Once Michael quickly skimmed through his status, he muttered “Ugh, it feels like my stomach is tearing itself apart… You’re probably not supposed to just take them like vitamins, huh? Actually, there’s probably some kind of alchemy or cooking skill that makes them edible, hahaha~. Oh shit, it feels like I’m gonna die. Hmmm, my HP isn’t dropping, so it should be fine, right? Sigh, I wish I could lay down for a few minutes, but I’m ninety-nine percent sure that I’ll just get swarmed by adorable death-machines… Usually, things like mana-cores from monsters are ingredients to forge or enchant weapons, so I probably wasn’t supposed to eat it.”
Indeed, humans weren’t meant to consume mana-cores, but there were still plenty who tried. However, to ‘normal’ people, after feeling the horrible pain of that first one, their instincts would force them to stop: assuming that they survived the experience.
Noticing that Michael was slowly losing health, one of the more bloodthirsty bunnies leaped out of the grass, and nearly headbutted the back of his neck. Fortunately for the unsuspecting man, he suddenly released a deafeningly loud, high-pitched “Chuuuu~!” while sneezing towards the mutilated rabbit carcass; strangely enough, his mana-pool actually decreased to 10/15, and a skill was activated.
Not only did he manage to dodge the sneak-attack, but he even gave it a ‘deafened’ debuff, which had a devastating effect on the creature’s Perception. After he opened his eyes again, he furiously complained “Seriously?! Even after dying twice, I still have fucking sinus problems?! Damn it, eww, tissues~, shit, how the hell did people survive before technology?”
It took him a half a minute to blow his nose, while struggling with all of his might to avoid using his filthy hands to alleviate the problem. When he was finally able to slightly breathe out of at least one nostril, he noticed the loud grunting and growling noises all around him.
Then he saw a bunch of floating, holographic text over the tall-grass within a few meters of him; after inadvertently landing an ‘AoE’ disabling ability on all of the nearby rabbits, their ‘hidden’ effect had been nullified, and he could finally go on the offensive. Michael snickered as he reached down and grabbed the long, floppy ears of a relatively small, white-bunny, and lifted it up to eye-level.
Before the critter could scream, he quickly snapped its neck, but didn’t immediately remove its mana-core. Holding the carcass by its long and relatively powerful legs, he quickly turned around and swung it as hard as he could, swatting an incoming rabbit out of the air: causing it to crash into the ground, with tremendous force.
The corpse that he was using, had been broken and twisted, but the other one was in a similar condition. Its intestines and other internal organs had ruptured and was just a total mess. Considering that prior to his abduction, Michael not only had OCD but also severe mysophobia, it was amazing that he could actually function under such a ‘messy’ situation.
However, even while gagging, and complaining constantly, he still managed to use his bare-hands to kill the other five bunnies that were within his sight. Then he finally muttered “Wait a second… this is a game, right? Then there should be some kind of magical, overly-convenient bag, which I can easily put things into and take things out of… Actually, how the hell does all this shit even work? Help? Open storage, show status-screen? Okay then, guess verbal commands are useless…”
After a few seconds of silence, as he made a serious expression, a screen finally popped up in front of his face. It said “Bag One” and had sixteen squares, each of which were empty. When he held the first rabbit up to the top-right corner, it suddenly disappeared, and the blank space was replaced with a grotesque picture of what he placed inside.
Even after shoving all eight of them in the same slot, there was still no sign of there not being enough room. Then he plucked a blade of grass out of the ground, and tested whether or not it would let him stack different kinds of items in the same spots; not surprisingly, it didn’t work.
Once he had finished with the bag, he made the screen disappear, and then brought up the ‘Settings’ menu. Like most video-games, there would obviously be a way for the player to alter the UI, display, sound, gameplay, and various other important factors, which would make their experience as enjoyable as possible.
However, when he selected the gameplay, what he read made him yell “Oh, come on!? Who the hell decided this shit?!” The reason he was so angry, was because all of the settings were ‘locked’ and unable to be altered.
Sexual Content: Consensual Only
Number of Players: 1
Maximum Level: None
Starting Equipment: None
Starting Stats: Extremely Low
Death Penalty: None
Friendly Fire: Off]
Michael sighed, then closed the menu, and muttered “Well, some of those settings aren’t so bad, but I really need to find some damn water. Actually, maybe I could conjure some?” He concentrated for a few seconds, and another screen appeared.
Deafening Noise Level 1: Create a high-pitched and extremely loud sound, infused with mana. Every point of mana is equivalent to one meter of range. Potency is dependent on the Aura stat.]
He remembered sneezing like he normally did, but somehow it had turned into a magical ability. When he thought about ‘activating’ it, he suddenly felt the urge to make a shrill “Beeeeep~!” which lasted for a few seconds, before stopping after he had completely run out of mana.
Michael started laughing hysterically, and couldn’t help but wonder “Is it really that simple? I probably couldn’t create much water with only fifteen MP… Unless I could just directly remove the blood, guts, dirt and other filth from my body?” However, while he was waiting for his mana to regenerate, he looked towards the west and noticed that black storm-clouds were rapidly approaching.
Seeing that, he stopped worrying about trying to use magic to clean himself, and started focusing on a much more important matter: Leveling! After wandering around for a few minutes, he stopped and made a terrible “Niii~!” sound, then glanced around at the floating health-bars of the rabbits that had been preparing to attack him.
Two of the deafened bunnies leaped towards him at the same time, one to the chest, and another aimed at his back. Michael dodged to the right, and both of them crashed into each-other, head-first; they each received and dealt, bright yellow, critical strikes of five, causing their skulls to cave in.
Watching the adorable little critters die, he sighed, while grumbling “Whoever designed this, is such an asshole. I would rather have to fight a bunch of giant cockroaches, than slaughter such cute animals… There better not be a field of kittens after this shit.” Suddenly, his health decreased by five, and a huge chunk was torn out of his left calf; when he looked down, there was a level two grasshopper, which was nearly two feet tall.
There was a horrible chirping noise, as it rubbed its legs together, and Michael felt like his head was going to explode. In fact, the compressed sinuses above each of his eyebrows burst open, along with his eardrums, eyeballs; shortly after that, the blood-vessels in his brain ruptured.
His third death was much more painful and brutal than the first two, but once his pitch-black spirit had appeared, he calmly mentioned “Well, I guess I don’t have to worry about washing myself off anymore…” Once it devoured the mana-core in his brain, the grasshopper began mutating rapidly; its green exoskeleton turned from bright-green to dark-red, and its name became “Blood-Locust.”
The creature’s health went from ten to twenty, and the size increased by at least fifty-percent. Compared to the jump between a regular rabbit and the horned kind, the physical stature didn’t change too much. It was still only going from rank ‘G’ to ‘F’ so the difference in overall stats, compared to the bunnies, depended more upon the allocation.
Once the locust flew away, Michael allowed himself to be ‘respawned’ and his new body wasn’t drenched in blood. He also noticed that even though he was hungry and thirsty before dying, once he came back to life, he felt completely sated.
As he looked down at the filthy, naked, headless corpse, he smirked, and activated his bag. After storing his former body in the first slot, he then continued to shove the two rabbits in number four, along with the other seven.
Right after he was finished with that, he hit an amazingly high note, and held it for a second. There was only one bunny within his range, so he walked over and grabbed it by the ears, snapping its neck and becoming bathed in a bright-white radiance, accompanied by a feminine voice that said “You have reached level two.” in a monotone.