A baby was found in a lush green forest by an undead mage who wore a dark purple torn cloak. The young boy had white hair with beautiful pink eyes as it let out youthful cries throughout the forest. The skeleton took the young child into a nearby cave where he raised him as his own, teaching him how to use basic magic such as fire ball and wall of water....
They young boy stood just outside the large stone cave as he watched the sun slowly rise. His shirt and pats were made of black torn rags his father had made him by collecting lost items travelers and bandits had dropped while exploring the forest.
As his white hair blew in the soft breeze, the undead mage slowly walked over, making sure to remain in the dark to keep from being destroyed by the sunlight. "Good morning Sora, I see you're enjoying another sun rise as usual. I would join you, but I'd sadly turn to dust by the immense rays of the sun. Sigh...if it had been daylight when you were out in those woods... I fear you would've never survived. As peaceful as this forest may seem...there still are great dangers lurking somewhere out there. That is why I've spent these last 15 years to prepare you for your future. I may be an undead...but even I won't exist forever, all things must come to an end Sora, I just hope your time won't be for many years to come"
"Thank you father...without your intense training, I doubt I'd be nearly as capable as I am now. You've taught me the ways of the sword as well as basic elemental magic. I'm certain I'll make great use of both skills.
That's when Sora felt a hand on his shoulder as his undead father stepped outside the cave beside him. Sora turned around to see the skeleton beginning to burn away into pieces of ash yet remain at his side.
"F-FATHER! WHAT ARE YOU DOING!?" A bony smile grew across the skeleton's face as he replied: "Sora...I've loved you since I carried you into this cave, but it's time for a new chapter in your life...one where you can explore the world and not be held back by me stuck within this cave, the fear of me being destroyed by the sun. Please son...allow me to watch the sun rise with you this once...I'd like to be beside you for the end..."
Tears filled the boy's eyes as he nodded watching the sun slowly rise into view. Soon he realized he couldn't feel his father's hand on his shoulder any longer. The realization that his father was gone causing Sora to break down with tears flowing from his eyes, his cries of despair echoing throughout the forest.
Slowly looking behind him, all that remained was his father's worn-out cloak he always wore. Sora lifted the dark cloak off the ground, looking at it still with a deep feeling of sorrow before putting it on, wearing his father's cloak in memory of him.
"Now then Sora, show me what you've learned"
"Y-yes father" Both faced one another outside as the moon illuminated around them in the small green field. The undead mage stood motionless with both arms down, seeing an opportunity, Sora threw his palm out, unleashing a sphere of pure flames right for his target, only for the undead to stop the incoming fireball with a single bony finger. To his surprise, the fireball burst into wisps of red mana before slowly fading away.
"Come now Sora, surely this can't be the best you've got...I know you better than you even know yourself; you're a bright young boy with endless potential and I know one day...you'll achieve great things. Never forget who you are and why you push yourself to grow. Now...attack me with all you have, prove to me that you will never stop pushing yourself to grow stronger, both physically and mentally!"
Letting out a soft breath, Sora held both hands out, a fire ball in one hand with water flowing around the other. "Here I come father...with everything I have!" Crossing his arms in a sudden movement, he sent the fireball right for his mentor once more. The undead mage reached out to stop the fireball as he did before. The moment his index finger made contact with the sphere of blazing flames, it vanished, only for sharp ice shrapnels to fly out, striking the mage in all his vital areas.
Sora could feel most of his magic already drained from that one combined attack. "Huff...huff...how was...that sensei?" His father slowly began to clap as the ice shards shattered before falling to the ground. "Well done my son, you've worked hard to master the basics of fire and water magic, though there are far more advanced spells, I'm sure you won't need them for now. I'd say that's enough for tonight, we'll train more after you've had time to rest"
[End Of Flashback]
Sora stood out in the small field where he had always trained with his father, a feeling of both happiness and sorrow running through him as the wind brushed across him. "You always told me I had great potential, that I could become as strong as you someday..." He gripped his father's cloak tightly before looking up at the blue sky. "I will try father...try to reach the limit of the potential you always saw in me"
With that, he took off into the forest, leaving the cave he had spent his whole life inside. "Now that my father is gone, it's my job to take care of myself from here on out, I'll have to find a new place to live as well as a way to buy food"
Chapter 1 : Beginning Of A Long Adventure
As he continued through the forest, a black menu with purple letters popped up in front of him:
[Leaving Safe Area
Sora was confused but pushed [confirm] as the pop-up shattered into wisps of blue light. That's when a notification popped up:
[Skill tree unlocked]
The young boy watched as a large menu popped up in front of him. It was a large transparent black screen, however only one class was visible. In a purple bubble in read: [Mage] Sora though for a moment before closing the menu. "So, this "skill tree" allows me to see what class I've unlocked Huh? Since the screen is so large...that must mean there's dozens of different classes I can unlock! Father...I will make it my goal to unlock and master every single class hidden within the skill tree!"
With a rush of excitement burning within him, Sora took off through the forest, searching for anything to fight so he could train against new and stronger opponents. Not long into his travel, he spotted what looked like moving vines a few feet away. "Strange, vines don't normally move on their own like that, at least...not one's that I've seen"
He cautiously approached the large group of trees, searching for the moving. Only for something to wrap around his leg, sending him flying into the air as he hung nearly 20 feet in the air upside-down. His cloak blew in the wind as a creepy face became visible, it looked like a grumpy face with glaring black eyes and a frown as the face slowly grew closer, reveling a vine blight, a humanoid plant-like monster formed from wooden vines to form a humanoid body with soulless eyes.
"W-what the hell are you!?" Sora cried out in fear, his heart racing from the cold look in the silent creature's eyes as it's upper body was now sticking out of the tree while it's lower half was fused to the tree as if a part of it. The blight slowly reached out to touch the boy with it's wooden hand, only for Sora to aim his hand right for the monster's face, unleashing a burst of flames.
The monster let out deep groans of agony as the vine released him. Attempting to escape, the blight merged back into the tree, only for it to be set ablaze with it. "Shit! I can't let the fire spread too far, otherwise it'll cause a whole forest fire! Water magic: Wall of water!" Slamming his palm on the ground, a large pillar of water manifested in front of him, extinguishing the fire before it could spread to any of the nearby trees.
"Sigh, that wasn't much of a fight, I was hoping for something more epic" That's when he heard a deep voice cry out: "Goat horn rush!" Sora spun around, only to get hit head-on in the chest by a large buff creature with white fur and goat horns.
The young adventure went staggering across the forest, slamming into a large stone bolder before hitting the ground lying on his stomach. Sora struggled to regain his breath when the assailant who attacked him landed in front of him with a powerful quake.
"I am Yagamo, the strongest warrior of this forest. I ask you...friend...or foe?" The young warrior clenched his aching chest before slowly rising to his feet. "I'm not evil if that's what you mean, though it's hard to call you a friend when you headbutted me with your horns for no reason"
The creature smirked standing before him, it looked like a tall muscular goat with a humanoid body covered in white fur. "Heh, the fact you haven't lost consciousness means you're strong, you'll make a great opponent! Come at me and fight!" Yagamo flexed his muscles confidently before the young boy.
"Tsk, if it's a fight you want...then I won't hold back!" Both faced one another...waiting for the other to make the 1st move...Without warning, Sora sent a fireball right for the creature, only for Yagamo to punch the ground, causing a wall of stone to rise from the dirt, protecting him from the blazing flames.
"Hehe, so you know fire magic? Impressive...though I doubt it'll do you any good!" The stone wall crumbled away, reveling Yagamo was gone. "Damn it! He used the wall as cover to hide from me!" Sora kept his guard up, slowly checking his surroundings for any sign of the white creature. "How could such a large monster be able to hide so easily!?"
That's when something flew past him, striking the right side of his face. The white-haired adventurer staggered back from the brunt force of the attack, causing him to grow dizzy. "W-what the hell was that? It couldn't be that goat again, could it? How could such a muscular brute move so fast!?"
This time Sora could hear something flying right for him. Engulfing his left arm in flames, he threw a punch in the direction of the incoming object. Hist fist made full-contact with Yagamo's forehead, sending him smashing through trees.
"Aggh! My hand!" An abrupt surge of pain rushed through the mage's arm as it ached each time he tried to raise it. "F-fuck! I think I hurt my arm in the attack!" Sora stood there clinching his arm with his other hand when Yagamo returned once more, dashing past the trees before stopping in front of his opponent once more.
"D-don't you ever give up goat? I-I know I said I wanted a strong opponent to fight...but this is ridiculous. Even after landing a head-on blow to your skull, you seem unaffected by it!"
"Actually...you did quite the number on me, though you're still weak, I'm impressed you stood your ground and kept fighting! I have confidence you'll grow to be a great sparring partner!" Yagamo brushed some of the white fur from his forehead to revel blood running down his face.
"Hehe, maybe I'll get strong enough to beat you one day, but for now... I'd say that's enough sparring for today. I'm sure it'll take a day or two for my arm to heal after a fight like that"
[Level 3 Achieved]
[Ally Acquired: Yagamo, the goat of the forest]
"Heh, seems we've become friends Yagamo...I'm glad to have you...in my...party" With all his strength drained from his 1st real fight, Sora passed out in the dirt...
A few hours Later...
Sora awoke within a shaded room, small amounts of light shined through a wooden window covered by large leaves and branches. As his vision came into focus, he realized he was in a large treehouse shaded by plants and vegetation. Slowly siting up with his back against the wooden wall he asked: "W-where are we? Your house?"
Yagamo was sitting on the other side of the room eating fish and nodded before finishing the rest of his meal then tossing the remains out the window. "This is my home, I sleep here when I can, unless I'm too far then end up just sleeping under a tree"
Sora slowly forced himself up as he looked out the window, admiring the nice forest view he had, even with leaves and vines blocking some of his view. "Well...I appreciate your help in letting me rest here Yagamo, but I'm off to find either more monsters to kill or even a town where I can make some money"
The goat shot his head in the boy's direction. "Kill monsters!? Please allow me to come with you! I live to fight! I'll do anything if it means I get to fight!"
Sora started at him with his arms crossed before letting out a sigh, lowering his head. "Fine, you can come with me...but don't do anything stupid if we run into actually people, I don't need you causing a scene"
"Yes!" Yagamo nodded, jumping to his feet. "That reminds me, I know your name Yagamo, but I don't think I ever told you mine. It's Sora by the way. Now let's hurry and try to find the closest town before it gets dark. I may be used to training in the dark, but it hasn't made my night vison any easer over the years"
Sora opened the trapdoor in the center of the wooden floor and proceeded to slowly climb down the large tree. He mumbled in pain every now and then from his wounded arm as he carefully descended the tree. Once he was just a few feet away from the ground, he jumped from the tree, landing on the dirt.
He waited for his new ally, only for Yagamo to tap him on the shoulder. "Hehe, while you were climbing down like a wimp, I just jumped out the window!" Sora just rolled his eyes before following the dirt path through the forest with Yagamo at his side...
An Hour Later...
As Sora and Yagamo continued their journey through the forest, they eventually stumbled upon a beaten asphalt concrete path. Sora's instincts told him it would lead them to a nearby city, so he decided to follow it.
After walking for what felt like another hour, they finally emerged from the dense forest into a clearing. Before them stood a village with a Jōkamachi style layout with Japanese architecture. Small wooden homes aligned the streets with a large red temple in the center. Sora's eyes widened with excitement. "Wow! This is the 1st town I've ever seen before! Hopefully there's people around we can talk to!"
Sora quickly dashed down the road into the village where he saw many villagers just going about their daily activities. A young woman hanging her clothes on her porch, a small boy and girl happily chasing one another through the dirt streets. The young mage walked along the streets taking in the unfamiliar sights with Yagamo walking close behind.
However, the tall beast couldn't help but notice people staring at him, a few even scared as he walked past. Sora noticed a tavern and suggested they check it out" Yagamo shrugged following his party member as they walked through the wooden doors to the tavern. The moment they walked inside, the music stopped with everyone staring at them with unfriendly glares.
The tavern was large with wooden floors and white stone walls. Round wooden table and chairs aligned both sides of the room with a path in between leading from the entrance to the bar. Just as Sora took a step forward, a tall buff man dressed in black mercenary armor stepped in front of him blocking his path. He had brown hair with a beard and a scar across his right eye.
"Apologies, but I'm afraid I'm going to have to ask you to leave" The mercenary uttered in a deep tone. The mage looked at him then at everyone around him in the bar. "Why should we? We haven't done anything wrong, so you have no reason to make us leave!"
The mercenary let out a deep chuckle. "Oh, it's not about whether you've done anything wrong. It's about keeping the peace and ensuring the safety of our village. You see, we don't take kindly to your kind here" He gestured towards Yagamo with a hint of disdain.
Sora's eyes narrowed, his voice filled with frustration. "His 'kind'? And what exactly do you mean by that?"
The mercenary crossed his arms, a smug grin forming on his face. "I mean creatures like that goat beside you. We don't trust monsters. They bring nothing more than trouble and chaos to our village. Now, if you don't leave willingly, we'll have to remove you by force"
Anger surged within Sora as he stepped forward, his voice laced with anger. "Yagamo is not a monster, he's my friend, and if you truly want to fight, then so be it. But you'll regret judging someone just by their appearance"
The atmosphere in the tavern grew tense as Sora and the mercenary locked eyes. The villagers looked on, unsure of what would happen next. Yagamo stood by Sora's side, ready for battle if necessary. That's when the mercenary laughed beneath his breath. "I'm not wasting my time on you both, I'll just have the Onigara deal with this"
The bearded man pushed past their pair, heading towards the large red temple in the center of the village.
Chapter 2: Clash with the Onigara
Sora and Yagamo exchanged glances, their determination unwavering. They followed the mercenary, keeping a safe distance as they approached the red temple. The massive golden doors loomed before them, adorned with intricate carvings and symbols.
The pair stood at the bottom step of the temple noticing a unique individual with black hair dressed in blue traditional samurai attire. They sat in a meditative state with their eyes closed and hands on their knees before them, exuding an aura of strength and power. He was one of the Onigara, elite warriors sworn to protect the village from supernatural threats.
The mercenary approached the Onigara, whispering something to him. To their surprise, the swordsmen opened his aqua blue eyes, fixing his gaze toward Sora and Yagamo. His eyes narrowed with a mix of suspicion and curiosity. Sora couldn't help but feel a hint of fear building up within him with the blue samurai slowly approaching them while the mercenary just smirked watching.
"We have been informed that you two are causing trouble in our village," The blue Onigara accused. The blue swordsmen stood before Sora and Yagamo, his presence commanding and intense. His voice seemed calm and emotionless resonated with authority as he addressed them. "You two seem like trouble. The villagers are concerned about the presence of a monster in our midst" he stated, his eyes never leaving Yagamo.
Sora stepped forward, his glare locked on the Onigara. "Yagamo is not a monster. He's as much a person as anyone else here. He may look different, but that doesn't make him any less worthy of respect!"
The samurai raised an eyebrow, seemingly unimpressed by Sora's defense. "Words alone won't convince me. I trust the villagers' judgment. If you wish to prove otherwise, you must pass a test" Sora clenched his fists, ready to stand his ground. "What kind of test?"
"The Onigara test" He replied, his voice carrying a mix of challenge and seriousness. "Our warriors must pass it to prove their worth and loyalty to the village. If you can defeat me in combat, I will consider your companion as more than just a monster"
Yagamo stepped forward, a fierce determination burning in his eyes. "I accept your challenge! I will fight you and prove I'm more than a mere monster!"
Sora nodded in agreement. "Very well. We accept your challenge. But if we win, you must promise to treat Yagamo with respect and accept him as part of the village"
Drawing his katana with a swift motion he replied: "Agreed, Show me what you're capable of" The atmosphere grew tense as the battle commenced. The Onigara made the first move, his katana slicing through the air with lightning speed. Yagamo swiftly sidestepped, narrowly avoiding the deadly strike. He retaliated with a powerful punch aimed at the samurai's midsection, but the Onigara effortlessly parried the blow with his katana.
Sparks surged from the samurai’s blade as he held the beast’s attack back with a mere hand.
With his water-based swordsmanship, matched his every move with precision and skill. The clash of blades and fierce melee attacks echoed throughout the temple grounds, catching the attention of the villagers who gathered to watch. “You’re a powerful creature I’ll give you that, however…one can not rely on power and strength alone, one must diligently balance one’s capabilities to truly reach one’s full potential”
Breaking the clash between Yagamo, the samurai dashed past him in a swift motion, standing with his back to the creature as slashes of condensed water pierced through him with quick precision. Sora watched as blood gushed from his ally’s torso before he collapsed in the dirt. “Y-Yagamo…YOU BASTARD! HOW DARE YOU DO THIS TO MY FRIEND!”
An abrupt feeling of utter hatred boiled within the mage’s body as his once orange flames began to turn blue, his hair started glowing with an intense aura coming from his body. It all stopped when Yagamo stood up, and shouted to the samurai: “I-I’m not…finished yet”
His exhausted body couldn’t hold that pressure and he collapsed back on the ground. The Onigara samurai smiled and offered them a different challenge: Defeat three lesser demons. “If you can kill three demons, then I’ll consider your test passed”
Sora’s anger slowly subsided, quickly responding: “Challenge accepted, I and Yagamo shall defeat any demons that comes are way!” The swordsmen smiled once again. “Very well, hopefully I’ll see great results from you both. By the way, you can call me Takahashi, the water onigara, I’ll be waiting for you both”
The next day, Yagamo had surprisingly fully recovered and ready for battle. You could feel the enthusiasm radiating from the muscular goat. “Heh, that samurai thinks he’s all that! Just wait until I kill every demon in this forest!” Yagamo flexed his muscles confidently while Sora sat on a bench beside him, still thinking about what had happened, he had never experienced such anger before and was unsure how to feel about it.
Merci pour la lecture!
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