village is quiet. It is usually quiet, but I hear nothing at all: no people
walking around with their wagons bumping on the rough road, no horse cries, and
no sound of the birds that usually filled the silent. All I hear is something
ticking. Am I dead? How did I die? I try to get up, but the pain pushes me down.
Maybe I am not dead yet. I open my eyes slightly to get the scene of the
village and what made it so quiet. Then, I see it slightly. Crimson color
spread through the village growing tall than to small. Suddenly, I feel heat
and realize what kind of state I am in. The whole village is on fire and bloody
corpse lying everywhere and some being burned. The houses are on fire and
broken down in to trash and the trees are on fire and become too weak to bear
the heat. Some are already on the ground lifeless. The scene I see at the very
moment is indescribable. This is true hell. A blurry figure is coming out of
the fire and towards me. Its red demon eyes glaring down on me gives me chill
through my back. What is it? What the hell happened? What is going to happen to
me? I tremble in fear. The figure smiles as if it is enjoy seeing me in fear
with its sharp teeth showing. It reaches out its hand. Well, this is the end
for me. Whatever that thing is, it’s not going to let me make it out alive. The
scene becomes blurry until it becomes completely empty and dark.
“Hey, kid!” a voice calls me.
Whose voice is it? Am I still alive? I open my eyes very slowly.
“Hey! You’re alive! I thought you died along the way.”
There is a man standing in front of me. Looks somewhat my age and has pale grey hair. His red eyes are fierce, but are somewhat kind. His skin is a bit pale. He has sharp teeth. Wait, he has sharp teeth, and demonic red eyes? I jump up; too shocked to say a word. A few seconds later, I yelp in pain.
“You shouldn’t move too much. You’re wounds are still healing. It’s a miracle that you are even alive. You need to rest more,” the man says.
“But you……that time…….killed…..demon….,” I can’t finish my words due to the shock and the pain I am having.
“Rest for now, and I will tell you everything later.”
The moment the man says that, I fall into a deep sleep.
When I wake up, it is already morning. The sunlight comes in adding light into the dark room. The room is big and luxurious. By the hint of the sunlight, I can see that the room is crimson red. The walls have yellow swirl that decorates the plain red. The floor is covered in crimson carpet. Everything is crimson just like that day. Just like that day. The day, when the village I used to live in, turned into deadly hell. Wait, where is the man who I saw that day?
` “I see that you are awake. Did you rest well?” a voice kindly says as it comes through the door.
That kind voice somehow gives me a chill. The kind voice I heard from before. When the man comes in, I let out a small scream. He is the man who saved me, and destroyed my village.
“I’m sorry for scaring you. How are your wounds? I was worried since you slept for the last 5 days.”
There are questions popping in my head, but cannot ask them all. I asked for his name, why he saved me and what did he do to my village.
“Sorry for the late intro. My name is Raven Crossworth. I am one of the SSD. I was sent to your village since it was ruined badly after when He came. I was sent to see if there were any survivors; doubting that there will be any. Then, I found you lying on the ground unconsciously. I brought you here to get you all healed up. Right now, the SSD put down the fire and looked for another survivor like you, but unfortunately, there aren’t any.”
His voice trails off at the end. He is part of the SSD (Specialized Safety Demon). It is a group of people who has special abilities or great at fighting. There are also half bloods meaning there are humans marrying demons or demons marrying different demons. They help people and fight with demons. They are like exorcist, but without the God and the Holy water things. People in that group look a bit different from normal people like me. After hearing the news about no survivors other than me, I sit there shocked. My mouth is opened big and my hands shake rapidly. My parents, friends and the friendly villagers all died. My little brother died without being able to explore the world. My father was a strong person. He was also part of the SSD, but he is dead. Who in the world is strong enough to take him down?
“Who is He that you speak of?” I ask quickly.
Raven is sitting at the edge of the bed unsure about telling me the truth.
“His name is Echo of Death or that’s what he calls himself now. He is a deadly demon. He is known to be the strongest demon in the whole world and no SSDW (Specialized Safety Demon Warriors) could defeat Him. He was actually one of us and the strongest one of us. The Headquarters erased his profile and the memories of those who knew him. Nobody knows his real name now.”
Echo of Death. The name of the man who killed my family and destroyed our village. I will take revenge one day. I will train myself and find him. I will be the one to kill him. I tell Raven I want to rest for awhile. He tells me that he will bring food later, so I shouldn’t sleep too much.
Echo of Death. His name fits with his character. He is the death. One glimpse of him, then you’re dead. Why would he destroy our village? Why does he want to kill people? With these questions still wondering in mind, I fall asleep.
When I wake up, it’s already afternoon. There is food beside me still warm. It is a broccoli soup with a slice of homemade bread. The soup is a bit salty, but I bear with it. It actually made me feel better than before.
After the meal, I try to find some clothes in the room. Right now, I am in a shirt that is not mine. The shirt is white with black bubble lettering saying ‘Peace’. It is big enough for a man to wear. A while later, I hear a door knock. It is Raven. I quickly run inside the bed and allow him to come in. However, the one who comes in isn’t Raven, but a woman. The woman smiles at me. She has long silky brown hair and calm blue eyes. By her pointy ears, I figure that she is an elf. I have never seen one except in textbooks or storybooks. I smile back. She is wearing a blue t-shirt and baggy light brown pants. It has lots of pockets on the sides.
“I bet you want to come out of this stuffy room. Nice to meet you. My name is Lore and as you can see, I am an elf. Raven has gone to buy some gadgets for the trip. Here, I will lend you my clothes for a while and then we will go shopping for your clothes. Your clothes were badly burned and torn. We had to throw it away.”
The elf throws her clothes to me. It is a plain red t-shirt with brown shorts that nearly comes up to my knees. The elf looks at me then nods as if it is good enough. The shirt is big for me. Then, I realize that the gigantic white t-shirt was hers. When I get out of bed, I realize the elf was twice as big as me. Well, that figures, I think. I ask her where we are and Lore says that we’re in Tifa, also known as The City. It’s far from my village, so nobody actually went there. Tifa is where all kind of species live together friendly. There are elves, half-blood demons, humans, and even fairies. I want to go outside so badly right now, but Lore shakes her head, pushes my shoulder to the bed. It hurts. Not only my shoulder, but my whole body. It aches and sore. I lie on the bed bringing my knees up to my chest. I form myself into a ball hugging my body.
“I don’t think you can go out with that kind of body. Also, you need to have Raven with you; otherwise, you will be in trouble. Don’t worry. He will be here soon enough.”
Lore walks out the door and I am left alone again. I see a huge mirror beside the closet. I walk weakly to the mirror and take my shirt off. I am full of cuts and burn. My body looks hideous. I shake my head and put the shirt back on. My black hair is all tangled. My skin is a little tanned from the fire. My emerald green eyes were usually bright according to mom, but today, they look dead. I walk outside the door and notice Lore had not gone too far.
“Lore, may I take a shower?” I ask quietly.
She nods and points to the right. She tells me that the shower will say ‘Shower’ on the door. I also ask for two towels and a comb. She says that all of those should be in the shower. I thank her and walk straight to my right. The place is darker than I imagined. There are barely lights and the hallway seems to have no end. Walking for a while, I come across the shower. I knock the door and let myself in. Nobody is inside. I take off my clothes and take a warm short shower. This place is big. There are numerals of showers. There must be thousands. There are all lined up in six rows. I walk out with a towel around my shoulder. I feel much better after the shower though it was still a bit painful. I use the comb to brush my hair that nearly comes down to my armpit. I dry my hair with the towel and notice that I am wearing a locket. The locket is shaped like an oval and it is scarlet on the out. Inside is a picture of my family. Though it’s small, I can see my family smiling with my little brother still inside mom’s stomach. I feel water crawling down from my eyes, burning my cheeks as it goes. The tears crawl down to my chin and to the floor they go. I close the locket. Mom, dad, please watch over me and give me courage. I hear a door knock. I quickly wipe my tears from my face. Raven comes in.
“It’s time to go. Um…..”
“I’m Rina, but you can call me Rin,” I answer him.
Raven shrugs and gestures that it was time to go.
As we go downstairs, I notice that the walls are covered in old pictures and old art pieces. This whole place was like a castle: big and like a maze. Downstairs, I notice some people that almost looks like Raven.
“Yo, Raven. Who’s that girl?” a man asks.
He looks the same age as Raven. He has short blond hair, perfectly white skin that totally matches with his hair and looks. His eyes are cat eyes which is rare. The right is scarlet red and the other is fierce blue like the wild ocean water. He is wearing the same clothes as Raven: long white cape around his shoulders, baggy brown pants like Lore’s with a pair of nearly black runners.
“She’s the girl I told you about the other day, John. Did you forget already?” Raven says to the man whose name is apparently John.
He comes closer to me and I back away little.
“She doesn’t look special though. She is half blood, isn’t she?” John asks Raven after examining for a while.
For a second, I feel outraged and scared. I don't know why. I am a human and my dad and my mother are humans. My dad always told me that I was a human.
“I am not a half blood!” I yell with anger.
I am not a demon. I am not a demon. After I cool down my anger, I find everybody staring at me. I quickly turn my head hiding my tomato face. I suddenly feel stupid. Raven looks as red as me and John starts to laugh.
“Are you an idiot? You should know better if you’re a half blood or not. I can just know that by looking at your face. Black hair and green eyes are rare, sweety,” John says teasingly.
I clench my teeth my together until they start to hurt. I run outside as I hear people laughing. I run straight ahead without looking back. I hear Raven calling my name, but I ignore it. I run without stopping until I stop not knowing where the hell I am. The streets are filled with people. There are colorful stores all lined up in many rows, but almost all of the streets lead up to a big building It looks like a city hall, but too many people come in and out with books with in their hands. I walk to that building without any hesitation. Inside the building are all filled with bookshelves filled with books. The bookshelves are approximately about 7 meter tall. There are about millions of shelves just filled with books.
“Is there something that you need, ma’am?” a voice says.
I see back and notice it is the information desk. The one who just talked to me is a fairy.
The way to differ the creatures is that the elves have pointy ears; fairies have particular looks that you just know that it’s a fairy. They look….special somehow. Demons have a devil like look. Fairies look nice, but demons don’t have a friendly look on them. They look dull and hard, but you definitely do not want to see angry fairies...
“May I ask you how many books there are?” I ask politely.
“Well, we have about 900trillion books for public and 100 books for private for the SSD. Is that all you need to ask?” the fairy says giggling in delight
I nod and walk away. 900 trillion books, eh? That’s a lot. I wonder what John meant by rare. He’s the one who’s rare. Well, it’s true that I have never seen anybody like me and my parents. My mom green eyes and blond hair while dad has black hair and orange eyes. So, I have my mom’s eyes and dad’s hair. What’s wrong with that? Wait, if he said that I am rare, there must a reason. I should probably search it up.
“Excuse me, how many books are there about half bloods and demons?” I ask the front desk.
“There are about 5 of them. We have tons of copies so there about 90. Would like to have some copies of them?” the fairy asks smiling.
Are fairies this bright? There is something wrong with them that just creeps me out. Mom was always like that too.
Few moments later, the fairy brings out the books. I thank her and bring them over to an empty spot on the table. Everybody is so focused in their books. There is just one gigantic table that my fit in about 10million people. The books I have are: ‘The Hunting Season’, ‘Unlikely Marriage’, ‘Rare and Dead’. 2 books about demons, 2 books about half bloods and one book about both.
‘The Hunting Season’ is about the fight between the SSD and the demons. It is about the different abilities that different demons carry which can be deadly. I find one of my ancestors in there. My grandpa and my dad have a bit of this blood in them. The demon is called the Roplit. Roplits are almost extinct due to their deadly power. They are heartless and always calm. They never show their emotions easily. Roplits are fast and very skillful at killing. It’s actually unbelievable they are going extinct. Did John know about my ancestors, the blood that I carry? But my dad said the blood was too thin to even show, so I’m definitely human.
I shake my head. There is no way he could know just by my looks. Roplits never look alike. They sometimes even look like other demons, so that wouldn’t be possible. I go to the second book and realize about the perfect fit for a demons to marry. That is not important. I throw that book to the side and go the ‘Rare and Dead’. This book is about the ones that are already gone. There are ones who are still alive, but not pure bloods, and half bloods. There are ones that are still alive, but hard to find. One of them are Tilcats. Tilcats love to dress up and act all noble and fancy. They think they are the special ones. One of their abilities is that they can read and control people’s mind and emotions, but there is one of a kind that they cannot control: Roplits. Because Roplits hide their emotions and their minds, it’s impossible to control them. This goes for all of the Roplit blood including me. Tilcats do this by their eyes. Their eyes are cat eyed. Now that I think about it, John has the same eyes. Is this why he knows about my blood of Roplit? He couldn’t read my mind, so he knew about my blood. I should have stayed focused in class. There is also a way block that you’re a Roplit. There are lot of people who wants Roplits’ blood so bad (I have no idea why). A way to block is to show your emotions purposely to blend in with the humans, but overacting may give it away. Tilcats and Roplits are not that friendly towards each other, but they aren’t enemies either. They are just in bad relationship. Man, I have to deal with a Tilcat! This is the worst!
“Rin! We looked everywhere for you! What are you doing here?” a familiar voice asked.
I turn around. It is Raven with his stormy red eyes fixed on me. I quickly hide the books underneath the chair. I turn my head back to the table.
“I was just having a look around and don’t yell in the library!” I say quietly with my teeth clenched together.
I return the books to the front and hide the titles of the books. I follow Raven outside and realize that there is a wagon with John sitting in it. I turn around to see Raven and ask him by my expression. He just drags me to the wooden wagon that creaks every time and puts me there.
“While we pull the wagon, I want you to disguise as a boy. You know no human girls are allow to enter in or out of Tifa unless it’s a field trip or with one of the creatures because demons like to pick on them.
“Fine, do you have the clothes?” I ask.
I really don’t mind disguising as a boy. I did it lots of times in the past to fool some people.
“That’s weird. Aren’t you going to go against it? I mean, you are a half blood after all. You don’t need to disguise as a boy. Half bloods are exceptional too. I thought girls wouldn’t like to be known as a boy,” John says questionably.
I roll my eyes in a full circle and groan. Ignore him. He’s just a loser who doesn’t understand. I get to the back of the wagon and dress up as a boy.
“Don’t you need a wig? I mean, you do have a long hair,” Raven says in the front.
“Nah, do you have a pair of scissors or a dagger?” I reply as I change my clothes.
Being a guy is not that hard for me. I used to be known as a guy when I tie my hair. I am not that bright. I just act like a normal guy according some people so I guess, being a guy is the only thing I am good at.
Raven throws a dagger for me. The handle is smooth though it is made of leather. The dagger is sharpened well and didn’t look old. It wasn’t used. I guess dagger works just fine. I cut my hair short like a guy. The hair is pointy at the end. I try my best to make it look like a normal guy’s hair: short and rough. I don’t have to rap bandages to hide my chest since mine’s flat anyway. Soon, we arrive at the gate of Tifa. The guards are giants. They have big muscles all over their body. It is kind of gross because their muscles are so huge that it maybe explode. I am amazed that they can carry their enormous bodies around.
“Two SSDs and a junior,” Raven says.
The guard on the right looks at Raven and John then nods.
“I know you two, but what’s the junior’s name? We weren’t told of the junior.”
His voice is also thick and low. I don’t think it’s he, but it.
Before Raven can answer, the guard comes up to me and asks me bunch of question like what’s your name, why I am with them, how old am I, etc.
I cough a little to warm up my voice and say, “My name is Rin True Cross. I am 17 years old. I am not a junior. My village was attacked by demons. I’m one of the survivors. They are the ones who found me in the ruins. In order to thank them, I’ m being a servant boy.”
The guard looks convinced enough, but I still don’t let my guard down. I act hard, but not too much that I look like a Roplit. I turn to Raven and John. They both look impressed by my act. I look coldly to them to get my character. The guards let us through. On our way, we don’t talk much. I look around. If you go through the gate, it’s crowded by people and stores, but outside of the city is a whole new place. There are fresh long green grass with wild flowers all colorful. I see a child and a woman. The boy holds the woman hand and smiles. They both look so happy, peaceful and….happy. The tears are about come out of my eyes. I try to swallow them. What am I crying? Dad used to say no tears should fall out of people’s eyes. It does not matter if you are a woman or a man. Tears tell you that you are weak and afraid of death. I mustn’t bring shame to my family’s death. I mustn’t.
“That was quite an act. I’m impressed. Did you used to do this often?” Raven ask a while later.
I don’t want to answer. I really don’t want tell the reason, but what’s the harm telling them.
“My dad was a SSDW, so he wasn’t here home all the time. The village had lots of half bloods and they weren’t nice. My mother always worked hard and my little brother was just born and wasn’t very well. The village taker wanted the SSD who lived into the village to have an elder son. That was decided when my dad was away. The taker always feared my dad, so he decided to make that rule while he was gone. They have to have an elder son; otherwise, they are thrown out of the village. This only went for the SSDW. In order to protect them, I turned into a boy that day to protect my family. Everybody in the village kept quiet for our family, so did my friends. My name from then was Rin which was my nickname.”
“So you became a guy to protect your family, but didn’t the taker know if he knew your dad? It doesn’t fit, and your dad was a SSDW? I don’t believe that either. What was his name? I bet he just made that up, so he can go meet some ladies,” John says.
I grit my teeth and make a tight fist with my right hand. This guy deserves to be taught a little lesson. I want to attack him, but I hit the wagon instead. If I can show him my emotions right now, then he will suspect me as a half blood.
“Shut up! I can take any insults at me, but not my dad. He was a SSDW and was a great man! His name is Thomas Jay True Cross, T.J.T.C for short. He was the strongest in his group!” I yell putting all of my anger into my voice.
John looks at me then smiles. His smile is cold. It’s like a smile that comes after you kill someone whom you wanted to kill. The moment I look at his eyes, I look away quickly. Why do I feel like it’s dangerous looking into his eyes? Well, I’m not 100% sure that he is a Tilcat, but there is about quite a few possibilities that he is. Wait, I felt danger and looked away. Can Roplits get possessed if they show their feelings? Wow, I need to learn more.
I settle my hand down beside me and feel the roughness on the wagon. I look at it. The wood is broken. The broken wood is spiking up. I made a big hole. Oops. I hide it with the bundle of hay that is beside me. I lie down and look up at the clear blue sky. I don’t feel good after having a fight with John. Also, I’m not healed from the fire yet. I feel sick. The world slowly begins to fade away and to the darkness I fall.
Where am I? I am in a dark place without any light. There is completely nothing. I take a walk around the place. The place seems endless. There is nothing. I sit there dumbfounded. I don’t even try calling for help or to find anybody around. It seems obvious that here is nobody around and I am alone. That this is just a dream. Suddenly, the scene changes. I am in a field full of dandelions. There is a slight breeze. Everything is so beautiful, quiet and peaceful. Somewhere I hear a voice. I turn around to find out who it is. It is my mother. Laughing and calling my name with my little brother in her arms. I smile and run towards her. Before I can even reach her, the whole place is on fire. The fire spreads and I see my mother reaching her hand towards me, telling me to run away. I stand there shocked. My mother is screaming her lungs out hugging my little brother tightly to protect what can’t be protected. I try calling out for her, but my voice is lost. My mother looks pale and suddenly starts screaming and gesturing me to run. I look behind me. A tall man is standing behind me. He glares down at me with a cold murderous look. I feel fear. My whole body shakes then falls to the ground. The man is tall and has cold icy blue eyes that freeze me still. I just look at the man unable to say a word. The man smiles and touches on the forehead with his index finger.
“You are rare. One of my slaves accidently killed the other. You are the only one that’s left. I want your powers. I need to have your powers. I will let you leave. I will give you the power to destroy anything that stands in your way. You will come to me when the time comes. Until then, nobody can touch or lay a finger on you. I will protect you until you become mine,” the man says using all his effort to sound kind.
He gently kisses my left hand then my forehead.
The man says something after that, but I can’t hear a single word. I want to ask him to repeat it again, but the scene blurs away until it’s dark again.
“Rin, Rin, Rin!” a voice calls me.
It’s a familiar voice. Raven? I slowly open my eyes. Raven is in front of my face. I startle.
“Are you okay? You were sweating a lot. Are you okay?” Raven nearly yells.
I just nod and smile. What the hell was that dream all about? Was it about what actually happened that day? If so, who was that man? I feel my left hand shaking as if it remembers that day. I try to calm it down by holding it with my other hand, but it doesn’t seem to help.
“Are you really okay?” Raven asks.
“I said I’m okay!” I yell.
I am annoyed. I don’t know why, but it’s probably because of the pain. Raven does not say anything until we reach a small village. The village just looks like mine except it is more lively. There are wooden small wooden houses and people nearly crowded in the street. There are smokes and delicious scent coming out of the houses. My stomach growls quietly. I quickly hug it to hide the sound. I look around to check if anybody heard that.
“We are going to rest here for the night. Tour around as much as you want, but be back here at dinner time. Come to this place.”
Raven hands John and I each a paper. It says ‘Inn Dingo’. What a weird name…Without listening further, I jump of the wagon and run away. I hear John throwing insults at me, but I hear it as a dog barking. My bare feet feels the rough rocky sand on the ground. This place feels like a home to me. It feels like my mother will come soon to tell me it’s dinner. I lie down on a hill not far away from the village and watch the clouds go by. The clouds are stained orangey red by the sun coming down. There is slight breeze telling me that the night is coming. The grass tickle my body as the breeze shake them. I close my eyes and feel the breeze going over me.
“What are you doing here lying down, Rina? Are you worried about something?” a voice kindly speaks behind me.
I slowly open my eyes. It is John. I sigh. Here comes the trouble.
“What do you want, John? I am not in a mood whatsoever to talk with you,” I say with my teeth clenched together.
“Don’t mistake me, Rin. I only here to get you for dinner. Tell me the truth. You are a half-blood aren’t you?” John says quietly nearly whispering.
I get surprised as John shoves his beautiful sickening face in front of me. I turn away and say, “I am not, but you are at least a half blood. You carry the blood of a Tilcat.”
John first starts giggling and then the giggle turns into a laugh. I blush and feel my face burning. Why the hell am I blushing because of this guy?
“You did some research, didn’t you? It is as you said, but I am a pure blood Tilcat. I know that you carry the blood of a Roplit. I wasn’t able to sense your feeling at all even though I tried too. You are hard and cold like your ancestor.”
I do not reply, but a moment later, I burst out laughing. John looks at me confused. I look up at the sky and notice the stars are out, but tonight is the eclipse. The moon is beautifully scarlet red. Tonight the moon is stained with blood. Then, I suddenly smell the scent of blood. There is going to be attack on this village. Somehow I just know that.. I just have a feeling that it will be. I feel chill climbing through my back.
“John, we need to get out of this place right now or at least get the people out of here! That man is coming back. He is gonna either come and destroy this whole place or he’s gonna come and get me. It’s one of them,” I say.
My voice is trembling and so is my whole body. Why do I feel this way anyway? What if it’s not going to happen? What if I am wrong? I chatter my teeth. The air around feels too cold. It feels like a snow storm in mid winter. My forehead starts to ache. My brain feels numb and I fall into the darkness once more.