“Are you saying that I am one of those Hunters? A second or third generation?”
Professor Stolas shook his head, “No, you are a rare fifth generation Hunter. Usually by the fourth and fifth generations the Hunter’s blood is too weak and that person can never become a Hunter. Some of them can feel the blood but it isn’t strong enough for them to be considered a true Hunter. Very rarely there is someone like you. The blood awakens in such a way that you have a specialized limited talent which is strong enough to still be useful as a Hunter. The fact that you were able to track me this far proves that this is so.”
“What so one of my great-great grandparents was a Hunter?”
“Actually from our records it seems that you have two of them one from both your mother and your father. I suspect that is was that mixing that allowed your blood to awaken in that way that is did.”
“Is that why our brought me here? Because I have the capabilities of a Hunter?”
“No. To be honest even with your unusual qualities as a fifth generation hunter you would still be behind many of the other Hunters. There are already enough of them as is so there would be no need to recruit someone who was happily living there life and force them to become a Hunter, especially when they would be incompetent compared to many of the other Hunters.”
“Then why did you do this? So that you could have fun insulting me?”
Professor Stolas smiled again, “No of course not. I need you for the reason you followed me. That girl. She is a first generation Hunter. Not just that but the blood that awoke her was from one of the kings of beasts. You and I both think that she doesn’t deserve to be locked away but she has very strong impulses. We need someone to watch her and control her when she gets out of hand.”
“Why me then? You said I would be incompetent.”
“Because even with second and third generation Hunters they still have strong impulses. We have tried them before and when things get out of hand sometimes they go along with her. She has the blood of a kind after all. She also considers people with that strong of blood to be rivals. However she doesn’t seem to listen to normal people either and several of them have been injured by her when her impulses get out of control. I am hoping that somebody like you would be the best. You have the blood so she might listen to you but your instincts would be weak enough that you should be able to reason with her when she gets out of control. The only problem is that you might not have enough strength to control her if she goes wild.”
“This sounds like a lot of speculation.”
I could feel a bit of unease in his words as he continued to speak, “Indeed, there is. We have rarely had to deal with first generation hunters with the blood of beast kings. Most of them were changed as adults so they had a wealth of experience to help them keep control over their instincts. Government records however have several instances where one like her simply couldn’t be control and they were forced to release the child into the Jungle. However I would rather not have this be the ending in her case.”
He continued, “My plan is that if she adjusts to you and accepts you then I am going to team the two of you up together and add a second generation Hunter to help balance everything else. You would be the voice of reason and control and the other Hunter should be able to keep her in line if things get violent.”
“Any that will work?”
“That will be up to you.”
“That seems to be a lot of responsibility to put onto a high school student.”
“You were the one who said that you want to help her.”
I couldn’t really rebuttal that argument. “Alright. Is she here then?”
Professor Stolas nodded and turned, “Follow me.” I followed him through the building until we stopped in front of an iron door. There were a couple extra guards here but theses ones were carrying assault rifles instead of pistols. Was she really that dangerous? Stolas motioned toward the guard and said, “Prepare to open the doors. We are going to see her.”
The guards looked between Stolas and me and then one of them said, “Um, is he going to be alright going with you? You know what she is capable of doing.” I could feel the fear in his voice.
“I protect him if it comes to that. Now open the doors.”
The guards nodded and then one of them approached a computer terminal near the door. He typed in some commands and then the door hissed and opened. There was a small passageway on the other side and another door. This one I recognized from the pictures. There was a small slot in it where things could be passed through the door to the person on the other side. Me and Stolas walked through the first door and then there was a hiss as the door closed behind us. The was a short moment before there was another hiss and the door in front of us began to open.
I held my breath as I waited for the door to open. It felt like a long time. Then I saw her. She was huddled on her bed but her face was turned to the door and she was watching us. That fear I had when I looked at the pictures arose one more except this time much stronger. I could sense her strength, her power, that she was the creature in command her.
The Professor Stolas stepped forward. I could feel his resolve and strength trying to shield me from the girl. I could also tell that he was afraid. It was difficult to sense and I could tell he was hiding it but he too was afraid of the girl. Then Stolas spoke
“Hello Yaju, how are you doing today?”
Yaju - Isolation
I remember everything of that day. Father had come home from work late and we were supposed to celebrate his birthday. Mom have baked him a cake. I helped by drawing his name with frosting. It wasn’t very good because I was only seven years old but I did my best and mom complemented me on how well I did.
When father came home we cheered and yelled happy birthday at him. He smile and laughed with us and I thought that it would be the happiest day of my lift. Those memories my indeed be happier then anything I had since then. As father was opening the presents we had gotten him one of the klaxons went off. I didn’t know what it meant but my parents did. The were suddenly quiet and still. All the liveliness had been sucked from the room by that sounds.
Father roughly grabbed me and pulled me toward the basement. Mom followed along and we stuffed ourself into the small room. I remember asking, “What is happening?”
“Nothing darling. Everything is going to be fine.”
They were trying to reassume me but I could tell that is wasn’t nothing. However at that time I still believed them that everything was going to be fine. The Klaxons continued and after a few minutes I could hear the sounds of gunfire and then the screams of people. My mother covered my hears which only minority muted the sounds. Then there was a crash and our house shook violently.
Then everything in my life began to fall to pieces. There was a shutter and the ceiling began to collapse. It began to fall down directly toward me, a large chunk of shattered wood. My mom realized what was happening and prioritized me pushing out of the way into my father. There was a crash and a scream from behind me. I began to turn to look but before I could my father grabbed me and pulled me forward back toward the stairs. He prevented me from looking backward toward where my mom had been.
Father picked me up and ran back up the stairs before the entire basement collapsed behind us. The sounds were more intense from up the first floor. The sounds of gunfire was sharp and pronounced. Father held met tightly and I felt a moisture on may head and I suspected his tears were flowing as freely as my own.
The sounds of gunfire drew closer and then a large golden shape flashed in front of my vision. It was to one side because my father was holding onto me and I rubbed my eyes uncertain of what it was what I had seen. I then got a clear sight for the first time. There was light from the muzzles of guns. One woman with a gun firing wildly. Then the golden creature, like a lion but bigger, slammed into the woman. The lion’s paws were stained red and it raised one of them and brought it down on the injured woman. Then just as quickly as it had appear the creature leapt away.
I could feel my father shaking in what must have been panic or fear. He began to run through the rubble of what used to be our house. I remember the clicking of something landing next to us and then the world went red with pain. Next thing I knew I was on the ground. I could see my father lying next to me however his eyes were closed and his form unmoving. His hand seemed stretched out toward me and red seemed in the ground around him. There was something purtruding from his chest, a large jut of wood.
I reached out toward his hand but I found myself unable move. There was pain throughout my body but I couldn’t tell what was wrong. I cried out, “Father, father, father…” Wanting him to respond to me. But he didn’t. The gunfire had ended and there were no sounds besides my own painful cries for my father.
Cold began to creep up in me and sorrow welled up inside me. There was the crunch of something breaking and I managed to turn my head just far enough to see the golden lion again. It was walking toward me. I was quiet, holding my breath as it stepped closer and closer to me. Was it going to kill me like it did those other people. Would I be dead like mom and father. It stopped just in front of me and looked down at me, straight into my eyes.
Then it did something I did not expect, it spoke to me. “Poor pup, you seem to have lost everything.”
“My father, he isn’t opening his eyes.” I had nothing else to say. Everything was crumbling in my mind like my life was falling away from me.
“Yes pup, and he won’t ever again.” The lion looked up toward the sky. “Your sorrows are of my making. Do you hate me pup?”
There were tears in my eyes. I couldn’t control myself. I couldn’t feel anger or hatred toward this lion, all I could feel was sadness. “I just want my mom and father back.”
“I can not do that.” The lion looked back at me. “However all creatures must take responsibility for what they have done. Tell me pup, do you want to live?”
I shuttered trying to form words but I couldn’t seem to say anything. I was growing cold, very cold. The lion spoke again, “If you die then your parent’s would have died in vain and no one will remember their final moments. Are you sure you what to die?”
Finally I managed to stammer out, “I want to live.”
“Then live.” The lion lifted up his paw and bit into it with his razor sharp teeth. Then he lowered his his bleeding paw and pressed it up against my mouth. “Then drink, and live.”