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~ Chapter 1 ~

The First Arcadia


In the Village of Arcadia, there lived a particularly boisterous man named Jenso. He was a kind man, always ready to step up to the town's chief whenever he was being unfair, or defend the local kids from thugs and bullies. Everyone knew his name in Arcadia. Though the town was relatively small, it still spoke miles about his reputation and strength. Not only did he have a strong heart, but his physical abilities were slightly beyond those of his peers, and his feats spread joy and hope throughout the people of his peaceful little town.

A quaint life, and definitely not one that you'd associate with a hero! Jenso didn't seek glory or fame, but deep inside his heart, there was a longing for adventure and growth. There wasn't much adrenaline to be found living in Arcadia though, aside from the occasional street fight with local thugs. But Jenso would find that today was going to be a little more eventful than he'd initially planned.




On his usual trip to the market to pick up lunch and search for something to do, Jenso found himself face to face with a strange man that cut into his path from the right, stopping and turning to look him over from top to bottom. He was a little shorter than him, and wore a black mask that covered the entirety of his face, ending at the neck and ears. It almost looked like it was molded to his skin. His hair was a bright snowy white and spiky, split into 8 or 9 fronds that curved backwards, like they were stuck in place with some sort of magic. His eyes matched his wintry bangs, but shone like little silver flames, drowning in the blackness of his mask. The man's attired hugged his body. A pair of chain covered leggings, held together with light grey fabric, and a vest that loosely covered part of his chest, but showed off his toned stomach and slightly muscular arms. He didn't have an expression, but his eyes seemed to convey a subtle sense of glee. The man ignored Jenso after the small encounter, and turned around, dashing towards the Market district. A strange encounter, no doubt. Who was that man?
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Jenso walked around the market, waving at people who would recognise him. "Good morning guys!" He shouted, as he looked around to see if anything interesting was going on. There didn't seem to be anything out of the ordinary. Just people bustling about, going about their own business. There didn't seem to be any trouble anywhere. It was somewhat boring for Jenso, but this was still better then people being in actual danger. He stopped as he came face to face with the strange masked man. He certainly stood out from the crowd of people with his appearance.

As he dashed away, Jenso frowned. It was quite unusual. Why would the man bother running like that? He didn't see any reason for anyone to run from him...unless they were up to no good. 'That was strange...I'd better keep an eye on that guy.' Jenso thought, quickly dashing after the masked man.
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Jenso followed after the masked man quickly, but had trouble keeping up with his unruly speed. Although he was faster than the average guy, Jenso's speed was slightly outclassed by the man, who'd looked like he dissipated into the crowd like a ghost. How was he so quick? Jenso was the yearly sprint National champion for the past 6 years! This guy couldn't be from Arcadia..

"Hey, Jenso!" A man called out to him from a run down storefront. It was bill, a local merchant, and brother to the governor of Arcadia. "Catch!" Bill tossed Jenso a small plastic bag with a tightly packed baloney sandwich inside of it, aiming to have it caught by Jenso as he ran by. "My wife made ya somethin' this morning!"

All the while, the masked man has appeared behind Jenso, silently following him like a ninja. But how? Some people in the crowd pointed and whispered in confusion. 'Wasn't he headed north a moment ago?' one woman mumbled. 'That guy is hella weird,' another kid commented.

"Who's your friend?" Bill shouted, pointing behind Jenso. Friend? Huh, very unlikely.
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Jenso stared in awe as the man outran him. It had been a long time since he had been outspeeded, and he couldn't help but be impressed. He glared at the man as he moved into the crowd, trying to keep his eyes locked on him. He turned to Bill as he shouted at him and threw the plastic bag at Jenso. He managed to catch it. "Thanks Bill!" He shouted with a smile on his face, while turning his focus back to the direction where the man was that he was chasing.

'Wait..what the heck-' He thought, noticing that the man was no longer in his sights. His feet screeched to a halt as he took deep breaths. 'Darn...he got away..' Jenso thought, assuming that the man must have been somewhere within with the large mass of people. His train of thoughts was broken however, as Bill asked who his friend was. He gave the man a confused look and spun around on top of his left heel in order to face the man. "Hey, what are you up too, dude?" He asked, in a slightly annoyed but calm tone.
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The man following Jenso tilted his head and blinked a few times, silent. Before Jenso had a chance to say anything else though, the white-haired stalker would interrupt him.

"Your aura is pretty strong dude!" He said in a particularly high pitched voice. It sounded like he was genuinely impressed by Jenso's 'Aura' or something, whatever that meant. "I think I should tell my boss about you!" Then Jenso felt something tap his shoulder. If he turned around, he would see the same man, yet again. But wasn't he in front of Jenso?? Were there two of him? There were! But how!? Jenso had never seen magic before, was this some kind of trick?

"Or maybe I'll have some fun here, first!" The second white haired man squeaked happily.
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Jenso's eyes widened as he realised that there were two men now. "Aura..?" He simply muttered. As the second man tapped his shoulder, Jenso quickly jumped further to the left, turning so he would now face both men. "Wait...what?!" He shouted, noticing that both men looked identical. "I'm not drunk yet...right? I mean, it's only morning so.." Jenso muttered aloud to himself. 'Their boss...? I'll have to be careful here..' He thought.

"Tell me what you guys are up too, right now!" He shouted, in an annoyed tone. He was confused and angry. He had no clue what was going on and how there were two of them now. "And...how are there two of you? Are you guys twins...or something?" He asked. His muscles tensed up, prepared for whatever the two men might try.
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"We are one," The two men said at the exact same time. A third man appeared behind Jenso and tapped his shoulder. "Hey, I'm you too!" He urged, pushing Jenso forward with both hands like a schoolyard bully. All three of them laughed, identically. "We don't have to tell you anything, you silly little man!"

All three of the men then pointed their hands at the dirt below Jenso's feet. It began to shift like quicksand and pulled one of his feet underground. "Silly silly little man!" It looked like his foot wasn't actually trapped, but the dirt moving was very odd. Were they manipulating it? Was this magic? What the hell was going on? Where did this mischievous little devil come from?

"This town sounds like a fun time!"

"I think we'll have a fun time!"

"Do you want to have a fun time?"

"Ahahahaha!"
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Jenso got even more confused as a third man showed up behind him. When he was pushed and his feet was pulled underground, he had enough. "That's IT!" He shouted, pulling his foot out of the dirt as he dashed further away from the three men. He placed the small plastic bag on the counter near Bill. "Can you look after this for a bit, Bill? I'll be right back." He said, running towards the three men. "Leave this town alone! I'll kick your ass!" He shouted, launching a barrage of punches at the trio with both fists.

He had no clue why there were three identical men and why the dirt moved like that, but he would certainly try to get the answers he wanted. If these men or...this man, were planning something bad, they needed to be stopped.
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Bill placed one hand on the sandwich, bewildered by the occurrence. Who the heck were these guys? Some kind of cult? The surrounding citizens, as few as they might've been, began to circle around Jenso and the three identical men as he challenged their motives. They simply giggled as Jenso threw the first punch. One of the three clones jumped into Jenso's path immediately, and the skin on his palms turned bright blue like diamond. He stopped Jenso's first punch with one hand, deflected the second with his other, and met Jenso's left fist with his own, easily outputting more power and durability than Jenso could have predicted. His skin and bones seemed to literally become as hard as diamonds, and this was only one of the men! The other two stepped back and clapped for their identical ally.

"Beat em! Beat em!"

"Show em! Show em"

"I am! I am!"

That third punch was bad news for Jenso. He just put his strength into an unstoppable fist of diamond hard skin. The man didn't even seem to be breaking a sweat, and the civilians were traumatized to see that their golden boy, Jenso, was equally matched- No, outmatched so easily! Shudders and gasps echoed through the square.

"Jenso's punch was stopped?"

"How could that be!?"

"Who are those monsters??"

The town slowly began to realize the danger they were in, and despite Jenso's efforts, they were already losing hope that he could defend them from this new menace. Bill watched closely, still surprised by the random display of prowess that these intruders showed. But he hadn't lost hope in Jenso yet.
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Jenso stared in shock as the first man easily stopped, deflected and countered his punches with ease. As the man's diamond fist slammed into his left fist, Jenso cringed in pain and took a step back. 'How...this isn't just a trick, is it....is this REALLY some kind of magic..?' He thought, checking out his hand. It seemed like it was severely bruised. The pain was intense. If Jenso had been a normal human, his hand would surely have been broken. 'Are all three of them this strong...? If-If they get past me, they'll...they'll kill everyone..!' He thought, as a sudden surge of adrenaline and power rushed through him.
"No...I can't afford to lose!...I need to WIN!!!"

He roared violently, dashing at the man. He ducked under the diamond hands, attempting to grab ahold of one of the man's arms with his injured left hand to pull him closer or to try to stop the man from moving. He aimed a powerful punch at the man's stomach with his other hand.
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The masked man's smile, invisible beneath his mask, froze with his expression as Jenso's fist came crashing forwards. The speed was a little jarring, and he didn't have time to block or shift his stomach's mass to a diamond like consistency. Jenso's punch struck home and send the man flying several feet back. He spun in midair, fell forwards, and landed on his stomach. The other two men looked at Jenso, surprised by his sudden feat of strength.

"Oh? A little more than the Aura shows!"

"Oh? A spirit inside this one grows!"

"Sh-Shut up and kill him!"

"But I am you and you are me"

"And you are I, while I am him"

The injured version of the man coughed up a spittle of blood, and vanished in a flash of white light. The last two men didn't look like they were going to mess around anymore as they turned back to jenso with a furious glare.

"Little flames need to be stomped out before they grow large!"

"That's what the boss always says!"

The two of them rushed Jenso, each turning one of their hands into a spear of steel and thrusting it towards Jenso's abdomen.
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Jenso stared in shock as the man was sent flying by his strike. When did he become that strong? As the man disappeared in a flash of white light, he kept his full focus on the two remaining men. He had no intention of holding anything back, either. These men were a serious threat, and he needed to fight with caution. As the two men rushed at Jenso, he jumped out of the way, landing on their right side. He aimed a quick kick with his left foot at the right side of the man's head that was closest to him, aiming to knock him into the second man who was rushing beside him.
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The left clone ducked Jenso's wide kick and slashed at his chest with an agile swing of his bladed arm. the second clone immediately jumped to where Jenso stood before, and stabbed at him from afar, aiming to pierce is abdomen with the tip of his blade. They both grew uncharacteristically quiet as their moves became more precise and deadly. It seems that Jenso surprising them had awakened some sort of killer instinct in their minds.
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Jenso twisted his body violently to the right as the left clone slashed at him, barely dodging the blade. But the tip of the second man's spear struck Jenso in the back. "Agh!..Shit!.." He shouted, landing on the ground. He jumped further away from the two men as blood dripped from the wound on his back. "Everyone! Get out of here, NOW!!" He shouted at the people who stared at the scene, and got in a combat stance. 'My left fist can't take another clash against that hard blue skin of theirs...and I'm seriously injured. This might be it..' He thought, waiting for the two men to make their move. Despite his injured state, Jenso intended to fight until the end.
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The Civilians around Jenso didn't back up. They simply watched in horror as another clone of the white clothed man jumped from out of the crowd and grabbed Jenso from behind, holding his arms in place and trapping his feet in the dirt with two swirls of gravel and stone that rose from beneath them.

"Yes, run! Allow your little friend to be killed before you! Ahahaha!" The white man shouted from behind Jenso. His two clones with bladed arms neared him, but Jenso would find it impossible to break free from the man's diamond-hard grasp. What kind of power was this!?

"Run!"

"Run away!"

The crowds began to grow, circling Jenso thicker and thicker until the gathering around him with too dense to see through. Over 50 people, easily. The white-eyed man looked around curiously, and his eyes went slightly dimmer to reveal two whitened pupils and irises, as if he were blind. "Why don't they run? Why don't they hide? Do they expect to match me? Do they expect to save you?" The man asked Jenso with silent whispers.

The crowds around them drew close to the executioners with aggressive intent. Some pulled out stakes and knives. Others rose their fists. "L-Leave Jenso alone!" A little boy cried in unison, holding a wooden sword between his hands. One of the two clones turned towards the boy, his eyes lighting up in unison with the other two clones. He walked towards him slowly, wiping Jenso's blood off the tip of his bladed hand with the palm of his other.

"Brave boy! Brave boy! You fancy yourself a hero, do you?" He mocked the child. Some of the adults around him stepped in the white man's way, but he didn't stop. "Out of my way, people! I've a child to entertain!" The man reeled his bladed hand back and swiped from left to right, cutting through not only their weapons, but the torsos of every civilian in his way. 6 people fell forwards and quickly bled out before him, revealing the child with his sword at the ready. The adults behind him began to back away.

"Jonathan! Run!" his mother cried out, but the little boy would not turn from his opponent. The white man's clone eyed him with a smile that was slightly visible beneath the tightly-fitted black mask.

"An aura? Ho-hum, so young. What a waste of potential!" He shouted, thrusting his bladed hand forward. In one quick movement, the child was impaled by the White man's blade, straight through the chest. He dropped his wooden sword and went limp as life left his body.

The third clone, between the murdered child and Jenso, looked at Jenso during all of this, taunting him with an evil look in his eyes. "Fighting people like me is pointless!" He mocked, turning his bladed arm back into a fist. "Can't you see that, little fledgling?"
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"NO!!!"


Jenso screamed as the civilians and the child were cut down. "You...you coward...!" Jenso spat, attempting to break free from the man's grasp. "Leave...Leave them alone..! Your fight...your fight is with me!" He shouted. The blood loss from his wound was getting to him as his vision began to blur. 'Darn it! I can hardly move..!' He thought, staring at the people who were still alive. 'They're...counting on me...and I'm..' He thought. He continued his struggle to break free, and attempted to pull his feet out of the dirt. As he did so however, he felt that his strength was leaving him. The injury on his back was taking it's toll.
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"You're weak! A plain ole' little match blowing in the wind, urging to go out! Ahaha!" Suddenly, all of the white men dissipated except for the one holding Jenso. "Eh?" It was quick, and he didn't catch it, nor could Jenso, but every last one of his clone were taken down by a series of bullets fired from the top of a building across the plaza. The citizens around Jenso reluctantly began to close in on the man that held him, but in the same time it took the mysterious interference to kill of the intruder's clones, four more appeared, surrounding him and Jenso from all sides. All four changed their arms into blades, and began to massacre the surrounding villagers who attempted to fight back. They stood absolutely no chance against him, falling one as their heads rolled, or their torsos were harpooned. "Who was that??" The white man cried out in surprised, allowing his clones to do that work. He scanned the rooftops until he found something. The eyes of each clone glowed in unison. "Another Hero, eh? You're a dime a dozen," The man holding Jenso whispered into his ear.

Suddenly, one of the man's clones disappeared, and reappeared on the roof across the plaza with its hand already bladed at both sides. With a single jab, the sniper was cut clean in half, and his body parts fell from the roof.

"I'll be sure to kill every last one of your peers, little man. Know that Prisma was responsible for the genocide of your people as you pass into the void," Prisma whispered again, impaling Jenso's stomach with a blade that shot out of his chest. It missed his heart, but Jenso would soon fall to the ground, all the strength leaving his body. "Hehehehe..."

Everything went dark.




~ End Of Chapter 1 ~
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~ Chapter 2 ~

An Impossible Meal


Jenso awoke to a chandelier hanging over his head. His entire body ached. What happened? Where was he?

"Finally, you're awake," a familiar voice called out to him. It was Bill, and this was his shop. It all came back as Jenso regained his consciousness. He had been stabbed by that Prisma fiend and left for dead. Why wasn't he dead? That wound should have killed him. "You're not normal, kid." Jenso would find that his shirt was hung up near the exit to Bill's basement, and his entire middle section was covered in clean bandages. "We only had to change those once," Bill said, gesturing towards the wrappings, "I can't believe you're still alive."

Jenso was laying on a table in Bill's shop basement. He'd been down here before, when Bill showed him around the shop, or asked him to make a delivery. It was dark, and filled with boxes that contained a myriad of things from food to clothes. Bill patted Jenso's chest and huffed happily, his eyes damp from tears. "They're all dead, man. The rest of them are dead."
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As Jenso's eyes opened, he turned to Bill's familiar voice. "Bill.." He muttered in a sad tone, as his mind pieced things together. "Thanks for saving me man...but.." He spoke, looking down at the ground. "You should have let me die...it's what I deserve for failing to protect our people.." He said, clenching his fists. If only he could have beaten Prisma, then all of this could have been prevented. Everyone put their hopes into him, and he was unable to win.
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"Don't," Bill cut in, walking away from Jenso towards his shirt, "You did what you could. That's more than anyone could have asked. If you didn't step in, me and my family might have been killed too." Although Bill reassured him, did his words really mean anything? He grabbed Jenso's shirt and walked back over to him. "It's got a couple holes in it, sorry," Bill croaked, opening the white shirt to reveal the stab wounds and vivid red stains. "My wife is making your a shirt upstairs as we speak."
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