Magic Number Thirteen
Three months passed by without much problems while Kiyro recuperated. His time in bed had lessened dramatically and his study in learning Tino’s culture and language had bore fruit. He was the first out of his group to fully be able to understand and even write in the native tongue. Today was the deadline for Kiyro and his group to decide if they wanted to stay in the company of Regalia or be cast out into the harsh world outside the city walls.
At first, he wanted to leave the confined walls of the building, but now he had second thoughts. He was not strong enough to protect his small band out in the cold harsh world, especially for Eve and Alex. They could barely do anything except eat, sleep, and toddle around. How were his small group of children going to win against the Deviants that could kill them in seconds.
He had seen the power of Tino’s group and the guild Cerberus that he was in. They had the power to wipe out the Deviants that infested the world. The only problem was to gain the same power as Tino and his gang he had to go through the contract.
Kiyro felt the heavy burden of his families life hanging on his shoulder. There were no way out and he knew it. This was the best deal that Tino’s group could offer for one day being able to gain the same ability and weapon as Tino.
Sitting down in a enclosed room, Tino was sitting on the opposite side of Kiyro. Tyrell was leaning against the wall watching the whole procedure to take place.
“Are you sure Kiyro? Do you really want to go through with this? Once you become contracted to the Kingdom’s Militia you are bound to serve until you have paid off your debt.You will become dogs of the kingdom.”
“Yes. I’m going through with it.” Kiyro decision did not waver. “Like the contract stated my family will be under your care till we turn sixteen. I have seen the way you have treated us orphans. Compare to the other groups, you are our best salvation. I will personally work off the debt to free my brothers and sisters.”
“It would be better off if you go to an orphanage and get adopted.”
“No. I cannot do that. I promised my father and mother to keep my family safe. Splitting us all apart will not solve that problem. We know our parents are still alive out there. Till we are strong enough to fight the Deviants, we will stay together. I have talked with the rest of my family and they all agreed to this.”
“That’s quite a dedication, how do you know that they are still alive. It has been awhile hasn’t it. They could be dead,” Tyrell replied.
“They are alive. We know they are.”
“Tch. False fantasies for someone so young. Tino, Are you sure having child soldiers is even a good idea? How the hell did the government even allow this? The age limit is at sixteen not six or below.”
“Its not my orders Tyrell. They were the one’s that allow this to go through. I have no hands on this. My hands are tied.”
Kiyro ignored Tyrell’s words. “I will go through with it.” Catching Tino’s attention.
Tyrell stared at Kiyro and shook his head. “This is wrong.”
Tino slide a pen and paper towards Kiyro. There were also seven silver bracelets given to Kiyro.
“Once signed, each one of you must put on these bracelets. They’re your identification codes and collar. There are two functions to this device. The first is that this is like a key card that gives you privilege to access the city interior walls. Without it you will not be able to step foot inside. Right now the most basic access is given to all of you. That is to live in this building. You will not be able to set foot outside without the next access code that lets you bypass the electrical barrier till you reach sixteen or an emergency happens. Are you sure you want this? You could have more a freedom in the world out there.” Tino was concerned for Kiyro. He did not like the thought of Kiyro and his gang being recruited into the kingdom’s militia. “This is my last offer for you to leave this place and have a new home.”
Kiyro shook his head. “My home is with my friends and family. There are no other place we could call home anymore.”
“Alright.” Tino gave up and leaned back on his chair. “I can’t say no to a willing person.”
Reaching over to the pen, he read through the contract and signed. They would have a place to live, feed, educated, and trained. They were even given money to buy things that they wanted.
“Remember this Kiyro. When you finally get your Fallen Weapon, your real task begins. You and your family have seven million gold to pay off to be completely free of this chain. The only way is to collect the best of DM crystals.”
Tino pulled out a small jewel like crystals onto the desk. They were about the size of his pinky. Only one was bigger than the rest.
“These are DM Crystals. Deviants have those crystals forming inside their body. They grow specifically in their heart. The higher class Deviants have stronger amounts of power that fuels the Fallen Weapon and Armors. They have one purpose to help grow a Fallen weapon once it gets consumed.”
“Its best if you cut and destroy a Deviants head. This allows you a window of opportunity where the Deviants will be immobilized for three hour, giving you ample amount of time to dig out the DM crystal hearts. before the Deviants regenerate.”
“I see.” Kiyro couldn’t take his eyes off the crystal. Something about them drew him in. He had a sudden urge to eat it, but he stopped himself. The thought of putting a solid object in his stomach did not sit to well for him.
“So the more I collect these crystals I can exchange them for gold? That’s what you are telling me right?”
“Yes.” Tino was surprised that Kiyro caught on real quick. “The higher quality the Deviant Crystal the higher amount of gold you can get.”
“What is a Fallen Weapon anyways? I see that everyone seem to have one in this building.”
“It’s a new technology that had been recently found this year since the invasion of the Deviants six years ago. Even though it’s just in its infant stage, it has given us an edge in fighting off the Deviants. Normal weapons do not seem to easily kill off these monsters. These past few months, they had evolved where they come back to life. The reason seems to be these DM crystals in their body. It does not break at all. None of our modern technology could cut through it, except the Fallen weapons and armors.”
“So if we separate the Deviants from their crystals they won’t come back to life?”
“Well that’s the thing. If left alone. The crystals would find a new dead host and change them into Deviants. It not just humans anymore. The best way to safely get rid of DM is to feed it to our Fallen weapons or armors.”
“So how do I get one? Can I have your weapon for myself?”
“No. Not anyone will be able to procure one.”
“What do you mean?”
“You must go through death door to gain yourself a weapon or an armor.”
“So I have to die?” Kiyro did not like the sound of that at all.
“You must fight your inner demons and make a contract with your guardian angel. Only one weapon or armor specifically given for the holder is given.”
“Drats.” Kiyro whispered under his breath. This whole time he thought he could steal a Fallen Weapon for himself, but now it was not possible.
“Did you say something?”
“Do you have anymore questions?”
“Kiyro thought about it. “Actually I do. Why is it called a Fallen Weapon or Fallen Armor? Shouldn’t it be called an Angel weapon instead?”
Tyrell barked out laughing, startling Kiyro from his seat. He turned his head to look over his shoulder wondering why Tyrell was laughing so hard.
“What’s so funny?”
“Kid if you only knew.”
“You’ll understand when you get one yourself.” Tino gave him a sad smile.
“Okay.” Kiyro was not sure why they had such long faces. His heart was already decided to gain one himself. “So when can I get a Fallen Weapon?”
“When you’re sixteen.”
“What? That’s too far away.”
“You got lot to learn and get ready for. Your body won’t be able to handle it.” Tino pushed back his chair and walked over to Kiyro. “It seems you have finished signing it. Your bracelets is updated with the information and the amount of gold you have to pay. Work hard Kiyro.” Tino took the papers. Kiyro slipped on the silver bracelet on his wrist. He heard a beeping like sound as his name appeared in black. Even the level restriction and the amount of debt that he had procured were written on them.
“I will.” Kiyro pushed himself off the chair with the bracelets in hand. He walked behind Tino. Tyrell opened the door letting them leave. With his hands cupped around the sliver bracelet, he held on to the small hope that he had for his small family. His flames lit in his heart and his unwavering dedication to move forward and break free as quickly as possible from their bondage. Today was the first day, that he had become a child soldier.
Time flew by as Kiyro and his small group was busily studying the language, history, self defense, and geography of the world. Kiyro, Will and Jack was finally thirteen years old. He did not grow much during the time the years went by. Already Will and Jack far surpassed him in heights and look more like young teenager. They already were fluent in this world language that they could easily pass as one of the citizens of city of Diadem.
Eve and Alex was seven, while Alan and Isabel was nine. Already Kiyro’s mentality was like a twenty-five years old. Will and Jack mind was following closely behind Kiyro’s and was considered older than they look. Even Alan, Isabel, Eve, and Alex was showing high intellectual levels for someone so young. It baffled their Tino and the others to see someone so young grow up so quickly in such a short period of time. For Kiyro, he thought they were all normal, but in the eyes of the other people they were weary around Kiyro’s strange group of children.
Sometimes he would hear whispers from the people that they were some kind of monsters or worse demon spawns. Kiyro didn’t take it to personally nor cared what they had to say. He was just glad that his small family were growing up strong and healthy. Truly they were lucky to be able to live in the city wall safe from the Deviants. The military defense of the Kingdom of Terra were strong enough to keep back the Deviants at bay. He had never seen such powerful group of people that could hold the Deviants at bay.
Already Will and Jack were given responsibility to do errands, basically becoming a gofer for the group of special powered users. This was a trade off in allowing them stay in the building. The only problem was that they were not allowed to leave the walls of the building. Kiyro was able to explore a ninety-eight percent of the one hundred story building so he knew most of his way around. The last two percent seemed to be sealed off by some kind of energy field. What made it more irksome was that they were not allowed to leave the building. Stuck in the building for four years and not allowed to leave irritated him to no end. He already felt like cabin fever had set in his mind and he was itching to leave.
With a deep breath, Kiyro let out a sigh and stretched. He was finishing up his last history book. He was sitting in his usual spot on the windowsill where fresh air and the sunny light entered. Looking off into the distance he saw the giant towering metal walls that seem to endlessly reach up towards the ground. He knew that there were three more outer walls that protected the city from the encroaching Deviants.
Right now the building that they were located in was in the third city’s walls. All major guilds had small outpost at the
third outer wall to be close to the battlefield. Even though the third wall housed farm lands, it was considered a major backbone for food production for the city people. The second wall housed the economy class merchants and people while the inner city were for the higher nobility. He heard that the second and first ring buildings look like the modern era of the 21st century where the towering buildings made up three-fourth of the interior city. He wondered where Steve and Diana were. Were they still out fighting for their lives in the harsh world or were they finally dead. Already four years has passed and Kiyro did not have anything to go off on in finding their parents.
Even scoring through and learning the geography of Noriene was not enough for Kiyro. The memories of the talk with
Tino, their savior, still fresh in his mind.
“Tino. I was wondering what you were doing in the mountains on that day you saved us.” Kiyro asked.
Tino was reading a newspaper and he placed it down onto the table. “Scouting. My question to you is what were you guys doing in the middle of a high density infestation of Deviants? Its not possibly for children to survive in such area.”
Kiyro thought it over wondering if he should tell Tino everything, but instead told him the bear minimum. “We were with a our families when we all got separated. We didn’t know that area were considered that bad.”
“Well you are lucky your small band survived that ordeal. If you went any further out of the mountains you would not have survived. That area is considered a red zone and considered dangerous to even be near. We estimated a good
million had already prowl around the mountains to this very day.”
Kiyro gulped. The numbers of Deviants were astronomical and it was something he could not overcome by himself.
“The deepest that we have gotten into the entrance of the mountain was where you guys were found. It seem the natural barrier that kept the Deviants from entering had collapsed. Its not surprising that the Deviants slipped through.
What worried Kiyro the most was when if one of his family members died, they would be born in the infested pool of Deviants that overran their village. This thought scared him and he kept diligent watch over his small family. Any small scratch or colds he would fuss and watch over them like a doting parent. He did not have the power to bulldoze his way through the million of Deviants to bring them back for safety when they Rebirthed.
“By the way, do you know anything about the broken watch that I have shown you?”
Kiyro stayed silent. He did not trust Tino completely to tell what had happened and instead lied. “No. Not much. All I know is just as much as you do.”
“Ah I see.” Tino stroked his beard.
“When are you going to teach me how to use your magic sword.”
“Magic sword? Oh you mean the Fallen Weapons. Kid you’re not ready for it.”
“What are you talking about. I’m ready to handle it.”
“You don’t get it. Its to dangerous for a kid to handle such a weapon. You’re body is not ready.”
“I been cooped up here in this building forever. Why don’t you even allow us to even have one. I need it.”
“Why are you so desperate? Did the Deviants get to your family or something?”
Kiyro was silent.
“Kid. Listen well. Sometimes it’s better to live a quiet life than be thrown into a chaos. Its truly a blessing to enjoy an every single day with the gift that life has to offer. Out there is death.”
“I know what’s out there. I need power to protect the things that I hold dear.” Kiyro replied and then thought, also to find Steve and Diana.
“Power is not something someone so young should strive so desperately for.”
“What are you talking about. It keeps what I need to protect safe.”
Tino chuckled. “Power can corrupt the soul either it be money or strength. Once one taste what it feels like to have power it goes one of two ways. The first is that the mind changes. They would use it for themselves to gain more or use it like you for others. The unending quench for more is a endless bottomless pit that can never be completely filled, because we are human this quenching thirst does not have a limit. You could say this is where our untapped potential lies. This unquenchable thirst. Even our will to protect can be said to be used for good, but even then destroying the life of another wouldn’t be considered a peaceful resolution would it.”
“Then what would you suggest?”
“That is up to you to figure out.”
“What?” Kiyro stared at Tino in disbelief. “So you don’t have an answer yet, huh. Spouting such whimsical nonsense.”
“Kuhuhuh. Whimsical nonsense. I like you kid.” Tino tussled his hair. Kiyro smacked his hands away and pouted.
“You’re going to teach me one day. I’m going to have such power like your’s. No it would be even stronger.”
Tino shook his head in disbelief and sighed. “Yes. I know.”
Kiyro leaned back and let the cool air brush past him.
“Hey. Isn’t that one of the demon children?” A group of people whispered out loud.
“Shhh. He’s going to hear us.”
“What it’s true. I heard that one specifically has some strange power. Don’t go near him or he’ll be able to stare into your soul with his strange gold eyes.”
Kiyro couldn’t help but sneer at their remark. Sometimes he wondered where half of their exaggeration come from.
“I can hear you.” Kiyro replied and turned towards the group of young adults. “Joseph, don’t you have an errand to do for your mother. Oh wait what was it. You needed to clean your bedsheets because you pissed on it. Also Amie isn’t beating your dog a little too much. That’s animal cruelty. Thomas you have a nasty habit of biting your toenails. That’s so gross. If you don’t want your secret exposed leave!”
“I told you he’s a demon!” One of them squealed and they all left in a hurry.
Kiyro shook his head in disappointment. These so called new recruits were truly not worth his time or effort. Thanks to his special inborn gift, he now could be able to take peeks into people’s surface thoughts without much trouble. It wasn’t alway that he could just dive into someone else’s thoughts. He too had morals where he tried his best to keep his mind blocked off from the rest, but there were times like today where he could lightly brush their thoughts if he focused hard enough. The only problem was that he had a short splitting headache for a couple of seconds.
The deeper he dived into another person’s thoughts, the higher chance of a backlash from the fear of the diver. He had to be careful when he took a peek into one’s mind. Other times, the thoughts naturally came to him effortlessly without much pain. He did not understand the reason, but his family was one of them.
“Brother!” A cute voice called out towards him. Eve’s chirpy attitude could be heard ringing in his head. Already Eve turned a corner and ran towards him filled with love. “Brother! Brother!” She squealed in delight. Her flood of thoughts overwhelmed him like usual. It was always stronger with Eve and Alex because he had already had specifically establish a connection between them in the past.
Eve jumped towards him and hugged him tightly. She cuddled into his chest and happily stay in his arms. “Eve. You’re
squeezing me too hard.” For someone so young she had an unusually high level of strength. Her golden hair covered half of her face and she look up towards Kiyro her eyes twinkling.
“Not now Eve.” He pried her arms away from his chest.
“Alex does not want to play with me.” She pouted. “He’s too busy playing war. I don’t like being the monster every time.”
Kiyro shook his head in disappointment at Alex. For some unusually reason, Alex had a knack for strategy games and even with weapons. He also had a nasty habit of picking on Eve. He wished they would play nicely together, but it might be a bit difficult to get them too.
“Well then. How about instead we go for a walk.” He couldn’t help fall prey to her cuteness.
“Okay!” She exclaimed jubilantly. Grabbing his hands, she pulled for them to take their stroll. He didn’t mind going for a small walk even though they could not leave the building, he pushed his study aside and instead went wherever she wanted to go.
They walked through the small shops that were open on the ninety to seven-seventh floor, then they made their way upwards towards the sixtieth floor where natural plants were grown for consumption and air filtration. It didn’t take long till they made their way down towards fiftieth.
“Brother. I want to go outside.” Eve pouted staring at the entrance to the bottom floors where both guild members were entering and exiting.
“I know Eve. I know.” Kiyro too also wanted to take a step outside, but they could not. Their braclet did not give them the access code to go through the electrical force field that protected the entrance of the 50th floor.
Both Eve and Kiyro walked over to the maintenance shop and look through the glass window. The answer were in front of them. The Fallen Weapons and Armors.
“Brother, one day we are going to harvest a lot of DM Crystals and escape this bondage.”
“Yes we are.”
“Are we going to get one of the DM Crystals too?”
“No. They will not give it to outsiders like us.” Kiyro knew that his small band of family was considered an oddity and a foreigner. Sharing between such valuable crystals when they even didn’t have a Fallen Weapon or Armor was unheard of.
“Then how are we going to get them. We don’t have a Fallen Weapon. Are we going to steal one?” Eve’s lips curled up into an evil smirk. Her little evil mind started to formulate a plan. Kiyro knew that look. She was going to do something that would get them all in trouble. “Not yet.” He held up his hands to stop her.
“Why?” She whinned. Pouting, she held her hands on her hips demanding an answer.
He knew that a good eighty percent of her mischievous plan tend to succeed, but them getting the Fallen Weapons or Armors right now from stealing from the base would result in death. Right now he did not want to take the wrong action in getting them in all in trouble and lose their chance to gain a Fallen Weapon or Armors.
“If we’re not careful we’ll get in trouble. We’ll all get one one day.” He reassured her.
“Fine.” She crossed her arms.
“Let’s go and study our native tongue.”
“Why not? Don’t you want to talk to mom and dad when you finally get to see her?”
Eve face fell when she heard the mom and dad. Instead, he could sense sorrow and anger from her.
“I already have a brother. I don’t need a mom or dad.”
Kiyro was silent. He wasn’t sure how to take this. His heart tingle with warmth. They barely even remember their parents faces so it was understandable that they look up to Kiyro than the parents that were not there for them.
A blaring alarm erupted throughout the whole. The building dangerously shook. Kiyro pushed Eve down, covering her from the possible debris falling on them. People scattered like roaches, hoping to find shelter.
“Red Alert! Deviants have breached the the third outer wall. I repeat. Deviants have breached the third outer wall! An unidentified Deviant Type V had appeared! I repeat an unidentified Deviant Type V had appeared!”
Once again the building heavily shook, Kiyro did not like where this was going. If the Deviants had broken through the barrier then that meant that they were all in trouble. He needed to find the others and escape from this hellhole. If he stay any longer who knows what will happen, especially for them who did not have a single Fallen Weapon at hand. This was the worst possible outcome.
His goal as of right now was to find everyone. Another shock wave of the building jostle from side-to-side, a large bomb like blast could be heard over his head. Kiyro hadn’t felt fear for a very long time. Everything was happening too fast just like the time when he lived with Diana at the tree house.