I walked down the Silennel district's street with a bag of sandwiches and drinks in my hand. I deliberately stopped by a local food vendor to buy my lunch first before going to Larry's house and since the Swamp Demon had successful destroyed my appetite with his Acid Splash, I decided to buy a simple meal.
I passed an alley with the police line, indicating that something had happened there. The stripper's death news rang out in my head.
'Did they kill him here' Again, my thoughts returned when the demons killed me. I could imagine how the demons killed him and ate him alive like they did to me.
My steps stopped as I remembered something. Even though the police chief had said that the demons who killed him were dead, they did not say how many they were. If there were more than five demons, there should be a crack around here. Since no one was around, I decided to check it out for a bit. I turned side to side before sneaking past the police line.
My eyes swept at the messy alley as my feet stepped slowly. Traces of last night's battle were visible there as if the heavy rain could not erase it. Some bloodstains were still attached to the walls as well as some scratches. I reached out my hand and felt scratch marks.
'Rat Demon ...' I knew that since the scratch marks were the same when they cut me a few days ago. After all, the rat demon's claw were very unique with three same length middle claws while the two short claws on both sides.
My gaze shifted downwards and saw four holes.
'Two of them ...' I could imagine those two demons charging at him and almost piercing the stripper's body. He managed to dodge it, even though the demons' attacks managed to cut him, since I saw there was a bloodstain near the hole.
I swept my gaze around me, a broken beam, a bent iron pole, a dented trash can, indicating that the stripper was fighting desperately with all of his might.
'He struggled to live ... just like me ...' But unfortunately, his fate was not as lucky as me.
"Hey, you!" A male voice startled me and I turned my head towards where the voice came from. Two policemen stood in front of the police line with displeased faces.
"What are you doing there!" he said again.
Quickly, I stepped my feet out of there.
"I'm sorry, sir. I'm just curious," I said apologetically.
"It's not a place for playing around. Go home," he said in a displeased tone.
"Yes, sir." I turned and walked away from them. I could vaguely hear their grumble about what I was doing.
"Is he trying to play detective"
"Kids these days don't know how dangerous the demons are."
"I bet he will cry if he sees one."
My feet stepped into the fenceless house yard with simple beige paint. Then my finger pressed the doorbell.
* Ting Tong *
After waiting for a while without an answer, I pressed the doorbell once again.
* Ting Tong *
Rushed footsteps' sounds could be heard from inside. A shoulder-length black hair woman in a typical housewife outfit with an apron opened the door hastily. Traces of worry were visible on her cheerful face.
"Good afternoon, ma'am," I greeted Larry's mother.
"Ethan, thank goodness you're here," she said in a panic. From her expression, it seemed like something bad had happened and her husband seemed to be out of town, again.
"C'mon! You have to help Larry!" she said as she turned and walked in.
"What happened" I asked in worry as I walked with her. I remembered Larry just replied to my message at dawn, so I could guess he was on patrol last night.
"I - I don't know what happened either. He wasn't like this yesterday," she said in a stammering voice. Our feet stepped quickly up the stairs.
'Is he sick' I sped up my steps. It rained heavily last night and he was patrolling in that bad weather.
'If he's hurt he should go to the hospital instead of coming home and pretending to be strong.'
"UGGGRRRRHHHH!" Larry's grunt voice that came from his room added my worry even more.
Without knocking, we opened the door and I stiffened in shock when I saw Larry sitting in front of the TV in his sleepwear. His fingers were busy pressing the game controller's buttons in his hands, controlling a game character wearing a medieval era knight outfit fighting against a huge black dragon. A large headphone covered his ears.
"AHHH, SHIT! I lost again!" screamed Larry in annoyance as a large 'Game Over' appeared on the screen.
"Ethan, you have to help him! He's been playing games all day, he even didn't touch his breakfast," said Larry's mother in a dramatic tone. I glanced at a plate of scrambled eggs, slices of ham and cold sausages on a nearby small table.
I let out a deep breath of relief mixed with annoyance. How could I forget that Larry's mother was as dramatic as her son.
'I'm worried for nothing.'
"I'll talk to him, ma'am," I said.
"I'll leave him to you. If you need anything I'm in the kitchen," said Larry's mother.
I walked into his room while she closed the door behind me. Nonchalantly, I pulled Larry's headphones and he turned to me in annoyance.
"Mom, stop bug ---"
His words stopped and his face turned pale when he saw me looking at him with a murderous gaze.
"Didn't I tell you to do your assignment before I came" I said in a cold voice. I understood his duties as a demon hunter, but at least he needed to balance his other duties as a student.
"I - I'm just taking a break," he said with an awkward grin.
"Then how many pages have you worked on" I said in an unchanging tone.
He gulped hard.
"Well ... I can't concentrate so ..." He lifted his hand, both of his fingers formed a '0' as he lowered his head in guilt.
"So you haven't done it at all" I confirmed.
"Uh ... Em ... I tried but I can't ..." He gave me another awkward grin.
I glanced at his desk and there wasn't any book there, even his laptop was closed. It was clear he didn't even try to work on it. I shook my head as a breath out of my mouth.
"Turn off your game. We'll have lunch before working on your assignment," I said as I put my bag beside his plate.
"But, but I almost completed my missi- "
I interrupted him and gave him a death glare.
He gulped hard once again.
"Meanie," he grumbled in a low voice as he turned off his game console.
"What did you say" My gaze didn't change. I felt like babysitting a naughty kid.
He shook his head in panic.
I pulled a chair and sat in front of his table, my hand took out my food from the bag. While he sat next to me and started eating his cold breakfast.
"You should be more responsible for your studies," I said.
"I told you, I tried. Stop nagging me like an old man," he grumbled with an annoyed face mingled with guilt. His fork picked up a slice of ham and put it in his mouth.
"I'll stop nagging you if you stop acting like a big kid," I retorted curtly and I took another bite to my sandwich.
He was silent with a grim face as his hand kept scooping his food into his mouth. But I knew his mind wasn't there.
"What happened" I asked straight to the point. From his panda-like eyes, I could tell he hadn't slept all night, and it was unusual for him to behave like this.
"Nothing ..." he answered soberly.
"Spit it out." Even without my observation skill, I could tell he was lying.
A long silence followed my question.
"Some monsters just killed my friend last night and I was too late to save him. While the other one was badly injured." Finally, he opened his voice.
The news rang out in my head again.
'The victim was found by a demon hunter around 11:00 PM. He was still alive by then, but due to heavy bleeding, he could not be saved. '
'So he's the demon hunter who found the stripper,' I thought. But I was quite surprised, the stripper was his friend and I could guess his other friend was Theo.
"I'm sorry to hear that," I said apologetically.
"Well, it's just a game. I just need to train more and raise my level faster so those monsters won't be able to hurt my friends anymore," he shrugged with a wry smile, his hand putting another piece of sausage into his mouth. I knew he was lying by saying it happened in the game.
"You will get there soon ..." I tried to cheer him up.
"Yea ... I will get there soon ..."-