An Observer's Destiny

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The Drive

…… A fire burns.

…… A heat that invades my senses, like a claw dragging across my skin.

… Where am I?

Opening my eyes results only in welcoming a world basked in scarlet light. All I can feel is its heat.

… Someone is calling me?

… Mom? … Dad?

Where are they? Why am I here?

… “Jo-…”

The voice is trailing off, but it’s one I’m all too familiar with. Through the crackle of the fire, as if a wail straight from hell, there is no mistake.

My mother.

… “Joran--!”

My lips begin to quiver, as my lungs explode, and a shrill voice explodes from within.

“MOM!!”

Joran shouted within his bedroom, instantly getting up, reaching into empty air. He was utterly drenched in sweat, panting as if he had come from a mile run.

After a few moments of recollection, Joran cooled off and realized he only had a terrible dream; one that was already long gone.

Joran looked at his trembling hands as he sat on his bed, before he sighed and went to get changed.

It had been six months already, and after Joran pleaded with Hando to teach him his Sacred Sights Art, he had been much more earnest in learning about not only the world, but also the newfound Art.

However, they had hit a snag that both surprised Hando, and disappointed Joran.

After Joran got into his uniform, the robes gently swaying back and forth with his movements, he stood in the center of the room and readied into a trained stance, took a deep breath, and closed his eyes.

After a few moments, he opened his eyes, allowing a golden hue to illuminate within his pupils as he fervently looked around, expectant.

But all the same, disappointed.

“Still the same level as before…? Why is it not working…?”

Defeated, Joran rushed out of the door, his footfall echoing alone as he made his way to Hando’s office. Without even skipping a beat, Joran slammed open the door, and found himself in the center of his office in less than two seconds.

“… Well, Joran, I take it you failed using ‘Divine Sight’ then?”

“OVER and OVER again, it keeps failing! Hando, please. If there’s anything you’re not telling me about the Art, then-“

“Do you really think I would withhold any information? Even if I didn’t trust you, it directly benefits me to ensure you learn the Art in its entirety, benefits me so that I can go home finally!”

Joran, completely flustered with frustration, threw his hands up in the air and sat down in the chair opposing Hando, defeated, “So I’m doomed to be not only a Joker holder, but also a Joker who can’t even master an Art fully?”

“We don’t know that, Joran,” Hando was much calmer than when he rebuked Joran, he took a sigh and tapped his finger on the desk, “In all fairness, you’ve gotten most everything else down and practiced.”

“But does it really matter when I can’t even use the ultimate ability of the Art?”

“Well, for all intents and purposes, Divine Sight is certainly not just ‘another ability’ to learn. It’s something to comprehend over time. It took a long time for me to even catch a glimpse of understanding on how it works, but here, we’ve only been at it for two months-“

Joran shook his head abruptly, “It’s not enough. I committed myself to this Art, and yet…” His voice trailed off, and along with it, his will to continue the conversation.

A moment passed between the two, before Hando straightened himself in his chair and asked, “Joran, how is the rest of the Art working out for you?”

Joran looked at Hando for a second before closing his eyes, as he steadied his breath. When they opened up again, that same golden hue within his pupils revealed themselves, and Hando chuckled quietly to himself. At which Joran scoffed, clearly upset, the golden hue dispelling.

“I know you’re rather happy about this, but I really wish I could utilize Divine Sight, and not just ‘Discerning Eye’ or ‘Unmasked Deception’!”

“Look, I know that’s how you feel, but I really meant what I said! The Art, and most likely all of them, take a long time to even learn completely, let alone mastering. If I had to draw up a comparison, where you’re at is where another student would be at 5 years down the path of learning. And yet, barely two months have passed…”

Hando’s voice trailed off, and Joran slowly realized he’d been asking for too much of a single teacher. He sighed and shrugged.

“Look, I thank you for the amount of work you’ve put in for me so far. I really do appreciate it, I mean, after learning everything I can tell just how much of a chicken with its head cut off I would have been… Even so, I need to get stronger so that I’m not such deadweight; I need to be able to accompany everyone else once I leave, right?”

Joran’s frustration was never towards Hando, nor was it even towards the world. His frustration was angled towards himself, who childishly lingered in the garden of his, refusing to press forward. Although that was the case, Joran would still adamantly believe this “fate” of his was unabatedly cruel.

After Joran spoke, the two were dead quiet, and after a few minutes passed, he got up, and started pacing around back and forth in front of Hando, thinking about what to do. Hando’s eyes lit up somewhat after thinking himself, and he began to press forward.

“Well, you’ve learned what you can from me. If you really want to fully commit to ‘getting stronger’, then the next course of action would be to go to the Sect.”

“… What, just like that?”

Hando shrugged, “Our six months are coming to a close here after all, and Vera would be more than excited to meet a Joker, all the moreso one that’s learned the Sect’s Arts.”

Taken aback by Hando’s remark, Joran pondered on the notion before realizing the original issue, “Wasn’t the whole issue with my having the Joker card because of this ‘Aurumn Hinoyagi’ guy? What changed from before to now?”

“Well that’s an easy question; since you’ve learned more about the world now, think about it. Where is the Hinoyagi family from?”

Joran frowned, his brows deeply furrowed, “… I didn’t expect a pop quiz out of nowhere, Teacher…”

Hando sighed, folding his arms, “Think about it, Student Joran. Where are we going versus where is the Hinoyagi family?”

Joran closed his eyes, searching his memories, through the lessons of the last few months, when finally he remembered and threw open his eyes with a gasp, “OH! Hinoyagi is a family name in the Borderlands, right?”

“And?”

“The Divine Eye Sect is all the way over on the other side of the continent, over in Terrene Metro!”

Hando nodded approvingly, “For only having six months, you’ve done well. I imagine we will be able to avoid Aurumn for some time while we figure things out in the Sect. Worst case scenario, we just say you’re from the Sect itself. My biggest worry is actually…”

Hando groaned in disdain, as if suddenly remembering a headache.

“What’s wrong? What would we have to worry about?” Joran could almost see a slight color change to Hando’s face, as if he went… Pale?

Hando shook his head and waved his hands around in protest, “No, nope. We’re totally fine! We shouldn’t worry about anything until we get there. Now then… I have my own car I’ve kept here, so we can use that to get to the Metro. We should be fine with just you and I; but just in case we’ll have Liam come with us.”

“Him? Isn’t he supposed to be here as a Dean?”

“Well, yes. But he’s also a bodyguard given to me by Vera.”

Joran’s mouth went slack for a moment, “We have fighters?

At this Hando guffawed and shook his head, “No, haha, the Arts we have isn’t meant for that. No, Liam is from the Warding Bloodhound Clan.”

Joran sat there pondering the name, “Bloodhound… They’re the ones who can smell stuff right…?”

Hando once again nodded approvingly, “Good job, yes: Liam Heca. Vera went and grabbed a favor from Ruben, since apparently the Central Districts is a dangerous place.”

Joran then spoke in a hushed whisper, “Is it?”

Hando then subtly nodded, “So very dangerous.”

They both shared a smirk, and Hando continued, “But I did appreciate her gesture, as I still do. And now, it’ll very much come in handy, I think. So, when we’re ready, we’ll go to the Metro.”

Joran sighed, a sudden recollection of remembering the nightmare he had; he shook his head and calmed himself, and he nodded, “Let’s do this.”

Later in the day, Hando and Joran were holding suitcases next to a black car, with a sleek front that angled slowly into the driver and passenger seat. But next to them, was an additional person, one in a black suit, and completely bald; his build relatively big compared to the two, as was he the tallest.

Joran was a little taken aback, “How have I not seen Dean Liam before the Exam?”

The man, Liam, chuckled, and let out a deep bass voice as he responded, “Well, Hando never felt for me to discipline you. Maybe it was for the best, who knows.”

Hando chimed in with his own few words, “Well, when it comes to dealing with you, Joran, I honestly never really knew what to do. On the one hand, corralling you into the Class would’ve been detrimental, but on the other hand, it was my duty to do so…”

Joran looked over at Hando, to see that there was sincere conflict within Hando’s expression. Even to this point, Hando still had no answer for what was the right choice and what wasn’t.

Joran smiled faintly, “Well if it’s any consolation to you, Teacher, you were always the one person I didn’t want to let down.”

“Heh, and what about your friends?”

Joran’s eyes widened, and he hung his head as he came to a stunted realization.

What am I gonna do about the fight we had…?

Seeing Joran’s resignation, Hando nodded towards the car and spoke to the both of them, “Let’s start going, shall we?”

After piling into the car, with Liam in the back, the trio made their way out of the valley. Reaching the summit, they had hit a vast, wide plain that stretched out as far as the eyes could see, mountains faintly off to the distance in spots all around them. The plain grass gently waving through the wind, and spotted clouds scattering shadows on the earth; the road they took slowly changed from a paved dirt path to a more, smooth rock one. Leaving the northern region of the Central Districts, they had passed numerous other Districts, where others of the Hero Realm were learning and growing. Some Terraces were embedded in hillsides, while others also were in basins and valleys similar to the ones the trio were from. The road then slowly became a fork, where three new roads sprawled into completely different directions, one cobble, one dirt, and one cement. At this point, Hando spoke.

“Well, the Realm Fork is just up ahead. That means we’re officially leaving the Central Region. The three roads go to different regions from this place. Do you know them?”

Joran then took a side glance to see Hando smirking, before rolling his eyes and thinking about it, “Well, the cement road is obviously to the Terrene Metro… So the dirt one is to the Borderlands… Where does the Cobblestone go?”

Liam then perked up, to answer himself, “The Mage Isles.”

Joran was taken aback a bit, and asked, “But it’s literally in the name, ’Mage Isles’. How is there a road there?”

The other two exchanged knowing smiles as Hando answered, “Maybe at some point, you’ll find out. In the meantime, we should make haste to the Metro, before nightfall.”

Taking note of time, the trio observed the sun that was slowly beginning to descend from its peak in the sky, the two knowing the situation. Joran on the other hand…

Scratching his head, he asked quizzically, “Why before nightfall? We can get there before dusk anyways, right?”

Hando shook his hand, “Well yes, but we never know what could happen between here and there. If we get caught up on the road to the Terrene Metropolis, then we may have to deal with some… nuisances.”

“Such as?”

“Nothing much, some goblins maybe… Or maybe even a Kobold, I haven’t seen someone fight one of those in years.”

Liam chuckled to himself, but Joran grew very concerned, “… Shouldn’t we be careful about that?”

“Well it’s like you said, Joran. We should be there before nightfall.”

With that, Hando continued on the cement road that slowly transformed out of the path they were on previously. Although the Hero Realm was united against the Beast Realm, the three regions had very different attitudes towards how things should be run. Although they had collectively agreed to creating the Central Districts for education and a general, centralized region between the three; they couldn’t bother to integrate governments or authorities, as distinctly seen with the different types of roads; with one exception.

The Realm Monarch. A title given to the utmost, strongest individual in the entire Realm. This title is handed down from one Monarch, to the next. Usually within the same family, but other times, passed on to another that deserves the title moreso. For generations, the Realm Monarch had always been one that stood at the pinnacle, the one that unites the entire Realm against any threats.

This single piece of authority is what prevents the Realm from becoming a fractured state, that could be overwhelmed and destroyed.

As the trio drove along the road, the rolling plains slowly rolled over into rolling hills, and slowly but surely became more and more dry and warm. At this point, they had driven through a gargantuan, unfathomable forest of birch, oak, and pine. The winding path causing Joran to slowly nod off.

He had taken this road before. When he came from the Metro, to go to the Central Districts. And although it was a long time ago for him, the memory felt quaint.

It was a larger vehicle, with many more kids, more than even within his Class. Although the rest of the kids were excited to go, Joran couldn’t help but feel lonelier than ever. He had lost his family that he grew up with two years before this point, and even though he lived with his uncle and aunt, they could never fill in that hole that appeared in his heart.

However, seeing the trees, and eventually the rolling plains, poured something else in that void. Seeing them from the city was one thing but being within the vast expanse was completely different. And Joran realized this almost as soon as he experienced it. He felt deep inside that maybe things weren’t so bad, if the world had such beauty.

Maybe where they were going would herald such beauty.

The sun had nearly gone down, and Joran, who sluggishly awoke, came to realize they were still driving.

“… Wait, where are we?”

Hando looked over, to see Joran waking up and sighed, “We hit a bit of snag.”

“What do you mean, ‘a snag’?”

Liam chimed in from the backseat, “Well you see, when a deer pops up out of nowhere…”

Joran groaned, “So how is this thing still driving?”

Hando sneered, “I wouldn’t have such a low-quality car if it couldn’t survive a deer ram… But it did require inspecting everything on the front… And maybe waiting on that ended up putting us behind.”

Once again, Joran groaned, but Hando continued, “Even so, we shouldn’t be too far away from the first town. Once we’re there, we shouldn’t be that horribly off.”

Joran glanced out of the car, watching the amber sky cast dark shadows within the forest. Even with the ominous atmosphere breeding throughout the scenery, Joran couldn’t help but still admire it. He did have to admit that being in that valley, and even that little garden of his was getting to be stale.

But it was all beautiful to him, nonetheless.

The forest began to thin out, and in the distance, about a mile or so, they could start to make out some structures, with lights beginning to shine as the sun descended beyond vision.

“There, we’re not far from Portsmouth.”

Hando sighed a breath of relief, before a red system light popped out on his dashboard, “What…?”

Before any of them could react, the car suddenly let out a loud, metal grind, as a rod threw into the engine block of the car, choking the entire system and causing the car to veer out of control, right off the road, and into the forest.

The next moment that Joran could remember, he was out of the car on the ground, with something wet and warm attached to his forehead.

Blood.

Groaning, he steadied himself as he sat up, and looked around. He could see the car smashed into a tree a few dozens of yards away from the road, and with it, Hando at the steering wheel, hunched over it.

Dazed for a few seconds, Joran then realized it was pitch black, aside from the car’s headlights facing towards the road. Testing his body, he took note that aside from his bleeding head, his legs were fine, and a resounding pain came from his left arm, most likely a sprain, or even a broken bone. Gingerly getting up, Joran dragged himself to the car, and called out to Hando.

“Please, wake up. Hando, it’s like you said, we’re not that far away, so let’s hurry up and go.”

After a few tries and failing, Joran rested on the side of the car and sighed to himself, trying to think of what to do. He couldn’t just leave Hando, especially after he said there might be dangers out here, even if they were only a mile away from the town.

After some time concentrating, Joran, alone by the car, could hear rustling from the night wind.

And rustling from something else.

Forcing the blood to keep from pounding in his pulse, he slowly closed his eyes and focused. After a breath of a moment, he opened them again, exhibiting a golden hue. To him, the entire world around him grew to be as clear as if it was day. He shifted his gaze to Hando and sighed in relief to see that his vitals were still there, and that he was really simply knocked out. Then the rustling came around again.

Joran’s eyes shot all over the place, darting them back and forth to find the source. It was closer than before, and it happened more than once or twice. Even with vision that was as good as the middle of the day, he couldn’t see what was causing the noise. A cold sweat began to form on his back as he realized there were more than one thing rustling around in the underbrush. A shake began to form in his hands, and he couldn’t help but start to haggardly breath.

Then suddenly, something from inside the car clasped on his mouth and pulled him in. At the same time, the car’s headlights turned off.

Getting ready to fight for his life, Joran thrusted himself free from the hand, and looked over to see Hando holding a finger to his mouth, trying to shush him.

Joran obeyed immediately, and the rustling slowed down to a stop.

Hando whispered deathly quiet, “They’re goblins. If there’s one, there’s going to be one other one around. They can’t actually see very well, but their hearing is almost second to none, so we just need to…”

And at that point, Hando’s voiced trailed off, and the two stayed in hushed silence as they waited for the goblins to vanish. Now, after Hando fully woke up from his knockout, he too had golden eyes looking about.

A few minutes passed with absolute, deathly silence.

The two could barely hold on any longer, their breaths beginning to grow restless from being controlled for so long.

Suddenly, a goblin thrusted itself out of the underbrush, a few meters away from the actual car.

To Joran, it was the ghastliest thing he’d ever seen.

With a sharp piece of wood in one hand, it stood barely over four feet tall, but it had a long snout that contained ridiculously gnarled canine teeth. Long pointed ears flicked around, as if trying to hear something, anything. Its sickly yellow eyes lazily looked around, the creature knowing it wouldn’t see anything. The mangled four fingers that gripped the wood spike seemed frail. For that matter, the entire goblin looked frail.

But Joran knew better than to assume it wasn’t dangerous. Because it wasn’t alone.

More rustling came about, and three more came out, following the first one’s lead. They all had sticks that varied in shapes and sizes, but all of them had at least a razor-sharp edge.

Hando then sucked his breath in, “Oh shit.”

The four goblins flicked their heads about, looking around, letting their ears try to pick anything up.

When suddenly… A quiet rustle came up from behind them.

The four of them looked in unison at the direction the sound came from, confused.

Fwick!

In the next moment, one of the goblins collapsed on the ground, its head rolling on the ground.

The other three cried out and readied themselves against the unseen threat. And a large man in a black suit lunged out of the shrubbery with a three-foot sickle in his hand, swinging at the closest goblin.

Thwack!

A goblin got cleaved, making an ugly scream before dying on the spot, the other two took their jabs at Liam, one of them stabbing at his leg, while the other tried to disarm the sickle he was holding.

As the three struggled, Liam shouted, “Damn rats! Get off of me!”

He kicked the goblin stabbing at his legs, pushing it away by several feet and knocking it on the ground. He then punched the goblin trying to cut his armed hand off, and with a heavy thud, the second goblin fell straight to the ground, completely knocked out.

At this point, Liam grabbed the sickle he threw, and sliced the goblin in front of him down, and then faced off the last goblin that had just got onto its feet.

Readying into a stance with a sickle behind him, and a sickle in front of him, Liam waited for the goblin to make a move. All it did was snarl and ran off.

Joran and Hando took a moment to let go of the breath they were holding and sighed. As they got out of the car, Liam grunted and collapsed on one foot, while he took a knee.

“Liam!” The two shouted and ran over to him.

As the two neared him, they noticed the worst of it through their Arts. Multiple stabs inflicted on his injured leg rendered it completely useless, and the stabs from the other goblin almost reached vital arteries and tendons.

They paled at this discovery, and Hando hurriedly tried to get Liam up, “Alright, you got to be a hero on this trip, let’s go.”

Liam chuckled, but grunted in pain throughout any words he spoke, “Heh… I’ll be fine. I’m more… Worried about you… and that Sister of yours…”

“Well then you could make sure we’re fine when we go, come on.”

At this, Joran heard some more rustles behind him.

One… Two… Three…… Five…

Liam grimaced as he gripped Hando’s hand that was on him, “Go.”

Hando stuttered, “B-but your clan… We’re not even that f-“

I SAID GO!

The rustles stopped momentarily, before the goblins began to charge closer towards the trio.

“…” Hando scoffed, helplessly thrusting himself off of Liam and backing up.

Joran, shocked, helplessly cried, “Hando, he’s hurt!”

“… We need to go.”

“Hando!”

“WE NEED TO GO, NOW!”

Joran squeezed his eyes shut, to let the tears drop, and ran. So did Hando.

As the two ran off, Liam sighed contentedly to himself as he got up.

“Good luck Hando. You too, Joran.”

The goblins lunged at him all at once, and Liam’s eyes went scorching red as he yelled out, spinning with his sickles fully brandished.

Hearing the scream, Joran stiffened, and he couldn’t help but start to run faster, his legs turning into hot liquid. Hando wasn’t much better off. The adrenaline being the only thing pushing them further.

Through the panting, Hando spoke to Joran, “Liam isn’t a pushover, he’ll deal with those goblins.”

“So… Is that why… we left him..?” Joran could barely muster these words through his panting, leaving Hando speechless as they both neared closer and closer to the town and its lights.

A few minutes had passed, and a distant bloodcurdling scream resonated throughout the forest. A cry of pain unimaginable to the duo, as they unconsciously quickened their pace.

The wall of Portsmouth rose up steadily, and eventually, they reached the very base of it, the wooden wall towering over them at about 9 feet. In front of them, stood a heavily armored man with a broadsword at his side. Seeing the two, the man felt as if he had just seen two ghosts appear out of thin air.

Collapsing in front of the solider, they slowed their breathing, and without any further questions, the soldier shouted behind him, “Hey! We need a medic over here!”

“You should’ve known better.”

A doctor examining Hando made this jabbing remark.

Hando squinted his eyes and gave a sort of “really?” look, “I appreciate the feedback, Doc.”

“Well either way, you two are fine, just some serious bruises to deal with for a few days. We’ve sent out a search team for your friend…”

Joran and Hando sat in a sterile, hospital room, with some bandages wrapped around their heads, and Joran’s arm in a sling. But more than their injured looks, their spirits were extremely disheartened.

Hando absentmindedly said, “Don’t forget to find our suitcases. They should still just be in the back of the car…”

The doctor nodded, “Of course, but for now, you guys should rest.”

The doctor left after saying that, and the two laid down on their beds, looking up at the ceiling, Joran replaying the event over and over again.

It wouldn’t have happened if Joran had gotten a two of spades… Liam and Hando would still be teaching at the Class if it wasn’t for his Joker card…

His damned Joker card…

“Damn it!” Joran fought back the tears as he shouldered the guilt.

Hando glanced over and shook his head, “No, no this is not your fault, Joran.”

“How is it not…? If I wasn’t such a ‘gifted’ person, this wouldn’t have happened in the first place! Why is fate playing such a shitty joke on us??? On me…”

“…” Hando was left at a loss of words, not because he agreed with Joran, but because he couldn’t help hating how things turned out.

As the two’s adrenaline subsided, they both submitted to sleeping, and they both dozed off at roughly the same time.

… Here I am again…

This same godforsaken nightmare, replaying over and over again.

I can feel the scarlet flames licking at my soul. Savoring every moment of despair.

Relishing in my hatred for it.

Fate…

Waking up, Joran noted that it was morning outside, and realizing that he was in the same sterile bed as he had fallen asleep in. Proving that everything last night was real.

That it wasn’t a morbid nightmare.

Slamming his hand on the bed, he grunted in frustration, feeling a meltdown imminent.

The slam woke up Hando, who groggily turned over to see the state Joran was in. He could only sigh and try to comfort as best he could.

“Look, Liam went out the way he honestly would have wanted. He always talked about his moment of glory! Now we just need to make sure we can give him a proper burial, for his sake… and… for ours.”

“I’m afraid that’s impossible,” the same doctor from last night came in as Hando started talking and rebuked him.

“I beg your pardon…?”

“The body… They couldn’t find Liam.”

Joran simply grunted in response, even more frustrated. However, Hando just looked confused.

“… What do you mean they couldn’t find it?”

“Well, the location you gave us, we found the car right where you said it’d be. But… We really couldn’t find Liam. We scanned around over a mile radius. Nothing.”

“… Goblins don’t take bodies though. Why would they…?”

Hando froze in place, realizing a truth that seemed to be far worse than the prior one, “Unless… It’s happening again.”

At this Joran looked up in confusion, “Again? What’s happening again?”

But as Joran looked over at the doctor, he realized he had gone completely pale as he muttered, “No… It’s too soon…”

“Too soon for what?”

Hando muttered his answer, “What else could it be? I need to go back to my Sect to inform them of this matter.”

“We can send a messenger in your stead.”

“No, we are headed there anyways, so I’ll let them know myself.”

“… Very well, at least let us service the Divine Eye Sect anyway we can.”

Hando nodded, “Thank you. Joran, let’s go.”

Joran was flabbergasted at this point, “W-what?”

But before he could finish getting the word out of his mouth, Hando was already out the door and headed towards a random black car parked in the hospital’s space.

Hando wordlessly got into one and waited for Joran to get into the car before driving off further south.

Portsmouth was the northernmost town in the chain of towns and cities. Crown’s City, the heart of the megalopolis, was only a few towns south of Portsmouth, but it was still a bit of a drive for them. Leaving Portsmouth and entering Manchester, Joran finally exploded out of confusion.

“Hando, what is going on?”

“We were aware of there being a handful of goblins, but there were more than just a handful. Additionally, they took his body. Which can only mean one of two things.”

Joran waited patiently for the answer, but it didn’t come for more than a few moments, and finally he pursued, “Ok, and?”

“Well, goblins usually are creatures of instincts. But these ones could’ve had some semblance of intelligence. Which I think is impossible… So it could only mean the other thing.”

Now, they left Manchester, and entered a new city, the woodland feels giving way to a more modern, civilized atmosphere. The buildings began to grow in size, as steel took place of most wood and stone. Structures began to tower over the roads that interlocked with each other. Cars starting to pile on more and more, almost to the point of creating traffic.

“… So what’s the other thing?”

“Well, that’s why we’re going to the sect now.”

“I thought we were going there anyways?”

“Yes, but this is far too important, more than anything else now.”

“Hando, what the hell is this other possibility?”

The city exploded in size, as the sleek, metallic steel began to transform into golden structures. Pillars that reached unfathomable heights, and huge slates of buildings littering the ground, some grey, some gold, others any variance of colors. The rays of the sun bounced off the windows on these grand, scaled buildings. They reached Crown’s City.

“We’ll let my sister know about this danger, right now, come with me.”

Hando parked in front of a somewhat tall pillar-like structure. It exuded a bronze look, with a base that seemed almost like a stadium and a logo showing an eye that seemed to hold a ring around its iris. Entering it, almost everyone stiffened upon seeing Hando, and only relaxed once he had passed.

“Hando, what the fu-, “ Joran exasperatedly yelled after him, before Hando turned around a corner to a double slab of golden doors, and opened them, revealing a large rotunda that had a large ring table with multiple chairs surrounding it.

In the middle of this ring was a tall, beautiful woman with long blonde hair in a single braid. She turned at the sound of the door opening, and at first shock completely riddled her face, before anger took over.

In a sonorous voice, she began to yell, “Hando? What are you doing back here…?”

But Hando dodged the question before announcing within the rotunda, where multiple others could hear him, from the table who were present, “An Invasion is coming!”

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