New Grind, Same Problems

Chapter 1: Grand Necessity

In a world far away, dealing with bullshit different, yet similar to your own. It is the mystical planet Birileth. A planet overflowing with beautiful creatures, wonderful cultures, and the blessing of magic upon the world and available to almost all its citizens.

Its also arguably on **ing fire. With the ability for anyone to do anything with enough money or natural strength, the world has been ravaged of its natural resources. Fresh water is scarce if you
e not paying for premium membership with your water company. The mana you
e using to fuel your car might be harvested by utilizing the souls of the dead. And of course, no one gives a damn cause they
e too busy being worked to death or they
e high, both, or something else. Maybe something nice like they have a family to care for. By working for a amorale company…

But don worry, theres still adventure to be had in this land! In fact theres too much adventure because of all that magic. Did you know some of the bears here can breathe fire? Its terrifying.

There are thousands of guilds across the planet. And all the ones that matter reside in the country of Alpherius, in the city of Providence. A city designed around the needs of adventurers…and then to profit off of them.

It has everything youd want! Taverns, beautiful people, wonderful magical items, weapons, armors, and lets not forget potions! Just uh, don be caught taking the wrong ones. This country ain nice about drug problems.

And of course, these adventurers are here for their rewards, collected from the government or more likely, their guild. Lets focus on one such guild.

A young woman paces back and forth in her neat, crimson office nervously. She has brown skin, golden eyes, and straight blonde hair, tied back into a ponytail. She wears a black leather jacket, an enchanted steel breastplate that has a red tint to it, dark red pants, and black boots with bloodstained soles.

”This weeks report doesn look too good. The adventurers Im in charge of are unhappy. And they
e not performing at their expected level. ” she thinks nervously.

Her name is August Caeser, shes the daughter of two of the founders of her guild, the Crimson Wolves. A powerful adventuring guild on the surface, with a rotten dual identity as mercenaries for hire.

She hears a soft ding in her ear, a sign from her Magic System that shes received a message. She concentrates on opening the message, and after a second, a black message box with crimson cursive appears before her.

August, come to my office please.

August sighs, and swipes the floating message aside with a quick wave. Then she picks up a thick binder filled with paper and exits her office. She walks through an open hallway, with a view of the guilds common area over a wooden guardrail on her right. Down below, it is a chaotic scene of proud, strong adventurers chatting, organizing groups, and obtaining quests.

Upstairs is where its neat, and everyone wears nice clothing as they organize this chaos.

”And ultimately, we profit more than anyone. ” August thinks smugly.

She sighs tiredly.

”But its also a lot of mind games, and being too nice to arrogant people who don really deserve the levels of respect I give them. Its exhausting. ” she thinks bittersweetly.

She arrives at a set of dark red double doors flanked by two guards in black plate mail, wielding blazing swords that are currently sheathed in bright orange steel sheathes. They
e that color because of the blades heat.

e an intimidating sight to August even now as an adult.

”Admittedly, its because Im afraid of bumping into them by accident and burning myself on the sheath again like I did as a kid. ” she thinks nervously.

August smiles lightly and holds up the binder. The guards nod, and open the door for August. She walks forward with false confidence, and enters what she considers her main battlefield within the guild.

Her mothers office. A room with gold painted walls, black marble tiled floor, and red curtains covering the windows. The room is massive, and filled with lots of space. On the walls are large shelves filled with trophies from her adventures. And souvenirs from those good times. The head of a dragon. The miniature replica of a town they once sieged. And of course, a portrait from their wedding day. They look so happy and young.

But today Julia is old, haggard, and almost too skinny. Her skin is dark brown and wrinkled with age. Her eyes are a dull gold, and her left eyes pupil is clouded over, unable to be seen out of. She wears proud golden armor layered with powerful runes, and her trusted revolver by her side.

To some, this may appear to be a show of strength and readiness. But to her daughter who knows her well, she sees the truth. Its worn out of paranoia and fear.

”Good morning mom. How are you today? ” August says warmly.

She smiles as she approaches, not faltering as Julia only returns her affection with a small smile.

Julia stands behind her black desk, a thin cigar in her hand. She takes a long drag, and exhales coolly.

”Im fine. Begin your report. ” she says firmly.

”Can you put out your cigar? You know I hate being around that smoke. ” August asks nervously.

”Ill quit smoking here when you quit vaping in your office. ” Julia says with an angry edge.

August sighs tiredly and shakes her head.

”So, I will go ahead and say that I haven met standards set in the previous quarter. More injuries, and an important death. Rest in peace, William Squigwald. ” August says hesitantly.

Julia glares at August for a brief moment, then looks away and walks to the window.

”William was worth a lot of money. He was a great friend of many Platinum and Star rank adventurers. And what killed him? ” Julia asks annoyedly.

August stays silent for a moment, embarrassed. Julia turns to August, and she breaks immediately as a glare is shot.

”He died from a fireball from a Gold Rank mage. I had no way of knowing this would occur- ” August explains nervously.

”Silence! Have the mage charged with manslaughter, and fired. ” Julia orders firmly.

August tilts her head to the side and her mouth hangs open, confused.

”We can have him charged, accidents like this are legal. Wed be opposing the Wizards Union if we tried changing that. ” August says nervously.

”Fucking ridiculous. ” Julia mutters angrily.

Suddenly everyone in the entire world is forced to experience a vision in their minds. It was a vision that was difficult for many mortals to comprehend, as before them were the physical incarnations of concepts barely understood by man.

Lynceil, the Goddess of Luck. Half the world saw her as a beautiful woman, in a glittering gold dress wearing beautiful makeup, and seemed like the physical incarnation of wealth. Her skin may as well be the color of gold, and her eyes green as money. Her hair black as oil, and she herself is more valuable than all these baubles.

And the other half saw her as an omen. An old crone in black robes covered in bloodstains and evil runes, holding a steel cane with a blade on the bottom.

Hades, Lord of the Afterlife. He is known to be an intimidating figure who has no pity for the living or the damned. He allows the scale of sin to judge their hearts. He is said to stand ten feet tall, with skin pale as snow. One eye is golden, and the other black. To some he is beautiful, to others fearsome. To some he wears a suit, to others he wears green and black armor meant for war, wielding a powerful glaive with an army of undead behind him.

And Lucifer, God of Change. An angelic being with beauty unlike any other. He appears as a young man with shining blonde hair, black eyes with red irises, and a bewitching smile resting on a face that becomes unrecognizable every few seconds, as it is constantly shifting. He wears what appears to be white robes, but if you focused on them, you would see the robes are composed of all colors, constantly swirling over one another. His skin, which seemed white before, appears to have the same effect as well.

”Mortals, we have reached an agreement for a Grand Necessity. The sake of survival. You have milked and abused your planet to the point we must intervene, and forcibly restrain you. ” Lucifer explains elegantly. ”You are also being forced to work towards your survival. If you all cooperate, nothing that bad will really happen. Your quality of life may lower a bit, but it will still be much better than the medieval days. You could still arguably live the lives of royalty. You just have to be willing to do whats right, and work together with each other, and with us. ” he explains kindly.

”But sadly, it is doubtful we can expect this from even half of you. ” Hades says bitterly. ”As such, it is worth establishing that if you refuse our quests, you will be punished. On a scale of one to ten. A punishment of one is merely losing some money. A five is having some of your life force and strength sapped. And a ten is losing your life. ” he explains firmly.

And Lynceil said two things at once. For the lucky half, with kindness and great energy, she say ”So please be good and do whats right for the world! We all need to live on it after all. And theres even rewards from our quests as well! ”

For the unlucky half, she viciously hissed ”All of you who hear this, I expect you to die from your own stupidity. We will take what we want from you with our punishments, and put you in the dirt so you may give some nutrients back to the earth. ”

And then, the vision ends, and the world is stunned. Most do not know how to react to these Gods and their announcement. They stand silently, contemplating fearful possibilities for their new lives. Will cars be banned? Will my home stay warm? Can I still have children? Will they ban weed again? And so many more questions t

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