Here’s a link to the Prologue in case you haven’t read it yet. The post didn’t go through the first time, so I had to redo it and so people might read this first, thinking it was the start of the story lol. Don’t, it’s not the kinda prologue that you can skip.
“I just had the weirdest fucking dream…” When Michael opened his eyes the next day, he murmured to himself: “Version 25 came out right when I was about to finish the game, and I had to start over from scratch… Then I think I gave birth to a squid?”
As he stood up, yawned and stretched his arms towards the sky, Michael finally noticed that something was seriously wrong. He was in the middle of the woods. Completely naked… And most importantly, in really good shape.
“What the hell?” The black-haired boy’s voice and height were about the same. For that matter, aside from his thick and short beard transforming into very thin facial hair, his features didn’t change all that much. Michael was only 5’6” most of his life, so even though his body seemingly regressed by at least 13 years, he still looked like he could be an adult.
However, looking and feeling were completely different concepts. There were all sorts of aches and pains, not to mention the extreme exhaustion from staying awake for so long… Michael felt completely refreshed. So much so, that he was able to avoid having a single panic attack, even though he was now covered in mud from the wet ground he woke up on.
His eyes were brown and his skin was fairly pale, though slightly tanned compared to his basement-dwelling, hairy adult body. Oh yes, and while he was certainly furry for a 12 year old, it was nothing compared to his previous self.
“So just what the actual fuck happened?” Michael finally decided to explore after a few minutes of shock and confusion. As he pushed his way through the low-hanging tree branches and tall, sharp thorny green bushes, the naked teen finally noticed that he wasn’t totally devoid of any clothing.
He looked down at his surprisingly ‘steady’ left hand and saw a ring on his left index finger. In his entire 26 years of life, Michael couldn’t remember a single day when he decided to wear jewelry of any kind. For that matter, it wasn’t particularly aesthetically pleasing or comfortable.
Silverish, but closer to lead or iron than steel. There were even bits of rust on certain areas. While vaguely familiar characters seemed to be carelessly scratched into the surface. However, as an average ‘American’ who tried to learn Japanese more than once, he only recognized that it was probably Kanji. One of the Japanese alphabets. Of course, for all he knew, it could’ve been Chinese or even some language he had never heard of before.
“Hmmm, wait a second…” As he was struggling to remove the uncomfortable ring, Michael finally remembered why it looked so familiar: “Ain’t this one of those Tamer Rings, from Cachimon?”
The design was roughly the same as the ones from the game he was just playing before ‘passing out’. Essentially, the Tamer Rings were metal or crystalline bands that typically had magical or extremely advanced technological properties, allowing them to capture and hold Demons inside.
“Uh, logically, this is probably just a dream. But still, in the event that it isn’t, I should at least try to figure out where the hell I am and what I’m supposed to be doing?” He grumbled, “If this was a game, at least there would be some kinda quest-log, mini-map or tutorial… Then again, if it’s based off of Cachimon, I already know quite a bit.”
Maybe if it was before he sank hundreds of hours into Cachimon Eternal, he might be totally lost and confused. But he now remembered all of the various Elemental Interactions, and a decent amount of Spells, Passive Abilities and Techniques… Which would come in handy, since he lacked the various items that every Player would receive really early in the game.
All he had was a single, rusty, terrible quality Tamer Ring. He could tell it didn’t already contain a demon, since the etchings were dull and unreadable. One of the main features of those magical instruments, was that only the Tamer who was Contracted with the Demon would be able to read their generic, species name. Before that, it usually just said something like: “Basic Tamer Ring” or in the case of the one he possessed, “Rusty Tamer Ring”.
“Fuck, how do I use this thing again?” Michael rubbed the engravings with his right thumb and murmured: “No wait. In the game, even the fanciest and most powerful ones would stop working after one charge. If this is my only chance to capture something, I can’t take any risks.”
Since the rings were so small, it wasn’t too difficult to believe that Tamers could carry dozens or hundreds of spares around with them. They would usually have pockets, backpacks and purses though.
After he ignored the ring, the naked boy protected his crotch and lower-body with his left hand, while guarding his face with the right. In the simplistic 2D game world, the trees and bushes would’ve been static unmovable, impassable and indestructible barriers for the most part. So the little grove he woke up in before, would’ve been impossible to escape from.
The temperature was fairly warm, so even without clothes, Michael wasn’t too worried about freezing to death. However, it was hot enough that even after only a few minutes of walking, he was starting to sweat and feel dehydrated. Of course, it was a mystery how long he was unconscious, so being thirsty wasn’t particularly strange.
“Um, maybe I was overthinking things?” After walking for a few more minutes, he stopped and started talking to himself again: “Plenty of regular-looking and feeling mosquitoes… Even flies, but no supernatural monsters or Demons yet. Then again, they’re usually hiding in ‘tall grass’ or caves… Well, in the Anime, coming across a Cachimon was rare enough for them to get all excited and freak out. Then again, they usually overreacted to everything.”
Michael snickered as he remembered how the main character of the series, Dusty James, explored a different Country every year or so… For more than twenty years, without ever aging at all. Not only that, but at the beginning of the next adventure, he would seemingly forget most of what happened previously.
“Fuck, I better not be in a coma right now…” He grumbled as he thought about the most ‘realistic’ fan theory regarding the show.
After wandering around aimlessly through the woods, Michael finally reached a clearing. There were scratches, mosquito bites, leaves and mud all over his body. But he was finally able to get a grasp on the topography… Because that clearing was the edge of a huge cliff, with a waterfall running down the side.
“Oh thank God… Thought I was gonna die of thirst!” Without much hesitation or caution, the naked man rushed over to the rocky riverbank. The water was so clear that he could easily see the bottom. He was half-way up a mountain apparently.
“Wait a second, I recognize this place.” As Michael was drinking and splashing the freezing cold water on his body, he looked up towards the distant peak. There were clouds in the way, but he still remembered the scenery from one of the earlier Cachimon movies. Obviously there were drastic differences between reality and an Anime or cartoon, but it was a fairly important spot in the main storyline of the first game as well.
“Mount Aurora…” He looked up past the clouds, yet it was way too bright out to see the famous green auroras that the mountain was named after. There was a waterfall leading all the way up to the peak, which certain aquatic Demons could climb somehow, even while carrying the Tamer on their back. In the movie, they just scaled the cliffs the old fashioned way though.
“Oh shit!” Once he knew where he was, Michael ran back into the woods and hid behind one of the taller bushes. Then he whispered to himself, “Ain’t this a Level-50 Zone? Why aren’t there any Demons here though? It’d be hard to miss a giant fucking gorrilla or two…”
“Oooh~! Oh-ahaha~!” As if the event was prompted by his exclamation, a roar rang out near the waterfall leading to the peak. Then there was a cacophony of other ape-like bellows and cries.
When he gazed over towards the misty area, Michael murmured: “Wow… Even my eyesight reverted back to when I was a kid?” If it was him as an adult, he never would’ve been able to clearly make out the features of those two enormous silhouettes. The gorillas were each nearly three meters tall, standing upright, and wrestling with each other in front of a small lake. They had no fur, but instead, seemed to be made out of uneven boulders. Their eyes, mouths, noses and other sensory organs were clearly flesh-like though. A fairly glaring weakness in their otherwise sturdy bodies.
Surrounding the dueling giants were dozens of smaller apes. Not necessarily gorillas, but a wide variety of apes and even some monkeys. Of course, they were all Cachimon. The demonic creatures were mostly of the Earth Element, but that didn’t necessarily mean that they would be made out of stone. Some of them just had brown, black or silver fur. Quite a few were Dual Element Demons, usually Earth and Nature.
It was fairly easy to tell, since the Nature related creatures tended to be covered in moss, vines or simply looked more similar to their original animal state. With its legs crossed and floating in the air in front of the waterfall, there was an old white-furred orangutan. He was meditating there with his psychic abilities, which generally came from the Arcane Element. There was also a long fu manchu-styled beard, and a simple stone crown sitting on his head.
Michael muttered, “Two Gorilla Golems, an Orangutan Zen Master, all of which should be at least level-fifty… But those little apes should be a lot weaker. Even if they’re at a high level, their Stats would still be total shit. They might have higher Agility though… Either way, I’m not stupid enough to try and catch one in this situation. Hell, this ain’t a game or a cute cartoon. They might literally rip me to pieces for intruding on their territory…”
If it was an event in a game, he would have been able to save and reset until he escaped or completed it perfectly. On the other hand, if it was based on the Anime, the main characters were pretty much invincible and it would always end with them becoming good friends with the giant horde of monsters. Either that, or they would use their plot armor to survive and thrive.
On the other hand, Michael had another form of protection: Basic common sense. He simply backed away slowly and as quietly as possible, even crawling on the ground at certain points in order to avoid attracting any attention. Occasionally, he could hear birds crying out or distant explosions. Screeching and roaring were pretty normal in such a dangerous environment.
Finally, he made it to the side of a hill and carefully climbed and slid down. Once he plopped down onto the wet, green grass, Michael let out a sigh of relief. The reason? He was able to see the small starting village from the edge of that huge plateau. It was Aurora Town, in the center of Aurora Valley, at the base of Aurora Mountain… The naming sense in Cachimon was generally pretty simple.
“Holy shit…” Michael walked along the dirt path for a few hundred meters and finally made it to a cross section, which had signs pointing in various directions. The one he came from said ‘Aurora Mountain’, to the right was ‘Aurora Town’ and straight forward said ‘Springfield Orchard’.
He immediately took a right. Trudging slowly down the surprisingly long and winding path. In the game, it only took a few seconds, but in reality, it was three miles in total distance. There were trees, bushes, and plenty of suspicious ‘tall grass’ on the sides of the road. Michael flinched every time he heard squeaking or chirping sounds. Especially the clucking.
“Fuck my life!” He shouted as a tiny critter leapt out and scratched across his left cheek with its sharp claws.