World“s First Demon Lord Chapter 25: An Ordinary Boy With An Ordinary Secre
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March 26, 10:15 am, Canberra, Australia
"Take it," said the sun. "Make it yours."
"Are you sure?" Asked Gadiel. The gem in his hand was heavy, shimmering like the moon.
"It looks pretty valuable."
"If a single moonstone is the price to pay, I will travel to the moon and bring it whole to pay again and again," said the man, his seven arms perfectly still. Gadiel briefly wondered how he bought clothes.
"I don't," said the man, grinning, his teeth made of stars.
That made sense, thought Gadiel as he took the moonstone. The man's chest was bare after all. Without thinking too hard, he ate the moonstone. It tasted like butter, soft and smooth and-
-and he woke up.
Gadiel Kazem's room was a mess, but only due to the fact that his clothes were strewn about everywhere. His desk was very clean and organized, and his bed was made; at least, when he wasn't sleeping in it.
He lay in bed for a while, staring at the ceiling, completely awake. Usually, he'd use this time to try and remember his dreams as they slowly slipped from his memory. Today however, he had no trouble at all remembering his dream, with the weird, seven-armed man giving him a "moonstone" to eat. Gadiel smacked his lips; was it just his imagination, or could he still taste a bit of the buttery texture?
What a weirdly vivid dream.
Oh well. Gadiel had more important things to focus on. After all, it was already 10 am.
But first, his phone.
Once he had spent an hour checking and re-checking social media, he finally got up, and called his parents.
They chatted for about half an hour, in a mix of Arabic, Spanish, and English, his mother fretting about him eating properly and his father telling him to take it easy and have fun.
"But not too much fun," he warned. "Study first, girls later."
Gadiel forced a smile, even though they couldn't see him.
"Don't worry, I'm not seeing any girls."
He had scheduled it so that he had no classes today. The reason? Leg day. Gadiel HATED leg day, so he didn't want to make the day any worse with classes or tutes. That way, the day could just be terrible and then it would be over.
That was Gadiel's solution for most of his problems; grit his teeth, and wait for it to end.
Still, it wasn't all bad. He'd have a chance to take a picture of himself in gym gear at least. Not to be gay, but Gadiel knew he looked good. He made sure to put on the pendant he put on yesterday; that was bound to look good in a picture.
As he arrived at the gym, he received a text. He smiled as he saw who it was from. Speaking of being gay…
Tarik: Sleep well?
How sweet. Gadiel stopped to text back.
Gadiel: weird dreams, but I'm okay. At gym, jour de la patte
Tarik: can we meet up later?
Gadiel frowned. They had just met up yesterday, and they didn't normally meet up two days in a row. They had lives outside of each other, after all.
Then again, Gadiel wouldn't mind spending more time with Tarik...
Gadiel: Guzman y gomec?
Tarik: around 2 okay?
They ironed out plans, and Gadiel went in to gym. Leg day. He hated leg day.
But now, he had something to look forward to afterwards. That helped a lot. And after a while, he started to get into it, the repetitive movements focusing his body into a trace-like state.
He let out a breath, to catch another gym-goer checking him out. An older man, very in shape, eyes a deep blue with a salt-and-pepper look to him. Definitely good-looking, but not Gadiel's type.
The man noticed Gadiel coming out of his focus, and gave him a nod, looking him up and down. Definitely checking Gadiel out.
Gadiel smiled internally. He liked the attention, but he was gonna meet with Tarik soon. So he nodded back, then went back to his workout.
Forty minutes later, he was sweating buckets, and ready to sleep for an entire week. After eating an entire field of cows. After a drinking an entire ocean of cool, fresh water.
He grabbed his water bottle, bringing it to his mouth, only to find it was still frozen. He frowned, usually it melted by now. Oh well. He made do by simply holding it to his forehead until he got into the changing room and took a shower. He turned the heat all the way up, but for some reason, it still wasn't hot enough. Damn, he must've worked out hard.
In the end, he bought another bottle of water from the gym vending machine, and downed it two gulps. Then, once he made sure his hair was good in the mirror, he went off to Guzman y Gomez.
March 26, 3:14 pm, Canberra, Australia
"Have you noticed anything...weird since yesterday?" said Tarik.
They were sitting on one of the benches on Garema Place; a little square surrounded by shops with statues and street entertainment. The two of them made a bit of an odd pair; one in a casual black t-shirt with the Yang half of a pendant hanging in front of his wide chest, and jeans with a gym back next to him, the other in a bright yellow dress shirt tucked into slacks. They watched as the pigeons perched on a mime while a child stole the mime's cap of coins from right under him.
"I had a weird dream this morning," said Gadiel as he watched the mime chase the child, shouting furiously. "The anthropomorphic personalization of the sun told me to eat a moonstone and I did."
"He was hot, so I just did what he told me to," said Gadiel nonchalantly.
Tarik seemed to grapple with several responses at once for a split second.
"Are you sure you're a virgin? You sure don't sound like one," said Tarik.
"It was a dream, it doesn't count."
"I- No. Nevermind. I have a point here," said Tarik.
"Well, for starters, there is this," said Tarik, unbuttoning his shirt.
Gadiel blinked in surprise as he saw Tarik's well defined chest come into view, getting a glimpse of how broad it actually was, before Tarik turned around and showed him his back instead. Which was somehow just as sexy; his arms and upper back were very well defined, and the tattoo of the white sun just below the nape of his neck somehow added to the appeal.
"Uuuuuhhh," said Gadiel, brain short-circuiting.
"That tattoo. It wasn't there yesterday," said Tarik, buttoning his shirt up again. "I'm thinking it has something to do with the pendants we bought yesterday."
"Uh, what? I mean, why?"
"Because the symbol is the same as the one on the pendant," said Tarik, holding it up. Oh right. He had the Yin half with the sun on it. Now that Gadiel had seen them both, he did admit that they were quite similar.
"Take off your shirt," said Tarik, causing Gadiel to spit out half his taco.
"Your shirt. Take it off," repeated Tarik, getting impatient. "Are you listening? I want to see if you have the tattoo, too."
"I didn't get any tattoo."
"Neither did I! Just show me your back already," said Tarik.
"Is this how we do foreplay? With weird excuses about tattoos?" Gadiel grumbled. "We're in public."
"Gadiel. Get your mind out of the gutter and just humor me."
"Fine," said Gadiel, turning around. "If you just wanna check my back, go ahead. Satisfied?"
"You have a tattoo too," said Tarik.
Gadiel turned around, to find Tarik holding up his phone. Sure enough, there was a picture of Gadiel's back, with a black moon tattoo, just below the nape of his neck.
"But I...when did..." Gadiel frowned in confusion. A tattoo? Sure, he had thought about it, but he'd never actually did it.
"You said you had a dream about the sun giving you a stone, right?" continued Tarik. "I had a similar dream, but it was the moon, and she was a lady, and she gave me a sunstone."
Gadiel narrowed his eyes.
"Are you screwing with me?" he said. "Is this some kind of weird, elaborate prank?"
"Third, is this," said Tarik, putting a hand on the bench.
Nothing happened for a while. Gadiel raised an eyebrow, just as he started to smell something metallic burning. Then Tarik removed his hand from the bench, and Gadiel's eyes grew wide.
On the bench was an imprint of Tarik's hand burnt into the metal.
"I don't know," said Tarik. "But I have a theory."
He took out his pendant once more.
"A curse," gasped Gadiel, hand. "That guy was way too eager to get rid of these."
"Right," Tarik nodded.
"You had the same dream, have the same tattoo, and half the same pendant," said Tarik. "It's possible you might have something similar. So I ask again; did anything weird happen to you today?"
Gadiel thought back, trying to remember exactly what happened.
"I mean, I didn't do much," he said slowly. "I went to the gym, there was an old guy who was checking me out there...nothing really happened...no, wait."
There was that one moment he found weird. His water had still been frozen when he had tried to drink it. He told Tarik, whose eyes also went wide.
"Well, that makes sense," he said. "Sun and moon, Yin and Yang, heat and cold..."
"Wait, you're saying I can...make cold?"
"Try it!" said Tarik eagerly. "To do heat, I thought about hot thing, how hot something feels, that one time I got burned on my foot by a stray coal."
"You got what now?"
Gadiel screwed up his face in concentration. Cold. Think cold. Freezing ice. Touching ice. Ice in mouth, ice on tongue, the burning sensation of being too cold, the feeling of your joints stiffening up as the heat is sapped out, the heat ebbing away, leaving empty, piercing coldness, preying for heat, hunting heat, for anything, anything wa-
He opned his eyes to find the entire bench now covered with a hard layer of ice, at least a centimeter thick. Tarik had already gotten up, and was watching from the side, eyes nearly popping out of his head.
"Yooooooo what the f-"
Gadiel jumped up from his seat, to find that the only place not frozen was where he had been sitting. Other than that, the entire bench was frozen. Hard. His gym bag was stuck to the bench now, completely frozen to the spot.
Gadiel felt a weird sense of...discomfort settle nicely in his stomach. Yesterday he had been normal, he had been figuring stuff out, going out with the boy he'd had a crush on for a year now, and who seemed to like him back.
Of course the universe had to throw something else on top of it now.
He looked at Tarik, expecting him to look as uncomfortable as he was, only to find a grin slowly spreading across his face.
"Gadiel...this is incredible," he said. "How...how did you do that?"
"I just...thought of cold," he said truthfully. "Like you said to."
"You froze an entire bench...just by thinking about cold," he said, looking more and more excited. "You know what that is? It's a superpower! You have a superpower, Gadiel!"
Gadiel blinked. A superpower?
He looked down at his hand, the idea uncomfortable in his mind. He had a superpower?
"I tried all morning, but all I could do was make my hand very hot," Tarik went on. "But if I'm right, and out powers are linked, then maybe...maybe I can do something like this too!"
"Powers? Superpower?" Gadiel finally said aloud. "Me?"
Tarik finally looked at Gadiel. The expression he saw seemed to pull him down from his excitement.
"You're right," he said. "I'm getting ahead of myself. There could be some weird drawbacks, or it could be some kind of curse, like we originally thought."
"Can we go back to thinking it's a superpower? Suddenly I'm more okay with that idea," said Gadiel.
"Well, there is someone we could ask," he said. "That is, if I'm right about the origins of these powers."
Gadiel frowned, then understood.
"The shopkeeper," he said. "We should give him a visit."
"You free this afternoon?" he said playfully.
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