Chapter 56:

Captured #2

What Clichés has this World Wrought? [ Volume One: Another World ]

The night was exhausting, but even with his incredibly old age, Sebastian forced himself to stay awake for seven hours. He watched dutifully like an owl atop the tallest hill in the area, staring at the center of the storm created by one man.

“So much power…so many life-changing possibilities in the hands of an alien. This research will revolutionize our civilization by a hundred years!-- and I, Sebastian, will be recorded down in history as a visionary!”

“Your Holiness, the storm is dying out.” His right hand reported with a sharp salute, “However our second encirclement is not reporting anything. Our scout says he had not moved from where he…appeared.”

“Bring me to him.” The priest slowly rose, pushing hard against the cane, “Did he realize that running is pointless? If so, why did he resist being captured? There is something amiss here.”

The two templars on his side exchanged glances. It was not wise for him to move too much, but neither of them had the stomach to protest. “Yes, mi’lord.”

They approached the fortified position, the amount of corpses rising as the temperature decreased and visibility increased. The fog slowly began to fade, the vapor present in the air increasing enough to saturated the clouds.

Pit-pat! Pit-pat!

“My Lord,” A templar offered his cape, raising it over the priest’s head.

“Thank you,” Sebastian replied simply, keeping his focus on the sight before him. Eventually, they arrived at the edge of the space, just at the edge of where the harshest of the fighting had happened. If it weren’t for the horrors he had experienced inside the Dungeon, Sebastian would have exclaimed like the encircling templar knights.


“S-So many people…”

“Calm yourselves!” Sebastian sharply rebuked them with a wave of his hand, the other covering his nose, “Approach the suspect with caution but be careful as not to further damage the specimen. If it is still alive, then we will preserve its current state.”

“Even if it’s dead, we will still have use for it. Either way, I doubt he would die that easily.” The priest looked up at the hill made of frozen rock, slowly appraising the state of the corpses added atop it. “Single wounds, headshots, clean cuts, efficient– killing blows. Formidable, and fortuitous. With this, we needn’t sully our blades rooting out witnesses.”

Blood flowed from the center in gentle streams, flaking from the cold surface that partially froze it. Atop the mangled piles of the deceased sat the perpetrator responsible, peacefully breathing against a conjured spire of blood-coated black ice.

The templars exchanged glances, settling on the answer wordlessly. “Hey, you!”

“M-Me?” One of their newest members asked, pointing to himself.

“Yes, you! Go up there, check it out.” The older member replied, rudely squashing down the younger’s rising complaints. Instead, he curiously watched as the man he sent slowly climbed over the bodies, sounding more and more repulsed as he reached the top.

The younger templar carefully, slowly, and apprehensively inches toward Akiro’s peaceful form. He looked so serene, so at peace, only if you ignored the arrows that shallowly stuck themselves on his person, and the dozens of light flesh wounds.

“This boy was not defeated…he defeated every single one of these men…and is peacefully sleeping! Unbelievable…” The templar shivered at the cold, confidently reaching out this time to nudge Akiro’s shoulder.

“He’s out cold…” To which there was no response, and so he turned to his superiors below, cupping his mouth to further strengthen his voice, “Your Holiness, sir! He’s fast asleep!”

The report made Sebastian question his ears. Perhaps he had gone senile because that was as absurd as it got. “Sleeping?! The nerve–” Sebastian felt his blood boil. He was being made into a fool. “Restrain him! Prepare him for transportation! We’re bringing him with the rest!”


A raindrop clicked atop a shallow puddle, the sound echoing in the vast, wall-less chamber of darkness. It was empty, damp and dark, dreamless and eerily quiet, and only two beings were in the space.

“We meet again.” The voice greeted, much older and deeper than the first time, “I hope your travels have allowed you to grow.”

“Spare me the lecture, Kami-sama.” Akiro blinked himself awake, the water that touched his back drying completely as he slowly rose from the floor. “I know exactly what I’m getting myself into.”

“That I do,” His reflection answered back. The assassin turned to him, meeting face to face with a version of himself from two years ago– His eyes were filled with dark circles, his eyes tired and his energy unenergetic. “Is this an unsightly form to see?”

Akiro’s eyebrows twitched for a second before they pinched the bridge of his nose, “No…its–'' He sighed, “A terrible memory that describes my current emotional state. My subconscious is a reflection of your form it seems.”

“You are correct, but not quite.” He replied, almost smiling through a depressed shell, “I am what you truly are, weak. You may perhaps be the strongest walking human of this time, but if your mind is in shambles, then you're nothing.”

The assassin frowned, not able to argue with the offensive reflection, “Sure, let’s say that you’re right, but what makes you say that? You’re a god! You can delete my soul with a snap of your wrist!”

The reflection opened its mouth to respond, but Akiro spoke over him. “But you can’t. You’re a god, but you are still bound by rules, by causality or plausibility– whichever ‘fancy’ word you prefer.” Akiro seethed frost through his teeth, “therefore, you will address me with respect. Because together, I can deal with whatever is out there, and in doing so I will not sit here and allow myself to be looked down upon– not even by a god.”

The reflection only winced, before smiling. He turned around, putting both hands behind his back before walking. “Eons ago, when my kind still openly ruled this plane of existence, such words would not go unpunished and until we were forcibly severed from your plane– no mortal ever dared speak to me in particular in that way.”

“You are but the second exception,” The deity turned to face Akiro. He smiled at the Assassin’s unwavering impudence and unbending character, his outward age transforming. “I have made a mistake. You are not a child, neither are you weak. You are simply…creative in your methods.”

Akiro watched as he stared at his perfect reflection, watching it speak as if he said the very words that it just said. “I will continue to watch over you with great interest. We will not be able to converse for an extended period, therefore I will depart from you with words of advice.”

The assassin crossed his arms, leaning on one leg. “and what is that?”

“Pain is inevitable, but suffering is optional. Your body is your mind’s servant, and every tool of the body is the mind’s subject. Dwell deeply on that, child.”


“Aghh–” Akiro grumbled, blinking rapidly as hot water slowly dripped down his face. He looked around to see a scientist-like fellow retreating with an empty bucket. “Fucking– Where–”

His surroundings changed again, this time, it was indeed a laboratory– one not up to the standard hygiene required. Akiro looked at himself, his form suspended in the air with chains engraved with all sorts of writing wrapped around his limbs, his gore-drenched outfit stripped from him, leaving him bare and at the mercy of the elements.

However his current state is not his greatest concern, it was the room he was in. Great tubes housing humanoid-shaped organisms lined the walls, used tubes and pipes connecting various parts to sections of machinery haphazardly placed here and there– all arranged to make space in the center of the room, and the head of the operation.

“You’re awake!” The well-endowed woman gleefully smiled, pulling hard on black gloves that contrasted with her viscera-spotted lab coat. She turned to the table, taking up a scalpel and syringe. “I knew that would wake you up! Frankly, your tolerance to the cold is inhuman! You will have an entertaining dissection!”

The final word made Akiro’s eye twitch uncomfortably, but he resigned himself anyway as the woman came closer. “There’s no use complaining now.”

Her features became even clearer to the suspended otherworldly human, and his eyes traced the dark circles surrounding her empty eyes. She smiled with energy contradicting her face, off-putting even her assistants.

“My name is Keisha!” She introduced herself, raising the syringe and stabbing Akiro in the belly with it. “And I am the head researcher for the Earl-Scavia Alliance! I promise to treat you well!”

“Ugh– What the hell–” Akiro winced, the contents of the vial quickly being emptied into his chest. Instantly his heart began to pound, his blood flowing around his system at an incredible rate. “Do– your worst, bitch!”

“With pleasure!” Keisha smiled, baring her teeth as magic power began to flow around her scalpel, “I will do my absolute best! I will uncover every last detail of your body!”

Akiro squinted, tilting his head away from the incoming tool, “Shit– This is going to hurt–”




“Is there something on your mind?”

“N-Nothing…” Ayama answered softly, almost in a whisper. He looked up in the sky, clear of clouds and potential rain, and the sun was high in the air, its rays warm and soft on the skin, marking it the perfect day for a picnic— two weeks since Akiro’s disappearance. “How about you, your highness, is there something on your mind?”

“Not any that require your immediate action,” Otome slowly shook her head, her knees curled in her arms. They sat in the grassy hill of the local park, in the shade of the largest tree, overlooking the castle in the distance, “Just… royal duties.”

“I understand a little bit, I think.” Ayama looked to his side, their shoulders touching, maybe perhaps they were leaning against each other. “I was once the heir to a great conglomerate. I might be able to give you advice if you want.”

“The more I spend time with you, the more I am surprised, and the more I wish to learn more…” Otome turned to him also, smiling affectionately at him from under the cover of her cloak, but her smile soon disappeared into sadness as she looked forward again.

She was about to further explain, but a thumb gently caressed her lower lip as it pulled her close. “Don’t make that face,” Ayama whispered, recognizing the obvious guilt in her eyes, “If there is something you wish to tell me, do it when you are ready. Until then, let’s not speak of it– I want both of us to enjoy our date.”

On cue, a large blush erupted on the princess’ face, her healthy skin turning into a bold shade of pink. The distance between them had shortened drastically, their faces closer than ever before. It was scandalous, incredibly so to the point that she had forgotten what she was worrying about.

Eiihh–” A soft gasp escaped from her lips, her eyes locking in with his, the pinkness on her cheeks spreading to her ears. “A-Ayama-kun— what are you d-doing?!”

The hero just smiled, “Cheering you up, Otome.” He said, her name rolling off his tongue, “Is it working?”

Y-You gigolo!” The princess huffed, pouting as he melted against the hand on her cheek. Despite her obvious attachment, she still tried to hold her royal dignity. “You dare call a princess by her first name? You are quite bold.”

Ayama only rolled his eyes, pressing forward instead of retreating. “Oh really?” Ayama rubbed his thumb over her lips, his left arm curling around her waist, “If you know me so well, tell me, your Highness, am I going to steal a kiss– or not?”

The question made her mind go blank, her jaw falling open. Otome gulped nervously, expectantly, for the answer. “D-Does my answer matter?” She almost squeaked.

Ayama grinned, leaning in, and tilting his head. “No, not really.”

The princess lost herself in the moment, savoring it instead. Her arms found the back of his head, reciprocating the passion with reckless abandon, but as she did so, the important matter at hand still weighed heavily on her mind. Nonetheless, the kiss made it difficult to think coherently. “I- I must– I must tell him!”