The Path of the Aura: Intertwining Crossroads

Chapter VI (6): The OSS (Optical Surveillance Sphere)

About nine years and four months later…

Location: 28N, 34E

Date: January 1st, 60 A.D.

Time: 9:44 AM

Eduardo's Age: Twenty-seven

A sufficient amount of time has passed after two main incidents in my life: my banishment from my home village, as well as the sable-scaled dragon that I clashed with. Both events remained cemented into my mind, integrated into my experiences, and fresh within my memory.

The events that unfolded back at my home village, after defeating Mercury's Roman legion of 999 soldiers with awakened powers I never thought that I possessed. Wielding three elements—fire, lightning, and water—and manipulating my body to handle specific traits—physical, beneficial, and mental—, all six of which I utilized under the self-named Elemental Aura abilities under my disposal.

Ultimately, the village that I protected decided to banish me, never thinking otherwise of my opinion on the matter. My brothers, Costas and Ian, I'll likely never see again.

The sable-scaled dragon that appeared from seemingly nowhere, flying vehemently towards me of all people on this planet, as I fed a small group of green iguanas and white cockatoos that had unknowingly turned alien within a habitat away from their natural. That massive winged lizard, I clashed with two new weapons of mine—the Penta-dent Mark II and Gauntlet Shield—, as well as three new elements that I learned through my Elemental Aura abilities—wind, nature, and earth.

I dissevered the dragon's night-like body into three sanguine segments—the head, body, and tail. And yet despite that, it managed to knock me out when my guard was down, and disappeared into the same aura of mystery that it came from. Its parting gift was leaving me blind in my left eye, which I've covered with a black eye patch ever since.

Those two events, I pondered temporarily as I was dedicating my time working on a new "S-Rank" invention, my third "S-Rank" invention: the S3-OSS device—the "OSS" standing for "Optical Surveillance Sphere". And unlike my S1-GS device or my S2-PTSDO device, the S3-OSS device is best made with quantity alongside quality. A set of twenty-six individual S3-OSS devices is what I had planned in manufacturing it.

I resided—much to my better judgment—in the exact same area where I encountered the dragon, as well as the odd placement of five green iguanas and five white cockatoos. The animals that I have befriended were living in tranquility within the massive Berry tree that I planted, a tree substituting the one that the sable-scaled dragon burned down during our former clash.

The equipment that I had present on the field included a work desk, welding equipment, and multiple sets of massive machinery, all of which served a purpose.

The work desk, with a comfortable chair that I sat on, was where I manufactured the S3-OSS devices, individually and with considerable speed. On top of the work desk, I have the various components of the internal circuitry of the devices. The welder, which I was utilizing, serves the purpose of connecting the wires and circuitry into the appropriate places, despite the fact that both of them were made of the same material that the machines were producing consecutively.

The machines that I have surrounding me were creating the material utilized for the external shells of the S1-GS device and the S2-PTSDO device—including their internal circuitry. The size of the shells was only one inch in diameter, and came in two sets of hemispheric halves. The machines were manufacturing the last of the fifty-two needed hemispheric shells at the moment, taking more than enough time to allow me to complete these devices.

With the welder, I connected the various components into the shape of a ball, a ball of interwoven wires, microchips, and servos. In the front of the ball of circuitry, I inserted the two primary components of the S3-OSS devices: the camera lens and the microphone. Once welded into place, the end result made the ball of circuitry appear more as if it were an electronic "eye"—with an "ear" inside it. I repeated this twenty-six times in quick succession, never missing a beat.

Once done with the internal structure of the twenty-six individual S3-OSS devices, the machines surrounding me manufactured the remaining required hemispheric shells. I retrieved these fifty-two shells, placed them on my work table, and assimilated the dismissed machinery within my S1-GS device.

The last step was to simply connect two hemispheric separate halves together, with the electronic "eye" inside of them. The process of which took only a few minutes of my time. And after that, I had twenty-six manufactured S3-OSS devices on top of my work table.

All of them, despite being completed, felt too similar in terms of aesthetic appearance. To alter them all and make them individual instead of similar, I retrieved paint from my S1-GS device, deciding to paint each S3-OSS device individually. The paint itself is made with the primary ingredient being the indestructible material that I favor.

If I were to make an error with this paint, I could simply correct it with the rinsing of water. However, the water was only needed in miniscule quantities, such as when I cross a line by a millimeter. Also, with dozens of different colors for paint, I painted unique premeditated designs, based off of what I saw in a dream—the dream being where I originally recalled these designs that I'm painting.

Halfway done with painting, I set a few of the S3-OSS devices aside, allowing their aesthetic design to dry, free of my contact.

While working on this final task, I trailed off and recalled my inspiration for these designs, the dream that I had relating to them.

The inspiration for the designs came from a dream that I had during December of 59 A.D. Within that dream, I visualized a shelf of spherical capsules with buttons in the center, twenty-six in total, all of which were individualistic in aesthetic design. Whether these mentioned spheres served a purpose or not was something that my dream never clarified.

The designs, as well as the quantity of the spheres on the shelf, were what I derived for my twenty-six S3-OSS devices. And because of my 10,000 I.Q. mind, I remembered their designs perfectly. Their functions however, speculating that they have a function, and their size, about that of a grapefruit, weren't derived from my dream, and so I disregarded upon manufacturing my S3-OSS devices, which are only one inch in diameter.

On a side note, it wasn't until the moment that I awoke from that same dream that another idea came to my mind, an idea relating to that indestructible material that I forged from the fusion of all known elements.

The material utilized for my "S-Rank" inventions—the omnipotent material that is the product of the fusions of every single element—was never given a proper, suitable name when I first created it. I never decided to give it a name before, unable to find the proper word choice to describe it, and allowed it to remain unnamed until I could ponder a name that wouldn't vilify the material in the least.

At long last, I finally decided to name this material, cementing my self-made title onto my self-made material.

The name that I gave for this material: Auracite.

My reasons for the name: the aura that surrounds us all, the capability that—I believe—it has to overcome any obstacle, if used properly.

And speaking of aura, the time period between today and the fight against the dragon has given me two new Elemental Aura abilities, both of which I acquired through further beneficial amplification of my attributes: Light Blue (Ice) Aura and White (Light) Aura.







With Light Blue (Ice) Aura, I can manipulate ice, and freeze practically anything with moisture. I'm also able to tolerate unbearable cold of sub-zero temperatures, those that exist within the remorseless waters of the Arctic and Antarctic seas.

With White (Light) Aura, I'm able to generate a brilliant light—easily capable of searing unprotected eyes to the point of temporary blindness—, create transparent barriers to confound or to rampart, or even condense light into a compact sphere of volatile energy.

With the sum of those two new traits to my power, I now possess eleven inimitable Elemental Aura abilities at my disposal: Red (Fire) Aura, Orange (Melee) Aura, Yellow (Lightning) Aura, Light Green (Wind) Aura, Green (Healing) Aura, Dark Green (Nature) Aura, Light Blue (Ice) Aura, Blue (Water) Aura, Purple (Psychic) Aura, Brown (Earth) Aura, and White (Light) Aura.

Despite my current age of exactly twenty-seven years—today's my birthday, after all—, I only appear to be two-thirds my age, eighteen years old in terms of appearance.

I've accomplished so much in so little time.

One of my accomplishments is fighting that enigmatic dragon, on September 6th, 50 A.D. The lasting injury that it gave me was blindness to my left eye, which was accounted for with an eye patch—which I change twice a year due to eventual wear and tear.

This condition, as much as I grudgingly refused it as concrete, appeared to be permanent. Through many concentrated healing sessions with my Green (Healing) Aura, I was never able to recover from my partial optical blindness.

Perhaps that was a curse that the dragon left behind for me…along with a vague segment of dialogue.

You can't prevent "It", you can't escape from "It", you can't endure against "It".

"(What is 'It'?)", I thought while painting my new "toys". There are thousands of possibilities that I've thought of over the years, but I can never pinpoint what "It" is.

The dragon, with scales that mimic the night sky in terms of darkness… If I fight it again, I'll be sure to make the answers come out of it, by force if I have to. Until then, it's a mystery that's too early to solve, too vague to speculate, and too intertwined into my mind to simply relinquish.

That's one of the questions on my list that I try to find the answers for in my life: Who truly killed my parents? Why do I have these phenomenal Elemental Aura abilities, and a superior intellect to compliment it? Whatever happened to the dragon that I (allegedly) killed? What is this "It" that that dragon is referring to? The beast that I drew a blood-and-dust likeness of based on what I saw in a dream, prior to gaining my Elemental Aura abilities and leaving my home village… What in the world did I see?

Ten-and-a-half years of banishment and wandering around this small world have left me to speculate five answers that most likely answer these questions: The Romans. I may be destined for something important. The dragon could've simply disintegrated without a trace, or perhaps regenerated and abandoned the scene without a trace. It is an unfathomable force, by human standards, that I might have to face in the recent future. It was just a figment of my vibrant imagination.

Of course, even these tentative answers have further questions sprouting from them.

One question that I pondered off of the top of my head involved that sable-scaled dragon. Rather than blind me and leave me unconscious, why didn't it kill me when I was absolutely vulnerable? I know I would've if I was in its scaly skin.

Perhaps there was a reason to this unusual choice of action. The reason however, I had no lead to in order to speculate from.

And rather than continue this mental gymnastics, I stopped pondering once all twenty-six of my S3-OSS devices are painted and neatly lined up on my work table. I waited only minutes to allow their paint to dry before deciding to give them all a test run.

12.1: Unwelcomed Shadow

Location: 28N, 34E

Date: January 1st, 60 A.D.

Time: 10:25 AM

With everything packed away, except for the items strapped onto my being, as well as the worktable and the twenty-six S3-OSS devices on top of it, I retrieved my S2-PTSDO device from the left side of my body, only with a significant difference in the device's appearance.

The device was upgraded as of December of 59 A.D., the same time frame as the dream that I had that inspired me to develop and manufacture the S3-OSS devices. This dream was similar to the dream that inspired me to manufacture the S2-PTSDO device—revealed in a stage with one person revealing a new device to an audience.

Only three things have changed with this upgrade.

Firstly, the appearance was changed, which was simply done with a change of Auracite shells and reorganization and modification of the internal circuitry.

Secondly, a complete removal of the Function Chip and Removal Chip dependence was made. In order to have done this, I simply upgraded the overall hardware, along with the "reorganization and modification of the internal circuitry", and upgraded the FTP—Function-Transformation Program—to FTPv.2, an absolute replacement for the chips. The chips themselves however, are stored away within my S1-GS device, obsolete and leaving behind numerous empty spaces along the S2-PTSDOv.2's holster/shoulder strap—which I wear from my right shoulder to my left thigh.

Thirdly, the device is now referred to as S2-PTSDOv.2, or DS Lite—Different System Lite—as its nickname.

With the device in my left hand, I open the device and activate the TCP—Total Control Program—and VCP—Voice Command Program—in tandem. I mutter the words "S2-PTSDOv.2, connect to all twenty-six S3-OSS devices," in a tone of voice hardened and deepened with age.

In no time at all, all of the devices hover above the table, using powerful and nano-compacted electromagnetism technology that react only against the Earth's gravitational field. The lens of each device open up and aim towards me, signs that they're functioning properly.

I activate a third program, the DAP—Data Assimilation Program–, and access two branch programs that links the S2 and S3 devices together. These branch programs, the BEP—Bird's Eye Program—and the PLP—Precise Location Program—, allows me to view what the S3-OSS devices see through their lens, and precisely identify where they are placed across the planet.

"S3-OSS.A to S3-OSS.Z, scatter across the planet." I ordered, and then covered my ears.

In an instant, the lens of the devices closed with a protective covering, and then the devices themselves vanished from view, breaking the sound barrier in their wake with speeds that maxed out at Mach 2. The devices disappeared across the horizon in mere seconds, and I uncovered my ears once the ear-splitting and earth-trembling sonic boom subsided. With the S2-PTSDOv.2 device in my left hand, and deliberately letting a fair amount of time pass by, I cycled through the camera views of the devices, checking how each device was performing on their maiden voyages.

One of the devices, S3-OSS.F, is present at South America's massive Amazon Rainforest, in the middle of the night. Another three have parked themselves in the air above three other locations: the Sahara Desert (S3-OSS.D), Mt. Everest (S3-OSS.M), and the African Savannah (S3-OSS.A). Each location is perfect to test the lens's different settings: Night Vision, Infrared Vision, Zoom, and X-Ray Vision.

Through the S3-OSS.F's Night Vision setting, the Amazon Rainforest is as clear as day, full of concealed insects and nocturnal wildlife. Through the S3-OSS.D's Infrared Vision, the body heat of the Sahara Desert's buried reptiles is as bright as the harsh sun itself. Through the S3-OSS.M's Zoom function, an object the size of a pebble is clearly visible from the highest point on Earth. And through the S3-OSS.A's X-Ray Vision, a termite mound in the African Savannah is pierced by the X-Ray Vision and its inner network of termites clearly visible.

With further tests, a thought unconsciously emerged within my mind. With the S3-OSS devices that I've manufactured, I can survey my home village. Despite my banishment, I was never restricted from indirectly observing their actions with whatever means that I was capable of.

However, another thought trailed behind the first thought.


What possible purpose do I have in observing the actions of a village that have unanimously banished me from their overall presence? Why would I even consider the thought of observing them? Is it out of curiosity? Does a part of me still care about the village? If not, what about Costas and Ian, my childhood friends—my adopted brothers?


As alien as abandonment is to me, I've lost interest in them—my home, my neighbors, my family—years ago. After living alone for over a decade in banishment, my heart has become hardened with emotional negativity and warped in personality.

Despite this, some fragment of curiosity—a dim candle within a sable cave, a needle in a haystack, a solitary star in the night—tugged at me to decide to look.

So I gave the order…

"S3-OSS.V…" I called upon the name of the device closest to the village, "…observe my home village at coordinates twenty degrees North and forty degrees East, from three miles airborne."

…and then waited a few minutes.

The image of my village appeared clear and instantaneous through my handheld supercomputer. However, my complete reaction over this nostalgic sight came back to me at a snail's pace. I realized that within the village, a battle was beginning to emerge, between the villagers…and the Roman Army.

I only cared enough to pay attention to a few details amongst each side.

I notice that Costas and Ian are in the front of their village battalion—apparently as higher-ranking officials. They, along with their village allies, are only armed with basic bladed weaponry, and not the firing arms and complex weaponry that inhabited my laboratory for some unknown reason.

The Roman legion only consisted of 500 soldiers, armed without large weaponry and artillery, and was just visible across the horizon, meaning that they had several miles to tread before arriving to the village.

I recall the last time that I faced a Roman battalion. It was primarily to protect the village. However, I don't have anything over there to protect now.

I bluntly think "(It's their problem now, and not mine)" before giving the command to assemble all twenty-six S3-OSS devices in front of me. Once they arrived soon after, I decided to harbor them within the empty slots of the "sash" section of my S2-PTSDOv.2's holster/shoulder strap, right where the Function and Transformation Chips once resided.

I began to ponder what to do next for the day, however…

"You're not one to abandon what you've developed a connection to, aren't you?" A bold male voice emanated.

A cold shiver surged between my scapula bones, and a partial loss of feeling followed nearby it. I digressed from this phenomenon and thought that it was merely my conscience acting against my tactics, a voice in my head that wanted to lead me on a different path.

However, whatever was contacting me spoke once more.

"Your childhood friends, home, and neighbors… You still care for them somewhere within you, right?"

The voice that spoke to me, I identified as coming from behind me—painfully obvious with my proficient sense of hearing. The voice itself was unfamiliar to me, but it was clear that I wasn't foreign to the speaker. Whoever—or whatever—was behind me clearly knew me well enough to know my connections.

Without hesitation, I did a full about-face of my body and encountered a hooded figure in front of me. The figure appeared human in terms of physical build, but was perfectly concealed by a dark robe. The characteristics of this being, especially those of the countenance, were enigmatic to me.

"If you did, you'd return to them, regardless of banishment and past emotions."

"Who are you?" I said with heightened authority.

The hooded figure continued speaking, having transcending my question and disregarded it. "You should return to them. They need you. They won't last long without you. They're facing against a sophisticated empire, one with control of over thousands of miles of terrain."

"Where'd you learn about me?" I continued inquiring.

"With your self-titled 'Elemental Aura' abilities, those enemies will be less than the sand that they walk upon. You'd finely ground them up in a heartbeat."

My questions about the hooded figure's identity were not granting me any progress. So I decided to change my tactics and speak against this being's suggestions. "And what if I say 'No'? What If I disregard their predicament and allow them to settle their own problems without me?"

"…" The hooded figure was silent, yet unmoved.

"How about we both reset ourselves," I suggested. "Who the hell are you? Why are you here before me? How do you know me? Why are you suggesting that I return to my village, when I've decided to abandon it and embrace a solitary life, one in which the only person imperative in my life is myself?"

Before I knew it, the whole atmosphere around us turned black, exactly like with my final moments with the hostile dragon. Just like in that situation, I found myself frozen and immobile. The hooded figure blended in with the surroundings and for a moment, I lost sight of him.

Being as intelligent—or speculative—as I am, I immediately juxtaposed the hooded figure to the dragon that I fought years ago. "(Is this hooded figure connected to the dragon in some way?)" I thought, physically restricted and with elevating anxiety.

Another thought emerged within me, an important thought. However, before I could make sense of it, I felt a constricting feeling across my head, as if blood was being stifled from reaching my brain. I couldn't do anything about it, and I passed out rather quickly, albeit retained my bipedal posture.

Once the dark field disappeared, the hooded figure was behind me. He simply poked me on the back of my head and caused my body weight to tilt forward. His hand retracted back to the side of his body, and I collapsed onto the warm sandy floor, with my stomach on the sand and my back to the sun.

The hooded figure walked around me, stopping to my right side, never looking away. "I thought our previous encounter would awaken that dormant power within you."

With one foot from the hooded figure placed onto my ribcage, I was rolled onto my back. The hooded figure hunched down and lifted my eye patch, noticing how a heavy concentration of veins surrounded my left eye and migrated across the left side of my face.

My left eye was pried open by his hands, exposing the fact that my left eye was a blank white canvas now.

"It's clear that you've buried that power quite deep within you, enough to have me work in exposing it," The hooded figure let go of my left eye, which closed automatically, and then repositioned my eye patch onto its original spot. "However, your restriction is weakening. And under the right conditions, that power of yours will resurface. All that you have to do is fight in one…more…battle."

12.2: Unwanted Ally

Location: 20N, 40E (Village)

Date: January 1st, 60 A.D.

Time: 11:21 AM

My body is present in the middle of a sandy floor, lied out and relaxed, unconscious due to the actions of the hooded figure. I awake seconds later, looking up in the sky, plainly blue and bright.

The basic feeling of my body comes to me in an instant. I felt my body stretched out in the shape of a cross, with my palms pointed towards the sky, and my fingers curled up into the shape of a falcate. If I had no memory of the encounter with the hooded figure, I would've just lied here, stagnant and nonchalant, pondering heavily about technology and my place in this world for hours.

But that wasn't the case, and I got up slowly.

I get up to notice that I was back in my old home: the village of my birth. Feeling slightly groggy and relaxed, as if I had awakened from a good nap, I looked all around me with the slowness of a sloth. I first bother looking for the hooded figure, knowing that I was brought here under his actions. But alas, whoever he was, there was no physical trace of him around, not that I knew of.

Because of that, I set the hooded being aside, and then I noticed that, forewarned moments ago through my S2-PTSDOv.2 device, the Roman Army had arrived to the village. The village rebellion was prepared for the eventual battle, as was the Roman Army.

This meant that they had no anticipation for my sudden presence, and because of that, they were absolutely surprised of me. My unexpected presence left them absolutely discombobulated.

All except for Costas and Ian, my two childhood friends. Or perhaps they were as surprised as everyone else in this village. I didn't care enough.

I bothered looking at them as they did the same to me. The first two details that I notice of them are their age and astonishment. They were always three months older than me, and because of that, I was hardly able to recognize them, despite having seen them through my S3-OSS.V device.

Their astonishment was clear on their facial expressions. The fact that they haven't seen me in over ten years left them comprehending what has changed about me. The only thing that has changed of my appearance is what I have strapped around my head and over my left eye, as well as the holster/shoulder strap for my S2-PTSDOv.2 device and S3-OSS devices.

The remainder of my appearance—my short hair, my white shirt, my blue jeans, my monochrome pants, my second network of veins on my skin, my age-based appearance—remained unchanged.

Seeing my two childhood friends didn't distract me from the unwanted enemies, or the fact that I was banished from this village. As the unwanted ally in this fight, I turned to face the Roman Army, with a soulless countenance. They appeared ready for battle, but were cautious against me, well aware of my attributes, ferocity, and merciless lethality.

I decided to fight the Roman Army with this thought in my head for motivation: I imagined that my life depended on overcoming them as quickly as possible, like a bomb that needed to be disarmed, where a time surplus leaves the disarmer nonchalant and mentally lubricated.

Immediately, I bent my knees slightly, crossed my arms and uncrossed them as fists. This stance immediately intimidated them, causing half of them to step back, with their flight instinct triggered half-way in the "On" position. This also caused every one of the villagers behind me to falter backwards, but only to not get in the way of any cross-fire.

Both sides were clearly expecting something spontaneous from my stance, but that expectation never came.

Through that stance, I began to focus my Elemental Aura abilities to my fists. I considered my options of defeating them. Do I incinerate them with projectile fireballs? Do I sweep them off of their feet and lift them sky-high with a sudden gale? Do I freeze them to the point where their genitals drop to the sand and shatter like glass? How about I electrocute them and bake their skin onto their armor, fire tornado rotisserie style?

How about all of the above? Why bother choosing from many options when I have the time—as well as the quantity of soldiers—to do so?

Unfortunately, there was only one significant problem: I was unable to access my Elemental Aura abilities.

"(Oh shit…)" I thought as my normal methods of aura conjuring failed me. It was as if my powers departed me for this fight, through abnormal means. I knew that, despite my intelligence, you still need physical force of some kind to fight with. I discarded my stance and looked at my opened hands, attempting to concentrate my inner being within them, with no success whatsoever.

Before I've considered the possibility that I've lost my powers eternally, my arms were suddenly grabbed by two people of the village: Costas and Ian.

"You shouldn't fight in your current condition," Costas said, holding onto my left arm.

"We can handle them with our army," Ian said, gripping onto my right arm.

I found myself led by them into my old home and into my old laboratory, and then into my old prison. Part of me felt as if they had turned on me and were arresting me. However, they had this to say.

"This laboratory and your prison is more than enough security for us both," Costas said.

"We reinforced the entry door with a security lock since last month," Ian said.

Location: My Village (Prison Cell Room)

Date: January 1st, 60 A.D.

Time: 11:32 AM

I am, once again, in my own prison, with Costas and Ian as my designated wardens. I sat down on the bed within this cell, knowing that we were within here out of my own protection, Costas, Ian, and I.

However, I strongly felt that, Elemental Aura abilities or not, I should still be fighting the Roman Army alongside the village rebellion, whether they wanted me to or not.

"Why exactly are you here, Eduardo?" Costas wondered, with his back on my cell door.

"What compelled you to return, despite the fact that you're banished?" Ian inquired, with his back on the cell door in front of me.

"I wasn't compelled to return in any manner. I actually didn't want any part of role in this village since my banishment ten-and-a-half years ago." I spoke bluntly, which was made sound sharp through the echo of this narrow room.

"…" Both Costas and Ian were silent of my truthful words.

"However, a hooded figure, shrouded in a dark robe and speaking in a bold male voice," I began to describe what little I knew of the hooded figure, "knocked me unconscious and somehow transported me miles over here in a very small amount of time."

"Do you know who that hooded figure is?" Costas said, knowing me well enough to believe what I say, no matter how vague or absurd.

Both Ian and I gave Costas gazes so sharp and ice cold that they could make water freeze in an instant.

"Never mind," He said with a stupid grin and a hand rubbing the back of his neck.

"(You never change,)" Ian thought.

"(How many head injuries have you sustained in ten-and-a-half years?)" I thought before resuming speaking. "Anyway, whoever the hooded figure is, he—I'm saying 'he' because of his tone of voice—is long gone because I couldn't see him at all around the village."

They believed me, knowing that I'm not one to fib. They also know, through our years together during our childhood, how to read each other, just like with my shock before fighting the Roman Army. I've lost my Elemental Aura abilities, the trump card that I have against them, and they contemplated that and decided.

This is why I'm here, in prison, and not outside, fighting the Roman Army.

"Did you overexert yourself before coming here?" Ian wondered.

"Not in the least," I responded. "However, I'm certain that that hooded figure is responsible for my lack of Elemental Aura power. I was brought here reluctantly, and I suppose that, with whatever power that he possesses, was used on me for this fight."

"So you're saying that you were brought here just for this fight?" Costas asked.

"Perhaps, but regardless of that hooded figure's unknown intentions, I should still participate in this fight, with or without my power."

Costas and Ian look at each other briefly and silently, and then turned to face me.

"No," they both said.

Despite my ridiculously sensitive sense of hearing, I chose to ignore their answer and remained consistently persistent in receiving my parole. "Do you two believe that I can't stand up to them without my powers?"

They looked at each other once more, in the same fashion as before, and then faced me with the words "Yes".

Hearing this brought me up to my feet. "How disappointing," I said with my arms crossed behind my back, and shaking my head briefly.

"What is?" Costas said.

"Have you both forgotten enough about me after all those years of my banishment? I know that I haven't forgotten about you both, or this village, despite the fact that I no longer wanted any part of this place or you two."

Ian knew that I was going somewhere with this, deciding to prove them wrong and that I still had something up my sleeve.

"Where are you going with this?" He said, seeing the purpose of my words.

"Why don't we just take a look at my strengths, shall we? What is the most powerful quintessence about me?"

"…" They both wanted to say "Your Elemental Aura abilities", "your superior intellect", "your bat-like hearing", or "your cutting-edge technology". However, they knew that I knew that they didn't have the answer of which I'm referring to, and so they merely shrugged their shoulders in defeat.

"The most powerful quintessence about me…is my adaptability." I reminded them quickly, feeling rushed of time when I heard very faint sounds of battle from the surface.

They both appeared to not expect this answer.

"If I can't use my Elemental Aura abilities, I'll just use something else."

I reached for the item that I had strapped onto the outside of my right thigh.

"In this case," I exposed my S1-GS device to them, "I'll just use this assimilator on the Roman Army."

Ian, whom was holding the key to my cell room door, unlocked it and I stepped out, never putting away my S1-GS device.

"We should hurry to the surface now," I said.

All three of us ran over to the entrance of the underground laboratory. Along the way, Costas and Ian remembered something that they believed would be of interest to me. They attempt to tell me, but I purposefully choose to decline, telling them to wait until after I defeat the Roman Army.

Both Costas and Ian look at each other, apparently thinking of the visitor that arrived here a month ago. They think of him, someone who rivals me in terms of mystery.

"You try never to strike anyone, but when you must, you strike only one blow, but such a harsh one that your enemy can never, never strike back." —Orson Scott Card (78) ("Children of the Mind")

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