On what was once the northeastern shores of Britain lies a town in its serene glory, rows upon rows of buildings neatly stacked together, enveloping several hills and mountains. There was a sense of balance between its streets and nature. Although you may see it as a city from its sheer size, it is only a rural town today. Not a whimper could be heard in the night sky outside the town, as these were the nights after the Enlightenment of yesteryear. No soul would allow itself to be heard under the darkness, as those that lurk under its guise have ill will. Demons lurk in the shadows fearing no beast; however, they reluctantly avoid the bustle of the town’s nightlife. A single entity in the outskirts had a look of longing, the longing of the warm atmosphere of human civilisation.
Just as the figure was watching the scene of humanity’s dominion, a snap could be heard from the branches nearby. It had been spotted, the wretched humans once again upon its tail. The look in its eyes was an arrogance only seen in nobles, but it gave away a look of frustration and resentment. The snaps and crunches of the vegetation around hastened. The search for the blood like a ruby gem within its bloody grasp had concluded.
A group of human silhouettes attacked as soon as they covered all angles and encircled the wretched being that was seemingly half-step into the grave; it had ravines and fissures containing countless levels of pride and power along its skin. A shocking spark of electricity branched into the air to hamper the demon in human skin. The eyes of the experts around shrank as they felt an intense and ancient killing intent envelop their very souls. Even though the dark night was cold, it was not the reason for the countless goosebumps jumping and crawling under their skin. It was that otherworldly being standing still, staring right at them. During that seemingly mind-wrenching period of silence, a burly physique took the lead.
“Vampire scum, you have fallen from humanity. Give up that gem, and I will give you your much-deserved execution,” hollered the thickly bearded man with a fierce glare. It was clear that hunting such creatures had made him confident. He donned an outfit of pure black, a windbreaker and a pair of goggles. The others around him felt safer once their leader took the brunt of the killing intent. The heavy and intense aura was oozing out of the humanoid menace, like a prehistoric volcano moments before its eruption.
The face of the vampire was revealed to be a handsome individual with a stern expression as it stepped forward. Skin so pale it resembled the snowfall during the times of winter. The eyes were blood red, as deep as the Pacific, instilling an image of wisdom and nobility. The cracks on the surface of its lips gave away its vulnerable state. Awkwardly it coughed, giving the hunters a sense of relief, its skin was wrinkled as if many millennia had passed, and its death was an inevitable truth. However, despite its seemingly dire situation, it still had the gall to seem relaxed and talk like a noble with a smug face.
“Vampirism is the way to immortality; how could you humans understand the value of life? I will give you a chance. Submit to me and forever be under the embrace of the blood moon. A future where Vampires can stand among humans is not impossible with time," stated the vampire in a husky voice. With a look of contemplation, the man faltered before taking a firm stance once again. The allure of immortality was quite prevalent. However, his fate would be of a rat scurrying everywhere, avoiding the superhuman vigilante groups and the Human Union League.
“How can a mere Vampire have thoughts of entering the Human Union League? Even if you vampires want the help of the Mutant Clan Confederation, your race has too much blood on its hands. It would take a miracle to get your group included in the mutant rights movement," exclaimed the fellow. Inching closer as he had assumed the vampire was distracted.
The vampire gritted his teeth, was it his fault for the bad reputation vampires got?
—Ugh, not everyone was a bloodsucking incarnation of a demon. The legends completely tarnished the lofty reputation vampires should have as protectors of the weak. Why had the base humans attached the bloodthirsty bloodsucker images to my kin?
He felt dissatisfied. This was all because of those lowlife bastards of darkness.
The vampire once again spat out another aggressive wave of killing intent towards the group of elite hunters. Although the leader was calm, the others weren’t so strong-willed. The stunning effect of the vampire’s words allured the power-hungry men, causing second thoughts to go around the ranks. In comparison, the weak-willed hunters went shaky at the knees in an instant.
That slight hesitation from the group was all it took for the vampire to drain its blood force, throwing the gem towards the city to carry on the heritage it had just gained in its last moments. He could not allow the power to fall under such human scum. It was only his luck to be framed as an evil heretic. How regrettable, this power he had just found would have resolved it. It was unfortunate to think others had their scheming eyes on it.
The man faded into oblivion as the gem flew into the night sky, leaving nothing but a smirk in his wake. The soft cry of beasts echoed throughout the mountains as forces of evil and good clashed in the dark of night. That night the moon was dyed red, foreboding that the future would be bloody and murky.
Meanwhile, in his relatively small and cosy room, Fawr was studying late at night. You could see his midnight eyes with a hint of red, learning the exam materials. These eyes caused him a lot of trouble due to people associating him with the bloodkin. The teenager had hair as dark as space itself, his skin seemingly healthy with a brown complexion. Unfortunately, he was one of the lowest in his class. His combat talent had dragged him down despite his genuine effort. In a rural place like this, having skills was enough to let you achieve your dreams. It was the only way to get out into the open to more mystical and fantastical locations than the mind could imagine. As humanity went through the relentless Enlightenment era, technology propelled itself to an extent where flying vehicles and teleportation were readily available. However, for a student like Fawr, such things are only available to those capable enough. In a daze, he would recall stories of powerful and influential individuals exploring the vast world, bringing back treasures and secrets hidden beyond. The internet was filled with forums, videos and news detailing the lives of the superhumans, the legendary and the famous. The world was at an all-time peak. Humanity rose from destruction and achieved feats only seen in books, TV shows and movies.
In a sullen mood, he looked at his watch, an ingenious invention made after the Enlightenment. Humanity had become different from the norm. The only way to organise and sort through the mess caused by an apocalyptic event required technology and efficiency. Eventually, they came up with a solution, smartwatches that mainly were gimmicks in the 21st century now had a proper use. The government distributed these watches and appeared to be detailing his current stats.
Name: Fawr Vayce
Occupation(s): Esper, Student
Talent rank: B-
Cultivation talent >> Category: Soul >> Rank: B
Mutant talent >> Category: Shapeshifter >> Rank: C
Magic talent >> Category: DNA >> Rank: Undefined (E)
Basic school technique
Esper Stage: 1 - 20% saturated
Overall summary: Average
The occupation of Esper that appeared was a polite way of calling someone a freak, although these days, all children are born mutants. The world had changed. What was once fairy tales and stories became the norm. These changes brought back the wretched nature of humanity, the ugly face of segregation and inequality. Racial tensions and religions were now only minor conflicts of the past; today’s new super abilities cause countless conflicts and mayhem. Government bodies struggled for decades trying to control power-hungry deviants. The watches, although convenient, paved the way for monitoring everyone, including these sick individuals. Obviously, this was an apparent violation of privacy. Still, a needed evil to control society that had been jacked up with stimulants.
The new world order and its human rights violations weren’t things Fawr fussed over. He was just a teenager concerned about his living situation. Even if society became a twisted place compared to the past, his only concern was the power coursing through his veins. This era was the time in his life when the mighty ruled and the weak could only scurry along, feeding on the scraps of the elite. Although not as intense, the school was another battleground. Imagine school bullies, but they were superheroes on steroids pushing their weight around. Even though this was a modern, established and forward-thinking society, the rules have changed. The mighty rule and the weak can only submit.
Fawr then unenthusiastically tapped again to read the descriptors of his talents;
“System LOG: Soul, once a vague concept, was now very much a real thing. It was even more profound than the brain, a new frontier for biological science. Having a talent in the soul meant a stable talent for cultivation. It is considered beneficial in the later stages of cultivation but makes improving the body more difficult. It is advised to seek additional talents to fix your weakness."
“System LOG: Shapeshifting mutant talent is versatile for combat. A drawback is the need to study the anatomy of other creatures to initiate a successful shapeshift. The user has corresponding DNA magic talent, complementary to the shapeshifting route. However, this route has not been explored. Further information is needed.”
“System LOG: DNA manipulation magic talent, a difficult field of study. It is hard to manipulate for battle, has scarce abilities, and does not have enough data to rank. Starting at rank Undefined, the user may use talent to acquire a better rank through battle data,”
With a sigh, he turned the screen off. He felt he had a unique set of talents. His DNA manipulation and shapeshifting were not usually a combo seen anywhere, as far as he could tell, causing him excitement and concern. His cultivation talent gave him an edge in the later stages of cultivation. Still, for a student like him, it was a shackle. Other students would have a cultivation talent in fire, with transformation into fire as a mutant ability, and a magic talent in fire bending. Students like these would have the perfect combination of talents to bring out the best of their abilities. Such perfect combos would be deemed the best of the best. Imagine becoming the flame you can manipulate, cultivating an inner fire boosting your power. For Fawr and his odd set of talents, it was something he could not do.
Usually, talents would align, and there would be some form of correlation. However, how soul talent relates to shapeshifting even, he wasn’t too sure. Fawr never had the chance to contemplate this ability. He had never seen his mother or father and was only left with a small gem. It came with a small note in some form of language unknown, even to him. He kept the gem encased in a pendant with the letter. He always kept it around his neck to keep the only memento of his parents close by. Besides the sentimental thought, the gem gave him some mystical form of energy that made it easier to keep up with his schoolwork.
Looking online such items were associated with the bloodkin. Furthermore, Fawr’s “blood eyes" as the town folk called them, gave him a rough time. As an orphan, he was susceptible to the ire of those around him. His only lifeline was the money funded by the government. He regularly attended the Service of Blood, a religion based on respecting those in your bloodline, often misjudged as heretics. However, with nothing to prove, such practice was allowed but under much scrutiny. Fawr was only interested in the church as the scriptures shown resembled the note he had; he wasn’t particularly religious. He just stayed due to their warm atmosphere, treating him like family, something he lacked.
Suddenly, the window beside his study shattered. Although it startled him, he assumed it was one of the kids in the neighbourhood messing around again. He looked out the window while holding his pen just before his face. He wasn’t sure if there would be any more where that came from. There was no one outside. The kids must have escaped before he could catch them. With a grunt, he cleared the glass while contemplating the costs of fixing it.
“These fucking kids, can’t their parents keep them inside. Who am I supposed to charge for this," Fawr muttered under his breath. Due to the noise, he was far from the mindset needed for studying.
Fawr slowly realised he was much angrier than usual. Incidents like these occur often, and he usually brushes them off. But he sensed some heat emanating from his chest, the pendant vibrating rapidly, and his mental state fluctuating. Before he knew it, cold sweat was on his palms, sweat dripping from his face. The clothes stuck to his back were drenched, as if he had just taken a shower with his clothes on. He froze. A gem seemingly familiar to him rattled away on the ground, glimmering in an eerie light. His blood was churning. His pendant floated towards the gem that was lodged within the floor. He slowly approached it. His life had been normal, boring, mundane, seemingly cut off from the mystical fantasy described outside. He always assumed he would never witness anything supernatural in his life. Just another speck of dust, bound to live his life in mediocrity. Stuck in this place, never to ascend to greater heights. His brain could tell whatever was happening was some form of destiny, a life-changing event that one could only dream of and not something you could ask for.
His mind fluctuated, and he realised that this gem resembled another half of his own. However, he could sense the darkness within, as if a higher power was staring at him. He snapped back into reality. With his might, he tried to back out from the pull of the object. His consciousness slowly faded into eternal darkness.