Chapter 1

Mistake 1; I end up where I am not supposed to be.

It happened as I was running to school in the early morning. I was using the narrow path that was a shortcut at the top of the river bank. Maybe because the stone slabs were wet from last night’s rain or the morning dew, I slipped and heroically tumbled down the grass incline to the stony riverbed below. I say heroically because I prayed no one saw me.

I felt a slight shudder on my body, and was pressed to the ground face down. For a second I hoped maybe some lucky soul had slipped after me and fell on top of me. But I would never have expected the reality that greeted me next.

I opened my eyes and raised myself to a sitting position. I had just a couple scratches on my hands and arms, nothing major and no broken bones. Looks like I can boast to my sempai’s this morning about skirmishing with the local thugs…ehehehe. My bag and my shinai for early morning beat down(cough, cough) I mean practice were ok.

Huh…………what’s that noise?

Roooooaaaaaaarrrr!!

Whaaaaa……..!!

Transform! Fetus position!

A cross between Deer in headlights, and the frightful expression of a cringing small child about to be beaten. The noise I heard came from somewhere upstream this now wide and rapidly flowing river. That noise was like a hungry meat eating dinosaur (get my drift), and this river bordered by an unfamiliar forest was definitely not where I was running a couple minutes ago.

Point to note, MY scream started out rather loud but quickly moved to soundless, muted even. I was humble enough to give the guy with that roar the victory; I really didn’t want him to meet me.

I reflexively took in my surroundings, while confirming my drawers were dry. Just for the record I did not leak. Thank god I didn’t drink my juice for breakfast this morning. I gathered my belongings and found a hiding spot between two large stones on the riverbed. I took out by shinai and after making sure no snakes were around felt a little secure.

Just as I settled down, another roar sounded followed by some dying moans of maybe another creature. I made a silent clap and prayed for the dead, I hope you will fill that whatever SOB stomach so he is contented. I couldn’t tell if it was closer or around the same place, right now I need to calm myself badly.

I again reiterated, I did NOT leak.

Nakamura Kenshin, second year high school student from a normal rated high school, average grades, fitness average, kendo skills average, friends normal no outstanding geek or otaku. Hell everything is average, even my looks are average (I am shedding tears while saying this on, dammit). Because of my forced training in kendo my body is fit, but it’s no six pack to talk about.

Where am I, why am I here and how do I get out of here.

I tried pinching and slapping myself, it hurts so I guess this is not a dream and I am not lying in some hospital bed somewhere because of my fall. I rummage through my school bag; everything is there, my books, change of clothes for after practice and bento for lunch. I rub my face that now has a wonderful palm imprint on it. Ok, I take out my phone, it’s a cheap Smartphone (stupid hand me downs) and check it. No signal and it don’t work when I call, I turn it off, no sense in wasting batteries, and I can use this as a flashlight.

There were numerous stories about traveling to other worlds, heck for fun I shouted out things like status, menu but no response. I will hold off on killing myself to see if resurrection is working here.

I cautiously peak out from my hideout. The river is wide and runs swiftly. The riverbank is filled with small stones and pebbles with larger sized boulders like I am using are few and scattered. The forest is about one hundred feet away from the river on both sides; I get the feeling that this place is too exposed. Something can monitor you under the cover of the forest waiting to strike.

From the type of trees and the weather, I think this is a temperate climate. Using the sun as a guide, the river runs from north to south. Up north is the silhouette of a huge mountain range and the owner of that roar, to the south hopefully is the sea, or roads leading to some village. Thankfully I paid attention in geography class; most human settlements are made near rivers and on the coast.

I haven’t really answered any of the main questions fully, but I now have a goal.

Ok lets go north!……..like hell!

I secured everything and holding onto my shinai, I followed the river south. My plan was to keep halfway between the forest and the river. I didn’t know the dangers from both so I was cautious. I stopped when I found a good defensive place like the one before, and used it to patiently scan the forest and river for any movement.

Danger from the forest, I will take my chances in the river, and vice versa. Since these stones are loose and uneven on the riverbank, I hope it would give any persuaders the same difficulty to move. This may give me an advantage. I found a sturdy branch, cured by the sun that helped me balance; I kept my shinai in my other hand for defense.

Before the sun went down, I found a place to stay the night. It was between two rocks that joined at the top with a space between. The best thing was that I had to squeeze through the entrance to reach a wider hole in the middle. There was only a crack at the top and other side, not even wide for my fingers to go through.

While walking I noticed the river had small shallow pools where the water ran slowly. I carefully used these to drink. This water was cool and refreshing. I found a stone that had weathered away in the middle, it could only hold a few mouthful of water, but I didn’t want to leave the safety of the hideout at night for water. It was heavy but close to my new camp.

I carried everything inside my camp. I ate a little of my bento since I didn’t know how long it would take me to reach a village. I drank some water at the river and settled in for the night.

It was late in the night when I decided to turn on the phone. I needed the security of the flashlight in case of anything. Maybe it was because of that startup music or the light shining through the cracks when the phone came on, but after a few minutes low growling could be heard close by. They say sound travels far on water, and a candle can be seen from far on a dark night, but this is frigging ridiculous.

When your luck is down, it can only go down.

Who would believe the stupid phone will alarm now. Which idiot will set an alarm just to wake up to see his favorite anime?

WTF!!!

As I scramble to turn the alarm off, a small thud sounds. I am still sitting when a huge head barely fits through the opening.

The realization that I might not be on any know places on earth dawns. That is the head of a huge saber-tooth tiger. The space is not large, but the narrow entrance prevents the monster from coming right in.

I skid back while fear and reflex take over. My arm instinctively grabs the support staff I was using and jab it into the open maw. The monster’s red eyes emit blood lust and disdain as it bites down breaking it in two. As it reopens that maw while trying to pierce me with those huge fangs by wiggling its head, I throw the rest of the broken staff in its mouth. I turn and grab the stone slab and threw it over my head behind me in an effort to move father from that opening. All this happened in the space of a few seconds.

Use my shinai you say?

That would be like confronting a mad lion with a fly swatter. A springy piece of bamboo with a rubber top against a wild hungry monster, ahhh………no. I am not an anime super samurai. My only plan is that the monster would get tired, giving me an opportunity to stab its eyes with the shinai. With that injury it may flee.

When I threw the stone, I heard a crunch. Turning around with my back now jammed the wall, my jaw dropped. The support staff that I had thrown lodged in the monster’s mouth. Bending the head to try and dislodge it, the stone slab struck it plum between the red eyes on the nose bridge. That forced the sabertooth’s mouth close, causing the splintered end of the staff to penetrate the back of the mouth into the brain.

As the monster’s head dropped to the ground and loosed its last breath, I heard the sounds. I was unclear and still dazed but because the same words were repeating I finally understood.

Level up

Level up

Level up

The clear voice sounded these words apparently twenty times because it ended with these sentences.

  • You have defeated the elite monster White sabertooth
  • You are now at Level twenty
  • You have leveled up
  • Your code for status menu is Wandering Visitor

Where in the @#!%# am I.

Chapter 2