Chapter 4:

Chapter 2.1: Life Will Have To Go On

The Last Light

Bor and Eri stood in front of Jonathan’s bedroom door. Eri glanced at her brother and glanced at him with a snob look. Bor fixed his suit first and made sure it was clean and neat. Bookmark here

Eri turned away from Bor and checked her uniform: it was standard-issue attire consisting of a white turtle-neck with a deep blue blazer, a red and deep blue checkered skirt for females, or pants for males. Choosing to wear pants or skirts may differ based on personal preferences. As usual, they carried their trident on their back.Bookmark here

They both checked their breath for the final time before knocking on the door.Bookmark here

A few seconds from the first knock; no answer. They waited for another second until Eri sighed with impatience. The young woman was about to knock again, but Bor stopped her hand. “We don’t want to be rude.”Bookmark here

We have no time to wait. Let go of my hand before I make you.” Eri glared at her brother until he finally released his hand.Bookmark here

Eri knocked again, but this time even louder. The rumbling inside the room eased Eri’s irritation. The door opened and revealed a half-naked man with a towel around his waist. His drenched hair was dripping to the floor while behind him, steam was coming out from the bathroom. It was clear, he had recently left the shower. He looked at them with a raised eyebrow. “You guys are a bit early, you know that, right?”Bookmark here

Bor’s cheek reddened as he fumbled to cover his eyes. Eri averted her gaze while pretending to cough. “We didn’t know you were in the shower.” She crossed her arms. “I’m here early about the… Oath.”Bookmark here

“Oh, yeah… Let me get something to wear first.” Jonathan turned around and revealed a massive tattoo of a bear’s face on his upper back. Beneath the bear’s face, an inscription is written in Latin:Bookmark here

Flectere si nequeo superos, Acheronta movebo.Bookmark here

“If I can not bend the will of Heaven, I shall move Hell,” muttered Eri after she translated it.Bookmark here

“Whoops, you’re not supposed to see that.” Jonathan entered his bathroom and brought the uniform with him. “Do me a favor and forget about the tattoo. It’s an old one, and I prefer to keep it in the past.”Bookmark here

Bor was surprised to see the room. The entire wall had been painted to resemble a landscape of greenery and mountains. Above him, a night sky stretched throughout the ceiling, it must have taken him a while to do this. Even so, a few corners haven’t finished being painted yet. “Did you draw all of this last night?”Bookmark here

“The painting?” yelled out Jonathan from the bathroom. “Sure. I was trying to keep myself busy. Do you like it?”Bookmark here

“It’s impressive.”Bookmark here

“I used the postcard I've collected and my experience as a reference. It's shoddy work, but I’m glad you like it.”Bookmark here

Eri turned her sight to the sleeping bed on the floor, then to the untouched bed in the room. “Why did you sleep on the floor?”Bookmark here

“Oh, don’t worry about that. I prefer the floor.” Jonathan made a few audible groans as he slipped into his clothes. “The bed was too soft for my taste.”Bookmark here

“I can put up a request to the administrator if you want a more firm bed,” Bor suggested as he cleaned up the empty paint’s bottles scattered across the floor.Bookmark here

“Don’t worry about it.” Jonathan stepped out of the bathroom, dashing as ever in his brand-new uniform. He struck a pose to showcase his bombastic look. “What do you think? Do I look good?”Bookmark here

“You look marvelous,” complimented Bor.Bookmark here

“No doubt. No doubt. No doubt. What about you, Eri?”Bookmark here

“You look presentable.” She said coldly before raising her gaze at my hair. “You should cut your hair. It’s a mess.”Bookmark here

“Noted. So, what’s next?” Jonathan rubbed his hands together with a big smile on his face,Bookmark here

Eri kneeled before Jonathan, lowered her head, and placed her trident beside her. “Under the eyes of my ancestors, I, Eri Pacifica, swear to complete my brother’s oath upon his demise.” She kept her eyes closed and lowered her head for a short moment. After taking a breath, she stood up once more and stored her trident on her back.Bookmark here

Bor looked away, there’s something he tried to keep hidden; a slight bitterness, perhaps.Bookmark here

“We should proceed to the lecture hall.” Eri left the room and waited for Jonathan to leave.Bookmark here

Jonathan turned to Bor and shrugged his shoulders before he left the room along with his friend. As they walked down the stairs, Jonathan noticed a woman lying on the sofa, groaning with an arm resting on the forehead. Bookmark here

She had a distinct look from the people around Jonathan. Her long hair was bathed in a dark crimson red for a starter and shifted slightly as she turned her red eyes surrounded with dark eyeliners to Jonathan. A few more ghastly groans escaped her dark red lips. She was wearing the same uniform as Eri except for a slight change from a turtle-neck to a white unbuttoned shirt.Bookmark here

The sickly woman didn’t make the effort to introduce herself. She was preoccupied with her terrible headache.Bookmark here

“Darling, I told you last night to take it easy with the drinks.” Another woman popped from the kitchen with a glass of water and a disappointed head shake.Bookmark here

Suddenly, Jonathan tripped over his foot and fell down the stairs. His face planted against the front door. Eri and Bor went wide-eyed and rushed to him. “Are you alright?” Bor turned Jonathan around and laid him against the wall.Bookmark here

“Ugh, can you keep it down? You guys are making my headache unbearable,” said the woman on the couch.Bookmark here

The woman from the kitchen walked to Jonathan and stood in front of him. She had an adorable laugh before asking, “What happened?”Bookmark here

Jonathan revealed his heart-shaped eyes and donned a dumb-looking grin. Bor tilted slightly to the left and noticed that those heart-shaped eyes were meant for the succubus behind him. Bor shook his head and sighed before he turned to Eri. “He’s fine. It’s because of her.” Bor gestured to the succubus.Bookmark here

Who could have blamed Jonathan for literally falling in love with a succubus? Especially one as arousing as her. She held her head high with those blue, large horns protruded from her forehead. And draped from her head was an even longer set of wavy hair that reached her waist. It was dipped in silver and ended with blue near the tip.Bookmark here

The most irresistible part about the succubus was her grand chest that radiated softness and firm. Even under that uniform, it was doubtful the buttons that held her shirt together were able to do the job, even though it’s on the brink of a breaking point. That’s not all, from her hourglass figure to her big succulent thighs, everything about her was sensuous even down to her seductive voice.Bookmark here

A bite of her bottom lips was enough to make Jonathan swoon.Bookmark here

She ran her finger down her neck to make sure the choker was still on, and it was. “Odd, did my choker lose its power?”Bookmark here

“No, at all. My friend here is still new to the mythic realm. He never met a succubus before, so forgive him for the condition he’s in,” Bor spoke up on the behalf of mumbling Jonathan.Bookmark here

“I don’t mind it all.” She lifted Jonathan’s chin with a single finger. “Hello there, I don't believe we met before. My name is Melody. What’s yours?” she purred.Bookmark here

“J-J-Jonath--.” He fumbled his name.Bookmark here

“It’s Jonathan,” Bor answered on the behalf of his friend.Bookmark here

A sudden whiff pulled Melody closer to him. She was so close that Jonathan could smell her sweet scent. Out of nowhere, she licked Jonathan’s right cheek. That sudden action sent Bor into a fluster and panicked at what to do. However, his sister was in a different mood altogether: a sour one. She pointed the tip of her trident at the succubus.Bookmark here

“Don’t make me say it.”Bookmark here

Melody raised her hands and backed away slowly.Bookmark here

Eri carried Jonathan single-handedly and left the house along with a panicked Bor. “Sorry about this. She means well. Please don’t take it to heart.” Bor managed to apologize before the door closedBookmark here

Jonathan finally came to an unfamiliar sight. He found himself sitting across Bor and beside Eri in a tight, luxurious box. His eyes wandered to the window on his left, the sight seemed to change for every passing moment. Jonathan finally realizes they were in one of those horse-drawn carriages he saw yesterday.Bookmark here

“When did I get here?”Bookmark here

“A couple of minutes ago. You fainted after meeting that succubus earlier.”Bookmark here

“Oh, I remember it. I had no idea what came over me.”Bookmark here

“You should be careful around others. Not all here have good intentions.” Eri sat up straight with her arms crossed. “Your true nature should be kept hidden always, do you understand?” Though the question was directed at Jonathan, its true path was at Bor. Bookmark here

“Got it, but can you blame me? She was like a 100 out of 10. Woof.”Bookmark here

“Humans, and their needs to procreate.” Eri sighed, her hands lifted the bottom of her turtle-neck shirt and revealed a set of glistening abs. “If you must satisfy your urge.” She clicked her tongue in annoyance.Bookmark here

Both male’s eyes went wide as they panicked. Bor stopped her sister's hands from going further. “W-What? Are you mad?!”Bookmark here

“I’m not looking. I swear!” Jonathan shut his eyes closed with his hands.Bookmark here

“If I am to serve him, then I shall do so according to his wishes. Isn’t it clear that he required me to relieve his urges, or do you perhaps prefer my brother?”Bookmark here

That question sent Bor’s face to redden.Bookmark here

“What? No! What I was trying to say was that she was beautiful. It’s not like I’m going to bang her, or something.”Bookmark here

“You better not. She will find out what you are if you do so, and it’s dangerous for a human to lay with a succubus. They will drain you of your life force without even realizing it. So keep your distance. And if you ever find yourself in need of an urge for relief, I am available at any time,” said Eri with a straight face after she hid her exposed abs.Bookmark here

This woman was causing stress, unlike anything Jonathan had ever experienced.Bookmark here

Some kind of chant caught Jonathan's attention. He looked outside and saw a few people much like him protesting about something. Another group of what seems to be succubus chanted against them.Bookmark here

“What’s going on there?”Bookmark here

“The Nephilim are protesting against the new legislation that’s being discussed in the High Council. While the succubus is supporting the new legislation. It’s a fairly hot topic nowadays,” answered Bor.Bookmark here

“What is it about?”Bookmark here

“It’s about letting humans with high attunement to magic attend here and learn about their gift.”Bookmark here

“Ridiculous. Human and magic don’t mix well. Everyone seems to forget what happened during the last war,” scoffed Eri. “It’s bad enough we have to deal with the Jaeger.”Bookmark here

“The Jaeger?” The name was somewhat familiar to Jonathan.Bookmark here

“Human Hunters. They aren’t… nice people.” Bor averted his gaze.Bookmark here

“Nice? Pfft! They are murdering psychopaths with a tendency to chop our body into pieces and use it against us, or simply being made into a trophy.” Eri’s jaws tightened as she glared at the window.Bookmark here

Jonathan took notice to never bring the topic about Jaeger again. She has a very deep disdain for them, and it’s better to let it go. Maybe Jonathan could ask Bor about it when she’s not around.Bookmark here

Despite it all, the ride was uneventful. Jonathan was simply excited to ride a carriage because he never rode one before. It makes him feel like a high-born gentleman. They left the carriage and stepped into the academy courtyard. It came as a surprise for Jonathan when he saw all the damage that happened from the fight yesterday had disappeared into thin air.Bookmark here

“Magic, duh,” Jonathan muttered to himself.Bookmark here

He took one last look at the carriage before it left the courtyard. He turned back to Eri with an eyebrow raised, “Wait, can’t you fly?”Bookmark here

“I can, but you both can’t.”Bookmark here

“No wonder you’re grumpy. The ride must have been boring for you.”Bookmark here

“Yes. Extremely.”Bookmark here

Bor tapped on Jonathan’s shoulder. “Well, this is it. I need to get to my post. Eri will take over from here. See you later.” He left their side and waved to them before disappearing around the corner.Bookmark here

They made their way through the elegant hallways, along the way Jonathan made sure to wink and flirt at every succubus he encountered. Some of them replied with a lecherous grin, while others gave him a stern look. Jonathan couldn’t decide which one was more alluring.Bookmark here

“Do you have to do that?” Eri asked with a tinge of annoyance.Bookmark here

“You don’t get it.”Bookmark here

“Explain then.”Bookmark here

“It’s the whole concept of a succubus. We imagined them, drew them, put them in our fiction, and everyone agrees there’s this irresistible aura around them. They became this symbol of sexuality. How could they not? Look at them. Every succubus I saw today is different in the most alluring way possible. If you have a certain taste, three out of five of them checked that box and more.”Bookmark here

“We’re here.” She walked into the lecture hall, then took a seat in the front.Bookmark here

“I'm more near the window’s seat kinda guy.”Bookmark here

Eri let out a groan and joined Jonathan at the seat near the windows. Some of his classmates had already taken their seats in their niche group. Jonathan even spotted his housemates taking their seats at each of the preferred places, but not all of them are together. The succubus and the redhead woman sat together, while the dark-haired and green-skinned women took their seats away from each other and away from the other classmate.Bookmark here

Jonathan stared out of the window, already missing the fresh breeze. He scanned the spike fence and found nothing notable except for a tree that grew too close to it.Bookmark here

The class went quiet when a professor taller than the door entered the room. She had to duck down, so she could walk through the door. Her skin was pale as a dead body and had eerie black hair that reached under her waist. At first, she placed down a smooth stone with an unrecognizable letter etched on it. The stone itself was small compared to her hand, but in truth, it was too large for a normal person to grasp it without using both hands.Bookmark here

“Morning. My name is Professor Taka and I will be teaching you Magic Theory from now until you graduate from this academy. In accordance with what I said, please make sure you behave yourself during my lecture or risk facing my ire.”Bookmark here

“As you may see, I brought over a stone. It’s not a regular stone. This stone in particular has been enhanced with a single Sigil of power. Its functionality is to determine a person's attunement to magic. The stronger your access to spiritual energy, the brighter this stone will glow. Shall we start?” She pointed at the woman in front. “You. Give it a test.”Bookmark here

The woman nervously glanced around her before she left her seat. She stood in front of the table while her hand hovered above the stone. Professor Taka took the woman’s hand and gently lowered it down on the stone.Bookmark here

There’s no doubt about it, the stone glowed brightly, but not to the extent of blinding. The woman wore a smile on her face to see the glow. Professor Taka then removed the woman’s hand, “That is an average attunement for a Nephilim and almost all of you will have the same result.” She turned back to the woman. “You may return to your seat.”Bookmark here

“Now, one by one, you all shall take a turn and evaluate your attunement.”Bookmark here

As she instructed, each one of the students took a turn. The stone shone brightly as before, a few of them glowed a bit brighter than others while a few glowed dimmer than others. Bookmark here

Until it was Jonathan’s housemate’s turn, the red-haired woman. She placed her hand on top of it with a disinterested look and unlike the other, it glowed blindly in a red hue. The student’s eyes widened in disbelief. Bookmark here

Professor Taka clapped when the light dissipated. “As you may notice, we have a prodigy in our midst. As expected from one who has the blood of the Morningstar’s family in her veins. That’s all, Ms. Lucy. You may return to your seat.”Bookmark here

Murmurs of praises scattered among the students. Everyone stared at Lucy as she made her way to her seat. In response, Lucy rolled her eyes and laid her head on the table while covering her head with her arms. Melody, the Succubus, patted her friend’s back before it was her turn to place her hand on the stone.Bookmark here

Melody sauntered down the steps. The men in the class couldn’t help themselves but leer at the woman. Melody rested her hand on the stone. Unlike before but still amazing, the stone shone brightly in the color of pink. The professor clapped her hands. “I see we have another prodigy. You may return to your seat.”Bookmark here

Melody returned to her seat with pride in her gaze and the clapping of her peers.Bookmark here

A few students took their turns until it was another Jonathan’s housemate, the black-haired woman’s chance to prove herself. She took up her spot in front of the stone, she placed her hand, and it shone brightly the same as Melody, but in white. Professor Taka clapped her hands once more. “Another one, I see our class this year isn't short of talented people. You may return to your seat, Ms. Olivia.”Bookmark here

Again, a few more students took their turns until it was the green-skinned young woman's turn. Another of Jonathan's housemates. Her shoulders were in a slump as she kept herself as small as possible. It seems she isn't fond of the stare. She placed her hands, unfortunately, it didn't reach the level of an average student, but it shone in green.Bookmark here

The students snickered at the woman’s dim result as she walked to her seat. A grim look donned on her as the others started whispering unsightly topics about her.Bookmark here

However, as most students make fun of her, Jonathan on the other hand felt something about her from deep within him. A pulse of warmth. There’s something inside her, something beautiful, but Jonathan couldn't tell it what it was. As the feeling passed, it’s time for Eri to place her hand on the stone.Bookmark here

“Hey, good luck out there.” Jonathan put up a thumbs up.Bookmark here

“I appreciate it, but I don’t need it.”Bookmark here

Eri made her way down the steps and placed her hand on the stone. As expected from her, the stone glowed brightly the same as Melody, but in blue. Professor Taka clapped her hands. “I was expecting less on the account of your brother, but I see you are not your brother.”Bookmark here

“Of course, I’m not,” she said coldly before she returned to her seat.Bookmark here

“Amazing work, Eri.” Jonathan stood up and stretched his arms. “Let me show you how it’s done.”Bookmark here

Jonathan walked down the steps. Two people in the room were interested in the result of this test. One of them was Eri while the other was Melody. From the moment she met him, there’s something about him, she could smell it after she got close to him. A great power that could rival the massive crystal within this academy.Bookmark here

A short breath was necessary before Jonathan could place his hand on it. He rested his hand on the stone quickly and waited. A second passed, then a minute went by, but nothing happened.Bookmark here

Everyone started laughing.Bookmark here

Jonathan removed his hand and wore a disappointed look. Professor Taka glared at the other students and silenced their mocking laughs. She placed her hand on his shoulders. “Do not despair. Talents are useless without hard work. I’m sure you could excel in other areas.”Bookmark here

“Nah, it’s fine,” Jonathan said with a half-hearted grin.Bookmark here

He took a seat and stared out through the window. Disappointment bled from his gloomy gaze. Eri was about to reach for his shoulder, but stopped herself and returned her focus to professor Taka.Bookmark here

Melody stared at Jonathan from across the room. Lucy noticed it. “What’s wrong?”Bookmark here

“Nothing. I thought… maybe I was wrong.”Bookmark here

“Whatever, I’m going to have a nap. And stop staring. People will think we’re weirdos.”Bookmark here

The class ended, Jonathan was so out of it that he couldn’t listen to what Professor Taka was explaining. He left the classroom with Eri and stopped to face his escort. “Hey, I’ll catch up to you later. I need to go to the bathroom.”Bookmark here

“I’ll wait,” said Eri.Bookmark here

“Okay…” Jonathan entered the bathroom and checked each stall. A few of them were occupied. Jonathan took the farthest one away from everyone.Bookmark here

After digging into his pocket, he took out a burner phone. He dialed in the numbers from the pager, and it rang. It only took a second for the other end to answer. A familiar feminine voice greeted Jonathan’s ear and caused his hand to tremble slightly. “Hello, kid.”Bookmark here

“It is so nice to hear your voice again. So, how’s life been treating you?” There is someone else in the room with Memory because Jonathan could hear the faint noise when a man is being suffocated by a plastic bag.Bookmark here

“I thought we had a deal?”Bookmark here

“Oh, a deal?”Bookmark here

“I know you know which one.”Bookmark here

Memory laughed. “Don’t be so dramatic, kid. I remember it, but you know I didn’t remember agreeing to it in the first place.”Bookmark here

“We had a deal. That was the last job. I paid what I owed, and you let me go.”Bookmark here

The phone went quiet. “I see… You did pay what you owed me. I guess you’re free then. I’m going to miss you, kid. Truly. You're always like a son to me. Oh, is there anything you need, you know where to find me.” The other end was cut off.Bookmark here

Jonathan breathed out a sigh of relief, he never thought it was this easy. He thought Memory would threaten him into joining her, but he guesses that she was more honorable than he realized.Bookmark here

He left the stall and washed his face in the sink while taking on a big smile. All he needed to do next was finding a way out of here.Bookmark here

After Jonathan left the bathroom, Eri and he went on to get lunch. The food seemed normal at first except for a few things that had questionable ingredients in it like an eyeball or a slithering tentacle that was still alive in the serving bowl. Jonathan just shrugged at it and picked the normal-looking one. It went unsurprisingly uneventful.Bookmark here

You can resume reading from this paragraph.