Aria gets tricked into cleaning out someone’s basement, finds a magic sword which she doesn’t even get to use, and now apparently only has one job to take care of a single thing and gosh darn it, the thing is hers so she’s going to guard it.
The Job You Were Born For
“Let’s see…” Aria was digging through boxes in the basement of a relative who had recently passed away. Or so she had been told. She had never heard of his relative before, and at this point was not 100% they actually existed, and she hadn’t just been conned into cleaning out someone’s basement of old junk. She would have expected to at least see a family picture by now here. But nothing like that. There were a lot of paintings of dragons, which Aria did approve of, but it didn’t do much to establish who this lost family member was or if they actually existed. Not unless Aria was about to have someone tell her she was part dragon or something.
She stood up for a moment and waited. Seeing if such a thing would happen. Because that would actually be really cool. Sadly, she was all alone in the basement. No mysterious stranger appeared to tell her about her secret ancestry, hidden powers and how she was the chosen one. Well, maybe next time she got scammed into cleaning a basement.
She sat down on a box to take a break. It was boiling down here. She was in nothing more than a tank top, jeans and sneakers and she could still feel it. Was this place built on a volcano or something? After catching her breath, she decided to get back to work. After all dear old whoever, (they never even gave her a name) wasn’t going to rest in piece unless someone cleaned out this basement.
Yeah. She had totally been conned. This was the last time she ever took legal text written on ancient scrolls delivered and read aloud by men in 1800s business suits ever again. Come to think of it that did make this kind of suspect to begin with. Well, back to cleaning.
Inside one box she found something heavy. It was stuck into something. She tried to pull hard. After a few tugs, it came loose. It was a sword! One where the blade somehow glowed with a red light and the hilt was decorated with dragons intertwining around each other.
“Well… This is something…” Aria looked at the sword. How was it glowing. Suddenly, it released a bright flash of light! And suddenly, Aria was in a cave lit by several torches. The cave walls were lined with treasure and jewels. There was a stairway leading up to a giant pile of gold coins bigger than most houses Aria had seen.
At yhis Aria paused. She looked at the sword, looked at her surroundings and then looked at the sword.
“Did I just get isekaieed?” She asked. This was the second time this year. And it was only spring. She gave the sword a nasty look. “You could have given me a warning. I would have used the bathroom first. So, help me if there is no indoor plumbing in this universe…”
It was unclear if it was a response or another reason. But the sword’s red glow grew brighter, illuminating the full cave. In addition to the treasure Aria could now see carvings along the wall of a huge dragon. And… It fell into place. All the paintings. A magic sword that teleported her. She was in a dragon’s treasure chamber. This sword was probably magical and made to slay dragons… But unfortunately, Aria lived, at least a few minutes ago, in the modern era and so had not dedicated her entire life to the way of the sword. But did things like school and a job. Even equipped with a magic sword, if a dragon found her snooping around the treasure room things were not going to end well for her. It was time to get out of here.
She moved towards the mouth of the cave. At least the glowing sword made it easy to see. But as she did, a huge roar echoed from direction she was going.
“Okay not that direction!” Aria immediately backed up. Was the dragon coming now? But that was the only exit. The only other option was to hide. Maybe if she buried the sword under some of the gold she could hide its glow. She ran up the stairs to the pedestal looking for a good place to hide it moving aside coins hurrying to try to bury it then paused. One of the gold pieces she grabbed refused to leave her hand. Or she refused to let go of it. She wasn’t sure.
It was just a single gold coin. No different from the others. Actually, on the smaller side so probably worth less. And yet, something about it was mesmerizing. It was strange, but Aria felt like it awakened some kind of hunger in her. And it was at that point that her tank top slipped off her shoulders.
“Okay, so we’re doing this now…” Aria spoke in a higher pitched voice. These kinds of things were really starting to happen way too often that she was just too used to them. She was getting younger. It was probably the coin that was doing it somehow. And yet, she really wanted that coin more than anything and couldn’t bring herself to let go of it. Even as her clothes fell to the floor in a pile around her and she soon found herself kindergarten aged. Wait… That wasn’t right. As she looked over her body, she was at least ten still. So why was she so short?
The coin she should just throw it away! But so shiny! So… Desirable. Aria continued to get younger, soon actually becoming a kindergartener, but was now somewhere around the size of a housecat. She fell atop the piles of treasure clinging to the coin, even as it got heavier in her grasp. As she entered her toddler years it was almost as big as her. And then she was a baby, and the coin was twice her size. Well, at least she couldn’t get any younger! And she had the coin!
There was a popping noise. And very small egg, no bigger than a chicken egg rolled down the side of the pile of treasure and into a wall. The egg was mostly uniform purple. But it had blue and green marks on each side of it for some reason. They weren’t marks anyone from this world could identify. A moment later, the coin Aria had been holding on rolled down the treasure pile and landed in the corner next to the egg that she was now asleep inside of.
And then people entered the room.
“Oh man! What a battle!” A haggard man shouted. “I thought we were dead for sure! But we beat the dragon! And look at all this treasure!”
“Oh look at this!” A lithe woman with pointed ears pulled the sword Aria had found out of a coin pile. “A magic Dragon Slaying sword. Strange, it still glows but the dragon isn’t around anymore.”
“Wow would that have been useful thirty minutes ago.” A short colorful hairy creature snickered. Then, the three busied themselves up carrying as much of the treasure as they can and left the place. Aria and her egg lay unseen in a crack in the wall in a dark corner of the room. And there they stayed.
Word of the dragon’s defeat spread far and wide. Many people came to search for any treasure leftover the heroes couldn’t carry. Many of the, left quite rich. Eventually the place was picked clean, except of course of a single coin laying in a corner next to a small purple egg.
A month passed. People had stopped coming. Except, for a young boy who had showed up today.
“There’s gotta be something left.” He had on shoddy armor and carried a wooden sword. Whatever adventure he was on he was clearly just starting out. “A real sword, coins I can use to buy a sword, jewels I can sell to get coins to buy a sword, something.” As he looked around though it was clear the place had picked clean. Except… Maybe something had gotten stuck in a corner or underneath a rock where no one saw it. He combed the cave up and down. And eventually he stuck his hand into a hole in the corner of one wall. And his fingers closed around a single coin.
Aria had been sleeping so peacefully. She knew she should have woken up by now, but when you get the chance to take a nap that good. You keep it going for as long as possible. And now, something had invaded her nap space. And it was trying to steal the coin she had earned! One of the first things she saw as she crawled out of the remains of her egg was her coin being dragged off by someone else’s fingers.
“RAWR!” Aria bit down on the fingers.
“Ow! Ow!” The kid pulled his hand out, pulling the coin out with him, as well as Aria who refused to let go of his fingers. “When he lifted his hand up he carried her up with it. She was still tinier than a single coin. “What… Are you?”
“Roawr?” Aria released her bite for a moment to try to figure that out. She had wings now, which she flapped by instinct to stay airborne and keep from falling. Let’s see… She had purple tail… Horns… Well more like nubs. They’d grow into horns. But… She still had human skin over her body. In fact, she was still human shaped, and just an infant. A very tiny infant. But, she had claws, purple scales over her feet and hands that went to her knees and elbows. The tiny horns, wings, very pointy teeth. And she had just come out of an egg. She was some kind of tiny dragon person!
And also that jerk still had her coin!
Through instinct she fired a small fireball at the boy’s hand. He yelped and dropped the coin. Aria dove to the ground and immediately grabbed the coin and held onto it greedily.
“Okay… I’ve never seen a dragon like you before…” The boy bent down to look at Aria. She gave him a suspicious look as she clung her coin. “You… Really like that coin huh. But… Are you human or dragon? And why are you so small? Are you cursed by the coin? Or is this a dragon’s natural greed and that’s the biggest treasure you could get your hands on?”
“Rawr!” Aria responded angrily. How should she know. She had just gotten to this world about… Actually, she wasn’t really sure how long she had been asleep inside the egg. It was a really good nap. But she had been awake in this world for less than twenty minutes. Honestly, she could use more nap time to deal with all this. A shame her lovely egg was all broken up into shell pieces and she couldn’t curl back up in that just for like five more minutes. That really was the best nap she had taken.
“Look… I really need just a bit of money…” The kid started to reach for the coin again.
“Raaawr!” Aria roared, or attempted to warningly and let flames fly out of her nostrils.
“Uh… okay… What if… I just… Pick you up?” The kid reached out a hand and grabbed Aria. She held the coin tighter, but made no attempts to maul the kid.
“So… I can take the coin as long as I take you with it huh?” He looked down at her. “Great, I only have a single gold coin to my name and some kind of tiny baby dragon girl won’t let me have it to spend on anything.”
“RAWR!” Aria warned him again the coin was hers. Honestly at this point she didn’t even remember what was special about it. It probably was cursed and caused her transformation or something. But dang it! It was still hers! Besides, someone had taken her sword while she was down for an egg nap so this was her only possession in the world.
“Ok, ok geez!” The young adventurer rubbed the back of his head. “You’re an odd sight… Maybe if I take you to the local tavern, can get some people to donate gold if it helps feed you.”
“Rawr?” Aria paused for a moment. Then her stomach rumbled. She had been sleeping for awhile. Food did sound good. As long as he didn’t try to spend her coin on it. She gave him a nod of approval, but also dug her claws into the coin harder to make it clear she wasn’t giving it up.
“Okay, okay, I get it! The coin is yours!” The adventurer sighed. This journey was already off to a weird start. He hadn’t even gotten a real sword yet, but he already had his non-human sidekick. And she was feisty. As for Aria, she didn’t mind being a sidekick. She really was getting far too used to things. As long as they let her keep the coin, she was willing to ride this out wherever it went.