He woke up, It was that dream again. He laid under a tree, dying. His mouth full of blood and he couldn't speak. The smell of death was in the air, there had been a battle. The last thoughts going through his head was the wish to live a normal life.
He got out of bed and prepared himself for the same schedule he had for the past several years; Eat, Sleep, Work.
He didn't detest this life, it just always felt like something was missing inside him. Not in a philosophical sense….but something was actually missing. He felt weaker than he should be, it was a hard feeling to describe so he always just kept it to himself.
An odd sensations came over him as he grabbed a knife to prepare breakfast. It felt 'right' to be holding something sharp. It was also something he couldn't really describe to other people.
He grew up without a family, his parents died before he could remember them and lived in a state run facility until he became of age and was given his inheritance. The few friends he did make over the years eventually drifted apart from him, he was pretty much alone as he got older. He didn't really want for anything but neither did he have some burning passion to achieve something in life. If someone asked him what he wanted he would always reply; 'to live a nice normal life'.
Alexander Penn, the epitome of normal. He graduated college in the middle of his class, he bounced around for a few years and finally found a stable job to work in for the rest of his life. He never developed a meaningful relationship with any girl, there had been a few that came close, but it was hard to give someone your heart when you felt a piece of you were literally missing.
He didn't have any interesting hobbies, he spent most of his time reading or delving into various fictional worlds. He played some games, read some books, and watched some anime. Really any medium that created fantastical worlds, he enjoyed them immensely. If he explained his emotions to someone who asked about his lifestyle, he would tell them he was content.
If someone saw him walking down the street, they could describe him as handsome. He had semi-short blonde hair and an odd shade of green in his eyes. His features were perpetually young for those who knew him for several years. He could only joke about getting good 'Genes'. He didn't look a day over 18 years of age when he was approaching his 30s.
He held himself in an odd manner, his back always straight, confidence radiated his being. He never felt threatened or self-conscious in any circumstance. He got along with people well, and if he were to be honest with himself, he drew people close when he tried.
Despite everything, he just lived a normal quiet life. He wasn't a paragon of justice, but he was always polite and tried to help if a situation arose. That might have been one of the reasons he died.
The neighbor next to him had gotten out of an abusive relationship. She had moved next to his apartment to get away from her previous boyfriend and Alex tried to lend a hand when she needed help. She was hesitant at first but gradually came to accept the kindness of a stranger.
He would sometimes help her cook dinner, when he found out that she would somehow burn water when trying to boil it. And he did not think it healthy for her to only eat from the microwave.
He didn't develop anything past maybe a good impression from the girl. He was simply helping a poor girl when she was down on her luck. Though, that's not how her previous Ex-boyfriend saw things.
The ex-boyfriend was not entirely stable-mentally. He lost his cool when he figured out where his 'girlfriend' lived and was 'cheating' on him with the neighbor.
It's amazing how easy it is to cause a gas explosion.
Alex felt nothing as the explosion consumed the apartment complex.
Not many people mourned for the man, he basically kept to himself. He had many acquaintances but no one to really bare his heart to. No best friends, no family, no lover.
When he 'woke' up, he was a bit confused.
He was in a room, no doors or windows. In the middle of the room sat a chair and table with a tablet on it.
He felt a bit odd…he should have many more questions and possibly be confused at the situation, but for some reason…it felt familiar.
He had some dreams in the past, a room with no exits. Him dying under a tree and wishing for a different life. He would have waived them off had they not kept reappearing and expanding on themselves.
As he was lost in thought for a moment, a man suddenly appeared at the opposite end of the table sitting on a newly formed chair.
"Are you going to stand there forever, or will you join me?" He said, gesturing at the empty chair.
Again, Alex did not feel tense at the situation. He didn't feel afraid nor confused, he merely accepted it for some reason. It was a little nagging voice in the back of his head that said to just calm down and listen.
The man had picked up the tablet and started messing with it, tapping on it in various places.
"You have some questions, yes?" The man asked.
"How do I address you?" Alex asked.
"Oh?" The man said in suprise.
He expected the boy to freak out and demand some answers, yet he was being polite and trying to hold a conversation.
"You can call me Mr.Black" Mr. Black answered.
It was a decent fitting pseudo name, he wore a black suite and had an oddly dark tint of hair.
Alex just observed the man for a few moments as he just tapped away at the tablet.
"You're not going to start screaming and ranting about the situation you're in?" Mr. Black asked in a bit of surprise.
"Part of me wants to….but another part feels familiarity with the situation." Alex explained.
Mr.Black's interest was piqued a bit. He decided to look into the history of the boy before him. The tablet he had in his hand was allowing the mysterious man to look into the boy's past, and even his past lives.
It took a moment before he found what he was looking for. And he began to laugh. It was an honest laugh at the situation he found himself in.
"What's so funny?" Alex asked in interest.
"You are boy, your whole existence and circumstance is funny." He said inbetween chuckles.
"I don't follow, my life had been pretty normal up until this point. To which I still don't know how I got here?" Alex Stated.
"You died, Again." Mr. Black responded, tapping away at the tablet again.
"Oh...…, Wait!? Again?" Alex said in surprise. He accepted his death surprisingly well. It didn't feel 'real' to him. It was more the fact that it happened again.
"That's what I found so funny, your past life." Mr. Black Said with a smile.
"Would you like to learn about it? I'll give it to you as a freebee and download it right into your head, since there had been some mistakes on our part." He explained.
"Um, I'm a bit confused about everything here….but if you suddenly upload a past life into my head would that change me? Would I still even be myself anymore?" Alex asked. Humans were merely creatures of experiences, if another set of experiences were forced into him, he may change completely as a person and the 'self' that he was recognized as may cease to exist.
"That's….a surprisingly smart question to ask, you wouldn't believe how many people just dive straight into the unknown without any consideration. You should have seen this orange hair brat I had to deal with not that long ago…" Mr. Black said with a smile.
"Anyways, yes you may change at a fundamental level. Your ego will go through a transformation as a result. But I can answer one question that's been bothering you your whole life, it's the piece that you've felt was missing" He said.
Alex was a bit hesitant….he was taking this whole situation in stride. Even having 'died' he didn't really feel any remorse, he had nothing to actually live for in his previous life if he was being honest. He would have just kept going on and living the same mundane existence until the day he died.
"Delving into the unknown, huh?" He said quietly.
"Do it." He said with a resolute expression.
The man in black smiled as he pressed a button on the tablet.
Alex felt a dam break in his head, a flood of memories coursed through his brain. It was as if both him and his previous self were fighting for control. He fell off his chair and clutched his head in pain. His entire being was being rewritten.
"Am I me or him? me or him, me or him…..me or him......…me....or him............. The thoughts flashed through his head at an obscene speed.
"....why not both?" Suddenly popped up. The personalities stopped fighting and started to meld together.
The man in black just looked on at the show, it wasn't every day that two egos fought for control over a body.
As 'Alex' collected himself and finally stood up, the man in black finally spoke.
"So, who do I have the pleasure in addressing?" He asked in amusement
"I am…..me. I am neither Alex Penn nor I the person from my first life, I am merely myself and nothing more." He spoke.
"Now that's a surprise, I would have thought for sure the first persona would have completely overpowered the mundane one. " The man in black spoke.
The air around 'Alex' had changed, he was….whole again. His presence changed a bit, his aura felt sharper.
He also felt….'it'. 'It' was still there, it had never left him. His powers were sealed during his 'life' but it always accompanied him. It watched on silently as he led a life he had always wished for. When he lay dying after that battle...his last wish was for a normal life. That wish had been granted by whatever power was behind this man before him.
Though his power returned, he also felt a bit weaker than when he was at his peak. That was probably to be expected when you go so for long without training. He also felt 'it'. 'It' had never left him. He felt comfortable knowing he could take it out if he needed to.
"Have you calmed yourself?" Mr. Black asked.
"Yes…..though it still feels like there 'two' of me in my head." Alex Answered.
"So how do I call you now?" Mr. Black asked.
"Both lives were equally important to me. You can call me Alex for now." Alex responded
"I assume I'm now to pay whatever price was required for my wish?" Alex asked the man in black. In his first life, as he laid dying, he wished for a 'normal' life. It had apparently been granted, and it was time to pay a debt.
"It's nice to actually deal with intelligent people." The man said.
"Before that, lets get your understanding of existence in order." He spoke.
"First off, you probably noticed how you are a character from a game or anime in your second life." He said towards the king.
He did notice that, it was one of the first things. It was strange to think that people could play him as a character. It was a bit unnerving when the thought first flashed across his mind, but he quickly squashed it.
"Yes, that part confused me a bit, but I guess in an infinite multiverse anything Is possible." He responded.
Mr. Black raised an eyebrow, it was REALLY nice to deal with intelligent people.
"Almost nailed it all immediately, but there's a bit more. Basically, the world you were previously living in was near the center of the multiverse. This means that a lot of other realities sometimes bled into yours, they made themselves known through different forms of media. Sometimes it was as simple as a person having an unconscious psychic connection to another world and writing a book about it. Sometimes there would be someone that had a conscious connection and explored it, a certain H.P. Lovecraft comes to mind." He explained.
"But overall, your world was mundane. Nothing supernatural actually made it into your world. But assume anything you've read or watched to be true somewhere." He stated.
"And where does this leave me?" Alex asked.
"The price for your wish, you are to be a counter guardian in simple terms. I believe that phrase should be familiar to you as you know about the 'fate' series." He mused.
"That's...unfortunate." Alex responded with a frown. He had recalled the experiences Archer had went through and the lengths he tried to go to remove himself from such a hell.
"Don't get so depressed, I'm just comparing it to the closest thing you know to make it easy to understand. You're not going to be some beast of Alaya. Though I'm sure she would love to have you nonetheless." He said with a chuckle.
"I've taken the liberty to put up your 'status' on the tablet, it will show like a heroic spirit would to a master" He explained as he turned the tablet around.
"You've probably noticed some differences and similarities, first off; the stats are pretty streamlined. Though ambiguous, they do provide a certain structure and progression. 'A-, A, A+' is an example of strength progression. The higher the state, the higher your specific feature. There is a distinct increase in each level, so don't look down on moving an A- to an A." Mr. Black Explained.
"So I'm basically a heroic spirit in the flesh?" Alex asked.
"That about sums it up, but the stats don't match up 1:1. An 'A' for a heroic spirit would not equal an 'A' for you. Though Noble Phantasms kept their rank the same." The man in black replied.
"Also, there is a store. When you complete missions, you are 'paid' in points. With these you can purchase items and abilities, and even upgrade your stats. Be warned through, having certain items and entering a world where they originated may cause some side effects." He finished.
"You can even buy your 'freedom'" He added with a smile.
"So, can I see what kind of things I can buy?" Alex asked.
"Before that, we need to talk about your situation. You remember I mentioned about us messing up a bit?" He spoke.
"Well…we did mess up a bit, you weren't supposed to die so early, so I'm going to give you a little present. Consider it a 'beginner's kit'. I know you are fond of games." The man mused.
A 'treasure chest' materialized on the ground near them.
"Really?" Alex asked in amusement.
"Open it" The man said with a wide smile.
Alex sighed and kneeled next to the treasure chest.
As he opened it up a familiar sound started playing and a bright light shined from within. Mr. Black had rigged the chest to play the Zelda soundtrack when opened.
Alex looked away as held back a smile while reaching into the chest.
It was a small bag, but it carried the faintest amount of magic.
"A bag of holding!" Mr. Black exclaimed.
Alex didn't respond and opened it up to see what was inside.
There were a few items, a slip of paper that read '5,000 points'. A familiar looking dagger, known as 'Rule Breaker'. A magic 'ID' The explanation given was that it would magically transform to fit any form of identification required in a world. And lastly, a tablet of his own. Indestructible and never running out of power. It contained the 'store' feature and his stats page.
"This is…quite the beginner's package." Alex stated. He was not expected to get another Noble Phantasm.
"There is one more thing, the first world you will be going to, there is a plot active and you can choose to participate in or not. Normally you would have to do your job but this is a special case as compensation. The world will play out with or without you, you can choose to interfere, but be warned, after you use your power, you will be forced out to start your real job. " Mr. Black said.
"A few questions, why will activating my power force me out and why do I get a choice to participate or not?" Alex asked.
"You weren't supposed to be influenced by your past life, this caused a divergence in your second life which caused your untimely death. This is just a way to make up for the time you lost, you weren't supposed to have your powers available so if you use them then you have to get started with work. Really, we're barely inside the lines as the rules are concerned."
"Was my life messed up that bad to warrant me such favoritism?" Alex asked in surprise.
"Again, there are rules to be had and some were not followed correctly. People had been punished severely and we're trying to sweep everything under the rug. You can consider this something akin to 'hush money'. He said with an awkward expression.
"Basically, you were supposed to live about double the amount of years you actually did. You would have found someone to settle down with and had kids." He said with bit of sympathy.
"Any other questions?" Mr. Black asked.
"My purpose as a 'counter guardian' what is it?" It didn't seem obvious to alex. For Alaya's counter guardians, their sole purpose was to advance humanity. That didn't seem like what he would be doing.
"I could go into the detail and sit here for hours explaining it to you….but I'm just going to say its above your pay grade and leave it at that. You are an employee, we are paying you, that's all you need to know for now. If you do good work, you may get more knowledge later down the road." Mr. Black responded.
"An employee who is basically a slave" Alex mused.
"Well technically you can retire at some point." Mr. Black responded, tapping his tablet.
"The whole shop system is in place to artificially inflate the time one serves as a 'counter guardian' isn't it?" Alex asked with an eyebrow raised.
Mr. Black laughed at his comment. He couldn't deny it. They figured out long ago that willing participants were much better than slaves and dangling a cool new set of toys in front of them instead of their freedom often made them want to stay in longer.
"Not like I have much else to do….." Alex said with a frown.
A thought suddenly came to Alex's mind after he finished that sentence.
"Is this why my 'will' stat is so low? I simply don't have any drive or wish to accomplish anything?" Alex asked.
"Bingo, seriously I wish all my employees were like you." He stated with a smile.
"So, I'm your employee, does that mean you are my boss? And if so is there a boss above you?" Alex asked in confusion.
"Pretty much, you can consider me an agent for what magi consider 'root'. I usually have to dumb it down or explain it in some weird ways for most people who don't have the 'root' concept in their lives" He spoke.
"I guess that's where the 'shop' comes from. If Root holds all knowledge then it can easily produce weapons, powers, and abilities." Alex mused.
"Were my stats naturally deteriorated or were they lowered to increase my length of 'employment'? He asked.
"Both" The Man answered without hesitation.
"I see, it makes sense I guess. Am I to assume the worlds I am sent to will match my level of ability?" Alex asked once again.
"Sometimes you will be sent to a world below your level, but rarely will there be one too far above your level. If there is, then compensation will be increased, and any failure will be reviewed instead of immediate disciplinary action." Mr. Black replied.
"Will I be told ahead of time which worlds I am going to?" Alex asked again. He didn't want to ask what 'disciplinary' action as. He could assume it was akin to him getting 'fired'.
"Yup, we don't want our agents going in blind" Mr. Black Spoke.
"So….about this world I'm being sent to?" alex asked hesitantly.
"Oh, this is an exception, you're going in blind." The man said with a smile.
"One last question, what does it mean to 'use my power'?" Alex asked.
"There will be an 'invisible bind' placed around your person, basically as long as it doesn't break your power hasn't been 'used'. This means you can use the very basics of magecraft or strength that is at or slightly above a human's level. You should be able to get a rough feel for how much power that dictates." Mr. Black responded.
"Since you are given the chance to participate or live out your life, you aren't given any knowledge of events. IF you can figure out the world, then cudos. But otherwise, just try to have a nice quiet life before you officially starting work. It will be a bit hectic when you finally start, so enjoy the peace and quiet for now. Consider it a very long vacation. Oh, and be warned, if you die at any point in this world or the future, you will be sent straight to reincarnation with a full memory wipe." He finished as he tapped the head of the king and sent him on his way.
Alex woke up a few moments later, he was wearing the cloths he 'died' in. He was apparently in some kind of alley in what appeared to be the states. He saw the variety of people that walked by and guessed based on diversity.
As he walked out and looked around, it became obvious where he was. New York. The Empire state building gave it away immediately. He just walked around for a bit, lost in his own thoughts. He was mostly still mulling over the combined experiences of two lifetimes.
There was a knot in his stomach at the thought of certain people he had lost. He felt it was a betrayal to have forgotten them but forced himself to think of other matters.
He had come to some conclusions regarding his existence. He wasn't exactly that character from the game. More like another variation of him that probably shared similar experiences.
As he focused more on his surroundings, he started to notice almost a 'mist' that surrounded the world. He was hesitant to penetrate it and see what was on the other side. For now, he needed to figure out his living conditions.
He had nothing except the clothes on his back, and his bag of holding. He had a voucher for 5,000 points, maybe he could buy some money? As weird as that sounded.
He found a secluded park and sat on a nearby bench. With no one around, he turned on the tablet.
He was almost overwhelmed by what he could buy, but it was not the time to be distracted, he didn't want to sleep outside.
After a few filters, he came across the 'currency' page. American dollars were easy enough to find. With 100 points he could get 10,000 dollars. He was happy as the purchase went straight into his bag, he didn't think beforehand about 10,000 dollars suddenly appearing in the middle of the park.
He found an apartment by the end of the night, very little questions were asked and the rent was rather cheap. It wasn't the nicest place…but it would do. And there was a cute kid who would run around from across the hall.
He was sitting down in his rather barren apartment for the first night. He was just thinking about everything, his thoughts were still a complete mess and he wasn't sure he would get sorted for a while.
He figured that this world was still in the 90's, so showing off his tablet was a big no-no. Though other thoughts soon took over. His heart became heavy when he thought about his first life and the woman who originally raised him, she was a handful….but he missed her and her antics. Though she was more of a teacher than a mother figure. Then again, the people he once fought with, his home that was now gone, it hurt.
He was still a bit worried about the 'mist' but, it didn't concern him. He would just continue his mundane existence. He didn't have any goals or anything to strive towards. Frankly. his blade felt dulled. He no longer had a reason to fight.
"This is what I wanted….right?" He quietly asked himself. The memories of his first death becoming fresh in his mind.
He leaned up against the wall and fell asleep.
He woke the next day, still in a bit of a stupor. His motivation was still as low as ever. He had decided to buy some furniture and maybe check out the book store to get his bearing on this world. It felt like two people were in his head telling him what to do.
As we was walking out his door, he met the kid he saw yesterday when he moved in. The boy had a sad look on his face as he was sitting up against the wall outside of his apartment.
"Whats wrong?" Alex said, walking up to the boy and sitting next to him.
"Mom and smelly Gabe are fighting again." The boy said with a sniffle.
"I'm sorry" he said as he sat quietly next to the boy. He assumed this 'smelly gabe' to be something like step-father or boyfriend of his mothers.
"Did you just move in mister?" The boy asked.
"Yup, I'll be staying across from you for now on. You can call me Alex." Alex responded.
"I'm Percy, Percy Jackson." The boy said.
The name was familiar to Alex…too familiar. It hit him suddenly. He cursed in his mind. "The fucking Percy Jackson series. That means those shitty gods are here" He thought to himself.
This answered a lot of questions, the mist that he felt and now he could feel an odd mana from the boy when he focused. He was a bit worried…he had never read the series and only knew a few highlights and the general plot outline.
"Percy" a woman shouted from inside the apartment.
"I gotta go" The boy said as he got up in a hurry.
"See you around kid." Alex said with a smile. The boy seemed to smile back.
"Well I can at least give the kid a safe place since his step dad is an utter bastard and most of his childhood was a disaster" He thought to himself. This was something he did recall from some secondhand encounters with the source material, Percy's childhood was downright terrible.
Alex got up and went shopping, he was in desperate need for appliances, furniture and food.
The days started to go by quickly, Alex was smart with an investing strategy. The companies that were up and coming basically mimicked that of his old world so got in on those quickly. He didn't have to get a 'real' job as he could survive decently in his current circumstance.
He bought a 'Magecraft beginner's kit' from the store for 1000 points. It taught him how to open his circuits. Which he was surprised to find out he had, he thought he only the thing that his 'teacher' had put inside him when he was younger in his first life. He got the kit originally for the other aspects and just checked his circuits on a whim.. The process was painful and long. He had 34 Circuits in total, an amount any magus would be happy with. They were medium quality, channeling around 23 units of prana each. With the beginner's kit, it came with a guide on bounded fields and runes. He would learn reinforcement later, he didn't know if the binding would hold up to that.
He set up runes and bounded fields throughout the entire apartment complex. He doubted most monsters would be able to tell a demigod lived here much less him.
He got a feel for how much power he could use as he pushed against his 'bindings'. Basically, minor runes and bounded fields were the max. No monster hunting for him.
As the days turned to months, Percy started to open up to Alex more. He would come over whenever he was feeling down or just needed someone to talk to. He started calling Alex 'Uncle'. Alex had gotten to know Sally over time since Percy became a part of his life. They got along well, he could honestly call her a friend. He even had to step in a few times when Gabe got a bit too out of control. Sally knew she could come to Alex when she needed help and she genuinely liked when Percy spent time with him.
Whenever Percy was chased out of the apartment by his step father or his mother and Gabe got into a fight, Alex would let him crash at his apartment. He would introduce him to some games and they would play together or watch TV. The boy started to view him as a true father figure.
Alex eventually got to know Sally a bit more when she came around to get her son after things settled down. Sometimes she needed to escape from Gabe as well.
She never questioned why Alex didn't seem to age as the months passed into years.
Slowly, Alex started to anticipate that hyper kid knocking on his door right after school to come play with him.
It had eventually been 5 years since Alex met the Jacksons. Percy was now 12 years old. He had been expelled from almost every school in the area and had to enroll in Yancy Academy where they send the 'troubled' children as some people put it.
The family came to find out that Percy suffered from Dyslexia and ADD. Percy didn't take it too well and Alex was the one to help explain it to the child. Alex would constantly help him study and practice for tests. The amount of work that Percy had to put in to barely pass was astounding.
The long nights where Percy would come over after simply not being able to understand what he was learning. The frustration and anger they had to work through, sometimes staying up into the wee hours of the morning. Alex never lost his temper or complained, he helped the boy when he needed it.
Alex was there along the way at each incident and every time something happened to Percy. Alex started to genuinely care for him. As the boy called him 'uncle' Alex started to think of him as his nephew. It was a weird thing for him, it was a strange feeling that bubbled up in his chest when he was called such by the boy.. The only person he could have every truly associated this feeling with would have been his teacher.
There was a bit of amusement as they both had weird shades of green in their eyes, albeit different ones. Percy brought up his aging multiple times over the years, Alex never looked past the age of 18. He just waived off everything either citing good genes or some medical condition.
The mother never pushed and Percy eventually lost interest.
"Ready for the first day of school?" Alex asked, leaning against his door as Percy and Sally were walking to the bus stop.
"Uncle!" Percy said with glee as he hugged the man.
Alex hugged the boy with a smile. He had seriously come to love this boy as his own kin.
"Are you going to be on your best behavior?" Alex said with a stern voice.
"Yes uncle…." Percy said, a bit embrassed at everything that had led up to being sent to this school.
"Do you remember what we talked about?" Alex asked.
"I just have to try my best." Percy responded in verbatim.
"Good boy, now run along. You don't want to be late" He said, giving the boy a playful shove.
He gave sally a waive and a smile as she took her son down the stairs.
He went back into his room and pulled out a practice sword he bought for 50 points a couple years ago. It was blunt and very durable. It had a magic enchantment that you could increase the weight to help with training.
Along with the magecraft he had been learning, and his sword training. His strength had increased a bit. Though he had yet to rise a rank in his status. He couldn't really push himself until he left this world.
Again, the days went by. Percy finally stabilized in the school and made a friend.....though Alex could tell this 'friend' was not human. The mist gathered around him in an odd way, but he didn't hold any malice.
He just continued to watch on as the duo got along. His name was 'Grover Underwood'. He was a cripple and walked with crutches. Percy apparently had been protecting him from bullying at school. Alex had an odd sense of pride in the boy for that.
The school year came to a head with a certain field trip to a museum. When they came home, Percy practically burst into Alex's apartment. He was worried and confused at everything that happened. Alex could only help him work through it. Alex would never call Percy a liar and wouldn't discount anything he said. Something that Percy seemed to lack in any adult figures.
The boy said how his teacher had turned into a monster and attacked him, then everyone would pretend like they didn't remember her. He was close to having a mental breakdown until Alex calmed him a bit.
As classes finally ended, and summer began, Sally and Percy came over and asked Alex if he wanted to join them at their favorite beach in Montauk. They were renting a cabin for the weekend.
Alex was surprised and happy to join the pair who he had grown close to these past few years.
Their first night at the beach was nice, Percy was finally relaxing after the events that happened the past few days. It was one of the few days that Percy could act like a normal kid and forget about any of the issues he had. Though that ended as the night came.
A loud knocking at their door woke everyone up. A half-naked Grover was standing at their cabin, half his body that of a goat. He explained that he was a satyr. Sally wasn't surprised, to which Alex realized she knew about the mist for a while.
Grover quickly explained the situation, there was a hurricane approaching them fast. The amount of mana it contained was heavy. It clearly was of supernatural origins.
The group began to escape in Gabe's prized 1978 Camaro, which sally 'borrowed'. They almost made their way out of the hurricane as a bolt of lightning shot down and blasted them off the road into the nearby forestry. They quickly escaped the wreckage and ascertained their surroundings.
The group was okay if only a bit worse for wear. That was until the saw a certain creature approach.
"The Minotaur" Grover said in fear.
Alex recognized the monster from myth, and he hesitated.
As the monster prepared itself to charge at the group. Alex still was unmoving. He wasn't afraid of the beast….he was afraid of losing his way of life. The monster was focusing almost entirely on Percy, Alex could have ran away if he wanted….to continue his 'normal' life.
This was his dying wish the first time around and all he knew during his second life. He was hesitating. He looked over to sally who was clutching her son and shielding him from the path of the monster's charge.
Time seemed to slow down as he stared at that scene. A tear ran down his face. He always wanted a normal life, he would envy the towns people when they looked at him in awe as he rode through the street in his kingdom. "the king does not understand human emotion", he remembered being told this before and brushed it off. To be a king was no longer to be human, that was a fundamental law that Merlin told him.
It finally hit him, he always equated a 'normal' life to the feeling of love. He didn't have a normal life nor did he have anyone to love in his past life. They became one in the same in his eyes. He finally found someone that he considered family and now….he was hesitating to save them.
"What have I been doing….when have I become so weak?" He mumbled to himself.
The way he had been living….how was It any different than being dead? He had been trying to fill an emptiness inside himself and didn't realize, the answer had been sitting in front of him for the past 5 years.
"A family, huh?" He mumbled again.
A smile crept up on the king's face.
As the Minotaur charged, a blue blur flashed out and knocked the monster dozens of yards back.
Grover, Percy and sally looked at the scene in awe. They recognized the one who had just pushed back the famous monster.
"I'm sorry….it took awhile for me to remember. It had been a long time since I had something worth fighting for." Alex said with a smile as he looked at the group. It was a simple ideal, he would protect the ones he cared about. He could never return to the king he once was, but he could still be the knight.
No more was the King of Camelot, but the King of Knights.....had returned.
He didn't have his normal cloths on anymore. He had his full armor equipped. One of the features was that he could materialize it like he could his blade.
He had broken the 'bindings' that were placed on him. His mana and strength burst forward for the world to feel.
Grover was shaking at the sheer amount of power he felt. It was almost like he was standing near a god.
"Alex?" Percy said in confusion.
"Sorry kid, I kept some stuff from you." He said with a sad expression.
He stood there, they stared into his armor clad back. Blue pieces of cloth decorated around what appeared to be a medieval knight-style armor. It was oddly comforting, it felt like this figure before them could hold up the heavens.
"When I lived a normal life, I went by the name of Alexander Penn. But the world knows me by a different name." He stated as he drew his invisible air.
Since he let loose, he may as well go a bit further. A show of force to those who were watching the spectacle.
The beast stood up after a few moments, it's bloodshot eyes focused on the torrent of power that stood before it.
The wind around Arthur's blade began to unwind. The light of the blade had shined in the world for the first time. No matter the reality, no matter the form the blade took it held one constant. The glory of Humanity. The sword of Promised Victory.
His was a bit different than Artoria's blade. His blade had seals on it. They required special conditions to unlock and with each one met, the power of the blade increased substantially to the point where all unlocks could equal EA or surpass it. At its base, it was a [ C ] rank.
He wouldn't need to go through the mechanism to unseal the blade and judge if the conditions were met. He could skip that if he only unsealed one condition with which he could call the blades name and unleash its power. He unlocked Mordred's seal, "The battle must be one against evil", there was no doubt this creature before him was evil.
As he unlocked the seal, the light around the blade burst forth in a torrent. It swirled around his blade as he held it. Motes of light began to emerge from the world around him as they merged into his blade. The minotaur showed fear for the first time in its life, he felt the cold touch of death approach. Real death, not the kind where he would resurrect in Tartarus eventually.
"You dared to hurt my family." Arthur sneered. He raised the blade up high.
The Beast was running mostly on instinct, it felt fear in the light that was shining down on it. Its mere presence brought the monster pain. His two thoughts were either, fight or run. But it's 'boss' ordered it to capture the boy and it could not go against his orders. The shallow thinking overturned the beast's instinct and he prepared to charge at the human in front of him.
The Minotaur charged, its horns pointed towards the human's torso.
"…CALIBUR" Arthur roared as he brought the blade down. The massive beam of light eviscerated the beast and continued onward through the forest behind it.
As the dust settled and the light dissipated, a kingly visage stood victorious.
Arthur walked over to the trio, he could feel his body started to tighten up. He was being recalled forcefully.
"I'm sorry, I don't have time to explain everything." He said as his body started to phase out.
"I make this promise as your uncle, Percy. I will return, and I will tell you my story." He said with a smile.
As his body was all but gone he said one final sentence.
"Someone once told me a long time ago...you truly become strong when you have something worth protecting. Get strong Percy and we will meet again." Arthur said as he disappeared.
Had some free time and wanted a break for all the real life stuff happening so i wrote a couple chapters and formatted and tweaked the prologue a bit.
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