Month: November 2020

Chapter 100: The Surf-Off

King Bodhi and I hop on our surfboards and begin our greatest duel.

I am clearly superior in fighting skills. My physical strength outmatches almost anything that the humans of Earth can muster. But this—this is a completely different battlefield. It is a battlefield of style and grace, of water and waves.

It is the Surf Off.

Thanks to my high [Viscosity] stat, my board and I remain affixed to the water so long as I wish to remain so. I can perform any number of tricks, such as the ollie, or the kick flip. I perform moves that send the crowd cheering and booing simultaneously, as they are not only impressed by my skill, but horrified and shocked to see a pink-haired man like me holding his own against their beloved monarch.

However, King Bodhi is clearly winning the Surf Off so far. Due to my own efforts, I cannot fully focus on her as she darts across the waves and slides gracefully through the little loopy areas. But it is obvious to me that she takes to the waters like an otter. Her powers are so immense that it is as if the sunrise light beams off her board and back into the sky, creating a wholly new source of light to brighten the match.

I turn my head to my miniature [Transmigrated Spirit] companion, Matt, who has rested gently on my shoulder this entire Surf Off up to this point. “Is there any way for you to do something like that?” I ask.

“I… I have no idea,” says Matt. He leaves the comfort of my shoulder and begins floating around my head. I am surprised he has the speed necessary to keep up with my body and my board. “What should I do? Boil the water around you and make a cool steamy thing?”

“Yes! That sounds like an excellent idea indeed.”

Matt raises both of his tiny hands and bursts of flames erupt from the water below. Being water, of course, it all evaporates and extinguishes the flames, which causes an eruption of steam that surrounds my every move. It’s a dazzling sight that few could truly comprehend but most will surely enjoy.

But then King Bodhi, still on the other side of our tumultuous arena, does the exact same thing without the help of any sort of magic. She leaps in the air with such a force that her board goes spinning like one of those “helicopter” monstrosities I have seen in the sky on occasion. It moves with such rapid force that a whirlpool forms, and then settles out as the water begins to steam up, just like it did for me.

She lands on the board, taking immediate control of the spinning until it slows and stops.

I need to top this. And I do so with my next move: I climb up to the top of a new wave, circle around a few times by spinning my board, and then leap onto the edge of the wave. I grind railing this makeshift railing, hopping on and off my board in extravagant poses as I continue to rack up style points as best as I can.

And then, halfway through my grinding attempt—

An arrow whizzes past my face.

King Bodhi lowers her weapon and grimaces. She missed.

“You gonna be alright with that chick?” Matt asks.

“Have no worries,” I say. “She cannot adequately maneuver with her two-handed grip. She is like a sitting beaver ripe for me to pluck off.”

“What do you mean?”

“I mean… I will use my ONE-handed grip.” I poof my bow and arrows out of my inventory, and using only one hand to both reload and fire, I zoom across the waves in attack mode.

At the same time, my spirit companion shoots small fireballs in the same direction. Often, we combine these two into a fire arrow attack.

King Bodhi zips and ducks around, dodging the attacks, but so long as she is forced to avoid being hit, she cannot draw her own bow or else lose her balance.

I, on the other hand, have a whole free hand to utilize. I am nearly invincible!

But… this isn’t working. Both Matt and I can see it. King Bodhi is too strong. Too fast. Too quick, too nimble when she needs to be. It’s almost as if can float through the air and climb up invisible trees. When the people chose her, they did not choose wrong; with a skip and a hop she’s one cool King.

No matter how many frontside pop shuvits I can blow off, it won’t be enough to stop her, not in this current state.

“I can’t do this,” I say mostly to myself, as I lower my bow and poof it back into my inventory.

Matt does not respond, as he is too busy shooting fireballs as fast as he can.

“The only way I can defeat King Bodhi…. is to Rank Up!”

Chapter 99: A Great Summoning

Francis may or may not be kidnapped, but I don’t care.

No, wait, my apologies. I would like to correct myself on my prior statement.

I do care about Francis and his well-being. That much should be considered an incontrovertible fact. He is the man who graced me first when I came to Earth as just a confused man who thought cosplayers were a type of monster. He is the man who gave me a home to stay in and took me into his loving arms with the tender care of a good friend. He is the man who, along with Delta, set on a trip designed to help me improve and gain as many Destiny Points as possible. Yes, the trip was secretly also about working out some unresolved issues between Francis and Delta, but I cannot blame him for anything like that. No, I can only blame him for being less transparent than would be optimal… Except that I myself have been FAR less than transparent in my own existence.

In fact, I most likely would admit I care about Francis a great deal more now that I have gone and upset him. I avoided telling him about my life as a ghost on Mystix for so long, and his upset reaction about it is what caused him to run away! If I had simply been honest, then he may not be kidnapped right now. So I am far less upset about his lack of transparency than I am about my own.

But… none of that is actually relevant to the moment.

Thus, I don’t care.

Regardless of Francis’s fate, it will not be a kind one if I lose the Surf-Off against King Bodhi. I cannot allow myself to fall prey to any sorts of emotions that would disrupt my surfing abilities. To win this battle, I plan on reaching the peak of nirvana, a hallowed concept talked about often in surfing circles on Mystix. If I attain the calmest of calms, the surest of sures, I will certainly succeed, I am certain.

Here on this beach, with the raging waves matched with soft sand, I believe I can achieve surfing nirvana easily.

As long as I don’t think about Francis at all for the next hour or so.

Therefore… I will purge him from my mind outright.

And, in his place, I will make my next move—Using a Destiny Card to make sure I win!

[Transmigrated Spirit!]

Transmigrated Spirit: Rank 3. Summon an otherworldly spirit to assist for five minutes. Cost: 444 LP.


[-444 LP.]

[9,999/15,000 LP.]

There it is. The blue fire of a summoning circle appears on the sand in front of me. It swirls and bellows smoke in a dramatic fashion.

In the meantime, I look at my Destiny Card hand and make sure to memorize exactly what options I have:

Empathetic Link: Rank 7. Create a Mental Link with a target sentient being. Cost: 5500 LP.
Drop: Rank 1. Make someone fall over. Cost: 80 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: Boomerang Scythe
Inventory Slot: Rank 4. Store an item here to retrieve for future use. Current item: Bow and arrow.

The cards I have will not be incredibly useful for this Surf-Off. [Drop] would be dishonorable to use on an opponent in such a contest, while [Empathetic Link] would prove mostly useless. I could draw two more cards with either my Destiny Points, currently 122 in quantity, or with my Life Points, currently less than ten thousand in excess.

But I do not think I will need them. No, I will be absolutely nirvanic without the use of any non-[Transmigrated Spirit] cards.

And, finally, out of the summoning circle of blue fire comes, as expected and hoped for, a Fire Elemental.

A glowing blue devil-like figure peers at me with trepidatory yellow eyes. It holds a pitchfork and has a pointy tail.

“Hello?” I ask.

“…What the hell is this?” the devil asks with a pitchy, masculine voice. “Where am I?”

“You are a being, a spirit, that I have summoned from another distant world to serve me in surfing combat. I have transmigrated you to a world known as Earth. What is your name?”

“Uh, Matt,” the spirit says. “I’m so confused…” He looks around frantically at everything around him.

“Ah, yes, you must not be aware of your own circumstances,” I say. “Do not worry. I have encountered the same thing as you. What is the last thing you remember?” Calming and consoling recently transmigrated spirits is all part of the process. Time consuming and often annoying, but perfectly normal if you have summoned a recently arrival among the spirit catalog.

The devil takes the opportunity to indulge far more than he needed to. “Well, I was just walking home after my girlfriend dumped me—you see, we were at a bar in St. Louis to celebrate our second anniversary, and we had a hotel to spend the night, but she took the keys, and we didn’t drive because we’d be drinking. After the big fight I was just walking around to blow off some steam, but then I realized I missed the last bus back to Ballwin and I’d need to call an Uber. So when I went to a spot for the driver to see me—the street lights were out on account of the riot after the basketball game last weekend—I went on the crosswalk, and I heard a loud honking sound and some headlights, and… now I’m here. I have no idea what happened.”

“What was her name?”

“My girlfriend? Alyse.”

“I am sorry to hear it. Heartbreak often leads to disastrous consequences,” I say. “But now you are here, and you will be graced with the ability to serve me on my path towards becoming an S-Rank Hero for the first time in several millennium.”


“For the next five minutes, before you leave this realm and your spirit either cycles through the [Transmigrated Spirit] roster or you are reincarnated into some other form, I, Eryk Solbourne, D-Rank [Adventurer,] will be your master. You will do my bidding.”

“Sp…spirit? You mean…”

“You’re dead, Matt. You were hit by a truck and killed.”

“I was WHAT?!”

“You died in an accident, one that will remain a mystery to many of the people you are survived by. Your girlfriend Alyse will likely fall into deep sadness as she regrets the things she said to you and the ways she made you feel. But you will never see her again.”

It is tough to say these things, especially when they did not prove true to me, but this is the primary tactic used to master the spirits you control.

“I… Yes.” Like expected, Matt’s demeanor shifts and a calm sets over him. “I will do your bidding, Eryk Solbourne.”

“Good. Then let us win a Surf Off!”

“Yes, let’s.”

The spirit extinguishes his summoning circle and then floats alongside me as we step to meet King Bodhi. She glances at Matt, but does not acknowledge him in any way. She is much more interested in how I seem.”

“May the best surfer win,” she says.

“I am the best surfer, so I will win.”

“We shall see about that.” She gives one nod and then begins walking to the ocean. I do the same.

An announcer bellows some exciting proclamations: “And now it’s time for the Great Barbara Games’ Special Event: An Honorable Surf-Off Challenge! The Hero of Paso Robles, Eryk Solbourne, faces off against our very own King Bodhi herself! Who will win? Who will thrive? We will find out immediately! Because the contest starts… NOW!”

A gunshot into the air.

I hop on my board, and the Surf-Off commences.