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Home > God Rising: Battle of Atela

49 Part II

 A feline girl watched Derren from a distance. She had her letter in her grasp, but she couldn't muster the courage to stand up and give Sir Derren of the Livingston household. Over at her side was Lunar, the prettiest girl of the fauna tribe. Her hair was straight black, eyes composed of green, and a perfect hourglass figure. She didn't just have beauty; she was rich too.

Nalia continued to stare at the female who was everything she wanted to be. The cat girl was jealous of the fox. She hated pretty girls, and Lunar fell into that category. She wished she could die, so she'd have Derren all to herself.

The envelope wrinkled in her hand, and she forced herself on her feet. She wished she could walk down the stairs and confess, but she could never do that. She looked at the bold sun in the sky, and bit her lip before turning away.

She flinched once her eyes met with the red iris of Vincent's hooded eyes. His pack scowled at the timid cat, and she immediately cleared a way for them to walk with ease.

They grimaced as they passed, and she knew the cause was her imperfect face. She grew out her bangs for a reason. She would save everyone and hide her face from the public forever.

"That ugly feline is always watching us practice. I think she's staring at you, Mathias!"

"Gross!!!" The wolfman spat as he slapped the back of his friend "ugly girls like her shouldn't stare too much. Beauty blinds"

Vincent hastened his steps away from the group. He didn't have time for chitchats; he didn't fan jokes. All he wanted was to kill some slaves and use their teeth as accessories.

"I told you Theodore wouldn't get it!" One of the Beastchildren taunted his buddies who had confidence in the pup. The elf boy snatched the gold from the hands of his mates and snickered, putting them into his pocket.

The other Beastboys hissed, and some had tears gushing in their eyes. The Elf took all their money for candy, and he wasn't the type to give it back.

A bet's a bet, Derren couldn't interfere. Theodore hid behind his uncle, asking for protection because he knew the older kids would be angry after he failed to hit the apple, and the arrow ended up hitting Artemis's shoulder instead.

"Are you alright?" Keith asked.

Artemis pulled out the arrow and hurled it aside. It hurt a ton, however relief overpowered the pulsating pain because the arrow wasn't poisoned.

"We're done for now." Keith was glad the guards didn't set them up as Vincent's punching bag. They would've died.

"I'm happy the arrow didn't hit any critical spots in your body."

"Yeah" Artemis's lips turned upwards "I'm happy too."

Derren and the beastchildren shuddered the second they saw Vincent. The little children fled leaving Derren on the field to confront his mates.

"Armin, Vincent's coming. We have to bow" Keith didn't hesitate to do so, and Artemis didn't want what happened in the mansion to repeat itself. She was about to lower her head when Vincent appeared before her and smacked her face for no clear reason.

"Dumb slave." He sneered. .

Artemis' face was red with smothered fury. She had white knuckles from clenching her fist too hard, and she gritted her teeth to stay quiet.

"Hey Armin" Keith whispered as he tried to pull her away, but Artemis refused to move. Keith didn't want to believe she wanted to pick a fight with Vincent Livingston, a beastman, and also the strongest magic user in his academy.

She shocked them all by compelling herself to bow "I'm sorry sir Vincent." She knew it was too soon to start a fight. She thought about the possibilities of losing thoroughly.

Vincent wanted to continue toying with the slave but he had practice schedules to complete.

"I'll deal with you later" His eyes narrowed at Artemis before he turned his attention to the Batch B slaves on their knees.

"A second ago, I thought that slave wanted to pick a fight."

"Even if I fought that boy with my bare hands while he wields a sword, the outcomes will remain. I'll kill him" Vincent said as he took off his fur-trimmed cloak and revealed a black padded long shirt with gold embroidery around the edges.

He picked up a sword from the rack and swung it towards a random slave, cutting them in half. His friends reattached his body in five seconds before he'd die.

He wiped his hand across the surface of his falchion, and it blazed with fire. Artemis caught a glimpse before she walked out of the practice arena and back to the wagon.

Vincent swung the blade at the arm of the slave and the fire consumed it before it touched the ground. There was no fixing that. He'd lost his arm forever.

Vincent's eyes unexpectedly moved to those of his brother's, and Derren shrieked before looking away.

"What is it princess?" Vincent prodded as he gradually moved toward his hesitant older brother then pushed him with his broad chest.

"What's the matter?" He asked, inclining his head.

Derren didn't say a word. A cruel sneer framed on Vincent's cubic face as he grabbed his sibling by his shirt.

"I still can't believe it's you. Did you and that wretched woman hex him?" He pushed Derren, and he fell.

"Don't insult my mother. She has nothing to do with this!"

"What are you going to do about it? Fight me? What's stopping you?"

Derren faltered. There was no way he could win against an A-class magic user.

"Do you want to cry?"

"Damn! How useless can the heir of the Livingston household be?"

A tear streamed down Derren's cheek, and Vincent slapped him. "Why are you crying? The smallest of things make you cry? You're nineteen for goodness' sake!" Vincent dragged him up to his feet and slapped him again.

"You're a disgrace to wolfmen! You're a disgrace to beastmen!! You're a disgrace to the Livingston household!!!"

Derren's lips trembled as he cried, and it irritated Vincent even more. Derren tried to throw a punch, but Vincent's fist snapped his cheekbone in a split second, and it sent the frail wolfman to the ground.

The fight already assembled a crowd, and even the slaves were amazed.

Derren felt humiliated. His body trembled as he struggled to get back on his feet.

"How dare you step your dirty feet on this battlefield! Weren't you told women aren't allowed here?" Vincent hollered as he kicked his brother, and Derren rolled to his side, screaming in pain.

Vincent and his friend's enjoyed seeing Derren in pain. That's how things had always been since they were little. Sometimes Vincent got away with it, sometimes he did not.

Derren tried to get up again, but he gave up. His body was extremely powerless to do anything.

"Derren..." From the crowd, Lunar was heartbroken watching her groom-to-be get beaten up by his heartless brother. Everyone was scared to intervene because of how strong Vincent was. The top ten were part of Vincent's gang, and there was a big gap in stats between them, and the rest of the students.

"What's going on here?" Marcellus ventured into the battlefield, walking with his aide beside him. Vincent was dumbstruck. His friends had already zoomed off, and so did the crowd that was there a second ago.

"What did you do to your brother?"

"We were just playing -"

"Stop!" Marcellus commanded, and Vincent did as told.

"What happened my son?"

Derren parted his lips, but he said nothing. He didn't want to report. He wasn't a kid anymore, and he wanted to show it.

"We were just...playing" his voice was unsteady as  he forced the most unconvincing smile ever.

Marcellus turned to Vincent and delivered a sharp blow to his cheek. The wolf stood there stunned, unable to comprehend why he was still punished for just messing around his beloved brother.

"Father it was all a joke..."

"I heard. I saw. And I came here to settle it all."

Marcellus aide shook his head after taking a gander at the hopeless heir on the floor "The Livingston household is doomed."

***

"Did you see that?" Keith laughed as he pat Artemis's back.

The Livingston drama was the talk of the day. The news spread like wildfire, and instead of mocking Derren, his brother was rebuked instead. Derren was an angel in the eyes of the Fauna tribe, while Vincent was the devil's incarnate.

The men hated Derren, but Admired the strength of his brother.

The women loved Derren and hated everything about Vincent. He had a handsome face and body, but his attitude chased them away.

Vincent has always acted like being hated wasn't much of a deal, but sometimes it got to him. He was envious of the love his weakling brother got from the females, especially Lunar, the one he loved. As for his father, he always made him feel like he truly wasn't part of the family. Despite being adopted, he wanted to be treated like a blood relative, but his father never acknowledged that wish.

Jealousy and hate made him who he is now. every day, he trained, and practiced, pushing emotions and fun aside just so his father could praise him once, but he never got that. His father showered his foolish older brother with praises for being weaker than a human.

Vincent placated the rest of the clan with his breathtaking strength, but not even the pleas of the elders moved the demigod. Marcellus remained keen to Derren despite his shortcomings.

*

Derren sat close to his mom. His eyes were swollen and pink from crying the entire day in her room. Presently he'd quieted down, and he allowed her to tend his wounds.

"Mother, I'm a disgrace." She shook her head and made him look at her.

"Mi san ish a mavewush boeh (my son is a marvelous boy)" he could make out

her words perfectly, and it lightened his mood a bit.

She slowly soaked a cotton pad in the health ointments she had. Derren didn't heal because he had no magic, and it wasn't because his powers hadn't awakened. Right from birth, his father was told he was weak.

"Don fil behd. Yur fader an i yuv yu wih all ar hert (don't feel bad. Your father and I love you with all our heart)" she smiled, and he returned the same expression before he wrapped his arms around his mother.

Meanwhile, not everyone had a peace of mind.

Vincent paced back and forth in his room. Every second he imagined killing Derren in spectacular ways. But he wished he could do so without anyone suspecting he played a part the murder.

His happiness would come from the passing of his brother. The joy of that surpasses the feeling of killing worthless slaves. "i wish no one but i could have his head."

He walked out of his room and waited with crossed arms at the doorway. He wanted to pour his anger on someone, and a slave would do best to settle his outrage. His eyes fell on a thin slave with a tray in her hands. Where she was heading to or who needed her was none of his business.

He snatched her by her neck and hauled her into the room. The bitter look reflected on his face made the slave shudder. It confused and frightened her. She prayed he wasn't planning to murder her like he'd done to her friend.

Vincent commanded the slave to stay quiet, and she stopped whimpering. She wanted to question him, beg him, but she couldn't. Even if she disobeyed or did not disobey, she'd suffer the same faith.

The evil glint in his eyes were the last thing she captured as his hands stumbled across a lantern on his bedside table. He smashed it against her face, envisioning it was Derren underneath the weight of his bulkiness.

After a few more hits, he noticed she'd bled to death and was nothing more than an empty shell on the blood covered sheets. Vincent completed his deed, and crushed the girl's scull with his unusual weapon, then he dragged the body out of his room. Any slave thay comes across the corpse would get rid of the body in his stead.