Agent of the Multiverse: Evenicle
A New World
In a hidden room in a hidden castle in a far off shard of a shattered universe sat two people, both very different and yet closely connected. One was male, with dark black hair and clad in smooth white robes embossed with golden patterns, a pure white sword hilt strapped to his side. He bore an expression of annoyance, as he often did these days, as he looked upon his partner rummaging around, half her body hidden away in a hole of darkness.
"You should be more careful," he warned. "Any further and you'll fall right in."
A snorting laugh returned to him as she popped out of the hole with an insufferable grin on her face. "As if I'd fall for something that simple," she told him as she stood up to her admittedly limited height, only coming up to his chest. She was dressed in an off-white kimono with a black shawl and tresses, held together with dull red ribbons the same color as her eyes, while her ice blue hair was pulled back into twin tails by a pair of black ribbons.
In her arms was a pile of manga of all styles and colors, a few falling out of her grasp onto the floor as she smirked at him.
"And what about that time you did fall in?" the man taunted as she let the rest drop and started sorting through them, tossing them seemingly at random over her shoulder as she went.
"Incidental, and not at all a big deal." She picked up one lengthy tome, flicked through it rapidly, then grunted and threw it away like the rest. "Besides, I needed some new reading material at some point, might as well grab it in bulk."
The man sighed, ignoring the few books that bounced off his chest in her hasty throws. "I don't know why you bother with grabbing so many. You barely read them in the first place."
"Well I don't need the whole thing anyway," she retorted. "Just the summary. But so many of them put too much detail into it, ruins the narrative."
Pinching his nose to keep his frustration bottled up, the man looked down at her and said, "Most people would say the opposite is true."
"Those people would be wrong. Subjectively."
Eventually she sat up from her pile, which had been much diminished by her random 'sorting', and huffed with annoyance. "Not a single one has the emptiness I'm looking for. They all have too much plot, too much character. I need the raw story, not the fluff!"
"Why don't you just make them up?" he asked her, then grunted as a book was thrown straight as his head hard enough to knock even him for a loop.
"Arthur you dolt, that will never work!" she shouted at him. "I can't make this stuff up, if I did then it would be hollow!"
Glaring up at her from the floor, he said, "Isn't that the point though, Qu?"
"No! Not even close!"
The argument continued for a while, as it usually did, ending as it always does with Qu sitting atop Arthur with a lewd grin and him paralyzed beneath her, trying not to show his excitement at her attention. Then, like usual, she yawned and slid off him, ignoring his wanting expression for the split second it appeared and was replaced by his typical scowl.
It was a routine they'd played out hundreds, maybe thousands of times by now, but neither of them tried to think about the years and centuries like that. The madness of it got boring after a while.
"Well all that was a bust," Qu said as she torched the pile of manga without leaving even a trace of soot on her floor. "Maybe the next search will be better."
Arthur rolled his eyes and turned his attention to the magivision while she opened her gravity portal again and started to dig through it. His attention was immediately pulled back though when he heard a female voice screaming through the portal, turning to see Qu get flung through the air along with another form that launched itself out of the darkness and smacked into the wall hard enough to leave a dent.
A quick glance showed that Qu was fine, as he expected, so he looked back to the girl slowly sliding down the wall into a crumpled heap on the floor. Suspicious and cautious as was his wont, he flashed his uniform into existence, white armor clad in green cloth embroidered with gold. He held his shield-clad arm in front of him, forgoing pulling his sword off his back for now, at least until he knew whether or not the intruder was a threat.
"Qu, did you mean to pull a person through?" he asked in a low voice.
Qu moaned deliriously for a moment before shaking her head vigorously to clear it. "What? No, of course not! She was already flying at me when I opened the portal up!"
Arthur blinked in surprise, then looked back at the girl and tilted his head. "Well if you didn't mean to bring her here… who is she?"
Edging forward slowly Arthur got close enough to poke the girl with his boot, which drew a loud 'Ouch!' from the girl and got her to look up at him. Her eyes were a dark silver, like the root of a sword, while her hair was deep orange like the sunset, long enough to reach her shoulders in an untamed tangle. She wore a curiously patterned set of clothes, with varying patches of dark green and lime-blacks that did weird things to his vision. Strapped to her belt was a curious item, an L shaped metal block with strange carvings and etchings in it.
"Who… are you?" he asked, his bewilderment leaking into his voice.
"I could ask you the same question," she retorted, standing up before him and immediately slipping into a prepared stance he could tell was defensive, even without recognizing the form. Now that she was standing, he could get a better look at her figure, and being a male with much experience in the field, he was quite impressed. Her clothes cut off at the midriff and upper thighs, showing creamy white skin that had undercurrents of muscle, showing a measure of strength unusual in women this fine. Her breasts were, if not exceptional, then quite fine in their own right. A handful worth each, and rather perky.
"Done checking me out, wise guy?" she taunted, forcing him to refocus at her glaring face.
"You haven't answered my question," he said, ignoring her statement. "Who are you, and why are you here?"
The girl pursed her lips, folding her arms over her chest. "The second answer feeds into the first, so I'll give that one after I get a bit of information myself. Where am I exactly? And I don't mean geographically, I mean metaphysically."
"You are in the World of Eve," Qu answered the girl, a sly grin on her face. "One of the shattered shards of a larger world broken apart a long, long time ago. Specifically you're in the shard that has the Right Arm of the Archfiend in it."
Arthur looked at Qu out of the corner of his eye, confused as to her answer, but to his surprise the girl seemed to understand her. "The World of Eve, huh? Must be a meta-plane I haven't heard of before. Still, I suppose this is my new assignment, so I'd better get up to speed. Any world-threatening events on the horizon you need my help with?"
Arthur blanched, both at the suggestion of such a looming future and the nonchalance of the girl for suggesting it. "We have no idea what you're talking about! This world is peaceful and stable, with only the threat of monsters as a danger to mankind!"
Qu patted him on the arm as he spoke, breaking him off from continuing as he looked to her with confusion. "I don't see anything in particular coming our way, but if you are who I think you are, there's going to be some major shake ups in the near future."
"W-what? What are you saying Qu? What shake ups?"
The girl quirked her eyebrow at Qu, a slight smile growing on her face. "You know what I am?"
"I have my suspicions," Qu told her. "Though your responses give you away pretty well. And if I'm right, you're going to be very helpful in the coming trials. But… before I let you go…" Qu sported a sneaky grin, and for a second Arthur was worried more than confused about everything.
"I want… to ask you a question."
The girl shrugged, then motioned. "Shoot."
Arthur wondered at the exact meaning of the girl's word but Qu seemed to get it just fine.
"What… is your story?"
Arthur groaned and couldn't stop himself from facepalming. "Seriously, Qu?"
"It's a legitimate question!" she yelled at him.
The girl watched their back and forth with a grin, then cleared her throat to get their attention. "You want my story, huh? Well, there's plenty to choose from, but I think I'll go with the simplest one. I show up, I see a problem, I fix the problem, I make things better. The end."
Arthur felt his mouth fall open, then slam shut as he looked at Qu, his face going white as he saw her unbearably wide grin.
"Oh I'm going to like you," Qu said nastily. "I'll let you get started then. I think I see just the right moment to send you to for the start of this little adventure. See you in a few weeks!"
"Wait, what do you mean by t-AAAAH!"
With a snap of her fingers one of Qu's portals appeared behind the girl on the wall, sucking her inside before immediately snapping shut again. Arthur turned to Qu, dozens of questions on his face.
"What in the hell just happened? Who was that girl, why was she here, and where did you send her?"
Qu snickered, then flicked her finger at his face, causing him to flinch from the puff of air that was sent into his eye.
"You ask too many questions, Arthur. She already told you everything you need to know. Her story, through 'til the end."
Arthur rubbed his eye, grumbling as he did before glaring down at Qu. "That wasn't a story, that was a mission statement. A story is all the details that go around the plot to make it interesting!"
Qu rolled her eyes at him. "Oh fine, be that way then. We'll watch her story unfold for ourselves so you can get all the answers you seek. Happy?"
Happy he wasn't, but intrigued he most certainly was. Qu was never one to much care for current events beyond the responsibilities of her station, but if she was actively paying attention this time… He shuddered as he realized the implications.
Whoever that girl is, important things are going to happen to her or from her. And there's no telling what they'll be…
Reluctantly he settled in next to Qu as she flipped the magivision to a new channel, one which showed a peaceful looking beach with two people strewn out on the sand.
The beach was quiet at this time of day, all of the local beach goers having too much work to do to hang around and enjoy the surf. Despite that though, a pair of people were out on the sand, both oblivious to the world around them as they snored so loud they disturbed the fish testing the waters under the waves.
One was a boy clad mostly in blue, a simple shortsword in his outstretched hand, his mussy brown hair matted with sea-water. The other was an orange-haired girl with a black shirt and silver skirt, with a plain mace laid out in the sand next to her. Neither seemed to be able to wake the other up with their snores, despite how loud they were. The noise did attract some attention though, as a girl with cascading blonde hair stepped out onto the beach, gaze quickly moving to the two people snorting loud enough she could hear it from the fields beyond the beach.
"Wow, those two are loud," she muttered to herself as she studied them from the head of the beach. "It's a wonder no monsters have shown up. Hmm… it looks like they can defend themselves though, with those weapons on hand." Curiosity getting the better of her, she trotted down the beach, careful not to get sand in her boots, approaching the pair to get a better look. Her eyes were drawn to the boy first, and somewhere inside her she felt a spark of something she couldn't quite recognize. "He's kinda cute, for a snorer."
She knelt in the sand next to him, studying his boyish features. Even while asleep, the boy had a cheerful grin on his face, one that exuded excitement and energy, along with a hint of something more… perverted? She had to be imagining that. She grinned, struck with a sudden and amusing thought.
Well, no one else is out here aside from that other girl… I can probably get away with it.
Moving carefully she moved to straddle the boy's chest, settling herself down gently on his body.
When he wakes up he's going to get a very nice surprise, she thought to herself.
It didn't take long for him to wake, his eyes blearily opening up to stare at her. It took him a few moments to process the sight of her, but when he did his eyes widened incredibly fast, and she had to suppress a snicker.
"Uh… h-hello there," he said haltingly, obviously shy.
"Hello," she returned with a cheerful tone. "Glad to see you're awake. Who are you?"
"M-my name's Asterisk, but everyone calls me Aster."
Cute name, she thought to herself, while saying aloud. "Nice to meet you Aster. I can call you Aster, right?"
He nodded with a small grin. "Sure, I don't mind. So, uh… where are we?"
He doesn't know? She asked herself, her grin slipping a bit. "We're on a beach near Abel. I just found you sleeping here. Do you not know how you got here?"
"I'm going to guess no," she answered for him. Then she looked down at where his eyes were and grinned. "A bit distracted are we?"
"I WASN'T THINKING ABOUT YOUR ASS!" he blurted out, his face lighting up red as he went stiff as a board.
Oh yes you were, but she didn't call him on it. "So, are you sure you're okay? I see that you're all wet, and you were sleeping for a long time… did you get lost in the surf and have to get saved?"
The boy - Aster, she reminded herself - fell silent, forgetting his embarrassment as he started to think. "I… I don't remember. All I remember is swimming really hard, then there was this flash of light and… that's it."
"A flash of light? Hmm…" Riche looked over at the other girl, who was still snoring away, more softly now. "What about her?" Riche asked as she pointed Aster's attention the girl's way. "Do you remember her?"
Aster looked that way, eyes squinting as he studied the girl. To Riche's surprise, he kept his attention serious instead of checking the other girl out. At least at first, if his slowly growing grin was anything to go by.
"Uh… no, not re… Wait… I think I actually do remember something."
"In the flash of light, I think… I think I saw something orange in it. Orange like her hair."
Riche's eyebrows rose as she looked back and forth between the girl and Aster. What in the world happened here? Looking back down at him, she summarized, "So you were out for a swim, in regular clothes, and happened to see a flash of light with her in it, then the next thing you know you're here on the beach?"
Aster took a moment to think it through, then nodded with a shrug. "I guess so. I have no idea what happened. All I know was I was trying to reach the mainland…"
"The mainland?" Riche asked. "Were you on a boat that sunk then?"
"Nope," Aster answered. "I was swimming here from my island. Fresh Fish Island, way out that way." He pointed off in a random direction out to sea.
"Wait… you swam here from an island out to sea?" she clarified. "How… how far did you swim?"
Aster shrugged again. "No clue. I just kept swimming and swimming forever until I reached shore. I guess I kinda did, or else I wouldn't be here talking to you… with you on my…"
Riche grinned again, enjoying his bright blush. "That's very impressive, being able to swim that far. Most people couldn't do that."
Aster's blush deepened, but so did his grin. "Well, I mean… I just really wanted to get here, so I kept going no matter how tired I was. Funny, I don't feel tired anymore. I must have slept really good!"
"With all that snoring, probably." Riche giggled at his confused expression, then both of them turned as they heard the other girl stop snoring and watched her rub her eyes.
"Wha's a… who's… wha's happenen?" the girl said incoherently as she sat up.
"So you're awake too, huh?" Riche asked, drawing the girl's eyes towards them. Her eyes were a striking silver color, like that of a set of plain armor, but with a bit of shine to them.
"Awake? Oh hell, don't tell me I arrived sleeping again!" Riche didn't know what to do, so she just nodded, prompting the other girl to groan and fall back on the sand again. "Just fucking typical," the girl bellyached. "I come in asleep and miss everything!"
She has a mouth, Riche noted idly, before saying, "Do you remember what happened before you were asleep?"
The girl looked like she was about to answer, then reconsidered, pondering. "Last I remember… I was falling from somewhere…"
"Was it from up there?" Riche asked, pointing up and out to sea. Both the boy and girl looked up where she was pointing, seeing a giant floating island high up in the sky, passing between layers of clouds as birds floated around it.
"What the… okay… this is definitely not a normal world," the orange haired girl said.
"Oh hey, Sky Island. I didn't know it was passing through this area," the boy said, then turned to the other girl. "Did you come from up there?"
"That's what I wanted to ask," Riche teased, reminding the boy that she was still sitting in his lap, causing his blush to return.
The orange haired girl looked up at the flying landmass and shook her head. "I'm pretty sure I'm not. I don't think I was falling through the air normally. I think I came out of a portal."
Riche looked up at her in shock, then gasped in delight. "A portal?! Then you really must be an angel!"
Riche nodded, waving at Sky Island again. "The Island is said to be blessed by Mother Eve, and Mother Eve is rumored to have legions of knightly angels in her service up there! Are you sure you're not one of them?"
The other girl shook her head again. "Pretty sure. At least… not this time."
"Never mind that," the girl told her. "I… wait, I just remembered… I DID fall out of a portal! I remember because I fell on top of somebody! Somebody with brown… hair…" She looked at Aster, suddenly wincing. "Um… sorry about that. I think I must have landed on you when I came out. My bad."
Aster just grinned and shrugged, as best he could while Riche was still sitting on him. "It's okay, you didn't mean to. So, uh… does that mean you were what knocked me out?"
"Musta been," the girl answered. "And I think I'm also the one who carried you to shore before passing out myself." She sighed, thunking herself in the forehead. "Note to self, work on new body's cardio when the time allows."
"New body?" Riche asked. "So if you aren't an angel, what are you? An alien, a monster girl who achieved sentience? A mythical dragon?"
The girl shook her head at all of those, but had a clear smile on her face. "Oh I can tell this world is going to be a fascinating place, but no, I'm not any of those things. I'm… well, to put it bluntly, I'm a traveler from another world."
Riche's eyes lit up and she squealed even more excitedly than before. Even Aster seemed shocked, so much so he didn't react when Riche leapt out of his lap and launched herself at the other girl.
"Oh Eve, a world traveler?! That is amazing, you have to tell me everything! Oh I have so many questions, I don't even know where to begin!"
The orange haired girl flopped to the sand as she was glomped by Riche, grunting as Riche started shaking her as she pummeled her with questions. "Woah, woah, slow down there! There'll be plenty of time for answering questions once I have a few answers of my own. To start, who are you, and where are we?"
Riche, flushed with embarrassment at her overreaction, backed up to give the girl some space. "My name is Riche, and you're near Abel, in the country of Eden." She waved her hand back at the boy, saying, "His name is Aster, and he's from an island out to sea somewhere."
"It's called Fresh Fish Island," Aster explained as he approached, standing unsteadily in the sand, his shortsword in hand. "How about you? What's your name?"
The orange haired girl cleared her throat. "It, uh, varies sometimes by location, and mission, but let's go with… Bella. Short for Bellator. Last name… Vagus."
Riche tilted her head at 'Bella'. "That's a very odd name. I've never heard anything like it before."
Bella shrugged. "It's from another language. Plus my name tends to shift all the time, so I tend to go by codenames anyway. This is one of my more common ones. So… now what?"
Riche opened her mouth to answer, trying to pick one of her hundreds of questions to choose from, but was paralyzed with indecision. There was so much she wanted to know, how could she ask it all at once? How could she choose which to ask first?
"Hey, uh… did you technically save my life?" Aster asked Bella, to which Bella blinked.
"Um… I guess, but I'm the one who put you in danger in the first place, so I think we're already even. Don't worry about it."
Aster nodded but smiled at her. "Alright, well, thanks anyway." He looked at Riche and added, "And thanks for helping us out too."
Riche looked at him funny. "All I did was tell you where you were, though."
"Still helped," Aster told her, to which Bella agreed. "So, hey, since you know your way around here, do you think you could tell me what I have to do to become a knight?"
"A-a knight? You want to be a knight?"
Aster nodded. "Yep. It was the whole reason I swam out here in the first place!"
Bella quirked an eyebrow at the conversation. "What is a knight, exactly? I know the word, but I'm curious what it means around here."
Riche grinned, glad for a chance to educate a person from another world about her own home. "A knight is a guardian who fights to protect people from monsters and outlaws. They are blessed by Mother Eve to have the restrictions of her laws removed from them conditionally, so that they may do the things that others can't to keep the world safe."
"And they can have multiple wives!" Aster interjected. "That's why I wanted to be a knight in the first place, so I could marry my sisters!"
"Wait, your sisters?" Bella asked incredulously.
"I mean, they're not really my sisters," Aster explained. "They're more like my best friends back home. They looked after me and cared for me as I was growing up, and I really care about them. I… I proposed to both of them because I just couldn't choose one, so that's why I have to be a knight. That way I can have both of them as my wives!"
Bella looked completely confused at what he was talking about and looked askance at Riche for an explanation.
"So you only want to be a knight so you can have multiple girls huh?" Riche huffed in slight annoyance, but she found she couldn't be mad at someone so earnest. She turned to Bella and said, "Most people can only marry one person, according to one of Mother Eve's two laws. Her laws say that no one may kill another person, and no one may marry more than one other person. If they disobey those laws, they become an outlaw, and are stripped of Mother Eve's blessing, meaning they can't make or grow anything by their own hands."
Bella's eyes shot up in shock. "Wow… that sounds very… strict. I assume these laws are… magically enforced?"
Riche nodded. "Yes. If anyone breaks the laws, they have a black ring show up on their finger. That way anyone can tell who is an outlaw just by looking. Not all outlaws are evil, of course, but a lot of them end up becoming evil even if they weren't simply because they can't live any other way. Their sins corrupt them into a worse being, something less than human…"
"Nasty," Bella commented. "Though, again, seems harsh. Still, I suppose I should learn more about the system before criticizing." She looked at Aster, smirking. "So, trying to woo both of your 'sisters' at the same time, huh? Think you're up for it? Think you're man enough to be able to satisfy both of them?"
Aster looked unsure for a moment, then steeled his gaze and looked her dead in the eye, saying. "Absolutely. I love my sisters, and I will do my very best to make sure I am worth it for them, no matter what."
Bella hummed, a small grin on her face. "Determined and empathetic. Off to a good start I think. So, these knights… I assume they go on adventures to rid the world of evil and the like?"
Riche shrugged and answered, "Some of them do, but most stick to their home country to protect the people living there. There's always so many monsters and outlaws out there, there's usually not much time to go exploring to solve problems elsewhere."
"Still sounds like my kind of job," Bella said. "Protecting people and fighting evil are what I do literally everywhere I go. So you know what? I'm following Aster here so we can both become knights. Sound good?" She offered her hand to Aster, who looked surprised then pleased, taking her hand and shaking it firmly.
"That's great! Having a cute girl to fight alongside will make being a knight even better."
Bella lifted an amused eyebrow at him. "Think I'm 'cute' huh?"
Aster suddenly lost all his confidence, stammering out, "W-well yes, I mean… you have really pretty hair, and your eyes are stunning, and you have nice boobs too."
Bella coughed, but was still grinning. "Forward, but polite enough I guess. Besides, you're not half bad yourself pal."
Aster grinned widely at that, Riche looking back and forth between them, both a bit embarrassed and slightly… jealous? Why was she jealous? Riche shook the thought away, about to say more when she heard a shout up the beach. Looking up that way she saw a party of people approaching, with a familiar shock of white hair amongst them
Oh no, she's found me! She immediately bolted for cover away from the beach, startling Bella and Aster.
"Hey, where are you going?" Bella called after her.
"Personal matters, have to go! Welcome to Eden, I'll find you later so we can talk more, byeeeeee!"
"Hey, wait, I still have que- and she's gone. Crap." Bella sighed, pinching her nose. "So much for that lead."
Aster was busy watching Riche's skirt as the girl fled, hoping to see a glimpse of some panties as she left… "Oh, uh, yeah, it's too bad she had to leave. But hey, maybe those people know what we need to know?"
Bella looked where Aster was pointing, noticing the group heading towards them. Then she noticed the pitchforks and hoes they were carrying, and took a step back.
"I don't think they'll be particularly friendly, Aster." She looked to the sand for a weapon and noticed the mace laying next to her. "A mace, huh? I'll look for something better later." She took up a ready stance, trying not to appear aggressive just yet. "You know how to fight, Aster?"
Aster gripped his sword hesitantly. "Kinda. I mean, I trained a lot against the monsters on my island, but I've never fought people before."
"Well, let's hope we don't have to," Bella told him as the group approached. The small mob stopped a short distance away, lead by a tall man with red hair that matched his outfit.
"You two, stay right there!" he ordered.
"No problem," Bella told him, keeping her mace loose in her hand. "We're not here to cause any trouble."
"Our knight will be the judge of that," the red haired man told her. "Hey, clear a path for her!" The crowd split, and walking out from amongst them was a girl with flowing white hair that went down to her legs, carrying a heavy shield and a broad, sharp pointed lance in the other. Neither Aster nor Bella noticed those aspects for very long, though, as they were quickly distracted by her outfit, a pair of small black shorts holding up nylon stockings matched with a cropped top that only covered the top half of her bountiful breasts.
"Holy crap," Bella muttered. "That girl is stacked."
"Beautiful boobs," Aster agreed.
The girl walked up to them, all business, and pointed the lance in their direction. "Are you two the suspicious characters who were reported on the beach?"
Bella blinked. "Um… probably? So far as I know we've been the only ones here for a while."
Aster looked like he wanted to bring up Riche but a quick glance from Bella shut him up without a word. The white haired girl stared at them suspiciously. "How did you two get here? It was reported that you were seen swimming in from the ocean. Were you stowaways on a ship that escaped?"
"Stowaways?" Aster shook his head. "No, not at all. I-"
"We're from Fresh Fish Island," Bella interrupted him. "We swam here together today but passed out on the beach from exhaustion."
"Fresh Fish Island?" someone called from the crowd. "That's way out to sea! No way anyone could swim from there!"
"We totally did though," Aster assured them. "I mean, I got really tired at the end and almost drowned, but we still made it here."
The red-haired man scoffed, saying, "You have to be lying. There's no way anyone would believe that!"
"They're outlaws, we shouldn't trust them!" a person called out, causing a stir from the others.
"Wait, hold on, we're not outlaws!" Aster insisted, but froze when the tip of the female knight's lance shifted to him.
"Don't move!" she ordered, and Aster gladly complied, causing her to drop the weapon back down. "Now, outlaws have been spotted in the area near the town. I'm here for another mission, but since the town needs my help, I'm here to investigate."
"They're after the cows, I swear it!" a panicked farmer shouted to everyone. "Please, lady knight, you must deal with them!"
Bella looked to the girl intently. "So you're a knight then?"
The girl nodded, announcing, "Indeed. I am Ramius Dreissen, a Knight of the Kingdom of Eden."
"Well, if you are a knight, then you must know that outlaws are marked by a black ring on their fingers," Bella argued. "Do you see any on us?"
Ramius shook her head, but she did not back down. "Outlaws are crafty. They could have blackmailed you into working with them. They are ruthless and cunning, and will stoop to any low to get what they want, even including innocents in their schemes."
Aster stood up tall and declared, "I'd never work with any outlaws! I swam here from my island to become a knight!"
The crowd murmured at the declaration, and for the first time Ramius seemed to lighten in her stance. "Truly? You came here to become a knight?"
"We both did," Bella answered her, which caused Ramius to consider them both carefully.
"I see… Very well. In order to prove your honesty, I shall need to test you both."
Bella smiled. Now they were getting somewhere. "Test us how, exactly?"
Ramius tilted her chin up at her. "If your goal is to become a knight, I'm sure you are confident in your strength. Defeat monsters in this area and bring me 100 gold each to prove that you have what it takes."
"I assume monsters drop gold then?" Bella asked, to which Ramius nodded.
"Huh, that's funny, they didn't back home," Aster said. "I wonder why that is…"
"Either way, I think we can handle it," Bella told Ramius. "We'll get you your 200 gold in no time at all, just you watch."
Ramius merely nodded. "We shall see. Also, to prove you're not cheating, I'll need to hold onto any gold you have in your possession."
Bella paused, then riffled through her skirt looking for pockets and came up empty. "I don't have anything, actually."
"Neither do I," Aster said with a downcast expression.
"Ah, I… see," Ramius said, appearing off put at the answer.
Aster groaned, holding his head in his hands. "Oh man, you think we're pathetic, don't you?"
Ramius stammered for a second, then regained her composure and shook her head. "If you both return to me with the 200 gold, I'll vouch for you and you'll be able to enter the town."
Bella nodded, smiling. "Sounds like a plan to me. We'll get right on that."
"Very well." Ramius turned to the crowd and addressed them, saying, "Do not fear, everyone. The situation is now under control. You may return to your homes."
Bella eyed the retreating people suspiciously, particularly the red haired man who seemed far too put out that nothing had actually happened. Great, suspicious locals who jump at the first sign of danger. That's always helpful.
Ramius turned back to the pair of them and said, "Fare well in your searching. I shall await you on the edge of town." With that she strode off in the direction the crowd was going, and both Bella and Aster took a chance to look at her swaying ass as she walked away.
"Well… that was close."
"Yeah, kinda scary…" Aster grinned. "But hey, she was pretty hot though, wasn't she?"
"Oh yeah, unbelievably hot. Though I have to question her choice of clothing. If she's a knight, why the hell isn't she wearing armor?"
Aster shrugged, still grinning like a goof. "Worth it to see her tits."
"Hey, focus bud," she said, clapping her hands in front of her face. "We have a mission to do, in case you forgot."
"Right, right! Slay monsters, get gold! Should be easy." Aster flourished his sword back and forth, grinning widely. "I learned how to fight monsters back home, and I got pretty good at it. It shouldn't be too hard to do here on the mainland. What about you? You know how to fight, right?"
Bella smirked aggressively, so much so that Aster almost felt intimidated. "Oh, trust me, I know how to handle myself in a fight. Now, how do we find monsters, exactly? Do we just wander around and wait for them to come to us or what?"
"I'm not sure. Back home all the monsters stayed in the local ruins where nobody entered except me. I would leave and come back every few days and they'd be back again, like I hadn't dealt with them. I guess they just… appear every so often. So if we go looking, we're bound to find them eventually."
Bella processed this for a bit, rubbing her chin in thought. "Interesting… monsters with no clear ecology related to the world itself. Must be a magical thing. Alright, let's get to monster slaying then."
The pair walked up the beach, conspicuously moving away from the direction of the town and out into wide open fields of wild grass stretching far into the distance, small hills here and there breaking up the landscape with scattered groves of trees near a wandering river.
"Wow… this place is beautiful," Bella said. "Pretty idyllic, great farmland."
Aster's head was moving all over the place taking it all in. "I've never seen a place so… big before. On my island I was always able to see the ocean from somewhere, but here… the land just keeps going and going."
Bella grinned, patting him on the shoulder. "A lot of people from deep inland feel the same about the ocean, you know. The new and unfamiliar is always at least a little exciting. Now, where do we find ourselves some monsters, do you think?"
Aster shrugged, looking about again before his gaze narrowed in on a copse of trees. "Let's try there, maybe?"
"Alright then." Without another moment's waiting Bella headed out towards the trees, Aster following after her. As they drew closer they started hearing unusual noises that didn't sound like animal cries. When they finally reached the wood they got a look at what was making the sounds, a pair of weird white slime creatures with yellow eyes and small antenna above their faces.
"What are those?" Bella asked as she readied her mace.
"Hanny slimes," Aster answered. "They're what happens to hannies after their clay gets broken down. Usually after melting in some way. Don't worry, they're super weak, even a child could beat them with a hammer."
"Never heard of hannies before, but I'll worry about that later." Bella scoffed, hefting her mace in one hand. "Anyway, if they're that easy to beat, let's do a review of your combat skills, shall we? How much do you know about wielding that sword of yours?"
Aster looked at his sword then back to her. "I mean… I know how to swing it pretty well, and I can cut through most monsters without problems."
"No no no no no, I mean actually wielding your blade, not just swinging it like a machete through branches. Come on, show me a stance and some moves."
Aster shrugged but did as he was asked, slipping into a wide footed stance where he held his sword low and pointed outward. He then swung heavily from side to side, followed by an upward cleave and a downward thrust into the dirt.
Bella watched it all in silence, eyes flicking to various points of movement as she watched his display. When he finished she regarded him closely, then nodded approvingly. "Not too bad really. A bit amateurish in the force of the swings, and especially the telegraphing, but you have a solid basis to build from. A general tip for right now, heavy swings will be just fine against dumb beasts and moronic human fighters, but against anyone with skill they'll only open you up to parries and blocks. When you fight someone with skill, try to limit your strikes to only the most necessary movement, to cut down on the warning they receive."
Aster blinked at her, wide eyed as she delivered her advice. "Wow, that's… I never considered that before. I just did what worked against the monsters back home. Nobody ever taught me how to wield a sword."
Bella's smile widened. "Then for a self-taught newbie you are actually in a pretty good place. Just need some guidance from an expert to get you on the right path. Now, let's take care of these things, huh?"
The two hanny slimes had remained utterly oblivious to the impromptu weapon study, only noticing their approach when one of them had its center bashed in with an overhead blow from Bella's mace. The other, panicking, tried to deliver an electric shock to Aster, but he easily sidestepped the swipe and then stabbed the thing between the eyes, causing it to go limp.
"Well… that was easy. Disappointingly so."
Aster looked at Bella with a confused expression. "Do you want it to be hard?"
"No, of course not, but… there's always that feeling that your first bit of combat you have in a new place should be special." She noticed he clearly didn't know what she was talking about and sighed. "Never mind, old warrior thing, nothing for you to worry about. Anyway, how do we collect our gold?"
A few moments of staring at each other later they looked back at the bodies and noticed that a pair of sparkling piles appeared on the ground in front of them.
"So… it seems the gold just… appears in front of you when a thing dies," Bella observed. "That's some RPG magic if I've ever seen it."
"I'll explain later," Bella said as she scooped up the earnings, counting out the coins. "Right, so from these two hannies we got… 24 gold. That's not bad at all. Find a few more and we'll get our 200 in no time."
The pair searched the rest of the grove, coming upon several other hanny slimes and killing them in short order. Aster did get stung by them once or twice, but he was easily able to shrug them off within a few minutes. As they walked, Bella coached him on a few aspects of sword fighting, Aster proving to be a worthy student as he took her words to heart quickly and started to apply her advice. Once the grove was clear they headed out into the grass again, only to be met by two human-like forms running towards them.
"Are… are those people?" Bella asked.
Aster pulled out his sword and took his stance. "I don't think so! I think they're gal monsters!"
"Gal monsters? Oh man, what weird anthro shit are we going to get here?"
Bella watched the two things approach, frowning as she saw they looked remarkably human, but with rather childlike proportions. One had black hair and wore running clothes, while the other had on a fluffy bunny-girl bikini on and nothing else.
"Uh… these are gal monsters?"
"Guess so," Aster said kinda dazedly. "They're kinda cute now that I see them."
The racer one launched itself at Aster with a huge kick, forcing him to duck out of the way.
"Cute, sure. Hostile, absolutely. Deal with them!"
The resulting fight was rather short, all things considered, as only the runner tried to attack them, the bunny girl standing off to the side giving what Bella could only assume was moral support. Aster's face was a bit green when he watched Bella rap her mace against the monster girl's head so hard she went down in a spurt of blood, and his expression only worsened as he watched her brain the bunny girl right after.
"It… it feels wrong killing them," he said as Bella cleaned off her mace in the grass.
"Yeah, killing something human is never supposed to be easy." Bella collected the gold and added it to their bag. "But they attacked us, clearly could not speak, and are obviously not fully human given their small stature yet… developed bodies."
Aster shook his head, still clearly distressed about it all. "They look so much like cute girls. It just feels… icky."
"I agree, I much prefer killing non-human things," Bella told him. "But sometimes you have to kill stuff that you'd rather not if you are out on your own. It's just a fact of life in a harsh world. Only thing you can do is get used to it Aster. The sooner you do, the sooner you'll be equipped to be a proper knight, whatever that ends up being."
The boy sighed, clearly still not comfortable, but he at least acknowledged Bella's words as they pressed on. They met a few more hanny slimes as they wandered, along with another couple of gal monsters, but this time Aster was more proactive in defeating them. He came away from the fight shaken, but a bit more assured of himself. From there it didn't take much longer before they had gathered everything they needed. On the way back from town they killed another few hanny slimes, only for Bella to feel a sudden rush of energy well up inside of her.
"Aster, what was that I just felt?"
Aster smiled at her. "Oh hey, looks like you just got your first level up, that's cool."
Bella just stared at him blankly. "Level… up?"
"Yeah. When you get enough experience from killing monsters you gain energy for a level up. Then you go to a level up shop and the shop mage does a ritual that lets you absorb the energy into yourself so you can get stronger. It's pretty neat. I mean, that's how my sisters told me it works. I never got to do it myself, since there was no level up mage on Fresh Fish."
Bella took in a deep breath and let it out slowly. "Looking more and more like an RPG world all the time."
"What was that?"
"Nothing important. Come on, let's head into town."
It didn't take them long to find a road and follow it towards Abel. The town wasn't all that large, around 50 or so houses spread out along a market road and town square, but it was clear most of the town's area was dominated by farming, as fields of fruits, vegetables, and especially cows were everywhere around the town. Said cows were solid brown all over their bodies and had a large, solid horn in the middle of their heads, but still looked like regular bovines otherwise. Bella refrained from commenting on the differences. They passed by several groups of farm hands on their way down the road, drawing a few stares with their gear but nobody stopped them or asked them questions. Eventually they reached the edge of the town itself, and sure enough there waiting for them was Ramius, who looked to be rather impatient about something.
"Hello there!" Aster called out with his friendly manner, only to get Ramius' lance jabbed in his face again.
"Halt!" she ordered, both doing so. "You've returned. Did you collect the gold?"
"Right here," Bella told her, tossing the bag into Ramius's hand. The knightess took the bag, hefted in her hands a few times, then proceeded to dump the bag onto the ground, the contents forming a pile in the dirt.
"Uuuuuh… is that the best way to count them, miss Dreisson?" Bella asked.
"Do not distract me!" Ramius snapped at them. "I need to count." From there Ramius bent down - showing a delightful view of her ass as she did - and slowly, painfully counted each individual coin one by one. Aster and Bella watched in stunned silence as Ramius' counting continued for several very long minutes.
"I… get the feeling you're not great with numbers," Bella offered.
"No, I am not," Ramius answered honestly, then went right back to counting. To pass the time as she counted, Bella decided to teach Aster the principles of rock, paper, scissors, only to find that counting to three for each round actually tripped up Ramius' counting, forcing her to start over. After that they switched to thumb war, which Bella won handily.
Eventually, finally, Ramius finished counting the gold. "Yes, this is indeed 200 gold,' she declared. "You both have proven your strength such that you can be considered prospective knights. You may now enter the town as you wish." She scooped up the gold she had spilled back into the bag and handed it over to Aster. "You may have back the gold you earned."
"Huh? You're letting me have it back?"
"Of course," Ramius said, as if it were obvious. "You earned the gold, you deserve to have it. I merely needed to see if you were capable of earning it, which you proved you were."
"Reasonable of you," Bella said. "A lot of other people I know would have kept that money for themselves."
Ramius scowled, saying, "I am not a person who takes what I have not earned. If I wish to have such gold, I must get it through my own merits, not by taking from others."
"Well said," Bella praised. "Thank you for your generous aid, lady knight."
"Yeah, thanks a bunch," Aster added. "We would have been in trouble with that mob if you hadn't helped us out."
Ramius seemed to stiffen at the praise, locking into her serious position and standing firmly. "I was merely doing my duty of protecting the innocent, while ensuring those who could be innocent were not treated as dangerous. That is my job, and I will do it to the best of my ability."
Aster grinned anyway, saying, "Still, thanks for doing such a good job, Lady Ramius."
"You can drop the title," Ramius said politely. "I don't care much for formalities."
"Ramius it is then," Bella said. "Thank you for your help, and we hope we can serve with you in the near future."
For some reason Ramius went stiff again, only even worse this time as she averted her gaze. "Y-yes, of course. Now, I'm sure you're both tired from your efforts against the monsters, so you may stay at the town inn if you need rest. Do not worry about being attacked while in town. So long as I am on duty, you will be safe."
"I believe it," Bella said.
"Yeah, we really appreciate it," Aster said. "But you shouldn't forget to take some time for yourself. A cute girl like you shouldn't work herself too hard."
Like a switch had been flipped Ramius' professional demeanor was lost as she gasped in shock at what Aster said.
"What's wrong?" he asked.
"W-w-who are you calling a c-cute girl?!"
Aster, bewildered by the question, simply replied, "Uh, you, right? I mean, are you a boy?"
"Of course not!" came the shouted reply.
Aster smiled as he watched Ramius' boobs jiggle with her movement. "Oh yeah, obviously."
Bella watched with amusement as Aster's leering made Ramius blush heavily, the knightly girl shivering a bit at the attention.
Methinks she's not used to being noticed as a girl so much as a warrior. This could be amusing.
After a few more moments of stuttering and blushing, Ramius gathered herself and ushered them into town, returning to her post while obviously still a bit flustered about the event.
The inside of the town was rather quiet and slow-paced. The few people out and about were moving around calmly, chatting with neighbors or playing board games with each other. Children ran around each other in big circles shouting about knights and outlaws. It was in all a rather idyllic existence, one that Bella couldn't help but wonder at how safe it all was, considering that monsters apparently were a never ending source of trouble.
Their first stop for the day was at the inn to secure a room for themselves. They needn't have worried though, as there were plenty of open spots available. Aster marveled at the size of the room for a while while Bella organized what little stuff they had, then they headed out into town to get lunch. A quick sit down for steak and lettuce later and they were exploring the market.
The first place they stopped at was the level up shop, which proved to be an… interesting experience. After signing in, they were led into a back room that seemed to be deserted. But after a few moments of waiting they were greeted by a female voice who told them she would be their level up mage. According to the rules the mage laid out, only one mage could be an individual's level up source, but rather than make a person go back to the same place over and over to level up, she just did it through magical speakers set up in the room. Bella found the whole idea to be rather clever. Aster though was distracted by the profile their mage had posted in the handbook, as it was of a rather buxom young woman with pinkish hair.
The level up process itself was dead simple, as they merely had to have the mage do a short ritual to have the level up applied. Though apparently the business end of the process was rather more detailed than they were aware of, as the level up mage had to consult a god of some kind to prove that enough experience had been earned for a level up to be applicable and a whole bunch of other stuff Bella barely followed. The important thing in her opinion was that she felt a measurable difference in her strength after the level up was completed, and she resolved to keep a close eye on that as they went on.
From there they wandered the market, looking at vendors and sellers of various kinds. Bella stocked up on food, thinking that if they were going to be adventuring, it would be best if they had ample provisions for any kind of journey they had to undertake. To her surprise Aster professed to be a good cook, so that was one less concern she had on her mind. The item and equipment store proved to be an experience, mostly for Aster as the male shopkeeper- who claimed to be female, not that she was judging -had a hell of a time flirting with him the whole time they were there. After picking up a few healing items, which Bella immediately prioritized once she knew what they were, they marked some weapons and armor for future interest and resolved to return once they had more gold.
Funnily enough the church was their next destination, mostly because Bella was curious how the Mother Eve religion worked, and she got way more of an answer than she was bargaining for when they entered. Apparently churches occasionally played host to a 'saint', a woman of great virtue and spiritual energy who could channel the power of Mother Eve's magic and use it to help cleanse the minds of worshipers. All of this went right over Aster's head the first time, as the saint in question was a shapely auburn-haired girl who wore an outfit that Bella was sure would cause the adherents of most other religions she knew of to faint outright at the sight of. Not that she was disagreeing with Aster's assessment of her heat, she was just better able to control herself in her reactions. She only stared at the saint's nipples poking through her vestment through half of the girl's speech instead of the whole thing like Aster.
The real fun came when she and Aster prayed and they both caused a stir when they generated a slew of pink gas during their prayer. Pink was apparently the color of lust, and the production of so much of it was extremely unusual. Personally Bella suspected the bulk of the stuff had come from Aster, but she couldn't deny that after the likes of Ramius, half nude monster girls, and then the sexy saint she was feeling just a wee bit desiring of her own volition. She did take note though that the edge of her lust was indeed sanded down after the prayer, suggesting to her that the idea of prayer reducing the power of certain emotions was more than likely accurate.
After they left the church they wandered town for a while, asking questions of various townsfolk, learning the history of the area and some of the local trivia. Most of it was pretty bog standard, but the news that the outlaw band that had been troubling the town was made up primarily of foreigners was concerning to say the least. They also learned that the reason the monsters in the area were pretty much all melted hannies or weak monster girls was the result of a heavy duty campaign from the knights to purge the area of higher-level monsters, and that other parts of the country would be markedly more dangerous. A final useful tidbit was learning that there were various fountains built to celebrate Mother Eve built around the world that purified local water and gave it healing powers. Apparently the water would refill naturally over time, but that each person could only drink a bit of it at any one time, so it wasn't a way to stay healthy consistently.
By the time they returned to their room the sun was almost setting beyond the horizon. They ate a quick dinner at the inn - hamburgers and freshly grown farm veggies, natch - before heading up to sleep. That's where the trouble started.
"So…" Aster started as they entered the room together, "I guess we're sleeping in different beds, right?"
"Oh yeah, for sure," Bella answered him as she laid her mace against the wall near one of the beds. She then started to take off her shirt, causing Aster to squawk in surprise. Bella turned around, shirt off and only bra covering her chest, looking at him with confusion. "What's wrong?"
"Y-you just took off your shirt!" Aster said, pointing at her chest.
"Yeeees, that I did," Bella confirmed. "Your point?"
Aster was too busy stammering to answer at first, then he gulped and gathered himself. "I… I mean, you know I can see you… your bra… right?"
Bella mentally smacked herself for her carelessness. Of course the earnest pervert is going to be shocked when you start to undress, Bell, you moron. Nice job acting without thinking AGAIN!
Oh shut up, it was an honest mistake. Besides… he's not going to say no, now is he?
Bella smirked as she watched Aster's gaze keep switching between her cleavage and her face, as if he was debating internally if it was safe to stare or not.
"Yes, yes I do. And I honestly don't care. After all, you're going to be seeing a lot more in a minute."
Aster's eyes widened even further, and Bella had to stifle a laugh. "What… what do you mean by that?"
"I sleep in the nude," she told him flat out. "More comfortable for me that way, and I never liked pajamas anyway. And before you ask, no, I don't care about being seen naked. You can stare all you like for all I care, so long as you don't try to touch without asking first."
Aster's shocked expression remained for a few seconds longer before it was replaced with an ecstatic grin. "You mean I get to see you naked! Awesome!"
My god, he's such a doof. A lovable one, but still. "Yeah, yeah, enjoy looking all you want, but don't forget to get some sleep. And if you need to whack yourself off, that you can do in another room, because that is private and there is no need to be sharing that with me, got it?"
Aster vigorously nodded his understanding. "Yeah, I getcha! Wait… oh… ooooooooh."
While Aster started to come to terms with what she had just said, Bella pulled off her skirt, folding it neatly and placing it on the dresser next to her shirt. From there her bra and panties came off easily, set atop the other pieces of clothing. She glanced back at Aster to see his gobsmacked expression, then slipped into her bed, sighing with delight at the soft sheets and firm mattress.
"Get to sleep, Aster," she told him. "I'm sure tomorrow will be just as busy as today was."
Aster was stuck in place for a few seconds longer before he obeyed, jumping right into bed with his day clothes still on. "Good night, Bella," he called out to her. "And, uh… thanks. For letting me look."
Lovable doof indeed. "Sure, Aster. Maybe you'll return the favor sometime."
She laughed at his squeal of shock, then settled in properly and closed her eyes.
This is going to be a very different world than I am used to, she thought to herself as she reviewed what she'd learned during the day. I'm sure there's much more to explore and learn. Hopefully whatever I find won't be too weird…
Her final thoughts as she drifted off were of the people she'd met in the day, and how much she was looking forward to finding out more.
Hello everyone and welcome to my story about Evenicle, a fantastic light novel/rpg about a boy who goes around the world collecting wives and fighting bad guys. I enjoyed this story immensely when I played it, so much so that I finally decided to take one of my oldest long-running meta-fiction concepts and apply it to this game. What is this meta-concept you may ask? Put simply, the Agents of the Multiverse are random heroes and heroines who travel about the multiverse helping the locals against both threats from their own universe and those who come from another world. Each of these agents have gone through numerous such missions over an extended period of time, leading to some of them becoming unnaturally experienced and skilled in almost any field. Bella here isn't quite to that level, but she's been around the block a few times, as this story will show.
As to what form this story will take, consider it a slightly alternative universe walkthrough of the game itself, with most of the changes coming from Bella's presence, but a few coming from within the story itself. Changes that might grow with time... Either way, for those of you who have played the game expect the same mix of fluffy goodness, fun combat, and loathsome villains as before. For those of you who haven't played it, I would heartily recommend it, even beyond the simple appeal of the waifus and sex scenes. This story has many merits of it's own, ones I hope I can recapture in my own writing. Hope you all enjoy, and let me know what you think.