"Where am I?"
Ryker found himself in an odd place. It was plain white and he could not see the ceiling or walls.
"What is this place? Is it a dream?"
He walked around the place for what felt like an hour trying to reach the end. "Last thing I recalled was fighting that witch." He uttered clenching his fist. "And I lost."
"Argh!!!" He shouted from the bottom of his lungs. "It's so frustrating. I had her on my clutches and what did I do?"He yanked his hair. "I toyed with her, I had the power to end her with a single strike, I knew I did."
He continued walking through the infinite space.
"Wait, what happened after she knocked me out? What if I died and this is the afterlife?" He plopped to his knees.
Ryker balls up his fist and slammed the floor making an odd "Thud" sound.
"I'm such a loser!"
He shouted feeling nothing but rage and regret. He continued slamming the floor.
"Only a loser will die like that..." Ryker paused. "What's the point? This has always been the law of the universe. There are only two kinds of people in the universe. Those who are strong and the rest. The rest do not matter. I'm part of the weak and as such, my life has been a shitty ride."
He bursts into a peel of uncontrollable laughter. It was as if he had lost his mind.
"What's the point in having regrets now?" He sits on the floor. "This is the fate of the weak. To suffer by the hands of the strong. To be on the receiving end of their oppression and in the end. To be met with an untimely death.""What nonsense is this one spouting?" He heard a voice from behind.
Ryker jolts up and turns in the direction of the voice.
"Who are you?"
"Who am I? What do you think?"
Ryker took a step back. What he saw was no man. He did have the shape of a man, but his skin was completely black as night with multiple dark spots around his body.
"I've got nothing." Ryker casually replied making the man plop to the floor comically.
"You're a blunt one aren't you?"
"Well, what can I say? I've got nothing to lose now that I'm dead."
"Pfft, hahaha." The man laughs.
"Tck, what's so funny?"
"You actually think that you're dead?"
Ryker widened his eyes. "I'm not?"
"Where do you think we are?"
Ryker looked around him. "Once again, no idea man."
The man facepalmed. "You really don't know huh?" He had finally given up. "Be rest assured, you're not dead. Your soul might have been temporarily severed from your body, but you're alive."
He spreads his arms apart.
"And this is the astral plane.""Ohh, okay," Ryker replied nonchalantly. "..."
"What?" The man didn't have a face nor eyes yet Ryker could feel the man's glares.
"Really? Nothing? Only one in a million get a chance to visit this place and you seem completely calm about it."
Ryker scratches his head. "Well, you see... I've never heard of an astral plane before." He admits sheepishly.
The man facepalmed again not believing how carefree Ryker was.
"Alright buster," Said Ryker. "You answered the where. Now tell me, who in the cosmos are you!?"
"Now you seem to show some interest?" The man sits on the floor with his legs crossed.
"I figured you brought me here for a reason and I won't be able to leave until I get to the bottom of things. So," Ryker sits as well. "Start talking. Who or what are you and why did you bring me here?"
"I am what you call an Etherian."
"Finally some reaction from you!" He was amazed by how Ryker remained calm throughout their conversations until this point.
"If I knew all it'll take to get a reaction from you was to reveal my identity, I would have started with that."
Ryker didn't pay heed to the man's comment. The name "Etherian" sent a chill running through his spine."Etherian as in one of the 3 mythical races."
"Yup," The man nods his head.
"Here I am, thinking that the stories we were told as children about the three Mythical races were nothing but folklore. But here you are. And Etherian in the flesh." Ryker finished with glimmers in his eyes."Well, technically us Etherians do not have a physical body, and as such you may even refer to us as spirits."
"What does an Etherian want with me?"
"And you're back to your usual demeanor." The man made a sighing sound. He gets up and stretches his hand out to Ryker.
"I want you to become my Vessel."
"I'm back!"Ryker finds himself back inside the Black Stallion."Then again, that thing did say that I never left." He looked around the room he was in.It was different from the room he was kept earlier when Jackal saved him.Ryker jolts up from the bed and makes his way to the hallways in search for the captain of the cruiser."Where is that sneaky bastard?"Ryker had his back against a door as it opened up and he fell through."Oh good," Jackal was standing atop him with his hands resting on his waist. Besides him was Ming."I was just about to come to get you."Ryker winced in pain as he lifts himself. "Where are we?" He looked past the two and scans the room in awe."Oh, this? Hehe, that was why I wanted to come get you" Jackal explained wearing
"Huff. Huff.""You're almost there..." Jackal was holding a stopwatch to keep a record of how long Ryker can keep his astral skin on."This is annoying!" Ryker was getting tired and angry. Keeping the black astral skin on took a lot of mental focus which placed a strain on him."I'm afraid you're going to have to deal with it, snow-white."The first lesson for Ryker was to learn how to properly use his astral skin."You wouldn't want a repeat of what happened the other time now would you?"Ryker clicked his tongue. As much as he'd hate to admit it, Jackal was right. There was no point in being stubborn.The black astral skin is one of the rarest colors that a person could harness. It provides an incredible buff in strength and speed as shown by Ryker when he easily took care of over a dozen B-Grade bounty hunters. He would have beaten the A-Grade Mysty too had he not exhausted his astral."I appreciate you going through t
LOCATION: BOUNTY HUNTERS ASSOCIATION, MISTY TRAIL GALAXY HQ.A man wearing a monocle on his right eye was seated in his office. This man was none other than the head of the Misty Trail's bounty hunter association division, Flagmaster August.He raises his head upon hearing a knock on the door."Come in."A man, tall with a firm muscular structure wearing a black long coat."Ahh, Commander Kane. Just the man I was looking for."The man named Kane saluted his superior. "You called for me sir?""Yes, have you heard any word from A-Grade hunter Mysty?"Kane paused for a moment. August realized that whatever it was he was hesitant to say was far from being good news."I believe you know me too well than to hide anything from me, especially something that has to do with that traitor." August darts the Commander
LOCATION: RED WINE GALAXY, PLANET DARTH."Okay, I think my nose just died." Ryker pinched his nose as he and Jackal walked through the cyberpunk-style planet."What? Nonsense, that's adventure you're perceiving, snow-white." Jackal deeply inhales and breathes out through his mouth."If this is how adventure smells like... I'd rather take my chances with a black hole."Jackal smirked. "Well, if you want. You can go back to the ship to help Ming with some maintenance."Ryker felt a chill run through his spine. The mere thought of working with the android whom he despised made him feel like throwing up. Or maybe, it's the stench around him. "I hate you." He muttered."What's that?" Jackal perked his ears."What are we doing here anyway?" Ryker scanned their surroundings. They were currently at a marketplace."This place is filled with notorious criminals... Pirates, mercenaries and thieves. I re
"Finally!" Ryker exclaimed as he spreads his arms apart. "I can breathe fresh air again!"He, Jackal and Zera have made their way back to the Black Stallion."Well?" Jackal turned to the vampire. "What do you think of Stally?" He asked with a grin as he puffs out his chest.Zera scans the cruiser momentarily before setting her gaze back to its captain. "She's as vibrant as ever." She remarked with a smile.Ryker wore a stoic expression as he glances at the two. 'Why are they talking as if the cruiser is a living thing?'Just then, Ming approached them."Ming..." Zera said in a cold tone.Ryker felt a chill run down his spine. She gave off the same vibe as earlier when they met. The look was aimed at the android yet he felt restless."Zera..." Ming responded in a similar manner."I see Jackie still
"And that is everything I know, my mistress." Mysty was kneeling in front of the Black Stallion crew. "Good servant." Zera patted her head. The A-grade hunter had become her slave and lost all her free will. Her irises were devoid of life, she was like a mindless zombie. "That was easy," Ryker stated. "Hmm..." Jackal rubbed his chin. "Did you get all that, Ming?" He turned to the android. After Zera warped the hunter's mind. She commanded her to tell them all the information she had about the BSA. Mysty rambled for nearly an hour and thus, it proved difficult for them to recall everything she said. "Good thing Ming has an inbuilt recorder." Said Ryker. He crept closer to the mindless Mysty and squatted to her level. "How does it feel to be the pawn now, wit
Clank!Sparks flew as the hard metallic boots clashed with the sword made from an unbreakable substance.Reginald was breathing excessively as he gazes upon his opponent who was also trying to catch his breath.They have been attacking and canceling each other's attack for ten minutes now with neither side taking any hit.Neither has taken damage but they were both exhausted.For one, both of them couldn't use aura techniques which can only be used by individuals with massive ain reserves.They focused on using doping to boost their physical abilities past the human limit thus putting a lot of strain on their bodies.What's more, the two were both overlapping their doping with the power of their relics.The boots of Hermes which grant near-lightspeed powers and the Hat of Lupin, which copies the abilities of relics which in this case, was copying the powers of the boots. Transforming into
The crackling of electricity filled the room containing a large man wielding a hammer and a thin man holding an oddly shaped mace.The two objects were channeling electricity as the two fighters charged at one another.Clank! Thud! Clank!The two massive weapons collide sending sparks all over the room.These two have been fighting for nearly forty minutes now without rest."Former district commander Vorus, your talents precede you."The thin-looking man commended his opponent.This man was Falkner, wielder of the Vajra relic.In Hindu mythology, Vajra is the weapon of Indra, the god of thunder and king of the devas.The vajra is a powerful weapon having the combined features of sword, mace, and spear.It was created out of the hard thigh bones of sage Dadhichi who gave up his