The Junior Team gathered at the field where they could see high fences in front of them. Tonight was the night that they have been waiting for: the Hunting Test. Everyone wanted to show their talent especially their sword skills and casting spells. Myrr and her partner, Lach was standing in the front row. She then met Wreas, her brother’s best friend. Wreas is tall and hunky man with thick, wavy, canary yellow hair. He was one of the best fighters of the Nightingales and he barely used his weapons when he fought the Ghouls of Phantom.
Wreas was one of the Nightingales who will be in charge for the students’ safety. Even though they will fight the Dummies but it was still a dangerous task for them. Myrr waved at him and he smiled and nodded. Then, a woman who was wearing a bandana appeared on the big rock and all the students kept quiet. She was the Head of In-Charge for tonight. Her name is Plaud and she’s Assistant Chieftan of Weaponry Squad.
“Listen up, children. In few minutes the Hunting Test will start. I know that you can’t wait to show your talents but let me remind you something. That place over the fence,” she pointed to the high fence, “is very dangerous. You might get lost or die in there if you’re not taking extra aware. But don’t worry for there are 10 groups of Fighters who will save you if you’re in extreme risk,” Plaud spoke in a loud, clear voice.
The Juniors were whispering loudly with their partners.
“Before we let you off to the beyond fence, you need to take this thing,” she showed a metal plate. “This is Trap Plate. Its function is to trap the Dummies by sucking up those creatures. Once the Dummies were sucked in, the blue or green light will appear. The best pairs will be determined on how many Dummies they’ll catch. We will distribute you one Trap Plate for each pair.”
The Fighters distributed the Trap Plate to each pair and after they’ve done, the gate opened. They were given 3 hours to hunt the Dummies. Houle and Lach’s brothers were cheering for them. Myrr and Lach waved at them before dashing towards the gate. The Hunting Test began!
Myrr was hiding in the thick shadows behind the large oak trees. 3 Dummies were lingering around, not far from where she was hiding. She looked up at the other oak tree. Lach was hiding there. They planned to ambush the Dummies since they had caught 7 of them by fighting one-on-one. Those Dummies didn’t realize their presence and this made things went easier to both Myrr and Lach.
Gripping to her short sword, Myrr gave signal to Lach and both of them ambushed the Dummies by attacking in two directions; left and above. Those Dummies were taken aback by their attacks. Myrr cut off one of the Dummies head while Lach casted a binding spell. Another two Dummies couldn’t move. Myrr and Lach slashed those two Dummies and sucked them in the Trap Plate. Both of them cheered joyfully and gave each other a high-Five.
“We got 10 of them! We need to hunt for more!” said Myrr excitedly.
“We have one hour left. I think we can catch another 10!” beamed Lach with excitement.
Myrr passed Lach the water pouch and they gulped the water down. They took a brief rest for one minute before continuing hunting.
Houle, on the other hand, was waiting for them in the hut where the students were gathering before the Hunting Test. He was watching Myrr and Lach in action on the screen. He hadn’t taken his eyes off the screen since the hunting started. Wreas came back to the hut after taking turn with other groups to watch over the kids.
“Here, have a drink,” Wreas tapped on his back gently.
Houle was startled and turned around. He saw Wreas handed him a glass of berry juice. “Thanks,” he took the glass and took a few sips.
“You don’t have to worry much about Myrr and Lach. Both of them are doing well. Besides, they have caught 10 of them without being hurt,” Wreas smiled assuredly.
“I know. But still, I need to make sure that she’s perfectly save. If not, I can’t forgive myself as being her guardian. Unless I can join your group to protect her,” said Houle. He knew Myrr was stronger than before but he wasn’t confident enough about her safety. Myrr was still a kid and she didn’t have much experience in fighting yet.
One hour passed and the hunt ended. Most of the students had gathered at the same place before the hunting started, including Myrr and Lach and her other two best friends. They were talking about how many Dummies they had caught. Houle approached her and gave her a drink for she was sweating but still looking energetic. She excitedly told Houle and Wreas about their hunting experience and she hoped that she and Lach will get the award of the Best Pair.
“Okay, kiddies! It’s getting late and you need to go home to have a rest. Your result will be announced in the next three days,” announced Plaud.
The students sighed in frustration.
Plaud laughed out loud, seeing their frustrated faces. “Hey, cheer up, kiddies! Here’s a good news. You’re going to have a one-whole-day break tomorrow!”
The students cheered excitedly and thanks to Plaud. They went back home and so as Myrr and Houle. Myrr said goodbye to her friends before leaving. Houle carried her on his back for he knew Myrr was already tired to walk. Myrr fell asleep on his back on their way home. When they reached home, Houle woke her up gently and asked her to take a bath and change her tunic. After that, he tucked her in bed.
Houle went to his own after checking on Myrr who was sleeping soundly. He sat on his bed and looked outside the window. The moon was shining brightly. He stared at the calm sky before lying on his bed. He was thinking of not going to sleep after having the same nightmare for 3 days in a row. He was scared. The angry spirits were haunting him.
Houle sighed heavily. He was confused. Why was those spirits accused him for being a murderer? He was not a murderer, he was sure of that! But still, he didn’t remember his past. Maybe I was a murderer before I lost my memory, he thought. He closed his eyes, trying to remember what had happened before he came here. He then fell into a deep sleep.
“Houle, are you okay?” asked Apologos. He was having field training with Houle and Arwe. “You don’t look well today.”
“I’m fine,” Houle nodded and tried to smile.
“You sure?” Apologos frowned.
“Yeah,” he patted on Apologos back. “Let’s continue with the training,” he turned to Arwe who was holding his bow.
He and Apologos asked for Arwe to help them sharpen their high-speed skills because Arwe is one of the sharp shooters who rarely missed his target. Arwe has been chosen to join the special army because of his sharp eyes. They called him Four-Eyes because his eyes could see twice better than any normal nightingales.
Arwe shot another rapid arrow and both Houle and Apologos dodge it. Arwe shot more and more arrows and they were getting faster. Houle nearly been shot as he rolled his body to the left. That was a killer shot, Houle’s mind exclaimed. The word ‘kill’ somehow distracted him. Then he remembered the dream he had last night. Those spirits told him he killed them mercilessly. He tried to get those voice out of his head but he could still heard them.
“Damn,” he cursed under his breath.
“Houle! Look out!” warned Apologos.
Houle snapped back into reality and he saw the arrow went straight toward him. He dodged but the arrow pierced through his arm. Houle yelled in pain. Arwe, who was stunned by the accident, rushed towards Houle with Apologos. Houle pulled the arrow roughly and blood exuded from his arm.
“You were spacing out just now. What’s wrong?” asked Arwe as he wrapped the wound with a piece of cloth that he tore from his tunic.
“I...I don’t know,” he groaned.
“We must get him to the Healing Squad,” said Apologos. “I’m not good in healing.”
Arwe nodded and both of them helped Houle and sent him to the Healing Squad.
Heilen healed Houle’s arm in her room. With one healing spell, the wound was healed in a blink of an eye. “Alright, that should do,” said Heilen.
“Thanks, Doctor Heilen,” said Houle softly. He looked at his healed arm. He was relieved because he didn’t want Myrr to know about the accident.
“You’re welcome,” Helien smiled.
“Doctor Heilen,” said Houle after a short silent, “can you foretell a dream?”
Heilen stared at him for a while. “No, not really. Why? Is there something bothering you?” she asked gently, sitting down in front of Houle, waiting for his further explanation.
Houle took a deep breath before began his story. “I’ve been having this dream, no, this nightmare nearly a week. I dreamt about spirits, angry spirits in precise, accusing me for murdering them. And there are skulls everywhere. Last night, I heard a little girl’s voice calling me from afar. First I thought it’s Myrr because she always wakes me when she heard me screaming or grunting. But it’s not Myrr. It’s the voice that I knew but I can’t remember. Can you please help me, Doctor Heilen?” he pleaded. “I need to find the answer, who I really am and where do I belong.”
“I can’t really foretell a dream but I don’t think that’s a dream, Houle. Maybe it’s part of your lost memory. Something had happened in the past and you can’t figure it out. I think you should not think too much on that because it’ll cause distraction, just like how you got your wound,” she pointed to Houle’s arm where the arrow had stuck before. “You need to relax your mind, do something that you enjoy with Myrr. I’ll try to ask Cheiftan Skuta. He’s the Cheiftan of Investigation Squad. Maybe he can help since he’s expert in this kind of situation. Have you told anyone about this dream?” asked Heilen before standing up from a chair.
Houle shook his head. “No. Not even Myrr. She thought that it was just a nightmare. But she seems worried since this same nightmare keep on repeating every night.”
“I see. Well, let’s see if Cheiftan Skuta can help. I’ll arrange a meeting with him for you,” she patted Houle’s back gently.
“Thanks very much, Doctor Heilen,” Houle bowed slightly to her before he left.
He closed the door behind him and sighed. This nightmare was tormenting him.