As Arthur returned to the familiar black room, he didn't address Mr. Black immediately. His heart was heavy at separating from his love.
He took a few minutes to collect himself and sat down at the table across from his 'boss'.
"You good?" Mr. Black asked.
"No, but I'll manage." Arthur replied. This was also a new feeling for him, missing someone so much it physically made him weak.
"You made out like a bandit" Mr. Black Mused.
"We actually had to fix a few loopholes with certain abilities and items after reviewing what you did." He finished.
"Am I in trouble?" Arthur asked hesitantly. The man made it sound like he did something 'wrong'.
"Nope, we support thinking outside the box. We just had to close some holes in our 'system'. Certain items are listed at prices for a reason and you essentially just traded 10,100 points for an item worth 750,000 points. " He replied.
"Though you should know better than most the trap that the Gate of Babylon lures people into." Mr. Black said.
"Yes, if I become over reliant on it, I will eventually end up like Gilgamesh and forget what its like to be a warrior." Arthur replied. He was going to make damn sure he did not end up like that idiot, he would never stop his training.
"Also, be careful with EA. It is an Anti-world noble phantasm for a reason. Gilgamesh liked to hype it up and say he didn't take it out due to people not being 'worthy', but it also had to do with its power and it scared the king on some level." Mr. Black stated.
"That being said, its time for rewards." He finished.
Arthur took his tablet out and look for where his points were 'stored'.
31,850points Were just recently added.
"You completed your objectives flawlessly and you even did some side objectives that were not listed. You saved that poor girl even though it could have come and bit you in the ass. You made sure Saber and Archer wouldn't disappear, saving Archer from his fate as a counter guardian for a very long time and Saber got to be with the man she loved. Due to all these events coming together, Shirou wouldn't walk the path of Archer but forged his own." Mr. Black stated.
"And then there is rider….." Mr. Black said.
Arthur perked up at his statement.
"I don't think I need to go into what happened with her" He said with a wink, which Arthur became a bit embarrassed at.
"I want to bring her with me…." Arthur said.
"Of course you do, its not every day a woman like that comes along" Mr.Black said, teasing the embarrassed boy.
"It's going to be a bit tough, even if you saved all your points from this point forward." He said with a bit of sadness.
"120,000 points to make her a 'contract worker' under you. So to speak" He said as the item was pulled up on Arthur's tablet.
"Private Worker's Contract" was the name of the item. It allowed a 'counter guardian' to make a contract with another being in the multiverse and bring them along to work alongside them. The 'payment' for each mission was split between them. There were some clauses in regards to what you could bring along, but Rider met all the correct conditions.
"You make it sound like I shouldn't save my points?" Arthur asked in a bit of confusion. He didn't want to brag, but he was decently strong AND he had gate of Babylon.
"Even with the gate, you may not be able to complete the future mission I have for you, and if you just save your points and summon her then you won't have progressed and will eventually die. I recommend upgrading your stats and waiting until after you are let loose to bring her on board." Mr. Black said.
Arthur sighed. His 'boss', wouldn't say this unless it were true.
"Don't kick yourself, I forgot to mention before, time doesn't move the same between each reality. Even if you spend several years jumping between worlds, the time in both Percy's world and Rider's world would only have a few months pass." Mr.Black said with a smile.
"That hurts my brain just thinking about" Arthur said. But that was enough for Arthur, he could deal with the pain in his heart if it meant they didn't have to suffer as long.
"Before we begin, can I ask a favor?" Arthur asked. Mr.Black's eyebrow raised.
Rider was sitting outside the house she was staying at with Shirou and co. She was just staring at the stars, she was already starting to miss him. She missed that adorable smile of his when they spent time together.
She was broken from her thoughts when a small portal opened above her and an object dropped out before abruptly closing. She picked up the object that had dropped and her eyes began to water.
It was a stuffed Pegasus with two little people riding on it, one female with long purple hair and a male with blonde hair and armor.
She hugged the stuffed animal as a smile formed on her face.
"1,000 points, was it worth it?" Mr. Black asked. The little stuffed animal was negligible but opening a small portal to send it was a tad expensive.
Arthur didn't answer but had a dumb smile on his face.
"So where am I off too next?" Arthur asked.
"Academy City" Mr. black answered.
"oh?" Arthur said in surprise. He was familiar with where this city was located.
"Whats my mission?" Arthur asked.
"Protect Index" Mr. Black said.
"That's it?" Arthur asked.
"Yup" Mr. Black answered.
Arthur just sighed. He could guess that either whatever was going to happen was unpreventable or that he could mess things up more if he were told and tried to stop a divergence.
"Enter Strategy?" Arthur asked.
"You've been given citizenship inside the city, you've been living there for a few months and have just moved the apartment down the hall from Touma. Other than that, you have nothing else save some money in your designated bank account that's run through the city" Mr. Black answered.
"Before I enter, can I upgrade my stats? I wouldn't want my power to flare up while I'm trying to be discreet." Arthur asked.
Mr. Black didn't say anything but motioned for him to continue.
The stats upgrade was a bit odd. He couldn't upgrade a stat individually but he could upgrade his status as a whole. The first upgrade cost 30,000 points. The second upgrade cost 50,000 points. It went higher from there. He hovered over the stats upgrade screen that showed what they would upgrade into.
Alexander Penn (Arthur Pendragon)
Strength [C+] -> [B-]
Endurance [C+] -> [B-]
Agility [C-] -> [ C ]
Will [ C ]
Luck [ C ]
- Magic Resistance [ C- ] -> [ C ]
- Riding [ B ]
- Charisma [ C ]
- Instinct [ C+ ]
- Mana Burst
- Strike Air: Hammer of the Wind King (Requires Invisible Air)
- Noble Phantasms
o Excalibur [Anti-Fortress] C – EX
o Invisible Air [Anti-Unit] C
o Rule Breaker [Anti-Magecraft] C
o Gate of Babylon [Anti-Unit] E-EX
- A King's Armor [ C+ ]
He made the purchase and his power did indeed flare up for a moment.
He inspected his new 'body'. There was a very noticeable power increase, he was a bit skeptically when he first heard that a single rank up would be noticeable but as he moved his body around, he felt significantly stronger.
"I'm closer to my prime" Arthur said excitedly. It would take some work to get used to his new specs though.
"You ready?" Mr. Black asked.
"Yup, lets do this." He responded. The faster he gets through the sooner he can see her again.
With a snap of his fingers, Mr.Black sent Arthur on his way.
He opened his eyes as was un an unfamiliar apartment. He could easily guess it was the one mentioned beforehand.
"Guess I'm Alex Penn again" He mused to himself as he checked his magic ID.
First thing he did was check his surroundings. Windows first, then he peered through the door.
It seemed like the only other person on the floor would be his target and Touma. This would do, less bystanders in case something happened.
He grabbed a pair of cloths from his gate, he still kept his bag of holding with him and had a few essentials in there.
It was a bit later in the evening, he could spend a couple hours getting his Barings. He left his apartment to look around, making a mental note where he originated from.
The city was quite the modern marvel. It was the highest technological place he had been to so far, skyscrapers as far as the eye could see in any direction, yet none of that gloomy-city feeling like in New York. The city was clean and meticulously planned to be pleasing to the eye.
Though underneath the surface he knew what lurked. The city was corrupted at its core, its whole purpose was designated for the plans and schemes of certain individuals. All the people living here were merely their 'test subjects'.
After wandering around for a bit, Alex decided to head back and fortify his home. He was looking over his identity while he was out and about. A level 2, known Esper ability was 'wind blade'. He could create a single 'wind blade' that could cut through almost anything. Obviously, it was referring to his Invisible air. Low enough level to go under the radar, but high enough to not be treated like trash.
He made his way back home and as he was walking into the floor his apartment was on, he ran into his neighbor.
"Hello." Alex greeted.
"Um hey?" The boy answered confused.
"I just moved in, nice to meet you neighbor" Alex said, motioning to the door across the hall.
"Oh! I didn't know I was going to have a neighbor. Kamijou Touma, you can call me Touma" He greeted.
"Alexander Penn, you can call me Alex" Alex greeted back.
As he just finished introducing himself, a small nun with silver-blue hair had burst out of their room and ran to him demanding food.
"Hungry, hungry, hungry!" The girl shouted as she jumped on the boy.
She suddenly stopped when she finally noticed the other person present.
"Who are you?" She asked bluntly.
"Your new neighbor, Alex Penn." Alex introduced.
He looked over to Touma who had an awkward expression.
"I didn't realize you liked girls so young, but who am I to get in the way of true love." Alex said with a chuckle.
"She's not my girlfriend!" Touma practically shouted. The girl was trying to hide a blush on her face.
Touma sighed. "Index didn't have anywhere to go so I'm letting her stay with me…." Touma explained.
"How noble of you, don't worry I won't judge" Alex responded with a wink.
Touma just face palmed at his comment.
"Touma where's the food?" The girl said as she was pulled back to reality.
"Ah….i may have forgotten." He said hesitantly.
"stupid stupid stupid!" Index said, hitting him with her tiny fists.
"Um, you two can join me for dinner....i was about to start cooking" Alex said. He took stock of what he had in his apartment before he left, his fridge was decently stocked.
"Thank you very much" Touma said as the nun stopped biting the top of his head.
Alex was busy cooking in his new kitchen while his guests sat at the table. It was a good chance to get some practice in with this structural grasp and reinforcement. It was the secret behind Shirou's cooking. While he couldn't claim to be anywhere close to his level, Alex was still a pretty darn good cook.
The two immediately dug in when he sat the plates down.
"SOOO GOOD" they both said at the same time.
He only destroyed half the ingredients before he could get a handle on his reinforcement. He was still a bit away from being able to use it on himself.
"Where did you learn to cook so well?" Touma asked.
"I just started learning, I wanted to surprise my Girlfriend when I see her next" Alex said with a smile.
"You have a girlfriend!?" Touma asked in shock. He was about the same age as Alex and he didn't even have any girls he talked to.
"Where is she?" Touma asked curiously.
"She's at her home in another country, I had to leave for a bit because of a job I got here." Alex said.
Touma looked at him with eyes narrowed, it was the same as saying 'I have a girlfriend, she just goes to a different school'.
Alex signed as he went into the next room to take out his tablet. It had other functions on it other than job related stuff, he had been sure to take many pictures when he was with Rider.
He handed it over to Touma who started scrolling through the pictures with Index.
"She is very pretty" Index said with a bit of surprise. Rider was basically a goddess in the flesh, even if it was only a picture there was a certain radiance to her.
One of the pictures that they scrolled past, there was no magecraft to hide the mark on her forehead. Index noticed the mark, it was some type of rune or something similar. Even with the knowledge of over a hundred thousand grimroires in her head, she couldn't identify it.
Index didn't say anything, she didn't know if this new person was after her or not. She and Touma already dealt with those other two magicians who had come after her. She didn't want to cause an incident if she could avoid it.
As dinner ended, both of them excused themselves while offering a word of thanks for the meal.
Alex finished up washing the dishes and taking care of any chores he had for the night after the duo left. Now, it was time to reinforce the apartment.
He carefully carved runes throughout his home and put up some bounded fields to avoid detection. It was getting into the night as he finally finished with his own room and decided to move on to the entire floor. A few hidden runes here and there wouldn't be too conspicuous though he was sure Index would notice any bounded fields that went up around the entire building.
He would retire for the night after he practiced a bit with his sword and tried some reinforcement on some glasses he bought. If he could get the hang of it to where he could use it on his body, his strength would increase by a decent margin. Right now, his dragon's magic core basically just pumped mana throughout his body and made him stronger that way, he was curious if reinforcement would overlap or enhance that effect.
As Alex was practicing, he heard shouting from outside his room. The duo were apparently having a fight and Touma stormed off. It didn't take long for Index to get worried and run after him.
Alex sighed, it was time to work.
He followed the girl as she quickly made her way down the dark streets, oblivious to the person following.
They came up on a scene with Touma on the ground, beaten and bloodied.
Alex recognized the girl or had beaten him, Kaori, a saint. He could feel her strength, she didn't quite reach the realm of Heroic spirits, but she was strong.
Index ran up to Touma screaming and crying over his body. He had been cut pretty badly.
"I'll come with you, just please….don't hurt him anymore" Index cried as Touma's consciousness faded.
Before the magicians could respond, a person made themselves known.
"Isn't it past your bed times?" Alex said with a smile as he walked out from the shadows, standing near Touma's body.
Kaori, and stiyl stared at the newcomer, neither had sensed his arrival until he showed himself.
"Alex…?" Index asked in confusion. She thought he may have something to do with these magicians infront of her.
Alex reached his hand out and a golden ripple appeared in space, a red vial came out and landed in his hand.
He poured it over Touma's wounds and they began to heal at an extreme rate. Everyone watched in awe as what appeared to be a potion had healed almost fatal level wounds in moments. Something like this would cause the organizations around the world to fight for possession.
After Touma had stabilized, Alex turned towards the two magicians.
"These two are under my protection" Alex stated.
"Alexander Penn, level 2 esper, known power is 'wind blade'. Creating a blade made out of wind that can cut through most materials." Kaori stated. They had looked into the person who had moved in so close to index. He was normal from what they had found, but that appeared to not be the case.
"You want whats in her head too?" Stiyl said, a bit aggravated at someone butting into their business.
"I don't care about her grimroires, I've been charged with her protection." Alex responded.
"You will go against Nessecarius?" Kaori asked coldly.
Alex snorted, "Will Nessecarius go against me?" He responded arrogantly. He hated when people used organizations to threaten others.
As he finished his words, he materialized his armor and brought forth his invisible air. The aura around him changed, he was radiating mana.
The atmosphere got tense at his proclamation.
Kaori moved first. It was speeds that were impossible for a normal human to keep track of, but Alex could follow with ease.
She swung her blade at him overhead, to which Alex easily blocked with Invisible air.
Kaori was a bit startled at how easily he blocked her blow when she was using her speed as a saint. She didn't have time to continue thinking as an armor-clad foot kicked her back dozens of yards.
"That isn't a blade made of wind, it's hiding the true form of your sword." Kaori said as she regained her composure.
"You figured it out in one exchange, your instincts are incredible." Alex praised.
"Who are you, Alexander Penn is clearly a fake name" Kaori asked.
"I find that offensive, Alexander Penn is just as real as my other identity." Alex said with amusement.
"A magicians name?" Kaori asked in hesitation.
"Nothing like that, just not something I wouldn't want to reveal now, less I grab the attention of the entire world" Alex answered.
"The reason your blade is hidden, it would give away your identity?" Kaori asked.
"Yup" Alex answered.
"Are you a saint?" Kaori asked, she didn't recognized the man before her and she knew most of the known saints.
"Nope, I'm purely human." Alex answered.
"That's impossible!?" Stiyl roared at their conversation.
"Theres no way a human can push back a saint like that" He said again.
"Kid, you really look down on human potential." Alex said.
"I'm not even using my current full strength, and my I'm currently not even at my prime" Alex said, he didn't say it in a boastful matter, just a matter of fact.
His words caused their jaws to drop. He was able to push back saint when holding back as a human? His words were hard to believe.
"It seems like you think I'm just blow hot air, very well." Alex said.
His aura began to change, he was no longer suppressing his strength, his mana was bursting forth at its maximum. But he didn't stop there, he activated his mana burst. Mana burst increased his parameters for a short duration at the cost of a chunk of mana.
His aura was suffocating as it weighed down on everyone present.
"As I said, these two are now under my protection. Any advances towards them by you or your church will be taken as an act of war" Alex stated. He needed to make this a show of force, it was easier to protect someone when no one dared to moved against them so he didn't stop there.
He activated his gate of Babylon, hundreds of golden ripples opened up around the magicians, at every one a weapon of immense power poked out and was pointing right at the duo.
"What....what are these?!?" Stiyl said in shock. All the weapons…..they surpassed anything he had seen before and there were hundreds. The world would go to war for any one of these and here this unknown person easily summoned forth hundreds.
Index who was staring at the scene started to go into a trance.
"Gae Bolg, Gae Dearg, Harpe, Gram, Durandal, Vajra, Houtengeki, Kusanagi, Caladbolg, Dainsleif, Arondight, Balmung, she continued to rattle off weapons that appeared in myths around the world. Weapons to be said to be wielded by gods and demons alike. Weapons that could slay dragons and weapons that could destroy armies.
"You've made your point" Kaori said, a slight stutter in her voice. Having all these weapons pointed at her and the man himself exploding with power that eclipsed her own had caused her to feel fear for one of the first times in her life.
Alex retracted his gate and recalled his aura.
Index also regained her normal mentality as she stared in shock at the man before her.
Alex turned around to walk towards Touma and index. He picked up the boy who was still unconscious and carried him away as index followed.
"If you wish to visit her as a friend, that is acceptable." Alex said as the three of them disappeared from sight.
"Kaori…..what was that?" Stiyl asked with fear in his voice.
"I don't know...." She was also shaken by the encounter.
"But he didn't seem like an enemy…." She added quietly.
Alex and Index arrived back at the apartment and put Touma into bed, he would probably be fine after a good nights rest.
As he left the boy's room, Index was sitting there staring at him.
"You have some questions?" Alex said towards the little nun.
"Who are you?" She asked. She couldn't figure it out, he had weapons from all over the world and wore a suit of armor reminiscent of the knights of old.
"You wouldn't believe me if I told you." He said with a chuckle.
"What do you want with me?" She asked hesitantly.
"Nothing, my only job is to keep you safe. " Alex explained.
"You won't hand me over to the church?" Index asked.
"Nope, and I'll make sure they won't take you either. If you want to stay here with Touma then I'll stay and protect you" Alex said.
"You'll stand against the church?! Do you not realize how strong they are?" Index said with annoyance.
"If they want to be destroyed then let them come, I have no love for the church." Alex stated with disdain.
"Why are you willing to go so far for me….." She said quietly.
"Because I want to." Alex replied bluntly. He knew how much this girl had suffered in her life. She found a bit of happiness and he was willing to help her protect it while he was here.
"If you need me, I'll be around. Stay safe" Alex said as he left the apartment and went back to his.
First chapter int he series. Some revelations will come out from this first world about Arthur's "job".
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