Chapter 1 – Orcounter



“Ahh, I had another one of those dreams again,” said the young man as he finally woke up. Since he was barely awake, the young man didn’t hurry to get dressed or anything, instead laid lazily on top of his bed. “I really do wonder why I keep having those weird dreams. But I suppose it’s less bizarre than the one asking me about my desires.”

The young man in question was David Ng, a 17 years old from Hong Kong. He wasn’t really anything special, black hair, brown eyes, only slightly taller than average. If there was one thing special about him, it was that he didn’t really stand out too much in the crowd. That and the fact that the dreams he remember about tends to become real life. Just last month, he had a dream that his girlfriend had been NTR’d from him ⌈1⌋, and that exact thing happened a week afterwards.

“Oh shit, I just realized, it’s Monday, not Sunday!” David jumped up from the bed, grabbed his uniform out of his closest and got dressed in record time, before grabbing his bag and rushing out of his house. He didn’t bother saying good bye to his parents or anything, only because they were on a business trip as usual and wasn’t home.

One day, I’m going to find out what the heck my dream were about. He promised himself as he ran to school, the dreams were really starting to get to him. It wasn’t so much as they frightened him, it’s just that having an unexplainable dream for someone with his “ability” just really disturbed him.

When he reached the school grounds, it was already 8 o’clock, and without thinking, he dashed through the school gates, up the staircase and ran towards the classroom. Just as he was about to twist the doorknob, the door opened, and that made David lose his balance, falling face-down onto the floor.

“Oh, you’re late.” said his teacher. As if on cue, the entire class laughed at this situation.

David could feel blood rushing to his cheeks, he wasn’t a shy person, but it didn’t mean he doesn’t feel embarrassed. Due to this, he quickly got up from the ground and rushed to his seat at the back of the room, away from the sights of everyone, allowing him to get lost in the Book of Revelations. Although David himself was an agnostic and didn’t believe in any religion himself, he did find reading various religious as well as mythological texts very interesting. Perhaps it was due to these interests that urged him to recreate the summoning of a demon like in the myths several weeks prior. The results of the summoning? It was a failure like he expected. It wasn’t like he didn’t believe in the existence of demons, rather, he didn’t believe that summoning a demon would be so easy that would allow him to succeed on his first attempt.

Soon, roll call was over, and upon hearing the bell, David rushed straight to his first lesson. Thankfully, nothing special happened with him unlike in the morning.

“Dae! C’mon, c’mon, have a taste of this. I made it last night!” said a girl, holding out a box of amazingly made chocolate chip cookies in front of him. She was Helaine Papadopoulos, David’s childhood friend. Helaine was of an average height at 168 cm, with a body that made her look far more mature than she really is. Since the school they went to didn’t have a school uniform, she was wearing a tank top with a jacket that bared her midriff, showing off her thin waist, and her skin-tight jeans also showed off her rather long legs. In short, she was a head turner and many times, men on the street would eye David with jealousy whenever they went out together. What made her even more outstanding was that she was extremely talented in both, singing, dancing as well as cooking, often entering competitions and coming out with prizes.

“Ehh? Again? Didn’t I already help you taste cookies for the past month already? Could you cut me some slack for once?” replied David. He really wasn’t too bothered trying out the cookies, most likely because he have been her guinea pig ever since she found her interest in cooking.

“But this one is different. It’s not just any normal chocolate chip cookie though! I actually used a different type of flour for this one and I even used your favorite dark chocolate for the chocolate chips! So try one!”

“Instead of asking me to try a cookie, couldn’t you just let me have a peaceful break…”

“Get a room! Seriously, you two need to figure what exactly is going on between the two of you,” interrupted a third person. He was Joseph, one of David and Helaine’s close friends. He was somewhat of a genius at sports, being simultaneously the captain of both the school soccer team and basketball team. Other than that he also practiced Muay Thai. It was at the Muay Thai dojo that he first met Helaine and David, who were both disciples there, but unlike them, he continued on even after he enrolled in high school, where academics seemed to matter more.

“Helaine and I already sorted it out ages ago. We’re just good childhood friends. And she’s also my important person.”

Helaine was actually also David’s ex-girlfriend, they started dating at the beginning of high school, however due to various circumstances, they ended up apart. For several months, neither of them knew what to say to each other, but realizing that it was childish of them to ignore each other, they reconciled and have returned to being good childhood friends.

“You know? That sounded like a proposal to me,” responded Joseph. He wasn’t going to let such a good opportunity to take a mickey out of the pair go.

David outright ignored him and walked off. He knew that was the best course of action. If he replied, Joseph would have just used whatever he said and twist it against him. It was because of that, which made him just outright ignore Joseph and walk-off to his next lesson, where he would probably get lost in his own thoughts again, since he found the content they were studying in school far too easy for him.

“Wait! You still didn’t try the cookies!”

Why have you called? What do you desire?


The bell rang, signalling the end of school. Students rushed out of the school grounds, happy that they were free to do whatever they want. David was not an exception.

Waiting at the school gates was Helaine, and when she saw him, she immediately ran up to him and said, “Come over to my place today? Since your parents aren’t here, you might as well have dinner with us.”

To everyone else, this was exactly like a girl love trying to find an excuse to spend time with the boy she likes, but for the two of them, this was only normal. They have known each other so long that their parents treats the other like another child.

“I’ll swing by for food later. Baldie said he got some interesting stuff, so I’m going to his place first to check them out.”

The “Baldie” that David referred to was a middle-aged man that loved to shave his head bald. He was the owner of a knife store that David frequented. Knives was the other things that David had a huge interest in aside from book. To him, they held a special type of beauty that few could understand. In his perspective, knives were like pieces of artwork that should be treated delicately, and people that was able to perform tricks and shows with them elegantly were the pinnacle of executants.

With that, he ran off towards Baldie’s shop. This was one of the rare times where David would show so much enthusiasm towards anything. “I wonder what he has to offer this time, aside from the switchblade, everything else was rather lackluster.”


“Here they are. Eight brand new knives straight from their producers.” said Baldie with a large smile on his face that would give most people creeps. He was an ex-Triad member who managed to get out after massacring anyone that pursue him, rumour had it that the Triad only stopped pursuing him to cut their losses after losing a tenth of their main members. Although, to David he was just an old busybody that shared his passion.

“Hmm, aren’t you treating me like an idiot? Apart from this one.” David retorted, aiming the only ballistic knife at the shopkeeper. “All of them are third tier knives that are mass produced.”

“Oi, oi. Don’t point the blade at me, if you fire it at this distance, I have completely no confidence in getting out unscathed. But as expected, you managed to see through these in an instance.”

“Hurry up and show me the masterpieces you talked about.”

“Ahh, yes. Here they are. Aren’t they just beautiful?” asked Baldie, taking out a closed box.

When he opened it, David was amazed. In front of him were a balisong, more commonly known as a butterfly knife, with extravagantly decorated handles; a Sgian Dubh with a blade that could reflect even the smallest detail; as well as an Athame, whose black handle was carved with a strange pattern. Each one of them could indeed be called a masterpiece.

He took hold of the Athame in his hand first and take a closer look at its handle. The patterns seemed to depict a strange snake-like creature with 3 heads. What truly amazed him were the details on the creature’s body, that showed even the scales.

Carefully placing it back down in the box, he took the Balisong into his hand. Flicking it around a few times, David could already tell that the craftsmanship was first class. He turned to Baldie and asked, “This one, I really want this one, so give me a discount on it?”

“Ohoho, although we are both knife enthusiasts, business is business you know?

“So? How much are you asking for?”

Baldie lifted 2 fingers.

“2,000 HKD? That’s not too bad I suppose.”

“Ohoho, nope. 2,000 USD.”

“You’re crazy.”

“You can tell its first class can’t you, it shouldn’t surprise you that much right?”

Hearing that, David didn’t know how to retort. Indeed, just from flicking the balisong around, he knew that it was truly well made, with the blade flickering through the air. He could also tell from the sharpness of the blade tip that it was carefully sharpened, most likely by its creator and not Baldie, since it was sharpened in a unique way that its edge wouldn’t be seen when you were flicking it around unless you were to look very closely.

“I would be willing to give it to you for a discount though, only because you have something I’m interested in as well.”

“Well… I guess I don’t have a choice…”

They continue to barter for a while, and without noticing, darkness had fallen. David did finally manage to barter the price of the balisong down to 2,000 HKD, only because Baldie desperately wanted a Shiv that David showed him a while back. David promised to bring the Shiv over the next day, and Baldie being Baldie, he allowed David to take the Balisong home today.


SMASH!

David was on the way over to Helaine’s home when he heard the sound coming from the alleyway. It piqued his interest. Common sense dictated that he shouldn’t go in there, since it was probably dangerous, but for David, satisfying his curiosity was more important.

He walked into the alleyway.

SMASH!

David walked deeper into the alleyway.

RAWRRRRR!

David saw a silhouette of a being that towered over 5 meters.

SMASH!

David’s body was sent flying before he even noticed. He fell several meters from where he was. Pain seared through his body. It was the kind of pain that he hadn’t felt for a long time, not since he stopped sparring with his father, who loved martial arts.

The silhouette approached him.

By chance, moonlight shined onto the silhouette, revealing its grotesque figure. It had a humanoid shape, but nothing about it made it seem remotely human. Its four limbs were as thick as the trunks. In its right hand, it held a large club. On its head, a face filled with anger was seen. Two large canines from the bottom of its jaw stuck out, covering the two sides of its nose. No, more correctly speaking, it didn’t have a nose, only 2 large nostrils in the center of its face. It glared down at David.

A high orc huh?

David was scared. Yet at the same time, he was strangely calm. “So this is what it feels like to know that you’re going to die. I’m calmer than I thought I’d be.” He stood up slowly from the ground, “I guess running is futile. It’s a long alleyway without a place for me to hide.”

Calmer than ever, he slowly took out 2 knives he had in his pockets. In his left hand was a switchblade that he always carried around with him which made him feel at ease, in his right hand was the beautiful balisong that he only just came to possess.

“Che, looks like this is my only option. I’m not sure if I even stand a chance, but I don’t want to die without trying to survive.” within David’s eyes, there was no trace of fear or despair like you would find in most people’s eyes if they were to be caught in a situation like this. In the first place, his entire reaction wasn’t normal. Any normal person would scream for help or run away, or more likely both. David didn’t do either. He calmly analyzed the situation within his head and took the course of action he saw fit. This was only thanks to the multitude of martial arts training that he had been through, he knew that in a situation as desperate as this, running would only decrease his chances of survival, realistically, his only shot at surviving this abnormal situation was to deal with the monster in front of him. Kill or be killed.

By this time, the orc was already slamming down its club towards David. Unlike before, this time it didn’t make contact with David. He had jumped slightly backwards, just out of reach of the club. As soon as the club made contact with the ground, David rushed forward, and attempted to stab his switchblade into the orc’s right hand.

SMASH!

Before he could succeed, a fist collided into his body. The orc had swung its left arm towards David. David was once against sent flying several meters back. When he once again made contact with the floor, he felt as if several bones in his body had already been cracked.

The shadow of the orc moved closer. David could barely move his body, but still he tried to stand up. He realized that he didn’t want to die. No, he was scared of dying. Even though he could calmly assess the situation a few moments prior, his mind was now running wild when he realized that there was a less than one percent chance of survival, in fact the exact chance was closer to zero.

Heh.

Was he going mad on the verge of death? Or was it the orc sneering at him?

Could it be that you can hear me now? The contract I offered before still stands valid you know?

Yeah, he was going mad. Wait… Contract? Could the voice be talking about that dream? In the dream, a similar voice had offered him to make a contract, it had asked him for his desires.

Once again I shall ask. What is your desire?

He wanted to go back to his normal life. No, not that. He wanted to had never stepped foot into this alleyway. No, not that either. He had one wish. He wanted to survive.

What is your answer?

David’s thoughts were in shambles. He was almost ready to cry out that he wanted to just get away from here, no mater the cost. Yet, at the corner of his mind, he desired for slightly more than that. He desired to possess the power to never be in this situation again.

“I want power. Power to overcome this. Power to never fall into this situation again.”

Power always come at a cost. What you desire, I can grant, but it will not be cheap.

“Whatever the cost. I’ll pay. Whatever you want. I’ll give. Grant me my desire, whoever you are!” shouted David. He was becoming desperate at this point. His calm demeanour was gone, he figured that since he was about to die, taken a leap of faith and trusting in a hallucination might not be the worst idea.

You shall become my host.

David could feel a subtle warmth covering his body. When he looked down, he could see a large circle around him, almost exactly like the one he had drawn for the failed summoning he attempted.

“Although, I have granted you power, I have no intention of aiding you further than this. Your right for survival must be grasped by your own hands.” a voice resonated in his head. It was the same voice that had offered him a contract, the same voice that he had just pledged himself to. It was the voice that had made him its host. “Lucifer. Be honored human, it’s not everyday that I respond to a human’s summoning.”

David was baffled. Did his summoning succeed after all? No, this was not the right time to ask such questions. He was on the verge of death.

“The enemy in front of you is a high orc. Although less, it no doubt possesses intelligence. Imagine, human. Use your mind to conjure up an image of your weapon. The current you is capable of doing so. I had no wish for you to die right now, so your wounds have been healed. Show me, Lucifer, that you have the right to become my host!”

David slowly stood up. Imagine huh? He could do something as simple as that. Right now, all he could do is place his faith in this suspicious deal he made.

As the orc charged towards him, ready to finish him off, David manifested his weapons. Twin blades appeared in both of his hands. They weren’t weapons that should be called practical. It was something that had left an impression in his mind from one of his dreams. Each weapon had a double-edged blade on either ends, with one side longer than the other. Between them was a simple handle with a ring on both sides. The entire weapon was pitch black, darker than even the night’s sky. It seemed to be made of a metal that David could not name. Instinctively he placed his index finger and forefinger of both hands into the ring of the blade. His middle fingers stood straight, touching the surface of the longer blades. The thumbs and little fingers wrapped around the sharpened edges of the shorter blades, but somehow they didn’t cut him.

“Those blades?” muttered the voice in his head.

David ignored the voice. He knew what must be done. He took a stance, and as soon as the orc once again smashed down its club, David jumped to the side. Again he rushed forward, anticipating the swing of the orc’s left hand.

Like he had predicted, it came swinging towards him. David crouched down just enough to have it swing over his head, and rushed even closer to the orc. This time, he wasn’t aiming for the right arm. He aimed straight for one of its legs.

The blade cut cleanly into the orc’s right leg. It howled in pain. Letting go of its club, it attempted to use its right arm to grab David.

David was ready this time. He swirled his body around, turning his right hand’s weapon towards the incoming right arm, meanwhile he used his left arm’s weapon to make a clean cut on the wrist of the orc’s left arm.

It yielded an unexpected result. The blade glowed black when it came into contact with the orc’s skin. And the glare enlarged, somehow allowing David to slice of the entirety of the orc’s left hand.

The orc howled in pain again and staggered back. Not missing this opening, David turned around once more and jumped, using the turning force of his body to slice at the orc’s neck.

The orc tried to raise its right arm to block it.

Too late.

It had lost its head.

The orc was dead.

David landed onto the floor. He hadn’t exactly expected the blade to glow once again and cut through the orc’s neck. It didn’t matter though. He had grasped victory.

Seeing his opponent dead on the floor, he let out a sigh of relief. He managed to survive.

After making sure the orc wouldn’t rise up again, he slowly walked towards the main road, feeling immensely fatigued, “I guess I should head straight home. I’ll apologize to Helly tomorrow or something…”

Then he collapsed on the sidewalk.


Author’s Note:

I hope you have enjoyed Chapter 1 of the story. Quite a bit different from the prologue. Many of you are probably confused about the relationship between the prologue and the chapter, but I promise it’ll all tie together.
At last you have meet David, our protagonist of the story. Was he what you expected? What are your impressions of him? I want to hear it all, so please leave a comment below.



References


  1. NTR – Acronym for the term “Netorare”, essentially when a protagonist have his loved one seduced away from him while they were originally unwilling. 
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