Ken Kaioda stood inside the lobby of the red dragon guild, standing before the guild master as he begged for a quest. Ken had white hair with purple eyes, dressed in a brown cloth shirt and pants. The lobby was a large wooden room with a stone counter where the guild master stood along with a few tables and chairs spread out around the room like a tavern.
“I’m sorry, but...I'm afraid I can’t give you any quests, I'm sorry sir” The guild master was a young woman with long green hair, green eyes wearing a white gown. “I’m afraid tamers just aren’t in high demand. You could try finding a party to join, but I'm afraid I can’t do anything until then. Again, I deeply apologize”
“Sigh, alright, thanks anyway” As Ken lowered his head in disappointment, a male voice from behind called out: “You’re looking for a party? I’d be happy to let you join our party” Turning around, the monster tamer saw A trio Standing before him. The leader had long blonde hair with green eyes wearing golden knight armor as he stood confidently before him, his arms crossed with a smirk on his face.
Meanwhile two twin girls stood behind him, one with long black hair with purple eyes dressed in a black witch uniform, the other with long white hair, golden eyes dressed in a white and gold robe. “Allow me to introduce myself, my name is Sedric Nomire, leader of the golden march. The two behind me are Mei which is a dark magic caster and Okimi which is a white magic caster to balance our party’s magic”
Ken looked at the twins who just looked back with plain expressions on their face. A drop of sweat ran down his face as he smiled nervously at the two cold twins. “S-so, why do you want a monster tamer on your team anyway? You three look like you do just fine on your own”
Sedric placed one hand on his face, beginning to laugh. “Hehe, you’re right, my party is already C-rank and all we had to do was slay a few monsters. Though with Mei and Okimi it wasn’t that difficult, most of the creatures around here are merely D-rank to maybe B-rank if you’re lucky”
With a nod Ken asked: “So what quest are we going on?” The golden knight raised his hand up to stop him. “Hold on, before we go jumping into a fight, we need to see just what you can do as a tamer. Since tamers are rare, I'm curious to see what you can do”
“W-well...since I haven’t been on a quest yet...I haven’t actually had the chance to tame any monsters yet. That’s why I've been asking the guild master here to allow me to go on a quest, so I could tame my 1st monster”
The twins glared at him with disinterest when Sedric let out a sigh. “So, you’ve never even tamed a best before? Sigh, come on...you can come with us, but don’t expect us to save your ass if you get yourself in trouble” Motioning him to follow, Sedric led his party outside as they made their way down the stone path of the small town, houses and shops aligning both sides of the road as they headed towards the town’s entrance.
Many low-class citizens walked along the path as they did every day. Making their way outside the town there was a large forest that covered several miles between their village and the next. “Alright Ken, our 1st quest is to take down a basilisk. In case you didn’t know, basilisk are large colossal snakes that can reach lengths of 30 feet or longer so it’s best you stay on your guard at all times”
“R-right, I'll do what I can” The tamer commented walking behind the trio. Okomi was silent with a Plaine expression while Mei scoffed at the novice adventurer, her arms crossed with a pout on her face.
After 20 minutes of walking through the forest, they spotted a large stone cave off in the distance. “That could be where our target is, Ken...now’s your chance to proof your worth, find a way to search the cave without attracting too much attention if possible” The party leader ordered.
“Y-yes Sedric” Quickly searching his surrounds, Ken spotted a small red fox near a tree a few meters away. Aiming his palm in it’s direction he spoke: “Form contract” A purple sigil made of pure magic appeared in front of his hand with a similar one manifesting on the creature’s chest. The sigil on the fox’s body released a bright glow before it faded, leaving an imprint of the symbol on the creature’s body like a tattoo.
“There, contract sealed. Now that I tamed him, I should be able to see through his eyes and see whatever he sees”
“Good, now hurry and tell it to search the cave for the basilisk” Sedric snapped a little impatiently. Closing his eyes, Ken could see everything the small fox looked at. Ordering the forest creature to scout the area he stood still, keeping tight focus on his new ally. The small woodland creature ran on all fours, swiftly making it’s way towards the cave.
With the fox’s vision Ken was capable of seeing even as it grew dark within the large cave. It carefully made it’s way through the narrow stone path as it soon opened into one large area. “I-I think I see it” Slowly getting closer, a large pale blue snake came into view in the center of the empty stone room. It was curled up fast asleep for the time being.
With their target located, Ken ordered the fox to hurry back before the monster awoke. As the small furry creature took off towards the exit, it accidentally kicked a rock, alerting the large reptile’s keen senses. The ground began to shake, snapping the tamer out of his concentration. Sedric and the others watched as the fox came racing out of the cave, only for the colossal basilisk to follow after it.
“Get ready Mei, Okomi here it comes!” The valiant knight unsheathed his two-handed sword and watched as the monster slither out before them, quickly spotting them with it’s enhanced sight. “Just watch and learn ow a true adventurer party does it Ken, you might learn a thing or two. Mei use fire spells to slow it down! Okimi, cast enhance and give me a buff!”
“Right! The twins cried out. “Dragon blaze!” Ken watched as the dark mage aimed her wooden staff in the monster’s direction, unleashing an immense blast of flames. The forest shook as the area went up in flames. Once the smoke cleared, they could see the basilisk covered in burns advancing towards the dark magic caster.
That’s when their white mage stood behind Sedric aiming her palms towards him. “Advanced enhancement” She spoke in a soft tone. The knight’s body suddenly illuminated in a golden light as his abilities were multiplied by the white caster’s magic.
“Hell yeah! It’s time to show this monster not to mess with the golden march! Golden light surged around him as he gripped his blade firmly. Sedric lunged towards the approaching monster, unleashing a fierce slash across the creature's massive head.
Blood gushed from the wound as it’s upper-half was decapitated from the rest of it’s body. The others watched in both amazement and shock as Sedric landed on his feet covered in the basilisk's green blood. “And that my dear Ken, is why I’m the leader of this party. I took that bastard out with a single strike. I had planned to head back to the guild after our hunt, but considering how quickly I killed it…I’d say we have enough time for another monster hunt. Luckily our next target isn’t too far”
Without another word Sedric lead his party down the forest path still covered in the green oozing blood of the basilisk. Meanwhile Ken was deep in thought, wondering what would’ve happened if he had tried to form a contract with the basilisk rather than just sit there and do nothing.
“Ken!” Sedric’s loud voice snapped him back to reality as he found himself standing before a large cliff leading down towards a waterfall. “So…what do we do know Sedric?” The tamer questioned looking around for the creature he had mentioned earlier.
That’s when the valiant knight’s smile grew into an evil smirk. Without warning he unsheathed his blade, aiming it toward the defenseless tamer. “Hehe, you really are stupid, aren’t you? I guess that’s why you monster tamers are so rare, you can’t tell when you’re being used”
“W-what are you talking about Sedric!? I thought-I thought you were trying to help me grow stronger as an adventurer”
“Hehehaha! Did think I cared about some weak tamer!? We were just testing to see if you were good enough to be our scout, but now that I actually think about it, you’d likely slow us down. I can’t have people like you making the golden March look bad, especially after all the trouble we had to go through just to reach C-rank”
Ken slowly backed up towards the cliff as the golden knight slowly approached him with his blade now mere inches from his throat. “Why not just kick me out of the party!? Why do something so horrific?”
“Because…if we kill you and tell everyone you died fighting the monster, we’ll be seen as the valiant adventurers who lost their friend killing a monster. Stuff like that will surely push us towards becoming a B-rank!”
Though filled with utter terror, Ken glared at the corrupt party. “You all are nothing but monsters thinking about yourselves! One day you’re going to get what you deserve!”
“Hehe, yes…I am” without another word, Sedric sent a quick slash across Ken’s shirt, causing him to fall from the high cliff towards the shallow water below.
“There, now that the useless tamer is gone, let us return to the village so we’re seen as great heroes who lost their poor friend!” With that the golden March made their way back to town…
A Few Hours Later…
Deep below the cliff, Ken floating face down in the flowing water as blood seeped from his wound….
Ken awoke on a riverside, not far from the waterfall. “W-where an I?” A young male voice responded: “Don’t worry, I found you lying unconscious near the waterfall and managed to save you before you drowned’
Ken sat up seeing a small cute fox with red fur and three tails. “I’m so happy you’re OK, I feel sad for those who die alone out here in these woods. I do my best to help those in need”
“T-thank you, I fear if you hadn’t saved me, I would’ve died” Forcing himself to his feet, Ken could feel his entire body ace from the impact of the fall from the cliff into the water. The small fox noticed the young man in distress and cried out: “Heal!” In a flash of green light, Ken felt the soreness fade as he stood normally without any feeling of soreness.
“Wow...I didn’t think a fox knew healing magic...are you really a fox?”
“Actually, I'm a kitsune which is a type of demon fox. Though we’re normally seen as tricksters and mischievous, I've always felt the need to help those in need...I've never truly fit it with other kitsune” Ken smiled walking over to the small fox, placing his hand on the creature’s head lightly patting it.
“I would be honored if you’d join my party kitsune...by the way...you didn’t tell me your name?”
“Oh, my name’s Masetsu and are you sure you won’t mind a demon fox joining your party? Not many humans like when I'm around. I may be a demon, but it hurts to be hated just for being a demon”
“Don’t worry Masetsu, you helped me twice today and I can see you’re a good person. I know we’ll make great friends for years to come. Now then...I'll need to tame you so we can form a connection. Just stand still, you shouldn't feel any discomfort”
Masetsu sat down in front of him and watched as Ken extended his hand out in his direction. “Form eternal contract...allow our souls to intertwine as one until my last breath...my name is Ken Kaioda and I wish for our souls to become one!”
A sure of purple mana surged around the tamer as a large purple sigil manifested in front of his palm with the same sigil forming beneath the creature's feet. Masetsu’s eyes widened as a red chain made of his life energy shot out of his chest, connecting with Ken’s magic sigil.
In a flash of red light, the sigil and chain vanished, symbolizing the contract’s completion. Ken fell to one knee, struggling to catch his breath after using so much energy at once. “S-sorry Masetsu, it’s my 1st time using an eternal contract....huff...guess I wasn’t expecting it to be this taxing compared to a temporary contract”
“What is a temporary contract?”
“It’s a form of taming that takes far less magic, I'm able to tame creatures for a brief moment depending on the creature. If it’s a small woodland creature, I can tame it for about 10 minutes, but for things like goblins and other hostile monsters, I can only form a temporary contract for about two-three minutes. With my tame ability, it seems to have three variables: The intelligence of the creature, it’s willpower and it’s willingness to be tamed. Those three things affect the duration and difficulty of taming each creature”
“Wow, seems like you really though hard about how your ability works master”
“Heh, I guess. If I'm going to improve my skills as a monster tamer, I had to test the limits of the ability and see how it worked compared to each type of creature that came my way. Anyway...enough about me, let’s head back to town, it’s time to pay someone in town a visit...”
CHAPTER 1 Tamer’s Revenge
As the moon illuminated the town’s streets, Ken swiftly walked through the empty stone pathway with Masetsu on his shoulder. Grabbing a brown hooded-cloak hanging outside a shop, he pulled the hood over his head, concealing his appearance.
“Who exactly are we looking for master?” The small kitsune asked with curiosity. “We’re looking for Sedric and his party known as the golden march, they’re the heartless adventurers that pushed me off the cliff near where you found me. Though I see myself as a nice person Masetsu, those who hurt and end the lives they deem below them have no right walking about the streets acting like heroes. It’s time they got what they deserve”
Stopping near the center of town, Ken searched the area for a moment before spotting a black crow perched on a nearby roof. “Perfect” Throwing his hand out towards the crow, he softly spoke: “Form contract” The kitsune watched as the crow’s eyes illuminated purple before taking off through the night sky.
“What happened master?”
“Don’t worry, I ordered the bird to search the city for Sedric or any of his party members. Since crows are dark, they’ll be harder to see at night, giving us an advantage. Now we just have to hope it can locate our target”
10 Minutes Later...
The monster tamer sat waiting on a stone bench with the small red fox by his side when a cry from the crow rang out from above. “Good, seems it found our target. Let’s head over there and deal with the monster”
“Yes master!” Masetsu responded jumping back onto his shoulder as the adventurer raced through the dark streets towards the crow's location. Jumping over small stone walls, they made their way over to a large wooden house with the tamed crow siting on the 2nd windowsill of the house.
“Hmph, should have known those monsters would live in such a big house while the less-fortunate are forced to either sleep in their shops or small houses just bigger than a shed. I’m sorry to bring you into this Masetsu, but you might have to fight if it comes to it”
“Don’t worry master, I can do more than heal, as a kitsune I'm told I have many abilities, but I must train to awaken them. For now, I only have healing magic as well as fire magic. You’re also my master, I shall do whatever you think is right”
Ken slowly climbed up the side of the house, climbing up to the 2nd-floor balcony where the crow had been waiting. He stayed close to the wall, slowly peering into the window to see Sedric and the other members of the golden march relaxing in chairs by a large fireplace.
“Sigh, I'd say our plan went perfectly, we got rid of that useless tamer Ken as well as claimed his share of the reward for killing those monsters. The guild master even gave us free meals for our troubles!” The golden knight spoke as he happily ate a large piece of meat.
Mei nodded. “Yes, I'm glad we don’t have to deal with him anymore, I questioned why you even decided to even let him join us, but after today...I can see why”
Meanwhile Ken grew more and more frustrated as he listened to them. He clinched his fist as rage built up within him. That’s when an aura of fire began to manifest around him. His aura of fire caused the balcony to be set ablaze as the flames slowly engulfed the balcony before spreading across the wooden structure.
“What the!?” Ken was caught off guard by the growing flames, causing him to stagger back, falling onto the pavement while Masetsu glided through the air landing beside him. “M-masetsu what happened!? Where you the one who started the fire!?”
“No, it somehow happened when you were getting angry at those adventurers, flames manifested around your body which made contact with the wood you were standing on”
“I-I did that? Then that means...” Just then Sedric and his party came running outside of the house as the flames had nearly engulfed the entire structure with smoke rising into the sky. That’s when Sedric spotted the hooded man but didn’t regonize him.
“You! Are you the bastard that did this!? As the golden hero Sedric, I don’t tolerate criminals who seek pleasure in attacking us heroes. I shall end your treachery here and now!”
(Tsssk! Hearing him speak so heroically, even after all he’s done...he’s not a hero...he’s the furthest thing from it!) Once more Ken’s rage ignited an aura of red flames around his body as he faced the golden knight. Finally looking him in the eye, he reveled his face to them.
“What!? K-ken...you’re still alive!? When did you learn fire magic!?” The white-haired tamer glared at them as he opened his palm forming a sphere of fire that floated within his grasp.
“You all tried to kill me, just because you saw me as weak and useless...yet you walk around playing valiant heroes that save and protect people. Normally I can ignore the flaws in someone; their rudeness...their selfishness.... their arrogance. But trying to take someone's life because they don't meet your standards of strength? That's unforgivable. Being a hero means protecting people, helping those who ask for it. So I won't be a part of your corrupt philosophy. I'll find my own way, one that values all life, the strong and the weak. And if that means standing up to you, then so be it”
With a look of determination in his eyes, Ken released a large fire ball right for the trio, only for Okomi to cast a protection spell of holy magic as a golden transparent barrier protected them from the incoming projectile.
“Hmph, not bad flame magic for a mere tamer, but let me show you how it’s done when performed by a skilled witch! Flame magic: Dragon cyclone!” Leaping into the air, Mei unleashed a blaze of flames that spiraled into a cyclone of immense flames. Ken frozen in fear as the swirling vortex of fire engulfed him and Masetsu.
The party watched as the cyclone grew thinner before erupting in a fierce explosion shaking the entire town. “Heh, I doubt someone like him could survive such a high-tier fire spell!” The black mage exclaimed with a smirk across her face.
As the smoke cleared, the party stared in shock to see Ken unharmed by the attack. Mei slightly shook in fear, biting her lip before crying out: “HOW!? HOW DID YOU SURVIE SUCH AN ATTACK!? YOU’RE NOTHING MORE THAN A USELESS TAMER!”
Kaioda stared at them with a stern look, his hair blowing in the night breeze. “Seems your karma is catching up with you all...while you three relaxed in your fancy home, I befriended a kitsune who healed my wounds and allowed me to tame it. Forming an eternal contract with him granted me the advanced fire magic of the demon fox, as well as nullification to all flame-based magic it seems”
A chill ran up Mei’s spine the moment she heard that word. “A-a kitsune...b-but those are supposed to be an S-rank creature, rarely seen by any mere human! Y-you're bluffing...that can’t be a kitsune, that’s nothing more than a pyro fox!”
Without warning Masetsu leapt into the air, filling the streets in a blinding flash of light. A dragon made of pure flames spiraled around the small fox’s body as he began to transform. All watched as the once small cute fox had transformed into a pale young human with red hair, orange eyes and fox ears on his head as well as three fox tails.
Masetsu slowly touched down before them with a serious expression on his face. That’s when everyone realized....Masetsu was naked!” Ken blushed looking away with Mei getting a nose bleed before falling back. Sedric put his hand up blocking the view.
“Ugh how repulsive! You dare stand before the gold march like that!? Please find some garments before I vomit” The golden knight gagged in disgust of the kitsune’s nudity.
“Sigh, Masetsu, put this on before any more people see you like that” Gripping his hooded-cloak he tossed it over to his ally who put it on covering all but his legs. Masetsu’s human form had soft pale skin with bright red hair and orange eyes that seem to glow. Ken couldn’t help but blush at the sight of him.
Shaking it off Ken responded: “There he’s clothed, now which one of you bastards is going to attack next? Seems your poor dark mage fainted at the sight of Masetsu’s reveled form”
“Tsssk, very well...Okomi! Buff me! I’ll take these two down myself!”
“Yes sir...holy magic: Divine blessing!” The pair watched as the white mage aimed her staff towards Sedric as a golden aura outlined his body. “Prepare yourselves peasants, this buff enhances my speed and strength, making me more dangerous than before!” A sadistic grin grew across the golden knight’s face as he unsheathed his blade.
As the tamer put his guard up, Masetsu stepped in front of him. “No master...I shall deal with them for you, I'm much stronger in my human form. I only remained in my kitsune form to fool others into thinking I was nothing more than a mere fox”
“Are you sure Masetsu? I don’t mind helping you with this fight”
“It’s alright master, I am your tame...the contract symbolizes my promise to serve and protect you now and forever” The wind picked up around them as Sedric and Masetsu glared at one another...
“TIME TO PERISH FOOLS!” The golden knight advanced right for them at super-human speed, gripping his sword with both hands. In one swift move, the assailant sliced through the air aiming right for the kitsune’s throat, only for it to come to an abrupt halt.
All stared in shock as Masetsu stood firmly before the knight, his blade stopped by the demon’s super-human strength. “Your strength is impressive human...but it’s nothing to a creature like me” Gripping the blade tightly in his grasp, it shattered apart, pieces of steel hitting the street with nothing but the grip of the sword remaining.
“W-what?” Sedric uttered in complete fear. He bean to shake as he slowly backed away from the demon in human form. Masetsu just glared at him with a cold look.
“No-no-AAAGGHH!” Sedric took off running down the stone path towards the town’s entrance when a surge of pain rushed through him. Coughing up blood, he found himself collapsing in the street. A spike made of pure fire magic was piercing into his back and out his chest, luckily it had missed his heart. “Y-you bastards”
A few yards away stood Masetsu with his index and middle finger together pointing in the knight’s direct meaning he had been the one to fire the projectile through the adventurer’s back. Both looked at Okomi who dropped her holy staff, surrendering to the pair.
Citizens began to step outside to see their beloved hero wounded and bleeding in the street. “S-SEDRIC! ARE YOU ALRIGHT!? A Young woman exclaimed running to his side. The blonde warrior grinned before looking up at her with a worried expression. “I-I'm sorry miss, cough! I was on my w-way back from a q-quest when I was attacked by those two!”
The knight pointed towards Ken and Kasetsu as the citizens began to yell at them in anger. “HOW COULD YOU DO THIS TO THE HEROES OF GOLDEN MARTCH!? An old man shouted in anger. Many of the citizens began throwing things at them, yelling for them to leave the town.
Ken ignored the rotten food hitting his face and clothes as he responded: “That man is deceiving you all, he attempted to kill me and use the tragedy of my death as a way to get attention from all of you. My name is Ken, I joined their party yesterday only for them to push me off a cliff into a shallow pool of water, luckily, I survived”
Many of the townspeople continued to glare at him with a few still throwing rotten and stale food at him. “Sigh...very well...if you all aren’t willing to listen to reason, I'll at least end that monster before he can do anymore horrific things to the innocent people of this town. You all may hate me, even want me dead, but I'd rather be hated to keep you all safe than be loved for fake deeds like him”
The townspeople guarded the wounded knight, surrounding him from all sides. With a sigh, an aura of blue flames surrounded his body as he slowly approached the crowd. A few wielded blades ready while others shook in fear at the sight of the tamer’s new powers. Ken closed his eyes slowly walking past each person blocking his way. With each person he pushed past, part of their body were engulfed in a blue flame causing them to cry out in pain before running off to put out the fire.
As he pushed deeper through the crowd with Masetsu following close behind, three large men wielding blades attempted to slit the tamer’s neck all at once, only for their blades to melt the moment they made contact with the immense flame protecting him.
Ken stood over Sedric, looking down at him with a deep look of hatred. “Sedric, you’re the leader of the golden march which means the sins of your party are yours to bare....Though this may haunt me for years to come, you’ve caused far more pain than this ever will”
Opening his bare palm, Ken struck the center of Sedric’s forehead, leaving a handprint of red and blue flames. “It’s over...Sedric” Ken turned his back on his foe as flames erupted from the knight’s body, causing blood and flames to burst from his eyes in mouth as he was scorched from the inside.
Many watched in horror as all that remained was a scorched black skeleton with a look of agony upon it’s face. Without another word, the monster tamer walked past the rest of the crowd, the flaming aura gone from his body. A single tear fell from his cheek as he and Masetsu left the city...
CHAPTER 2 A World Of Joy and Despair
As they walked through the dark forest, Masetsu placed his hand on his tamer’s shoulder. “Are you ok master? I doubt something like that could’ve been easy for you”
Ken abruptly stopped on the dirt path, after a brief silence he responded: “Those people are fools...making me out to be some kind of monster while their so called “valiant hero” goes around torturing, killing and stealing from innocent people. I know they think they’re doing the right thing by standing up to me...but I hope they come to learn the truth one day”
“So where are we going master?”
“To find a place to sleep for tonight then I guess to the next town. I don’t want to stay in a town that sees me as nothing more than a murder. I could’ve done things differently, but I was so tired of seeing that smug look on that bastard’s face, acting like he’s better than everyone. I know I should be the hero...but some just deserve to die for their sins”
Masetsu stood behind his master, wrapping both arms around him in a tight embrace. “Don’t worry master, you’ll always have me by your side. This world is full of hard decisions, but no matter what choice you make, I shall follow you until the very end”
Ken looked at Masetsu who smiled towards him, his three fox tails wagging happily. Ken slightly blushed, not used to someone so happy to be around him. “I appreciate that Masetsu, hopefully we’ll form our own party and be strong enough to take down more adventurers who think they’re above the rest. Now then...let me see if I can find us a place to sleep”
“Oh! I can do that master! Remember, I'm a lot stronger and faster in this form compared to my mere fox form” Ken watched as the kitsune ascended into the air in one swift jump before jumping from tree to tree with immense speed. The tamer closed his eyes, using his link with Masetsu to see through his eyes. The demon fox moved through the air at near sonic speed, gliding through the air before pushing off a tree to regain momentum.
After a moment of searching the forest, the fox spotted a small cabin in the middle of the woods. “Master! I think I found somewhere for us to stay! It’s a cabin, but looks empty!”
“Very good Masetsu, don’t get too close to the cabin until I get there!” Sensing his ally’s location, Ken dashed through the forest, dogging trees and rocks before spotting the fox sitting on a tree branch, scouting the wooden structure a few yards away. “I’m here, let’s take a look to see if anyone still lives there”
Masetsu nodded, jumping down from the tree as the pair cautiously approached the house. The windows seemed to be smashed with a slight cold feeling coming from inside. Ken looked at the kitsune before attempting to open the door. After two attempts the door wouldn’t budge.
“Tsk! Screw this!” With a fierce kick, the door broke from it’s hinges, hitting the floor. A foul stench suddenly hit them as Ken stumbled back attempting not to vomit. Coughing and covering his mouth, Ken was just about to ask what that smell was before something caught his attention. Cautiously walking through the doorway, he spotted something lying in the middle of the living room. The interior was dark and musty, with cobwebs covering the corners of the room. The furniture old and worn, with a layer of dust covering everything.
As Masetsu created a flame in his hand as a source of light, they felt a chill run down their spines realizing what was in the middle of the room. An old man laid in a pool of blood before them, his throat with three large claw marks gaping from him. Though the man’s mouth and eyes were closed as if asleep. That’s when a creek echoed from beneath them. "Did you hear that Masetsu?" his voice barely above a whisper.
Masetsu's pointed ears perked up, and he extended his senses to pick up any unusual sounds. Sure enough, he could hear a low growling sound coming from the basement. "Master, I sense danger" Masetsu said, his fur bristling in alarm. The two slowly made their way through the living room before spotting a trapdoor in the small kitchen.
Ken carefully opened the basement door before making his way down the wooden stairs. Masetsu stayed close behind the tamer, providing just enough light to see their way through the darkness. As they reached the bottom, they found themselves in a large stone room face to face with a large bear-like monster. Though, unlike your typical forest bear, this one had white fur with human-like hands and feet.
“Hmm, this must be some kind of werebear” Ken suggested as they both examined the sleeping creature. Before the kitsune could respond, the monster suddenly awoke, it’s eyes glowing dark red as it reveled it’s sharp teeth. “Shit! We need to get outside before that thing attacks, we can’t fight him in such a small area!”
“You go master! I’ll buy you time to escape!” The fox threw both palms out preparing to attack when Ken grabbed him by the hood, dragging him upstairs. “Don’t be stupid Masetsu! We’re not sure just what that thing is capable of yet, we should get outside so we can distance ourselves from it first!”
Making their way outside, they heard a deafening howl as the werebear launched itself through the floor, landing on the roof of the cabin before them. It growled menacingly, staring them down. Ken formed a fire aura around him as he put his arms up to fight. The creature put it’s hands near it’s mouth before releasing a devasting howl in Ken’s direction.
The force of the monster’s scream was so power, it caused the tamer to get launched back, impacting a tree before hitting the ground. “MASTER!” Masetsu grew angry, causing him to shoot a large fireball right for the enraged beast. Kaioda slowly got to his feet shaking in pain as he watched the sphere of flames connect with the white beast.
The fireball erupted in a ray of light sending the werebear flying across the forest, landing a few meters away. “Huff...hopefully that did some damage, though I doubt it was enough to knock him out” Masetsu commented. Just then, they saw the monster running on two legs right for them before stopping just a few meters away.
It looked as though it was preparing to howl again when purple energy began to build up in it’s mouth. “Huh!? MASETSU WATCH OUT!” Before they could react, the creature unleashed a beam of purple energy in their direction. The fox evaded the blast mere moments before it could connect as the immense blast soared past Ken, destroying nearly every tree behind him.
Ken looked behind him to see dozens of trees vaporized with nothing more than stumps and scorched branches remaining. “S-such power...how could a mere werebear have such raw power!?” Ken could feel himself shaking but knew panicking wouldn’t make the situation any better. Taking a deep breath, he knew there was only one way he could stop the beast from causing anymore chaos.
“Masetsu! I need you to distract it just long enough for me to try and stop it!”
“Yes master!” With a smirk, the kitsune picked up speed, advancing right for the powerful beast. The werebear attempted to slice through him with it’s sharp claws, only for the fox to evade the attack with his sonic speed. “Over here bear!” Masetsu taunted moving around him in a circle. It tried to keep track of the three-tailed fox but struggled to keep it’s eyes on him.
Meanwhile Ken focused his magic energy, preparing to cast his spell... “FORM CONTRACT!” Throwing his hand out towards the raging beast, the werebear abruptly stopped in it’s tracts as the purple sigil formed beneath it’s feet. Ken could feel something within the beast... “W-what is this...this feeling”
The beast began to let out howls of despair as it’s eyes glowed red. That’s when Ken saw a red pentagram form across the creature’s head. “W-what’s going on!? This hasn’t happened before. Maybe if I try to link with him...see what he sees”
Focusing all of his power, Ken began to feel a sudden feeling rage, the world vanished around him as he found himself with a void of blood-red mist. “S-so this is what he’s seeing right now!” The tamer continued to keep the connection linked as the feeling of hatred and rage built up around him.
“TSSSSK! N-NO! I WON’T-I WON’T LET THIS HATRED CONSUME ME! THIS HATRED ISN’T MINE!”
“Isn’t it though” A familiar voice called out. Ken slowly looked up to see a version of him standing before him. Although, this version seemed twisted, all the white in his eyes were pure black with only the purple irises visible. He also wore a black hooded-cloak with much paler skin. “You may not belive it Ken...but this feeling of hatred your feeling...is your hatred, your hatred for the golden march....your hatred for all those people who didn’t believe you and would rather throw rotten food at you than except the truth”
A grin grew across the doppelganger’s face as he continued: “People only want to accept the truth that’s comfortable to them, humans hate change as well as being wrong about something. They would rather let the world burn hidden behind a wall of lies, rather than face the sad truth before them. But you and I know that all walls can be broken, with enough lies...that wall will crumble and revel that they can’t hide their problems away”
“Just leave me alone...you’re nothing more than a hallucination in whatever this void is. I have to stop this werebear before it can do anymore harm to Masetsu or any living creature in the surrounding area” The dark copy slowly approached Ken who kept his hand out in front of, keeping the connection between him and the beast stable.
“Heh, you sure care too much about those who won’t lift so much as a finger to help you” The copy suddenly struck ken in the abdomen knocking the wind out of him as he let out gasp of air. The winded tamer fell to one knee before the evil copy as he looked down at him with a stern glare. “Maybe Masetsu would do anything for you, but what of the Villigers from the town, or any other strangers you meet? They all could just be using you for their own gain. You shouldn’t waste energy with those that wouldn’t do the same”
Catching his breath, Ken slowly stood once more, keeping his focus on the connection. His doppelganger clenched his teeth as the red mist faded around them. “Tssk! Seems you broke the seal, no matter...I'm sure we’ll talk again soon” The void around him vanished as he found himself back in the forest. The red pentagram on the werebear’s head shattered into wisps of red mana with both it and Ken collapsing in the grass....
30 minutes later...
“Master...Master!” Ken slowly came to as Masetsu’s voice came into focus. The dazed tamer slowly stood up as the demon fox hugged him tightly. “MASTER YOU’RE OK! I WAS WORRIED SOMETHING TERRIBLE HAPPED TO YOU!”
Ken blushed patting his head. “I-I'm fine, but there was something wrong with the werebear...I could feel, such rage and hatred within him, though it didn’t feel natural. I think something or someone may have been controlling him” Kaioda walked past the red-haired fox, cautiously approaching the unconscious werebear that laid before them.
He could hear it’s heavy breathing and knew it would awake soon. Taking a step closer, the beast abruptly awoke, lunging to it’s feet as it started at the adventurer. To their surprise the beast spoke: “Hmmm, I don’t recognize your scent...what are you doing here human?”
“I could ask you the same thing, why were you hiding in the basement and who’s that old man you killed inside?”
“Old man? What are you talking about?” He grunted with a cold glare, his eyes now glowing blue rather than red. Ken motioned the creature to follow him as they made their way back within the small dark cabin. Walking through the door, the werebear spotted the deceased man lying in the dark.
Tars began to fill his eyes as he came to the realization on what happened, the claw marks across the old man’s throat made it quite clear how he had died. “No...no...NOOOO!” The werebear was sent into a mental break down as he let out cries of despair at the sight of the old man’s corpse. Shockwaves of blue energy shook the house as the structure began to crack apart. Ken used his arm to block the bursts of force coming from the beast, only to realize the house was beginning to cave in on itself.
The tamer signaled his ally to get out as the pair ran past the werebear just as the cabin collapsed in a pile of wooden logs. Both turned to see the beast standing among the debree, a blue aura swarming around him like flames as he dug through the wood to find the man’s body. He carefully lifted it up with tears still running down his face.
“Father...I'm so sorry I was such a burden on you...you did all you could to care for me, only to be killed by the very thing you cared so deeply about. I can’t even imagine what kind of pain you went through in your final moments, and I wasn’t even there to be by your side. But I swear to you...I shall find whoever took control of my mind...and end them, just as they ended yours”
Ken and Masetsu waited a few yards away, letting the beast have a moment alone as the werebear dug a grave for his father before burying him. After a moment of silence, the beast turned to face them. “I apologize for the interruption, but I thank you for allowing me to bury my father. Now then, have you come to kill me? I wouldn’t mind...it would be nice to rejoin my father, even if I don’t avenge his death”
“Actually...I have a better idea, you promised to avenge your father’s death...then join my party and allow us to work together to find the one’s behind it. We could use your immense strength and power to wipe the evil scum from this world. The one’s who took control of your mind seem sadistic so I plan on taking them down as well, which means we have a common enemy”
The werebear thought for a moment before responding: “I’m not so sure it’s a good idea, I'm trapped within this form and humans are normally afraid of me. If I'm with you, I'll only be a burden” That’s when Ken casted tame on the beast. “Heh, who cares if they’re afraid of you? Just like Masetsu who’s a demon fox, he’s my friend and I won’t late anything happen to my friends. If you form this contract with me, it’ll also seal our bond as friends together. I know you want to give up and just be with your father, but at least let us help you stop the ones who did this before they do it to someone else. They could control another person causing them to take the life of someone they care deeply about too, would you really give up rather than keep this from happening to another person?”
The beast thought for a moment before letting out a slight laugh. “Heh, you sure do have a way with words boy...very well...I shall join you so we may end the corruption of whoever used such dark magic on me” They formed a contract as the werebear’s eyes went from blue to purple, symbolizing their connection.
Once more the use of his tame skill trained him of nearly all of his magic as he fell to the ground in a daze. “Master! Are you ok!?” Both tames cried out rushing to his side. Ken let out a couch. “Y-yeah, eternal contracts are just taxing on my magic, especially after breaking your mind control as well. I’m just surprised I didn’t lose consciousness again”
As his vision slowly came back into focus, Masetsu asked: “What do we do know master? Now that the cabin is destroyed, we don’t have anywhere to sleep tonight, I didn’t see anywhere else to sleep for miles”
“Don’t worry master, I can smell a faint scent of humans off in the distance, I shall take us to the town” Throwing Ken onto his back, the beast pushed off the ground with both feet, launching himself into the air like a bullet, soaring through the sky at fierce speed, the wind blow past them like a cyclone.
“Wait up!” The kitsune called out moving at sonic speed to keep up with them, jumping from tree to tree as usual while lightly gliding across the sky. The white-haired beast landed in the forest just outside the city in a fierce impact like a meteor leaving a small crater.
“Here it is master, this is the city of Viandra. It’s a decent size city, but wouldn’t call it a kingdom” Ken dropped from the werebear’s shoulders before realizing he didn’t know his own tame’s name. “I forgot to ask you your name, my name is Ken Kaioda, what’s yours?”
“Tatsuya...it’s what my father named me. I was too young to remember my mother, I was merely five years old when I became a werebear. When she found out, she just left...though dad was always there to care for me, he never let anyone hurt me or shame me from being a werebear. Though back then, I could change from bear to human almost at will, but as the years went on...it became harder and harder to revert back into my human form and on my 18th birthday...I couldn’t anymore...it was as if I’d forgotten how to change back into my human form”
Tatsuya sighed before continuing: “Though I miss being human, my father always said to treat this as a gift rather than a curse, which for the most part he was right...if it wasn’t for this form’s immense strength, me and my father surely would’ve been killed by the many monsters lurking in these woods”
Ken looked over at Masetsu who had tears in his eyes crying. “That’s such a touching story! Your father really did care about you while no one else would!” The three-tailed fox hugged Tatsuya crying on his shoulder while Ken just looked away a little embarrassed.
“Alright Masetsu that’s enough, now’s not really the time to be making so much noise. We should try and find a room in the city without attracting too much attention to ourselves, though it’ll be difficult. If we’re met with hostility, I'll decide how we should react depending on the situation”
“Yes sir!” The two responded. Carefully making their way down a small hill, Ken began walking towards the wooden gate surrounding the town. A tall man with a black beard wearing black-leather armor guarded the entrance wielding a two-handed axe. The guard noticed the trio approaching and quickly slammed the end of the axe onto the ground signaling them to stop.
“Halt, no monsters are allowed within Viandra. The one with white hair may pass, but your pets here must wait outside. Ken frowned as he glared at the guard. “These are my friends, not pets, I'll need you to respect them as you would any human who passes through here!”
“Yeah! I’m more than just his pet! I can speak and interact just as any human would!” Masetsu shouted in anger standing beside his master with Tatsuya on his right. The man lifted his axe of the ground as if preparing to attack as he threatened: “I suggest you all leave before I'm forced to alert the guards of this city and have you either removed...or erased”
That’s when Ken began to laugh with a dark grin on his face. “Hehe...hahaha! You really think you and your pathetic guards could stop us!? I’m growing tired of people either treating me like trash or telling me what to do!” That’s when the tamer looked him dead in the eye with a cold expression. “I think it’s time I quit letting people boss me around and make my own rules for a change. Tatsuya, Masetsu...stand back”
His tames nodded, jumping back a few feet while the guard gripped his large axe, a small fear slowly building up within him. “T-this is your last chance asshole! Leave now, or I'll be forced to use lethal force!”
Ken just smirked holding his hand out in a taunting manner. “By all means...show me your pathetic excuse of “lethal force” I would love to see just how weak a mere guard is” Ken’s eyes began to glow red as the white disappeared from his eyes. Fearing for his life, the guard brought his heavy weapon down on the tamer, attempting to end his life in one strike.
To his surprise, Ken stopped the coming blade with his barehand, a purple flame-like aura flowing around his body as he gripped the great-axe with one hand. All watched as the tamer tightened his grip, cracks began to form around the top of the axe before it ultimately shattered to pieces. The stunned human froze with his jaw dropped before dropping what remained of his weapon, running back into the city screaming in fear.
Meanwhile Ken shook his head coming back to his senses as his eyes reverted to normal. “W-what happened...I must’ve zoned-out for a moment there”
Tatsuya and Masetsu walked over to their master exclaiming him before the kitsune asked: “Are you alright master? You seemed off for a moment there, we were worried you might’ve snapped”
“I-I'm ok, I think I just zoned out from the frustration for a moment there, but I'm alright now” Ken thought for a moment, a sudden realization of what might’ve happened but he decided to keep it to himself as to not worry his friends.
That’s when a large group of fellow guards of Viandra came charging towards them on horseback. One of them firing a crossbow arrow straight for Ken’s throat, only for the tamer to evade the incoming projectile just in time. “What’s going on? Why are they attacking us!?” He uttered in confusion.
“How do you not remember master?! You threatened the guard here so he must’ve gathered the whole squad to try and kill us!” The werebear answered. “Sigh, I'm not sure what the hell happened while I was zoned-out, but seems we’ll have to fight them, otherwise they’ll probably just chase after us” The trio turned to face the coming assailants as Ken threw his arm upward, manifesting a wall of flames blocking them from getting through the gate.
“You think mere fire will stop us!? One of the armored guards shouted from inside the gate. The buff man in armor approached the wall of flames, attempting to force his way through, only for his sword to instantly melt the moment it made contact with the flames.
“Sigh, we wasted enough, time. We may as well make our own place to sleep for tonight, come on Masetsu, Tatsuya” The trio made their way back into the forest where Ken had had Tatsuya cut down trees buy using his immense energy beam as a laser to cut through the trees with ease.
Once they had cut down a few dozen trees, he had the werebear stack them on top of one another like a cabin. After a few hours, they managed to build a decent size cabin though had no furniture. With no other option, the trio laid on the hard wooden floor soon falling asleep...
While he slept, Ken began to have nightmares of the evil counterpart he had seen in the red mist, he began to sweat as he tossed and turned for most of the night. All Ken could picture was the sadistic grin he had seen...
Merci pour la lecture!
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