MMORPG: Rise of the Peerless Pumpkinmancer

I'm Back?!

I'm Back?!


Rebirth and new life...     


"Fuck that mad bitch!"     

Jack found himself hoarsely screaming, his arms flailing around in the darkness, his breathing in complete disarray, and his clothes sticking to his body, drenched in a cold sweat.     

Wait…awoke?! He had just died! Pain still coursed through his entire body. So much pain! Was there anything more agonizing than being torn to shreds by mutating ducks? Maybe, but it still hurt like hell!     

He could vividly picture it: their sharp fangs sinking into his soft flesh as he heard the echoes of their evil quacking. They had craved his flesh for so many years already! Now they had finally tasted it, savoring his anguish as much as his body.     

Such a worthless way to die, and it was all that mad bitch's fault! There had definitely been something off about her. Who went hiking half-naked?! No, off didn't cut it: moving with a broken neck was beyond human!     

She had pushed him down, incomprehensibly mumbling to herself about a sacrifice. Something about the greater the anguish and anger, the better the blessing. Something about the god of time.     

She grinned as she watched him fall, her glowing white eyes showing happiness at his demise. Then came the ducks, enough of them to eat a mammoth! Thus his life ended— or so he thought. But now Jack was awake.     

Where was he? What was this? Had he been rescued? No, after he failed to enter the Pantheon, who would even actively want to save him? There were plenty of other top Rankers to focus on instead. Was he dead? He'd almost expect there to be a stacked goddess reincarnating him.     

Then came a rustling sound, making him flinch.     

Whoever or whatever was coming would give him answers. There was a Click sound as a gentle glow illuminated the surroundings. It came from a small lamp in the shape of a pumpkin, one that came from his past.     

A gentle voice broke the silence. "What happened, big bro? Another nightmare?" How could it be her voice?!     

— Jack froze—     

In front of him was a perfect copy of his sister Lilly, exactly as he remembered her: at her brightest, around 16. Her cute face and long flowing dark hair were so pretty! She wasn't disfigured and bloodied like in his last memory of her. She was as beautiful and precious as she had been. She also looked so real!     

She lightly rubbed her eyes while showing a kind smile. In her purple irises, there was boundless warmth. How much had he longed to see her! How had he missed her! So fucking much!     

But she was supposed to be dead! What kind of sick bastard was playing a prank on him? Was this some purgatory-like torture, and would she disappear once more?     

He inspected the surroundings. It was their tiny room from back then:     

- Light amethyst walls, the same shade as Lilly's eyes.     

- The barely stable white nightstand with a library book on top.     

- The closet door that wouldn't close completely.     

- Their two old beds, that mysteriously could hold their weight.     

- The black curtain separating the room in two (for privacy) looking like a pirate flag.     

If Jack weren't a sinner, he'd think this was Heaven. This was the happy place his mind wandered to whenever he needed comfort. This was as good as it could get.     

Maybe, for once, he could indulge in the happiness…     

Jack dashed toward her with so much momentum that they both were sent tumbling on her bed. Of course, he made sure not to hurt her. Then he hugged her. That's all he did.     

She faintly gasped in surprise but gently embraced him in her arms, even patting his back. Jack could feel her warmth envelop him. He hugged her wordlessly as he cried. How long had it been since he had last cried?     

Seeing her once again had made him lose all composure. At that moment, he didn't care about possibly being dead. He didn't care if this was an illusion. The happiness he felt was true.     

After dying and awakening to her, he couldn't bear to walk away. She was too real! He didn't want to wake up from this dream. If a god were to try and separate them, he'd bitchslap him and kick his ass!     

This was bliss, a bliss Jack had forgotten was even possible. He closed his eyes in satisfaction as he enjoyed the moment.     

"Don't worry about that bitch. She's truly mad! As a girl, I can assure you that you're a catch. It's her loss!" She softly comforted him.     

"W-what?" Jack felt puzzled.     

"You really are! You're loyal, hardworking, smart, gentle, and kind! She has no right to look down on you for being poor! All she has is an okay face. She'll eventually become old, shriveled, her tits will look like ball sacks, and she'll die alone!" Lilly cursed happily.     

"…" She seemed to be talking about a rejection he had suffered. It had been one so insignificant that he had forgotten all about it.     

"Hey, let's eat together tomorrow after my job! It will be great!" Lilly sweetly proposed. She obviously wanted to change his mind, but yes, it would be great!     

"Sure. What's the job?" Jack smiled brightly, making her show relief.     

"I told you about it! It's the one at the VR store. They need helpers for the launch of Infinite. It pays a whopping 50 Credits for the day, can you believe it? Many friends from school will be there and…." She kept talking, but Jack missed it all.     

Infinite's launch?! Had he come back to the past?! The launch had happened on… March 21, 2132. March 21?!     

— Jack froze—     

His heart almost exploded. His stomach churned. Cold sweat began trickling down his back. He felt worse than when he had died. The room suddenly seemed so bleak, the darkness frightening.     

March 21 was the day everything started to go wrong. March 21 was the day the old man had died. March 21 would set his life up for tragedy. He thought it would be the worst day of his life back then. He had been so wrong!     

Tonight would be the precursor to tomorrow, a harbinger of the despair to come.     

-Jack felt sick—     

He knew what would come, but could he prevent it? He had to, somehow! But, how?! Tonight they would receive visitors, but not guests. They would break in unannounced and shatter their peaceful life.     

They were debt collectors. No, goons of a debt collector, Gorillas with muscles of steel and hearts of darkness. They were the embodiment of pure violence, and it was impossible to reason with them.     

If only he had a little bit more time! A debt of a few hundred thousand credits was nothing to a Ranker! He just needed more time! But, these bastards wouldn't give him any! He knew they were killing machines void of kindness.     

What could he even do?!     

Beg? It wouldn't work!     

Intimidate? They would never take him seriously, not the current him.     

Run? This was the only option. But could they?      0

He knew how this business worked. The goons would be following them around, watching. They would then use their lives to pressure the old man. The bastards would inform their boss as soon as they tried fleeing.     

Jack needed to buy enough time for his loved ones to vanish.     

—Jack would kill—     

Dead men couldn't report their activities. Their boss probably wouldn't suspect a thing either. In his eyes, a middle-aged man and two youngsters were no threat. He'd think his men lost their phone or something.     

But he hated it. They would have to run and keep running. They would become fugitives, and it would screw up Lilly's school life completely. He didn't want to, but he probably wouldn't have a choice.     

—Jack would kill both of them—     

That's when they both heard it.     

BAM! It was the sound of their front door being violently kicked open. It was the sound of the enemies invading.     

"What was that?!" Lilly frantically asked.     

She jumped in worry, stressed. She was already ready to check if everything was alright. But he stopped her.     

"Sis, stay here and let me handle this, no matter what you hear. I'll be right back. Everything will be alright, I promise." Jack reassured her, calmly smiling.     

She understood from his tone that he knew what was going on. She apprehensively nodded, clenching her fists tightly. There were now angry shouts coming from the kitchen. There was also the low pleading of the old man, trying to bring this confrontation outside.     

Jack walked as if a somnambulist. His whole body seemed weak and non-threatening as he stumbled his way toward the kitchen. This would be the most brutal fight of his life, and he would probably sustain injuries even if he took them by surprise.     

Jack finally entered the room and noticed that the entrance door had been closed.     

The old man was nervously sitting at the kitchen table, looking so frail. His once luscious black hair mane was turning gray, and he had too many wrinkles from worrying.     

There were two goons in total.     

Bad guy A was next to the old man and was showing him a diagram of all the bones they would break if he didn't repay them. For instance, they would start with a finger if he didn't pay today.     

Bad guy B was sitting on a chair a little farther away and seemed busy with his cellphone. He would grin from time to time. But, there was something weird with the situation...     

—Jack froze—     

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