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Chapter 14: I am a selfish woman

It's been three months since the attack at my house.

In the real world, or how I started to call the earth in order never to settle in any of the worlds that I travelled, maybe a few seconds passed. Without the exact knowledge when does the timer starts and stops, I could only guess how long all my changes of the world took in total.

But I was perfectly aware of how much time I spent on my lone and uncommon journey.

Yet, even after three months spent in the other… No. After three months of constant failure, I didn't dare to give up. Not giving myself even a single moment of rest, I only provided for the absolute minimum necessary for my body to keep going, fueling everything else with just my determination alone.

Sadly, this way of powering myself could only last so long. And what was even worse, it seemed to force the initial emotion that drove me to fade away. I never considered myself to be a strong man. Most of my life was blessed and I was fully aware of that. Given my sports talents and quite a lot of synapses in my brain, I never really faced any problems that could toughen me up. That's why I feared the moment when I would be just too tired to care anymore. The moment when I would just accept the fact that my mother was on the verge of dying and I could do nothing to change that.

The rewards from the system for finishing the worlds were great… But it seemed that the times when the system provided me with what I wanted were gone along with my family house. No matter how hard I tried, nothing seemed to have even the slightest chances of working.

Weighting a sack filled with the coins from one of the previous worlds in my hand, I marched into the side alley of the city I was currently visiting. If the information was accurate, I would have a chance to obtain something that could finally solve my problems.

There was a chance that an item that I sought for with all my power for so long already… There was a chance that I could obtain it.

Moving past the locals while ignoring their curious gazes that befell me ever since I entered the city, I followed the steps of the map that I kept open in my mind. One of the funny features of exploring new worlds with the basement System inc. I could almost feel as if the next reward would be a ticket for some kind of gatcha game.

And there it was. Just a few steps away, a shabby looking shack was located. The first thing that came to my mind when I saw it, was an awe that this city was tolerant enough for this murder on architecture to exist. Yet, despite how the shop looked like, there was still a small queue behind its doors.

Unwilling to spark some troubles now that I was so close to finding a way to rescue my mother, I obediently stood at the end of the line. Judging from how it would work in the other worlds I visited so far, there would be only a single client inside the shack, while the rest would have to wait one by one for their tourn for the visit with its owner.

And with how this entire place was filled with what could only be called filth born of poverty, I was quite surprised when I found an uncommon figure just two people ahead of me in the queue. Before I could strike conversation… Or who am I trying to fool. With how tired I was, it would be an achievement to nod my head if a beautiful woman were to offer herself to me, not to speak about something as bothersome as hitting someone up.

A few moments later, my initial impression of the place changed drastically. With a group of four exiting from the shack that couldn't possibly fit them all, a figure of the shop… clerk appeared, only for the unexpected woman to invite the next four in.

Watching as the back of this strange being dressed in a fleeting yet frail dress disappeared behind the doors, I felt an itch in my heart. For the first time ever since I left the earth for the banishment to other worlds, something tingled inside me.

But this feeling disappeared as quickly as it appeared. A few moments later, only two people exited from the shack, finally making it my turn when the clerk gestured at me and the one man before me in the queue.

Once I crossed the doors of the pitiful shack, I realised why no one in the city dared to touch it. As if I was crossing the worlds with my basement system, instead of entering the dark depths of some lair of heretic witch, what appeared before me was a reception of what looked like a… warehouse?

With a huge mess of workers moving different parcels from one place to another, I felt as if I returned to those one summer holidays that I spent working as a picker in one of the similar places. Obviously, there was a lot of interesting differences, allowing me to recognise the fact that it wasn't my home.

Instead of carts, some of the workers simply carried the parcels around… but by making them float behind their backs! This was just a single element of the entire picture, yet it gave this world an indistinctive feeling. For some reason, this moving between clearly different places was too close to what I was experiencing with my system for my comfort.

"How could you be so stingy!"

The entire mysterious beauty that I attributed to that red individual I saw before, was now all gone. Due to how her robe? Gown? A red wedding dress was cut, I could only see her forearms when the girl slammed her hands against the reception table.

"I'm sorry, dear customer, but could you please calm down?"

Looking at the girl with a troubled smile, a man behind the desk appeared to be a part of the earthy cashiers. Unable to tell the truth to the customer and expected to be polite with them… Only those who never worked with people could claim that this kind of job wasn't taxing.

"Excuse me, sir, how could Grande Halle help you?"

Catching my attention with a strangely directed sound of his voice, a man behind another desk called me towards his position, forcing me to turn my head away from the red figure.

Just as the things were getting interesting…

"I'm looking for a material capable of repelling the magic from the area. I can push it away, it can suck it inside, I don't care. I need something that will allow me to clear a small area completely out of… magic, and do it for a prolonged period of time."

It took me a moment to remember how the locals called the same force that appeared on earth. Or rather, how the people of this world named the strange force that appeared in their past on this world, turning it on its head.

Sadly, I couldn't give any exact names. Flask of Gordian, gladiator's legendary pants, halftean maverisk… An item that would fit my purposes could be called by those or any other of the words that I could come up on the spot. If my information was accurate, then this was the absolute best of places to look for anything on this world.

"I'm sorry sir, but those kind of items… are not that common to find. If I may ask, what's the budget for the operating costs?"

Just like it was explained to me. Operating cost was something entirely else from the cost of the item. While Grande Halle would happily help anyone to find what they were looking for, the number of efforts and the range of their search all depended on how much one was willing to pay for their services.

But with absolutely no information how far I should look for the answer, I had no choice but to improvise a bit.

This is the amount I'm willing to spend on both the item and information."

Placing the thick sack filled with my hard-earned gold on the table, I could see how the pupils of the clerk suddenly shone in excited gleam.

"Sir, I wouldn't dare to hide such a common solution to your problem! We can help you obtain any amount of emptied power stones for just a slight fee of…"

Before the man could finish his sentence, a sudden force pulled me back. Turning my head around, I suddenly realised that this red being that I noticed before, was now literally pulling me by my own hand away from the reception desk!

And what was even worse, the sack with my gold was already in her hand!

Unable to come to terms with how this frail-looking girl could pull him around like some kind of doll, my body reacted on my own. With a sharp and sudden pull, I broke my arm free from the grasp of the girl's hand.

"Who the heck are you? Are you robbing me?"

With the momentum of my attempt to leave her grip transferring to the girl's knees, she turned around to face me for the very first time since I first saw her.

If her clothing looked modest from behind, then it had nothing to do with elegance at the front. Despite that, I had absolutely no right to complain, as the girl's upper robe only pretended to hand right on top of the tips of her breasts. Her supple bust, collarbone and shoulders exposed in what seemed to be the widest possible cleavage, the girl could clearly solve any possible problem with just her looks alone.

That made it even stranger for her to suddenly pull me away from the shop just like that!

"You would get scammed back there."

Forcing me to look up with her words, this girl lured me into her greatest trap. While her nearly completely exposed upper body was already alluring by itself, it was her face that made this meeting magical.

Softly shaped in form of a delicate oval, her face consisted of just three colours alone. The tone of her skin, the whites of her eyes… and red. From her supple lips, through the makeup and all the way to her eyes, only a redness prevailed.

Yet, despite how easily she could create this intoxicating aura of seduction around herself, the expression of a sudden shock that appeared on her entire face when she cast her gaze into my eyes was more than I required to wake up from the dream created by her intense charm.

"Hey, listen. I heard that you need a way to clean the area from magic. Looking at your state, you would make use of some healing, am I wrong?"

Starting directly in my eyes, the girl raised her hand as if she wanted to caress my cheek, only to stop it a few inches away from my skin. And then, I saw red bolts of lighting suddenly coming out of her fingers only to entangle with each other and disappear into the air in the very next moment.

"I could teach you all sorts of stuff… But I am a very selfish woman."

The smuggish, confident smile on her face was all it took for me to finally give up. Not on my mother. For that, it was way too early. But on the idea of achieving literally anything without proper rest and break, And the aura that surrounded this strange, red girl was just so comfortable and calming...

MotivatedSloth MotivatedSloth

First chapter of the real part of the story, and the final appearance of the Cobo (cover girl) in the story! Enjoy! (and vote with PS, plz)

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