Michael snickered as he asked himself “I wonder if this counts as me giving her the mana-core? It would be interesting if she became my Companion, assuming that she survives, heh. Sure, she’s cute as a Goblin, but way too boring for my tastes. Hmmm, okay, stop talking and take the little red pill…”
Jonathan shook his head back and forth, then let out a deep sigh; he told his daughter “Fine, I won’t try to dissuade you any longer…” as he took off the dark-brown gourd from his belt, and poured the crimson liquid into the clay bowl: It was an expensive healing potion, that he always kept in case of emergencies.
Sarah smirked, as she quickly picked up the bowl and placed it to her tips. Her face immediately began returning to normal, as the swelling dissipated, and her health rapidly regenerated to full.
While she was taking huge gulps of the bitter medicine, Michael muttered “Ah, yea, I figured that something like that would be helpful. It would be better if I could learn some healing spells though: I hate using potions. Hell, most consumable stat boosters or recovery items are usually extremely wasteful. Although, I can understand why they would be really useful in a situation where death is a bit more, permanent.”
The moment that the Goblin-girl finished drinking down the entire bowl of bright-red liquid, along with the scarlet mana-core, she immediately noticed a searing pain coursing throughout her body. Blood began pouring from her ears, eyes, nostrils and mouth, as she started coughing violently.
A certain pitch-black wisp was laughing hysterically during the whole transformation. Sara’s skin went from a smooth, dark-green, to a slimy crimson; all the hair on her head swiftly fell out and was replaced by skinny, but thin, pink, spiny worms.
Jonathan shouted “Wh-what is this?! Oh Goddess, please forgive my daughter!” as the girl’s bright-blue eyes turned a milky white. She screamed and wailed constantly, but as soon as her Health started to drop, the healing potion would recover it rapidly.
Sarah was rolling around on the ground as her entire body spasmed uncontrollably. Eventually she started spitting out her teeth, one by one, until there were none left; at the same time, her fingernails and toenails fell off.
Then long, narrow, and incredibly sharp fangs started growing from her bleeding gums. Just when the pain finally stopped and exhausted girl was about to lose consciousness, another strange change occurred.
From the top of her tailbone, a huge blood-worm began growing, tearing open her flesh and squirming around, while spewing a dark-black liquid out of its ‘mouth.’ Sarah screamed “What’s… happening… to me!?” before convulsing violently, and promptly passing out.
Her race changed to “Bloodworm-Goblin, Rank-F” and her maximum health increased to twenty-five. Jonathan knelt down next to his mutated daughter, and hugged her close to his chest while silently weeping.
Michael snickered, and muttered “Pretty bad-ass, still cute too… but she’s probably going to kill me again when she wakes up. I guess it’s not as easy to get humanoid Companions, huh? Well, whatever, it’s not like I forced her to steal the mana-core from me. Speaking of which, that bastard was so pre-occupied, that he probably didn’t even listen to my demands. Ugh, fuck it all, I’m going to sleep… Okay, I’m already unconscious, so I’ll just go loiter somewhere else.”
After leaving the Lorekeeper’s hut, the wisp lazily floated through the dark skies and allowed time to flow by at an incredibly accelerated rate. The crescent moon swiftly disappeared, as a bright yellow sun rose in the east, and the naked man finally opened his eyes.
Inari had wriggled out from under his head, and left the hut, searching for water and food. She wasn’t a house-pet after-all, and didn’t expect a Human to constantly take care of her needs.
As Michael got up, the first thing he did was crack his stiff neck, popping it several times, then doing the same to his back. Damp straw wasn’t as bad as stones, gravel and dirt, but he was used to sleeping on a soft… relatively comfortable, broken, bed; he was just thankful that there weren’t any mosquitoes.
It did seem strange that such a warm and humid place, wouldn’t have that many blood-sucking pests, but he was thankful for it. Of course, he didn’t know that it was because of his Aura stat, which animals and magical-beasts would either be attracted to, or repelled by.
Outside, there was a decent amount of ambient noise. Herds of wild horses neighing, and cattle mooing, in the distance; however, even within the village, children were running around and playing near the beach, while most of the adults were fishing.
Compared to that little stream Michael met Inari at, Riverside was next to a truly large waterway. In fact, it was at least three miles wide, and flowed from the northwest, to the southeast, serving as a natural border between lush green plains, and a vast savanna, with yellow grass.
The unranked Thieves and Warriors, were all either training or hunting for food. Even the elderly Goblins were performing monotonous, but important, tasks.
Michael sighed as he walked half a mile to the south, before urinating in the grass, far away from any people. All the little green men and women who saw him, seemed to either silently curse, receive a ‘terrified’ debuff, or the even stranger ‘charmed’ status.
He muttered “From what I’ve seen and heard, there seems to be some sort of race-war between Humans and Goblins. Well, if it’s anything like most games, stories, and Earth’s history, both sides are probably total assholes. Oi, Inari, stop!”
While he was talking to himself, and urinating in the grass, a dog-sized Triple-Tailed Fox suddenly ran in front of him and then continued to jump around in the yellow liquid. He yelled “Eww… ugh, gross, don’t rub it on me!” as he tried to avoid the excited vixen. Then she ran behind his left foot and tripped the naked man, causing him to become covered in the warm fluid.
Michael picked up the filthy kit, then quickly walked a few dozen meters away, before rapidly releasing twenty gallons of cold water over the two of them. Inari whined and cried the whole time, while trying to escape from his vice-like grip.
Once he had finally calmed down a bit, the two of them returned to Riverside. However, compared to the slightly fearful gazes and expressions of the Goblins towards the naked Human, the moment they saw a rank-F magical-beast, people ran inside of their homes while screaming in terror.
Hearing all the commotion, a groggy old man, with blood-shot eyes and only some leather britches, came out of his rather large hut, carrying an iron battleaxe. Jonathan glared at Michael, who had an indifferent expression, but when he looked at Inari, she growled angrily, before howling a few times with mana-infused into her voice; the level-one “Intimidation” had no effect, because her target was so much higher level than her.
The Lorekeeper sighed, and the naked Human scolded “Bad doggy, no wonder you got killed by that damn cougar. If you see someone who’s stronger than you, don’t antagonize them for fuck’s sake.”
Michael turned back to the Hobgoblin after his Companion started whimpering and ran away, and said “Let me guess, rather than returning the rank-F mana-core to me, you actually allowed your daughter to use it. Ah, but you didn’t use an identification ability on it beforehand… I mean seriously, is it just that you didn’t have one? Hell, if you had been paying attention, you probably would have noticed me switching the black vomit-covered one, with a crimson replacement.”
An oppressive aura was emitted from Jonathan’s body, which intensified with every word that he heard. Then he roared “You… you bastard! So it was all your fault! My beautiful Sarah… you turned her into a hideous monster! Hahahaha~ you might be an otherworlder, but you’re still a Human in the end! I’m going to kill you, over and over again, until you’ve suffered a fate far worse than death!”
Just as he was about to attack, Michael snickered, and casually asked him “Ah, yeah, I’m the bad guy here, right? In case you don’t remember, I was the one who stopped her from swallowing my mana-core, remember? Now, what would have happened to her, if she had managed to digest that little black bead? Not only did I save her life then, I even warned you that she ‘stole’ the damn thing from me… I mean, she is a ‘Thief’ and all, but still, isn’t it a crime to take things from others without permission? Have I demanded some compensation for that?”
Then he continued to complain “No, you’re threatening to murder me, repeatedly, for your own damn mistakes. Besides, I might be weak right now, and you could certainly kill me fairly easily… but how long do you think that would last? It’s not like I have to come back right away, I could wait for days, years, it would only seem like a moment for me, but you would have to be constantly vigilant against my sudden return. Anyway, stop freaking out, it’s not like Sarah’s dead, right? Also, what kind of father calls their daughter a hideous monster?”