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System Programmer

After dying, our main character found himself summoned by a young woman. She comes from a long line of summoners and had expected to partner up with a powerful being, like the rest of her family. Instead, she summoned a computer programmer, who from now on will be living inside her head. Powerless, he's unable to help her with the upcoming war. Disappointed that neither of them had been blessed by fate with some divine abilities, he decides to build a computer system inside her head himself. ====================== If you want to discuss the story you can join the following discord : https://discord.gg/5Pu595W ====================== Volume 1 is now available on Amazon Kindle! If you like the series, check it out! :D us : http://www.amazon.com/dp/B07NSGR37P fr : http://www.amazon.fr/dp/B07NSGR37P uk : http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07NSGR37P

Joneleth · Urban
Not enough ratings
17 Chs

A Civil Conversation

Luna! Scan the barrier! Joshua ordered.

[Analyzing. . . Unknown rune pattern detected. Breaking through is impossible without dismantling the runes. Saving pattern into the system for reference.]

Joshua took a glance at the data Luna just obtained and his heart fell. It consisted of hundreds of intertwined runes, most of them being unknown to him. In order to break through, he would have to understand them one by one and comprehend how they interact with one another. While not impossible, with his current knowledge of runes doing so would take him at least several weeks.

[Change in pattern detected. Saving new pattern for reference.]

What?

Nevermind his previous thought, the pattern appeared to change at regular intervals. The new runes looked nothing like the previous ones.

I see this is some form of encryption. It's impossible to understand them without the proper key.

Joshua was at his wit's end. He sadly looked at Catherine and told her:

I'm sorry, I don't know what to do.

Hearing this Catherine bit her lip before answering: "Since we can't leave, we have to hide somewhere."

"An interesting idea, unfortunately, while inside my city, there is no hiding from me."

The voice had come from the barrier so everyone shifted their gaze toward it. The rune pattern had vanished and had been replaced by some sort of projection screen. The image it was broadcasting was that a man sitting behind a desk. The figure was covered by shadows however and only his silhouette was visible.

The man continued: "I'm not used to have uninvited guests. Pardon me if our first exchange was a bit forceful. How about we try having a civil conversation?"

Joshua sighed. Seeing how things were going, negotiations were probably their least bad option at this point.

"Who are you and what do you want with us?" Lydia asked.

"Now that is a very strange question, isn't it? A group of people from the surface traverse the entire underground full of mortal danger to finally reach this place and the first thing they ask someone living here is 'What do you want?'. I believe I should be the one asking that of you, don't you think? Well, I would if I hadn't already apprehended the other parties heading here. Above us lies the kingdom of Cestor. You were sent here by the king to find some 'ancient weapons' in order to secure victory in an upcoming war against the neighboring kingdom of Oscil. Did I miss anything?"

Boy, this guy sure likes hearing his own voice. . .

The man sighed before continuing: "Such a fool's errand. You know, this has been happening for centuries. They keep sending teams from the surface not even knowing what they're looking for. You're not the first, and judging by the intelligence of people ruling above, you won't be the last. You're among the lucky ones though, most parties never reach the city and die somewhere in the underground. This time around, every group arrived, I suppose that's a first."

He paused, seemingly waiting for a reaction. Catherine was the first to oblige: "What have you done to the others?"

"Do not worry, they're unharmed. Oh, I see. I suppose I might appear to be some kind of evil overlord, but I assure you, my intentions are peaceful. You see, it is imperative Easa remains isolated from the rest of the world until my plan is ready. Therefore, the few people who manage to reach the city have to remain here."

"So, you're gonna keep them locked up forever?" Joshua inquired.

"No, no, no, after they have been inserted properly into society, they'll be free to start their life anew here. My city is peaceful, there are no crimes, no war. The same goes applies to you. You'll be happy here."

Is this guy for real?

"What do you mean there are no crimes here? We've barely arrived and the first people we met kept killing one another. Several times."

"That. . . I see, it's unfortunate that this was the first encounter you had with my denizens. As I mentioned before, they are not complete yet, I need to eliminate their flaws."

Hearing the man speak, Joshua couldn't help but shiver. He was starting to see the tapestry the man was trying to weave. His talk about 'properly inserting people into society', 'eliminating one's flaw', and the Wipings the Blooms were talking about earlier. He stared at the silhouette in front of him. This man was countless times more powerful than him and he was using his abilities to do this. He was utterly terrified.

"This is wrong!" he said.

"I beg your pardon?"

"You can't toy with humans like that. Eliminating someone's free will and program them into behaving properly. The people I met today, they weren't human. They were mindless machines pretending to be ones!"

The man paused for a moment, stared deeply at Joshua, and replied:

"I understand this might appear as an extreme solution. However, I'm doing what's necessary for mankind to survive. Trust me, I've seen with my own eyes what humanity is capable of when unrestrained. It isn't pretty."

"But. . ."

"Enough! I did not appear in front of you to debate about some misguided idealism! I asked you a question earlier. Your entire party somehow entered my city unnoticed. Tell me how!"

Joshua hesitated for a moment so Catherine decided to answer:

"We discovered the existence of a rune limiting our development inside our head. After doing some research, we managed to dismantle it. Could this be related?"

Good girl, she's not mentioning we got into contact with another team after they got captured, which allowed us to confirm removing the rune was the key to enter undetected.

"I suspected as much. I was informed that one of you had his seal broken due to an unknown event. I also know that your spirit originates from a technologically advanced world. I suppose you're the one who removed them?" the man replied, looking at Joshua.

I only removed Catherine's and she took care of the others but let's not tell him that.

"That's right, but you seem awfully well informed about our situation. Did that damn bird tell you all of this?"

"What if he has?"

"So, you're one of his lapdogs. That's disappointing."

"No!"

The tone was firm. Clearly, Joshua had hit a nerve.

"I do not work for him. We merely. . . exchange information from time to time. But rest assured, I bear no love for that filthy crow. I dream of the day that I can finally rid the world of his influence."

"Then help us!" Cynthia yelled out.

"Hmm?"

"The crow is our enemy too. He tried to murder Lady Catherine several times and wants Lord Joshua to work for him."

"I see. Then I suppose it's a good thing you managed to reach this place. I can guarantee you this: as long as you're inside my city, you'll be safe from his grasp. Isn't that a nice reason to stay here?"

"Nice offer, but I don't want to become a mindless puppet," Joshua answered.

"I'm sure we can come to an arrangement."

"Sure, how about you start by freeing the other teams?"

"We both know that is not happening. But we'll get to that point in time. There's a more pressing matter I need to know."

"And that is?"

"Joshua, was it? When exactly did you manage to break the seal and where did you get the equipment to do so? Was it on the surface?"

". . . We found an abandoned laboratory during our travels. It contained a device to inscribe runes on one's body. I used it to dismantle the one in everyone's head."

"Such a place still exists? I guess haven't gotten out in a long time. Thank you for making me aware of this. Since it wasn't done on the surface, that knowledge won't spread. I'll have to take care of this lab though."

"You're welcome," Joshua answered sarcastically.

"One last question: how did you discover the rune in everyone's head in the first place?"

"It's one of my abilities. Let's leave it at that."

I'm not gonna explain to you Luna works.

"I see. Well, I daresay this was a fruitful conversation. I thank all of you for your cooperation."

"So. . ., now what?" Eric mumbled in his beard, barely audible.

"Regretfully, I have to take you in custody. Do not worry, this won't hurt. Everything will be all right."

Everyone gulped and prepared themselves for battle, expecting some kind of guards to appear. However, no one came. Instead, the man began to trace a symbol with his finger. Where it passed, it left behind solid energy. Joshua was perplexed, he was literally drawing a rune out of thin air. Furthermore, he recognized it immediately, it was the brain limiting rune.

Oh no. . .

Having finished drawing, the man waved his hand and the rune was projected upwards. Joshua turned toward the city. He saw what looked like fireworks rising up and suddenly head straight toward them!