World“s First Demon Lord Chapter 8: The Gamer
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Three months later and still no hero.
I drummed my fingers against my desk, back in my office in London. Ms. Kang was reading out her report, but I was only barely listening.
We now had labs set up in Toronto, Tokyo, Canberra (Australia), Cairo, and Beijing. Honestly, this was a lot quicker than normal. A lot of it was thanks to the fact that these were already research labs, but I couldn't discount Ms. Kang's hard work in setting everything up.
Of course, I hadn't been slacking off either. I had created all the magical tech that the labs were all now using to create chimeras. The early experiments were showing promising results, but nothing had actually been created yet. A lot of the work right now was working with cells and DNA...boring things I didn't pay any attention to. But it seemed like things were going quite well, if Dr. Larsson's constantly growing smile was anything to go by.
When I wasn't going over the magical tech and having secret meetings with Ms. Kang and Dr. Larsson, I was spending most of the time refining what I was now calling "The Gamer Ability." I still hadn't been to completely solve the HP problem yet. It was now able to do larger groups of people, but once it hit exactly 21, immediate blindness.
There was progress, however. I realized that the problem wasn't that the spell was inefficient, but that a body without a magic core couldn't handle the stress of the spell. The trick was now to figure out how to bypass that handicap without creating a core.
There was no way I was creating a core for someone. That would take too much time, too much effort, for too little a payoff. It would be like powering a flip phone with an entire nuclear power plant. Wasteful.
My current idea was to try and make some sort of pseudo-core. Something that functioned as a magical battery, basically. It was basically a dormant magical core; something where magical energy could be gathered, but the wielder could not use it to sense or control magic.
However, I if I were to admit to myself...I wasn't feeling the usual spark of inspiration when it came to researching magic.
Back in my old world, researching magic had been my one joy, something I could lose myself in for hours and hours. Here? It was more of a chore. Sure, it was fun, and having a breakthrough and figuring something out was still exciting but…
The whole point of that was to discover immortality. To become the ultimate being. Now that I figured out reincarnation, and had refined it in this world, what was the point? I was already the most powerful being in the world...there really was no need to research more magic...it just wasn't as fulfilling as it used to be.
I don't know. I felt like this wasn't what I was supposed to be doing.
I had something bigger, something better to do. I felt that becoming a Demon Lord was that something.
But was it really? Or was that just a dream I was hopelessly chasing, something that would also leave me unfulfilled?
The only thing that kept me going was Ms. Kang.
I watched as she read out her report with her usual blank face, but I could tell that she was very much enjoying herself.
Ms. Kang she was clearly thriving in her role. As previously stated, the labs were all up and running thanks to her hard work, and she had also started up creepy, mystical trinket stores in Canberra and Egypt. Apparently, there had been some problems at the other locations, but even those roadblocks didn't seem like they were troubling her at all.
Her true goal, however, was the thriller storyline. If I let her, she could speak for hours on it's development, as well as her ideas for it. She had already picked out a news company, and was down to her final two candidates for heroes.
She even had the Tokyo lab's disposal procedures make the discarded chimera projects sent to the ocean. If that was discovered, it would definitely cause a scandal.
"I want research to move onto human subjects before getting the storyline moving, however," she said. "I need to establish more of the characters."
I nodded absently, picking up my tablet in some half-hearted attempt to pretend to work, and turned to watch the city from my window. It was still dark, despite the early hour. The sun should be rising in a few minutes but...I just wasn't feeling it. Ms. Kang went on with her report.
Her plan to include a mysterious stranger was coming along nicely as well. She had created a new division in our company to deal with any "mishaps" from our labs. This included one Japanese/American man by the name of Jason Tachikawa that had already been sent to Tokyo to cover up some chimera bodies.
With the rate that everything was going at, it looked like it would take at least a year before things could move on to becoming something interesting. The knowledge that I had to wait so long for something to happen was killing my motivation.
"Mr. Hargreaves, may I make a suggestion?" said Ms. Kang .
I was only half-listening, looking out the window from my seat. The sun wasn't up yet, but the city of was still lit up beneath me.
I couldn't see any of it. I could only see my reflection, bored.
"Please take a look at the document I sent you, sir," she went on. My tablet vibrated in my hands, and I absent-mindedly opened the attachment.
A picture of a girl, no older than 16, stared back at me from the screen. She looked vaguely Arab, maybe Latina? No, maybe Indian? I frowned as I looked at her file.
Irade Momin. 15, turning 16 next year. Lives in Beijing, but was from a city called Kashgar in the Xinjiang province.
"What's this?" I asked.
"Please keep reading sir," was Ms. Kang's reply.
Irade was taken from her parents when she was five years old by the Chinese government. They gave her to a Han Chinese couple in Beijing who had been having trouble conceiving. For the majority of her life, she had lived with them there. She now had a younger brother, and was considered a bit of an eyesore for the family.
I raised my eyebrow at this. She had been taken from her family? By the Chinese government of all people? Why?
The more I read, the more interested I became.
"This is my suggestion for the gamer storyline hero," Ms. Kang explained once I was done with the document.
"I did a little research while I was setting up Beijing, and the situation in China is a lot more volatile than I thought."
"How so?" I asked.
"Well, tensions between the native Uyghur population in Xinjiang and the rest of the Han Chinese has been quite strained for some time now. There are even reports of concentration camps," she said.
"I didn't look too deeply into it, but it interested me. I thought it might be a good setting for the gamer storyline. Something a little...dystopic."
Dystopic? A girl gaining gamer cheats in a dystopian world?
That was certainly an interesting idea. I hadn't really read a story like that yet.
It definitely would be something interesting to watch play out.
"Interesing..." I said aloud. "I'll need to do some more research, but I will definitely consider this."
Ms. Kang bowed politely before turning to leave.
"Oh, one more thing, Ms. Kang."
She stopped at the door and turned around.
"Thank you," I said, without looking up from the document.
For a moment, she stood there, silent. I was a little more used to her now, after all these months, and I could tell that she was processing what just happened. In other words, she was in shock.
That said, she recovered quickly, and bowed again before leaving.
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