“They’re all here Team Hero,” Zeliah stepped forward, a smile plastered on her face. “Say what needs be heard.” With that, she patted each of them on the back, to show the support they’ll need to go through this. Hugo was the first to step forward, ready to speak what he has in his mind but a random person from the crowd made the move to shout with suspicion:
“How do we know you’re not going to just use us and then betray us!? You four aren’t even slaves! What exception do you have to even be here!?”
“Hey!” Zeliah warned the person with her eyes glaring like sharp knives. “Be quiet, you haven’t even met them! Remember that avalanche incident a few months ago!” Sadly, her words didn’t get through other slaves who were now beginning to doubt.
“He’s right! How do we know you won’t betray us?!”
“Yeah, we don’t want people who’ll just use us for their own needs and later cause us more pain!”
“What makes you think you can make a difference in all this happening? You’ve never been a slave!”
“We’ve been separated from our families enough! I believe this is just a waste of time! Who’s with me?”
“I am! I’ll follow no person who isn’t a slave!”
“That goes for me too!”
“Us too! We’re fed up with hopeless lies, don’t bother telling us this! We’re better off not knowing this false hope you’re about to serve us!”
The once filled of hope slaves soon turned into a rioting group of people who seemed to have been hurt more than once from others who have served a plate of lies and have done the backstabbing. “They’re not always like this,” Zeliah tried to explain in a low voice to the speechless teens. “For generations, certain family members of the Sun Gang would always pretend to want to help us for their own needs but in the end, we get blamed and severely punished. Trust between slaves and the outside worlds have been broken every betrayal that happens. Sorry if this isn’t working out for you four.”
The four just nodded, but that didn’t mean that they’re going to step down, leave, and give up on the whole thing! No, they are going to try to earn their trust, but first, they are going to need to get the shouting crowd to be quiet. If they can’t do that, then there’s no point in trying to be the heroes they are thriving to be. Ozur and Rashika didn’t need anyone to tell them that it was time to use their howls and roars to catch everyone’s attention.
Everyone hushed up when the two beasts finished their cries, waiting suspiciously and patiently for their say. Eathelyn was the first to start. “Look, I know you all are having a tough time trying to decide whether or not that we’re the good guys or the bad guys! You’ve been marked, and treated like you just object, not even human! You have been used, broken, and used again but-”
“Exactly!” One of the slaves screamed, holding on to her child tightly. “So what makes you think we’ll listen to you!? I can’t believe I let Thuggort and Zeliah convince me to show up here in the first place! ”
“Then why are you here then?” Eathelyn could see the stunned looked on the slave’s face when she asked that, “You could have been safe in your tents, not even caring about what we want to say but, here you are....Standing here tonight, but with doubt but I believe that you all still have hope. Even if you’ve been betrayed countless of times that you’re all tired of this! You still have hope that someday, someone will deliver you from the hands of cruelty! If you didn’t then you wouldn’t be here at all, you would have been sleeping in your tents saying the doubt you all speak of now.”
“The four of us haven’t been slaves I know, we don’t know how it feels to be like you, or how much you’ve suffered,” Rashika took over, ignoring the remarks of her being the girl whose part demon and dragon. “But even if we don’t know how your lives were, everyone in this world has felt pain somewhere in their lives. Mostly because of how this world is set, mostly because of the real lies that the Sun Gang has planted into our heads but most people don’t realize it! We know the Sun Gang are terrible people, they shouldn’t have treated you like trash and they will get the deserved punishment but we can’t do that if we can’t cooperate! We can’t do anything if we don’t work together as one!”
“Yes you can have doubts, you can be scared, you can backstab us when this is all over if you want to,” Hugo added. “But we know that we won’t betray you, that we’ll get each and every one of you out of here even if it costs us our lives. Because I know we can do it. We all can make it! We all will win this battle we’re facing! I’ll make sure we win this battle that will come! We all are the change that’ll make a difference for the better good of this world! ” Soon slaves whose faces were smeared with disbelief, have replaced it with interest, maybe even trust. “We will not fail, we will not die! And if we die, we’ll die with pride and a smile on our faces because we know we fought for what’s right!”
“We’re not as superior as the Sun Gang, we don’t all those fancy weapons or gadgets they have...But we are much stronger than they are put together! Right now the Sun Gang are planning to destroy this world, and that fate won’t be changed until we step up, and stand up to them!” Ozur raised his fist, ready to make a battle cry right on the spot! “The Sun Gang has a hidden string of betrayal, the blood of victims, and lies, and no one will realize this until we make the move! The people must know what their so called leaders are planning, we are the people! We are all human, no one isn’t a monster sure we’re different and that’s good, it’ll never be bad! We need you to trust us, to believe in us when we promise that you all will make it! Now I ask you this everybody,” He saw the crowd starting to cheer him on, shouting that he and his friends were right! Maybe their words did get to them after all.
“Are you all in this as one, or not?!”
No one uttered a word at that moment, sure they were inspired, probably even having second thoughts about them, but they were in total silent. Are they convinced? Do they want to join in this plan in hopes of a better future?
Nothing happened yet, Hugo sighed in defeat along with his friends, perhaps they overdid this speech that was supposed to be motivational. We must have scared them instead of motivating them, Eathelyn thought in shame, What kind of saviors are we if we can’t even get people to join us?
They were just about to turn away, in hope that they’ll forget this and just figure out a way by themselves. However, one voice stood out in a convinced tone…
“I’m in!” A slave stepped up with her hand raised up to volunteer, “If what you say is true then I’ll take my chances again! There’s no point in living in fear that the Sun Gang used against us!” At once, a trail of answers from fully convinced slaves were shouting out answers like a shower of meteors falling from the sky!
“So am I!”
“I’ll give them a chance!”
“I’m with you!”
“Might as well, we didn’t really have that much hope until now!”
“I’ll join, these youngsters might be telling the truth!”
“For our freedom!”
“FOR EVERYONE’S FREEDOM!”
The four stared at the shouting crowd of volunteers, coming out of the protection of their shells and ready to risk everything for the hope they didn’t know whether to trust or not! They heard a small chuckle next to them, coming from Zeliah as she approached them with a genuine smile spread across her face. “You amaze me Team Hero. I never thought I’ll see the day that slaves would work together with people they assume as their enemies that they have loathed for so long. But..” Her smile fell a bit, her voice got quiet so the other slaves wouldn’t hear her as her arms wrapped around herself for comfort from invisible harm. “Can you honestly be sure that your plan will work? Without a chance of us getting caught?”
They didn’t say anything at first until Eathelyn placed her hand on Zeliah’s shoulder with a smile. “We’ll make sure you all get out of here alive, even if it’ll cost us our life. We won’t go back on our word.”
“Hey Team Hero!” a slave shouted while she waved her hand for attention. “Exactly how do you guys intend to reveal the Sun Gang’s motives and schemes?”
“It’s huge,” Hugo began, his eyes landed on his friends, who nodded for him to continue. “But it’ll be worth it, now pay attention to what’s going to be happening this week until the tournament begins...”
“So you have no idea what are Team Hero’s next plans?” Headmistress Olema questioned that next afternoon, her back facing Ulin as she looked at the four teens practicing but very closely at the faint bags under their eyes. “From the looks of it Ulin, it seems like your students aren’t getting enough sleep. How unusual, don’t you think so Sundria?”
“Yes, very,” Sundria got up from sitting on the top of her mother’s desk, getting threateningly close to Ulin. “Especially since I see a sudden change in behavior among Eiloh and Malisha, not to mention seeing them beginning to hang out with Team Hero.”
“And what does the change in your teammate’s behavior have to do with what I’m assigned to do?” Ulin calmed asked, not in the mood to get irritated. “I’m here only to get as much information about those teens, not to be some personality officer.”
“Are you sure that it’s just personality?” Sundria sat back down, but her eyes stared at Ulin like a wild cat staring at its prey. “I’ve seen the two of them hold hands, and have the Scar Oath on themselves. You know the Scar Oath very well I assume.”
“Of course, but I fail to see what does that have to do with Team Hero.” Ulin could see Sundria shake her head in disappointment.
“Ulin, Ulin, Ulin...Doesn’t it seem odd that they had the Scar Oath right after meeting up with that wolf and demon? Obviously, they have some sort of connection to what’s going on lately.”
Headmistress Olema butted in before the mentor could utter another question. “The slaves are somehow less miserable that before this morning when I went to do work patrol so none of them would have any ideas. For some reason, they have this new spark of hope that’s having them keep on going, making them more strong willed. So you better answer this next question wisely Ulin...Where were Team Hero last night?”
“How can I possibly know Olema!” Ulin responded right away, her eyes were filled with anger that covered up her panic. “For all, I know they could have been going to that library again to find that machine those fools have made.”
“But can you honestly tell me that they found that library by chance, or did they have help? Remember that avalanche incident, they dove right in to save that slave boy’s life, surely you can understand that maybe those two are connected.”
“How should I know what those brats think Headmistress? They’re the offsprings of the previous Team Hero, we have absolutely no idea what they’re up to!”
“You do, you’re their instructor. Look at how much they’re affecting the way you think right now Ulin...Can you be certain that what you’re reporting back to me is the absolute truth? You don’t want to spend time in that dimension to think about this while you watch your daughter’s death over and over...Do you?”
Ulin’s eyes widen, as she retrained her body from shaking while she shook her head. “NO OF COURSE NOT! It’s just that they are very good at lying so I can’t read them out, but I can assure you that all the answers to your question will be answered!”
“So be it,” Olema grinned in satisfaction. “Go then, and do not disappoint me, Ulin, unless you truly want to suffer. We can’t have that prophecy be fulfilled and end all my ancestor’s hard work...You are dismissed.”
“Yes Headmistress,” Ulin bowed at Olema, then at Sundria, walking away without emotion that could read from her face. For all she knew, she might be in for a lot more that she can handle. However, none of them noticed a shadow lurking about, listening to the conversation before disappearing.
“So that’s what going to happen?” Eiloh questioned Ozur that morning while the hybrid’s clone was doing training with the others. “That’s your plan to convince everyone that Sun Gang isn’t what they seem?”
“Yeah,” Ozur nodded, he made sure no one was around or trying to make attempts to get passed his shield when he explained the plan. “There might be a chance that the Sun Gang might make changes to prevent it from happening, so keep a sharp eye.”
“I understand, it’s just that...” Eiloh was silent that moment, his head bowed until he gathered the courage needed to ask. “Why don’t Malisha and I begin rumors? You know to get everyone to question the Sun Gang until they see the truth?”
“I’m not sure,” Ozur scratched his chin a bit, thinking about this request. “Sure it sounds like a good idea, but you’ll have to be careful with your words and make sure no one finds out that you started the rumors.”
“Alright then, but about the fight..” Eiloh began but he interrupted by Rashika, who just flew in through the shield Ozur had up to join the conversation with Malisha following from behind.
“You’ll fight with all you got, no cheating. After all, you wouldn’t want your parents to be disappointed and cause suspicion. Right?”
“You’re probably right...” Eiloh sighed, looking over at Malisha, who looked a little shaken up, her hands folded tightly as if she was trying to hide a secret. Rashika took notice of that, looking over at Ozur, realizing that he didn’t notice at all.
“And before you do this rumor you’re intending to do,” She turned to Malisha, lightly placing her hand on her shoulder for support. “Malisha has some news to share with us so we’ll know for the near future...Go on..”
Malisha took in a deep breath before she reported, “I’ve spied on Ulin when she was summoned to the Headmistress’s office with Sundria....Apparently, Ulin is giving them information about your team, Ozur, Rashika....” Her eyebrows narrowed down in obvious confusion at the last bit of her report. “And I’m not sure if this concerns you but I heard something about the Headmistress knowing about this prophecy you read.”