PROLOGUE

The day started again. I was already getting bored with the usual stuff that I do. Every single day of my life felt like an endless cycle of tasks, people, places and uninteresting conversations.

In a way, I believed I was quite amusing. I am one of those people who are gifted with the ability to control fire. It's impressive but I study in an old school in the East where all the students were virtually the same. Flight, sorcery, and other cool things for the normal human was just our everyday thing. However, even as you put me in that lot I believed I still stood out.

I know I am better than most of them.

Aside from studying, I also worked to earn a living. My family could provide me all the things I need and want but I wanted to live on my own. I wanted to think of myself as an independent man. I could buy my own things, I ccould feed myself and I paid my rent.

Basically, the only one I need in this world is myself.

And yet, with these exciting things in my life it was the same cycle. I go to school then go to work at night. Sometimes I have a girlfriend or a fling or two and they get to sleep with me at the end of the day or during the weekend.

This is my life folks, and it is getting monotonous as the days pass.

Well, that was my life... last month. That was how I described myself before that incident happened. Now, even as I try to sound as if it is still the same I cannot erase the sharp lingering pain of my hand.

It was only a month ago when the usual flow of my life was disrupted. My life was like a river flowing surely and steady when a large stone that dropped into my river out of nowhere. The stable flow was ruined so much that the river had forgotten how it was before. The rock had become a permanent part of the river. This had become a permanent part of my life.

A month ago I met a mythical creature. He was called 'Tebang'. He was a creature one can only read in books and stories. He's a cunning old soul in stories that my mother read to me once or twice before I go to sleep. I knew him from my childhood as one of the fairytales I would forget in the morning. So never in my life would I thought that he would attack me.

This was how it happened.

I was alone on my apartment's rooftop. It was a chilly cloudy night. The moon hid behind the clouds as I stare at the sky for hours just wondering what phase it was tonight. I was drinking and I know I was a little bit drunk. I am a young man who loved drinking and loved thinking about girls. This was how I usually spend my weeknights when I am alone.

Then he arrived. It was out of nowhere.

The attack came from above. I looked up the moment I sensed him. I didn't know that he was already close to me by then. I jumped out of my chair. He landed on the chair smoothly as I tried to stand up straight. My drink spilled on the floor.

His eyes motioned towards the spilt drink. I took this chance to attack him. I lit up my right hand and I tossed a ball of fire towards him. He jumped. The fire consumed my chair.

I loved that chair!

He then dived towards me. I dodged him as he approached. When he went back to the sky I also flew to achieve the same height as he is.

There I noticed how he looked. He had a short black hair. His eyes were dark. His skin was ghastly pale with lips almost while as well. He looked like a regular ten year old except for his pointed elven ears. He was wearing a dark robe and muddy pants. Unlike what I read in books he was not wearing any hat.

"Do you know me?" Tebang asked.

"You are Tebang."

I remembered in one fairytale that the dark creature disappeared or died at the utterance of his name. It thought he was like that dude. He wasn't.

I was disappointed.

"Do you know my pet?"

Pet?

I knew that Tebang has a companion. It was a strange-looking creature that people called 'Simetra' which meant 'Master' in old tongue. But why would he ask for his pet to me? What am I, a dog pound?

"How dare you…" he muttered, his eyes looked crestfallen.

He looked like a child who lost his favorite beloved toy. His eyes were sad and his lips were in a frown. What did I do to make him look like that? At that single moment, I pitied this proud creature of myths.

His eyes then moved back to me. He was looking sharply at me again all traces of sadness erased and replaced by ire. I gulped. It was going to be a fight. I can sense it. I am not going to lose no matter how strong and mysterious the books said about him. I was not a child anymore.

He attacked. I tried to defend myself. He was so fast that I didn't know what he was doing. I felt a sting in my left wrist. The sting blossomed into a full bloom of pain. It crawled from my hand until it devoured my whole arm. I couldn't concentrate with that anymore. I felt that I was already losing my flight. I was going down.

I fell back on my building. The impact wasn't as hard as I expected for I had tried my best to land safely. As I lay on the cold floor, I felt my right arm hurting like hell. I looked at it. My eyes widened. I can't believe what I saw.

I cried as I looked around. Tebang was nowhere to be found.

I looked at my right hand again. I cried even more. It was gone… my right hand … was completely gone.