Jeniyus and Metrinos had been fighting for several minutes now, and they were both getting quite worn out. Metrinos seemed to be losing his ability to use magic, having been pushed to the brink of exhaustion. It happened almost every time he fought with Jeniyus.
But with the two so focused on fighting, neither one noticed how close they were getting to a cliff...
"That all you got?" Metrinos taunted, smiling at Jeniyus.
With a grimace, Jeniyus disdainfully recalled Metrinos' love of cliche movie villain lines. She raised her hand and shot another ray at him, but was dismayed to see that the ray was weak and lacked speed. Usually, this was how her power appeared before she lost.
However, Metrinos attempted to raise a barrier, and it was shattered by the weak ray, indicating just how worn out Metrinos was as well. He was hit by the ray and staggered back about three feet. He shot an orb of energy at Jeniyus, but was surprised to see it hit Jeniyus and appear to have no effect.
This whole time, Metrinos had been walking backwards with Jeniyus continually approaching him from the front. But now, for some reason, Metrinos thought he could faintly hear the ocean. The sound grew louder as he continued backing up.
Then, Metrinos reached the very edge of the cliff and fell down the side, barely grabbing a stray root coming out of the side of the cliff with one hand. The root was near the top of the cliff, and the ocean roared roughly forty feet below.
"Metrinos!" Jeniyus shouted, and ran over to the cliff. She lay down on her stomach and grabbed Metrinos's wrist with both hands.
Metrinos looked up at her. The brittle root snapped, and Metrinos fell an inch downward, pulling Jeniyus with him.
"Use your magic!" Jeniyus yelled down to him.
"I can't," Metrinos responded weakly. "I'm completely out of energy."
Jeniyus attempted to pull him up, but was too weak to pull him up even an inch.
"Jeniyus, listen to me," Metrinos said. "You have to let go of me."
"What?!" Jeniyus asked, stunned. "I can't do that, you'll fall!"
"We're both going to fall if you don't."
"No....just...let me try to pull you up."
"You can't, Jeniyus. I'm too heavy, and we're both exhausted."
"You have to."
"No! There has to be another way! I won't let you die!"
Metrinos' expression reflected sadness as he gazed up at Jeniyus. "Jeniyus..." he said, blandly. He shook his head. "There is no other way. You have to let me go."
Jeniyus stared into his eyes. Her grip around his wrist tightened, and she shook her head. "I won't do it."
Metrinos exhaled quietly. Then, he said, "Listen, Jeniyus. I have very little magic power left, but...I'm going to use it to force your hand."
Jeniyus's eyes widened. "What?"
Metrinos smiled, the sadness still present in his eyes. "I don't plan on dying here, but if I do, let me say it now." Two of Metrinos' magic hands appeared in the air, hovering near his wrist. They flickered once, indicating how weak Metrinos' power was at the moment. His smile widened. "Goodbye, Jeniyus."
Jeniyus could no longer hold it back; tears started streaming down her face. "Metrinos, no..."
Then, the magic hands grabbed hold of Jeniyus' hands and started to pry them off of Metrinos' wrist.
"No! Don't do this!" Jeniyus pleaded. But Metrinos successfully pulled Jeniyus' hands off of him, and he fell from the cliffside. "Noooo!!"
Immediately, the magic hands grabbed Jeniyus' upper arms, pulled her back, and pinned her to the ground above.
Jeniyus struggled violently, but the hands held her tightly. "Metrinos!! Nooo!!"
After a few seconds, the hands disappeared, indicating that Metrinos was either unconscious or dead. Jeniyus crawled over to the cliffside and looked down, but she couldn't see anything other than the vast ocean. Jeniyus moved away from the cliffside, completely crumpled to the ground, and wept.
The hum of the fan overhead was the only sound in the room. Jeniyus stared into her cup of soda, as if trying to see the bottom of the glass. It had been two days since Metrinos had died, and Jeniyus knew very well that nothing would ever be quite the same again. She was definitely going to remain a hero; that was never a question. However, she wondered just when she would even start to feel better. She had been out fighting monsters earlier that day, but took notice of how she took down far fewer than usual. Her heart just wasn't in it. She shook her head, pushing those thoughts out of her mind. "I'll be back out there agian tomorrow," she thought. "Gotta' keep fighting...." She gripped her soda glass tighter. "Gotta'.....keep trying...."
Tears began to stream down her face, as she was no longer able to hold them back. "I have to keep trying....without you...Metrinos..." As she thought of his name, she began to cry a bit more heavily. "Metrinos..." she thought. "I....miss you..."
That evening, Jeniyus went out to fight monsters again, and was currently standing in the middle of a large hoard of what appeared to be blue stegosaurus-looking monsters. She concentrated as best she could, and released a shockwave of psychic energy that tore through most of them. She smiled a bit, and summoned her blue sword to her hand. Taking the hilt in both hands, she began to tear through even more of the creatures. For a while, she did quite well, taking them out left and right.
However, Metrinos' face, suddenly, flashed in her mind, and she froze up a bit. She shook her head, her eyes squeezed shut, and tried to forget the image. But when she returned to fighting, she found that she was unfocused and sloppy, taking longer to defeat single monsters.
Distraught, she dropped to her knees, tears slowly streaming from her eyes. "If...if only I could've saved you..." she thought.
Then, however, she had an idea. Slowly, she got to her feet, thoughts racing about the tragic incident. She raised her sword, and charged at the monsters, easily slicing several of them up. Feeling sad, angered, and frustrated, she tore through wave after wave of monsters. After none were left that she could see, she smiled faintly. "I....I can use this pain to help me fight at least...."
Jeniyus went home that evening with a feeling of slight relief. She was quite happy that she would still be able to fight back the Guild of Villains' monsters at her normal rate. She sat down at her kitchen table with a glass of soda, and began to drink it.
However, she, then, remembered a time when Metrinos saw her drink soda, and told her that she shouldn't ingest such "poisonous chemicals," and then, he purchased her a delicious juice from a nearby soft drinks vendor.
Jeniyus's eyes watered up, and soon tears were streaming down her face. She stopped drinking the soda, and slowly placed the glass down on the table, finding herself unable to drink any more of it. Tears still pouring from her eyes, she got up, went to the fridge and pulled out a small bottle of juice she'd gotten the day before. She took the cap off and starting drinking the juice, wishing to honor his memory.
Late that same night, Jeniyus was fast asleep from the long day, until her cellphone started ringing. She woke up after quite a few rings, and sat up in her bed, exhausted. Confused, and still extremely tired, she picked up her cellphone just as it stopped ringing. She looked closely at the phone and saw that the call was from an unknown number. She looked over at her alarm clock, and saw that it was 2 a.m. "Who the hell was calling at this hour?" she thought, annoyed. She put the phone back down on the table next to her bed, and promptly went back to sleep.
The next morning, Jeniyus got up a bit earlier than usual. She decided that, today, she wouldn't allow herself to think about Metrinos too much, and would try to focus on positive things. Getting up early was sometimes a chore for her, but it always had its benefits as well, and today, Jeniyus thought she would get a jump-start on monster fighting.
She teleported to an open field far from civilization, a common spot for monster minions to gather. Jeniyus began bringing down monsters one after the other, focusing as much as she could on bringing down large quantities of them. She shot wave after wave out of her hands, choosing not to use her sword as it tended to strain her arms.
Then, suddenly, one of the monsters she hadn't touched yet started exploding, as though several small bombs had been placed on it. Once the monster went down, Dameer stepped out from behind it, smiling at Jeniyus.
Jeniyus smiled back at him, and yelled, "Dameer!!"
"Hey, Jeniyus," he said, as he walked closer to her. He furrowed his brow, and continued, "So...how ya' holding up?"
Jeniyus nodded and said, "I'm trying not to think about it too much today."
Dameer's eyes widened, and he said, "Oh! Well....now I feel like a jackass for rolling up and asking you about it."
Jeniyus laughed and said, "No, it's okay! I appreciate it, really."
"I still want to say one thing: that Metrinos....would've wanted you to be happy."
Jeniyus raised her eyebrows a bit. She hadn't thought of that before. "Yeah...he would...."
"But anyway, what say we unleash the wrath of god on these monsters?"
Jeniyus grinned and said, "Of course."
They laughed for a bit, and then, proceeded to exterminate the monsters in the field. Afterwards, they talked and joked around for a while; Dameer even treated her to ice cream.
Jeniyus went home that evening feeling that she'd had a good day. "I'll probably have my good days and bad days while I'm grieving," she thought.
The next day, she got up at around ten in the morning, and started her day. Everything was tranquil and serene, and Jeniyus felt quite good. She figured she was finally starting to move on, and was relieved about it. She kept thinking about what Dameer had said; that Metrinos would want her to be happy. She wanted to do her best to honor his wish.
When she was ready to start fighting monsters, she geared up and teleported to a spacious forest that reminded her of the many various around her township. Such forests also stirred feelings of nostalgia and comfort in her.
She summoned her sword, and began to look for the monsters located in that area. Eventually, she saw them in a clearing with few trees around, and began to approach them, her sword raised.
However, when she got close enough to one monster to distinguish its features, she noticed that it looked similar to one of Metrinos's minions. Trying to ignore this, she raised her sword higher in the air, getting ready to cut the monster down.
But as she continued to look at it, her desire to destroy it wavered. She looked at the monster, and remembered Metrinos. The sword shook in her hands as her arms trembled. "No!" she thought. "I have to do this!" But she stared at the monster as more and more memories of her fallen opponent filled her thoughts. Before long, tears began to stream down her face, and she fell to her knees, sobbing while she covered her eyes with her arms.
Jeniyus had never felt so low. She knew that she had been doing so well, and thought she was starting to recover. However, this had brought her back to her lowest point. Jeniyus felt far worse than she ever had before, as now she knew that even though she may seem to be recovering and moving on, an incident as simple as this had the potential to push her all the way back to square one.
She spent several minutes lying on the ground, right there in the forest, weeping uncontrollably.
Later that day, she went home, tears still staining her face. However, she found a note taped to her screen door. She raised an eyebrow, and pulled the note off the door. It read: "Meet me at the old chapel on the corner of Beryl Street." A look of utter confusion crossed Jeniyus's face. "What the hell?" she thought. "Who could this be, and what do they want?" She thought for a moment, and had a realization. "Dameer probably wants to talk to me again....he might've seen me crying today and wants to help." She sighed. "I hate worrying him so much..." she thought.
That evening she slowly made her way to the appointed chapel. She'd never been inside before, but she'd always thought the exterior was quite elegant. She opened the door and walked inside. There was a young man, about her age, standing near one of the pews near the back of the small room. He had black hair, a somewhat long nose, and was quite husky. His eyes turned to her when she entered and closed the door behind her.
"Are....you the one who called me here?" Jeniyus inquired.
"No," the boy responded in a snippy manner, glaring at her a bit. "I was called here by someone too!"
Jeniyus sighed, frustrated by the fact that she just wanted to go home and rest. "Who I wonder?"
"That would be me," a familiar voice answered.
Jeniyus looked up and was utterly astonished to see Metrinos walking into the room from a door to her right. He was smiling warmly at her. Jeniyus's jaw dropped and her eyes widened. "Meh....Metrinos?" she stammered, her voice wavering as she began to get choked up.
Metrinos nodded. "Yes. It's really me. I didn't die in that fall."
Jeniyus slowly walked towards him, tears streaming from her eyes. She fell to her knees, wrapping her arms around his torso, weeping into his shirt.
Metrinos placed one hand on her shoulder, and the other on top of her hat, gently stroking her head. "I'm so sorry, Jeniyus....." Jeniyus looked up at him, tears still streaming from her eyes. He continued, "I knew how upset you were, and I wanted to tell you I was alright sooner. But...." His head turned to the boy in the room, and his face twisted into a glare. "I had to make sure a certain someone didn't escape."
The boy's eyes widened in shock. "Who?! Me?!"
"Yes, you!" Metrinos shot back. "I know who you are, Slime. Such a fitting name you've chosen, I would say. You knew that area was unsafe and you put it on our location target board anyway! You've always had it in for us so-called 'anti-villains' but I never thought you were willing to actually have one of us killed."
"What?! I.....I didn't mean to kill anyone! I was just.....kind of hoping you would get hurt is all."
"Really? You didn't think there was any chance of someone dying by plunging from a cliff?!"
"I....didn't know how high up it was....." Slime shook his head. "But I just had to do something! I can't stand you anti-villains! You're so annoyingly nice, and you're holding us back!"
Metrinos smirked devilishly. "Perhaps we do, Slime. But there's one thing you don't realize about us anti-villains.....we outnumber you."
Then, four people came in from other rooms and swarmed on Slime, pinning him to the ground. Jeniyus recognized one of the people as Dark Majesty, one of Metrinos's close friends. The other three she didn't know the identities of, but they were all focused on Slime. One slapped a power binder on his wrist.
"You are very lucky that Jeniyus wasn't hurt," Metrinos declared. "Your punishment would be ten times worse if that had been the case. We're going to drag you before the Guild of Villains Committee and announce your endangerment of fellow guild members. But before that....." his smirk grew wider, "we're going to have some fun with you. Ever been tarred and feathered? Prepare yourself for a night of delightful payback."
The four villains dragged Slime out of the building as he yelled angrily.
Metrinos turned his attention back to Jeniyus and his amicable smile returned.
"How did you survive?" Jeniyus asked.
"Ah, yes....let's see if I can recount the tale accurately....when I hit the water I fell unconscious. However, the tides pushed me to the shore where some locals found me and I was rushed to the hospital. I was resuscitated, and made a full recovery. I'd had a few broken bones and some lesions, but, as I'm sure you know, it could've been far worse. I knew right away that someone had set up one of us anti-villains to get hurt, and I didn't want him to get away, lest he hurt anyone else. In my search to find and capture him, I saw you a few times at a distance, but I'm afraid I couldn't stop to tell you I was still alive. I did try once....by calling your cellphone, but...." he shook his head, smiling, "I should've known better than to call at 2 a.m."
Jeniyus's eyes widened. "So that was you."
Metrinos nodded. "Indeed." Then, he furrowed his brow, the comforting smile still on his face, and said, "You were really depressed when you thought I was dead. I must say, I'm very touched, Jeniyus. You really moved me with that. I guess I didn't know just how much you cared."
"Of course I care!" Jeniyus choked out. "I don't want you to die!"
Metrinos knelt down to Jeniyus's level and said, "Well, you don't have to grieve anymore. And as touched as I am, I still can't bare to see you so upset. Tomorrow, take the day off from monster slaying, and I'll treat you to the best day of your life. And for right now, why don't we go to my lair and I'll make us some chamomile tea?" He winked at her. "Doctor's orders."
Jeniyus smiled at him, tears still streaming down her face. She nodded.