Month: July 2020 (Page 2 of 2)

Chapter 70: The Tragic Life of one Pablo Rosas

“My life began so simple,” Pablo Rosas begins.

In the midst of a burning building whose fires are spreading across the great vineyards around it, this leather-clad man begins what is commonly known as a villain monologue.

I am quite unsure if I have the patience to listen to it. Seconds ago, we were fighting to the death. What has changed to make him shift into such a mode?

He sniffles softly, and continues. “I was born in Philadelphia. West Philadelphia, born and raised. With just my mother by my side, there was nothing else for me in life but going to school and trying to make ends meet in the depths of poverty.

“We were poor. So poor I drank water out of a pickle jar. We simply didn’t have any glasses of water after a certain young me shattered those we once had. My mother sent me to boarding school when I was eight, I thought, but the only thing I learned there was how to make pipes in a factory for nineteen cents an hour.

“When I became a teenager, I got in one little fight. My mother became extremely frightened and sent me to live with my Aunt and Uncle in Bel Air, here in California. It was a nice high school for the rich and wealthy, but it was not a place suited for me. I set off quickly to find myself somewhere better. I longed for romance and adventure. For conquest and glory.

“Had I grown up in the Middle Ages, I surely would have been like Matt Damon or Pedro Pascal in the hit movie The Great Wall. I would have traveled from Europe to China and had great journeys once I arrived there, though in real life I doubt those same alien monsters would have faced me.

“It was when I set off from Bel Air that I came across the city of Paso Robles, when I encountered Karen and her cult for the very first time. I had come to this city back when it was still only focused on its main industries of wine making, olive oil, hot springs, and white people. It was interesting, but it did not yet have the massive appeal that it would soon come to have with its many restaurants, and even a shopping mall. Paso Robles High School, for as noble as its Bearcat mascot was, did not have an impressive football record at that time.

“That all started to change… but only after I arrived. Because that was what sparked Karen to begin her plot to make Paso Robles great again. I was the first young person, the first outsider to step foot in the town in over three years, she told me. Whether or not this was true was irrelevant. She treated me like a king, and I took that opportunity to bask in my Pedro Pascal-esque glory, if only for a short time.

“But I soon realized this was a trap. I was being forced to stay in the city, to become its mascot of sorts. I would be the prototype of many to come, the secret warrior who would bring the rest of Paso Robles into greater spotlight at any cost. We would enhance our growth industries, we would attract outside investors, and most of all we would convince young people to move here more often.

“So there I was, now the enforcer and under captivity. What was I supposed to do except accept it? What could I do but embrace my newfound, coerced love for Paso Robles with all my heart and hope that some day, somewhere, I could…”

I tune out after this point. I realize that Pablo Rosas has no intention of ending his monologue anytime in the near future, and I get the signal from Eryk and Delta that we may have something to discuss.

“Yes?” I ask them.

“I think we can go,” Francis says.


He nods. “Like, I think we can just run and he won’t notice in time to catch up.”

“Is that honorable on Earth?” I ask. “Running from your opponent? It feels… craven, in a certain way.”

“Yeah, it’s fine,” he says.

“Let’s get out of here,” Delta says. “I really need to ask you about—Uh, nevermind.”

We both know what she’s referring to. That can most certainly wait.

“Well then, let’s leave,” I say.

We three run away from the vineyard and go as fast as we can to the parking lot, where Pablo Rosas’s car is parked and ready to steal.

About fifteen seconds after we bolt, Pablo Rosas finally realizes that we are gone.

“…fighting power. With just that many cups of olive oil a day, you can increase your strength by—Wait a minute, where’d you go?”

What a poor man.

What a sad individual. He seems like me, in a way. Brought to a new place, sucked up in a whole world he had no say in, and then becoming an incredibly strong warrior in the process… We could have been friends.

Instead, we are nothing more than minor opponents on the field of battle.

In the distance, I can hear him shouting. “Wait up! I just wanted you to know about my life! Guys!”

But we don’t turn around. We get in his car, Delta hotwires it, and we drive away from the flames as fast as we can.

By the time the embers fade out of view, I get a familiar sensation.


[+1 DP.]

Never in my life have I humiliated someone so badly it counted as a victory in battle.

I savor this moment with a devilish grin. One more step in the path to becoming an S-Rank Hero.

Chapter 69: Eryk Meets His Match

Pablo Rosas.

He was our tour guide to the great city of Paso Robles. Or so we thought he was. In actuality, he was a recruiter. An agent of Karen and her cult members who are dedicated to nothing more than taking Paso Robles to new heights. He wanted nothing more than to capture us and brainwash us until we, too, became dedicated citizens of this wretched town.

I once counted Pablo Rosas as an ally of sorts. A guide who could help me on my journey to becoming an S-Rank [Adventurer.] But instead he was a trickster who wished to see me trapped here forever.

Now, he is my only barrier to escaping this town.

Behind me is the winery, a great flame burning the building down. The fire has spread to the grape farm behind it, and soon it may spread even further. On an otherwise dark night, the burning orange glow illuminates the entire scene… and the man standing before me.

He wears a black leather outfit, light armor that has piercing spikes jutting out of it. Perfect for martial arts, and now that he has shed his normal clothing, I can see that his build is much more firm and muscly than I had ever realized before.

This is not a tour guide. This is an enforcer. Karen’s enforcer.

He wears a helmet that covers half of his head, in the shape of a roaring beast. I cannot tell if it’s a cat or a bear. Perhaps both…

“You shall pass,” Pablo Rosas says.

“You mean ‘shall not pass,’ right?” asks Delta. Oh, in this dramatic scene I almost forgot Delta and Eryk are still behind me and I have to protect them.

“No. You shall pass… into the afterlife!”

He flashsteps forward, teleporting faster than my eye can see until he is directly in front of me.

I cannot block. He is too close to even attempt it. I face his punch to the stomach with the best spirit I can.

[-100 LP.]

[7,301/15,000 LP.]

I counterattack by slamming my upper body against his. It hurts me as well, but it knocks him off balance and gives me an opportunity to make my next move—

I poof out of my inventory my pistol—

I turn the safety off and blast away, shooting three bullets point-blank at Pablo.

But for everything, he blocks all four shots, swatting them away with the power of his martial arts.

He is equivalent to a low-level C-Rank Hero at minimum. Even without the Destiny Deck system in his grasp. Pablo Rosas of Paso Robles is already nearly as strong as me, if not moreso.

He knocks the gun out of my hand and it goes skidding along the gravel parking lot, far out of reach. He is too skilled for me to match with a weapon I have not yet mastered.

I narrowly avoid a blow to the face and am spared the costly repairs that come with blemishes to my nearly perfectly complexion. I response, I attempt to trip this man who is far too close to me, but he completely dodges it, doing a frontflip over my head in response.

He bops my noggin on the way down.

[-1 LP.]

[7,298/15,000 LP.]

The moment he lands, we trade a volley of punches and kicks, too fast for the normal human eye to see, but just fast enough for us to keep up with each other.

“You’re good,” I say.

“I have a balanced diet of olive oil and wine,” he says. “The Paso Robles diet come to life.”

He nails me in the arm, outright disabling the entire limb for a few moments and costing me dozens of Life Poitns. He knows exactly what he is doing. Even the spikes in his armor, as small as they are, prevent me from getting close enough to make a decisive strike.

“You’ll pay for that,” I growl.

He growls back. “I’m a proud Bearcat, just as all citizens who attended Paso Robles High School are. And we Bearcats don’t go down without a real struggle!”

He swipes his claws at me, but the fact that he does not actually have any claws dampens any prospect of that working.

Still, this is one bearcat that refuses to give up. He launches another assault of punches at blinding speeds, ones that even [Blinding Rush] would not have given me. Olive oil truly is the substance of The Goddess if it can produce strength and agility such as this!

“Please give me some tips on dieting,” I say. “I very much wish to become more like you.”

“No, no you most certainly do not,” he replies as he continues to lay down hit after hit. I can barely keep up with blocking all of it. “I am not someone to emulate. In fact… My story is one of tragedy.”

He jumps up in the air to make a final blow against me, but I dodge it. He lands on the dirt and does a cartwheel and handstand.

“Tragedy?” Francis asks. “Pablo Rosas, do you have some kind of hidden tragic backstory? Is that why you’re wearing that gaudy leather costume now?”

Pablo Rosas leaps from his handstand, doing a few flips and then landing on his feet. “Yes, of course… I have the most tragic backstory of them all, Francis Bacall.”

He has another opportunity to charge and attack me, which would be increasingly dangerous seeing as I’m already down to [6,999/15,000 LP] and my hangover still has not set in, but he instead relents. He folds his arms and looks down at the ground. The orange fires behind us illuminate half of his head and half of his bearcat helmet.

“It’s a long story,” he says. “But you may want to hear it. You should sit down for this, actually… It is very heart wrenching. I dare not speak it except that this feels like exactly the right moment.”

I look back at Francis and Delta. Delta shrugs. Francis looks at me and whispers, “I think he’s about to do his villain origin story monolgue.”

“His… What?”

Francis shakes his head. “You have a lot to learn, my dear Eryk Solbourne. If you’re gonna become a hero, you’ve got to know all about villain monologues.”

“This… does not sound good, whatever it is.”

And at this, Pablo Rosas clears his throat.

His tragic backstory monologue begins, set to the backdrop of the burning winery.

Chapter 68: Another Day, Another Fire

It feels like these things always end with me running away, and me gaining lots of Destiny Points, and usually things ending up burning up in flames.

First it was the convention center where I first reincarnated so many days ago. Then it was the underground fighting circuit where we were pursued by the Persian Mob. Now it’s a winery in Paso Robles where I am drunk and battling middle aged cultists.

So many ridiculous fights. I almost think The Goddess intentionally sent me to Earth for her own amusement, watching me get into situations where I am put into life and death but everyone thinks it’s just this comical romp.

I’m genuinely in great danger right now! I am holding onto Delta and Francis’s hands and dashing forth with great speed.

Also I’m drunk and everything is basically a blur. I am trying extremely hard right now not to burst into a fit of laughter, because this is certainly not the time for funny moments. This is serious business!


Butt. I said butt.

Serious buttness.

I forget the point I was going on and I think it may be pointless to really think about it anymore. Wine does some interestingly terrible things to me when consumed in great excess.

This almost reminds me of the time I whooped Borguk’s ass in a drinking tournament and then went on to bar-hop across a small town known as Uchiha Statewood. I wrecked more stuff than I could ever really conceive of.

I shouldn’t wreck stuff now, probably.

That Clone Eryk who was really suck a jerk a few minutes ago is the source of a lot of my troubles right now. I’m dashing through a great fiery hall where grapes were once pressed, and all the flames were caused by him. I lost several precious items, such as that giant dinosaur tooth, thanks to his efforts in pulling my rucksack out and attacking cultists with whatever he found.

And worst of all, he used my Destiny Cards without asking!! Agh!

Now I don’t have the option to use [Fireball] if I ever need it. Why in The Goddess’s name would two clones have a linked Destiny Deck system? It’s not as if we have the exact same destiny, is it?

In my anger, I punch a cultist in the stomach and they go flying out the nearest window.

[+1 DP.]

Oh, by the way, I have 55 Destiny Points now, thanks to all of the people I have been beating up. It’s nice.

Violence is one of the most successful ways to cheer an [Adventurer] up when he’s feeling a bit blue.

“Eryk!” Francis shouts. “Where the hell are we going?”

“We’re getting out of this winery!” I shout back.

“We’re going the wrong way! This is even deeper into the building!”


Well, damn. I need to escape even faster, then, because I have led us down an incorrect path.

There is only one option, then…

Another Destiny Card.

[Blinding Rush!]


Blinding Rush: Rank 1. Doubles speed and agility. Cost: 215 LP.

There goes a lot of LP.

I’m down to just [7,412/15,000 LP] now. I’d better be careful. I mean… Careful is subjective, though.

In a flash of light I race forward, carrying my two companions through the fires and smouldering ash. The threats before us don’t stand a chance!

“Aaaaaaaah!” Francis screams.

“Aaaaaaaaah!” Delta screams.

“Ahahahahahahahaha!” I scream.

I burst through a wall, going too fast to let that physical barrier impede me, and more than that going to fast for it to even hurt me.

Finally, now that we are safe from the fire, I let go of my two friends and leave them to their devices for a second. I have work to do.

Karen herself is running away from the winery, I see. She’s sprinting at full speed towards her Nissan Rogue like she’s going to escape all of this unscathed.

You know what? I’m not sober enough to care! I run as fast as I can towards her vehicle, passing her and making her do a double take.

I poof out my bow and arrow from my inventory and, just to show off, I put my left hand behind my back.

Time to fire an arrow!

The shot rings out and the arrow pierces Karen’s car right in a critical weak point. It explodes in a ball of flames and pieces of metal shrapnel whiz by all sides of me. Miraculously, nobody is hurt whatsoever.

Karen begins to cry, and several of her fellow cultists gather around her to give their condolences and also sing the praises of Paso Robles and what it can still give to her.

My [Blinding Rush] skill wears off.

My drunkenness is starting to fade a little bit, too…

Well, maybe.

It’s hard to tell.

I go back to meet Francis and Delta, and th—

“Stop right there!”

In front of my friends is a man wearing a black leather suit and a helmet somewhat reminscent of a cat… or a bear, maybe.

It’s Pablo Rosas himself, now dressed up in his final form costume.

“You will pay for your crimes against Paso Robles,” says Pablo Rosas.

Chapter 67: Our Ultimate–Hic–Escape

“It’s time to duel!” the [Cloned] Eryk Solbourne, free from restraint, exclaims. He holds up a large bag filled with items from Mystix, a loot bag I had been saving to go through until after things slowed down a little.

And he’s pulling stuff out left and right! No, stop! He gets a fossilized dragon egg and pelts it at one of the hooded figures. It smashes into their stomach and knocks them over.

“Clone Eryk!” I shout. “Humans on Earth are very weak. You must—hic—be careful!”

He laughs at me. “I am very aware of all of that,” he says. “But I said it was time to duel, and therefore they were given ample time to prepare themselves for such an event as this. I will take no remorse on these fiends who aim to harm Delta and her growing child.”

Delta looks at me in abject horror. Luckily, the cult members holding her down have already run away from the scene of growing chaos. “I stopped understanding what the fuck is going on here.”

“Alas, I am not sure I could give an adequate explanation that you would deem acceptable,” I say. “All of this is growing quite ridiculous.”

“Yeah… I see that.”

My clone is in the middle of a gargantuan fight scene right now. This winery has descended into nothing but cult members battling this one man who is absolutely whooping their asses, as Francis would say. Of course, the three of us are still tied to our seats and Clone Eryk seems a little bit too focused on his battle to free us.

Luckily, my past fear of being caught if I struggle to break my restraints is gone now, I exert a great force, as much as I can, and— Pop! The steel cuffs around my hands snap in two. The ropes around my legs come after that, and when I stand up I dropkick the chair and crush it for good measure.

It feels so good to be mobile again.

I free Delta and Francis as well, though they both look far too dazed to be useful in a situation such as this.

“Stay here for now,” I say. “I’ll help my clone fend off these cultists.”

“Two Eryks…” Francis mutters. “I just… Wow…”

I am unsure if this means he is excited or just stunned. I perhaps should have told them more about my [Clone] skill, but I didn’t even think about it. My apologies, friends.

I join in and fight with my clone. We are pretty amazing right now. In fact, we are beating up cultists at a rate I’ve never even seen before. If it were not for the fact that Delta and Francis expressly forbids me (us?) from killing if we can help it, our foolhardy captors here would be certainly murdered by our pure strength.

Though, I am quite confused why Clone Eryk is pulling out a dinosaur tooth, two feet in length, from the rucksack and wielding it like a sword.

“I really wanted to wait for that,” I say to him as I punch a cultist and then elbow another. “I was going to show Francis and Delta the interesting things inside.”

“Oh well! It’s fun to spoil—hic—surprises!” He staggers around and nearly falls over on himself.

“Wait a minute, you’re drunk.”

“Hells yeah I am!”

“Oh… So [Clone] has an interesting side effect that reduces the user’s drunkenness and transmutes it into the clone. I see… Does that mean…”

“When five minutes are up, you’re gonna be hella wasted? Yeah!” Clone Eryk gives me a thumbs up.

Karen tries to come up behind us and bash a fold-up chair over our heads, but Clone Eryk jumps into the air, does a few spins, and lands on the other side. He flips over a table and cackles.

Francis mutters again in the distance. “Clone Eryk…”

When Karen drops the fold-up table, Clone Eryk advances with a dazed yet confident expression on his face. She backs up and cowers in terror. “Please don’t hurt me…”


He raises his hand and then a giant orb of flames appears.


“You are not supposed to say your skills out loud,” I inform.

He doesn’t hear me. He also doesn’t shoot the fireball anywhere near Karen; he accidentally launches it up and it hits the ceiling. The huge chandelier comes crashing down, and then flames erupt all over the room.

“My winery!” Karen cries out. “Noooooooooo!”

This is amazing, and also horrible.


Clone Eryk waves at me and then dissipates.

“See you Mystix Cowboy…”

And then it hits me all at once.

Now I’M the one who’s extremely drunk off wine.

Hoo boy…

Chapter 66: I’m Very Upset at the Fact that Beverages Don’t Give Destiny Points

“And how is it?” Karen asks.

Another gulp of stinging liquid comes barreling down my throat. I barely have the ability to swallow it at this point.

By my count… that is the fifth glass. Or sixth. I’m starting to lose track…

“I don’t know,” I say. “It just tastes like grapes. Mere grapes.”

“No!” she shouts, splashing a bucket of water over me. “You didn’t taste the cinnamon profile. You didn’t even get a hint of the gun smoke. You have failed once again.”

“Please…” I hear Francis moan beside me. “No more wine tasting… He can’t take this much alcohol at once! Why are you even making him drink a whole glass each time?”

Karen shakes her head. “You’ll be next soon. We must make sure that you are proper citizens of Paso Robles, or you will never help us make our city great again.”

My vision is starting to blur and I’m starting to get a little dizzy. This will have been the first time I have gotten drunk in months at this point, and I am not looking forward to what will come forth from this.

Actually, being drunk has some benefits. It slows pain, which can lead to less Life Points being lost during a fierce battle, and the overall rate of Life Point drain slows considerably as well. If a normal person loses about [-1 LP] per minute, then someone inebriated will lose about [-.60 LP] per minute.

However, the after-effects of that… are not very pretty.

Hangovers can be deadly. And I don’t mean simply because they are very annoying and hurtful to experience. They actually cause LP damage themselves, and unfortunately they raise the Life Point drain to almost [-3 LP] per minute for the first few hours after waking. If someone is not careful, and their Life Points meter is too low when they fall asleep drunk, they could actually be in a serious health risk once the hangover begins. Beings cannot gain anything without first giving something in return. To obtain, something of equal value must be lost. That is the first law of thermodynamics, after all. For every drink I take, I will be giving my life force back in return, at least in some small way.

I… do not want this. I do not want to die from alcohol poisoning while under the captivity of a Paso Robles cult.

I will do everything I can to fight back the drunkenness.

Back on Mystix, I once outlasted Borguk in a drinking contest! An orc lost to me! Granted, he is a notable lightweight despite his great stature, but as long as I don’t tell people that, it comes off as very impressive.

So I will be victorious in this as well.

Pablo Rosas, somewhat sullen-looking still, looks down at me in my chair. “You have to try the wine better,” he says. “The only way to truly embrace this city is to give in. Just give in.”

“Never!” I shout.

“Then if you will not turn,” he says, “perhaps she will.” He points his index finger to Delta, who still has yet to be subjected to the wine tasting.

Karen rubs her fingers together. “Excellent idea…”

Oh no, Delta!

But I did the [Skill Check] card earlier today. I found out the truth about her. She can’t be drinking at a time like this. Or at any time at all, for that matter. This is a matter of life and death.

The hooded figures begin pouring a glass at the table in front of her. I have to stop this.

“No!” I shout. “You can’t give her a drink. She’s with child! You’ll harm her!”

The drink pouring stops, at least until Delta glares at me with the power of a thousand suns. “I’m WHAT?”

Perhaps this was not a good place to inform her of something like this, especially when she herself seems very unaware…

“Sounds like a lie to me,” Karen says. “Plus, you are legally allowed to drink when you’re pregnant. Trust me. We live in a free country.”

They… don’ stop. They keep pouring that glass, and another hooded figure holds Delta’s head to ready her to drink this.

“I hope you can guess the flavor profile,” Karen says.


I need to break these restraints…

But when I try, they notice. Two hooded figures hold me down and begin forcing me to drink my next glass as well.

You know, I actually do taste a bit of melon in this one. Maybe wine tasting isn’t such a worthless trial after all.

But that’s beside the point! I need to rescue Delta!

What will I do…

What will I do…

What will I—hic—do…


I activate my ultimate trump card, or should I say Destiny Card:


Clone: Rank 3. Make a clone for 5 minutes. Cost: 1000 LP.

[-1000 LP.]

[8,003/15,000 LP.]

Another Eryk Solbourne appears by my side. He gives a smirk and draws an unexpected weapon—the rucksack from my inventory.

“It’s time to duel!” he exclaims.

Chapter 65: A Cult of Karens

Francis on one side of me, and Delta on the other. We are a motley crew, a powerful trio of interesting people.

And right now, we three have been captured and bound to chairs in the middle of an admittedly very nice dining hall. There is a fancy glass chandelier hanging from the ceiling, and a long table filled with various bottles and dishes and cut meats.

In front of us are many hooded people, mostly middle aged women, who stand before us, hands clasped together. Off to the side is Pablo Rosas of Paso Robles, also wearing a hood but looking a lot more solemn than I’ve ever seen him. He almost looks hurt, perhaps because he was unable to give this grand introduction himself. I do not suppose he enjoys his spotlight being taken in a way like this.

The head woman of this organization, Karen, stares at me with a suspiciously kind stare.

“You have finally come to our residence,” she says. “We are so glad for you to have joined us.”

Her smile is wicked. Truly devilish in the way that even Thalia herself back on Mystix couldn’t match in her angriest of days.

Delta, herself among the more powerful of women I have ever met, takes this in stride. Even strapped to a chair and being faced by many intimidating hooded figures is not enough to dampen her very harsh spirit. “Hey, we’re not the manager,” she says. “We didn’t do anything to you.”

At this, Karen growls. Quite literally, in fact. “Do not use these offensive slurs at me. I care not for managers or some conniving little bitch’s witty retorts.”

“Uh, okay. Whatever boomers say goes, I guess.”

Karen takes a bucket of water conspicuously laying on the floor and splashes it all over Delta.

Delta shuts up for a little while longer after this.

I don’t like this. Not one little bit.

Being bound up like this, tied to a chair, even with my immense strength I cannot make a move. Or, I suspect, I could theoretically break these knots and bindings were I to make a great effort, but surely Karen and her cohorts would notice. I would either come to great harm, or my two friends would in my place.

It is a dilemma that frustrates me to no end…

Karen begins to go on some sort of fevered rant about the true power of Paso Robles, its industries of olive oil and wine and how the city would use its luxuries and friendly lite-tourist atmosphere to carve out a place in the California travel industry. I dare not recount it in full, for it is not something that I suspect you will be interested in hearing. To be frank, I did not find much of any interest in it myself, especially after she began speaking of how the liberals in Sacramento are ruining the state and forcing everyone to give up their God-given rights. I’m not sure what any of that means.

Sometimes I wonder what these people on Earth would feel if they found out that the deity with control over them is The Goddess, and that she is not exactly playing a direct role in anything that happens here to begin with… I dare not reveal it to the whole world, lest it cause major panic and pandemonium.

Anyway, as she continues to rant and rave about subjects she appears to be passionately interested in, I decide to take a look at my options when they do come. Here, for reference, is my Destiny Card selection for the moment:

Blinding Rush: Rank 1. Doubles speed and agility. Cost: 215 LP.
Clone: Rank 3. Make a clone for 5 minutes. Cost: 1000 LP.
Inventory Slot: Rank 4. Store an item here to retrieve for future use. Current item: Satchel (Size: Extra Large).
Inventory Slot: Rank 4. Store an item here to retrieve for future use. Current item: Pistol.
Inventory Slot: Rank 4. Store an item here to retrieve for future use. Current item: Bow and arrow.
Transmigrated Spirit: Rank 3. Summon an otherworldly spirit to assist for five minutes. Cost: 444 LP.

My only cards at disposal are [Clone,] [Blinding Rush,] and [Transmigrated Spirit,] none of which could help save me from my current state of captivity.

That means… it’s time to draw a new one!

I still have 10,070 Life Points, even after losing quite a bit while knocked out (which is a bit strange, if I do say so myself). Therefore, I can draw using my Life Points with no real repercussions…

[-1,033 LP.]

[9,037/15,000 LP.]

Ouch, that one really hurt.

Oh well, though. That’s okay, because I now have a new Destiny Card:

Fireball: Rank 1. Shoot a fireball. Cost: 10 LP.

Oh. That’s… One of the most basic cards in my entire Destiny Deck, yes.

That’s pretty much useless unless I want to set the entire building on fire.

“…increase the Quality of our Citizens,” Karen says, finishing up her rant. “That is why we must take new citizens and weed out those who have not been performing as well as possible. Paso Robles is all about that.”

Delta and Francis look absolutely out of their minds. Glazed over like, well, a donut. There is little other we can do about our situation than zone out and hope we somehow transmigrate into a new realm filled with cultivation and high-powered beings, after all.

“So, would you three like to be initiated as citizens of Paso Robles?” Karen asks.

At this, Pablo Rosas steps forward and stands abreast to her. “They are fine. They are of good Quality,” he says. “They enjoyed the hot springs of their own accord. We didn’t even have to force them to do it.”

“True, true… Then we shall begin Selecting them,” she says. She puts the hood over her face and it becomes shrouded in shadow like all her other compatriots. “Then, let us bring out the tables. The Wine Tasting Ritual shall begin shortly.”

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