“Nyahahahaha~, bacon~! Omnomnomnom~!” A strange and mysterious talking bright-blue kitten was standing on a ceramic plate and greedily devouring a strip of colossal, ‘magical’ pork-belly.
There was a huge pigman sitting across the table, casually using a knife and fork to cut apart a thick chunk of ham. The majority of those enormous dead hogs were kept in the easternmost house of the cul-de-sac; they had a garage, which was converted into a gigantic cold-storage unit, for keeping large quantities of raw meat.
A pitch-black pair of chopsticks appeared in Michael’s right hand, as he reached down onto his plate and picked up the piece of bacon, which Jasmine was nibbling on. It broke in the middle and he casually raised it up to his mouth, placing the large strip of pan-fried, greasy pork, onto his tongue.
The Nephilim savored the flavour, as he slowly chewed it and eventually swallowed. Finally he smirked at the angelic woman to his right, complimenting “This is definitely the most delicious bacon that I can ever remember eating in my entire life.”
Delilah smiled wryly, picking up a piece from her plate with her fingers and biting off a bit. She muttered “I think I burnt it… and I hate pork… but thanks, I guess?”
To her right was a cheerful goat-girl, munching on a hunk of roasted boar, with a side of giant corn on the cob. Linda giggled, “Mama, don’t be so cranky; ya finally snapped outta that weird vegan-trance, so I ain’t lettin ya go back ta the ‘green’ side!”
On Michael’s left, was a group of what ‘appeared’ to be small children, but their long and pointed ears revealed their true elven nature. Luke was closest to him, since they were actually ‘best friends’ at one point in time. The little boy asked “So Mike… You saw Arcana’s blog-post, right? The one about the treasure-hunt…”
“Yeah, the ‘Legacy’ nonsense, right? How does that actually work anyway? I mean, am I allowed to ‘play’ Kana’s little game, or if it’s only available to super-noobs like you guys?” The Nephilim continued to eat a few slices of honey-glazed ham and strips of bacon, as he spoke.
Linda wondered “What’re ya’ll talkin bout? Some video-game?”
The giant gorilla-man who was sitting next to her father, started laughing hysterically. Then he answered “Nope, this is reality! Supposedly, in the ruins of cities and towns all over the world, Arcana placed a bunch of magical ‘Artifacts’. From what I read on the forums, no one really knows what they actually are… but from the way it’s described, you can basically use them after you die.”
Michael sighed, explaining “They’re probably ‘Soulbound’ items, like these OP chopsticks…” as the eating utensils transformed into a two-foot long gladius, and then settling on a large fork. Everyone was fairly shocked after witnessing that strange display, but he just casually continued “Yup, this is like a Legendary weapon though… I have no idea if the so-called ‘legacies’ are better or worse. If I had to guess, then I’d say they probably scale to your current level? Of course, they could also just be a trap, hahahaha~! Like, you find these awesome weapons and armor or whatever, then when you ‘die’, your soul might end up sealed inside of them! That’d be fucking hilarious, right?”
Beatrix glared at him from the left end of the table, grumbling “No, it wouldn’t be funny at all… That would be horrible.”
He snickered, telling her “Oh calm down~, I was just kidding, okay? I mean, if you really wanted to shove your soul into a magical item, for whatever reason, you’d probably have to ‘pay’ Arcana to do it for you. Either that, or you’d have to gamble with her… It’d be better to just do it yourself though.”
Iris yelled “Wait a second, how the fuck do you know all this shit anyway?”
Michael bit down onto a piece of bacon and shrugged, “Who knows? I’m probably just making it up as I go along, or maybe I’m tapping into some secrets of the universe?”
“Nyah~, Mikey’s brainbox is all scrambled… Nomnomnom~, he’s super-bad at remembering stuffs!” The little kitten jumped across the table and landed onto a huge chunk of roasted ham, and started tearing it apart with her tiny paws and adorable teeth.
The Nephilim muttered “And this is coming from JJ, the crazy pussy. Besides, your memory is probably worse than mine…”
Luke sighed, “Okay, assuming that this isn’t some sort of extremely obvious trap, we should probably get as many of these ‘Soulbound’ items as possible, right? So, I’m thinking that while we need to leave pretty much everyone here, to defend our ‘base’, we also have to send out a small group into Topeka to investigate…”
After a few seconds passed, Beatrix whispered “It’s you Michael, we all voted to send ‘you’ on a recon mission. Just scout the area and come back; you don’t need to do anything ‘too’ dangerous…”
Iris frowned, complaining “Bullshit, I never voted for this… If there really are some awesome ‘magical’ items in the town, then I’m definitely going! I don’t care if I have to go by myself, but I’m the Queen of Hearts, so I should have at least a few other people in my team…”
Kelsey yelled “What other people?! This is ‘it’! Our whole organization is down to the five of us, plus you apparently!”
The pigman suddenly stopped stuffing his face and asked “Are ya’ll playin poker er somethin? I haven’t played in years, but count me in… Money ain’t really worth much anymore, so we should play fer guns en bullets!”
Beatrix murmured “No, Dad, it’s our new ‘titles’… I’m the Ace of Spades, Luke Lucas is the King of Diamonds, Gabriel is the King of Clubs, Kelsey King is the Queen of Diamonds, Lee is the Jack of Diamonds and… the ginger, is the Queen of Hearts.”
“Nyah~! I wanna play too~! Hehehe~, I’m Jasmine Jade~, also known as Pinkeye Pussy-Cat!” The adorable kitten excitedly stood on her hind legs and made a ‘begging’ pose, which seemed oddly sinister.
Michael cringed, grumbling “No you ain’t picking such a stupid fucking nickname goddamn it! If we’re going with playing cards, then I’m the ‘Crimson Joker’, you’re the ‘Pink Joker’ or PJ for short, Sarah’s the ‘Obsidian Joker’ because ‘Black Joker’ was this really bad anime about… Ya know what, I don’t even remember anymore!”
Jasmine jumped around randomly and then started rolling on his empty plate, yelling “Oh, then, un~, Elly would be the ‘Creamy Queen’ and, and Ally would be the ‘Orange Dragon’ and um~, Foxy could totally be a ‘Super-Scary, Ginormous, Mega-Monster, Doggy, Thing’?!”
He sighed dramatically, grabbing the tiny kitten with his right hand and shoving her into his mouth. After chewing a few times, she entered a slimy state and he was easily able to swallow the strange creature whole.
Everyone stared at him as if he was a horrible demon, until he shouted “Seriously, she ain’t dead, so stop glaring at me like that!” Suddenly, a furry black cat-tail erupted from his throat, as he gagged and choked; however, he immediately pushed it back down, before closing his mouth.
A few seconds passed and he finally said “I have no idea how, but JJ is totally chilling somewhere inside of my body right now. There’s a black crow in there too… It’s not ‘really’ in my stomach, but some kinda weird, extra-dimensional pouch? Something like that… The point is, you’re right Trixie, I really shouldn’t stay here with you guys. I mean, let me know if you have trouble in the future and I’ll try to help you out as quickly as possible; it’s just that, the longer I’m here, the more dangerous things will get for the rest of you. I could accidentally sneeze and trigger some kind of magical-spell I don’t completely understand, killing everyone instantly. There’s also the fact that Jasmine is a motherfucking psychopath and might murder you all in your sleep; Sarah would definitely spread some kinda horrible disease or turn you into zombies for fun. As for the others… I have no clue what could happen, so I should get outta here soon.”
Luke muttered “I was going to offer to go with you, but now I think you should probably spend some time umm, figuring yourself out a bit? Like, away from anyone you don’t want to ‘accidentally’ get killed…”
As Michael was holding a glass in his right hand and drinking iced tea out of a pink straw, his irises abruptly turned bright-blue, and his pupils became vulpine. Then he growled, angrily munching on the straw, eventually swallowing the piece of plastic and smacking his face into the brim of the cup.
A long and dog-like, thin pink tongue shot out of his lips, which he used to hastily slurp up the cubes of frozen water, along with what little tea was left. Once that was done with, he squeezed the glass and shattered it, but continued to devour the broken shards.
However, the moment he sniffed the air and glanced around, he roared “Meat!” Dozens of glowing green vines erupted from his mouth, wrapping up everything from bacon, to hunks of glazed ham or roasted pork. The tendrils pulled it all, including the bones, plates and metal utensils, into a ball, which he attempted to fit into his mouth.
Seeing that it was useless, he growled as he vomited out a glob of putrid purple goop, that swiftly dissolved most of the material. Then he somehow managed to slurp everything up, along with the terrifying vines, amidst the horrified screams of Linda, her mother and the giant gorilla-man.
When all of the food on the table was totally consumed, Michael’s irises turned back to their usual crimson color and his pupils rounded. He licked his lips with a ‘normal’ human tongue and noticed that everyone was staring at him strangely again. “So~, like I was saying earlier… I should probably leave before anything weird happens, ya know?”