Chapter 14
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Matt woke up with a gasp, his body covered in sweat and shivering. Looking around his room in a panic he had to remind himself that he was no longer on earth to calm himself down. “That dream again” He murmured.

 

Lately, Matt had been tormented by nightmares from his past, each one growing worse and worse. The memories of the abuse he endured at the hands of his parents, the weight of his failures and regrets, all relentlessly plagued his mind. It seemed that his old life was determined to haunt him, intruding his mind every time he allowed himself to relax.

 

Whenever thoughts of his previous life surfaced, a suffocating fear and overwhelming panic took hold of him, causing him to break down. The guilt he carried for committing suicide, the loathing he harbored for his former world, and the frustrating sense of helplessness he experienced—all these emotions waged a relentless battle within his mind.

 

Taking a deep breath Matt shoved all of the negative thoughts into the back of his mind with practiced ease, pretending they never existed. Now wide awake he grabbed his scroll and checked for messages.

 

Ruby - Hey, what type of food do you want to eat? I'm going to make lunch for us when you come over.

 

Blake - Check your MeTube account

 

With a slight blink of surprise, Matt replied to Ruby, letting her know that he was in the mood for spaghetti, and then turned his attention to MeTube. Having disabled notifications for the app due to constant spam, he hadn't checked his account in nearly 24 hours. As he read through his account, his eyes widened with disbelief. "Two million views?" he murmured, his body tingling with a mix of awe and elation. "As The World Caves In" had reached an impressive seven hundred thousand views, while "Natural" had crossed the one million mark. However, it was his latest song, "Sharks," that stood out with a staggering two million views.

Encouraged by the success of his first two songs, Matt and Blake poured even more dedication into his third creation. They went above and beyond, recreating the animated music video for "Sharks" that had been made by Imagine Dragons in his previous life. Matt painstakingly synchronized his voice with the music, pouring his heart and soul into the song. Realizing that the hard work paid off Matt felt pride rush through his body, something he wasn't used to feeling.


Hearing a familiar ding Matt was broken out of his trance.

For having a song reach 100,000 views you have received 1x uncommon token.

 

For having a song reach 100,000 views you have received 1x uncommon token.

 

For having a song reach 1 million views you have received 1x rare token.

 

For having a song reach 1 million views you have received 1x rare token.

 

Matt grinned and immediately used all four. Watching the machine spin was always satisfying, especially knowing he was about to get some good prizes.

 

Uncommon: You have received 500 lien!

 

Uncommon: You have received Minor headache debuff!

 

Rare: You have received Suspicious painting!

 

Rare: You have received 75 levels in the skill Dancing!

 

Matt winced, clutching his head as waves of dancing knowledge were drilled into his mind, making the throbbing headache he now had even worse. Frustration pooled in him as he realized he could get bad prizes from the gacha. "I thought it was all about winning prizes," he grumbled in frustration.

 

Finally, as the influx of dance lessons subsided, Matt sat up and rubbed his temples, trying to alleviate the lingering discomfort as he opened his status screen.

 

Name: Matthew Artendale 

Race: Cat Faunus

Aura: 200/200

Semblance: Presence concealment

Magic: Locked

Status affliction: Minor headache(3:59)

 

Strength: 8(+2)

Dexterity: 14(+3)

Constitution: 7(+1)

Charm: 39(+3)

Luck: 14

 

Skills:

 

Important skills:

 

Telekinesis: lvl 13(53%)

Singing: lvl 97(73%)

Dancing: lvl 76 (23%)

Hand to hand combat: lvl 7(15%)

Knife proficiency: lvl 5(6%)

Semblance: lvl 3(67%)/29.4 aura per minute

Aura control: lvl 6(98%)/14.10 aura per minute

 

Common skills: Open tab

 

Letting out an annoyed grunt, Matt glanced at the timer. "Four hours! Ugh, well, at least the headache will be gone once I get to Ruby's house." Shifting his focus to his prizes, he deftly pocketed the five hundred lien, his gaze then falling upon the painting that now rested before him.

 

A slight grimace formed on his face as he pondered whether to keep it or not. The canvas presented a blank expanse of white, save for a mysterious figure standing in the distance, their face blurred and indistinct. Straining to discern the details, Matt could make out what appeared to be a figure clad in a tuxedo and top hat, gripping a cane. "This is a bit creepy," he mused, uncertain about whether he wanted such an enigmatic piece in his room. Not to mention the title ‘Suspicious painting’ did not add anything to the appeal.

 

Shrugging, he decided to set the eerie painting aside for the time being and rose to his feet. Positioning himself in the center of his room, he attempted to try out his new dancing skill. It felt like riding a bicycle after years of not doing so, a mix of familiar and unfamiliar sensations intertwining within him.

 

After dedicating around fifteen minutes to practice, Matt experienced a large improvement in his movements. He felt a newfound fluidity, effortlessly transitioning between different dance steps and even merging some of them together. Currently engaged in the Billie Jean shuffle, he swiftly switched gears to the Charleston before getting sturdy.

 

As he continued to explore the realm of dance, he couldn't deny the sheer enjoyment it brought him. In the past, he had been too self-conscious to even attempt dancing, but now he felt a surge of confidence coursing through his veins. It was a liberating feeling, knowing he had acquired the skills to dance alongside others. While it might be considered a cheat to be given a practice that would take an average person years to master, such thoughts didn't trouble Matt. He understood all too well that life was often unfair, and now he was simply seizing his chance to revel in that unfairness.

 

Sitting down on the bed after he was done dancing, panting in exhaustion, Matt took another look at the painting. ‘Still as creepy as before’ Looking over the painting Matt was debating whether to just shove it in his closet or get rid of it. However, the more he looked over it, the more he felt like something was off. 

 

Staring at the mysterious figure closer, he tried to find something different. ‘Is he… getting closer?’ Matt blinked in confusion, ‘No way… right?’ Rubbing his eyes to make sure he wasn't seeing anything Matt refocused on the painting. What he saw made his heart skip a beat, ‘OK! He is definitely getting closer!’

 

Standing up with the painting in his hands Matt walked out of his room, “Nope, nope, nope, nope, not happening. Goodbye Mr Painting.” Speeding down the stairs he ignored the curious looks he was getting, many of them filled with an unusual intensity. Rushing out the back he threw the painting into the dumpster and walked away without looking back.

 

As he made his way back inside, Matt finally realized why he had garnered more lustful stares than usual. It dawned on him that he was still clad in his sleepwear, comprising a tank top and loose shorts. "Oops," he shrugged nonchalantly, displaying little concern for modesty, his Earth values still intact. Walking into his room he took a quick shower and got ready for the day, preparing to head to Ruby’s house.

 


 

As Matt strolled through the beautiful streets of Patch to Ruby’s home, uncertainty lingered in his mind, unsure of what to expect from his visit. He knew she had a crush on him; even a blind man could have figured it out. However, he remained unsure about his own sentiments in return.

 

Matt was mentally around twenty years old, and his taste in women reflected that, preferring more mature looking women like Blake. Ruby on the other hand was fifteen, and while his new body was only sixteen, it still didn't feel right in his mind.

 

Opting to think about this later, he pushed the thoughts to the side for the time being, Matt instead appreciated the captivating scenery of Patch. The island lived up to its reputation, adorned with parks scattered throughout and verdant foliage lining the streets. In stark contrast to Vale's urban development, Patch exuded a more rustic charm, its dwellings exhibiting a more primitive look that blended well with the surrounding forests.

 

Matt also noticed the minimal presence of defenses. Only a solitary wall encircled the northern side of the island, where the vast forest sprawled. Given Patch's island location, the threat of Grimm attacks was considerably reduced. Hunters merely needed to do periodic sweeps through the forest, ensuring it remained clear of Grimm. Even during these clearing operations, the level of action was low. The hunters typically encountered a handful of Beowolves and the occasional Ursa or Borbatusk, however there was nothing more formidable than that.

 

The residents of Patch appeared noticeably happier compared to those in Vale. Children ran through the streets without care or wariness, while adults relaxed in leisurely pursuits, enjoying the sun-drenched climate. Matt figured that their contentment likely stemmed from the island's tight-knit community dynamics, similar to most villages. In this close-knit environment, crime was a rarity. Incidents of wrongdoing were few and far between, and when they did occur, they typically amounted to nothing more than petty offenses.

 

Finally arriving at Ruby's house, Matt approached the front door and gently knocked. Almost instantly, as if eagerly anticipating his arrival, Ruby swung open the door with a wide, goofy smile. "Hey, Matt! Come on in. I'm just getting ready to start making lunch," she greeted him with a burst of energy.

 

Returning her smile, Matt was about to respond when a peculiar scent infiltrated his nostrils, causing his pupils to dilate and his focus to sharpen on Ruby. Adjusting to his new faunus body had been a constant struggle since his arrival. Being a faunus brought with it a heightened sense of smell, hearing, and eyesight, which was an adjustment he wasn't particularly fond of.

 

However, the greatest challenge he faced was his newfound instincts. While faunus children typically learn to control their instincts at a young age, a crucial developmental stage, Matt had been thrust into his faunus body unprepared. He found himself helplessly drawn to new sensations, like the allure of fish and the irresistible feeling of indulging in long naps. On one occasion, he even felt an inexplicable desire to chase a stranger's dog when it turned away from him. Resisting these temptations proved to be a constant struggle.

 

All of this was to say that a typical cat faunus would not be greatly affected by catnip, as they possess the ability to reign in their feline instincts with practiced ease. However, Matt was not a typical cat faunus.

 

Startled by Matt's sudden freeze and intense stare, Ruby couldn't help but feel a twinge of anxiety creeping in. "Matt?" she questioned, her voice laced with concern.

 

In that moment, Matt's mind felt clouded, his senses overwhelmed by the intoxicating aroma emanating from Ruby. Every inhale seemed to trigger a surge of dopamine, intensifying his desire for more. In a hazy state, he instinctively acted upon what seemed like the only logical course of action—he pounced on her.

 

As Matt forcefully knocked Ruby to the floor, her eyes widened in shock. She found herself trapped in his vice-like grip, unable to comprehend his sudden behavior. With a mixture of confusion and lust, she felt his face rubbing against her cheek, his nose delving into her hair and neck as if he were intoxicated. Heat immediately rushed to her face(and abdomen) like a furnace. "Matt!?" she squeaked out. "What are you doing?!" Nervousness tinged her voice as she struggled to comprehend the situation, her body freezing as she felt him begin to purr on top of her, shivering in lust at the sensations.

 

With his mind consumed by instinct, Matt remained oblivious to Ruby's distress, his actions driven solely by the overwhelming allure of her scent. He mumbled incoherently, words like "amazing," "perfect," and "exquisite" escaping his lips as he continued to fervently rub himself against her.

 

Resting on top of Ruby, his senses entirely consumed, Matt could only focus on one thing. "You smell amazing," he uttered dreamily, his voice filled with admiration as he indulged in the captivating aroma enveloping her.

 

Hearing his words, Ruby's mind raced as she tried to push the hazy feeling of lust out of her mind, connecting the dots. ‘Smell?’ she thought, her confusion gradually giving way to realization. ‘The cat nip! Oh this isn't good.’ she whined in her head as she tried to control her raging hormones.

 


 

An aura of icy rage surrounded Neo, evident to anyone who knew her even remotely. Her cold, enraged eyes stared down at some no name white fang member as she slowly bled out. Looking around the small camp she was in, Neo apathetically gazed at all the bodies surrounding her. She had come to this small white fang encampment hoping to destress and get some anger out, but she found herself no more satisfied than when she came.

 

Her anger stemmed from the fact that her favorite toy was now broken, or maybe fixed would be the right word. She has been watching her favorite little kitten ever since she first saw his eyes, staying in his room while he sleeps, taking clothes from his drawer, and sometimes when she got bold enough, touching him lightly. He was just so irresistible to her, however that changed when he started uploading music to the internet. 

 

After his videos started gaining traction, there was something different in his eyes. He was not fixed by any stretch of the word, but there was a new found hope in his gaze. A hope for the future, no matter how small that hope was. 

 

The fact that someone she believed to be as broken as her was fixing himself enraged her beyond belief. He was supposed to be like her, disillusioned from society and broken by it, but now he had ambition. He had a reason to move forward, and Neo, for some reason felt an uncontrollable jealousy. Why was he allowed to feel hope when she couldn't? What was she doing wrong that denied her the same sense of purpose? What did Matt do differently than her? These questions stormed through her mind, tormenting her with their elusive answers.

 

Neo had seen plenty of broken people in her life, whether it was a hunter whose team had been slaughtered or a refugee from a town ravaged by grimm made no difference to her, they were all the same. Each of them unwilling to move forward and unable to find a place in society, but she was different. Neo kept moving forward, no matter what. After she broke she picked up her shattered pieces, dumped them in a bag, and trudged on. Yet, despite her relentless efforts, purpose eluded her.

 

When she first saw Matt’s eyes she finally saw someone who was the same as her. Someone broken down throughout their life yet still moving forward, fitting into society with a fake mask. She saw the eyes of a man who had hit rock bottom and was trying to create a direction in life for himself, and he had actually succeeded, something that Neo has never been able to achieve.

 

The moments spent with Matt became the brightest points in Neo's existence, a respite from the years of loneliness and despair. Even though it was merely observing his daily life, she no longer felt alone in her suffering. But then, a spark of hope, a glimmer of purpose, ignited within Matt's eyes. The mere thought of it sent waves of rage surging through Neo, causing her to clench her teeth in frustration.

Staring down at the bloodstained tip of her weapon, Hush, an idea blossomed within Neo's mind, leading her shoulders to relax with a subtle sense of relief. ‘I know,’ she thought, a faint smile curling at the corners of her lips. ‘I just need to extinguish that hope within him. Then, I won't be alone again.’

 

Go check out my new story Character Creator! Updates will be a bit slow for it since this story is still my main focus

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