Howl of Time

4. Level Up?

I gasped as I clawed at my throat and pounded on my chest trying to breath. Finally after a few seconds my body responded and cool air filled my lungs. Opening my eyes I found myself in a place that was filled with memories. My old room. The bed I slept on, the desk I did homework at, posters lined the walls from various rock bands that I liked growing up.

(It seems I made it back safely. Judging from my room, Id say I made it back to my teenage days.)

I stood up and was barely able to keep myself upright as my legs felt wobbly. I looked at the computer on my desk and approached it.

(I really need to know what date it is. Shit… what was my password back then?) I touched the key pad and the computer woke up from its rest mode. I typed in my old passwords and got it to unlock on the 3rd try.

”Lets see… April 3, 2056. hmm… ” Thats means Im 17 again and will be 18 in a few months. ”The apocalypse began on spring break in 2058.. So I have about 2 years to accomplish my goals. ”

I had a laundry list of things to do before then. some of those things being nearly impossible with such limited time. ”I really was hoping I could go back to my childhood, there was several things I wanted to correct. Like that time in 3rd grade I peed my pants and got laughed at, or that time in 8th grade I confessed my love for my math teacher, Ms. Robinson and was made fun of by the entire class. ”Oh well, beggars cant be choosers. ”

I needed to get settled in before making any moves. And.. most of all, I needed to spend time with my family, who I hadn seen for nearly a century.

I got dressed and prepared to leave my room to eat breakfast. I could smell my moms cooking from my room and it almost brought me to tears. I opened the door to my room and slowly walked through the home i hadn seen in for so long. Everything I saw left me nostalgic as I walked along the hall that led to our dining room. Photos of our family lined the walls, awards my brothers and I had achieved lined the shelves, all of it. I missed it so much I could die happy at this moment.

I entered the dining room and found my father and brothers sitting at the table eating while my mother brought in dishes filled with breakfast foods. I stood still and just looked at them in awe. But that moment was ruined by my brother Cleo. ”Got a staring problem chump? ” My eye twitched at his remark. (You bastard, dont you how much I missed you.) I was half tempted to pull his underwear up to his chin in retaliation just like old times but I could only answer weakly, ”No. ” before sitting down.

My father moved his eyes off the morning news and observed me for a moment before asking, ”Are you ok, Jason? You seem out of it this morning. ” He looked at me with worry in his eyes. I really wanted to just let go of all my emotions and tell him everything, but I knew I couldnt. Who would believe it? I certainly wouldn . ”Im fine dad. Just still a little sleepy. ”

He looked like he understood by nodding his head and continuing to watch the news on his communicator.

My youngest brother, Shawn, completey unfazed by his surroundings, continued munching on strips of bacon and piling eggs into his mouth. ”Here you go sweetie, eat quickly, I have to go into work early today so we have to rush. ” The person who said that to me was the most beautiful and wonderful woman on the planet, (at least to me) my mother.

”O-okay, mom. ” Which reminded me… Im still in **ing high school, and have already completely forgotten what classes I had back then.

I thought back to my senior year, trying to remember. I think I had advanced calculus in the morning and then advanced physics before lunch… (Ah! I know I kept a planner with my schedule back then in my book bag. Theres nothing to worry about at all..)

”Hey, asshole! ” Shortly after my mom dropped me and Cleo off at school I had gone my own way across campus when somebody shouted at me. ”Huh? ” I turned my head to see someone I had bitter memories of. My old high school bully, Zack! (How Ive missed him… wait, **! I didnt miss you bastard!)

Zack stomped toward me with his face contorted in anger. (Whats this guys deal? I know he liked to talk crap and make fun of me but he seems genuinely angry with me… I wonder why?) Then it occurred to me… there was one incident in my senior year where Zack beat me black and blue for something i did. A smirk crept up on my face when i finally remembered. One of my fellow seniors had thrown a house party over a certain weekend when his parents were out of town. Zack wasnt able to go for some reason… but his girlfriend did… (hehe, this is gonna be fun.)

In high school, I wasnt a popular guy, nor was I the best looking, but I was still better looking than this bastard.

”You mother **er! I heard from Alex what you and Tania did at his house party. Im gonna beat you to an inch of your life! ” Zack is a lineman on our football team, in terms of body size, hes much bigger than I am currently. (But you know what bastard. Ive been through literal hell and Im thinking its time for revenge, I got another chance to redeem my humiliation. Although, I realize Im probably the villain in this situation…)

I stood imposingly with a flat stare. ”Oh? Come and try, you braindead gorilla. ” My provocation earned the laughter of some of the students who had taken notice of what was going on. In the distance I saw someone I recognized. Tania, his girlfriend or maybe ex-girlfriend by now? When our eyes met, she blushed and then turned and then hid behind her friend. Zack, who was now fuming with rage, darted toward me in an attempt to tackle me. I side stepped and extended my foot and tripped him. Ive been through life and death situations thousands of times. There was no way some highschool jock could touch me.

Zack picked himself up and began swinging his fists wildly. There was no finesse to his movements, he was moving solely on anger and that is a mistake in battle. I slapped the back of one of his fists and then landed a kick to his midsection. The crowd that had formed was cheering and jeering us as we fought.

Zacks face was red. He couldnt believe he was getting beat by someone that was skinny and weak as I currently was. I taunted him by saying, ”Dont cry princess, she wasnt that good, you
e not missing out on much. ”

His anger had suddenly reached a new level and he charged me like a bull. I was going to go full matador and put him down, but I saw something that made me freeze. My eyes went wide from shock. ”M-Myra? ”

A split second of hesitation and a jock sized fist hit my face. I thought I heard a teachers voice as my consciousness dimmed before fading to black…

I opened my eyes and found myself looking up at a ceiling I hadn seen in a long time, the ceiling in the nurses office. My head was pounding and my mind was having trouble adjusting. (Myra…) Before getting my clock cleaned I had saw her. She looked slightly younger than when I first met her. (I could have sworn she had told me she attended school in a different district..)

I guess its possible she transferred schools between now and then and since I never really paid much attention to who my juniors were back then, I just never noticed her.

(Ahh… I lost.) A wry chuckle escaped from me. I looked around and didnt see anyone else present in the nurses office. To be honest I was embarrassed. (This was my first day back and Ive managed to make an ass out of myself. *sigh*)

Just then the door to the room opened and coming in was the nurse, Miss Farad. She had long slender legs and ample proportions that made all the boys wish they could be injured just to visit her.

”Ah, looks like you
e awake. Good. ” Miss Farad walked over to me and began examining me. ”hmm, it doesnt look like you have a concussion and theres no marks on your face. You should be able to attend class. The first period bell will ring in a few minutes. Go ahead and gather your things and head to your second period class. ” saying so, she walked over to her desk and began typing on her computer.

I grabbed my bag and left the office, giving one last youthful glance at those legs. The halls were quiet as everyone was still in the first period class. I made my way over to my locker but as I walked down the hall I felt like someone was watching me. I looked around but didnt see anyone, so I kept walking to my next class.

Once the bell rang students poured out from the classrooms and began socializing and opening thier lockers. I realized I was getting more attention likely due to the fight I was just in. I heard students murmuring to themselves and realized the word has spread quickly.

I was about to walk into my second period class when I felt a tap on my shoulder. I turned and saw another person I hadn seen in a very long time. My best friend Kyle.

”Bro! What the hell happened!? Everyone is talking about how you fought Zack. Some people are saying you turned into the karate kid and nearly beat him. Since when can you fight? ” Kyle looked at me in disbelief.

(Makes sense he would ask that, back then I rarely exercised and looked like a string bean. I was only able to fight Zack due to my experience but my attacks couldnt land a decisive blow due to lack of power.

”Well you know I dont like to brag but I have seen that movie a million times. ” I said as I puffed my chest out in pride.

”Pfft! Well man be careful, I don think he is going to leave this alone. Even though he knocked you out, rumor already going around is theres gonna be a rematch. Did you really sleep with Tania at Marks party? ”

To be honest, no. We didnt have sex. My memory is fuzzy from that time but I clearly remember us being drunk and talking to eachother in one of the guest rooms. We may have kissed though. ”Ahem! A gentleman doesnt kiss and tell, Kyle. ” I decided to just leave it open to his imagination.

”I see… but I also heard this morning after the fight, Tania broke up with Zack. ”

(Huh?) In the original timeline, Zack coerced me to follow him and his gang behind the gym where I got beat up and he told me to stay away from her. But I dont remember the two of them actually breaking up yet. Whats going on?

Kyle noticed my confusion and a sly smile appeared on his face. ”What? Did you think you would just NTR him and that would be the end? After showing your guts, shes definitely in love with you! ” I just looked at him with a flat gaze and waved off his conjecture. ”Theres no way. She and I are not like that to begin with. What happened between her and I, happened under the influence of alchohol and I dont even remember most of what we talked about. ” (I really dont need this right now… Im too old to be dealing with this teenage drama.)

He just looked at me with with doubt clear in his eyes, ”Well, whatever happens, I got your back. see ya at lunch! ” he waved his hand as he walked toward his next class. (Bastard, you better not start gossiping about this.) I cleared my thoughts and walked into my class.

The teacher was giving a lecture on subjects I was already well versed in, so instead of paying attention my mind wandered to other things. My mission is the most important thing right now. I may need to keep up appearances, but I simply dont have time to focus on irrelevant things.

First, the apocalypse is coming. Theres absolutely no way to stop it. The signs of the cataclysm that will occur should already be manifesting, its just that no one currently on earth has a way to perceive them. No one is able to detect mana at this time and the mana density is so low, that even if they were aware of its existence, it would not set off any alarms.

(But… Its coming. And the majority of the worlds population will die due mana poisoning once the the mana density reaches the critical threshold.)

In the future I had developed a device that could slowly adjust the human body so that its ready for when the cataclysm arrives. The problem is, it is not something that can be mass produced as it requires a very rare type of crystal that stores mana as well as an advanced piece of technology that regulates the output as to not overload the human nervous system.

The regulator can be made with our current technology but the crystals wont start forming until the cataclysm has already begun as mana is still very thin in our current world and the crystals form within mana beasts. I knew this was going to be a problem before I regressed. Luckily I had already come up with a workaround. Mana crystals exist… just not on our world.

Which bring me to my next problem. I know how to make a device that will allow for dimensional travel, however creating the device with pure science will be extremely expensive, not to mention getting the materials will require a high level of access as the materials are quite dangerous and well regulated.

I need to find an ally I can trust that already has the access or can obtain it. Im currently a 17 year old high school student. I cant just walk into a government lab and start demanding such material. And for that reason I need to proceed extremely carefully, unless I want to end up disappearing into the governments Black Box.

But even once all that is taken care of, there is still the catch 22 where Ill need the power to get the crystals… but I need the crystals to gain the power. Which leaves me one only one option. Barter for the crystals. And that means… Ill have to go to the only race that might be willing to even speak to a foreign race. The Elves…

(Fuck! Im really not looking forward to it.) The elves have their own world just like us humans… but they are difficult to deal with. In order to make any kind of deal with them, Ill be required to negotiate with thier Matriarch directly. And she is bananas.

Once, when I went there in order to get a special alloy I needed for my temporal device, she somehow took a ”liking ” to me and made me prostitute myself to her in order to get my ”Right of Acceptance ”. On paper it sounds like a good deal, but shes a complete psycho. Before leaving my old body I still had the brand on my asscheek marking me as hers.

*sigh* ”..son! Jason! ” (huh?) I snapped out of my thoughts and noticed I had been called upon by the teacher. ”Jason, please come up to the board and solve the equation. ” I heard giggling coming from my classmates as if i had just been caught with my pants down.

I stepped up to the board and solved it like a machine. The teacher looked surprised as he didnt think i was paying attention. (I wasnt) and I went back to my seat. ”*hmph* Yes, thats correct. ” the teacher continues his lecture, and before I knew it the bell was rang signaling the end of class. And now it was time for lunch. (I wonder if they will be serving the chicken parm Ive missed all these year…)

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