A deceptive silence stilled the air, cloaking a figure running through darkness. Ruins, untouched for centuries, were sliced open from their black veils with a flashlight. The stench of mold and dead rodents suffocated the enclosed halls. Yet, neither the darkness, rat corpses nor the foul odors made any impact on the moving figure. Like he was used to these smells and sights. He is, after all, the prodigious child of the world's most elite assassin family. Or, more accurately, he was. Which lead to his current predicament.
"I should have just gone gambling." Killua said to himself, using his foot to scrape dead rats out his path. He ran the flashlight across a series of plaques. Messages from hundreds of years ago were engraved, their words of an ominous nature.
"Hmm...something about transporting to another world." He raised an eyebrow. "They mention nothing of nen…so I'm gonna assume that's the real culprit here. I can't believe in all good conscience that Greed Island was the first of its kind."
He continued down the hall, searching for something of great financial value. These ruins had been lost to the world for ages, only to be recently discovered. As of now, only Hunters were allowed inside them. By the grace of luck, Killua happened to be in the area on the day this was announced, and decided to find something worth money before other Hunters came to clear out the place. As he walked, a particular plaque caught his attention.
"We kept it hidden at the very bottom of this temple. It was a magic too powerful to give our enemies a chance to steal!" His eyes lit up.
"Okay! Now were gettin' somewhere..." The area around him lit up, electricity crackling off him with explosive surges. 'Good thing I charged up before coming here!'
Using godspeed, he ran all the way to the bottom of the temple, leaving starry traces of excess voltage trailing where he passed. None of the traps in place even touched him, some failed to activate at all. Killua was before an iron-bolted door, at the absolute bottom miles down from the surface, in a matter of minutes. He pushed against them. The wood snapped, broke off and flew from their thick metal hinges, obviously much lighter than the multi-ton doors to his own house.
The room was circular, with an altar in the center and a book atop it, glowing faintly. A soft, golden light spread spherically around the book, blocked by rows of benches and scattered door debris, casting shadows in lieu of light. Killua walked up to the book, noting the indecipherable runes decorating its cover. The hand that drew them was talented, flares of strokes and curls brushed off the end of each symbol. The source of the glow was a single page within, shining brightly between stacks of paper.
Curiosity got the better of him, and Killua opened up to the glowing page. He could barely make out the runic scripts filling the paper edge to edge before the light blinded him. The glow intensified, bright as a sun, seeping sparkles that set the room alight.
In a magical flash, Killua was thus transported to another world.
When the light faded, he found himself in a strange room he didn't recognize, with a shield fastened to his arm. Glowing runes on the floor caught his attention. Gold, like the book he had just touched. His sharp eyes quickly adjusted to the light, cloaked figures fading into view beyond the brightness. They were men and women, chanting robotically in a foreign language, arms stretched with palms facing him.
'Where am I? Did they summon me the instant I opened that book?' He furrowed his eyebrows in thought. 'How did they know to start this ritual as soon as I opened that book? Do they have some sort of means of remote viewing? If they're capable of this sort of magic, it's not impossible…' At the word magic, he remembered the plaque he passed on the ruins wall.
"Hey…" He addressed the cloaked figures. Their hooded heads turned upward, only showing shadowed faces. "Am I in another world right now?"
The person standing at the forefront removed their hood. It was an old man that fit the image of a priest. "Yes, you are." There was a solemn tone to his voice.
Killua was then startled by a despairing scream from behind him.
"HUUUUUHHHHH!? What do you mean I'm in another world? What about the one I was just in?!" A young man, wearing a green shoulder cape over a white tunic, panicked. A bow and arrow was slung over his back.
'A medieval outfit?' Killua turned to him, then shifted his eyes further to his side.
There stood a knight. A filthy looking one. He wore grimy armor, a cheap looking helmet, with a small shield fastened to his arm and a sword of strange length at his side in its sheath. Also, a more pristine, immaculate looking sword clutched in his hand.
"Hmm." He seemed to be analyzing it, though it was hard to tell in the darkness of his visor. "Too long for caves."
'They definitely don't look like people from my world, so I must not be the only one summoned here. I need to compare the time of day with one of them, to see if our worlds are all in sync, but if they're both wearing medieval attire, it seems unlikely either of them possess the technology for such…'
The old man dropped to his knees. "Please! Hear us out. We are in dire need of your help…" He planted his forehead on the floor. "HEROES!"
"Awww, you gotta be fucking kidding me, not this shit again!" Another boy with bleached white hair, an eye patch and a robotic arm, stood behind the grimy knight. A spear was clutched in his human hand.
He stomped up to the old man prostrated before them. With his robotic arm, he grabbed him by his robes collar and lifted him off the floor like a mere pillow. The old man was impressed initially at his strength, but the menacing glare he met frightened him pale.
"I already got whisked away against my will to another world as a hero…I don't need to do this shit twice!" The old man was suddenly assaulted with waves of physical pressure that evoked a deep sense of fear toward the white haired boy. His old, fragile heart felt as if it would fail at any moment. "Send me back immediately, or I will kill everyone in this room."
Asides from the cloaked figures, the boy with the green shoulder cape was the only one to react, doing so with scared eyes, a gaping jaw and a pathetic squeal. The grimy knight hadn't reacted. Killua rested his hands behind his head with the roll of his eyes, brushing the threat off nonchalantly.
"W-wa-wai…d-d-don…I-I-I…" The old man could only stutter in fear, grasping desperately for the right words to persuade the white-haired boy. "I…I don't know how! We were ordered by the king to summon you!" The old man was jerked forward, stopping inches away from a furious face.
"Then go and bring that king here now." He didn't growl or scream his demand. It wasn't necessary. The fear of failing to do as told was enough.
He lowered the old man, mindful of his fragile body, and stood there waiting. None of the cloaked figures hesitated. The old man and everyone else scurried through the door like they were vacuumed out. This left the four mismatched protagonists to stand around aimlessly while waiting.
"Dude…" The green shoulder-caped boy said. "That was kinda harsh, don't ya think?"
"Whatever. I don't have time to deal with this." He spat on the floor, out of spite more than anything. "I'm already trying to fight my way out of another world. I don't need to be interrupted with the same thing in the middle of it!"
"Hold on…" Killua said. "You were already in another world?"
"Yeah." The white haired boy finally looked at Killua. He stared at him for a few seconds, seeing something familiar in him. Something he, himself, was feeling at that moment. An undeterred composure, unaffected by their surroundings and circumstances. As if everything happening now was just one annoying inconvenience…incapable of presenting a threat worthy to be feared. His eyebrows furrowed. 'This kid's gotta be dangerous.' Meanwhile, Killua fit his chin between his thumb and index finger in thought.
"I'd like to gather some information to narrow down a few theories I have. Let's start by introducing ourselves and where were from. Current worlds any of you have come from count. So, I'm Killua Zoldyck, from Kukuroo Mountain of the Republic of Padokea."
"Hajime. From Tortus."
"Uh hi, I'm Kazuma. I forget the name of the town I live in."
Killua and Hajime both looked at him with disappointment.
"Hey, it was another world! I can't just remember a bunch of fantasy names like that!" He said, despite his gut feeling telling him it was one that is easily remembered if he were more responsible.
Hajime shrugged his shoulders, seemingly more understanding. "Eh, can't argue with that."
The three of them then turned towards the man in grimy armor.
"You a knight of some sort?" Killua asked.
He shook his head. "I am Goblin Slayer."
"Where you from?"
He looked down in thought. "The farm."
Killua's disappointed face returned. Kazuma felt relief there was someone with a worse answer than him. Hajime sighed in defeat.
"We're not gonna get anywhere with him, are we?"