Still disoriented by the completely unbalanced stat
allocation, Eryn and I started making our way back to town using a
horse-drawn cart. Apparently, we were on the outskirts of Engelberg, the
capital city of Sistina. The summoning circle we had left behind was a
standard location for rituals to take place, so less than an hour passed
before the sight of a fortified region came into view.
most of that hour fairly silent, not knowing what to say besides the
occasional acknowledgement as Eryn rattled on about various things. The
parts that I remembered included Eryn being a newly established magic
knight and that she was a minor noble in her country. I was more
distracted by the scenery around me, as the last time I leisurely rode
through a long stretch of rolling hills with forests along the sides
was…never. Having grown up in an urban area, I spent most of my time
at home or with my parents at their workplaces.
I looked back at
the figure sitting at the front of the cart, a slight rattling of metal
coming from her light equipment. Other than a breastplate and some
armguards, the rest of her outfit composed of a green shirt and a brown
pleated skirt, quite fitting for a girl her age which was probably
mid-teens. She had a lean figure and a cute face that would usually
catch the attention of most single guys. If I hadn’t lost my smartphone,
I’d probably sneak a picture or two. Shaking away that thought, I
looked down at the items on her belt: a short sword and a dagger. Coming
this far unescorted, I assumed that she can handle her own, so it’d
probably be best not to make light of her.
“Hey, Claude! Are you listening to me?”
“Ah! Yes!” I jumped as she suddenly raised her voice.
“Look, over there. It’s the perfect chance for you to test your skills.” Eryn pointed a short distance away.
50 feet away, there were 2 blue blobs bouncing up and down. ‘Eh?
Slimes…really? At least this world comes with a tutorial.’, I
“Here, catch.” Eryn tossed me her short sword.
“If you somehow get hurt, I can heal you with magic…but I really don’t
think you’ll be in any danger.”
Getting off the cart and drawing
the blade, I casually walked over to the 2 slimes. Well, at least they
were kind enough to stay there staring at me the whole time.
goes…” While the sword wasn’t particularly heavy, the whining of
muscles that only occasionally received exercise made swinging it a bit
awkward. But at least the sword landed right on top of the slime.
However, the sensation I felt was like that of hitting a beach ball with
a stick, as the sword and my arm bounced back. I swung a few more
times, but each time was the same. By now, the slime had realized I was
hostile and started ramming me, while the other one bounced away.
knock it off!” The impact of the slime was like having someone throw a
basketball at you at full force. At this point, I had given up on the
heavier sword in favor of smacking it wildly with the lighter sheath.
After about 5 minutes, an impact similar to a giant water balloon
bursting was felt. ‘The enemy had been vanquished!’, I briefly
celebrated before reality came back to smack me in the face. Yes, I
struggled with a slime…Send me back home now. I desperately wanted to
curl in bed and slay enemies with a touch of a button instead.
know I shouldn’t be laughing, but your form was pretty terrible.” Eryn
blocked a giggle with her hand, as she walked over and retrieved her
sword. During my struggle, she had walked over to spectate and
nonchalantly kicked the other slime into oblivion.
“Are you ok?” Eryn asked, seeing my head still down.
“Physically, yes. Mentally…no.” I wanted to smack myself for that embarrassing farce of a fight.
had been so far from the expectation that I had nurtured through
fighting games and battle anime that I wanted to yell at the mystery
deity that had arbitrarily decided this kind of starting roll for me.
few more encounters with slimes happened before we reached the gates.
Each time, Eryn dispatched all but one, while she waited patiently for
me to grind the last one into mush. Giving up on the sword for now, I
opted for punching and kicking the slimes, which were movements that I
was somewhat familiar with. I had taken some karate classes with some
friends but had given up by the time we had discovered otaku
entertainment. It was more fun imitating flashy fighting moves than it
was to remember long, boring routines. Sadly, none of these flashy moves
actually worked in a real fight, so I toned it down before Eryn’s
evaluation of me further plummeted. Simple, rapid pummeling seemed to
work best as every hit seemed to do minimal damage regardless.
a message popped into my view saying that I ‘leveled up’. Checking my
stats once again, my worst fear was verified. My other normal stats had
gone up, but Atk and Mag remained at 1. Picking up on the reason for my
disappointment, Eryn tried to comfort me a little.
you aren’t the type of familiar that is meant for combat? I’m sure
there’s something that you can be good at…” Even Eryn sounded like she
was losing hope, as she had stopped referring to me as her partner.
“Why the heck was I called here if I can’t make myself useful? You may as well send me back to where I came from.”
don’t think there are any cases of sending a familiar back once it’s
been called. But that doesn’t mean you have to be bound to me.”
don’t have to be bound…to you?” I paused at the unexpected statement.
Weren’t summoned beings usually bound by some sort of contract or
control spell that makes them obedient to their master?
it’s typically the case that the familiar summoned has good
compatibility with the magician, the relationship is more so of mutual
benefit. It’s not uncommon for a familiar to lose their life or abandon
their master, so magicians may summon multiple ones in their lifetime.”
“Wait, so what’s stopping people from forming an army of familiars?”
power. Usually, familiars require a small amount of magic power to
maintain their existence for extended periods of time. Without a
constant supply of power, they can usually live for only a few months to
a year. However, Electi are different due to being humans. They don’t
require any magic power for sustenance. Instead, I must prepare adequate
compensation in return for your loyalty. I do hope your demands are
reasonable. I would prefer to hold onto you due to the rarity of an
Electi summon, as I can summon another familiar to bolster my attack
Great. I’d just been downgraded to a trophy unit in a gacha game.
I get it. I’ll look for a way to be useful to you. My first request is
for something to eat because I’ve been hungry since before I was
summoned here.” This entire situation made me forget my initial pangs of
hunger, but they came roaring back as soon as I began accepting the
“Of course. I will have a meal waiting for you at home.”
Nearing the gates, one of the guards called out.
“Hey Missy! How did your summoning go?”
“I didn’t come back empty-handed. Summoned quite the peculiar one.” Eryn pointed to me.
The guards carefully examined me. “His clothes certainly look odd. I presume you snagged yourself an Electi.”
noting that my polyester windbreaker and multi-pocketed cargo pants
were not standard attire, I looked back to see a very proud Eryn.
Now you’re acting smug?’ Even with a trash build, a trophy was still a
trophy, so now she wanted to show off her lucky pull. I forced out a
strained laugh. Seemed like it wasn’t strange for otherworlders to show
up in this world, which made me wonder how often Electi were summoned.
“I’ll be dropping by the magician’s guild to register him in the following days.”
The guards genuinely seemed happy for her. I didn’t feel like bursting their bubble at this point.
the checkpoint, it took another 15 minutes of travel before we ended up
around a residential area. A castle stood amongst a more populous area
further ahead. The houses were larger than anything that I had been in
but still far from being mansions, though Eryn did say her family was of
minor nobility. Stopping by the gate of a certain one, Eryn tapped on a
bell-like object, sending a bolt of magic up through the cord and into
the house. Before I could ponder if that was a doorbell, the gates
opened and Eryn led the cart up to the house.
The door opened and
out came an old gentleman in obvious butler attire. One look at his face
gave me the impression of an Alfred or Sebas…
“Pietro! I’m home!” Eryn hopped off the cart.
Geh, so much for that.
“Young mistress! Just in time for supper… And who might that be?” Pietro gives me a sharp look.
the entire events of her day, the butler’s expression shifted from
surprise to joy to confusion as we guide the horse to the stable.
like I’ll have to break out the training swords again.” Pietro let out a
sigh. A flash of red flickered in his left eye before returning back to
Eh? I didn’t like this foreboding sense of doom.
“But first, supper.” Pietro beckoned us to come in.
“Oh man, the food was so good! 100% revived!” I yelled as my body plopped onto the bed of a guest room.
cooking of Pietro (dangit, I kept wanting to call him Sebastian) and
the maid Carina, who apparently was Pietro’s wife, was top notch. Pietro
and Carina seemed much like doting grandparents to Eryn, but throughout
dinner, I looked around the room expecting Eryn’s parents to show up.
Somehow reading my mind, Pietro bent over and whispered in my ear.
mistress’s parents unfortunately passed away a few years ago. They were
merchants traveling for a delivery when bandits took them by surprise.
Milady was a strong knight but seems like they were overpowered by
someone with powerful magic.”
“Eryn’s mother wasn’t a magician?”
“The mistress got her magic potential from her grandfather. It apparently skipped a generation.”
“And her father?”
“He was just a normal merchant. The business was acquired by Eryn’s uncle after the incident.”
I nodded quietly in response.
have her parents taken away at a young age, I couldn’t relate to that. A
feeling of homesickness started building in me as I laid in bed. It
hadn’t even been a day since I’ve gone missing. Dad was still probably
busy at the restaurant. And Mom was likely sorting the medical files at
her practice. They probably wouldn’t realize I’d disappeared for a while
since I was supposedly at college. I wanted to get back, but Eryn’s
words seemed to imply that was unlikely. The bed was getting wrinkly
with me rolling around. I tried to think about what to do from now on,
but I ate too much…getting sleepy…
As sleep took over, I barely
noticed someone walking in. A lonely sigh caressed my cheek, as I felt
something soft drape over me. The door closed with a soft click.