Anti Hero's Welcome

Marina, Middle Eastern Continent, Earth


Marina, an immense place of sterile land, almost close to a desert but the temperature was cool enough when the stars were visible in the night sky. Distant mountains became silhouette giants as the blackest sky mantles this whole barren land. Bats and crows hovered over the skies and their shrieks and wing flaps were the only distinct sound, contributed by a strong blow of gale.

This serene scenery was now disturbed as a large humming sound grew stronger and stronger every second as the bed of barren soil vibrates. Suddenly, a large crack appeared out of nowhere like a small fault line. As a portion of the ground opened, a burst of bright light appeared in the center. The rumbling grew stronger and a silhouette of a man crawled out from that crack.

The man crawled far enough that he could lay his seemingly exhausted body against the cushion, the soil provided. The crack closed and all that disturbing sound disappeared along with its light. The area grew dark again and returned to its peacefulness.

Dreygo panted while enjoying the visible stars floating in the night sky. Not to mention the crescent moon laid peacefully almost kissing the mounting peak. His mouth half opened while inhaling and exhaling a large volume of air and at the same time feeling a sense of hope, happiness, the end of suffering, the end of never-ending pain but not the end of killing. He suddenly remembered Kragus – his mission.

The wind blew his body which carried coolness and made him a little more comfortable. 'No more scorching wind, no more extreme heat.' Dreygo thought. He even felt his balls shrink due to the temperature. The upside was they were not sweating anymore.

'Wait! Am I naked?' He thought. He hauled himself from his back and found that he was shirtless but only a white cloth wrapped his waist up to his knees and had no underwear.

"Is this the only thing he gave me? No weapons, not even armor? It is like I am set up for failure."' He grunted. He cursed the Angel and his voice echoed through empty space. He does not even know where to go.

From afar, he found a fast-moving small ball of light going on a straight line.

'A vehicle perhaps,' He assessed.

He was not able to identify it and the light disappeared as it went far enough behind the hill. Nevertheless, he walked towards that path where the light came through. As he got closer, it was a concrete road. He pressed his palm to the concrete and his fingertips felt the roughness and the coldness.

'In hell, I can barely touch the roads. They are hot as magma.' He thought.

Dreygo started to walk and followed the direction of that light. There were distant street lights alternately illuminating the stretch of the concrete road but beyond those lights was total darkness. He was amazed by the street lamps, when he was on Earth, they used torches. But this time they used a ball of glass hanging farther above much brighter than their torches.

He walked for five hours following the road in the same direction. His body grew tired with every step he made and the cold breeze contributed. His bare feet wrinkled almost unable to insulate his bones.

His throat dried and her eyelids were heavy. His sweat trickled down from his temple but dried up faster. He felt that he can barely lift his arms. But he was a warrior, he was born to endure, to fight anything that impedes his mission.

At a distance, beyond the vastness of darkness, there were lights lumped in one place. To Dreygo's vision, they were like fireflies unable to move as they were trapped by a spider's web. He increased his pace for hope of water. Water – that's all he can think of now.

He was never been thirsty in the Demon world. He was not able to feel weakness, he can feel pain but not this weak. He was immortal in Hell but on Earth, he felt like he was on the brink of death. He anticipated one or two Demon gatekeepers with their death scythes, lingering out in the dark waiting for to him die. He sensed it.

'Demon gatekeepers huh? Well, the only dead soul you will accompany on my journey is Kragus.' He convinced himself not to show weakness.

At last, he reached the ball of lights. It was a diner with a series of large bulbs hung outside to serve a vague purpose and invite seemingly rare customers. Or a beacon of hope to people walking like him in dire need of water.

The Harbinger noticed a series of machinery with two rubber wheels connected on each end, parked slightly tilted with a single metal part that served as a stand. Almost all of them are of the same design, bulky tanks with skull stickers, shiny and large muffler tubes, and leather cushions.

'These may be used as transports now.' Dreygo thought. There were several of them.

Above the door was a multicolored illuminated sign board that said – Emil's Diner. He opened the door and he was greeted with an atmosphere of indistinctive laughter from numerous people and classic rock music that came out from a large upright box.

The diner was full. Mostly men and a few women, almost all of them were in the same costumes – black shirts, jackets, and jeans. He took a step inside and felt a sudden sensation of comfort as the warm temperature embraced his naked body.  The Diner's wooden flooring was a lifesaver for his bare feet almost not enduring the coldness of concrete and desert sand.  Everybody glanced at him and the room suddenly grew silent.

'This is what I need.'

Dreygo's vision was just locked to a corner where there were shelves that accommodated various colored bottles with various shapes. He quickly gained strides but was still groggy towards the bartender and sat on a high wooden chair.

'Water!' He said to the bartender, shocked to see him naked and his long hair strands lumping together with sand granules all over them. Dreygo's lips were so dry and he continuously gasped with air.

The bartender quickly poured a glass of water in front of the Haribnger and for a second, he drank the whole glass. He chose to disregard his surroundings and the people in that diner, still looking at him. He felt their stare like arrows piercing his nape.

He concentrated only on water and asked the bartender again for another round. The second glass partially quenched his thirst, it was not enough and asked for a draft beer instead. The bartender felt a little pity for Dreygo and gave him a bottle of Red Horse Beer. Large gulps as the beer rushed through Dreygo's throat.

His thirst was quenched by that booze but his belly rumbled strong like his intestines became snakes eating each other. He demanded with a strong voice to the bartender, "A slab of cooked meat please!"

The bartender, a fat guy, with revealing tattoos on his arms showed no signs of intimidation from Dreygo. He laughed hard obviously inviting attention to all the people inside that diner.

"Do you have any money with you?" The bartender said.

"Money?" Dreygo was silent for a moment. 'This might be their instrument of trade.' He thought.

"You are lost mister and there is no place for beggars like you here. How did you even get here?" The bartender's voice was still loud and had a slight hint of mockery.

"I am from hell. I traveled through a portal to your world." The Harbinger sounded serious. He intended to gain respect or rather inject fear.

The bartender's face now changed and his face drew closer to Dreygo and whispered, "You are still in hell boy if you won't get out of here right now."

Murmurs grew from the back of Dreygo. But Dreygo's face was still locked on the bartender's face with no hint of fear and intimidation. Now few chairs sound like they were moved aside, and several patrons of that Diner stood up.

Dreygo sensed hostility and turned his head to assess his potential enemies. There were about six largely built men, mostly wore sleeveless, denim jackets and tight shirts, tattoos popping out from their necks, fists, and arms, and the biggest of them was a mixture of fat and muscular, had a tribal tattoo on his cheek. Numerous face and nose piercings perfected the definition. The prints on their shirt had almost the same features and designs - guns, and skulls.

'Members of a click ha. They looked like they were experienced bar fighters but not in hell. I lost my kill count when I was a Death Harbinger, surely millions, but these six jokers surely do not stand a chance.' He convinced himself.

They were on average bigger than the Harbinger. Dreygo stood up with nonchalant confidence, his both fists clasped but still hung on his side, and faced them.

"Listen, boys. I am a Death Harbinger in hell and I kill Demons for a…"His speech was interrupted when a sudden sound of a broken jar stood out and came with it an excruciating pain in his head.

He jerked from the blow and his vision suddenly blurred. His body was disoriented from his stand, and he realized blood dripped on the floor, and stained the shiny wooden slabs. It was the bartender who smashed an empty jar to his head.

Dreygo remained his balance. He gained full consciousness after a few moments, his vision now clearer. He held his head up but another blow to his right temple caught him off guard and knocked him down in the process. It was the largest of the six men.

The Harbinger's cheek kissed the smooth wooden floor, and he coughed blood.

'Wow. I forgot the feeling of being human again. This pain. Never had been knocked so easily, especially with a human. Only strong beings from the other worlds.'

The majority of the diners cheered and laughed. They were used to this scenery, and they extract happiness from it.

His warrior instincts kicked in, he rolled, leveraged his legs, and stood up again for a split second. Now this time on his proper fighting stance. He held his clasped fists closer to his chest and his legs spread with his left foot forward.

He positioned himself with his back near the entrance door to assure that nobody will attack from his six again. The closest man took strides toward him and swung his right fist in pursuit to connect a haymaker.

Dreygo efficiently swept his head a little to the side just enough to evade the punch. The haymaker caught only his hair. For a split second, Dreygo delivered a quick jab using his left fist, hitting the nose of the man and it made him shudder.

The man's hands wobbled for a bit as if his strength drained because of the punch. It drove the man a wobbly step back, and Dreygo once again delivered another jab to the man's forehead.

Dreygo did not use his full strength in those two attacks. He conserved it. The man was disoriented and fell to the nearest table, bottles cracked and liquors spilled and the people on that table hauled themselves up from their chairs, now engaging the majority of the crowd.

Dreygo smiled, he felt cocky. "Bring it on!" He was confident.

But before any commotion transpired, the Diner's door swung open. It surprised everybody and waited for someone who intervened in the raucous. Cold breeze hurried in, giving chills to everybody inside that diner. It was unnatural for them.

Dreygo turned his head but still maintained his stance. It was a figure of a man, wearing a black suit, tie, and black shiny shoes, his face familiar, blended features of a man and a woman, with long straight and blonde hair. Dreygo was not sure of it. But it got the attention of everybody in the Diner. The room grew silent again.

The man walked inside and it made everybody was either awed or surprised by another foolish man walking inside the diner with suits on. The happenstance was rare. The man placed his open palm on Dreygo's shoulder and it made Dreygo lose his tension as if telling him that everything will be alright. Dreygo felt saved or comfortable in a sense. Inexplainable.

The man walked passed by him and headed to the remaining five hostile guys. They just stood there for no solid reason. They seemed don't want to fight anymore. The man stood in front of them close enough that Dreygo did not hear their faint conversation almost a whisper.

After a few exchanges of nods and surprisingly, they smiled. The largest guy laughed even. They went back to their tables and carried joy on their faces and then murmurs grew and random conversations now engulfed the room.

Their attention was not on Dreygo anymore as if they moved on instantly. The man sat down on a high wooden chair next to the bartender and ordered a medium-rare slab of meat. Dreygo walked closer to the man and sat next to him. The man did not look at Dreygo at first but when he did,


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