The Assorted Anthology
(A short story version of a possible eventual novel. If this does end up being a full fledged series, it will differ from this version. With that said, hope you enjoy!)
Genre: Action, Adventure, Fantasy
The king called my name. I proceeded to walk towards him from my original standing position, kneeling once I reached His Majesty’s vicinity.
“Riku Minase. I’m going to grant you your respective magical abilities. As agreed upon, you will use these abilities to assist Sir Lancelot in the quest to retrieve his Arthurian Weapon: Arondight.
As I kneeled, I responded to King Arthur: “Yes, Your Majesty.”
Once I responded to the king, he unsheathed the Holy Sword Excalibur and pointed it towards me.
“Holy Sword of the Ancient Stone, grant this new Hero with abilities beyond the normal human, which he will use to aid us on our sacred journey to retrieve the Arthurian Weapons.” The king chanted.
Once the incantation was complete, the sword Excalibur began to emanate a yellow-like energy. Once it did, the energy traveled from the sword towards my body, and it surrounded me completely.
After a few seconds or so, the energy disappeared, but I felt something within my body. Something…powerful.
“You have been granted with your powers, Mr. Minase.” The King said towards me.
I responded back. “How do I check them?”
“Say the word “Status”, and you will see your abilities.”
“Understood.” I stood up from my kneeling position. “Status!” I said to myself.
As soon as I did, a sort of purple “screen” appeared in front of me.
Within the screen, I saw a variety of things, ranging from some sort of green bar on the top left with my full name on the left of it, a small blue bar under it, and a few other things.
But I looked at the main part of the screen, which showed my magical skills and abilities and surely enough, they were there.
Before I tell you about my abilities, though, I should probably explain my current situation and introduce myself so you can understand everything.
As the king mentioned earlier, my name is Riku Minase, and I am a 16-year-old student at a high school in Tokyo, Japan with relatively spiky white hair and aqua colored eyes.
Actually, that’s not exactly true anymore. To be honest, the correct way to say it as of this moment would be “WAS a student at a high school in Tokyo, Japan”, because, well…I wasn’t in school anymore. Or in Japan.
Right now, I was in a castle within a kingdom ruled by King Arthur Pendragon. Yes, THAT King Arthur. One of my favorite legendary figures.
I was here because, out of nowhere, I was summoned by Merlin the Wizard himself. But I wasn’t the only one; 11 others close to my age were summoned as well in order to help them on a quest.
The quest involved rescuing the 12 Arthurian Weapons, the Knights of the Round Table’s signature weapons, from the Death Hold, a group of evil fighters with the desire to harness the weapons’ magic and destroy the kingdom of Camelot (the kingdom we were summoned to.)
Each of the 12 Knights of the Round Table chose 1 of the summoned heroes. I was chosen by Sir Lancelot himself. Our goal, as stated before, was to retrieve Arondight, Lancelot’s Arthurian Weapon.
As of right now, the 12 of us had acquired our magical abilities. We were all currently looking at the “Status Menu”, which was very reminiscent of a video game menu, trying to scan over everything the menu had to offer.
I finally went to the menu in the screen that was named “Skills,” and glossed over them.
“So these are my skills…”
I had 2 skills to start with: Language Comprehension, which the king said he’d give everyone to start with, so now I could understand anyone in this world.
My other skill was called “Phantom Blade.” From what the skill read, I could create a sort of “Energy Sword” using my mana. It also said that I could create other weapons the more I increased my strength.
“From today onwards,” the king started once again, “the 12 of you shall be known as the Arthurian Heroes!”
The 12 of us kneeled down to the king, and at the same time everyone said:
“Yes, Your Majesty!”
* * *
In an unknown room in an unknown location, there resided a long, white table, appearing to be built out of a material that resembled the liked of marble. Around the table, there were 7 seats built out of the same material. Sitting atop of these 7 thrones lied 7 very powerful figures. Figures that oversaw this world as we know it.
“It would seem they have chosen well.” Amaterasu, the goddess of the Sun, noted.
“They don’t exactly look like much, Amaterasu.” Hephaestus, the god of Fire, remarked.
“Appearances can be deceiving, Hephaestus. You of all people should know that.” Khnum, god of water, reminded him.
“Still, I truly am curious to see how they learn to wield such weapons.” Tyr, the god of war, said.
“They must first find them, Tyr. Such a journey will be dangerous.” The goddess of the moon, Tsukuyomi, pointed out.
“They were chosen after seeing their lives, personalities, and potential. I believe they will succeed.” Remarked Horus, the god of the sky.
“We shall see how it goes, Horus.” Hades, the god of the Dead and Underworld as well as the one in charge, mused.
“I do hope, in any case, that the weapons can be recovered.” Tyr said. “They cannot be allowed in Mordred’s hands lest the Mortals suffer immensely.”
“Should the chosen fail to retrieve the weapons, we shall be forced to intervene.” Hephaestus said.
“When such a times come, we shall.” Hades said placatingly.
“But I do believe they shall succeed. For now, at least.” Horus finished.
These 7 figures formed what was know only to few individuals as the “God’s Council”, a selection of gods whose duties resided in overseeing the world.
But now, by the true leader of the Council, they were given a new responsibility, some even referred to it as a burden: watching over the summoning of the Arthurian Heroes.
* * *
It’s been 2 weeks since training started, and I’ve come to realize something: I am weaker than everyone else.
In our first week of training, we all trained together to understand each other’s magical abilities, which sounded great. The only problems were that first of all, I had less skills than everyone else. I tried to ask the king about it, but he said that Excalibur grants people with only the powers that it seems to fit them. I don’t understand how that works, but I cannot do anything about it. I can learn more skills as I go, so I guess that should be fine, but it takes a long time to learn new skills, and I don’t know if I’ll have the time to do so.
My second problem, and probably the most notable, was that I was weaker than everyone else. According to the king, everyone was supposed to be close to equal in terms of strength, but everyone was just stronger than me. And no one understood why!
Most times, when it was my turn to train in front of everyone, I wouldn’t be able to do what I was supposed to as well as everyone else, which caused the 11 others to start telling me that I was “taking too long” or “holding them back.”
I never felt like this when I was in Japan. Is this how it felt to have actual haters? Am I overthinking this? I probably am, but still.
But anyway, one week later, we started training with our respective knights, so I was training 1-on-1 with Lancelot. He looked like he was maybe around his mid to late 30’s or so. Even so, he looked young for his age, which I found sort of cool, for some reason.
We were training by fighting each other using wooden swords.
The swords clashed for a few minutes, and that was when I saw an opportunity to strike him directly.
I went for the hit, but of course, it was hopeless. He blocked it at the perfect moment and retaliated by hitting me in the abdomen, launching me back a few feet.
“Urgh…” I said as I slowly stood up after rolling on the floor due to the hit’s strength.
“I must say,” Lancelot started, “you are not as weak as I initially thought. That said…”
He did a cool looking move with his sword.
“Your abilities are still sort of…unrefined.”
These past 2 weeks, we’ve been training in many different aspects of combat, including close range, long range, sword fighting, using our skills, and other things like stamina and self-defense.
Although, out of all these, I think the one I’ve excelled in the most of sword fighting. I mean, I suppose it makes sense. I did take kendo lessons for a long time before I got summoned to this world. And honestly, I’m not complaining. If I can’t use many magic skills, I can at least recompensate the fact with good sword ability. And I got to be honest, Lancelot has been a very good trainer. Compared to almost everyone else, he was very nice to me and we sometimes engaged in random conversation. Even so, I know one thing: I got to keep training…well, my sword fighting at least.
* * *
The Gods sat on their thrones, varying expressions as they witnessed Lancelot training one of the chosen Arthurian Heroes: one Riku Minase.
“Seems the boy has much to work on.” Hephaestus remarked.
“Indeed, he does.” Horus agreed.
“While his swords are certainly up to par, in certain fights, it will come down to his magic.” Tyr added.
“I believe that we should wait and see how his abilities progress.” Tsukuyomi said in defense of the japanese teen.
“Agreed. It has only been two weeks of training. Not everyone will be able to progress in similar ways.” Amaterasu added.
“Let us see how it goes. While I wish to have faith in the boy, I am also weary of what might happen to him and/or Lancelot in the heat of battle.” Khnum pointed out.
“As Tsukuyomi said, we should wait and see how his abilities progress. After all, one’s true colors are revealed in moments of strife and conflict.” Hades said diplomatically.
Some looked concern while others disgruntled but after Hades’ words, no one said a word and so they returned to their duty of watching over the summoned of the Arthurian Heroes.
* * *
Another week has passed since. I’ve gotten even more training done, and I’ve gotten better in the art of the sword, so I can say that, at least.
Even so, I can tell that the 11 other heroes have been sort of looking down on me. I’m doing my best to ignore it, but when you catch your allies talking about you behind your back, it can get hard to do so.
But today was a different day. I was resting in my room, attempting to space out just to think about other things, but at the current moment, we’d been summoned by King Arthur to the throne room.
I didn’t understand why, but of course, I couldn’t just ignore his orders, so I walked towards the throne room.
* * *
After a few minutes of waiting, the 11 others were also in the throne room. The King appeared from behind his throne and walked towards it, standing in front of it once again.
We all knelt down under his presence.
“Heroes, you’ve all been summoned because we’ve received news from a group of knights around the kingdom. As it turns out, we have detected one of the Arthurian Weapons!”
The 12 of us were all shocked in our own respective way. It’s only been 3 weeks; how did we already locate one of the weapons??
“Which weapon has been located, Your Majesty?” one of the 11 others, Edward, asked the king.
Edward was basically my main bully, to call him something. He was the one that always made me feel worse than usual and the one who kept saying that I would hold everyone back. I don’t know if I feel like this because he really is that rude, or because I’ve never been used to having people my age treat me that way.
“We have traced down the location of Arondight.” The King answered Edward’s question.
I was surprised at what the king had said. Arondight? That was the weapon assigned to me!
“Which means.” The king unsheathed Excalibur and pointed it towards me. “Riku Minase, alongside Lancelot, you will help retrieve Arondight!”
As this was being said by the king, I could feel many stares from the 11 others, some angrier than others?
“Are you joking?!” one of the other 11 said, a girl names Elisa, “Are you telling me that the weakest of us is going to go first?!”
“I agree! This is stupid!” exclaimed Max, another one of the heroes.
The 9 others were still staring at me, but one of them stood up.
“I think he can do this!” I heard Cecile, another of the heroes, shout. “This is his time to prove himself!”
I stayed there like an idiot, but I couldn’t stay quiet for much longer.
I stood up.
“Just wait…” I started. “You’ll see that I’ll be better than any of you, and that I’ll make it back!”
“I agree.” The king said. “Stop doubting your fellow teammate. If I see this go on any longer, punishment will arise for most of you. You’re supposed to be the heroes, so act like you are!”
* * *
Lancelot and I started our journey towards Arondight’s last known location. It’s been a few hours since we let the castle, but we were able to nonetheless make it in less than a day.
The location we were told to go to was Silva Forest, the biggest forest in the continent.
As we made it to the forest, we got off the horse we rode there, and we began our way to our destination.
“This forest is really dense.” I inquired.
“I know, right? It’s grown a lot on the last few years. I haven’t been here in a while” Lancelot commented after me.
Of course, since Lancelot couldn’t use his magic due to Arondight being stolen from him, he currently had a silver sword and a shield on his back as his weapons. I also had a sword, very reminiscent of a katana. I also had my one skill, so I could use it in case it was necessary.
We kept walking while we held random conversation. A while after walking (I’d say around 20 minutes or so), we saw something in the distance.
It was a lake. A pretty big one, at that.
“Wait…this is weird.”
“Huh? What do you mean?”
“I’ve never seen this lake before, and I’m certain that I’ve walked past this area before.”
We walked closer to the lake and stared at it.
Suddenly, as he was walking somewhere, Lancelot stopped suddenly.
“Huh? Something wrong?” I asked.
He turned around very fast. “Get down!”
He pushed me away, causing me to fall to the floor near the lake.
“Hey what the-” I cut myself off.
In those seconds he pushed me, he’d unsheathed his sword and clashed it with someone else’s. This figure was currently in front of him.
“It’s you…” he said as their swords were blocking each other. The person who was on the other side looked…familiar.
“Heehehehehe!” that person laughed and jumped back. Lancelot did the same, currently in front of me after the jump.
That was when I got a perfect look at the person’s face. I immediately knew who it was.
“So, you’re Mordred?” I asked while I was standing up, placing my hand over my katana, currently unsheathed.
“Oh, so you’ve heard of me, too. Interesting…”
“Careful, Riku. This guy’s very dangerous!” I was told my Lancelot.
“Yes, I know that. Isn’t he a member of the Death Hold?”
Lancelot nodded at my question.
Due to some strange issues, Mordred, King Arthur’s son, ended up betraying him. Due to this, he ended up joining the Death Hold and somehow made everyone help him in his quest to obtain the Arthurian Weapons.
After this exchange, we fought. Lancelot and me against Mordred.
I unsheathed my katana and ran towards him alongside Lancelot. Mordred blocked my sword and when Lancelot was about to hit him with his, he disappeared.
He actually ended up teleporting up one of the trees. I heard that this was one of the powers granted by Clarent, a sword he stole from his father’s armory.
We began a chase through the trees. We were able to catch up to him, and I was somehow able to slash him.
He fell to the floor, but he wasn’t done.
Mordred took his free hand, his left hand, and slammed the ground with it. Then, the ground started shaking.
“What’s…going on?!” I heard Lancelot shout.
Suddenly, right in front of Mordred, a yellow sword materialized. The sword was stabbed in the ground and was emitting yellow energy.
I saw Lancelot’s face, currently in a shocked state.
“Wha- how did you?”
“No…don’t tell me that…”
“Yes. I was able to place Arondight here and use its power without actually wielding it!”
So, that’s what Arondight looks like…
“You’ll regret this!” Lancelot shouted, immediately disappearing as he did.
The next moment, he was in front of Arondight. That was when Mordred ran towards him and was about to slash him.
No! The sword is mine!” Mordred shouted as Lancelot held Arondight’s hilt.
As Mordred was about to slash him, yellow energy from the sword blasted him back.
Lancelot put both of his hands on it’s hilt, and pulled the sword out of the ground, tossing his other one aside once he did.
“It’s ours now…” Lancelot said with a grin while staring at Mordred.
He walked towards the fallen knight, about to slash him with his regained sword.
And without even a minute of retrieving the sword passing…
A blade came out of nowhere and…stabbed Lancelot’s back.
He said as he fell down to the floor.
“Sir Lancelot!” I said, running towards his body and seeing what happened.
I looked at his abdomen. A yellow blade had stabbed him through it.
The blade disappeared, as if it never existed.
“Hahahahaha!” I heard Mordred laugh.
“What, is this funny of something?!”
“Oh, it very much is! I used the power of the sword he just got back and killed him! Hilarious!”
That’s when I snapped.
I could see why this guy was a threat. He was crazy, not to mention powerful.
I stood up, in front of Lancelot’s body.
“If you want to retrieve the sword…”
“You’re going to have to go through me first!” I finished.
As soon as I said that, in less than a second, Mordred unsheathed his sword and jumped, with the intent to kill.
“That’s easy enough!” he replied.
I went to unsheathe my katana, but for some reason…it wasn’t there.
“Huh?” I couldn’t help but ask.
“It’s hopeless! I stole your sword!”
I saw he was holding my katana, but he threw it to a nearby tree.
As he was about to slash me, I put my arms in front of me as my final hope to cover myself.
But what I heard and saw next, I never would’ve expected.
* * *
The Gods all wore stoic expressions on their faces but internally, they grew quite worried at how the battle was unfolding.
Tsukuyomi decided to not stand by this time.
The goddess of the moon extended her right arm and used her godly powers, creating a shield around Riku and Lancelot’s bodies. The gods attempted to stop her by exclaiming at her to not do it, but she ignored it and did so anyway.
“You know the rules, Tsukuyomi. We do not interfere unless all 11 heroes have failed. Only one of them would have perished!” Hephaestus reprimanded.
“Listen, I know what I did. It was necessary.” Tsukuyomi shot back.
Hades looked deep in thought but said nothing for now.
“Does this mean you shall do the same for all Arthurian heroes when their moment of death comes?” Tyr asked neutrally.
“No. That was merely a onetime exception.” Tsukuyomi assured everyone.
“It had better be.” Horus said
“Enough!” Hades’ voice boomed, earning everyone’s attention on him. “Tsukuyomi, I will allow this bending of the rules this once but do not ever do so again. Understood?”
Tsukuyomi refused to promise anything in her thoughts, but she nodded in understanding to not raise any suspicion.
“The same applies to all of you.” Hades shot them all stern looks, making the order clear.
A moment later and they all returned to continue to see events unfold.
* * *
“ARGH!” I heard Mordred shout, as if he was pushed away. I removed my arms from covering my, and I looked around me.
“Huh? What the-”
There was a sort of purple shield resembling a force field around me and Lancelot’s. What the hell? What is this? I couldn’t help but ask in my head.
As the shield disappeared, I immediately extended my arm and for the first time outside of training, I activated my skill: “Phantom Blade”, creating an energy blade in my right hand.
I threw the blade at Mordred, causing him to be launched back even more.
I went to Lancelot.
“Are you ok?!” I asked on a whim.
He slowly moved and looked at me. “Yeah…I’m fine…”
I heard Mordred’s voice getting closer, screaming “You’re dead!” in the process.
I was about to look at him, but Lancelot stopped me.
“Take it. Take Arondight.”
“Huh?! I I’m not supposed to!”
“Riku, listen. Who cares? I believe in you. I know you could use it better than me. Now use it, and defeat Mordred!”
“Alright then!” I hesitantly said.
He raised his hands towards me and chanted an incantation, making a bright light appear around us as it happened.
“ARGH! What the hell?!” I heard Mordred shout once again.
* * *
The light disappeared. I walked out of it, the light fading in the process.
Emptyhanded, I looked down, my knees falling to the floor. That was when everything went to my head.
What the other heroes had said about me.
“You’re holding us back.”
“You’re too weak.”
“You can’t do anything right.”
But at this point, I didn’t care.
Who cares what those “heroes” said? Only one thing mattered: killing the one who murdered my mentor.
As Mordred was dashing towards me, I extended my right hand and put it over my left hand, as if I was unsheathing a sword.
Yellow energy appeared from my right hand, and I “unsheathed” the energy, causing it to mold into the shape of a sword.
I looked at the sword when I was finished. “So, this…is Arondight.”
But something about it was different.
As opposed to before, it wasn’t yellow nor golden. Instead, the sword was black, emanating energy the same color as its blade.
Its shape was also sort of peculiar. The blade was connected to its hilt by a vertical circle that had some “spikes” coming out of it.
I could feel it. Arondight’s power. As I stood and stared at it, I saw the same purple menu as before, many different skills appearing before, and my strength becoming way higher.
I dashed towards him. Towards my target.
Using that same strength, I felt within me thanks to the new Arondight, I held it with both my hands.
He was about to clash my sword with Arondight, but right before he did, I used my original skill, Phantom Blade, to feint him.
I blocked his blade with that one, and I gathered all the strength I could within Arondight, causing it to become engulfed with very dark purple energy.
“Revenge of Chaos!” I shouted the skill’s name.
As that happened, I slashed Mordred, causing him to scream in agony and fall to the floor, a puddle of blood forming around his body.
His body didn’t move no longer. Mordred…was murdered…by the one everyone said was “weak.”
* * *
“I’m sorry for everything I said, Riku. I hope you can forgive me!”
That was Edward, asking for my forgiveness and yes, I did accept it.
Everyone had apologized to me during this party we were having. The king hosted this party to celebrate the retrieval of Arondight.
There was music, a huge banquet, and performers dancing on the stage.
Even though this was an amazing party, if I had to say something that was missing, it would obviously be…well, Sir Lancelot.
I couldn’t lie; I missed him. But life must go on. We held a “ceremony” to honor him for all his achievements as one of King Arthur’s strongest knights.
Everyone was having a good time, and I couldn’t just feel sad the entire time. I went to talk to the other heroes, who finally trusted me!
Even so, even with all the happiness in the air, there is much more to this journey, as this is only...the beginning.
Please log in to leave a comment.