The Last Light
The sun was shining upon them while the wind blew gently against the foliage. The rustling of the grass and leaves brought a sense of peace and tranquility to the setting. Jonathan blinked furiously as he gained his sense of self. It had taken some time for Jonathan to wake up from his unexpected slumber, and when he did, a terrible headache soon followed.
Eri sat beside him with a smile on her face as she stared at the calming view. It was a rare sight to see Eri with a smile, and Jonathan was lucky for it. However, the undine hasn’t noticed Jonathan had been awake for a minute now.
“Nice view?” teased Jonathan.
A cold exterior replaced her smile. “It was until you woke up.”
“Ouch… Did I faint again?” Jonathan shifted into a sitting position and scratched the back of his head.
“Fortunately for me, yes. I was getting irritated the longer we stayed there.”
“Have a bit of fun, Eri.” Jonathan stretched his arms up in the air. “Don’t be so uptight.”
“Your idea of fun is disgusting and raunchy. My idea of fun is watching the gorgeous scenery with a good novella or a flute in my hands.” Eri sighed longingly as she took in the view of the city.
“A flute?” Jonathan raised an eyebrow. “Woah. Are you any good with it?”
“Hmm, I have no idea. I never played it in front of an audience before.”
“We should jam together. I am a demon with a guitar.”
“A demon? I hope not. A demon would be most unwelcome here. If you ever see one, you better run toward the other direction. A creature so malevolent should not be taken lightly.” A frown appeared on Eri’s face.
“It was just an expression. I’m not really a demon, not that I know of.”
“What is this ‘Jam’ you talked about earlier?” Eri raised an eyebrow at him. It was a genuine question because Eri hasn’t explored the human realm except for a couple of missions, and usually, she stays away from humans. She deemed any deviation from her mission an unnecessary risk.
“You really don’t know, do you? Okay… Uh, it’s basically we play musical instruments together as a pastime activity.”
“I see. It doesn’t sound bad at all. It might be interesting. If you are willing to show me, I would love to jam together.”
“Radical.” Jonathan turned his sight to the crowd of people gathered around a gated building. “What’s that about?”
Eri returned her gaze to where Jonathan was looking. “Oh, I believe they are here for the Nephilim ambassador.”
“Let’s go and check it out.” Jonathan stood up. Without a warning, he jogged toward the crowd.
“Wait, there are too many people. We need to consider your safety.”
Jonathan waved at Eri with a bright smile before continuing toward the crowd. Eri dropped her chin with a sigh then smiled before chasing after him. Jonathan neared himself to the edge of the crowd. At the front, Jonathan could see people holding signs from the protest earlier today.
A carriage with white horses drove down the street. It was quite the extravagant cart with blackened windows and gold ornamental attachments. Though it was not without any protection as a dozen Nephilim with black feathery wings and in full plate armor led and followed behind the carriage.
Jonathan was awed at the sight. If he could get one of those, it would certainly fetch a high price in the market. That gold ornamental wasn't just painted gold, it was made with gold.
Something caught Jonathan's attention, it wasn’t good. A hooded person walked behind him with a scent that he was too familiar with. The scent of death. Jonathan turned his head and he was walking toward an alley. On the back of his hoodie was the same Sigil that was on Dr. Victoria’s mask.
It was not his place to chase after someone, so he better stay here and enjoys the excitement. Besides, going after him will only anger Eri more than necessary. He was already on her bad side.
“You look troubled?” Eri appeared on my side.
“Just wondering where Bor is right now.”
“He’s right there, near the gate.” Eri pointed at the familiar figure propped up near the gate with his trident by his side.
“Aww, he looked so cute over there.”
A scream cut through the air. Panic soon arose among the crowd. It caught the attention of all the guards, even Eri pushed through to see the cause, but Jonathan stayed behind and turned his sight at the same alley where the hooded figure took. In theory, he still could catch up to him. It’s only been a short while after he entered that alley.
However, the question is whether he should involve himself?
Jonathan sighed. Walking away was a good option, but Jonathan wasn’t known for his sensibility. Before anyone noticed, Jonathan had followed the trail the hooded figure took. Based on his target’s demeanor, Jonathan could tell that he was arrogant. Despite the panic he ensured, the figure wasn’t even worried about getting caught because it didn't take long for Jonathan to find him in another alley.
With a calm sigh, Jonathan calmly followed him. However, the stalking came to an end when suddenly, the hooded figure took off into a run. Jonathan’s eyes perked up at the speed the figure had. He could probably beat the number one Olympic runner. He facepalmed himself when he realized he was enamored by the person’s speed that he had forgotten to chase after him.
Groaning at himself, he turned to an opened window on his left. Without a second to waste, Jonathan leaped through the window and launched himself into a run. His sudden appearance alarmed the shop owner. However, he made it his priority to apologize before exiting the shop.
His shortcut works as expected because the hooded figure can be seen around the corner. Jonathan picked up the pace but soon found out even he can’t keep it up for long. A question flashed through his mind: does everyone run like this? Because if everyone does, Jonathan needs to step up his game.
The hooded figure took a sharp turn into a store.
Never missing a beat, Jonathan went into the store. Turns out the store was selling tableware, but lucky for him, Jonathan was considered one of the best dart thrower in his generation or so he claimed.
He dug into the display and took everything with a single clutch. He apologized to the owner before climbing up the stairs.
The hooded figure met the end of the hallway and was trapped. Jonathan was gasping for air when he caught up to him. “It has been a while. Give me a few minutes.”
Despite Jonathan’s plea, the hooded figure took a step back and was about to charge through the wooden wall.
“Oh no, you don’t.” He threw one of the cutlery at him with pinpoint accuracy. It was supposed to stick his clothes to the wall but instead bounced back. He intended to throw a knife, but what he threw was a spoon.
“Out of all the things I could grab! A bunch of spoons and forks, really?”
The hooded figure broke through the wall while Jonathan threw more spoons at him. It did annoy the hooded figure at least but didn’t slow him down.
Jonathan heard a child yelp, he immediately went after him.
The hooded figure had taken a child with him and ran toward the opened window.
He launched himself onto the roof of the next building.
Jonathan peered out of the window and looked up. It was too tall for him to climb, but the gap between the buildings was short. He took out all the forks and focused on a straight path up that he could use. It only took him a few seconds to figure it out, he backed away and with precise accuracy, he embedded each fork up the wooden support and gave himself a makeshift ladder.
He leaped and slithered up with ease.
The hooded figure glanced back and noticed that Jonathan was still hot on his trail.
“Let the child go.”
As a last-ditch effort and against what Jonathan meant when he said ‘Let the child go’ the hooded figure flung the child over the edge while he took off running in another direction.
Jonathan gritted his teeth, turned abruptly, and jumped off the edge to catch the child. He brought the child within his embrace, then angled his back to face the brick-paved road beneath him, so his body would take the impact.
He waited for the inevitability, but when he opened his eyes, he beamed with a smile at his guardian angel. “Eri, you’re a sight to behold.” Though Jonathan was excited to see her, she wasn’t.
Eri hovered down and when her feet touched the ground, she dropped Jonathan with a frown.
Jonathan let out a yelp as his back fell against the brick path. “Right, I deserved that.” The little boy wiggled out of his grapes and scattered off to his concerned parents. Jonathan stood up again with a sore back.
He turned his sight to the fruit vendor beside him. “Is that mango? I love mango. I wonder if we could have some,” grunted Jonathan.
“Jonathan!” Bor ran up to him with a worried look.
A crowd of guards circled Jonathan and his two friends. Eri frowned and crossed her arms, “See what you had done?”
“Mr. Jonathan, you are hereby charged with disturbing the peace, reckless endangerment of civilians, and interference of investigation. Please do not resist, or we will be required to use necessary force,” ordered the guard.
“Well…” With a charming smile and sleight of hand, he slipped one of the mangoes into his pocket. “By the way, I’m not resisting, so there’s no need for force.”
After an hour of his arrest, Jonathan found himself in the same room he had been in yesterday. Commander Zey and Dr. Victoria walked in, one of them had a frown while the other found it difficult to hold her laugh.
With an amused smile, Dr. Victoria took a seat. “How shall I say this, you are in a grim situation. Escaping from a crime scene is not a favorable image. Care to explain?”
Jonathan started laughing, “I understand. Look, there was this guy… with a gray hoodie. He was suspicious, so I chased after him and he ran away. But, I lost him when he threw a child off the roof, and you know what happened next.”
Dr. Victoria turned to Commander Zey and with reluctance, she nodded, “Everything you had said has been true except for one thing. The witness said there was no hooded figure, in fact, there were several suspects, but none match your description.”
“The Sigil. It had a symbol like your mask, Dr. Victoria, but bigger. And it was on his back.”
Dr. Victoria pondered, “If what you said is true, the suspect might have used a veil. Still, that doesn’t narrow down our options. It is a simple veil, accessible to everyone if they have the knowledge and magic to do so.”
“Mr. Jonathan, are you aware of what exactly happened in front of the embassy today?” asked Commander Zey.
“Not really. I think it's something awful because that creep gave me a shiver.”
“It’s worse than you think.” Commander Zey placed down a few pictures of a mutilated Nephilim.
Surprisingly, Jonathan didn’t flinch away from the gruesome sight. Instead, the stab wounds on the victim’s chest caught Jonathan’s interest.
Commander Zey raised his eyebrow, “So, you are accustomed to this kind of sight?”
Jonathan’s eyes perked at the question. He recoiled back with an exaggerated disgust expression. “Eww, what is that?” It was not the best acting he could muster, but it’s better than nothing.
“Mr. Jonathan, it would be a waste of time if you kept playing the innocent card. We already knew who you were.”
Jonathan ran his finger through his hair, then sighed. He tapped on the table as his mind concocted a plan to escape. He reached for the mango in his pocket and a spoon, then enjoyed his mango with it.
“Escape is unwise, Mr. Jonathan.”
“It’s a force of habit. So, you can read minds now?”
“Not at all, your gaze had betrayed you. I counted six times every time you took a peek at the door behind me.”
“If you know who I am, then why let me attend here?”
Dr. Victoria entered the conversation. “Because I have faith in you, Mr. Jonathan.”
“Faith in me? You already know who I am. What I did. It’s not something you can look past, Doctor.”
“Well, I did.” She smiled. “We all are not perfect creatures, Mr. Jonathan. Some of us have done an unforgivable act, but that doesn't mean we can’t have a second chance.”
“Great,” Jonathan said sarcastically. “What about you, Commander Zey? You have faith in me too?” Jonathan joked.
“Never, absolutely not. I think you are dangerous and should be kept in a cell with the keys thrown into the sea. However, I do have faith in Dr. Victoria’s decision.” Commander Zey turned to the headmistress before returning to Jonathan.
“That’s the correct response, and you’re smart for thinking so. Want some?” asked Jonathan as he extended the mango to them. Commander Zey shook her head. Dr. Victoria took a piece and placed it in her mouth, she moaned at its sweetness. “Anyway, what now?”
Commander Zey placed a shield-shaped badge with Lady Justice as the emblem on the table. “I want you to work for us as an Inquisitor. With the condition that your position as one should not be known to the public. You will have to work alone on this case.”
“You know what you are asking of me, right? Once I get going, there’s no turning back. Not that you don’t know what I am capable of. Don’t say I didn’t warn you, so, what do I get in return?”
Dr. Victoria entered the conversation, “Do this for us, and you may leave this place with a hefty amount of wealth.”
“You’re going to let me go just like that?”
“Of course, Mr. Jonathan. Though it saddened me that you wish to leave this place, I do not want to keep anyone here against his wishes. Do we have a deal?” Dr. Victoria extended her hand for a shake.
With a smile, Jonathan took her hand. “Deal. Hmm, I do have a question. Why did you choose me? You must have others that are more capable than me.”
“The victim is a spy for the Nephilim government.”
Jonathan already started to regret the deal. This investigation was not as easy as he expected it to be because spies are troubling. They are secretive and come with a ton of trouble. This is going to be dangerous, he should have asked for more details before he accepted the deal.