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Aug 03, 2021 3:37 AM
jades in Konosuba get a tricksy isekai
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A circle of light illuminates a featureless floor in a black void.

There is a throne, with a shadowed figure sitting upon it, on the edge of the circle, shrouded in shadows.

There is a sign. It reads, [Congratulations. If you're reading this, you've died and yet still exist.]

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A person arrives. He looks a little out of it.

He squints at the sign.

He squints at the throne.

 

He says, "...huh. Good for me?"

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The throne slides forward, bringing the figure into light.

It is an.. extremely attractive young woman, wearing some kind of elegant regalia that none-the-less looks like the perverse lovechild of a fairy princess gown and a dominatrix outfit. Tight black leather accentuating and showing off her body, weaving a dance with flowy emerald silk and gossamer gauze with framed cut-outs exposing her breasts and crotch.

In contrast to the outfit, she greets him with a wry smile, her posture lackadaisical and not particularly seductive, elbows on knees, chin on hands.

"So," she says, "You want the long version, or the short version?"

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"...let's have the short version first, and the long one afterward."

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"The short version is that I'm a goddess, I currently have your soul in my possession, and you have a choice with three options. And the first two options really really suck."

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He has to take a few seconds to process that, blinking irregularly.

 

"I would like the long version now please."

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"Heh, sure. Ahem."

The goddess sits up straight, her posture suddenly exuding regality.

"Welcome, Laurent, to your afterlife. I am the goddess Coventina, arbiter of English-speaking and Japanese-speaking souls ages 16-25. You have passed through the veil of meta-casual* anthropics to appear before me, and it is my task to usher you on to your fate. Three paths lay before you. The first is," she grimaces, breaking character for a moment, "I erase your you and put your soul back on the shelf, but the rules say I have to call that 'reincarnation'," eyeroll, "ahem. The second path is the path of ultimate rest. You may remain here, walk into the void behind me, and spend your eons communing among us gods here in the divine realm."

She pauses dramatically.

"If neither of those options appeals to you, there is a third choice you could make. There is a world in need of a champion, and to that world I would send you as you are, intact, to complete quests in my name."

She raises an eyebrow, slumping down into her previous posture. "How was that?"

*Not a typo.

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He listens to this with steadily climbing eyebrows. When she finishes, he takes another second to mull it over before producing a question.

"...in what way, specifically, can I expect communing with the gods for eternity to suck?"

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"Well, for one thing, gods aren't actually, as a rule, any more interesting than mortals. The other souls who've chosen the void mostly complain about how boring it is."

She stands up, and starts slinking towards him, swaying her hips, oozing raw lewdness with every step.

"Personally, my biggest complaint is this," she reaches him, and shamelessly grabs his dick through his pants. But... it doesn't feel like anything. He's aware of the touch, sensing the contact through a medium that one might deign to call 'touch', but it doesn't feel like anything at all.

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"...um," he says. " Yes. I can see how... um. I don't... think I would necessarily have the same complaint, but... okay. So. You mentioned a third option?"

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Coventina takes a step back, relaxing her demeanor.

"So, this world. It's one of the extramaterial planes, meaning it's not just magical but magically systemic. If you chose to be sent to this world as my champion, you will be able to learn magic and go on adventures! Like in a video game. Your quest will be to dismantle my church because they've gone completely bugfutz crazy and the last," she pauses to count on her fingers, "fourteen volunteers I've sent all fucked off to live the good life instead of completing their quests... and I mean, who could blame them, my church sucks..."

She takes a breath.

"And also you will work to repair the damage they've done to society. To help you accomplish this, I am allowed to grant you one boon: any one object you wish to possess, I can give you."

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He opens his mouth to answer, pauses, closes it again.

"I apologize if this is a rude question, but what is the definition of an object here, exactly? Is knowledge an object? What about people or animals? Planets? Concepts?"

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"It has to fit through the portal, which is about three meters in diameter. Knowledge is not an object but you can ask for a magic book that contains the knowledge and is also telepathically readable so you can skip learning it the slow way, if that's your thing."

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"...Are there limitations on the kind of magic I can define into existence that way? I assume there must be or someone would already have... no, wait, I forgot what people are like. Are there?"

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"Only in the sense that it has to have both discreet computational requirements and discreet energy requirements not exceeding the flashpoint of thermonuclear fusion or the singularity point for bounded materialism. You cannot metaphorically wish for more wishes."

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"How long do I have to think this over—" He shifts his weight as though about to start pacing, then stops and shakes his head. "No, wait, I'm getting distracted. If I brought you, would you be able to give me ongoing help in a way that a cleverly designed magic item couldn't—and would it solve your, um," he makes a vague and mildly embarrassed hand gesture, "problem?"

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"It would solve several of my problems," she says emphatically. "Yes, you are technically allowed to pick me as your 'object' and while this would bind me to you, kinky by the way, it would also let me kick my church in the ass with my own damn foot GRANTED."

There is a moment of silence.

Coventina glares up into the void. "OH COME ON!"

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"...what's wrong...?"

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"Never demonstrate competence at a job you hate. Can you say that again, more emphatically, please?"

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"Ah... if I do that will I immediately be launched into a foreign world with very little idea of where I am or what I'm supposed to be doing? I don't mean to be obstructive, I'm just—very low on context right now—"

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"I'm just saying, if you want me as your 'object', you're gonna have to insist. Apparently. You don't have to pick me," she says, pained.

"So, the place I'd be sending us is called Axel. It is a walled city in a fertile valley where many adventurers get their start. My church has a minimal presence, the adventurer's guild isn't corrupt, and the economy is healthy. They don't have electricity but they do have indoor plumbing, with magic somewhat making up for lack of technology in that and other areas. That sort of context?"

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"Yes, thank you, that's very helpful. Um—I think most of the rest of what I want to know before I finalize anything is what if any choices I need to make about video game mechanics before I show up, and what if any obvious social pitfalls I might run into in my first five minutes in a new universe that would be good to be warned about ahead of time?"

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"The video game mechanics are handled in-world by advanced magitech. They won't affect you until you get your adventurer's card. I didn't actually bake stats and levels into the fabric of reality; give baby-me some credit here," she says teasingly. "Anyway, as for social pitfalls, your basic concept of politeness ought to transfer. Axel in particular is culturally... loose, so you should be fine on that score."

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"All right. In that case—"

He takes a deep breath and straightens up slightly, clasping his hands together in front of him.

"I choose you as my object."

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A beat of silence.

Coventina slowly cranes her neck upwards, her glare deadly.

"...very well," a voice sighs. A large magic glyph appears in the void, a winged figure haloed within. "They're going to make me cover for you while you're gone, you know."

"Thank you," Coventina says, hopping off her throne.

Another large magic circle spools out across the floor, filling the illuminated space under her and Laurent's feet. Gravity lifts away, as the two of them start floating upwards.

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Laurent is standing on a cobblestone street. Coventina is next to him. Houses and shops with shingled roofs surround them. People in armor or hand-made clothing or the occasional fancy dress stroll by.

It's mid-morning and the weather is fine.

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