Chapter 1: The Soulless Ones
~~August 28th, 2017~~
“Alright see y’all later guys!” , Stan said as he left his group of friends from hanging out his local mall and going home. Stanley Magus Darkbringer III was an ordinary kid, he was an African American, entering his junior year of high school. He had short curly hair and was standing at around 5′5. He wasn’t too fit, just being relatively skinny, all in all, a normal kid.
On the surface.
However, he didn’t realize this would be the last time he would see them. It was relatively cold for a night in the middle of August, the wind whistling in his ears as he kept walking home,
Stan stopped dead in his tracks, hearing something fly past his left cheek. A few seconds passed, a cut appearing on his cheek. He raised his hand slowly and touched the newfound wound. Stan took a deep breath before speaking.
He woke up in a place he did not recognize, shooting up out of the bed he was in and looking around the room. It was much bigger than his room at home and it looked like it was made for a king, no, someone of royalty at least. The bed looked to be king size, the sheets felt...well, expensive. Stan shook his head, placing his hands on his head and taking deep breaths, “This isn’t happening right now, I’m just having a dream that’s all”, he told himself as he heard the door open to the room.
“Oh, you’re up, how are you feeling?“, a voice inquired, they sounded old and was definitely a male voice. A man entered the room wearing a worn out grey cloak. He had a long white beard that came down to his chest, matching his hair. His skin was pale and Stan could clearly see the wrinkles outlining his face. Stan backed up, taking a step back.
“Who are you?! Where am I?! Why did you abduct me?!” Stan pestered, the man holding his hand out to stop him from talking.
“I know you have a lot of questions. I’ll explain everything in more detail later but I’ll humor you a for bit now”, the man stopping to cough, regaining Stan’s attention. He cleared his throat, “You may call me The Ancient, I am the headmaster of the assassination group known as The Soulless Ones. You are in our main base right now in Germany and the reason why we abducted you is because we want to protect you since you are a direct descendant to the wizard Merlin.”
“Assassins? Germany? Merlin? Are you serious right now? I was just in America, how long have I been out and...“, Stan couldn’t get his thoughts in order, his mind started to spiral as he thought about his parents and friends back at home. He could tell his heart was beating faster, his lungs tightening. His breaths were becoming more rapid. He started to calm himself down by taking deep breaths, he didn’t want his asthma to flair up. After he was calmed, he looked back at The Ancient.
“Okay, so you say I’m related to the great wizard Merlin? What is the importance behind that?”
“The Soulless Ones is an assassination group that carries out any mission across the world but, it’s also a group that served under King Arthur’s rule. It’s our mission to make sure the descendants of the Knights Of The Round Table are protected and trained properly, this includes Merlin, as he was a vital member. Follow me, I’m not going to hurt you.“, The Ancient said, walking out the room, Stan being hesitant to follow but he soon realized that he had no other choice.
They walked down the hallway, Stan looking around at the entire place. It was huge, it was like he was on a college campus. He saw multiple people dressed in various black robes and cloaks, they were training with each other with various weapons ranging from knives, daggers, swords, katanas, staffs, axes and more.
“Here, you will train with the other group of recruits we just got. You’ll harden your skills and carry out various missions from time to time. Not everyone here is a descendant like I said, in fact you are the second one we’ve found in ten years. Every descendant is different in their own way and have their own skills.“, The Ancient explained, then chuckling a bit, “I just remembered, if you refuse to join The Soulless Ones you will be killed, we can’t have the world knowing we exist. We operate from the shadows. And when you join, you cant contact anyone from your past.“, Stan’s eyes widening,
“Wait wait I Die?! I thought you’re supposed to protect me! That’s literally what you said a few seconds ago!”
“Well we believe that if you don’t want to claim your birthright then we have the right to end the bloodline. Only five percent of the original Knights Of The Round Table exist.”
“Alright...What are these skills that make me so special?”
“I’m sure you’re not aware but in this world, there’s an energy source long forgotten but it still remains the most powerful, and that is magic. Magic in its purest form is something we call Mana and every human has Mana within them, we call it our Mana Reserves”, The Ancient informed, Stan’s eyes widening as magic being real was just confirmed.
“Every being also is drawn to a Magic affinity at birth, now this doesn’t mean they can only use a certain magic type, it just means the type that you’re born with you’ll excel in. Some people are even born with two or even three affinities. The Arthurian Descendants have special skills in accessing magic that normally others can’t along with other traits.”
“Wow, that’s a lot of information...I always knew magic was real in a way”, Stan muttered, looking down at his hands and then shaking his head, “So then...what can I do?” He asked,
“Merlin’s Descendants are a special case. The constant trait that they all have is that they can read the language of Dragons, normally have a large mana reserve, and can pick up on other magic skills rather quickly. The other trait that some have is that they can access a powerful destruction magic base skill called Dragonflame”, The Ancient stopping in his tracks and turning around to face Stan, “Now, I’ve given you already too much information, if you want to know more you have to make one of your first many choices Stanley. Do you want to join or not?”
Stan gulped, thinking about the decision. He kinda didn’t have a choice really, he didn’t want to leave his past behind but maybe this is what he needed? If he was being completely honest with himself, he didn’t have the greatest life at home, his parents always arguing and taking it on him to the point where he could barely stand them. Even still, what about his friends? He took a deep breath, before he uttered the words.
“Yes, I’ll join the Soulless Ones”
~~6 Months later~~
Stan opened his eyes, unsheathing the double edged sword from the scabbard on his back, rushing at the many dummies in front of him. In the past six months of being at The Soulless Ones, his skills had drastically increased. His speed, strength and even stamina was a hundred times better then what they had been. He wasn’t as good as everyone else however but he was getting there. He struck the first dummy, slashing through its chest, pivoting his left foot to the left and launching off of it. He sliced at its neck, cutting the head off. He then put his right foot back, jumping backwards and seeing the next dummy. Stan quickly grabbed the throwing knives he had on his hip and throwing it at the dummy but they missed.
“Your technique is still sloppy, you need to train more”, A female voice said, Stan turning around and seeing his trainer. She was so good at being quiet that he didn’t even realize she had entered the room. She was taller than him by a few inches, had onyx black hair and her skin was silky white. Her lips were soft and radiated the color pink. Her hair was in a ponytail in the back but some of it was still hanging down in front of her.
“I know Liza, I just can’t get where the knives are supposed to go, I don’t understand them.“, Stan muttered, sheathing his sword and walking over to her. She was a good trainer, although very rough and almost killed him on multiple occasions. Liza sighed, turning around and walking towards the door before she spoke again,
“Did you figure out how to use the Dragonflame yet?“, She asked, Stan shaking his head.
“No, I still can’t even do a regular spell yet, I haven’t been able to conjure any mana within me like you’ve been telling me.”
“Six months and the descendant of Merlin can’t even use magic yet. Anyways, I came here for your test, this will make you a fully fledged assassin, The Ancient has it set up.“, Liza said, Stan nodding his head and following her out the room.
Liza led him to the throne room, The Ancient waiting with someone tied up on the ground. There was a sack over their head, Stan realizing what he had to do. He stopped in front of the person, Liza walking over to The Ancient and taking the sack off of the person’s head. The person looked around and screamed, before speaking.
“Where wh-where whe-re am I?!“, They asked as they tried to break free from their restraints but fell to the ground, The Ancient sighing and looking at Stan.
“Stan, this man has been involved in a underground human sex-trafficking ring, it’s your job to get rid of him.“, He described, Stan nodding his head and unsheathing his sword. Even if the man was evil, he was still nervous about taking a life. Taking a human life? That’s something you don’t come back from. He knew he was an assassin but could he really do it? He took one big deep breath, swinging the sword and in one swift motion, cut the person’s neck, blood splattering everywhere, some of it hitting Stan’s face. He gulped, his hands trembling a bit.
“I...I did it...“, He whispered, The Ancient nodding his head, and standing up from his throne,
“You are dismissed for today Stan, you can go back to your chamber now.“, He stated, Stan turning around and leaving the throne room.
He walked down the hallway, thinking about what he had just done. His stomach was queasy, it felt like his insides were doing gymnastics, eventually making him stop and vomit on the ground. He wiped his mouth off and continued to walk but that’s when he started to get an intense headache, and it’s where he saw Him for the first time. He held his head, groaning in agony as he heard footsteps approaching, Stan collapsing to the ground again, resting on one knee. It was like a constant ringing in his ears and it just kept getting louder and louder as the footsteps came closer. He fully fell to the ground, looking up and seeing a man in front of him.
“I have a wonderful present for you”, The man said, but his lips didn’t move. He was tall, probably at least six feet. He had shoulder-length blonde hair and was wearing simply a black shirt, black pants and a red trench coat that had short sleeves . His left eye was red and his right eye was gold with a scar traveling down his face.
When Stan looked at him, the ringing got even louder, he screaming in pain before he eventually blacked out.
*Authors Note: Welp, this is the first installment of The Rising Son! How will Stan be after his first killing? Who was that man? It’ll be all answered soon, all types of criticism is appreciated, thank you for reading if you came this far! :)