For those who are interested, this chapter will revile why I call this story 3RD World
After several minutes of walking, Victor and the rest of the group found themselves outside of a large building. Steam was billowing out of the windows and chimneys, and all the workers where dressed in bathrobes. Felix and Roxana were waiting for them by the entrance.
"Well, it's about time you got here." Felix said as Victor and the rest arrived.
They went inside and Belrong aproched the front desk, and pulled put a bag out his robes.
"Hello." he said to the desk manager; woman in a bathrobe. "Party of five." Belrong handed her a handful of gold coins, but the woman didn't take the money. She was staring at Betto, a look of pure resentment on her face.
"Do you intend to refuse us service?" Belrong asked.
"No," the woman said through gritted teeth. "just keep that thing under control."
Victor wanted to speak up in Betto's defense, but before he could say a word, Betto tapped him on the back with his tail, and Victor heard him say, "It's alright." Belrong paid the girl, and they all entered the baths.
The bathing area was a long flat stretch of marble full of pools of water. The air was full of steam, making it very humid, and difficult to see. The room was made even hotter by the glass ceiling shining the sun directly down onto them. As they walked towards the changing room, a tall, blond, well-endowed woman wearing nothing but a towel. Victor's eyes followed her, until she turned a corner and out of sight. Victor Belrong stripped down in the changing room, then joined the others in the tub. The water was just the right temperature, and it smelled of scented oils, and mineral salts.
"That girl you were eyeing back their, she's out of your league." Pius said.
"A guy can still look, can't he?" Belrong replied. At this, Felix scoffed. "Is their something you would like to say?" Belrong added.
"I don t know what it is about breasts that you mammals find so attractive, personally, I think they're repulsive."
"You don't like breasts."
They're big, they're round, they're jiggly, and stuff comes out of them."
"You mean milk?' Pius asked.
While Belrong and the others continued talking, Victor silently stared off into space.
"Are you alright, Victor? You're awfully quiet."
"How could I possibly be happy after all the things I saw today?"
"Keep your voice down!" Pius said in a hushed tone.
"How can you all be so cheerful?" Victor continued in a hushed tone. "You all saw the same things I did. So, how can you be so happy?" Nobody said anything, but Belrong looked around checking for eavesdroppers.
"Should we continue this conversation somewhere else?"
"No, just keep your voices down." Belrong said.
"Well, Victor," said Betto, "I admit that when I first saw those images I was horrified. And to rub salt in the wound, some of them, helped cause those tragedies. At first I felt like you, then I realized I had a choice; I could either feel sorry for myself, or, I could pick myself up and redeem myself and my people. Now it seems you have a choice. You can either feel horrible like you do now, or you can enjoy yourself while you still can."
Betto was right. It was stupid for him to brood about what he saw. If he wanted help overthrow The Great Four, then he would have to pull himself together.
"Come on, lets go in the sauna."
The sauna was dark, dry, and of course, very hot. Victor and the others were lounging around a bed of rocks in the center of the room. It wasn't until Pius poured another cup of water on the stones that Victor asked everyone the question that had been bothering him ever since he discovered his powers.
"Guys, what do you think I should call that world?"
"Well," Belrong replied, "I think you, and only you should give that world its name.
After all, it is your world."
"Belrong's right, Victor." Betto said. "but I must say, I have worked with many demi-gods in the past, and I have never met any with a power like yours."
"Neither have I." Belrong replied. "In all the time that I have lived, I have only ever thought that there was your mortal world, and Deitya. I never would have guessed that there would be a third world."
At that moment, Victor felt spark of genius go off in his mind. It was so perfect. A perfect name for that world. It had dignity, and it was appropriate for what that world really was.
"3RD World. How about that?"
"3RD World. Yes, that has got a nice ring to it." Pius said, curling his beard.
"Well, then it s decided." Victor said clapping his hands together. "From now on, that
world shall be known as the 3RD World."
They left the bathhouse an hour later. Victor's mood had greatly improved, the advice he got from the others had made a real difference.
"Victor," Belrong said as Victor stepped over the threshold. "Before you leave, I need you to do something for me." He went upstairs, and a minute later, returned holding a piece of paper. "I just need you to sign this, and you'll be free to go home. Victor took the paper and saw that it was a contract. It read,
I _, having joined The Resistance, agree never to tell anyone (other than other members) about my membership, the membership of others, or any of The Resistance's activities without explicit approval of The Resistance's current leader, Belrong. I also agree to follow the instructions of my superiors, to always act in the best interest of The Resistance, and to never aid The Empire.
When Victor finished reading the contract, Belrong handed him a quill and a bottle of ink.
"As you can see, I have already signed it. All you have to do is sign here, and here.
Victor took the quill, and put it to the paper.
"I should tell you now, that is no ordinary contract. It was written by a demigod. If you sign it you will be bound to you're word for all time. So don't sign it lightly." Keeping this in mind, Victor signed his name. With the last stroke of the quill, he felt a sharp pain shoot through his arm.
"Agh!" He shouted as he grasped his arm. But as soon as it came the pain vanished.
"Quite a shock, isn't it? Thats the felling of having you're soul branded. Well, that's all, you may leave, but you're free to come back any time.
"Well," said Felix, as Victor left through the front door. "see you soon." They all waved goodbye to him (except for Betto, who raised his tail in salute instead) Victor waved back to them until he rounded a corner and was out of sight.
As he walked home, Victor couldn't help but review all that had happen over these three days. He been chased by mantacores, discovered a new dimension, learned he was a demi-god, and joining an organization bent on overthrowing four empires.
Not exactly how he expected to start the week. He arrived back at his house, unlocked the door and went inside.
"Victor!" His father shouted, as he ran to his son and threw his arms around him. "Where have you been?" Victor was just about to tell his father everything that had happened, but before he could say a word, a warm, tingling sensation surged through his arm. Then he remembered what Belrong said when he sighed that contract.
If you sign it you will be bound to you're word for all time. This must be the contracts way of reminding him about his agreement.
Heading it's warning, Victor said, "Oh, I just stayed at an inn, cleared my head." A thought suddenly occurred; he might not be able to tell his father about joining The Resistance, but maybe he could tell him about his training, and the true nature of his powers. None of that was related to The Resistance, so perhaps it wouldn't go against his contract. The sensation in his arm had gone. Victor took that as a sign that he was not going against the contract.
"3RD World. That is an appealing name."
"Are you going to punish me for being gone for so long?"
"No. I think you had a right to go away for a while. You'd probably like to go to your room. I took the liberty of cleaning it while you were away." Victor didn't say anything other then, "Thank you" as he went upstairs. Like his father said, his room had been cleaned. His bed had been made, his desk had been cleared, and the floor had recently been swept. Not wanting to be disturbed, he locked his door, drew the blinds, extended his hand and cleared his mind. A portal to 3RD World opened, Victor felt the familiar strain in his arm. Ignoring the tension in his arm, he counted to see how long he could keep this portal open. Fifteen, sixteen, seventeen. He made it to thirty before he gave in to the strain, and the portal closed. Victor smiled with satisfaction; he could keep the portals open much longer now.
After a brief rest, Victor raised his hand again. Clearing his mind, Opened another portal, and stepped into it, arriving in the 3RD World version of his room. It was so strange. For some bazar reason, Victor felt like he was really home. The first time he entered this world, he felt scared, and alone, but now, he felt as if this was where he really belonged. That he was the king of this world.