Home > Unreal > The gate to Avalon > Chapter 27: 6 Months later

The gate to Avalon Chapter 27: 6 Months later

Author:Arthur Category:Unreal Update time:2022-09-25 18:04:56

Six months later.

The soft impact of flesh upon flesh resounded throughout the open-air arena. The ground shook while the distressed yet all too familiar cry of Charlotte filled the deft silence. Plastered against the compact dirt flooring was a body obscured by a thick veil of dust. The bodys breaths were laboured while a distinct crimson liquid pooled underneath it, soaking into the floor like a sponge and staining it in its horrific vile colour.

"You lose once again, Arthur" The calm voice of an elderly man echoed through the occupied space as the wall of dust began to fall, revealing the decimated figure of a seven-and-a-half-year-old boy. Aside from the obvious symptoms of ageing, not much had changed with the young boy except for his now jaw-length bangs that fell loosely against the scarlet dirt. At the same time, a thick crimson layer of bile stained his otherwise slightly above-average face, the source of which originated from his exploded lip.

"You didn have to hit me that hard, did you?" The boy groggily moaned, pulling himself out of his own liquid bile pool and gracing the world with his harrowing visage. Not only had his lip been wholly destroyed with bits of upturned flesh splintering out like a bomb had gone off in the tiny muscle, but enormous fist-sized blemishes also littered his exposed chest. Rubbing his lip in a futile attempt to assess the damages done to him, Arthur was immediately greeted with another bout of searing pain that seemed to both rock his mind and numb his senses. He thought hed be used to such stimuli by now, but here he still was, on the verge of mental collapse from the sheer amount of pain that flooded his brain like a broken dam.

"Of course I did. How else are you meant to hone your dodging instincts when you don know the pain of getting hit?" Rono absentmindedly explained his mind more preoccupied with another fact about the boy, and that was that his skill level tended to fluctuate like the most volatile of mood swings. Sometimes Arthur would easily be able to outmanoeuvre everything the old man would throw at him, effortlessly dodging even Ronos magic, while at other points, mainly when the child went on the offensive and used his water magic, Arthur seemed to have difficulty even detecting attacks that weren directly in his field of view. Such confusion was a natural thing though, as the old man remained unaware of Arthurs pseudo mana sense and the drawbacks to such an unrefined technique.

"Really? Then why don you hit Iris? She definitely needs some help in the dodging department," Arthur snidely commented, pulling himself up from the pile of scarlet rubble and shakily making his way back up onto his feet, where he was soon supported by the gentle embrace of a certain blonde-haired Zepar.

"You know he can do that, Arthur," Charlotte hushedly reprimanded, though the boy paid no heed to the girls advice. After all, he didn make the comment out of spite, nor did his heated emotions cause his sudden outburst. No, Arthur merely made the statement to taunt the young girl, prodding at the young heiresss biggest insecurity that had been long since tormenting the overly prideful girls consciousness ever since her defeat at Arthurs hands.

Ever since that day, Iris couldn help but compare her way of life to the heroic peasant. She wanted to know what was so different between her and the boy who had not only barged his way into her life but also her heart. He was treated differently, like a normal person, as weird as that was to think about.

No one fretted over him like some delicate flower or an ornamental vase. In fact, most of the servants at the manor simply pretended that the prodigious child didn exist, as though his presence in their lives was nothing more than an illusion, a nightmare, so to say because although they treated him like dirt, such a statement couldn be said for their mistress, who, in the past few months would be constantly found accompanying the young child wandering around with him on aimless trips around the mansion under the pretence of their so-called lessons.

Yet even with that favouritism, Arthurs day-to-day life could only be said to be exceptionally ordinary. Hed wake up, get changed, and then hang around with Charlotte all day, attending whatever lessons her sister would end up in and fighting Rono to pass the time, who, once again, treated him like an average child. He didn hold back in their fights, unlike with her. Rono wasn scared of hitting Arthur, nor did he revere the boys talents like he did hers. He treated the boy like an equal, almost like a son though it was apparent to all that Arthur didn see the man in the same light.

And in that time analysing Arthur, Iris realised that her life, as plain as she thought it previously, was far from ordinary. She was treated like an object, like a delicate vase that would seemingly shatter at the slightest touch. No one would dare insult her nor hit her like they would the peasant. No, they treated the young girl with blind reverence, praising her innate talent and propping her up on the highest of pedestals to be showcased to both her city and family, where only more undeserved praise would fill her mind. She was like a trophy, cased behind a thick wall of glass that no one dared shatter, that was until he appeared. With strength more than deserving an equal amount of praise, if not more than Iris, Arthur forced his way into her life by saving her kidnapped sister.

The source of his power was a mystery. He was but a seven-year-old child, yet he was already at the second stage of the elemental harnessing realm, a prodigy by any standard; however, unlike Iris, he wasn treated as such. Her father scorned him, disgusted by his overwhelming power. In the eyes of William, Arthur was nothing more than a freak of nature, something that shouldn exist. He made sure to tell Iris as such, implanting ideas of disgust in the young girls heart before she had even met the boy. Upon meeting the child, those seeds blossomed into a poisoned flower of undisguised hatred continually watered by the girls own insecurity. Arthur was stronger than her, and Iris knew as such, but that wasn what scared her.

No, what truly struck fear into the childs heart was her own lack of talent when compared to the overwhelming might of Arthur. Having gone all her life receiving the blind praise of those around her had nurtured a sense of superiority in the girl, and that superiority had been threatened. She felt invalid, inferior before the child, as though her strength, her talent, meant nothing in front of Arthurs overwhelming skill, and naturally, hatred grew from this sense of inferiority.

What did Arthur have that Iris lacked? She was prettier than him, overwhelmingly so, she was royalty, and he was but a peasant. Iris had every single advantage in life someone could wish for, and yet…she was still weaker. However, everyone still praised the girl for her innate talent, as if the prodigious boy didn exist. Iris couldn understand why. Why she, of all people, still received praise when Arthur existed?

Were they mocking her, did they just spew lies in a feeble attempt to make the marquis feel better? Iris couldn help but ponder such questions, her own self-worth taking a nosedive, and these thoughts only continued to grow as she watched how differently the boy was being treated. He was treated like a real challenge by Rono, her one master in life who she viewed as a pillar of stability, treated him like a normal person, while she was handled like nothing more than a brilliant ornate stained glass painting. Why did he do this? Hadn Iris proven her strength to the aged man? She was clearly better when it came to fighting, yet, Rono didn seem to care. No matter how much Iris seemingly unconsciously begged to be treated like a human or to at least have someone to relate to, no one would humour the girls request.

Her talent meant nothing in the face of the overwhelming wall Arthur represented. Tormented by her own misplaced superiority, Iris eventually snapped and, in the heat of the moment, challenged the boy to a duel for the sake of her "Sister." When in reality, she only challenged the boy to prove her skill, she needed validation, she wanted someone to acknowledge her.

She was cocky going into the spar. Why wouldn she be? No matter how anyone looked at it, she was clearly superior to the boy when it came to actual battle. This was the day she would finally get the world to acknowledge that she, Iris Zepar was strong by defeating the prodigy among prodigies that was Arthur.

However, what Iris didn expect was for the boy she had hated, no, loathed so much, to be the first one in her life to treat her like an actual person. He shattered the glass case that protected the girl into a million pieces before ruthlessly dragging her inflated ego back down to earth. Arthur had no hesitation when it came to combat and handily destroyed the cocky girl, yet, even after such a crushing defeat, Iris held no semblance of animosity towards the victor; instead, she felt a strange sense of comfort and unease in her heart upon the realisation that she had finally found the person who didn treat her like some untouchable god but viewed her as merely a human no different than him.

So hearing the boys "taunt", Iris could see the different meaning that went unnoticed by both her master and sister. Arthur wasn spiting the girl. He was making Rono conscious of the apparent difference in their treatment. Of course, both Arthur and Iris knew that such a comment would likely have no effect on the treatment of the Marquis. However, the sentiment still remained, a sentiment that filled the girls beating heart with a now all too familiar sense of warmth that seemed to endlessly radiate from the devastated peasant.

{ 1 Affection (Iris Zepar)}

{ 200 Affection points}

Name: Iris Zepar


Sex: Female

Race: Human

Rank: Mana gathering stage 9

Titles: Prodigy, Zepar Heiress,

Bloodline: ???? (Unawakened)

Charm: 9/10 Near the pinnacle of human beauty

Talent: 9/10 Prodigious by any standard

Love: 97% (What is this strange feeling?)

Description: Confused

Difficulty: B (youve broken her pride, now all thats left is for you to make her fall madly in love with you)

The system chimed, revealing Arthurs steady progress with the previously self-centred girl over the past six months.

But was the insult about my dodging skill really necessary, The girl inwardly grumbled. However, she didn remain hung up on Arthurs lacklustre insult for long as the warmth in her heart soon soothed over any feelings of hostility that she held towards the younger boy.

"Well, thats obviously because the young mistress already has that sense of self-preservation honed to a T. Whereas you, Arthur, swap between reckless abandon and comical evasion at least ten times in each spar," Rono answered Arthurs long-since asked question while easily evading the boys "Snide" insult. As if I could ever hit the young mistress…Id be fired on the spot, Rono inwardly commented, criticising Arthurs "Hot-headed" temperament while also affirming his stance on the matter.

Sure~ Arthur snidely remarked, walking over to the hunched man with the assistance of Charlotte, where he expectantly stood waiting for the cure to his current ailment. Rono had been providing the boy with potions after each and every spar. However, for some reason, today, he hesitated. His hands didn trace their usual route down to his oversized pockets, nor were they already outstretched with the glistening red vial in clear view; instead, they remained plastered to the elderly mans side, a clear expression of mixed sympathy and regret plastered upon his wrinkly face.

"Im sorry, Arthur, I don have a potion to offer you today," The elderly man answered, stunning all those present. Huh, why? Arthur inwardly questioned. Sure he knew that some potions were expensive, and certainly, he had been running through low-rank healing ones like they were water, but thats the reason. They were lesser healing potions. Anyone could buy them for a couple silver coins. They weren costly at all, so then why? Why did Rono refuse to spare the child a vial? Such questions plagued the mind of the sceptical boy whose dirty brown eyes soon locked with the squirming pupils of the aged man. With their gazes locked, Arthurs over-analytical mind focused on every detail present in the mans twin orbs, from the way they trembled and struggled with what seemed to be a mounting sense of regret to the hollowness present as he attempted to stare through the child, Arthur saw it all, he saw the truth or lack thereof in the mans statement.

Rono probably did have a potion prepared or at least knew where he could have gotten some, but he was deliberately abstaining from handing a bottle of the scarlet liquid over to the child. But with that answer came more pressing questions that pestered at the forefront of the peasants brain, like why? Why was Rono not handing over a vial of the good stuff to the clearly battered boy, whose every breath, every minute movement flooded his senses with pain. I haven done anything to piss him off, have I? Arthur half-heartedly questioned, his eyes remaining locked with the now frantic pupils of Rono while the elderly mans status appeared before the childs "Frantic" gaze.

{Name: Rono Ardor}

{Age: 601}

{Sex: Male}

{Race: Human}

{Rank: Adept Knight Stage 3 (Average life expectancy 650 years)}

{Titles: Loyal servant, gramps, Zepars kindest servant, etc..}

{Bloodline: None}

{Charm: 6/10 (Would be higher if not for his age. Other than that, hes about average)}

{Talent:6/10 (Hes reached his peak,)}

{Trust: 76% (He views you like a rampant little brother)

{Description: Even if he is a peasant, I believe he should still be treated with kindness}

Arthurs gaze quickly scanned through all the text before him in less than a second while his brain came to an abrupt answer, and that was no. No, he had not pissed Rono off. He feasibly couldn have, and neither did the old man hold some weird sense of ill will towards him, so then what? Arthur pondered, utterly unaware of the greater scheme that was brewing right underneath his nose, as from a distance, the visage of a tall blonde man could be seen standing atop the exposed ceiling of the open-air arena, his presence just obscured enough to not be caught by anyone present except for the squirming elder who awaited the mans every signal.

"But I have my lesson with mistress Zepar today?" The boy prodded, his face frozen in an expression of unmistakable "Anxiety" after coming to the sudden "Revelation." of what such injuries may entail, would he still be able to attend his lesson with the voracious mother or would he simply be sent away at the door before he could even take a step into her expansive room.

Of course, the answer was evident to Arthur, who had literally turned up to her room formerly covered in blood with his body reeking of nothing but the putrid scent of death. Still, to Rono and, more importantly, William, the answer to such a question remained unknown.

At Arthurs words, Ronos body released an unmistakable shiver of guilt. At the same time, every muscle on the wrinkly old mans face seemed to tense in a forced attempt to combat the growing urge to simply come clean about the boys current predicament, yet no matter how much his mind battled that urge, clashing in a ferocious war against what was the right thing to do and the actions he had been told to commit. Ronos allegiance always fell in line with the order of his master. He didn owe Arthur anything. He was but a lowly servant like him.

"Im sorry about that, Arthur," The elderly man simply responded, his heart shattering under the overwhelming feelings of guilt that began to ravage his most prized organ, burrowing their way into his soul and forcefully tearing it asunder. Still, even if it killed Rono to betray the young boy, his allegiance had been sworn to the head of the Zepar house, and he would uphold this promise of absolute fealty until the day he died. "But I recommend you skip your lesson with mistress Vienna today. I can inform the mistress of your absence if you wish,"

"Eh, no, you don have to do that, Rono. Ill tell mistress Vienna that myself," Arthur swiftly responded, taking away any position of power the elderly man may have held over the young child. All the while, Arthur began his slow and treacherous journey towards the exit of the compact dirt-filled arena, every step, every minute movement racked the boys body with an indescribable sense of pain. Yet, Arthur paid no heed to the overwhelming stimuli. His mind was too preoccupied with other matters to care about his current ailment as his mind kept on replaying the conclusion it had drawn to Ronos abrupt betrayal if it could even be described as such.

God, hes so **ing petty, Arthur inwardly grieved, his gaze momentarily lifting up from the monotone flooring and directing itself to the adjacent roofs of the open-air arena, where, sure enough, he spotted the broadly smiling figure of one overly frivolous middle-aged man. Dirty brown locked with pitch black, royalty clashed with the lower class as Arthur blankly stared at the man that had so easily stripped him of a privilege Arthur believed he had every right to, the privilege to slowly seduce this mans unhappy wife. Unaware of the boys inner monologue, the aged marquis released a wicked smile. His royal aura heightened to an almost crushing degree. His lips began to mime a sentence only Arthur could decipher.

Know your place, William sadistically mimed his smile growing ever more devilish with every syllable that spewed forth from his perfectly sculpted lips until eventually, he looked like a picturesque mock-up of a self-righteous young master, his hand waved openly in the wind bidding a disgraceful farewell to the beaten peasant, in his mind, William had won in this brief altercation with the prodigious Arthur, and he would continue to do so in the future, you see this removal of potions wasn a one-time thing, from this point on any form of health care was removed from the short list of privileges Arthur had access to in this god forsaken hell hole of a home, his injuries would be permanent, or at least thats what the man would like to believe.

However, in contrast to Williams snide smile, Arthurs bland facial expression didn change once throughout the brief meeting. He knew that any right he had in this house was only temporary and would eventually be stripped from him as William fell deeper and deeper into his chasm of insecurity. Arthur wouldn have been shocked if the centenarians subsequent underhanded punishment to the boy was the straight-up removal of his room, leaving him nowhere to rest except for the desolate and chilling corridors. Though Arthurs face was stern, his mind was the complete opposite as he, in turn, visualised his own snide smile returning Williams abhorrent taunt. Fucking idiot, Arthur venomously hissed, Does he really think that beating me up like this then sending me to Vienna is going to stop me from attending her lesson? Seriously just how dumb can you be? Haven you seen what Vienna and I have been like in the past few months? This whole scheme of yours is just going to end up biting you in the ass when she finds out about your entire ploy? Arthur inwardly mocked, stunned by the aged mans apparent stupidity. Turning back to the entrance of the arena, he was promptly guided out by the blonde hair Zepar who stared at his busted lip with mixed lust and anger.

The two trailed through the many corridors of the Zepar estate in complete silence. Not a single word was exchanged in the many minutes they accompanied one another, just stagnant silence. Charlotte was too busy in her head devising ploys to get revenge against the elderly man who she believed had purposefully gone out the way to neglect her dearly beloved, while Arthur, in kind, still carried some traces of fear towards the young girl whose love for him had only grown more and more obsessive in the past half year.

{Name: Charlotte Zepar


Sex: Female

Race: Human

Rank: Mana gathering stage 4

Titles: Prodigy, Man slayer, yandere

Bloodline: ???? (Unawakened)

Charm: 9/10 Near the pinnacle of human beauty

Talent:9/10 Prodigious by any standard

Love: 190% (Why didn you listen to me)

Description: I don think you realise the severity of your situation}

This silence continued until, eventually, the pair stopped at a now all too familiar door. Exchanging glances, Arthur gave Charlotte a hastily made signal to leave, which frustrated the girl to seemingly no end. She wanted to stay with him like she always did, but she had made a promise to the boy in the past few months. And that promise entailed her absence from any agreed-upon meeting between Arthur and her mother. So as much as Charlotte hated to do so, she turned away from the bruised Arthur and started her very own journey to the boys room but not before she bade her farewell by grabbing the childs hand and quickly snuggling it, a new trait she had developed and one which Arthur simply couldn wrap his mind around.

"You better come back as soon as you finish your business with her, Arthur," Charlotte warned the boy from a distance, her eyes momentarily morphing into twin voids of absolute devotion before returning to their usual emerald hue.

"Sure," Arthur blandly replied, an instinctual shiver running down his spine as he wondered what the intent was behind Charlottes obsessive gaze. Was this just her nature playing up? Or had she come up with some devious ploy, some revenge plot that she was set on enacting? Whatever it is, it doesn concern me, Arthur unabashedly thought, the brief image of a smiling elderly man flashing in the forefront of his mind before the figure began to contort into a bloody heaping pile of flesh and bone. She wouldn ? Would she? He continued, waving goodbye to the happily smiling Charlotte before knocking thrice upon the gigantic wooden door that stood triumphantly before him.

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