Back in the cosmos, Augumon is still with me.
“I told you man. I’m in for a long journey” he tells me. “I don’t doubt you brother” I say.
So if you were to judge us by the letter of our mission statement, one could consider that an abysmal waste of time. However we did manage to kill part of the Godhand. So all in all I would say we came out ahead. Though that does confirm my suspicions as to the nature of our enemy and they cannot be overstated. Slan isn’t truly gone, she’s just gone from that world. If I want any of them to stay gone I think I know what world I need to kill them on.
“Cool. So is that where we are going?” he asks. “Definitely not! We have no hope of beating them there.” “Oh…that’s depressing.” “It would take a miracle” I say smiling. “Sounds like you know where to find one.”
As a matter of fact I do. This is another Earth but this one is very different from the last. This one is home to the Divine Chalice Royale.
“What’s that?” “It’s a once in a generation contest where magic users summon the spirit of dead heroes to do battle with one another.”
The winning mage and hero are each granted one omnipotent wish.
“And that could beat them!” “Precisely.” “Ok, where do we sign up?” “It’s not quite that simple.”
One does not simply enter the Royale. The Chalice itself selects its participants. Sure I could set it in motion a necessary string of events to essentially “put my name in goblet”, but the potential backlash to manipulating a relic that is truly omnipotent in its world is…considerable to say the least. I’m not too keen on seeing this place turn into a Picasso by way of MC Escher interpreting David Lynch.
“So what are we going to do?” “Well my fine ferocious fellow…” “You should really not with the alliteration.” “…As I was saying… If we get picked I can summon a heroic spirit and we’re in the game!” “And if we don’t?”
This place will have at a minimum seven heroic spirits summoned and empowered by their legends. Essentially they’ll be super human versions of the greatest warriors of the past…well, removed from time to be more precise. We might even be better off if we’re not combatants as it will leave us free to recruit as many heroes as we can.
“But what about the wish?” “Then I’ll have to be quite the chess master, won’t I.” “Wouldn’t it be easier..” “I’m not rigging an omnipotent magical relic! That is my first, second, third, fourth, and tenth through twenty-seventh instinct.” “But we could win!” “Yes, yes we can. But only if it selects us, otherwise we will make do.” “Ok but I like fighting a lot more than sneaking, because I’m much better at.” “Oh I assure you either way that there will be a lot of fighting, and either we will have to rely on my intelligence and cunning.” “So you’re telling me we’re screwed.”
Hah ha! You’re funny.
“You do remember that I can see that, right?”
Of course I remember! This is my cosmos!
Anyways, enough of that banter! This world is obscenely powerful. It’s a place that is in the present to near future of my reality, with even more advanced tech. This is also a place of millennia old magical organization and magic users who are proficient in the highest levels of wizardry, sorcery, witch craft, alchemy, theurgy, elemental manipulation, techno-magic, & I could go on.
“Sweet Jesumon!” Augumon proclaims in exasperation.
All of that is the baseline before the heroic spirits are summoned. Those who have been summoned by the Chalice have consisted of: forgotten legends, culture defining heroes, classical monsters, demigods, to manifestations of gods themselves. If you uttered a divine name in reaction to the revelation of the above sentence, please bare-in-mind that they could very well show up. As daunting as that storm cloud may seem there is a shining, golden lining to it…we can cut loose!
There is zero threat of our presence unbalancing this world. We can load up with our fullest potential. Augumon is definitely going to need his ‘Mega’.
“Yaasss!” he screams, “Mega Dino-Crazy!”
And I’ll hold on to the grey galactic warrior…*Smile*…in addition to bringing the Ascendant Dragon Fighter back and upping the limit to ADF2. I won’t be able to fight at that level for long without completely exhausting myself but while I’m there I’ll be a planet buster. Not going to lie, I’m not scared. If anything I’m a little too excited by the notion.
So what shall we take? Our incredible duffle proved most useful and there’s good chance that we won’t be the only people to have one, in one form or another. Obviously I’m taking the star saber and I’m keeping it on my person at all times. The staff I’ll stuff in the bag and call for it as I need it. Fighting the heroic spirits will necessitate using the saber against their legendary weapons, but should I find myself in a magic duel then the staff will be of great use.
Excellent! All that is left is to figure the when and where. Now what is particularly vexing in this decision making process in that this world has multiple realities within multiple timelines. Hmmm…I suppose the better way to determine both is to ask, “which?” There have been at least a few Royales. So which one will serve our interests best?
“Ah, dude…” “Sorry bud but this is going to require some concentration” I say as I cycle through the litany of options. “Yeah yeah yay a yaa…but you really need to look at this” he stammers.
Annoyed I look up to see an ornate cup of conspicuous size levitating in the cosmos with us.
“Is that…” he trails off. “Yes. Yes it is” “Can I touch it?” “Can and should are very different considerations” “Can I talk to it?” “I reiterate, can and should.” “What do we do?”
I don’t know. Is it here to grant our wish? Did we win?
This thing is notoriously fickle and temperamental. More than once it has deliberately ignored the rules that it created for itself. It could be here to destroy us or it could be here because my cosmos would be the perfect source of the ethereal energy it needs to make itself manifest.
I think I just answered by own question.
Unfortunately that means we can’t make a wish yet. It gathers the energy to make the wish by absorbing those defeated heroic spirits-
“Why are we in it?” ‘What?”
I stare into the Chalice and I see Augumon and I in a swirling white vortex. Next thing I know we are in a swirling white vortex that spirals tighter and tighter into a minuscule black hole and we blink out of existence.