[Breeding Talent: Contracted Demons become more fertile, are able to reproduce more quickly and produce stronger offspring. Baby Demons will gain 50% increased experience in combat. Demons of the opposite Sex of you can be Captured more easily. Family Bonds increases experience by 50% and increases Happiness more quickly. Wild Baby Demons will trust you more easily. Other special skills have yet to be unlocked.]
“Wow, Breeding Talent is actually pretty rare. Especially for a kid your age, hehe~…” Dusty smirked, then patiently explained: “Most kids wouldn’t even know how Breeding works, much less have… Five skills unlocked right off the bat! How you did that without ever Capturing a Demon really makes me wonder…”
Michael laughed nervously and averted his eyes, thinking back to the hundreds or perhaps thousands of poor Demons he Bred and threw away in the game, while trying to complete his Capture List. And after that, he immediately started remembering all the Cachimon porn he masturbated to over the years.
“Moving on…” He went back and selected the Element, to find out if it was still the same or not.
[Arcane Element: Capable of learning and teaching Arcane Techniques. Psychic potential. Increases Arcane Damage of all Captured Demons by 50%. Other modifiers have not yet been unlocked.]
The only benefit of Arcane Element in the game was the increased damage, allowing certain builds to become much more useful. The Player could never become a Psychic, while they would actually be able to learn and teach Techniques of all Elements. Which implied that in reality, Tamers generally weren’t as overpowered as the jack of all trades Main Characters.
“You’re pretty lucky, huh.” Dusty sighed, “Psychics can use their powers to see the future, look into the past, even travel to other dimensions. The most important though, is the ability to communicate with their Demons telepathically. Other people need to shout out their moves or use other gimmicks to keep their opponents from easily countering them. Well… You have to watch out for other Psychics or telepaths though, because they might be able to hear your thoughts or even intercept commands, telling your Demons false commands.”
“That sounds really complicated. For now, I’d just like to know how to use this ring.” Michael snickered, rubbing the irritating rusty band with his right thumb and index finger.
“Oh yeah, I almost forgot about that!” Dusty rubbed his grey goatee with his left hand for a moment, before suggesting: “How about this? The Demons on my ranch breed like crazy all the time. And it’s just impossible to take care of them all anyway. I usually send them off to nearby schools for kids to tame or release them into the wild. But… Why don’t I let you pick from the four Starter Akuma I have here in my lab.”
“You just have them laying around here somewhere?” Michael looked around, but could only see a bunch of mechanical equipment, metal desks and chairs… Unless they were already in rings, he couldn’t figure out where they might be hidden.
The fairly short man stood up and walked over to an inconspicuous concrete wall. Placing his hand on it, a metallic sliding door was suddenly revealed. It slid over to the right and a huge wide-open space could be seen. Michael cautiously followed him inside and noticed that they were actually on the top of a grassy hill. He was able to see four distinctly different biomes: A thick green jungle to the left, a scorching desert on the right, a river of magma in the distance and a huge lake in the center. Instead of a ceiling, there was actually a bright blue sky.
“Holy shit…” Michael gasped as he looked around.
Dusty chuckled and asked, “Are you wondering how this is possible? Well-”
“No, I get that it’s some kinda extra-dimensional bullshit.” Michael grumbled, “But are you expecting me to go out there and not die horribly?!”
Even from just a glance, he could see plenty of giant dinosaurs and dragons. Insects the size of houses were buzzing around and the terrain itself was just as dangerous. Not to mention that Michael was still only clothed with a beach towel.
“Of course not! Hahaha~!” Dusty grinned and then shouted, “Yinny! Bring the Starters!” A moment later, there was a pitch-black humanoid figure standing in front of him. It had no distinct facial or bodily features, but its hair was long and wavy, with glittering stars of various colors shining in it.
Without making and sound, the two meter tall Demon stretched out its hands. Then twenty very confused Baby Cachimon appeared on the grassy hill. Dusty smiled and nodded, “Thank you.” After hearing that, the Demon vanished as silently as it appeared.
“These are your choices. Different Countries have their own specialties, but since this is Aurora Town…” Dusty paused for a moment, before sighing and clearing his throat: “Anyway… These were the Starters from back when I was a kid. I’m not sure what the rules are now to be completely honest. Use your phone to look at their information while making your choice. But don’t forget that they aren’t just bits of data. These are living, breathing and thinking Demons. Which will grow along with you. Personality and compatibility is always more important than stats or appearances.”
These were the first four Demons, from the very first Cachimon game. And there were five of each for Michael to choose from. Of course, while they were still babies, they each had their own thoughts. Some tried to escape immediately, but were lost and confused after only walking a few meters away. They had never been to the grassy hill before, so they didn’t know what to do or where to go.
Of course, even without the Akumatech Demonica Phone, Michael was extremely familiar with all four of the original Starters. They were all quite adorable. The first was called ‘Shiba Flare’: A Shiba Inu of the Fire Element. Their fur was generally orange and white, but there were black and white variants as well. They didn’t particularly look magical though.
Michael said “Daw~!” As he looked at the barking puppies, but ultimately decided not to pick one. The Sky Budgies were number four on the Demon List. They were essentially just tiny blue and grey parakeets with Wind Element powers. Most of them directly flew away, while some stayed and looked around curiously, while chirping and playing with the others.
“They all have a lot of potential.” Michael murmured to himself, “And they’re so fucking cute. But I can only choose one.”
He narrowed down his choices between the most adorable, from his perspective at least, and the most useful in the long run. The Sand Cat, which even as an adult, looked like a very small cartoonish tan and white kitten. It had Earth element powers and was the second on the Demon List. Of course, it was most notable as the long-term companion of Dusty James, as he traveled the world in the Anime series. At least in the context of the show, it never Morphed beyond the second Stage. Mainly because it had become an icon of the series and even the franchise as a whole.
When Michael started looking through their stats with his phone, Dusty had a frown on his wrinkled face. He started remembering that partner who was no longer with him. After a few seconds, he finally said: “When you want to form the contract, just reach out your hand and ask the Demon if they want to be your partner. It has to be the hand with the ring on it by the way. In case that wasn’t obvious.”
The other choice, the more logical one, was the Blue Iguana. An aquatic lizard of the Water Element. They were tiny, teal or light-blue, with sharp claws and spines from the base of their head, to the tip of their long tail. Just like all the Starters, they had multiple Metamorphosis Paths to choose from. Their main attraction, aside from growing up to be incredibly large and powerful, was that they could swim, dig, move large objects, destroy barricades or other obstacles and eventually, fly.
On the other hand, all the other Starters were more geared towards other aspects of the game. The Shiba Flare and Sand Cat were the obvious choices if the Player wanted to complete certain side-quests or enter Demon Shows. While the Budgie would be able to fly fairly early in the game and had an Elemental advantage over the first Arena Master.
As far as Stats and Passive Abilities, it didn’t really matter much in the long run. Stats could be trained, while Passives would often chance after Metamorphosis anyway. Michael ultimately narrowed it down to two candidates.
[#2: Sand Cat. Name: N/A. Age: Baby. Sex: Female. Condition: Healthy. Level: 1. Passive: Desert Stalker. Element: Earth. Primary Stat: Agility.]
[Desert Stalker: Agility doubles in Desert Terrain.]
[#3: Blue Iguana. Name: N/A. Age: Baby. Sex: Female. Condition: Healthy. Level: 1. Passive: Amphibious. Element: Water. Primary Stat: Agility.]
[Amphibious: Can live in the water or on land. Earth damage taken is reduced by half. Water damage dealt is increased by half.]
Almost all of the Starter Babies had Agility as their Primary Stat, so it was irrelevant in the selection process. Desert Stalker was only useful under very specific circumstances, while Amphibious was always powerful, since it eliminated a main weakness of the Water Element.
“They’re both so adorable…” Michael was standing on the grassy hill with a little critter in each hand. On the left was the tiny blue lizard that was staring at him with its big yellow eyes. It didn’t make any noise or move around much.
On the other hand, literally, was the ‘meowing’ beige kitten. It was very cheerful and seemed to be saying: “Pick me! Pick me! I wanna go on an adventure and get stronger with you!”
If it was a game, the rules would be much more rigid, so it’d be pointless to even ask. However, reality wasn’t so simple. Michael turned to Dusty, but before he could even open his mouth, the middle-aged man smiled and said: “If they both want to go with you, then there’s no reason for me to stop them. Here, use this.”
Since Michael’s hands were full, Dusty put the dull grey ring onto the boy’s right index finger himself. Then he explained once again, “Go ahead. Say the words and start your journey together. Oh, but make sure it’s from the heart. You have to really mean it!”
“My name’s Michael Cinagra. Do you two wanna go on a motherfucking adventure with me?” The moment he finished speaking, the two rings glowed simultaneously. Then the baby lizard transformed into blue water and the kitten turned into orange sand. The water flowed into the runes on the rusty left ring, while the sand filled the dull grey ring’s engravings.
At that moment, Michael instinctively knew that it was time to do something. He looked at the ring on his left index finger and spoke: “From now on, your name is Alice.” Then he turned to the other and said, “You’ll be called Jasmine Jade.”