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Two culprits of the earlier commotion were currently on a stalemate. A naked boy about 1-2 years old, and a griffon about 5 years old (one and a half meters tall, no less; approximately 3 times larger than the kid) stood face to face, their emotions unclear. A little cat by the side of the boy was much easier to read: her guarding stance and anxious eyes displayed her fear towards the beast, as well as worry about the boy she was guarding.

Seth, the griffon, was right now in a very complicated situation: he absolutely hadn't thought that the water source he was heading to was the very same place these two brats he wanted so much to avoid were going. More importantly, he didn't know the way out! The stinky cat obviously recognizes him, and its only matter of time when the kid remembers that event... 

"Among all the places possible I just had to run into these two brats? Why are they here? Hundreds of waterfalls nearby and they just had to be here? What do I do now, tell me!" the thoughts were screaming inside Seth's mind, but his face was showing nothing, only a stiff smile.

That smile could mean many things, but to Roma, it could only be a creepy smile of someone scheming how to kill her little boy (actually, she was younger though). Her eyes shone with resolution, her lips curving and showing small but sharp fangs... which the 'bad intended' beast took no notice of.

"A giant moving Red Peach? No way. Peaches don't jump into the water and they don't shriek. And that voice is... Have I heard this voice before?" Hwi's thoughts weren't less complicated than Seth's own. After all, figuring if peaches can jump and shriek was an important question of life.

His eyes were kind of off the track since he was looking at the griffon's right leg instead of his head. Seth understood that as an act of a strong person disregarding the weak, and he felt his pride hurt. Of course, Hwi had no such intention.

"Uhm, hello, who are you? Wait for a second, I'll look..." Hwi finally concluded that he couldn't recognize the voice from the scream earlier, so he decided to take a look at the new guy. Using his hands, he formed familiar signs and patterns closing his eyes to...

"Yikes, he's planning to use his deadly light beam!" instantly recognizing Hwi's movements, Seth took a step back sweating.

"How to avoid? Hit him dead? No way, that crazy thing will kill me. Push him away? How's that different from killing him? He's fragile like a dry branch... Move eyes away? Turn around? Or just-"

Before he could think of a solution to avoid the deadly blow, Hwi already finished preparations to open his eyes, leaving Seth no other option but to...

Splash

...push his head underwater. What Seth had miscalculated was, that he absolutely had no control over his power. His everyday life was among the strong, so he never realized that some could be very weak (the same reason why he sent Hwi flying over a bowl of milk). Little waves that his movements caused were giant water current for Hwi who was about half a meter tall...

The moment Hwi opened his, now golden eyes, he saw a large water current coming straight to his chest. Opening his mouth in surprise was a mistake: while current washed him away, he was also forced to swallow few mouthfuls of water. The lucky thing was, that the water pushed him into the middle of the lake, while the poor cat was sent towards the rocks.

"Aoooooooooo!" inhumanely sounding voice came out from the rocks. A giant Yellow Sun Cat jumped in between the flying cat and the rocks and caught her, sparing her from the certain death.

When Seth heard the wild cat's howl, he knew that something was wrong: there had to be no other strong beasts here since it was the King's territory. Only approved could enter the place. Is it a wild beast? How did it break in? The barriers should be strong enough to stop even his father at full strength, how could merely a weak beast (in comparison to his father) come inside?

"Come to think of it, that brown striped cat is also a cat..." he muttered as he raised his head to look.

A giant yellow cat with brown stripes on the back, it was clearly the tiny cat's relative. And it looked very, very angry.

"Mother cat? Daddy cat? Lover cat? Which one?" even in the obviously dangerous situation, Seth was thinking about entirely useless things.

But as the giant 'lover' cat began walking towards him, showing white fangs, meaningless thoughts ceased to appear in his head, doubts slowly showing themselves.

"He won't dare to attack, won't he?" Seth thought, subconsciously deciding that it was Lover cat.

Knowing or not knowing his doubts, the cat continued walking towards him, his pace increasing every few steps. It was very clear that it doesn't plan to stop. 

"P-Presumptuous! I'm the Young Master of the Griffon Clan that serves the King! If you go away, I shall consider forgiving you and not reporting this incident to the King, if not, you shall face the consequences!" Seth cried, using his secret card: his identity.

However, it had no use. The cat did not hesitate or slow down. Even when 'he' arrived by the lake, it stepped in resolutely.

"Aren't cats supposed to be afraid of water? Ah, the little cat girl doesn't fear water, doesn't she? I suppose her relative is the same..." Seth thought.

In no time, the giant cat arrived in front of Seth who forgot to run away (and missed the chance to run). It was a beast two and a half meters tall, not bigger than his father but still looked threatening enough, as he was right under it's probing gaze and its sharp fangs.

"Y-you, kneel! I'm under the K-King's personal order to protect the, the little master with my life, not s-someone you can look d-down!" Seth stuttered, fear filling his mind.

"Where is the 'little master' anyway? Fled leaving me behind?" he desperately thought, not realizing that the poor child was trying his best to not drown few meters behind him.


"It hurts!" the first thing Hwi thought when the water current hit him.

His body much stronger than an average baby but weaker than an average adult could not withstand the pain sweeping over his body. His lungs were out of breath; forcefully swallowing few mouthfuls of water made his head hurt; his ears were ringing. In short, he was in great pain.

Although he knew how to swim (Uho taught him), he found it hard to do in real time. His arms and legs refused to move to his will, and he felt faint-headed. Only the thought that he might drown here kept him moving his arms and legs frantically, somehow keeping his head out of the water.

"Welp! Hwelp!" he cried.

No one heard, or no one paid any attention. He received no help.

His arms and legs grew tired; his head hurt even more. His golden eyes felt foggy for the first time. He always believed that with those golden eyes he could see everything, his master had said so. But why was that he could not keep those open? He felt that if he closed them, he might not see Uho anymore...

"My dear... you will.... soon...... happy............I wish..........."

Then he remembered, a soft voice, weak but dear. Somehow familiar yet not. It was strange language, that he never heard before.

"Mom?"

An unfamiliar word. But that was her name.

"Master..."

A familiar word. A white shadow, unclear, yet so dear and lovely.

And the world went black.


"The moment father and the King return, I'm dead." said Seth.

Roma turned her head away.

"Do you know why? I was tasked to protect that brat. Yet I'm the culprit of his near-death experiences. If you were the King, what would you have done to me? Besides eating; griffons aren't tasty." Seth continued.

Roma gave no answer.

"So you mean it is all my fault? Well, I don't think so. You are at fault too."

Roma raised an eyebrow.

"You're asking why? Because I was not alone, you were there too. And that giant, your mommy. Let's all take some of the responsibility for today, will you?" Seth said the last sentence in tears.

Currently, there was a little group sitting in front of the cave about hundred meters away from the waterfall, the humble home of the mother and baby cat duo. Hwi was sleeping soundly on the mother cat's back who was lying on the ground, sleeping too. On the other hand, Roma in her human form was sitting on the rock with crossed legs and arms, and in front of her, a blue griffon dripping with water and kneeling.

"I'm dead. When father and the King return I'm dead." seeing that the little cat girl showed no reaction of taking pity on him, he began once again.

"Shut up, or I'll pluck your feathers off."

An image of the griffon with his front body bare flashed inside Seth's head. He closed his mouth in silence.

"I'll tell Hwi everything." Roma said after a while.

Seth stiffened.

"He'll decide. Though I'm almost sure what will he say, so I'll punish you instead." she concluded.

"He'll decide what? Why do you have to punish me instead?"

Thump and a surprised cry came from behind.

"Ah!"

Roma and Seth both looked towards the cave entrance at the same time. Hwi was lying down on the ground next to the mother cat who was still sleeping. He somehow ended up on the ground, instead of the soft back of the sleeping cat.

"That hurts!" he cried.

"Hwi!" Roma jumped from the rock and ran fast to his side, helping him up.

"Where is this?" Hwi asked, quite not looking like someone who was hurt.

Before she could answer, he pushed her away, his eyes twinkling. He sniffed the air and touched the grass on the ground, felt the fur of the mother cat, hit his head on the rock nearby, tripped over mother cat's tail, and concluded:

"Your home? Should be. Weren't we at the waterfalls? Right, where's-"

"You blind?" Seth's surprised cry interrupted him.

The poor griffon felt like he has just seen the light. No wonder, no wonder! The brat's strange actions, always looking at the wrong place, strange light beam eyes, so it was because he was blind! Wait, what does light dead eyes have to do with that?

"Your light beam eyes?" he asked.

"What is 'light beam'? Never heard of it. I am blind, but who are you?" Hwi seemed confused.

Seth had no idea how to answer.

"An innocent bystander that accidentally hurt you twice? A tiny griffon kid who just happened to be involved in two accidents that almost took your life? If he tells that to the King, I'm dead." thought Seth, carefully planning how to slip away, and at the same time, seal the yellow cat's mouth.

"A bird-beast who hurt you twice. Want to try how he tastes? I never tried furry-bird's meat." Roma spilled everything while Seth listened in horror.

"I'm not tasty! I'm not furry-bird or bird-beast, I'm a griffon!" Seth wailed.

Fortunately for Seth, Hwi was not meat-lover. But he was quite interested in the concept of the furry-bird. After all, he had only seen Anubis' human form so Seth was basically the very first griffon he had seen. And bird... furry-bird...

He remembered about a strange creature named Brat who had few screws loose. Brat was also a furry-bird...

"You are Brat's friend?" Hwi questioned.

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