1 Prologue (Nightmares)

It was the early hours of the morning, and the sun had not yet risen, leaving the city in complete darkness.

Godfrey Household, Carcar City, Philippines

"Beep!"

An alarm went off, and a young teenager immediately pressed the stop button on his alarm, tossed off his warm, comfortable covers, and sprang out of bed.

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Within a few seconds after finishing, he started his pre-morning stretching routines.

At this hour, in the wee hours of the morning. Considering that most locals were still deep sleeping, the streets were eerily calm and vacant most of the time.

This young man is between the ages of 17 and 18, and he has a strong physique as a result of his regular training. He also has a handsome face and stands at an average height of 1.8m, which is above the national average.

When the young man glanced in the mirror, he noticed that his eyes were as black as a starless night sky, with a vertical line running across the center, making it a bizarre sight to see.

He then changed into his training clothes and put on a pair of black running shoes in preparation for his regular training regimen.

The whole time, he was thinking back on the difficulties he had faced as a fat young man two years ago, and how when he made the decision to change his lifestyle, everything began to move in the right direction. All it took was a small step of courage to propel him to greatness, and he was grateful for that.

After some time had passed, he gently departed his home so as not to disturb the others.

After exiting the door, however, the young man became aware of certain inaudible sounds, such as a pounding sound, which he disregarded and continued walking straight into the street without pausing.

Bolinawan Street, Cebu.

When he looked up, the sky was as black as ink, which is an unusual sight to behold. The roadways were shattered and smeared with blood as the blood sprayed all over the place as the nearby vehicles toppled over, causing a significant amount of damage to them.

Bryan ran at a slow pace, and it wasn't long until his forehead was dripping with perspiration.

He next turned his body upside down and performed a wall handstand in a quick move, which enhances upper body strength and dexterity by increasing upper-body mobility. The ground behind his track is covered with terrible blackish material, and the smell of decay radiating from it is unbearable to be around for long.

Slowly but steadily, a little light began to shine through the surrounding areas, and the roosters began to chirp their uncanny shrilly cries, signifying that the daylight had finally come. In the midst of it, a deep swallowing sound can be heard, followed by burping, and finally, the screams came to an end.

As Bryan completed his last handstand in order to complete his daily routine, some time had passed.

Despite the fact that he is running unhurriedly towards his home, Bryan was enjoying the light warmth of the sun. Moreover, when he got closer to his home, he spotted June sweeping the leaves away with her broom outside the front yard.

Bryan fixed his attention on a particularly gorgeous lady, whose features exuded a graceful charm: she has a little dimple forming on her cheeks, a well-embodied and slender physique, a voluptuous breast, and a slim waist,

She wasn't particularly tall, and she could even be described as petite, but she had a wonderfully proportioned figure that made her appear slim and delicate.

Yet, in a split second, June, on the other hand, transformed into a black woman, her hair concealing her face, and a pair of broken limbs at an odd angle, with bones jutting out of his arms, And In a state of excitement, she smiled at Bryan sweetly.

"Do you ever take a day off from training? Bryan?"

"No pain. No gain." Bryan replied, wiping his brow with his shirt, and said, "How come you're up so early?"

"You're well aware that overtraining is bad for the body," June said, gently blushing and quickly becoming bashful, making her face redder than before.

"However, I never claimed that working out is bad for you."

"I really need to take a break now and then; my heels are killing me; I think I can dial back my training."

Bryan reflected on what she had said for a long time, concluding that she had been completely right in her assessment of his overtraining. Consequently, he made only minimal modifications to his exercise schedule.

"You're entirely right. I'm thinking I'll take the day off and relax while watching TV and playing video games "Bryan shared his thoughts.

"That's great! Why don't you bring this food with you just in case you feel hungry or something?" June blushed as she glanced at him. "Wait a minute; I'll be right back."

"I believe I should-"

"These are simply a few leftovers; please accept them." June quickly ended her conversation with Bryan and walked towards their front door while humming a joyous song.

As Bryan stood behind June, he observed her cheerful mood and knew that he couldn't turn down the offer now that she'd made up her mind, particularly because she looked to be so thrilled about it.

His defeat was then expressed by a sigh, and he quietly waited outside; he didn't mind waiting for a long time since the sun was shining brilliantly and he felt comfortable basking in its warmth.

...

"What's the deal with you getting up so early in the morning, sweetheart? They look like the cookies you cooked the night before, don't they?"

"Mom, go back to bed; there's nothing there to see."

"But, Sweetheart, you're taking at least half of them, and we haven't even begun eating them yet."

June was teased by a woman's voice, who seemed to be having a wonderful time with the situation.

"I'm giving these to the neighbors, you know, since they're all nice people," June stated emphatically.

"Is it really simply the neighbors next door? Or Is it for the dashing young man who's waiting outside?"

"Mom! I told you it was for the neighbors! Bryan is just dropping over to get it"

June stepped in to interrupt her mother's fussing.

"Stop shouting, your father could wake up; if it's only for the neighbors, go ahead and do it your way, but there's no need to be defensive, I'm not some police interrogating you." When June's mother looked out the window, she noticed the young man standing there and sighed.

"However, I must confess that their son is rather handsome."

June rolled her eyes at her mother's shamelessness in taunting her.

In just a moment, she was out the door in a flash, rushing to give over the cookies to Bryan before her mother could even say anything.

Bryan could sense some movements coming from within the house, but he couldn't hear it clearly since he was lazily sunbathing on the bench outside, soaking up some vitamin D's into his system.

A split second later, he heard the door creak open, and he raised his eyes to see a gorgeous young lady emerge and hand him the cookies she had promised him earlier.

"Here, take it. It's merely leftovers from yesterday's dinner; I evidently made a lot, so I thought I'd share a little of it with you."

As Bryan took the plastic bag away from her, he opened it to reveal a box filled with severed fingers in different shapes and sizes, all of which seemed oddly delicious.

June saw Bryan had grabbed her batch of cookies and smiled brilliantly in the sunlight, looking stunningly beautiful. Her heart flooded with delight as she realized that anything she planned to do today would be a success.

Following the sight of that magnificent smile, Bryan's heart skipped a beat. "Well, it would be best if I got going now since I still have a lot of work to do," Bryan said.

"See you then, and enjoy them when they're still fresh."

Bryan nodded like a rooster pecking rice, then turned around, and took a leisurely stride in going home.

Unbeknownst to them, June's mother was watching the whole event through her bloodied tearing eyes and sighed as she stood outside the window, watching the two of them.

"My daughter is head over heels in love with that kid," She thought as she shook her head, strapped her hair in a ponytail, and said, "Teenagers."

Just as soon as Bryan got home, he saw a black cat casually idling in their front yard, licking its blood-stained red hair as it rested after a satisfying meal.

Meow~~

"Whose cat is this? I don't recall ever having a black cat in the house." Bryan came to a complete stop and shooed the cat away, prompting it to retreat, hissing furiously at him as it came into contact with him on the sidewalk.

The cat scurried away in a hurry after leaping over the wall, reluctant to remain with this human any longer.

After seeing that the troublemaker has left, he proceeded into his house, where he found his family had already woken up. They exchanged brief greetings before he returned to his room to have a weary shower.

He scrubbed himself clean for several minutes whilst humming a nostalgic tune from his childhood, before changing into fresh clothes and heading towards the computer to play some online games.

Yet, as he was about to arrive, he felt a stinging pain erupt from his heel; it was quick and unanticipated. When Bryan felt the pain, he drew a deep breath and clamped his teeth fiercely to keep his cries at bay.

"Bam!"

Bryan slumped to the ground and carefully loosened his leg, trying to see whether everything was well. And when he noticed it was slightly swollen, and a bit bruised, he then calmly called for his dad.

"Please come over here, Dad; I need your help with something!"

Bruce Godfrey, a middle-aged man in his forties, sat on the sofa, sipping his morning coffee and watching television. However, after hearing his child's call for help, he promptly stood up and checked on his son.

As soon as he got to the door. Bruce pushed it, wondering what was so urgent that he was crying out to him so early in the morning. However, he was instantly taken aback when he saw his son laying on the floor, gripping his leg in anguish.

"Wait, what happened to you?"

"I'm alright; don't get too worked up about it or you'll worry Mom and Mira."

Bruce nodded, quickly shutting and locking the door before running over to check on his son's injuries, which he was worried about.

"I think you should stay here for the rest of the day; I'll speak to your mother and sister about it later," Bruce stated this with a pained expression on his face as he looked severely at his son.

As he looked into his father's eyes, Bryan could see he was serious, so he raised his leg slightly as a test, which hurt, and then nodded to reassure him.

"I'm not planning on going out anytime soon because of my injuries."

"That's good," Bruce replied, relieved.

....

Eventually, what seemed like an inconceivable length of time passed in the blink of an eye...

When Bryan opened his eyes, he found himself in an unfamiliar room, with fresh blankets enveloping his body and making him feel comfortable.

While a bleeding man is pounding on a wooden board, fragments of crushed glass from the shattered window sliced him up and were ominously looking at him from the other side of the room.

"Being greeted by your hideous mug first thing in the morning is such an awful way to start the day,"

Bryan grumbled, and got to his feet, then nonchalantly moved his hand upward.

Poof--!

Suddenly some coffee appeared, then, Bryan sat down on the bed, entirely disregarding the bleeding guy, as if he were an annoyance in the form of a buzzing insect.

"Though this dream appears from time to time, I don't mind having occasional pleasant nightmares to get my mind into the game. I've been through a lot, and this helps sometimes. But, the only problem is... Each time I go through it, it just becomes weirder."

Raising his leg up, crossing it. He then began to tap the cup in a rhythmic motion and continued,

"My injuries from the accident had already healed after many months of healing and physical therapy. Since those dreams began to appear, I was having difficulty falling asleep at night. Despite the fact that I was able to record some parts of it, it just fades away, which is rather weird... Even odder is that after a few years of having those dreams, people began to refer to me as the devil, which is a strange coincidence in itself."

Bryan stood up and walked towards the door, gulping down his coffee with relish and willing his cup to disappear.

"Now where shall I go next?" The bleeding man's head plummeted to the ground beside him, and as soon as it hit the ground, blood shot everywhere, soaking the whole area in crimson.

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