1 Brush With Death

The mornings in Zenith Academy were always the same. The bell would toll at 7am, and the students would begin to file out of their dorms and towards their various classes.

And twenty minutes latter, Gregor would roll out of bed, get dressed in barely passable fashion, and meander to the next spot he wanted to sleep in, be it a classroom, hallway, or even one time leaning up against a wall.

Gregor was the only son General Maxwell Cross, a genius in both sword and body enhancement magic, as well as an alumnus of Zenith. His son however, was a colossal disappointment. No talent for weaponry, footwork, martial arts, or any kind of magic, Gregor became the black sheep of the Cross family at age 5, whereupon all hope was put into his brother, Michael, who had extreme talents in the lance.

After peddling a few favors, Maxwell was able to skate Gregor into Zenith Academy, hoping that he will find something to be good at. Unfortunately, Gregor had no such luck. In fact, at the beginning of the school year he was told he had 3 months to show even minor improvement in any area or he will be expelled following the quarterly exam. But his lack of talent in everything made the time limit essentially pointless.

Thus Gregor's careless attitude. Despite the lack of attention from his family, he knew they would never truly abandon him. He would likely become an overseer at one of the family's mines once he got booted, so there was no reason to try.


As Gregor walked into his classroom, the instructor and the rest of the students barely even looked up, as this was already commonplace. Honestly, the fact he even showed up was already an accomplishment. After five minutes, Dwayne, the instructor, announced a live combat exercise.

"Everybody out to the field. Even you Cross, and so help me god if you don't get your ass out there within 3 minutes I'll drag you out myself!"

Gregor looked up lazily and replied, "You might as well just do it now baldy."

As the rest of the students chuckled, a very distinct vein appeared on the instructor's astonishingly shiny head. In a huff, he grabbed Gregor by the back of his shirt and started to half carry half drag him outside. "FOLLOW!!"

The students filed out after, giving Gregor dirty looks for pissing off the instructor, to which he promptly flipped the entire class the bird.

Having successfully angered the world, Gregor smiled to himself and thought, 'At least there's one thing I'm good at,' before landing on his ass in the training field.

"All of you pair up. Ramirez, your with this one," the instructor shouted while jerking his thumb at Gregor. "Don't forget to pick your weapons off the rack."

A few minutes later Gregor stood facing the biggest prick in his class: Alfonz Ramirez. A class 1 douche, Gregor had suffered his share of abuse from Alfonze, both physical and mental.

Alfonz held a rapier, a weapon excelling at sharp thrusts and redirecting an opponents strikes, while Gregor held...nothing.

"At least take a weapon so it doesn't look to shameful for me. This would be like beating up a grandma," Alfonz hissed.

Gregor sighed and said, "The result is always the same, what does it matter."

"No shit. Whatever, just try not to die." Alfonz lunged at Gregor, and proceed to stab him repeatedly, drawing blood all over his arms and torso. To his credit, Gregor raised his arms to block, but his clothes and lazy stance provide almost no defense against a true weapon.

After about a minute, Gregor decide to put his hands down and admit defeat, and go find a place in which to sleep. It was at this exact moment that Alfonz went for a shot at Gregor's left arm which was covering his heart. As Gregor dropped his arms, Alfonz's eyes widened into two moons, but wasn't able to pull back before his rapier sunk halfway into Gregor's chest, sticking out his back covered in blood and pieces of his heart.

Gregor looked down to see a sword sticking out of his chest, and grabbed it with his bare hands in an attempt to pull it out. As rage and unwillingness to die took over his mind, his body failed him, and he fell to the ground. The last thing in his vision was a world bathed in red, and the last sounds in his mind an indistinct voice saying, "The True Inheritor has awakened; the True Berserker has come.

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