”Ugh…Ow…Wha…What…happ…ened…? ” Christopher Hallowswift sluggishly opened his deep green eyes. His vision was blurred. Just barely, did he recall his situation.
He looked around. The room was large, with a medium sized double bed beneath him. The walls were a deep brown, made from a thick oak wood. There was a table in the midst of everything, and on top of it was a single steel broadsword, half a meter in length.
The area was dimly lit by a number of candles, one situated at his bedside.
”Where…am I…? ” He questioned himself. ”A moment ago, I was inside of Alastors place…was I already reincarnated? ”
”So youve awakened. ”
”__? ” A quiet feminine voice was suddenly heard from nearby. Christopher turned in its direction to see a short girl whose height reached up to his shoulders.
The girl was Est, the familiar he was told about. She slowly crawled up to his side, and pressed herself to his waist, moving his arm around her body.
”Ahh-! ” He was startled at the action, but didn refuse it.
”Good morning, master. My name is Est Marionette, Rank 3 among the Celestials. I shall be your guide and protector throughout your life in this world. ” She told him. Christopher quickly remembered Alastors words about a familiar being with him when he awakened. After hearing what she said, he automatically knew she was the one.
Eyes on her little body, he said to Est,
e the one Alastor told me about? The one tasked with being my familiar? ”
”Yes. ” Est replied. She pressed herself even more to his side in a submissive way, ”You must be shaken after your second death. Please, use my body to calm yourself. I am in full service to you, master. ”
”Y-Your body? W-What are you- ”
Before anything else was done, the door abruptly opened. Out of it came Blitz, Cirea, and Mercy, the three adventures who helped bring Christopher to the inn.
”Uhh… ” He stared at them, shock plastered onto his round face. Not a word came out of his mouth as he attempted to process what he viewed.
Blitz, seeing the boys reaction, spoke first. ”Hey there. Im Blitz, a half-demon. The lamias Cirea, and the vampires Mercy. You must be Christopher Hallowswift, Ests master, I presume? ”
”Yeah…I am… ” He awkwardly replied, ”…Ahaha, s-sorry if Im a little pale…I…Ive just…never seen a non-human before… ”
It was a sight like that which told Christopher he was in another world. A lamia, half snake, a half-demon, and a vampire. But none of them seemed dangerous. He himself was a full-blooded demon, according to what Alastor told him, but he felt no different from how he did as a normal human.
Christopher surveyed the three, Cirea noticed his gaze. Blushing, she suddenly looked away.
”D-don stare…its embarrassing… ” She said. Her hair was pink in colour, and her stunning white body was slim. Her hips broad, she had big light green peepers, along with a long, pink, scaly tail which resembled a snakes from Earth. The vampire overall appeared human, other than the sharp fangs that stuck out of his mouth. His short hair was orange in colour, and skin completely pale. He was taller than Christopher by about a foots length, on him was a torn t-shirt with long baggy jeans. And finally, Blitz, the half-demon, had the appearance of a viking. His hair was long, black in colour, and tied at the back in a single ponytail. His build was muscular, the strongest in the group. His eyes were a deep brown, and he gave off a calm, serious aura.
The young boy found himself intimidated by them all. Blitz spoke to him,
”Hrm, but those horns. You
e a pure-blooded demon, aren you? ”
”Huh? O-oh, y-yeah… ”
”Where do you live? ”
”Live? ” He didn live anywhere, as someone who was just reincarnated there without any money or homes, he was at a loss about how to respond.
”Um…well… ” He of course could say he was from somewhere really far off, or he could tell them he didn know where he lived. Ultimately, Christopher went with the latter.
”…I don know where I live. ”
”What? What do you mean? ”
”All I remember is I was attacked by someone calling herself Alastor, then I found myself here. Did you three bring me here? ”
”Yeah… ” Mercy stated, ”…That damn familiar of yours forced us into it. ”
”Eh? ” Christopher shot a glance toward Est, who maintained an indifferent expression. ”Wait, is that true, Est? ”
”Yes, master. I thought they threatened your security, so I tried to kill them. Was I not supposed to? ”
He was at a loss for words. It was his first day in the world, and already he hears that his familiar nearly killed three people. Well, since it was for my safety…I guess I can let it slide…
Sighing, he half-irritatedly chuckled at her, ”N-no, I-I mean…you…you did do it to protect me so I won scold you for that…just…ugh, n-nevermind…Just don try to kill them again, okay? ”
”Yes, master. I shall only kill them if they harbour negative intentions toward you. ”
”Good…wait, what? ”
”So, basically, you have amnesia. Am I correct? ”
”Yeah…something like that. Yeah… ” Christopher and Blitz tried assessing the situation together. To make up for the situation, Christopher finally decided to tell the three he was a victim of amnesia, after he was attacked.
Since it was much easier than explaining he was from another world, he went with it.
”I see…Im sorry to hear that. ”
”N-no, i-its fine… ”
Cirea looked at the two with pity in her eyes, she wondered if she could help them.
”U-um…if…if theres anything we could do to help, I-I don mind! ”
”What? But that thing tried to kill us, I don want them going with us everywhere! ”
”I-I know, but still…he has amnesia and E-Est was just trying to protect him…we shouldn just leave him here! ” Mercy was against helping them…likely due to Ests actions earlier. Cirea on the other hand couldn leave them alone. She signalled Blitz to make the call.
Blitz took both his partys feelings, and Christophers state into consideration. Though it took some time to make the call.
”U-um, y-you know…we…we
e okay on our own, if thats what you
e wondering…E-Est and I could just head to the nearest village, and try to- ”
”And? You don have any money on you. You are still a child. Even with your familiar by your side, you
e bound to face difficulties without someone there to aid you. ” Blitz cut him off completely. He kept both eyes on the boy, and continued speaking, ”If you choose to come with us, the furthest we can take you is a village not far from here. My party and I are currently headed far east, to the Harmonic Kingdom to sell our goods. ”
”Harmonic Kingdom? ”
”We can take you as far as a small town not far from here which serves as a rest stop for adventurers. There, well give you some money to purchase basic supplies. Will you come with us? ”
”Yeah. That seems to be the safest option. Thank you, Blitz, Cirea, Mercy. ” Christopher accepted their offer to help. Since he was new to the world, this was his chance to get a start on creating a living for himself there.
” Blitz said,
”Tell us when you
e ready to leave, well be downstairs. ”
Blitz, Mercy and Cirea left the room afterwards. Christopher looked at his familiar, who was staring at him the whole time.
”Did you…really try to kill them, Est? ”
She responded only by shrugging…
Hours later, the party of five entered a carriage, which was pulled by a blood red, massive salamander-like monster. It was about eight feet long and had lizard-like scales all over its body. The monster walked on all fours, it reminded Christopher of an alligator from his world. The sight of it startled him at first, but after learning that it wasn dangerous, he (though half-reluctantly) sat inside.
Mercy kept his eyes on the road, repeatedly using his vampiric sense around the area. Blitz was sharpening his battle axe, and Cirea fixed her hair.
The world was nothing like Earth at all. The atmosphere was much lighter, and the suns rays were much less intense. Some of the animals Christopher passed by were horned wolves, these were much fiercer than normal ones, as they were about triple the size of Earthly wolves, complete with a sharp horn situated at their forehead area. He was told they were able to utilise magic to fight off attackers.
They were usually seen hunting in packs of seven.
”Mm…Id love me some wolf meat…whaddya say, Blitz? A quick stop? ” Mercys mouth watered at the sight of them.
e edible? ” Christopher asked Mercy.
”Yeah. If you cook them right. Don fightem alone though, or theyll be eating you instead. ”
”Ooh, Ill keep that in mind. ”
”Speaking of which, Christopher, isn it? ” Interjecting, Cirea smiled toward him.
”Mhm, thats my name. ”
”How old are you? ”
”Mhm. ” She paused for a moment, partly speechless. He did indeed resemble a kid, but she couldn help but be shocked. ”Ehh…Thats a surprise. I was sixteen when I started adventuring. ”
”How old are you know? ” Christopher asked.
”Heehee, Im twenty one! ” Cirea cheerily replied, ”If you don mind me asking, how old is your familiar? ”
”My familiar? ” He peered toward Est, who had a small, stuffed doll hugged against her chest.
She caught the gaze of Christopher, and responded with a tilt of the head.
”What is it, master? ”
”Cirea wants to know how old you are. ” Est acknowledged him, and stared the lamia straight in the eye. The action sent shivers down her spine.
”Whoa, scary…she isn going to try to kill us again, is she?! ”
”No, no. Not unless I tell her to-which I won . ”
”Good…A-Anyway, h-how old are you, Est? ”
Est replied on command, in her usual neutral tone, ”I have lived for 7350 years. As one of the oldest living familiars, I have a vast amount of knowledge of this world, and am one of the most feared and respected members of created entities in Heaven. ”
”Whoa, seven thousand?! Thats sick! ” Mercy listened in on them, and was stunned at her age. Even though she did try to kill them…they appeared to be getting along well.
”Haha, thats surely a high number. Lucky Christopher. ” Cirea voiced. She moved her eyes back to Christopher, ”How long have you two known each other? ”
”Only for a couple hours. She probably found me way before though. ”
”A couple hours? So youve only been a uhh, Marionette Disciple is it? For a few hours? ”
”I…guess so? ” He wasn certain of how long hed been unconscious for. Blitz inserted himself into the conversation afterwards.
”When we found you, you were covered in strings similar to the ones Est attacked us with. But before we had the chance to cut them, they seemed to…melt into your skin. What was that all about? ”
”I was? ” He once again looked at Est. Est said to him,
”That was put into place by Alastor to ensure your safety while unconscious. Of course, I was there to protect you as well. ”
”Ooh, I see. ” Christopher mentally thanked Alastor for her help. ”Thanks, Est. ”
Half a day later, they arrived at the adventurers rest stop. Exiting the carriage, Blitz took out his wallet, and took three gold coins out.
”Here you go. Make good use of it. This should be more than enough for a night here, weapons, food, clothing, and items. Spend your money wisely. ”
”We will, thank you, Blitz, Cirea, Mercy. ”
e welcome, Christopher! Take care out there. ”
”Try not to die, and don do anything stupid. ”
”Always check your equipment before heading out. Carrying too many healing items is never a bad thing. ”
Cirea, Mercy and Blitz respectfully made their statements to the boy, who in turn, nodded, accepting the gold coins.
”We will. Farewell, and have a safe journey. ”
”See ya. ”
”Good bye. May the Gods guide your path. ”
He watched as they departed for the next carriage. With one final wave, they left the rest stop.
”Hmm… ” Blitz willingly gave the duo three gold coins, which in that world, amounted to three hundred silver. With that much…Christopher wasn sure what he could purchase. Definitely, it was a lot, but…
”Est… ” He called out. He remembered Alastor saying that if he was ever stuck, to go to his familiar for guidance. ”…Do you have any idea of what to do with this? ”
Est looked at him, then back at the coins with her usual, objective expression.
”Yes, master. ” She stated, ”First, we should get you some better clothes. Afterwards, getting a place to stay would be a must. As for equipment, you do not need to purchase any weapons. ”
”Huh? No weapons? ” Christopher was taken aback by her words, he thought buying a sword or shield wouldve been good, considering the type of world they were in…also since that was always the first thing he did in RPG games back in his world.
”But this is basically a…fantasy world, isn it? Wouldn at least buying a sword be a good thing? ”
”Yes. That is correct, ” Est nodded to him, ”but Alastor has already provided you with the only weapon you will need-your strings. ”
”My strings? How are… ” Prior to finishing, he abruptly remembered the situation he found himself in before he arrived. Alastors strings…the strings she used to kill me with…does this mean she gave them to me…?
Alastor…Thinking shed give them to him excited the boy. The strength was like no other. Considering what was said, she mustve done it.
”Alastor gave me her strings, didn she? ” Christopher eagerly voiced.
”Yes, master. You are her disciple. Each one of her disciples gets the honour of wielding the weapon known as Marionette Strings, like I do. You do not need to purchase anything of that sort. ”
That solved one issue. The next was learning how to wield them. Thinking of its use…he figured it would work a bit like telekinesis. Though it wouldn have been a good idea to try it out in the open. Getting a room at a hotel wouldve been a better thing to do first and foremost.
Putting that to his familiar, they decided to look for an inn.
During the search…
”Hmph! A demon… ”
”What the? A demon? ”
”Why is a demon here? Whats going on?! ”
People from all around him were staring at him. He tried not to look, but their piercing gazes forced him to.
Was it because he was a demon? Christopher didn know what he looked like, but he knew he was a full-blooded demon.
”Demons cannot go to the Overworld, master. Else their skin will melt. ” Est, seeing his unease, mouthed.
”Eh? Then how come I can? ”
She stopped for a moment, and blankly stared at him as if he asked an obvious question.
”Would you like your skin to be burned off the moment you came here? ” Est answered.
e right. ”
Soon, they arrived at a cabin at the far end of the rest stop. Entering, the two were greeted by a well-lit, sweet smelling room.
The cabin was smaller than average, not many people visited, as most of the time those who visit the area only stay for a quick refill of their items.
All eyes went to the entrance upon his arrival. Straight away, both the customers and employees shrunk back.
”Excuse me, do you have a room available for me and my familiar? ” Christopher ignored their reactions, and went straight to the counter. The attendants skittishly bobbed their heads
”Y-yes! ” One of the exclaimed. ”Th-theres one available…w-will you be ordering f-f-food with that? ”
”Yes please. Whats on the menu? ”
”F-f-fried wolf meat and b-bread… ”
”Wolf meat and bread? ”
”E-Eeek!! I-Im sorry if its not to your liking!! B-but thats all we have! D-Don harm me! ”
”H-huh? B-but I- ”
”NOO! ST-STAY AWAY!!! ” The attendant speaking to him fell to the ground in utter fear of him, his arms flailing about as he tried to hide himself from the demon.
”H-hey- ” Christopher reached his arm out to him, but it was futile, that only served to frighten him even more. He quickly realised that speaking to him wouldn get him anywhere.
All of a sudden, a jingle came from the inns main entrance.
”Oh, another- ”
”Master, get behind me!! ”
Est threw herself ahead of her master, immediately shooting thousands of pure black marionette strings at the two hooded individuals who entered into the inn.
e you- ” But they were easily evaded. The taller one raised their arm, and a shadowy mist formed around them both, the strings bounced off, and were retracted back to Est.
Afterwards, the shield was dropped. They both got a good look at Ests opponents.
”A…girl? ” Both of them were girls, one taller than the other. The first one was dressed in all black, with only her face and arms visible. Her body was slim, with small broad hips. The girl was Heterochromic, her left eye was coloured a deep yellow, whereas her right had no colour at all, instead, the entire eyeball was black-literally black. Her white oval shaped face was about the size of Christophers, and had a single long scar on her right cheek.
The second one was about the height of a seven year old, with a tiny round head. She floated in mid-air beside the taller one-which was her master. Her beady eyes were both light brown in colour, her skin unnaturally pale. Most of her body was covered in a lengthy dark coat, just like her master.
They both stared at the duo with disdain in their eyes, the familiar eyeing the other until she realised something.
Seeing Ests fierce aura and the doll she always carried, something clicked inside her head. Something her master needed to know above all else.
”W-wait, E-Est?! ” She shouted out, her feminine voice incredibly high pitched.
”You know this lot? ” Her master questioned her, taking note of the response. ”Who are they? ”
”No master, I only know the familiar. Her name is Est Marionette, ranked three among us familiars. Shes much older and stronger than any of us, and is both feared and highly respected even by the rank twos and ones. ” She gazed at her master with great concern in her eyes, ”Master, I am aware that Achlys tasked us with eliminating them both, but please do not fight them! We cannot win against them, both of us are bound to be faced with a merciless defeat by their hands! Well both be killed!! Lets just ask her to rethink her task for us! ”
”__? ” The taller one didn expect those words. Her familiar showed signs of genuine fear of her enemies, both by her expression and demeanour. But she paid no heed.
The two of them were Marionette disciples-her sworn enemies. She must not let them live. She had to kill them-she must, else shed be doing a disservice to her patron Goddess, Elder Goddess of Death and Destruction, Achlys.
”Im sorry, Quth. But Elder Goddess Achlys wants them dead, so this is something I have to do. I must NOT let them live!!! HAAAHH!! ”
”NO! MASTER!! ”
A split second later, she drew her sword and lunged toward the two-filled with the intent to kill. By the trajectory and direction she went in, the first thing shed hit was Est, who appeared to be ready for the attack.
However, Christopher wasn going to let his familiar be put in danger. He felt his body move on his own as he jumped in front of them and held out the palm of his hand. From there shot out five thin, but sharp marionette strings.
”EST!! ” He yelled out. He aimed the strings straight for his enemys chest, and they all went straight through the flesh covering her chest.
”OMPH-! ” From there, the strings automatically wrapped themselves around something vital-something nobody could never live without. The demon felt something pulsing from within the area the strings manoeuvred themselves to. By the squishiness and beating, he knew it was her heart.
The sensation of her body being impaled by the strings left her staggering. All movements seemed to cease, and her weapon dropped to her feet. She looked down at where she was stabbed, and was shocked.
”Wha…? B-but how…?! ” Her eyes bulged out of their sockets as the harsh reality seeped into her.
”NOO!!! MASTER!!! ” The familiar warned her about fighting them, but she refused to listen, and now she suffered the consequences.
Christopher wasn at all concerned. In his eyes, they put them both in danger, and he defended. He raised his other hand and waved a finger.
”Ah-ah-ah, one false move, and Ill shatter your heart. You don want that, do you? ” Thanks to both the programming and torture he received from Alastor, he was aware of how to shatter things with his strings. Est looked up at him, partially surprised by his actions.
”Good, master. ” She stated. Moving her eyes back to the two, she disdainfully said, ”Yes. His strings are tightly wrapped around that girls heart. One wrong move, and she will die, and I shall eliminate the familiar shortly afterwards. ”
”What?! Y-you can !! ” Quth exclaimed in horror, though remembering who she was faced with, she was already aware they weren lying. She gaped at her master who was unable to move. Her body was hunched over, and blood dripped out of her mouth. The strings inside her chest were locked firmly around her heart. By a hair was she still alive.
”Yes, I can. ” Christopher said. ”Tell me, who are you? ”
”Nnrng… ” Quth remained silent. Christopher suddenly moved his hand more to his chest, and the girl was shot toward him a step.
”I said. TELL. ME. WHO. YOU. ARE! ”
Seeing that they didn have a choice, Quth was forced to comply. Reluctantly, she nodded.
”Alright already! Just promise me you won kill her, okay?! ”
”Hmph. And why should we do that? ” Est questioned, laughing a bit to herself. ”You know me, don you? I do not give mercy. I shall not stoop to such low standards as to give my word to such a foolish request. ”
”B-but my master-! ”
”What about your master? ” Est tilted her head a bit to the left, ”Unless you wish to share in her situation, you must obey my masters orders. ”
”… ” Quth had no other option. She agreed to, though against her will.
”Fine. ” She yelled out. A tear flowed from both her eyes as she regained her composure. After a sniffle, she admitted to to them both,
”My name is Quth Achlys. I am a familiar made by the Elder Goddess of Death and Destruction, Achlys, who is second in the Divine Council. I came here after being summoned by my master, Alvara, from within the Death Factions headquarters. We came here after hearing from Goddess Achlys that a new Marionette Disciple had been made, with the task of killing him. ”
”Yes. Since it was from her, we did not reject it.
” Quth sternly exclaimed, glaring at the two.
”I do not know why she wanted us to, but we are in no position to reject her request, we
e both her followers. ”
Christopher understood. A disciples power came from the one he/she worshipped, so did their familiar, just like in his case. What he wanted to know was why Achlys wanted him. Did she see something inside the boy she liked? Or was it because he was someone originating from Earth?
Since he sensed that Quth spoke the truth, he saw no point in asking for the reason.
e telling the truth? ” Christopher asked her.
”Yes. I am. Familiars never lie. ” Quth responded.
”… ” A short pause befell the two, and he ultimately chose to believe her.
She sure looked like she told the truth, and by her panicked, shaking body, she knew that if she didn , her master would be killed. He had a gut feeling that she did.
”Fine. ” He finally said. The strings were abruptly released from Alvaras body, which sent her staggering forward.
”M-Master!! ” Quth flew in front of her, then caught her right before she hit the ground. She wept as a healing spell was cast upon her wound. ”D-don worry, master, youll be alright! I promise!! ” Quth turned her head toward the cause of her wound with temper. Though she dared not speak to them, not after what they did.
e letting them go? ” Est questioned him.
”Yeah. Don see why not.
” Christopher replied. His eyes fell upon the enemy familiar, who flinched at the action.
”See to it that you do not try to kill us again. Request from Achlys or not, we
e stronger than you. ” He gave them both a sly grin.
Slowly, he walked toward them, and stooped to Quths level.
”A-Ahh! ” Without a hint of unwillingness, he snatched her by her neck, then threw off her hoodie, which revealed her short, straight, silvery-white hair. ”Nnrng…w-what…? ” A teary voice emitted from her little lips, she ached for him to just let them go.
”And don even think about following or going after us. If I ever see you both again… ” He leaned in close to her face, greatly intimidating her, ”…Est and I will see to it that your master here…is dead. ”
”And you little girl, youd make a pretty good slave for us. Isn that right, Est? ”
”Yes master. ” Est nodded. ”Though Id much rather you leave this one here to me. ”
”Oh, is that so? ” He glanced over to his familiar, then back to Quth, ”What do you think, Quth? Should I just give you over to Est here? My rank three familiar? ”
”N-No…please…I…I…Sh-Shes a monster!!! Please, please don give me over to her! Anything but that!!!!! ”
Christopher found her reaction to be amusing. He began to wonder if Est truly was the monster she said she was.
”Hmmm…Well you can avoid that by staying out of our way. You
e a smart familiar, so you understand, right? ”
It took her three seconds to finally answer.
”Y-Yes…We won disturb you again, Christopher Hallowswift…Est Marionette… ”
”Thats a good girl. ” He let her go, and stood up. ”Est and I have a room to rent now. If I were you, Quth, Id get the hell outta here while I still can. ”
”B-but its nearly night! How are we supposed to- ”
”Figure that out yourself.
” He indifferently replied.
e a rank four, the monsters here are supposed to be nothing for you. ”
”I-I know, b-but with master in this state I… ” Quth looked over to Alvara with great concern. Her wound was finally starting to close. ”…Okay…we…well go. Its clear to me that you aren going to let us stay…so well go. ” She peered back over to Christopher, and spoke to him in a trembling, quiet voice, ”Just…promise me, if Alvara decides to fight you again…promise me…you won kill her? ”
”That youll kill me instead? ”
”__ ” Christopher peered at her. He was surprised to hear how much Quth cared about Alvara, that shed even make that request if they clashed once more. He stared at her, slightly baffled.
”Well…if that is your request, then yes, I promise you. If we are to cross paths again, I will not kill Alvara, but you, instead. ”
”Thank you, oh thank you, Marionette Disciple! ” She seemed genuinely happy by his words. Getting up from the ground, she cast a levitation spell on her masters unconscious body. ”We shall be going now. Farewell, and may we never meet again. ”
”… ” Est and Christopher watched as they left.
When they were finally gone, Est approached from behind, and stood beside him.
”Master, are you really not going to kill that puny Death Disciple if you cross paths again? ”
”Of course I am. ” Christopher responded to Est, ”Shes a threat, who knows what shell do if left alive in our next battle. ”
”I thought so. Show them no mercy, master. ”
”I don plan to, Est. Lets rest for the night. ”
”Yes master. ”
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