Chapter 1:

The Weakest Hunter

Twilight Bridge: Immersion


On and on-- The darkness went on and on. With a little light to guide him, he walked on. He felt a presence and heard a soft voice. "There you are!" said a girl he couldn't recognize, yet felt somehow familiar.
"So much to do. So little time" she said
"But take your time"
As the girl was approaching him, he started to feel chocked up, and began to panic.
He wanted to say something, but his lips were moving without audible voice coming out.
The mysterious girl put her hand on his face.
"There's power sleeps within you. Give it form... and it will give you strength... and only then, the light will shine where you are"
As he heard these words, the darkness around him turned to absolute light, and the girl was engulfed by it. "But don’t be afraid, and don't forget.. you hold the mightiest weapon of all".
Everything went very bright as he couldn't bear it anymore. He realized that he was lying on his bed.
Was it all a dream? A bizarre dream for sure!
The young man who was sleeping naked by himself opened his eyes abruptly before shutting them again as his face directly opposed the rays of the morning sun. He noticed that there was someone knocking the door, but he tried to ignore it. As he tried to go back to sleep, the knocking just went louder and more demanding. So, he found no other choice but to get up and see who is this early morning visitor.
The moment he opened the door, the person on the other side started speaking fast. "Jaden, oh god you should get outta here!" said the visitor who happened to be a teenage girl named Kathryn. "You were careless! You left a trail. Now he's onto you!" she shouted before realizing she was talking to a naked man.
Jaden, who’s still trying to grasp the situation, stuttered for a moment and said "what are you talking about? Who's onto me?!"
"A hunter demon. He's here!" said Kathryn while trying to avoid the temptation of looking at Jaden.
A moment later, the two hear a shattering growl that shook the ground beneath their feet. As they both looked above, the gigantic demon fell from the sky and onto the building in front of them. The demon dropped at the edge of town gazing at Jaden's abode which was a small trailer parked by the woods. As the ox-like headed demonic creature stretched his hands that was holding a gun-like object with a huge hook attached to it and fired it straight onto Jaden's trailer, and dragged on him. Using acrobatic skills, Jaden covered Kathryn in his arms, and jumped into his flying home.
Within a nick of time, he put on his ripped blue jeans along with his red hoodie in mid-air. Jaden slipped through his crumbled household "Missed" he said.
The hunter demon throw away his ranged weapon, and climbed the tallest building he found to initiate another attack.
"Kat, you better run as fast and as further you can." he told her.
"Brother and the others will be here any minute! Don't do anything dangerous."
Jaden smirked as the demon was growling at him.
He took his signature knife, Rebellion "Time for a little Rebellion!"
The hunter demon jumped off to smash Jaden beneath him as Jaden bounced towards him and scratched him lightly.
Kat went hiding in a small tunnel where the town alarm system can be turned on. She pushed the button the moment her eyes located it. The next second, a loud siren sound was heard all over the town.
Jaden and the demon were exchanging blows as they were jumping from rooftop to crossroad with the monster getting more ferocious every minute.
"Hey cow face!" Jaden shouted as he was panting and exhausted, but also excited "Does sweat make ya angry?"
He then lean forward and jumped to attack him "Get ready to get steamed". The demon thrust his claws towards Jaden, but he blocked it, and turned to run over the monster arm.
"How'd you like that, you scumbag?!" Jaden swung his knife right at the hunter's face making him collapse back. Then, he found an opportunity to deliver a finishing blow, but as he was about to do it, the hunter demon recovered and countered it with a deadly bite.
As Jaden's arm were pierced between the monster's teeth, a sword slash faster than the wind dashed through the demon's face.
"Brother!" yelled Kat happily.
Jaden fell safely with his right arm moderately injured. "Keryto!" he said surprisingly.
Keryto Inferno and other demon hunters have arrived in order to kill the demon that was wreaking havoc in Fortuna. He was floating in mid-air as though he was some sort of angel. Holding his long sword in both hands, Keryto performed a sacred move that sliced the hunter demon in half, and made him vanish.Bookmark here

● 5th day of the Sixth Month, Year 666 -Realm of Light.
Few hours later after the incident, Jaden was in the Grand Church that was in the middle of Fortuna; a town which set in a group of small islands. It's the only place he knows. A town that looked too peaceful with its lively cobblestone streets where people sometimes dance to some guitarist passing by, and its warm taverns, small rivers, lights of windows at night, and of course the church, that is the largest building in town, or maybe the entire planetoid. It was run by the famous Inferno house the one that Jaden belongs to. Yes, his name was Jaden Inferno, and he was summoned to the church because of his notorious actions in the previous days.
The members of House Inferno, including highest priest Sanctus were attending Jaden's questioning. "Jaden my child, what had gotten into you?" said the priest.
"A couple of days from now, he went to the ruins in the restricted area by himself." Keryto said. "His notorious actions have lured the demon out of the ruins and into the town."
"Is this true Jaden?" asked the priest.
"I was killing demons. Something I believe is our duty" replied Jaden
"In an unknown dungeon!" said another large man named Agnes.
"That unknown dungeon is where I came from" said Jaden "Demons were lurking there for a while now. If I haven't been there, more of what you've seen would've happened"
"Such big words coming from the weakest hunter" said Agnes sarcastically.
"Well, at least I controlled the situation enough for the weakest" replied Jaden "And what have your fat ass been doing, I wonder?!"
"Jaden, your manners!" Keryto yelled.
"Jaden" said Sanctus "Your inexcusable actions don't put you in shame alone. You represent all the hunters, and your family as well. The Inferno swore to protect the land and it's people at all cost"
"And yet, they've done nothing" Jaden said " Demons are everywhere, people are always afraid. And what you have done was just protecting your little bubble, so you can play heroes and get to keep this massive place to cry to these hollow statues"
"SILENCE!!" yelled Keryto.
"Oh, Bahamut, have mercy on his soul." Sanctus prayed as Keryto grabbed Jaden by the wall.
Agnes brought out his sword. "I guess I've found an excuse to use my new blade anyway"
"I'm a little surprised that you still know where to put your hands on this thing!" Jaden said sarcastically.
"Are you trying to embarrass me and our family, Jaden?!" asked Keryto in anger.
"Guess even House Inferno has a black sheep!" Agnes said sarcastically.
"House Inferno can eat my shit" replied Jaden.
Keryto stepped back as he tried to sort out his actions.
"Jaden, if strength is what you want, then you will never get it by acting like an outrageous demon" he said.
"I don’t need your advice!" replied Jaden in anger.
Keryto continued, "As hunters, we fight in unity, grow stronger together with discipline and hard work"
Jaden then realized that It was hopeless to try to reason with Keryto.
Sanctus then turned to face the huge statues of great deity Bahamut "Jaden my boy, demons are a power that took half of the universe. It's bigger than our strenuous efforts. We only pray that the light would protect us all"
Jaden then got up straight, preparing to leave. Keryto tried to hold him still, but he pushed him away.
"It's futile, Keryto" said Agnes "This one would just end up like Ovan"
Just as he heard that, Jaden went on fire on the inside, and felt like stabbing Agnes multiple times, but decided to just walk out of the church.Bookmark here

"Later days, good for nothing heroes.."Bookmark here

It was evening already, and Jaden was walking his way home through town, thinking about how everyone thought of him being the weakest hunter. He stood still on a small bridge above a small river that went through the town. He remained standing and watched the sunset as it triggered an old memory from when he was a kid. When he was with Ovan, his only friend.Bookmark here

.Bookmark here

.
"What a beautiful sunset today!" said Ovan who was older than Jaden at that time
"What do you mean?! It’s a regular sunset! Seems just as usual" replied Jaden.
"Well, if you keep looking at it, it's actually pretty red today. Do you know why?!" Ovan asked " 'Cause of all the colors in existence, red is the one that travels the farthest".
Jaden was looking at Ovan's face as it turned serious for a second. His silver hair was dancing with the sweet breeze.
"I wanna be able to be like it... go where no other color ever could" said Ovan.
"But you’re not a color, Ovan" said Jaden in a quiet voice.
Ovan then snapped and laughed lightly. "Gotcha!"
"The heck is wrong with ya?!" Jaden said.
"You really bought that?!"
"You're the one who brought that attitude, weirdo!"
"Now, you're calling me a weirdo?!" Ovan laughed.Bookmark here

.Bookmark here

.
Ovan was an Inferno, and Jaden's guardian, but he disappeared 12 years ago on an expedition as he was always a solo hunter. Jaden was the only person who appreciated his vision while everyone else seemed to believe that his actions are what caused his demise.
Jaden then reached his home that was completely wrecked and trashed into the ground. Devastated, he sat on the grass on the hill looking at the starry sky stretched out above him. As he released a sigh, he felt someone's approaching. As he turned his head to face it, it was Kat holding a plate of it appeared to be a potato mash.
"Hey, I brought dinner" she said as she sat next to Jaden.
"You didn't really have to" replied Jaden, but took the plate and started eating.
Kathryn looked at him quietly for few seconds before she said "How about you come back to live with me and Uncle Morrison in the tavern?".
"I don’t think so" replied Jaden.
"Come on it'll be just like the old times!" said Kat as she noticed Jaden has turned away.
"It's because of him?... Jaden, it's been twelve years!" she tried to convince him. "You're 23 now with a crazy haircut!".
Jaden finally smiled a little. "You know, for a 15 year old, you kinda rocked today"
"What'ya mean KINDA?" she said "If it weren't for me, you'd be mashed by now".
"Uh, well.... I owe you one.." he replied as he handed the plate back to her.
"Oh I also fixed your knife." Kat threw Rebellion back to Jaden.
"Sweet" he said as he was examining it. "Put it on my tab".
"Don't thank me! It was Morrison" she replied as she got off to leave. Wind was blowing lightly, making plants and trees dance back and forth. Kat looked Jaden in the eye. "You're really going tomorrow?"
"Yeah, those ruins are where I was found" replied Jaden.
"Keryto said you were found inside a giant red crystal".
"Since that day, these ruins were outta reach" said Jaden.
Before she leave, Kathryn looked at Jaden one last time. "Come back safe, okay?"
After she left, Jaden laid down beneath the stars with thoughts running in his head. I'm not sure if I'll come back safe, Kat. I'm not sure of anything at all. Who I am, what I am, or what am I doing at all?! They found me inside a crystal. They called me Jaden. That's my name, or is it? And they made me a demon hunter. It's not like I get to choose! And if I was able to, how's that gonna make a difference?! Everyone here keeps putting things on people just like that. This is Fortuna of Red Grave--- a town born out from the people believing in their god. But what sort of god is this?
Jaden then turned to the side, covering his ears with his elbows. I don't believe in their god, but I'm a hypocrite. Most nights I pray. A track running in the background. I pray for a way out. Away from another uncertainty, from another monster, from another cage. I pray for help...Bookmark here

 Bookmark here

Bookmarked
You can resume reading from this paragraph.