The Seventh Seal

Galrod City, the place where everything is where it should be, where everything is said to be 'normal'. A city that is home to a thousand residents leading perfectly 'normal' lives. But beneath the calm and peaceful facade of the city there lies a crack, a stain that made an unfortunate few to doubt Galrod's perfection. For in the heart of the city stands Brimstone Academy, an infamous school not only well known because of its students' achievements but also of other things not 'normal' as well. The said school, with its five buildings forming a pentagon, occupies 10% of Galrod's whole land area making it one of the major institutions in the city. Its grounds, filled with students at daylight were rumored to be brimming with evil spirits at night. 

The owners of the haunted school are the Christoph family, one of the richest and the oldest bloodlines in the history of Galrod City. Practically all of the dominant companies and institutions are under their ownership. Yet despite of the long line of the Christophs the people only knew of one heir to the family's treasures. And that sole inheritor is said to be far different from its predecessors, having been born way after the death of its parents and acquiring a set of features not becoming for a Christoph. The doubts of the city's populace are only amplified by the news that the Christoph girl had spent some time in some far-flung place and was only transferred back to Galrod to complete her last two years of high school in Brimstone Academy. Now in her final year, the 16-year-old girl continues to be the public's source of interest. She who is the lone successor of her ancient family, she who knows the secrets behind the academy's architecture, she with an unknown history; nobody can unravel the mysterious and reserved, Raeloa Christoph.

#*#

They said everybody is born for a purpose

That each one has been given a duty to fulfill

I don't need a reason to be here

I want to live out my life freely

And only if I'm with you

#*#

CASE#0.5: The sole heir, Raeloa

"My lady, it is time to get up. A warm shower has been arranged for you. Breakfast will be ready in five minutes." The intercom buzzed monotonously inside the spacious bedroom of Raeloa Christoph as it does every morning. Actually there was no need for it because Raeloa was trained to wake up five minutes before the recorded voice announced the start of the day. She slid out of her bedroom cover and like a marionette automatically made it to her shower room.

Her silky pajamas came down before she stepped into the shower, now instantly spraying her with the relaxing warmth of purified water as it sensed her body heat. Her sleepy mind began buzzing with the same thoughts she always had. Thoughts of how her life was a seemingly endless cycle, repeating itself to her day by day. She was now in the fourth year of high school and she was still followed by those people who want to have a share at her immense heirloom. The raining spray of water stopped the moment she finished her bath just as she expected. She then prepared herself for the first day of school.

"Why do you live? If your so tired of your life, why?" She heard herself say, referring to the girl reflected in her mirror. The girl had a pale complexion and chin-length red hair. Red, the color she hated.  She hated her red hair immensely because he hated red. That's why she would always cover up her hair with his black bandanna, the only possession she had from him. Her burning yellow eyes stared emotionlessly at her figure.

"Because I live for a purpose, I live for this..." Her hands reached into the metal clasping her neck. It was made of brass and had strange inscriptions on its two-inch wide surface. Since birth this choker had imprisoned her, chaining her to the duty she must fulfill.

"They gave me a reason to live but it's not mine."

@

"Raeloa, before you proceed to your class go first to the storage room at the college department in Brimstone. The janitor had just phoned in a missing employee who worked overnight. It might have something to do with demons. I've already notified your teacher you will be late for class." Mr. Hugh Christoph addressed the girl about to leave.

"Yes, Mr. Christoph. Is the new spiritual energy detector fixed? I think I will be needing it." Raeloa turned around to face the older Christoph. She was now in her uniform and had her trademark black bandanna covering her red hair.

"You'll find it at the driver's compartment in your car. Raeloa..." The gray-haired man stood up from beside his desk, quickly grabbing its edge to support his already weakening knees. His gray eyes gazed at the lifeless lemon-colored irises of his descendant. They held nothing, neither feeling nor soul. They just seemed so empty.

"How many times have I told you to call me grandfather?"

"About 75 times by now." She answered matter-of-factly.

"And what will you say to me before you go?"

"Goodbye, Mr. Christoph." She then turned to her heels and left, leaving an exasperated old man behind.

"Is she your granddaughter? She hasn't changed." A man in his early 20's entered his boss' office. He was wearing a heavy coat that hid his well-built body and he had a healthy crop of straight black hair parted at the side. Strands of shiny hair moderately covered the left part of his handsome face, leaving his left eye unseen.

The owner of Brimstone Academy grunted in reply as he took his seat. "What do you know about her?! She doesn't even know you!"

"Well, we met a long time ago." The man let out a charming grin that eased the tension in the air. Hugh Christoph noticed a flashy material hanging on his wrist as it made an act to scratch its owner's head.

"What is that on your wrist? A piece of jewelry maybe?"

"Ahh, you mean this!" The man generously showed his eye-catching possession. "It's a talisman."

"A talisman?"

The dark head nodded enthusiastically. "I'm a superstitious person. Talismans are kept for luck and protection and since I'm going to be interviewed for a job I decided to wear them."

"If you are not cut out to be a teacher not even one of these can help you." Mr. Christoph reasoned out to his eager applicant.

"I also thought about that..." The man's capable hands began opening his coat. "...so I brought many of them!"

"Unbelievable! You must have about 50 inside that coat!" His gray eyes widened in wonder and amazement as they scanned the opened coat of his interviewee. Almost everywhere hung a unique and unusual-looking talisman ranging from crystal crosses to semi-precious stones.

"Actually they are about a 100 in there."

"You haven't introduced yourself yet." Hugh interjected, obviously amused and intrigued by his odd applicant.

"Me? My name sir?" His eyelids both blinked over a pair of beautiful mauve eyes.

"It's Glace. Ashon Glace at your service."

---'-, `

Many heads turned as the black sleek sports car sped by towards the gates of Brimstone, recognizing the popular figure in the driver's seat.

"Hello, Raeloa!" The driver only ignored the greeting and the attention the students were lavishing on her. She quickly pulled over at the parking lot in the college department, getting the things she needed for the exorcism.

"Hi! How was your summer vacation, Raeloa?" An old classmate casually walked over to her car followed by a great number of both familiar and new faces.

"Fine." The thin lips snappily replied, annoyed at the crowd that began forming at the moment of her arrival.

"Wow! She talked to you! You are so lucky, Karen." A freshman exclaimed, eyes twinkling with admiration for the girl who had just spoken to the most influential person in Brimstone.

"It's not luck my dear, we are just close friends. Right, Raeloa?" The latter only snorted in reply. Nothing has changed. The girls at school still cling to her like mold and she was sick of it. With the start of a new school year came another batch of those groupies that were most likely after her money. Yes, that was all they wanted, her money and the popularity that it brought with it.

She paced away from the group, now chattering about how rich she was and how close they were –in their dreams- she thought. She failed to go any farther though when a pack of boys blocked her path.

"How nice to bump into you!", one of them said that made Raeloa's eyebrow to rise disbelievingly. Bumping into someone was not exactly the right term when it looked like you did it on purpose, which was now the case on the boys.

"You look great today! Is that a new bandanna?" Flattery apparently was never an effective option if already used a hundred times and on an unfeeling redhead. She whirled around and continued on her way to her new mission.

"You want me to carry your stuff? Classes are about to start in 10 minutes." They just couldn't take the hint, can they? The boys in this school were definitely no different from those girls who suck up to her.

"No, thanks. I still have work to do."

"What work? In the college department?" A senior dared to ask. This was the opportunity Raeloa had been waiting for. She was fairly sure that some nasty rumors must have circulated around the school about her bizarre extracurricular 'activities' that they are bound to have heard some of them. She calmly turned around to face the irritating suckers, her yellow eyes flashing eerily at them.

"I kill demons." She pulled out a paper charm out of her bag for added effect and flashed them in front of their frightened appearances.

"I also kill some people when they constantly annoy me and won't leave me alone." Raeloa droned on, pleased at the reactions she was receiving.

"Oops, err... look at the time! We just remembered umm... an assignment we haven't done yet. Ummm, see you later." And they were gone before Raeloa could even say good riddance.

She continued to walk in the direction of her destination, strolling inside the college department of Brimstone Academy and straight towards the storage room.  

Disclaimer: Galrod City and all of its characters are mine along with the story.