Blinking awake, Kiyro woke up. His head throbbed from pain. Raising his hands on his head, he felt something wet dripping down his face. Blood. How long has he been unconscious? Pushing himself up from the wheels, he glanced around to see if everyone was alright. Every one was knocked out unconscious. There were no visible wound like Kiyro and he could tell that everyone was still breathing.
“What was that light?” Kiyro glanced out the window. The guild building Cerberus that they were just at was completely gone. A large gaping hole was present. He was shocked.
A bone chilling roar could be heard from outside the city walls. Kiyro couldn’t help but shake. Whatever was out there had caused massive damage, an astronomical amount. Buildings were collapsed from left to right, with fire blazing with such ferocity that it continued to expand outwards to the next. The screams of the dying could be heard constantly. Gunshots, clanging of swords, and explosions could be heard. Even the smell of burning flesh floated in the air coming through the ventilation of the car.
Kiyro once again started the car. Even though the Deviants that were chasing after were few in numbers, he did not wanted to stay in this area any longer. He did not know when this next bright light would be shot. Once again the car came to life. With a push of the pedal, the car moved forward. This time Kiyro carefully drove the car.
The whole crazy ordeal had shaken Kiyro to the core. The herd of Deviants, the chaotic swerving of the car, and finally the blast of white light was to much. He thought that this was finally his time, but once again he cheated death.
“Ugh.” Alan was the first one to wake up. “What happened?”
“Are you alright?”
“Is that all you can say at this moment? What about the strange explosion and bright light? I know you saw that too.”
“To answer your question. I suggest you lookout the rear window.”
Alan turned around. He gasped. “The guild building is gone. How? Who? This doesn’t make any sense.”
“My guess is a Deviant did it.”
“You’re kidding. There is a Deviant that is powerful enough to wipe out a building?”
“Did you forget? There a Deviant Type III and possibly even a Deviant Type IV out here somewhere. One of those two could probably have such ridiculous power.”
“You’re serious? This isn’t some kind of movie?” Alan said in disbelief. “Someone please wake me up. I’m living a nightmare.”
“We all are.” Kiyro went quiet for a moment. “Check to see if everyone is okay.”
Alan was already ahead of Kiyro. He checked everyone’s pulse and injury. “They all seem fine to me. I don’t know if they have any internal injuries though. I suggest we go to the nearest hospital.”
“Can’t. It’s too far from where we are. We have to go through the gates to the second wall. I don’t think we will be able to go through it now.”
“Then what about anywhere around here?”
“I’m not sure they will be any open in this war.”
“It’s better to try and see. We need some supplies or we won’t last long out here.”
Kiyro understood. At first his only thought was to get to the location of the sacred grounds, but because of the sudden accident some of them could have internal injuries. At the rate they were going, they could be further injured. Right now even the mental map in his head did not help him. So far that he could see, all the street signs were either broken or destroyed. The best he could go by was to choose a direction. If he remembered correctly, the sacred grounds were not to far away from the guild building. It was a straight shot down south. The question was which way was south? From the crazy maneuver of driving into the mob of Deviants, he had swerved and drove quite a bit away from where he remembered.
“Ugh.” Isabel and Will woke up next.
“My head hurts.” Will spoke. He had his hands up on his head. “I feel like i’ve been run over by a two hundred pound sumo wrestler.”
“Better than me. I think I have a whiplash.” Isabel was rubbing her neck, trying to rub it out. “Do we have any hot pack or something? I heard hot packs could numb this out.”
“We have nothing,” said Alan. “You guys aren’t seriously injured are you?”
“No everything feels fine to me. What about the others?”
“Eve, Alex, and Jack is still unconscious. They must of hit their head harder than I thought.”
Alan words worried him. The priority to find a hospital was now higher on the list than the Sacred Grounds. They all needed to be in their prime shape before they take on any dangerous tasks. Kiyro continued to drive aimlessly till he stopped before a veterinary clinic and parked. The road was clear with no Deviants in sight.
“A vet? Why are we stopping here?” Jack asked. “You’re not really going to go in there are you? They’re not animals for crying out loud.”
“Doesn’t matter. The vets use the same thing on humans. Just lesser in quantity. I don’t know when we will find a hospital anytime soon. Stay here.”
“Are you crazy?” Jack stopped him by the shoulder. There are Deviants running around. We’re barely safe out in the open like this.”
“Look. I’ll grab and go. There must be something that could help us out. There might be survivors who might be able to see if we have any problems. Do you want to see the others possibly die in your hands?”
“But-” Jack stopped himself. His forehead crinkled. He let go. “Fine. You got ten minutes or i’m going in after you.”
“That’s good enough for me.”
Kiyro pushed open the car door. Reaching over, he took the broken sword with him. “Lock the door behind me and don’t let anyone else in.” Jack understood and pushed down the button.
Sometimes he wondered why he was so desperate in going to the extreme for his group. Was it obligation? A purpose? Or a reason? He did make a promise to Steve and Diana to watch over his family. To protect them and keep them safe. He was not going to easily break such promise from Steve and Diana who had taken care of him, but it has been over eight years since he last saw them. Their faces were already fading in his mind like a blur.
Did he really want to go back and find Steve and Diana anymore? Such dangerous thoughts have been dancing in his mind a lot more recently these past few months. The reason was his lack of hope that Steve and Diana could be alive. Even if they were Rebirthed, how were they going to find them? Where would they start. Maybe all these thoughts came rushing into his mind because of the predicament he was in.
They were already back out in the streets fighting for their lives. How he felt spoiled from the comfort of the Cerberus guild. Already he was missing the nice warm bed, hot food, and even the warm baths. The Cerberus guild building was crushed by an unknown entity and now the only way to survive is to gain the power of the Fallen Weapon.
Kiyro wondered where Tino’s team Regalia was. Even though they took him under his wings, they were nowhere to be seen. He did remember that Tino’s group was out on a mission, but was supposed to arrive today. Was he also caught up in this chaotic war with the Deviants or did they die? Hopefully they were safe. He sighed. Already for someone so young, he had so many thoughts that crammed inside his head.
He stepped over the fallen debris and walked towards the Veterinary clinic. Looking up, the plus sign blinked on and off as if the lights were damaged. The broken glass door automatically opened letting him in.
“Welcome to Daicon Veterinary Clinic.” A female machine voice spoke out. “Please go to the front desk to check in. Thank you.”
The sound of glass crunching under his feet as he walked in the brightly lit building. The smell of alcohol was strong and it stung his nose. Kiyro was on edge. He had taken the broken sword with him just in case, but he still did not feel completely safe.
Kiyro walked past the reception, and walked through the hallway. He checked the first door. The whole room was completely torn to pieces as if a tornado had hit. Each room was either busted through or tightly closed. In one of the rooms, he was lucky enough to find a backpack that he could store things that he found. The problem was that that each room did not have the things that he needed. Peering through some small glass windows by tiptoeing, he saw a jackpot of first aids kits that he needed.
Using his shoulders to push open the door and his hands to turn the knob, the door screeched barely open. Kiyro pushed with all his might, and the door finally opened just enough for him to squeeze through. Scanning around, he went over to grab the things that he needed. From bandages, syringes, alcohol, and anything else he could think of.
“Grrrrrr,” a low rumble growled at Kiyro from his back. He could feel a piercing stare boring into him. Slowly turning around, he saw a battered, skinny dog. Large patches of its brown fur was missing. Kiyro wondered for how long the dog had stayed trapped in this room.
“Stay.” Kiyro slowly backed away from the dog. He glanced back and forth from the door to where the dog was at. The dog once again growled stronger than before. “I don’t have time for this.” He mumbled under his breath. He was scanning around trying to figure out a way to distract the dog away from him and get out of the places without getting mauled. Then he remembered something. He had a cookie wrapped in paper towel stuffed in his pocket.
Fishing it out of his pocket, he pulled out a crumpled up paper towel, inside the wrapped paper was broken pieces of the chocolate chip cookie. He carefully place it on the floor in front of him, and pushed the cookie towards the dog. The dog stopped growling and instead his ears perked forward. With slow pitter patting steps, the dog leaned forward sniffing towards the laid out food.
Kiyro was so glad that he still had that cookie in his pants. In reality, he had taken the cookie to give to Eve, but throughout this whole ordeal he had forgotten all about it. He took this chance to slowly move in the opposite direction of the dog and towards the door. With a forward motion, Kiyro first pushed his backpack out through the door. Following after Kiyro squeezed right behind without alerting the dog.
Only after Kiyro pushed through the door did he look back through the door. He didn’t have the heart to leave the door closed behind him. He knew that the dog was only hungry and only growling to protect himself. He too would of done the same if he was a dog.
Running through the hallway, he heard the sound of people’s voice.
“Someone save me!”
Kiyro stopped in his tracks. He turned to his right and noticed a large window glass that separated him from the group of doctors and three large deformed looking dogs. Foamed appeared from its mouth and they growled deeply. He knew instantly that the dogs were Deviants. Inside were five veterinarian’s trying to escape. Three were females while the others were males. The three females were huddled in the corner of the room filled with fear.
Already he could tell that the battle between the dog and the trapped humans was one sided. One of the males threw a chair at the dog, hoping it would stall some time. The other dog bypassed the chair and leaped towards the man. With open mouth, the dog chomped down onto the man’s neck, snapping it in one bite.
“AHHHHHH!” Screamed a female, pissing in her pants. The third dog circled around and mauled the one of the two cowering females. Blood splattered against the walls, and the terrors of the woman’s wails echoed endlessly. Kiyro slowly inched back. His heart beated so hard that he could hear it all the way up to his ears.
The second woman got up and her gaze locked into his. Kiyro froze unable to do anything. She banged on the window screaming. The dog that attacked the first cowering female jumped onto her back and tear furiously into her. Her bloodied hands streaked down onto the glass window. Kiyro stumbled backwards towards the wall.
To see the reenactment of a horror movie played out in front of him scared him. Even though he had just seen a full blown battle with a large number of Deviants, it just didn’t compare to having a personal scene in front of him. He was sure to have nightmares. Already the three dogs had finished off the last remaining two.
Frantically turning around, he ran. He did not want to stay a split second longer for the fear that the Deviant type dogs to come bursting through the window. What made matters worse was that he could do nothing to help the people that were trapped inside the glass room. Shame filled his heart for running away without even thinking about helping, but such thoughts didn’t even register when watching the horrific scene unfold before him. Already he was at the car door frantically opening it. He roughly threw the backpack into the car as Will caught it. With a loud slam, he closed the door behind him.
“What’s wrong?” Will was finally awake. “Is everything alright?” He glanced worriedly at Kiyro’s strange reaction.
Kiyro started the car, shifted the stick in reverse and slammed the gas pedal. With a sharp turn of the wheel, he speed off leaving the Veterinary clinic far behind him.
“Kiyro, you’re going to kill us all!” Alan whinned as he grabbed on for his dear life.
The car did a sharp right, flinging everyone to the left.
“Ah!” Alex tumbled around in the car and his arms flailed around hitting Eve in the face. He even fell backwards causing his legs to smack both Alan and Jack. Will clung to his seatbelt as if his life depended on it.
“Kiyro!” Will screamed. His eyes was filled with fear. For a moment they thought he was going to ram into a series abandoned of cars that were left behind on the side of the road with the rest of the others. With a loud screech from the stomping of his brakes, the car jolted forward barely missing almost hitting a dead on collision.
“What the hell Kiyro!” Jack angrily yelled. “Are you out of your mind?”
Everyone groaned from the sudden jolt of the car coming to a halt. Even Kiyro had smacked his head roughly on the steering wheel once again, but this time he did not get a concussion. It was hard enough to leave him a light bruise.
“What’s wrong with you?” Will was rubbing his forehead. “Have you finally lost it? If you’re trying to commit suicide don’t drag me in it as well.”
“Hey! Don’t be mean to my brother!” Eve smacked Will on his head. “He probably saw a Deviant.”
“I did.” Kiyro silently spoke. His words caught everyone’s attention.
“I wouldn’t be surprised.”
“I guess it was best that we leave that place,” said Jack. “I’m assuming that’s the medical supplies.”
Will silently rubbed his forehead and then opened the backpack up. “Not bad for today’s haul. Now we need to find something to eat. Running around empty stomach is not going to help us at all.”
“Well we can go in that supermarket over there and raid some of its supplies.” Jack pointed across from Will. Kiyro and Will followed Jack’s finger and noticed a broken windows and doors of the supermarket.
“Stealing? Are you sure this is a great idea?” Alan asked. He was not too keen on stealing as of right now.
“It’s up for grabs anyway. Look around you, do you see civilisation at its finest peek or the lowest low? No one is going to put us in jail. Where do you think the soldiers are doing right now? Playing poker?”
“He got a point. We go in take what we need and get out. Our destination has not changed.”
“That’s more like it.” Jack smiled. He pushed open the door to let himself out.
“Hey! Where are you going?” Will shouted. “You don’t know what’s in there. You’re too excited about this.”
“I’ll be fine. You already know I’m the most nimblest one out the group.”
“He’s going to get himself killed.” Alan shook his head. “I’m not so stupid like him to rush in head first without backup.”
Kiyro was already out the door of the car. Originally he was going to give cover for Jack, but now he wasn’t so sure where he was now after that frantic driving. He had lost a moment of reason that he felt ashamed of. How was he able to keep his cool under the stressful situation back at the Cerberus guild building? Compare to last brief encounter with the Deviant dogs, his calm composure was already thrown out the window and was replaced with the need to flee. If only he could keep his composure at all times than he would not have such embarrassing occurrence like today.
Already Jack was ahead of him slowly going into the dimmed grocery store with his makeshift dagger in hand. Kiyro motioned everyone to follow behind carefully and quietly. They all did not know what was inside.
Kiyro squinted to see inside the dark building. The bright light was making it quite difficult to see through the contrasting darkness. It wasn’t until he got inside the building was he able to see more clearly. Strangely enough everything around him was a lot sharper in the dark than before. There were quite a few times, when his night vision became ten times sharper than his day vision. he wasn’t quite sure what the cause of it, but he didn’t complain.
Jack stopped and quickly leaned against the wall. He peeked through the glass window and then walked through the broken door. Already a foul stench of the carcass’s of the Deviant permeated the the air. Kiyro couldn’t help but hold in his breath as best as he could. He had to take in small, quick gasps of air so he would not be overwhelmed.
Both Jack and Kiyro walked throughout the whole grocery carefully hoping there were no Deviants still roaming around. For the next ten minutes they were on edge as they made their way through the entire grocery store. It wasn’t a large store, but it had quite a bit of different items for sale. Already a good portion of the store was in disarray, but it didn’t mean there was nothing for them. Finally with their full search through the store, they came together back to the entrance.
“Saw anything?” Jack asked. He ripped open a packaged bag of potato chips and begun to crunch on them.
“Same. I did find some weapons that we could use.”
“That’s good to hear. I’ll go get the others. Grab some backpacks and bring it here.”
“Alright.” Jack turned around and entered back into the grocery store. Kiyro headed back to the car where everyone was
still waiting inside.
Will rolled down the windows. “Everything clear?”
“Yea. You can come out now.”
Everyone opened the door. Kiyro was glad that Will stayed behind to keep watch around the car. He knew what he had to do without someone telling him. To have someone like him in his group took a load off his shoulder.
“Did you see anything while you were watching?”
“No. I thought I saw some movements past the abandoned cars, but they weren’t Deviants. I think they were dogs.”
“That’s better than Deviants.”
Will threw him the car key. “I hope it’s just the Deviants. With the amount of weapons we have, we won’t survive.”
“Don’t worry too much. It seem Jack found us some weapons.”
“That’s better than nothing.”
“Hey guys!” Jack called out with a handful of white small cubes in his hand. “Here you go.” He went around handing
each one of them a mystery cubes.
“What the hell is this?” Will asked confused. “I thought you went to go grab some backpacks not cubes.”
“This is better than a backpack. Look.” Jack held one of the cube in his hands, he pricked his fingers with his pocketknife. The cube transformed into a small digital watch.
“Not just any watch. It can store up to one hundred items without weighing anything.”
“It digitizes the items. It some kind of new age magic mixed in with technology that they have made this year.”
“New age magic? Oh! You’re talking about how a group of scientist have found ways to use the Fallen Weapon Holder’s powers to enchant items.”
“Well you could say it’s part of the New Age Magic. This is supposedly only just a small bit of it.”
“I’m surprised you found enough for all of us? Isn’t these expensive?”
“Yea. I was lucky enough to find them behind the counter hidden in some kind of safe. Whoever these were forgot to
take them with them.” Jack grinned mischievously. He had a couple of pickpocketing tools in his hands. “Plus all the
Fallen Weapon and Armor Holders have one for themselves. We’ll all become one someday so it’s not a big deal that we have one ourselves.”
“When did you-?” Kiyro stopped himself. “Never mind. Great work. So how do we use them?”
“Well first you let a dabble of blood hit the box, and it registers with you. Then you put it on. A digital menu pops up allowing you to choose to store items or bring them out. Watch.”
Jack points towards a can of chicken noodle soup. A blue transparent light appears and scans the item. All at once the can started to pixelate and disperse. A small cubes gets pulled into the watch and disappears.
“That’s so cool,” Isabel chirped. “I want one.”
“Can the watch duplicate these items?” Will asked.
“No. It only stores. I thought so as well and found nothing like that on the manual.”
“Not bad. This will surely help us out a lot.”
“Well then. We know what to do.”
Kiyro had already transformed the watch and placed it in his wrist. He went over to help Eve and Alex who had prick their fingers with a knife.
“I-I can do it myself.” Alex stuttered feigning to be strong, but Kiyro could tell that he was afraid. Even Eve had to close her eyes, when Kiyro pricked her thumbs. He thought it was adorable to see her eyes squint closed and her hand came up to her lips waiting for it all to be over.
“I wanted pink.” Isabel pouted.
“You think that’s even a good idea to even have?” Alan eyed her as if she was crazy. “You’ll stick out like a sore thumb.”
“Well, I thought it would look nice.”
“Girls!” Alan smacked himself in the forehead. He couldn’t believe what he was hearing from her.
“Black is fine.” Eve replied. “I’m matching my older brother so I don’t care.”
“Bro-con.” Alex hissed at Eve.
“So?” Eve spat back. “I’m not useless like you.” She stuck out her tongue at Alex.
Alex balled up his fist and stopped himself. He smirked and shrugged it off as if her sister was stupid.
“Let’s divide into three groups,” said Kiyro. “Each group will gather the supplies that we need so this search would be quick. We can’t stay here for too long. Who knows when a Deviant will come running. Will take Alan with you to score out for some food and water. Jack take Isabel will go look for blankets, matches, flashlight, and any other necessary items. Alex and Eve come with me. We’ll go look for weapons. We’ll meet back here in fifteen minutes. Let’s make this quick.”
Everyone splitted ways into their representative team and headed towards what they needed to do. Alex and Eve followed closely behind Kiyro as they too scored through the grocery store.
“Brother, are we going to make it to the sacred grounds in time?” Eve asked. She slinked her hands into his and grasped on tightly.
“Eve is a scaredy cat.” Alex poke fun of her.
“No, I’m not.”
“Yes, you are.”
“No, I’m not!”
“Enough!” Sometimes he wondered how these two could have a quarrel in the middle of their struggle for survival. He was not like this when he was their age. When he thought about it, he was considered abnormal out of all the children that he had met. So maybe this was normal.“If you get louder than this you might attract unwanted attention.” Both of them were silenced, understanding what Kiyro was saying. “I will try my best.”
“But what if your best isn’t enough?” Alex whispered. Kiyro thought he heard fear and worry in Alex’s tone of voice.
“That is when you come in as well.” Kiyro stopped and looked down upon Alex. “I can’t do it alone. I’m no superman, but that does not mean I will abandon you. With both of your help we can survive.”
“I’ll protect brother!” Eve chirped in happily. “Just you watch. All those Deviants will be nothing.”
“ As if. I would be the one protecting all of you when I get a Fallen Weapon. You’ll be amazed by my power.” Alex haughtily replied. The tremor in Alex’s voice was gone.
“I’ll be counting on both of you.” Kiyro ruffled Alex’s hair. “Okay, then we need to find some knives.”
“You mean those?” Eve pointed towards the large number of kitchen knives stacked on the shelf.
“That would do.” Kiyro went over and grabbed the largest collection of kitchen knives, and even grabbed some brooms. He handed them the brooms, ropes, and any small things that they can either put in their bag or carry with hand, while Kiyro took the sharp objects with him. With hands filled with weapons and a couple of pots and pans, he went to the entrance where everyone else were waiting.