“Did you just see that?” Will gasped in shock. He was mesmerized at the sight before him as the smoke was blown away.
Even Kiyro couldn’t help but stare in dumbstruck. It was like a person that was appearing out before them was filming a dramatic action packed movie. The only thing he could do was slowly nod.
“You fools!” An angry outburst was said from the smoke. A skinny young man with black dredges stepped out with a large sword slung over his shoulder. “What the hell are you guys doing out here?”
Kiyro snapped awake in an instant. He remembered who it was that saved their lives. It was Tyrell who was cladded in light armor. Even though he was not thick with muscles, he could still hold up the heavy sword as if it was nothing.
Tyrell scowled. He cut his sword downwards as he flicked away the Deviant’s blood. He was not happy that Kiyro’s group was out in a dangerous area. “Why aren’t you back at the Cerberus guild?”
Everyone did not speak for the fear of angering Tyrell. They knew Tyrell’s temper, but Kiyro knew that he had to break it to Tyrell sooner or later. Eventually, Tyrell would find out what had happened to the Cerberus guild.
“The Deviant destroyed it.”
“What?” Tyrell rubbed his ears as if he couldn’t believe what Kiyro had said. “Say that again?”
“The Deviants destroyed the Cerberus guild.”
“Impossible. We have top of the line guild members with the fallen weapons and people who could combat any measly Deviant. Are you sure?”
“Yes. A type III appeared.”
“What!” Tyrell yelled in shock, his voice ringing so loudly that it stung Kiyro’s ear. He picked up Kiyro by the scruff of his neck in disbelief. “You’re joking right?” He growled.
“How am I joking. I’m out here aren’t I? You guys gave us the bracelet didn’t you?” Kiyro raised up his hands in front of them showing the bracelet that had kept them in the building till now. Matching eye-to-eye Kiyro did not back down. He knew what he had said was the truth.
Tyrell dropped him roughly unto the ground. “How did you get out?”
“Eve showed us a secret passage that bypassed the system. It was through the vents that was hidden in one of the rooms. We slid down towards the lower floors.” Kiyro did not reply with any more than what he had to say. Either way, the building was down and there was no point anymore in telling him what didn’t exist anymore.
Tyrell was silent and in disbelief. He couldn’t believe that they all had made it out safely through the secret passage and was roaming around in the streets. “You said they was a type III Deviant
“Was it the one that destroyed the building?”
“No. Some kind of beam shot from outside the city walls. As strange as it might sound I believe it was aiming for the building itself.”
Tyrell mumbled to himself and turned towards Kiyro. “What about the others? Did they make it out safely?”
“I don’t know. We were too busy trying to survive that we didn’t see anyone else.”
Tyrell face fell with worry. For a moment, he forgot about Kiyro and his group. Instead, he could see the hint of anger and depression written all over his face, but was quickly changed. “Where were you guys even heading to?”
“The Sacred Grounds.”
“Sacred Grounds…..I’m impressed that you made it all the way out here.”
A deviant appeared behind Tyrell and slashed down towards his back. Without even looking back Tyrell’s sword flashed towards the Deviant like lightning. It truly was a sight to behold the extraordinary speed that Tyrell had shown. Even Kiyro had difficulties seeing what had happened. In seconds, the Deviant was cut into four pieces, and fell bloodied onto the ground. Even the few Deviants that were trailing behind the Deviant were also cut into pieces. The only thing he could hear was the swoosh of the sword, and the wind that blew back towards Kiyro. The gust of wind pushed him backwards a couple of feet till he got his bearing.
“Did you just see that?” Gaped Jack. Any wider, Kiyro thought his jaw would fall off.
Everyone else was stunned into silence. It wasn’t until Jack spoke up that everyone was snapped out of their stupor.
“You do know that you are too young to get tested.” Tyrell spoke.
“We know, but that does not mean we are not allowed to.” Kiyro tried his best not to shake with nervousness. He did not want to show Tyrell that he was a bit intimidated by Tyrell’s power. If they offended Tyrell any way, he worried that Tyrell temper would snap and they would get killed.
There was that one instance where Kiyro saw the havoc that Tyrell had caused when he was drunk and angry. It took six Weapon Holders to keep him back before he completely destroyed bar.
There were even eight people who were injured from the rampage. There was a large amount of collateral damage from the rampage, so much so that he was given a suspension so he couldn’t use his weapon.
“Kiyro.” Jack tugged on his shirt, trying to subtly tell him that he needed to back down. Kiyro ignored it and continued to stare back.
“You have guts talking back to me.”
“You know it’s true.”
“It doesn’t matter to me if you go to get yourself killed.”
“If it doesn’t matter to you, we will be on our way.”
“I thought you said it doesn’t matter to you?”
“Tino asked me to watch over you.”
“Look. I’m going with you.”
“You are?” Kiyro was stunned that Tyrell’s opinion changed in matter of seconds.
“What do you expect? To watch you guys die? We knew you sought after the power of the Fallen Weapons. It was a matter of time before you went after it for yourself. You are an investment, after all.
“I see.” Kiyro folded his arms. He should have expected such answer from Tyrell. It was a given that they would not wanted to lose a large amount of investment just like that from dying. He knew that whenever a new recruit get’s baptized by going through the sacred grounds, a mentor was always present.. Their luck was getting better and better as their chance of surviving increased. “Aren’t you going to go looking for the others?”
“They’ll be fine. They can take care of themselves perfectly well. What do you expect? You think they will kneel over and let the Deviant’s run all over them?”
“No. I’m just surprised that you decided to come along with us. Even if we are so called investments, aren’t you worried about your brother?”
“That is none of your concern. He could take care of himself. You already know that my brother is the number one guild member in all of Cerberus. You expect him to fail?”
“I’m not saying that he is.”
“Then keep quiet and follow me.”
Kiyro kept his mouth shut and followed. He was not to keen on getting on Tyrell’s bad side any time soon. The rest understood the situation and followed behind Tyrell like a train. Every time a Deviant came rushing towards them, Tyrell just swung his swords, and in an instant the Deviant’s died in seconds without even laying a single finger on him. What was astounding was that Tyrell was just casually walking as if it was his backyard and seemed bored.
“This is crazy.” Jack whispered. “Is this what it truly means to be a Weapon holder? I never seen it up close like this before, except that one time but that was in the dark.”
Kiyro glanced to the others and noticed the rest were truly inspired by Tyrell’s unforeseen kindness. Their eyes sparkled with admiration and respect at the person before them. For a moment there, he thought Alex would go up next to Tyrell and touch his sword, but luckily he didn’t as if he knew better.
“What else did you see?” Asked Tyrell.
“What do you mean?” Kiyro was not sure what Tyrell was asking for. Was it the Deviants, the rest of the guild members, or any other strange behaviors that he noticed out in the harsh world.
“The Deviants. What else could there be? Do you think walking out here is just a stroll? I need to know what we are up against.”
“Well except the strange Bear that you just killed and the swarms of regular Deviants…..There were also the one that came from the side of the bridge. The Type III that that was as huge as a two story building. I could never forget the power of the unknown Deviant that shot down the Cerberus building.”
“Wait. There was a bee type Deviant on the top floor when something cut the building in half.”
“Cut the building in half? What the hell could be able to do that?”
“I don’t know.” Kiyro bluntly stated. He really didn’t know. It all happened too quickly for him to see what it was, but his gut told him that the same type of Deviant that had possibly took down the Cerberus building itself.
“No matter. You stated flying type Deviants as well?”
Kiyro nodded slowly. He wasn’t so sure where Tyrell was going with this.
“Damn pests. They’re evolving in such a rapid rate that I don’t know if they are considered dead or living anymore.” Tyrell swore and cursed under his breath. His browed frowned at the thought of what he had stated.
“Evolving? How fast if you don’t mind answering.”
“Too fast. It seems every three to five months something more powerful than the last one pops up like weeds. I’m not even sure how long this city would last before we are all wiped out.”
Such thought scared him. The future truly look bleak at the moment, especially at the rapid rate the Deviants were evolving unnaturally. Where was their plateau before humanity will be able to fight on even terms? Kiyro wondered what other Deviants were out there that he didn’t know off.
“Now they’re taking animals forms. This is just getting better and better.”
“Weren’t they alway in human form?”
Tyrell halted and turned around facing Kiyro. “How long have you been born? 11? 12?“
“Has it been that long?” Tyrell pushed his hair backwards that were covering his face. “It feels like yesterday since the blazing comet that flew across the sky and landed on the Mountain of Gods. Since then, expeditions were sent out to to investigate this unusual phenomenon. Not even before reaching their goal they stumbled upon the first ever Deviant. It was badly wounded and was easily captured. Those fools brought over this new specimen to a village in the hopes of finding out what it is, but their ignorance caused a massacre.” Tyrell spit onto the ground furious. “If only they just killed it outright these Deviants wouldn’t even exist today.”
“Is that so….” Kiyro went quiet. It was true that the Deviants came from the falling star that was actually the battleship. If he only knew that the Deviants were his people’s fault for bringing it here, would Tyrell see it as a different way?
“I swear these days, the ignorance of these people just gets worse and worse. If those fools haven’t brought in the specimen.” Tyrell snarled.
“What if that was not the only one, would your perspective change?”
“Of course. I would strangle and kill whoever brought over the blasphemous Deviant in the first place.”
Kiyro went silent. He did not tell anymore than he had to. In actuality, he did not want to tell anything any further than he should. Luckily for him, only Will and Jack knew anything about the
Deviants coming from the crash. He was the only one that knew the full story of the Deviants and how it had ended up on this planet.
“Do you know how many people died because of these monsters?”
Kiyro slowly shook his head.
“Billions and still counting. Our population has been cut in half and they all have turned. Everyday when we lose one of our ‘living’ people, another is added to the abomination. If only we had the power to wipe them all out in an instance.”
“So you believe there is no cure?”
“I am not saying there isn’t. Just that the possibilities for a cure right now is low.”
“That’s not reassuring is it.” Alex mumbled under his breath. Even though he looked up to Tyrell like some kind of hero, he still had a chirpy remark. Tyrell eyed Alex small outburst and smirked.
“At least it is something. Even though it has been seven years, we are heading towards a positive direction in finding out a cure. At the rate the scientist are going, I should say in another ten years we should have a prototype ready.”
“Hopefully by then, we are not all dead.”
“You and me both.”
Once again Tyrell and Kiyro’s group pushed forward towards the sacred grounds. They passed by blocks of houses that were heavily dense with trees. Throughout their walk they were on edge, even though Tyrell were present Kiyro did not feel completely safe. They were always stronger things out there that were more powerful than Tyrell, especially the unknown Deviant that took down the Cerberus building was out and about.
“Is there any news on what happened to the Deviants that invaded the city?” Kiyro curiously asked. He was sure that the invading Deviants would not just stop in one day. Already day two were in process and so far he had expected more.
“Oddly enough a good third of them drew back.”
“Back towards the mountains?”
“No. A good mile or two away. I think they are planning something. It smells to fishy for them to pull out now. It’s not like them at all.”
“What do you mean?”
“Someone or something is pulling the strings. Whatever it is its powerful enough to draw back the mindless drones of Deviants from the city walls. I believe they are going to be a second wave. I’m not liking this at all.”
“That’s going to be bad.”
“They have been sighting of a possible Queen Deviant that been roaming around the field.”
Kiyro was quite surprised that Tyrell was actually talking more than he usually did. He expected that Tyrell would not talk at all from his usually personality, but Kiyro felt that the only reason Tyrell was talking so much was his worry of his brother Tino.
“The Queen? You are not talking about the elusive Queen we are talking about that resides in the Mountain of Gods are we?”
“What other Queen is their? The closest one that has been on our radar for three years is the one that is the closest to the city.”
“You are saying they are more Queen type Deviants out there?”
“I wouldn’t be surprised at all if there isn’t.”
“Then why haven’t you enlisted more people to join the Cerberous guild? Wouldn’t getting Fallen Weapon Holders a priority?”
“Yes, but not everyone is compatible.”
“I thought everyone had a chance to try it out.”
“No. The bracelets on your wrist is given to the people who are able to have a chance to get one. Without specific DNA requirements not just anyone can get one.”
“I was wondering why the new recruits had one just like ours.” Kiyro held up his silver bracelet that seem to sparkle underneath the sunlight that was peeking out the clouds.
“This does not mean you will succeed remember that when you take on the challenge. Such people had died the moment they stepped through the baptism before they could even take on the challenge itself.”
Kiyro gulped. The closer they got towards the Sacred Grounds, the more likely Kiyro felt uncomfortable and worried about succeeding the trials ahead. Whatever it was he was not sure if he was ready, even though in the past the had made a strong resolution to get one himself.
“Their are cases when the body cannot hold up to the power of the Fallen Weapons that it become morphed and disfigured. Even though these are rare cases, it all depends on you. Look we’re already here.” Tyrell smiled as he pointed towards the entrance of the Sacred Grounds.
The entrance to the Sacred ground had a simple rope with stripes of white cloth dangling from it. Each cloth had a symbol that he did not fully understood, but instinctively knew the purpose of it. It was to keep whatever inside the sacred ground in. Already he could feel heavy waves of energy coming out from the entrance. Thick bamboo trees mixed in with regular trees kept a barrier that did not allow anyone to pass through easily.
No birds sang their usual songs nor even insects. Dense fog rolled out from the entrance of the Sacred Grounds making Kiyro and the rest shiver. Something about walking into the Sacred Grounds seemed like a very bad idea. Compared to the Deviants that he had faced, the Sacred Grounds did not compare to the amount of power it gave off.
“After you.” Tyrell gave him a mischievous smile as he brushed his hands towards the Sacred Grounds.
Kiyro nervously pulled down his shirt unconsciously and wetted his lips. Even though his heart was not ready to take on the challenge, his mind pushed him forward. This was his one chance, he did not know when he would get such a chance again. Especially since the invasion of the Deviants at hand. He glanced around to see what the others thought and noticed that they waited for his words.
Taking in a deep breath, Kiyro took the first step. A sudden cold electrical feeling washed over his whole body. His movement halted for a brief moment from the unexpected feeling. Memories that he had never would have thought before hit him like a tsunami drowning him temporarily in that moment.
Kiyro stumbled forward as the memories overwhelmed his sense. Even the voices of the past screamed in his ears telling him not to go forward. It took all his effort to take another step, and when he did the voices and memories disappeared. Beads of sweat escaped from his head and fell onto his hands. He wiped away the sweat away and looked over his shoulder.
Eve, Alex, Will, and Jack were right behind him going through the struggle of the so called baptism. He could see the sweat and fear escaping from their body and dripping onto the ground. Eve broke through first and took her second step. Relief escaped from her mouth as she tiredly gave Kiyro a nod. Then Will and Jack were able to pass through without much problem as they shook it off. Alex took a couple more minuetes before he took another step forward. Alan and Isabel was the last to cross through, both their faces pale. From the baptism they were the two that had the roughest impact from it.
“Not bad,” said Tyrell. “I assumed one of you guys would of dropped out.”
“You mean dead don’t you.” Alan whizzed.
“No. I already saw the potential for all of you guys to pass through. The baptism was nothing compared to what you guys have to go through. I wouldn’t be surprised by then if one of you guys died. Are you sure you don’t want to back out now? Its not to late”
Will spoke up first as he turned towards his sister. “Are you sure you want to do this? It would be better if you didn’t go through with this.”
“I’m fine. It wasn’t to bad.” Isabel pushed back her hair.
“Didn’t you wanted to go to the safe location in the first place what the sudden change?”
“I just thought I should go through with this. I’ll be fine. Don’t worry.”
Will skeptically scanned her to see if her body motion said otherwise. He sighed and let his sister continue on with the trials. “I’ll be here next to you if you need me.” He gently touched her shoulders like a protective mother.
“I know you will.”
“I wouldn’t say that if I were you. You won’t be able to keep it.” Tyrell cut in on their conversation.
“You would be to busy with your problems to even realize each other. This is one’s own fight. Nobody is helping one another.”
“What about you Alan are you sure you want to go through with this?” Kiyro asked.
“Yes. I can deal with this.” Alan chuckled. “We been through rough times this past couple days. Let’s finish this.”
Kiyro couldn’t help but smile at his group. Everyone single one of them pulled forward without much problems through the baptism. He was worried that a couple of them would fail, but his faith told him that they would not.
With the first ordeal over, Kiyro sighed with relief. Even though they were many difficult trials ahead, he was glad that they all passed the first trial with not a single death.