“Amelia, we’ve got to go,” I said. “Go grab your friends.”
“Epex, what’s going on?”
“You’re one of the super elites and can’t see the trend here? Go get your friends! I’ll explain later.” My heart slammed into my chest—but I could only hope to get into the car and drive the hell out of here at a hundred miles an hour.
Amelia nodded, hurrying into the restaurant. I wanted to manifest a gun but noticed something strange. The second Amelia left, people that were carrying out their lives: walking, driving, chatting with friends, stopped, and looked at me, eyes glazed over. This was creepy, even for me. So much for training before standing up to the overpowered asshats. Oh well, I’d learn the hard way.
My heavenly-being senses flared hard enough to inflict me with a headache. In retrospect, maybe absorbing that angelic power without knowing what it would do to me was not such a good idea.
The humans suddenly spoke, synchronized perfectly and creepily. “Former heir, Epex, you sure have grown. Look at you, a young man. A young demigod. You would have made a great king. So why? Why did you betray us? God-slayer? Why? I observed you before you were sent to live with humanity. A great youth, hopeful, engulfed in potential. Now look at you. Distasteful.”
Anger stirred deep within me.
I yelled, “What the fuck do you know about me?”
Winds spiraled around me as I felt my wrath stir. “I wasn’t given the chance at life. No training for those uncontrollable powers. Forced to live with humans that tried to kill me all the time. No wonder I lost control of the powers I had no grasp on to begin with. Forced into Hell! Do you know what it’s like to live with no hope? No, you don’t. So, don’t act as if you know me.”
All of the human faces frowned. “Such hatred. You had your chance to get out of Hell within the first two years. Yet you were so bitter that you learned nothing. You rebelled. Now you not only commit treason but declare yourself a god-slayer? Epex, you’re a fool.”
A funnel of lightning struck about five feet in front of me. The actual hunter stood in front of me, arms folded. He was a bearded man, who looked to be in his thirties if he were human, wearing a simple brown shirt and black pants. Despite his appearance, I knew to take him seriously. He was a freaking hunter after all. A god. I was doomed.
“Who are you supposed to be?” I said as I manifested a revolver. This time I made sure it had bullets. The man shook his head.
“I guess I couldn’t expect you to remember me. I was an observer back in the day, before joining the force. We formally met twice. I am Yulese. Never in my wildest dreams did I expect to be hunting you. I even considered turning a blind eye until you killed Oblique.”
“Not only did you kill Oblique, but Urn, Bran, and Jif too. All four of my misthanger servants had families.”
I shook my head. “You’re seriously trying to turn this all on me? Fucking A. Your misthanger buddies attacked first. I —”
“Enough of your excuses. You’ll be sent to the depths.”
Wow, what an asshole. But this asshole would obliterate me if I didn’t come up with a way out of this. I took aim but before I could squeeze the trigger, a human man jumped in front of the hunter, shielding him. “What will you do, Epex? Will you kill this innocent person in cold blood? Is that what you’ve become now? Both a god and man-slayer? A demon? A devil?”
“You’re no better,” I snarled. “You’re the one controlling him. You’d discard his life like it was nothing.”
“That’s not the point, Epex, former heir. But you’ll never learn.” Yulese looked as if he was about to manifest something as he held his hand in the air. An arrow shot right into his palm.” He shook his head, his face contorting with pain. “I’m surprised that Lady Amelia, of all people, would betray us. Higher than even I on the hunter scale for her incredible tracking abilities and graceful skills with the bow.” He pulled the bloodless arrow from his hand, tossing it aside. “My son would love to have you as his wife. What do you say? I will forgive you.”
“No, thanks,” Amelia said, as she walked to my side. “You know very well that Epex is bound to me.”
Yulese raised a finger. The humans left him. He wagged that finger, freezing time.
“Not many people can freeze time as well as my son and me. I can erase your imprinting, get it to reset. Don’t let this fool who cannot be saved stain your good name, Princess Venus.”
“Paradise Realm may abandon him, but I refuse,” Amelia said.
Amusement smothered Yulese into laughter. “Interesting.”
I grew tired of this shit. Time to hope for the best. I fired the pistol, landing a round center mass of the god’s forehead. Nothing happened. Shit. He grinned. “I suppose you expect me to respond to your weak violence with more violence.” Suddenly, Yulese was in front of me, his finger on my forehead.
“Okay, so gods can teleport,” I said, nervously. “Big deal.”
Well… I felt myself flying backward, pain so intense in my head that I just wanted to die. I hit the restaurant back first, fighting with all of my strength to not black out. One finger. One touch and the god blasted me at least twenty feet. How…? Well, I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. Gods are like a thousand times stronger than the strongest human. A pesky half-breed with sealed power like me didn’t stand a chance. We had to escape.
I looked through blurring eyes at Amelia standing off with Yulese. He looked like he wasn’t going to fight her, no matter what she did. Maybe he believed that the imprinting influenced her decisions. I know I had at one point. Imprinting’s a controversy in Paradise Realm.
I got back up, dissolving the gun. Gods and their servants seemed to dislike modern weapons. Even if I did challenge him with a sword, I’d get my ass handed to me. Immortal pricks.
That’s when an idea clicked to my head. Confronting him right now was suicide, no joke about that. So instead, I manifested a permanent marker and began to draw a circle. Someone tapped on my shoulder. I spun to see Jade’s curious face.
“What?” I hissed. She pointed at Yulese.
“Is that God?”
“He’s a god,” I said, turning back to the half-drawn circle.
“Jade, could this wait till later. I’m a little busy trying to draw something that may or may not save my life.”
“Okay,” she said, sitting next to me, fearless. “Is there anything I could do to help?” Ignoring her, I drew seven symbols: a crescent moon, a pentagram style-star, an angel wing, a stick person, an eye, a fireball, and a lightning bolt. Then I drew a few of my old symbols, the hieroglyphics. My improvements should make up for the lack of age and power compared to the old one; an improved prototype. I began to charge power into the six-foot-wide deity-trapper. “Well?”
I stopped, turning to give Jade a glare. “I need to concentr—oh, fuck.” Yulese stood there grinning, Jade’s neck in his grasps. He threw her at the restaurant door. I heard something crack when she hit it.
“Pesky little thing, needs to learn its place. And teaming up with criminals isn’t that.”
I looked at Amelia to see a tearing and reddening face. Her fists were shaking. In fact, a wild look began to form into those eyes.
I could see a transparent, blurry figure slowly rising from Jade’s body. Her soul.
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Alvin Atwater is a man of humor, a starving author. With a unique writing style that can outshine even Jim Butcher, Patria Briggs, or Kevin Hearne (It's a joke. These are among my favorite authors) , he is a character-driven lovable lump of mass. Born in Florida, he's on a mission to defeat his arch nemesis, Florida Man, once and for all.
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Author of the Blood for Soul series and a secret coming-of-the-age epic fantasy. Lover of anime and manga: so yeah, weeb shit? Fun. Sue me haha.
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