The rest of the trip was just amazing.
What’s better than a silent drive of gloom? Absolutely nothing! No pop music, just serious faces, and a sleeping Jade.
Well, okay, I’m glad none of us got the smite hand from the god but that’s beside the point. Ever sat in a car with a bunch of noisy women that you have no shot with—in the middle seat with nothing to distract you. Not even the outside window. Yes, it sucks. It’s like a nuclear showdown of pop culture, something about favorite singers, college exams, and other shit I couldn’t understand. Tuning it out was next to impossible, even when I attempted to think of how screwed I was going to be when Conus caught up to me.
Amelia stared out the window, lost in thought. I napped for like an hour, woke up to silence and found myself smiling. Well, I kept the smile to myself, hidden behind a false serious face but damned happy. Not only was the drive just awesome, but I actually killed a hunter.
I know it’s not something people should be excited about but I am the god-slayer. I sighed. Fuck, I’m the god-slayer. And now that I’d killed a god, they’d never leave me alone, adding this to the treason list.
Well, it’s not like they planned to let me walk away after posing a threat to their great and mighty Conus. I had simply bought myself more time until either another tracker rose to the challenge or I bumped into a hunter.
Nevertheless, I did get something out of this: a new method I could try to help us take down the immortals. I just hoped that we’d be stealthy enough to avoid confrontation. There are many things I wanted to learn about the human world. I didn’t have time to waste with fighting vengeful gods.
Because of traffic, a meal stop, and supposedly smooth driving, we arrived at Amanda’s house at about six that evening. Let’s not forget that fighting Yulese, his time-freezes included, acted as the biggest slowdown factor here. We were all beat.
Amanda’s house was pretty big. On the outside, it didn’t seem like much, just a plain white boring house with a flower garden in front of it. Little did the people of the city know, she lived in a six-bedroom house of awesomeness. High quality furniture, those things called HDTVs which I’ll tinker with later, and air conditioner. Maybe Amelia blessed her to be so lucky.
I don’t know if the god or goddess blessing thing is true but if it is, I’m jealous. Demigods have no such ability. Of course, if I did, I’d bless myself so much that I’d become invisible to all hunters alive. I’d also somehow become richer than Bill Gates.
Amanda showed us to our rooms, inviting us to make ourselves at home.
“Hi…I’d like to have your blessing and protection,” she said as everyone else scattered about, settling into their rooms, tired faces evident.
“Yeah, yeah,” I said as I sat on the king-size bed. “Thanks for letting me crash here.” She looked as if she wanted to bow, but nodded instead. “Look Amanda, I’m half human, so don’t treat me any different, okay?”
“If I wanted to be treated like nobility, I would’ve just ascended to Paradise Realm, took the throne, and lived there. And I’m pretty sure Amelia said the same words.” I knew she did. The goody goody Venus Clan in her wouldn’t have it any other way.
“It’s okay.” I flashed her a smile. “I’m just glad we made it out alive today.”
She smiled. “Me too.” The ginger nodded and left.
After showering and manifesting a new set of clothes, while dissolving the old ones, I laid back comfortably, sighed, and relaxed. The sun went down as the late seven o’ clock sky peered upon us.
I could vaguely hear a hushed conversation in another room, though I couldn’t quite make out the words. I charged a super tiny bit of force and used it to close the door without getting up. Sleep is the most comfortable, efficient way of refilling a lost power tank. I closed my eyes.
I think maybe three hours passed before I entered the dream world. This was a good sign: three or more hours of uninterrupted sleep meant no assassins. I found myself in a strange place this time, a grassland of blue glass, bubbles everywhere, a giant rainbow in the sky, the sun smiling. This looked like something out of a children’s fairytale. Either that or I was high. I read about what humans did to themselves on their free time. Don’t worry, no judging from me.
I walked around this bizarre fluff land, taking notice of the butterflies, kittens, rabbits, and fairies. Yes, there were freaking fairies flying around. In the dream world, mythological creatures exist for the most part. Well, they exist in the real world too but humans hide them behind stupid folktales and legends. Nobody just makes this shit up—there’s truth glistening in every tale. Just hope that you don’t encounter any of the freaks, and you’ll be good to go.
I made sure to keep my distance from the creatures. Fairies were an all-female entity. Nobody knew what happened to the males. Paradise Realm lore once stated that their sex drives sprang out of control when they made contact with human male visitors.
Humans would think it a sweet dream, cheating on their loved ones, believing it not to be real. Yet the emotionally-attached fairies would start visiting all of their dreams, ensnaring the male in a way that ensured he’d never wake up. Free energy for them. Coma in the real world. Shitty tradeoff for a dream girl. The doctors wouldn’t know that the poor guy was bewitched. There is a dream angel that roams about but it would take her a while to travel to each and every dream, spot the fairy enchanter, and save the guy.
Just then, one of the fairies jerked her head in my direction, predatory gold eyes settling on me. I immediately forced myself to wake up. Five in the morning. Sheesh. But…someone was in my bed, sleep. I pulled the blankets back to reveal a sleeping goddess in a white night gown.
“Amelia, what the hell,” I said softly with a sigh. “Almost thought you were hunter.”
She slowly opened her eyes, sly smile on her face. “Everyone’s asleep. Shall we mate? I want our child t—”
I lightly laughed. She didn’t look amused. “You’re serious?” Goddess knowledge flooded my head. It’s nothing unknown in Paradise Realm that deity women are very easily impregnated. I think pregnancies lasted only a week. And from what I remembered—they’re frantically serious about motherhood—like a bird guarding its nest. Oh and there’s no such thing as casual sex or intimacy.
I could go on with the list but you get the point. Bad idea, bad timing, no protection, and hunters.
“Of course,” she whispered. “Why not? We’re bonded. It’s okay.” She straddled me. At the rise of the boner, I was tempted to just give in and screw her brains out. But I had to be the counter to her naivety.
She believed in the predetermined love of Paradise Realm and its lore of having children and one big happy family. The bonding is common in the realm, so she’s not crazy. She’s also not the one in serious trouble, and thus not realizing the danger I’m in. Either that or she doesn’t care, confident that she’d be able to protect me or that I’d dig myself out of trouble. Too bad I had to be the realist here.
“There are a lot of things wrong with that, but let me ask the obvious. Why would you want a child at a time like this? What if a hunter tries to kill it?”
“You will not refer to our child as an it. Besides, our baby wouldn’t be on the wanted list. And…we’re not planning to be seen by hunters.”
“Yeah, not happening,” I said. “Let’s be a bit realistic here, Amelia, and put aside the predetermined love thing.”
She ignored my reasonable statement and smiled. “Come on. You’d be a great father. One better than Conus.”
“That’s not much of a milestone.” I laughed, ignoring her poor waves of seduction. “And we’ve got plenty of time to discuss that, assuming I live through this shit. We’re only eighteen.”
“Nineteen. My birthday was last week.”
I shrugged. “I still have another month,” I said, sending her a glare. She knew it didn’t make a difference but I threw the words in just to be annoying. “Still, even if we weren’t being pursued by deadly hunters, neither of us are ready for something as ridiculous as parenthood, Paradise Realm trained or not. I appreciate you saving my ass back there but I don’t buy much into this bounded crap. I’m not obligated to anyone.”
Amelia caressed my cheek, then surprisingly changed the subject. “You’ve been out of touch from Paradise Realm for a long time. Did you ever get homesick?” She looked me in the eyes, as if searching for something.
“When you’re burning in agony from thousands of degrees hellfire, anywhere is a better place. Even being dead,” I said, softly pushing her off to the side. She surprised me with a quick kiss which nearly sent me into a spiral of confusion. It wasn’t the first time she done it, but I’m not going to think about how someone encouraged her to do so on my tenth birthday.
“I will heal your mind, no matter how long it takes,” Amelia said. “And I won’t let anyone else have you.”
“You’re a persistent goddess,” I said turning to the side. “I’ve heard most human women have sex without any intention of bearing a child. Casually.”
“That’s recklessness,” Amelia said.
“Not necessarily,” I pushed, amused. “There are some legends of goddesses going casual with human men. Desires exist in them too.”
“I doubt it. Epex, you are of Paradise Realm. Not human. You can’t simply ignore your heritage. Remember that.”
Watch me try, I thought then sighed. “Naïve goddess, rebellious demigod. We’re quite the pair.” I closed my eyes. I cared little about the lives of others…At least I tried to convince myself of that.
Everyone was up and about around eight o’ clock. Even Jade, fully healed thanks to Amelia. She showered me with a morning hug, thanking me and all that human gratefulness stuff. I shrugged it off, not caring too much for emotions. We beat the guy. Enough said.
“Please let me show you around Middleburg,” Jade said insistently.
“And we need to get you a phone.”
I stopped my declination, giving her a look that noted she had my attention. How bad could going to the mall with a bunch of women be? Don’t answer that question.
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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, 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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