Official Reboot of LOTM: Sword of Kings AA - Raizen School Arc
Red Haired Demon
Original Episode 1: LOTM: Sword of Kings AA - Daily Life
Previous Version: LOTM: Sword of Kings AA - Raizen School Arc
Previous Special: LOTM: Sword of Kings New Year Special - Vira Hermes' King Game
Previous Storyline: LOTM: Witnesses of Sleepy Hollow & Sword of Kings Crossover - The Corbin Files
"Everybody wants to be famous, but nobody wants to do the work. I live by that. You grind hard so you can play hard. At the end of the day, you put all the work in, and eventually it’ll pay off. It could be in a year, it could be in 30 years. Eventually, your hard work will pay off."
Not recommended for people under 18-years old. Gore images, obscene language, sexual content and brutal violence. You have been warned. We are not responsible for any negative reaction.
- 1 Prelude - 30 Years Ago...
- 2 Opening - Blue Bird
- 3 Verse 0 - The Demon
- 4 Verse 1 - Loneliness of a Child
- 5 Verse 2 - My Last Chance (Final)
- 6 Ending - Through the Dark
- 7 In the Next Episode...
- 8 Gallery - The Old Cast is Back Differently! (Spoilers)
- 9 Vípera's Narration - Teeth
- 10 Trivia
- 11 Afterwords
Prelude - 30 Years Ago...
CIS Productions Presents...
- Narrator: Earth... the homeworld of the human race. The Prime Earth. The center of all Earths. There is something called... Multiverses... Each multiverse has its own planet based on the original planet of the Prime Multiverse. There are millions, if not billions of different multiverses out there. Unlike the many Earths out there, the Prime Earth had a... peculiar history. A world ravaged by many different empires and races. A world different from any other.
A Legends of the Multi-Universe Story...
- Narrator: It's the year of 2033, an era of darkness. Global conflicts, climate change, and the rapid expansion of new technology has left the world in a state of upheaval as the world's nations struggle for natural resources and expand humanity's reach across the solar system.
Original Story written by Sirin of the Void...
- Narrator: The two major powers on the planet, the predominantly West-backed Stabilization Union and the KnightWalker Alliance supported by the corrupt KnightWalker Family and Eastern Hemisphere countries that sufffered coups secretely supported by Eckidina KnightWalker and Juria KnightWalker in the hope to create a global military alliance to finally begin the World War III that is about to break out after the end of Cold War II with the defeat of KnightWalker Funeral Parlor and Moon Terminator Company. These two military alliances are locked with each other in an ongoing Cold War where the battles occur only in the darkest shadows for 6 years.
Original Story written by DarkFallen...
- Narrator: To make matters worse, the West of the Japanese city-state of Tenguu City has suffered a massive chemical disaster thanks to the secret illegal experiments of Eckidina with the dreadful LN-666 Project, one that killed 300,000 and left the survivors trapped in an exclusion zone of Tenguu City, at the mercy of the elements and ruthless criminal organizations such as Mafusa Gang, Intergang and Millennium Syndicate that are one-single organization serving a much more fearsome entity and are forming their own plans to take over the rest of Tenguu City behind the 100 meters walls built by the Global Pact Defense to keep all criminals and terrorists away from civilization. Thanks to a previous KnightWalker attack that nearly crippled Liberty City and nearly wiped out the entire United States of America 3 years ago, the world militaries have focused their efforts on creating nigh-impenetrable air defense networks, meaning that major military actions now rely on literal boots on the ground to accomplish their objectives. To compensate, modern footsoldiers are supplemented not only by advanced humanoid drones that can far out-pace any flesh-and-blood grunt, but also by advanced cybernetics that make them into literal superhuman killing machines and superhuman-like magicians who can use magic created by science. In light of these near-constant advances in and apparent dependence on cybernetic sciences to stay ahead of the curve, some believe that humanity's desire to push the body to the peak of their physical limitations is wrong and is about to bring the end of the world as everyone know it. Some fear that the overuse of technology and Magi-Tech will spell the end of modern civilization, and bring about a new age of control over the public and an era of infinite wars.
Based in the Old Script of LOTM: Sword of Kings written by DestroyersSubjugator90...
- Narrator: Some, ever the pessimist, believe it will lead to mankind's complete and utter destruction...
A Reboot of LOTM: Sword of Kings AA - Raizen School Arc...
- Narrator: However... everything changed 30 years ago. In the early stages of the 21st Century, a mysterious Spacequake devastated Eurasia and China, claiming 150 million lives, changing the way humanity saw the universe. The spacequake tht wiped out most of the West Eurasia and China opened new doors to humanity. A new horizon.
A New Adventure...
- Narrator: When the nations' investigation teams went to study the impact zone, they discovered some kind of astral and mysterious material. A gas. In the debris of the once known China and Eurasia, a blue gas was discovered... and the people affected displayed superhuman traits. Some people were able to control fire at will... some people could display superhuman strength, some could control things with their minds, some could control animals with their minds... millions who survived the incident became... Magicians, however, due to human's inability to control this mysterious power, all world's nations began to exploit this divine gas and adapt the gas to their own form of technology, creating what everyone calls... "Magi-Tech".
A Different Story...
- Narrator: And 20 years later... every country of the world has their own private army of Magicians capable of controlling every form of power... however, one country had a better idea in using its Magicians. Japan, while keeping their own private army of Magicians, were the first people to found their own Magic Academy called... Raizen School to train the new generation of Magicians to use it as a form of increase their economy with international events of Magi-Tech.
- Narrator: In this world that walks toward its end thanks to the exaggerated use of magic and technology in armed conflicts, a young girl with a mysterious past and born with a strange scarlet hair and eyes of a demon is cursed, feared and hated by the people of her own hometown due to her superhuman strength that was born out of natural causes and her uncommon looks. A person who live in a world full of hate and was broken by it... can actually save it? The fate of this world is on her hands...
Opening - Blue Bird
You say if you could fly
You'd never want to come back down
That you'd only have eyes
For that, for that, blue, blue sky
I know that you have to learn just what real sadness is
And you are just grasping now, the meaning of pain inside
Even the feeling I have for you deep in my heart
Must be expressed in words that I can't find
As you awake, from deepest dream
Into this world, you've never seen
I know you'll spread your wing and take
Off to the sky
You say if you could fly
You'd never want to come back down
That you'd only have eyes
For that, for that, blue, blue sky
If you can make it through
I know you'll find what you're seeking
Keep trying to break free
To that, to that, blue, blue sky
To that, to that, blue, blue sky
Oh that, oh that, clear blue sky
And with a sound in the long time abandoned ruin
The crystal panes between us, they fell away into dust
That cage you once were within is now gone to the past
Not turning back you walk away with me
That throbbing beat, so breathlessly
Calling you on, to go and see
The window opens and you find
That you are free
You say if you could run
You'd never stop ‘till you found it
That you'd always move on
Following that clear distant song
It grips you from afar
A shining hand of the future
You will pursue that dream
To that, to that, clear blue sky
I understand that you
Has fallen in the dark
But still you will, continue on
To follow the light in your heart
You say if you could fly
You'd never want to come back down
That you'd only have eyes
For that, for that, blue, blue sky
If you can make it through
I know you'll find what you're seeking
Keep trying to break free
To that, to that, blue, blue sky
To that, to that, blue, blue sky
Oh that, oh that, clear blue sky
Verse 0 - The Demon
Katarina Couteau is a 17-year-old girl living in the Japanese town of Tenguu City under harsh ridicule from the population, having been falsely accused of vandalizing a property of Raizen School, Katarina's teacher of Raizen High School, La Folia Rihavein, using a false name known as "Imperia Deamonne" tries to protect Katarina from the injustice put upon her but to no avail.
In the next morning, Katarina suffer more bullying and verbal abuse from other students who look down on her. After escaping from the ruthless sutdents, she is mentally torture by the Chinese Magician Wáng and challenged to a Duo Battle, leading her to push her body to its limits and later unleashing a strange sinister power.
Act 1 - The Scarlet Demon
March 1, 2032 A.D.
Tenguu Top Bar
- (???): I used to believe in world of peace and justice. A place everyone could live normally without worrying about money and security but since the era humanity evolved and we stopped hunting animals to survive thousand years ago, our essence was lost... now our daily routine is simple: live in comfort.
Seated in a comfortable chair of a bar located on the top floor of a luxurious building, a fair skinned woman with dark-ash blonde hair and scarlet eyes was holding a cup of water while looking through the window in front of her.
The bar she was at was not some random luxurious bar for people of wealth and taste... it was a striptease bar filled with people drinking, laughing, dancing, eating, smoking and playing games on the tables around of the reception and cages of strippers.
While the strippers danced with their sensual bodies inside of glasses cubes to keep men away, a girl whose appearance was nothing peculiar was seated alone in a table next to the window that gave point of view to the futuristic town of Tenguu City.
- (???): This is the best place for someone like me to hang around?
The girl spoke to herself as she rolled her eyes around to have the displeasure of witnessing such dirty place... even if it is a bar, some couples are bold enough to literally have sexual interactions in public without caring about people.
- (???): I hate this town...
The town she was speaking about was Tenguu City, a Japanese town located almost 800 kilometres away from the East of Tokyo and currently holds the first rank of most populated town of Japan and the 3th most populated city in Asia.
Tenguu City had the most unique story of all Japan dynasties; it was founded in 1200 B.C. when Latin warriors migrated from Peru to Japan after two boats of their army were caught in a storm which caused the warriors to accidentally go toward the direction of the Japanese island. Because of that a large portion of its people are fluent in Latin.
In design, Tenguu City was no different from the most advanced cities of the world and was defined by its urban sprawl, which collectively was called Asian City. The dense city blocks were built on top of each other, with lowest being Level 1 and the highest reaching to Level 6. Tenguu's skyscrapers were built with many reaching 1,000 meters into the sky, with sleek, transparisteel edifices standing next to older duracrete structures. Tenguu was so big that the government could come with ideas of honorable warriors of the past or saints to name its streets and neighborhoods so they town was divided into sectors named by designated coordinates.
As a consequences of being the most populated town of Japan this city known as the most multi-cultered town of the country, if not, of the entire continent. People from country of the world come to this town seeking job or study, companies build their own branches here to have direct contacts in Japan, countries deeply fund its industrial and economic advancement as this place is an important town to the entire world... but what Tenguu City has to offer to the world? Raw materials? Technology? Import of vehicles? Construction of high-advanced ships? Strategic location?
The answer is... no. Tenguu City has nothing of that, actually, it is important because it holds one of the most watched places of the entire world... the Magi-Tech academies.
Since the First Spacequake that wiped out most of China and Eurasia 30 years ago, Japan was able to produce Magicians by merging it with its brain-fuctions devices, allowing a few individuals to become Magicians, users of Magi-Tech. Japan was the first country to use it for industrial and economic purposes instead of using for military interests.
There are a total of nine National Magic University Affiliated High Schools in the country of Japan. These are nationally established High Schools for the purpose of nurturing Magicians, the practitioners of modern magi-tech, magic created by science.
These universities, academies and high schools goes by the names:
- Raizen High School
- Raizen Academy
- Daybrooke School
- Yotsuba High School
- Esoteric Academy
- Hifuu University
- Kanazawa Elite Academy
- National University of Magic & Defense
- Sendai Magi-Tech Military University
Among Raizen through Kanazawa, they are schools where only elites are accepted, right at the start of enrollment, the students are already divided into high achievers and low achievers. Currently, all Magic High Schools and Magic Military Academies accept only 200 new students per year. Both Course 1 and 2 will have 100 students each and there are 4 classes of Course 1 students and 4 classes of Course 2 students (The Third High School terms them as "Specialized Course" and "General Studies Course"). The difference between Course 1 and Course 2 students lies in the availability of instructors; if we take away the availability of a personal instructor, then the curriculum between the two courses are the same.
From April 2032, some academies converted its Class E into a specialized Magical Engineering Course from the second year, reducing Course 2 to 3 classes. The Magic Engineering Course has an instructor and focuses on the technical side of magic over practical classes. While the Sendai to Esoteric schools, each with a quota of a hundred students, provide instructors to all the students, the level of their instructors is a notch lower compared to those of the Yotsuba High School and Hifuu Academy.
Even though various schools follow the curriculum guidelines set by the National University of Magic and Global Pact Defense, there are also schools that have their own special characteristics. Raizen High School and its academy teach according to the international guidelines. The Sendai places emphasis on practical battle magic, and, in contrast, the Daybrooke School places emphasis on a large number of highly complex manufacturing magic which is valuable in areas of magic engineering.
Aside from the different focuses in the types of magic, there are also schools that specialize in magic usable in a particular environment. The Kanazawa school teaches, separate from the normal curriculum, a high-level magic that has practical usability above water or seas, while the National University integrates practical outdoor lessons on magic useful in regions of extreme cold or mountainous regions where the living environments are extreme. While other schools may not have their own specialized curriculum, this should not lead one to believe that they are any less prestigious. Raizen, in particular, is an upper-level, magic institution known to send the most graduates to the National University of Magic and Global Pact Defense in United States every year. At the same time, it is also an elite school that churns out the largest number of excellent Magicians for the country's economic interests or to be used in GPD's military.
With all this, it is not an issue to think why most world's leaders send their youngest students with great potential to become a Magician to Japan where they can study and learn how to control their own powers so they can benefit their countries in someway.
It's all about politics at the very end, and the children sent to Japan to become Magicians are part of a bigger global game where all nations are slowly creating their own private army of Magicians to fight their wars. The era of foot soldiers is over, now Magicians with great destructive power assisted by highly-advanced robots, drones and spaceships are taking over the battlefields of all nations. It's not a history of who is the hero and villain, it is all about who is the winner and the loser; the loser is evil. History has always told us that the winners are the ones who write history.
But you may ask... what in the world is happening? Why all nations want to build their own army of magicians? What is happening? The girl with dark-ash blonde hair has the answer right on her hands. The girl who was calmly looking over the town of Tenguu City, turned her head to the bartender beside in front of her.
- (???): Half dose of water, please.
The old bartender immediately bowed his head and pulled a small device that looked much a very thin smartphone that had some holograms asking for the ID of the girl.
- Bartender: Identity.
The girl spoke with calmness, fearing that she would be recognized by the bartender or someone inside of the bar. With a usual smile of confidence, the girl spoke.
At the same moment she spoke her name, the device with on the hands of the barman copied her name and revealed her water consumption and required request. - Imperia: The language in your ID-RE is not Japanese. You are from some Spanish country?
The bartender giggled and put his ID-RE away.
- Bartender: Hoho. It's not Spanish, it's Portuguese. But yes, I'm not from Japan as you may have noticed. I'm Portuguese, born in Lisboa.
Imperia gasped and looked down in shame.
- Imperia: Heh?! Seriously, I'm sorry. I was even going to say you were Italian.
Imperia had the small feeling that "someday" she will piss off someone by calling them Italian... until then, she can pretty much relax herself.
- Bartender: Don't mind it, we are all foreign here. From your looks, you are not from here as well. Where are you from?
It should be noticed that Tenguu City has more foreign citizens and migrants instead of actual Japanese people. For an instance, you can find more Chinese than Japanese in their own homeland. After Chinese, comes Americans, Australians, Koreans, Brazilians and Canadians. 64% of Tenguu City's current population is composed of non-Japanese.
- Imperia: Ah... I'm from... Alde—Poland, Krakow!
Of course, she lied. There is a dark truth about Imperia that she must hide at all costs... that is her background. It's not like she is a fugitive or international wanted person, she is running of someone and need to lie about her own identity and past to survive.
- Bartender: Oh... it is the first time I saw someone from Poland here. So why you are here?
Without changing her expression, Imperia lied again.
- Imperia: I guess you could say I was transferred from the Magi-Tech department of Krakow to Tenguu City. I'm currently working as a teacher in the Theoretical Division of Raizen High School.
The bartender grabbed a cup and put inside of a giant machine of pump water. It was so fortified with metal and iron that seemed that not even an explosion could destroy this machine.
- Bartender: Ho! You are a Magician? At such young age!
- Imperia: No, actually I'm not a Magician.
Imperia closed her eyes with a feeling of disappointment.
- Bartender: But... then wh—
The bartender stopped his own words to grab the cup that filled with water inside of the machine.
- Imperia: I'm a normal human. A mere mortal with inability to use Magi-Tech. The only difference is that I'm a teacher who only teaches the Theodoric base of Magi-Tech. In this field, even normal humans can study and teach to future Magicians. As you may know, the practice area is only applied to true Magicians.
People who are known as Magicians are treated as true genius, heroes and talented people who can be rarely found. When someone sees a Magician, they are immediately followed and chased by journalists and curious people. If you are a Magician, expect a lot of men or women go after you to ask you out, companies begging to employ you, generals paying millions for you to work as a military magician and a lot of international events calling for you. Just having a single Magician in the family is enough for the entire family worship you like a savior and show-off their prodigy children.
If one is born as a Magician, their life is basically complete. There is nothing to be done anymore. Normal humans have to study their entire lives, work hard everyday and spent years and years studying overnight HOPING to get a stable job in the future and continue to work until they reach old age. This is the most natural life form humans know. However, the ones blessed with Magic are special, they don't have to chase after the world to live, the world is the one that comes for you, the world is the one who will follow you wherever you go.
Magicians are diamonds that everyone wants to put their hands on which is why their lives hold more value than your average citizen. For an instance, if an assault is happening and a thug gets two hostages: a normal person and a Magician... the police will obviously prioritize the life of the Magician over the normal civilian. Not even if the citizen was a child the government would still prioritize the Magician over the innocent. But why of that?
The world has changed since 2020s, there are no laws in the world that can continue to hold the same value for human lives. Crimes, war crimes and the death of innocents are not the number 1 issue of the world. Now, it is all about Magi-Tech that can rise even a third-world country to a superpower in less than 5 years and to make a nation thrive sacrifices are necessary. Lives doesn't matter. The balance of fate between a Magician and a normal person is the same as comparing the weight of a blue whale with one of a rat. No wonder why many theologians, philosophers and historians think the true end of the world is near: when the life of an innocent child doesn't have any value then no one matters.
- Bartender: I see but for someone so young to become a teacher in one of the magic academies of of Tenguu City is already impressive enough. I wonder why no one recognizes you here.
- Imperia: The identity of the teachers is closed to public, then they left under the option of the teachers if they want to expose it in public.
As she was speaking to the bartender he delivered her cup of water... a cup that was filled with water only by half. Believe it or not, that small cup of water costed 21109,80 yens, which is the equivalent to 200,00$ american dollar. That small cup of water has the answer to the entire world's situation. The reason why Magicians are so valued, normal people's lives does not matter and why all nations are building their own army of magicians is because the world is reaching its limit.
Since the advancement of globalization and the insane increase in the human population of the world, the planet was pushed to its limits to offer enough resources for so many mouths to feed and sustain.
Human population has grown beyond Earth's sustainable means. Humans are consuming more resources than the planet can regenerate, with devastating consequences. It took humanity 200,000 years to reach one billion and only 200 years to reach seven billion. Humanity are still adding an extra 80 million each year and are headed towards 15 billion by mid-century.
More people inevitably put more demands on the planet. More people require more food, water, sanitation, homes, public services, and amenities – but Earth is struggling to cope. Populations of wild species have plummeted, global temperatures are rising, seas are full of plastic and forests are disappearing. Humans are directly responsible for the sixth mass extinction and the climate crisis, the most serious environmental threats the planet has ever faced. In the rich world, the consume of humanity t astronomical and unsustainable levels. Today, a child born in the US will produce 160 times more carbon emissions than one born in Niger. Currently, humanity are already using the resources of more than one-and-a-half planets.
Nowadays, half a glass of water is more expensive than the whole bottle of Scotch. As the world's population continues to increase, the demand for potable water increases every day... as if it wasn't enough the uncontrolled expansion of industrialism to support so many humans in a single country has transformed the planet into a trash can. The oceans are polluted with industrial trash and more than 45% of all forests in the world had disappeared in less than 20 years.
Even so, in this dystopia of the future there is a country that thrived and became a superpower nation and rose from a third-world country to a wealthy country. Brazil.
Since the disappearance of potable water all across, Brazil was the only nation that was unaffected by the global crisis of the 2020s. Its Amazon River basin includes a vast tropical forest, home to diverse wildlife, a variety of ecological systems, and extensive natural resources spanning numerous protected habitats. This unique environmental heritage makes Brazil one of 17 megadiverse countries, and is the subject of significant global interest and debate regarding deforestation and environmental protection.
All water that is distributed to the entire world comes from Brazil, but more precisely from Guarani Aquifer. That's why the water from Guarani Aquifer, the largest reserve of fresh water of the planet, no longer falls on tap for Brazilians. It is sold by the weight of gold in the plantations of ethanol of the company Aquábras and exported worldwide. The more polar cap decreases, the more trigger the business of Aquábras and its affiliated organizations.
- Bartender: I see... so tell me why you are here? You know... you are very young for this place, right?
He is right... this is a striptease bar.
- Imperia: A-Ah... I just accidentally encountered this place and decide to stay around... sometimes I just want to stay away from work. Also I'm not a kid! I am 25 years old!
For a person with 25 years old, Imperia sure has the appearance of a 17 years old teenager.
- Bartender: Hahaha! I see!
Imperia pouted and drank her water before standing up.
- Imperia: Thank you for the water.
The bartender washed her cup as she slowly stood up.
- Bartender: Leaving already, young lady?
Imperia walked toward the exit as she calm and erotic music of the environment continued to bother her ears.
- Imperia: Well, yes. I have business to deal with. Besides, I don't want to be around here anymore.
- Bartender: A wise decision. I'm not the owner here but I must tell you this, the chief of this hotel is a pimp who will tries to put his hand on any attractive women to add them to his strippers collection. That's why I'm going to warn you to live now.
Imperia was really in a difficult situation, the fact she stayed inside of this place for a hour and did not suffer any kind of assault was already a miracle.
- Imperia: W-Woah... I will be careful next time. Thank you, old man.
Imperia bowed before the bartender in the traditional Japanese style... even though none of them were Japanese. It doesn't if they are Japanese or not, years living in a country with such tradition affect the behavior of most people, Imperia was one of them.
After she left the bar using the elevator she walked down the dark streets of Tenguu City with no destination in mind. She was lying when she said she had important business to solve, the truth is that had carried all of her duties and was just trying to hide somewhere to be left alone for some hours but this town is so active and loud that there is not even a single place for a person to seek some peace and personal space.
Even now in the streets, hundreds and hundreds of people continue to pass by Imperia. Some are speaking on the smartphone, some are using holograms to navigate in internet, some are smoking, some are carrying bags, some are simply returning from work or duties to finally eat the delicious dinner with their families in their homes or apartments.
- Imperia (think): *Sometimes I wonder why I live... this is the life I wanted? Running from my homeland and family... to find happiness? Where is my happiness?*
As she continued to walk down the long and crowded street she turned her to her left to see two men beating a beggar in dark and dirty alley between two buildings. She was not the only one who noticed that but she was the only one who stopped what she was doing to care for the situation... while the others ignored.
- Man 1: YOU BETTER REMEMBER THIS OLD MAN! IF YOU TRY TO STEAL FROM MAFUSA AGAIN WE WILL CHOP YOUR HEAD OFF AND PUT IN PUBLIC FOR EVERYONE TO SEE!
The two man who were dressed in all black kicked and punched the old man for more than 2 minutes. One of them even used a stick to beat the old defenseless man. And for 2 minutes, Imperia continued to watch the whole scene in silence until the two men were done and walked away. The two Japanese men who beat the beggar passed by Imperia but none of them cared about her existence.
- Imperia (think): *Mafusas in East-Tengu City? This is the first time I saw them–No, they were not Mafusas. They are Mafusa-wannabes. Normally, true Mafusas kidnap their victims, bring them to isolated places where they chop them off little by little. For better or worse, I'm happy these guys were not real Mafusas.*
Imperia walked toward the beggar and noticed the bloody floor around her. The man was beaten so hard that he could barely move his body.
- Imperia: What did you do?
A serious and cold-hearted question came out of Imperia's mouth, it was like she could care less about the beggar. With a cold and robotic smile, Imperia gazed at the pitiful beggar.
- Beggar: I-I-I-I... I... tr-tried... to s-teal their f-friend.
Tenguu City is filled with criminals, gangsters and traffickers of the worst kind. As such, beggars have to become thieves in this place if they want to survive the cold streets of this town... however, stealing directly from street-gangs is the worst possible idea.
- Imperia: You suck at stealing, poor guy. You know, stealing from delinquents like those guys is always a bad move. If you are going to steal someone, do it from those old wealthy bastards who just left from gambling departments.
With gentle hands, Imperia cleaned the blood on his face with a cloth she was carrying in the pocket of her skirt.
- Imperia: I don't blame you for stealing to survive here but choose your prey carefully. Don't go after those who have stamina enough to chase you down. Go after the old men and women... just like you.
Imperia looked at this eyes and noticed they were not Japanese or Chinese, they were Koreans... judging by his state, malnourished state, skinny body and rotten teeth...
- Imperia: You are from... North Korea?
- Beggar: Y-Yes... I just had arrived a month ago.
Immigrants are not nothing uncommon in Tenguu City, there are immigrants from every country of the globe even from First World countries like United States and United Kingdom.
- Imperia: You came from so long to try a chance here. I will praise your persistence for hiding in some plane or ship to endure almost 5 days of starvation and thirst so you can have a chance of getting a life here but you should be careful in this town. Outside, this place may look like a paradise but its insides are rotten like the corpse of a dead rat. You were lucky those were normal delinquents... if they were true Mafusas you would be dead by now.
Imperia threw the cloth away and stood up while covering her skirt.
- Beggar: W-who are you?
The beggar had the courage to gaze at his savior, fearing that she was just like another of those beasts who attacked him.
- Imperia: A person who shouldn't exist. I'm nobody.
Imperia walked away with a sad expression, leaving behind almost 1055270.00 yens... for an instance all that amount of money is the equivalent to 10,000$ dollars!
- Beggar: !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
The beggar couldn't see from where all that money showed up, at the time he looked to his left it was already there. There was no doubt... it was that girl who left all that money.
- Beggar: You...!
By the time the beggar looked ahead, his savior was gone, there was no one there besides the rats eating the trash. The only people he could see were the people who were passing by the alley.
Even in a town where the worst of human nature shows up, there are a few people capable of using their own hearts instead of negative emotions... this is what many would think but the old man had a different though.
- Beggar: An angel...?
30 minutes later...
Raizen High School
Raizen High School... when people think about schools, academies or universities they believe to a one or two more building with a closed private area. But no... the Magic academies of Tenguu City are not schools... they cities.
Raizen High School and its Raizen Academy are also known as Academy Magic City of Science and Technology, is a landlocked sovereign city-state whose territory consists of a walled enclave within the Tenguu Metropolitan Employment Area.
As the school/city's name suggests, it is a city of several schools and institutions of higher learning from kindergarten to university level that learn side-by-side along with the scientists who research on psychic powers and higher technology and Magi-Tech, the latter being one of the primary reasons for its establishment. Tenguu City is divided between 9 Academy Cities, Raizen is one of them. Due to this regions where academies are funded by almost every major country of the world, Tenguu City stands as the most advanced city in the world and its technology is said to be 30 years ahead of the world. Raizen School alone is composed of 23 districts, called School Districts which are simply numbered from one to twenty-three and each of these districts have a specific purpose.
The Raizen School is apparently located in a region where there is a constant wind that flows within the city, allowing its wind turbines to generate power. Climate in Raizen School is probably the same in Tenguu City and other surrounding areas, though through its technological advances they are able to predict the weather much more accurately and can actually give schedules on when the weather might change.
Raizen is also roughly 1/3 the size of Tenguu City, meaning they have the largest area of all Magi-Tech academies in Tenguu City.
- Imperia: I should buy a bike when I receive my salary.
Imperia is an athletic person but the only thing she does the most is walk around the districts of Tenguu City... she can spend more than 8 hours walking around the town, visiting places she never knew before, reading a book in some random park or eating junk food with no purpose in mind besides doing it for the lulz. Even so, walking for kilometres is exhausting and so she is been thinking in buying a bike recently... a person of her mysterious profile who seems to have a lot of money can even buy a car but she prefers the most old types of transport due to Tenguu's vehicle traffic that is beyond human imagination. One person can be stuck in the same congestion for almost 6 hours each street, there are too many people and vehicles in this town for its streets.
After walking a little more Imperia had arrived in a block of small building with design of medieval houses. In fact, this area is called "Magi-Tech Base Department". Much like Imperia spoke earlier, this is where normal people can teach beginner Magicians the basics of Magi-Tech, or better, the theoretical phase of Magi-Tech that begins before the true practice.
Imperia sighed in tiredness.
- Imperia: Another lousy day... I couldn't find a place peaceful for my reading. And I was so eager to read the scene where the hero gets to "do it" with the princess.
Imperia has some interesting tastes... she enjoys erotic novels.
Without think much about her waste of time, Imperia entered in the building and walked down empty hallway of the department. The hallways may be empty but all classrooms right now are having classes, each one with their respective teachers, the voices of all teachers and young magicians echoed through the corridors.
- (???): Excuse me, Miss Deamonne.
A very small woman popped out of nowhere behind Imperia, luckily she was so cute that it was impossible to get scared.
- Imperia: Miss Okamine? What is it so suddenly?
That person was Tamae Okamine, just like Imperia, she is a teacher in the basics phase and a homeroom teacher for Raizen School classes. Her students usually called her by her nickname, Tama-chan, due to her younger appearance. As she is 29 years old and still single, she is very anxious to get married. Despite her cute appearance, Tama is actually Earth Style Magician, capable of controlling sand at her own free will. She is one of the few people in Tenguu City capable of controlling sand which makes her vastly superior to Imperia.
- Tama: Are you going to your office?
Tama asked with a very thin, cute and childish voice... it is almost impossible to think that person was not some child playing as a teacher.
- Imperia: Y-Yes... there are some issues going on?
Tama swung her arms around to deny.
- Tama: N-No, everything is okay around this department. But... we have another student report today as well.
- Imperia: Student report? From whom?
Tama opened a book on her hands, from this point of view it seems that Imperia is the who boss Tama around like a subordinates.
- Tama: From the student of Division 10, Class 2-3, Lightning field. Toshiki Kai... a report against... the student. E-Eh. Katarina Couteau.
Imperia sharpened her eyes with suspicion. This is not the first that some student opens a feedback of the school to report a student. Moreover, this is not the first that this person, Katarina Couteau, shows up at the staff office after being reported by some random student.
- Imperia (think): *Again... moreover by the same guy.*
Imperia pressed her fingers against her forehead as a signal of more tiredness. This day is being more and more tiresome for her.
- Imperia: Alright, let's go to my office.
3 minutes later
Imperia's Personal Office
Opening the door of her own office, Imperia had the revolting moment of witnessing a boy messing around her office without her permission.
Imperia is a very preserved person so she hates when people touch her goods without her permission. In this case, the boy was seated in her chair, with his feet over her table and was playing with the Earth sphere.
- Imperia: You have some cocky attitude to enter my office like this without my consent. You are seeking for expulsion of the academy?
The boy who was wearing the male uniform of the academy turned Imperia's chair to spot her and Tama standing in front of the door. That person was Toshiki Kai, a student of the Basics department for almost 3 years. Normally, the Basic Department is the first step of every Magician to rise through the ranks of the academy but Toshiki is so lazy and uncaring that he repeated the same field for 3 years without moving a single step, he gets the lowest grades, insults his fellow students and teachers, show no respect for his superiors and has the courage to say he is the strongest lightning Magician of the academy.
- Toshiki: Yo, Sensei! I have been waiting for here since... 06:20 PM? I guess...
Toshiki stood up, acting like the same arrogant thug he always was.
- Tama: Toshiki-san, please mind your mann-!
Tama, a peaceful person who prefer to solve things with words was the first to step forward to stop some kind of fight inside of that office. Obviously, Imperia was going to get killed if she and Toshiki fought seriously because like she said before, she is not a Magician by any means, she is a normal person. A small attack of Toshiki is enough to leave her in coma for months.
- Toshiki: Shut it, Tama-chan! You and I know that our mongrel teacher here just have to accept the fact she is not in position to talk back to me!
As much as Imperia hated it, he was right. She is a teacher in an academy of Magicians when she is not an user of Magi-Tech herself. Besides, she is just a teacher who gives classes about the basic forms of Magi-Tech, there is nothing for her to do when someone stronger than her is verbally abusing her.
- Imperia: Knock it off! Tell what do you want!
Toshiki giggled like a thug.
- Toshiki: Kikikiki! You know for what I came here... I came to report that loser. I spotted that thug vandalizing the wall of the warehouse just a hour ago. I caught her during the act so when I went to call her attention she ran away. I may be crude but I am not a delinquent who destroy the property of the academy. Besides, I'm doing my job as a student of this academy.
Toshiki let out smile, disgusting both Tama and Imperia, not even the former can sympathize with this sore excuse of man.
- Imperia (think): *You are not even part of this academy to begin with, scumbag.*
- Tama: Are you sure it was her, Toshiki... the last time you reported her for destroy the chair of a honorable student out of envy but it turns out it was another person.
And they never caught the person who destroyed that chair... for some "unknown" reason. Deep inside, Imperia knew this boy was just trying to incriminate his classmate.
- Toshiki: No! It was her! There is not doubt! There is no way I could not recognize those red glowing eyes and scarlet hair. I tell you this, teacher, she is a demon. How in the world someone who does not possess ANY form of Magi-Tech is able to enroll in this academy? What are her abilities? Don't you think there is something wrong here?! She freaks out everyone around her with a creepy aura, her eyes glow red out of nowhere and sometimes let out some creepy grins with a murderous aura! She stalks people of her class! She always shows up with blood on her hands and mouth! She is a MONSTER! What is wrong trying to get rid of this plague out of this academy! That unnatural appearance is out of this world! On the other hand, I should be praised for being the only who stands against her! She should be better off dead! Besides, what she is even doing here? It is clear she has no abilities or capacity to use Magi-Tech! She is a failure and shame this academy!
Suddenly, a person showed up right behind Tama and Imperia, scaring the three in the office.
- (???): I wonder why you never had the courage to say that on my face!
The person passed by Tama and Imperia and revealed to be the "reported student". Just as her name was mentioned before, she is Katarina Couteau, the "Problem Student" that everyone hates and fear.
- Imperia: Katarina!
Imperia and Tama turned around to see an angry Katarina with gazing at Toshiki with an expression full of hatred and anger. Despite everything said about her before the girl who was called a monster is more gorgeous than most of the women in the field. Having a tall figure, Katarina is a slender young girl with hip-length with a very long scarlet hair and red eyes that seems to be glowing most of the time. Her skin is just white, soft and clean as Imperia and has a incredible female proportion.
Katarina bit her lips in anger, holding her fists and legs to not run toward the student and beat him to a near state of death.
- Tama: Miss Couteau! Please hold yourself! This is no place for fighting!
- Katarina: HE IS ASKING FOR IT!
Tama held Katarina's arms to prevent her from doing anything reckless, Imperia just watched the scene with surprise but knew Katarina would not do such thing... yet...
- Imperia: Let's calm down, Katarina. If you want to beat him you can challenge him to a Duo Battle later, but for now, you two should restrain yourselves. This is not a street gang fight. This is the Raizen School, the most advanced and famous Magi-Tech academy of the world. You shouldn't be doing anything to shame its image.
Toshiki walked away from Imperia's chair, rising his tone of cynism and arrogance.
- Toshiki: Oh well, look who is here. The failed student that don't have a single ability! Tell me, sensei! What a normal person like her is doing in this academy! She is a normal, a NORMAL human! She does not have any Magi-Tech fitness yet she is here shaming our class! What is this?! SOME KIND OF JOKE?!
Imperia walked toward her desk and casually seated where Toshikiwas seated a few seconds ago.
- Imperia: What a person is doing in this academy is none of your concern. If she passed the entrance exam that means the directory discovered something about her. You have no business with other students' skills or abilities, Toshiki-san. So tell me, Miss Katarina, what he is saying about you is true? Did you vandalized our warehouse as he is talking about?
Toshiki clenched his fist in anger and disgust thanks to the mere presence of Katarina.
- Katarina: No! First of all, the warehouse is locked with a digital password and a keycard. The only ones who have access to the warehouse of this department are the representatives students of each class! If I dare to say, Toshiki is a very close friend of the representative student of my class and I know how these two are always trying to charge me with false acts of vandalism and bullying!
Toshiki smashed his hand on Imperia's table.
- Tama: !!!!!!!!
Tamae jumped in a jumpscare.
- Toshiki: Then you could simply have stalked him to know the password and then stole the keycard from him to enter in the warehouse and destroy the honorable property of this academy! STOP lying for once! Just this time, ADMIT that you did something wrong! Why can't you stop lying and lying to everyone around! You always do this! You destroy and steal so you can blame everything on other people! You are a nuisence! No one here likes you because of your selfishness!
Here comes the drama card...
- Katarina (think): *This guy... how I really want to kill him right now...*
- Imperia: Yet you don't have proof that she did all of this. If I recall, you sent a report 06:15 PM, meaning you came here immediately after you witnessed Katarina supposedly vandalizing the warehouse. You said yourself that you have been waiting for me since 06:20 PM. Yet... I'm curious. At that time, Katarina was not around the warehouse but in the classroom with Tama Okamine having tuition that goes from 05:00 PM to 07:00 PM. And YOU, was supposed to be practicing classes of engineering with the teacher Phoenix Wright. What were YOU doing in the warehouse that time? Even if you said you saw Katarina doing the act before the beginning of your classes and THEN came here to report this, your engineering class starts 03:30 PM and ends around 07:30 PM. You are going to tell me your ditched your class just to report Katarina in a place where she was never around this afternoon?
Katarina widened her eyes in happiness... as expected from her, she never even once suspected she was the culprit behind such act of vandalism.
- Toshiki: N-NO! I—
Imperia interrupted him, thinking there was no need for her to hear anymore word coming from his mouth. Tama was even more surprised than Toshiki, she did not tell anything about her class with Katarina or details of the situation yet she deduced everything in a short period of time.
- Imperia: Too bad for you, Toshiki-san. But you failed again. How many times this happened this week? Three times? If you are going to incriminate someone, mind the location and hour. Incrimination is an art that requires precision and patience... something you lack.
Tama and Katarina sighed in relief... if you wanna something solved quickly without delays then Imperia is the best option around.
- Katarina (think): *She may be rigid but Imperia is impressive. She is aware to see through all people who come for her even after being called inferior for not being a Magician like all the others. She is... so much better than me.*
Toshiki began to stutter and tried to come out with some excuse... his previous attempts to incriminate Katarina turned out to be a mystery thanks to Imperia. But now, Toshiki was the one who was caught lying to his own teacher in order to harm a fellow classmate... this kind of crime is punished with expulsion.
- Toshiki: N-NO! YOU DON'T UNDERSTAND! I-
Toshiki began to sweat and shake in fear... he knows his destiny if he caught lying to his teacher. His only fate is exile of ALL Magi-Tech academies of Tenguu City. In the worst case, the GPD might send him to their research branch in Japan to remove all his Magi-Tech powers in order to return him to his normal human status.
- Imperia: You were the only who entered the warehouse today... why of that? Because yesterday was your turn to return all gym equipments to the warehouse. You vandalized the wall and closed the warehouse. In the next day, you return the keycard to the representative student of your class but before your engineering class you stole it from him, opened the warehouse at the afternoon, threw the keycard away to give impression it was stolen by Katarina at the same day... then you come here with your face of a clown trying to make a fool out of me.
Imperia crossed his arms and enjoyed Toshiki's pitiful face as he accepted defeat.
- Imperia: I hit where it hurts the most, Toshiki-san? Accepting it makes it hurt less, you know? But with this I solved your Student Report, I will gladly take your pathetic grade historic to the National University of Magic, strip you of all your powers and send you back home. My only worry is that your parents will still accept you as their son... I die of shame if I were your mother, you know?
Katarina let out a happy smile, much like Imperia who was tasting the sweet flavour of the moment. There was not a single day of her life as a teacher that she did not think about getting rid of all people like him from the Basic Field of Raizen.
But suddenly, another person showed up at the door... it was not a friendly figure.
- (???): I beg to differ, Deamonne Sensei.
Everyone turned their sights to the door look at another male student of Raizen academy. However, that person was not a common student, he was part of the highest orders of Raizen school, a powerful authority.
- Tama: Sir Dune! What are you doing in this place! A person of your status!
That person is Dune, one of the members of the Raizen School's Committee of Council aka the Student Council of Raizen School. The student council of Raizen School is a round table of 10 of the strongest Magicians of the country and experts in unique fields of Magi-Tech. In Dune's case, he is the strongest Water Magician of the country, a person said to be so powerful that could create entire rivers with his mind alone... besides he is capable of creatin' freshwater so one may get the idea of how damn important this person is to the world as he alone can rival the entire nation of Brazil in the exportation of freshwater across the globe.
- Dune: Hello, Tama-Chan, I miss your classes.
Dune smiled at Tamae, leaving completely drunk in her own glory.
- Tama: ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT PEOPLE IN THIS WORLD RECOGNIZE ME AS HIS BEST MASTER! I CAN FINALLY DIE IN PEACE! MY JOB IN THIS EARTH IS COMPLETE, GOD!
Tama spoke to herself... very loudly, not even Dune could hide his amusement.
- Dune: Haha, this is why I can't have enough of Tama-chan... Now, let's go to business.
Dune changed his sight to the pitiful man standing beside Imperia... it was Toshiki.
- Dune: If I recall, you are Kishiki Kie?
Toshiki replied with a nervous tone. Well, that was a natural reaction. Dune is not only a member of the student council of Raizen School, the most prestigious Magi-Tech school of the world, he is the world's future leader. A person who can restore the planet back to its former glory. If he train his power hard enough for the rest of his life he can save billions and billions of lives from the Great Thirst.
- Dune: I-It's Toshiki Kie!
Dune giggled in embarassment.
- Dune: Hahaha... sorry, my mind is a little tired and it is hard for me to remember the names of all people next to me. Well, with that said, Deamonne Sensei.
Imperia was a little bit nervous too, much like Katarina and Toshiki.
- Imperia: Y-Yes?
- Dune: I came here in defense of this student, Kish—Toshiki Kie in the case of the warehouse's vandalism.
Toshiki gasped in confusion and surprise. Why someone so important like Dune would even care for the mere existence of a scumbag like Toshiki? Even the bully himself finds his own existence a mere rest of rotten wood next to a full-grown up three like Dune.
- Imperia & Toshiki: WHAT?!
- Katarina: What do you mean with that? It was clear he was the one who did it on purpose to incriminate me! There is nothing to be discussed! I am innocent!
Dune kept himself in silence... and suddenly his all-loving and friendly atmosphere was gone. The moment he looked at Katarina, every good intention or aura he had... disappeared like ashes in front of a storm. His expression changed from a kind one to a... malicious and perverted one. Even Tamae could feel a sinister atmosphere around him.
- Dune: Shut your damn mouth! Your disgusting loser! Who the hell do you think you are? What Kishiki-san (the spelled his name wrong again) said about you is true. You have no talent with Magi-Tech, you have one of the worst grades when comes to written exams and even fails at DRAWING simply magic circles. Seriously... in what exactly are you good? Why you are in this academy? You fail even at the Basic Field and then needs to find comfort by making the lives of other students a disgrace to match up for your stupidity. What makes YOU think you have the right to open your mouth before me? Know your place, failure. You shame the name of Raizen School.
Imperia and Tamae gasped in horror, not even once in their entire lives they thought they would see someone so righteous as Dune to act on the same level of bullies and jerks like Toshiki.
- Imperia: Ahn... Sir Dune. I don't know if you tried to be funny or something like that but that was a little to—
Dune interrupted Imperia with the same tone he used before. Not even Toshiki was believing in what he was seeing, even Dune was with him in this battle. Little by little, the scared face of Toshiki was replaced by a grin of victory.
- Dune: No... I was being serious. I witnessed the proof that Katarina Couteau was the one who vandalized the warehouse of this department and tried to incriminate Toshiki who is already known for being a troubled student. But what makes this worse? At least Toshiki Kie is a great lightning Magician and holds a power beyond 30% of success. But Katarina? What exactly this... thing... have? She doesn't possess ABSOLUTELY nothing, she is a failure to the core. She fails at everything and is now trying to turn the academy against its own genuine students WORTHY of being attending this place.
Katarina widened her eyes in shock and horror, even someone like Dune shares the same thinking of EVERY student of the academy. The student council of Raizen that was supposed to be an example to all Magicians of Raizen school are not different from the jerks and bullies of this school.
- Dune: I only came here to FINISH this case once and for all. Kishiki Kie may be a failure too but he is a MAGICIAN like us, therefore he deserves as many chances as he can get! As for YOU, Katarina Couteau, I will announce your punishment! Since I'm a merciful person I will not ban your from this acade—!
- Imperia: Wait a second!! Where is the proof she is the one did this?!
Imperia stood from her chair with aggressivity, caling the attention of Dune.
- Dune: Like I said, I had already watched the video that one of the cameras' school show Katarina Couteau entering the warehouse.
Imperia was not convinced, those words were just empty and made no sense. They were even more emptier than Toshiki's excuses... even Tamae could notice something fishy going on here.
- Imperia (think): *This guy... could it be...*
Imperia sharpened her eyes as if she was reading Dune's mind.
- Imperia: But I can—!
Dune yelled at Imperia, with an even more loud tone of threat. Not even once those people thought Dune could be so ruthless and authoritarian like that, even Toshiki who is being supported here thinks he is dreaming.
- Dune: SILENCE! The word of the Student Council is ABSOLUTE! You, a mere NORMAL teacher have no word in our business and decisions. Once the Administrators, aka, the members of the Student Council utter our decisions, you have the obligation to bow your head and accept any of our demands. This is how Raizen School works!
- Katarina: ......
Raizen School is not really a democracy by any means but authoritarian academy city that gives all the power to Ruling Committee and Student Council. It doesn't matter thousands are against their decisions, they are going to be applied, whether they want or not.
- Dune: And like I was saying, my dear Deamonne Sensei, Katarina will be punished... but she will stay at the academy... since I'm so merciful. We don't know for sure if she is a Magician or not but if she is eventually her power will awake. Therefore, Katarina Couteau, the Problem Student, you will have the clean the entire campus of the MAIN building of Raizen School alone in 24 hours!
Tamae and Imperia were relieved that Katarina was not going to be thrown away from the academy but forcing her to clean the main area of Tenguu City that is an massive area of 503x500 square meters is insane. It normally takes more than 40 people and 50 drones to clean the entire area in 7 hours.
- Tama: But... Sir Dune this is way too much for a single person to do it alone. Please reconside—
- Dune: Then she is better off out of this academy! I was nice enough to make softer for her but it seems my hammer ban needs to be used here?
It was just a moment but Katarina could hear Toshiki giggling like a dirty hyena behind her. Katarina had no other option, if the theory that Dune is like all the other students that means he is not doing because he is being merciful... she trying to make Katarina suffer even more by exposing her humiliation in public. He wants her to feel ashamed of enrolling in this academy, make her feel more despair and rejection from all people of this academy.
- Katarina: I-I will do it...
A small grin appeared on the sides of Dune's lips proving the point that Katarina was right... he is just like Takishi, another prick who was enjoying the whole situation. How tables have turned around and the scumbag is the one laughing.
- Imperia: You don't have to force yourself do it, we can still negotiate a better outcome for everyone. It is technically impossible for a single person to clean that area... besides, the Magicians attending the main building are known for being... very salty.
If the students of the Basic Field are already discriminators against non-magician, imagine the veterans studying at the main building of Raizen School are basically Neo-Nazis. This is part of the darkest secrets of all Magi-Tech academies, the students becomes more and more toxic as they continue to grow stronger to the point that every trace of civilized person with compassion and empathy disappears by the inflamed ego of most Magicians.
- Katarina: I have to do it... Imperia. Fine! I accept it!
Katarina accepted that almost holding her tears of sadness, this is not the first time that she suffers from such injustice but listening all those painful words from someone like Dune broke her spirit.
- Dune: So it's done! You shall begin your duty tomorrow by 06:00 AM and end it by 00:00 AM.
Replying with a face of a person who used to suffer constant abuses, Katarina nodded.
- Katarina: Yes...
Dune leaves the room with a smug face while Toshiki follows him with an evil grin. The only people left in the room are Tamae, Katarina and Imperia.
- Tamae: Katarina-san...
Imperia put her fists against her face in wrath. This is the first time she saw the meaning of abuse of authority inside of the academy, the scariest thing about it is how naturally the false charges against Katarina were fortified by empty lies that even 5 years old children are capable of speaking.
- Imperia: I'm sorry, Katarina...
Katarina forced a smile to not let Imperia worried about her.
- Katarina: It's ok, you tried your best. If you continued to push this issue further you were going to be punished as well. I'm glad for everything you did to protect me all the times that these guys showed up to harm me.
Imperia was supposed to protect innocent lives within her own reach, but she couldn't save Katarina from her imminent abuse because someone superior to her showed up and abused of his authority to push Katarina toward the path of shame.
- Tama: I'm shocked... I never thought Miss Dune could be so cruel. So it is true that Magi-Tech corrupts the minds even of the most righteous.
Dune used to a student of Tamae Okamine 2 years ago, he was kind and pure that Tamae considered him to be the most brilliant Magician to ever show up in Raizen School. But as he continued to grow stronger, his mind was warped by his own ego.
With great powers, comes corruption.
Act 2 - Lecture
In the next morning...
Raizen Academy's Main Sector
Dune's punishments may not result in the complete expulsion of a student. They serve for only one thing: break the students to make themselves feel like leaving the academy. One could say it borderlines mental torture, something that can be already considered a crime.
Another curious fact about the Magi-Tech academy is that the country's rules does not affect them whatsoever. For example, people under 18 years old are forbidden from walking on the streets after 10:00 PM and are punished by their parents... it is also forbidden in Japan the act of killing in any kind of fight (as most part of the world), however, this place is different, such things as harsh punishment that harm the dignity of a person is considered part of their routine.
While it is true that the government values the lives of Magicians over normal people, the academy does not stop Magicians from killing each other or even sending Magicians in exams that can cost their lives like some kind of normal exam, but for everything there is a rule. Magicians can only kill themselves in official duels called Duo Battle, aka Dual Battle which is a some type of sick sport where one Magician can challenge another one to a death combat with the consent of both Magicians and the academy, any act of killing another Magician out of these terms is considered a crime not only in the academies but in Japan as well, therefore this person is stripped out all their powers, arrested and sentenced to stay most of their life time behind jail. Crimes directly related to Magi-Tech is responsibility of the Global Pact Defense, not from Japan.
- Boy 1: Hey, look at that.
The classes for all veterans had just started earlier this morning. Just like Dune ordered, Katarina was forced to clean up the entire campus of the main building with a single broom , that campus was considered to be largest of all Raizen city... alone. To end this task quickly, Katarina skipped her sleep and went to the campus at 01:00 PM and cleaned most of the front gate overnight. It took her 6 hours to clean only 80% of the front gate... she was nowhere to be done yet and would stay there for almost 14 hours.
- Boy 2: Pale, redhead and red eyes... there is no doubt. She is the Raizen's Greatest Failure. Too bad, she is such hottie too.
As the classes started all students of the veteran sector were arriving in large crowds and couldn't miss the humiliating sight of Katarina cleaning the floor by her own. Laughs, mockings, giggles, offensive jokes, salty commentaries and even death wishes. Katarina could hear everything as the students passed by her with perverted and cruel expressions.
- Girl 1 (whisper): Hey, look at THAT. The rest of abortion who can't even pass in the Basic Field.
- Girl 2 (whisper): I heard she is not even a Magician but is trying to become one... What that slut is thinking?
Katarina stopped cleaning and closed her eyes in dismay.
- Boy 3: I heard rumors she fucks with veterans and teachers in exchange Magic crystals.
- Boy 4: I guess this is true... she is a whore. But I'm surprised so what Dune said was true. She tried to incriminate her own classmate.
Dune had already spread the word and sent a message to the academy's group telling about what happened yesterday and how she "tried to frame a boy of her class after she was rejected in another Magi-Tech exam."
- Girl 3 (whisper): Who that bitch think she is? She is not even a magic user and interfere in the process of genuine Magicians trying to become someone so much better than her.
- Katarina (think): *They are laughing... ignore it. Just ignore.*
Hundreds and hundreds of voices were speaking about the same topic... Katarina. The academy was filled with lies and false rumors about her, courtesy of Dune and other students who hated the presence of a non-Magician at the academy.
- Boy 5: HEY! YOU FUCKING SLUT!
Two students had the courage to do something much worse and threw a bottle of precious freshwater at Katarina. That act alone was enough to send someone to jail for 5 years for wasting such precious resource... but this is Raizen academy, nothing of that matters.
The bottle busted at the same moment that it hit Katarina's head, wetting her chest and uniform.
- Bey 5: Hey, this is not place for someone like you! Get the hell out of here! [Laughs]
Dozens of laughs of sarcasm and sick amusement... Katarina was forced to hear all of them as some even stopped by to take photos of her state.
- Boy 6: Instead of the floor, you be cleaning yourself! You should be thankful he gave you some bath! HAHAHAHA!
Katarina refused to look her bullies on their eyes to hide her pitiful and pathetic face of a defeated and humiliated person without hope, dreams or future.
- Katarina: I... I u-understand.
Katarina left carrying her wet broom. She thought she could at least finish half in before the beginning of the classes but she was wrong, that campus was too big for a single person. She knew what was going to happen and did everything she could to avoid such sick treatment.
Boys and girls of all ages sees her as sparring target of their sarcasm and cynicism. Even children around 10 years old curse her with offensive words and death wishes, because why people younger than her are considered more strong and skilled when grown people are supposed to be an example for children. Even the teachers of this course are just as cruel as their students and will do anything to force Katarina to experience more suffering than she had already experienced.
The only she could do at that moment was leave that place immediately and wash her face in the public bathroom until everyone is already inside of the building. But even when thought she had some time to relax, more girls appeared to insult her and her lack of Magi-Tech mana. Luckily, it was quick and they left, leaving Katarina alone inside of the public bathroom.
- Katarina: Why me... What I did...?
Katarina asked to herself as she wiped her face with a towel. In the past, when Katarina joined this academy, her first months tasting this treatment were worse when she was not used to all the bullying and insults. She entered in a suicidal state 4 times, if it wasn't for Imperia and Tamae Okamine she would be probably dead by now... but she wonders if her depressive and suicidal states are already gone or if she just became used to it.
Either way, both answers scary the soul out of her because it was during those times that she felt something awakening inside of her. She could not tell for sure what it was: a feeling? Emotion? Monster? Or it was her sanity breaking and allowing her to hear voices that were coming out of her head?
- Katarina: ..............
- (???): Well, well, well... look who we have here, boys! The worst and ultimate loser of all academies!
Katarina couldn't notice but there was a trio of male students smoking behind of one of the pillars of that bathroom. None of them were wearing an uniform but she easily tell they were Magicians by the Magic Circle drawn on their hands. The leader of the trio was probably the one of the middle who was a tall Chinese man with medium length hair that was tied into dreads. He was wearing black clothes consisting of a white sleeveless shirt, a black vest with the number 8 on the back, and jeans.
Katarina knew that man, he was Wáng, the second strongest Wind Magi-Tech Magician of the academy behind of one of the members of the Student Council of Raizen. His overall rank in all 9 academies is 74th, behind of all members of all Student Councils of the 9 academies. By all means, this man is strong yet ruthless and cruel that even veteran teachers fear his sadistic, cunning and brutal personality of a viking.
It was said Wáng was sent from Zhejiang when he showed to be able to control mana of Magi-Tech. The truth is, the province sent him to Tenguu City because he was too barbaric and savage to control and they feared if one day he woke up his inner powers he would wreck havoc his hometown. He even had 5 passes by the police for homicide, 3 serial rapes and assault.
- Katarina: Wáng...
It turns out it worked for Wáng too since in Raizen he was safe from his punishment for his crimes he committed in his country. Despite this, no one knows about his past besides the fact he is powerful but vile.
- Wáng: I heard the rumours, loser! You tried to charge your classmate with false claims that he vandalized a property of the academy! I'm surprise... I never thought you were one of my kind... if you were not so weak we could easily be friends because I feel the desire to die when I see you training or practicing Magi-Tech! I feel sorry for you, loser!
Katarina gazed at the man with the looks of a gangster.
- Katarina: I'm not like you! Not even in the slightest! Scumbag!
Wáng laughed like a maniac.
- Wáng: HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! OF COURSE YOU ARE NOT! YOU ARE A FAILURE WHO CANNOT EVEN DRAW SIMPLE MAGIC CIRCLES! YOU FAILED IN EVERY MAGI-TECH TEST! I DON'T KNOW WHAT HAPPENED IN THE INTRODUCTION OF YOUR MANA FOR YOU TO ENTER IN THIS ACADEMY!
The entrance exam of all academies is decided by three phases: the written exams, introduction of Magi-Tech mana in the body of an individual and finally the practical phase that is the most important of them all.
The first test is a test with 150 questions about magic, history related to mana and the First Spacequake and topics related to the history of Magi-Tech and its influence globally.
The second phase is the introduction of mana where one is sent to the National Magic University to receive a direct injection of liquid mana into their bodies to awake the powers hidden within their flesh. When one is not fit to be a Magician, the liquid evaporates inside of their bodies and leaving no trace it had actually worked in anything. However, if it works, the liquid will continue circulating throught the veins of the Magician for the rest of their lives to keep their powers.
And finally the final phase that is considered the most vital one. Even if one receives the Mana Liquid and manages to become a Magician, some times their magic is so weak that is not even worthy of training the individual so they are immediately dispatched back to their homelands. The entire purpose of the final test is to witness which kind of magic element the Magician inherited. If it is an element that could be something of use for their respective countries, they are allowed to enroll in one of the nine Magi-Tech academies.
The reason why Wáng and many other students suspect that Katarina is one of those failed experiments is because she was able to enroll in Raizen School after being approved in all three exams, exams that only 10 out of 100 people manage to complete.
Others think Katarina is a rare example of Magician who lost her powers before she could enroll in Raizen. It is rare but there are a few times where a Magician loses all their powers after being approved in all Magic exams due to some side effect of the Mana Liquid, like some radical alteration in brain activities like extreme stress, depression and intense overwork. Of course, that only happens in the first months after the Mana Liquid is already injected inside of the students' bodies. After 10 months, the power of a Magician is 100% stable.
The worsts of the worsts think Katarina cheated in all 3 exams using some unknown method, like a Magi-Tech device that allows one to control mana for 24 hours. But most of all students and teacher genuinely believe that she bribed the ministers and examiners, believing some to think Katarina is in fact part of some wealthy foreing family from overseas.
In all theories, all of them are false and made up only to ruin the reputation of the mysterious Katarina Couteau. There are many things about her that were kept in secret of the academy.
- Katarina: ....
Katarina turned her sight back to the mirror in front of her with a defeated expression.
- Wáng: I don't want to see you practice anymore. You, a rest of abortion who cannot even control mana, has the courage to make everyone watch you punching some tree or rock to train your muscle. What exactly are you thinking Raizen is? A gym? If you want to workout so badly then get the hell out of here and go punch some sand bags. You have no talent, you have no future in manipulating Magi-Tech. You are a regular. Just another number in all 10 billion people living in this planet. I think your parents would be happier if you left this school and studied for a normal job, don't you think?
The two friends of Wáng behind him laughed in joy, however, Katarina did her best to not listen to his words and prepared to leave the bathroom.
- Katarina: Did you come here just to tell me this? I'm busy so I don't have time to deal with you. Goodbye!
Katarina walked toward the exit but that did not stop from Wáng from continuing his insults.
- Wáng: I can't understand your parents. How did they make such a trash daughter who doesn't even know how to write properly. Like mother, like daughter, right?!
Katarina stopped walking and stood still for at least 30 seconds, listening to everything that Wáng said about her parents.
- Wáng: I heard rumors about your background from Dune, loser! Your parents died in an accident, don't they?! After that you were adopted by a foster family... but in the end your father died in prison and your mommy committed suicide! I feel pity for them! Your biological parents probably thought about killing themselves out of regret for giving birth to such failure like yourself! EVEN YOUR FOSTER FAMILY KILLED THEMSELVES AFTER THEY ADOPTED YOU! YOUR FATHER IS A SIMPLY TRASH OF MAN WHO COULD NOT EVEN CREATE A SINGLE NORMAL SPERM IN HIS BALLS TO CREATE A NORMAL DAUGHTER! AND YOUR MOTHER HAD TO WAIT 9 MONTHS TO GIVE BIRTH TO A PATHETIC FETUS LIKE YOURSELF! MAYBE I WAS RIGHT, THEIR KILLED THEMSELVES TOGETHER TO NEVER LOOK AT YOUR FACE AGAIN! YOUR MERE EXISTENCE WAS ENOUGH FOR THEM TO GIVE UP ON LIFE! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHA!!!!
Wáng did not stop.
- Wáng: IF YOU THINK I AM WRONG, THEN WHY NOT ASK YOUR FOSTER MOTHER HANGING ON THE CEILING?! YOU WERE SUCH DISGRACE OF DAUGHTER THAT SHE TOOK HER OWN LIFE! For a second, Katarina could saw her worst fears of her past and pushing her toward her despair event horizon.
Katarina turned around and gave a death glare at Wáng. Katarina reached her point after Wáng insulted not only her foster parents but also her biological parents. This is the first time in 3 years that someone hurt Katarina emotionally by insulting the late people who she cared for.
- Katarina: TAKE THAT BACK! TAKE ALL THOSE INSULTS BACK! MY PARENTS WERE GREAT PEOPLE! I WON'T HAVE YOU CALLING THEM "TRASH"! TAKE THAT BACK BEFORE BITE YOUR THROAT OFF YOUR NECK!!
Wáng acted cocky and crossed his arms with a sadistic smile.
- Wáng: Seems like the loser is pissed off! She probably don't know the truth that all her four parents died because she is cursed for being born as a miserable form of life. They took their own lives because they were all trash just like their daughter. Trash will be always trash, no matter how hard you try, you will still be trash. Your parents were fools! Pigs! I CAN SEE IT JUST BY LOOKING AT YOUR FACE! TELL ME, YOUR HAIR AND EYES ARE NATURAL? IF THEY ARE THAT MEANS YOU ARE NOT EVEN HUMAN TO BEGIN WITH! WHAT KIND OF BEAST HAS GLOWING RED EYES WHEN THE MANA LIQUID DOES NOT EVEN AFFECT OCULAR SKILLS?! THEY ARE NATURAL! YOU ARE A DEMON! BORN ONLY TO BRING DISGRACE AND MISERY TO EVERYONE AROUND YOU!
Katarina had enough and finally snapped, she was so pissed off that Wáng and his friends could see angry veins appearing in her forehead and hands, besides her eyes began to glow in red just like he said before... those eyes did not belong to humans.
- Katarina: WAAANNNGGG!!!!!!!!
- Wáng's Friends: Hii!
Wáng's friends were also magicians but that sight of a girl charging at them with demonic eyes were too much even for them, however, Wáng was not frightened at all sent a powerful kick at Katarina's belly before she could hit the bully with her right fist.
As expected, Katarina flew backwards and coughed blood. His kick had a powerful focus of mana so that attack was 10x stronger than a normal human kick, the fact that she survived that was already a miracle... he was genuinely trying to kill her.
[cough] Katarina coughed blood and saliva in a poll of two different liquids.
- Wáng: Don't you dare come near me! You disgusting bitch! You can't even dodge a kick like that... that's why I'm telling you are a failure! You practice martial arts and even physical strength EVERYDAY but you still loses so quickly to someone like me who has no physical combat training!
Wáng is right but while he does not have any training in offensive or defensive physical combat he still has somo refined muscles that can knock out even a professional boxer.
Wáng spit on the floor and kicked Katarina who was lying on the ground trying to endure the pain.
- Wáng: TRASH! THIS IS WHAT YOU ARE! YOU ARE A GOOD FOR NOTHING! I DON'T EVEN KNOW WHY YOU WERE BORN!
- Katarina: W-Wan... I-I will not f-forgive you... Wáng! I-I challenge you to a Duo Battle!
Wáng and his friends gasped in surprise, no one in this academy expected for someone so weak and pathetic like Katarina to challenge them to a Duo Battle.
Like mentioned above, this battle is where Magicians fight to death or until they are knocked out. These battles rarely happen in the academy as many are afraid of dying on the process, not even the most skilled Magicians have the courage to ask someone else to fight them since the world of magic is tricky and even a weak-looking magic can be rather tricky and hold dark secrets. For example, Wind users can easily suck out the oxygen from inside their enemies, leaving them to die without oxygen before the battle even begins; water users can control the blood inside of their enemies and destroy their internal organs by transforming the blood in liquid needles; and this is just the beginning of a long list of scary and terrifying powers.
- Wáng: What? You? The loser and worst student of Raizen School? Are you going to challenge me, one of the strongest Magicians of this city?
Katarina stood up and gazed deep into Wáng's rotten eyes.
- Katarina: Yes, I'm challenging you! If I win, you will have to take withdraw everything you have said about my parents!
Wáng lifted the sides of his lips in joy and laughed even harder than before alongside his comrades.
- All: HAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHA!!
Wáng could barely breath but he was able to recover his posture.
- Wáng: Haha... You are a funny girl, Katarina! Fine! I accept and agree with your terms! If you win, I will withdraw my words! And not only that! I will even bow before you if I-I-Ki-Ki... SURVIVE! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!
Wáng could not even think in the idea that someone so inferior and weak like Katarina would be able to hurt him, much less kill him.
- Wáng: BUT...
Wáng opened his arms like a crazy lunatic.
- Katarina: !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Katarina was speechless, the moment she decided to challenge someone so powerful like Wáng and was accepted, there was no turning back. The request for a Duo Battle is absolute once the secondary party accepts the challenge, if Katarina retreated now, it was all vain because Wáng would inform the Student Council and the match would be decided by force.
- Wáng: Isn't that a good deal? After all, in a duel both parties most bet something of equal value. You didn't know that? I knew that but I don't think that this best is equal in value. Hey, you still don't understand it? You leaving this academy has no value. No one here cares about you, absolutely no student or teacher wants a non-magician around to delay the advance of this school, you are nothing. No one will stand up for you. Because... you are not worth a thing.
Wáng was not wrong, Katarina is not even a Magician so the school will not bother if she dies or leaves. It is possible for other students started a petition to prevent a student from leaving if it was the result of a Duo Battle, however, there is absolutely no one who will stand for Katarina. No one.
- Katarina: ...I understand. I-I... accept the challenge and the conditions.
Wáng rose his head and looked down at Katarina and made his toward the exit with his comrades.
- Wáng: The duel will happen in a week, exactly at 10:00 AM. If you don't show up... you know what will happen to you. The academy will chase you down and you will be forced to fight me to death without any chances to give up or escape alive. Well, I'm excited for our fight, Miss Loser! HAHAHAHA!
Wáng left the bathroom with a smug face, leaving Katarina coughing blood behind.
- Katarina: Damn it... damn it. What have I done?
Katarina stood up but could barely feel her legs. The kick she received earlier was too much powerful for the body of a normal person to handle. If she was a mana manipulator she could have used her mana to built a armor and reduce the damage of his attack. But...
- Katarina: ...I'm not a mana manipulator.
Katarina crossed the line this time, she was never a person who uses her brains in difficult situations, instead she acts on impulse and emotions, if a person entered inside of her head they could tell this is her greatest weakness.
Katarina seated in a bench under a tree and facepalm herself out of shame. The loser who is hated by everyone knows the trouble she had got into, Wáng is a monster who makes even professional Magicians shake in fear due to his demonic attitude. Moreover, Wáng is a Wind-style Magician manipulator, his wind can cut through even metal like paper... now imagine a human body with no mana proctection.
- Katarina: No... I'm not done! I will not go down without a fight! I will make him for everything he said!
Katarina clenched her fists until her nails pierced her palms.
There is a reason why everyones hates Katarina, Wáng himself said that before... it was how hard she tries to become strong. Unlike many students of all 9 academies, Katarina is a hard worker who relies in her physical strength and martial arts to fight. She believes that her true power lies in her physicla body instead of true magic.
Katarina's body is filled with stories of her past... the scars left behind by her abusers continued there to show to the world that she knows the meaning of pain. Katarina was physically abused not only by Wáng but by several other cruel Magicians in this academy for years.
- Katarina: I have to train harder, harder, harder... and one day I will surpass them... just watch... Just... watch.
Katarina wanted to believe in herself, she really wanted to win and make Wáng take back everything he said to her, she really wanted to make everyone who disrespected her to pay the price, she wanted to be respected and recognized... but on the surface she knows her weakness, she knows her limits... And for her, there is not a single chance to win a fight against the weakest of all Magicians in this academy.
Magi-Tech don't exist only in Mana but also in other technologic devices and equipments. Katarina thought for a moment that she could really gain temporary use of Magi-Tech if she wore a gauntlet, ring or armor to boost her physical abilities and even control mana for a short period of time. The Raizen School has a science division specialized in the creation of Magi-Tech weapons and military equipments used by armies like ISA and VSA.
If Katarina could only use a single one of them... she might have a chance against Wáng, however, there are too many issues. First, only veteran students can use them. Second, only Magicians capable of mana manipulaton are allowed to become one with these devices. Third, the use of Magi-Tech equipments in non-magicians will surely lead to the death of the individual. Fourth... this is not how Katarina fights. She has her own style of fighting, her own ego and her own pride/ there is no way someone like Katarina will relay on the help of devices to win a fight against the man who insulted her existence and all of her 4 parents.
If there was one single way to win this fight... is to beat her opponent until he cannot speak anymore. She swore to shut the damn mouth of that jerk once and for all... she is not going to ask for help, for friendship, for company or for teachings.
Katarina stood up from the bench and gazed at her hands full of her own blood.
- Katarina (think): *No! No! This is not who I am! I will win! I will surpass this obstacle! I will him and everyone that I can be strong too! I will make him! I will show them! Everyone! I swear! Dad and mom. I will make him take his words! I did not come from so long to end like this! I swear to you all! I will survive and become the person I want to be!*
Katarina then heard a strange, deep and bizarre voice inside of her head. It was not the first time that she heard that voice and is probably not going to be the last. Since the day she saw that horrible scene... the day she saw her foster mother's hanged body on the ceiling that voice has been tormenting her every day.
- Katarina (think): *Not you again!*
The red haired lay put both of her hands on her head as if she was feeling a painful headache.
"Kill them all". The voice only said that to Katarina who was feeling a painful headache that felt almost like an explosion happening inside of her skull.
- Katarina: SHUT UP! SHUT UP! I DON'T NEED YOUR HELP!! I WILL SOLVE THIS WITH MY OWN HANDS! YOU JUST STAY BACK AND WATCH!
Katarina yelled at herself, or better, to the voice inside of her head that seemed to be alive somehow. Luckily, there was no one around to see this and spread more bad rumors about Katarina... but there was a woman watching the whole scene from afar.
- Imperia: ....
It was Imperia, who was hidden behind a tree watching Katarina suffering. Before Katarina entered in the bathroom, Imperia came to the main building searching for her to see if she was okay. But now she had her answer, she witnessed everything, from her harassing in the front gate to the duel she proposed to Wáng inside of the public bathroom.
- Imperia: Kat...
Imperia is worried about Katarina but she knows this is not the time for her show up, even that person who carries too much pain on her back need some time alone.
- Imperia: What should I do now?
Imperia closed her eyes and crossed her arms as Katarina walked away like a sick old woman. That sight was too painful for someone with self-respect to witness. But more importantly, the feeling of anger was filling her head that is usually cold and calm.
- Imperia: This is all YOUR fault, you know? All because your medieval laws you put over this academy!
- (???): That's rough, buddy.
Imperia had already noticed the presence behind for a long time by now. It was female figure who happens to be another important figure inside of Raizen Academy. That person is none other than the Head Director of the entire Raizen city. That person could be described as a well-endowed and gracefully refined woman, befitting her nature as the de facto director of Raizen. She is a woman with white long hair, red eyes, she has a large white horns and wearing a thorn crown on her head.
In addition, she also wears a black businessmen suit with a red shirt and black tie tucked inside of it and also wears a sigil on the left side of her chest.
- Imperia: "Rough"? This is more than that! You allow bullying and even murder inside of this academy! Look what Katarina is going to face! Wáng, the most dangerous criminal of this academy who is HAPPILLY attending to our classes like an innocent kid! Do you know what he did?! From torture, to assault, to murder and rape! You give white card to a serial killer and rapist to walk among us like if we were a good family! This is what you have to say?! HUH! Tell me! Lucy Sheev KnightWalker!
Imperia bursted all of her rage that was locked inside of her heart and yelled at the highest and most important figure of this academy, a mere teacher who is not even a Magician herself. Yes, Lucy Sheev KnightWalker is the supreme leader of this city and is recognized as the best director of all 9 academies of Tenguu City, the support she receives of every country of the world is almost out of this world. She holds not only too much power in Tenguu City but also has influence all over the globe. It is said she Lucy's every move affects Asia's economy, so it not a problem to think why countries like China, Godom Empire and Republic of Korea are funding her academy.
- Imperia: In the end you just like the other KnightWalkers... cold, uncaring, empty and rotten inside.
KnightWalkers... a cursed name hated and feared by almost every person living in this planet. The KnightWalkers were primary responsibles for pushing the planet to its current state due to their illegal worldwide activities against nature and exaggerated exploitation of natural resources. It goes beyond that, the KnightWalker wrecked havoc the entire world once they achieved a powerful and almost unstoppable army. They openly declared war against neighboring countries, neutral nations that did not want anything with war and openly performed genocide all across Europe. Obviously, they did not do it alone, every country of this world had a hand in the destruction of their own world.
- Lucy: That's something cruel to say, La Folia... Actually, I should call you by the name of Imperia, am I right?
Imperia crossed her arms and replied calmly this time... she remembered in what position she found herself and there is a reason for that... Imperia was living happily thanks to Lucy who gave access to live in Raizen Academy as a teacher of the Basic Field, she even gets to receive 12,000$ dollars per month as part of her salary.
- Imperia: Sorry... I was just... revolted. Since we are alone, you can say my real name. Also, you helped me so many times out of your own free will without asking nothing in exchange. Forgive my foolishness.
Lucy Sheev KnightWalker is just KnightWalker in name... and maybe in appearance too but her heart turns out to be... good? Good in her own way. Lucy is actually a close ally of Global Pact Defense and organizations like Peace Foundation that seeks to get rid of the KnightWalker Family and end their reign in Europe.
- Lucy: Imagine, you have all the right to be disgusted with me. My relationship with you goes only from outside of the academy... what I do here is really disgusting and repulsive. Indeed, inside of my academy is literally a new world for criminals of the worst kind. Every year international terrorists and criminals wanted by the FBI and Interpol knock on my door to enter Raizen School in the hopes of becoming Magicians and escape from Justice.
Lucy was holding a cup of red wine and wasted no time to drink it again.
- Lucy: Ahhh... and there is no way I'm going to refuse a direct request of help of a Rihavein... after all, the Rihavein are the wealthiest family of the Europe continent, rulers of a First World nation called Aldegyr Kingdom and leaders of the world's mightiest military. So, tell me, how is your life here, princess La Folia Rihavein?
La Folia Rihavein... this is Imperia's true name, her true identity. Imperia Deamonne is a false name created by Lucy to hide La Folia from the people who are after her.
- La Folia: Well, I could say it is good but too active and agitated. Even so... it is 100x better than my homeland... where I was...
La Folia forced a smile but Lucy could easily through her mask. She was not happy at all, this city is too dirty and cold. There are moments that La Folia can witness something good happening in Tenguu City or Raizen School, most of all people here are selfish, greedy and scumbags who came to this town looking for jobs and are now living arrogant lives.
- Lucy: You don't have to say it with a smile. I see you walking around the town often... I will tell you this: there is nothing good to see during a casual walk around the town. Raizen and Tenguu City are not different inside.
La Folia's smile faded, revealing her usual serious face.
- La Folia: Yeah... what I saw Wáng doing to Katarina is normal to see Magicians from other school harassing normal people outside of the academies. They are not only from Raizen, they from all other academies, they were people supposed to protect the innocent and serve their country's people. So why?
Lucy took another sip of wine.
- Lucy: Humans are fragile creatures by essence, they easily succumb to the temptations of power, money, fame, status and authority. Too much power on the hands of one person twist the reality of those who hold it into their fantasies since now they believe they can do whatever they desire. Magicians are not different from a man with the possession of a gun... or like the police who is drunk in authority. Give a gun to a "civilized civilian" and then you just gave him a form of superiority against those who dare to harm him. Send a 5 police officers to a small village and they will extort the poor and weak. Why do you think that the weak deserves to continue being weak? Because once they get strong, they will know the value of being powerful and will abuse it do all things he always wanted to do. This is why only those born with power should be conducting it because they learn since their childhood how to use and control it if they have a reliable tutor.
La Folia sharpened her eyes, she found her method of thinking too pessimist and twisted.
- La Folia: You are wrong, the weak knows the value of power because they LACK it. They experienced too many hardships being weak and will use their power properly to prevent others from suffering the same past they had... it's like you are trying to say Katarina deserves to be weak because she was born weak! I don't like your method of thinking! This is repulsive to the core!
- Lucy: And your method of thinking is way too innocent, naive and optimistic. You saw the deep of darkness already, so why you bother imagining the world is a colorful fantasy?
- La Folia: People learn enough of their darkness and suffering! What everyone weak need is power and help to rescue them from the abyss the world pushed them into.
Lucy took another sip of her wine.
- Lucy: We are really different, miss La Folia. I thought you would change your mind after you saw your own twin sister, who was supposed to be weak, rise to throne and become the most powerful person of her country. After that, she changed, right?
A faded image of La Folia's twin sister popped out in her mind out of nowhere. It seems that she still suffers from it... her past.
- La Folia: I don't want you talking about my past anymore. More importantly... I want to ask you something.
- Lucy: What is it?
La Folia turned around and spotted the small figure of Katarina disappearing in the woods of the campus, it seems she was going somewhere private to do something, La Folia planned to follow her after this conversation.
- La Folia: While I say it is wrong to ask a person of how a person became a student at this academy, I have no choice but to ask you personally. How Katarina enrolled at Raizen Academy and became a student when she is not even a magician or mana manipulator?
Lucy threw her cup of glass in a trash can like if it did not cost nothing.
- Lucy: I guess you don't know about her, I don't blame you. There are a few people who truly know Katarina's past: me, the Majesty and the Administrators. I guess it is time for you know as well since you are her closest tutor and a childhood friend.
La Folia swallowed her own saliva... this is the first time she is curious for a long time.
Lucy gazed deep into La Folia's eyes. That cynic Lucy was gone, now a serious and cold expression took over her face.
- Lucy: You may don't know it, but Katarina had a horrible childhood. She is surrounded by misery and disgrace since the day she was born. According to Tenguu City's historic of adoption, Katarina was abandoned to die in a river by her biological parents when she was a newborn infant. Luckily, she was found and adopted by a Japanese couple whom adopted her and rised her as their true child for a year.
La Folia walked closer to Lucy.
- Lucy: Her new family decided to move United States but after their house was burned to the ground by an unknown group of bandits, with no other choice they returned to Tenguu City fearing the bandits were after her. When she was 1 year old, her foster parents died in a car accident while they are about to leave the town to work overseas in search for a job... since that incident happened during the Great Crisis that led the world to its greatest economic crises of the 21st Century... shortly after, her house was assaulted and the person left in care of her was murdered. As if it wasn't enough, whoever invaded her house kidnapped Katarina and tried to kill her by dispose of her body in the middle of the ocean. By a miracle, she was found by a GPD patrol ship and was rescued before she could drown in the sea.
Lucy crossed her arms... she was really hesitant in telling this story to someone who is not from the high ranks but also because she feel that this background is was too disturbing to casually speak to other people.
- Lucy: When she was returned to Tenguu City, the police discovered her whereabouts only to find that her parents were killed in an accident and her maid was brutally murdered by some assassin. It was just natural for everyone to think the murder of three people close to Katarina and the attempt of her life was part of some criminal scheme... but ater years of investigations, the case was abandoned was no there were no proof that those incidents were related. She was then left in an orphanage, forgotten by everyone... but there she experienced even more cruelty by the hands of other children who were afraid of her unnatural looks. Rejected. Bullied. Ignored. Beaten. Since her childhood, Katarina learned the true monstrosity of this world. She lost everyone that loved her and was left only cold-hearted monsters who judged her by her demonic eyes... as you know, you and I have scarlet eyes because of our bad sights so we had to install mechanic eyes to see normally... but Katarina doesn't have it. She was born with it, her glowing red eyes scaries all people close to her for thinking she is some kind of monster... at that orphanage she was treated as a demon in need to be wiped out and other children tried to make her kill herself. When bad things happened, she was always the culprit of the incident.
La Folia could barely react to everything she was listening... there was no way that story could be true. It is true that there are people born to suffer but Katarina... had nothing. She lost everything, only to regain her lost hope and have it taken away from her by the circle of fate.
- Lucy: When another family that was close to her late parents adopted her, things could have become much better. But it didn't... Katarina was already broken inside. She was an emotionless sad person who barely spoke to other people and avoided the outside world at all costs... but things became worse when her new foster father lost his job and became a drinker who constantly abused her and her foster mother. As a result, her mother lost her mind and put all the blame on Katarina for destroying her marriage. At first, her mother thought the rumors about her existence being a person who brings only misery and discord were a joke... but it turns out it was true. As a result, her mother replaced Katarina with a doll and treated it as her true daughter, needless to say her mother was sent to a hospice, leaving her alone with her father who used her as slave to buy more alcohol... until one night when he tried to murder her but the neighbors heard her screams and called the police and by another miracle, there was a police car next to her car and she was saved again. In jail, her foster father committed suicide... at the same day that his wife, who was interned in a hospice by now, hanged herself in her own room. Katarina had the terror of witnessing her foster mother hanged... at that point, no one thought if that child had salvation.
La Folia hugged herself and shook in fear.
- Lucy: That girl is... a soul who never felt a second of happiness in her entire life. Everything that she had was taken away from her. Now, there is not a single person left who dares to approach her, for she is called the Red Haired Demon, the one who bring misery, disgrace, discord and death all those who are around her. She grew up without parents, family or friends, she is alone. In Tenguu City, she is a urban legend since the day the news spread the word about the death of all her two foster families. Cursed, forgotten, rejected and hated by millions for something she did not do. All for something that she doesn't even know about. La Folia had a troubled childhood as well, she was excluded from the world, lived in a cage without freedom to speak or think by her own... but in truth, she had everything that Katarina never had. After she ran away from her home, she met Katarina... after all those incidents from above.
- La Folia (think): *Katarina... why you never... told about this to me? Why?*
La Folia had flashbacks from the first time she met Katarina.
La Folia's Flashback
15 years ago
This is a story, a past and very old story. This moment happens 15 years ago, when La Folia Rihavein fled from her family to live like a normal person.
La Folia arrived in Tenguu City when she was 9-years old. Despite her age, she knew how to travel alone thanks to her teachers that taught many things about the world.
When La Folia had arrived in Tenguu City at 06:00 PM, almost at night. Some days ago, La Folia searched for house to rent very far away from the city because she knows that bad people may try to kidnap her or invade her house because she is just a child. When La Folia received a call from the person that was going to sell her house, La Folia climbed the mountain of Tenguu City, the place where her new house was.
La Folia finally arrived in a park to the left side of the street and decided to seat there to relax because she was tired of walking that long street.
- La Folia: I think I'll stay here for now.
The young girl left her luggage she was carrying beside her and seated in one of the seats of the park. From there, she saw Tenguu City's lights shining at night.
- (???): You...
La Folia listened someone calling her attention from behind. She looked to her back and saw a young girl with scarlet hair of her age seated in one of the seats, she had several things beside, foods and sodas... They were probably stolen.. She even had a knife... That girl was Katarina Couteau when she was a child.
La Folia stood up quickly in fear and noticed that girl was some type of delinquent or marginal. But at the same time, that girl doesn't look like as dangerous as true thugs. She was too beautiful to be some type of criminal. Yet, La Folia can't let her personal thoughtsinterfere in the real world because that girl with scarlet hair sounds brutal and violent.
- La Folia: S-SORRY!
La Folia said that almost collapsing, she never faced such terrible situation before because she always protected in her mansion. The red haired girl stared at La Folia with evil eyes, her eyes showed the suffering and depression of a lonely and anti-social person... Someone who hated humanity. La Folia stared at her for some moments before she left.
- La Folia (think): *So this is a bad person? She is a delinquent. She looks normal but... Why is she here? Maybe I should return and try to be friends with her!*
At that time, La Folia was innocent but a brave person without fear and decided to turn around. At that point, La Folia was carrying her luggage and was ready to leave the park, but something in her hand prevented her from doing so. Katarina noticed La Folia coming back and this time reacted more violently.
Katarina jumped from her seat and stared at La Folia like if she was warning her to "stop right there or I'm going to cut your head off", La Folia stopped when she noticed her bloodlust.
- Katarina: Are you deaf?! I said to you to leave!!
Katarina pulled a knife from her hand. At that time, when Katarina lost her parents in a car accident, she hold a great hatred towards mankind and would try to kill any person who tried to get close to her, no matter if they're men, women or even children.
- La Folia: Who are you?
Katarina's face twisted in rage but she replied her question with a tone of sarcasm.
- Katarina: ...You must be daughter of one those rich couples. Stupid, innocent, naive and pathetic, you don't know nothing of the world around. You just met an unknown person in a park and this person is threatening to kill you with a knife but you still ask "Who are you?" Hahahah—!
Before Katarina could finish her words, something passed in her head. When the princess asked "Who are you", Katarina realized that she could not remember her name... her identity, her existence. Who is she?
Katarina dropped the knife and started to cry even without knowing it. She put her hands in her eyes and realized that she was crying.
- Katarina: Why am I crying?
La Folia could only watch the red haired girl in depression. At one point, La Folia walked forward, putting her life in danger. Maybe it was someone controlling her or just a force of her spirit but her body moved forward without explanations.
- La Folia: I don't who is you but is painful to look at you like that.
Katarina noticed La Folia walking towards her and tried to rise her hand with knife to kill her like if she was some type of monster about to get her.
- Katarina: FOR HOW LONG WILL HUMANS KEEP LOOKING DOWN ON ME!!!
From those words, La Folia quickly figured out what was happening with Katarina, she has Social Anxiety Disorder. Social anxiety disorder, also called social phobia, is an anxiety disorder in which a person has an excessive and unreasonable fear of social situations. Anxiety (intense nervousness) and self-consciousness arise from a fear of being closely watched, judged, and criticized by others. Katarina was abused her entire life, in addition even adults judged that girl due to her "red hair" and "red eyes". Her time being judged by society left her anti-social and started to be afraid of humans, so it was normal to Katarina to try to kill any person who tries to get too close to her.
- La Folia: Calm down. I'm not going to hurt you.
La Folia opened her arms to hug her but Katarina immediately saw some type of monster trying to eat her and swung the knife in her hand to kill the young girl. However, La Folia was still very far away from her, the red haired girl was attacking randomly like if her body was moving by itself. It's very normal in people who has some type of phobia.
- Katarina: GET AWAY FROM ME!!
This time, something incredible happened because La Folia was next to Katarina next time she swung her weapon. As a result, La Folia used her bare hands to stop the knife.
Katarina's eyes widened in fear and quickly jumped backward.
- Katarina: W-Why?!
La Folia threw the knife away. She could not hold her groans of pain but she had to endure it. Katarina fell in her knees once she realized she had nowhere to run.
- Katarina: H-help...
Katarina had no more strength to scream. But that was not necessary, because La Folia finally hugged Katarina in a compassionate action.
Katarina's heart to get calm for some unknown reason despite the fact the monster she was looking at was now hugging her. La Folia did not say a word she hug the person who was trying to kill her just a few moments ago. They just did.
- Katarina (think): *This feeling... It's so nostalgic*
- Lucy: I'm aware you met Katarina many years after she lost her second family. If you are wondering why she never spoke to you about her family... it is because she is tired of being remembered because of her history and disgrace.
La Folia seated on the grass.
- Lucy: Katarina wasn't trying to hurt your feelings by hiding her past. She had endured too many hardships for a single person, she never experienced the love of a family and never had any friends... however, in all those years watching over her, I've never seen her act timid, give up or cry. She is always eager to be acknowledged by someone, she wants to be respected. This is her true dream. The reason I and Her Majesty allowed her to enroll at this academy is because her her dream is to become stronger than anyone. We knew she was not apt to become a Magician but fate around this girl is peculiar.
La Folia rose her head with a watery eyes.
- Lucy: Without any talent or special ability, she continues to persist and persist. She continues to train every day without a single stop, she continues to push the iron walls that block her way, she continues standing while society is trying to take her down. Even when the entire world is pushing her down, she continues to rise over and over again, challenging the strongest in the hopes of growing more powerful. If her dream is on the line, she always risks her life. My guess is that after she met you, she gave up on crying and decided to move toward her future to chase after her dreams.
Lucy changed sight to see Katarina walking in the distance.
- Lucy: She continues to battle the perversion of this world and instead of running away from her fears like you did, she continue standing in front of the same monsters who once scared her. She may be young and still learning, but she knows the value of power because she is weak... I may have spoken those things about weak and powerful people but I can tell one thing for sure: she is the only person in the entire world who can make the world a better place if continued to grow more powerful. She may have nothing special or any kind of talent, she is a genius in hard-working. She is the symbol of this academy... the symbol that hardworking beats the natural talent.
Lucy slowly walked away, leaving La Folia behind.
- Lucy: This is why I'm not going to cancel this Duo Battle, La Folia Rihavein. If I interfered in Katarina's efforts for power, I would be insulting her dreams and ambitions. You should learn something from her as well... because you and I know how you ran from your problems instead of facing them.
La Folia stood up and looked down and closed her eyes.
- La Folia (think): *Katarina...*
La Folia left from behind the tree and chased after Katarina in a slow speed.
7th Floor of the Main Bulding
Dune's Meeting Room
- (???): So that girl is the Red Haired Demon? I thought she would be some ugly ass bitch... but look at her. She isn't a cutie one? What a waste.
Meanwhile inside of the Dune's Meeting Room that was located inside of the main building and was just 7 floors above from where Katarina was, two people inside of the dark and luxurious meeting room were looking through the window to see Katarina walking away after being beaten by Wáng.
One of those were Dune himself, the worst scumbag of the main sector who also happens to te the administrator of the main building, just like him, the rest of all students here are cruel jerks with superiority complex.
- Dune: You are interested in her? Of all people? It's true she is quite beautiful... but there are millions of other girls better than her... I mean in personality and overall statics. If I choose girls by looks, Katarina would be one of the first.
Dune was seated in his chair that looked more like a glorious throne worth of a kind. Much of that chair resembled his personality.
- (???): Hum. It is true I'm interested but I don't mean in a sexual way. I'm curious how a Non-Magician was able to enroll at this academy. Unlike you and all the rest, I don't have problem with normal people and non-magicians being part of this academy. If Katarina enrolled as a teacher I could understand it... but as a student? What the director and the Magic Ministers were thinking?
The unknown man stared at Katarina from above, putting a confused expression all the time.
- Dune: Miss Lucy is a person full of mysteries... she allows criminals being students here and even allows murder but still let people like Katarina study here with us? What she is trying to do? Shame the image of Raizen School? Mock us, magicians by letting weaklings like her to stand alongside us without any notable ability? This is why I can't accept her presence in this city, it would be better if left this campus for good.
The unknown man turned around to talk directly to Dune, that person had the hair color that of Katarina but... was different. Obviously, that was not his original hair color, it was just painted. Also, he had an even more cold aura than Dune.
- (???): You are heartless bastard, you know that? You violated the rules of the director in talking about Katarina's past and then spread her historic and all of the police's investigations in the Raizen's network. Now, the whole academy is talking about it.
The red haired man smiled.
- Dune: Hmmm... think of it as "mercy". It would be better if she left this school on her own. She has no place here, she has no future wielding mana or even can survive in this campus for too long without power. I'm actually saving her, if you know what I mean.
Dune is not saving Katarina, he is just having fun watching a non-magician like her who had the courage to enroll at this academy like if she was trying to mock all Magicians of the world.
- (???): Saving her, huh? You are actually trying to torture her until she can't hold for too much longer? I think all you wanted was to force her to clean this campus only to be challenged by some random student and beat her even more. But to think it was Wáng of all people. You were never expecting this too, right?
Dune grabbed a cup of glass and pointed his finger at it, from the tip of his finger, fresh cold water left like a drinking fountain. He was not called "Water Master" for nothing.
- Dune: More or less, if I dare to say it went smoother than I ever planned, of course, as a member of the student council I will not cancel this Duo Battle. If you are with me, you also approve this Duo Battle... if Katarina dies, no one will care. She never had any value to this academy to begin with. Hopefully. the director will learn from this incident and will never allow non-magicians to be student at this place again.
The red haired left from the darkness and seated in a chair in front of Dune's table. That person was a tall and handsome man with pale skin, had a long and messy red hair and red eyes. He was wearing a black mantled trench coat paired with a long sleeved shirt and jeans.
- Dune: So tell me, 5th Seat of the Student Council, Ren Suzugamori, after Katarina is finally gone, we could personally change some laws inside of this campus. Even the director has limited powers when her own decrees are starting to become a nuisance. It is our duty to keep this city clean from all worms.
That mean was Ren Suzugamori, a Japanese half-American who also happens to be member of the Raizen School's Student Council. Occupying the 5th Seat of the Round Table, Ren is a master in the control of Fire style Magi-Tech, he is openly declared as the 24th strongest Magician of the country.
- Ren: Hmmm... I'm afraid I cannot let you kill that girl just yet. My "client" is eager to put their hands in a Forbidden Data-Magi that is sealed in the underground labs of this academy. Therefore, I will use someone like Katarina to my heroine and save my skin. She is an exceptional key to my plan.
Dune was a corrupt leader much like this man who was more of a zombie instead of human, for these two are partners-in-crime and share illegal profits from this academy, nothing for them is a secret.
- Dune: Client? You are involved with some foreign force? I will warn you, if the Global Pact Defense discover your illegal schemes you will be executed for treason. Ren crossed his legs in an arrogant way.
- Ren: I'm aware of that, but my client... is someone even more dangerous than the GPD themselves. After all they are part of the KnightWalker Family themselves... so you must undertand my position here, don't you?
Dune put his cup of water on the table and calmly turned his chair around to take a good look at the campus from his window.
- Dune: Huh, the KnightWalkers, eh? You will get yourself killed. How much they are paying you for this?
Ren stood up from the chair and put his black jacket on his shoulder.
- Ren: 1 million dollars for a single Data-Magi. Don't you think it is a good business? Something so small for such grand amount of cash. That's why I cannot let you kill Katarina, I have a reputation to watch over, you know? I'm Ren Suzugamori, the noble, honorable and loyal 5th Seat of the Student Council of Raizen. I'm a brave and charismatic leader. There is no way I can let myself be caught stealing something so important like a Forbidden Data-Magi. Katarina, on the other hand...
Dune grinned like a spirit of evil.
- Dune: I see what you are planning... and you have the courage to tell me I'm a monster.
Ren walked toward the exit to make his leave.
- Ren: It's just good business, my dear friend. Nothing more, nothing less.
4th Floor of the Main Building
Magic Control Class
- Male Teacher: Today's lecture will be on the Lindray Family's secret technique, "Fusion Magic". Before the destruction of Fiore Kingdom, Fusion Magic consisted in the advance of fusion of multiple spells. By fusing different styles of Magic elements with varying wavelengths, one could increase the original level of Magic Power more than tenfold.
Inside of one of the many classes of the Main Building located two floors below Dune's office, a class of 25 students were busy studying advanced forms of Mana Control. The field of Mana Control is basically the control of mana that flow inside of a Magician's body. The better the control of mana, the stronger the Magi-Tech spell is. Mana control is even more important than learn different types of spells.
No one in the class dared to make a noise, because interrupting a class from a veteran teacher results in severe punishment.
- Male Teacher: This is the beginner-level Fusion Magic, "Lie Gum" that once used by the Royal Family Lindray for 200 years.
As the old male teacher continued teaching his class, a male student that was seated next to the window could not focus in his class and was too busy staring a the campus from the window. It was a young, tall and handsome boy with white skin, brown hair with a blond streak forming from the crown and maroon eyes. From his looks it seems he is half Japanese-Russian.
- Boy (think): *I studied it 1 week earlier... I know everything by now.*
The words of his teacher were almost fading as he was lost in his world.
- Male Teacher: When you fuse Ice Magic Shade with the Fire Style, Gresde, through Lie Gum, there is no offset. Therefore... Rentaro Satomi!
The teacher called the attention of the student who was too distracted to pay attention to his class, the name of that boy is Rentaro Satomi.
- Rentaro: Yes!
Rentaro calmly stood up from his chair and looked at the teacher with calmness, at the same time, he caught the sight of a girl with long red hair walking down the campus right below the building, it was Katarina Couteau. He immediately smiled with kindness, he knew who was that person.
- Teacher: If you are too distracted to pay attention to my words, you must be familiar with the Aleister Crowley's Theory of Posuere Eget Instant. Mind if you shared your learning with us?
- Rentaro: Of course, Master!
The class continued without any interference.
1 hour later...
Campus' Natural Reserve
Raizen Academy was more than magic and technology. As the most examplary academy of Tenguu City, Raizen watch over nature and dedicated to build 20% of its territory covered in a vast green area.
These green areas had a vast biodiversity of plants and animals that could only be found in Asia. Other universities have their own green campus as part of their efforts to prevent the nature from deforestation and pollution. These places also have countless species of endangered animals and insects.
- La Folia (think): *I could swear I saw her around here... But where is she?*
The sunlight touching the ground in front of La Folia illuminated her way as she continued to walk around the beautiful forest that could only be compared as a Elf forest that went straight from a fairy tale.
La Folia heard punches coming from a tree on the other side of a beautiful blue lagoon. Alongside the sounds of punches hitting woods, she could also hear a female voice counting. - (???): 320, 321, 322, 333, 334, 335, 336, 337, 338, 339, 340, 341, 342, 343, 344, 345, 346...
La Folia had spent literally a hour searching for Katarina of this forest. She was about to give up at the moment that she heard sounds of punches from somewhere. When she finally recognized the owner of that voice, La Folia could immediately tell it was Katarina.
- La Folia (think): *Katarina?*
La Folia hid behind a tree and spotted a young girl with red hair punching a huge tree that was 30 meters high. One could say that forest was the tallest tree of the forest. However, it was not an ordinary tree, its main body was so thick that it was impossible even for the most sharp chainsaw of the world to cut it completely in a day.
- La Folia (think): *So this is where she comes to train?*
The forest is located right on the middle of Raizen city so Katarina doesn't feel the need to come to the main sector to sneak into this forest... besides this place is very well guarded by drones, fences and armed guards... just the fact that Katarina could enter this forest without being caught was already impressive.
- Katarina: ... 361, 362, 363, 364, 365, 366, 367, 368, 369, 370, 371, 372, 373, 374...
Katarina counted all the punches she gave to tree for hour without stopping for a second. However, as La Folia took a good look at the tree she noticed its body was cut like if someone was trying to make it fall using a saw.
- La Folia: Don't tell me...
This is what La Folia thought... someone or even Katarina was trying to take down that tree for whatever reason. However, she was wrong, that mark on the tree was not made by a saw or a sharp object. The moment La Folia realized what Katarina was doing, she noticed something more intriguing.
- Katarina: 375, 376, 377, 378, 379, 380, 381...
Katarina was not simply "punching" the tree with both of her fists. Each 2 punches were using 2 different fighting styles of close combat. No... it was three different types of Chinese martial arts.
- La Folia (think): *Those gestures... are martial arts? It's not simply three forms of martial arts... they are Dim Mark and Fut Gar.*
La Folia never saw Katarina fight before but she knew she had knowledge of combat skills for quite some time but she never once heard she was not a simply fighter... she was a martial artists who mastered three different forms of offensive and defensive combat.
- La Folia (think): *She even learned the touch of death... from where she learned these postures?*
The Dim Mark means "Touch of Death" (or death-point striking) refers to any martial arts technique reputed to kill using seemingly less than lethal force targeted at specific areas of the body.
The concept known as dim mak traces its history to traditional Chinese medicine acupuncture. Tales of its use are often found in the Wuxia genre of Chinese martial arts fiction. Dim mak is depicted as a secret body of knowledge with techniques that attack pressure points and meridians, said to incapacitate or sometimes cause immediate or even delayed death to an opponent.
Little scientific or historical evidence exists for a martial arts "touch of death", although it has been confirmed that trauma may cause disproportionately catastrophic consequences when applied to known pressure points under specific circumstances.
Commotio cordis, for example, is an often lethal disruption of heart rhythm that occurs as a result of a blow to the area directly over the heart (the precordial region), at a critical time during the cycle of a heart beat causing cardiac arrest.
The touch of death relies on rapidly hitting pressure points with quick jabs and punches, often giving little time for the recipient to react. The martial artists hit those pressure points with relatively light jabs using her fingers and knuckles, though any fingers can be used.
Meanwhile, the Fut Gar style utilizes mostly punches and palm strikes, further characterized by evasive footwork, circular blocks and using the opponent's force against him/her. Against Magicians, Fut Gar inflicts internal damage through attacking the body's Mana System, subsequently injuring organs which are closely intertwined with the area of the network which has been struck.
These styles are only used by martial artists in China but some countries like Godom Empire also have their own schools of martial arts.
The reason why that three was cut like if someone used a saw to take it down was because Katarina was using the front and sides of her palms, and her fingers to strike the tree. However, it doesn't make any sense... these fighting styles are supposed to be trained and used in humans, there is no point in forcing these techniques against a tree that has no flesh or bones to feel the effects of the strikes.
- Katarina: 392, 393, 394, 395, 396...
La Folia could clearly see what was happening, since these techniques are used against humans only, this fighting style doesn't work in non-organic objects... because of that everything single finger of Katarina were bleeding, her nails were literally ripped of the tip of her fingers. There was no way this is combat training... this is...
- La Folia (think): *... Resistance training.*
What La Folia imagined is that using these techniques against a hard object, she could make her body adapt to hard surfaces like concrete and rock. There are cases of martial artists who use these techniques but too put too much strength on it, causing their fingers' bones to be broken on the process. If this is true, Katarina plans to use these fighting styles to not simply disable a person but quickly knock them out or even kill them. She is aiming to defeat her opponent by hinting a vital point of their bodies with all her physical strength without having to break her fingers or rip off her own flesh. This does make sense, after all, her opponent is Wáng, a powerful Wind Style Magician. The only way for someone like Katarina to defeat him is to quickly end the fight before she can lose ground by using Touch of Death in his vital points to knock him. There is no way she is going to last for more than 5 minutes in a fight against a Magician.
But this is not the first time.
- La Folia: That tree has a 20 centimetres horizontal hole... there is no way she could have done with her own hands in a hour... unless this is not the first time she comes here. Could it be that she has been training here all days?
Katarina's hands were bleeding like if they were cut by a knife, her skins was completely ripped off, her flesh was cut and bleeding too much... meaning that she has been putting all her strength on her palms and fingers.
- Katarina: If I can't punch 1000 times in a row, it's 2000 log-kicks!
It was visible that Katarina's arms were almost changing to purple due to her injures. Her fingers were about to break, she was losing too much blood and her muscles were about to rip off. There is no way she is been doing this harsh training for a day, it could be weeks, months... all days repeating the same form of training.
Her eyes were wet with tears of intense pain... yet she continued striking that tree as if her life depended on it.
[punch] - Dim Mark
- Katarina: 397...
More blood came out...
[punch] - Fut Gar
The sound of flesh ripping off could be heard human ears.
- Katarina: 398...
[punch] - Dim Mark
Each punch, more blood splat on midair, each punch opened a new cut on her flesh.
- Katarina: 399...
[punch] - Fut Gar
The strength she was putting on her palms and fingers was too great, so powerful that her hands were opening way through the thick wood.
- Katarina: 400...
[punch] - Dim Mark
- Katarina: 401...
[punch] - Fut Gar
- Katarina: 402...
She did not stop, no matter how much pain her body was feeling right now, no matter how much blood she was losing.
La Folia couldn't look at that for much longer. Just merely watching over her training was making her own hands feel the pain Katarina is enduring right now.
La Folia closed her eyes and clenched her fists.
- La Folia: I guess I will come back later.
Without calling attention of Katarina or any animal around, La Folia slowly left the forest to return to her duties.
The last thing she heard was the voice of Katarina counting.
- Katarina: 403, 404, 405, 406, 407...!
7 hours later...
7 hours had passed since La Folia left the forest. For obvious reasons, she had to leave because she had work to do in the Basic Field department. There wasn't single second that La Folia did not think about Katarina on that forest. She could have fainted due blood loss, she could have broken one of her arms... anything could have happened to her at that time.
The first thing she did once she left the department was to made her way to the campus' forest. Luckily, this time she remembered the path she walked before and could quickly arrive at the same place that Katarina was training before.
- La Folia (think): *Katarina?*
La Folia was expecting for Katarina to have left by now, but she was wrong because...
- Katarina: 1123, 1124, 1125, 1126, 1127!
La Folia spotted Katarina kicking the tree with her left leg, more precisely, she was using her legs to have a greater area of damage. Needless to say, the hole that was left on the tree has grown in size...
- La Folia (think): *She still at it?!*
La Folia gasped in surprise, that was only a natural reaction because there is no human being alive who can continue to punch or kick the same three for 8 hours straight without a single rest or meal.
- Katarina: 1128, 1129, 1130, 1131, 1132, 1133, 1134, 1135, 1136, 1137, 1138...
And she was not going to stop, it was almost night by now and all classes of the evening shift are about to end. Katarina is here since morning and probably planning to train overnight until her body finally reach its limit.
- La Folia (think): *.......... This is the first time I saw Katarina training. Lucy must be aware of her long training sections and her long training sections. She continue to persist even if her arms are about break and her body give up. Is she... even human?*
Katarina had finally finished her kick training once she completed 1140 kicks on the tree... but she was not done yet.
- Katarina: Back to my martial arts!
La Folia is not a doctor but it doesn't take an expert to notice how destroyed Katarina's arms were. By now, the skin that once covered her hands no longer there, the only thing seen is pure sore flesh that was bleeding like a bag of raw flesh.
After deciding to return to train with her own hands, Katarina prepared her harmed fists to punch the tree again using her martial arts.
- Katarina: HA!
Katarina let out a loud yell as she drove her fist toward the tree again, but then...
A loud sound of something cracking or breaking echoed through the forest, that crack was loud that even the birds singing on the trees were scared and flew away.
- Katarina: AAAAAHHHHH!!!
The sound was not coming from the forest but from Katarina's right hand that broke not only four of her fingers but also her radius and ulna bones of her right arm.
- La Folia: !!!!!!!!!!!!
Katarina immediately walked away from the tree and put her entire arm inside of the lagoon, only to feel even more pain of the cold water entering in her wounds. That pain was so intense that Katarina could lose her consciousness at any moment, besides she lost too much blood and was dehydrated since this morning.
- Katarina: T-This is... no supposed to be happening.
She felt as if both of her arms were being burned inside of a microwave, that was too painful even for someone who clearly showed to have durability and stamina.
Tears, the feeling of weakness and defeat took over her mind once again. No matter how much she trains her body to endure pain and fortify her muscles and bones with intense pain training, she continues to be a weakling.
- La Folia: Taking a break?
La Folia was tired of just watching her friend harming herself and revealed herself, leaving from her cover and exposing her presence to Katarina who almost jumped.
- Katarina: Imperia? How?
Katarina was sure that this place of the forest is too deep for anyone to walk into, normally, people get lost here and will need a rescue team to help them.
- La Folia: I chased you down this morning and I accidentally found this place. I never thought you trained here.
Katarina took her arm out of the water while holding her voice to not cry or groan in pain.
- Katarina: You have been watching me all this time?
Katarina asked La Folia as several drops of sweat continued to drop off of her face. Not only sweat... but also her tears. They were not from her pain, however...
- La Folia: More or less.
Katarina turned around and returned her training spot, ignoring the presence of La Folia and continued kicking the tree.
- Katarina: Imperia, what is it? If you came here to lecture about my request for a Duo Battle with Wáng... I don't want to hear complaints from anyone.
Katarina is the one who challenged Wáng and does not regret for anything she said before. That man dared to insult her and her late parents, therefore he stepped on her pride.
La Folia crossed her arms and closed her eyes.
- La Folia: Kat, it is true that you're not the same as Wáng or other Magicians. You can't control mana or use Magi-Tech or much less learn how understand Magi-Tech... but Katarina, I can confirm this with my own words... you are a genius that has the potential power to exceed Wáng.
Katarina continued kicking the tree, without looking back at La Folia who walked closer to her friend.
- Katarina: Please, do no patronize me. I acknowledge myself to be a loser and failure among the thousand students of this academy. I can't control mana or any other kind Magi-Tech energy. You are my friend... but I cannot let you say such things for feeling pity for me.
La Folia smiled at Katarina, as if she was trying to mock her sense of inferiority.
- La Folia: Fool, I'm not saying this out of pity for you. At the beginning I thought you were being reckless and you were trying to make yourself look strong in front of everyone to be respected. But I was wrong... the director opened my eyes. I said that because you are... a genius at effort.
Katarina stopped kicking the tree and put her forehead against it.
- La Folia: I'm a teacher at this academy and right before the beginning I can already read the intentions of the Magicians attending at this academy. Once they gain power, they allow themselves to grow weak, lazy and arrogants. Once they are able to use mana, they abandon their responsabilities, honor and pride in being students. Even those who are weak like Toshiki show off their powers to the world as if they were celebreties. They throw all their efforts in a trash can, avoiding any chances of growing stronger to become someone they can be pride of. But you... you are different. Because you are weak, you know the true value of power.
More tears came out, Katarina could not control her emotions flowing inside for so long.
- Katarina: Is that really true? I have come this far believing that... that if a train two or three times more than everyone, I can become stronger. So strong that no one will dare to look down on me again! But recently, I have started to think that maybe I can't keep up with a real genius or even the weakest of the Magicians because I am a failure. Wondering if hard work really pays off... But every time I tested that in any Magician, it's the same!
Katarina nailed her fingers on the tree, pushing even more blood out of them.
- Katarina: I'm no match for anyone at all! I'm just some insect who thinks that can win against dragons! I am nothing! Even when standing in front of them, I try to hide my fear from being rejected and mocked again! I still shake with fear every time I see a Magician! They are right! I'M A FAILURE! NO MATTER HOW MUCH I TRY, I CAN'T BECOME ANY STRONGER! I AM JUST SO SCARED OF THAT!
La Folia clenched her fist with wrath, seeing Katarina down like that is not even a pitiful sight but a scary one. Someone so energetic and positive being pushed down like that is horrible.
- La Folia: Then for what reason you train so hard? For what reason you continue to try becoming strong? For what reason you fight until your arms and legs are broken? I'm not even someone to tell you this but I will say this time for once: there is no point in working hard if you don't believe in yourself!
Katarina fell on her knees, leaving her trail of blood on the tree. As much as she tried to not show her weakness to La Folia, she failed to do so. Her body was shaking, her eyes were wet, she was drowing in her own saliva and had a hard time to breath.
- Katarina: ........
Without saying anything, La Folia approached Katarina and gently touched her hands to see the mess that her arms were. With a quick thought, she squeezed a spray on her hands and covered her destroyed arms with bandages. Of course, that was only a first aid action, Katarina needs to be moved to a hospital as quickly as possible.
- La Folia: However... if you get yourself killed before you can grow stronger then that was all in vain. Don't push yourself like that, as long as your live you will have your entire life to change your destiny. If you die before it, then all your efforts, pain and suffering were for nothing.
Katarina looked away from La Folia's eyes, hiding her own face in shame for making her doing such thing.
- La Folia: Katarina, you are a lot different from me. Unlike me, a coward who ran away from my reality to live a false dream of hope and future, you are genius who even trembling with fear manages to keep standing in front of your worst fears. You refuse to flee from them. Even if you can't use mana or Magi-Tech, you want to prove you can still be a splendind fighter, right? You push yourself beyond your limits to show them that you are not a plaything for them be mocked of. So I thought this is your way of living, proving to everyone you, the weakest of them all, is the one who works harder than every single one of them combined. It's a good goal. It is a goal worth working hard for.
- Katarina: .....!!!!!
Katarina rose her head and finally had the courage to look La Folia on her eyes. With a timid face, Katarina replied with a greatful smile.
La Folia continued touching her hands with kindness and care.
- La Folia: So all you have to do is believe that path, and sprint down it! Become a strong woman so I can smile proudly when I watch you! Got that, Kat?
- Katarina: Y-Yes!
La Folia petted her head as the two looked at the sky. It was nightfall at least, the sky was more beautiful than ever this night... everyone could see the milky way galaxy in all its glory.
- La Folia: This is a hell of an otherworldy beauty.
Act 3 - Under the Manipulation of Ren
4 hours later...
33th Hospital of Raizen
It took 4 hours for Katarina to finally leave the hospital. The 33th Hospital of Raizen is located in the gleaming heart of the Raizen's Underground Town. It is located in the 10km wide central ring of the Raizen city, home to the various government offices of the Magic Ministery Council, as well as embassies for all of the academies represented in Raizen.
While the Wards are home to most of the Raizen's underground population and are considered more lively, the hospital is located in the First Floor of Raizen's underground ity, considered to be the province of Raizen's most elite and powerful individuals.
The hospital is considered to be among the most advanced and secure medical centers of the world. Touted as a leader in premium medical care, the 33th Hospital's staff and facilities can accommodate all major Magicians as well and regular humans. It has 12 full time doctors and more than 50 support staff, and many of its experts also specialize in xenomedicine and magic medicine.
- La Folia: Are you fine now?
Standing from her seat in the main hall, La Folia walked toward Katarina who had both of her arms covered with plaster. They seemed to be a bad state that even the doctors expert in medical healing had a little trouble to heal her arms completely... or so La Folia thought.
Katarina looked around and noticed that all doctors and nursed were looking at her, whispering as if they were afraid of something.
- Katarina: Y-Yes, it does it hurt a bit though.
A nurse and doctor that were attending Katarina approached the duo, both wearing white clothes from the hospital.
- Doctor: Evening, young ladies. We finished her first treatment but before I can send you two home, can you please come speak with me for a second, Professor Imperia Deamonne?
No one besides the director and a few high-ranked leaders of the academy knows that La Folia is Imperia's true name so everyone is used to call her like this. Just the doctor asked, La Folia followed the doctor away from the nurse and Katarina, leaving the two alone.
- Nurse: This my first meeting a Non-Magician student in this academy. Just like you, I am Regular so I can't use magic... for me you are... kinda of my inspiration.
Katarina gasped and widened her eyes in surprise. That came out of nowhere and there was no one until now who spoke to the "failure" as an inspiration... deep inside, Katarina was confused but her feelings of fear and confusion became... light.
- Katarina: ......... You....
Katarina couldn't hide her smile and the two continued having a casual conversation, it was a rare moment that Katarina met someone who is just like her. Meanwhile, La Folia and the doctor were very far away by now from the duo.
- La Folia: What is it, doctor?
The doctor was shaking for some reason.
- Doctor: I called you because you are lady Katarina's senior... or should I say, a close caregiver. I will straight here, that girl had all bones of both hands and torn muscles around her arms. Normally, this could be considered an extremely fatal case of Medic Emergency Level 3, when the injury is located inside one's body. Usually, it would take a lot of time for her to recover... maybe around 10 months to regenerate all her broken parts.
The doctor stopped to take a deep breath... what he saw in Katarina's X-Ray scared him.
- Doctor: But... as we performed the first x-ray photos and analysis from her arms we detected an anomaly.
La Folia sharpened her eyes and started to be worried that something much worse happened to Katarina, but that was not the case.
- La Folia: Anomaly?
- Doctor: Yes. This is something we never saw before. Not even 21 years working at this academy and 30 years working as a doctor in different countries I witnessed something so strange in my life. As we used our X-Ray to take a full report of her internal injuries we discovered that... her injuries were healing by themselves.
La Folia let out a sob of confusion.
- La Folia: What?
- Doctor: The broken pieces of her fingers were slowly regenerating. Her own body energized, duplicated and replaced cells in a speed that no one ever saw before. To be honest, when I showed the footage to other doctors, they couldn't believe in it. Once we analyzed her data, we saw she was a Regular and had no mana circulatory system in her body, this is where our confusion began to increase. Punching a solid object like a concrete wall or even a thick tree can easily damage bones and muscles, moreover punching them with all their strength results in severe damage to the nerves, preventing them from using their hands for a long period of time.
The doctor was approached by others medics from the hospital, all were there to hear what he had to say.
- Doctor: Returning to her data, we could have realized something if she was a mana user then our reports could be written as if she was a Magician and had a special new type of power we never saw before... that is Regeneration. Us, Magi-Tech medics use medical techniques like fast healing skills to accelerate the replacement of cells and fabrics, however, even when their injuries are minimal and almost trivial like a cut from a knife or a deep scratch it takes us hours to finish the treatment and safely complete the case. However... by the time that girl came here, her entire right arm was almost completely healed and we could clearly see it in the internal footage, her own muscles recovering from the impact, her veins that had exploded and were suffering from internal bleeding were sewing by themselves, her cells were quickly replacing themselves at a speed no animal in this world is capable and even her bones were regenerating their broken pieces by replacing duplicating its cells.
La Folia immediately gazed at Katarina and noticed she was speaking with the nurse from early. The nurse herself was probably curious about Katarina and went to speak with her.
- La Folia: But doctor... she is a Regular, like me! She does not possess any affinity with Magi-Tech or mana and was classified as a Regular student for 3 years by now! There is no way she ca—!
The doctor interrupted the professor with same thoughts in mind.
- Doctor: Everyone here thought the same, Professor. Every person in this academy knows by now that there is a Regular student attending this school, after all she is the only regular person studying at this academy as a student instead of personnel staff like us, medics, engineers, guards, teachers, etc. If she was a Magician by chances, we could have solved this case she inherited an unusual healing power that was given to her in exchange of destructive or offensive abilities. During the first hour of her treatment, we conducted a Magi Test with her blood to find any substance from mana in her body, but we found absolutely nothing... she is indeed a Regular and there is no way normal humans besides KnightWalker Cyborgs can regenerate at such speed. I will tell you this, there is not a single human in history who inherited such unnatural biologic regenerative abilities, if someone had such thing, every expert in medicine of this world will say this person is NOT from this planet, because such person is not bounded by the restriction of nature.
The doctor took a deep breath and started to sweat.
- Doctor: I will ask you this Professor, as a person who is the closest to her. Are you sure that girl is not a Magician? Because if she is, that girl is literally the most important and historic find of medicine's world in all history.
La Folia could only stare at the doctors and nurses in silence, thinking that everyone may be wrong about Katarina. Maybe there was a side effect of Mana that no one knew until now... maybe Katarina is a Magician but her body absorbed the Magi-Tech and rejected mana... no one knows the truth of what is happening here.
- La Folia: Sorry, doctor. As a professional, I can't tell for sure if she is a true Regular or a Magician if what you are saying is true. Indeed, regenerative abilities of this level can never belong to a person who possess a normal human body unless if they were probably Meta-Humans or KnightWalker Cyborgs. So I cannot give you a definitive answer just yet.
The doctors gazed at Katarina speaking with the nurse, the two seemed to have fun as they were telling their experiences of being a Regular in an academy full of magicians.
- La Folia: All I can do now is stay around her and daily observe her. If she is indeed a Magician while presenting negative tests to mana, that means she is an Abnormal.
Abnormal Magicians are Magicians who presented unique traits different from common Magi-Tech magicians, they usually have their own peculiarities like controlling multiples elements at once, excessive mana inside of their body or non-elemental magic... but a case where a person is a Magician and has zero quantity of mana inside of their bodies is something no one saw until now. If this is true, Katarina may be the most special person in 30 years. And if she is not, that does not change her peculiar body's regenerative abilities.
- Doctor: I will have to report this to the director, every change must be noted and reported to our superiors.
- La Folia: Please do it... maybe the director herself could have been hiding something from us all this time or there was a big failure at the entrance exam of Raizen. Until there, I will watch over both as a caretaker and senior. I will leave this matter on your hands, doctor.
La Folia closed her eyes and walked away as quick as possible, leaving the doctors thinking what they should do with Katarina's blood samples... they did not tell La Folia they extracted a sample of her blood for research purposes though. La Folia was not trying to act cool there... she was trying to escape from this place with Katarina.
- La Folia: Yo, Kat! Let's get you to your home!
La Folia approached Katarina and touched her shoulder to take her out of the hospital. She was afraid these medics are going to ask her to "lend" Katarina to study her body like all hospitals and research departments did on the past with abnormal magicians, if they did the same with Katarina, she wouldn't be the first.
- Katarina: Already?
Katarina gave a sad look at her friend while the nurse did the same but acted more exaggerated.
- Nurse: Oh my! This is too bad, Katarina-sama! And we were having so much fun!
La Folia quickly noticed it, that nurse was not trying to be friends with Katarina and she was NOT a Regular like her, that woman was trying to "befriend" Katarina to lure her.
- La Folia (think): *This bitch... and everyone here are already moving.*
Discovering the existence of an Abnormal Magician is considered a historic find that could turn a poor in a billionaire overnight. The discovery of such anomalies are a powerful fountain of money for everyone in all 9 Magic Academies and even the schools are not above using cruel methods like blackmail and kidnapping to take these abnormal magicians to some underground laboratory to be used as a lab rat or be studied by the most privileged scientists of the world. The number of experiments conducted on their bodies is insane and so brutal that absolutely 100% of these magicians died on the process.
Studying an abnormal and using their DNA to multiple these special powers in mass fabrication is a form of profit that all 9 academies are interested in invest. Nations pay billions for these academies to share information of abnormal magicians or buy their blood samples and mana to increase the number of special Magicians in their countries.
La Folia had seen this happen many times by now, and the fact that Katarina may be one of those abnormal magicians made her rise her guard to everyone around her.
- La Folia (think): *This is not good. I have take Katarina from here as fast as possible, otherwise...*
Katarina put a disappointed expression on her face as La Folia tried to drag her out of this hospital.
- Katarina: Well... it is true that I don't sleep since yesterday. [sigh] So I have to take my leave for now, it was good to meet you.
While pushing Katarina from the hospital, La Folia looked back to see the nurse with a furious face.
- Nurse: Tsk!
The nurse failed in keeping Katarina on the hospital and soon revealed her true colors. The doctors were not satisfied either and gave death glares toward La Folia. If they stayed there for a few more minutes, the doctors would have called their private army to to kidnap both Katarina and La Folia. In the worst case, these departments use execution to "silence" witnesses of kidnappings of abnormal magicians.
This is another one of the darkest secrets of Raizen and all 9 Magic Academies: human experiments and execution of their own students and staff. However, the ruling body of the academies are not related to these departments. Under the supervision of a member of the student council, the departments have their own laws, armies and business, that means they are not restricted by the rules of the academy and the directors.
- Katarina: Why are yo—! AAH! IT HURTS!
Outside of the hospital, La Folia continued to push Katarina from her back, putting an insane strength to accelerate their step.
- La Folia: Ah, sorry. It's still hurts?
La Folia stopped and gave space to Katarina but her concern with possible followers only increased each second.
- Katarina: What you want me to say?! No, Captain Obvious?!
Katarina tried to move her fingers but she only felt more pain, no wonder why... all her fingers were broken. Just the fact she is alive and did not die on that forest is amazing.
- La Folia: Katarina, why did you have to train like that? A train to endure pain and increase your resistance is nothing healthy.
Katarina bit her lips and seated in a bench in front of a closed restaurant, there was no on that street besides her and La Folia so they could relax for now.
- Katarina: Isn't it obvious? Because of Wáng. I have been training on the same spot for 3 years by now, doing the same moves and techniques. However, when I called Wáng to a Duo Battle I realized the difference of power when kicked me... I couldn't dodge a kick of that level and I still dared to call him to a battle where I can pretty much lose my life on the process. So I thought: "I'm going to train x3 of the usual today".
Katarina looked at both of her arms wrapped in plaster.
- Katarina: ...And this is the result. But it goes further than a simply challenge to a Duo Battle, he mocked and insulted my parents, the people I loved the most. There is no way that I was going to let him unpunished.
La Folia put her hands on her chin, she was going to lecture her once again.
- La Folia: It is true I called you a genius in effort but there is no point in putting so much effort if you are going to get yourself killed before you can grow strong. I mean, what kind of surfer continues to surf after he was bitten by a shark yesterday?
- Katarina: Ki!
She had a point, Katarina could only accept her mistakes.
- La Folia: Everyone has limitations, even Magicians. Training your body beyond its capacities is only going to worn you out and destroy it before you can even begin to use your body in a real experience. For example, the training of muscles in a gym begin from a trivial sections of two or three sets of 10 pulls... as your body slowly adapt itself to its work you can increase the burden over it once you and your body gain enough experience and adaptation. Imagine a skinny guy with not a single second of workout trying to lift a weight of 100kg. This is not going to end well.
- Katarina: But... I have only one week before the Duo Battle. I have limited time to work in a limited manner, this is why I need to adapt myself to my current situation.
La Folia seated beside Katarina.
- La Folia: Listen, this is a story that I did not tell you yet. When I was a brat, I thought that if I worked 10x than my twin sister, I could have be loved by my father. He was always rigid I wanted us to learn the impossible. For an instance, he once gave us a test of physics to a bunch of 7 years old girls who could not even wash their backs alone. But I did my best to impress him and overcome my sister that was always better than me in everything, unlike me who could not even solve a simple question of 55x100, she had already reached a whole new level and was finishing tests of universities to be given as an example to students in their own universities.
La Folia rose her head to look at the nightsky.
- La Folia: So when my father began to beat me as the failure I was, I looked back and asked to myself: "what I did wrong?" It was just then I realized that my mistakes. Thinking I could be better than my sister, I decided to study matter ahead of mine and tests given by my professors. I thought if I learned subjects superior to those given by my father and teacher, I could beat my sister. But, of course, I failed. Before I could notice, my sister had already surpassed me and left me behind. But how she did manage to become so perfect? It's because she studied everything given to her in its own determinated time; she did not rush or jumped steps. She perfected every subject given to after studying and reviewing them hundreds and hundreds of times while I, in my own arrogance, thought I could even better than her if I jumped straight to superior questions. As a result, I did not have a base to answer the most superior problems and then I lost to my sister.
La Folia put her hands together, pressing her palms against each other.
- La Folia: When I lost everything to my sister, I could no longer see the face of my father and mother. I was considered a failure to my family while my twin sister was loved, praised, spoiled and became the center of attentions of everyone from my family and even the rest of my homeland. She was a genius, a prodigy born every three decades while I was... some average kid with nothing special, I had no talent to be proud of besides my looks given by mother... it's not like my sister was any less beautiful though. You may be thinking that studying math, physics, science, history or even geography is not the same as studying or training Magi-Tech but the methods are the same.
Katarina finally changed her sight toward La Folia.
- La Folia: Magicians don't become powerful overnight, they learn step from step. The directors of the 9 academies went much further than they already were and perfected the ways of Magi-Tech. Meanwhile, most of the young Magicians of all academies stop perfecting themselves when they graduate. They are stuck in the same step and did not have the courage to continue walking forward to make themselves even better. Why? Because they are like how I used to be. They become arrogant and forget that there are steps missing to be done. If I jumped straight ahead and forgot my previous steps, they complete every step backward and forgot the next steps. Wáng is just like them, once he mastered his Wind Style magic, he stopped training or attending at other classes to be living here as a vagabond.
Katarina looked at her hands once again, relating her state with La Folia's story.
- La Folia: So if you want to beat the strongest, you have to master everything from zero. The path to power is nothing soft or peaceful but the effort and time you spent dedicating yourself to something worth of your time pays off with a satisfying victory. Don't rush it, take it slow and learn how to mastery everything you learned to this day, people like Wáng are destiny to die and rot where they stopped fighting. This is why, step by step, you will overcome them.
Katarina take a deep breath and lifted the sides of her lips.
- Katarina: I think I got it.
La Folia replied with a smile and stood up from the bench.
- La Folia: Right! Before I can get you home, how about we get some random trash to eat? I can't leave a student with both broken arms alone on the streets.
La Folia still a teacher, she can't simply leave another student, mainly a girl alone on these streets. Katarina followed La Folia with excitement as the latter made her way out of the alley.
- Katarina: Then how about some traditional culinary of Japan?!
- La Folia: No, thanks! Last time I ate something from your "traditional culinary" I was deceived into thinking I was eating a premium shark when I was in fact eating raw octopus!
It should be noted but La Folia hates the culinary of Japan with rare exceptions, most sea food is served raw so she avoids Oriental restaurants. Since she came to this city, she had a bad history with traditional food of Japan, Korea, China, India and other countries from Asia. In the end, she ends up in a hospital after eating food that her stomach is not used to.
- Katarina: The—!
La Folia interrupted Katarina with a loud voice, exactly knowing what she was going to say.
- La Folia: No, I don't want eat junk food. I said to you hate clowns.
As the girls walked on distance and their voices got lower, a dark and tall figure popped out of nowhere at the end of the street right behind them, it was Ren Suzugamori, one of the student council member that seemed to be stalking the girls.
- Ren: I see... so professor Imperia Deamonne is a close friend to the failure of Raizen. So that means my mission to approach that girl will more difficult but nothing too troublesome... if Deamonne ever gets in my way I will end her life.
It was already late and it was just in time to every student return to their dormitories. This is what all staff chief recommend their students to do but their warnings are in vain since most of the students stay awake at night. Tenguu City as a whole is a town that never sleeps and beat places like Las Vegas.
Some say the night at Tenguu City is when it really comes to live, not only in Tenguu but in all academies of town. With shining buildings and lively, people living next to the downtown and urban center almost don't have sleep due to all agitation. To prevent people from having problems with their sleep, the apartments around the town are fortified with anti-sounds walls and barriers.
Of course, even the mansion of the director that was literally built on the top of a building is also provided with the same protection.
- Lucy: You have some guts to leave a lady waiting. What is wrong? Show yourself, I don't bite... at least not that hard.
Lucy Sheev KnightWalker, the director of Raizen academy was calmly drinking her red wine while watching over her town until she felt a presence behind her, making her turn around to welcome the unknown guest.
- (???): You have some sharps senses as always.
From beautiful roof of her building, a male figure came out of the shadows of the trees around as if popped out from the darkness itself.
- Lucy: Don't flatter me, I'm an artificial magician unlike you who was born as a genuine magic user. I am merely using a fragment of what you are capable of. But... I don't appreciate your visits without a warning first.
- (???): Then why you said I made you wait?
Lucy took sip of her wine and leaned her back on handrail behind her.
- Lucy: I sensed your presence here since I came here... could it be you were thinking lewd things while staring at me for almost 20 minutes?
The man left from the darkness and revealed himself to be a tall muscular man with white skin, dark blonde hair and brown eyes. He was wearing some kind of peculiar outift that made him look a medieval knight-magician.
- (???): Hum.
- Lucy: Yuri Barnes, the Narcissistic Mage.
The magician who had just left the portal was not a normal magic user, he exalted a strong aura of an experience veteran man for a person of his age. That magician had the body and appearance of a 21 years old man but his aura was different, it was like from a mature veteran of war.
- Yuri: The Narcissistic Mage? So this is the nickname you, mongrels gave to me?
Yuri was carrying a huge book that had a purple color and was covered with stylish iron tentacles, and from that a book a shadow came out and dragged all darkness around the trees where he was hidden.
- Lucy: Don't you think it is appropriate? I mean it matches with your dick and arrogant personality?
Yuri Barnes is a mage of the highest scale and is said to be the strongest magic user of the world. Unlike Magicians from the 9 academies that are normal humans who were fused with Artificial Mana, Yuri is the real deal, a mage who has knowledge of every form of magic that exist in this world. It is said that it was Yuri Barnes who upgraded and improved Magi-Tech 29 years ago.
Disguised as a normal human, Yuri Barnes lives as a normal human in United Kingdom where he is a well-known writer of novels and is a secret leader of a magic cult that is unknown to most people. He is known for being a very... arrogant, haughty, noble, wealthy yet pampered man. Even so, for someone so rude like him, Yuri is a deadly magician that can transform the impossible in possible. It could be said this single man has the power of Gods using magic alone.
- Lucy: "Mongrels". Humpf. You did not change nothing. This is why you are never going to get married someday? I will give some tips: girls don't like haughty or demanding men. - Yuri: Don't be so rude with me, we all know women nowadays are demanding themselves and are seeking men financially successful. Why do you think the birth rate of the world is some countries like Japan is going downhill?
Lucy rolled her eyes over and accepted defeat... women nowadays are very demanding in both looks, job and money. This is the reality in some countries like Korea and Japan for almost 20 years now.
- Lucy: Well, you are right. Changing matters now, what brings the great Barnes to MY academy?
Yuri approached Lucy as she seated on the top of the handrail that kept people safe from falling from the building, this person however does not seem to be afraid of falling to her death.
- Yuri: Oh my, you still think I will steal the position of director from you? Unfortunately, I did not come here to do this.
Lucy is an Artificial Magician while Yuri a genuine magician. For almost 10 years now, Lucy is afraid of Yuri thinking one day he will steal her position as director of Raizen. Not only Raizen is the most prestigious magic school of the country but also extremely targeted by S-Magicians who are aiming to be the director of such academy. For years, Lucy has been standing on the top of one of the strongest magicians of the world, remaining unchallenged for 10 years. But if there is one person who can easily defeat her, that person is Yuri Barnes himself.
- Lucy: So you ARE thinking in doing this one day? I hope you are ready for the consequences if you try to take what Her Majesty gave to me?
Yuri giggled and lowed his head, mocking Lucy's words.
- Yuri: Her Majesty? Ah, you mean the Empress Sephiria Arks KnightWalker? The little girl who recently made herself the new owner of 20% of China and Eurasia's territory. From my point of view she is nothing but a warlord trying to take the rest of the continent using commercial embargoes.
Yuri let out an evil grin and revealed a small fragment of his true colors.
- Yuri: Wake up, your brat. I have been living in this world for thousand years and I have seen many people like her speaking about peace while using armies to enforce such peace. She is nothing more than a dictator and you know that! This position given by Sephiria is nothing more than a broken pillar about to ruin. If one day I decide to take over this academy for myself, I will do it as easy as breathing.
Lucy tightened her wrists, breaking the cup of wine she was holding. When it broke completely she dropped it on the ground, wetting the floor with wine.
- Lucy: Do you want to solve things here and now? You dipshit! Lucy lost her cool and was about to explode in anger, without caring if she was speaking like a wise director or an obscene thug.
- Yuri: I would be gladly to.
Yuri twitched his shoulders and returned to his usual mood.
- Yuri: But like I said I did not come here to fight you. I was sent here by the Commander herself.
Lucy widened her eyes and recovered her senses. Immediately after Yuri mentioned someone called "Commander", the tension between these two disappeared. - Lucy: The Commander herself? This is rare.
The Commander is said to be a person way above Yuri Barnes, the strongest Mage of the world and even Lucy, the director of Raizen and one of the most powerful Magicians of the world. While Lucy is also a subordinate of this so-called Her Majesty that Yuri revealed to be a woman called Sephiria Arks KnightWalker, she also responds directly to another person that is considered even MORE important the Empress Sephiria Arks KnightWalker, this mysterious Commander.
- Yuri: Don't ask me why, I will tell you the details later. She is worried about that "young lady".
Yuri leaned himself on the handrail as well, standing beside Lucy who did the same... it was like if nothing had happened earlier.
- Lucy: She is worried about that girl? Katarina Couteau?
Katarina Couteau, her name shows up again.
- Lucy: If you mean her physical state, she is okay. The girl has been showing each day to completely different from anyone I know. She is a peculiar and unique person who is trying her best to keep standing beside those who deemed her as weak. Since she came to this school, she experienced some of the most terrible experiences.
Yuri clicked his tongue in irritation.
- Yuri: That means you are not doing your part on our pact. Sephiria, the Commander and including me agreed to make you the director of Raizen as long you kept your eye on the Couteaus' daughter! The only reason why you became Director beside your powerful god-like Mana control, was to protect the daughter of Haruko and Iruka Couteau! But you are saying you could only watch from afar her life being destroyed little by little by those pieces of shit?
Lucy had her own standards in making someone thrive as seen earlier in her conversation with La Folia.
- Lucy: She is a grown up lady, Barnes. I can't pamper her forever. In her first two years attending at this school, I had dozens of ninja magicians watching over her to protect her from any threat. Of course, I agreed that we wouldn't interfere directly until her life was threatened but what she had endured at this school is nothing but bullying that comes with verbal abuse and physical aggression. But once she became a veteran student I said I would remove all security around her to let her grow and train herself.
Wind continued to play with the hair of both magicians as the conversation got more serious each moment.
- Yuri: I see... well, her health was not what we agreed about protecting her. The only thing we can do for that girl is just protect her life from those who dare to take her life from her. If she has been dealing with problems at school is not my problem... but you at least be kind enough to interfere when necessary. There is no point in protecting her life if she is going to kill herself before we can complete our long mission.
- Lucy: Believe it or not, that girl is fortified like a tank. No matter how much she is put down by other student, she is always trying to stand. What I can do for now is watch her from distance... and use La Folia as her psychological support.
Lucy has been trying to inspire La Folia to be around Katarina for a long time by now... if this is the reason why she kept La Folia around to protect her from threats she cannot reach, then...
- Yuri: Then you are just being a lazy boss. Moreover, you have been keeping the princess of Aldegyr Kingdom so close to our lady? It is like you are trying to call the attention of all OUR enemies at once! The protection of those two is our priority. La Folia Rihavein and Katarina Couteau... this is bad, Lucy.
Lucy let out a sigh.
- Lucy: I did nothing to make those two be so close to each other. I heard they met each other when La Folia came to Tenguu City a few years ago. Katarina was the first person she met when she came to this country, who could have imagined these two would meet of all people. Could it be that fate is a true thing? Maybe those girls were destined to find each other eventually?
Lucy is the only person that La Foia feels to openly speak about her past and interactions in the academy. When La Folia met Katarina years ago, she did say to Lucy about their friendship even before Katarina could enroll at Raizen.
- Yuri: If this was fate, then it is nothing good. Keeping those two too next to each other will drag some bad elements we don't want around. Lucy...
Yuri took a deep breath and turned his sight to Lucy, revealing a serious expression that Lucy never saw before. Usually, Yuri is a narcissistic and rude man who always keep a cocky smile on his face to show his superiority to others around him. But this time, he was deadly serious, as if the world was about to end.
- Lucy: .............
- Yuri: Lucy. I'm going to take care of Katarina for now.
Yuri kept his expression unchanged, his eyes were staring deep into Lucy's soul. For someone of his level to come this place to...
- Yuri: I'm not against the decision of the Commander and Sephiria to have you watch over both La Folia and Katarina. On the contrary, with someone of your level, I considered it a wise decision... but there are some that you might not be able to handle.
Lucy returned her sight to the town below them.
- Lucy: What do you mean?
- Yuri: Since the downfall of Babylon Tower, I monitored "them". It was clear that since the night that Babylon Tower fell thousand years ago, that "monster" would... that monster from the Black Cult would show up in this world again. The King of Death. Anyway, I made sure to keep an eye on the "their" activities to keep this planet safe from forces that are beyond human's understand... to keep the army of the King out of this world... but...
Yuri stopped talking to think in what he was going to say after that.
- Lucy: But?
- Yuri: ...The King of Death and his army recently brought "someone" to take care of the King's business down here on Earth. The King of Death and his army calls them... "Supreme General". That means the monster who destroyed Babylon Tower, the King of Death, is not going to show up in this planet any time soon. But I fear that this new "Supreme General" is a true danger and is freely walking around us.
Lucy gazed at Yuri again, in a signal of confusion.
- Lucy: You and Commander mentioned several times that about your past and how you are alive for thousand years. In all these years, you said there was only one "entity" that could not defeat no matter how many centuries you improved. And this person was the King of Death. So why you are afraid of this new... Supreme General? There is absolutely no one bes—!
Yuri yelled at Lucy in anger.
- Yuri: Shut your mouth, Lucy! The reason why There is a reason why I am afraid of this monster! I was once known as the strongest living being on this planet! N-Now, I am nothing compared to the King's new Supreme General... After all, they are even STRONGER than I am!
Lucy is already familiar with the term "King of Death" but was too afraid to even mention this name. Yuri Barnes has been living in this world for thousand years even before the rise of human civilization. As a person who lived for thousand years, Yuri Barnes learned infinite forms of magic and lived his entire life dedicated to perfect magic, as it was thanks to it that she managed to keep his heart and organs alive for so long. And in all these years, he has been fighting forces from other worlds that come to this world to torment and lead humanity to its destruction, forces of evil that humans call... "demons". The King of Death and this Supreme General are demons as well.
- Yuri: As you know, the army of the King of Death is a inter-dimensional organization that exists since the birth of Earth. I don't know much about its foundation but I know they are here on Earth even before humans began to exist. If the King of Death continued to only send small fries demons I could easily deal with them for decades, centuries of even millennia if necessary. But now, they sent someone so powerful, so bizarre and insanely out of this world that I can't even imagine what will happen to this world if they decide to move.
Lucy began to shake as Yuri was sweating and had to remove his gloves. When he removed he saw that his palms were sweaty... due to his fear.
- Lucy: So "they" are... back?
- Yuri: They never left, they were only waiting for thousand and thousand years to move again... and recently with this new Second Cold War, the climate change and the advance of human technology and magic awakened them from their slumber. If they decide to move now, not even me with the help of all mages from cult can stop them this time.
Yuri decided to seat on the handrail as if legs were about to lose their movements.
- Yuri: However, according to my investigations this new Supreme General has been acting by his own for a long time by now. If I'm correct, this... general is directly connected to that incident of 12 years ago. The incident that wiped out an entire town of New York state and was covered by the Global Pact Defense and the government of United States. Do you remember?
Lucy sharpened her eyes and looked at the sky.
Yuri nodded his head and continued.
- Yuri: After the entire town of Sleepy Hollow was wiped out in a military invasion conducted by an unknown organization, the government of Global Pact Defense and USA denied that it was a human act but the town was struck by a Spacequake similar to the one that destroyed China and Eurasia 30 years ago. However... I know that they lied to cover the truth of something much more terrifying. SOMETHING happened on that town that caused the death of millions. I thought I could have extracted some information if I searched for survivors of the Order of Flourish but...
Since the incident that wiped Sleepy Hollow and a new military HQ was built to replace it, the secrets of Order of Flourish were lacked by Global Pact Defense and only people of the highest rank of United States and GPD know about the existence of such organization. Yuri was aware of its existence for decades before its downfall but the Order was not the only magic cult that existed around the world, there are hundreds if not thousands of magical organization like the Order of Flourish hidden in different parts of the world.
- Yuri: ...I couldn't find a single survivor of the massacre. Every magician of the Order of Flourish went missing, not even their bodies were found. Their magic mana and even their own presence... it simply vanished out of this world. It was just like the Mayans' extinction, they were once a powerful organization that controlled an entire from the shadows but then they were gone all of sudden. They simply... disappeared of this world and left nothing behind... this is why I fear the Supreme General of the King of Death was involved with the massacre of Sleepy Hollow and the Order of Flourish. This is not the first time that the army of the King of Death was involved in massacres of mortal magic cults and I fear this is not going to be the last.
Yuri rose his head to stare at the night-sky, Lucy was getting even more scared as time passed by.
- Yuri: Normally, the army of the King of Death takes centuries to move after one big attack to this world. However, the invasion of Sleepy Hollow was too recent and what I feared the most has happened, they did not return to their slumber... they are active more than ever. I can feel the presence of that "substance" spreading across the world.
Lucy knew what he was talking about, it was...
- Lucy: ...The Blackness.
Yuri nodded as he continued to speak.
- Yuri: Instead of retreating, this army adapted themselves to more modern terms. Instead of using medieval demonic attacks they are now entering in human corporations, they infiltrated themselves in the world of politics and religious, they are commanding whole nations behind the curtains, they are using illegal criminal groups to exploit human nature and spread their influence everywhere. And I fear they are already here, in Tenguu City. They are literally everywhere, probably even inside of your own academy's ranks; these are multiplying themselves like a plague that cannot be stopped and when they take over the entire world it will be too late to stop them and I fear something absolutely terrifying that not even the Goddess of Magic and even me can imagine. We don't know many things about their true intentions or plans but I can tell one thing for sure: whatever they are planning will end this world.
Lucy put her hands on her mouth and wondered about something.
- Lucy: The Commander and even you are worried with Katarina because of Miss Couteau's last wish?
- Yuri: Before the Couteaus lost their lives on that unfortunate accident, the Miss Couteau told the Commander her last wish if someday she died all of sudden; it was to protect Katarina who was a baby at the time. Apparently the mother of Katarina knew the King of Death would one day go after her.
Lucy twisted her head in confusion.
- Lucy: But why the King of Death would want with Katarina? She is just a child.
- Yuri: We don't know for sure but her mother knew something that we don't... apparently she was aware the King of Death was after her life and would go after her Katarina after she was gone. Something happened between the Couteaus and the King of Death for her to ask the Commander to protect her child. Before we could even fulfill her last wish, the Couteaus died in a car crash. When the news reached our ears, Katarina was already gone and went missing for two days... until she was found by a patrol boat of GPD in the middle of the pacific ocean. To this day, no one knows what the hell happened that day but if Miss Couteau was right, it was the King of Death, the root of all evil in that girl's life.
The theory of Yuri and the mysterious Commander is that the King of Death was trying to silence the Couteaus and get rid of Katarina for some reason... there is no way that sequence of events could have been a coincidence.
- Yuri: It was a miracle that the child survived but at least we could keep her alive... but the Commander realized it too late and doomed the girl to a living hell of abuse and suffering. There is no way the Couteaus will forgive us for looking over the child they wanted us to protect but at least we can have a chance to redeem ourselves.
- Lucy: Do you have any evidence the Supreme General is after Katarina?
Yuri went silent for some seconds before answering.
- Yuri: I'd call it a possibility. But what they are after is not her life... it's probably her power. You know that she holds some kind of unknown power that not even I, the master of all magic, is fully capable of understanding.
There are several reasons why Lucy allowed someone like Katarina to enroll at Raizen, her mission to protect Katarina is one of them but there is another one: it was to oversee her mysterious power. No one knows exactly what kind of energy flows inside of her body but this is probably related to her superhuman healing and durability beyond human nature.
- Lucy: During the Entrance Exams, I put her through several private medical experiments and conducted some diagnostics on her body... the first thing we noticed was her supernatural healing. If we opened a cut on her body, the cut would immediately close in at least 10 minutes as if it never existed. If this is the power you are talking about...
- Yuri: Who knows about it?
Lucy put her finger on her mouth.
- Lucy: Just me and Millian Gravik. If you count people from outside, then it is you, me, Gravik, the Commander, the Vice-Commander and Her Majesty Sephiria. As ordered I erased every file related to her medical exams. Needless to say, I used fake documents on her mana injection to give the impression she is a normal Regular studying at a magic academy.
Yuri let out a sarcastic giggle.
- Yuri: Then keep it like this, absolutely no one must know about the truth. Until then, the only ones that should know about this here are you, me and Gravik—Also I like how used false documents to cover a darker truth. The mana you injected in her body was not rejected by her blood... it was... devoured.
Lucy let out a sigh and leaned her back on the handrail.
- Lucy: I already know that. If something like this leaked to other academies and even to this academy itself, a civil war will break out to decide who will be the first academy and departments to get their hands on that girl. A girl carrying unknown genes that overcome the ones of the KnightWalker Cyborgs, Meta-Humans and Magicians would change civilization as we know it. In the worst case, the conflict would take even bigger proportions and even nations will fight each other to capture her, unleashing a bloody war in Asia. The West and East are already looking for more efficient forms of upgrading their own foot soldiers, if a single blood sample of her body falls on the hands of someone with selfish intentions, something terrible will happen.
Yuri gave an angry glare at Lucy, he was about to remind her why Katarina is so important.
- Yuri: This is why your lack of care for her protection and life is an absurd! If the Commander or the Empress finds out about it you are OUT! Do you hear me?! That girl is too important to be kept aside, moreover when there are so many aiming at her and she knows nothing about! The army of the King of Death is not our only concern here, we still have all 9 Magi-Tech Academies to worry about!
Yuri let out a sign and Lucy accepted her defeat, after many years as a director of Raizen she had forgotten her true mission here. Day after day, her responsibility changed from protecting Katarina to managing the academy.
- Lucy: Humpf! You three are no one to talk to! You have been hiding many things from me while I was away from the council! Her Majesty, the Vice-Commander and the Commander too! How I was supposed to know the King of Death was so close to us?!
To hide embarrassment, Lucy used her Timing Magi-Tech spell to make her broken cup of wine return to the past, returning it to its normal state on her hand.
- Yuri: Well, you got a point. Since you left we have been investigating and sharing information about our own targets individually. You, who was pointed as the director of Raizen, is not aware of our plans and Intel we gathered for 10 years. However, it is too late to go back... we have a new mission to you.
Lucy was red like an apple as she continued to drink her wine.
- Lucy: A new mission?
- Yuri: Yes. It is about the same level of keeping Katarina safe. If there is a threat on par with the King of Death out there, that means you are dealing with some heavy burden. I did say before that we had to worry about the King of Death and the 9 Academies, but in truth, there is another "faction" who is threatening the life of La Folia Rihavein.
Yuri looked at his side and remembered of what has been happening around the world. Wars, climate changes, mass immigration, hunger, poverty, diseases, the disappearance of water and natural resources, increase in the criminal rates, terrorist attacks, mass human trafficking, nuclear testing, genocides, hate propaganda... the world is already collapsing even before this so-called King of Death can even act.
There is a person behind all this, the protagonist of this century that has been transforming the world in a dead rock; the same monster in human skin who started the Second Cold War and launched the world in a future Third World War.
- Yuri: If "her" father was the one who started all this crisis we could have put an end to his life in assassination attempt but... since the day that brat took over the KnightWalker Industries, times have changed.
- Lucy: Eckidina KnightWalker.
If the King of Death is an invisible threat than the definition of villain and true evil in this world right now is her... Eckidina KnightWalker.
Since Eckidina became the Vice-President of KnightWalker Family, she has been dealing more than simply business and documents. As the Vice-President, she literally had control over the military of the KnightWalker Family that had now became the most powerful military of the world, surpassing those of Aldegyr Kingdom, United States, Russia and China. The only nation capable of fighting the KnightWalker, a family company, is the Chronos Empire lead by the Empress Sephiria Arks KnightWalker, aka the Her Majesty of Lucy Sheev KnightWalker.
In the beginning of the 21st century, the KnightWalker Family expanded their territories in France and when they were powerful enough to control an entire state they took over the government of France through a coup and since then stabilized themselves as a "company nation" in France, thus transforming the country into some kind of human factory for profit. If it was just that it should be not a problem but they wanted more, more and more and then expanded their territories through Europe like a plague, invading neutral nations in both Europe and Africa.
Since Juria KnightWalker came to power, the KnightWalker Family focused more in "feeding" their allies with natural resources and military equipment. The world was already being destroyed by humanity with the intense deforestation and water and air pollution of the world, however, the abuse of power of the KnightWalkers only accelerated the imminent end of the planet.
- Yuri: Yeah... as if the King of Death was not enough we have to keep an eye on her as well. The Commander said she is her primary target but she in truth after a "bigger fish" that is behind Eckidina.
- Lucy: A bigger fish? Her father?
- Yuri: I'm not sure. Eckidina is a mysterious person. No one knows her background or true identity but the commander suspect that she is just a scapegoat of a even more powerful mastermind. She did not give me many details about who is this person but if Eckidina is the mastermind or the pawn it does not matter to us. She must be stopped. I once offered myself to kill her but when the KnightWalkers learned how to control Magi-Tech and merge it with their own tech they discovered the secret of immortality and created the fearsome KnightWalker Cyborgs.
If Magicians backup their nations alongside their foot soldiers and robots, then the KnightWalker Cyborgs backup the armed forces of the KnightWalker Family. The Cyborgs are the strongest human infantry to ever exist in Earth, surpassing even the Magicians and are the mankind's greatest achievement as Cyborgs are former human whom were fused with Magi-Technological nanomachines that gave them eternal youth, immortality and powers based in their personalities beyond human understanding.
And as the name suggests, they are original creations of KnightWalker Family during the beginning of Cold War II following the destruction of Fiore Kingdom, where they first served Juria KnightWalker's elite force as guards of Paris but after the ascension of KnightWalker Funeral Parlor they became super soldiers when they officially became part of the KnightWalker military.
- Lucy: So even you will have problems dealing with the Cyborgs?
- Yuri: Not really, if they are immortals I could send them to a new dimension and be done with them. I don't necessarily kill them to win. The only problem are the Horsemen of John, the strongest cyborgs of the KnightWalker Family. Those bastards were given abilities so powerful that not even genuine mages of the highest order can defeat them in combat, if 10 of them took me in a single battle I would be doomed... and the worse of it all is that Eckidina KnightWalker transformed herself into a Cyborg and became one of those Horsemen of John. She is basically immortal right now.
Lucy always believed that such thing as immortality in this world is an illusion but the KnightWalkers, who had the most intelligent scientists and Magi-Tech experts of the world managed to do the impossible and merged the technology of humanity with the Mana of the First Spacequake from 30 years ago.
- Lucy: It is true the KnightWalker are a plague, if the King of Death is already here, the KnightWalkers were here a long time ago. These guys have informants and spies all across the world.
There is a reason why the mere mention of Eckidina or any KnightWalker's name is considered a taboo in many countries is because the influence of this family is so great, so great that is said they have at least one or two informants in every street of every town built by human civilization.
That means around 8% of the world's population are KnightWalkers or spies connected to them through illegal means, even the innocent looking old woman from down the street is a spy who gains an illegal insurance of 500$ per week to pass down the information and identity of her neighbors. Moreover, there are even more extreme informants who "hunt down" those who dare to taunt the name of the KnightWalkers; the assassins.
Assassins are paid to kill anyone who they see or hear someone speaking the name of Eckidina, Juria or other KnightWalker in vain to keep the fearsome reputation. It is said around 100,000 people die every around world for using the names of the KnightWalkers in vain. With that said, no wonder why billion fear speaking their names in public.
- Yuri: Then our situation is even worse. The KnightWalkers are getting more involved with "them" .
- Lucy: "Them"?
Yuri had recovered his senses and put his feet back on the ground. Lucy had then by now finished her wine and put the cup on the floor.
- Yuri: I don't want to say it but the KnightWalker are getting themselves involved with the Royal Family of the Rihaveins.
The Royal Family of the Rihaveins are the family of La Folia Rihavein herself, the family she fled from when she was a kid and came to Tenguu City during her escape.
- Lucy: Impossible! Do you realize that if the KnightWalkers and the Rihaveins join forces they will...
- Yuri: ...Take on the entire Stabilization Union and the West? Yes. It's been pretty common the presence of KnightWalker ambassadors in the capital of Aldegyr Kingdom, it seems the two governments are getting closer each day and this is not good... if these two nations join forces then there is nothing that can be done to stop them. As you know, the Commander assumed the responsibility to stop Eckidina and everyone related to her through invisible means. However, if Aldegyr form an alliance with the KnightWalkers, the Second Cold War will faster than everyone thought.
- Lucy: So it seems Eckidina prepared herself for the worst case and is already forming alliances with other compatible countries. If the KnightWalkers and Rihaveins are coming closer, then La Folia is in danger. The Rihaveins always had a tradition to sacrifice the next ruler of the nation if someone much more talented and important showed up.
Yuri crossed his arms and bit his lips.
- Yuri: Those bastards. La Folia was born as the legitimize heir of Aldegyr Kingdom. As the oldest daughter of the the twins, she was destined to be the queen of monarchy. But now that she was considered an inferior and ran away from her homeland she will be considered a traitor and illegitimate leader. Which means....
Lucy continued his thoughts.
- Lucy: ... La Folia will be a sacrifice for her sister to become the next queen. According to their traditions, the legitimate monarch must execute the inferior monarch with their own hands. This is some gruesome tradition, what kind of family allows the murder of their own family member for power? I can see why someone like La Folia ran away from that decrepit place... maybe I was to hars with her earlier.
Lucy remembered of how she insulted La Folia for running away from her problems instead of facing them, it unlikely that if she faced her family or entire country alone would change anything.
- Yuri: I'm sure you've guessed why I came to this place without warning you first. There are high chances the KnightWalkers would intercept our transmission and expose the identity of the commander, they have been doing this every communication network of the planet, Raizen is no exception to this...
Yuri walked away, making his leave.
- Yuri: Lucy, there are two monsters approaching Raizen, both aiming at Katarina and La Folia. In a matter of days, this place will probably become a blood bath that neither me and you can stop, the only thing that we should be worried is WHOM is coming first. The King of Death's general? Or the KnightWalker Family? It doesn't matter who comes first, the issue here is that we CANNOT stop them the way we are now. The two organizations have too much power for me and you to handle.
Lucy clenched her fists and began to sweat.
- Lucy: So no matter what we do, something horrible is going to happen to this town. The only we can do is...
Lucy had the same idea of Yuri.
- Yuri: Hide those two or keep them away from the eyes of both the King of Death and KnightWalkers. Katarina and La Folia are both targets of our enemies, this is why I was against those being together or close as friends. They will eventually bring too much attention together and drag those bastards directly to them. Before the bloody moon can engulf this town, we will make sure keep those two safe.
Lucy nodded, dropping her cold and superior mood to finally take Yuri seriously in comparison how she treated him earlier.
- Yuri: Lucy. Katarina and La Folia will have to begin watching their back sooner or later. That's their fate. You watch over La Folia for now, keep a tight security around her but don't make it too obvious. You've all the resources to keep her safe within the walls of these academies, at least here they are safe from the creatures that are trying to enter this city. As for me, I will keep my watch over Katarina for the time being as a direct comrade.
Yuri looked back and blinked at Lucy.
- Yuri: Before I leave...
Lucy who had dropped her arrogant and haughty mood a long time ago to have a serious conversation with Yuri, was ready to hear more of what the mage had to say.
- Lucy: What is it?
With a cocky but assertive smile, Yuri gave the same superior look he gave to Lucy earlier. "..............!!!!!!!!!!!!"
- Yuri: ...About the time I was staring at you from darkness... I was admiring your beauty. If you were not such letdown in personality, I wouldn't mind dating you. Well, with that said, if you don't improve your personality you will die single.
Angry, upset, embarrassed and extremely humiliated, Lucy went from white to red in a blink of an eye. Yuri did not waste any time and disappeared in a white smoke with a snap of his fingers.
- Lucy: LIKE IF I WOULD EVER DATE YOU, YOU ASS!
Lucy's yell echoed through the town, hopefully no one ever got the chance to see such humiliating moment of their director. Well, it sure was a long night to our dear director.
5 hours later...
5 hours had passed since Katarina safely returned to her home. It was all thanks to La Folia's daring nature that saved from a possible kidnapping. Ren was not the only one who stalked the two girls for hours but a few students of the hospital where Katarina was treated.
However, with a teacher like La Folia around they didn't have the courage to move and act. It is true some departments have the courage to silence even teachers to get what they want but La Folia is Regular teacher too close to the director Lucy KnightWalker, if someone like her went missing soon after she left a hospital, the doctors and students connected to that hospital would be the first suspects.
Soon after La Folia escorted Katarina to her dormitory, the first thing the latter did was wash her teeth, take a bath and go to bed. This was a full day, a day of absurd, pain and emotions. It's been 38 hours since Katarina slept for the last time since she spent a whole day cleaning the campus of the main building of Raizen. Speaking of which, she did not finish her cleaning as part of her punishment given by Dune... but something strange happened. Normally, if someone flees from their responsibility, Dune will immediately go after them to give an even more cruel punishment. However, Dune did not show up but La Folia thinks that's because Katarina challenged Wáng to a Duo Battle, a challenge that can pretty much result in Katarina's death against someone so ruthless and powerful like Wáng. If this is true, Dune might be the one delighted in joy and happiness.
- Katarina: ...
Inside of her room, Katarina was sleeping like a rock. She was tired of everything that happened today. The only sound that could be heard inside of her dark room was the sound of the air conditioning, the sound of some cars' engine passing in front of the building and sirens of police cars on distance.
- Katarina: ...
Due to her traumatic experiences at this academy, Katarina had trouble to sleep for months and was suffering from insomnia, but this time, even after feeling so much pain on her hands and being mentally tortured by Wáng and other students, she could easily fell asleep thanks to the company of La Folia.
- Katarina: N-No... S..top...
- Katarina: ....
Katarina looked around to see absolutely nothing. Inside of her mind, she was dreaming about the unknown.
There was nothing to be seen but if that was a dream or not, Katarina could not tell if that place was real or not. Around her, she could only see a world of full darkness surrounded by a sky that seemed more like a broken night sky, like an empty broken mirror with scratch marks.
- Katarina: Hello?
Katarina walked forward, confused about that place. Like aforementioned, she couldn't tell if that was real or not, and much less if it was a dream or not because everything felt so real that one could imagine that place was more of a Magic illusion than an actual dream.
Hours had passed... and nothing happened in that white and black world.
- Katarina: HELLO?!!!!
Nothing but pure silence and sounds of glass breaking under Katarina's feet could be heard.
Each step Katarina gave forward she felt as if she was walking on the top of broken glass, however, when she looked below, there was nothing there. The ground was pure blackness but the sensation was as if it was a landscape of broken glasses. At first, Katarina was afraid of walking but got used to it over time.
- Katarina: HELLLOOO?!!
Hours had passed, if not... days. For countless hours, Katarina walked forward to reach nowhere. The temperature was colder but no wind could be heard. She was not tired or even felt pain of walking on top of broken glass for so long.
No matter how many times she screamed or walked, nothing changed or nothing happened. It was an infinite loop. But after all this time, something happened... as soon as she shouted at the darkness, a mirror suddenly popped out of nowhere right beside her.
- Katarina: AAHHHHH!!!!
Katarina was not expecting that and immediately fell on her back when she saw the mirror that was invisible. Afraid of the unknown, Katarina took deep breaths and stood up.
- Katarina: Is someone there?
Out of curiosity, Katarina slowly approached her hand to the mirror but when her nail touched the mirror it immediately broke in a loud sound of crack that sounded more like an explosion instead of a glass breaking.
Katarina once again fell on her back but this time something strange happened. The image of herself on the mirror stopped in time... it stopped exactly at the moment she touched the mirror but now it was completely shattered, her image was also shattered in pieces. It was like the mirror was a portal to another dimension where time stopped.
Each second, her image that had stopped in time was slowly being melted, melting her skin and flesh until her bones were exposed.
- Katarina: N-N-No!
Without thinking twice, Katarina got up and began to run as fast as she could.
Katarina ran, ran, ran, ran, ran... for days. The sounds of glass cracking on the ground around her echoed in the darkness as if there was no ending to it.
She continued to ran from the mirror, but no matter for how long she ran from it, the mirror was still there with her twisted image frozen in time.
- Katarina: LEAVE ME ALONE!
Katarina tripped on her own feet and fell to the ground, hinting her face on the invisible glass on the process and cutting her nose. Blood came out of her nose, painting the black ground with a grey blood.
At that moment, Katarina noticed she never gave a single step from where she was standing before. She ran for hours to realize that she did not move a single inch away from the mirror.
- Katarina: GET AWAY FROM ME!
-̙̉ ̡̊K͚̀ḁ̈́t̥͝a̝͛r̖̎ȉ͎ñ̙á̬:̤͠ ̱̇Ģ́E̡̋Ṯ̅ ̭̀A̮̕W̢̾A̞̓Y̟̓ ̘̂F͚̌R̬̋O̠̎M̛̳ ̹̄Ṃ̅E̻̓!̖̇
At that same second, the mirror that had the melted, rotten and ugly image of Katarina repeated her words but in deeper and demonic form. It was the voice of a undead who had their throat bitten by some animal...
Katarina was now shaking, if her despair was already big enough then that sight of a mirror image repeating her words of panic only caused her to drop her temperature down to zero. But then...
The mirror that had the horrifying image of Katarina began to twist in a new form, the glass on it took a form of a black grotesque mass, each piece of the glass were forming a new body. In a few seconds, all pieces formed a new form; it was the form of a man in a business suit.
The mirror disappeared, and instead of broken glass there was a male figure standing still like a statue right in front of Katarina.
- Katarina: .....
Using her last forces, Katarina tried to crawl away from the unknown entity to no avail because each move she made her knees were cut with the invisible glass on the ground. Moreover, no matter how many times she wanted tha figure that had its face covered by darkness continued to be standing right behind her.
It was not the first time Katarina saw that creature in business suit before... and is probably not going to be the last.
- Katarina: YOU AGAIN?! LEAVE ME THE HELL ALONE! WHY YOU ARE ALWAYS, ALWAYS TORMENTING ME IN MY SLEEP!! PLEASE! I BEG YOU!! LEAVE ME IN PEACE!!!!
Katarina yelled at the tall figure that was almost 2,5 meters tall, despite her courage to yell at the creepy figure that was silence all the time, she was still trembling and pale.
- Man in Suit: ...
No reply came from the unknown entity in business suit. 5 minutes had passed and nothing happened, he was just standing there like corpse... yet Katarina could hear something horrible coming from that creature, its insides could be heard from distance like if hundreds of tentacles were dancing in a mud pool. Disgusting, repulsive and disturbing.
- Katarina: SAY SOMETHING! YOU DAMN BASTARD! WHY YOU STILL HERE?! WHY YOU ARE AFTER ME?! WHY YOU DO ALL THESE THINGS TO ME!
Katarina don't sleep for months... but it is more than simply insomnia caused by her traumatic memories of her past. The true reason why she can't sleep is because of this... thing that mentally tortures her every night in brutal and disturbing nightmares that last for hours.
- Katarina: SAY SOMETHING!!!
The man in business suit just said two words with its demonic, twisted and disturbing voice after so long in silence... that was "Is someone there?"... Those were the words of Katarina when she first spotted the mysterious mirror that showed up beside her. What happened was the same thing that happened earlier, the creature was imitating Kataria.
- Katarina: NO!! GET AWAY!!
Before Katarina could even think in how to escape from this situation and escape from the creature that was standing still after repeating her words so loudly, she noticed a doll right behind her. As the same moment she turned her back to once again run from the creature, a hanging doll popped out of nowhere in front of her... the doll was being hanged from its neck by a rope.
Then... the doll spoke to Katarina using the same tone of voice of the man in suit right behind her.
- Katarina: No... n-n-not you! NOOOOOO!!!
The doll moved by itself and revealed to have an evil grin drawn with blood in its mouth, as soon as its face was revealed to Katarina, the world around Katarina changed completely. The white and black mirror world suddenly was transformed into a dark ocean illuminated by the moonlight.
- Katarina: Wh—!
Katarina looked below her and saw that the ground was gone and that she was falling into the ocean. Darkened by the night, the water had a black color.
Katarina put everything she had to swim to the surface but no matter what she did her body was losing its balance and was being pulled into the dark abyss of the ocean.
- Katarina: H-H-HELP!!
As Katarina drowned into the ocean, she saw the Man in Suit and the doll watching her from above, the two had a grin made with human teeth... they were feeling joy of seeing the poor Katarina disappearing into the unknown abyss of the ocean.
Under water, Katarina tried to breath only to push more water down her throat, choking her.
- Katarina (think): *Someone... please....*
Soon after all light disappeared in her nightmare, Katarina had finally awakened from her long nightmare. It felt like if she was there for weeks or even months. It felt so real, so real that she wondered if she was sent to another dimension.
- Katarina: It was a dream, huh?
Katarina did not act on impulses but as soon as she tried to move her body she felt nothing.
- Katarina (think): *I can't move.*
She was suffering from sleep paralysis thanks to her nightmare that affected her mentally.
Sleep paralysis is a state, during waking up or falling asleep, in which a person is aware but unable to move or speak. During an episode, one may hallucinate (hear, feel, or see things that are not there), which often results in fear. Episodes generally last less than a couple of minutes. It may occur as a single episode or be recurrent.
It took a minute for her brain to finally send her movements back to her. Normally, sleep paralysis is something that result in fear but Katarina has been suffering from both insomnia and abnormal nightmares for years now... sleep paralysis is just a cherry on the top of the cake.
- Katarina (think): *I can't sleep... this is the fifteenth night without a normal sleep.*
Katarina rose her back from the bed and stared at her feet for a while. Soon afterwards, she got up and walked toward a notebook next to a pen, there she noted all nights that she had problem to sleep. Just this year, she had 92 nights without a proper rest. Her body and mind are overloaded.
Katarina took a deep breath and sighed.
- Katarina: I guess I will watch TV then.
Without thinking much, Katarina pressed her injured hand against the TV that was touch-screen and lied on her bed again. This is what she normally does when she can't sleep or even take a simple nap. When she is not on the mood to watch TV, she simply will go use the Internet, watch different series, animes or western programs.
Katarina went to the bathroom to wash her face and drink water... since that nightmare there is no way she is even going back to sleep so it is way better to prepare herself and wait until morning to go to her school.
- Katarina: Ouch!
Katarina felt her both hands hurting. For personal reasons, she had removed the plaster the doctors gave to her at the hospital and felt it was better to move around without those two heavy plasters dragging her arms down.
On her way to the bathroom, she saw the newspaper of the today below her door. In Raizen, newspaper are delivered to students before 02:00 to 06:00 AM before the beginning of the classes.
- Katarina: Nothing good comes from these newspapers...
If there is something that never ceases in this city is... violence and crime. Even though Tenguu City as a whole is being protected by Magicians, hightly trained police officers and robots, all academies and Tenguu City are considered to be the head of all crime in Asia with many international criminal groups using this city as a their HQ. Each day, more than 40 people, mostly Regulars, are murdered by either corrupt Magicians or criminals.
As Katarina went to wash her face, the channel on the TV changed by its own without a command of Katarina that was in the bathroom right now.
- Reporter (TV): [After the negotiations of Brazil with the Empire of Godom, the governments agreed in closing a deal between the Workers' Party of Godom and the Aquábras. Godom was one of the many countries of Asia to have suffered from the lack of natural resources and fountains of water to provide basic supplies to its own population. Just this year, more than 102,222 people lost their lives after consuming ocean water infected with industrial trash and iron ore. The followin—]
Katarina clicked on the control of the TV to change the channel. She had returned to her body to continue looking for better channel.
- Reporter: The skeleton of a possibly woman was found today in an abandoned water reservoir of Raizen. The Police of Tenguu rose theories the corpse might be from a woman that went missin—
Katarina once again changed the channel, now with a little furious. This is not the kind of thing she wants to watch just after suffering from that nightmare... anything but... death. Each click that Katarina was pressing felt like if something was closing around her, something cold and sinister.
- Reporter: A student from Hifuu Magic Academy was found dead in an abandoned house inn the 576th District of Tenguu City. Her internal organs were nowhere to be found, leading the police to suspect the victim was another victim of Jack the Rip—
She clicked again, this time she pressed the button with too much strength, almost breaking the remote control.
It was coming closer...
- Reporter: A Chinese immigrant family was found dead inside of their own apartment located in the 23th District of Tenguu City. The main suspects are a group of radical Far-Right Wing Jap—
Tears started to wet Katarina's eyes.
- Reporter: A priest of the Universal Catholic Church was founded inside of his own house with signals of torture and mutilation. The murderer also stole goods like jewels, money and bottles of wate—
Katarina bit her lips and pressed the button with all her strength, luckily it did not break. Each click that Katarina was pressing felt like if something was closing around her, something cold and sinister.
- Reporter: The body of a student of Raizen was found by a teacher of Raizen High School's Basic Field this morning. The student was identified as the solo Regular student of Raizen in 25 years since its foundation. With the permission of the academy, her identity was stated to be a young teenager girl named K̵a̴t̸a̵r̷i̶n̴a̷ ̴C̶o̵u̶t̴e̷a̶u̴.
With all her strength left on her hands, Katarina threw the control at the TV, breaking it in hundreds of pieces. After taking several deep breaths and wiping out the sweat from her face, Katarina opened her window to take fresh air.
- Katarina: Why?
Gazing back at the destroyed TV, Katarina realized one thing... her nightmare isn't over. As always... her nightmares became reality.
A dark and red shadow came out of the smoke from the destroyed TV, revealing itself to Katarina who did not react for the slightest. It was like... she was waiting for it.
- (???): You try to control us, but you are weak-minded.
The shadow spoke to Katarina, it had the same voice of that Man in Suit and the doll from her nightmare. Gradually, the voice became more human like as it took a humanoid form that revealed its true demonic eyes.
At the moment Katarina spotted the demonic shadow, she heard voices inside of her head. They were the same voices that echoed inside of her head when Wáng bullied her yesterday.
- Katarina: D...es...tr...oy?
Katarina put her hands on her head fell on her knees, she felt like something was about to come out of her skull, as if the pain of her hands were not enough, her head felt as if it was about to explode.
- (???): Why do you allow those inferior beings to make fun out of you? You, who experienced all hatred of this world should know much better than anyone... that people exist for you to kill and twist in pleasure on their blood. That bastard... for example... you could have easily cut him into pieces if you called for us but yet... But you FELT PITY for him?! HAHAHAHA?!
Katarina threw a cup of glass at the shadow but it gone through the shadow.
- Katarina: You are wrong! I exist to prove my value! I exist to show everyone that I am not a loser! To prove that I can be better than everyone through hard work! I will confirm my theory one day! The hard work beats the natural genius! I'm not going to kill ANYONE! Do you hear me?! I will not succumb to your temptations or your promises of revenge! I will achieve my dreams and respect with my own hands! I don't need your power!
The shadow giggled in amusement.
- (???): Fufufufufu... HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!! Hard work beats the natural genius? You really think a Regular like you can defeat Magicians, huh?! You think you can live in peace standing at the top without our help?! Don't be ridiculous! You are nothing without us! Do you think you would be alive if you never had us sealed inside of you?! People are decide by fate if they are born strong or weak, no matter how much the weak train themselves to become better, they will fail and be laughed at everyone for losing their time in trying to become someone don't are! There is only one single reason why you exist: to kill every person that is not you! What exactly have you been doing recently?! No matter how much you train to become stronger, you are still being used as plaything by the people of this society. Why? Because you are a weakling trying to step in a realm that is way different from the world you were born. You are a joke! A pathetic excuse of woman who tries to break the impossible being so weak! That is why you are the most pathetic and pitiful student of Raizen! You are just A LOSER! TIME TO WAKE UP, KATARINA COUTEAU!
Suddenly, another shadow appeared from behind the TV and flew toward Katarina. The shadow formed a tall pale figure of a faceless man with a business suit. The faceless man in suit spoke to Katarina but he now had a more deep human voice.
- Man in Suit: You are our host, that means until then we are your servants! Use your hatred! Remember all those years of suffering, pain, humiliation and tragedies to fuel your wrath! You should know by now... that with your normal body you cannot grasp even the weakest of all Magicians! Use us! Use our power and all your anger and your trip to the abyss will be complete!
Katarina stood fearless before the man in suit and the shadow that tormented her earlier... those two were the monsters that were tormenting her in her nightmares minutes ago, the Man in Suit and the doll. As soon as the Man in Suit showed up, Katarina heard more voices inside of her head... those voices were commanding her.
Katarina sharpened her eyes in anger and thought about running away from that room but...
- Katarina (think): *My legs... are not moving? They did something to me? Wait—No, they did nothing to me... Could it be... that's me?!*
Katarina trembled and fell on her knees as the shadows stared at her in silence.
- Katarina: Remember... remember... all the pain.
Katarina whispered to herself and embraced herself with her arms.
- (???): Yes... remember all of it. All those years of torture. Since the day you left that orphanage, since the day you left from your foster parents' house, since the day you enrolled at this academy. Remember all of it. Remember what those monsters did to you just for existing. You were innocent but yet they judge you, they beat you, they tortured and made you feel like you were not even supposed to born.
Katarina began to cry as the memories of her bullying in Raizen passed through her mind like a quick flashback.
- Man in Suit: Remember the pain. Remember all the times you cried alone in your room. Remember all the time you fled from school afraid of being seen by your classmates only to be abused by other students.
- (???): Remember when you had your pulses cut, remember when they tried to drown in a toilet, remember when they put fire on your goods... remember, EVERYTHING! And now! Tell me, Katarina Couteau! Who are you?! Do you think HARD WORK CAN BEAT NATURAL GENIUS?! DO YOU THINK YOU CAN LET THOSE BEASTS DO WHATEVER THEY WANT WITH YOU AND CONTINUE ALIVE?!
In contrast to the Man in Suit that was more composed, calm and almost like a Buddha's priest, the black and red was loud, aggressive and wrathful.
- Man in Suit: While you are trying to sleep after painful days of mental torture, they are laughing, eating and drinking like pigs, having sex with whoever they see, they are buying things with money of their parents... because they are all spoiled brats who see the right to take everything from you because of your looks and race. Now... it is time to show them. Now... tell us...
The two entities spoke at the same time, hitting Katarina directly.
- Man in Suit and Shadow: Who are you?
There was nothing to be said, there was nothing to be done. Why would she want to run away from her own inner demons? Wasn't she supposed to win the monsters of the world who dare to put her down? But how she is going to win this world being so weak? It doesn't matter how many hours, days, weeks, months or even years she spent training her body and mind to overcome obstacles, she will be always a loser and weakling who doesn't know her place. This is the definitive truth.
Katarina stood up with her head looking down.
- Katarina: ......
When Katarina rose her head, the expression of fear and sorrow on her face were gone. A new person was there, and it was not Katarina Couteau, the hard-working student of Raizen who dreams about beating all genius through effort. That was not the shy and quiet student who prefer to keep her distance from other people. That was literally another personality. It was a monster with sad eyes and empty eyes of a child who only saw the darkness of this world.
10 minutes later...
Somewhere in Tenguu City
Rain. Since the climate changes and the deforestation of all forest of the world, rain became something rare that happen only once every 4 months in different parts of the world.
The reason why rain still falls over Tenguu City is all thanks to the green areas protected by Raizen and other academies, the forest Katarina where was training yesterday is part of these forest.
When rain falls over the country, people take the opportunity to take their own buckets to collect water of the rain or install water boxes on the top of their homes to collect water from the rain... that is when the rain is not being acid.
Acid rain is a rain or any other form of precipitation that is unusually acidic, meaning that it has elevated levels of hydrogen ions. It can have harmful effects on plants, aquatic animals, and infrastructure. Acid rain is caused by emissions of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide, which react with the water molecules in the atmosphere to produce acids. Some governments have made efforts since the 1970s to reduce the release of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide into the atmosphere with positive results.
Nitrogen oxides can also be produced naturally by lightning strikes, and sulfur dioxide is produced by volcanic eruptions. Acid rain has been shown to have adverse impacts on forests, freshwaters, and soils, killing insect and aquatic life-forms, causing paint to peel, corrosion of steel structures such as bridges, and weathering of stone buildings and statues as well as having impacts on human health.
Thanks to the acid rain and the lights of the town, the sky was colored red... it was colored with a bloody scarlet like if the sky itself was bleeding and the moon being tainted in a river of blood.
That coloration over the town that was already stained with crime and violence only made things more appropriate to this bloody town where no one is safe from humanity's worst monsters. Every night, crime dominate the streets and makes even the most powerful Magicians hide inside of their rooms. In this town, anything can happen at anytime and those who live here for almost a year know that only the strongest Magicians can walk outside after midnight, after this hour, any Regular or weak magicians, be they students or mere staff members of the academies, become easy victims of thugs, kidnappers, serial killer, corrupt cops and gangsters.
- Girl: My clothes are wet again, my mommy is going to kill me.
Walking on the streets being illuminated by the lights of the buildings around her, a young Regular girl from a normal high school was crossing the road with her umbrella in hands. While crossing it, she did her best to not let herself be touched by the acid rain.
- Girl: I have to run for it then!
After crossing the road, the girl started to run to avoid the rain and return to her home as fast as possible. Normally, girls around her age should be already home after her school was over afternoon but young people nowadays are foolish and naive, thinking that the chances of something bad happening to them is literally zero.
Times have changed, it's not simple "dangerous". The world has become deadlier than it was during 2010s and 2020s.
- Girl: WHA—!?
As the girl continued to run she accidentally tripped on her own feet and lost on her knees, injuring her legs.
- (???): Come here, baby doll. It's warm and dry here.
At the same moment she fell to the ground, a male voice spoke to her. The voice came from her left side, there she saw a man covered by the darkness of an abandoned building he was in. The building had a single door but it was completely abandoned.
- Girl: N-NO! PLEASE DON'T!
The man pulled his arm out of the darkness and grabbed the girl's arm, dragging her small body toward his. Using his hand to cover her mouth and stop her screaming, the man left out a malicious grin as he felt her soft skin touching his chest.
- Girl: MMMMMHHMMM!!!!!
The girl used everything she had to free herself from her kidnapper but to no avail. Her screams were muffled by his hand and her body was immobilized.
- Pervert: I need you, baby doll. I need you tto comfort me. I have no idea the hardships I have to endure all days. Hunger, mistreatment and unemployment. No matter what I do to survive in this city, they always look down on me and take all my chances to live a happy life. I have no money nor I am handsome to get some cash out of it... so at least, make me feel happy for once.
The pervert pulled a knife from his pocket and put it in front of her throat.
- Girl: NNNNNNNNMMMMMM!!!!
The girl tried to break free from his hand and scream for help but he was stronger.
- Pervert: You don't understand, baby doll. Your body makes me feel warm and safe.
The man heard something like the sound of gnashing teeth right above him. For a second he thought it was a thunder when he noticed something like... a sticky water dropping on his hand, he noticed there was someone or something right above his head.
At the same second the man looked above, a demonic and twisted voice repeated the last words he said to his victims a few seconds ago.
- Pervert: AAAAAAHHHHHHH!!!
As the girl was being held in his grasp, she could hear or see nothing what happened behind her but in her point of view, out of nowhere, the pervert let out a loud scream of terror and suddenly released her from his arms.
The man was dragged into the abandoned building by an unknown force. When the girl looked back, she saw trails of blood all over the entrance of building. The man who tried to abuse her disappeared in the darkness as his screams slowly faded away like if he was being dragged to a place even more deeper and away from the entrance.
- Girl: .......
The girl stood still in a state of despair, taking deep breaths and trying to understand what just happened here. She was sure she heard the sound of something like the bite of an animal right behind her, the bite was then followed by the screams of the man and sounds of glass breaking inside of the building. All of that happened in 3 seconds... it was too fast for anyone to understand what truly happened.
10 minutes later...
407 meters away from there
In a park located in the same district where that girl was almost abused by some unknown pervert, a couple of thugs were smoking and laughing as they looked down on two people lying on the floor.
- Thug 1: Oh Gosh! LOOK AT THIS! BRO! FUHAHAAHAHAHAHA!!
In the middle of the rain, two thugs that not seemed to be Japanese but Afro-Americans, were staring at two young Japanese men bleeding. The two Asian boys were wearing uniforms of Regular high schools, meaning they were around 15 or 16 years old. One was a skinny with messy black hair and the another one was a chubby boy carrying an anime bag. From the looks of those two, they were 100% otakus.
- Thug 2: This is why Japan's population is dying, hommie! This is what the fucking sluts of this country gets! To COMPLETE the pack, they still have dicks of the size of a match! Bro, look at this dude!
One of the thugs kicked the chubby Japanese boy, revealing his bloody face. It seems those two were physically abused for minutes before this mistreatment.
The reason why many Japanese hates Western people is because they lack the respect and refined behavior of a civilized person, of course this kind of thinking is not to all Westerns but since more people from America continent came to Tenguu City and Tokyo in the last few years, the feeling anti-Westerns only increased as people like these two, thugs, began to appear more often on the streets of Japan.
- Thug 1: If I get one of those whores of your school, I will make them slaves of my cock! Nothing tastes better like the pussy of an Asian! But then, sore excuses of men like you exist and make them feel "lonely."
The thug kicked the chubby once again, making the student cough blood.
- Thug 2: C'mom you fatass! ROLL! ROLL!
The taller thug kicked the chubby student and tried to push him with his feet to make him roll like a ball. The torture continued until the skinny thug spoke out.
- Thug 1: Bruh, chill out. I am getting tired of these two. Look at the', they do not even scream or ask for help! They just seat there and accept all our shit! This is why I hate Japanese!
The tall thug stopped kicking his victim and smiled with sarcasm and walked toward his friend.
- Thug 1: I'm sleepy now, let's just grab some good shit in the bar and go home piss and sleep, 'kay?
- Thug 2: Cool man. Then it is time to "poke" the ball!
The tall thug that seemed to be the most cruel one pulled a scissor out of his pocket and walked toward the chubby student that was about to die after losing so much blood. His arms and nose were broken, he had lost several teeth and even his left eye was out of orbit.
- Thug 1: Man, 're you fuckin' crazy?
The tall thug began to remove the pants of the chubby boy, who was the most abused victim there.
- Thug 2: It's okay, buddy! There is no one around! First, let's start cutting his dick off!
As the thug began the remove the underwear of his victim to cut off his genitals, a lightning struck. It was so loud that even the tall thug's partner was starting to get afraid of the weather.
- Thug 1: BRO! LET'S GO OUT HERE!
As the tall thug continued his torture section, his friend threw his cigarette away and started to run for it. But as he walking leaving the place, he noticed a pair of red eyes looking at him from the darkness of the bushes at his right side. The wind and water were almost hiding these pair of eyes but they were so red and shining that it was impossible to not see them when he passed by the wet bushes.
- Thug 1: MONSTER!
The moment that man finally saw the form of those eyes, he immediately let out a scream of horror but was immediately silenced by unknown creature that cut off his head with some unknown force.
Meanwhile, the remaining thug that was still trying to punish the young Japanese boy even than he had suffered already.
- Thug 2: Holy fuck! They really are small! HAHAHAHA!
By that time, the thug had already removed the underwear of the young boy and was about to cut off his genitals with the scissors he was holding... but then he noticed his partner was gone and was nowhere to be found. He did not hear when he fled from the acid storm.
- Thug 2: Yoo! Where have you gone?! You fucking bastard!
The thug stood up and looked around to look for his friend... but then he spotted someone else lying on the ground 20 meters away from where he was... it was his friend but something was off.
There was someone else there... and it was on its knees, it was a dark figure that was doing something with the beheaded corpse of the thug.
- Thug 2: HOLY JESUS!
The thug immediately recognized that the person lying on the floor was his friend and spotted his head that was far away from his body almost 4 meters forward.
The thug immediately tried to run at the moment he realized his friend was just murdered by something. As he fled from the scene he was hit by something from behind that pushed him against the ground.
- Thug 2: AAAAAHHHHHH!!!!!
The thug fell on his knees and noticed that a sharp bone had pierced his right shoulder, making him bleed and feel a pain he never felt before in his life.
- Thug 2: FUCK! FUCK! FUCK! IT HURTS!! DAMMIT!! SOMEONE! HELP! HEEELPP!
The thug tried to stand up as fast as possible but then he felt someone standing right behind him. Fear. Fear stroke his heart and left him stuck like a statue, trembling like a dog being electrocuted. The moment he looked at his back the corner of his eyes, he noticed an extremely tall humanoid figure with red eyes staring at him like a predator... on its mouth, there were rest of meat and blood of his friend's corpse.
- Thug 2: PLEASE, NO!!!
Another lightning struck the town's lightning-rod, and at the same second that the flash of the thunder illuminated the town for 2 seconds, the man had already said his last words.
When the lightning ceased, everything was over. The two young boys that were tortured soon noticed their aggressors were gone and could finally open their eyes.
- Student 1: A-re we safe?
The students looked around but the skinny student was the first notice two people lying on the floor not far away from them... when he saw they were their aggressors he also had the misforturne to see that their bodies were completely mutilated beyond recognition.
Blood, flesh and bones were scattered all across the place. It was athe scene of a massacre... but there only two victims.
- Student 2: UUUUUAAAAAAWWWWWAAAAAAAAAAAAA?!!
40 minutes later...
2 kilometres away from there
40 minutes had passed since the second encounter with an unknown creature that been wandering around Tenguu City.
Until now, absolutely no one knows what is happening at this moment, much less the people who were "saved" by someone. The three students that were saved until now never had the chance to see what exactly killed their aggressors since no witnesses were around to see with their own eyes what is happening.
Sneaking in the darkness of this town, crawling into the sewers and snarling like a hungry animal, something is attacking people at random places of the town. This time...
- (???): This is what you get for messing with the Black Lizards, you damned brat!
In a parking lot of an desert street, a group of four people were having their sick entertainment with a child. The leader of the group, a petite redhead woman wearing the uniform of Raizen was smiling sadistically as she watched her goon dragging her body on the floor as if she was floor cloth.
- Leader: Do it with more intensity! It seems this brat needs to learn a lesson for her life...
The Black Lizards, an infamous gang group in Tenguu City that is directly involved with drug trafficking inside of the Magi-Tech academies. They are mostly composed by students of the academies, with Regular being rare examples of members. It is said all Magicians who work to the Black Lizards are Regular-haters who hunt regulars at night to torture and make fun of them just for living in Tenguu City. As a narcissistic group, the Black Lizards genuinely believe that Tenguu City belongs to them as they are the only group that resisted the forces of Lucy Sheev KnightWalker and other Directors of the Magic academies for so long.
- Goon 1: You got it, boss! We are goin' for a ride, bitch! [Stride of Wind]!
The male goon that was muscular man wearing the uniform of Yotsuba High School used the Stride of Wind spell to boost his speed, this Magi-Tech spell allows the user to run 2x faster than a normal human is.
As soon as he finished his spell, the goon who was dragging the young girl from her legs ran in circles at 30 kilometres per hour.
- Girl: NNOO!!!! STOP!! FORGIVE ME! FORGIVE ME!! I BEG YOU!! I PROMISE TO NEVER REPORT YOU TO THE STAFF AGAIN!!! PLEASE!!!
As the face of the girl scraped the floor leaving a rail of blood and exposing her meat, the leader snapped her fingers to order her goon to stop running. Meanwhile, her friends beside her were laughing like if they were watching a comedy film.
- Leader: So you know why you are here. You reported us to the director's staff of Yotsuba and Raizen. Do you realize that a low-class Magician like you don't have business with us? If you stayed inside of your class with your nerd friends you wouldn't be here now. Don't you agree?
The leader of the group smiled viciously as she gazed at the face of her victim, half of her face was completely destroyed, revealing even her tongue from the left side of her cheek.
The girl cried as the muscular goon dropped on the floor without mercy.
- Goon 2: Look at her crying! HAHAHAHAHA!
The leader crossed her arms, feeling like a superior being before a defeated enemy who could not even fight back.
- Leader: What a joke! If you can't handle the consequences of your actions then don't bother wasting your time doing things for the sake of justice. Do you think you are being a hero by reporting us? No, you are just being an annoying mosquito trying piss us off. It is the same as take one's life. If you are ready to kill then you should be ready to die! This is how everything works around here!
The leader of the group rose hand, focusing her mana on her palms and summoned a golden trident from her own Magi-Tech mana.
- Leader: You must be familiar with my trident, don't you? [The Stinger] is my specialty, I can't make spells so I have to use this weapons to make it use spells for me. Well, it's nothing like I'm weaker because of it. Actually, I prefer it this way—With that said, I have decided what I should do with you... annoying rest of abortion, you are going to die here.
The girl gasped in terror and tried to use mana as well but nothing came out, she was too scared to even focus and summon her mana to aid her.
- Girl: Why?! Why would you want to kill me?!! I ALREADY PROMISED!!
The leader lifted the sides of her lips in amusement.
- Leader: You know too much about our operation to live. Unfortunely, if we left you alive, the Hondas would go after my head again and as you may have seen my head was almost cut off once. What makes you think I have to bother myself to let you live? The only people I respect in this wretched city are the Professor La Folia Rihavein, the woman who saved my life when I lost my throat and the sick bastards behind me right here. I could care less about people like you. Just because you are 13 years old you think we wouldn't kill you? Spare me of your bullshit!
The girl tried to crawl away from the vicious leader of the group but could only craw for 2 meters and barely keeping her strength. The leader stood up from her eat and chased after her victim in low speed.
- Goon 3: Hey, don't make us go after y—!
Everyone heard the sound of branch cracking on the woods in front of them. The sound of cracking changed locations as if someone was trying to find a good spot to watch them. The group gazed at the darkness to spot someone but saw nothing.
- Goon 3: Idiot! You said if we dragged her to this place no one would see us!
The leader's goons began to fight each other.
- Goon 2: Don't be stupid! There is not a single living soul living at this side of the town, mainly at this hour! This is probably some animal!
And then, not only the bushes but also the trees began to twist again like if something big, really big was opening their way through the woods.
- Leader: Who is there?! Show yourself!!
The leader and her goons summoned their own weapons and prepared to kill whoever that was witnessing that execution. If it was a person, they need to get rid of that witness as soon as possible.
- Leader: YOU, go there!
The petite leader pointed at one of her male goons, making him tremble with fear. His skin color changed to pale as he sweated intensely.
- Goon 2: Are you crazy?! I'm not going the—!!!
As soon as the goon opened his mouth to question his leader, a tentacle came of the bushes, the tentacle was nothing like something that Earth itself would produce, it looked more like an alien tentacle made of rotten flesh and black blood.
The tentacle flew toward the goon who rose his voice against his leader and grabbed his left leg with three sharp nails craved themselves into this flesh.
- Goon 2: A-AAAAAH! WHAT THE FUCK IS THIS?! SOMEONE! HELP! HELP! DO SOMETHING YOU BASTARDS!! NO!!! GET OUT! GET IT OUT OF ME!!!
The tentacle then dragged the male goon into the woods, throwing him on the floor before hinting his head. The tentacle had problem to drag him but after 12 seconds it gained a strength beyond imagination and dragged his whole body into the darkness of those woods. The leader and her goons could only watch in terror, the victim of the group was even more terrorized by that scene.
The goon, while pleading for his life disappeared in the woods. The next thing everyone heard were sounds of some monster grunting, sounds of bites and bones breaking.
- Goon 2: AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!! MONSTER!! MONSTER!! HEL—!
The screams ceased, just then a large creature that resembled a wolf came out of the woods. With red demonic eyes that had veins all over its head, sharp fangs and claws of a Saber-Tooth tiger and a pure black fur that was glowing with a red aura.
With the half of the body of its victims inside of its mouth and another half in its hand claws, the monster revealed itself as a giant creature with an uncommon lust for blood and pain.
The first thing the monster did at the moment was repeat the same words that the goons' leader said earlier. Before such strange, bizarre and terrifying sight, everyone froze with fear.
- (???): Grrrrr...
Grunting like a true angry wolf ready to devour its prey, the creature gazed at the goons, completely ignoring the girl who was tortured until now. The mere sight of that monster was enough to make her forget the fact she had half of her skin's face ripped off exposing her tongue, muscles and bones.
- Girl (think): *God...*
Shivering with despair, the girl pissed in her own underwear and fainted.
- Goon 3: HEY, HEY, HEY! WHAT IN THE WORLD IS THAT THING?!
The female goon of the gang shouted in terror and was more than ready to run from there. However.
- Goon 1: L-LET'S RUN! THIS IS A FUCKING MONSTER THAT CAME OUT STRAIGHT FROM HELL!
The goon who was dragging the girl on the floor like a psychotic torturer, was the first one to lose control of his legs due to his fear. Shivering and thinking in run like a coward, he could think in nothing but let his comrades behind to escape.
- Leader: I-I-IT ATE HIM!
The leader who was also trembling and almost dropped her own weapon on the ground out of fear, widened her eyes and looked at her side to see her goons trying to step backwards.
She was the first one to move!
- Leader: OUT OF MY WAY!
- Goon 1: NO! WAI—!
The leader of the group ran toward the goon who dragged the girl on the ground and pushed him in front of the wolf monster, he then fell in front of the creature and was immediately pierced by the tentacle that dragged the previous goon, the tentacle pierced his skull. The impact was so powerful that even his teeth felt the pressure and came out of his mouth by its own.
Leaving the person she once considered to be a "friend" as she mentioned earlier, the petite leader of the group ran away from the parking lot, letting her friends behind to be used as bait while she made her escape.
- Goon 2: D-DAMN IT!
It took 10 seconds for the rest of the group realize that their own leader was leaving them behind when she had a Magi-Tech weapon on her hands. Instead of combining their powers to take down the monster, the group split themselves and ran in different directions, each one trying to save their own pathetic lives.
- Goon 2: NO! STAY AWAY!
The monster, however, was faster and smarter and used high jumps to reach all goons in midair. When it landed right behind the first goon, the creature gave a powerful bite 100x times stronger than a crocodile's on the chest of the goon, eating half of his body.
Soon afterwards, the creature jumped again and went after the leader who was almost 30 meters away from the parking lot, however, it was useless, the creature had legs so powerful that a simply jump could send it 30 meters ahead of the goon's leaders. With all her friends dead, her fate was sealed.
The loud sound of the creature landing right behind the petite redhead echoed like a thunder on the skies. The rain had stopped by now but the lightnings continue, illuminating the darkness of the desert street.
- Leader: GET AWAY FROM ME, YOU MONSTER!!
The leader turned around to face the creature only to be immobilized by her own fear. At first, she thought she could turn around and use her trident to pierce the creature's eyes but at mere sight of those demonic eyes gazing into her soul was already to break her spirit.
The creature, like an intelligent being, approached its head to the goon's leader and gazed at her face that was pale and sweating... the creature also smelled the odor of urine right below her... she was shaking with fear by now and couldn't move an inch.
The girl let out a confused voice as the creature held the girl in its claws and opened its mouth that was full of human flesh and broken bones left of its previous victims.
- Leader: FORGIVE ME! I PROMISE I WILL BE A GOOD GIRL! NO! NO! I BE—!
Her screams for mercy were interrupted when the creature put the whole girl's in its mouth, chewing her alive while her body was smashed into pieces inside of its mouth, she felt the whole pain in the slowest and most painful way possible.
The creature then swallowed the leader's rests before jumping into the darkness of the woods once again.
15 minutes later...
4 kilometres away from there
The location changed again but the rain continued in some places, at this very moment, 15 minutes later after the massacre in the parking lot that too place 4 kilometers away from there, a Regular teacher of a university was using her smartphone as she walked down a dark street of the 5th district.
The first 50 districts are said to be the oldest districts of Tenguu City and as result these places are abandoned by its people as many citizens prefer to stay close to the main town of the state. If the main city is already dangerous enough, these districts are even more dangerous. People from all ages are easy targets of kidnappers and traffickers.
- Teacher: I'm hungry... I hope I have something left home to eat.
Without looking back, the teacher contined walking forward and did notice a white van coming close to her from behind. At the moment the van was side by side with the teacher, the left door of the vehicle opened revealing three men who grabbed her neck, mouth and chest and pulled her into the van as professional killers.
- Kidnapper 1: Hehehehe! Finally we got a Russian, boys!
At that moment, the kidnappers closed the door of the vehicle and the car continued its course through the dark street that lead to outside of Tenguu City.
- Teacher: !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Using every strength they had, the kidnappers pushed her small on the ground of the vehicle and smiled viciously.
- Kidnapper 2: At least we can make some good cash out of her! But just selling her out would be waste!
The female teacher tried to kick her kidnappers but one of them grabbed her feet as 3 others held her still, all of them had twisted grins of sadistic demons. She realized at that moment that she was being kidnapped by human traffickers, they are a group of criminals who kidnap foreign women living in Tenguu City to be sexual slaves to other countries or illegal bordels.
- Kidnapper 3: Hehe! We got ourselves a good fish so let's feast first!
Normally, these kidnappers only abduct their victims and sell them somewhere outside of the town, but when manage to get some women from a foreign country that rarely can be found in the town, they don't waste time and have their way with her, as viciously as it sounds, these men are not only greedy monsters but also perverted rapists who have no objetive beyond satisfying their carnal lust.
- Kidnapper 4: Hey! Hold her! I will be the first one to have fun!
There were 6 kidnapper in total, 4 were on the van's compartment, one was driving the vehicle and the last one was smoking in the front seat.
- Kidnapper 5: I hate you guys! Why you always leave me out of the fun?!
The kidnapper that was driving the van yelled at his partners behind him. The screams of the teacher were to loud even though a kidnapper was trying to shut her down.
- Kidnapper 2: You agreed that you would receive most of the payment if you were the one driving! Don't cry for spilled milk!
The remaining forces of the teacher did not stop them from taking off her clothes.
- Teacher: STOP!
One of the men slapped the teacher with his palm, injuring her mouth and making her bleed. Even though the van was already outside of the town no one dared to let her screaming loudly to call the attention of someone outside... however, it seems someone or something heard her.
- Kidnapper 3: SHUT THE FUCK UP, YOU SLUT! JUST ACCEP—!
The drive immediately changed his focus on the road to look around. Whatever made that sound was too close to them. It was a loud roar of some unknown creature.
- Kidnapper 1: What was that?
- Kidnapper 6: Stop the car!
Everyone inside of the van heard the roar and jumped with fear. That roar was too close, way too close. The driver then stopped the car on the middle of the dark road, leaving only the headlights of the van illuminating the darkness around.
The side door of the van opened and two kidnappers stepped out side while one was inside of the van holding a pistol and another one holding their prisoner.
- Kidnapper 3: Did you hear that?
The youngest kidnapper pointed a flashlight around but saw nothing but woods and bushes.
- Kidnapper 2: It was some kind of animal... or a Magician? I heard that some Magicians can control sound and shape it in different sounds.
The youngest kidnapper smiled cruelly, thinking someone had saw that the kidnapped that teacher and was following them. Magicians are capable of anything, it is not exaggerated to think someone was trying to scare them.
- Kidnapper 1: Worry not, let's find that son of bitch and put a bullet in their skulls! Hehe.
The kidnappers gazed into the darkness but saw nothing. The only thing were cicadas singing with their usual "min-min-min" sounds. More than that, they heard crickets and owls. Nothing more than that.
- Kidnapper 3: Are you sure it was a Magician? Because that thing sounded like a wolf or something similar of a mammal.
The youngest kidnapper ignored his comrade and pulled a knife from his pocket and slowly walked into the woods to find the owner of that roar.
- Kidnapper 2: JUST SO YOU KNOW, I AM MAGICIAN TOO! DID YOU KNOW?! I CAN CONTROL WIND ELEMENT AND PRODUCE SOUNDS JUST LIKE YOU DID!
The young man rolled his eyes around as he stepped into the forest, it was colder than in the road for some reason, but it was probably from the vegetation around him.
Then the sound of a branches breaking were heard just ahead of him. Then...
- Kidnapper 2: BUT I CAN DO MORE THAN THAT! I CAN MANI—! JESU—!
The kidnapper saw something coming from behind a tree and running towards him in an inhuman speed, the creature had uncommon movements of a possessed skeletons with glowing red eyes and mouth. At the same second, his entire face was bitten off from his head, leaving nothing only his skull exposed.
The monster ate the face of the kidnapper so fast that no one beside the van heard or saw something. In their point of view, their comrade was still hunting down the possible Magician that was following them.
Meanwhile, in the van, the kidnappers were starting to get furious and shouted at the darkness.
- Kidnapper 1: IF YOU ARE NOT COMING OUT THEN I WILL GO THERE!
The oldest kidnapper holding a pistol walked toward the forest to search for his comrade... it is hard to say if these guys are really friends or just like that Black Lizard coward leader from earlier.
- Kidnapper 1: HEY, YOU RETARD! IT WAS JUST AN ANIMAL, LET'S JUST GET OUT OF HERE BEFORE SOMEONE SEE US! I'M NOT BEING ARRESTED BECAUSE OF YOUR SORE ASS!
The kidnapper heard nothing but cicadas and crickets.
He continued to look around but saw nothing or no one, for a second he thought that his comrade had returned to the van and they were going to leave him if he stayed around for too long. He then decided to return to the van.
- Kidnapper 1: Yo, let's g—!
The kidnapper widened his eyes in shock when he saw the corpses of all his comrades lying on the floor beside the van, all of them had marks of a giant claw that almost cut them in half... scare enough, all of them died with expression of fear and were crying.
- Kidnapper 1: W-WHAT HAPPENED HERE?!
All of that happened while the oldest of the group was in the forest and he heard nothing of what just happened there, judging by their states they were dead for almost 15 minutes. But when saw to the van, he noticed that the kidnapped teacher was tied up and had her mouth sealed with a rope.
- Kidnapper 1: WHAT DID YOU DO THEM, YOU FUCKING SLUT?! COULD IT BE YOU ARE A MAGICIAN?!
Puling a knife from his pocket and putting his gun on his belt, the vicious man walked toward the teacher who had then lost his cool and was gnashing his teeth with fury. However, as he came closer to the van he saw the teacher was crying and was pale like a corpse.
- Teacher: MMMHHMMMMM!!!
Using his head for once, the kidnapper could see the truth, there was no way a teacher could kill these three men without causing a huss. Even if she was a Magician and could easily kill Regular men like those scumbags, a fight could have happened and everything could be heard from distance. Also, judging by how she was tied with ropes, she was tied by one of the kidnappers before they were killed and there is no way she could fight them while immobilized.
- Teacher: !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
The teacher tried to break the ropes holding her but to no avail, it was clear that she was not scared of the kidnappers... she was the solo survivor here that means she saw something. She is the witness of what killed those men.
- Kidnapper 1: YOU FUCKING SLUT! YOU HAD SOMEONE WITH YOU, DON'T YOU?! It seems he did not use his head after all...
- Kidnapper 1: I DON'T CARE ANYMORE! I WILL KILL YOU HERE AND RIGHT NO—!
The kidnapper prepared to ran toward the girl to stab her to death but as soon as moved the heard something big falling right behind him, it could been a tree falling or even the ground cracking but that was not the case, not this time.
- Kidnapper 1: *deep breaths*
Too scared look back, the old man could only take deep breaths as his eyes were so widened that they were almost popping out of orbit.
A giant creature that was almost 3,5 meters high imitated the kidnapper's deep breath, but they sounded more like a demon choking.
- Kidnapper 1: WHAT THE FU—!
The kidnapper quickly turned around to confront the creature but before he could even see what was that properly his face was cut off in half by the claws of the creature. The other half of his face splat on the ground like a soup of blood.
- Teacher: MMMMMHHHHMMMMM!!!!!!!
Soon afterwards, the last kidnapper had his fate sealed by the monster that began to devour what was left of his chest. The sounds of bones breaking in its teeth and blood dropping out of his rests was a pure nightmare fuel.
Taken by her despair, the teacher started to cry and twist her body like a worm being burned, desperately trying to break free but it was in vain. By the time the creature finished its meal, it spotted the woman inside of the van and gazed at her for a long time.
As if it was blind, the creature completely ignored the woman's existence and jumped into the woods like a normal wolf retreating.
Everything went silence, nothing more could be heard beside the cicadas and crickets. The woman immediately lost her consciousness, desiring that to be only a bad dream. And so... for the rest of the night, the van was parked in the middle of that all darkness
30 minutes later...
8 kilometres away from there
- (???): So? Where is it?
In front of a light pole located in a desert abandoned street of the 76h District of Tenguu City, a man wearing black clothes was putting his feet on the face of a middle-age man who was seriously injured.
With no living soul around to witness the aggression, the man who was kicking the injured victim had nothing to worry about. However, even if there was someone around, no one would dare to stop it or call the police because that man in black clothes was another member of the Black Lizards who was just doing his "daily job".
- Old Man: I don't have the money! Please! Give me two days! TWO DAYS! This is the only thing I ask for you! Give me some time!
The old man bowed in dogeza style before the Black Lizard thug, however, the thug was not in the mood for forgiveness and slowly approached a dagger in the direction of the old man's face.
Unlike the petite leader who got murderer by the unknown monster, that Black Lizard was not a student but a street thief who was working to the criminal group.
- BL Thug: YOUR TIME IS OVER! OLD MAN!
When the old man realized he was going to be killed no matter what he did, he tried to grab the thug's arm to stop the blade from piercing his left eye. - Old Man: S-STOP! I BEG YOU!
The old man struggled to keep the dagger away but the thug had the upper hand and was stronger thanks to their age difference.
- BL Thug: Stop? You are just some addict old man who closed a pact with us, the Black Lizards, and is now asking for more time to pay us after you accepted the consequences of our contract. Who is the one wrong here?!
- Old Man: NO!
Without putting much strength in his hand, the thug pierced the left eye of his client, the sound of the blade piercing through his eye balls and flesh sounded like a like a crocodile eating the head of a javelin.
- Old Man: AAAAAHAHHHHHHH!!! MY EYE!! ME EYES!! MY EYES!!!
With the dagger penetrating the eye of the old man, his screams of pain could be heard by everyone in a radius of 150 meters but no one dared to leave their houses to investigate what it was, after all, people in this side of the town are immigrants and are daily threatened by native citizens.
The thug then kicked his face while the dagger was still inside of his left eye, the old man did not die but was rolling on the floor trying to contain the horrible pain of having his eye stabbed. As a sadistic thug, he did no waste time and took a photo of the man with his smartphone.
- BL Thug: Ah! This sensation! I can't get enough of this! To be honest, I could have extended your deadline for 4 days if I wanted... but you see, WHERE IS THE FUN IN THAT?!
Revealing a disgusting evil grin of a sick monster, the thug revealed his true colors after removing the mask of a calm and collected person. However, the man could not even see what monster was feeling the joy of watching him suffer from above.
All of sudden, the thug heard sounds of something cracking behind him, whatever it was came out from the darkness and slowly walked toward him.
The thug heard a loud scream of a person... or a twisted human voice screaming "No!" from behind, if he recall it was the words of the old man before the dagger could penetrate his left eye.
- BL Thug: WHAT IN THE WORLD IS THIS?!
The thug turned around as he was taking another photo of the old man on the ground, however, as soon as he turned around his smartphone took an accidental photo of the monster that was behind him... it was a werewolf-like creature with a black and red aura, the same monster that has been wandering around the town randomly killing people... or, for a best description, killing other "monsters".
The flash of his smartphone illuminated the creature, causing the monster growl with fury and roar. More and more saliva was dropping out of its mouth, revealing its appetite. The old man who had his eye stabbed couldn't see nothing what happening in front of him.
- (???): Ǎ̤A̱̓A̲͆A̺̾A̙͂A͕͂A̡̚À̮A̢͌A͎͘Ǎ̙A͍͂Ã̺A͎̎Ǎ̱A̗̽A͔͝Ȁ̧Ă͖Ǎ̠H̫̔Ḩ͗H̬̀H̚͜H̲͑H͓́Ĥ͚H̱̆Ḧ̠́H̺̓
The thug shook with fear and dropped his cellphone on the ground as soon as the creature let out a loud demonic scream of intimidation.
- BL Thug: EEHH! SOMEONE! HEL—!
The thug tried to run to where the people he used to extort lived but the creature was faster and chased after him, biting his right shoulder and using its claws to hold his body like a piece of chicken.
- BL Thug: NNNOOO!!!!! DON'T!!! AAHHH!!!
With an abnormal strength, the creature ripped his entire shoulder with its teeth, his muscles and nerves could be clearly seen being ripped off his neck.
- BL Thug: DOONNN'T!!!!! AAAARRRGHGHHH!!! IT FUCKING HURTS!!
The Black Lizard thug cried like a baby and was dropped by the creature out of nowhere.
With this body soaked with blood, the sound of his body falling to the ground sounded like a sack of water exploding on the ground.
On the road, the thug could see clearly what attacked him but half of his neck was gone with the rest of his right shoulder, slowly, slowly the thug saw the world losing colors.
Above him, he saw the creature staring at him with its red glowing eyes... it was having fun. It was just like the thug did seconds ago with his client, he was feeling joy of watching his victim die with pain... but now he was the one on the ground being watched by another "person". The thug did not know what the creature thought but could tell it was intelligent enough to let him suffer as he died slowly in disgrace.
- BL Thug: M...ons...ter...
The eyes of the thug lost their colors as he passed away feeling intense despair and fear. As soon as he lost his life, the monster disappeared without leaving any trace behind. The old man rose his head with his palms on his left eye, and saw the body of the thug who tried to kill a few moments ago lying on the floor.
- Old Man: .......
Nothing but the sounds of crickets singing could be heard after that, it was a pure silence of the night.
23 minutes later...
2 kilometres away from there
The location changed to an even older district of Tenguu City, the 4th district of the town that was built 300 years ago.
The 4th District had one of oldest places of Tenguu City but it was not completely abandoned as the government still spent billions in the reconstruction of old monuments and historical constructions.
- (???): I got what you asked, S-Sir Kai.
Inside of an old Japanese temple in a park of the 4th District, a young female student from Raizen High School was bowing before a tall boy wearing the same uniform of Raizen High School, he had a fair-skinned skin with a long spiky hair that covered part of his green eyes. Putting an arrogant smile over his face, the man revealed to be Toshiki Kai himself, the student from Raizen's Basic Field who is known for being a bully and thief.
- Toshiki: Good...
The girl who bowed before him gave him a Points Card and looked down in humiliation. In Raizen Academy, students are given Points Card, these cards contain digital points that are the equivalent to real life money. Points are added to the students' cards each month but they are only given 500$ per month to at least buy basics goods like toilet paper, shampoo, toothpaste, new books, uniforms or even their own food.
However, in Raizen, having 500 points in their cards means nothing as it will not last more than a week there due to the high prices of the academy but that does not mean students will have to choose this option to live here. By finishing missions, tasks and classes they gain additional points in their cards.
- Classes: the classes usually gives only 100 points, depending on the field, th points can go from 100 to 500 points. Practice classes gives 650 points to all students if they finish the class without mistakes.
- Tasks: are tasks given by the academy are public assistance (cleaning, medical assistance, party-time jobs and public jobs). These tasks can give at least 700 points but can increased to 1000 points if the student decide to spend more than half a year doing these services.
- Missions: in the organised society of the Magicians are given missions depending on their rank. The missions are categorized in five ranks, based on the mission's possible danger or level of importance.
- D-rank - assigned to low-class magicians fresh (or currently attending) from the Basic Field. They pose almost no risk to the Magician's life and usually consist of odd jobs like farming and babysitting work. The reward for a D-rank mission is between 5,000 and 10,000 points.
- C-rank - assigned to more experienced Magicians from the first year. They are missions with little to no chance of combat against other enemies. Examples are guarding people against bandits or highwaymen, background investigations, eliminating or capturing bandits or thieves, and capturing or suppressing wild animals. The reward for a C-rank mission is between 50,000 and 90,000 points.
- B-rank - assigned to experienced second-years Magicians. They are missions anticipated to involve combat with other missing-Magicians or Meta-Humans. Examples are guarding people, espionage, or killing other non-regular enemy. The reward for a B-rank mission is between 100,000 and 200,000 points.
- A-rank - assigned to third-years, concerning, among other things, village-or state-level matters and trends. Examples are guarding VIPs or suppressing terrorist forces. The reward for an A-rank mission is between 150,000 and 1,000,000 points.
- S-rank - assigned to experienced graduated and concern state-level confidential matters. Examples are assassinating VIPs, and transporting highly classified documents. The reward for an S-rank mission is at minimum 5,000,000 points.
With a malicious smile, Toshiki grabbed the card and licked it like a pervert. He soon changed his sight to the girl in front of him and...
kicked her face, as soon as she fell to the ground kicked her throat, making her cough bood.
- Toshiki: You took too long, you bitch!
Toshiki extorted that student from the Basic field who just finished a D-rank mission herself, however, under the threats of Toshiki who spent his days threatening other students into giving their points to him, she was forced to deliver her points to him. If she was stronger, there was no way she could have easily succumbed to him, the differences between their powers is huge.
- Student: F-F-Forgive me...
The girl continued to cough blood. This is just a glimpse of Toshiki's true nature, it was already stated that he was heartless jerk who had no problems in bullying, injuring or framing others to get what he wanted, because he is just a lazy and rascal man who lives under the costs of others.
- Toshiki: Well, nevermind. I got what I wanted. You, go back to your dormitory. If you tell about this to anyone, I will kill you.
Gazing with sinister eyes, Toshiki exposed more of his dark nature, he was more than a simply jerk or a bully, he was a ruthless beast with potential to kill people weaker than him only to gain superiority over them.
Toshiki then left the temple, calmly making his leave while leaving the girl he just injured behind while fully knowing that she might die in minutes if she doesn't get a proper medical aid.
- Toshiki: Now... let's count.
As he walked down the dark park, counting the credits he had in his hand, Toshiki casually lifted the sides of his lips once he saw that there was 10,000 points added to that girl's card.
As he was happily counting "his" new credits, Toshiki heard the sound of something cracking on the bushes to his right, it sounded like... a glass breaking... He immediately turned his head to his left but saw nothing plants.
- Toshiki: Okay. 9.677, 9.678, 9.679...
A large black monster came out from the darkness, it was literally 2 meters taller than Toshiki. From his point of view, Toshiki could clearly describe the creature... the unknown monster who has been wandering around Tenguu City. It was a tall giant werewolf creature that is standing on its hind legs was extremely muscular. The monster had a bone-like mask with red markings that seemed to be connected to its red glowing eyes. It had the bone-like spikes protruding from its arms, back, and knees. Its hands and feet are also tipped with long, sharp, white claws.
No matter how one looked, it was a werewolf, a humanoid monster with the body of a demonic wolf. Toshiki trembled at the fight sight of that creature and dropped the cards he had in his hands as his eyes widened with fear and shock.
- Toshiki: H-Huh?! W-W-WHAT ARE YOU?!
From all times this creature spoke so far, none of them had this unique tone. Unlike the previous times, the creature did not imitated its prey, instead it spoke independently as if it was trying to finish what Toshiki was about to say while adding random words he said in the past long before his encounter with this beast.
- Toshiki: S-SOMEONE! THERE IS A CREATURE HERE! SOMEONE! HELP!
In moments of true despair and fear, most newbie Magicians forget they are mana manipulators and Magi-Tech users, the mere sight of an unknown menacing creature they never saw is enough to erase everything they learned at this academy.
The monsters slowly walked toward Toshiki as screamed for help, however, at this hour of the night, there is no one around. It was only Toshiki Kai, an Earth-Style manipulator Magician and this hellish beast.
- (???): "Ś̪h̳̾e̞̚ ̯͂i̗͑s̻̀ ͚̑a͛ͅ ̀ͅM̝̽O̭͆N̉͜S̻̓T̩̐E̳̚R̢̂!͇̈́ ̰̉Ẇ̝ȟ̹a͚̾t͓͘ ̙͘i̹͘s͍͝ ͔̾w͕̉ṟ͗ỏ̗n̖͠g̩̾ ̥͐t͈̚r͚͂ý͔i̺͑n̻̐g̒͜ ͎̕t̖̒ó̱ ͉̊g̲̓e͚͛t̩̿ ͎̈́r̯̎i̬̔d̻͗ ̳̍ō̗f͕̚ ̩̊t̙̿ḧ̺́í͍s̯̎ ̫̅p̮̒l͓̏ä̰́g̼̚u̦͝e̗̓ ̩̉o̹̓u̲̅t͕̾ ͗͜o̥͒f͍͒ ̬́ṫ͔h͓̾i͕̕s̯̃ ̢̃ą̕c̹͗ä̺́d͙͂ě̠m̛͔y̮͗!̱͗ ͔́T̢̄ḣ͚á͚t͓̓ ̤̓ư̪n̯͛n̝̈́a̞͛t̛͈u̘̽r̡̈́a̭̋ĺ̨ ͖̓a̱̅p̺̎p̲̈ĕ̘a̭͋r͓̄ḁ͛ǹ̩c̭̃ê̖ ̞̀i͔͊ś̝ ̬̐o̢͝ǘ̪t̳̽ ̩̒ö̰́f̪̈́ ͇͊t̤̔h̯̏i͕͗š̯ ̰̓w̻̆ȏ͎r̼̀l̩̍d͛͜!̞̒
The monster spoke again with its deep, demonic and twisted voice, but this time, it was half of everything that Toshiki Kai said to Katarina a day ago at La Folia's office... those words.
- Toshiki: WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU SAYING, YOU DAMN MONSTER?! [EARTH STYLE: RAIN OF GEB!!]
Toshiki yelled at the monster, awakening from his state of fear and finally remembering that he was also a fighter. After that, he focused all his mana on his feet, lifting the earth around him in small pieces of rocks at sent them flying toward the wolf creature.
That ability was Rain of Geb, based on the name of Geb, the God of Earth in the Egyptian mythology. Using this ability, the user is granted power over a small area of earth around them. Using it, they can create an absolute territory where everything that is inside of this territory is controlled by the user, including gravity. This skill is very useful against enemies that use close-combat style and can become even more powerful if the user increases the use of mana in the conjuration of this ability.
- Toshiki: EAT THIS!
Hundreds of rocks formed around Toshiki, creating a tsunami of rocks made from the earth around him, as a result an enormous crater opened around him. The rocks then, in the format of a tsunami of earth, flew toward the monster that stood still, waiting for the rocks to hit its body.
The sounds of rocks breaking at the impact zone echoed through the park, each second more than 30 rocks were hitting the creature at a speed of 40 kilometres per hour, a single hit from one of those rocks is enough to kill any human being. But... that monster was not a human being.
After the last wave of rocks successfully landed on the creature, a curtain of dust covered the entire park. As nothing could be heard coming from the creature's side, Toshiki thought it was dead.
- Toshiki: KYAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!! THIS IS WHAT YOU GET FOR SCARING THE GREAT TOS—!
As Toshiki was celebrating his victory against the unknown creature he felt as if something cut his throat and fell to the ground, losing control of his body.
- Toshiki (think): *Ahn? How... I am bleeding? How? No... I don't want to die here...*
Toshiki put his hands on his throat and saw blood coming from neck. He tried to speak but his voice did not obey him for obvious reasons, his throat was sliced off by a sharp object. When he looked to what was in front of him he caught the sight of the giant wolf monster standing still without a single scratch.
- (???): ........
As if the monster was treating Toshiki like a worthless enemy, it just walked toward his body silently and rose its claws to put an end to his miserable life.
- Toshiki (think): *No... spare me...*
Dying with confused thoughts of what that monster really was, Toshiki closed his eyes tightly as he started to cry but before the creature could slice his body with its claws, a blue magic circle appeared between the two, blocking the imminent strike of the monster.
The monster was then repelled, sending it backwards by an invisible force. At the same moment, a male voice echoed through the park as the figure of a blonde man came entered in the center of the curtains made of dust.
- (???): I'm sorry. I am afraid I cannot let you this boy.
Toshiki rolled his eyes over to his right side to caught the image a mysterious man wearing black armor... but before he could see everything he closed his eyes and lost his consciousness.
Standing fearless before the creature, the man was revealed to be Yuri Barnes, the strongest Mage of the world that had just arrived in Tenguu City at the same night.
- (???): A̷A̴A̶A̸A̵A̷A̷A̴H̵H̴H̷H̸H̶H̷H̵!̵!̶!!!
Letting a scream that combined the screams of all people it devoured during that bloody night, the creature went on four and tried to intimidate Yuri Barnes.
- Yuri: I see... so this what the Commander has been trying to warn me about. True, it may become too dangerous if we left it aside. My decision to come see you right after I came to this town was right.
Yuri let out a calm smile as he gazed at the creature, he felt no emotions beside his own confidence in his powers. Unlike everyone until now, that man proved to be completely different from all the rest. Assuming the posture of combat while carrying his mysterious book, Yuri challenged the monster.
- Yuri: Come at me, monster!
The creature felt as if its strength and aura were being underestimated and let out an angry roar. Without wasting time, the monster charged at Yuri on fours like a normal wolf and tried to bite his head off but Yuri snapped his fingers and teleported to a different location, leaving the creature confused as it looked around for his presence.
- Yuri: I am here.
Yuri spoke out and revealed he was flying above the monster. Taking opportunity the monster was still confused, Yuri snapped his fingers again and casted a Ice spell on the monster, freezing its limb so it could no longer move.
- (???): A̷A̴A̶A̸A̵A̷A̷A̴H̵H̴H̷H̸H̶H̷H̵!̵!̶!!!
- Yuri: Scream all you want with the voices of all people you ate until now, it will not change your situation here. Now, since you are not being a good dog, I will be a little harsh right now. Are you prepared?!
Yuri closed his book and teleported himself in front of the creature, extending his arms to its chest and casting a powerful magic circle that engulfed the two.
After casting his final ability, Yuri gave a punch on the monster with his two hands, making his blue and white magic circle touched its main body. The creature immediately stopped moving and glowed in a white light, immobilizing it and finally defeat the monster.
After the light ceased, the monster had became a white smoke of ashes, leaving behind the body a girl with long scarlet hair on the ground.
- Yuri: It seems it worked, Cage of Ice vaporize any organic being after exposing them a temperature below 100,000 minus degrees celsius, after all.
Yuri took a safe distance from the smoke and could finally see the "true" victim here. It was the body of Katarina Couteau who was lying exactly where the monster was defeated and vanished.
- Yuri: You can't handle it on your own anymore, little girl? Look at you now, you have grown into a fine beautiful woman since the last time I saw you as a baby.
Yuri approached the body of Katarina and saw she had lost her consciousness. Her eyes were empty, her skin was pale and had some marks of burn.
- Yuri: The heat of that creature's hatred burned you from inside out and now you find yourself in such state. If I left you on that state there is no doubt the damage and casualties would be higher.
Yuri let out a sigh and touched Katarina's face, he noticed she was freezing like a cube of ice but was alive. The cold was result of his previous spell and it wasn't meant to hurt her after all. After that, he touched her forehead and yellow light came out of his fingers.
- Yuri: [Sealing-Style, Mementro.]
Yuri casted another spell on her, this time, it was a technique of sealing of memories. With this, Katarina will no longer remember what happened at this night.
- Yuri (think): *I rewrote her memories so she doesn't have to remember how exactly her transformation began and what she did in this form. If she remembered anything, she would probably lost her mind.*
Yuri then carried her body and left Katarina in a bench as she walked toward Toshiki and used a medical spell on him. As he was casting his spell, he noticed his hand was burned and his fingers were bleeding.
- Yuri: [Kabbalah-Style, Leaf.]
After casting another spell, this time on Toshiki Kai, the ruthless bully of Katarina, Yuri managed to heal the wound left on his neck and throat to save his life. He had already lost too much blood, if Yuri waited for 2 minutes longer he would be dead by now. But with this, no one will remember what happened here. The last thing he could was to repair the damage that Toshiki did to the park but he will leave for later.
Yuri then looked at his left hand again and was extremely scared with that sight.
- Yuri: That monster was extremely weak if I had to compare our levels... but for me to alter the very basic structure of a Sealing magic to find a formula where the magic is EFFECTIVE against that monster cost me a lot of mana and even my hands. Using a spell without knowing its structure and core is a suicidal move that cost the life of any mage. Normally, using magic against beings from this planet is a piece of cake... but that "thing" is not even from this world. If I use that spell more than 3 times to free Katarina from that hellish state.... I will surely die.
Verse 1 - Loneliness of a Child
After her rampage, Katarina awakes in the next morning but lost her memories of everything that she did last night, making the girl think she finally had a good night of sleep in weeks. Meanwhile, Yuri Barnes encounters one of the strongest Mages of the world who came to question his decision to serve as Katarina's guardian in Tenguu City. In the following day, the FBI detective, Nami Feuer, join forces with the police of Tenguu City to investigate the murders of the last night as soon they came to the conclusion that those murders were related to previous spree-killings.
Yuri then meets with Lucy again to ask how many times Katarina did become such monster before. Before the beginning of the classes in Riazen, Katarina is approached by the sinister Ren Suzugamori and manipulated into stealing a Black Magi-Tech data of Lucy's underground laboratory. Meanwhile, Katya abandoned her mission to protect Katarina and wandered around Tenguu City...
Act 4 - Jack the Ripper of 21st Century Returns!
In the next morning...
- (???): Zzzzzzzzzzzz...
It was already morning, 3 hours had passed since that battle of Yuri against the unknown monster that possessed Katarina's body and went on a rampage. Since the hour, Yuri had already planned everything what he needed to do.
After he brought Katarina back to her room, he healed her injuries and set a powerful spell on her to force her into sleep. As such, thanks to the memory rewriting he did earlier, Katarina was not going to remember anything of what happened last, nor her nightmares. That magic spell he cast on her was too powerful, it could be said he erased her memories from last night and replaced them with a new memory.
In her new memory, Katarina was escorted back to her room by La Folia, took a bath, brushed her teeth and went to sleep normally. Nothing out of ordinary, however, Yuri did made sure to repair the TV and her window that were destroyed by her before her rampage, judging by how the window was shattered it possible that Katarina transformed herself into the monster inside of her room and went free after jumping from the window.
- Katarina: Zzzzz...Ahn...
After a bubble of saliva bursted out of her mouth, Katarina woke up and slowly rose her body out of her bed.
- Katarina: [YAWN] Did I...?
Katarina had problems to open her eyes so she had to use her fingers to open them. Once on her feet, she walked toward the mirror beside her bed and saw her face completely clean and white.
After months trying to sleep normally, it was normal for Katarina to awake with bags under her eyes, symbolizing the eyes of a person who obviously tired and could not sleep well last. However... for the first time in months... she didn't have them, they were clean and completely normal. No signals of insomnia or tiredness.
- Katarina: Could it be... that I...
Katarina giggled as a smile of happiness formed on her face. It was the first time she had a proper sleep in months, it was the first time that she could finally have a deep sleep without those horrible nightmares.
- Katarina: Hehehe... HAHAHAHAHAHA!! YEAH!! I BEAT YOU!! FINALLY HAD ENOUGH?!! I SLEPT THIS TIME!! AHAHA—! OUCH!
Jumping with all happiness of her heart, Katarina felt a terrible pain on her hands as she accidentally pushed a plate out of her table, breaking it in pieces. Even so, the pain that she felt from almost breaking her arms yesterday and that plate breaking was not enough to take her down.
It would take more than that for the world once again take the few moments of happiness that she has, today, just for today, it is her time to fight back. Just for today, she can taste a normal day of sweetness.
- Katarina: Ouch! Ouch!
Holding her left arm that accidentally pushed the plate, Katarina walked toward the bathroom while put her right arm on the wall to not fall.
- Katarina: A hour left... If I don't go now La Folia is going to yell at me again! Ouch!
Piece by piece, the redhead girl took of her clothes from last night to take her morning bath. Normally, Japanese people don't take bath before going to work or school at morning, just brushing their teeth is already more than enough for them to start their day. However, Katarina is different, one could say that she is a tomboy and lack feminine charm but she still cares for her health and overall cleanliness.
Katarina is not a "feminine" girl but she still follow her own methods of keeping her body clean as possible. The use of shampoo, perfume, brushing her teeth and cutting her nails. She could have started to shave herself in different parts of her body but strange enough, she never had hair in any part of her body besides her head, her body was completely clean like if she was truly a naked ape. When she was first introduced to the doctors to know more about this, they simply stated she suffered from Alopecia universalis, however, the disorder makes sure to result in the loss of all body hair, including the ones from the hair... but throughout of her life, she never lost a strand of her scarlet hair. In the end, she forgot about it and continued to live without bothering about having to lose the rest of her hair.
- Katarina: Ah yes... I still have to...
As Karatarina took off her bra she remembered why she got so pissed off last night. The face of that scumbag Wáng and his bastard friends who all used Magi-Tech weapons appeared in her mind. She still had a duel to win against Wáng of all people and since her arms are in this condiction, there is no way she can train today... and tomorrow neither.
She just lost 2 days of training because she let her emotions take over her reasoning.
Katarina let out a sigh and thought what she is going to do to win that fight. If she loses, she is going to be kicked out of the academy... that if she survives, Wáng is not a merciless individual who will let his enemies alive after they personally challenged him to a duel.
- Katarina: I put myself in the worst situation ever...
On the roof of a nearby building...
On the roof of a building next to Katarina's dormitory, Yuri Barnes was seated on the fences around the roof, gazing at Katarina from above.
She spent the whole night here after he brought her to her dormitory in safety. Until the hour she woke up, he promised himself to not leave this spot, fearing that her inner power would burst again... if she truly became that monster again, there is no way that Yuri can defeat that monster so easily again. Just casting a spell against a creature that is not even biologically and spiritually of this universe had already put him in a state of weakness.
Yuri Barnes is a mage so powerful, so powerful that is said he could make this entire country be sucked into a reality he created in another dimension. He has more mana than any other magic user of this world... but when he faced that monster, more than half of his mana was sucked in an instant with a spell so mediocre like that he used against Katarina. Mana adapt itself to the mage's enemy, if the enemy is way too powerful the mana inside of the mage's body will automatically drawn more power out of its source, consuming more mana and stamina of the mage... but more than half of Yuri's mana vanished in a second with the Cage of Ice spell, one of the first beginner spells he learned a long time ago... for this attack to consume so much mana to defeat that monster means that creature was.... 100x stronger than Yuri Barnes himself.
- Yuri: That monster, what was it?
Yuri suspected that he easily defeated that monster because it was in its first stage, judging by how much of his mana vanished it could be said that the monster was only using a small part of its true power, something around 5% while the rest was kept sealed inside of Katarina's body.
- Yuri: The commander calling me to oversee this girl... Miss Couteau's wishes, her possible relationship with the King of Death, her mysterious power... Nothing of this makes sense. Nothing at all. What I know is, this girl was found in a river by the Couteaus and raised as their daughter until their death in a car accident... yet her mother new that Katarina had a strange power before her death. After she died, the possibility that it was the King of Death himself who tried to kill Katarina by throwing her in the middle of the ocean is extremely high.
With a confident smile, Yuri closed his book and looked away from Katarina's window, not even he is going to watch a naked girl taking her bath, it would only make him look like a pervert.
- Yuri: But... why would King of Death try to kill Katarina by drowing into the Pacific ocean? Why would someone so powerful going to need to go this far just to kill a powerless and defenseless baby? Could it be that even the King of Death was afraid of her? Or even the King of Death couldn't kill her for some unknown reason? To begin with, it was truly the King of Death who tried to kill this child?
Yuri let out a sigh and jumped out of the fences he was seated on.
- Yuri (think): *The commander knows something too. Huh. So even SHE must be hiding something from me? Everything about Katarina is a complete mystery, we don't even know from WHERE she came from. She was found in a river, probably abandoned by her parents. But... if the feeling I felt was true when I touched her skin, that monster is not even from this world, from this planet, from this universe. It is from a different dimension... I thought it could be Hell itself but even hellish creatures are affected by my magic... but she was almost untouched by my power, I only won that fight because I had to drawn half of all my mana to give that simply attack. If I missed that I would be dead by now.*
Yuri looked down while putting his hand on his chin.
- Yuri (think): *That means her parents are not humans? But it was said she had a normal human form since she was found. There are many cases of demons, evil spirits and even ghosts raping young women and resulting in the birth of Demi-Demons; monsters and half-demons were always seen over the course of history. Centaurs in the Greek mythology, giants in the Egypt scriptures, werewolves in European fairy tales and pictures... humans always lived together with demons since ancient times. But, no matter how bizarre they form are, no matter how powerful they are, they all easily succumb to magic. Even so... this child is completely different from anything I have seen before. 300,000 years alive... 300,000 years. I fought even the most strongest demons and magicians who almost brought the destruction of this world like the Overlady of Darkness but not even that ancient evil was invincible... not like this child.*
Yuri once again turned around to look at Katarina but only saw her taking her bath from the window. He immediately looked to the other side.
- Yuri: Katarina... Couteau... what in the world are you?
- (???): So you jerk off while watching young girls 300,000 years younger than you? You perverted old man.
Yuri blushed and quickly turned around to see an extremely beautiful woman behind him. She was fair-skinned woman almost just as tall as him, had a medium blue dark hair, aqua eyes and had an incredible feminine body structure of a mixed of an amazon and a model... completely perfect.
- Yuri: You are here?! Don't scare me like that!
Yuri took a deep breath, he genuinely almost had a heart attack. It seems not even the strongest mage of the world is immune to human emotions like happiness, sadness, fear, despair, disgust or even kinkiness.
- (???): Oh, I am sorry. Could it be a interfered on your masturbation section?
This woman is quite straight forward... and the fact that she is stoic and emotionless almost makes her look like a robot being brutally honest and rude.
- Yuri: Ok, Katya. Now you are just being mean to your superior. What happened to this world?! For heaven's sake I am supposed to be the oldest, wisest and most POWERFUL MAGE IN THIS FREAKING UNIVERSE! Why no one obeys or respect me anymore?!
Katya is the leader of a group of mages called Witch Cult, an organization made of people who use TRUE magic and have been protecting this world from the shadows since the dawn of civilization. Fighting and defeating demons and evil spirits so they could not interfere with mortals' affairs or cause demonic cataclysmic incident. Currently, Katya is strongest female Magician alive with the possession of planetary-level magics in her arsenal. It could be said she is the female version of Yuri but is weaker compared to him.
- Katya: I don't know... maybe if you could stop being a jerk, disgusting arrogant and rude douche bag with narcissistic tendencies, MAYBE, JUST MAYBE we can respect you again.
- Yuri: It is the duty of a servant to accept their master as they are. Hands down! Besides, I was not watching a high school girl washing her body! This is not my style!
A drop of sweat appeared on her forehead.
- Katya: This is not how the world works, Sir Yuri Barnes.
Even though Katya was being pretty "rude" with Yuri, she still used honorifics when talking his true name. In the world of mages, no matter if they are weak or powerful, everyone is a comrade and part of their family, it is only normal they use honorifics when addressing to a superior, friend or comrade.
- Katya: But I am surprised, could it be you are interested in younger girls? As I thought, you may be a ped—!
- Yuri: I SAID WAS NOT WAS NOT WATCHING!
Yuri yelled at Katya while blushing, of course everything Katya said was a joke just to tease him. If there is something that can makes Yuri lose his head and cool, it is women. Since Yuri Barnes founded this group, the Witch Cult, many millennia ago, he always had trouble with women. He respected them but at the same time hated them because they are the only creatures that he simply cannot read.
- Yuri: Besides, I am into more mature ones! I have no interest in a child's body!
Katya let out a surprised voice and finally showed some emotions, breaking the ice robotic expression of her face.
- Katya: Oh! To think even the Yuri Barnes, the Mage of Pride, had some preferences when it came to women. I'm interested now. Because, well, you know, I have been working with you for 650 years by now and I never heard you talk about women.
Just like Yuri, Katya is a very ancient person. All mages are blessed with eternal life by nature thanks to the mana inside of their bodies. Unlike the Magi-Tech Magicians that are considered to be... cheap copies of true mages, the original magicians are way more powerful and skilled with magic and mana.
- Yuri: You would be surprised that even I had a girlfriend once! And she was really a beauty, you know! She had a pair of really big boobies and a refined woman of a goddess!
Katya was naturally gifted to know when someone is lying and it seems that Yuri was not making some cheap excuse to make himself look cool.
- Katya: Oh... so even you had a girlfriend? A hottie one at that?
Yuri looked at the sky, his smile and blush immediately faded.
Nothing but the sound of an plane flying over the city could be heard at that moment. Katya rolled her eyes to the side thinking in something to say.
- Katya: Eh, sorry. I shouldn't have asked.
Returning to his cocky personality, Yuri gazed at Katya.
- Yuri: Oh my, after everything you finally showed me a polite attitude... Well, who am I to say this? When we all agreed to become mages we threw our mortality away to dedicated our eternal existence to fight the concept of evil itself. Of course we would see all our loved ones dying one after another. This is why I refused to find another love for myself once I lost my first and true love... I feared I would forget her existence after many millennia replacing my old feelings with new ones. Even you, Katya.
Katya let out a sigh and stared at Katarina taking her bath, it is not like Yuri can tell her off when she is a woman.
- Yuri: As for your apologies, I will glady accept them! You should be honored for the Great Sage of the Magic, Yuri Barnes, is allowing to forgive you for your rudeness! Now, BOW! AND KISS MY FEET! KYAHAHAHA!
Every sympathy Katya had for Yuri just now disappeared alongside her condolences.
- Katya: You are really a jerkass at the core! JUST DIE ALREADY! DOUCHEBAG!
Of course... Yuri was just pretending, it still hurts after many millennia. It is just his way to hide what he truly feels.
- Katya: That is true... then for what reason I was called here? You know that I hate this city... and EVERYONE who lives here.
Katya is genuine and original mage, and like all other true mages, Katya absolutely despises Magi-Tech magicians, considering them cheap and weaker copies that abuse of their power to their own benefit and have zero respect for Magic, instead Magic (Magi-Tech) is treated as a business tool for money, political moves and for military purposes with nothing but national individual interest.
If there is something that original mages and dark mages (mages who fell to the dark side and use black magic for their own benefits) is that the two types of mages despises Magi-Tech magicians. Katya may be a protector of the world but even her has her own morality issues with Magi-Tech magicians and could easily declare a complete GENOCIDE on them for merely existing. Actually, most mages think that Magi-Tech magicians should be wiped out like Meta-Humans for being an existence that disrespect the true purpose of magic and mana.
Mages are pretty similar to Catholic Church during its Medieval era, they are inquisitors ready to fight against the demons of this world but always had the desire to wipe out all "heretics" of this world, including dark mages and Meta-Humans that are no different from Magi-Tech magicians.
- Yuri: You still hold a grudge against those false mages? I mean... you have been always like that. It's not these cheap small fries are a threat to us. Just relax, your beautiful face will be ruined with wrinkles if you are angry all the time.
Tenguu City is the center of all Magi-Tech in the world, with all 9 Magic academies, it is the only place of the world that is almost 90% purely moved by Magi-Tech instead of technology.
- Katya: Yes, they are a threat! Eventually humanity will destroy themselves with Magi-Tech and not weapons of mass destruction! Their greedy and hunger for power will lead more children to become Magi-Tech magicians and be used as weapons and tools by their nations to serve the selfish interest of their leaders! Before we can notice, this world will be nothing but a dead rock! All the fight to protect humanity will be in vain if those idiots destroy themselves on the process!
Katya yelled at Yuri.
- Yuri: It is true that Magi-Tech magicians are nothing like us who treat it with respect and honor while they are nothing more than tools of war and money. But they are the humans we swore to protect. Besides, I am pretty sure Magi-Tech magicians will someday become our allies if the King of Death finally appears again. They will be our siblings in arms, they are still children, lost children who have no lead of where they are going. But... I believe they will eventually discover this world is more than a fantasy and break out of the chains their leaders used to keep them under their control.
Yuri is many things, extremist, arrogant, rude, selfish, haughty, spoiled and even narcissistic... but he is no means like the other mages who literally wish the death of every Magi-Tech magician of this world whom are mostly children and young people being controlled by their governments.
Katya let out a sigh and let out a smile, she was blushing much like Yuri was before.
- Katya: I still can't understand you. Sometimes you are soft, sometimes you are a heartless slayer... sometimes you are kind, sometimes you are kind. But I don't hate this side of yours.
Yuri put his hand on his chin, exposing a show pretentious smile.
- Yuri: Falling in love with me already? If so, I humbly re—!
- Katya: No, I am not—Then, for what reason I was called here? I am sure it is not so you can make me watch you jerk off.
Yuri accept that in silence, even him was tired of being called a perverted pedo.
- Yuri: You.... Argh! I hate you! Well, anyway, I called you here because I had trouble with that girl down there last night.
Katya once again looked at Katarina, until now she did not notice the two on the building next to hers.
- Katya: You? Of all people having a problem with a mere girl? What exactly happened?
Yuri put his book in a bench as his slowly removed his black gloves... when removed them and showed his right hand to Katya she almost had a heart attack.
- Katya: T-THIS IS...?!
The first thing that Katya was that his hand a total different color, it was purple like if it was brutally swollen... something like a skin and flesh but when took a closer look she noticed that thing... was moving and had even a human eye moving around as if it was a alive... it was breathing and moving around inside of his palm.
Disgusting, repulsive and too grotesque, that sight would make any person vomit or back away in disgust and fear. However, Katya was not a normal person, she was a mage of the highest order and saw all kinds of magic illness this world had to offer, but she never saw something like this.
- Yuri: Katya, in my whole life, in my 300,000 years of life, I've been only come close to death three times.
Many dark memories of Yuri past began to return back to him... one when he fought an enemy so powerful, so dangerous and so malicious 300,000 years ago that he almost lost his life even with the help of millions... it was a long gone battle even before the dawn of human civilization as we know today.
- Yuri: The first time was when I was very young and I lost myself in a cave next to Babylon Tower, my home. It was 300,000 years ago. When I lost myself in that cave, I soon discovered it was the portal of Hell where demons and evil spirits gathered to rebuild their forces. Down there, alone and completely powerless, I was almost devoured by demons and the Supreme General of the King of Death. I had to fight hundreds of demons alone in that hell pit.
Yuri sharpened his eyes as he continued extending his hand to show Katya the condiction of his palm.
- Yuri: The second time was when I fought the Overlady of Darkness alongside all other mages and gods of this universe. You may have heard about it in ancient books of history since you were not born in that era, the day that every force of this world fought the Overlady of Darkness 300,000 years ago. Even with the help of billions of mages and millions of gods and angels, I still almost lost my life against that monster. Never in my life I fought someone so damn powerful like that woman. After I was hit by her attack of energy, six ribs and both my arms were broken, and several of my internal organs were ruptured. As if it wasn't enough, my lungs were pierced, my legs were ripped off, my spine was broken and I lost the ability to walk for 90 years... and finally after 300,000 years...
- Yuri:...yesterday, experienced my third time... with that girl, Katarina Couteau. As a called by Commander to watch over the daughter of the Couteaus, I came to Tenguu City to keep my eye on that girl. But by decision of fate, that girl transformed into some kind of monster that I never saw before, a hybrid creature of an earthling canine and hellish demon from the depths of hell. By the time I had found her, that creature had already caused a massacre in different parts of the town. Around 32 deaths in total and an attempt murderer of a high school student that I managed to save before he was done for too. I was fool enough to think I could have defeated that monster without truly feeling what that beast was... as soon used Cage of Time on her, more than half of my mana was pulled out of me at once to make my spell strong enough to seal that beast. To give an idea to you, not even against the Overlady of Darkness I used so much mana in almost 3 weeks of fighting. But in a single second, in a single attack, that mana was pulled by half to successfully seal that beast when it was not even in full power. As you may know, mages that use too much mana in a short period of time loses too much stamina and push their bodies to its limits to the point if they use magic again in a short period of time... they will die.
Katya widened her eyes in shock... for someone so powerful like Yuri Barnes to express worry and fear is something that only happens every 50,000 years. To give an idea, the fear of Yuri Barnes means the fear and panic of every living being of this planet.
- Yuri: If it was only that I should haven't called you here. But the problem is even bigger: at the moment I touched that creature to seal it, the aura of that beast revealed to be so dark, so infectious and so paranormal that even my hands being protected by my mana could not stop the dark aura of the monster, and so a fragment of that creature entereed in my mana circulatory system and tried to take over my body a few minutes later after I sealed it.
Yuri stare at his hand, the ugly form of his hand that looked more like the twisted fetus of an alien parasite.
- Yuri: Before it could take my body, I sealed my mana circulatory system to prevent it from infecting the rest of my body and kept it only in my left hand. No matter how many spells and runes I tried to take this thing out of me... none of them worked. If I use magic again, I will be killed by my own body... but if I keep it stuck for too much long in my body, this thing will take over the rest of myself—Katya, when I was called here, I thought I could have managed to finish this alone but now the hole is deeper. The monster that the Couteaus, the commander and even the King of Death feared is nothing like magic ever seen before... because it is not even magic. I simply don't know how to describe it.
Katya returned her attention to Katarina who was happily relaxing in the bathtub.
- Katya: That... child? Has this kind of power? What in the world is she?
Yuri took a long time to answer her question.
- Yuri: I don't know... I thought she could have been cursed in the past by some dark magician or even a direct curse of the King of Death himself. But this is different, it is a power that is beyond the Red and Black Magic of the King of Death and even the Overlady of Darkness. The fact that the Commander thought only me was enough to take care of this proves that even her was mistaken and could have never imagined the we have been dealing with a monster beyond our league.
Katya put her hand on her chin and analyzed the situation, if left alone, Yuri will surely die by the demonic fragment in his hand. However, to remove such creature of his body he will need an expert Medic Mage in healing and cure.
- Katya: So you called me heal you? It is true you can use more mana than you already have used, besides healing magic costs a lot of mana, even for you.
Yuri grabbed his left palm with his right hand when he felt parasite moving again.
- Yuri: It is more than that. I want you to keep an eye on that girl as I personally investigate her background. You are the only one I can trust to protect and study that girl's body and power.
Katya once again looked at Katarina, refusing to believe that young girl had powers beyond the imagination of the masters of all magic.
- Yuri: It seems that the Commander's files are not complete or have missing information... or there is the possibility that the Commander is keeping secrets from us. If she is hiding something from us, I will no longer obey her orders and I will ELIMINATE that girl for good. Since the downfall of Sleepy Hollow in 2020, the movements of the Supreme General that is directly serving the King of Death and demonic activities have been increasing insanely...
Katya continued his words.
- Katya:...And if that girl falls on the hands of the King of Death, we cannot stop them from achieving whatever they are doing. It is true, that girl is a moving cataclysm, keeping her alive would be too dangerous. If her power falls in wrong hands, this world is done for.
- Yuri: We don't know what the Supreme General of the King of Death is thinking and what he is planning but I don't want to risks and keeping that girl alive right in front of them. If necessary, I will take her life. The situation have changed, we will NOT commit the same mistakes of Order of Flourish and of our Goddess. It was because of the Order of Flourish's careless nature that the existence of true mages was leaked to the United States government and it was because our Goddess of Magic's hesitation that the Overlady of Darkness reigned over this world centuries bringing waves of death, destruction and chaos.
Yuri took a deep breath and looked at the other side while putting the glove back on his infected hand.
- Yuri: That's why I need you, Katya. You've inherited the DNA of the Supreme Goddess of all Magic, Sequined. You're the only one capable of keeping her energy in control, the only one capable of healing me and the only person who can kill her when the time comes. And luckily, the Cage of Ice spell I put over her is keeping her... "things" sealed inside of her. However, this spell is not permanent and will weaken in 2 years.
Katya clenched her fists.
- Katya: We are talking about a A-magic disaster here, Yuri. This is on the same level of a direct invasion of one of the Lords of Hell in the mortal realm. If you are going to kill that girl even if the Commander is not hiding any vital information, you will turn the entire Global Pact Defense in our enemies. The chances we will be hunted by those STAR LABS is extremely high.
Yuri grabbed his book again.
- Yuri: I could care less, the Commander and even her organization are temporary. In 100 years they will be gone and we will be here, alive and well. Strong and more defensive than ever. We have lived for centuries and millennia of experience. The existence of a temporary friendship will soon disappear in the dust of time. If it means betraying the Commander to save the world, I will be gladly to.
A strong wind played with the hair of both mages on the roof.
- Katya: You have my total support. Anything... for the sake of this world. For the sake of humanity.
Yuri let out a smile and opened his book again.
- Katya: So, what are you going do now?
Yuri flipped page after page looking for a spell as Katya watched him from distance.
- Yuri: I will be conducting my own research and investigations about this girl. I'm sure that I can find it in Tenguu City... since it was all here that the story of Katarina Couteau began. For that, I have to find a disguise for myself, I can't go out there looking like a true mage, I will make everyone fall for me.
Yuri has a good sense of humor at least. But as Katya was looking from distance, with her hand on her hips, she could swear she saw something coming out of Yuri's books... it were words.
Katya gazed at the words but they soon disappeared in midair.
- Katya: Hey, Master Barnes. What was that?
Yuri stopped reading to give attention to Katya, who was pointing at somewhere above him.
- Yuri: What?
- Katya: I swear I saw some really bizarre words coming out of your book. Is this some kind of accessory?
Yuri twisted his shoulders as a signal he did not know what she was talking about. But then...
The words appeared again but this time they were moving and had the sound of a very low thunder.
- Katya: I saw it again! Hey, Barnes!
Yuri then let out a confident smile. He stopped flipping the pages when he finally spotted the spell he was going to use this time.
- Katya: I thought you could no longer use magic.
The book in front of Yuri started to float by its own as the pages of the book were shining in a white light.
- Yuri: I can use the mana stuck in my left hand, besides this magic spell does not take too much mana. NOW!
Yuri pulled a dark purple aura out of his book... at the same moment, Katya started to hear some really weird noises of an arabic music.
After a few seconds, the music just exploded in an extremely loud sound.
- Katya: Why do I hear macho music?! Hey, Barnes?!
Yet, Yuri ignored her questions and...
The aura around Yuri exploded in a smoke bomb, forcing Katya to cover her eyes with her hands... when she opened her yes, she gazed in horror at the new figure of Yuri Barnes.
- Katya: THIS IS NOT EVEN KAMEN RI—!
Katya was sent flying away by the explosion of smoke and wind.
- Yuri: HUM!
Completely macho, muscular and menacing, Yuri Barnes showed off his new body figure to Katya right in front of her.
- Yuri: Ah! This is much better! A perfect disguise! Nothing outstanding!
Yuri took a deep breath as he touched his
delicious and sexy biceps. In front of that, Katya succumbed to her shyness and tried to avoid looking at Yuri's muscular body.
- Katya: IDIOT! YOU CALL THAT "NOT OUTSTANDING?!" THIS IS WAY TOO...
Yuri simply gave her a look of superiority and slowly walked towards her. With the ground shaking each of his steps, Katya blushed and trembled in excitement.
- Yuri: It seems i have to get closer to you. What is wrong? Finish it.
- Katya: S-Stay away!
Yuri then laughed hardly and put on a pink coat.
- Yuri: HAHAHA! I am just joking! But I would love to see like that more often! Little cat~! I will be busy investigating this town from now on! When the time comes, I will come to you so we can start the cleaning ritual of my left hand!
It seems not even the parasite inside of his hand would dare to challenge Yuri in this state, this became more evident when its size was reduced.
- Katya: O-Ok...
Yuri walked toward the border of the building and gave a last goodbye wave to Katya from his back.
- Yuri: Matana.
"Matana" in Japanese basically means "goodbye".
Without thinking twice, Yuri jumped from the building and landed on the floor without breaking a sweat. The sound of his feet touching the ground shook the entire district like an earthquake.
Coldly walking down the street where he landed on, Yuri parted ways with Katya to follow his own journey.
Meanwhile on the top of the building, Katya watched Yuri walking on distance as all men and women stopped doing their stuff to admire Yuri in his all his glory.
- Katya: Isn't that a... reference? Reference of what exactly? I cannot remember. Eh... Well, who cares?
While Katya and Yuri had already started their own plans, on the other side of the town, the bodies of 4 people were found in an old parking lot of the 956th District.
At exactly 06:30 AM, a police patrol was passing by an old parking lot that was located in the middle of an abandoned factory. The four bodies were all wearing uniforms of different Magi-Tech academies of Tenguu City.
Once the police spotted the bodies, several reinforcements were called to the area, blocking its entrances while detectives and police officers surrounded the crime scene. Among the bodies, there was a living girl wearing the uniform of Raizen Academy.
- Police Officer 1: This is horrible. Who could have done this?
Around the crime scene, more than 12 patrol cars were blocking the entrances, preventing the entrances of civilians and reporters that were almost bursting in to take photos and record the whole police operation. However, there was a reason why they kept reporters and civilians so far away... all the four bodies were brutally mutilated with marks of claws and bites.
- Police Officer 2: Looks more like the work of a hungry predator instead of a human.
Scattered around the parking lot, organs, dismembered limbs of human parts and blood... so much blood that it formed an entire pool of human fluids at the center of the parking lot.
As if it was bad enough, there were insects and crows eating the corpses like if it was a party, a feast of hell where the main banquet is rotten human flesh.
Yes... those four people were the victims of Katarina Couteau, more precisely, the members of Black Lizard that were torturing a young girl but were stopped by Katarina's unknown monster that wiped them out like insects. What the police did not know is that there was a 5th victim; it was the Goon Leaders who was wearing the uniform of Raizen. Unlike the rest of her group that were just cut into pieces, the leader of the group was literally devoured as a whole and swallowed by Katarina's monstrous form without leaving a single trace left.
Some police officers couldn't look at that for too long and had to look for a place to throw up their breakfast before anyone could see them in such humiliating state. That vision of human bodies cut into pieces while being devoured by other animals and insects was too much for anyone to bear, they were not paid to be forced to keep looking at gruesome crime scenes that could only be described as the job of a demonic bear with sadistic tendencies.
- Police Officer 3: Do you think this is their work?
- Police Officer 2: Their work? Ah... you mean them? Jack the Ripper of 21st Century...
Jack the Ripper was of the most iconic serial killers in history. Killed 5 women in London, 1888 in the most brutal ways that anyone could imagine. His main victims were drunk prostitutes. His murders were marked by his signature butchers; removing the wombs of women.
And so, almost 150 years later after the last Jack the Ripper, during the first years of 2030s, a new Jack the Ripper showed up. Now under the name of Jack the Ripper of 21st Century, the serial killer has been active in Tenguu City since 2030 and had already made 12 victims, 11 women and a man. Curiously, all of them turned out to students from Regular high school academies but zero Magicians. For a long time, the police thought that Jack the Ripper was in fact a normal human since they only target regulars that are easy prey... but this time, there were four victims of Magic Academies, 3 men and a girl.
- (???): It is is too early to confirm this was the work of Jack the Ripper!
All of sudden, a woman approached the police officers as soon as she left from a black car parking beside one of the police vehicles.
- Police Officer 1: Investigator Nami Feuer!
Transferred from Los Angeles, United States to Tenguu City, Nami Feuer is a half-Korean and American woman who graduated in the Global Pact Defense and FBI academy
- Nami: Morning, gentlemen!
The police officers saluted in a signal of respect before her. Nami belongs to the female division of FBI, a squad composed only by women. And as such, Nami's boss is a female expert of FBI's investigations. After Jack the Ripper's murders became too complex for the local police of Tenguu City to investigate, the Global Pact Defense sent Nami Feuer to take the case of Jack the Ripper herself.
- Police Officer 2: E-Excuse us, Lady Feuer! This is the first time you ever joined us in the crime scene, it is a honor.
Nami nodded as she walked toward the center of the parking lot, where he saw the horror scene there. Four mutilated bodies with marks of scratch and bites of some kind of animal.
- Nami: Don't mind me, officer. I'm just an investigator here.
The Global Pact Defense is a very rigid organization and has been worried with the state of Tenguu City for a while, they are not only dispatching Ultimate members of their army like detectives, spies, engineers and robots to help in the defense of this city but are also deeply worried with the case of the Jack the Ripper of 21st Century, the only known active serial killer of this city; their worry is what lead the leaders of GPD and the office of FBI to send someone of her level to this town to solely focus in the case of the Jack the Ripper... they could have sent their true weapon, their true triumph but it is too early for that, Jack the Ripper is not such threat yet to send of someone of K's caliber. For now, Nami was the only necessary to take care of the problem.
- Nami (think): *Uniforms of Magi-Tech academies... so the victims were Magicians from Raizen and Yotsuba academies. I don't know what exactly caused their deaths but I can pretty much say it was NOT a work of a regular. Technically, it is impossible for a Regulars to overthrow more than 4 magicians at once; it could have been possible if a group of Regular gathered 40 people armed with knives and guns but they would still lose a lot of their forces. However...*
Nami rolled her eyes around, putting the superficial information she could gather from just looking at that scene.
- Nami (think): *...however, there is not even a single regular casualties here besides the four magicians. Besides, there are no signals that a battle between regular or magicians happened here. The place is completely clean, the only thing abnormal here are the magicians' body. Three men and one girl. It does not seem that those magicians could have killed themselves neither... they injuries were not caused by mana induced abilities but of an external brute force.*
Nami pushed the magical barrier surrounding the crime scene and entered in the parking lot where she could have a closer look at the scene. There were 4 other investigators with her there but they were merely collecting blood samples and looking for magic traces.
Nami seated in a bench and looked at the sky.
- Investigator: Miss Nami, what do you think?
She was approached by another detective in black suit.
- Nami: Hmmm... from my deduction I can say this. This was not the work of a Regular. Regulars are by essence weaker than Magicians, even if they Magicians are newbies in using their power. It would take dozens of Regulars to kill those four with high consequences. As such, if many regulars tried to take on Magicians at once, there would be marks of a battle here: craters, mana traces, wall destroyed and even more damage to the scenario. I think you were expecting me to say it was Jack the Ripper?
She was right, when brutal murders happen in Tenguu City, Jack the Ripper is the first suspect, however, most of the time this is not true. Jack the Ripper only target regular high school girls and would probably never try on assassinating a Magician knowing they would pretty much well die before he could even land the first strike, besides there not only one but four Magicians here, there is no way Jack the Ripper could have defeated them alone.
At that time, Nami had another theory that Jack the Ripper may be truly a Magician and only targets regular high school girls because they are prey compared to magicians. To kill a Magician girl, the serial killer would need to be stronger than her and would be still forced to fight the Magician for a long period of time. Meaning that Jack the Ripper may be a magician but prefer targeting weaker targets like a coward predator. However, even if Jack was a Magician, it is almost impossible for a Magician alone to defeat four students at the same time without even putting a fight in a place that is completely clean and untouched.
- Investigator: Well... yes. But judging from the crime scene...
- Nami: No, it wasn't Jack the Ripper by any means. Besides, Jack the Ripper is more... "sophisticated". Their methods of murdering are brutal indeed but all their victims are cut with knives and other sharp objects like axes and saw. These murders are completely different, it was like some crazy wild animal decided to kill Magicians for sport. These marks of bites on their necks and backs are the proof that it was not the work of a normal killer.
Nami then pulled out her smartphone that showed the names of all the victims around. Just with their blood sample, it was possible to recognize all the victims here... even though their bodies were completely destroyed with the exception of one.
- Nami: Huh? There is a 5th victim here? I thought it was only four.
- Investigator: We identified another DNA in this are belonging to a student of Raizen Academy... but her body was nowhere to be found. We suspect that she may have escaped or taken. Well, we are currently investigating about her whereabouts. Besides we found a survivor in the scene.
Nami looked at the investigator, and he immediately knew what she was asking for: to meet this survivor of this massacre. The investigator then walked away while being followed by Nami. Not far away, the two had arrived in a black armored truck of the police that was keeping the survivor of the massacre inside.
- Investigator: See for yourself...
The investigator kept distance from Nami, allowing her to see what was inside of the truck's back. Inside, she saw a young girl with a broken expression of a person would had just lost her sanity and sense of reality.
- Girl: Monster... monster... monster... monster... monster... monster...
The girl kept repeating the word "monster" for a long period of time, she has been like that since the police found her and arrested her as the first suspect. However, something was not right, half of her face was completely disfigured so the police had to call Magician Medics to heal her face, it was a success but her mind was still broken.
Nami sharpened her eyes and thought she was watching a young girl being mentally abused.
- Nami: What is that?
- Investigator: She has been like that since we found her. She keep repeating "monster, monster" for almost 3 hours by now. When we found her at the scene of crime, she had half of her face and right arm badly injured so we had to call Medical Doctors before we could send her to a real hospital soon afterward... but we kept her here as the first and only suspect of this massacre.
Yes, that girl was in fact the victim of this story, the girl that the Black Lizard members were torturing and abusing before killing her for reporting their activities to Raizen academy. She was the only one who survived that massacre and had the horror of witnessing everything that Katarina did to her aggressors.
- Nami: So there is the possibility that this girl saw everything and is now... in this state?
Nami thought that student was not the one behind the massacre but a genuine witness who saw everything that happened in that parking lot... much to her dismay. The girl have seen something that shook her mind and left her mentally scarred.
- Investigator: I'd say it is possible. We made a short investigation on her and we discovered her name is Mayu Suzumoto, a Japanese student of Raizen Academy that was currently studying the Basic Field, 1st year.
The investigator gave Nami the documents of the girl called Mayu. From those documents, Nami saw that the missing 5th victim (the Black Lizard leader) and Mayu were both students of Raizen studying in the same class of the Basic Field.
- Nami: Hey! The 5th victim and the witness Mayu were classmates! This is a huge hit!
- Investigator: Yes, they were. So what about it? You mean they were close friends?
Nami flipped the documents and replied.
- Nami: I did not say that, but if we discover the relationship of these two and follow their tracks that lead them to the massacre, we can probably get enough information of what truly happened here. Mayu being alive is already good enough but it seems we will not get some useful intel out of her soon enough with her current state. You said they studied in the Basic Field and in the same class, right?
- Investigator: Yes, I did.
Nami gazed at the investigator with sharp eyes of a detective.
- Nami: We can start from there... can you bring me their teacher? This is the first step of this investigation.
7 minutes later...
La Folia's Apartment
And right now, La Folia Rihavein was busy in her own world. As a teacher of Raizen Academy, La Folia was blessed with many benefits... that day when she gave 10,000$ dollars to a beggar, she was not really throwing random money to a nobody, her work at this academy grants her a salary higher as the one of a director of a worldwide company.
Teachers of the 9 academies are supported and receive a direct payment from GPD for their services. Along with their high payment, teachers are granted with luxurious apartments in tall and wealthy building of Tenguu City.
Of course, teachers can choose where they wanna live, and La Folia is not going to waste an opportunity to live in comfort and peace. La Folia never told this to anyone besides the director before but she came from a really wealthy family so she never once felt what is like living in poverty, even so she wants everyone to live a life they can be happy with. And for her, this is what she call home. While her apartment is really big, beautiful and luxurious it is quite lonely here with so many rooms and a big area for her only.
- La Folia: It is almost done, my spice beef will be a masterpiece like none before.
When La Folia is not working outside, she is usually hanging around her apartment. As a hobby, La Folia likes cooking different types of foreign culinary. Today, she is doing anything outstanding, it is just a spice beef.
While mixing the ingredients inside of the bowl with a long spoon, La Folia could smell the delicious aroma of her dish.
- La Folia: Clean and boil the beef shank, then dump the water. Tenderize the meat. Then add 2 tablespoons of sugar and some oil into a pot. Set to medium fire to melt the sugar into a dark, reddish glaze. Stir fry the onions, ginger and spices for 2 minutes until I can have a rich aroma. Then add spice wine, bean paste, and some water. After that, add pre-boil—Jesus Christ I have no idea what I am talking about.
The truth is... La Folia is a horrible chief, as much as Katarina is said to be.
- La Folia: Ah... I want the world to die now...
La Folia closed her eyes and let out a really lazy and tired smile.
- La Folia: Well, I came this far. It's not like I am leaving today without making my own lunch! LET'S PUT SOME WILL HERE!
La Folia is ascending to a new level of stupidity, a level that not even Katarina managed to reach. But all of sudden.
The doorbell of her apartment rang, making her drop everything she was doing to open the door.
- La Folia: Hello?
When La Folia opened it, she saw two men in black suit with police badges on their chest. They were detectives as she soon discovered when one of the showed his ID card.
- Detective 1: Morning, Professor Deamonne. We are from the Local Police of Tenguu City.
La Folia widened her eyes, when the police is around that means something nothing good had happened.
- La Folia: From the police? What happened?
- Detective 2: We came here to escort you the police department to answer some questions. Questions about two of your students. So we need you come with us.
La Folia was starting to get worried, something really bad happened and something was telling her that Katarina was involved considering the events of last night with her on the hospital.
35 minutes later...
Police Department of 956th District
After the police contacted La Folia and went to take her to the clolest police department of the 956th District, the only took 40 minutes to travel to a very distant district.
Luckily for Nami, those detectives who came for her were patrolling around next to her apartment and were contacted about Nami's new orders to take the victims' teacher before her.
La Folia was not informed of what was going on the whole time and when she asked for information to the detectives they denied any source of information, leaving La Folia confused and worried that something to Katarina. Since she left the hospital last night, la Folia was worried that the people of that hospital would go after Katarina to research and study her body for mistaking her as an Abnormal Magician. She even thought Katarina went missing and the police was going after the people who were close to her to investigate.
But that was not the case for now... the reason she was brought to the police department was because of the incident that happened in a parking lot of thr 956th District. Since La Folia rarely have time to watch TV or read newspaper, she was not aware of what happened last night and the strange murders.
And right now, La Folia found herself inside of a interrogatory room inside of the police department. Completely closed and sealed, La Folia was seated in front of a small desk. Judging by the fact she is not handcuffed that means whatever happened she may not be a suspect after all.
- La Folia: ............................
Sweating and little nervous, La Folia played with her fingers until someone opened the iron door of the room and revealed to be a young woman wearing a black suit.
- Nami: Ehehe... sorry for taking so long, Professor Imperia Deamonne.
La Folia was afraid not only because of what may have happened to Katarina but because the police could have her true identity and was there to question why she was a false name, "Imperia Deamonne", as her new identity. This is in a way a crime of forged name. Years ago, when the director Lucy agreed she would take care of La Folia and create a new false identity for her, she was not saying she also could protect her from the rest of the other academies and Tenguu City's government itself.
- La Folia: Ah... morning. Who are you? You don't seem to be from the country.
Nami was naturally a half-Korean and American so La Folia could tell she was far from being a Japanese, and foreign people RARELY are part of the police force of any country of the world.
- Nami: My name is Nami Feuer, agent of the FBI, Detective of the Los Santos Police Department and Global Pact Defense Investigator.
La Folia got even more worried, why such person involved with the very Global Pact Defense itself called her there. The chances they may have found her true identity only increased and La Folia immediately tried to keep her cool before she could make any suspicious move.
- La Folia: Is that s-so? I see. Then, why I was called here?
Nami closed the door and seated in front of La Folia, she put some documents over the table and flipped the pages on her hands.
- Nami: First of all, I am sorry for dragging you along with me. I know you are a teacher at Raizen academy and you had duty in teaching other Magicians this morning. We will print a certificate for you to inform the academy the reason of your absence.
Nami doesn't seem to be suspecting La Folia in any way, not when there was a bigger issue here.
Nami then showed a photo of a petite fair-skinned girl with red-colored hair and brown eyes wearing the uniform of Raizen Academy.
- Nami: Professor Deamonne. Do you know this girl?
La Folia took a closer look at th photo and recognized the girl at first sight. It was Sarina Shizukume, a member of the Black Lizard who was leading the group of other bullies into torturing Mayu Suzumoto last night.
- La Folia: I know her... she is Sarina Shizukume, one of my student from the Basic Field. Or better... she used to be... a year ago. Excuse me, but what happened with her?
Nami went forward and started the questions without delays.
- Nami: I'm a afraid I cannot tell what happened just yet, not before you answer my questions. You said she 'used' to be your student? What happened between you and her?
La Folia released the photo.
- La Folia: I will say that later... If you want to know what happened I should tell you the story from the beginnin—I met Sarina under some bad circumstances even before she became my student. I met her 3 years ago when I was still trying to get a post within the ranks of Raizen.
La Folia took a deep breath and remembered of all bad memories she had with Sarina a year ago.
- La Folia: After I met Sarina and saved her from those "bad circumstances" I spoke earlier, we developed a bound. It was more than a simply "neighbors", she used to visit me very often and we became friends despite the difference of our ages. When I finally enrolled in Raizen Academy as a teacher of the Basic Field, she became a student of mine for a year. For half a year, she improved her be