Avalon, the eternal empire, a civilization that had once stretched across its own universe with relative peace. It is known to many across the other universe's as a bastion of light and a sentinel of liberty. Truly it was a time that they lived like gods, guardians of life And now they have only a single continent to their name and a population of only Nine hundred million people left to rebuild their tattered kingdom.
The drums of war beat against Avalon as their waring neighbors turn to them for allies or enemies. Either the Ocean kingdom's to the west or the Lunar empire to the north or even the corpse of the once great but now divided Sun empire to the south are a future friend or enemy.
In times like this, fear and paranoia is at its highest and that was quite evident with over four hundred large battleship's guarding all parts of the border, like snarling hounds to show the other kingdoms that their strength and might was still intact.
It was another patrol over the frozen sea that divided the Lunar empire and Avalon that the largest matchstick to the powderkeg was lit. In the dead of night was when they saw it streaking across the sky. The battleship's detection systems were the first to pick up the objects streaking towards them faster than a lightning bolt.
Soon the men and women on deck could see the bright burning oval object streaking through the air. They sent message's to the unknown craft ordering a withdraw from their territorial water's before they were fired upon, but they weren't obeyed or even answered.
The order to shoot it down was passed and they began to fire upon the object that moved and zipped around the hundreds of beams of concentrated energy from the giant artillery cannons that rested upon the deck and sides of the battleship's.
The intensity of the beams was so powerful that they coloured the night sky in a green glow that from hundreds of kilometers away looked like a second sun within in the sky.
The object increased it's speed further with ease passing over the battleships so fast that all that could be seen as a trail of light left by it after it had flown by.
"What the hell ...?" the Admiral of this vast force could only watch the object vanished into Avalon " Call the mainland, the parameter has be breached, i repeat the parameter has been breached...".
Prime, the capital of Avalon, located right in the center of the great continent. There it stands as the pinnacle of Avalonian architecture.
The city was so large it would take a normal healthy human being two days of constant walking to get from one end of the city to the other of the oval shaped city.
The city itself was a marvel of high rise buildings made from glistening silver or gold plates and glass. Other structures were made completely of white marble.
The streets were filled with fast moving vehicles without wheels, that hovered twenty five inches off the ground as if held up by some invisible force. Trains flew through the very air itself with Gryphon's, Pegasus and Perytons as their companions in the skies.
Across the city were dotted many water fountains and statues made completely of pure crystal. The city edges were surrounded by ten pyramids, that were as white as snow with golden engravings that ran from their top to their bottom.
At the heart of the city, the royal palace stood as the grandest structure in Prime. Built from marble, granite, obsidian, gold, iron, steel, glass and crystal. The mighty palace had towers that elevated hundreds of meters into the sky, it had its own lake, a small forest and finally a white pyramid akin to the ones around it's edges as its crowning center to be marveled by all those who saw it.
Christian or Chris Ddraig was many things to many different people. A son to his parents, a brother, a vigilante to the people of earth and a prince to the people of Avalon.
The young nineteen year old walked the halls of the palace that was being illuminated by the rising morning sun. He was dressed in a blue shirt, black pants and blue shoes.
"You are strong and regal...you are strong and regal" he kept repeating over and over in his mind the mantra his grandmother taught him whenever he felt nervous in front of big crowds.
The corridor's sides were covered in all manner portraits, tapestries and statues. They depicted ancient battles, signing of pacts and the heroes of old and new.
One portrait in particular drew his attention above all. It was rather large, about five meters tall and six meters wide wide. It was held together by a old brown tree frame that was intricately decorated with small carvings that he recognized as runes.
The picture upon the portrait showed a man and a woman both appearing to be in their mid fifties and dressed in royal garbs with two crowns resting upon their heads.
They bore brown hair like his own though of varying shades. The man had a thick bushy greying beard whilst the woman appeared to have multicolored rainbow lines running down her bright golden cat like eyes, past her cheeks, and to her chin.
At the bottom of the portrait was written "In loving memory of King Charlemagne and Queen Iris founders and heroes of Avalon, their sacrifice shall never be forgotten".
"Good morning grandma, grandpa" he spoke to them like he did every time he walked down this path in some hope that they heard him from far lands.
At the end of the hall were two ten meter tall golden gates with the engravings of a phoenix with its massive wings outstretched and a scale above it held by male and female figures facing each other.
This was one of the most important places in Avalon, the throne room, center of administrative power across the entire realm and his destination.
Standing by the doors were ten knights all acting as guards, these were some of the greatest knights in Avalon with legends and feats that belonged amongst the heroes of the old age's. Their giant of a leader stood at seven feet in height while dressed in bronze knights armor with a purple cape that had a brown castle drawn upon it symbolizing his house.
He wore a bronze coloured helmet that covered most of his head except for a small portion of his face and that made him appear more intimidating. In his right hand was a solid bronze spear and in his left a five foot tall bronze shield. This was Hector Myca one of the greatest knights of this age.
As a child, the stories of Hector and the Trojan party were one of the many things that inspired Chris and thousands of other children to aim for knighthood.
Hector was just as imposing in real life as in his stories and here he bowed with respect to Chris as did his fellow knights.
Chris struggled to keep himself from shaking in excitement or letting them see his red blushing face from the embarrassment and joy of meeting his heroes even though he saw them every day guarding the most important people to him and the realm. It was still a magical experience to him and he could never get used to it.
"Greetings, your majesty" the voices from the knights were firm and respectful and to his shame, Chris felt his cheeks get tighter and hotter if that was possible.
"Greetings, knights... of Avalon" Chris answered struggling to keep in a giggle of joy.
"Your majesty is something wrong?" Hector like any self respecting knight noticed his behaviour and inquired concerned.
"Um..um" he needed to think of something and then it hit him to just tell the truth " I am.... kind of sore from lady Morigan's training".
Lady Morigan was amongst the top knights of Avalon and she served along with his mother and father as a Paladin. Needless to say she was both a political friend and a close family friend.
But by Deus, their training sessions together was absolute torture. It was made even worse that they were mandatory due to him bothering and pestering her to train him and his team until she finally gave in and made them mandatory probably to mess with him.
At first, Chris and his friends were very pleased to train under the great Morigan and then they discovered the hell that was her so-called training. A single day never went by without several separate incidents were she nearly turned him into a pin cushion thanks to her spear and that was if he was lucky. Right now he could feel his muscles begging for rest but he soldiered on knowing that he'd face a much more frightening beast if he missed this session.
He slightly shuddered at the thought of facing his angry mother and he thought " How can one person be so scary at a moment's drop".
"Of course my prince, you may pass" the skepticism in Hector's voice showed that he didn't buy it but Chris just passed the knights by until he was in the throne room.
The throne room of Avalon literally made legend's since its construction. The large pyramid at the center of the palace acted as the throne room.
The floor was a black marble layer while the top of the pyramid would open during the day like a door leaving a thin crystal roof that illuminated light upon the rest of the throne room. It had four hundred wooden chairs with two hundred on the right and another two hundred on the left.
At the far end of the throne room was an elevated marble platform that stood at four meters in height. Resting upon it were two thrones that were elder wood carved into thrones with their root's and branches still alive and planted into the earth. Their sovereigns were sitting upon the thrones with an air that was godlike to say the least.
Chris walked to the right side chairs that like their left side chairs weren't completely filled up yet.
The chairs only had around ninety seven men and women who all belonged to the higher rankings of the military, intelligence group's, the Wizard court and political officers like ministers and the most important Parliamentarians.
Chris's father, Roland Ddraig looked like an older version of him except his hair was slightly darker shade than his son's honey brown hair. He had a slightly thick beard. Upon his head rested a small golden crown with a thin light purple crystal lined it's sides.
Resting by his throne was Durandal one of the seven divine weapons. The scabbard it rested in was decorated with red and green inscriptions too complex for him to understand.
Next his mother Natalia, the master of Excalibur another one of Avalon's divine weapon's. Her soft flowing hair was a light shade of violet whilst her eyes were colored grey, unlike him, his father's and his siblings who gained their golden eyes from their fae, human mixed blood from their grandmother.
Excalibur rested by her throne in all of its glory. It's hilt was a cold iron and its scabbard was made completely of the same iron that possessed the same inscriptions that Durandal possessed.
Chris sat down quietly in his own seat grateful that everyone wasn't looking at him for being late...again. it wasn't his fault that Morigan's training took hours off his day depending on how evil the crow witch was feeling.
At the center of the room stood a man in a black suit that was so wrinkled anyone could tell that it had just been pulled out of another pile of clothes and its owner clearly didn't give a damn about it's appearance.
The man's skin color was light blue with green pigmentation lines running across his body that looked like rather extravagant and intricate body art, this was the body type of all fae. His hair was an unruly and tangled black mess while his eyes were like a cat's with golden colour and upon his back were rainbow coloured insect wings that were constantly flapping.
The man was Aro Kugari the chief spy. A man to be feared and respected, Aro was the best intelligence agent in Avalon. It was no wonder to those who actually knew him that he had worked his way to the top of Avalon's intelligence community.
He was the kind of man who knew every secret about his friends and enemies, a mighty chess master and shameless puppeteer you would want to serve loyally alongside you and a total and notorious drunk of the highest caliber who held no shame whatsoever.
"An update on the breach has just arrived" Aro snapped his fingers and around him, blue holographic images of satellite images of the northern part of Avalon, live feeds to knights and military units scouting the area and hundreds of simulations of where something might have landed.
" The unidentified flying object has a high cloaking system that has hidden them from all of our initial scans but we have made a breakthrough".
The holographic image of the forest area in northern Avalon showed a circle over enough land that stretched for a thousand meters.
"The Wizard council have managed to give us a general area of where the UFO is. Right now with help from Paladin Sigurd, we have sent out scouting parties to search the area and our troops are being deployed for a deeper search and to put down any possible hostiles" Aro said.
" A breach, Something crossed our border and that wasn't the meeting I was summoned for?" Many thoughts jumped around in Chris's mind as to why and then the thought creped in.
"Maybe it's because I am not the crown princess like Ishtar. I mean I am third in line after Joan and since they are part of active knight teams on the ground and I am stuck in this stupid city sitting on my butt all day".
Knights are the most powerful and elite unit of the Avalonian military. They existed to face the type of threats the normal military couldn't face without large unnecessary casualties.
The knight's core was a strange unit in terms of its recruitment practices. Three times a year it held entrance exams in theory and the practical tests. Any person from the age of sixteen and above could enter regardless of age, gender, and social status.
Chris himself was a proud knight after he passed the exam a year ago, the exam had been pure torture. He would never be too embarrassed to say that he survived it by the skin of his teeth.
Ishtar and Joan had graduated with their teams far earlier than him and they were out dealing with the remaining night terrors or beasts of Darkness like many called them.
Chris and his team had dealt with a few like Dullahans, those headless riders had been difficult for him to fight.
It was how things worked until now nearly every mission had team on it and his team were left with nothing to do but hang out at the capital and he hated it with a burning passion.
He tried signing up for combat tournaments but being the prince everyone was too afraid to hurt him. That was the type of load he would believe if he didn't know that they just didn't take him seriously after all even his younger sister Venus, participated in the tournaments with no problem at all.
When he had tried to sign up for border patrols, but then his mother said no and when Natalia Ddraig said no, it was no.
"Have our Gryphon's and Peryton in the sky picked up anything?" His father asked Aro.
Chris couldn't name it but there was something that changed his father's voice whenever he was speaking as the king. His voice became deeper and stronger.
"Nothing as of yet" though Aro who had been friends with the King and Queen since childhood wasn't clearly fazed at all by the aura of power both the King and Queen emitted " I have sent out an order on all of our best knights including your daughter's".
Chris honestly didn't know what he was thinking or was he thinking at all when he raised his right arm like a student in a classroom and it was made worse by his blue crystal ring that rested upon his right middle finger.
And the damn thing always glowed whenever he raised his hand because apparently he always needed the stupid symbol of royalty even though it glowed wither he wanted to it to glow or not.
All eyes turned him and at that moment and he felt small. Like a tiny ant having giants looking down on his small frame.
"Well I am...uh...uh...volunteering my team's services on the ground as well" he was sweaty and his voice was squeaky and breaking.
Today was not starting well, he really hated crowds focusing on him so much, it made his knees lose their strength and his palms began to sweat whilst his breathing became slightly erratic.
"Are you sure about this?" his mother asked him with concern laced in her voice and it made his nerves flair up, burying away his nervous tick.
"I will be a fine mother" he tried not to let the frustration show in his voice," I think my team is qualified enough to provide help".
His parents remained silent while they looked at each other, their faces spoke a language without words but an understanding of each other built from years of friendship, comradely from their time on the same knight's team and marriage.
Finally, after four minutes of silence, the two agreed but to what he didn't know.
"We have decided" his mother sounded unhappy which was strangely a good sign " You may go".
"Good for you nephew" even when congratulating him Aro sounded as uninterested and sarcastic as possible "You can start off now and await orders from Paladin Sigurd and do get me a jug of northern moonshine on the way back".
"Aro!" Natalia's outraged scream may have put everyone else on edge except for Aro who had just pulled a lollipop from his pocket was too busy sucking away to care.
"What is it, Nat?".
"Don't you think I don't know about you using my children to act like your booze runners when i explicitly prohibited you from doing so" his mother was incensed.
Chris could admit that he did carry out illegal runs for his uncle and knew that even Ishtar did it.
"Those were training activities".
"Of course, in espionage".
"That's a load and you know it!".
"They managed to subvert your helicopter parenting didn't they".
" Why you little! ".
At this point, Chris decided to just sneak out of the throne room. He had seen this kind of conversation between either of his parents and his uncle and well they lasted for some time.
After he slipped through the door leaving the fruitless argument between the two friends whilst his father tried to act as the voice of reason.
He reached for his left pocket and pulled out a crystal box that turned on from a discharge of his Mana into it with the words Echo flashing.
He went to his contacts on the little communication device and put out a double call to two names that knew by heart. The calls were both answered and he heard on them both on the other end saying " Hello?".
"Suit up and meet in me in the Spectre, within we have a job".
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I am a 21 year old law school student at the National Institute of Public Administration. My dream is to one day publish my story phantom ddriag and hopefully get a show made from it.
I also have a youtube account that hundels web fiction content, here is the link https://m.youtube.com/channel/UCFz-mHywXBJnLF8uyofcLAw/videos