Chapter 13: Elber’s Secret
Keeping up the pace, Brigan began running adjacent to the man he once met after leaving The Works & Exotic Goods’ shop, the magazine guy. “You’re not stalking me again are you?” He asked dubiously.
With the way he saw how the village worked, he could never be too sure regarding these kinds of things. In fact, being stalked had a higher probability than meeting at random when taking the village as a whole into account. After all, the villagers were weird like that.
“Huff… huff… okay, further advice from an adult to a kid. Huff… when your life is on the line, huff… huff… you need to be serious, or you’ll die.” The heavyset man panted as he shared his wisdom.
For a man who did not exercise well, the arduous run was torture as it caused buckets of sweat to fall around him. Even his curly brown hair was tangled from the sweat as a hand on a hairy arm clinched tightly to his heart location.
“Huff… huff… I’m a good citizen so last advice kid, run faster! My body can no longer keep up.” He heaved laboriously.
“Continue leaving, I’ll take care of the beasts,” Brigan said confidently. For the tired man, he looked about ready to refute the boast. “And don’t worry, I got this!” He finished, sounding even more confident.
Feeling emotional at the thought of a kid exchanging his life for an adult, the magazine man sniffed as his eyes watered, but a single tear never fell. Reaching inside his pocket, he pulled an item out. “A kid dying for an adult is the greatest shame I will take to my grave! Kid, take this! Don’t die as a lonely virgin!”
The man then proceeded to toss him a small stack of crumpled paper. Brigan easily caught the flying items as he unrolled one. “Thanks, I gues… ” But his words ceased at the content it contained. “Trash!” He screamed with a tomato face as he threw the torn pages from the magazine on the ground.
“I’m never saving your ungrateful tail again!!!” He roared at the top of his lungs.
He was the same as the next guy. He liked women. But he did not believe trying to gain experience through anything unreal. However, this was merely a misunderstanding between the two. If he knew how the man truly cherished his torn pages, he might have different thoughts — probably.
Faced with the incoming beasts, Brigan put the peculiar matter behind. Steady and focus, he waited for the first of the five beasts to enter his range.
The first to come in close proximity was a wolf beast. With four red eyes and brownish fur, it leaped upon him with its tongue hanging out, displaying rows of teeth resembling steel.
“Delusion Killer!” Raising his knee, he launched its head back as the wolf beast’s mouth was forced shut while breaking several teeth.
It soon hit the ground unmoving. Then following a short delay, dazzling lights danced up before once again entering Brigan. “Come!” He spoke again, trying to get used to talking as much as possible to utilize his Voice Heal during damaging impacts better.
The following four beasts were unmoved as they charge relentlessly. Seeing their behavior, Brigan realized they resembled a small pack.
They would attack together, die together, and run together — this act made dealing with them harder than the usual if they had fought separately.
In the mode of a hunter, they surrounded him inside a formation, each facing the north, east, west, and south of his position. Crouching low, the four beasts slowly prowled once they were sure his escape was sealed and his demise inevitable.
Shifting his field of vision to and fro, he centered his sight on the closest one while also observing the others for the slightest of errors.
Losing the long-awaited patience, one leaped forward as its eyes shone brilliantly. “What?! They have eye attacks?!” He swore dumbfounded as he felt his body stiffen and a numbing sensation entered him from the bottom to the top.
“Ahhhhh!!!!” He shouted as a violetish radiance shone off his figure. It was the only attempt he could think to solve his imminent crisis.
‘Work!’ He thought strongly.
His body resumed its function as he hit the wolf-beast suspended in mid-air with the hardest punch he could perform. “Delusion Maker!” The blow clipped its jawline as it descended into an unconscious state similar to when a human was hit on the chin precisely before it also hit the ground.
Unlike the other beasts, it did not burst into illuminated specks, instead, its legs twitched every few seconds.
Experiencing the repeated defeats at Brigan’s hands, the remaining three gave an all or nothing charge.
Bam! Bang! Pow!
By the end of the exchange, the four beasts became showers of light as Brigan’s body absorbed what he expected to be the genes that improve his God Gene ratio.
Taking a moment to recover, he heard a sharp snap sound of a twig breaking as he stiffened up. “Who’s there?” He called out on high alert, stretching his senses far to catch a glimpse of who managed to sneak up on him.
“It’s me, Young Brigan!” Came the reply of Elber with his hands raised in a gesture meaning he meant no harm. “How did you escape the prison?” He inquired.
Brigan relaxed seeing Elber. “Secret! What about you? I know you said to wait until you investigated the matter, but I’m not the type to wait forever on things that concern me. Sorry!” He apologized.
“I see… I see… so it was like that…” Elber said trailing off. He then spoke again. “Since thing are as they are now, why not tag along together? Two heads are always better than one.” He suggested searchingly.
“Okay, sure! There were a few questions I wanted to ask you about, like the poison water outside the village. Where is the fresh water coming from?” Brigan asked curiously.
“That is rather random giving our predicament now, but I can answer it! The village is built on a water supply located inside here. We also have water towers as you have seen that catches rainwater. However, for the poisoned water, it should be the doing of a human.” He stated, saying the last part low and angerly.
“A human? You mean the shadowy figure I saw helping the beast leader?” He asked, secretly wondering why Elber never mentioned his fight between the beasts.
Was he scared by his show of might? Or had he known since the beginning? Furthermore, how did he manage to protect his wellbeing during this chaos?
These questions assaulted Brigan as he waited on Elber’s response. “You saw?!! Did you see his face?!!” He asked hysterically.
“Uh… no, sorry!”
“No Young Brigan, I am sorry! It’s just that the matter is personal. You asked about the poison water, right? Well, that person is using our fresh water to entice the beasts to attack the village relentlessly. It is to the point where he has even poison the majority around this area.” He explained as he stopped moving to place a hand on Brigan’s shoulder.
“He?” He questioned, surprised he knew the shadowy figure’s gender.
But before he could get an answer, a cage appeared around him. “Sorry Young Brigan, only I must stop him.”
There, on the outside of the newly made cage was Elber with the large claymore in his hand.