Chapter 2 : Serah
Cyan panicked because of the lack of response of Arlom, What happen to the talkative man from 5 minutes ago to be now dead silent.
[Cyan]: “Arlom are you ok? You don’t had say anything in the last 5 minutes”.
Even after shaking Arlom to make him respond, Arlom didn't reacted, he has a lot to ask to this man in front of him, this being a dream? ‘Don’t joke with me’ Cyan though, what dream can be so real, what dream start by being woken up by birds, none.
Being able to shake Arlom trying to make him come back from his trance to reality was all the proof he need to be sure, ‘I don’t know how or whom, but to drop me together with my bed in this forest, this is too much, what kind of joke is this’.
Cyan could not believe his own luck, he has forgotten that he was sick and should be resting in his bed instead of shaking a man with all his strength, but none of that matters any more to him, right he needs answers.
[Cyan]: “Hey Arlom, I need you to tell me where I am, do you speak another language, Hello, Arlom, Arlom?”
After some more shakings Cyan wanted to slap Arlom face but before he could, Arlom eyes regained their lost focus, sadly for Cyan it was not because Arlom understood anything thay he was saying or because the shaking, no it was because Arlom has detected another presence in the surroundings snapping him of his trance to reality.
'how careless i had been, sigh'
A nee voice was heard, a female voice this time around and it was coming from deep into down in the forest, but at the same time it was like, it was coming from everywhere, this voice tone was very soft and sweet, like a whisper that you didn't even know from where it was coming.
[Unknown]: “wow Arlom for you to drop you guard, and by so much so, that I was able to come this close to you, this is my lucky day hahaha, this is so unlike you, but it seems I need to give my thanks to that boy besides you, ahhh I was barely able to restrain myself, after I saw him, what do you say if we shared him, I will take one half and you take the other”.
Cyan could not tell what the other person was saying, but for the serious face that Arlom was showing, he understood it's wasn't something good, the same cold wind he has felt before coming out from Arlom a few minutes ago was back, but now at full force.
Inside the mind of Arlom his gears where spinning at top speed. He was no fool, he knew very well whom she was, ‘Share? Do you think I am fool? the only thing these monsters dare to share is dead, you are not coming close just because I had lay down a lot of traps before coming here myself or you would have attacked without saying anything at all, no, you reveling your presence was the beginning of your attack already.
Arlom was cursing inside his mind, all of this because a moment of weakness, he knew very well what was the end for the weak in this forest, no, end was not enough to describe it.
'damn monsters, to show such a weakness just now in front of one, it's that i had not learned anything after so many years?'
'i knew it was a mistake from the very start but that… that name, how it could be… to end in this place too like me, I don't have the time for thinking about that now, I need to move fast.
'I must protect him, even if there is 10% of chance, no, even if there is only 1% of chance that he is my son, I can’t give up, not now, not here, not when I am his side, even if, is in this hell with those monsters, no, especially in this hell’.
[Arlom]: “Cyan, stay here and don’t move, you will be safe here"
Looking around and seeing the worry and confuse face of Cyan, Arlom could not help but to shook his head. 'thats right, he can't understand anything I say, sigh'
[Arlom]: "Don't worry Cyan, I will protect you, under my name"
Arlom started to walk to the forest, in that moment Cyan understood the meaning behind those unknown words, in conjunction with the face Arlom and showing before walking away into with a solemn look.
He understood it, it was like when a warrior was going to slay a dragon while saying to his family “I will be back, wait for me”
Inside Cyan mind everything was confusion and fear ‘this is not a dream, what in the world is happening, where I am’. He only wanted to run away to anywhere else and didn't wated to stay here, but the words of Arlom were like he was trying to calm him down and also like a warning, 'don't do anything stupid and stay put', no Cyan knew he should not move from here, doing so would be stupid.
Arlom didn’t thought Cyan was his son in the spot just because a name, but his eyes were of the same color, cyan, it would be to hard to believe just with a name otherwise, his eyes and name, those were mostly the only clues that Arlom had.
Fake lead's, people with name of Cyan also existed, but... having the same cyan eyes... not so much, one thing he was sure of, Cyan could not lie about his own name, nor he would need to.
His frail hope didn’t allow him to believe in everything right away, even if his own son were to show up right now, he would not run while crying to give him a hug just to fall into a trap, or that's what Arlom himself has thought for many years.
But at the end, those were just words, even if was for a moment, he had in fact lowered his guard at the mention of his son name, from a person he never expected to find inside this forest at all, from a person he never wished to find inside this forest, Arlom worse fear has come true now.
Internally he was cursing his own weakness over and over again, but what is done is done, now they need to get out of this one alive, both of them, there is not another way around it now.
[Arlom]: “Stop playing games with me ‘hunter queen’, nobody shares a prey in here, also your head count should be close to be able to exit this forest, why not go for other more easy to hunt prey, I just happen to had a little battle with the ‘twin swords’ a while ago, and they are pretty hurt right now, I am sure they hadn't recovered as of yet, if you hurry and go north you could catch them pretty easily, two heads for the price of one, and then you buy your ticket out of here, if not that what you want?”
[Unknown(Hunter Queen)]: “huhuhuf, to be able to ‘hurt’ the ‘twin swords’ and to boost about it, amazing, Arlom you are amazing, my head count is indeed very close to the end, no, in fact, I am only in the need for one more head, hufhufhuf, guess whos head will be? huhuhuh"
Arlom face twisted in anger, the hunter queen was just 'playing' with him, she has come here directly to hunt him down, it was not she has 'casually' found him, i mean, who even would able to 'casually' to find him, no, it was something else, she was feeling great pleasure to hunt... the King of Hunter's.
[Unknown(Hunter Queen)]: "I will be able to truly call my self the ‘hunter queen’ after killing you, the Hunter King, and i get your head then i will be known as the next Hunter Queen, and for that, I had being tracking you down for weeks, but you never lowered your guard even once, you know the amount of frustration you had cause me? hum do you? How do you plan to compensate me for this?"
Even while the were talking both sides were preparing their positions for the incoming fight, the real fight will only take a few minutes, and by that time all talk will cease for ever for one of the sides, a fight were a good place hit would mean the end, the hunter queen could not actually casually walk close to Arlom, her initial position for the start of the fight was the best that could be, she got the adventage and worse than all, she knew that very well.
Arlom could only grit his teeth trying to find a way out of this mess, just something, even the small of mistakes she has overlook, a path to escape and make a surprise attack at her, hopefully winning the fight.
Arlom was keep searching for an exit that would allow he and Cyan to walk alive from this.
Meanwhile the hunter queen has not stop talking.
[Unknown(Hunter Queen)]: "Actually, i had a confesion to make, i was the one that had sent the twins swords against you, I hoped that they would a lest ‘hurt’ you a bit, it must be shame for you, but I had already killed them"
Arlom could picture the hunter queen making a creepy smile while saying this, but he still hold himself back, after a light pause, the hunter queen was still continuingly provoking Arlom anger.
[Unknown(Hunter Queen)]: "you should had look at their faces when my blade pierce into their hearts, and they thought I would help them to exit this place if they help me get your head?, what stupids siblings HAHA, at the very least, they help me to reduce my head count to just one more head, but they didn’t even put a scratch on you, they were so usless, I was very disappointed on them, but that's what i get for getting my 'hopes' up"
Arlom knew this was just a blank provocation just to make him move first, but he can do anything about it, doing a rash move would only meant dead.
But to even talk crap about those siblings that he had... not kill, no, he was feeling regret for their deaths, even if they were his enemies, he let them go, those siblings were... humans themselves, they had survived by suporthing each other backs, a truly moving history.
Even if Arlom truly wanted to end everyone that comes after his head, doing so would transform him into something he didn't wanted to be, that would make him a monster too, like everyone else in here.
No, at the end of that fight, hey made them promise in their names to never come after him, a promise in this forest was worth... nothing at all, but, one in ones name after broken would mean losing ones name... and the powers your name had, and all the promises in name are guarranteed by the gods.
If they were willing to sacrifice their names and come after Arlom again, it would be the same as committing suicide in front of Arlom, but now, none of that matter becouse the end has come to them anyway, 'this damn forest',
Of course the hunter queen knew this, she knew that Arlom has spare them and make them promise to never come after him again, thats why she just kill them off, they were useless to her now, well not completely useless, they still help her to decrease her 'points' needed to exit the forest, and now she was using their names and memory to provoke Arlom, but at the end that didn't work, Arlom was the Hunter King after all, even if he regret it now, nothing will change.
There was one thing Arlom was counting on, he was also known as the king of the cheat trick's, and no cheat tricks, like the Hunter queen was trying to pull will work on him.
[Unknown(Hunter Queen)]: "But it didn’t matter, I must give that boy many 'thanks’ after I am done with you, tell me what he did to you for you to lower your guard? i am sure it was for the stupidest of reasons, but at the end, i am sure he will be the perfect reward after i am done with you, and after that, I will exit this place, undefeated like my predecessor, and like the your predecessor you will be killed by me the next queen”.
Seeing that trying to provoke him with the twins didn't work, the Hunter queen shifted her focus to something else, something far more interesting.
[Arlom(Hunter king)]: “What nonsense are you talking about, I never called myself a King nor I knew someone called Hunter King, you damn monsters playing games only because you are so damn bored, you better stop your ‘talking’ and run away from me now, I am not in the mood to be playing games with you right now, but if you are tired of living then come, i will end you right here, right now, hear me well you monster I am Arlom, and i will leave this place like a human, not like a monster”
This was the last warning Arlom could give her, and he will start moving now, 'last chance hunter queen, if there is not a path, then i will make it myself, you better stay away from my path, those that dare to cross it, will pay'
The hunter queen like Arlom a few minutes before, didn’t shut up at all, like a third rate villain, was blabbing and babbling about her infancy, how she got here, how was her beginnings in the forest, and her plans when she get out of here, who she will kill, what delicious food she will be eating, where she will go, who she will kill, how she will get a pretty boyfriend, how she is going to kill him and get another one and after that what she would do to him too, and so on.
This was a very common practice in here, they would never stop talking when they found their prey, they could not hold this kind talk to anyone else becouse most of the time they were alone, so they try to make the best out it, and their prey will be dead afterwards, so they could be so open that the sensation was, refreshing to say the least, even some ‘monsters’ will make their hunts take longer so they could talk more and more until they run out of things to say.
The never ending talking was actually not a random thing, it was because of two things:
Number 1 they are here to kill you or to be killed
Number 2 narrating their history it was a show of respect, if you kill them at the very least their history will be a live on you, the strongest, even in this god forsaken forest, these monster had respect for the strong and hold the weak in contempt.
Like everything else in this planet they wanted to live on, even if just like a story you heard once, an story that has become your part of you... part of your power, and to be part of something bigger than they were.
Monsters or Hunter's, it was the same for Arlom, to him everyone in here was a monsters or something that would become a monster into the future or end dead.
But like in everything else, there are exceptions, there are not obsolutes in life, there is people that didn’t talk at all, or even those that were not hunters nor monsters but humans, like Cyan, like those siblings and maybe...like Arlom, Arlom was not very sure anymore what he was after so many years.
The only difference between the monsters and the hunters was that, the monsters will stay in the forest, even after they got the requirement of heads to buy their exit ticket.
To Arlom it was just another game to name themselves like this, because they were bored to dead or they could not cope with reality, nevertheless he played the game too.
No, he was forced into it, he needs to play, if he wanted to exit this place using one of the six gates. And like most of the monsters and hunters, Arlom talkativeness in battle was match only for the others kings and queens of the forest.
Even with all that, their histories are only known to a very few people, preys that they didn't kill or even friends, if you can find someone to call a friend that is.
Asking someone their history was the same as challenging them to a Deathmatch, hearing someone history was being challenged as well, how can you become “friends” with someone in this forest?, of course, a temporary alliance exist, but they can only be called a temporary and nothing more.
From the moment the hunter queen started talking it meant, that all her preparations were done by now and the fight was already taking place.
The trap's Arlom has put in place in the surrounding area before coming to the center of the clearing was the only thing that has stopped the Hunter queen of truly doing a surprise attack just now, if she couldn't enter then she will make Arlom come to her.
'tsk, truly the king of cheat tricks' were the thoughts of the hunter queen after realizing she could not come any closer to the clearing, 'but, no matter', she has come for a reason.
A prey that has drop his guard and would die in the first attack, didn’t deserve to hear her history nor even her voice in the first place, but more than that, the hunters are no fools themselves, even if they are playing some kind of ‘game’ that didn’t not meant they would not place surprises attack’s just to ‘talk’, no matter how much they would like to talk.
Unless you are absolutely sure that you could kill your target head on, and you could take your chances that way, if not, then a well place trap was the best answer, and if the targets dies with just that, what use is talking about their history in the beginning, weak dont deserve any respect, at least thats how monsters and hunter think.
Now If we look back when Arlom had meet with Cyan for the first time, he was also narrating his own history to Cyan even if the later could not understand him, this was a show of respect too, not for the strong but, the helplessly weak that could not kill the strong.
Only with the extremes of luck they can, because it was not the strong that wins but the winner that would become strong, even so, you also could guess what was coming after Arlom finished telling his history to Cyan, you can also say that Cyan has definitely not become a friend of Arlom either.
After all, even after so many years Arlom still has a soft heart, he didn’t wanted to Cyan to ‘suffer’ at all, but at least he wanted to hear his history if he could, he thought, this was giving Cyan the best ‘end’ for his history after all, he could not become a babysitter for Cyan, he need things to done to escape, and Cyan obviously would not last a day without Arlom.
But Cyan has something that Arlom didn’t know and that would be the extremes of lucks,
#1 to be called Cyan,
#2 to descent in here in this forest, (if you can actually call luck, to fall in hell)
#3 to be found by Arlom before anyone else.
And now Cyan’s future depends completely on Arlom wining this fight, he could only pray for Arlom safety.
Back at the clearing Cyan could hear very clearly the woman and the man known as Arlom talking, but Cyan still could not understand anything they were talking, maybe that was for better mental health of Cyan.
In between their talking, Cyan could hear a lot of explosions and could feel heat waves coming his way, a battle has started since Arlom figure disappeared into the forest, but Cyan still didn’t move from his bed, every minute that passed, he was getting more and more scared, as the sound of the fight that was taking place, was getting closer and closer to him.
The woman voice was getting less talkative as time went on as well as Arlom replys.
Cyan could not see anything beyond the first row of trees and he was too scared to run into the forest, it was all dark even with the shining sun over him, even if he could see something for a instant, it was a blurred figure that will dissipate the next instant like it had never being there in the first place.
Too many changes were happening at the same time, it is too fast for him, his mind could not catch up, it was only 15 minutes ago that he had wake up and a strange green man was talking to him endlessly in a language he never had heard, follow by another person voice that never had show up from the forest.
Her tone was very very different from Arlom, his brain only could send him one and only though, that voice is dangerous, this place is very dangerous.
After 5 minutes into the fight there were already explosions very close to him in, what you can call an all-out battle was happening just a few distance away, he could not see anything of it but he could feel that, moving from here only means death.
Cyan could not move from his spot even if he wanted, afraid of something bad happening if he did, but in the next second while trying to think of something out he could do, everything was again in silent
a new sound was hear, the ruffles sound of someone that was walking in his direction dragging his feet.
Cyan could now see a black figure getting closer and closer to him.
First it was all blurred and he could not make a form of the black shadow, but as it was getting closer, he could now make better assumptions, It was definitely a woman’s figure, it didn’t resembled the figure of Arlom at all, the figure he remembers when Arlom was walking deep into the forest, was very different.
Slowly but surely, step by step, she was coming closer, Cyan was looking over the figure that was getting closer, finally the figure step out of the shadows casted by the trees revealing a beautiful woman, she looked very white, slender and tall, she looked very young, and probably the same age as him.
[Unknown(Hunter Queen)]: “kukukuku so you are the Hunter Queen prey a prey that he was so fierce in protecting? What a joke, nobody would protect a prey so fiercely, you.. must be very important to him juju cough cough, you…. better repa….. him…, my name... is….. Serah, ...on’t you forge… my histor..”
The voice grew fainter and fainter until it shup down completely, and once again Cyan only understood one thing and only one.
Again Cyan only understood her name, like when Arlom was saying his name, but, something so small as a name was enough for her, with her last breath her name was passed on to Cyan.
Cyan unconsciously had said her name, and was like the confirmation she was waiting for.
With a thug, a bloody body filled with holes, where blood was purring like water falls, white, because the blood loss, dropped lifeless into the ground, she was dead.
Not even waiting for Arlom to come out from the forest, Cyan got down of his bed and started running in the direction Serah has come from, he only took a small glance to her body and wounds, but he didn’t stop to check if she was alive there was not need to... he was sure she was dead.
He started running with everything he got into the forest, just hoping to find Arlom as soon as possible, if Serah was dead, then what about Arlom?, where he is, Cyan didn’t think it twice and entered deep into the forest, his figure surrounded by the shadow of trees disappeared into the darkness.