Chapter 1: Make Your Choice, Youth
“Implode reality, pulverize thy spirit. By banishing this world, comply with the blood pact, I will summon forth thee, O’ young Demon King!”
At a park during sunset, a childlike, handsome youth placed his left hand on his chest, while his right hand was stretched out with his fingers wide open, as though he was about to release something amazing from his palm. He looked serious and solemn. His eyes were as bright as the stars, reflecting a shadow in them. It was like it encompassed the darkness of the entire world.
“Big Brother, who are you?”
Standing opposite the youth was a fat, little boy at about the age of five. At this moment, he was hugging a soccer ball. He was covered in dirt and, as he spoke, snot hung so low down from his nose that it was just short of flowing into his mouth.
The youth roared out loudly thrice. As he flipped his right hand, he retracted it back and covered his face, immediately covering half of his face and one eye.
Then he said with a cold voice, “Who am I? I’ve been called the fairy of towering mountains, the father of the sun, the ancient heroic spirit, the soul of animals, a deity, a ghost, and a little green hulk. Then, I was called God, Demon, Fey, Alien, Extraterrestrial Biological Being, Lepton, and Quark. My titles are constantly changing, but my name has only been one!”
“That’s right! I am the Master of Fate, an Emissary of Justice, a Hero who will save the world—Shi Xiaobai1!”
Upon saying that, the corner of Shi Xiaobai’s lips curled up as he guffawed loudly once again.
Little Fatso sniffed forcefully as his snot flowed back up into his nose. His eyes lit up. “So Big Brother is a hero! Mommy said that heroes can defeat calamity fiends and protect everyone from disasters. Can Big Brother do that too?”
Shi Xiaobai crossed his arms and nodded, saying, “Of course. There is no demon from the alternate worlds that cannot be finished in one punch by me, Shi Xiaobai. If one punch isn’t enough, then two punches would do! This ruined world shall be saved by me, Shi Xiaobai! As for you, young Demon King, you will be my servant from today onwards. You will expel the darkness in this world, breaking the shackles of destiny, and become an eternal hero by following me!”
“Can… Can I do that as well?” Little Fatso was immediately thrilled as he wiped his leaking nose once again with the back of his hand.
“You have already signed a blood contract with me. As a servant of a king, you will obtain a hundred millionth of my energy. With this energy, you will be able to overcome and defeat all calamity fiends! Laugh out loud and be excited, young Demon King. Your fate has already been completely overturned by me!” Shi Xiaobai pointed at the little fatty and his eyes shone like the burning sun.
“Big Brother, can I really… defeat calamity fiends and protect Mommy?” Little Fatso wiped his hand that was covered in snot on his clothes on his back while his eyes were full of anticipation.
“That’s right. The Demon King soul that has slumbered in your body for thousands of years has been awoken by me, Shi Xiaobai. You will possess the power to protect everything! I shall now declare that, henceforth from today, you will be my Xiaobai Hero Squad’s second member!” Shi Xiaobai said it extremely earnestly with a solemn expression.
“Woo!” Little Fatso cheered. He began running around in the garden with the soccer ball. Suddenly, with an excited leap, he jumped into a sandpit and threw the soccer ball up. He then laughed out with his arms akimbo as he said, “I’m a hero. I can defeat all calamity fiends. Mommy will buy me a mountain of snacks. Little Rat will no longer call me Little Fatso. Little Lei will definitely be willing to be my girlfriend. Wahaha…”
The dusk had dyed the land in a warm layer of pale red. In the small park with only the two of them remaining, Little Fatso was jumping and cheering in the sandpit, while the youth not far away revealed a contented smile on his face.
“Xiaobai Hero Squad has finally welcomed its second member. A small step for me, Shi Xiaobai, today, a giant leap for the world.”
Shi Xiaobai clutched his fist to his chest as his eyes flickered like blazing torches while staring far away into the setting sun.
Suddenly, a clear and crisp growl came from his stomach. Shi Xiaobai’s handsome face scrunched up as he sighed, saying, “So hungry. So in this ruined world, I, Shi Xiaobai, only have a mortal’s body.”
Shi Xiaobai was not a person from this world. He came from another world and, to put it simply, he had crossed worlds.
Before crossing over, he held a Seven Star Holy Sword in his hand while wearing Gold Dragonscale Armor. He stood on a Ten Thousand Tribulation Qilin, and he was battling the ultimate Great Demon God that was devouring the world. He remembered that, at his final moment, he had consumed his life force in a burning flame, issuing ‘Excalibur’, immediately causing widespread destruction. The Demon God was annihilated. But at the same time, he was completely exhausted, resulting in him dying—in a game.
When Shi Xiaobai thought of this, he sighed. “What I, Shi Xiaobai, was playing was not a game, but life.”
While playing a game, he had crossed over to this world, and it had already been two days. In these two days, Shi Xiaobai wandered around everywhere. He was unable to clarify his identity in this world, but he slowly understood the composition of this alternate world.
This world was actually very familiar, but it was also quite alien. The scientific and technological culture shared many similarities with 21st century Earth. It also had cars, televisions and computers… However, the entertainment culture was completely different. News reports of Heroes and calamity fiends were being broadcast every day. The broadcasted were all a variety of cool and dazzling battles.
Furthermore, according to Shi Xiaobai’s understanding, the people of this world could cultivate their Psionic Powers, and they were known as Psionites. And the battles broadcasted on television were all footage of real fighting scenes. Those fighting scenes were even more spectacular than the fantasy films from Earth.
However, when humans gained power, it similarly gave rise to many problems, such as criminals and terrorist organizations that constantly emerged in great numbers. The international situation was also extremely serious, with hidden conflicts between countries.
And the greatest danger in this world was the constant emergence of extraterrestrial biological organisms. There were Astral Calamity Beasts from the stars or extraterrestrial beings that would suddenly visit the planet. And finally, the most terrifying calamity fiends from other worlds.
Calamity fiends came from a different dimension, but they could break through the dimension of space into the human world at anytime. Maybe you might be in the bathroom, and a spatial dimension rift opens up in the toilet suddenly. The calamity fiend would come out through that, eviscerating you. Of course, the chances of a calamity fiend appearing were not high. So if one had the misfortune of meeting one, one could only blame it on one’s own bad luck.
But even so, this world was still fraught with danger, evil and death. Then, there were certainly some entities that would address these dangers and defeat all sorts of evil, saving those whose lives were in danger.
This entity was called—Hero.
The word Hero was not a mere title or honor bestowed on them. It was a global organization, a profession that was recognized and respected by the public. It was a symbol of the strong as well as a representation of the brave. Heroes would defeat calamity fiends, saving humanity and protecting Earth. This was a consensus of all people.
“Although I, Shi Xiaobai, am just a frail mortal now, there will be one day when I will become a powerful Psionite, leading the Xiaobai Hero Squad to save the world. All of this is already a choice made by the Gate of the Destiny Stone!”
Shi Xiaobai grinned. Although his stomach was growling with hunger, his eyes were filled with dreams of the future.
Suddenly, his pupils contracted violently in an abrupt way as his breathing involuntarily stopped. This was because he saw a black rift appear about one meter above the sandpit. The rift enlarged almost instantly, becoming a black hole the size of a window.
A blackish-purple head extended out of the black hole.
Shi Xiaobai immediately recalled the descriptions mentioned by passers-by—a calamity fiend was about to appear!
The blackish-purple head looked extremely ugly. It was bald and it had three eyes lined up in a row. A black horn protruded out of its forehead, as vertical fangs stretched out of its lower lip. Sticky black spittle constantly dripped down, burning blackened craters in the sandpit with sizzling sounds.
Little Fatso, who was playing in the sandpit, was only about 2 to 3 meters away from the calamity fiend that had stretched its head out. And the calamity fiend was using its three eyes to stare coldly and cruelly at the Little Fatso.
“Run, hurry up and run!” having not seen such a terrifying scene before, Shi Xiaobai could smell terror that originated from his very soul. His legs began to tremble, as he roared in his heart. However, it was as though his mouth was stuck with something, as not a single sound came out.
And at this moment, Little Fatso gave a terrified but excited cry.
“I’m now a Hero. I can defeat you, you Big Baldy!”
Little Fatso pointed at the calamity fiend’s head. Although his little body was trembling slightly, his voice revealed firm courage and confidence.
And when the calamity fiend heard these words, it let out a soul-crushing roar of terror.
“It’s over. He angered the calamity fiend.”
Shi Xiaobai’s vision went black as the fear in his heart magnified limitlessly, while his brain momentarily went blank.
Suddenly, he felt the entire world freeze. The scene of Little Fatso raising his hand seemed to be a still frame. The momentum of the calamity fiend crawling out of the black hole also came to a halt, as if time had frozen.
When he saw everything before his eyes stop, to the point of him not being able to move at all, as it was no longer under his control, only his consciousness remained clear, and his thoughts were still active.
“This… This isn’t an illusion? Did it… Did it really stop?”
At the instant this thought flashed across Shi Xiaobai’s mind, three rows of gigantic, black words appeared in front of his eyes, with the world as their background.[ Choice 1: Save Little Fatso (A-level reward) ] [ Choice 2: Escape (F-level reward) ] [ Choice 3: Watch by the sidelines (E-level reward) ]
At the same time, a fiery voice resounded in Shi Xiaobai’s mind. “Make your choice, youth!”
Following that, the fiery voice kept repeating in Shi Xiaobai’s head, like a looping soundtrack. It shouted again and again, “Make your choice, youth!”
And seeing the world past the three lines of black text, Little Fatso and the calamity fiend’s figures still remained motionless like ice sculptures. The leaves on a faraway tree did not move one bit, while his own body could not move at all.
“If I do not make a choice, time will remain paused at this moment.”
Shi Xiaobai slowly calmed his fear down. After making a judgement on the current situation, his eyes landed on the three lines of black text.
“Isn’t the difference between an A-level reward and F-level reward… too big? Ahem. How can I, Shi Xiaobai, be tempted by rewards?”
“I… want to save Little Fatso, and I have to save Little Fatso. If I can’t even save a child, how am I to talk about saving the world? It’s just a tiny calamity fiend, so how can I, Shi Xiaobai, be afraid of it? Tremble and be filled with despair, calamity fiend, for your end has come!”
“A-level reward, I, Shi Xiaobai, am coming for you!”
“I choose choice 1. Save Little Fatso!”
At the instant, Shi Xiaobai made his choice, the sound of wind entered his ear. And at the same time, the calamity fiend’s cruel laughter resounded. Time had begun spinning again!
“Run! Hurry up and run away from there!”
This time, Shi Xiaobai bellowed out. At the same time, he charged forward towards the sandpit. Blue veins protruded out of his handsome face and his eyes turned red, as if he had gone crazy.
Little Fatso turned around, and gave out a pleasant cry of surprise. His small eyes were filled with endless confidence and dependence.
At the same moment, the calamity fiend in the black hole had half of its body out. Two of its hands were reaching out of the black hole, but instead of saying hands, they were more like two blackish-purple sickles. The calamity fiend’s sickle-shaped right hand raised up prominently and, in the dark sunset, a cold luster flickered like a stare from Death.
Shi Xiaobai stared with widened eyes, while his desperately running body was about to reach the sandpit. He was just a tiny distance away from touching Little Fatso’s snot-flowing, rotund face if he stretched his right hand out.
Hot blood splattered in front of Shi Xiaobai, spraying onto his face and into his eyes. It dyed the entire world in the coldest color of crimson.
Through the dripping blood, he saw Little Fatso’s head fly up high in the sky as his body collapsed backwards. The neck that had been snapped was constantly spewing fresh blood. The flying rotund face looked extremely frightened from disbelief and horror, but Shi Xiaobai could see a trace of snuffed hope from those bleak eyes that lacked life.
Little Fatso’s eyes were staring at him.
“Big Brother, who are you?”
“So Big Brother is a hero! Mommy said that heroes can defeat calamity fiends and protect everyone from disasters. Can Big Brother do that too?”
“Can… Can I do it as well?”
“Big Brother, can I really… defeat demons and protect Mommy?”
“Oh yeah! I’m a hero. I can defeat all demons. Mommy will buy me a mountain of snacks. Little Rat will no longer call me Little Fatso. Little Lei will definitely agree to be my girlfriend. Wahaha…”
If despair had a color, then it would definitely be the crimson blood red at this very moment.
Shi Xiaobai’s body that was rushing forward leaped up as he stretched out his arms to grab Little Fatso’s head, before crashing into the sandpit.
“This Demon… hates… being called Big Baldy… Heh heh… ” A cold and cruel voice came from the calamity fiend. It was a hoarse and lacerating-like voice that seem to come from a saw grinding against bone.
Shi Xiaobai hugged Little Fatso’s head as he faced the calamity fiend that had fully climbed out of the black hole. His height was not even half of the calamity fiend’s. Hence, he raised his head, and at the same time, burning hot tears flowed down his cheeks.
“Tremble and be filled with despair, Big Baldy! Your end is here! I, Shi Xiaobai, shall turn you to ash with the wave of my hand,” a tearing Shi Xiaobai said through gnashed teeth, despite the extreme fear he felt in his heart.
The calamity fiend’s eyes flashed with anger and it, once again, raised its right hand like Death raising its scythe and slashed it at the youth’s neck, as though it was reaping the harvest.
Shi Xiaobai felt a pain in his neck as all his life force was drawn away instantly and his eyes went black.
“Make your choice, youth!”
A fiery voice suddenly rang in Shi Xiaobai’s mind.
“Make your choice, youth!”
This voice repeated once again as Shi Xiaobai jolted awake. When his vision returned, he saw the three familiar lines of black text floating mid-air.
And looking past the black text, he could see the scene of Little Fatso’s intact body standing there, still, while the calamity fiend was crawling out of the black hole. At this moment, only its head was protruding, and it was not moving, looking like an ice sculpture.
“Make your choice, youth!”
Author’s Note: This book’s first few chapters will be quite abusive to the main character, but the style after this will be free and easy. So to those who don’t like abuse, don’t give up because of the first few chapters. Make sure to stick with it.
- Our protagonist has a very plain name, Shi Xiaobai (石小白) in Chinese. It literally means Stone Little White. ↩