Author’s Note: Before I begin, I would like to thank MLCY for pointing out all my grammar errors and typos that I have done throughout LGDK. They even pointed one out in the BSLSPL prologue. So MLCY, I’ll be looking forward to what you find in the first actual chapter. As for everyone else, please enjoy?
Chapter 1 – The Day of a Life in a Wintergreen Village
It was just another day in the mountain village of Wintergreen. I had just gotten back from the town for an errand… and there was already trouble. The orphanage had a visitor who claimed to just be a weary traveler. However… I knew better. So right now I’m at the guard post with the visitor unconscious over my shoulder.
“Who is it this time, Niko?” (Pete)
That was Pete, the man in charge of the outpost. A heavyset middle-aged man with a black comb-over and a nine o’clock shadow. He was once a high ranking commander in the Royal Guard, but ended up being sent to the boonies over a crime he says he didn’t commit. Then again… I never really cared if he was innocent or not. All I knew is that he’s also the guy in charge of reward money. So I just set the person over my shoulder on the floor in front of him to show him the poster.
“Pete, here’s the wanted poster.”
He took it and read it for a few seconds.
“Niko… this is not One-eyed Burt. This guy clearly has two eyes.” (Pete)
Geez… I’m starting to wonder if Pete was stationed here for incompetence? Only one thing to do, set the man I carried in up and hit the back of his head. Just as I guessed, a glass eye fell out from the socket that was patched on the poster.
“As you were saying?”
“Ugh… fine. Here’s the hundred gold coins.” (Pete)
He then handed me the small sack of gold before having some of the other guards take away One-eyed Burt. This was the occupation that I’m more known for in these parts, a bounty hunter. One thing that I was glad I kept from my past life was my photographic memory. I could take a look at something one time and fully remember it. Anything I forgot was what I chose to forget. So when I first saw someone from a wanted poster in Evergreen Village, I knocked them out and took them to Pete for the bounty. That’s the thing about people with prices on their heads, they think that they can hide out in some mountain village to lay low because it’s not as protected by the Royal Guard.
I’ve actually made more than my fair share of money thanks to idiots with that thinking. Due to my profession of Punching Wizard, it was easy to take these guys down. I just love how they think because I’m unarmed that they can win. Sadly for them, they end up knocked out and I already have their bounties before they wake up behind bars. And the best part is that I don’t really have to leave the village.
I was on my way to the general store when the only kind of enemy I do have had to stop me.
“Hey, you with the silver hair! You stole me reward, mate.” (random adventurer)
Adventurers… the biggest assholes you can meet out here. They think they’re entitled because they have fancy little titles.
“Excuse me, I have a name. It’s Niko.”
I turned around to see a small party. The one who called me out looked like a reject from Robin Hood, the Men in Tights version wearing horn-rimmed glasses. He even had a bow on his back and daggers at his sides. What got me were his sideburns, but his hair and eyes were both brown. There was a heavy-set tall guy in chain-mail with a giant ax on his back. His head and face were shaved, but he was green-eyed. And the blue-haired female looked like she was wearing a black gymnast’s leotard with thigh-high boots that had armor plating. Her gauntlets, breastplate that only covered her left breast, and cuisses were the same as the plating. I could tell that she was a just a fighter by the sword on her back.
“Well Niko… I’m Mundy the rogue. And you mate, have just earned me wrath.” (Mundy)
Is this guy Australian? Can’t be, there’s no Australia here.
“I’m Ivan, the mighty.” (Ivan)
“I’m just Laurel.” (Laurel)
So big ax is Ivan and fighter girl was Laurel?
“Look, I didn’t steal anything. I just recognized him from the wanted poster and brought him to the guard post.”
“Bullshit, mate. We’ve tracked him for three weeks after we accepted the quest to subjugate his little gang. Our mage lost his life in that battle when One-eyed Burt killed him to make his escape. By taking in that bounty, you dishonor our friend’s sacrifice!” (Mundy)
God… it’s one of those close-net parties. This isn’t going to end well.
“Then you guys should have done your job right. This is why I hate adventurers…”
“Vhat did you say, little man?” (Ivan)
“You heard me, your friend is dead because you didn’t do your job right. As adventurers in a party, it’s your job to watch each others backs. To look out for each other. But no… one of you died on the job and now you’re trying to take it out on someone who’s not involved.”
What I said was cruel, but it’s true as well. Other than the fact that I’m not involved, it was their jobs to make sure that they all made it out in one piece. But instead One-eyed Burt got away after killing one of them.
“That’s it! Say goodbye to your head, wanker.” (Mundy)
He then readied his bow. I swear… adventurers are the dumbest existences in the world. They sometimes forget, they are not in the wild. This is a village, and villages have guards.
“Oi, stop that!” (Pete)
And speak of the devil…
“You stay out of this. This mongrel just signed his death warrant.” (Mundy)
“Oh, I’m barging in. You know the law, no fighting in town!” (Pete)
Mundy then relaxed his bow and removed the arrow. This was one of the few times I actually find old Pete useful.
“But he insulted our fallen comrade?” (Mundy)
“Niko, what the hell did you do this time?” (Pete)
Dammit… they’re trying to make it my fault.
“Look, they came after me for collecting One-eyed Burt’s bounty. They say that I dishonored their buddy’s death by doing it. So I was just correcting them and they got all pissed off.”
“Yeah, and he also insulted us!” (Mundy)
“That’s because you claimed that I dishonored your friend when in reality his death has nothing to do with me. I saw One-eyed Burt in the village and did what I thought was necessary. So sorry.”
I’m not really sorry, but these guys are annoying.
“I see… well, looks like neither of you are in the right.” (Pete)
“What the bloody hell!?” (Mundy)
He stole the words right out of my mouth…
“You guys are not in the right for both accusing him of dishonoring your dead comrade and trying to attack him. And Niko, you’re in the wrong for aggravating them.” (Pete)
“Look, if you want to settle this… then agree to a duel or something? That’s all I can say.” (Pete)
Dammit to hell Pete!!!
“Fine, but he will be fighting Ivan.” (Mundy)
“Wait… don’t I even get a say in this?”
“Niko, you should had just ignored them. Besides, I know you can take care of yourself.” (Pete)
“Then what about terms?”
“Yeah, like a wager. If your big friend wins, you can have the money. But if I win… you three must pay the worth of the bounty in labor. Sound fair?”
“Sounds fair to me. What about you guys?” (Pete)
“Let us talk about, okay?” (Mundy)
I had to wait for them to go through with a huddle before they answered. Surprisingly, it was Laurel who answered.
“As long as the labor is not… anything sexual with me.” (Laurel)
“What kind of asshole do you take me for!?”
Seriously, it was almost like my delinquent days in my past life…
“Alright, no sexual requests at all. Is your representative ready?” (Pete)
“Ivan crush little man like baby!!!” (Ivan)
“You Niko?” (Pete)
“Let’s just get this over with, time is money after all.”
“Alright then, both combatants are set. Just a reminder, this duel is one-on-one. So any interference will not be tolerated. When this copper hits the ground, the duel begins. Ready…” (Pete)
He held out a copper coin. Both me and Ivan waited for it. After a few seconds, Pete dropped the coin, Ivan started his attack when it hit the ground.
“Die, little man!” (Ivan)
He then swung his ax down with a thunderous strike. But I stepped to the side in time to dodge it. I saw that it was a simple design, just a blade on a wooden shaft. So I channeled some ki into my right arm and hit the shaft with a karate-style chop. The shaft broke on contact.
“Vhat the…” (Ivan)
“Weapons are for those who can’t depend on their own strength.”
After I said that, I channeled a little bit of ki to my right fist and did a gut punch. Ivan spat out some blood as he went onto his knees. I could see the looks of disbelief on both Mundy and Laurel’s faces as their gigantic friend fell onto his side into unconsciousness. I made sure to not kill him, it’s an instinct from being a bounty hunter. Those bastards on the wanted posters are no good to me dead.
“And the winner is Niko!” (Pete)
All I could do was smirk as I won the duel. One thing I learned in my past life, never judge an opponent by their appearance alone. Due to the size difference between me and Ivan, Ivan made that mistake.
“What the bloody hell was that!” (Mundy)
“Just a ki enforced punch. Don’t worry, your pal’s not dead.”
“Ki? You use bloody ki?” (Mundy)
“That’s right, I should have warned you. Niko here is a Punching Wizard. He has good control over both his ki and mana.” (Pete)
“A Punching Wizard? Well, that explains why he’s unarmed.” (Laurel)
“The bloody… who decides to be a Punching Wizard?” (Mundy)
“A guy who doesn’t need a weapon. Anyway… I believe it’s time to be putting you three to work.”
“But Ivan’s hurt!” (Mundy)
All I could do was sigh. I grabbed a potion from a pouch on my belt and pinched Ivan’s nose as I poured it into his mouth. He woke up after a little choking, but it worked. He was as right as rain.
“Ivan lose?” (Ivan)
All I could do was face palm as his party told him what happened. The big guy was in disbelief as he didn’t know he was fighting a Punching Wizard. But it was easier to explain what happened to his ax during our duel.
“Well… you better tell us what you want doing. I don’t want to rot in jail for dishonoring a duel.” (Mundy)
One thing I forgot to mention… it’s a serious crime to dishonor the terms of a duel in this world. So if you make a wager, you better keep it. Hell, there have been some people who were executed for not honoring the terms of a duel. So remember kids, always honor your word when it comes to a duel.
“Then follow me, I could use some help carrying things.”
They followed me in confusion as I went to the general store and bought a bunch of sweets. I was actually grateful for their help, there was too much for one man to carry. They then followed me back to the orphanage where a certain little boy was waiting for me.
“Did you bring us some treats, big bro?” (Tommy)
“Yes Tommy, big bro has some treats for ya.”
Tommy was a green-eyed ginger kid who looked up to me the most. I just wish that he would change out of those tattered cloths, I bought him some better ones last week.
“But you must wash your hands and tell the others, okay?”
“Yes, big bro.” (Tommy)
He then left and came back in less than five minutes with an army of starving orphans. That adventurer party was in a little bit more of disbelief as they helped me divvy out the sweets between all of them. After the sweets were gone, Mundy finally spoke up.
“So is this what you do with all the bounties you collect, mate?” (Mundy)
“Not all the time. I also buy them clothing and other things.”
“But why? I know you have your reasons, but I am curious.” (Laurel)
“It’s because I grew up here.”
““What?”” (the whole party)
“I’m serious, I was one of the children raised here. So in turn I help out with the place.”
“I’m just surprised. I thought you were some kind of mongrel with the way you treated us.” (Mundy)
“I get that all the time. Anyway, your work is not done yet. Could you please put your weapons into the visitor’s box over there and help me out some more.”
I pointed to the box on the self labeled “weapons here” on it. Anytime we get visitors, we ask them to deposit their weapons in the box so the children don’t get their hands on them. It was actually a good thing I had broke Ivan’s ax, it wouldn’t have fit otherwise. After they deposited their weapons, I had them help watch over the kids. Surprisingly, these guys weren’t bad with children. A few of them got rides on Ivan’s shoulders and a lot of the girls questioned Laurel about… girl things. Mundy mainly helped by telling them stories of the party’s adventures. This ended until night fell upon Wintergreen Village.
“Thanks for the help.”
“No worries. So… do you need us to come back tomorrow?” (Mundy)
“Not really, I just needed help for today.”
“But… the terms were that we had to work off a hundred gold coins.” (Mundy)
“And trust me, I would’ve paid that much for the help today. So I say we’re even.”
“You’re one strange bloke.” (Mundy)
“I get that a lot. Anyways, thanks again. And don’t forget to drop by Rudy’s place to replace your friend’s ax shaft.”
“Why, you’re actually all right.” (Mundy)
His comrades even nodded to it.
“Look, I’m not really a nice person. I would just feel bad later if something happened because I broke your friend’s weapon.”
“Whatever, mate. You just need to be more honest to yourself.” (Mundy)
And with that, they said their goodbyes to the children and Sister Meredith. She of course thanked them for their help. But after they left… I had a good talking to by Meredith. Especially after I had to explain why I both punched a visitor and came back with some adventurers. She was thankful that I protected the orphanage from a murderer, but she does not like the fact that I do things she considers dangerous.
“You better be. We don’t need any of the other children thinking that it’s alright to be doing these things.” (Meredith)
“Just help with supper.” (Meredith)
Another night of deer stew with vegetables. As this is a mountain village, beef itself is hard to come by unless passing traders and merchants have it. So it was up to the local hunters to bring us most of the meat we ate. To be honest, I like deer jerky the best. Though squirrel and rabbit had good tastes as well, but I always liked those better in stew. I will admit that I didn’t care much for the earthy taste of the vegetables in this world, I couldn’t really complain. This was my life now after all. And it could change in an instant. Like when I was chopping firewood the next morning.
“So you’ve learned to control your ki, boy?” (Fredrick)
That damned bastard from six years ago…
“So you could tell just from watching me use it to chop firewood?”
That was always part of my ki control training, using it with karate chops to chop firewood when the children weren’t around. I mainly did it without them looking so they didn’t try to mimic me. If those kids hurt themselves trying to chop wood with their arms, Meredith would never let me hear the end of it.
“Yes, I can. I will admit that I’m surprised that you decided to become a Punching Wizard?” (Fredrick)
“Just tell me why you’re here.”
“Don’t get too cocky because you’re a little stronger now. I’ve actually come to scout you out.” (Fredrick)
This sounds fishy.
“I’m sure that even in this village, you have heard the rumors of the demons returning. Am I correct?” (Fredrick)
Oh god… I’ve heard all about those rumors each time I’m in the city. It’s annoying.
“Yeah, I’ve heard.”
“That means it’s almost time for a hero to be summoned” (Fredrick)
I couldn’t care less.
“I figured that you would like to show off your strength as a potential member of the hero’s party.” (Fredrick)
“And why would I do that?”
“Because I know your secret.” (Fredrick)
Wait a moment… what secret?
“I have no idea on what you’re talking about, Sir Fredrick.”
“Don’t play dumb with me, boy. Remember when I said that red eyes and silver hair are very rare?” (Fredrick)
Thanks to that day being hard to forget even without photographic memory, I do remember. But I had to keep my cool here.
“Not sure, all I remember is you taking Chloe away.”
“It’s because those are the features of those reincarnated with their previous memories intact.” (Fredrick)
WHAT!? You mean to tell me that it was a dead giveaway!? Keep calm…
“I don’t know what you are talking about.”
“No use denying it. It’s a closely guarded secret, not even the royal family knows. But it is in the records in the royal library, which I have access to. I’ve even met someone with red eyes and silver hair who remembered their past life.” (Fredrick)
“And who would that be?”
“My deceased sister.” (Fredrick)
What!? Oh crap, I stepped on a landmine.
“Are you sure that she wasn’t just crazy?”
Crap, I’m setting it off on impulse!
“No, she was not. She said her name in her old life was Amelia and that she used to fly in something called an air o’plain. She told me of buildings that could almost reach the heavens, flying ships, and other things.” (Fredrick)
Wait… he can’t mean Amelia Earheart? That American woman who was lost while flying around the world? Right?
“Was it an Electra?”
He then looked at me like he saw a ghost. Me and my big mouth…
“It was! I knew it, you are a reincarnated human from another world.” (Fredrick)
I let the word slip out of my mouth.
“As someone who lived in another world, do you not think you should help out the hero?” (Fredrick)
I had to put my foot down.
“Look, I have no obligations to help your hero when they’re summoned. This is my second chance at life and I’m living it how I see fit.”
“What if the hero is someone you once knew?” (Fredrick)
“I highly doubt it. I mean, there are many other worlds out there. Who says that the hero will be from mine?”
“You seem to have recognized my sister’s past life?” (Fredrick)
“That could be a coincidence.”
“I have my own doubts on that.” (Fredrick)
“You know I’m not really an adventurer, right? I’m just a bounty hunter that refuses to leave his comfort zone.”
“It’s not always adventurers who assist the hero. There have been knights, wanderers, and all kinds of people who have served with past heroes.” (Fredrick)
“Look, I don’t have to help your hero. And I’m sure that I’m not needed.”
“Just why are you against it?” (Fredrick)
“Because I live how I see fit. I’m a man who enjoys his freedoms. I will not be tied down by fate, not ever again.”
The reason for that last part… was because of what happened in my past life. I signed my own death warrant when I ruined that guy’s life. At least that’s how I see it. If I had never become a delinquent, my sister would never had been kidnapped. It was all my fault.
“I see. Well, I shall leave it at that.” (Fredrick)
“Wait a moment.”
“You will keep what we talked about here a secret, right?”
He then looked at me.
“It is not my role to reveal your secret. That is up to you.” (Fredrick)
Finally, he left. I decided to use the ax to chop the rest of the firewood. All I knew was that I wanted nothing to do with anything that big. I mean, being in the hero’s party has it’s ups and downs. If the hero defeats the demon king, their party is treated like celebrities. But the dangers increase as you help the hero as well. That wasn’t for me, my current life was good enough. Besides… for some strange reason I had shivers when I thought about the hero.
After Note: And that friends is the first official chapter of BSLSPL. When writing this chapter, I ended up hearing Sniper and Heavy’s voices in my head for Mundy and Ivan respectively because I had been playing Team Fortress 2 recently. Sometimes I get in the mood to play it randomly. But yeah, it’s how Mundy somehow ended up speaking with a slight Australian accent and Ivan with a slight Russian. And yeah, I had to resist the urge to have Ivan ask for a “Sandvich”.
I’m actually working on the next chapter already. But before I get any further… I need to fix the errors in LGDK that MLCY pointed out. And in this one’s prologue as well. So yeah, again a special thanks to MLCY for pointing them out.