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LEECH

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        These days, gambling is commonplace. Some gambles are worth it, while some are not. For some people, they just want what they paid back. And gambling also exists in this game as well.

 

         'Gachapon'  You could refer to them with this word… They’re so tempting to every player. The machines are available in different types and they grant items that based on luck and type… some machines are for newbies looking to clear a specific level. Other machines grant players decorative items meant for glamour and not for utility.  Other machines grant players decorative items meant for glamour and not for utility. Lastly, there are also machines that grant weapons or apparels meant for fighting, but they come at a huge cost.

 

        Katsuki Bakugo is standing in front of a Gachapon machine for Summoners, hesitation marred across his features. His secondary class is that of a Summoner, but he doesn't want to restrict himself to swapping back and forth between his classes if he could simply just get a pet to fulfill his needs. If he could stick with his primary class (that is, the Blade class) for constant attack while his pet covers his blind spots by playing decoy or supporting, it'll help him progress through the game much faster and more effectively.

 

        If he’s lucky enough, it could turn out to be some rare pet that he could use for transportation, aiding him in his journey.

 

        The bright glorious future is not far from his grasp. He has planned for it carefully but the luck roll has been harsh on him for the last three years.

 

        It took him blood, sweat and tears to reach this level, the price for this roll was also not cheap, so why? WHY?

 

 

        Why did he end up getting this one stupid leech?!

 

        FUCK THIS GAME AND EVERYTHING!!

 

        Katsuki stares at the gross dark green stupid-looking leech that's one size too big for his hand before opening its status screen to check its traits. Low HP. EXP at zero. Level at zero. No MP. No attack damage. No defense.

 

        FUCKING NOTHING AT ALL!!

 

        It’s not a leech, but a slug…but who cares!? He thinks that the game system must have glitched or is rigged against him. Crappy stuff like this couldn’t be in this Gacha machine because the machines' rewards scale according to the players' levels.

 

        Forget the support. Goodbye to the decoy. I wanted a transport animal, not a fucking burden!!

 

        To make things worse, he can't stash the useless thing away in his vaults or slots, or get rid of it by trading or throwing it away. He is well and truly stuck with it.

 

        And to top it all off... he can't summon another pet.

 

        FUCK!!

 

        Katsuki wonders if this means that this stupid slug has to stick with him forever. …it is so useless. It can do nothing at all. Which effectively means that he can only rely on his Blade class for his pet is completely trash. Once again, he has to depend on his own skills to get through this blasted game... Time to hunt for more items and upgrade his skills to make up for what his pet lacks.

 

        All he can do is submit to his fate in frustration before naming the stupid slug with a name that suits it best.

 

        [Deku.]

 

        Useless…

 

        And after naming it, Katsuki learns that the stupid slug in his hand can talk! Also, it tries to get to know him. Its voice resembles that of an adolescent boy.

 

        Goddamnit..

 

        Katsuki isn’t sure if every animal companion in this game can talk, but this stupid slug is very talkative. Not only is it utterly useless, it's also extremely annoying.

 

        Can’t he just toss it away?

 

 

 

. . . . .

 

 

 

 

        Katsuki unwillingly bring the stupid slug along with him on his journey. And throughout the journey, it really cements its uselessness. ...well, it’s a slug. Yup! It’s a goddamn slug! So it’s sluggish. It’s slow. It’s a burden that he has to carry. Great. Fucking great. Not only can’t he ride it, he has to let it ride on his shoulder! Wonderful!

 

        However, after travelling with it for a while, he can see that it is useful in some way. At times, when Katsuki pulls out a map or encyclopedia, it gives him extra information beyond the scope of what these items can provide, such as secret monsters, rare plants and items.

 

 

 

        It’s not an AI that is limited to only answering or conversing in topics that it has been programmed to do. It can talk to him freely as if it’s another player…but mostly it would say garbage and annoy the hell out of Katsuki. Not to mention that it also has a cheering function, which Katsuki thinks is pretty creepy. Despite its ability to talk, it struggled with a lisp for the first few days, like a toddler testing out words for the first time.

 

        This is how his name, Katsuki, became ‘Kacchan’. Even when it's more familiar with speech, it still insists on calling him 'Kacchan'. So much for wanting to look cool, having a slug yapping away with a cutesy nickname is not threatening at all.

 

        Who the fuck’s gonna fear him?!!

 

        However, there’s no use losing his head over this. It's almost routine by now; just another shitty roll that he has to deal with.

 

        Sighing, Katsuki opens the slug’s status menu another time. It seems like some of its character stats can be enhanced with skill enhancement items. Well, that’s good news. At least it’s not completely useless… maybe, if its level is upgradable it can be better and be more useful.

 

 

. . . . .

 

 

 

        Even though it hasn’t been too long since Katsuki first travelled with his summon, Deku is seeing much improvement due to Katsuki's efforts in hunting monsters, searching for items and completing quests. His skills and abilities are much more varied now, and is steadily becoming more useful for Katsuki's journey.

 

        From being just an encyclopedia, now the slug can provide some extra item slots for him in case he has used up all of his. Also, it can also pick up items even if they’re very far away. It made things easier for him, and that made him happy. Even though it can't help with combat, it can at least help with carrying his inventory. For extra measure, Katsuki has given him a defense buff skill as well.

 

        Despite its slow speed and dependence on Katsuki's shoulder as a mode of transport, its abilities are satisfactory. It seems as if the slug has realised that its newfound usefulness pleases Katsuki a great deal, and has begun to be more outwardly supportive of Katsuki.

 

        He's tried to ignore some of the more blatantly creepy behaviours from Deku, such as his loud muttering and weird advice.

 

        However, he can't disregard the strange cheering that Deku does occasionally. he's pretty darn sure that the slug is molesting him by climbing all over his body like that.

 

        Deku explains that it's trying to analyse Katsuki's body so that it can offer more in-depth advice but Katsuki calls bullshit on that. It's doing way beyond that!

 

        Katsuki knows that he's proud and that he likes to gloat, but he is aware of his own limits. He will never strike blindly and will even work with extras if need be. Deku needs to stop giving weird explanations to excuse its molestations!

 

 

 

        And with that fact, don’t fucking make any excuse, liar!!

 

 

. . . . .

 

 

 

        After a while, Deku's strange advances have become way too unbearable. When Katsuki finally unlocks another special skill which allows him to mimic other classes, he picks a Mage skill. This Mage skill not only allows him to attack with a wider range, but more importantly, it gives him the ability to create a barrier. A barrier not against enemies, but the stupid slug when he's sleeping.

 

        Katsuki has never expected this to ever occur to him, but he's glad that he finally has a way to ward off shitty stuff away from him, including the stupid slug.

 

        The ingredients for creating the barrier aren't difficult to forage for - just water and salt... because slugs don't like salt!

 

        Katsuki watches with satisfaction as he activates the dome-shaped barrier around the stupid slug. It’s face is priceless. it looks like it's suffering a lot. Katsuki initially wanted to place the barrier around himself, but realised that it would require less energy if he places it around Deku instead. Good, now it can't bother Katsuki in his sleep. And nobody can accuse Katsuki for being cruel for he ensures that a ward is placed around Deku every night so that it won't be harmed as long as it steers clear of the barrier.

 

        Sleep well and sweet dreams, stupid Deku. Stay in there and think of what you've done, damn pervert slug!

 

        When Katsuki removes the barrier in the morning, the stupid slug would always look stupidly depressed and tired. But does Katsuki pity him? Nope! Katsuki is without guilt, especially so when the slug has no remorse for its wrongdoing. It continues to cling to Katsuki's leg as if nothing has transpired.



     

        Their journey continues.

 

 

. . . . .

 

 

        “Hey Kacchan… do you have any goal?” Deku asks  its master out of the blue.

 

        “Of course! Sure thing! I’ll be the top adventurer. I’ll have every item including secret items… I’ll have emblems of every dungeon and finally my achievement book will be in full colored and record my victory in five stars! In the end I won’t be just the top adventurer. I’ll be number one of the server!” Katsuki  glows with pride and enthusiasm. His goal is so important to him, and his enthusiasm makes his summon's eyes sparkle in support.

 

        Katsuki has already finished his main quests and completed the main story, leaving only side quests. He's finished some of them and he intends to complete them all. He's a perfectionist through and throughRecently, he finds himself with one new side quest. Strangely, he doesn't recall receiving it. All he remembers is checking his quest menu and finding it.

 

 

The Demon King of Midoriya forest.

 

 

        That is the name of Katsuki’s quest. It seems to be a special quest. Not main or side but a special event that are assigned to players at random after they have done something. And strangely, there is no introduction story for this quest.

 

        Regular quests allow players to replay their stories. This ensures that players are aware of their progress. However, this particular quest is odd; it doesn't have a progress bar or an option to replay the story. Katsuki has no idea where to start, or what to do.

 

        Fuck, he doesn't want to rely on his summon for this. His dependence on it has made him feel incompetent and worthless lately. However, he's met with a brick wall. And asking for advice seems more amenable than walking around aimlessly like a pathetic loser.

 

        “Ugh...” Katsuki groans. His summon perks up its ears in curiosity, and turns to look at him. “Hey Deku. What do you know about the Midoriya Forest?”

 

        Upon hearing the question, the slug freezes and looks at its master with an expression mixed with curiosity and fright before falling silent for a while.

 

        “Midoriya Forest is a habitat for many species of monsters. In some spots, you can find communities," Deku replies.

 

        “Hm,”  Katsuki hums, evident that he's not paid much attention to what Deku has said. Despite the possibility of being ambushed by numerous monsters, it seems like the perfect forest for grinding and collecting rare items. He smirks, at least this quest isn't completely pointless. It seems like he can gain a lot of items from this quest for sure.

 

        “Then another question… who is the Demon King?”

 

        Deku flinches at the mention of the name. It's a name it hasn't heard in a long time and it's unsure how it should best approach this question.

 

        "The Demon King was the king of demons as his name implies. But this wasn't a name he gave himself. A few groups of monsters named him that. Long before this, the monsters in the Midoriya Forest would fight for dominance or territory all the time, until the Demon King showed up and made everyone yield to his command. In order to appease the Demon King, monsters gave up their territory in exchange for safety. Over time, the Demon King expanded his territory and covered most of the forest."

 

        “Hmmmm,” Katsuki hums before a smirk tugs at the corner of his lips. Interesting. He looks forward planning his heist. Turning back to his slug, he announces, “I will go to Midoriya Forest.”

 

        “Eh?” Deku exclaims weakly. It doesn't know if it should feel worried or elated. History... may repeat itself. There's so much that Katsuki doesn't know about itself and the Demon King. And that at the back of its mind, Deku is sure that Katsuki's feelings have remained the same...

 

        Maybe, just maybe, it's a good time for it to go home...

 

        “I’m gonna go hunt for monsters in the Midoriya Forest. Gonna find some items and maybe… I may find that Demon King as well.” With excitement, Katsuki increases his speed but comes to an abrupt halt when Deku speaks up.

 

        “But there’s no Demon King at that forest anymore, Kacchan.”

 

        “What do you mean?” Katsuki turns his head to look at Deku with a frown. “Not anymore?”

 

        Deku seems tense as it continues, “lots of things happened. Even though the portion of the Midoriya Forest under the Demon King's jurisdiction remained peaceful, humans still found him dangerous and sent a Sorcerer to take him down."

 

        “What? Don’t tell me that the Demon King got his ass kicked by one single Sorcerer… does he suck that bad?”

 

        Deku's face falls a bit. "It's not as simple as that, Kacchan. The humans exploited the trust of the Demon King, the Sorcerer lived in the Demon's King domain under the guise of studying plants for medicinal purposes... They lived together for a long time, and the Demon King fell in love."

 

       Katsuki is speechless. His annoyance from earlier has faded to nothingness. He can only guess what happened next.

 

        However, somewhere in his brain, he wonders why Deku is privy to such information. And the way it has retold the story... it's as if it lived it. Or is this part of the special quest? In any case, Katsuki still hasn't figured out what he's supposed to do.

 

        "The Demon King was too powerful to be killed. Thus, the Sorcerer sealed him within something before he took him out of the Midoriya Forest and left him with others who would keep him... Everything happened without others knowing. The Forest is still peaceful because of the army the Demon King left behind. It's stayed like this for hundreds of years."

 

        "What the fuck?" Moodily, Katsuki curses as what Deku retold gave him no starting point at all. "Sealed? How the fuck can I find him then?!" At this point, Katsuki suspects that Deku is clueless as well. But he's wrong; Deku knows everything that happened to the Demon King.

 

 

. . . . .

 

 

 

        Eventually, pushed by the desires of Katsuki, Deku leads him to the Midoriya Forest. This, coincidentally, is in accordance with Deku's secret will as well.

        How nostalgic it is…

        Deku looks around in excitement and introduces many things to Katsuki as they traverse the forest. Katsuki is likewise excited to collect a variety of new items.

 

        Just as he thought, a heaven for collectors! His inventory space is running out!

 

        The two explore the dense forest for quite a while before they finally stand before the Demon King’s castle. It is a castle that is not much tall but very much wide. Katsuki notices that the tallest tower is only about 5 floors tall.

 

        As they enter the castle, he hears a noise from his notification pop-up. He leaves Deku on a fountain before he reads the message.

 

 

     Demon King of the Midoriya Forest

 

 

– The great Demon King, in his suffering, counts down to the time when he will be released from the curse of his deal. The unshakable feelings will seek their return. The love will remain firm and last forever. -

 

        Katsuki reads the confusing description of his quest and tries to understand it. So all he has to do is find the way to release the Demon King. But he doesn’t know where the Demon King is located. And if the eternal love refers to the Demon King’s devotion to the Sorcerer, Katsuki is completely astounded. How can the Demon King still love him? If it had been him, as soon as he was released he would hunt down the descendants of that Master Sorcerer and wipe them out.

 

        Well, if he is the Demon King, he's expected to be evil, right?

 

 

        After musing, Katsuki notices that there is another message This time, the alert is from his summon's menu. He opens it up and sees that there is a upgrade that involved some kind of evolution.

 

       

        Deku, in its slug form, is on the first frame. Next to it is a humanoid figure covered with a dark filter. Wait, humanoid?!

 

        Katsuki moves his face closer to the screen and squints. Could this really be true? The following slot does indeed show the shape of a person bigger in stature compared to Katsuki. It has green curly hair like tree roots and a pair of horns jutting out from its head which finish in a curl to the back. Its eyes glow like emeralds and stand out from the silhouette.

 

        Overall, it does have a pretty evil appearance... and said evil appearance is emphasised by its name at the bottom... "Demon King".

        What stunned him earlier is nothing compared to this - his jaw hangs from complete shock as colourful curse words flood his brain. Its status bars! Every single one of them is marked with a (?), which indicates that they've already passed their maximum levels!

 

 

      What the hell did I summon! What the fuck has been with me all this time?!

 

 

        Taking deep breaths, he tries to calm down. The Demon King's status itself is marked with (???), indicating its immeasurable power.

 

        His eyes flit between the status menu and the slug, which is still swimming in the fountain without a care in the world. He wants to scream so badly.

 

        Breathing deeply, he attempts to collect himself. At this moment, the last thing he wants is to be near Deku. He doesn't know how to act around it at all.

 

        Suddenly, a noise cuts through the silence. A gigantic monster appears before them, teeth barred and an ugly snarl stretched across its face.

 

       Perhaps it's instinct that have developed from prolonged periods of protecting the slug, but Katsuki finds himself darting forward to fish up his summon. Held against his chest, Deku... sees the status menu that is still on display.


        Its master knows the truth.

       

        As his attention is focused on the gigantic monster, Katsuki fails to notice that Deku knows what he knows. But it isn't the time for this; the truth can be addressed later. Deku shifts its attention to the monster in front of them, and realises that this particular species is not under its authority. Is it attempting to take over the castle? Given that there is only one of them, it is likely to be a scout. And Deku knows it isn't very strong.

 

. . . . .

 

        The fight doesn't last long. Perhaps it's because Deku already knows the strength and weaknesses of the monster, or that Katsuki is way above its level.

       

        And this brings them back to the awkward situation between them.

 

        Katsuki contemplates about dropping the damn lying leech on the floor right then, but decides against it. He holds it tightly in his palm and jabs at his summon's status menu, as if demanding Deku to explain.

 

        Deku, or the exposed Demon King, seems speechless for a moment.

        

        "Well, it's like... what you saw." Deku is lost for words since the truth is laid out, clear as day.

 

        Groaning, Katsuki throws Deku onto the ground and plops himself down with his back facing the latter.



        "How the fuck?" Katsuki questions. Is this even possible? Can there be a secret storyline that forces a player to do a random roll that results in summoning a Secret Boss as their pet?

        Even though it seems like a blessing in disguise, it still irritates him to hell and back!

       

        And if he completes this special chapter, the summoned Demon King may disappear and he has to make another roll for a new in-game summon… HELL NO!

 

        Katsuki lets out a small sigh before turning to his summon. “So how can we fix your shitty curse?

 

        "Kacchan, you have to perform a spell..." Deku explains as it struggles to climb onto its master's lap. "There are a few steps, but nothing too complicated for Kacchan."

 

        After hearing that vague instruction, Katsuki figures that the best way to do it would be to find some herbs known for lifting curses, throw them AND Deku in the boiling cauldron and see what happens!

 

 

. . . . .

 

 

 

        Despite his brilliant plan, Katsuki does not end up executing it. He finds all the ingredients that Deku lists out for the counter curse. After which, he draws a magic circle as per Deku's instructions and notes down the required chanting on a piece of paper.

 

        He places Deku in the middle of the circle and starts to chant. The circle starts to glow and suddenly, the powder scatters everywhere like a sandstorm, obscuring his vision.

 

 

 

        Not too long after, the sandstorm subsides and what remains is a pile of white powder. And the slug is gone.

        The empty space where the slug used to be is what Katsuki notices first. Before he can stew in his confusion, he feels a hug from behind him. One arm wraps around his form while the other covers his mouth and held his head in place so that he can't turn around.

 

 

        “Thank you, Kacchan…”

 

 

        A voice said to Katsuki. That name, he is sure that there is only one thing in this world that calls him that. Its voice is also so familiar to him, except that it’s no longer adolescent-sounding. He knows what stands behind him, but should he refer to that person as it or him?

 

        His gaze flits downwards, and he sees that the arms that hold him are unmistakably humanoid despite the black scales running down their length and fingers that resemble dragon claws.

 

        "Let me go." Katsuki demands and Deku releases him without complaint. He quickly moves away from the stranger (?) and inspects him with wary eyes. He resembles his silhouette in every way except that his eyes do not glow.

 

 

 

 

        And for the strangest reason, he's smirking.

 

        Katsuki checks his quest menu and realises that his quest is marked as complete. The status menu of his summon has not disappeared as well... instead, the clear form of the Demon King glows on his screen.

      

        “I’m not going anywhere, Kacchan,” the Demon King says with childish enthusiasm. “Let’s go on an adventure!”

 

        Katsuki is at a loss for words. Does it count... as cheating? If he has the Demon King as his companion? He is sure that even if they were to go to a high-levelled monster nest to fight, Deku would surely knock them out with one hit. Katsuki is starting to think that he is the one that needs protecting in this arrangement.

 

        Katsuki taps on the button that will hopefully give him more information on his new situation. After reading it, he feels a little better as his new arrangement does not give him any advantage in PVP situations (which means he can still refine his skills!) and since others have gotten this quest as well, it is not like the game favoured him out of everyone else. It's just convenient that he doesn't have to worry anymore when it comes to fighting the game's AI monsters. The ease in which he clears dungeons initially unsettles him, but he finds himself steadily happier as his companion wipes out map after map on his behalf.

 

 

. . . . .

 

 

 

        With time, Katsuki begins to enjoy himself and having his summon journeying with him. At times, Deku would revert back to his slug form and sit on Katsuki's shoulder just like old times. He still calls him "Deku", while the latter continues calling Katsuki "Kacchan".


        Unbeknownst to him, Katsuki did not finish the quest and therefore the full truth did not reveal itself.

 

 

 

 

       The Demon King Midoriya Izuku stares at his master's back and he pushes forward, foraging the forest for rewards. This is the very image Izuku has longed for all this while... and it brings up an image from a long time ago. The Sorcerer, the man he gave his heart to, and the man who sealed Izuku away with tears streaming down his face.

 

 

        You were the one who created a seal that could not be broken except by the hand in which that cast it.

 

        At that time, nobody would have suspected that the Demon King would break out of his seal as the caster would naturally die a few decades after. Even though the Sorcerer loved him, a duty was a duty.

        The Sorcerer never would have thought that after hundred years, he would reincarnate and release the Demon King unknowingly. And he would remain blissfully unaware that the Demon King himself also placed a curse on the Sorcerer before he was successful sealed away.



                        A curse for both of them to fall in love like they had before.

 

 

 

 

And this time, I won’t let you betray me ever again.

 

 

 

 

End.