29 No Pain, No Gain

After talking for a half hour and setting up an appointment to meet Jen as she told Devin to call her, at a small restaurant for lunch and to talk about his problem the next day, Devin hung up just as they were arriving home. Izabela said she wanted to do some practice on her self-defense forms and Devin couldn't blame her as that creep Lynch made even Devin's skin crawl and would be a good way for her to work out her frustration. Devin told her he had some business to take care of in the basement and that he would be up later, but for them to not disturb him. Nodding her understanding, Izabela wandered off to her room to change and Devin left for his room to change as well before heading for the basement.

He had decided to accept his rewards in the medical facility as he wasn't sure what the changes from the bloodline would be and might need some healing after going through the transformation of his bloodline. First he would start with the new spirit. Stepping into the room, Devin crossed to the operating table and removed his shirt. Laying on the cold, sterile steel table and speaking a simple command of "lock" that caused metal restraints to emerge from the table and wrap around his wrists. With a thought the rewards menu was opened and the selection menu for the spirits in front of Devin and a second one selected the White-Silver Dragoon Spirit. Devin needed a healing power and this would help in the future should he need it.

With a deep breath in Devin mentally clicked accept. The pain was instantaneous and searing in its intencity. If the first one was a two out of ten then this had to be at least a four, maybe even a five. If this was only the second spirit he got then he was horrified at the thought at what he would feel when he got to the Divine Dragoon Spirit. After about five mintues the pain began to fade and Devin could catch his breath. Once the pain was completely gone Devin willed the spirits to emerge to see what they looked like.

Just above where his heart was emerged a bright crimson orb that looked like a polished marble made of ruby with a black slitted pupil in the middle. The object he was checking for was the second orb that emerged from his chest to the right of the first and to the left of his sternum. It was a pristine, milky white orb with a black slitted pupil similar to the first. After staring for a few minutes Devin willed them to retract and the two half-dollar sized orbs slowly submerged back into his chest.

Soon Devin realized that it was time for his greatest trial, the awakening of a bloodline. It had been a great debate on whether to get the Gigantos' immense strength and durability or the Wingly's magic and physical attributes. In the game the Gigantos were giant humanoids that stood about seven to eight feet tall and had awesoe amounts of strength and durability even though there were only two ever seen in the game. The Wingly's were a platinum haired race that had access to magic as well as the ability to fly using a pair of energy wings that projected from their shoulders. It was also indirectly stated that the race as a whole had a lifespan that stretched centuries if not millenias long depending on the individual.

There are other bloodlines but these two presented the greatest benefits at the moment and after careful consideration Devin decided on the Wingly bloodline. It had the greater potential, especially if it meant that he could learn how to utilise magic while still in his regular form. Plus the ability to fly when ever and where ever was also super tempting. After a couple clicks and a few breathes to steady himself, Devin accepted his reward. Immediately the pain ripped its way through him. This pain made the pain from his first reward feel like a papercut. This felt like Devin had been bathed in acid before being set on fire and chucked into a meat grinder. Devin tried not to scream but it was futile as his tormented wails soon ripped from his lungs as he thrashed in the restraints endlessly.

Devin lost track of time as his only thought was to survive this pain and everything he had yet to do. His body was drenched in sweat and it felt like days had passed, but Devin had no clue as to what was happening outside of this all encompassing barrage of sensation. It wasn't much longer before the pain began to lessen by small degrees starting at his extremities and moving towards his core.Soon Devin was able to stop screaming as his voice had long given out and he could take quick shallow breathes to help recuperate the oxygen he had lost with his exhalations.

After laying still and staring at the ceiling for an eternity Devin spoke the release command for the restraints and slowly sat up. He felt sore everywhere. The first change that he noticed to his body was that his vision seemed sharper than before. THe colors seemed sharper and things felt clearer on the whole. The next was a lock of long platinum colored hair that swung past the corner of his eye as he sat up. Reaching up Devin grabbed ahold of a lock and stared at it before he noticed that it was slowly changing back to his original black color.

After that Devin spent a bit of time stretching and checking his body for changes. He felt stronger and faster than before but he wasn't sure just how much until he could check it out later. The only other changes he noticed was when he checked in a mirror and saw that his facial features had seemed more refined and handsome. When he tried to channel his new magic on his own he noticed that his hair once again turned platinum and a tingle similar to an electric current was felt in his hands. Unfortunately, no magic manifested which Devin realized was a good thing as who knows what might have happened considering he was below the house currently.

'Alice, open up the menu please.' Devin thought as he headed upstairs to shower off the sweat and get a change of clothes.

1. Stats

2. Inventory

3. Spirits

4. Bloodlines

5. Shop

6. Party

7. Missions

8. Notifications

After looking at the menu Devin noticed that there was a new menu option labled 'Bloodlines'.

'Alice, what's with the new menu option?' Devin asked as he stripped off his shorts and boxers before throwing them in the basket with his shirt.

'Master, this will help you keep track of what bloodlines you have gained as well as the thickness of that bloodline.'

'Thickness? What do you mean thickness?' Devin said as he stopped adjusting the knobs of the shower and asked.

'When you get a bloodline it is like when you get a dragoon spirit. It is at its most basic and base level. In order to raise the thickness of that bloodline you will need to utilize that bloodline's power repeatedly and it will gradually strenthen.'

With the flick of a thought Devin opened the new menu and saw the various bloodlines list but only one was highlighted. The highlighted name was Wingly and there was a bar next to it with only a fraction of it filled and a number reading 5% at the very end. The question that Devin had now was that if he got to 100% then would that give him the power equivilant to Melbu Frahma or Faust in the game who were the leaders of the Winglies or not.

With the warm water soothing away the phantom pains from the rewards, Devin decided to leave those questions for another day. But there is one thing that he needed to check and that was whether he could buy a magic tome or something to help him learn magic. Opening the shop as he lathered himself with soap he typed in magic and found what he was looking for. There was a total of five magic tomes: 3 levels of elemental tomes, 1 tome of status spells, and 1 tome of augmentation spells. Each one higher in price than the last, Devin had enough for the first two levels of elemental spells as well as the augmentation spell tome, but Devin only bought the first level elemental tome as he had the feeling he was gonna need to buy other things very soon. Similar to when he got the weapon manuals there was a slight discomfort before a rush of knowledge entered his head.

Stepping out of the shower Devin was thinking about how to take care of the school problem when he rememebered a fruit of his research months earlier. One Jessica Jones of Alias Investigations could help to dig up some dirt on that scumbag Lynch. As Devin was musing about doing this an errant thought entered his head. Why was Alias Investigations even around if the whole of Jessica Jones started AFTER the events of the Avengers? Devin paced as he thought about how this could have happened. After about ten minutes of pacing and then getting dressed, Devin decided that the change in timeline was due to this being a Marvel universe but not strictly the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Opening his phone, Devin found the number from months ago and hit dial. At first he thought it was gonna go to voice mail, but a female voice answered on the second to last ring.

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"Alias Investigations."

"Is this Ms. Jessica Jones?" Devin asked as he sat on his bed and pulled a pair of socks on.

"Yeah, what do you what?" the now identified Jones asked.

"My name is Devin Price. I want to hire you to look into a principal named Carson Lynch. I'll pay whatever you ask." Devin said as he slipped on some sneakers and stood up.

"As attractive as that sounds, I'm a little busy at the moment. Try again in about a week." Jones said as she sounded like she was gonna hang up. Devin decided he'd have to use some of his knowledge on the Marvel Universe if he wanted things to go smoothly.

"I know why you drink Ms. Jones. I know why you dread going to sleep and when you do you wake up in a sweat and terrified. And I know who did that to you." Devin said as he stood at the window looking out on the backyard. He could see Izabela out in the yard practicing punches and kicks in a tank top and jogging shorts.

"How?! Who are you?!" Jessica's voice came through in an angry and scared tone.

"Relax, I have no association with that man, nor do I intend to spread this information to anyone else. I mearly wished to get your attention and offer some information and help on top of the fee for your services." Devin said as he turned away from the window and walked towards the door, intent on some lunch.

"Why should I trust you? I have no idea who you are, but the fact that you know this means that you have some connection to him, no matter what you say." Jessica layed out as Devin decended the stairs.

"True, but the fact that I know about this and haven't contacted you till now speaks to the fact that I have no desire to be apart of this little hatred you two have unless I have to. You are more than welcome to come hear the information that I have as well as my proposal of how to aid you before agreeing to help me." Devin said as he opened the fridge and pulled the fixings for a sandwich out.

"Fine, but I am bringing someone with me so that there is no funny business." Jessica said with a tone that sounded like stubborness and defeat.

"That is fine Ms. Jones. Bring whoever you need. Would my home be fine with you? As I live outside the city and I do have some responisibilities that require my attention here." Devin said as he continued making a sandwich.

"Fine, I'll be there soon." Jessica snapped as Devin could tell that he got under her skin quite deeply.

"Then I will see you soon." Devin said as he hung up and placed his sandwich on the table with a bottle of water.

'Alice.' Devin thought as he took the first bite.

'Yes Master?'

'The Mind Purifier consumable item, is it a one shot or does it have a lasting effect now that it's in real life?' Devin asked as he prepared to deal with the super strong detective.

'Master, Mind Purifier only works once to clear any present afflictions and only lasts for about thirty seconds.' Alice responded with.

'Damn, well that's not going to work. What about the armor and accessories? Can they be given to another person?' Devin asked as he took a sip of water. Izabela was finishing up her forms in the backyard.

'Any individual must be added to your party before they can be given any item from the shop.' Alice stated matter-of-factly.

'Ok can I add a person, give them an item, and then remove them without them losing the item?' Devin asked with hope.

'No, if that person is removed from the party the items given will automatically return to your inventory. It is a safety feature that keeps loned items from being used against you.' Alice said before explaining which made sense to Devin.

"Guess she'll just have to stay added." Devin said not realizing that he had spoken aloud.

"Added to what?" Izabela asked as she finished closing the door.

"Ah sorry. I was thinking out loud. Oh and before I forget there is a private investigator coming over in a little bit. I asked her to help look into our disgusting little friend Lynch." Devin informed her so that she wouldn't be surprised at people coming over.

"Ah! You are so kind to go out of your way like that. We don't deserve the kindness you have shown us." Izabela said with a frown.

"Relax, it's no big deal." Devin said as he waved his hand in dismissle. As Izabela left to shower and change Devin looked out the window and thought about just how much he still needed to accomplish. The thought of gaining even greater heights sent a chill of excitement and thrill down his spine as a massive grin split his face.

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