Robin was hurrying through his chores. He was trying to feed the mantises, a task he performed daily. Today, though, was the day his favorite classic anime, Solar Savior Silver, was going to release a promotional video for the reboot. He hummed the theme song mindlessly as he dumped fruit flies first into a feeding cup, and then into each individual mantis container.
He paused as he came to the last mantis, the Orchid Mantis. It was a bright pink little thing, with oval eyes that ascended up its head like a crown. They were the most active and jumpy of all the mantises in this stupid “award-winning” collection, and Robin hated them. They would try to escape every time the enclosure was opened. But today, Robin wasn’t having it. He was going to watch the promotional video the second it released. He steadied his breath, dumped the fruit flies into the feeding cup, and opened the orchid mantis enclosure.
At that moment, everything in Robin’s sight began to swell like a dry sponge plunged into water. Everything was emitting light, glowing softly. Robin’s vision blinked, and he saw a being so vast that part of his mind shut down trying to cope with the sheer enormity of it. Numbly, he watched it do...something, and then he knew it was called the Ysari, and that everything would be different. He knew this with the same certainty he had when he came home sometimes, and could feel his father’s anger before he opened the door. It carried with it a sort of hope, though, and Robin found that he knew it was natural, a part of the processes of reality.
|The Epoch of Law has begun! Welcome to the Ysari System!|
The world seemed to be done swelling and glowing, but now… Robin could see something floating in front of his face. It looked… like a text box? It kind of reminded him of Pokémon. Epoch of Law? What was a Ysari System? After Robin had read it, it vanished, leaving behind another text box.
|You have earned the Title Lawblessed!|
Lawblessed? That didn’t sound great. Robin blinked and the text box vanished, leaving yet another in its place.
Robin shook his head. The box disappeared. This was no time to be daydreaming about video games, he was going to miss the promo video! Sure, he could watch it later, but it meant something to see it right when it came out. That's how you could tell the true fans. He looked down and froze. The lid was open. Why did he start daydreaming in the middle of it!? Now he was going to have to track down and capture the mantis. It was a difficult task to do, especially without hurting the tiny thing. It believed itself to be indestructible, and wouldn’t hesitate to leap at and attack Robin, even though it could not possibly harm him. It was equally likely to run away, though.
Robin carefully lifted his arms off of his body and inspected himself. He didn’t see it clinging to his shirt, so he looked up and down his arms. He started to turn around slowly, looking at the table, and abruptly stumbled as his foot caught on the cobbled stone plates. Robin frowned at the stone floor. It wasn’t the floor he remembered. He would hop from black tile to black tile when he was walking down the enormous underground passageways that led to the insect area of the private museum, and these looked … archaic. Maybe the mysterious night maintenance crew had replaced it last night and he just hadn’t noticed. Robin wasn’t about to ask. The owner was a weirdly intense old man, and Robin had no intent on getting his attention beyond the requirements of the “junior internship.”
Satisfied that the mantis was not on his person, Robin began to look around the room. He froze immediately. The first startling thing he noticed was that the room was not the same as it had been when he came in. It had stone walls, with the light fixtures attached like they had always been there. The original furniture was still present, but it seemed sparse for how large the room now seemed. There were now yards between shelves, where before there had only been a few cramped feet to squeeze through. The difference in the room was not what held his attention, though. Robin saw the mantis on the ceiling, above him and several feet to the side, closer to the wall. The ceiling was higher than it had been, too, almost 15 feet up, but Robin had no trouble seeing the orchid mantis.
It was the size of a housecat, and staring directly at him with its vivid, football-shaped eyes.