A Very Suspicious Dent

Tired, so… some traces of wildlife.

I’m not sure, but I’m thinking antlion.

Suspicious. Continue reading


NaNoWriMo: More Nemesis

I broke 50 K!

I still need to outline more, though, and writing actual prose is going to take even longer. Going to try and do as much of that as possible before the end of the month. But! NaNo accomplished!

…With that in mind, have a bit more villain. 😉

Well. He’ll just find ways to counter the counter, that’s all. Layer the control spells, different types, so that what breaks one won’t shatter another. It’ll work.

And for a time, it does. Maybe a week. Another village, another controlled monster, another quest he knows has been sent out to lure in more toys….

Two snaps this time. The white-out is longer. Long enough that by the time he’s recovered there’s a Giant Spider in his face, and for a few minutes he is very busy.

…This time the lair has salt water. Or possibly salt dissolved in water. He’s not sure. But the aura traces, while faint, are too familiar.

How the hell did she do that twice?

He may or may not have shredded a few trees in fury. Certainly a few mobs. But he was a rakshasa warrior, so once his bloodlust was sated, he straightened his kimono, took another form, and ventured into town to find one very annoying young Huntress. Checking the quest board should be a good start….

The quest board had been updated, sure enough. With a description that stopped him dead. “Possible shapeshifter”, “beasts under outside control”, and “aural traces imply high-level” were only part of the damning words. And what was this – this gall, to declare “watch out for the micro-smirk”? He was a skilled impersonator, the match of any kabuki player; he did not smirk!

(He does. Most people don’t see it. She saw it, and the jolt of adrenaline almost made her log out then and there. Almost.

(But then she got angry. Midnight’s supposed to be a game. An escape. Fun, in a world that keeps trying to kill her soul. And here’s more scummy, arrogant evil. No. Not when she could do something about it. She can’t in the real world, but here she has just as much power as any other new Hunter. And she was going to use it.)

Worse were the rumors flying through passing players, that some griefer was laying traps to kill innocent newbies….

As if any player were ever innocent. Especially this one. Certainly she could have detected the control magic on the monsters, if she were quick and quiet. But she could not have unmasked his presence in both villages without prior knowledge. There was no way. Some information broker had to die.

Three brokers, a lot of gold, and at least one oath of vengeance from a bereaved player later, Bakemono was forced to consider the option that maybe he hadn’t been betrayed after all. So how had she known?