Forever's End (Part 6)

By: Akhi Ryu Go

Eric, Meghan and Akhiyugo travelled to Ihma to get some more information about this powerful thing the Luicans are harbouring.

The city of Ihma generally accepts the ruling of Luican, or perhaps because they're too afraid to fight and wanted to keep a peaceful community and avoid violence and bloodshed. That automatically makes them one of their territories along with the city of Handro, Nuarzis, Luzerba and Vivecaj who embraced the Luicans as their rulers. Actually buong Angaia is considered as theirs, pero syempre not everyone agrees. That is why there's rebels everywhere at merong mga Edgers. Ayon sa intelligence from one of their spies, magkakaroon ng pagtitipon ang mga Luican sa Ihma and they might get some information from them. There's a forest that connects Ihma to Arlisse and it is infested with vicious monsters and animals. Ito ang madalas nilang tahaking daan dahil walang nagagawing mga ordinaryong ampo dahil narin sa napaka delikado nito, but for those who can wield hauwaor it is not a big deal. They can fight back and mostly but not all of the monsters can sense if a passerby is more powerful than them so the weak ones try to avoid them. Mag gagabi na ng makalabas sila mula sa kagubatan papunta sa territory ng Ihma. Hindi nila inaasahang may apat na Luican guards na nakabantay at nakita silang tatlo.

Luican Guard1: Sino kayo at paano kayo napadpad sa kagubatan? Mga Edger kayo ano?!

Luican Guard2: Malamang mga Edger nga sila! Walang ordinaryong ampo ang nakakalabas ng buhay mula sa kagubatang iyan!

The three Edgers just froze there thinking of a strategy. They can easily defeat these guards but they don't wanna cause a commotion.

Luican Guard3: Nanggaling kayo sa Arlisse ano?! Sumagot kayo!

Nagkatinginan si Meghan at Eric at sumenyas sa isa't isa na para bang nagkakaintindihan sila. Magsasalita na sana si Akhiyugo ng biglang lumapit si Meghan sa mga guards and feigned dizziness.

Meghan: Oh! *falls to the ground* kind sir, please help me. That man *pointing to Akhiyugo* tried to drag me to the forest and feed me to what he calls his pet. Sinaklolohan po ako ng aking kapatid na si Eric mula sa kanya.

Lumapit si Eric kay Meghan na kunwari ay umiika ika at may iniindang masakit sa katawan.

Eric: Totoo po ang sabi ng kapatid ko. Sadyang napakalakas ng lalaking iyan kaya tumakbo kaming pabalik dito sa city para makalayo sa kanya ngunit nasundan nya kami.

Akhiyugo: Ha?!!!

Galit na galit na tugon ni Akhiyugo sa dalawa. Agad syang nilapitan ng mga Luican guards and their spears pointed towards him.

Akhiyugo: Grrrr!

He screwed his face and glared furiously at Eric and Meghan and he thought "that was so low!!! Selling me out like this?!!! May araw din kayo sakin!". Meghan just looked back at him with a crooked smile and Eric's eyes rolled skyward and stick his tongue out.

Luican Guard4: Itaas mo ang mga kamay mo at wag kang kikilos ng masama kung ayaw mong masaktan!

Akhiyugo's face is crimson with fury. Hindi nya alam kung anong balak ng dalawang damuho nyang kasama. Dahan dahan nyang itinaas ang mga kamay nya. Lumapit sa kanya ang isang guard at kinuha ang mga ito tapos iniligay sa kanyang likod then they cuffed him.

Luican Guard1: Sumama ka samin!

His glare is glued on the two snickering Edgers. When they passed by them, sinipa ni Akhiyugo ang paa ni Eric.

Eric: Aray!

Luican Guard2: Tumigil ka!

Sabay hampas ng guard ng handle ng sandata nito sa likod ni Akhiyugo.

Akhiyugo: Ugh!

He bit his lips and brows knitted in a frown. When the two of them are behind, Meghan pulled something out of her pocket. It's a small vial with a dark purple liquid. She uncorked it and then a purple haze came out of it and towards the four guards. They all fell to the ground unconscious. Akhiyugo looked at them, then to Meghan and Eric.

Akhiyugo: Tang ina! Kung gagawin nyo pala yun bakit hindi pa kanina!!!

Tumayo silang dalawa and dusted themselves off.

Eric: *shrugs* We just wanted to see you suffer.

He went to Akhiyugo's back and uncuffed him.

Akhiyugo: Seriously?! This is not the time to play around children!

Meghan: Hahaha chill! There's a reason why I did that.

Akhiyugo: This better be good! *Arms crossed*

Meghan: You see, if I took that vial out early on and used it on the guards, pag nagising sila, they'd probably be looking for us.

Eric: Ah ngayon alam ko na. Kala ko aasarin mo lang si Akhiyugo.

Meghan: kaya nga if ginawa ko agad, mas lalo nilang iisipin na Edgers tayo because that was their assumption in the beginning. They would think that we assaulted them because they found us out. Dahil sa ginawa namin ni Eric, we saved ourselves from that trouble.

Akhiyugo: Hindi nga nila kayo hahanapin! Pero ako naman ang wanted!

Eric: Well at least hindi na tayong tatlo.

He glared at Eric and punched him on the shoulder.

Eric: Aray!

Akhiyugo: Bwiset kayo! Di kailangan ko pa tuloy mag tago?!

Meghan: I doubt that. They'd probably stay asleep for three hours. Maybe that would give us enough time para magawa ang mission natin.

Eric: Anyway, where'd you get that vial? It's not from your hauwaor I'm sure of that.

Meghan: It's from Lily. She said I might need it in case of emergencies. Who would've thought that it would actually be so useful from the very beginning?

Eric: You know I'm kinda terrified of Lily but thank goodness she's got the Hauwaor of night.

Akhiyugo took a deep breath and exhaled.

Akhiyugo: Okay! Tara na! Let's not waste our time here!

At nauna nang pumasok sa city si Akhiyugo kasunod si Eric na nakangiti kay Meghan na tumatawa.

---

Ihma is something like a medieval themed utopia. Everything looks so magnificent. The residential houses and businesses are vibrant in color and everyone is dressed up really fancy. The lamposts are lighting up because it's already evening and it made the streets look pretty. There are street performers right at the city square. Then there's a huge bridge that connects the regular residential area to the wealthier side of the city and the mayor's manor. While they are walking, naisipang magtanong ni Meghan kay Eric.

Meghan: Eric, I'm curious about something.

Eric: Anu yon Meghan?

Meghan: Bukod sa aksidenteng napunta dito si Philip sa Angaia, do you know anything else about him?

Eric: Well all I know is, he's an orphan. He's living with a foster family.

Meghan: Is that all?

Eric: Unfortunately yeah. I don't know much about him.

Meghan: Ahh...

Naalala ni Meghan ang engkwentro nya kay Prima Philip two weeks ago. She thought to herself "Philip is definitely not originally from earth. Someone sent him there". Then she remembers how horrific his eyes were back when they were fighting. She shook her head trying to shake that memory off.

Eric: What's wrong?

Meghan: Nothing... Anyway, you seem to care an awful lot about that kid.

Eric: Is it that obvious?

Meghan: Well I never really notice these kind of things pero kase si Solla. She's always complaining to me.

Eric: *sigh* Hindi ko alam kung anung gagawin ko sa kanya.

Meghan: Bakit ba ayaw mo sa kanya? I mean look at her, she's really pretty. She's like the ideal woman for any man in my perspective...

Eric: I don't know... I just don't...

Meghan: Or perhaps there's someone else you like?

Eric: Hmmm...

Meghan: It's him is it?

Eric: Philip...? Maybe...

Meghan: No! I mean look!

She points at the man wearing a high ranked Luican general's uniform.

Akhiyugo: Heads up guys.

Then that man was joined by ten other people.

Eric: That's definitely him.

They hid at an alley then spied on the group of Luicans.

Akhiyugo: They're moving. Kailangan natin silang sundan nang hindi nila napapansin.

Then Akhiyugo transformed into a pegion.

Akhiyugo: Bye losers!

Lumipad sya at sinundan ang mga ito.

Eric: Gumaganti sya.

Meghan: Oh yeah. It is on!

Meghan went back out to the streets and acted casually. She picked up a fancy umbrella from a store then followed the group of Luicans slightly covering her face at kunwari ay papunta sya sa iisang direksyon gaya ng mga ito. Eric couldn't come up with a disguise so he just did it the old fashioned way. He climbed to the roof of a building and tried to follow them as discreet as he could.

Luican General Leo: We're being followed. I can feel wielders of hauwaor.

Then a young looking girl with a pony tail and purplish hair spoke.

Melissa: *whispers* As expected. Then we'll take the plan B.

L. G. Leo: Yes mistress.

They all passed by the street performers and onto the bridge. As they reached the other side, they entered a big tavern at sa loob, may isang kwarto. They entered it but Melissa deliberately kept the door slightly opened para marinig ng mga Edgers ang pag uusapan nila. She even opened the windows. Akhiyugo as a pegion, perched on that same window at kunwari ay isang ordinaryong ibon lamang. Meghan sat at one of the tables near the door. Si Eric naman ay nasa gilid ng bintana kung nasaan si Akhiyugo.

L. G. Leo: So tomorrow night, we'll be bringing in that ingredient to intensify "Mugriad's" power.

Eric: Mugriad? That must be the secret powerful thing they're brewing.

Then the mayor cloaked in disguise replied

Mayor Aurora: So this will take place in the ball that I'm gonna be hosting tomorrow night at my manor?

L. G. Leo: Yes.

Tumingin si L. G. Leo kay Melissa and made an eye contact as if giving a signal. Dahil alam nilang nakikita sila ni Akhiyugo.

L. G. Leo: *clears his throat* but for that ingredient to be activated, we need to make an ampo sacrifice.

Mayor Aurora: What?!

The Edgers reacted.

Eric: What the?!!!

Meghan: This can't be!

Totoong hindi alam ni Mayor Aurora ang tungkol sa human sacrifice na sinasabi ni L. G. Leo. Sinadya nilang hindi sabihin ang tungkol dito para mas kapanipaniwala ang palabas nila.

L. G. Leo: The ball itself is the ritual.

Mayor Aurora: I cannot sacrifice one of my citizens just for your twisted and evil plans!

Then a cloaked man approached her and stick a knife on her throat.

Valmont: You little filthy insect! Don't you dare speak ill of Luicans business!

Napalunok si mayor Aurora. She raised her arms in surrender to placate Valmont.

L. G. Leo: Relax Valmont. Mayor Aurora, we're not gonna sacrifice any of your people. We already have one.

Then Melissa came forward.

L. G. Leo: This girl will be our blood sacrifice.

Mayor Aurora was shocked and she cried.

Mayor Aurora: poor child.

Melissa: don't cry mayor Aurora. This is for a greater cause. I am willing to sacrifice myself.

She approached the mayor and wiped her tears.

L. G. Leo: That's all for now. It's time to head back to the Inn.

Tumayo na si Meghan and hurriedly went out of the tavern. Akhiyugo flew away and into an alley and assumed his real form. Si Eric naman ay tumakbong papalayo. Nang maramdaman ni L. G. Leo na wala na silang tatlo, he smiled at Melissa signalling that they are gone. Nakaalis narin si Mayor Aurora with two of her subjects.

L. G. Leo: Now, onto the real agenda of the meeting...

---

Nagkita kita silang tatlo infront of another Inn. They went inside and meet up at the lobby.

Meghan: Unspeakable!

Akhiyugo: An ampo sacrifice?!!

Eric: and an innocent girl at that...

They just sat in silence trying to process everything that they've heard.

Meghan: We have to save her and stop their plans!

Akhiyugo: Tama! Hindi makatarungan ito!

Eric: No one is dying tomorrow. Let's make sure of it!

---

Kinabukasan, maagang nagising si Meghan. She went to the boys room to wake them up. It was unlocked so she just entered then opened the windows to let the sunshine in.

Meghan: Rise and shine boys!

Akhiyugo: Hrmm... What time is it Meghan?

Meghan: It's 7am na so clean up yourselves and let's have breakfast at may mahalaga tayong lakad.

Eric: Mahalagang lakad? Alam ko mamayang gabi pa ang ball? *rubbing his eyes*

Meghan: Exactly! That's why we're gonna go shopping!

Eric: Wait, what?

Akhiyugo: Shopping? Are you kidding?

Eric: You sure you're awake?

Meghan: Come on you guys! You can't seriously be going to a ball and wear your regular outfits, Can you?

Akhiyugo: Beats me.

Eric: I don't mind.

Meghan: Newbies! You still have so much to learn about the art of disguise.

Eric: Okay sige na! Heto na't babangon na kami.

Meghan: Good! Kumain na tayo and then after that, let's meet up at the lobby 30 minutes later.

---

They rendezvoused at the lobby then headed outside. Naghanap sila ng clothing store and when they found one, they went inside to choose and for fitting. Inside while Meghan and Akhiyugo is trying out some dresses, Eric saw a cute beret. He thought to himself "baka magustuhan ito ni Philip" so he bought it. Pero maya maya naisip nya na baka magselos nanaman si Solla. So he bought a butterfly brooch para naman kay Solla. Tapos na si Akhiyugo pumili nang damit nya and he saw Eric buying those items.

Akhiyugo: Anu yan? Pasalubong?

Eric: Oo.

Akhiyugo: Para kanino naman?

Eric: Wag mo nang alamin.

He approached Eric and put his arms around his shoulder.

Akhiyugo: Hahaha! Nahihiya ka? Nililigawan mo ba ang pagbibigyan mo nyan?

Tinanggal ni Eric ang kamay ni Akhiyugo.

Eric: Akhi, mind your own business!

Then lumabas na si Meghan ng dressing room.

Meghan: Are you guys done? May napili narin ako.

Akhiyugo: Gosh Meghan! Took you so long! Tanghali na o?!

Meghan: Be thankful that you didn't wait until the afternoon!

Eric: Aha? May mas tatagal pa pala don?

Then she handed them the dress she picked.

Meghan: Now pay up!

Akhiyugo: Teka? We're paying for you?

Meghan: Akhi, please be a gentleman just for once. Besides, I didn't bring my money so you're gonna have to pay this one for me. At least hati kayo ni Eric.

Eric: Pati ako?

Meghan: Yes! So hurry up guys! I'm famished and I need something to eat right now.

She headed outside then nagtinginan si Eric at Akhiyugo.

Akhiyugo: Remind me again not to take a mission where Meghan is included! I'm gonna get broke with that woman!

Eric: Sinabi mo pa.

Then they paid up and followed Meghan outside.

---

Night has come and the three Edgers are at the Inn preparing for the ball. Meghan dressed up so pretty and wearing make up just enough to make her look stunningly beautiful. Eric is looking sharp with his tuxedo. He was doing some final touches at nauna nang lumabas si Akhiyugo. Sabay silang lumabas ni Meghan at nang makita nila ang isa't isa, natulala sila. They're both blushing.

Akhiyugo: *gulp* w-wow Meghan. Y-your gorgeous.

Meghan curtsied and then twirld around.

Meghan: Hihi... Well I guess the dress was worth the buy.

Akhiyugo: I agree.

Meghan: You're not too bad yourself. Ang gwapo mo ngayon.

Akhiyugo: *blush* ahem! A-a T-thanks.

He rubs the back of his neck looking so bashful.

Lumabas si Eric at nadatnan silang ganun.

Eric: What's going on here?

Akhiyugo: *startled* A-am wala! Tara na.

Namumulang umalis sa paningin nila si Akhiyugo. Then Eric turned to Meghan.

Eric: What's wrong with him?

Meghan: I don't know.

Eric: By the way, you're gorgeous in that outfit Meghan.

Meghan: Thanks Eric. Now let's hurry up and go to that ball. Lucky it's open for everyone. Invitations are not needed.

Eric: It's a ritual after all.

---

At the manor, everything looks so fancy. There's an orchestra and then there's a lot of people dressed up for the occasion. Chandeliers hang from the ceiling and a waltz was playing in the background. People are mingling. The three of them entered and there's no doubt, Meghan was quite a head turner.

Meghan: *walking in* I'm feeling conscious...

Akhiyugo: Bakit naman?

Meghan: All these people are staring at me. Is there something wrong with what I am wearing?

Akhiyugo: No Meghan. You're perfect...

She blushed and looked at Akhiyugo. Then she resumed her attention to the crowd.

They grabbed some drinks and mingled. Maya maya pa, may lumapit kay Meghan. A tall and handsome man.

Handsome man: May I have this dance?

Lumingon si Meghan kay Eric.

Eric: Well go on. We'll take care of things here.

Then sumama sya sa lalaki and they danced the waltz.

Akhiyugo: Why did you encourage her?!

Eric: Ha? Bakit? Masama ba?

Akhiyugo: We're on a mission remember?

Eric: Hahaha! Tsk tsk. Newbie. You still have so much to learn about the art of disguise!

Ginaya ni Eric ang sinabi ni Meghan sa kanila kaninang umaga.

Akhiyugo: What does that have to do about anything?!

Eric: Akhiyugo, we're disguised as guests in this ball. The perfect disguise is to actually mingle and blend with the crowd.

Then he pulled Akhiyugo to the dance floor and he danced with him.

Akhiyugo: Takte Eric I'm only interested in girls!

Eric: Then you've got a better disguise now.

The whole time they were dancing nakatuon ang pansin ni Akhiyugo kay Meghan at sa kasayaw nito. Tinitingnan nya ito ng masama.

Eric: Oy Akhi pwede ba? Relax ka lang.

Akhiyugo: Relax relax!

He grumbled.

Eric: Nagseselos ka ba sa kanila?

Akhiyugo: Hindi uy!

Eric: Ako pa ba lolokohin mo?

Maya maya pa, hindi na nakatiis si Akhiyugo at nilapitan na nya ang dalawa.

Akhiyugo: Ahem! May I cut in?

They stopped dancing.

Handsome man: Can't you see we're dancing?

Akhiyugo: I came in with this lady. I believe it's my turn to dance with her now.

Handsome man: Dude! You were dancing with a guy just now!

Akhiyugo: And now I'm going to dance with this lady! Or do you want trouble?!

Nagtitigan sila for awhile then

Handsome man: Whatever dude!

He kissed Meghan's hand and she curtsied then he left.

Meghan: What was that all about?

They started dancing

Akhiyugo: Wala lang. I figured we could disguise and mingle but it would be better if we sticked together.

Meghan: Isn't that exactly what you were doing with Eric just now?

Akhiyugo: A-aa... Eh... Basta! M-mag... enjoy ka nalang muna.

Maya maya pa, Melissa came out and went to the center of the dance floor. It glowed in a rune like pattern at napansin ng tatlong Edgers.

Meghan: Akhiyugo, this is it!

The music changed. And she danced in the middle. Everyone was clearing up the dance floor to watch her. They applauded her performance. Eric scanned through the crowd to find L.General Leo and Valmont. He found them at a balcony in the second level watching from a far. Meghan sensed something was off. She looked up and saw the chandelier was shifting. It became a spiked blades of crystal aiming at Melissa. Nakita din nya si Valmont. He was raising his right hand and using hauwaor to detach the chandelier from the ceiling.

Meghan: Oh my god! Look out!

Just then the chandelier was detached. Meghan hurried to the middle and pushed Melissa out of the way but she was about to get hit by the crystal blades...

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