AN: Alrighty guys, for those of you who hadn't noticed, just a few days ago was Christmas, so I haven't been writing as much, but I wanted to try and keep up the relatively quick updates speeds, so while I'm still working on the next chapter of I'm Not a Protagonist, I've got this for you instead.
So this is kinda going to be one of those Campione OC fics, and I'd probably say the main difference with this one is just that instead of starting with a harem and abilities that demolish building every time they get used, (Looking at you, Godou.) this MC has to gain his eventually. That said, this is probably going to be some kind of Harem, as that is a huge part of the Campione feel. The majority of the series is either harem comedy, or it's replaced by action. I enjoy the series, really, but I felt that the switches in tone were a bit much, so I'm going to try and tone that down somewhat in this.
And about the authorities, I know what they're going to be, and the next couple gods he's going to fight. I don't want to give any spoilers, but I will say that any that he gains, he's killing the god with his own ability, not just piggybacking off of the authority. That's one thing I wanted to have in the fic, a character who was cool before they killed a god.
This one will probably be updated every week or two, since my main focus will still be on I'm Not a Protagonist. That said, if people do enjoy this one enough, I might switch more onto this one.
Edit: Okay, thanks to some advice from reviewers, especially Flagarach, I have decided to rewrite the first chapter of Lord of the Mists, which is included below. I wrote this entirely from scratch, although I did try to expand it somewhat and add more detail. Some things are going to be different, but I hope that it's a better chapter overall. (Especially the fight scene, since I thought that was especially weak the first time around.)
I also would like to add that as of publishing this chapter, I have 5 followers, 5 favorites, 133 views, and it's even been added to one community! Thanks so much for everyone who has read this, and especially to those who have showed their appreciation by reviewing or following. It really does mean a lot to me, and I can probably have the next chapter of my other story up soon next week if any of you pay attention to that one too.
Disclaimer: I don't own any part of the Campione-verse, but I do find it an excellent setting to play around in.
Some days, you feel, "Wow, I feel awesome! I could take on the world and win!" and some days, you feel like, "Can everyone just die so I don't have to look at you?" Well, there's also days that start out just peachy, and then end up with screaming and lots of blood. I've had my share of those before, but if you're reading this, it's probably because you're interested in where it all started, so I'll start with that. But don't worry about those of you who were interested by my previous statement. There'll be plenty of time for flashbacks later. But I do want to start off this narrative with saying, no matter what people say, or what you've heard, on the inside, I'm just a selfish little boy, screaming for his mother not to leave him. People say I've made kings to bow, killed gods, and pulled victory out of the jaws of death. They're not wrong, but that doesn't mean they're right either. But enough "self-centered angst," as my sister would say. Let's begin, shall we…
It was a warm summer day, on a small sailboat off of the coast of California. It was the kind of boat that you could find anywhere, dotting the ocean like bread-crumbs spread out for ducks. The type of boat that you could rent at the beach, and take for a nice float around the bay. Which is exactly what had happened.
"I'm king of the world!"
Inside this particular boat, a teenage girl, roughly 15 years old, was standing in the prow of the boat, spreading her arms wide as her shoulder-length brown hair fluttered in the wind, blue eyes shining with happiness. She was the one who had proclaimed the phrase, attempting to mimic a certain famous movie.
"Yeah, I got it. Now come down from there before you fall in. For being king of the world, you sure trip a lot around the house."
This came from another figure slightly farther back, who was tying a knot in the rigging, with long blonde hair in a ponytail and soft green eyes flecked with blue. Combined with a feminine face, this looked like a beautiful specimen of female beauty.
Naturally, this was me. Male. Yep. I get it a lot. My twin, Lhendia, was the overexcited one leaning over the ocean, who proceeded to throw a quick glare back in my direction, before getting a wicked glint in her eye.
"Well," she mused fakely, tapping a finger on her chin. "If I'm the king..." she paused, looking over at me out of the corner of her eye. "...wouldn't that make you the queen?"
She reflexively dodged the life preserver I threw, as it hit the side of the boat and bounced off. "Dang it Lhen! You know I don't like being called a girl!" I still had a few touchy points at this point in time, you'll notice.
Lhendia herself turned to face me fully, pouting, "But it fits you so well! You could probably use the women's restroom if you wanted, and nobody would notice!" She lunged to the left to dodge the next projectile, but I was still searching for something suitably painful.
Just as I had located a small bag of ballast to fling at my annoying sister, the last figure spoke up, my father, Gregory Meltriarc, who was currently seated at the opposite end of the boat, a fishing line loosely dangling in front of him while he perused a thick book on child psychology. I was pretty sure he'd brought it just as a jab to us.
"Please stop bickering, this is a beautiful day while we're on vacation, and I don't want to ruin it by having to dunk one of you two for taking it too far. Or for the boat to get lit on fire."
"It was one time! Could everyone please stop making it sound like it's a habit of mine!" My sister complained, throwing her hands up in exasperation.
"And Chaska," my father added, "No offense, but you make a better girl than your mother did."
"Dang it, Dad!"
I couldn't see fully from where I was seated by the mast, but I was pretty sure you couldn't read books from that close, and I could see his shoulders shaking.
My name is Chaska Evelin Meltriarc, future 8th campione, king of Australia, Lord of the Mists, and one of the most feared men of all time. Welcome to my life. Filled with teasing fathers and joking sisters. Don't worry, the gods and killing things comes later.
As I settled back down, still mumbling good-naturedly, I noticed that many of the boats that had previously been around us, gently navigating with the breeze seemed to have clumped together, and were just shy of the Farallon islands. I mentally shrugged and passed it off. I knew they weren't cleared for tourists, but there wasn't anything against just stopping by to take pictures of seals or something.
A few more hours of lounging around, sniping at each other and relaxing, and we were ready to head back to the beach for lunch. I idly noticed that the mini flotilla of boats was still flocked around the island, but still paid it no attention. It wasn't like it was illegal or anything, just discouraged, since it could disturb the natural wildlife.
Back at the hotel, we all took showers to clear the residue sea smell from ourselves, before heading out to an outdoor cafe for lunch, and in general, vacationing. Yes. That's totally a word.
Before we drifted off to sleep, we all gathered together in the large room that was my father's, and talked about what we had enjoyed, and what we hoped to do the next day. It was a little tradition we had, that had been in place since my mother was alive, and had just never stopped.
Afterwards, we separated, and after doing my nightly exercises and stretching, fell asleep, looking forward to the next few days.
Those days were a whirlwind of activities, ballgames, Alcatraz, food, and various museums, before we agreed to go boating one last time on the last day before going back. Now I realize that right now, it seems like I'm just describing my vacation, but patience. This is important.
So on that last day, floating back across the waves, I noticed what looked like the same group of sailboats, still perched around the Farallon Islands, but now in much more of a circle, and what looked like gleaming red ropes linking them in a broad area around the rocky landform.
"Hey guys, do you notice those boats? What do you think they're doing?" I voiced my curiosity, pointing, and my family gave their own remarks.
"Well, I suppose they might just be trying to get a good view of the islands," my father said, "but it is a little odd. Still, not our place to judge. It is a little strange that I hadn't noticed until you pointed it out, though."
Lhendia on the other hand, was thrilled at finding something odd. "Or, they could be part of some kind of cult, and are worshipping the islands!"
"Why would anyone worship an island?"
"I don't know! Isn't that what cults do?"
And it devolved into petty bickering pretty quick from there. Still, the thought of that rope clung to me. The others hadn't remarked on it, so I was pretty sure they couldn't actually see it. It wasn't the first time I'd had something like this happen.
I'd seen majestic figures wrapped in silks walking through crowds, but if I blinked, they would disappear. One time I'd followed a short bald man with a staff that had all the jingly rings on the end, but it didn't make any noise, even when it hit the ground. I'd followed him for a few minutes, until he reached the end of a road, where he turned back to me and smiled, before walking through the wall. Since then, I'd given up on paying attention to any of the delusions.
I'd told people of course, and it had been suggested that they were just imaginary friends, but it never sounded quite right to me. I'd felt some kind of pull towards them, as though I was magnetized. But I'd just given up on trying to explain it for a while, and so disregarded it now.
And so of course, I almost missed when the boats exploded. Of course, it was pretty hard to miss something like that, what with the blue flames and red rope dissolving. Honestly, it almost seemed like less of an explosion, and more like the ships simply caved inwards, before releasing the energy.
Either way, this didn't seem normal. And I was getting a really bad feeling about it. All three of us in the boat were standing now, looking over at the commotion. After a moment though, my father turned towards the sails, intent on sailing us closer to help rescue any survivors. He's awesome like that.
But I grabbed his arm, stopping him for a moment. He looked at me, upset, but I said, "No. Wait. Something isn't right." My voice was perfectly serious, and apparently enough to rattle him for a moment, and that was just enough for the fog to come.
I still remember that moment, in the middle of the Farallon Islands, above the burning wreckage of dozens of boats, the air seemed to shimmer somewhat, before small wisps of what almost looked like smoke appeared. The smoke seemed to thicken, multiplying, until a thick orb had coalesced. And of course, neither my sister or father could see it.
As he shook my hand off and went to head to the tiller, I was still stuck in place, staring at the ball, my sister brushing by me to loosen the sails. I could feel something from the gray mass. It was muffled, but I could feel the sheer power underneath. I licked my lips, not even noticing.
And that was about when it all went south. The orb pulsed, twice, before it suddenly exploded in size, a great mass of what I could now recognize as fog pushing in all directions, a wall of misty gray headed straight towards us. And then all three of us in the boat were forced to our knees, a pressure laying upon us, almost like a physical hand forcing us to the deck, forcing us to bow before our greater.
I could feel it in the mist, and in the force. This was something bigger.
This was a God.
And then out of the mass of mist, a dim shape emerged. It was thirty to forty feet tall, a prow pushing out of the fog, taking shape as a large ship, complete with full rigging and masts materialized, and even as I watched with awe, I could see the shapes of crew appearing one by one to see to the workings of the ship.
And from it all, I could feel the same sense, the same feeling that this was above us mortals. Then I realized, almost dimly, that it was coming closer. The large boat was on a direct course towards our significantly smaller craft, and if something didn't change, we would be crushed under the keel.
A quick look around showed that my family was still on their knees, the same as I was, but they were panting heavily, having trouble getting enough air into their lungs, the wide eyes showing they had no idea of what was happening.
Even as I watched, I saw Lhendia's eyes roll up in her head as she fell unconscious, slumping flat on the deck. Immediately, I felt a huge surge of anger welling up within me. I didn't care if that was a captain or a god up there, I was going to murder him for daring to touch my family.
And with that thought, I let out a loud growl and slowly, pushed myself to my feet, my knees shaking somewhat with the exertion. And as that happened, the power that it had seemed to dissolve, leaving me free to assist my family.
All three of us had life vests on, but if I just pushed them in now, they could drown, especially, Lhendia, who was still unconscious, so I turned to the sail instead, producing a small pocket knife and sawing at the ropes holding the mast in place. As soon as those were gone, I hefted the wooden mast out of the socket, sail still attached, and tottered over to the edge, where I let it fall into the water.
There, wood and sailcloth both float, hopefully that'll be something that can keep them supported. My father was still looking on, his breaths coming slower and slower, watching my progress and he attempted to crawl to Lhendia. I could see my sister's chest slowly inflating and deflating, so I knew she could breathe, before I grabbed her arm and lugged her over to the side, before tossing her in to land on the sail, avoiding the mast.
She coughed and seemed to wake up, which was a relief, and she didn't seem to be having any issues breathing, so hopefully she would be alright. I repeated the process with my father next, which was significantly harder, but still doable, while the large boat moved towards our position, almost overshadowing us now.
And then they were both over the edge and grasping onto the mast, legs feebly kicking to keep them afloat. Turning to see the encroaching ship coming closer, I used an emergency paddle to push the makeshift flotation device farther away.
My father managed to grasp his vocal chords for a moment. "W-ait!… C-come… wi-th..." and my sister looked at me with pleading purple eyes.
I shook my head, a small smile on my face. "Sorry, Dad, but I've got a promise to keep." And with that, I ran back to the middle of the boat and faced the ship directly. I pointed a finger directly at the prow, where a figure of a mermaid was affixed to the front. "I'm coming for you."
And the ship hit, impacting the one I was on, flinging chips of wood and metal everywhere. As it almost cut through the sailboat, I ran to a railing, before perching on it and leaping off, managing to hook my fingers around the opening of an ajar viewport, and with slight difficulty, pulling my body through.
Rolling forward through the window and landing on the floor, I looked around. I seemed to be in a cabin, like you might find one some of the older boats, with several beds for bunking, and that was about it.
So, I was here to kill someone. First step, find a weapon. Second step, find the person I plan to kill. Third step. Combine the two. Simple, right? I made my way over to the door out of the room in a crouch, trying to make as little noise as possible. Cracking open the door, I looked out into an empty hallway, with one direction leading up to a set of stairs with sunlight coating them, while the other seemed to lead deeper into the ship.
As I watched, I heard the clumping of feet on wood, and quickly shut the door, keeping an ear out to know when whoever it was had gone. As the steps drew closer, I could recognize that there were two sets, and they were talking, a thick Irish accent masking much of it.
"Wal, 'tis certainly nice ter stretch me legs, at least," a first voice spoke, a loud yawn accompanying his words.
"Ha, jist aboyt anythin' wud be an improvement over bein' dead," the second said. "An' 'avin' free reign ter plunder is jist wool on de sheep!"
The conversation faded once more into obscurity as the heavy boot sounds faded. Okay. So maybe this was a little bigger than before. I didn't know a whole lot, but I was pretty sure that "plunder" meant the same thing in an accent as otherwise. Either way, now I knew there were more people around, I'd have to be a bit more careful. I pushed the last bit about being dead back into my mind, saving that for later. Possibly for a full blown breakdown.
I decided to head further down first, as there was probably less crew down there, and thus I'd be able to go farther before getting caught. I exercised, and was probably stronger than normal for my age, but I knew that any one of these men would be able to overpower me at close range, so my only chance would be to stay out of their way.
I slipped through the door, shutting it silently behind me, before I crept down the hallway, descending down into a deeper section of the ship, until the hallway suddenly opened up into a wide area with several of the men, sounding much the same as the two that had passed by earlier, chatting, while a large cauldron in the center exuded a soft green light, casting shadows of the men nearby.
Sneaking back into the shadows of the corridor, I watched, and was amazed as I saw a man, dressed in leather and furs, with a sword strapped to his waist, and a dagger in his boot, rising up from the cauldron before he stepped out, being greeted warmly by some of the others.
Well. Okay then. So going by what one of the raiders from earlier said, they were dead, and then somehow, the cauldron is restoring them back to life, for the purpose of plundering. I was shaken from my thoughts and my reality crumbling around me by a small section of crew, including the new guy, stepping towards the only exit from the chamber. The hallway where I stood.
I made my way back along the passage as quick as I could, staying ahead of the following soldiers, but in my hast, didn't think to creep inside of a room. Instead, I emerged out of a hatch in the deck that the stairs led up to, and immediately realized my folly, as a dozen spears, swords, and the occasional axe, were pointed at my throat. I gulped, attempting to swallow my nervousness. "Erm… Take me to your leader?"
The small joke wasn't appreciated, and I quickly found my pockets emptied, and being escorted at spearpoint towards the prow of the ship, my guards talking with one another, including lots of laughter. I got the feeling they didn't have a very high opinion of me.
And then I was at the front of the ship, pushed up some stairs, and I saw a tall man, with black hair slicked back down to his shoulders, a thick black robe hanging over his body, with pale thin hands clasped behind his back. He was gazing towards the horizon, and I could see the spires of the Golden Gate Bridge drawing closer.
As I made my way to the top of the stairs, I was prodded with the spears, in an attempt to force me to my knees, but I stayed standing. I've always been stubborn about things like that. I took a small gash on my back, ripping through the shirt I was wearing, but they eventually gave up when I refused to go down.
And then the tall man turned, and I looked into his eyes, black orbs with no white, only darkness, and I was held in place for eternity, absorbed, falling falling falli-
He blinked, and I was free, still standing, but I felt weaker, somehow, as though I had failed by succumbing to the pressure. Now that I was close to this man, I could feel he was the one that had produced the pressure, and even as I thought of it, it increased, attempting to bear down on me, but I stayed standing, shrugging it off. It hadn't affected me before, and it wasn't going to now.
Suddenly the feeling faded, and the god cocked an eyebrow. "Interesting. You do not bow underneath my Presence." He had a soft voice, but it still held the threat of death underneath. He stepped forward, a languid stride that showed he had all the time in the world. "So, tell me, boy. Do you know who I am?"
"I know who you are!" I held out a finger accusingly, only slightly shaken from the force pressing down. "You're Severus Snape!" Well, let it never be said that I was the brightest in stressful situations.
The being stopped for a minute, before the pressure abated, and he laughed, throwing his head back, entire body shaking, although his hands were still folded behind him. The crewmen who had brought me here mostly stood in confusion, not understanding the reference.
Eventually, his laughter abated, and we were left standing in awkward silence, nobody really knowing where to go from there. The god was the first to speak, spreading his arms wide for the first time. "Well, while that was certainly amusing, I'm afraid you are quite incorrect. You see, I am known as Manannan mac Lir, god of the Tuatha de Danann." He gave a mocking bow, introducing himself.
Well. I knew I'd called him a god in my mind before, but I certainly didn't expect that. I slowly raised my hand. "So, does this mean that all the gods are real?"
Manannan lowered his head condescendingly. "Yes, child, it certainly does. Quite a scary thought, isn't it?"
My response isn't exactly something I'm proud of now, but it seemed to make sense in the moment. I cheered and threw my hands into the air, before running over to the railing, followed by the eyes of the others. "Hear that, Lhendia!" I shouted over the waves. "I was right!" And then I laughed for a good thirty seconds. I was in a phase at the time.
I looked back, and was faced with the bemused faces of a good two dozen Irish raiders, and the amuse smile of an ancient god. I paused for a moment, before wandering back over to where I was standing before and cleared my throat. "Right. You were saying."
The god shook his head in amusement, arms folded behind him once more. At the moment, he looked like a grandfather, who's grandchild had just done something unusual. And then he raised his head once more, and his smile had a hint of cruelty to it. Then he looked like the creepy uncle nobody likes because he was in jail for a few years.
"Well, I do believe I was just about to tell you how I was going to sail into that little bay there," he motioned with a slight jerk of his head. "and then massacre everyone in that city before I go on to kill everyone else I can before I am forced back to the Domain of Immortality."
My mouth opened and closed several times, before I could finally get out a small, "Oh." At the time, I honestly believe that I couldn't grasp what he was talking about fully. He was talking about killing thousands, perhaps millions of people, and then, I still couldn't understand that fully.
The black haired man extended a thin hand towards me. "Ah, but you, young mortal, have amused me. And so I extend to you, an invitation to become an entertainer, or jester, if you prefer. Then I would spare your life."
I stood fast, and said, "I refuse! I won't serve you like that, someone who plans to murder innocents like that!"
Manannan seemed unfazed, simply folding his arms once again with a small shrug. "Fair enough, I suppose that is an answer. But, as you have amused me, I suppose I will give you a second chance."
He faced back out to the front of the ship, and I noticed, abstractly, that those red colored spires seemed awfully close…
"View, what I shall heap upon these mortals, and then I shall offer you again."
And then the ship impacted, hitting the bridge at a perpendicular angle, somehow, even though it seemed small enough that it should have been flattened itself, the bridge gave way before it, metal beams stretching before snapping upwards at acute angles. Cars with people inside who hadn't been able to clear off in time died, crushed before the godly vessel, the thick metal cables releasing and whipping through the air, making whistling sounds, the creation of four years and thousands of people destroyed in a few instants.
As I looked over the carnage, the blood-painted bridge beginning to be stained with the blood of innocents, something inside me seemed to click, and a feeling of, "Oh, that's what I have to do," came over me. Of course, how could I have forgotten. I came onto this boat for one purpose originally. To kill the captain.
"Well, I offer again. Will you accept, and entertain us as we carve a bloody swath through this world?" The god's voice seemed to come from far away, but at the same time, crystal clear.
I turned back to the monster who had murdered these people, and gave him a kind smile. "You know, that does sound nice, really, but I think I've got a better idea." I straightened and took a firm stance. "I, Chaska Evelin Meltriarc, challenge you, Manannan mac Lir, for the fates of this people." I spread my arms, a mockery of his gesture of earlier. "You win, you kill them all. I win?" My voice dipped, a small portion of bloodlust seeping through. "You die."
The crewmembers, now expanded to over fifty, held their breaths in silence, as I stared at their leader and lord. At their God. And continued to smile, as I said, "You want entertainment? Come and take it."
My mind was perfectly clear. It didn't feel like adrenaline, or like I was analyzing everything, because I wasn't. I was focused on one thing, one goal, and knew just how I was going to go about doing it.
Manannan's amused smile quirked up at the corner and stayed there, as I stood, inviting the devil to tea. He didn't laugh like he had earlier, but in a way, this signified more. "Very well, young mortal, I shall accept your generous offer." And suddenly, he grinned, a quick flash of teeth. "Try not to die."
He then spoke one word that will probably be inscribed into my memory forever. "Fragarach."
And he was gone. It was pure instinct that caused me to leap forwards, tucking into a roll across the rough planks, dodging a horizontal slash that would have bisected me at the waist.
I pivoted in a crouch and saw Manannan standing, completely relaxed, a sword hanging loosely at his side, shaped like a long thin broadsword with a hollow blade and a guard that barely covered his hand. Head tilted to one side, he remarked. "Very good. Try to keep that up, would you?"
And he was gone again. Once more, only dodging frantically to the left allowed me to survive the blow that would have killed me instantly.
The surrounding soldiers were beginning to cheer, shouts of encouragement for their lord ringing through the air. They were my only chance. I dashed forward, leaping just enough to dodge another blow aimed at my feet, and made it into the crowd of onlookers.
Mom's voice was ringing inside my head. First rule of battle. Don't get hit. If I was here inside the crowd, he wouldn't be able to attack me without killing his own crew. I didn't kn ow if he was teleporting, or just really fast, but his attack were in broad enough sweeps that he couldn't target that accurately with them.
Of course, there was nothing keeping the surrounding soldiers from simply backing away and giving him the room, although they luckily refrained from attacking me themselves, not wanting to kill their Lord's prey.
So as they began to stumble back, I slipped the dagger from a thigh sheath of one of the closer ones, twisting in the same motion, raking a vicious uppercut through the man's chin, killing him. Instead of bleeding, he dissolved into vapor with a silent scream, leaving the mortal realm to return to the realm of the dead.
I smiled, still the same, friendly smile as before. Now, I had a weapon. I knew how to use this, years of training before and after my Mom's death flickering through my mind. And then immediately ducked, laying flat on the deck before rolling to the side, earning a gash in my side from the sharp blade of my foe.
"Hmmm. I suppose I didn't expect that." The god seemed just as placid as when the fight had started, and still seemed vaguely amused, although it was tainted by that same sense of cruelty I'd felt earlier. "Oh well. You know, I'm really not much of a fighter," he mused as I regained my footing, my bare feet solid on the rocking deck of the ship.
"I'm really a guardian. Never actually used this blade of mine before." He still continued, calmly. I knew better than to speak during battle. Air was useful, and talking was a waste. That said, I was perfectly happy with letting him talk, and giving me the chance to regain my breath. I'd noticed that he was slowing his blows before they hit, just barely giving me the chance to dodge, and it made me infuriated that he was taking it easy on me. But at the same time, I knew that if he didn't, I would die in a heartbeat.
"Don't worry, though," Manannan continued. And then he disappeared again, as I spun, feeling something behind me. "I've been told it hurts lots." His voice whispered directly into my ear, his voice laden with hidden glee.
I flung out the arm with the dagger as I spun in an effort to slice him before he fled again, but I failed once more. This was basically a fighter's worst nightmare, an enemy that seemed to be infinitely fast, that could come from any direction. By now, I knew clearly that I was doomed, but still tried to attack him over and over again, but he always came and went before I had any chance to actually hit him. It was clear that he was taunting me, with the idea of, "You wanted it, you got it."
At this point, I only had one idea of how I could defeat him, but it was a death sentence. Then I glanced out of the corner of my eye, where I could see the city of San Francisco, reminding me why I was fighting. My family was out there, and if my death let them survive, well then, I suppose it would do.
The next time my instinct screamed at me to dodge, I stayed still. Then I was impaled by four feet of divine steel through the stomach. Red blood dripping along the blade, the guard pressed against my back. Manannan almost seemed confused, as he said, "Why didn't you dodge that one?"
Honestly, it hurt worse than I could have imagined, a burning pain that seeped out from my stomach and wove it's tendrils into my nerves, making it hard even to stand. But somehow, I was able to stand through the pain, growling out "So I could do this!"
If he was holding the blade, and the blade was stuck in me, he couldn't move, was my basic logic. So drew my right arm across my body, stabbing over my left shoulder where the voice emanated from.
I understood something had gone wrong when I heard the voice once again amused, "Oh, is that all? I'm disappointed." And saw, with faint disbelief, the broken blade of the dagger bouncing on the wooden planks, just once, before it lay still.
I was interrupted by a wet cough that splattered blood, my blood, onto the deck, staining the wood red. I began to feel weak, and knew that whatever state of mind I had been in before was fast dissolving, leaving me to deal with the pain of being stabbed by myself.
The god, the divine being behind me spoke, "Well, since you got yourself killed, I suppose I'll see what entertainment I shall extract from you before your time comes, jester." He twisted the blade viciously in the wound, causing me to cough up another globule of blood.
"Fragarach. What do you fear."
My body locked up, and it felt like I couldn't move at all, until my throat constricted, forcing out the response to his query. "Spider, snakes, death, stubbing my toe, getting a bad grade on a test, sleeping in, drowning, getting kidnapped, missing lunch, having amnesia-"
"Stop." The god commanded, and my throat relaxed, no longer spewing small fears. I attempted to struggle, but my body couldn't move at all, not even to release blood caught in my lungs, which was beginning to block off my airflow.
Manannan sighed, as though disappointed in me, before trying again. "Maybe that was a little too general. Fragarach. What is your worst fear."
Once again, I was forced to answer, feeling like a puppet, forced to dance along to his tune. "I… I fear failing my family, letting them down, not being there when they needed me. That they," my voice choked up slightly, though whether from a blood clot or from emotion, I couldn't tell. "Die, because I wasn't there."
"A noble sentiment," Manannan stated, releasing the blade, still stuck in my body, but I was still frozen in place, unable to fall. "I suppose that makes you a hero, doesn't it? Well then, little hero. I will send you into the afterlife one. Albeit, a very small one, for," he walked in front of me, just a few steps, and motioned towards the city, now the boat was simply waiting for the order to disembark, more and more raiders emerging from beneath decks. "As you can see, this city is still going to die, along with your family."
At his words, my body was once more focused, the need to kill him, before he could kill them entirely consuming me. And then it felt like I was separate from my body, a chain leading up to something filling me. I know that sounds really weird, but it was honestly what if felt like. And then I spoke, words I didn't know and had never heard filling me.
"Loeding and Dromi, the chains of the Aesir, that could not hold the wolf, bursting, breaking, becoming free. For the price of a hand, the chains of the gods cannot hold the destined killer."
I was free for a moment, my body once more able to move, but I still felt like a prisoner as my left arm swiped down and across the steel embedded into me, cutting off my left hand at the wrist, causing me to scream. And I realized that I was in control once more.
Before I could think properly, I grabbed the blade by my still existent right hand. Physically pulling the sword through my body, before I grabbed it by the same hand, and fell forward.
The god had barely looked upwards at hearing my scream when I barreled into him, the hollow blade impaling him through the chest, causing him to stagger back beneath my weight, before we both collapsed upon the deck. His crew drew closer, crying in shock and fear. If their lord disappeared, so did they.
As the two warriors lay upon the deck, both bleeding from grievous wounds, I managed to lean forward with what strength I had left, and whispered into his ear. "Don't… touch my family… idiot."
In response, the god merely laughed, laughing long and hard, and when he finally spoke, he had begun to dissolve into golden motes of dust that seemed to from a spiral as my vision began to fade. "Advice noted, Godslayer. I suppose this is your win, then."
As my vision went black completely, the last thing I remember is him closing his eyes, and the content face dissolving along with the rest of him, an impression of shock from above, and the sensation of falling…
End AN: And there we have it, to begin with at least. The next couple "chapters" I had written up were pretty sure, so I'll probably combine 2 and 3 into one chapter, so you'll at least have a couple thousand words with that one. And feel free to send character ideas to me, and if I like them, I'll credit you if I use them.
For actual comments on the story, I do have a couple of things I'd like to mention. First of all, the God is Manannan mac Lir, a god of the Tuatha de Danann, which is basically the Celtic Pantheon. He was the god of seas and transporting people to the underworld, as well as famous for hiding the world of the Fae from the humans.
And about the whole pressure thing, that's something I wasn't quite sure of from the original source material. Like it or not, these are gods coming down to the physical plane. If they focused their divine presence upon you, I feel that you'd simply burst from the pressure. In this fic, there'll be a lot more focus on that.
And the whole, Chains of the Aesir thing? That? Oh, that little thing? Yep. Something that all Campione have is a dramatically increased pool of magic to work with, I've heard it described as "as if what had been a puddle was now magnified to an ocean." So why do virtually none of the Campiones use it? But to clarify somewhat, no, Chaska doesn't use magic per se, he has more of an instinctual capability for it. His magic pool was awoken by the proximity to Manannan, and the spell he used was a simple one, channeling Fenrir of Norse mythology to break a binding placed upon him. I see magic in the Campione-verse as channeling the Gods of the Domain of Immortality to accomplish feats, kinda a lesser form of authorities, but without any divinity. But yes, Chaska will be able to use it in the future, he just needs to learn how first. Keep in mind that currently, he has absolutely no clue what he did, or how to do it again.
And I will say this now, that I know Chaska's backstory, and why he can and does do the things that he does. But I also am human, and will make some mistakes and the occasional plot hole in the future. I will do my best to keep those to a minimum though, hopefully with you guys' help.
That said, I will admit that I really need more practice at fight scenes. I was able to kinda slink past this one by abbreviating it to a couple of lines, but I'm not going to be able to do that in the future, instead needing to actually go through them bit by bit. So any tips or whatever for writing those would be seriously appreciated.
I will also be posting Chaska's relevant/current authorities at the End AN of the next chapter, so just wait until then for that. Happy Holidays, and I'll see you next time!
Edit: I toned down the Divine Presence somewhat, as I felt it might have been a bit too strong in the first version of this, and also added a couple things that will probably arise in the future. One of the best things, in my mind, about rewriting this, was that I got a bunch of new ideas to include later! Some of them will crop up in the next chapter or two, while others will probably be a long way away, if they get used at all. Feel free to send any of your ideas as well.
Also, I apologize to anyone who speaks Irish or has an Irish accent, as I probably bungled that up pretty horribly, and it is not meant to be offensive in any way.