Daily Archives: December 25, 2011
Continued from here
For previous and all parts, go here
As luck would have it, all three of them had the same class that morning. As soon as they were all settled in class – she was sitting beside Annie on the table counter and Uther sat across from her; and the teacher was smoothly into his lecture, Su Ae drew her cell phone from her bag and sent a text to Ian asking him to let her know whatever happens. She knew Ian’s reaction when he’d seen Elijah was curious and he had seen something he wasn’t letting on, hence the “interesting” comment he’d made. Whatever it was, she wanted to know especially since she was sure it was Elijah because of whom the effects of the mark on her had dissipated; and more than all that she also wanted to tell Ian about Uther’s presence now. If Uther was here, it meant there must be other hunters as well and more than anyone else, it posed a threat to Ian. She didn’t realize all these worries were pouring out in her expressions until Annie put a hand over hers and she looked up at her friend.
“Are you alright?” she asked in a whisper. “Is it the fever again?”
Su Ae shook her head just as she closed her cell phone and put it back in her sweater pocket. As she turned her attention back to the book in front of her and the teachers words, she saw Annie scribble something on a piece of paper and slyly passed it to her.
“Wanna go eat those cakes we missed yesterday if you’re better today?”
“Let’s see at the end of the day!” Su Ae scribbled a reply and passed it back. Annie beamed at her after reading it and gave her a thumbs up. Su Ae smiled in return.
Minutes after he’d bid Su Ae goodbye, Ian had just jumped over the boundary and was headed towards the library where he’d found Su Ae yesterday after the attack when he felt the air around him cool. He was definitely headed in the right direction. With a few short spells and sniffing, he reached the small ground behind the library between it and the boundary wall. The place looked deserted and was totally silent and there were no tracks at all while the whole ground was covered with mud, at some places over grown grass and fallen leaves. It seemed no one had visited the place in ages. But Ian recognized the silence and the handiwork in the area. Someone had recently marked territory here. Without a second thought, he continued forward into the marked area.
He’d just taken a few steps inside the invisible boundary when the owner appeared at the far end of the ground. It was the same boy as last night.
Ian took in his surroundings with one glance. The area wasn’t large, a maximum 60 feet in width and about 200 feet long. Pieces of broken furniture and glass on the ground here and there suggested it might have been used as an unofficial storage ground or even playing ground for students. But no one had accessed the place in a long time, Ian knew, and it wasn’t simply because of the person in front of him. The place had the feeling of being dangerous and eerie even without his presence. Satisfied, Ian turned back to his enemy standing at the far end. There were no easy escape routes. It was a fight he was going to win; no, a fight he had to win.
“You must have great skills to remove the mark without knowing my true form and now coming to find me!” The boy hissed angrily at him. “I took the best precautions to stay hidden.”
“At your level, even the best precautions aren’t enough. Besides, when you let emotions get the best of you,” Ian replied as he pondered the words he’d just heard. Remove the mark? He didn’t have enough powers to do that. But the demon’s manner really was hostile because of losing prey. The question remained; if he wasn’t the one, who removed the mark? “It’s easy to be tracked down. I’m surprised you lasted so long.”
“Tch. If it weren’t for him seeing me yesterday, no one would even know I was here! I got careless then.” The boy taunted. “That’s how pathetic, how silly these humans are; that’s why they are such easy prey.” He bent his head sideward as he continued to look at Ian. “You’re a different sight; haven’t seen your lot in a long while. And you have the same scent; same as that girl’s.”
“Seems you know a lot about scents; how come you don’t have good sense?” Ian replied with a sly smile. “You picked the wrong target this time.”
“Just because you removed the mark this time doesn’t mean anything!” The boy mocked him again as he crouched slightly. Moments later, he disappeared and reappeared by the library’s wall. “Next time, I’ll simply devour.”
“Then I’ll have to make sure you don’t have a next time,” Ian stepped forward and walked ahead ten paces which put the boy into action just as Ian had hoped. By the time the boy disappeared and appeared near the library wall, Ian was already there and took hold of the boy by the neck before he could blink. With a swift punch, Ian destroyed the small glass bottle the boy was holding in his right hand. It was the secret to his disappearing and reappearing. “Relying on such petty tricks to run around unnoticed has a disadvantage. When it’s time for a fight, you’re caught!” With a few quietly whispered words from Ian, a small chain appeared out of nowhere and tied itself around the boy’s feet. “If you’re so adept at sensing smell, how about using that little brain of yours to know what it means?” Ian’s voice was full of menace and foreboding. His anger and true nature were finally unleashing. Su Ae was all that mattered.
“That’s not my only petty trick.” The boy replied gasping for air as Ian’s grip on his neck tightened. A moment later, Ian knew what he meant as he was thrust back with a strong force. Though caught off guard at the onset of the attack, Ian managed his sense well enough and landed on his two feet ten meters away from where the boy stood rather than falling back. The boy was still gasping when he turned back to him and was trying to use a spell to free himself of the chains but with no success. He slowly walked a few steps forward. He was slowly awakening to the realization that Ian had a large advantage over him.
“All this for a petty human?” His tone was reproachful and condemning. “What are you? A slave pet? She is not even a bond to you!” Ian stayed mute as he saw the boys hand move stealthily. The next moment he simply jumped away from where he stood as a large invisible impact seemed to hit the spot where he had previously stood, causing a visible hole as the ground shook violently.
“The same trick won’t fool me twice!” He was still crouching in the same position as he told the boy who sneered angrily in response, growing more agitated and anxious.
“What is she? What’s so special about that human girl?” The boy was almost shouting now. Soon, Ian thought to himself as he took in the change in the boy’s expressions and mannerism. “You would go against your own kind for someone that pathetic!”
“Killing our own kind is the way we already live!” Ian replied flatly as he sensed a new presence but didn’t turn to see the intruder. “That doesn’t involve anyone else. As for her,” He slightly crouched lower before attacking the boy, again holding a strong grip against his neck and squeezed as the boy gasped. “She’s mine to protect!”
Without relaxing his grip on the boy, Ian turned his gaze back right from where he had come. The boy Su Ae had referred to as ‘the brat’ stood there, followed by an elder guy. Ian recognized the person in the back as a demon – one of his own kind, but still could not get a reading on the boy. There wasn’t any demon aura on him, but nor was there a human aura.
“That’ll be all, Will.” The ‘brat’ said to the man standing behind him without turning back and the older guy responded by slightly bowing before walking away. As soon as he had spoken, Ian felt the boy’s body go stiff and limp under his hand. Fear, Ian thought. The demon feared this boy and it wasn’t simple fear, it was fear for life. Who was he?
“I’ve always wondered how the runaway survived all these years against the Council.” Elijah remarked as he walked forward and approached the two of them, shrugging his shoulder and seeming nonchalant. “A fight is always the best way to find out and it seems I just got the answer to my question.”
“Who are you?” Ian loosened his grip on the demon and pushed him backwards as he turned all his attention to Elijah.
“The name’s Elijah.” He smiled as he answered while approaching the demon boy.
“My question had more meaning than that!” Ian pointed out.
Elijah ignored his remark as he peered into the demon boy’s face; who was literally shivering as he cowered in fear.
“It was stupid to ignore my warning.” Elijah told him. “It was enough that you escaped with your life yesterday, yet you were stupid enough to poke in places you had no business.” He backed away just as casually and turned to stand facing Ian, now addressing him as he spoke. “Do you know the mistake a trapped animal can make? The panic it feels, the way it so desperately thinks of what to do and how to get out of the mess it got into?” Ian turned to look at the boy as Elijah continued. His expressions were one of total fear and panic. “Its panic causes it to make a decision; a blind decision. And that decision is to run. It’s stupid, frankly, to run like that even though it knows it won’t get far; that the more it runs, the more it will be trapped.” Elijah’s voice was totally flat, a matter of fact tone that had a slight undertone of anger.
As if on cue, the boy lashed out towards Ian in an attempt to escape, making a crying noise of pain, much like a trapped animal trying its last to escape; just as Elijah had been speaking. Though Ian prepared to him down, he never got the chance. The boy had barely taken a few steps ahead when he was suddenly thrust backward into the library wall by an invisible force. Ian heard a definite thud as the boy collided against the wall and then fell onto the ground face first, unconscious.
“Hmmm, was that a little too hard?” he heard Elijah mutter as if wondering aloud.
“You’re not just any person. No one with even mild powers would put so much fear in a demon.” Ian turned to him and stated, his voice now hinting at hostility. He wanted to know who Elijah was. Elijah on the other hand, seemed to take it in stride as he smiled in response. “Why was the demon so scared of you?”
“It’s an Agaryon! A relevant spell and a stab should do the deed.” Elijah pointed to the unconscious demon. “People are coming, seems the hit was a little too noticeable.”
Ian cursed inwardly as he sensed the movement too. Now was clearly not the time he would get an answer. Something in his senses told him to be careful of Elijah; a person he could not read was dangerous. This encounter and Elijah’s mannerisms simply reinforced that belief. But when Elijah started to walk back towards the school grounds, Ian cut him off and stood in front of him.
“Don’t lay a hand on her! She’s mine to protect!” For a moment, Ian thought Elijah seemed angry at the interception as he told the younger boy but after a few moments, Elijah smiled a sly and amused smile at him.
“Isn’t it funny how bravery and stupidity sometimes overlap so much you cannot tell one apart from the other? Which one are you, I wonder?”
Though the words spoken sounded harsh, Elijah’s tone was bland and as Ian stared at him, he detected simple amusement and not malice in his eyes. Satisfied, Ian backed away as he turned back to the unconscious demon. For now, he had other matters to take care of, he thought.
Two minutes later, as two teachers from the library faculty and a few students walked up to the ground, it was empty.
To be continued in Chapter II Part III