Now, seeing that I and the people around me have a normal flesh, vulnerable from the littlest cuts, I started to regret the fact that I didn't get to study that type of magic.
"You're a little strange. Why aren't you running?"
A deep voice interrupted my thoughts. I sighed. I already knew he was coming, yet I couldn't just teleport away.
I looked up and saw the hulking gray monster.
"If you walk away right now, I'll pretend that I saw nothing." I said.
"You talk big for a weak human."
The gray monster's hand balled up into a fist, his bones producing crackling sounds.
"In your next life, make sure you know your place before speaking!"
The gray monster threw a punch with its enormous arm.
A muffled thud echoed out.
"Good grief, this is why I hate muscleheads. All they think about is violence; punching things first before talking."
I can see the gray monster's bewildered expression behind the rippling transparent barrier.
"Oh well, since you didn't mean any real 'harm', I'll let you off easily this time. [Force Rebound]"
As my last words resounded, a terrifying force suddenly struck the gray monster, hurling it away for at least tens of meters.
"Yeah. Enjoy the body ache when you get up tomorrow morning."
I grabbed the two unconscious people with me and teleported away while the gray monster roared in anger.
I watched him vent his anger towards the cars while I stood from the top of a building, blocks away from the gray monster's location.
Then out of nowhere, a body landed heavily in the middle of the street. A few moments later, on the crater where the body fell into, another hulking monster came out. It was different from the first one though; because this one has green skin, without bone spikes growing from his body.
I watched in amusement as the green guy and the grey monster fought each other. Quite obviously, the gray monster which has a bigger physique than the green guy emerged superior in the battle. The gray monster looked trained too.
I remember the times when I was bored; I would conduct a fighting tournament amongst my Orcs, with the championship prize of having the honor of becoming my temporary servant. Good times.
Back to the battle: the gray monster overpowered the green guy by a huge margin.
Quite unexpectedly, the green guy managed to turn the tides of the battle by ingeniously using a chain to knock his opponent out. The gray monster lay there unconscious, while the green guy bolted away.
Since there was nothing else to watch, I proceeded to teleport to the hospital.
At that time, I didn't know. That the small action of forgetting to erase the traces of my magic would cause my daily peaceful life to change forever.
I raised my head up from the pictures in response to my subordinate's call. It was Agent Phil Coulson.
"Is this confirmed?" I asked.
"Affirmative, sir. The guys from my department double-checked it. Agent Romanoff can testify."
I looked again at the pictures sprawled on my desk.
Monaco Grand Prix incident; Stark Expo incident; Puente Antiguo incident; and last night's battle in the streets of Harlem, New York. On the last picture, a car can be seen frozen in ice.
All of them were the events involving the subjects in the 'Avengers Initiative' project. But that's not the issue right now. The problem is; they all have something similar.
The figure of a man, who appeared nothing out of ordinary, is present in all of these events. Moreover, last night, he was not just present. He was 'involved'.
"Finn Mertens. 22 years old. Drop out in Columbia University's Business School. When he was 20, he went into a deep coma lasting for 2 years. After he woke up, he started working in Daily Bugle as an assistant journalist."
After Coulson recited the man's bio, he played a videotape on a laptop.
On the blurred satellite footage, during the battle in Harlem, the gray monster stood before the man in question, Finn. In the next moment, the gray monster was suddenly thrown away for several meters.
I played the video repeatedly, trying to figure out what happened but to no avail. I rubbed my temples in annoyance.
"What's the status of the report?"
"Nothing strange happening at the moment, sir. My guys are still following him."
Just at that time, a knock was heard on the door and Agent Romanoff came in.
"Stark is ready to meet you, sir."
"Be right there."
I closed the videotape and gathered the pictures on a folder. I walked to the door and gave it to Coulson.
"In the meantime, continue to follow him. Report anything unusual the moment you see it."
Yet another freak appeared.