"Tree of Life? Land of Ophir? Garden of Eden? What is this? I heard of this fictional Tree of Life and the Garden of Eden, but what does Land of Ophir have anything to do with this?" Jun thought. "Nevermind, I'll just focus on things that I can do right now."
The water level returned to its normal height. The plank walkways showed itself after the water subsided.
Noticing the situation, the Death Squad, led by Nik, ran towards Jun.
"Is it done?" said Nik.
"I'm pretty sure I killed it. Though I don't know if there are others lurking under the water." Jun said nonchalantly. He then noticed Gilbert at the back which made him smile widely.
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"Old man! Nice to see you! Hahaha. The staff was a hoax, you should have provided me with some solid intel. Its just a stick, do you want it? Nah, that's okay, take it. I've got myself something better earlier and that makes my heart throb wildly, just thinking that I'll have a plant of my own right on my own backyard." said Jun.
Jun rubbed his palms, then laid out his hand. "Gimme my seed. The marina is saved and my job here is done. I want to get some sleep before midnight."
Gilbert jittery laughed on his spot. He lowered his head and looked from side to side. Helena glanced at his husband worriedly. When her husband was about to speak, she stepped forward and caught everyone's attention.
"I don't have it anymore. The creature took it from me earlier. i didn't know that my husband promised you the seed, but I'm really sorry! I don't have it anymore." Helena said.
Jun frowned as he listen on her speech. He turned towards Gilbert with an inquiring gaze and the man nodded his head without looking at him.
"Hahahaha! What a couple! Both daring to lie in front of me." Jun said while unable to stop chuckling. The moment he stopped smiling, a stoic expression filled his face.
"Assuming that there's more than one seed, I don't think that they would be on the same place! Do you know that that plant is called the Tree of Life that grows for a century! After reaching its final days, it would return to becoming a seed. I don't know how that carrier found that seed, maybe under the ocean or some unknown island, but there's no way that there could be two seeds on the same place, right?". said Jun towards the couple.
"I-I didn't know. I'm sorry... I-I just...." Helena stuttered as she tried to explain but Jun stopped him by raising his hand.
"Nah, stop it. I don't really need your explanation. Gilbert! Cite your promised rewards!" bellowed Jun.
Nik suddenly brought out his short sword and stanced in a threatening manner. The other death slaves followed after him and readied their weapons.
Though Jun didn't order it, he felt pleased at the sudden show of force of his slaves. He didn't know that Nik was actually protecting the couple since he was familiar with how Jun does things. If the boss is happy, he would feel lenient enough to give a lighter sentence.
"I promised you that I would work for you my whole life." answered Gilbert nervously.
"Is that all?" Jun said.
"I-I... I also promised you seeds given by that creature." replied Gilbert.
"Hmm, now that I think about it, you made it sound like you a lot of seeds." Jun chuckled then stared at the night sky above his head. Then he muttered, "I should stop trusting people too much.
Jun closed his eyes and felt the cold breeze of the night. The people surrounding him waited in bated breathes for what he has to say.
Jun opened his eyes and glared at Gilbert.
"You lied to me! And I hate liars! I save your marina for a promise that would never come true even at the risk of people's lives. I declare, and everyone here is a witness, that your family would become my slaves for generations to come! I would take ownership of that tree in exchange for the promised seed. You would protect it with your life and take care of it everyday. Every fruit belongs to me and me alone. That is my condition for not killing you right now! Do you accept?!" said Jun.
Gilbert stared at Jun pitifully, then uttered in a low voice, "Please spare my family...".
"No." said Jun. He then brought out his bone hammer and channel energy into it, causing fiery radiance to shone through the skull's eyes.
The dim area lightened up with crimson shade as the radiance went on.
After seeing the insidious bone hammer, Gilbert finally accepted his families fate. Despite the wound on his leg, he was able to persevere not to fall and yet at this moment, he felt strength leaving his knees and so he knelt down.
Though not intentional, his actions was viewed as surrender his wife also knelt down, followed by numerous thudding noises behind him. Gilbert looked back and saw his fellow fishermen kneeling on the still wet wood planks.
"You guys don't need to do this! I was the one at fault! You don't have to kneel!" Gilbert tearfully said.
"We're old enough to decide on our own Chief Gil. Besides you lied to save us too, right? Doesn't matter. The worlds change to much that we don't know what to do anymore. We can't probably continue fishing right? What if there's more of them on the deeper parts of the lake? Heading out to sea is out of the question too. It's better to stay together old friend."
Gilbert looked at each and everyone of his fellow fishermen. Most were already old bones but there were still a few in their mid-twenty's. When the young one's met his gaze, they shook their heads firmly stating their opinions that they would not be dissuaded.
Gilbert smiled as he resolutely faced forward.
"I accept my punishment and is willing to serve."
It was almost midnight and yet the city plaza was still brimming with people. Mostly drunkards and hostesses having their merry time. No one can really blame them for living life like this since they don't know how long can they live.
Music was playing from a CD player on a nearby bar. Since the town was already safe, people started playing loud musics and enjoying themselves. Laughter filled the air, different kinds of cursing and various stories were being told on different corners of the plaza.
Suddenly, numerous streak of light shone onto the plaza statue. A group of people led by a popular man in town appeared after the light dissipated.
"Aren't those the saviors? It's already late at night and yet they're still working so hard! What tough men!" said a woman fan-girling on the group of masked men.
"Isn't that Black Haven's leader? Did they fought somewhere? I never heard of any operations recently."
"I saw them going east earlier. Maybe they're just making sure that the eastern side is cleared."
"Do you think he needs to grow his hair? I mean, he already looks good, just imagine styling him up a bit."
"Patrick, are you drunk?"
Jun heard various chatters from different sides of the plaza after returning to town. He ignored most of it as much as he could. He even wanted to reduce his hearing radius if it was possible.
They recalled after settling the affairs at the Lakeside Marina. He plans on sending someone to get a contract signed by Gilbert's family. He doesn't care what the other fishermen think and let them do what they want.
Jun dismissed the group and he walked alone back to the compound. To catch up on recent events, he walked towards the bus were most of the news and advertisements were placed upon.
Western Residential Area Reclaimed!
National Police Rescue Operations: Success!
Eastern Residential Area Soon to Be Ours!
After each and every title were short descriptions on how things went and what problems occurred. The last line of the report would always indicate the overwhelming fighting power of the Black Haven's troops.
There weren't many advertisements and most of them were shops that sells food and stuff advertising their products and where the shop was located. The most recent one was Black Haven's Recruitment notice for scavengers that would be held four days from now.
As he was reading the advertisements, he felt some eerie presence behind him. He quickly turned while taking a defensive stance.
"Hello there pretty boy~ Wanna have some fun?"
A sexy woman wearing a blouse that seemed to be smaller than her actual size since there was a monstrous bulge on her chest area. She wore a black mini skirt and a skin tone leggings.
"First time going out this late at night?" said the woman.
Jun ignored her question and remained silent.
"You're a shy type I see... Then do you like domination play? I can do that too."
Jun finally realizing her intent, quickly answered: "Not interested."
He then left and went inside the compound.
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