World“s First Demon Lord Chapter 9: Prelude
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I spent the next week researching Irade Momin. What I found out about her was absolutely fascinating.
She was an Uyghur, a native to the westernmost province of China. This province was officially called the Uyghur Autonomous Region of Xinjiang, which I found rather hilarious. It was funny the same way that the Democratic People's Republic of Korea's name was funny. That is to say, it was a complete lie. From where I was sitting, anyway.
Xinjiang was probably one of the most surveilled places on the entire planet. They had cameras everywhere, checkpoints at public bathrooms, and cars with satellites on them spying on the general population were more common than stray cats. Literally. I think I saw literally one stray cat once. Where did they all go?
This wasn't even mentioning the concentration-, sorry, worker camps. Like, actual camps! It like something straight out of V for Vend*tta.
Irade's situation was even more interesting. Apparently her father had relatives who had left the country years ago, and who had been supporting them from the outside. For that reason, the Chinese government had accused them of being separatists, and had started going after them. Her parents had realized too late, and her father was captured, while her mother escaped, unable to take Irade with her. So the government gave her to a Chinese family telling them to be sure to raise her to glorify China and the Chinese Communist Party.
The best part? Stuff like this was common! Irade's story wasn't even the most horrifying! In fact, in comparison to some, one could even say it was tame!
It was the perfect setting for the gamer storyline!
What more could I ask for? An impoverished people, coupled with an all-seeing government suppressing any dissenting voice, with no choice for a better life but to escape? Then, from the wreckage of a ruined culture, one girl rises up to save her people with the cheat ability she got mysteriously one day?
How could I not be invested in such a story?!
And for the cherry on top, she was also a hardcore gamer. Her game of choice Finul Funtasy XIV; an MMORPG, of all things. She was ranked first in her server for PVP, and was even ranked in the top ten in World Rankings. Of course, she played all sorts of other games too, but that was the one she always came back to.
The fruits of my research into the Uyghur situation lit my motivation on fire. I knew that if I wanted this story to come to life, I needed to make it come to life. And for that to work…
It took me a year and a half to perfect the spell. Not surprising, since it was basically all new research. Into something no one has ever done before. It was better than creating an actual core for two reasons, however. One, I was in control. And two, it took a lot less time than creating an actual core. Much less time. Sure, this world may have a lot more magic than my old one, but even then, I estimated it would take about three to four years to make a core. The only reason I could do it in a few months was because I am a genius, and also because I had done it before.
At least, that's what I told myself to keep myself sane. To be certain that it would take less time, I would have to do more experiments, but...y'know, I have this pseudo-core now so…
That said, I wasn't the only one that had progressed in this time.
For the first six months or so, things had been going quite well. The first animal chimera had also been quite successful, and so was the second, and third.
After that however, it seemed that they had reached a bit of a bottleneck.
"This is going a lot more smoothly than most," Dr. Larsson admitted to me during one meeting. "We've been able to mix up to seven different animals to create a completely functional chimera, complete with its own personality."
It was only once we moved onto human experimentation that things had started to go wrong.
For some reason, the subject always died at the final step before becoming completely human and animal. No matter what the scientists did, nothing seemed to work. They theorized it might have to do with human's having more advanced brains than animals, but even human/human chimeras – or Frankensteins, as we started to call them – died at the final step before becoming conscious.
Even I was getting curious. So curious, I actually looked into it. After a bit of diagnostic magic, I figured out that it was a problem with soul compatibility.
Animal souls were all pretty similar, and pretty weak. Opposed to beings that had the potential to use magic anyway. And since there were not magical beasts here, that just left humans on this world. And even then, if souls weren't 'compatible,' they wouldn't be able to mix at all.
Now, I could go into a whole lecture about Soul Types, but for the sake of time, let's just say that souls are just as varied as personalities, and so finding even just two that were compatible enough to naturally mix would be quite difficult.
If we wanted to create human/animal chimeras, then we would need to somehow find a way to bind incompatible souls.
I was willing to tell this to Dr. Larsson, but Ms. Kang stopped me.
"Let him sweat for a bit," she told me at the time. "I think he enjoys it."
That was also true. Sure, he had been quite happy in the first six months, when all was going well. But now that things weren't he seemed to be completely in his element, experimenting pretty much every day, trying to figure out what it was he was missing.
"Plus, it gives him incentive to do better," she went on. "And he might be able to think up something you might not."
That was also true. I had been pleasantly surprised by Ms. Kang after all. Maybe Dr. Larsson could surprise me as well. Although, if things got a little too dire, I might give him a little push in the future.
Speaking of Ms. Kang, she was also thriving.
For one, with the success of the animal chimeras, she had managed to get quite a few of them to escape. Of course, that meant the division she had created to keep all of this hush-hush was working quite well too. Not well enough that they were completely off the books, but well enough that they would not be noticed by someone who wasn't looking.
Of course, no one was looking for them. Yet.
She had also finally managed to choose her protagonist: a young woman by the name of Sakura Watanabe. An up-and-coming journalist in Tokyo, working for a print newspaper company called the 'Yomiuri Shimbun.' From what I could tell, it was one of the five biggest newspapers in Japan, and according to Ms. Kang, it had the largest newspaper circulation worldwide.
The newspaper was also quite conservative; so much so that Ms. Watanabe was having a bit of a hard time in the workplace. To be honest, I was pretty sure they only hired her in order to appease public outcry that the newspaper was sexist. That wasn't to say that Ms. Watanabe was unqualified to be a journalist; she had graduated top of her class in university, and had even broken a story about corporate corruption on a friend's YouChube channel in the last six months. If I were her, I would probably keep going on that route, gaining more fame and prestige on her own account.
Yet for some reason, she had decided to go with a company that didn't value her, simply relegating her to write fluff pieces and serving coffee.
"It's her dream," Ms. Kang explained, looking over my shoulder as she brought me my coffee. "She wrote about it when she was little. She wanted to write for the Yomiuri Shimbun, and win a Pulitzer for journalism."
"She could work freelance," I argued, taking a sip. "She doesn't need to do it like this."
"There's prestige that comes with working for such a large newspaper," said Ms. Kang, walking back to the other side of the desk and taking a seat. "Even if it's for a while, and even if she's just an intern, working with them is good on a CV."
A good point.
Still. An attractive woman that could pull off a "business-sexy" look like her didn't have to work as a lowly intern, not with her talents. It was simply not good business for them to treat her like they were. And seeing her go along with it was just the tiniest bit infuriating.
"When do you plan to start for her?" I asked Ms. Kang. We were in her office this time, which was much smaller, but still quite nice. It had a nice view too, but mine was better, obviously. I had taken her seat, while she looked through her tablet in front of me.
"In a couple of weeks," she said. "I have a beginning all planned out. I just need Dr. Moritaka to finish up with the latest human chimera experiment."
"It will fail, you know."
"That's the point."
I let it go, nodding. As long as she had it planned out, it should work out well.
"Still nothing on the stores?" I asked.
Ms. Kang sighed.
Most of the people that had frequented the stores this past year and a half had been single people, curious about the curiosities inside. They were all rather quirky, or just jocky college boys that wanted a laugh. A few couples had walked in, but none of them seemed quite "right." We'd dismissed them all.
"I have the list, but I didn't find anything worthwhile," she said, sending me an email. I looked through it on my own tablet, and true enough, there wasn't anything very eye-catching.
"This storyline is taking too long to start up," I said. "We might need to be a little more proactive with it."
"We're already being quite proactive with the thriller and gamer storylines," Ms. Kang argued. "We might just need a little more time..."
"We've given it a year and a half already."
"We still haven't gotten to human chimeras yet," Ms. Kang countered. "The superhero storylines does also need intelligent monsters to battle."
"That is true..." I said, putting down my tablet to think about it. Once again, Ms. Kang brought up a point I found difficult to defend against.
So I didn't.
"Alright, we'll wait until we have some more intelligent monsters," I conceded.
"In more good news, it seems I've finally cracked the HUD spell," I said casually, waiting for Ms. Kang's reaction. Her eyebrow merely twitched, which was her equivalent of standing on the desk and slapping me in the face.
"However, I have made some changes to the [Flight] skill, in order to make it workable," I added.
I then explained that while our protagonist would be limited by their MP, they would not be limited in speed and movement.
"The reason is because this particular form of [Flight] is quite difficult to control, and needs the user's will to work properly," I explained. "It will be difficult enough for her to control without arbitrary levels. Besides, I think she'll learn to enjoy the difficulty."
Ms. Kang nodded, crossing her legs.
"I concur," said Ms. Kang neutrally, but I could tell she was excited. "When will we be implementing it?"
"I'm waiting for a good narrative starting point," I said. "She is currently in the final stages for this season's Feast in Finul Funtasy. I think once she gains her rank, that will be a good place to start."
"End of the month then?"
We finalized the date.
"In that case, I will work to try and start Ms. Watanabe's story a little before," she said, gathering up her things. The news of my breakthrough had gotten her fired up, it seemed.
"It may take a while for her to get started, so the earlier we start, the sooner we can move her along her storyline."
"Very good," I said, standing up. "In that case, shall we meet again on the starting date? To finally begin our journey?"
"Yes sir," said Ms. Kang, bowing. I turned on the spot, and disappeared.
Up in my suite, at the top of my own building, I looked down at the glittering world beneath me. I waved a hand, and the window glass disappeared. The winds up here were strong tonight, and if it weren't for my magic, my entire apartment would have been blown to away.
As it were, the breeze was just cool enough for me to enjoy, the air running nicely through my hair. The sky was dark and the buildings lit up below. From here, it looked like the entire city was a jewel, sparking prettily just for me.
Why not? Why couldn't this world just be a toy for something for me to enjoy? It wasn't like anyone could stop me.
Finally, it was time for things to get interesting.
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