Derek entered his room located on the third floor.
He had a very long day.
Right now, all he wanted was to shower right and then go to bed.
The hand and fingers he lost last night from his fight with Nathan already grew back.
Ashleigh healed him this morning before she left.
In truth though, once a person reaches 51 Vit, regrowing one's own limbs is possible. However, it takes days, depending on the injury.
Unfortunately, not many know of this yet. Only a handful of people including Derek who has 52 Vit in [Maximize] mode.
Derek went straight to his bedroom and undressed before heading to the bathroom and turned on the shower.
The sound of running water could be heard.
With the water flowing all over his naked body, he closed his eyes and let his thoughts wander.
Since last night, he spent his time trying to make sure that all the family of the victims of Nathan were safe and compensated. After that, he did some training.
Speaking of Nathan, throughout the day, although the people around town won't mention anything about Nathan when they knew Derek was nearby, he still heard some of them.
He heard about what happened at Hunter's Hall.
He also heard about what happened to Team 2 and that man who had his arm ripped off by Nathan in front of Tony's Car Shop.
And as expected, 95% of the comments about Nathan were negative. Some stories were even a bit exaggerated.
One such story claimed that Nathan drinks the blood of children.
Another story claimed that Nathan killed a woman before raping her.
'That guy… Really…'
However, there was one story that caught his attention.
Whether it was true or not, one story claimed that Nathan was from a country called Muwin and he grew up in the Southern region which mainly practices the religion Iklas.
Iklas and Muwin used to be words that were a source of hatred and pain for Derek.
8 years ago.
Derek, 22 years old.
A country outside of Womania.
He slowed down his breathing in order to calm his nerves down.
The crowds around the stadium were cheering. Some of them were mixed with curses from the fans of the opposing team.
He forcefully tuned out both the cheers and curses from his mind.
All he wanted was to focus on the ball right next to his feet and the goalposts guarded by a group of players and the goalkeeper.
He turned to the crowd and searched for seats he reserved for his parents and big sister.
They were empty.
Three days ago, he called his parents and invited them to fly over to come to watch the finals.
They agreed and arrived two days ago and were staying in a hotel.
He reserved three front row seats for them. It wasn't easy because he had to pull a lot of strings to get those seats.
He returned his focus to the ball and goalposts.
The whistle was blown.
He kicked the ball.
"Oh my god!!! Derek Giuntoli nailed the free kick!!! This is his second goal of the game!!! The UCC Rebels up the BBC Splinters by 2 points!!! The UCC Rebels could be the champions in this year's International College Football League!!!" said an announcer.
"Oh, I don't know about that, Stuart. There's still 20 minutes left on the game. A lot of things can happen," said another announcer.
With both fists raised to the sky, Derek ran towards his teammates. They hugged him and started jumping.
The UCC Rebel fans went crazy and cheered loudly.
The game ended with the UCC Rebels scoring 4 points and the BBC Splinters 2 points.
At the locker room, Derek and his teammates were celebrating.
"International College Football League champions, baby!!! Woooooooooo!!!" said Derek while sitting on top of the shoulders of two of his teammates.
On one hand, he was holding the trophy up high, while the other was a bottle of champagne.
He was shaking the bottle of champagne and spraying it on his teammates.
"Woooooooooo!!!" The rest of the players shouted as well.
They were all ecstatic.
The team's coach was calling him while trying to make his way between the celebrating players.
Hearing the coach call out Derek's name, four players and the assistant coach gathered around the couch and lifted him up.
The name of their coach was Crew. He was a 6'5" black man who rarely smiles and always seems to have a bad temper. He was also very strict and was infamously known as The Coach from Hell.
"Goddammit! Put me –"
The players and the assistant coach started throwing him up in the air and catching him.
"Coach Crew! Wooooooo!"
Coincidentally, Derek ran out of champagne. And hearing that the coach have something to say to him, he told the rest of the team to put him and Coach Crew down.
"Put him down, guys. The Coach From Hell is gonna make a speech."
The 4 players and assistant coach put Coach Crew down and immediately started clapping their hands and chanting.
"Speech! Speech! Speech!"
Derek approached the Coach Crew and passed the trophy to him before moving to the side.
"Speech! Speech! Speech!"
The players continued chanting before Derek raised his hand to shut them up.
Everyone stopped and were smiling as they waited for their coach to make a speech.
Coach Crew had a guilty and pained expression on his face.
It's been almost a decade since their school's football team won a championship. However, this year, not only did they win the National College Football League, they also won the International College Football League.
He knew how hard the players trained their ass off and the sacrifices they made to win these two championships.
With that, this should have been a very special moment for all of them, one that's worth celebrating and treasured inside their hearts for years to come.
"You lads did great. I'm so proud of you all!" Coach Crew said with a smile before passing the trophy to another player.
The players clapped their hands and thanked him.
"Thank you, Coach!"
"We couldn't have done it without you, coach!"
"Coach, I wish to date your daughter!"
"Derek, come with me," Coach Crew said with a solemn look on his face as he pulled Derek to a corner.
Derek was grinning from ear-to-ear.
"Coach, that speech was so lame. You're not gonna tell me this is your first win and you don't know how to react, are you? It's okay. I'm used to winning championships back in middle school and high school so I can give you some pointers for the next championship."
Still sporting a solemn expression on his face, the coach said, "There are two cops outside looking for you."
Derek grinned wider.
"Coach, don't you think that's a bit too early? Plus, this is a public place. I don't think strippers are allowed here. But hey, we just won the championship so –"
"That's not it. It's about your family. Come with me outside."
Derek and Coach Crew headed outside of the locker room.
When they got there, there were three people waiting: two males dressed in a police uniform and a kind-looking woman around 30 years old wearing civilian clothes.
They were talking in the native tongue of this country.
"#### #### ## ######"
When they saw Derek and the coach approach, it was the female who greeted them in the Regisian language.
"Hello, my name is Juliette. I work as a translator for the local police department. Are you Mr. Giuntoli?
She offered to shake her hand.
Derek shook her hand.
He had a confused look on his face and gave his coach a quick glance before returning to the woman in from of him.
"Yeah, that's me. So… What is this about?"
"There was a robbery 3 hours ago at a local restaurant by two armed suspects. The suspects were apprehended and 11 victims were injured. Unfortunately, 4 of the victims died. Among them were your father, mother and sister."
"I'm very sorry for your loss. About your sister –"
Derek started laughing.
He backed away and pointed two fingers on his coach using both of his hands.
"Great acting, you guys. I really never thought you would something like this, Coach. You even hired these people to do something like this. This is really awesome. I'm totally blown away! I can't wait to tell the guys about this! Haha~"
In Derek's mind, there was no way what they were saying was true. He just spoke with his parents on the phone 6 hours ago. They told him they were going to check downtown before heading to the football stadium to watch the game.
Sure, he didn't see them on the game, but there's got to be another reason why.
On the other hand, in the case of Coach Crew, he was known to be a very strict individual who rarely jokes around so the players love to tease him a little bit or throw out some jokes to see if they could make him smile or laugh. They even made a list of how many times they've seen the coach smiled and laughed over the years.
And given that they just won the championship, Derek assumed that this will be one of the rare occasions that their coach would take off his strict hat and joke around.
"I'm very sorry, Mr. Giuntoli but this isn't a joke," said Juliette.
"Son, I know it's hard to accept, but it's the truth. Even I find it hard to believe and God knows how I wish that this was nothing but a mistake," said Coach Crew.
Juliette continued, "About your sister, she survived the attack and was immediately sent to the hospital. The doctors were able to stabilize her health and she regained consciousness about an hour ago. They were able to ask her if there was anyone else they can contact aside from her parents and she told you about us. Unfortunately, she died a few minutes later."
"You guys are still continuing this skit even though you've been busted? Wow, you guys really take your craft seriously. I want to hire you guys to prank my friends. How much is it?" Derek said with an impressed tone.
He still refused to believe them.
One of the police officers got annoyed with Derek's attitude.
Coach Crew placed his hand on Derek's shoulder.
"Son, this isn't a joke."
Derek stopped and look at their faces.
Seeing all their serious and solemn faces, it finally dawned to him the possibility that this wasn't some prank.
"Wait… You guys are really serious? And you seriously telling me that my parents got caught up in a robbery and died and my sister died at the hospital?"
No one said a word. The serious and solemn look on their faces remained.
"That can't be, right…?"
"We're very sorry for your loss, Mr. Giuntoli," said Juliette.
Derek took a step back and his face turned pale.
"I understand the shock and pain you're going through right now, but we need you to come with us to identify the bodies and sign some papers," said Juliette.
"What...?" Derek's knees started to feel weak.
He stepped forward and grabbed her shoulders.
"THIS DOESN'T FUCKING MAKE ANY SENSE! WHAT YOU'RE SAYING CAN'T BE TRUE! I JUST SPOKE TO THEM A COUPLE OF HOURS AGO!"
The two cops and the coach immediately separate Derek from Juliette.
"Sir, #### ####!"
"Derek, calm down! Calm down, son!"
It took a minute before Derek finally calmed down.
He was sitting on a bench with his coach and was trying to talk some sense into him.
Derek's head was down and he just kept staring at the floor.
He would occasionally respond with a "Yes, coach" whenever his coach said something. However, his mind was somewhere else.
"Mr. Giuntoli –" said Juliette.
Derek raised his head and asked, "Where are the murderers?"
"They have been arrested."
"I want to see them."
"That's not possible right now but we can arrange that in the future."
Later that night, Derek watched the news and also read a few articles about the robbery that involved his family.
He found out that the suspects were immigrants from Muwin and practiced the religion Iklas.
I hope you guys enjoyed this chapter. Thank you for reading!
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