blush suddenly appeared on his cheeks. Marideen didn’t blame him, that was a far more personal touch then any respectable girl should give any guy, let alone a guy she barely knew.

Danelle didn’t show any shame or modesty though, instead of beaming up at him. She gave him the same smile that she always seemed to give father. Just like that, relief flooded into him. All the tension that had been building seemed to flood out of him like a balloon.

“See, we’re not so bad,” Danelle said, running a hand over his head with a pat.

“He’s not a cat,” Markus remarked, rolling his eyes.

“You shut up!” Danelle quickly retorted, turning to give her a dirty look before turning back to Darian, once again with a smile on her face.

Darian chuckled at that. Although Marideen imagined he had no clue what they said, he seemed to be able to immediately tell the nature of what they said. Marideen joined in with a laugh and after a second Berret and Maximil joined in. Danelle glared back at them, before smiling and chuckling herself.

“Are we all just going to sit around laughing while guards come and gun us down?” Markus growled.

Danelle turned, grabbing Darian’s hand as she did, “Come with us.”

Darian glanced into her eyes and seemed to understand. After a brief moment, he nodded and she pulled him with her, keeping very close to him. As she dragged his arms forward, Darian took a few wooden steps until he began to move forward willingly. When Darian finally caught up to Danelle, now in front of her sister, Danelle grabbed his entire arm in a kind of loose hug. She smirked at Marideen.

“So where do we get going?” Marideen asked, choosing to ignore her sister’s antics as well as her own small spike of odd annoyance.

Was she jealous?  That was just ridiculous. She always felt a desire to compete with her little sister, but this was neither the time nor the place and for a boy no less.

Markus sighed. “Well. Since he is coming with us, we need to get to the escape pods, same as before. This way.”

Markus pointed to the right of the T junction they had come upon, beginning to walk in that direction.  The rest followed, Danelle pulling Darian with her in an almost comical fashion.

“Come on, Darian,” She whispered to him, giving him a playful push before dragging him along.

However strange her flamboyant nature, Marideen decided not to intercede with what Danelle was doing. It had worked splendidly with her father dozens of times in the past and seemed to be doing just as well pacifying this man. One of these days, she would need to ask Danelle how she did that with men. She shook her head before dropping the notion.

As the alarms blared, they slowly made their way through the station. Markus stayed in front, numerous times motioning them to stay back as a group of guards came storming by. At one point, they needed to duck into a room. They managed to get in just in time before the guards came storming past, looking like they were searching for something. For once, they ended up in a room that wasn’t a closet.

This room seemed to be some kind of maintenance room. It consisted of large, noisy machinery. Darian had quickly grasped that they were not in a safe place, and worked to keep quiet, keep low, and keep out of sight just as well as the rest of them. Danelle did not shift her position, constantly stroking his arm and saying reassuring comments that he did not understand. He seemed to respond to them well, occasionally talking back in strange words Marideen did not know. What was this stranger?

At some point, Darian seemed to grow more defensive of Danelle as well, even going so far as to put himself in front of her during one of the points in which the guards passed by. She blushed furiously when he had held her back behind him, protecting her with his body. The other men present merely rolled their eyes, occasionally chuckling as they saw the pair acting like enamored school kids during the Festival of Love. On Darian’s end, he stared warily at the other men and kept his distance when possible.

It felt as if they were running through the corridors for close to an hour when Markus finally spoke up.

“We’re almost there,” Markus spoke up, “We have one more hallway and then we should be able to blend in with the crowds heading for the escape pods.”

What Markus said did make sense. They had been crossing more and more groups of citizens heading down to the escape pods. A few of them seemed panicked, but most of them were already aware that the threats to the station were over, but also knew that it was protocol they had to follow. All non-station staff would be required to leave, and then a deck-by-deck inspection would occur. The escape pods would be picked up from wherever they dropped on the surface below and the people returned once their safety could be assured on the station.

The planet below was uninhabitable, but they had already made plans to be recovered before the Taerren ships could. Hopefully, this part of the plan would go smoother than everything else so far.

As their group turned the next corner, Markus stopped cold. A man stood at the end of the hallway. He wasn’t blocking their way, but it was clear that he had been looking for them. His black hair was made up in a long elaborate braid that went all the way down to the base of his back. As soon as he saw them, a cruel smirk appeared on his pale face.

He wasn’t ugly. In fact, he might even be considered an attractive man. But something about his eyes, his paleness, and his demeanor reminded Marideen of death and made him seem ugly in her eyes. He was dressed in an unflattering black cloak which spread out as he walked, making himself seem bigger than he was. He looked down his nose at them, his head raised and prideful. He began taking a few steps towards them.

Without a second thought, Berret raised a gun and pulled the trigger. The gun clicked, with no sound. The man laughed as he continued walking towards them in a relaxed confident state.

“Oh my, I think that you will find that none of your weapons will work aboard the Valterra station. What? Nobody told you?” the man’s cruel smirk grew, “an ingenious little invention, I must say I have no clue how it works, but the end result is that any guns that pass a checkpoint are rendered inert. Guards have to leave guns at the checkpoints, and then pick up a new gun once they pass it. A great way to keep things secure, I think. You certainly didn’t do your homework, did you?”

“And who are you?” Marideen growled.

She already knew the answer to that. The braid was an imperial marker. A braid that long and ornate meant one thing, one of the sons of the Lord Regent. His age signaled him as the older one, Demetry.  Everyone around her began to tense as Demetry continued to walk towards them. He was tall, easily as tall as Markus, and despite clearly being an enemy, he seemed to possess no fear or concern of them.

Marideen hoped to use this to her advantage. He was absolutely alone. If they could capture him, capture one of the sons of the Lord Regent, for the first time they would be in a position to bargain. Perhaps they could even rescue her father and whoever else was captured.  Now that he was closer, she could see that his hand rested on the hilt of a sword. Marideen pulled out a pair of knives she kept on her, brandishing them to the enemy in front of her. She cursed that she had not brought the sword Beiromon had taught her with, but the knives would have to do.

As he looked at her knives, he chuckled but made no attempt to draw his sword or answer her question. The whole situation was starting to make her worry. Berret had dropped his gun, also pulling out a knife, and Maximil clung to his gun desperately, looking as if he planned to bash the chuckling prince’s head in with it if he couldn’t do anything else.

“So, you are the notorious Lancers?” He asked, his smile never leaving his face, “You need not worry, I have no interest in you. You are but a passing interest. I am sure my father will be pleased by your capture, but that is a simple boon. You are welcome to a head start if you’d like, but I do ask you if you’d leave him.”

Demetry’s finger came out from his dark robes and pointed directly at Darian. The others glanced at him. Danelle took a step half in front of him defensively. Darian only seemed confused, not quite understanding the growing tension around him, but preparing himself nonetheless.

“You see, “Berret responded, “I don’t believe we agree with your terms.”

Demetry shrugged, “Suit yourself, but I care little one way or the other, Cret Noft Dan Fi.”

With that, Berret lunged at the man. Demetry took one step back. His arms moved faster than Marideen could have ever thought possible. In a single swift motion, Demetry sword was out. It had the slightest curve on the shining blade, now marred with blood. Berrets arm fell to the ground, his knife still in its grip. He screamed as Demetry performed a sweep with his leg, kicking Berret to the side as if he was an empty cardboard box in Demetry’s way.

Berret collided with the wall, his scream cut short when his head slammed into the wall. He collapsed into a heap, unconscious. Marideen was absolutely stunned. She had not seen the sword cut through Berret’s flesh. She had watched the whole thing unfold, but it had been so fast she had not seen it happen. Fear began to course through her body as she glanced back at her sister.

Danelle had a worried look on her face, but she stood her ground protectively in front of Darian, grasping both of his hand in hers from behind.

Maximil raced forward, trying to use the gun to protect himself from the blade. As Demetry pulled the blade around, Maximil managed to get it caught in the gun strap.  Demetry twisted the blade and pulled, the gun coming loose and flying to the side. He backhanded Maximil across the face with the second motion, causing him to fly to the side, landing hard on the ground. Blood struck the wall from where he had hit it.

It was at this point that Marideen noticed he had strange rings all over his hands, which most likely acted much like brass knuckles if anyone ever was struck by one. Before Demetry had time to straighten himself from the last attack, Markus had launched two knives straight at Demetry. Demetry’s blade twisted again in a single arc movement, knocking both daggers to the side. He took two rapid steps forward in the same movement, grabbing Markus by the throat.

His smile was gone. A look of malevolence was now on his face as he began to strangle the life out of Markus. Marideen knew she had to act quickly. She was more than a little good with knives, but she had never seen anything like this man before. Still, she had to try, he was killing Markus.

She went forward with a knife in each hand, beginning to perform offensive routines she had been taught and repeated a hundred times. Demetry threw Markus to the side and began using the sword to defend himself. Quick hands were all that saved Marideen as she began slicing attack after attack at Demetry. Demetry was incredibly fast, but Marideen kept her knives out of his reach, avoiding any direct cuts that he wanted to connect. She knew the second the sword struck either of her knives, she would lose them.

Marideen couldn’t get close; the sword gave Demetry too much advantage. She attempted to close the gap, to prevent him from using the sword, but he seemed to know what she was trying to do and took several steps back. He was smiling once again, the whole process seems a game for him.

“Well aren’t you a spark plug,” Demetry laughed, his nose still up in the air in an obnoxiously arrogant way. “However, you are very much out of your league, and I am in a hurry.”

He spun with a quick motion, his robe swirling. The blade swished by, both knives being struck, flying from her hands. She went to retreat back, but he had anticipated and in the same movement he used to disarm her he had closed the distance. A sweeping kick of his leg and she too flew to the side. Her head banged the wall, causing her entire vision to go white before she crumpled to the floor.

She needed to stop getting hit in the head. She vaguely recalled saying that before. The pain was excruciating. She held her head but tried to regain focus once again. She couldn’t let him defeat her. She started to stand, looking down the hallway.

Danelle stood between Demetry and Darian. Darian, backing up without looking behind him slipped and fell on his butt. He began crawling back away, a look of terror on his face.

“Let Demetry have him!” Marideen shouted to Danelle.

Danelle looked back at her sister. Their eyes met for the briefest moment. A look of resolve came over her face. She leaped at Demetry with a knife in her hands.

In the same quick, deadly precision that Demetry had used on the rest of them, he slid the sword deep in her gut. Twisting the blade, he pulled it out and then rammed it in a second time. Blood began to form around Danelle’s lips as she stared over Demetry’s shoulder at her sister on the floor, her eyes glazing over. Her knife hit the floor, and she didn’t make a noise as she dropped to the ground.

Marideen began to scream.

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