“I believe he did pretty well,” Blake said eating some of his steak.
“He was a little erratic with his power usage though,” Dante commented in between his bites. “He’s got potential, but he needs to learn how to better control his power. Learn directly from an Elemental, ya know?”
“Yep,” Blake noted. They had been discussing Feron and Dante’s duel for the better part of an hour over some dinner.
“Tell me about Los Angeles and The Failed,” Blake said, prompting Dante to put his fork down. “How was it?”
“Well,” Dante started, while using a napkin to wipe his face. “The City of Angels is becoming a City of Demons.”
“Quite the opposite from the utopian city, eh?”
“Quite. Activity from The Failed have increased in recent months. Normally, I wouldn’t worry about it. However, we’ve lost men – good men – from this increasing battle. Most haven’t had extensive training. Students from the academy that chose to be Exterminators slept their way through school. We just can’t rely on numbers anymore, Blake. We must start using giving them experience against lower Failed, and work their way up. Only then will we be able to send these creatures back to Agartha. That’s why we need Feron Baton and Niko Beser. They’re our best shot at keeping the peace. Oh, and I’m sure your apprentice would be a great help also.”
Blake chuckled to himself. “With the temper that one possesses, I would definitely not rush into battle. Besides,” Blake stood up. “I’ve still got a little bit more to teach my assistant. It’s been nice, Dante, but I should get going. Unlike your play time with Feron yesterday, one has to keep training to keep his abilities strong.”
As Blake was walking away, Dante cracked a small smile. “I’m no stronger than anyone else, you fool,” he said to himself. As he was getting up, Dante received a call. It was from Dr. Panila.
“I hope your dinner was good,” Panila said.
“It was,” Dante replied. He wasn’t going for the small talk at the moment. “Why’d you call me?”
“I want you to come to Lab #13. There’s something I want to show you.”
“Lab #13? Isn’t R&D locked down for the night?”
“Yes. But I have authorization to get in. Dr. Dogon has given me the okay to show you.”
“Okay, I’ll be there soon.” Dante hung up the phone and put his skin tight black gloves on. It wasn’t like Dr. Panila to be giving him orders around the time activity ceased for the day. However, he was the leader. Dante wasn’t going to disobey an order. Disobey wasn’t in his vocabulary.
Heading to the lab, Dante remarked how peaceful it was. He remembered that it rarely rained while he was attending the academy. Days of sunshine and bliss would shower the students. Some days got colder than others, but thankfully the west coast was always warm.
He saw someone – a female – making their way toward R&D. He was surprised to see her wearing a white coat like his. It was the same person from before in the office the day before. Niko Beser.
“Hey,” Dante said walking up to her. Niko was silent.
“Are you going to Lab #13,” he asked. No response.
Dante gave up. She was obviously not wanting to talk. He noted that she also looked a little pained. She also looked pale. Niko looked like she wasn’t getting good sleep.
Once making their way into the campus and up to the door, the pair heard muffled voices behind the door. Dante held Niko back while the two conversed. Dante couldn’t make out what was being said. He decided to knock. He wanted to see why Panila wanted to see him.
Once he started knocked, the voices immediately seized. The door opened and Panila greeted them. “Dante,” he said. He looked at Niko and acknowledged her presence.
“You come here every night, don’t you,” Panila asked her, not expecting an answer. He didn’t get one.
“Why did you ask me here,” Dante asked. Panila showed a little annoyance.
“Because of this,” he opened the door, fully to show another person in the room and a pod.
The person in the room became afraid. “Why’d you bring her,” he asked hysterically.
“Oh, calm down Kyosuke,” Panila asked. Kyosuke hadn’t forgotten Niko and the whooping she gave him that night. It was weird though. The fire and anger in her eyes were now replaced with despair and anguish.
Niko remained silent as Kyosuke moved himself around Niko, who moved through the room and toward the glass. A single ever-flowing tear descended from her eye. She had visited this person every night for the last few weeks.
“So, who is this,” Dante asked after inquiring about Kyosuke. Panila told him, which made Dante turn his head.
“Really?! It can’t be him.”
“It is,” Panila said as he started smiling. “This one is the one we’re binding the energy scale with.”
“I can’t believe it…”
To think that such a power was standing in front of him. He couldn’t believe it.
Well, Dante realized he was going to believe it from now on.