Power Punch - Chapter 15

Published at 23rd of December 2022 05:28:18 AM

Chapter 15

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“Zen?” Daria whispers in disbelief as she shakes out of her stupor, making me twist my face into unpleasant frown.

“Helia.” I say firmly, glancing at Catherine sitting by my side who is catching her breath after a long, joyful laugh that left her gasping for air. “I’m… in the same camp as Catherine. It’s only worse in my case, so I’d appreciate if you called me Helia.” I say, hoping they will catch the meaning and I won’t need to explain.

Daria blinks a few times and shakes her head. “Okay, Z- Helia. You’re… trans then?” I nod my head. “That’s… a lot to process, but I get the gist. I’m happy for you to discover that. Sorry if I slip up somewhere, it might take some time to get used to.” I nod once again, this time in understanding.

“Oh, okay…” Crimson says kinda absentmindedly. “Well, that explains a lot. You’re the only normal remaining then?” He looks at Daria with a wry smile.

“I guess? Not like I’m fully normal…” The spirit muses in response and we lapse into momentary silence until she looks sharply at the Wolfkin at my side. “Catherine, you did know about it.”

“Uh, I only knew she’s trans, I’m seeing her for the first time.” She defends herself quickly. “I asked her some time ago and she confirmed it, but asked not to spread it, right?” She looks at me almost pleadingly.

“Yep, I did, I wanted some more time, and I also wanted to give you a surprise.” I explain with a grin. “Anyway, any info from Robert?” I ask, attempting to clear the atmosphere.

“Uh, last time I asked he was setting out to Riverside from Tavensville, so best case scenario he’ll be here at night.” Crimson replies quickly.

“Okay, so we don’t wait for him.” I nod. “So, what do you think about the game?” I ask with a smile.

“It’s fantastic!” Catherine almost shouts enthusiastically while throwing her arms up, startling me. “I get to feel everything here! Even my ears and tail, and it’s fantastic. I have worse dysphoria than before, but it’s just so~ much better playing VOW than any other game I might just get addicted.”

“Tell me about it.” I snort. “Would you mind if I felt it too?” I look at her with a teasing smile.

“Huh?” She blinks cutely, then swishes her tail quickly to her other side and pulls away a bit with scrunched face. “No! It’s…” She gets red on her face very quickly for some reason. “It’s very sensitive, I’d rather not…”

Oh, so it’s the sensitive tail type? Or maybe even erogenous close to the base? Quite similar to mine, probably, though if I had to guess mine would be even more sensitive. Not like I’ll be checking any of that now, it would be rude.

“Well, alright.” I fake a bit of disappointment, and the rest of it is real. “By the way, why the cutie? I thought you would play as usual?”

“Um.” She averts her eyes and her ears drop a bit to the sides in embarrassment. Wow, even this is just like I expected. “Um, I… always wanted to play like that. I just thought it would be better to make my character closer to my body out of the game so I won’t have problems with coordination and all that, but now I decided to go all in since it’s full immersion. I just... wanted to exerience it.”

“Oh, okay.” I giggle. “Can’t say I don’t like it. You look just like a cute, little, silly wolf would.”

“H-hey!” She covers her mouth with her tail once again.

“See? Our hot chick disappeared. Poof. Gone. We got a cute wolf instead.” I sip my drink, gesturing with my left hand and looking at Daria with raised eyebrows, eliciting a giggle from her and a chuckle from Crimson.

“Anyway, what about you two?” I ask.

“Nothing special for me, if you’re asking about my experiences.” Crimson answers first, lacking a bit of his usual enthusiasm, likely having been put off by my appearance. “It’s sometimes disorienting that I’m much slimmer and a bit taller than I am normally, but, apart from that, so good so far. Nothing to complain about at least, and nothing to write home about. Though fighting is nice.” I nod at his explanation and turn to Daria with questioning look.

“Weeell…” Daria stretches out the word. “It’s… strange. To be honest, it took me half an hour to even learn how to move properly. It’s like… learning how to move another limb you didn’t know you have. But now it’s really fun! I can do a lot of things with my body now, I can float, I can pass through things.” She explains with a faint, but happy smile. “It gives me a lot of freedom, you know? It’s strange at times, but I really like it.”

“I see, I can somewhat relate to that with my wings. What about magic? Did you get to it yet?” I ask.

“A bit, but as of now I’m just testing things, learning how things work. Good magic will come later, I have barely managed to construct a few small spells up to now.” She shrugs. “What about your wings, by the way? You had them a moment earlier, right?”

“Yeah, I can retract them. They’re great.” I smile, answering without hesitation. “It’s been a bit weird at first, but it’s a great feeling, and they help a lot. Tail as well. I haven’t got to round flying yet because I need to find a good place to practice taking off and landing safely. I wouldn’t want to plant face-first into the ground when trying to land.” I smile wryly as I extend my tail and wave it above the table.

“Oh, right.” Daria nods. Then looks at me with a frown. “Um, speaking of tail, are you a… succubus?”

“No, not really." I giggle at the underlying meaning. "My race is called Star Demoness, and it’s a derivative of Succubi that didn’t choose path of lust, but learned to fight. I look similar to Succubi, but I have no abilities like… you would expect, at least as of yet.” I look at her with a smirk.

"The clothes would suggest a succubus though..." I hear Crimson saying and I raise an eyebrow at him, and I see him getting red on his cheeks and looking away, trying not to smile.

"Seriously though." Catheriene asks and I turn to her. "This dress is... revealing. Are you not... uncomfortable with that?"

I wiggle my eyebrows and lean back, raising my arms and stretching them, distinctly aware how this makes my chest rise. "Do I look like I should cover myself more? I'm rather... proud of my body." I say with a smirk, all this time looking her into the eyes and seeing them starting to swim, and by the end she blushes and hides her face behind her tail. I glance at Crimson and Daria and they both look at with eyes wide open as if they saw an alien and I grin at them, making them both avert their eyes as it hits them that they are staring at a hot girl.

"In exchange for lack of more lewd abilities." I go back to the previous topic unfazed. "I have a lot of combat strength. I wouldn’t be surprised if I was the strongest person in this room right now, at least in terms of pure power."

“That much!?” Crimson’s head snaps in my direction, previous topics thrown out of the window, and he looks at me with eyes wide open with shock and a hint jealousy. “They said demons are very strong, but surely not that much?”

“Surely that much. It feels this way at least, unless my magic sight thinks I’m some hot shit I’m not.” I shrug with unconcerned expression. “But everyone here feels weaker than me when I look at them.”

“Oookay…” Daria stretches out the word, thinking about something. “Well, anyway, we won’t be fighting there, so don’t bother with it.”

“Mhm, not like I would mind some idiots challenging me. I love how I can move in this body, and I can’t get enough of it and I’m itching for a good fight.” I grin, earning a judging look from Daria, and see Catherine perking up, but I ignore her. “Speaking of it, what’s are we doing now? Do you have anything planned?” I take a sip of my drink, looking at the trio with raised eyebrows. “I can do just about anything now, but I wouldn’t mind some exercise in the forest.”

“What about your girlfriend? I thought you- Oow! You’ll be together…” Catherine asks, prompting exactly two questioning looks at me, and finishes her question in a weak voice, looking at me with accusation in her eyes and holding top of her head after I smack it, strong enough to be painful apparently, and look at her with a dangerous smile.

“First off, she’s not my girlfriend, at least yet, second, I don’t remember telling you anything about her, and third of all, nope, she needed to log out and will be back tomorrow.” I say with raised eyebrows, challenging her to ask another question, and as she remains quiet I focus back on my drink. “That’s why I’m free today and I’m open for suggestions.”

I don’t let her see how my chest feels heavy at the thought of spending third of my time in VOW without Levia. It’s just… so painful, despite the fact it shouldn’t be, I know she will be back, but it just feels so empty here without her.

I try to put my longing aside for now and focus back on the conversation, but I succeed only partly and can’t stop thinking about it in some corner of my mind.

“You didn’t need to hit me for- Eeek! Sorry! I won’t do it again!” Catherine begins in slightly teary voice and backs off quickly with an unreconciled apology when I raise my arm and begin to move it towards her head without even looking at her.

“Absolutely no remorse.” I comment in low voice with narrowed eyes, lowering my arm, but quickly drop the act and look back at Daria. “And you tell me she’s not cute, hm? Anyway, plans? Actually, what have you three been doing up to now?”

“Various things.” She shrugs in response. “Mostly requests from Hunter’s Guild, apart from that training and enjoying the game. As for our plans, nothing in particular. We initially wanted to wait for you and then do some request in the forest, or go by ourselves if you didn’t show up.”

“We can go to the Guild and look at the board, there should be some requests remaining.” Catherine supplies, having recovered from my treatment.

“Sure, I don’t mind. I’d assume there’s little traffic now?” I ask, finishing my drink and still feeling nothing from it, not even a sign of being lightheaded or dizzy. Likely something to do with being a Demon.

“Kinda.” Daria nods, also downing her drink, only now despite the fact she began drinking much earlier. “Mostly there are hunters sitting there waiting for a good request or guild calls. Though in the mornings there isn't much more people since there are few free hunters and much more trained by the Guild.”

“Mhm. How the hell are you drinking it, by the way?” I narrow my eyes at the glass suspiciously.

“What?” She looks at me without understanding, then follows my gaze and giggles in amusement. “Oh, that. I’m right now materialized, functionally identical to a human. My body is very weak though, and every sense is dulled, so you'd need pure alcohol to make me feel something.”

“Oh, neat. Maybe I'll try."

Around five minutes later, after some small talk and having finished all the drinks, we walk into the Guild with Catherine in happier mood than she should be in. Seems to be a problem with alcohol tolerance, because she didn’t get even one mug of diluted beer and she’s already higher than normal.

Anyway, we enter through a door on the side of the inn I missed at first, I needing to retract my wings once again for a while since it is pretty narrow. In hindsight I should have realized there would be a door somewhere here since it makes perfect sense for two buildings for hunters side by side to be connected, but well.

The inside of the building looks almost like I expected, built out of gray stone bricks and rather spacious, though smaller than the inn, and well-lit with some magic. On one side, our left, there are three counters labeled with various signs, currently all empty save for the general one manned by a bored-looking receptionist. To the side of those there are wide stone stairs leading to higher floors, most likely for the staff.

On another side of the room there is the main door, and opposite to us there are a few boards on the wall with parchments, papers and plates in various states strewn around irregularly.

The middle of the room is mostly unoccupied, offering a lot of free space, and there are only a few wooden tables by the wall the door we came through is in. Currently most of them are empty, there are only two where people looking like veteran adventurers sit, and one with a noble-looking bunch seated around.

All the people glance in our direction as we enter and head in the direction of the boards, but only the unpleasant group pays us more attention than necessary. I hope they won't be doing anything. Would be a shame to kill them.

We ignore them though and soon I’m looking at the board labeled ‘Requests’ curiously. There are just a few requests, all of them being for some specific parts of a monster, like five or more wolf brains or Beisvart’s claws. If I had to guess, they would probably be the requests that most hunters are too lazy or too weak to do, hence they remain here.

“Wolf brains will do, hm?” Daria asks after a moment, looking at each of us with raised eyebrows.

“Will do.” Crimson answers as we all shrug.

“By the way, Helia?” The spirit looks at me.

“Hm?” I turn to her with raised eyebrows.

"Do you know about free hunters and normal hunters?" She asks.

"Yep, I do." I nod. This was mentioned in the overview we read before the release. To put it shortly, normal hunters train, live and work under the Guild while free hunters are just those who complete the request for the Guild. They don't receive training and other things and don't get many benefits normal hunters do, but instead they have much more freedom and no obligations to the Guild. They are more like the adventurers you would imagine thinking of fantasy novels.

“Good. We're free hunters, and these boards are only for them. There are personal requests from people, guild calls which are issued mostly during emergencies, designated requests for specific person and general demands that run perpetually. Normally you choose only from requests, and calls and designated requests are of highest priority you need a reason to decline. Any questions about that?” She explains quickly, pointing at four different boards with four different labels. A simple enough system.

“Nope, I don’t think so. Do I need to register or something?” I shake my head after a while and and ask her my own question.

“No, not really.” She waves off. “You just need to have a leader who is registered and without registration you are just external helper. Would you like to register?”

“Nay, not now. Are we taking this request?”

“Sure.” Daria tears off the paper. “Lemme get it checked in and we can go. Do you have everything ready?” She looks at me and frowns. “Actually, do you have anything ready?”

“Yes and no. I don’t really need anything.” I say with a shrug. “I don’t need to eat, benefit of a Demon, I don’t need potions or anything of the sort, and my weapon is my body.”

“Okay…” Daria nods with a small frown and walks off to the counter, leaving us for a moment.


“Say, Helia, your… magic sight, how far you can see with it?” Daria asks as we sit in silence.

“Depends what you’re asking about.” I look at the line of magic in the sky visible between the trees on a small clearing we are on. “Technically it’s unlimited, at least I think so, but works only for sight. If it’s blocked by something, I can see only around fifteen meters in each direction.”

“Oh, okay, so won’t help with looking for monsters… What are you looking at?” She glances at me with mild disappointment and asks, trying to follow my gaze.

I smile in response, looking at her in the corner of my eye. “At the magic that keeps islands in place.”


“Yep, that’s how far I can see. Don’t ask me to explain it though, I have absolutely no idea how it works.” I shrug.

“Oh, a pity.” She turns back to her meal.

After Daria checked in our request we went out of the Guild and into the forest without dawdling around too much. We are right now on a clearing in the forest a few kilometers away from Riverside, currently resting a bit. We are hoping to find five wolves today, but it’s already well past afternoon and chances of that look dimmer and dimmer like the sun above horizon.

We are planning to make a circle and go back to Riverside in roundabout manner, which in shortest scenario should take us enough time to end back in town around sunset. I guess you could say we shouldn’t go out so late since we have very little time this way, but I’d rather do that than sit in the bar and brood over my problems and we all agreed we can go for some warm-up before going on a full blown adventure tomorrow.

“By the way, I wanted to ask before, how high your stats are and what affinities do you have?” I ask curiously. “I rolled random and got both high above average, but I have nothing to compare it with.”

“I have most stats either far above or far below average.” Catherine says with what is probably supposed to be a somewhat proud smile, but comes out more as a silly one. “I excel in Speed, Focus and Channeling though. And my affinity is Tier 3 Moonlight, apparently more specialized Light.”

“I’m also like that, though being a spirit makes it a bit different.” Daria says. “I have everything physical below average, and everything soul-related above it, especially Control. And I have four basic elemental affinities at Tier 2.”

“Yep, and I have everything close to average, more of an all-rounder.” Crimson finishes. “And affinities Blood at Tier 3 and Shadow at Tier 2.”


I process what they just told me and I have only one answer to that.

I am fucking overpowered, and much more than I initially thought. The way I see it, my weakest stats are on the level of their strong points, which is ridiculous in itself, but two affinities of Tier 8 and 9 also speak for themselves.

And… I am suddenly hesitant to tell all that to them, because I realize it might be much more of a deal than I initially thought.

“Helia? What is it? You’ve gone quiet suddenly.” Daria asks, concern in her voice.

“Huh? Oh, it’s nothing, I just got lost in thought a bit.” I wave her off, regaining my composure. “I have very high Strength, Endurance and Constitution, plus Energy and Stellar Flame affinities. Stellar Flame is from demonic energy by the way, unique to Demons. The way I see, I sit on the frontline with Crimson, Daria is in the back and Catherine protects her and attacks from blind spots. How have you been doing it up to now?”

“The same as you said, minus you. I don’t mind doing as you say, if there are any problems we’ll fix them on the run.” Daria says after exchanging glances with others.

“Sure.” I nod. “Hope there won’t be.”

LilRora Okay, so, it might be a bit confusing here how the Guild works because I don't go into detail in the story, so I'd like to explain it here so you won't have too large misconceptions. If you have read Throne of Monsters, another story I posted earlier, then the general idea is similar to what was described there.

Tis not a spoiler, tis to make it small.


There are the normal hunters that get training, are given money and place to live in the Guild's barracks (or something like that) and from time to time go on missions. They are the core of Hunter's Guild and their activities are heavily regulated, for example they can't fight monsters freely, but they train daily in their squads and occasionally go out if higher-ups assign them a mission. Then there are free hunters who get nothing from the Guild, but can complete requests people make. They also have permission to go in and out of cities and towns freely, unlike ordinary citizens that need proper reason and proof of strength (or escorts) since the forests are deadly for them.

There are more details to that system, and I might explain it somewhere later on, but that's the gist. And just to be clear, the main reason I'm writing it is for you not to think that the system works like in some isekais and other where you get twenty adventurers in each collection of shacks who scramble for requests posted every morning like fresh meatbuns.

Here it's much less free and better controlled on top of both hunters and requests being scarcer (or, actually, more like rare, something around 5 hunters for each 100 people, and most of them the normal hunters and not free hunters).


And here we are with the guys and girls. We're jumping into one of the main themes of the story in the next chapter. I wonder, will there be problems? Hehe.

Please report us if you find any errors so we can fix it asap!