The duo returned to Toru and Kitome then explained the situation.
"We'll need to do something about her later," Toru said, "but for now, let's focus on making mystery man here less embarrassing."
Clyde's glare combated against Toru's defensive, but somehow playful, blank look. He shook his head.
"Freaking rich boy types," he muttered as he pushed past Toru.
[Toru and Kitome have temporary joined your party!]
The group decided to hang out at Clyde's apartment, against his protests. He didn't feel any joy from impressing Toru, but the girls were fine. Chika's texts came a bit more frequently. She even asked to call, but Clyde lied, stating it was a bad time. He considered inviting the silver-haired young woman over, but came to his senses, realizing this was a battle party, not a regular party. At eight, Clyde received a welcoming prompt.
[Quest completed. You have earned 20 EXP and $20]
[Quest: Explore the dangerous, super deadly night city. This quest is mandatory and cannot be refused. Reward: $50 and 150 EXP.]
"Let's get moving," Toru said.
"Who died and made you leader," Clyde said but was met with a blank stare. "I'm kidding. Let's go."
"Your sense of humor is lacking, weakling," Toru said then stepped outside. Clyde muttered a few choice words under his breath then followed. He pulled his sword out of his inventory, causing everyone to flinch, jump back, and stare at him open-mouthed.
"How did…you made a sword appear out of thin air," Kitome said then touched the handle. "It's real. How did you do that?"
Clyde's eyes widened. They knew nothing about inventories. Should he tell them? Would that bring Mortem down on him? Oh well, Clyde thought.
"You mean you don't have an inventory?"
"Inventory?" Harumi said.
"I guess this is one of my abilities," Clyde said. "I can store items in a separate dimension and view them as a list in my head. Whenever I need something, I select it and pop, summon it."
"Oh, that is so cool!" Toru exclaimed, surprising everyone. He cleared his throat. "Go on."
Clyde gave him a victorious smirk then said, "that's pretty much the gist of it. I can't go telling all of my secrets." The starry eyes of Harumi and Kitome made the young man frown. "Let's go before I grow old standing here."
The group nodded at Clyde, which made him sigh, then off they went. It didn't take long for the first enemy to show up, two blocks away. A creature with blue skin and pointy ears spawned from seemingly nothing. It stood at a height of three feet. It glared at them with large yellow eyes the size of softballs, irises as dark as midnight. Clyde found it funny that it wore a dark brown loin cloth. He analyzed it.
Clyde canceled out the rest of the prompt, not in the mood for the sass. He decided to beat everyone to the punch and attack.
[Your party has entered combat!]
He dashed at the imp, activating Precise slash. The imp dodged, laughing.
"You humans are ballzy, I'll give you that," it said in a comical voice. "Let me repay your kindness." The imp kicked Clyde in a spot that lowered his chances of having kids, just a bit. The young man squealed and collapsed, holding his groin. "I call that attack, the nutcracker." The imp laughed.
[Clyde took a critical hit!]
[Clyde's HP remaining: 78%]
[Clyde is stunned!].
Toru shook his head.
"Clyde if you're going to be the man of mystery with a cool ability to store literally anything in a pocket dimension, please try not to embarrass yourself."
Clyde groaned and tried to ignore the facepalms of the women. Toru suddenly moved fast—almost a blur. His hook sent the Imp upward. A glowing giant pink heart emerged from Kitome's direction and finished the job.
[Battle completed. Victory! Reward: 50 EXP and $20.]
Clyde felt Harumi's healing touch. A second later, the pain vanished, enabling him to stand.
[Your HP has fully restored.]
"Well, that happened," Clyde said. Harumi giggled.
"I should tell you the story of Toru and the goat."
Toru blurred over to Harumi and covered her mouth.
"Don't you dare. Or I'll unveil what happened at the beach."
She laughed as he removed his hand.
"Fine, fine, it's a truce."
Toru sighed in relief. Clyde laughed inside. If he raised his relationship high enough with Toru, he may learn that secret. He pushed the evil thought to the back on his mind.
The party continued the patrol and encountered seven pumkos, marching like a group of soldiers.
[Your party has entered combat!]
"They're all level thirteen. Good," Kitome said. "This is where you'll haul some experience."
Clyde's eye twitched as she donned a twenty-second transformation. For some reason unexplained reason, the enemies politely waited. When she finished, one them clapped.
"Bravo, bravo. Your naked view is appreciated," a pumko said, causing the magical girl to blush furiously. "Ah, smells so nice. So hungry. Come girl."
It wiggled a black tongue at her.
[Enemy used taunt!]
[Kitome is enraged.]
Kitome dashed toward the group and unleashed a flurry of punches that did nothing to the creatures.
"Ah shit, she's going to end up getting raped," Clyde said as he raced forward, Toru and Harumi following. He took an internal note of the slight combat changes with a party. He'd also have to learn to fight with them properly. He struck at the first pumko with Precise slash then followed up with a roundhouse kick.
With hands outstretched, Harumi unleashed incredible magic. Clyde's jaw dropped.
[Harumi casted Thunder streaks.]
Streaks of electricity jolted from her fingers and covered the monsters. They screamed.
[All enemies are stunned!]
[Toru used Brawl shout!]
"Kill them!" he yelled.
[Party attack boosted by 15%. Party fighting spirit increased by 20%]
Clyde felt the effect of the skill enter him, intoxicate him. He whooped with the others and soon, they were beating the shit out of group of monsters.
[Battle completed. Victory! Reward: 400 EXP and $220.]
[Congratulations, you have reached level 7! Stats increased! You have learned Scatter Shot!]
[You have earned 3 free points which could be distributed to any of your stats. Use them wisely.]
Clyde smiled, hyped. His hopes have been confirmed. Distributable stat points are the honey and sex of every gamer. He'd save these up, jam them toward one stat and see what happened.
"We're not done yet," Toru said. "If there was a squad of these things moping about here, there's a chance that the leader's nearby. He's most likely a minor official in the demon lord's army."
"The demon lord's army," Clyde said then sighed. "I seriously hope you guys aren't talking about going up against an entire freaking army."
"No, idiot," Kitome said. "We're aiming for the demon lord, but in the meantime, picking off his officials will make things easier."
"Well, it's not the worse plan I've heard," Clyde said, "but if it levels me up, I'll take it."
The party continued throughout the streets, avoided a police patrol that passed by every now and then, and slaughtered another handful of imps and pumkos.
The police especially bugged Clyde. With the increase of monsters, they weren't accomplishing anything. What if the demon lord had roots in the city government?
Just then, he spotted a petite young woman sitting on the bench, eating a candy bar without a care in the world. The blonde hair with twin tails triggered his anime trope senses.
This scene wouldn't be disturbing if monsters didn't roam the city like bottomless gluttons. The news already reported missing people every now and then. Mostly the homeless, but a few late workers vanished too. Clyde put up a hand and then silently pointed at the girl. His party nodded and followed him.
"Excuse me," Clyde said to the girl. She ignored him, munching heavily at the last of her chocolate bar. "Hey, it's dangerous out here. You may want to go inside." The girl continued to ignore him, driving his anger. He shook his head then turned to the others. "Forget it. Hell, watching her tackle that thing makes me want to chomp up the cupcakes you brought over, Harumi."
Abruptly, the girl stood, starry-eyed. Clyde turned back to her. "What's gotten into you? Are you back to earth yet?"
"You said cupcakes," she said then wiped away what Clyde hoped wasn't drool.
"Yeah," Clyde said. "And?"
"I want cupcakes."
"You could just walk to the convenient store—"
"Give me cupcakes," she said, well into Clyde's personal bubble. "And I don't have any money. My boss is lousy at paying us."
The sweet scent of perfume and…candy, surprised Clyde a little. Still, just because she had a pretty face—Harumi barged in between the two.
"Who are you?" she said. "Anyone with an ounce of wit wouldn't be out here after dark, unless they had a way to manage."
"I want cupcakes!" the girl suddenly paused, her eyes gazing at Harumi's chest. Clyde stepped back, feeling the tension in the air. He also pretended that he didn't notice the girl's lack of…Harumi's secret weapons. The girl glared at him anyway before poking at a boob. "It's not fair."
Harumi gave her a confused look, but Clyde figured she knew damn well what the girl implied. She stepped back.
"I am among the eyes of the great demon lord!" she said, pointing at the group. "Remember that! Especially you…you cow." She ran.
"Shit, catch her," Clyde said, rushing forward but suddenly, the girl disappeared. "Dammit. I should've analyzed her."
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