1 CHOICES AND CONSEQUENCES.

Bang!!.....

Bang!!....

Bang!!....

The sound of someone hitting the door echoed through the house, drawing a groan from our protagonist Jin Xiao who we find sleeping at a table in his one-bedroom studio apartment. The science textbook under his face was almost ruined by the drool on it.

Jin rose from the table and grimaced when he saw the state of his textbook, 'I needed that for next semester' Jin thought. He then sighed and staggered his way to the door hoping that the book was at least somewhat salvageable.

'Who could that be at this hour?' He thought while looking at the clock on his table and seeing that it was just 6 am. But he wasn't looking where he was going, and hit his leg on the counter in the room, knocking down a glass of water on the counter.

"Shit!" Jin cursed and quickly bent down to pick it up, thankful that it hadn't shattered completely. But once he raised it up, he saw that a part of it's bottom had broken off, throwing all the liquid to the floor.

"Aww, come on....."

Bang!....

Bang!....

"Shut it, I'm coming!!!" Jin screamed, then placing the glass back on the counter walked to the door with a limp. He got to the door and yanked it open ready to scream at whoever was there.....

"WHAT IS I-!!!!"

Only for the words to die in his throat as he came face to chest with a giant of a man. Jin looked up.... and up... and up before he finally looked upon the scowling face of a man. He had thick eyebrows and a large nose which flared in time with his breath, vaguely reminding Jin of a raging bull.

"Hello sir," Jin said while forcing a smile onto his face "how may I help you this fine morning?"

The man huffed before looking Jin up and down, "Are you Jin Xiao?" He asked. Though Jin noticed that it came out as more of a growl.

Jin nodded

The man reached inside a bag at his side to bring out a package, and Jin finally saw that the man was dressed in the regular uniform for the dispatch office of Emerald city. He wore a green t-shirt and a black pair of knickers, with a hat which had the Emerald city logo on it; a green peacock with its tail feathers stretched and an emerald in the middle.

Jin had his attention brought back to reality when the man thrust a book in his face, he had to take a step back to accept it from him. He looked at the book and since it wasn't wrapped he could see how worn the book was, the title of the book was completely scratched over, except for the last word which read 'Warlords'. Jin frowned.

"Who sent this?" Jin asked the man.

The man shrugged his shoulders and handed Jin a pen and paper, "Dunno. Just sign here, I have one more of the things to deliver today" He said

Jin signed the paper and the man placed it back in his bags before turning and leaving down the hall.

Jin turned and entered back into his apartment, he closed his door and went to seat on his bed in the corner of his room with the book placed beside him. He tried to think of anyone that would be sending him a book, but couldn't come up with anyone who would. He was an orphan and didn't have any family since he left the orphanage after turning 18 to live on his own. He thought maybe his boss at the restaurant he worked at would send it to him, but the book looked far too old for the man to even have, especially since he was a man who loved technology.

Deciding that simply sitting there wouldn't do any good, Jin decided to open the book and see what could be in it. But was shocked when the book refused to open up. He placed the book on his lap and tried to force it open, but to his surprise even while using all his strength, it still refused to open.

'I don't have time for this shit right now' Jin thought

He stood up with the book in hand and walked towards the table he woke up on. Once he got there he glanced at his textbook and grimaced again at its ruined state, his funds for the month were already low, so he would have to find a way to fix the book somehow. But he wasn't in the mood for it right now, so he simply dropped the books back on the table and moved to the kitchen to clean up the parts of the broken glass that had fallen.

He was picking up the pieces of the glass when a particularly sharp piece stabbed his finger.

"Damn...." Jin exclaimed

He placed the finger in his mouth and tried sucking on it, but seeing that the bleeding wasn't going down at all he immediately walked back to the table to get some disinfectant and cotton wool.

But as he got closer to the table Jin noticed that the book on it started to glow, the light leaking out of it took on a red hue and got brighter the closer he got. Jin stopped and unconsciously stepped back from the book, and as he did the light seemed to dim again.

He looked at his hand, at the blood smeared on it, then back at the book. He rose his hand towards the book and stood astonished as the light grew in intensity once again. He began walking closer to the book, the light drawing him in almost hypnotically the closer he got to it, until finally, his hand hovered just on top of the book.

He had no idea what would happen if he put his hand on it but knew that something would. The pounding of his heart and the feeling of anticipation he felt almost guaranteed it, and with the sort of life he's lived till now; his parents having been killed in a car crash when he was very young, his brother being taken away to a separate orphanage when he was just three and having to fend for himself all alone for the past eighteen years of his life, Jin felt like he had nothing to lose.

So it was with a resolved heart that Jin placed his hand on the book and watched as the light grew almost blinding in intensity.

...

The next time he opened his eyes, he was in a dark void, there was nothing to be seen for miles on every side of him and he was floating aimlessly. Jin grew terrified at the lack of anything, afraid he would be trapped there, until eventually; he found his legs being planted on a platform that felt solid, even though there was nothing to be seen under his feet.

He looked forward and balked as he came face to face with a ball of light, the ball was bright but didn't illuminate the surrounding at all, in fact, it almost made the darkness more damning.

"Hello, Child..." A voice said

Jin took a step back away from the ball, he would have taken more steps but he didn't know how large the platform was.

"Do not fear me, child, I am not here to harm you" The voice spoke again, though this time it almost sounded amused.

'This wasn't what I was expecting at all' Jin thought

"Oh, then what were you expecting?" The ball responded to Jin's thought.

Jin was immediately on the defensive, "Did you just read my mind?" he asked

"Oh I'm sorry," the ball said "I forgot that your people are not used to that form of communication"

Jin latched onto something the ball said and immediately asked, "What do you mean by my people? in fact, what are you?"

The ball seemed to become more interested in the conversation by that question, it got closer to Jin and answered him

"By your people, I mean humans. And concerning who I am, I guess you can call me SPECTRE. I am to be your guardian"

"My guardian?"

"Yes Jin, I am your guardian. My job is basically to ensure you do not die before completing your destiny" The ball answered

The look on Jin's face was one of absolute disbelief, he had expected a lot when he touched that book, but this was not what he thought would happen.

"And what exactly is my destiny?" He decided to ask.

The ball seemed to have been expecting this question however as it immediately responded.

"I cannot tell you that now, but all will be answered in due time. First, we must prepare you for your arrival" It said.

Jin was at a loss again, where was he going?

"You will be transported to another world, Jin" The ball spoke up after reading his thoughts again, though this time Jin was not surprised by it, "A world where your mettle will be put to the test, and you will be expected to lead people to war. You will have no time for rest in this world and the battles you experience will be fierce, but I can assure you... should you accept this burden, you will be strong Jin, stronger than any man, woman, or god. Do you accept?"

Jin stood in silence for a long time replaying what he had just heard in his head. He would have to lead people? fight wars? He didn't know the first thing about war, and the closest he had come to being a leader was as the leader in a science project at school. Could he accept this?

"Will I be expected to kill people Spectre?" He asked

"Death is an inevitability in war, but whether you kill mindlessly or not is up to you" The ball answered him, not at all against the idea of killing people, but still willing to have his contractor the freedom of choice.

"But you promise me strength, do you not?" Jin said

The ball came closer to his head and almost seemed to speak both in his head and out loud at the same time. Its light grew even brighter as it spoke, "You will wield power beyond your wildest dreams child"

Jin was a bit put off by how it said that but saw no reason not to accept the offer, he had been powerless all his life, simply being too weak to do anything even as his parents died and his younger brother was taken from him, there was no choice to be made, "Very well then Spectre" He said, "I accept"

"SENSATIONAL!!" It exclaimed excitingly, then floated back away from Jin and sprouted six tendril-like limbs from around its body. They floated away from him like the kind of an octopus and towards Jin's head, "Now grit you teeth child, this might sting a little"

The tendrils connected to Jin's head and suddenly all he knew was PAIN. He grits his teeth even as his legs gave out from under him and he fell to his knees. Images flashed through his mind, pictures, and memories of places he did not know and people he had never seen. Feelings that were not his worked their way into his nerves and skills he never learned tore their way into his muscles. He lost the strength in his upper body and promptly fell flat on the ground, spamming and shaking like a mobile phone set on vibrate.

The last thing he saw was the memory of a beautiful woman, her perfect smile and radiant face almost made all the pain bearable again. She had pointed ears like an elf and was currently playing in the river looking at him sitting on a log at the river bank, she stretched her hands out to him and moved her mouth as though she were speaking, he could hear nothing though and as much as he wanted to, he knew he was just a spectator in this. He moved off the log and wrapped her in a hug once he got into the water, the feeling of her skin and the smell of her hair burning themselves into his nerves once again.

she stepped from him and his nerves tingled as her lips gifted him a kiss, she spoke once more as they separated and this time, though he could not hear her words, he knew exactly what she said.

'I love you'...

"WELCOME TO WAR OF LORDS...PLAYER JIN XIAO"

And then he blacked out

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