The man of no particular distinction was transported into a different world. He opened his eyes . He was in a small glade with sunlight streaming through the trees. A beautiful witch was standing there. The man of no particular distinction was surprised, but this was exactly what he had read about in the fantasy novels he was addicted to.
“Am I in a new world? Can I finally make a name for myself?” he said.
The witch smiled.
“Yes. I have called you here because I want you to destroy a great evil. A tyrant has conquered the city and he razed my village to the ground with his troops. I was the only survivor. I have held vengeance within my heart, seeking for the opportune moment to summon a heroic spirit such as yourself to aid in my vendetta.”
He felt magic power throb in his muscles. He roared. She led him out of the glade to a camp whereby the rest of her comrades were waiting. They roared in joy as well. They provided him with armor and weapons. They taught him how to fight. The training was tough but he made many friends. A few months later, he was ready.
In the dead of the night, the band stormed the castle. The gates were opened thanks to a spy that had managed to get on the inner court’s good side. The night guards were surprised, and they were cut down before they could react. Eventually, the rebellion reached the inner sanctum of the King.
Seated on the throne was a youth in jeans and a sweater – a man of no particular distinction much like himself.
He stood up.
He walked over to the center of the room.
He drew out his sword.
The first man was flabbergasted. He noticed that his allies were standing by the side. They watched without interfering.
The second man screamed.
“You are now the plaything of an Elder One! This grand show of Rebel and Tyrant is all a sham! If I should slay you, then you will be the next liege, and if you should slay me then I will retain my position! We shall all be eventual losers in this endless dance! And all the winner receives is a short stint of luxury before he has to return to the arena! Even then, that witch will always be there, reminding you that your soul shall eventually be hers to consume!”
The first man looked to the witch. She looked the same, but there was something sinister about her now. It was as though, behind that face, was a monster made of many eyes and the countless screams of the forgotten.
“The soul that is slain shall be eaten. But there is only one solution! You must die by your own hand! Only that way will you be spared from the accursed tentacles of Azathoth!”
The first man was in a pit and confusion as despair. Had it all been a lie? He was still a man of no particular distinction, and he was now going to be consumed in a dark pit of some alien mouth. Either that, or he had to fight to survive, and then die in a later day.
It was too much for him.
He took his blade, and gutted himself.
His blood spilled on the floor.
The last thing he saw, was the smile of the second man, leering at him with a ghastly face.
When the performance was over, the second man breathed a sigh of relief. The ‘rebels’ cleared the corpse away. The witch walked over to his side and sat on his lap. The night guards that had been ‘stabbed’ wiped away the fake blood from their armor.
“My liege. It seems that the next hero shall appear in the Day of Fires at the Stonehook Mountain. That is what is written in the stars.”
The second man gave the witch a kiss on the cheek.
“Excellent. I am glad to have been the first one to think of this. I don’t want any other losers getting in the way of my agricultural reform just because they want to play Hero and lead a meaningless rebellion. Soon, we shall finally have enough men and supplies to assault the Demon King’s Castle in the East.”
Outside of the castle, peasants labored away in square fields. It was the method developed by Chinese civilization that helped to maximize their own growth. But it was a method that did not work unless the people were co-ordinated to ensure that everything was working well together. The king was a pragmatic tyrant. He was inspired by the Legalist methods that he read in history books to help in administration of the Kingdom.
The main reason why the Kingdom was so easily besieged by the Demon King was precisely because of this lack of order. The ‘heroic spirit’ system was a stupidity that made the citizenry constantly look up to the heavens for a savior rather than take matters into their own hands. A few old documents and studies done by the scholars of the inner sanctum even contained the theory that this was an arrangement determined by the Demon King himself – done in order to ensure that only the weakest heroes would stand in his way while keeping the citizenry placated with false hope.
But, in a few years, they would finally stand a chance. It was a plan that was not made from relying on heroes, but it was made from the sweat of men.
The witch left the king’s lap, and headed off to continue her preparation for the next ‘summoning’. To help another poor sap get ‘adjusted’ into his new world.
This was going to be a new world all right. Just not what they were expecting.