The skies were lit up by the stars, something that people from Earth would only ever be able to see on those photo apps, such as Instagram. The night was still young, and Jun Long and James Tarker had just finished snacking on the rations they bought from the Jovial Town food stands. The two adventurers were now practicing low-level fire magics, as James Tarker had only learned how to use a few spells.
Jun Long was already showing great progress, truly displaying his aptitude for being a mage. James Tarker tried to explain how to create the magic, based off what he learned from his previous travel companions, and his personal experiences with the spells he knew. It turned out that magic used to be invoked via a chant, where one would have to focus on an image of the spell, but a certain famous mage popularized the use of chantless magic during a certain war against the demons.
Since then, invoking magic had become a matter of feeling the mana course through one's body to create the image of the spell. For instance, the 'Fireball' that James Tarker had used: before chantless magic became mainstream, the caster would have to learn a specific chant, so as to invoke the mana in their body to spring to action, then focus on an image of the fireball spell they wanted to use, then actually conjure a ball of fire into their hand, and finally shoot - or throw - the magic to the target area. Now, although it was harder to learn for some, the process of casting magics had become much shorter because you were able to skip out the lengthly incantation, and just recall, and re-emulate, the feeling of a certain spell that you've learned to use in the past.
To simplify it: the use of magics had gone from something akin to reciting phrases, as though issuing commands to certain parts of your body, to something akin to muscle memory. You wouldn't need to voice out your intent to move each of your legs just to walk, right?
Somehow Jun Long had managed to easily understand, and copy, what James Tarker was showing him. It didn't take long for him to be able to cast the most basic of spells from the School of Fire: 'Heat'.
"I did it!"
"Gotta say, Jun, you got talent. That took me a whole week, when I was learning how to do it."
"Really? You explained it so well, and it just seemed natural to me."
"Huu..." James was in tears. "My life would be so much easier if I had your talents, Jun!"
"Haha! You say that, but I know you'd still be the same James Tarker that I know."
"Hah! You know me so well, aye? Why don't we take a break after I show you how to use this next spell: 'Flame'!"
Jun Long thought to himself that his partner, as lofty as he seemed on the outside, was someone able to stick to the plan. He had already long since forgotten that they were here to hunt some goblins, but James Tarker always kept his mind on the job. Jun Long thought that James Tarker would've been great at managing a retail chain.
"Alright, Jun," James said, facing Jun Long from the front. "Though 'Heat' is good to use for when you need to keep warm, or dry off, it's not any good in a fight!"
"So, to take it to the next stage, we use a spell to make fire! This one's called 'Flame' and it looks like this."
Jun Long watched as James Tarker lifted one of his hands to chest height. He then closed his eyes, to focus his mana, then produced a spark from his palm! It reminded Jun Long of using flint stones - something he had seen randomly on TV. The next second, a fire was started, and sat in James Tarker's hand. It swayed with the light breeze that blew past them, as though to say that it was happy to have come to life.
"From this," James started to explain. "You can start to apply it in different ways."
"Like how you said that 'Heat' could be used to keep someone warm, or to dry them off?"
"You got it!" James looked elated. "Like, I could use this fire to wrap around my fist, and punch someone with it!"
James Tarker turned to a nearby tree and struck the bark with his fire covered fist. A thud and some crispy sounds could be heard from the impact. Jun Long moved closer to look at the scorch marks left on the tree's bark. He then lifted his hand, much like how he saw James Tarker do it, and tried to ignite a flame in his hand, too.
"Fuck, Jun," James said, as he looked at Jun Long's hand, which was now covered in a fire, just like his was. "You really do catch on quickly!"
Jun Long threw his fist at the tree, emulating something that had seen in a fighting game back on Earth. He even grunted with a "HUP!"
James Tarker jumped back, at the sudden shockwave that came from the powerful strike. He had to cover his eyes from the windforce. Even Jun Long had stumbled, a little, mostly from his surprise that it was much more powerful than James Tarker's example. He even looked at James to see if he had done something wrong.
"Holy fuck, Jun!! How much mana did you put into that Flame spell?! Are you feeling faint or anything?"
"Uh..." Jun Long was taken aback by the unexpected worry from James. "Sorry about that. I'm alright, though. I don't feel anything."
"Even after practicing Heat so much, you still have enough mana to make such a powerful Flame! Genius. You must be some genius!"
"I'll get shy if you say it like that haha."
"I've never seen a newbie be able to so easily pick up magics, like this, let alone use it with so much power! If you're not a genius, I don't even know what the heck you are!" James was frantic, excitedly explaining to Jun Long that it was really rare for this kind of thing to happen.
"I wasn't able to feel any strain on my body, at all, so I just kept focusing my mana into the flame. I mean, look."
Jun Long raised his hand to chest height, again, and once again made a Flame appear on his palm. Though the size of the fire didn't outgrow his hand, James Tarker, having used this spell more times than he could count, could see that the quality of the flame was constantly rising. Jun Long didn't show any signs of fatigue or even a drop of sweat. It was as though he could keep doing this forever.
According to studies done on each specific School of Magic, though, James Tarker knew that this low tier spell 'Flame' had a limit on how powerful it could get. It was for this reason that a lot of mages would opt to use higher tiers of magics from their respective Schools. If a low tier spell, such as 'Flame', could grow infinitely in power, then there'd be no need to learn any high tier spells.
Jun Long released his Flame spell, so that he wouldn't caused another sudden burst. The first one was surprising enough - even James Tarker had such a reaction to it. He felt gratified, though, as it's not always easy to teach something new to someone - especially if it'll use up a lot of energy. Jun Long looked at James Tarker, who had grabbed his hand to inspect it all over, and smiled solemnly. This was a friendship that could last a lifetime.
The evening air had already cooled down to a point where Jun Long could see his own breath. He had thought that, with his armour being mainly chain, it would easily become cold. He even thought to use Heat time to time just to keep himself warm!
The two adventurers easily found the goblins' home cave. The entrance to the cave was dug out of the side of a small mountain, one that not too many people would bother to trek as it was out of the way. To get to where they were, Jun Long and James Tarker had to make their way through a forest. According to James, the forest was popular with the locals as it had plenty of herbs and lead to a big lake on the other side. Other than the usual horned rabbit, or slime monster, the forest was a safe enough place to be - perfect for adventurers who are just starting out.
To keep the forest from becoming too dangerous, the Adventurer's Guild would have people survey the forest to see if stronger monsters had made it their new home - like goblins - and post a job on the job listings board for aspiring newbie adventurers to try their hand at a basic subjugation. This was what Jun Long and James Tarker had set out to do!
Jun Long felt disgusted, when he and James Tarker got closer to the cave entrance, as the grass and earth he had been standing on gradually changed to rock and clay. The rock and clay made it easier to see the many blood stains that hadn't been washed away by the rains. Jun Long furrowed his brows in displeasure. On the other hand, James Tarker kept walking into the cave without stopping. He had done a number of these subjugation jobs so his nerves had been tempered into steel!
"Jun," James Tarker said without looking back. "You don't gotta stay right behind me all the time, but try not to get separated from me, aye?"
"Where you go I go."
"Haha! That's what I like to hear!"
James Tarker took the lead and had already unsheathed his sword. Jun Long felt a little left out, as he had no weapon of his own, so he tried to be useful by holding the torch. The air in the cave smelled of iron - the dried blood's stench was starting to get to Jun Long. As the two made their way deeper into the cave, and they had reached a fork, Jun Long could swear that he was even starting to smell dried cum coming from one side - it was a heavy bleachy odour. How did Jun Long recognise this smell? Well...
"Hey, James," Jun Long spoke softly. "Can we go down this way? I can smell something weird coming from it."
"Yeah, alright. It's probably where they're keepin' their kidnapped girls to fuck'em."
"Ehhh?!" Jun Long was surprised at how blunt James was being. In his culture, back on Earth, even when everyone knew what was going on, they still wouldn't just blurt it out like that. Where was the tact!?
"Yeah. Goblins are really terrible little shitheads. They'll attack caravans and carriages, kill all the men, and drag all the girls back to their cave and make goblin babies with'em."
"..." Jun Long felt like throwing up.
"It's some nasty shit, yeah."
"I'm not... feeling all that great, James."
"Don't go disappearing on me, now haha!"
"Just a joke! Come on, there's bound to be a few goblins going at it right now! Let's sneak up on them and gut them like the fuckers they are!"
Jun Long started to find it hard to breathe, he was slowly falling behind, and James Tarker noticed it. With a low thud, James had dove into Jun Long's abdomen and given him a deep punch. Jun Long's eyes widened and he looked at James Tarker stunned.
"W-what did you do that for?" Jun Long coughed out.
"You're going to get yourself killed if you don't loosen up, Jun!" James looked at him with a trace of disappointment and anger. "Goblins are low level monsters, yeah, but they're more than able to slit your throat or stab you in the back. You gotta watch yourself, man!"
"Y-yeah... Yeah, you're right." Jun Long slowly composed himself. "Sorry, James. I freaked out. It won't happen again."
"You'll be fine," James comforted, patting Jun Long on the shoulder. "First-timers always get a little shook up haha!"
The two of them, one brandishing a sword, the other holding a torch in the air, continued making their way deeper into the cave. Eventually Jun Long was able to hear panting and stifled moans. The noises shocked him, making his body stand up straight, and he could see that James Tarker was signalling him to keep it quiet and stay where he was.
James Tarker moved in further and poked his head into the cave room to survey how many goblins were inside. He made his way back to Jun Long and raised his hand to show four fingers; there were four goblins inside the room!
"Alright, Jun," James said quietly. "We're gonna need to move quickly to take out these horny pieces of shit."
"Right. How are we going to do it?"
"The goblins are filthy, by all means, but they fuck with a bit of space away from each other."
"..." Jun Long nodded to show that he was following.
"We'll sneak up behind one each, then we'll slit their throats. Here, use this dagger."
James Tarker unclipped the knife sheath at his hip and gave the dagger to Jun Long. It wasn't the first time that Jun Long had seen a blade, but he was still in awe at just how real this was. They were about to kill living beings! He tried to steel himself.
"Relax, Jun," James Tarker could see that Jun Long's hands were shaking. "All you gotta do is grab the goblin's chin, pull it back so that it won't be able to open its mouth to make any noise, then run the blade across its neck. Easy haha!"
James Tarker was miming the actions as he explained to Jun Long how to go about ending the life of one of these goblins. Jun Long could feel his legs starting to go limp, but James Tarker had already turned around and started to sneak his way into the room where the goblins were currently having the time of their lives.
Somehow, despite his legs feeling like they had turned to jelly, Jun Long managed to follow his fearless partner into the dimly lit room and positioned himself behind the goblin closest to the entrance. He held his breath. At that moment, the goblin looked like it was close to finishing as it had its head tilted back and it was moaning audibly. Taking this opportunity, Jun Long quickly grabbed the goblin's chin, yanked it back to keep the neck exposed, and slit the throat.
Before the goblin could even use any strength to grab at Jun Long's arms, it had already lost too much blood and died. Jun Long could feel the goblin's body going limp, and he slowly placed it down to the side.
In front of Jun Long, a brutally ravished young girl lay atop some spread out straw. She was tied at the wrists, and gagged with what looked like cloth that had been used to wipe shit. She had tears running down her lifeless face, and there was cum slowly running out of her fully exposed pussy. Jun Long fell to his knees in horror. He had never seen such a horrifying sight in real life before.
The girl's eyes slowly rolled to look straight at Jun Long.
"K... ki... ll... m... me...."
Finally reached my first milestone of 10 chapters! Congrats to me! Congrats to you, the readers, also! Thank you for reading my story, and I hope that it's interesting enough for you to keep supporting me until the end!
Please feel free to leave comments, if you want to, and let me know if I have typos! I'm pretty good at proof-reading, but I'm only human haha!
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