The Blood-Splattered Victory

The war has begun. A prophecy foretells that two saviors will end the carnage, but there is so much death and fear that it Katherine and Kai begin to wonder whether it's really true. Game time is over. Welcome to the beginning of the end.

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1. The War

Kai stood, his knees shaking. His face was pale, and his eyes were wide with fear. It was as if those years with Katherine hadn't happened. He didn't know how to fight the monster. He was a two-year-old again, a baby watching his family being massacred.

Katherine stared determinedly at the ferocious creature. "Kai," she instructed confidently, "we need to kill this monster."

Kai didn't reply.

Katherine turned around, only then seeing just how horrible Kai's condition was.

"Kai," she repeated softly, "I know this is hard for you. But please, just please, listen to me."

He nodded numbly. Before he could move, however, the gargantuan monster roared ferociously, it's enormous talons stepping towards Kai.

Kai saw the creature's tail whipping towards him. Well, it was a good life, he thought stupidly.

Katherine leaped into the air and miraculously stepped in front of Kai just in time to save him.

But she couldn't save herself.

The monster's tail hit Katherine in her stomach with its full force. She plummeted through the air, her head hitting the ground with a sickening crack.

"KATHERINE!" Kai roared, finding his voice at last.

His rage seemed to surge through his veins. Kai glared at the monster with resentment and raised his sword. He jumped up with surprising agility and sliced the griffin's neck.

"There," he spat, his voice full of hate. "This is for all those innocent people. This is for hurting Katherine."

He turned around and ran to Katherine. When he reached her, he wished that he hadn't. Her head had a gruesome gash that was bleeding heavily. Half of her face was bruised, and there was blood dripping down her sleeve. Kai took of Katherine's jacket carefully, and his worst suspicions were confirmed. What had been her arm was now a bloody mess.

Katherine moaned softly.

"No," Kai muttered, reaching into his bag. "No, you can't die on me. Not now. Not ever."

He pulled out some bandages, but Kai didn't know what to do. He tried to stop the bleeding, but nothing would work. Kai was no medical expert but even could tell that Katherine's heartbeat was slowing.

"No," he said again. "No, no, no, no, no. You can't die. You can't." His voice broke. "You promised me. You said we'd always be together."

A soft laugh escaped through the wounded girl's lips. "Yes, I did," she whispered hoarsely. "And I'm sorry if I can't fulfill my promise."

Panic replaced the fleeting joy that Kai had felt at hearing Katherine's voice. "Don't say that!" he said. "You will live. You will. You will not die."

"Kai..." Katherine sighed. "Kai, people die. That's how life goes. Look at all of these people around me. Did they deserve to die today? Is the monster war their fault?"

Kai didn't want to think about those deaths. It brought back too many terrible memories. He didn't want to contemplate the idea of Katherine dying. The idea of another person he loved dying because of him. Those deaths were a burden that Kai had just let go of. Katherine always told him that they weren't his fault. He was a toddler. He didn't know that he had monster blood. If Katherine left his life too, Kai would break down.

"No," he whispered shakily. "I won't let you die."

She looked up at him with those beautiful jade green eyes, their golden flecks, which were so often alight with curiosity, full of sadness. "Give me the mint," she requested.

The mint. How could he have forgotten? Katherine had often told him about its mysterious healing properties.

Kai took it out of his bag, but just as he gave it to her, a horrible thought ran through his mind. "It won't be enough, will it?" he asked.

Katherine didn't reply, but her silence was more than enough of an answer. Kai saw the color flooding into her pale face as she ate the mint, although her deep cuts weren't closing.

"I'm going to take you to a hospital," he decided.

Katherine's shock was written all over her face. "They'll find out," she coughed, her eyes wide.

"So what?" Kai demanded. "It's not like the existence of monsters is a secret anymore, not with the attacks."

For the first time since the attacks had begun, Katherine looked angry. "That's exactly why," she growled. "They're going to think we're one of Them." She suddenly collapsed into a fit of coughing.

"I'm sorry," Kai said. "I have to." He carried her up, half-expecting her to struggle, but she was too weak even to argue.

Katherine opened her mouth to say something. Just as suddenly, her eyes rolled back into her head and she went limp in his arms. 

Kai grunted with the effort of holding her up. He ran to the ambulances that were near the site of the attack.

"Help!" he shouted. "She's injured!"

A nurse looked at the two teenagers, her expression appalled. "My, my," she muttered incredulously. "Exactly what are your parents letting you do outside at a time like this?"

She sighed and called the paramedics, who gently carried Katherine out of Kai's arms and put her onto a stretcher. Kai stared after Katherine, her words echoing in his mind: They'll find out

"Don't worry," the nurse assured him, misinterpreting his expression. "I'm sure your friend will be all right."

Kai clenched his fists tightly. Yes, Katherine would be all right. Because if she wasn't, they would pay. They would pay. 

As they drove to the hospital, anxious thoughts plagued Kai's mind. What if they find out? What if they can't save Katherine? What if they won't save Katherine? He tried to stay awake. It was his job to protect her. But the night and the repeated wailing of the ambulance's sirens finally managed to lull him into a fitful sleep.

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