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Feature Title‎ 1: Felicia's Second Life Chapter 1

Good day, my name is Felicia Belphere Metrune. I am the only daughter of Baron Alphonse Lartes Metrune, who rules the Barony of Mruna. My mother's name is Baroness Latreia Tullenaris, formerly of the house Melstad. But I haven't always been a baron's daughter.... Read More

Feature Title‎ 2: Fleet Online

Fleet Online. The ultimate virtual reality game. Join the fight against the evil Vorn and emerge a hero of mankind. Become a marine. Fight battles on the planet to save humanity or bring death to the aliens. Fight in space stations and enemy ships under zero gravity and in vacuum. Assault enemy capital ships and capture them for humanity's use.... Read More

Feature Title‎ 3: A Warrior Begins Life In A New World

Hiroshi Goto, an unemployed man who has been living off his parents due to trauma goes out to change his life. He gets into a traffic accident on the way and dies. The next thing he notices, he is at a strange place. A mosaic that calls himself 'God' appears suddenly. So that Hiroshi can live a second life, God sends him to another world... Read More

Feature Title‎ 4: The Hero's And Demon's Double Rampage

A Story of A World Infested By Demons As Told By A Powerless Villager... Read More

Feature Title‎ 5: I Have A Cheat But I Open An Inn Instead

A man who dies at a young age goes to another world and gains a cheat? -- But I don't feel like becoming a hero. I want to open an inn. Let's aim for the world's best inn instead! A story that features a mix of the author's favourite dishes. A inn that is like a home where one can come and go.... Read More

Thursday, 1 December 2016

AGO Chapter 2

Age of Gods Online Chapter 2

Serena slowly opened her eyes at the sound of chirping birds. A sharp ray of sunlight hit her eyes, causing her to squint, before her brain finally woke up. She sat up, thinking it was the next day and cursing Alice for not waking her up yesterday.

How can she just leave me at school for the whole night? She thought.

As her foggy brain woke up even more, she realized instead of a different scenery, a different location than she should be in. She was sitting in bed, in a room surrounded by wooden walls. Not just any wooden walls, but log walls. The kind of walls you'd often see in western cowboy movies.

She looked around her. Above her was a roof made of long grass woven together. The wall on her right had an open window right in the middle, allowing her to see a garden where bean-like plants were being cultivated. Under that window in the same room was another bed made of wood, with stitched fur covering the straw seen poking out from underneath it. Right in front of her was a wooden door, crudely crafted from planks nailed together.

Serena considered it such a bizarre sight that she concluded she was dreaming. After all, she took a nap in her classroom so she couldn't have ended up in a place so bizarrely different. She thought it was possible that she was kidnapped, but if that was true, she would've been tied up when she woke up. Convinced that she was dreaming, she went back to sleep.

"Hello," a voice broke through her dream.

Serena opened her eyes slightly. Through her half-opened eyes, she spied a young girl, not much older than herself. She had shoulder-length dark brown hair, slightly wide mouth to be considered pretty, tanned skin and oval face. But what was most striking about her was her eyes.

It was red, like a ruby placed by a skilled jeweller in the center of white marble. Serena imagined the girl's eyes would glow in the dark if light were to be shone at it. It reminded her of her avatar in AGO, Aelrea of the Divine Arms, she had the same red eyes too. Her avatar's eyes even glowed. This girl's eyes reminded her of the mycra race, that she as the goddess Aelrea created as her kin in AGO.

But that couldn't be the case. AGO was a game. The girl in front of her looked very real. Serena pinched her thigh, winced in pain and figured she was probably not dreaming. So by process of elimination, she came to a different conclusion.

This girl is an albino, she thought.

She completely ignored the girl's dark brown hair and tanned skin.

"Umm, hi there. I bring you breakfast," the girl said.

Only now Serena realised the girl was carrying a plate in her right hand and a mug on her left. She had been too mesmerised by the girl's beautiful red eyes that shined like expensive ruby in solitaire cut to notice anything else. While the girl crossed the short distance to the table beside her bed, she placed both her burden on the table under Serena's watchful eyes.

"Eat up. I know it's not much, but I'm sure you can appreciate a warm meal after your perilous journey."

Perilous journey?

"Didn't you come from outside the valley? Grandpa found you collapsed by the side of the road on his way home from Rycius Watchtower."


"Could it be... you don't realise where you are?" The tanned girl with ruby eyes bent over slightly, looking at Serena's face in worry.

“Umm...” Serena could've chosen any reply, but she was too overwhelmed by the vastly different scenery that she couldn't say a single word in response.

Seeing Serena's confused face, the girl said, "You're home!"

"Pardon?" Serena asked. In her mind, she thought this was certainly not her home.

"The Crimson Valley! The land that hero Lasrios tried to lead the mycra to! Oh wait, since you're a 'lost hammer', you probably grew up hearing it's original name, 'Valley of Snakes' instead."

Certainly, Serena have heard the name Lasrios and Valley of Snakes before. However, putting both phrases in one breath, brought into mind a possibility that she couldn't believe could be real. Added to the fact that the girl admitted that her people were called the mycra, it could only bring her to one conclusion. A conclusion which was simply impossible. Not even in fairytales.

So of course, Serena was in denial.

"You messing with me?" Serena asked with suspicion.

"No! This really is the promised land, it is the Valley of Snakes that the hero Lasrios said was prepared by Goddess Aelrea for us. He brought us here following our time of great need,” the girl said with much greater enthusiasm, even her face was flushed and her breath heavy from excitement.

What nonsense is this? I never did anything like that. Wait, this means... oh man, I'm getting a headache.

Serena indeed knew of a Lasrios, but that was in AGO. Lasrios was none other than one of her hero units. Serena had other hero units as well, such as Pegasus Knight Heriane and Guardian of the Forge Maristes. They fought Ukhlar together with her before she died and she could only assume they died as well afterward. Sword Brave Lasrios was the strongest of them all, even more than Spearmaster Gardi.

As Lasrios was the strongest hero, Serena as Aelrea equipped him with an S-class weapon that she created specifically for him, the cursed Blood Forge. It was a blade of immense power that it consumed the souls of its users to become stronger. She then sent him on a long term quest to defeat one of the players from the Theocracy of Lyrica, so he was too far to be recalled when Ukhlar the Scourge of Blood invaded the Aelrean Mountain Range.

Lasrios was deep in enemy territory, accompanied by only a handful of skilled mycras and a company of khalisian mercenaries. They were in a place called the Valley of Snakes. According to the girl, this place was called the Valley of Snakes once. If one were to assume that the game had somehow become a reality, that meant, this was the place he was sent to. If the game had become reality, then it would be safe to assume that just like this girl before her, Lasrios had also gained sentience.

That idiot probably misunderstood my reasoning for ordering him to come here. He probably thought I sent him here to invade it for the mycra's future expansion. I actually gave him that quest because the player who owned this land was weak. Oh Lasrios, there should be a limit to your achievements.

Serena was impressed at herself for creating such a resourceful minion. The actual reason she sent Lasrios to the Valley of Snakes was not to take the valley for her use, but to raise Lasrios's level by defeating a weak god. Then when he would be a lot stronger, she'd kill his character and have his soul consumed by the blade. This would hopefully raise the blade's level from S-class to SS-class. How could she have known he would misunderstood her intentions?

Of course, instead of using such a roundabout way to create an SS-class weapon, she could've forged an SS-class weapon from the start, just like how she forged the spear called, Drill of the Universe. Unfortunately, creating an SS-class weapon from the start had a very low chance of success, even for one of her skills and she wasted a tonne of resources to craft a successful one. When she crafted the Blood Forge, she no longer had the resources to spare.

"Didn't your parent teach you?" the girl asked again.

"Pardon?" Serena almost forgot about this girl standing next to her bed.

"Didn't your parents teach you about the Valley of Snakes? Even if you're a lost hammer, you must have heard them talk about it, right?"

"You kept talking about 'lost hammer'. Is that some kind of insult or something?" Frankly, it sounded racist in Serena's ears. She really hate racist people.

"Oh, I'm sorry. I didn't mean it that way. It's just what we call the mycras who have never set foot inside the Crimson Valley."

"What did you say?"

"We call people like you lost hammer because-"

"No, did you just call me a mycra?"

"Aren't you? What are you other than a mycra? Your red eyes that shine like ruby is telling enough."

Wait, my eyes are red? I'm a normal girl! My eyes are blue!

"But the real proof is in your blood," the girl said as she touched Serena's hand.

Hey, overly friendly girl. Just because I'm sitting helpless in bed, doesn't mean you can touch me so casually.

The girl wrapped her fingers around Serena's, before jolts of energy pass through the palm of Serena's hand, up to her arm then into her heart. As if in response, a stronger jolt then fired out of Serena's heart and transmitted through their linked hands into the girl. Both of them reacted to that pulse of energy in different ways.

"Ahhhnn, nooo..." the girl moaned while making a blissful face that could easily be misunderstood as something lewd.

As for Serena, she made a muffled moan and panted while thinking, I didn't know I swing that way too.

"What was that?" the girl asked while panting.

"How would I know?" No, I'm not gay.

"That was amazing!"

The hell are you saying?!!! Serena scolded in her heart.

"I never knew another girl could make me feel this way." Serena lamented this realization that everything she knew as fact was a lie. Cake. Her mind suddenly created an image of a cake.

"You must be someone talented!" The girl said with flushed cheeks covered by the fingers of her hands.

"This can't be real, I can't be bent." I'm not gay!!!

"I've never felt something so wonderful!" The face she was making could be easily misunderstood as something euphoric.

"Ai, it seems like life is not so straightforward as I'd like to believe," Serena said to herself as the cracks in her heart started to make way for acceptance.

"I think if you work hard, you can even be a master craftsman!" The girl exclaimed in a loud and excited voice to Serena who was in her own world.

"I may need to redefine my sexuality," Serena said as the cracks in her heart grew bigger.

"With your talent, I think you have a shot. What have you made so far?" The girl asked, totally unaware of Serena's inner turmoil.

"Excuse me? Were you talking to me?" Serena asked as she finally snapped out of her self-destructive thoughts.

"... Who else is here?"

"I thought you were talking to yourself. What were you saying just now?"

"I said your magic is so strong, you probably have the talent to become a master crafter. That pulse of energy just now was proof. All mycra can exchange energy that way, but your energy was amazing!"

"You mean that feeling just now, it wasn't love?" A ray of hope shined through the cracks of Serena's heart.

"Love? Why would you suddenly ask that?"

"Thank god! I thought I've become a lesbian!" Serena breathed a sigh of relief. Slowly, little by little, the cracks in her heart mended itself.

"Yes, thank Goddess Aelrea for your talent. There are many magic crafters from the hamlet, but you're far above them! You must be blessed. I think you should join the crafter's competition this year!"

"One thing at a time, my excited tanned... uhh... acquaintance. What do I call you?"

"Oh, sorry, I was too excited, I forgot my manners. My name is Iina."

"Serena," Serena introduced herself.

She entertained the thought of introducing herself as Aelrea, but considering Aelrea was the mycra's goddess, they probably wouldn't take kindly to someone using their goddess's name. Even though she was Aelrea in the game, they'd probably expect her to perform some kind of miracle, which Serena had no idea how to do at the moment.

Iina smiled wide, which, with her big mouth should've made her look like a clown. Instead, it made her look sweet and cute. "Then Serena, let me be the first to welcome you to Clear River Hamlet." 

Read more »

Friday, 18 November 2016

AGO Chapter 1

Age of Gods Online

Serena was a top player in the popular browser game Age of Gods Online which combined elements of strategy, action and RPG on a platform available to everyone with access to the internet. As an RMT scum, she climbed the ranks of the deathmatch with real world money. One day, after she was defeated in battle by another player, she went to sleep and woke up in the world of AGO.

But something was terribly wrong. She woke up 300 years in the future of the current Age of Gods Online. Will she be able to unravel why or how she get there and if she'll ever return home?

Age of Gods Online, otherwise known as AGO, combines the age-old system of browser-based massively multiplayer online game with the catchy action gameplay popularized by gaming consoles. Launched in 2019, it takes full advantage of the rise of mobile gaming to deliver an enjoyable, fully immersive MMOG that allows any user to play the game regardless of hardware specifications or gaming platforms. All one needs to play the game is just an internet connection and a platform that can open web browsers.

Due to aggressive marketing strategy and their catchphrase, "You are not PLAYING a god, you ARE a god", their player base skyrocketed to 200,000 players in just a week. An impressive feat for a company renowned for making mediocre games in the past.


"Foul servants of the evil god! I, Guardian of the Forge Meristes shall halt your advance!" the hammer-wielding woman in fire-resistant coat announced before dozens of premium soldiers delivered blow after blow. Despite her great skills and the honour granted as Guardian of the Forge, not even she could handle the attacks from a hundred premium soldiers. Left with not being able to perform her main attack, she could only defend with her oversized hammer.

Suddenly from behind, a blade of light swept up the enemies around her. The blade of light cut cleanly through their bodies, cutting off their source of life. With that blow, they returned to their original forms, armoured statues imbued with life at their gods' commands.

"Went too far. You could. Die," a mechanical voice came out of the suit of armour that came up behind Meristes. It was the Mechanical Knight Alou, the only living armour crafted by the hands of its goddess, Aelrea of the Divine Arms.

"Everyone, do NOT allow them to advance any further! Even if you die, you will stop them here. Heriane, keep the premium dragon occupied. Eri, I will need you to sacrifice yourself to stop the blood corona," Aelrea of the Divine Arms commanded. 

Just like her heroes, even she had suffered multiple wounds, mostly from having to deal with the siege weapon blood corona. Without minding her wounds, she said to herself, "If only Gardi is here, he would be able to deal with those pesky blood coronas easily." It was because Spearmaster Gardi was armed with Spear That Drills The Universe, an SS-class item that ignored all defense, physical or magical.

"Yes, my lord. Come, my trusty steed!" Pegasus Knight Heriane flew to the sky, riding atop her mount, the silver pegasus.

"For the goddess!" Forgemaster Eri ran towards the throng of premium soldiers before jumping to the air and throwing her twin storm hammers at the concentration of blood coronas, weapons capable of leveling whole cities if given the chance.

"As the goddess wish. Taste my hammer, foul creatures! Forge of the Sun!" Guardian of the Forge Meristes cried as the head of her hammer became a brilliant ball of light. When she smashed the ball of light on the ground, everything within the range of two miles turned to ash.

"Command accepted. Will comply." Mechanical Knight Alou rushed forward, its thick armour became the hammer that smashed against all the premium soldiers in its way. Its multiple gun ports firing on multiple targets at the same time while its flaming missiles sought scorched miles of land.

While this was going on, Aelrea pulled up her inventory. She was planning to summon her two premium items, the premium wyverns and the premium flame dragon. Unfortunately, before she could use either, a single blade cut off her neck from behind. 

"I've been waiting for you to send your heroes away. Too bad, Serena. It's my win this time. Hahahaha!"  

Serena had to fight the urge to throw her phone to the floor. She had just lost a battle against Ukhlar, the Scourge of Blood and she feared this had kicked her out of the deathmatch, despite having a lot of cash items still unused. The idea of losing all the premium jewels and items she just bought yesterday annoyed her to no end.

"Damn you, Steve. There should be a rule against using so many cash items in one battle. Bloody RMT scum." she cursed.

RMT refers to 'real money transaction' in which players spend real world money to get ahead in an MMOG. 'RMT scum' refers to the type of players who rely on RMT to be on top. To be fair, Serena had no right to find fault in Ukhlar's method. After all, she too was an RMT scum right up to her defeat.

An incoming message chimed as she was contemplating how best to pay Ukhlar, the Scourge of Blood, otherwise known as Steve Weisz for this latest humiliation.

Marc: Congratulations!
Serena: About what?
Marc: For getting to Top 5.
Serena: But I just lost.
Marc: Saint Klaus was killed about a minute before Ukhlar killed you, so now Saint Klaus is kicked from the game and you're locked at 5th Rank. I wonder how the devs are going to run the game now. Heard you guys will be transported to a smaller area to encourage conflict.
Serena: Where did you hear this?
Marc: Dev diary. They said the game will be in lockdown until Sunday to manage the updates.
Serena: You sure?
Marc: Yes, very sure. You can check it yourself.
Serena: Maybe later. I'm still at school.
Marc: Detention?
Serena: Any other reason I'd still be at school this late?
Marc: lol How about we go on a date this Saturday? Your exam's already over, right?
Serena: You got a job yet?

The silence went on for four whole minutes.

Marc: Alright, give me another lecture, my heart is ready.
Serena: I already told you I won't go on a date with an unemployed man. You want another date, get a job.
Marc: But I do have a job, I'm a full time gamer
Serena: A job that makes money. I don't even mind if you get a job as a street vendor. If you want a date, make your own money, not wasting your parents' money.

"Bit rich coming from someone who spends her allowance like water," a girl spoke behind Serena, making her jump on her chair.

"Alice! Since when were you behind me?" Serena asked with a bit of fluster.

Alice grinned as she said, "A few minutes. You were too busy chatting with your boyfriend to notice."

"That shut-in is not my boyfriend."

"Oh really, then why do you look so happy every time you reply his messages?"

"You - no, this... You're freakin' blind, Alice."

"Oh, he replies," Alice said as she chuckled at Serena snapping her head around to look at the screen.

Marc: But if I become a street vendor, you'll be too embarrassed to be seen with me.
Serena: Excuse me, my father's first job was a roast beans street seller. My mom's first job was a shop assistant. Daddy made it very clear that no job is shameful while I was growing up. You were there during such lectures. How do you expect me to introduce you - as whatever - to my parents when you don't have a job?

"Ooh, you're already at that level?" Alice teased with a giggle.

"Go away, Alice," Serena said in annoyance while shooing Alice away with her left hand.

"Sorry, no can do. I want to borrow your phone," Alice said while looking slightly embarrassed.

"What happened to yours?"

"Confiscated. Mom said I played AGO too much. That's why I'm ranked at 23. I wasn't able to play."

Marc: If I get a job, will you go out with me?
Serena: Get a job first, then we'll talk.
Marc: Got it.

"Here," Serena said as she handed her phone to Alice.

"Thanks! I know I can count on you!" Alice said as she logged in to AGO sandbox. "How was the boyfriend?" Alice asked while her finger danced on the surface of Serena's phone.

"He's not my boyfriend," Serena denied while looking out the classroom window from her seat.

"Oh, so that's the setting, huh? Older neighbour boy, fallen hard and a young girl who's in denial?"

"I'm not in denial. I'm just helping him get back on his feet," Serena argued without looking at Alice.

"By being his girlfriend?" Alice asked, her eyes locked on the screen and her fingers busy tapping everywhere.

"If it's necessary."

"Yeah, it's not like you're in love with him or anything, right?"


Alice chuckled. "Yeah, it's not like that shut-in who smells bad, rarely change clothes, lives in a dumpster and-"

"Don't diss Marc!"

"But you don't love him. So what's the big deal?"

"I'm the only one who can talk smack about him. You can't!"

"Ooooh, possessive much?"

"Whatever, just put it back in my bag after you're done with it. I'm catching up on sleep," Serena said as she buried her face in her arms on the desk.

"Yes, yes, your highness," Alice said as she used up the accumulated faith in the sandbox to stick some guard towers at her border, "You know it's really sad that detention is just another word for 'nap time' considering the teachers don't even bother to watch us. Alright, I'm done! Here you - Serena?"

Alice looked behind her, at Serena's seat, which was empty of all life and presence.

"Are you sleepwalking again?" Alice asked the empty chair. 
Read more »

Thursday, 17 November 2016

Children of the Valkyries

Children of the Valkyries

What happens in Valhalla stays in Valhalla for an eternity.

“Congratulations! You have been selected!” a voice that reminded me of supermarket personnels doing lucky draws exclaimed...

... while I was drowning and wondering, “Why the heck am I swimming in this slimy goo?”

“Welcome back, child of Brynhildr. We look forward to your future contributions towards our future and safety!” another voice, much gentler and less mechanical said into my ears as I was pulled out of the slimy goo by the hand.

The moment I emerged from the pool of slimy goo, the contents of my stomach sprayed out from my mouth against the multi-coloured metallic floor. I wretched and vomited goo over and over, until my stomach had nothing left to throw out. It felt similar to that time in middle school when I ate a plate of purple curry rice that the girls in my cooking class group made. Yes, the curry was purple. Let us allow that to sink in. Nobody dared to eat it, but being a man among men, how could I just leave a challenge unanswered? So I ate it, emptied the whole plate. Wasting a good plate of white rice is not the Japanese way. 

Of course, what came next earned me a name that included the word ‘vomit’, turning my nickname from ‘banchou’ (boss) into ‘Gero Banchou’ (Boss Vomit). It was a bad memory.

“Oh, is this your first time?” the woman who pulled me out of that pool of slimy goo approached again before draping my apparently naked body in a thick blanket.

I tried to ask what happened, but my throat felt hoarse and dry despite the amount of fluid that just came out from there.

I looked up at the woman, who was kneeling on the metallic floor beside me while cleaning my face of the slime using a towel. Then she covered my back with some kind of cloth while I looked at her amazed. She was blonde, beautiful and had big breasts. She was a blonde gaijin! 

Not just any gaijin, but a gaijin who speaks perfect Japanese! I still can’t speak English although I’ve been learning it since primary school, but that’s probably because I always skipped classes. Of course I skip classes regularly. How many delinquents you know go to school obediently? As banchou (boss) of the school, I have to keep up appearances, you know.

“Ah... ano... hauw doo yiu doo?” I asked the only English greeting I could remember with my coarse voice, because ‘hello’ is just too common. I wanted to impress this big breasted gaijin onee-san. 

By the way, gaijin refers to foreigners in Japan while onee-san means ‘big sister’. I surprise myself with how much English words I can remember sometimes. Maybe I should’ve studied English better. Then I can study in England or America. Maybe I’ll be able to have a big breasted blonde girlfriend like this onee-san.


Of course I’m excited! I’m not like those Tokyo boys who walk home with beautiful blonde gaijins every day! I’m an Akita boy through and through. We don’t get many gaijins in Akita. We only have kogal, those shameless girls who forsake their Japanese heritage and imitate blonde foreigners. Those girls always piss me off. If you’re Japanese, then be Japanese!

“I’m doing good. How about you? Do you feel pain anywhere?” the blonde onee-san smiled.

I felt an arrow painfully piercing my heart.

“Are you okay? Are you hurt?” the blonde onee-san asked with a concerned face.

Only the place the arrow hits.

“No, I-I’m fine. Where am I?” I asked as I noticed my surrounding for the first time. 

It was a hall with the same floor size as four high school classrooms put side by side. Circular in form, topped with a domed ceiling, it featured a pitched floor, making the center much lower than the circular sides. Arranged on the raised floor surrounding the center of the chamber were hundreds of bronze statues in the form of beautiful European-looking women. Some of the statues appeared to be carved wearing armour, some wore some kind of one-piece ancient clothing while some others only wore something that looked like breastplate and grass skirt. 

In front of each statue was a pool filled with the same slime that I had just vomited. As I scanned my surroundings, one of the statues appeared to emit a yellow glow. A second later, a hand pushed out of the pool of slime as another beautiful woman rushed forth and grabbed hold of the hand. She then pulled hard, bringing out a naked young woman from that pool of slime.

I looked at myself, wondering, was I like that too? I touched my own body, and deduced that apart from the cloth on my back, I really was naked. Worse, when I touched my chest, something that wasn’t there was there. It felt as earth-shattering as two gigantic mountains pushing out of a flat desert.

“UAAAAAAHHH!” I cried feeling a pair of what could only be breasts on my chest. I was too afraid to look.

“What? What? Are you still in pain?” the beautiful gaijin onee-san asked with a worried face.


“Unn, yes, is there a problem? Is it smaller than in your previous life? I’m sorry. We don’t decide how a person looks. That depends on your ‘mother’, you see,” she said as she gestured towards a bronze statue behind me.

“That’s not the problem! Why do I have breasts?!!!”

The beautiful onee-san blinked her eyes looking confused at me. Suddenly the door slid open and a man walked in, while greeting the other women in the chamber as he walked my way. He was about 180cm tall, with broad shoulders and stupid face. He looked like one of the nerds I used to bully in middle school. I wondered if he had any lunch money I could extort.

“Good evening, Ionar. How is our new einherjar?” the man asked the beautiful gaijin onee-san.

“Good evening, Larry. I think there may be a problem, are you taking over?” the onee-san asked as she pulled the cloth on my back around my body. Without a word, she helped tie the waist of what was apparently a robe on my body.

The man chuckled. “It’s not like I have a choice. It’s my job.”

“Well, I’ll leave it to you, then.” The beautiful gaijin onee-san made a bow and left me with this nerd.

No, please don’t go, beautiful onee-san. Don’t leave me!

“Alright, please fix your dress so we can get right to business,” the man said as he looked at the bronze statue behind me and murmured, “So, mother is Brynhildr.”

He jotted something into what looked like an electronic tablet.

“You may have heard from Ionar just now, but my name is Larry. Not Lawrence, no surname, just Larry.” He flashed a brilliant white smile.

“Oh, so her name is Iona,” I murmured while watching her beautiful figure pull another person out of another pool of slime.

“Yes, that’s her name. Now, what’s your name?” 

“Me?” I asked, recognizing for the first time that my voice had turned feminine.

This is too embarrassing. How can a manly man such as I turn into a woman? Why? Did I sell someone’s mother in a previous life?

“No, I’m asking the air. Hello, how do you do, Mr. Air? Fine evening, isn’t it? In case you’re wondering, girl, that was sarcasm. Of course I’m asking you!”

“Umm, Takagawa Ayumu.”

“I see. Sounds Japanese. How did you die?”

“Excuse me?”

“How did you die?”

“What nonsense are you saying? Do I look dead at all?”

“I see. Ionar didn’t tell you, it seems. Let’s start with something simple, then. What was the last thing you remember?”

“The last thing? Hm... I remember seeing Grandma Akiyama being bullied by some delinquents from another school.”

“What happened next?”

“I fought them off, of course! Bullying old people isn’t a manly thing to do. We, the younger generation owe our lives and good fortunes to they who suffered before we were born. I told them to back off, but then one of them took out a knife and – shiiiiiittt!!! I died!”

“Well, at least I don’t have to explain it in detail.”

I looked up to the skies and prayed. “Uuu... to die at 17... my life is incredibly short. I’m sorry father, who took care of me my whole life. I’m sorry mother who died giving birth to me. I’m sorry little sister for not being able to beat up your bullies from now on. I’m sorry Kokonotsu-kun for always extorting your lunch money. I’m sorry for the debts I accumulated and will never be able to pay it back now. Father, please don’t burden yourself with building me a tombstone. Your worthless son do not deserve anything more from you. A small shrine is more than what I deserve, but if possible, please give me gyudon as offering every Monday and Thursday. Gyudon every Children's Day would be great too.”

“Are you done?”

“Umm, let’s see. To Yagumo, Tarou and Kippei, thank you for being good henchmen. Your debts towards me, please pay it back to my father and little sister. Please forgive me, Grandma Akiyama for not being able to protect you-“

“By Grandma Akiyama, could it be her?” The man pointed his finger to one of the girls that was being cared for by one of the women.

From the side, she did look like Grandma Akiyama, only younger, much younger, “Akiyama obaa-san?” 

“Ee? That voice? Could it be Ayu-chan?” Grandma Akiyama, her face still covered in slime turned my way without opening her eyes.

“Outoutoutoutoutout!” I whispered to the man Larry as I pushed him out through the only door out of the chamber. 

Like hell I’m going to let Grandma Akiyama find out I’ve turned into a girl!


“So, Ayu-chan-“

“It’s Ayumu, but call me Takagawa, you rude man!”

“Isn’t Takagawa your previous life’s surname?”

“What of it?”

“Well, you need to remember that your life has ended. You now have a new life and a new surname, Brynhildr. The only question is, do you want to keep your old given name or pick a new name as a new einherjar?”

“What’s an einherjar?”

“People like you and me. People who died on Earth due to some heroic deeds and reincarnated here as superhuman beings.”


“No, not Superman. Superhuman. Basically we’re stronger, better and faster than the average human. If you want a comparison, we’re like bio-mechanical robots, except that we’re really humans. We can eat, we can breathe, we can also procreate. However, we can turn off certain bodily functions at will, so technically, we can survive even in the coldness of space for many years.”

This is too much for a former delinquent who used to skip classes all the time. I feel like my head is spinning. In the first place, what is bio-mechanical robot? Is it like Asobo? Technology is truly magnificent.

“So want to choose a new name? No? Alright, so your name is Ayumu Brynhildr. Next on the list is... Newbie Guide,” Larry took out a book from inside his coat and handed it to me, “That is a complete instruction manual for new einherjar. You should read it as soon as you can. It has maps, suggested first jobs, suggested trade routes, newbie friendly firms and information on your battlegears up to intermediary level.”

“Battlegear?” I asked while having a look at the Newbie Guide.

I expected it to be a book filled with English words, but surprisingly, it was a manga! Instead of English words, it was written using characters that I had never seen before. What was even more surprising, was that I could read it just as well as I could read hiragana! 


“Here we are, the initial supplies depot. Come on in,” he said as he pressed a button by the side of the door, causing the door to slide open.

“Oh Larry, good morning!” a cheerful little white girl with the name Nadya on her vest greeted as soon as we walked in.

“Morning, Nadya. Can you bring out a newbie package for our new recruit here?” 

“Package code?”

“I think Argo6 would be good for the girl.”

I grabbed him by his lapels. “You punk! Who are you calling a girl, huh?”

“You, of course. You can’t seriously think you can return to being a man.”

“But I am a man!”

“You were. You’re Japanese, you know of reincarnation, don’t you? Just think of it as reincarnating as a girl.”

“No! I can’t accept this! What did I spend 17 years of my life for?”

“Well, that’s your problem,” he said as the little girl came back with a briefcase that was bigger than her. Larry opened the briefcase, made a hum signifying his satisfaction and showed the contents to me. “This is your supplies for the next few weeks, please have a look.”

I took out one of the stuff from the briefcase. I held it up as I said, “What use do I have for so many toothpastes? Do you expect me to brush my teeth every hour?”

“That’s not toothpaste, that’s your food supply.”


“Yes. It’s your daily ration, consisting of all the necessary nutrients for a well-functioning einherjar-“

I grabbed his face in a vice-like grip.

“Umm, this slightly hurts. Please be aware of your own strength as an einherjar. If I’m not an einherjar myself, you could’ve crushed my head with your fingers.”

“Not only you denied me my death and turned me into a girl. You’re even planning on feeding me toothpaste?”

“Those aren’t toothpaste.”

“I want real food.”

“Those are real food. It has a balanced blend of all necessary nutrients in good proportions, tailored to meet einherjar body’s needs.”

“Real food! Not toothpaste! I want riceballs, beef rice, curry and miso soup! I’d even settle for melon bread,” I said while tightening my grip.

“Ah, so that’s the problem. I was worried it was something big. Nadya, please bring up Amagawa8.”

“Of course!” the little white girl said with a smile, looking like she wasn’t even the least bit affected by the spectacle in front of her.

“Here it is,” the little white girl said cheerfully. Bringing out a briefcase similar to the one before, she put it on the desk beside the other briefcase. 

I let go of Larry’s face and pressed the button that opened the briefcase with trembling fingers. The sinking feeling I had as I opened the briefcase made way for indescribable anger. Grabbing one of the tubes inside the briefcase, I opened the cap and shoved it into Larry’s mouth.

With the tube of toothpaste food in his mouth, Larry coughed with watery eyes as he spat the tube out. He stomped his foot on the metallic floor repeatedly while tears flowed from his eyes. If one just came in and looked at him, they’d think he was being tortured with onion juice or worse.

“What was that? It felt like my nose just opened up a new hole!”

“That was a tube of wasabi. At least you got the taste right. But what about the rest? A toothpaste tube of rice? Another tube of beef curry? Do you really expect me to eat this?”

“Everyone eats that here. You’re not the only one. Even I eat that, but of course, I wouldn’t eat that wasabi thing. My favourite kit is Miller12.”

I grabbed the lapels of his coat with both hands and pushed him against the wall roughly. “Not only did you turn me into a girl-“

“You really can’t let that go, can you?”

“Now you also expect me to eat toothpaste? You’re just begging to die, huh?”

“No thanks. If I die now, I’ll have to start over. I forgot to renew my ship insurance yesterday.”

“I want real food. I want rice that I can chew, tofu that is as soft as sponge, ramen that I can slurp noisily and natto that I can eat with rice. Do you understand me? REAL FOOD!”

“Oh those, why didn’t you say it earlier? We don’t get those meals here. You have to go to the city if you want them. But you’ll need ‘gull’.”

“What’s ‘gull’?”

“It’s the currency here in Asgard. It’s something like money on Midgard – I mean Earth.”

“That’s great! Ahh, if I really have to eat toothpaste every day, I’d probably go on a rampage.”

“Are you sure you weren’t born from Hildr’s or Sanngrior’s wombs?”

“So I just need to go to the city and work, right? What jobs can I do that pays money in advance?”

“Sorry, it doesn’t work that way. You’re an einherjar, which means you’re not allowed to take normal city jobs.”

“Huh? Then how do I make money?”

“You gain gull by performing duties requested by the leadership, killing enemies that you find on your travels, do escort jobs for people paying for it or conduct interplanetary business once you have some gull.  Would you release my coat, please? This thing is bloody expensive.”

I let go of his coat as I imagined the kind of jobs I’d have to do just to eat a bowl of ramen or a simple gyudon. I haven’t thought of something like this since father managed to get a job at the electronics factory. Before that, even after father was fired from his job due to economic depression, we were still able to have a cheap meal twice a day, thanks to father doing odd jobs around town. I also shared some of my earnings with father, but father refused to accept my money. He said it was his job to prepare a meal for the family and kids like me should just do what kids do. Of course, I didn’t tell him some of that money I wanted to share with him was extorted from the rich kids at school, but he couldn’t have known that, right? Thinking that I won’t be able to eat if I don’t work hard, it reminds me of the stories of wartime Japan that Grandma Akiyama used to tell me in my childhood. 

“Let’s not mind it all that much for now. Here, try this flight suit on. It should fit, but you never know unless you put it on,” Larry said as he pushed a stretchy fabric against my hands.

With my mind numb from the realization that I was suddenly a working adult, I took the suit without a word and went into the fitting room at the side of the hall. While taking off the robe and putting on the flight suit, I wondered quietly about how much a bowl of gyudon would cost in this gull currency. As I pondered the possibility of having to work hard for days to afford a single bowl of gyudon, I finished putting on the flight suit and looked at myself in the mirror.

I kicked open the steel door of the fitting room and punched Larry on his left cheek. Larry flew following my punch, his body twisting twice in the air, bounced on the floor once, before crashing against the opposite wall inside the Supplies Depot. The metallic wall cracked from the impact, which didn’t seem to faze the little white girl Nadya, who kept smiling brightly as if having a cracked wall in her workspace didn’t concern her.

“Wh-what was that about?” Larry asked as he tried to get up.


“Incorrect. It is full body flight suit. If you want to fetishize it, at least say it’s a diver’s suit,” Larry said calmly as he stood with difficulty and brushed off the fragments of metal from the broken wall that fell on his body.

“It looks like a plugsuit!” I cried, referring to the full body skin-tight pilot suits worn by the operators of huge robots in a popular anime in the 90s. Asuka in her plugsuit was my first crush.

“What’s a plugsuit? Something electricians wear?”

“Give me something a man would wear!” I demanded as Nadya, the little white girl pressed something that looked like a slim, narrow and futuristic cellphone into my hand. She told me to aim and press the big yellow button on top.

“Wait! Nadya, why did you give her the particle wand?” he asked the little girl. His face paled as if he was looking at something scary.

“You should know by now, Larry. Watching you ‘greeters’ is the only joy I have ever since I got this body. Fufufu,” the little white girl covered her mouth as she laughed slyly.

“You monster!”

I pressed the yellow button, shooting a beam of light from the tip of the particle wand at Larry. Larry yelped in pain the moment the beam hit his arm and jumped away from the path of the beam. I fired the same beam at Larry over and over, most of which he managed to avoid at hair’s breadth, but some hit parts of his body, causing those parts to become numb.

“Miss Nadya, the punk’s not dead,” I complained while continuing to shoot particle beams at Larry.

Miss Nadya replied with a giggle, “Oh that’s because it’s set to stun. Einherjar can withstand several blasts of ‘stun’ settings at full power. It’s only funny when it’s at ‘stun’, you know. If he dies, the insurance investigation will be a pain in the ass.”

While I was distracted by Miss Nadya’s explanation, Larry closed the distance and snatched the particle wand from my hand.

“Do. Not. Shoot. At. People! Didn’t you learn this in gun ethics?”

“I wouldn’t know, the only people in my country with guns were the police and the yakuza,” I replied while trying to snatch the particle wand back.

He rubbed his temple with the hand not holding the particle wand. As he put the particle wand back into the briefcase labelled Arugo2, he mumbled, “Why do I always get the psychotic ones?”

“So are you going to give me men’s clothes or not?” I asked while crossing my arms in front of my chest.

“There are no men’s suits that would suit your... hips. Besides, the regulations state you need to have a form-fitting suit to maximize survival during moments of emergency.”

“What kind of emergency that would require me to wear a plugsuit?”

“... I’ll just show it to you. Just take one of those and follow me,” Larry said without waiting for my reply.

Miss Nadya waved goodbye to me as I closed Amagawa8 briefcase and carried it in my left hand. The ‘food’ wasn’t what I could tolerate, but according to the manga, there were plenty of useful things inside the briefcase, such as the particle wand earlier. The briefcase looked heavy, but when I lifted it, it was very light. Perhaps it was because of my enhanced einherjar strength?

“Where are we going?” I asked as I followed behind.

“The hangar. Let’s just get you your ship and be done with it. I don’t think my body can stand the abuse much longer.”

“What ship?”

“The one you’ll use to leave this place.”

I grabbed his face with the full strength of my fingers. He didn’t even struggle, apparently already suspecting it would happen again. “Before that, turn me back into a man,” I demanded.

“I’ve told you,” his voice sounded funny with my palm pressing against his nose and mouth, “We don’t decide your gender. That’s entirely up to the valkyries. We don’t even know how they choose who they give birth to. They’re ancient technology. Nobody alive knows how to tweak it or even how it works. We just turn lemons into lemonades, we don’t grow the lemons.”

“Then how do you expect me to live with this... this body!”

“I’d suggest accepting your fate. You’re not the first man to be reborn as a woman, just like how there are many women being reborn as men. They’ve all made the adjustments, I’m sure you can too, eventually. Now would you please release my face? I think I can hear my skull cracking.”

I lessened the strength of my grip on his face, to his relief. 

He felt his face to ensure it wasn’t damaged, then cocked his head left and right, making popping sounds in the joints of his neck. He turned to me and said, “Well, let’s keep walking.” Then he walked forward and turned right towards ‘Hangars 101-200’.

I followed beside him, but seeing him greeting the others we met on the way, I said, “Hey, I’ve been wondering, everyone here seems to be able to speak perfect Japanese. Some has an accent that I can’t place, but everyone seems to be able to speak Japanese very well. Why is that?”

“Japanese? I think you’re misunderstanding something. Nobody is speaking Japanese here.”

“What are you talking about? What language would I be speaking if not Japanese?”

“I don’t really know what language it’s called but most people agree with calling it Asgardian. You see, when you came out of the birthing pool, you automatically became able to speak the standard language. I don’t really know how it works, but basically, you feel as if you’re speaking in the language you are most familiar with. In reality, you’re speaking, listening, reading and writing in this standard language.”

“That’s strange. It’s like how every alien creature can speak English fluently in western TV series.”

“Indeed, that always puzzled me too. Always wondered how they never even bothered to explain how the aliens could speak English despite it being the first time they met the Earthlings. Well anyway, here we are. Hangar 108, yours until you leave the base,” he said as he opened the large door.

I looked into the hangar, then grabbing his face, I lifted him by his head and smashed him against the wall beside the door. The metallic wall cracked accordingly, just like before. It seemed like einherjar bodies were more durable than the walls. 

“This is getting repetitive. Now I understand why they only hire einherjar for this job,” he muttered under my hand.

“That’s a bathtub!” It was a bathtub that looked like half of a chicken’s egg, the fat part.

“No no, it’s not a bathtub. This is called the battle pod. It’s the core of the battle gears you will be piloting.”

“It’s a glorified bathtub!” Which still looked like an egg.

“I assure you, the liquid inside is not water. It is similar to amniotic fluid, to cushion you from injury and space radiation. So it’s not a bath tub.”

“I have to stay in there?!” Inside that egg?

“Yes, most of your time will likely be spent inside the battle pod. It’s perfectly safe and comfy. You can even eat your food inside or if need be, perform toilet operations. You will never want for anything else. More than twenty of our pilots haven’t even left their pods for the past five years.”

“... Typical salesman.” I hate salesmen.

“Can you please let go of my face and refrain from smashing the back of my head against the wall again in the near future? I think I should already go visit the doctor.”

I let go of his face as he breathed a sigh of relief. Entering first, he led me to the bathtub in the middle of the hangar. He told me to get in, which I hesitated to, the reason being the fact that the pool of water inside the bathtub smelled faintly of blood. He suddenly pushed me from behind, making me fall head-first into the yellowish water. 

Suddenly multiple metallic plates approached the bathtub at high speed. Before realizing it, the rear and sides of the partially raised bathtub was covered, leaving only the front part open. That was before the front glass that looked like it could’ve been a windshield grew before my eyes and completely enclosed the bathtub. The yellow water filled up the inside of the pod, causing m to panic and I started punching and kicking the windshield glass to no avail. It took only two seconds for the water to completely fill the inside of the egg, drowning me as the liquid entered my throat. The feeling was only minute, though. A moment later, I didn’t feel anything. Even the water turned clear, as if the water turned into air.

“Hello!” something that looked like a quarter of a sphere in front of me lit up and spoke with a mechanical voice.

“Err, hello?”

“Hello, sister! How do you feel?”


“Let me introduce myself, I am your brain.”

“Excuse me? I think I would’ve known if somebody took my brain out of my head.”

“No, no. I worded it badly. I am the brain, the heili, of your battlegear. I perform calculations, pilot your battlegear, manage the basic workings and maintenance of your ship and allow you to communicate with other ships in space.”

“On the other hand, you are the will, the vili of your battlegear. You decide what you want to do, where you want to go, who you want to save and who you want to shoot. You choose what your weapons will target, and your heili, me, will do it for you. Or you can take manual control of any function of your battlegear at any time. I must inform you that my life is tied to yours. If you die, I will also stop functioning. So rest assured that it is in my own best interest to assist you.”

“Ah? Okay...”

“Well then, let’s choose a starting chassis and start earning gull, okay? We have three starting chassis to choose from and since we’re of Brynhildr, I suggest we choose the ‘fighter’ chassis. We can upgrade or change the chassis later as soon as we can afford it. What do you say?”

“Of course! It is a man’s duty to fight!”

“But you’re a woman.”


“Okay, let’s not argue about that. Now we can choose the equipment we want to have fitted. I’m bringing up the list of equipment we have access to. We have 2000 gull, just enough for twin plasma semi-automatic cannons, cheapest missile launchers in each wing, Grade 2 ion thrusters. the cheapest Yggdrasil drive-”

“Did you say we have 2000 gull?”

“Yes, I did. Why?”

“Then let’s go eat gyudon!”

“What the hell is a gyudon?!”


Dear diary,

It is now day 249, and I am currently approaching a fringe Asgardian colony populated by descendants of Indian-based einherjar. No, they’re Indian indians. They have nothing to do with Red Indians. Seriously, how do westerners deal with calling unrelated people as Indians? That idiot Christopher Columbus should be shot. Repeatedly. On the knee.


Dear diary,

It is day 277 and I’m starting to feel like a giggly schoolgirl now. I’ve never written a diary before as Takagawa Ayumu. Nowadays I’m writing it every day. Well technically, I’m not writing anything. I just think it and my thoughts are recorded automatically. Nou, my brain, said it’s a personal log, not a diary. But what’s the difference?!


Dear diary,

I met Grandma Akiyama yesterday. She was very happy to know that her Ayu-chan was still alive. I felt slightly guilty for not telling her about it. I could tell a weight was lifted off her shoulders when we chatted. I did get stabbed for protecting her from those delinquents after all. She said she shielded my body with her own afterward, but one of the delinquents kicked her too hard on the head and the next thing she knew, she came back to life as a child of Sirgrdrifa. So Grandma Akiyama’s name is now Megumi Sirgrdrifa.

I must say though, Grandma Akiyama must’ve been beautiful as a young girl. When I saw her yesterday, she looked like a certain gravure idol in one of my cherished magazines. It’s getting hard to remember Grandma Akiyama’s old appearance now.


“Alert! Alert! This is a Priority 1 Summon! Forward scouts detected a large Hygante armada approaching Amaterasu. All einherjar battlegears within range shall make best speed to Amaterasu and assemble near its moon Tsukuyomi to repel the invaders.. I repeat, this is a Priority 1 Summon.”

“What’s a Priority 1 Summon?” I asked Nou, my heili, my brain.

“It means it’s compulsory to answer. We have to be there because we’re close enough to receive the telepathic transmission. I worry about our survivability, though. We’ve only fought a few battles with space monsters so far. This is a large fleet engagement. If it’s a Priority 2, we can decline stating lack of experience, but we can’t do that with Priority 1.”

“It doesn’t matter. We’re going, Nou. Grandma Akiyama is on Amaterasu!”

“Megumi Sirgrdrifa? Indeed, children of Brynhildr will never leave behind people who need protection. I shall set course towards Tsukuyomi. Engaging Yggdrasil Drive in 10 seconds. 9. 8. 7. 6. 5. 4. 3. 2. 1!”


“This is Mike. Left flank is destroyed, we can’t hold position!”

“Marisa, send reinforcements to left flank!”

“Marisa, are you there? Shit, who’s left in Group 5?”

“Me!” Grandma Akiyama, no, Megumi Sirgrdrifa answered.

“Megumi, take the whole Group 5 to reinforce left flank!”

“Yes sir!” Megumi replied before giving the order to the rest of the group, “Matthew, Dick and Tamar, you’re the vanguard. Ayumu and I will provide supporting fire.”

“Roger!” we all said at the same time as we moved into formation and pushed our best speed to assist Group 3 in protecting left flank.

“Approaching enemy cluster. Firing EM beam at closest Hygante ships.” Tamar Geirdriful informed before releasing a long range electromagnetic beam that deactivated the shields of Hygante ships. For three seconds, the invisible electromagnetic beam continued to deactivate Hygante shields within its conical range.

“Firing Ion Cannon. Ayumu, fire fusion torpedoes!”

“Roger. Nou, calculate optimal target and fire torpedoes at will. Full spread,” I said while distancing myself from the formation a little to get a clear shot at the targets.

“Calculations done. Firing full spread of fusion torpedoes at enemy concentrations.”

I watched with satisfaction as the fusion torpedoes detonated. Thanks to Tamar’s electromagnetic beam that deactivated their shields and Megumi’s Ion Cannon that disabled their thrusters, they became sitting ducks for my fusion torpedoes. With only four well placed fusion torpedoes, more than thirty Hygante ships were destroyed. However, that was all the torpedoes I had. I had to fight with conventional missiles, Grade 6 particle beam cannons and point defense autocannon from that point on.

“Tamar, switch place with me. Save energy to refill your capacitors. Ayumu, protect Tamar.”

“Roger!” both Tamar and I did as ordered while Megumi took Tamar’s place and engaged the incoming Hygante forces in dogfight.

Dick’s ship, a frigate sized combat transport couldn’t handle the continuous barrage of hundreds of small fighters. It exploded in a brilliant expanding white and blue light the moment its fusion core was breached. There was absolutely no chance for Dick to have survived the explosion.

Matthew’s ship, a large fighter sporting six various beam weapons fared better than Dick’s ship. However, he still couldn’t escape from eight fighter drones attacking him at the same time. His fighter spun out of control the moment one of the drones shot off its left wing. Seconds later, even Matthew was gone.

Now there was nothingleft  between the Hygante ships and Megumi’s space restaurant. 

“Nou, we’re helping Megumi! I’ll pilot, you take care of the weapons.”


We pushed the thrusters to maximum output, leaving Tamar far behind. Within seconds we managed to reach the mass of gathering Hygante ships and drones that surrounded Megumi’s ship. They fired missiles and all kinds of beam and pulse weapons at Megumi’s ship. Fortunately, Megumi’s ship was fitted with Alternating Shield technology, minimizing the damage from electromagnetic weapons. However, Megumi’s ship was pinned down and couldn’t move.

I entered the fray, arming all twelve missiles fitted in the wing pylon on my fighter ship. Firing my main beam cannons to get their attention, I waited until a large number of the drones switched targets to me before performing the ‘missile swarm maneuver’. It involved arming all missiles then doing a 360 degrees spin, allowing all missiles to be launched at the same time without each of them interfering with each other’s flight paths. Although each missile had their own onboard computers, for this instance, Nou handled all the target processing and flight path of the missiles so that it wouldn’t be shot down before it could hit the target. 

Before the next batch of missiles were loaded into its compartments, we had already punched through the wall of drones and appeared near Megumi’s location. From my position, I could see one of the Hygante destroyers charging its positron main cannon, aimed at Megumi’s position. Megumi noticed my approached, but not the positron cannon.

“Ayu-chan, why are you here? I told you to protect Tamar!”

“Run! Move! I’ll open a way, just move away from there!”

“I can’t. My thruster is damaged. It’s not responding. Go away, Ayu-chan. It’s too late for me.”

“Be quiet, Grandma! I didn’t save you from those thugs just so you can die again! I’m not losing you this time!”

“Lose me? But – Ayu-chan, didn’t they tell-”

Before Grandma Akiyama could finish her words, I moved my ship between her and the destroyer. Pushing all power to shields, I could only close my eyes at the approaching positron beam. The impact between the positron beam and my extended power shield produced a large explosion that engulfed my own ship as well as nearby Hygante ships. I could only hope Grandma Akiyama’s ship was outside the explosion radius.

The huge explosion destroyed the ship and the battlepod completely. The blast stripped my flesh from my bones, shattered my bones with its impact and boiled my brain inside my skull. It was a painful death. Thankfully, the agony only lasted a moment. The next moment, I felt myself floating in a space, gentle, soft, fluffy and warm.

So this is what death feels like, huh? I couldn’t remember how it felt like being dead after I was stabbed. I guess I passed out when my soul left my body. Ah, I hope Grandma Akiyama managed to survive the battle. I’d like to receive offerings of gyudon every morning. Sorry Nou, you also die because of my selfishness.

It’s fine. I am your twin after all.

Is that you, Nou?

Yes and no. I have memories of ‘Nou’, but I will likely become someone else after being reborn.

Ah, you can be reborn. I’m glad. You’ve been a great help. I don’t know what I would’ve done without you. I’m sure whoever gets you as their heili will be in good hands.

What are you talking about? Didn’t they tell you-

Suddenly my arm was wrenched to one direction and my head broke the surface of the liquid I was swimming on. What awaited me was a fear worse than death. This was not what I expected. This should not have happened!

“Welcome back, child of Eir. We look forward to all the entertainment you will provide us in the future!” the big breasted gaijin onee-san Ionar greeted with a friendly and angelic smile.

“Give me back my tears!!!!”
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Saturday, 8 October 2016

Teleport Specialist

Teleport Specialist

Good day, my name is Alice. Yes, just Alice. No, I’m not telling you my family name. I mean, why bother? I have like dozens of them. Besides, I’m currently busy running for my life!

You’re asking why I’m running for my life? Well, we have to go back two hours earlier.

“Wuahaha! More baby, give me more!” I laughed while scooping my winning at the roulette table.

It was incredibly hard, you know. Roulette is probably one of the hardest games to cheat legally. While cheating in Blackjack is just a matter of counting cards, cheating in Roulette is a more involved affair. You need to have a sharp eye, able to discern tiny variations in fast-moving objects. You also need a sharp mind, to be able to calculate the probability of the ball falling on the numbered areas. And last, you need a sharp tongue to distract the dealer from discovering that you indeed have seen the three possible winning numbers.

It is much easier to use magnetic ball. If I am caught with that method though, it’s straight to jail for me. I don’t want to be sent to jail, especially not a jail in China. Have you heard all the terrible rumours about China’s women prison? Urrghh!

Of course, this isn’t something just anyone can do. It took me ten years of following my father around to seedy casinos all over the world before I realized that I had a gift that not even my father had. My father was good at cheating in gambling and scamming people. Using various tricks, he was able to put food on the table. Due to that, I didn’t receive my childhood education in school of bricks and mortar. I received it in the real world, all over the world, while father scammed the casinos that allowed him to bring me along. Thanks to father’s brand of education, I surpassed him as a gambler two years ago. Where he used tricks, I used skill. Where he hid cards up his sleeves, I calculated the possibility of the next cards dealt. His methods put him in jail, my methods always let me walk away with my winnings.

That was why, when some guy in black coat approached me and whispered into my ears in Mandarin, I froze. Normally, players would need to win big two or three times before the casino pull them aside. I’ve only won once, after a streak of losing pocket change to determine the roulette’s rate of spin and wheel bias.

“Sorry, I don’t speak Chinese,” I said, playing the dumb white tourist stereotype.

“Miss Alice Cartwright, my boss requests your presence in his private suite,” the Chinese man in black suit spoke my fake surname as he gestured me to follow him while two other men in black suit scooped up my earnings into a tray.

Let me make this clear. I have so many surnames, even I forgot what my original surname was. Heck, I doubt we even have an original surname. Father and I changed our surnames in every country we went to, we even have thirty different passports from ten different countries. I’m surprised the boss of this place knows the name I use in Shinjuku.

Hold on a minute! Shinjuku? The last time I was there in my Alice Cartwright persona, I was chased by the yakuza! Could it be.... shit, I need to get away!

I looked around me for an opportunity. If I wanted to run away, I had to run before we reach the elevator, otherwise, it would be too late. As we passed by the hotel’s luxurious washroom, my exquisite brain gave me an idea.

“Umm, excuse me. I need to go to the ladies room.”

“You can do that after we meet the boss.”

“But I really need to go... It’s hard for women, you know?”

After much argument, he finally relented. I went into the women’s washroom, closed the door and let out a long breath. That was close. If I had followed them straight into the elevator, it’d be the end of me. With this, I had an opportunity to escape.

Well, I said an opportunity, but the window wasn’t the type you could open. It was simply a glass screen on the wall. The air ducts were too high to climb and even if I could climb up using the wall of the stalls, there was no guarantee it would be able to handle my weight. While I was pondering what to do, a pretty Chinese woman came out of the last stall. My delightful brain again presented me an idea.

“Wow, that’s a nice dress you have on,” I complimented her qipao, a Chinese traditional dress, while walking closer.

“Thank you,” she said with a beautiful smile.

I punched her in the belly.

It caused her to bend over in pain. She looked up at me in confusion while complaining, “Nǐ zài gān shén ma?!”

Strange, she should’ve fainted. When she tried to scream for help, I karate chopped her on the back of her neck. It only made her drop to the floor, but she was still very much conscious. Damned movies, it didn’t work at all! In the end, I just took off her panties and pushed it into her mouth. Then I pulled her into the toilet stall, stripped her naked, loosely tied up her naked body and changed into her clothes.

I whispered to her, telling her to remain quiet for an hour or I’d come back with a gun next time. I made it perfectly clear in Mandarin that the only reason I hadn’t killed her was because I didn’t want to ruin my dress. Well, it was actually her dress, but I was wearing it when I said that, so it became my dress. I also switched my handbag with hers.

Before I opened the toilet stall, I turned back around. Looking at her wearing the dress I previously wore, something clicked in my mind. What if she pushed the panties in her mouth with her tongue and screamed for help after I left the stall? If she did that, it would be too late for me to escape.

With that in mind, I reached into my handbag. As I had only just switched the contents of our handbags, I knew exactly where there stuff I was looking for was. So I took it out and tazered her as she sat tied up on the toilet seat. The electric shock finally made her pass out.

Secure in the knowledge that she wouldn't be able to cause me any trouble, I went out of the stall, pulling the door close behind me. I changed my makeup in front of the mirror, making me appear different from what the men outside would be expecting. For this purpose, I applied an Asian style makeup, which puts more emphasis on pink blush, eyeliners, curled eyelashes and gradient lips. For hair, I put on a black wig I usually brought with me for times when I needed a disguise. My natural blonde hair was a dead giveaway, regardless of how much makeup I wore.

Satisfied with my transformation, I opened the door of the washroom. The three men were still outside, with the lead man apparently talking on the phone with someone. I took care not to make eye contact with any of them and acted normal while heading to the elevator. I knew the men were eyeing my figure in the tight qipao, but it wouldn’t matter. My disguise was perfect. When I pressed up, they lost interest in me and returned to watching the washroom door.

The moment the elevator opened to the first floor, I went out and took the staircase next to the elevator. Going three floors down, I reached the car park where my rented Infiniti was waiting. I breathed a sigh of relief once the car finally entered Shanghai’s highway and on the way to another hotel where I stayed in.

I was about to leave the car when suddenly a big hand covered my mouth and pressed a knife at my neck from the back seat.

“Akiyama-san sends his regards, Arisu-chan,” the man whispered before he slit my throat.

And that’s how I ended up here. Where here is, I have absolutely no idea. With all the mist, the bright white sky and the nothingness around except more mist, my first thought was Heaven. But that can’t be right. I’ve done so many bad things in my life I should have a reservation in Hell.

“Welcome!” A sword, no, a Japanese katana suddenly fell from the sky and buried itself into the mist a foot away in front of me. The sword shined brightly, with an explosive mass that caused me to fall backward on my butt and making me close my eyes in reflex. When the light dimmed, a teenage girl no older than 16, stood where the sword was while looking down at me. On her waist were three Japanese swords of varying length while on her back, a large claymore was attached by a leather harness.

“What the hell?” I managed to cry out.

“Oh no, you misunderstood. You’re not in Hell, Alice... umm... why do you have so many family names? Anyway,my name is Lady of the Sword. You can just call me whatever sharp things you like. My senior calls me Kata-chan. I am the patron of all who died from sharp objects.”

“What am I doing here?”

“Why, you’re dead of course! All dead people come here.”

“So you’re like an angel of death?”

“No no, nothing like that. I’m just a supervisor of souls. As I said, I am the patron of all who died from sharp objects. Everyone who die from axes, nails, spears, swords and in your case, knife, comes to me. I will then decide where they go next. I’m so excited, you’re the first soul I meet since I become Lady of the Sword. Please treat me well!” The sword-crazed nut said with a smile and small bounces, like a schoolgirl cheerleader on a sugar rush.

“What happened to the previous one?”

“Oh, she ranked up. Chose to reincarnate as an elf mystic.”

“I see,” I said while gettting up. Dusting off my white dress –

Wait a minute, did somebody change my clothes?

“So based on your past actions – hey, where are you goin?”

“Sorry babe, have to go!” I said before running away at full speed. Obviously this girl was a mental case. Who knew what she would do if given half the chance.

“Waiiiiittt!!! I still haven’t given you your options!” the fake angel of death kept close at my heels. Amazing how she was able to catch up when I left her several minutes behind.

“I said waitttt!!!” she yelled as she threw a shuriken at me.

When I avoided it with my superior reflex, she threw a kunai. I avoided that too, so she threw a knife, which I also avoided. Frustrated, she yelled, “Sword Rain!!!” and out of the mist, hundreds of swords flew out at me. I’d love to say that I was so damn awesome I avoided all of them, but the reality was...

“Umm, excuse me. Why am I not dead despite being stabbed with... umm... sixteen swords?” I asked once she caught her breath.

“Because you’re dead! You can’t die twice!”

“I see. I’m compelled to believe you now. Do you mind taking these out?” I said while pointing at the swords that made my body their pincushion.

“Of course! One moment, please,” she said before pulling out the one piercing my belly button.

“Kyaaaaah!!!” I screamed in pain.

“Alright, I’ll pull out the next one,” she said while holding the handle of the sword that pierced my shoulder.

“Wait! Don’t you have any method that is not painful?”

“Of course not! All methods will give you so much pain you will beg to die again.”

“On second thought, please just leave the swords where they are. Thank you very much.”

Kata-chan shrugged. “Anyway, based on your deeds in life, you may choose the option of reincarnating as a pig or hero summoning.”

Huh? Hero summoning? Is this one of those manga things? Magic Knights Rayearth suddenly comes to mind. I learned reading and writing Japanese with mangas. Back when I was still a kid, I’ve always wanted to be transported to a fantasy world and become a hero with powerful magic who save the world. That was then, I outgrew that.

“You mean, I’m not going to Hell?”

“No reason to. Your good deeds spoke out for you.”

“Good deeds? Are you sure you’re not mistaking me for someone else?”

“Very sure. As Alice White, you saved a boy from drowning. As Alice Whittaker, you foiled a bank robbery that could’ve caused the death of twenty-nine people. As Alicia Montgomery, you made a donation to an orphanage that allowed them to stay afloat for at least ten more years.”

“I don’t remember the first one. The second one I foiled out of spite. The third one was my attempt at money laundering.”

“Yet when it came time to take back your money from the orphanage, you did not do so.”

“My car broke down. I lost the mood.”

“Anyway, make your choice.”

“Isn’t it obvious what I would choose?”

“Okay, you’ll be reincarnated as a pig.”

“Wait! Why would that be the obvious choice?”

“Oh, that’s not your choice? It’s just that I heard many summoned heroes are being screwed over and betrayed by their summoners lately. I heard most would say no to hero summoning.”

Huh? Betrayed? There is such a thing? Shit, I need magic. No, maybe my summoner will have stronger magic than me. A cheat! Yes, they call it cheat nowadays, right?

“Then please don’t forget to give me a cheat.”

Kata-chan tilted her head to the left. “A cheat? What’s that?”

If they don’t actually give out cheats here, I’d be screwed. Let’s make full use of my Streetwise and Speak Common stats. Let’s throw in the super Persuasion skill I’ve been training for the past ten years as well.

“Don’t you know about cheats? All the heroes get them, you know? Don’t tell me your seniors didn’t tell you anything.”

“Umm... that... seniors Truck-chan and Domina Ignis are very busy nowadays, so they only come teach me stuff every few days. So they haven’t told me this stuff. I don’t know how this is done.”

“Well basically, you grant some cheat-like magic or powers so that the heroes can defend themselves, you see.”

“I see. That sounds reasonable. Many of the worlds the heroes are summoned into are primitive by your standards. So what kind of power do they usually get?”

Thank goodness she’s an airhead.

“They can choose. Usually they get five special powers to protect themselves.”

“Five special powers! That’s too much, this is only my first day!”

“I see. You’re right, I forgot about it. Since this is your first day, I’m willing to give you a discount of 50%. So you only have to give me three special powers.”

“Umm, but... three is a little...”

“Alright, 65% discount, which is two special powers. That’s my last offer. Take it or leave it.”

“Umuuu, okay... I can probably give you two special powers. So what power do you want?”

“Teleport,” I said in less than a second, “You know, the ability to move myself from one spot to another without going through the space in between. Also make it so that I can teleport stuff from or to any place I can see.” Seriously, I'm tired of having to think for an escape route.

“That’s not too hard. I also have that special power. What’s the other one?”

“Clairvoyance. I want to be able to see faraway places. With it, I should also be able to see other worlds.”

“I can give you clairvoyance, but allowing you to see other worlds is a bit...”

“Please, I want to see those boys and girls at the orphanage. I probably won’t be able to do anything, but at least allow me to check up on them from time to time,” I said while letting out fake tears.

If I ever retire from gambling and scamming, I could probably find work in the entertainment industry.

Kata-chan broke into tears as well. She hugged me and said, “I understand. I understand. You’re a good person after all, Alice. Alright, I’ll let you watch them as much as you want but these two worlds will be the only worlds you can see, okay?”

“Thank you, thank you very much, Kata-chan.”

Yes, thank you very much for being an idiot.

“Praise Aruhan. Great hero, won’t you fulfill your duties and rid us of the threat of the demons?” the king implored while looking bored.

I was standing in the throne-room of the Silver Castle of Relasias before the king and a whole lot of soldiers on all sides. Relasias was apparently the kingdom that summoned me and was having a problem with demon invasions in the southern regions. Of course, these facts were only what I was briefed while they ushered me from the summoning room to the throne room.

“No,” I answered firmly. Why would I want to fight for people I don’t know? I’m not a saint.

The king sighed. “Another one, it seems.”

What ‘another one’?

“Kill her,” the king commanded as the guards lowered their pikes and came closer with their pikes pointing my way.

I activated Clairvoyance, pointed my perception to my hideout in Kota Kinabalu in my previous world and teleported in some stuff. As the palms of both my hands glowed blue, I brought the orbs to my lips. Once the glow disappeared, replaced with a solid object in both hands, I pulled the pins with my teeth and threw it into the dense concentration of soldiers approaching me. As soon as the grenades left my hands, I teleported two more grenades, pulled the pins and threw those as well.

Five seconds later, explosions rocked the throne hall of the palace. The soldiers fell one after another. Despite being protected by leather armour, it could not block the deadly projectiles launched when the fragmentation grenade went off.

“Wh-what are you all standing around for? Kill her! Kill her now!” the king commanded as he stood up for the first time.

Seeing as I was only about eight steps away from the king, I sprinted forward and teleported a rocket launcher into my hand. When I reached the king, I pressed the rocket part against the king’s cheek.

“Your majesty, I’ll be leaving now. Please don’t follow me. If I see anyone following me, I’ll come back and...” I put the rocket’s nose into his wide open mouth, “I’ll launch this at your face, okay?”

He nodded, his face was wet with tears. There was also this distinct rancid smell. I had a feeling he had either pissed himself, shit himself or both.

“Very good,” I said, taking the rocket out of his mouth, primed it and launched it at palace wall.

Boom! The wall exploded outward as the rocket exploded against the thick construction. I walked toward the wide open wall, identified an inn and teleported away.

That was how my first day in another world went. How was yours?

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The reason for my loooooong disappearance

To all my readers,

Sorry for this late post. I also apologize for not posting anything for months and not telling you guys what happened.

Truth is, I was depressed.

But first, let's talk about the good news. Felicia's Second Life Volume 1 did quite well on Amazon! Thanks a lot, everyone. I just love watching FSL being ranked higher than Clockwork Prince and some other mainstream books. It's all thanks to you guys. Some of you bought it, some of you spread the news, some of you gave positive comments, and that made others buy it.

Thank you, everyone.

Now the bad news. The somewhat successful release of FSL Vol 1 also came with some depressing issues. One guy rated it 1 star despite not actually reading it. I comforted myself by telling myself that he was a rival in the light novel writing community and too much of a lowlife that he had to bring down other authors who are slightly more successful than him.

But that paled in comparison to what I received in my mail. I received two mails from two different people calling me a pedophile. One told me I will go to hell and he will spread the news so that nobody will buy the book again. Another person told me he already reported my book to Amazon for containing child pornography. This doesn't include the comments on Amazon itself calling me a pedophile at varying level of directness.

I know, not everyone will like my book. I'm not counting on that. I'm lucky enough that you guys like my book and people who didn't start reading the book from this blog bought it on a whim and liked it enough to leave positive comments. But being repeatedly called a pedophile and having my book reported to Amazon really hit me hard.

For three to four months, I couldn't write a single word. Therefore I tried to write short stories, but I don't know why, my writing wasn't at all good. I had the story, but I couldn't write it. FSL was incredibly hard, as ever since those two mails, I could not put myself in Felicia's shoes and progress on FSL book 2 had stalled. However, about two months ago, I could finally write again, but still, progress was slow and I had to push myself to finish one chapter a month for FSL. Now it's a lot faster, but there was still many problems with the chapters for FSL, so I won't be posting FSL until I iron those problems out. This also means that book 2 will likely be delayed.

What I will be doing however, is releasing the short stories I've been writing in the meantime starting today. I'll try releasing it regularly, but I didn't write much in the moments when I was depressed. I also avoided opening my mails during that time, so if you guys sent me mails, I'm sorry, please forgive me for not replying. I'll start checking my mail again from now.

Anyway, tl;dr: People accused me of being a pedophile in mail, I got depressed, FSL got delayed and I'll be posting some short stories starting today.

Sorry for the long essay. If you read all that, I apologize. But for reading this apology letter, I thank you very much for giving me another chance. Please keep supporting me in the future. Your encouragements always motivated me to work harder. Thank you everyone.


p/s: Just in case you didn't read all that above. I'm not quitting, I'm still writing. Thank you for your support.
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Monday, 18 April 2016

But They're Not For Cooking

But They're Not For Cooking

Second route for Traps Are Delicious

It is a nice, sunny day. I wake up early, bathe myself with a sweet-smelling bath foam, walk to the Subang Jaya Komuter Station, then switch trains at KL Sentral. I walk out of the Bandar Tasik Selatan Komuter Station and then walk for about ten minutes to reach my new school, the St. Catherine Girl's School. Considering the location and the distance, this school should've been my last choice, even my old school, Blue Sphere is closer, but this is the only place that will accept me within just a week. If I'm allowed to drive though, this is actually pretty close to my home, only 20 minutes away. Since I take the Komuter railway network, it takes me like an hour to reach school instead.

Besides, the reason I had to leave Blue Sphere when my parents divorced in the first place was because it was expensive. Mom couldn't afford even the tuition fees, let alone all the extras such as school trips, club fees and other stuff. I suppose we could've asked dad to continue to pay for it, but it seemed like mom was against that.

When I received the acceptance letter for St. Catherine, I felt a little blessed for having a feminine face. It gave me a bit more option in this case. Although my National ID still identifies me as male, apparently, the school couldn't be bothered cross-checking my photoshopped National ID with the citizen database. Come to think of it, I'm not even sure if schools have access to citizen database in the first place.

Right now, though, I'm feeling a little cursed for having a feminine face.

"Open wide, Rin. Aaaah..."

"Rin, let's go to the canteen together."

"You girls, back off! She's going to have lunch with me."

Yes, it seems like right now, I'm being fought over by three girls. By order of appearance, they are the girly Zara, the bossy Shahira and the sporty Loretta. Normally, I would consider this as heartwarming female bonding, unfortunately, my gut feeling is saying that this isn't normal.

You see...

Zara is sitting next to me, our chairs pressed next to each other while she's feeding me small pieces of boneless chicken using a chopstick. Shahira is pulling my hand insistently. Loretta is hugging my neck tightly, mashing her small boobs against the back of my head while pulling my head on the opposite direction as Shahira.

How come I was never this popular as a boy?

"Knock it off!" I hear a voice scolding them as each of the girls are smacked on the head with a rolled up chemistry textbook.

"Hurts!" Loretta said.

"Aiya!" Zara said cutely.

"Ow!" Shahira cried.

"Don't scare off the new girl, you weirdos," Aerfean says as she hit the palm of her hand with the rolled up textbook.

"But Aerfean... how can I resist this beauty in twintails? She looks so cuuuute!" Loretta says as she rubs her chin on the top of my head.

Thankfully a certain neighbour used hair extension on me yesterday. Had this been a wig, it would've fallen off by now. That would be very bad.

Aerfean smacks Loretta on the head with the rolled up textbook again. "Let go of her right now."

Aerfean is showing some really dark aura right now. Or it's probably just my hallucination from the lack of air. Loretta is hugging my neck too tightly!

Faced with Aerfean's glare and the threat of being hit with the chemistry textbook again, like Loretta, Shahira also raises her hand in surrender and takes a step back. Only Zara is unable to sense the mood and continues to shove pieces of boneless chicken into my mouth, while telling me how cute I look eating the lunch she prepared. She even asks me if I'd like her to prepare lunch for me tomorrow.

Ahh, why couldn't I be this popular as a boy?

Soon afterward, the bell rings and the students slowly trickles back into the class, Zara comes close and whispers into my ears, "I’ll cook for you again tomorrow, okay?"

Mom, dad, is this going to be the spring of my life? Girls cook lunch for their boyfriends, right? Does this mean this cute and sweet girl is my girlfriend? Does this mean I’m not longer single? Is it too much for a boy to hope for?

Except I don’t look like a boy right now. Wait, hold on a minute, doesn’t this make us a lesbian couple? What the heck?!!!


Ding dong!

Comes the sound of the doorbell.

"Who could it be?" I ask while holding my lacquered nails up in the air.

"You're not expecting guests?" a certain neighbour asks.

"No. Who would visit anyway? Mom's not here and apart from the neighbours we exchanged doorgifts with when we moved in, we don't know anyone else."

"Maybe your new classmates?"

"Oh lord, please don't say that, even as a joke! If they actually went out of their way to find out my home, and believe me some of them would likely do it, I will have to wear girl's clothes at all times. Home is the only place I can become a man. Heck, just recalling those girls are making me paranoid of being watched."

"Don't look much like a man when you have these B cups attached permanently on your chest." She pokes my silicone falsies as if to make a point.

"Wait! This is permanent?!!!"

Ding dong!

"Hahaha, I'll let you figure that out." That certain neighbour goes to the door and after checking at the peekhole, opens it slightly.

On the other side of the door are two men wearing AXXA deliverymen uniform, one of them hands her a clipboard to which she signs. Then she opens the door fully, allowing the two men to carry their cargoes inside. Both of them greets me when they see me sitting on the sofa with my fingers raised and my feet resting on the coffee table while I'm waiting for the polish to dry.

"Put it here. Here." She points at an empty spot in the living room. Originally, it was supposed to be a spot for mom's chinaware cabinet, but when my parents divorced, dad wanted the cabinet and its whole contents instead, so that spot has remained empty all this time.

After depositing five cardboard boxes in the living room, the deliverymen leaves followed by that certain neighbour. She thanks them, drops a note of ten into the hand of one of them and closes the door behind them. Then she returns, hugs me from behind and says, "Rin-chaaan, it's a total success ~ They totally think you're a girl."

I groan. "What else would they think when there's someone with a pair of B cup breasts sitting on the sofa while waiting for that someone’s nail polish to dry?"

"I wonder what's inside the boxes." She goes into the kitchen and comes back with a knife.

"Mom won't like it if you open her stuff."

"But it's addressed to you, Rin-chan."

To me? Could it be my Xbox set? Or the whole collection of comics that mom hid from before my PT3 exams? Did dad send them to me from our old home? Could it be all of the above?

"Eh? Are these your old clothes, Rin-chan?"


"Oh, there's girl scouts uniform, I was in girl scouts too! Oh look! School swimsuits! My old school didn't have a swimming pool, so I never had a school swimsuit. And look, isn't this the infamous Mahmud Baginda Volleyball Club uniform that was famous for riding up the butt crack whenever the players make an overhead swipe?"

Girl scouts? School swimsuits? Volleyball club? Mahmud Baginda? Hold on, I have a bad feeling about this.

"Oh look, there's a letter addressed to you."

"Give me!"

Dear Azrin,

After deliberating about what to do with the clothes in the swimming club's clubroom, I've decided not to sell it. With the school closing and the school accounts closed, there is no place for the money to go to. Taking the money for myself would be unethical. Therefore, I've decided to donate it to various schools in the area.

But before that, based on the interest you've shown for the past week, I thought you would want some of it for your own use. So I've picked out some of the clothes that I thought would fit you. All the best in St. Catherine.

You shitty counsellor! I don't have this kind of interest!!!How does he even know I enrolled in St. Catherine in the first place?

"Oh, there's another letter, Rin-chan~"

I press my palms to my face. "I don't want to look at another letter again."

"Oh, it's your end-school certificate from Mahmud Baginda. Oh my, you're female in Mahmud Baginda? A 'binti' too! And this picture is so cuuute! Can I keep this? Pleeeeease?"

I groan inside.


My smartphone makes a sound while I groan at a certain neighbour’s enthusiasm. Reaching for my smartphone, I unlock it and see a new message.

Won't you wear the swimsuit?

Huh? Who the heck is this?


"Caught you!" Shahira calls from behind me, her hands already under my armpits as she tries to do something inappropriate between girls.

Before she can go any further, Zara comes along and shoulders Shahira as hard as her small body is able to. Despite her smaller size, Zara manages to shoulder the unsuspecting Shahira away towards the individual lockers. Shahira’s face hit the door of the locker with a bang and stands unmoving in stunned confusion.

“Good morning, Rin!” Zara greets with a sunny smile as if what happened just now was just my imagination.

“Good morning, Zara!” I turn around and give her a reply, while attempting to forget what just happened.

“Good morning, Rin! You look cute today- oof!” Shahira who finally recovers from her stunned confusion attempts to hug me from the front.

That’s before the smaller Zara pushes Shahira's left cheek against that same locker door, effectively pinning Shahira’s face against the locker. In Shahira’s confusion, she is unable to make any move of resistance. Even I am feeling confused and stands stunned in the locker room. That sweet, cute and small Zara is currently pressing Shahira’s face against the locker without losing her smile. It’s almost surreal.

“Rin, quickly change to your sports uniform, okay? Don’t worry, I’ll keep all the bugs away,” Zara maintains her smile as she watches me with a delightfully innocent smile.

I change my clothes uncomfortably. I can almost hear Shahira and Zara licking their lips as I take off my school shirt. The piercing stares of the two wolves, one with her face still pressed against the locker while the other still making a bright smile which doesn’t reach her eyes, when I start taking off my skirt makes me wish I had worn the sports uniform from home.

“Yo Rin!” Loretta appears out of nowhere spanking my butt, “You’re too thin! You should eat more.”

Zara’s resulting glare feels like it should’ve burned Loretta to cinders where she stands.

Today, we're playing handball. I've never played one before, so the rules are a little hard to follow for me. I've played basketball before, but it was quite different. As a boy in Blue Sphere Academy, though, I used to play football, which was previously the national sport. That was until 2015, though. After suffering continuous defeat in 2015 culminating in a horrifyingly embarrassing 10-0 defeat against Saudi Arabia, football carried such terrible stigma that everyone switched to futsal, basketball, badminton and squash.

Please forgive me for this background info, but this is just to make you understand my position. You see, in co-ed schools, handballs, although available, is not played all that much. In boys school, it's not played at all, because it has the reputation of being a 'girly' sport.

Because this is a girl's school, they seem to play handballs every two weeks here, so everyone's an expert, except me. And these experts play a very hardcore game. It is a level of violence I have never seen before. Thus how, during my moment of confusion, the ball flies straight to my face and I am too slow to protect myself.

But Zara is faster. She pushes me away from the path of the ball, potentially saving me from a head injury and possibility of amnesia. I fall to the ground, wincing as my elbow grazes against the pebble on the ground. Sitting up, I look at my bleeding elbow and gently brush away the sand sticking to the area around the wound.

“Oh no, you’re bleeding!” Zara kneels next to me. Inspecting the wound, she declares, “Oh no, this is serious! We need to go to the infirmary immediately!”

“No, it’s just a scratch, there’s no need to-” I try to refuse before she cut me off.

“No, this is serious. What if it becomes infected? How can I live with myself if your beautiful skin becomes scarred?” Zara says as she drags me to the infirmary by my uninjured hand.

“Really, I’m fine, Zara. It’s just a scratch.” I tell Zara while she opens the cabinets containing medicines and bandages.

I can’t help but be amazed by how everything is unlocked and in the open. Back in my old school, they kept everything, even the panadols in locked cabinets to prevent theft. In my old school, even the infirmary was locked when the health teacher wasn’t around. In this school, it appears all the students can come and go as they wish.

“Hold still,” Zara says as she washes my wound and then applies an antiseptic ointment. Then she places medicated cotton on the wound and wraps a bandage around my elbow.

Seeing her loving and gentle actions of tending to my wound, it is easy to forget that it’s just A SCRATCH. She makes it seem like I’m on the verge of death. Or is this how girls are like? I’m gonna have to ask a certain neighbour later.

“There, all good. Now you just rest here until the end of physical education like a good girl.” She smiles while tucking me in.

Then she gets under the cover as well.

“Umm, what are you doing?” I ask while she snuggles closer against my bandaged right elbow.

“I’m taking care of you.”

“Do you have to be in the bed too?”

“I don’t want you to feel cold.”

“It’s summer.”

“The nurse likes to turn the air conditioner to very low temperature.”

“It’s not even on!”

Zara becomes quiet at my rebuke.

“Am I... disturbing you, Rin?” Zara looks at me with upturned eyes. Her eyes look moist, as if she’s on the verge of crying. She looks so small, so weak and so vulnerable that my protective instinct surges out like a waterfall.

“... No, you’re not,” I wrap my uninjured left hand around her waist, enjoying the softness of her body while pushing up her face with my other hand by her chin, which isn’t really that injured in the first place. “It’s just that I’m not sure what you’re trying to do. It’s making me confused, Zara.”

“Oh, I’m sorry. It’s just this is the first time I feel like this and I’m not sure myself. But I think... I think... I’m in love with you.” Zara tries to hide her reddening face in her palms.

I feel my own face getting hot hearing her confession. My confusion level increases by a factor of ten now. On one hand, I’m dancing in the garden of blooming flowers because I finally get my first ever love confession, and the girl’s plenty cute too. I feel like shouting to the world, “I have a girlfriend!” On the other hand, I feel down because she falls in love with a fake persona, someone who isn’t real and will disappear within two years. How can I be so selfish to allow this to happen?

“I’m sorry, Zara, but I can’t accept your heart.” There, I’ve said it. Mom, your son is alone again. Sobs.

“Why not? Do you hate me?”

“No! You know it’s not that.”

“Then, do you have a boy you like?”

No way! I’m not gay! “The mere thought disgusts me,” I mutter under my breath.

“Oh, then do you only like girls?”

Ah shucks, now she thinks I’m a lesbian.

“No, it’s just that there are a lot of things going on in my life right now. I can’t really think about hooking up for now.”

“I promise, I won’t get in your way. I can even come to your home to cook dinner for you if you like. I won’t cause you any trouble. I just want to be close to you,” Zara looks at me with wet eyes as she places her right hand on my fake left breast gently while muttering something inaudible.

I pull her right hand away for fear of her finding out it’s fake.

“I guess maybe it doesn’t hurt to try, but are you sure you want to be with me? I mean, I’m a girl.” Well, not quite.

“Is that a ‘yes’?”


Suddenly Zara jumps on me and plants a chaste kiss on my lips. Her face turns all red after the deed and she acts all shy, either because it was her first kiss or because she kissed a girl. Don’t misunderstand, it’s cute, it’s adorable. The only think I ask is for her to get her knee off my injured elbow right now!


“Open wide, Rin. Ahhh...”

“Ahhh...” I open my mouth wide as Zara feeds me a rice ball the size of my thumb. As I chew the small ball of rice, my thoughts wonder as to how anyone can get full from something like this. Then Zara asks for me to feed her too, and I do it obediently.

“Rin, let’s go to the canteen!” Shahira pulls me by my left arm.

“Rin’s going to have lunch with me!” Loretta hugs my neck while mashing her smallish breasts against the back of my head.

“Hey, Rin’s mine!” Zara complains as she tries to remove their hands from my body.

“Quiet!” Aerfean stands up from her seat and elegantly walks towards us before continuing with, "Is it so hard to eat your lunch in peace?"

One step, two step, every step emphasizes her delicious figure. Every click and clack of her school shoes echoes in the class, creating a seductive and alluring atmosphere. Her long legs under the skirt and knee-high white stockings draws my eyes to it, making me unable to tear my eyes away. In the haze of my mind, I feel like I want to be stepped on by those legs while calling her 'big sister'.

Aerfean drops a thick Chemistry textbook on my desk loudly. Glaring at me, she says, “Pick it up, roll it up and use it to smack their heads. You need to learn to stand up for yourself.”

“Eh? Isn’t that kind of violent?” I reply without picking up the texbook.

She glares lasers at me. As I look into her cold eyes, I feel like something is awakening inside me. Calm down, calm down. I slap my cheeks to wake me up from my delusions.

In the meantime, all three of them takes a little distance from Aerfean.

“Are you saying you won’t do what I told you to do?”

“But, hitting girls is-”

“Rin, just do as Aerfean said! We-we were wrong. P-please hit me!” Zara says, offering herself as a sacrifice.

I look at Zara’s defeated face, resigned to the fate of being whacked by her own boyfriend. No, she sees me as her girlfriend. Sigh, this is messed up. Not wanting to cause any trouble, I roll up the chemistry textbook on the table and following Aerfean's recommendation, hold it up to whack the heads of the three stooges.

Ah wait. Since I'm a guy it won't be good if I use my whole male strength, right? So I'll have to weaken the strength a little. With that thought, I whack Zara's head with the rolled up textboook.

“Pon”, the rolled up texbook hit her head.

Umm, maybe I should've hit harder? But she's a girl. It's not a gentlemanly thing to do, right? Well, at least it works. They're suddenly quiet now and looking at me with blank faces instead of those usual loud noises.

"Kyaaaa! You're making my heart go kyun kyun kyun!" Zara screams loudly with a red face while excitedly swinging her chopstick-wielding right hand.

"What was that? What was that? You're so cute, Rin!" Shahira hugs my face against her B cup boobs.

"Oh sweet Mary! Rin, you're going to give me diabetes!" Loretta cries while hugging my neck tightly from behind as her smaller pair of boobs rub against my back.

Just great. Instead of creating a firm and strict persona, I'm showing myself as a sweetly cute girl instead. Teacher Aerfean, please tell me what I did wrong!


“Please excuse my intrusion,” Zara with her hair in long twintails that resemble my own signature style says to the empty house as she passes through the front door of my apartment. Her short plaid skirt swishes against her knee-length stockings with every move. Her form-fitting pink blouse creates a tight silhouette that gives her underdeveloped body an allure that invokes a protective instinct within me.

Protective or not though, I find myself unable to look away. In comparison, I’m only wearing a loose t-shirt and shorts. Should I have worn something more stylish for my girlfriend’s first house visit? Hehe, girlfriend. I like how that sounds. Mom, your son finally has a girlfriend. Too bad she’s gay, but hey, a girlfriend’s a girlfriend. After secretly dating for two weeks, she finally asks if she can come to my home.

“Sorry, I’m the only one at home. Will it be a problem for you?” I say while taking the plastic bags containing groceries from her hand and putting it in the kitchen.

“I already know – I mean, I don’t mind at all. No, not at all. After all, we get to be alone, just me and you,” Zara says as she shyly runs her forefinger downward along my chest.

“Umm, did... your parents say anything?” I ask while feeling the tingle of having her fingers running down my ribcage.

“They only tell me to have fun and to come home before ten.”

“I bet you didn’t tell them you’re going to your boy – I mean, girlfriend’s home, did you?”

“They don’t need to know everything. Does that make me a bad girl?” she asks in a cute, almost innocent voice.

It almost breaks all the barrier in my mind. “Umm, well. It’s fine, I guess. I imagine they won’t understand our relationship.”

“I’m glad you agree, Rin. Shall I start cooking now?” She grabs an apron and goes into the kitchen.

“Ah, I’ll help you.”

The dinner is absolutely great. Sorry mom, but I think she’s a much better cook than you. She knows exactly what dishes I like and how I like it cooked. She even knows how I like my dessert, vanilla ice cream with chocolate topping and strawberries. It’s like she knows everything that I like, even things that I have no idea I like. She’s like the perfect girlfriend. I really want her as my girlfriend for real.

After dinner, we cuddle together on the couch while watching a movie on Astro. It’s a romance movie, but heck do I know the title. After about 30 minutes of watching the movie, it’s the movie’s to watch us. By now we’re busy necking and kissing each other. I have to keep her hands away from my crotch which gets harder and harder to hide with every kiss.


Today is Saturday of the third week of us secretly dating each other. Zara is almost a daily fixture in my apartment nowadays. It’s a good thing that mom is not around and a certain neighbour is away on a vacation in Semporna. I’ll never be able to hide this if they’re around.

Today, Zara volunteers to do housekeeping which I’m truly grateful for. Being a single child, I’m no stranger to household chores. However, house cleaning is one thing that is a complete mystery to me. Mom used to scold me for doing it half-heartedly, but seriously mom, it’s not that I didn’t want to do it. Okay, I don’t want to do it, but the real reason is that I just don’t get how it’s done.

I love watching Zara dust the cupboards, electrical appliances and sweep or mop the floor. Even her vacuuming the carpet is a delight to watch. Every time she catches me watching, she’ll blush and look away. So cute!

Although I say she mop the floor, she doesn’t actually use the mop. She gets on her knees on the floor and wipe it clean with a cloth. She wipes the floor with a cloth on all fours. On all fours! With her butt pointing at me! How can my manly blood not boil from seeing such a sight? I am no eunuch, I have a very healthy male urges.

I hear tearing sounds from my room.

There shouldn’t be any tearing done in my room. Zara is only there to change the bedsheet – oh my god!

I jump over the couch, my knee knocks against a table, but I don’t care about the pain. Running into my room, I encounter the sight that will be in my nightmares forever. For in my room, sitting on the floor is Zara. She is sitting on the floor with a stack of magazines on her left and a trashcan in her right. She is tearing my porn magazines with a smile. She is tearing them one by one, WITH A SMILE!

“Stop!!!” I jump forward and fall face down onto the small pile of leftover porn magazines.

“Hm? What’s wrong, love?” Zara asks innocently while pulling another porn magazine from under my body.

“Stop tearing my porn!” I yelled with tears in my eyes.

“Oh, you won’t need them anymore. You have me now.”

Wha-what are you saying?

“I’m the only fapping material you'll ever need. If you want me to do anything, just say it and I’ll do my best, okay? Now please get up from that pile of filth or I’ll get angry, my love,” Zara tells me this while smiling, but this time, her smiling face feels like the face of a demon instead of an angel.

“Please, I need them!” I plead to my merciless girlfriend as she continues to pull magazines from under my body.

“Don’t you worry, my love. I’ve already put lots of my own pictures in your computer. Anytime you need relief and I’m not here, you can look at those, okay? Oh by the way, I’ve deleted all the trash and filth from your computer.”

No!!!! I jump up from the stack of magazines and open my porn folders one by one. There was nothing left. Not even my browser bookmarks remain. My five-year porn collection, they’re all goooooone!

I fall to my knees in front of my computer desk. Tears flow down my face as the horror sinks in. I no longer have my porn collection. My babies, my beloveds. Goodbye, Akari Hoshino. Goodbye, Amami Tsubasa. Goodbye, Azumi Mizushima. Goodbye, Kaede Matsushima. I will never forget all of you. The time we spent together, I will treasure it for my whole life.

“What are you doing sitting there in a daze, Rin? I’ve already prepared a bath. Why don’t you go ahead and wash yourself before dinner?” Zara smiles while taking out the plastic bags containing the shreds of my porn magazines.

I must have been out for a long time. When I finally recover, Zara has already finished ripping my babies to small, useless pieces. I should be crying, recalling the horror, but my tears have gone dry. All that’s left now is regret and picking up the pieces of my life.

I walk into the bathroom, take off my clothes and enter the bathtub with my mind far away, looking at my past that is now just a memory. Not even the perfumed water of the bathtub is able to bring me back to this reality. Thus when I’m done with bathing, I stand up to get out of the bathtub and right at this moment, Zara comes in with a worried face.

Then she looks down, at my crotch.

My crotch, without the protection of panties.

“Why do you have a boy’s penis?” she asks with a confused face.

I immediately cover my crotch with my towel. “Wait, I can explain.”

“Are you a boy, but with breasts?”

“No, it’s complicated. It’s not what you think.”

“Well, this makes things easier.”

“I’m not trying to deceive – huh?”

“It’s functional, correct?”


“Since you’re a boy, this works for the better.”

“I don’t follow.”

“Hm? It means we can legally get married, even with you looking like a girl. Ahh, I can’t believe I get to enjoy the best of both worlds. Of course, we’ll need to meet my parents and I’d like to meet yours so that I can ask their approval in marrying their daughter.”

“Wait, meet your parents? Meet my parents? This is too fast!”

“Oh, you’re right, we can meet my parents tomorrow. How about we just make babies tonight?”

No, no, no. I’m too young to get pregnant!

Hold on, I think there’s something wrong with this thought process.

"Wait! But I'm a boy!"


"Aren't you taking this a little too calmly? Shouldn't you be angry that I lied to you or something?"

"Haa? What are you saying, Rin? Look, it doesn't matter if Rin is a girl or a boy. Rin is Rin and Rin is mine. Both the girl Rin and the boy Rin are mine, and I'm Rin's. It's simple, isn't it?

"Well, if you put it that way..."

“So Rin, how many children do you want? I think two boys and two girls would be perfect, won’t you agree? Or do you prefer more boys? I’d like to have at least a girl in the house.”

This is getting out of hand! Somebody please...


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