After he drifted off to sleep, Zycor found himself in a familiar void, fully aware of his current situation. Without turning to face the man he knew was behind him, Zycor asked, “Do you pester everyone like this.”

In his unsettling, broken way of speaking, Mister X responded, “Well, ‘everyone else,’ as you have put it, do not decline my… generous offer. So in response to your… question, ‘pestering’ someone like this is not… something I do.”

Turning to face Mister X with, Zycor gave a cold stare and posed the next logical question, “Then why me?”

Mister X, sitting on an all too familiar chair, answered, “You see, my dear associate, I had originally planned to reserve our next meeting for when everything was… ready. However, due to some very… unforeseen chain of events, and, what you may call… fated encounters, I had to slightly… adjust my plans.”

Despite the ominous meaning of his words, his tone continued to have that inviting feel that draws a person in. Remaining on guard, Zycor tried to emulate Baz’s bravado and said, “Oh, and is that supposed to scare me? I’ve taken craps scarier than you.”

With no noticeable change to his expression, Mister X responded, “Riveting… now, allow me to hypothesize who you could be imitating. I would have to say it is that large, half-orc fellow you seem to have befriended. Honestly, such an accomplishment is deserving of a… celebration. Though, I do believe you should refrain from mimicking such barbaric mannerisms, especially when addressing someone of superior status and strength. It could lead to angering someone better left… not.”

His last statement gave off a far more sinister feel, acting as more of a warning than his previous statements. Mister X continued, “Though, if I had intended to kill you, then you… well, calling it ‘death’ would be quite the… understatement. Moving on from that dreary topic, I am here because of your… encounter with the fragment of the goddess. I do believe she has given you a… gift, am I wrong.”

Zycor began to grow exponentially more wary by the minute. Zycor stuttered, “Y-yeah, I did get something, w-what about it?”

Mister X’s small smirk evolved into an unsettlingly pronounced smile, “You see, my dear, young acquaintance, it is my intention to bestow upon you a… gift, of my own. You do not have to use it, nor even acknowledge its existence. But, I do believe that if you are willing to accept a gift from one god, surely you would be willing to accept a gift from… the other.”

Confusion and shock beginning to overshadow his worries, Zycor inquired, “What do you mean by ‘the other?’”

Mister X’s smile diminished back to a light smirk. He took a stuttered deep breath as he began his answer, “Truly, those who claim to be your.. Guardians, have done a poor job educating you.”

Returning to a more normal and relaxed posture, Mister X continued, “There is another path open to… special individuals, a path different from the one laid before you. Although, those that choose to walk that other path end up… misunderstood, cast out from society.”

Mister X stood up, his hands covering one another on top of his cane, “Here is my gift to you.”

He then lightly tapped his cane on the void he stood on. Zycor suddenly found himself unable to move, much like their first encounter. Part of Mister X’s back liquified into black ooze and it lunged at Zycor, aiming for his Soul Shard. After the ooze made a small incision, Zycor felt something enter his Soul Shard. Having achieved the objective, the ooze retreated back to Mister X, and Zycor regained his ability to move.

Patting his chest in a panic, Zycor shouted, “W-what was that!?”

“I merely bestowed the gift I had mentioned. I do hope you will choose to… explore it.” Mister X calmly replied

Zycor became more serious as he said more demandingly, “What. Did. You. Do.”

Growing tired of Zycors defiant attitude, Mister X’s smirk vanished as he responded, “I gave you the ability to use a… special kind of magic. The same kind of magic that I wield. If you agree to my… generous offer I would be more than happy to not only teach you about it, but also bestow a higher affinity for it.”

Zycor backed away, shaking his head as he grasped his chest. Mister X sighed, “I see, truly a… pity. Perhaps I have considered you far more… reasonable than I should have. I had hoped you would have come along willingly, but I see I must take it by… force.”

A sudden pain shot through Zycor’s entire body from his Soul Shard. “I will be taking that unique magic you have for… myself. It would be… utilized far better in my hands.”

As Mister X’s body melted and the void began to darken, Zycor desperately tried to wake himself up but was unsuccessful. As he was surrounded and engulfed completely by the ooze, the searing pain from his chest was amplified. It began to feel as if he was losing a part of himself. As Zycor started to succumb to the pain, a flash of light forced the darkness and Mister X to instantly disperse. Zycor fell to the ground, after which he searched the area for what created the light that saved him. After the brightness had dulled some, Zycor saw a man clad in blue and gray draconic armor standing in front of him facing Mister X. The man had the wings of a dragon, which were unfurled after the light had dissipated, acting as a sort of shield for Zycor. His face was humanlike, though the further from his facial features you got, the more draconic scales there were. His eyes blazed with a yellow glow as his pupils sharpened to match the dragon aesthetic.

Genuinely angered for the first time since Zycor met him, Mister X shouted, “And what the hell are you supposed to be!?”

Mister X quickly solved his own question, immediately setting him on edge. Now beyond livid, Mister X verbalized his thoughts, “Wait a moment, you… you are one of the scrapped races, aren’t you! A dragon-kin! But what are you doing here? A better question, how do you exist?!”

The dragon-kin began to silently advance towards Mister X, forging a behemoth of a blade made of electricity and light. As they approached, Mister X’s realization deepened as he continued, “Wait, the gift from the goddess… If that is what you are supposed to be then that sword is…”

The dragon-kin cut Mister X off with a serious tone, “This is the power allotted to me by the goddess for this specific task. Although it is merely a fraction of the goddesses power, and I most likely will not be capable of it again, it should be more than enough to obliterate you.”

Mister X beginning to panic upon hearing about the source of his power said, “Wait, that sword is made using the goddesses own magic?! Damnit! She has gotten in my way for hundreds of years now! It appears I must retreat, you have earned your survival… for now.”

The dragon-kin yelled, “I don’t think so!”

He held the sword with a reverse grip, and assumed a spear throwing stance. The sword quickly morphed into a massive piercing spear as he hurled it full force at the retreating Mister X. The spear tore through Mister X’s arm at a speed too quick to dodge. As it did, it seared the very essence of his arm, permanently burning it.

“ARGH!” Mister X screamed, “Curse you both! I will have my vengeance!”

With that, Mister X fled. “Tch, I can’t believe I whiffed that. Easiest shot of my existence,” the dragon-kin complained.

Taking a deep breath and calming down, he turned to face Zycor, the latter asking, “Who are you?”

The dragon-kin walked over to Zycor, knelt down, and put a hand on his shoulder as he replied, “You will find out soon. For now, just know that I am your friend.”

With that, the dragon-kin began to vanish along with the void. Zycor woke up and rapidly sat up, drenched in sweat and breathing frantically. As he caught his breath and calmed down, he noticed something glowing on his left. Investigating, he found the egg was the source as said light flickered out.

Quickly feeling a searing pain in his chest, he opened his shirt to check. Illuminated by the moonlight seeping in through the window, Zycor quickly noticed a scar where his soul shard is located. Remembering what happened in his dream, his level of panic began to skyrocket. As it approached the limit of what he could handle, another wave of intense pain washed over Zycor’s chest and caused him to pass out.


About the author


Bio: I am a new writer looking for feedback to improve. No feedback is fine, of course, as long as people enjoy my work, that is what I care about.

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