Chapter 14: Eerie Destiny


"Here you go, darlings." The waitress said as she set two trays of food on our table.

Kai smiled, thanking her and helping her set food on the table. After the food was set, he sat beside Tala, who was near the window. She's looks at the food with hunger in her eyes.

I thought it'd be a new menu but all of it is just my favorite food. Three orders of big burgers with a side of fries and soda. Pretty plain but with the errands that Uncle gives me, burger and fries are the only thing I can allow him to give me.

Tala grabbed a burger and took her first bite. As her teeth sunk in and tasted it, her face lit up, making the waitress giggle.

"Delicious?" I asked after the waitress left. She nodded her head and smiled.

Kai raised a brow, "it's just burger."

"Go suck a dick and leave my burger alone."

I coughed, "Tala."

"Me? He started it," she reasoned.

Kai scoffed. "I'm not the one yelling profanity here."

"Quit it you two. Let's just start talking about our next move."

Tala begrudgingly left it at that. She bit into her burger still glaring at Kai though.

"Honestly," Kai sighed as he took a fry, "finding a place to start the search is next to impossible. There are no clues or information to use as a lead."

"How 'bout butthole?" I asked.

He shook his head, "he's not a lead. If we chase every myth we encounter, we'd be running around for weeks."

"Yeah, no. I don't have a week. I only have at most 3 days before," Tala paused, "that damn witch's curse becomes permanent."

"Then how about contributing something?" I suggest.

Tala ignored me and shoved some fries in her mouth. "Too hungry to think."

"Wait," Kai placed his burger down, "we forgot about the prophecy. It's a clue to every quest, right?"

"I have an idea! How about we decipher the prophecy?" Tala repeated then sipped her soda, grinning. "There, I contributed an echo."

I'm about to pop a vein with Tala's sarcasm. I had to stab my burger top with a fork to calm myself. You can't figure this person out. One moment she acts like a butthole, the next she'll act like a decent person then she'd go back to being a butt.

"Behind a figure, a myth is born. Beware the heroes, the arrows that scorns. A journey to free the evil who pulls the strings. Towards the light, the myths shall meet their dawning," murmured Kai.

Hmm, sounds riddle-ish. I mean, it is. I'm not good at this kinds of thing. The first line has nothing to offer at all but the second line seems a bit familiar.

"If you're thinking of following the Hunters that we just fought, then I'm thinking the same thing." Kai spoke.

"What?" Tala exclaimed. She coughed in the process so she had to pause. "You two idiots got beaten up pretty badly and you're idea of a lead is to follow the enemy? Are you two masochistic?"

"Relax, man." I said. "The prophecy says: Beware of heroes, the arrows that scorns. The Hunters are the closest people to fit the bill."

"It sounds like a warning label to not do anything stupid."

"It's not stupid. It's logical." Kai explained.

"How is disregarding a warning label logical? Beware is literally the first word in that fucking line!"

"You know what? Let's just vote on it." I suggested to calm her down. "Who votes for following the hunters?"

I raised my hand along with Kai, who gave a smile of victory. Tala narrowed her eyes at us, "you sly dog and bat tandem."

I returned a big grin at her.

"The first line bugs me though." I changed the topic. "A myth born behind a figure? What kind of figure?"

Kai paused, lowering his burger down. He fiddled with the fries on his plate. On the other hand, I was also thinking of what the first line meant.

"Figure is a symbol that represents a number," Tala mumbled, disinterested with the conversation.

Kai snapped at her, "quit saying stupid things."

"I'm not!" She defended, raising her phone to show us an online dictionary. "I'm searching for the definition of figure on my phone's dictionary--- oh, wait. Here's a definition that makes sense, a figure is a person who is widely known."

"So, this myth is an off-spring of a famous monster?" I asked. "The only one who has a famous family in this group is Kai, which means he could be the Inferno."

Kai is working hard to earn that title so it makes sense that he's the one the prophecy is talking about. I mean, between the three of us. I'm the only one that didn't come from a family of greats. Unless you count Headmistress Laurel but I'm just one of her many foster children. And no offense to Tala, but she doesn't have the personality or the inkling of what it takes to be a hero.

"Oh, great, blood sucker is feeling giddy after hearing a good news."

"No, I'm not." Kai denied the accusation. "Let's just focus on finding the headmistress. The mission is about her and not the Inferno."

"Boo! Pa-humble. Accept a compliment, idiot." Kai looked away making Tala grin. "Yiee! You are feeling giddy."

"I said I'm not--- Quit it."

"Hey, hey. Stop that before it becomes an argument. No fighting in front of the table." I scolded them. "Finish your breakfast. I'm gonna head to the kitchen to ask about the errand."

Tala still didn't wipe the grin of her face and Kai doesn't seem to be annoyed with it. I left them alone, making my way to the kitchen. As I open the door, I see Uncle with his back behind me near the back exit.

"Well, rush hour isn't gonna start until 11 this afternoon. We have at least 3 hours to prepare the lunch menu." My uncle said to his staffs as he looks at all the ingredients stacked in trays.

Tons of vegetables and meat just waiting to be washed. Man, those fresh beef smells so delicious.

"Oh, great timing." Uncle finally noticed me.

"About the payment, uncle. We're also in a hurry so if it's something minor---"

"About that. I don't have any errands for you and your friends." He bluntly said with a grin. "Consider the breakfast a freebie from your dear uncle."

My eyes widened at the news and for some odd reason my stomach churned. Shock can't even describe what I'm feeling. I don't know how describe what I'm feeling.

"Uncle, you can't be serious." I shook my head, chuckling. "We ate three big burgers, you can't expect me to just accept those for free."

"Let's go to my office," he said, gesturing me to follow.

Once Uncle entered as I followed behind him. I closed the door to his office as he sat on his desk, letting out a big sigh.

"Look, kid, you're growing up. Maybe when you were younger, I tolerated you doing those errands 'cause you insisted and it's 'cause you won't accept any of my help without it but you can't keep refusing the kindness of other people." He explained. "If I keep on tolerating your behavior, I'm afraid that it might stop you from asking any help at all. You're a teenager now, you need to realize that receiving help is fine."

"I know how to ask for help. That's why I came here!"

Felip shook his head, "you came here because you don't--- Three burgers, Ricky. You're getting angry because I ain't giving you errands in exchange for three burgers?"

"The service industry shouldn't be treated cheap, uncle! I can't just take things without giving anything in return."

"You're not a customer here. You're basically family. Asking me for a few burgers now and then ain't gonna cost me my business. Learn to ask for help without thinking you have to pay something back."

Help isn't for free! The world demands payment for every good thing that happens in your life, you can't owe the world anything. You can't depend it to be merciful when it asks for payment--- Ack! My head throbbed.

"Why are you doing this to me, uncle?" I clenched my knuckles, trying to control my anger.

"Kid, you burden yourself too much." His voice softened but somehow I hate it.

I clenched my jaw trying not to yell at how it annoys the living crap out of me when he acts like that. It's scary. Every inch of my body is crawling with uneasiness. I have no idea how to stop it. I want to stop it!

Darn it. I want to punch something!

I turned my back towards him, storming out of his office. I need to cool off outside or else I might loose control again. As I swung the door open, a staff walking got hit. They were carrying four large trays of eggs. All of it, cracked on the floor.

The commotion surprised the staff inside. All of them turned to look at me then the mess then back at me again.

"I, uhm, I didn't mean to." I look to Uncle. He looked at the mess that I did. "I'm sorry. I, I wanted to cool my head off. I didn't---"

His brown eyes didn't show any hatred nor anger. He just sighed before walking towards me.

"Stop looking at me like a kicked puppy, Ricky." He shooked his head. "Lester, are you okay?"

The guy on the floor nodded. He was covered in eggs and egg shell, with the trays at his feet.

"Can someone clean this up?" He ordered, walking towards me and stopping right beside me. "Lester, go ahead and change. Sorry about the mess."

"I, I'll come back. I'll definitely pay for the damages I made plus the breakfast." I desperately bargained.

Felip didn't say a word. His plump lips tightened as if he's trying to stop himself from speaking. When I look at his eyes, my heart felt like it was squeezed.

A mysterious cloud of sadness shrouded his stare. Is he angry? Disappointed? What?

Felip was the one who first broke eye contact. He reached back to his pocket. He pulled out some bills from his wallet and handed it to me.

"I need four trays of eggs before 11 o'clock." He spoke in a defeated voice.


"We look like robbers," Kai hisses. His face shrinking deeper in his hoodie.

Tala laughs, "with the hoodie you're wearing? Seems about right."

The crowd of passer-by did gave Kai weird glances as we walk on the side-walk towards the local market near the center of the town. They were staring but not because we look like robbers. Even with that gloomy look, no one can deny that Kai is handsome.

"Why do we have to bolt out of the diner like that?" He asks me. For the first time after leaving the diner, he lifted his head.

We did leave the diner rather dramatically. My skin felt itchy right after Felip handed me the money. I guess I wanted him to scold me, tell me that I shouldn't have acted in anger like that. But he didn't. He let it slide, enlarging my guilt even more. That's why I wanted to make it up to him as soon as possible.

"Hey, Maverick." Kai pressed on.

I refuse to say the reason why we had to leave like that. If Tala knew, she will be furious. She will take every chances she get to fast-track the mission and Kai? Kai will talk me out of doing the errand.

"The errand is fairly simple to do," I subtly dodge the question, "I'll be doing it by myself and you guys can track down the Hunters."

"You want us to split-up?" Kai scoffs. "The last time the three of us got separated, you were badly wounded and I got badly poisoned."

Tala shushed him, "he's got a point. Let Maverick talk."

"What point? You're just being selfish."

Car sounds became our background noise as Tala and Kai create another stand-off. This became the usual past time for this two. Making me the background person as well as referee. I suppose I haven't been much of a leader if these two keeps doubting me. For good reasons.

I got lured in so easily by another monster and put us all in trouble with the hunters. Now, I'm acting for my own self-satisfaction.

"I'm not gonna get in trouble in a human town," I assured Kai, "and this way, we can prioritise the mission."

Kai doesn't seem to be convinced until Tala butted in. "Shall we vote on it?" She grins.

"Doesn't your neck hurt from looking up all the time?" Kai scoffs.

Before they could actually start a brawl, I pulled the two towards the nearest vacant back-alley so they would not create trouble in the middle of the side-walk.

The buildings in this town sure grew taller and rather than being filled with bricks, everything is cemented. So much has changed in just 6 years of disappearing even though the town is near the school.

Kai and Tala are glaring at each other not saying a word. I wanted them to stop but I can't seem to put my foot down. Tala agrees with my idea. I have to let her fight a battle for me to win.

Because unlike Emily, she's not someone who will tremble when it comes to something she wants. I hope.

"Listen here, Kai." Tala broke the silence. "I already agreed to the both of your demands when we ate at that diner. Now, you two should listen to mine."

"Hunting down a hunter is a risk you should know," Kai gritted. "Oh, right. You were cowering behind a tree to even know the risk."

"You told me to let you handle it!"

"Yet you keep on distracting me!"

Tala scoffs. "Go ahead. Keep blaming me for your own shortcomings. Let's see if you become the Inferno with that kind of attitude."

"You're right," Kai admitted. Me and Tala stood dumbfounded.

Kai wasn't suppose to agree. He was supposed to keep on arguing until Tala explodes. That's my time to come in and ask them to settle it by voting.

"I can't do it alone. I wasn't enough. No offense to you, but you're useless in a fight. We only escaped because Maverick woke up. We need him to find the hunters. We can't afford to just barely survive every time we see them. That's why we need to stick together."


That's the only word that keeps on repeating in my head. It wasn't supposed to go like this. Kai wasn't suppose to agree. He's not the type to admit to his fault. I'm confused.

Tala softened up. I can't let them make up.

I was already panicking when I smelled a familiar scent just across the street. My ears perked at the sound of their footsteps stopping.

"Found them," I spoke. Kai and Tala turned to me in confusion.

I look towards the opening of the back-alley that we entered. Across the street was a pharmacy.

"Who are we looking for?" Tala asked, squinting her eyes.

Stunned, I focused on the inside of the pharmacy. I smelled it correctly. The blood of one of the hunters that we fought just now.

"She's inside," Kai said. "The one I knocked out with just one throw. She's waiting in line with a bag full of first aid."

"You two need to follow her," I ordered.

"Huh?!" Kai raised his voice.

"Hakdog," Tala said without missing a beat. Kai glared at her. "Ah, sorry. It's a force of habit."

Kai looked to me, "why do you keep on insisting us to leave without you? We already agreed to stay together."

"I told you, Felip gave me an errand to do. Tala doesn't want to split up." I explained. "She's about to leave. We don't have time to argue over this."

"Fine. Be as stubborn as you want." Tala said. She reached to pull Kai's arm but he was silent. He was looking at me. "You gotta be kidding me!"

"You're avoiding something," Kai said to me. Tala's eyes twitched but didn't say anything. "Ah. Now, I get it. Running out of the diner like we stole something. Your insistent demand to do your--- no, you didn't insist. You kept quiet while me and Tala bicker! Because of what? You don't want us to even have a moment to realize that you're being shady."

"Bullshit," I growled at Kai and face Tala. "Tala, if this is really important to you. You should convince Kai to track that hunter. I'll catch up to you after I finish my errand."

"Hey, quit manipulating Tala like that." Kai butted in. "You're uncle didn't give you any errand at all, did he? You insisted on getting an errand. Getting irritated when he didn't. Something happened that forced him to give you one---"

"Shut up!" I growled.

My eyesight dimmed. Kai faded into the darkness, his voice muffled. The last thing I saw was Tala's eye widening, her body moving towards me and then...


"You can't owe the world anything," the air whispered to my ear. "Because the people who owns this world will make you pay."

I then realized that I'm back inside the academy once more. This time I couldn't move my feet. I'm glued to the carpeted floor of the academy. And the said carpeted floor is moving on it's own. It's dragging me somewhere. The walls of the academy sped pass me. I pulled on my feet glued to the floor, cautious of where the floor is taking me. It didn't budge at all.

I passed by the tall pillars in the heart of the castle. The floor dragged me to the right side, towards the silent corridors filled with classrooms. I see empty chairs that is shadowed by the lights that refuse to illuminate the inside of the classrooms. Streaks of light entered each rooms, reaching only a feet pass the open doors.

The floor stopped moving just in front of the enormous entrance of the school. The dark metal door loomed over me. It's the gloomiest part of the academy. The castle shines as if heaven existed on Earth. Its golden interior, the long carpeted hallways, the gardens filled with rare flowers, and even the silent corridor that I just passed. None of those can outshine the shadow casted by the entrance of the academy.

"Hello, darling." Foot steps echoed from the outside of the academy. I find it weird since sounds shouldn't be that loud if it came from the other side of the door.

The black metal door creaked open. A figure--- No, a shadow floated patiently, waiting for the door to be fully opened. Once it did, what appears to be its legs touched the ground. Slowly, the shadow took a form of a man resembling David Castañeda though I might be tripping.

"Answer my question," he suddenly teleported to my side. "Shadow or Shade?"

"Who are you?" I asked as he encircled me.

He replied a grin. "So curious. So curious of the wrong things."

"Why do you keep appearing in my head?" I pressed.

He shook his head, "an undeniable 5% probability. You're choice, every action you make, it's not enough." His brown eyes looked at me with boredom, he took two steps to get close to me.

"The next time you see me," he paused. "Choose."

A sharp pain jolted me out of the conversation. The castle crumbled down, David Casteñada shifting back into a shadow. I felt my knees give out only to for a strong pair of arms to catch me. My head dangled on their shoulder as the back alley revolved around me. My eyesight still hasn't focused on the reality. My knees buckled, I fell to the floor but someone assisted me down.

Kai's face came into frame but him getting close to my face makes me nauseous. My eyesight is still trying to focus and him stuffing his face in front of mine all of a sudden isn't helping.

"Are you okay?" Kai asked, his question ringing in my head. I shook my head, gripping someone's arm to steady myself.

"What happened?" I gripped my arm and felt Kai's hoodie wrapped around my shoulder.

"You started shifting again like back when you lost control and attacked the female hunter," Tala explained. "Your head just grew a snout and Kai was quick enough to hide you with his hoodie."

"Shit," I silently cursed when I felt a piercing pain on my neck. I reached for it to feel two punctured holes and hot blood dripping from it.

It didn't take a genius to understand who did it. I looked at Kai who's wiping his mouth, "You bit me?"

"To be fair, it tasted awful." He was talking about my blood. "And it was either that or I slam your head against the wall. Tala didn't want to see the latter."

I looked over to Tala, "what? I don't like seeing violence. Anyways, aren't we going to follow those hunters?" She pointed towards the pharmacy.

I hesitated in answering making Kai scream out loud. "Look! You wasted our time with your uncontrolled shifting. You can't argue with us on this, Maverick."

"I can't," my eyes pleaded them. "You two don't understand how important my---"

"You're errands. Look, I don't get you or your obsession with errands and Kai's right, I'm useless in a fight," Tala sighed as she held out her hand. "So, I've decided. I'll do your errands for you. Gimme the money."

Kai nodded in approval, "that's the first time you said something useful." Tala elbowed him but it was gentle as if they were teasing each other.

"I can't. I'm sorry. I also promised your mother that I won't let any harm come to you and that I won't let you cause trouble."

Tala looked confused, looking at Kai before realizing what I meant. "You meant Hana... I thought. Anyways, when have I ever caused trouble though? I'm gonna be fine."

"Can't do that. I gave my word."

"Oh my fucking...
you are stubborn!"

"I didn't wanna have to do this but let them go.
We'll go with Maverick." Kai intervened.

"What?! No! You said they were our clue. You two even voted for it. Against me!"

"Yeah, against us. We can think of a better lead with this. Besides, I have a plan if we still wanna continue with following the hunters. As I said, we can't separate."

"You better brief us with your plan unlike last time." Tala walked out of the alley first.

I gave Kai's hoodie back but he was already in the process to take out a new one from his backpack. What am I gonna do with this hoodie? Without much thought, I stuffed it in mine.

(Author's note: I won't be publishing any chapters for a while. School started last October and editing my draft chapters had become harder to do. Thanks for still reading my story despite the slow updates. Have a good day!)