Side Story: No Man Was Never A Cute Little Boy— Part 1
Editor(s): Joker, Speedphoenix
“W-w-w-w-wha!?” A series of incoherent sounds flubbed from my mouth as I stared at what was supposed to be my body. I couldn’t believe my eyes. Everything was tiny. Wrong. It couldn’t have been me.
My muscles were gone. My biceps, my calves, and my abs had all vanished into the void. Every trace of muscle had been replaced by soft, supple flesh one would typically find on an organism that had yet to mature. And that was exactly what I had become. My newfound form was emphasized by the relative size of my nightwear. My arms and legs only went halfway through their respective sleeves.
Something was wrong. I was, at most, the size of a second or third grader.
“WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON!?” Rather than alleviating my frustrations, screaming at the top of my lungs did nothing but serve to further them. There were no traces of masculinity left in my voice. I’d gone from being a man to a high pitched squeaker. Seriously! What the fuck is going on!? How the hell did this happen!?
Alright, Yuki, deep breaths. Stop panicking and use your head.
The first thing I confirmed was that this wasn’t a dream. That much I knew for sure; my sense of touch was as present and vivid as ever. Unlike dreams, real life was at least somewhat logical. Whatever happened had to have happened for a reason. Alright, I know I’ve got this. I’ve become an adult stuck in a child’s body, which means I’m not just plain old Yuki anymore. I’m Detective Yuki now—this case is good as closed.
Now here’s the play: if my understanding of pop culture is correct, then I probably shrank because I ended up drinking some sort of weird ass concoction. Hmm… that does sound kinda familiar. Wait a second! I remember!
My expression froze up like a shocked rodent’s as I recalled the previous night’s events.
It all started when I decided that it was time for me to go through my inventory and do a bit of cleaning. That, in and of itself, was nothing out of the ordinary. I was going to throw out everything I didn’t want and reorganize everything I did.
“The fuck is this…?” That was when I came across an item that could only be described as suspicious. Not even Analyze had cleared up any of my questions.
Name: Mysterious Potion
Description: A mysterious potion with a mysterious taste and mysterious effects.
Unlike most of the other stuff in my inventory, I had absolutely no idea where the potion at hand had come from. I didn’t recall ever picking up anything even remotely like it. A part of me had been tempted to chuck it out the window and be done with it given its shady nature, but I ultimately decided against the idea because it seemed wasteful given the item’s ridiculously high quality rating.
“The heck is that, Master?” asked Lyuu, who happened to be nearby.
“Iunno. I found it in my inventory, but I’ve got no idea where it came from,” I said. “You wanna try giving it a swig or two?”
“What’s it do?”
“Could y’please not try poisonin’ me?” she frowned, but I shook off her complaints with a laugh.
“I was just kidding,” I said. “Though, on second thought, I’m actually kinda tempted to chug it now, just to figure out what it does.”
“U-uhmmm… I’m pretty sure that ain’t a good idea, Master,” said Lyuu.
“I mean, you’re probably right.” I grabbed a few potions out of my inventory and placed them on the table in front of me. “But I’m sure I’ll be fine with all these lying around.”
“Oh, those things! I remember them being real effective.”
“Yeah, plus, if worse comes to worst, Lefi’ll probably have a fix for it.” I turned towards the dragon, who happened to be lazing around nearby. “You hear that, Lefi?”
“What? I was not paying attention.” She lazily turned to face me after hearing her name.
“I’m going to do something stupid, and you’re going to have to bail me out if I screw myself.”
“Very well,” she said.
With my contingency plan signed and approved, I raised the potion to my lips and chugged the whole thing down in one breath.
“Fuck! Why am I so fucking stupid!?” Again, I screamed at the top of my lungs. It was my fault. Entirely, my fault. None of this would have happened if I had done as any normal person would and erred on the side of caution.
The potion hadn’t taken effect immediately, so at the time, I’d written it off with a laugh. Never in my wildest dreams had I expected to rear its ugly head and bite me in the ass the next day. Its effect was so silly that I wanted to bash my head against the wall. Why the actual fuck would someone make something like this?
As much as I wanted to blame the creator, I knew that the blame ultimately lay with my dumb ass for opting to drink it without first uncovering its effects. Welp. Turns out Lyuu was right…
“I am trying to sleep…” Lefi groaned as she got up from the bed beside mine. One of her hands was held against the side of her head to demonstrate an apparent migraine. “Why is it that you are shouting so incessantly so early in the morning?”
She rubbed her eyes and turned towards me, only to stop. Time almost seemed to come to a standstill as she stared with her jaw slackened. Once she recovered, she examined me from head to toe and even did a full circle around me for added effect before collapsing back onto her bed and roaring with laughter as she rolled about.
“I see that you have shrunk, Yuki,” she cackled. “What an interesting choice.”
I knew Lefi more than well enough to guess her thought process. She had started in a state of bewilderment, so she had analyzed me and confirmed that I was who my character sheet said I was before embracing the situation’s hilarity.
“Shut up! Stop laughing! This isn’t a joke, it’s a problem! And a pretty serious one at that!” Despite my protests, the dragon girl chose not to take me seriously.
“This form of yours is certainly quite adorable in its own right,” she said as she reached towards me and pat me on the head. “I suppose it is now my turn to leverage the advantage of height.”
“Stop that!” I brushed her hand away, but the action failed to do anything beyond escalating her advances. “Wait! What the fuck! I said stop! What the fuck are you doing!?”
I tried my best to escape, but she wrapped her arms around my waist and pulled me into a seated position atop her lap before I could. “The manner in which you are shouting profanities does not coincide with your form. But that too bears its own charm,” said the dragon. “I see no reason for you not to remain as you are now in perpetuity.”
Unlike me, Lefi was in a great mood. She continued patting me on the head with one of the biggest smiles I’d seen on her in a while. As much as I wanted to, I couldn’t escape. The one advantage I normally had over her, my size, was gone.
“Fuck that! I am not staying like this. And for fuck’s sake, stop petting me already!”
“Now, now, it is best for you to calm yourself, Yuki. You are prone to incurring an injury should you continue to flail about.”
“Graaagh!?” I squealed as the air was squashed out of my lungs. “Stop that! You’re gonna kill me if you keep squeezing me that hard goddammit!”
“It will do you no harm if you do as any obedient child should and remain still.”
“Stop talking to me like that! I’m not a fucking kid!”
And so, our banter continued until every single one of the dungeon’s residents was roused.
“Yuki…? That is you, right?” asked Nell curiously.
“Yuki. Is. Dead.”
“Hey, Lefi? What happened to him? Why’s he so small now?” As I wasn’t being very cooperative, the hero redirected her question towards the dungeon’s resident dragon.
“He has become quite adorable, has he not?” The dragon, however, also wasn’t all that interested in answering the hero’s question. She was too busy heavily investing in my misfortune. “Would you like to give holding him a try? It is an action I am sure you will find rather enjoyable.”
I sat lifelessly as Lefi picked me up off her lap and plopped me on Nell’s. The degree of ease with which she carried out the action frustrated me to no end, but there was literally nothing I could do about it.
“You know what? I think you’re right,” said Nell as she ruffled my hair. “He really does seem kinda cute this way.”
“God fucking damn it…” Though I knew that resistance was futile, I tried putting on one last show of disobedience by grumbling under my breath.
“This calls for a cute nickname. What do you think, Yuu?”
“…Don’t know, don’t care. I’m long over this shit.”
“I guess that means I’m calling you Yuu then! Well, Yuu? What happened? Why’d you turn so small? Is it because your tummy hurts?”
“Alright, Nell, look. You can call me whatever the fuck you want, and you can hand me around and treat me like a stuffed animal or whatever. I’ve already accepted that all that shit is going to happen,” I said. “But for fuck’s sake, don’t start talking to me like I’m some sorta little kid. ‘Cause that’s getting real irritating real fast.”
“Geez, Yuu, little boys aren’t supposed to swear like that!” she said. “But it is kinda cute, in its own weird way.”
“I had that exact thought during my first interaction with this new form of his,” said Lefi. “It certainly is rather charming.”
“Charming my ass! Stop messing around and help me figure out how I’m supposed to fix this!”
“I see no reason to lend my aid. Was this not all a product of your own decisions?”
Uuuuuuuuuuuugggggggghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. I mean, she’s not wrong, but, fuck!
“Does that mean this is all ‘cause you drank that weird potion I was warnin’ you about last night, Master?”
“I mean, it’s the only thing I can think of,” I grumbled. “Thanks to that, I’m stuck as an adult that looks like a kid. Might as well call me an ace detective and send me out to solve a murder mystery or two.”
“Are you sayin’ that ace detectives should look like kids?” asked Lyuu. “‘Cause I ain’t heard of anythin’ like that before.”
“Yeah, it’s a whole thing,” I said.
“Wow… That’s real weird. I think I’d kinda wanna see one in action, just ‘cause that sounds real interestin’.” Lyuu slowly approached as she contemplated the thought of a tiny master detective, only to grab both my cheeks and pull on them the moment she got within arm’s reach.
“Ow!” I almost jumped out of my seat in response to the sudden stimulus. “Wad da puk wath dat ‘or!?” The assault on my cheeks distorted my words and made them difficult to understand.
“Sorry Master, but your cheeks just looked so soft ‘n squishy that I couldn’t help myself.” She ignored my protests and kept using both hands to mess with my delicate face tissue.
“Are they really that soft…?” asked Nell, as she reached for them. “Wow, they are!”
“It is as you say,” said Lefi, who joined in on the supposed fun. “A truly wonderful sensation, this is.”
“Shtop dat! Sherioushly! Wet gowe off mwe alrweady!”
I couldn’t stand having my face pulled in six different directions, so I shouted at them, shook them off, and retreated to a safe distance. “For fuck’s sake!” I straightened my back as far as it would go in order to make myself seem as imposing as possible. “I get it, you girls find this whole scenario entertaining, very entertaining. But that doesn’t me—”
My already futile attempt to defend my dignity was cut off before it could even take flight. A fourth assailant tackled me from behind in the middle of my speech. Upon spinning around, I found myself confronting the dungeon’s only blonde.
“Sorry, Illuna, we’re a bit busy right now. Could you check ba—”
“Yooksie!” Again, I was denied the freedom of speech. The vampire hugged me as she could as she gave me a bizarre nickname.
“Oh great, not you too…”
“You’re littler than me now, so you have to start acting like I’m your sister! Your big sister!”
“I uh…am not sure that’s how that works…”
“Please, Yooksie? Pleeeeeeeease?”
“…Fine. Whatever you say. You can be my big sister or whatever.” I gave in and heaved a tired sigh. Today is going to be a looooooong day.
“Yup, that’s right Yooksie! I’m totally gonna be your big sis now!”
Her grip on me tightened as she expressed what seemed more like fulfillment than joy, to which I responded by lifelessly flopping forward.
Welp. This is going nowhere.