Any similarities to others stories on this or other sites is purely coincidental. Similarities to stories of books and shows may be present from some inspiration, but any inspirations noticed needn't be focused on as despite some unoriginal themes I have my own story for this.
Actions taken by characters do not necessarily reflect the moral values of the author. This story will contain violent themes and some might find certain themes disturbing, including myself.
Chapter 2: No Rest
I woke up not remembering what I dreamt about, but for some reason my right eye felt sore. Maybe it was just the poor sleeping conditions? They still weren't getting a good review, that's for sure.
I got up and stretched my back, "Don't suppose they offer a breakfast too." I said to myself as I finished my morning stretches.
Clang! A sound rung out as someone entered the room in which my cell was located. Turning around I found a man in white priestly robes with a necklace of peacock feathers, he seemed to be keeping a distance from the bars as he stood with two paladin-looking guards, plus the city guard working here.
"Daemon?" He seemed taken aback by something. If I had to guess it'd be the weird eyes and hair. "Fortasse. A heros crediderunt. Sed etiam."
The doors of the cell came open, "Please follow me, my child." The priest said with a gentle smile.
Now we were getting started, "Thank you, sir." I said trying to be polite in my excitement as I stepped out of the cell.
The priest guy lead me out of the jail and into the first proper sunlight I had seen in a bit, as such I had to raise my arm to block the rays from hurting my eyes, at the time this caused me to miss the priest's glare of suspicion. He showed me to a fairly fancy carriage pulled by a massive cat-like creature. "Please, join me." He said as he entered the carriage with his guards. I was all to eager to board as well. The seating was very comfortable and even inside the cabin was ornate. I sat across from the priest and at both his side and mine was a guard each.
"I really appreciate you coming out all of this way for me in this weird situation." I told him as the carriage began to move.
"Oh... not at all. In all honesty such a situation as heroes appearing in our world without our summoning has happened before, but you... you are something unique among them."
Unique? I had to admit, this made me feel real damn special, like maybe I really was the protagonist of this fantasy world. He did pretty well flattering me there, but I guess he had practice with being involved in the summoning and introduction of heroes. Whatever the case it kept me from paying attention to what was really important.
"So any ideas on how I unlock my hero powers?" "Is it possible for me to learn magic?" "There any good blacksmiths in the city?" Were the kind of questions I asked.
"It will come naturally, in time." "With careful study." "There are a great many craftsmen in this city, though I am not well acquainted with any." Were the ways he responded.
Turns out time flies when you're chatting, especially when it's with a pro at stalling. Before I new it we were going through the massive gates of an enormous wall, one I couldn't imagine even the largest of giants breaking through. What we found on the other side though, was not the palace or temple I had thought I'd see, but rotting slums so very different from the glamorous city I had just seen. I wasn't given enough time to question anything as I was suddenly throw out into the mud.
"Good luck, 'hero.' The longest your kind has lasted out here is a week. Do try not to draw to much outside attention when you die." The kindly smiling priest said to me as he started to signal the driver to leave.
Blind rage, something not new to me, overtook my senses as I tried to jump back in to give that liar what he deserved, "You son of a bitc...!" It hurt like Hell, it was real pain. It was real blood. There was no numbing feeling, nothing stopping me from hurting. I just thrashed about in the mud, screaming as blood poured from my eye.
When did I get in this alley? How long had it been since that bastard dumped me here? How did I get the bandaging? I would never truly know. Only thing I did know was that I was alive, as I sat there in the cold filth, doing nothing by keeping my mind focused on the fact I was still alive. I wasn't thinking about anything else other than being alive. Not how to stay alive or how to heal myself. I just wanted to live.
How did I find this shack? It didn't matter. It was somewhere I could sleep. Even if I wouldn't remember what I dreamt of.
What the hell was I eating out of the trash? It didn't matter. I didn't know when last I ate anything. I didn't taste anything, the pain of the infection already made me want to throw up, now I just had to try doubly hard not to.
Their words made more sense as I heard them more. I don't know how anyone in that state could pick up a language as they dug through garbage, but I guess I was just that special.
The sun set below the hills. I sat on the outskirts of the slums watching it with my one eye. My other eyes was wrapped in the cleanest thing I could last find. The rest of me wore the muddy tatters of what was once clothing. My mind was back, at least for the most part. Tomorrow I'd figure out what to do.
I woke up at last to real life. There were medieval slums around me full of races that'd never be seen on earth, yet it was all real. I hadn't at all felt like I was dreaming since the moment I got here, but now it seemed so much more real to me as I lurked in the alleyways.
Give any protagonist a survival situation and it'd just be one more obstacle for the to resourcefully overcome in their journey. I could do that. If I was going to find my heroic destiny then I couldn't let something as simple as thing get in the way.
Where did I start? The tavern? I'd probably get beaten to a pulp. The gates to the true city? I'd probably lose my other eye. A temple? People out here seemed to busy being hopeless mud-dwellers to care about religion. As it turned out not having "Quest Log" or objective "compass" really made things a lot harder in an open world. At least no one bothered asking me questions. In my state I fit right in out here.
I just needed to find something, a plot hook that'd get me on the path. One doesn't typically look for that type of thing in dark muddy paths behind shanties, but I guess they just aren't me. Maybe they have better luck finding stuff with two eyes. Still, it was easy enough to wal... again I found myself face first in the mud. You never know what a good gift depth perception is until it's gone.
"Ey, you alright there, bro?" A boy's voice asked me as he shook my shoulder. Looking up, I found him. His face was covered in the shadows of his hood, but I could make out the face of a human.
I had to wonder how you speak to other people, how to actually bring forth words, how you say words to another person. My throat felt dry, but flooded with mucous at the same time. What came out of my mouth, it would be generous to call it a whisper, but when he leaned down he seemed to get it.
"Okay there, up we go." He said as he dragged me to my feet and threw my left arm over his shoulder. I think he was trying to help me walk there, but it was a lot more of him dragging me than any walking done on my part.
It was through a fence and around some very abandoned shacks that we came to a pretty large barn, a good bit more sturdy and solid-looking that most of the surroundings. A real bed felt like the softest thing ever, no matter what condition it was in. I just wanted to fall asleep right then as he put me on it, but he wasn't ready to let me rest just yet.
"'Right then. Lux." He said as he took a small metal stick, the tip of which began to glow with magic. "Hey, if I'm going to help you I need you to cooperate with me. Could you open your mouth?" I didn't know if I could trust him, but right now I couldn't even raise my arm. I did anything and everything he asked. "Strepped throat, that's no good, but not the worst of it. Your real cold, must of been in that mud a good hour before I found you. Pulse is normal-ish, that's one good thing. This patch though, good job keeping it as clean as you did. The infection would be much worse now if not." He got up a pulled a little metal box hidden under loose floorboard, after which he dug through it. "It's a crude thing, but it's the best antibiotic I've got." He had to assist me, but I managed to swallow the large pill he brought. "Best thing you can do right now is rest. I'll get some stuff to clean you up."
I was still alive, that was something. He seemed nice, I hoped he really was as good a person he seemed. He hadn't tried to kill me yet, and there was nothing for him to steal from me. Maybe he really did want to help.
I was now alone, lying in the corner of the barn, the only light I had came through a few cracks in the walls and a high up window, but the sun wasn't shining directly through it so it wasn't much.
"How long was I asleep?"
"Nine days, but you woke up dazed a few times."
"I was afraid I was still asleep." I said touching the wrappings over my eyes.
"I needed to make sure the infection didn't spread to both." Cold metal brushed against the side of head and I heard a snip as the bandages came loose.
I sat up and opened my eye, "Can I see it?" I asked. I dreaded the idea of what I'd find, but I knew there was almost no chance now that things were not as bad as they seemed.
"I won't stop you, but have this." Glancing over down at his hands I saw him holding a white eyepatch. In that moment I could only imagine the looked of deathly dejection on my face, but I would soon see as he lead me outside to a broken mirror.
My face was cleaner than I had expected, I guessed that my friend had washed it a few times while taking care of me, and I could now clearly see these features that made them label me a demon. My skin was pale as a ghost and free of almost any blemishing. My hair, which had become a long mess hanging at the height of my jaw, was a pure white like the snow. My left eye was yellow and almost lacked a pupil, having just a darker spot of yellow in its place. I took a deep, but shaky breath as I prepared myself. Opening my right eye I saw only with my left, and within the reflection I saw something that made me feel faint as a thin stream of tears came from my eye.
The boy held onto my shoulders and stopped me from falling. He just silently held onto me. I'll never forget how he did that for me.
I waited for a while before I was ready and I took the patch and placed it over my eye and pulled the straps around behind each ear.
"You're not the only one to face their cruelty." He said, and as I turned my head I met his eyes under his hood. His face was fair and beautiful, yet not un-masculine, and his right eye was bright green... his left eye was colored blood with a grey spot in the center.
I felt myself shaking, not in the cold, not in rage or fear, but a form of pitiful empathy. I reached up to my patch, "Why do..."
"I know who I am. I don't need one." His statement wasn't prideful, but rather a solemn acceptance.
I placed my right hand over my patch and I contemplated everything that had happened. Even if it was blurred I still remembered everything I had seen out in the slums, the state these people were in. This boy who stood before me was no different, except that he chose to help me. Still holding my hand over my eye, the goal I felt at the moment seemed clear, "I'm not going to give up. I wouldn't be the hero of this story if I did."
He stepped back and raised a hand near his mouth and giggled a little laugh as the sun came shining out illuminating his cheery smile, "I've never met a hero before."
"Well you have today. My name is Shirokami Michi! I am going to be the greatest hero anyone has ever seen."
"I'm Alos of Moonstone. It's nice to meet you."