"The recent attempt on the most well-known superhero of the city has shocked the entire country. Fingers point towards the most competitive rival of the Stark Industries but no evidence proves such talks..."
Anna pouted as she looked at the television. One day, the underworld king of crime surrendered himself, then the next day someone tried to kill Tony Stark with electrical wh.i.p.s. "What's up? Afraid that your idol might get hurt?" Kissing the top of Anna's forehead, Nik took a seat beside her with his hands full of snacks.
"No, not that. I just don't like that he is being called the most well-known superhero... shouldn't it be you?" She inquired with a pout as Nik munched with an amused expression while Mary continued to sleep. She had a day off today with her shift being covered by Linda. "How about that, I never thought Iron Man's status could get low in your eyes."
"Well, he doesn't bring me treats every time I wake up and still manage to do amazing things," She cozied up to Nik as he hugged her with his arm around her shoulders. "I knew those treats would eventually pay out," he chuckled as he changed the news to something more enjoyable. A baseless drama with loads of transitions to make it more enjoyable. "While we are on the topic of superheroes, I need to talk to you about something," Nik whispered with a relatively serious expression as Ann looked at Nik with a curious expression.
"Yesterday, with Cindy, I didn't say it out loud but when she was at the edge... she was physically dangerous, you know. And I think it will get more dangerous in the future," As Anna grimaced at that particular possibility, Nik continued, "would you like me to enhance you? I know you don't like powers... for some reason. I talked with Mary after you slept and she was open to the idea. Thrilled about you having powers to protect yourself."
"Powers, huh... I always thought my power would be to get a line of men just by my super dance. I don't need a line of men though."
"Hey, I can be an entire line, too," Nik grinned, "And give you my attention again and again until you say otherwise. A line of myself waiting eagerly to just please you," as Anna bit her lips happily with her eyes trembling for a moment, clearly making her mind about the act, she shook her head quickly, "Hey," she, "you don't get to start a serious convo and then say these things."
"Sure," Nik chimed as his roguish palms still playfully brushed past the sides of her b.r.e.a.s.ts as Anna gave her a flat stare, "Fine, I am open to the idea of powers but what kind? I don't want something that changes me, you know... I am into weird things only if you are the one being any of them."
"Hmm, interesting possibilities," Nik mumbled, "Like soft bestiality play or something. Nevermind, we'll decide that later. As for powers... I can just boost your body in all its aspects. Nothing strange. You'll still be you but just far stronger."
"Stronger than your aunt, that's for sure," Nik replied.
"Ooh~ I'm in then. What about Mum, did she chose the same as me?"
"Uh, no, actually, she decided to wait after going through the list of powers I can offer. Elasticity, Invisibility, turning into rock, lizard, and body enhancement. She'll choose soon, however."
"So?" Anna muted the tv and looked curious, "How will I get my powers?"
"I will make a spider bite you and then control your mutation. I've never tried it on anybody else but, eh, it's not that hard either."
Pursing her lips for a moment and reconsidering the option once again, Anna sighed.
A knock to the door interrupted their moment as Nik stood up, "I'll get that."
Of course, with his studies under Asmodeus regarding the most potent form of runes completed and Sky's tutorials almost at their last leg, he had learned from the both of them to 'solidify' his home 'base' and that made Nik spread his spiritual energy for a block in a passive observatory manner. With his energy reserves almost at the level of rank 3, he could maintain the passive outflow while regaining the loss by natural absorption of energy and daily treats of spiritual meats. All of this led Nik to easily identify the experienced, unarmed killer standing on the other side of the door.
Why a killer?
Well, with that many scars under his suits and what looked like a piece of high-quality technology embedded in his wrist, Nik couldn't think of anything else in the realms of common thinking.
"Yes?" Opening the door with a smile that should affect any person regardless of their gender, Nik met the eyes with the tanned middle-aged man with greying sideburns.
"Oh, didn't you know? I had my surname changed yesterday. It's Mr. Hoobahooba now," Nik replied as a furrow touched the man's face.
"Really? I apologize for not realizing this sooner. Mr. Hoobahooba, I am here on behalf of the king of Wakanda to invite you to his highness' royal palace."
"Why would there be a royal palace in an amus.e.m.e.nt park?" Nik furrowed this time. He thought he was the only one making the jokes but apparently, the person in front of him was an apt one, too.
"Amus.e.m.e.nt park?" The stranger inquired dubiously.
"You are saying that this 'Wakanda' is not an amus.e.m.e.nt park?"
"It's our country."
"I've never heard of such a country," Nik crossed his arm.
"I was afraid that such a situation might crop up. Perhaps you would like Agent Coulson to clear your current doubts?"
"Sure," Nik nodded with an eager expression before closing the door and leaving the man hanging in the hallway as he sighed. Meanwhile, Phil picked Nik's call in a moment's notice.
"I was just about to call you," he greeted, "A strange man outside your door?"
"No. He was relatively normal."
"So, here's the situation. You remember taking care of the remaining symbiotes in Africa. There was a man in a black outfit, right? Strong and lethal? That man is the current king of a secret country hidden away from the world and he has invited you, Cindy, and both of your families to honor you. I got off with Cindy and she said she is fine with it... made me talk to her parents but that's my job as your ambassador."
"Oh... well, I actually thought to take a day off completely. I wanted to enjoy my pay when I went to help someone so can we do this some other time?"
He still had the teleportation token from Strange that would lead him to his library, the general one. Although Garuk's knowledge was enough for him to finally polish his developing system of spirit magic, any additional knowledge in that library would definitely help him. And with Mary taking a day off, she would be taking Anna to her classes today.
"Really? You are going to say no to a king?" Phillip sounded slightly confused as Nik shrugged, "Why not? That's the least bad thing I can do." He chuckled while realizing that he has slaughtered a bunch of nobles and royalties in his past adventures. 'Huh, what do you know. Having Tanya did mellow me a bit,' Nik thought to himself only for Lilith to scoff and Pure to follow with a mocking giggle.
"Anyway, if you guys wanna go without me, that's fine, too. With what I can sense, a king of a hidden nation is anything but being a simple man and you know my motto simplicity is the best."
"Really? Simple? You? I always thought that the mind behind the name Vanish would have been a rather complicated one. Hey, did you know that Vanish is a detergent brand in India?"
"Bye!" cutting off the call, Nik looked back towards his door with the man already leaving.
After Mary woke up, the small group enjoyed the meal before Nik took out the magical amulet, coordinates imbued in which, was already derived by Nik allowing him to enter the fabled library, of course, only after checking out that no hidden mechanism would trigger by his actions.
"Hmm?" Nik furrowed and tried to pry through the darkness. According to the coordinates, the library should be situated within Los Angeles but after activating the amulet using the small button in the middle which teleported him away, only darkness greeted his eyes.
"Welcome," Strange's voice echoed followed by his steps as Nik finally saw Strange holding a lamp illuminating under a wisp of blue flames. "This is the Library protected by an ancient spell which merges the entire location with a part of darkness itself. Only the blessing of the light can ever allow you to see anything. Without the rays of this lamp, every form of sense is completely suppressed as you would have felt."
"Blessing of the light?" Nik inquired and as Strange claimed, he could finally speak only after Strange walked closer to Nik to have the light shine upon him.
"Yes, it is the name of this lamp. It houses the much = coveted flames of eternity but really, it is just a variant of the element of light that counters the variant of darkness protecting the library. If you read Professor Newton's book, you will find that the true form of elements has never been discovered. Everything is just a variant of a hidden source."
"Interesting," Nik nodded as he circulated his spiritual energy and kicked his affinity with the element of light. He was a master of elements with them singing around him so he, of course, needed to try and brighten the place with his own effort.
"Professor Bitaun, however, published a strange form of energy he discovered. He named it meditative energy but its application and nature are exactly like the gushing stream of energy flowing within you."
"Is that why you're here?" Nik inquired after failing to change the lighting situation. As Strange explained, the forms of light he was acquainted with changed nothing. Heck, Nik couldn't even see his shoes while they should practically be flooded with light.
"I realize that my clone and my actions a few days were not up to the mark but I do not wish to apologize every time I meet you. You must also know that I find you fascinating. A soul traveling from a multiverse is always an interesting subject and you are... way more than that. I came here for two reasons. First, to provide you with a lamp that will automatically transfer to me once you leave the library. Second, to invite you to discuss your world and your source of magic and comparing it to mine which isn't found in any of these books. Every sorcerer supreme has different sources of energy."
"Good enough," Nik lied with a straight face as the lamp floated from Strange's hands and hovered around Nik.
"Enjoy your time in the Library of Earth's Magic."
With that, Strange disappeared and while Nik did think he used teleportation, sadly, he couldn't be sure due to the darkness itself.
"Well, it's time to read this library clean," Nik mumbled.