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.

#*#

I break

I fall apart

Someone screaming

Tearing inside

A part of me

I never knew

Screaming, I'm not who I am

Screaming, I'm a monster

#*#

I am no angel

I am no saint

The feathers were fake

The wings now broken

The halo, a trick of light

I am nothing without the illusion

I am nothing without you

#*#

            CASE #3 part 3: Invasion

            "I am Amducias at your service."

            Janus woke with a start. Cold. Clammy. Anxious. His eyes dilated against the dull darkness pressing heavily upon his sweating body. He was back on his apartment, lying on his small bed. Had it been a dream or reality? Janus wasn't sure. His consciousness kept crossing the boundaries, half-dreaming, half-awake. But it didn't matter to him. All he was sure of was that sick feeling clinging, turning his insides. It quickly crept its way throughout his body and he wanted it out.

With a slow crawl Janus got out of bed, neither bothering to turn on the lights nor look at the time. He cared for nothing except to vomit that irrepressible thing brewing, growing so grossly fast in his gut. He stumbled several times on the way, his outstretched hands feeling for any obstacles, relying on touch rather than sight. And after what seemed like an eternity of discomfort, Janus found the door to the bathroom.

Light flooded the white-tiled room. Janus, leaning in the sink, forced himself to vomit. When nothing came out he tried once more only to be stopped by hot pain searing his forehead. His legs folded beneath him and he collapsed, clutching his head in complete agony. It was then that he realized what had happened to his once unmovable right hand. It was completely healed, the once repulsive scars vanishing like a bad dream. He gently moved it in small circles, exciting himself at his miraculous recovery. But alas, the throbbing ache intervened his thoughts of healing, traveling upwards in distinct paths towards his forehead. He felt for it in panic and out of instinct, gripped the sink for support.

"What's hap-happening to me?!" Emerging from the flesh of his forehead was a small horn similar to that of Amducias, silver and covered with blood. The crimson fluid dripped on the flooring and out of shock, Janus passed out.

**************************

"Hey, wait! Thea, I said wait for me!" Adrian dropped off from his bicycle to catch up with Thea who was walking briskly to avoid any contact.

"Hey!" His strong hands took hold of the girl's free arm and swiftly made her turn to face him. Everything about her dulled in quality: her face, her eyes, all of which seemed lifeless and dead. Thea's gaze refused to meet his, and Adrian, out of deep frustration, lifted her chin at level to gain some attention.

"What's wrong? Why have you been avoiding me?? If I did something, I'm sorry… But… I'm just worried, okay? You looked a little off these days…"

"There's nothing wrong and it's none of your business. You don't need to be concern. Now go back to your class like a good boy." She pulled away from him, resuming her walk in the direction of the music hall.

"Why are you like that? Aren't we friends?!"

It's not like that Adrian…

There is something inside me

A part that I never knew

Another being

Growing…

And I don't want you to see that

That hidden monster

'You're afraid that he'll see me…'

Thea clapped a hand over her mouth, pure panic etched in her face. That eerie voice just poured out of her without her knowledge. Whoever it was, demon or spirit, it had somehow obtained control of her body.

"Did you say something…?" The alarm on Thea's eyes was unmistakable. 

"Just…Just go away Adrian!!! Go away!!!" Before Adrian could say another word Thea ran full speed, a clear answer to his first question.

"You're lying. There is something wrong…"

******************************************

Tired and dizzy, Thea let herself rest upon the wooden door of the music room to regain her normal breathing. Her right hand remained on the handle of her instrument case, gripping tight for fear of losing control. And when she finally calmed down did she take notice of the piano notes that had been carried through the wood; strong, formidable, it was unlike anything she had heard before. Carefully she peeked inside the room, expecting to see someone else but was met by the piercing gaze of a new Janus.

"I-It's you! Janus, your hair… Your hand, is it already healed?" The words spilled out of Thea's mouth. Janus stood up and acknowledged her presence, his once long marine hair cut short with bangs covering his forehead.

"That long hair became practically annoying so I just chopped them off. Yeah, I guess I could still play for the competition tonight. My hand had a pretty rapid recovery." He casually answered, Thea's memory of his scary gaze vanishing in seconds. Having recovered her composure she sat down on one metal chair across the grand piano and flipped open the top of her instrument's case. Somehow the news of Janus' health had veered her thoughts in the direction of their contest instead of wallowing in that dreaded encounter with Adrian. She held her bow with a confident hand and prodded herself to concentrate on her music, on her violin.

"Tonight?! Oh, I've almost forgotten all about it. It's good news you can play again… I've been wanting to pursue our plans for a duet later in the competition." The bow skidded along the strings as a short musical exercise. 

"Sorry Thea, but I won't be needing any of your help nor do I need you to show up at the competition." At this, Thea's playing went into a sudden discordance before coming to a complete halt. She looked up to him, startled for a while that any reaction proved hard for her to make. Is he kicking her out of the competition?

"What do you mean?!? I've been chosen to represent- " A shrill sound shot through her senses followed by the darkness closing in on her, the wooden instrument falling on the floor with a large resounding thud. The blue-haired boy had left her to fall on the hard surface unattended and he eyed her sprawled form with little or no interest. Janus brushed back his bangs to reveal that tiny bit of the demon Amducias sticking out of his forehead, the horn catching the room's light and glittering in ominous silver.    

"I don't want anyone spoiling my plans for tonight. Hope you don't mind." He explained to the wide-eyed girl caught off guard. He picked up her violin and bow, arranged the cuffs of his uniform and headed out as calm as if he had done nothing strange at all.

"Of course, I don't mind. But I think she does. It's not my problem now, is it?" The sound of the voice that felt vaguely like Thea's -yet at the same time completely not hers- lashed at his back, prompting him to turn around and check what he had left behind.

The same frail body that he had rendered unconscious a while ago was now facing him squarely, showing no signs that it had been previously knocked down.

"You're not Thea, are you?"  Janus inquired at the sight of her bloodred eyes so unlike the serene blue ones he had seen earlier. Her face contorted into one of disgust and deep loathing at the mention of the name.

"Delepitorae, resident demon sorceress. Don't even dare to confuse my existence with that of the stupid girl I share my body with. Just call me Tora for easy reference."  She flipped back her waist-length hair before offering her hand for a good old handshake. Janus was suddenly wary of her, ignoring her gesture to be on the safe side of things. Still in possession by Amducias he was fairly aware of the existence of other demons, which may turn out to be, if not weaker, stronger than him.    

"I don't care if you're Thea or Tora. Cut me some slack and tell me what you want." She clearly appeared unhappy at his response, letting that hand fall back to its original place. Tora may have liked straightforward beings in the past but one having to be rude to her? But then there were way more important things she had to deal with first other than her bruised ego.

"I would like to make a proposition to you, one that requires your full attention." She sat on the metal chair as Thea did before and invited Janus to occupy one too just a few feet from her. This time, Janus complied with her request and prepared himself for what she has in mind.

********************************

Darkness cold and unperturbed surrounded her waning consciousness -fighting against the strange being that took control of her body but to no avail. Thea was floating endlessly in that vast nothingness she could classify neither as a dream nor the frontier between being dead and alive. She vaguely remembered hearing that sharp note skim through her senses and she falling into complete unconsciousness. It was during that moment of weakness that the other 'her' decided to take charge.

Tora. After drifting all on her own she found the name of the other spirit residing in her body. It was a demon. No wonder she had those weird capabilities. All of the psychic powers she used up… Telepathy. Clairvoyance. Mental Shields. Every single one of them came from that demon or rather Tora, the demon sorceress. Why hadn't she noticed? And of all the time that she's been having this demon inside her, why manifest itself now? Why not later or sooner? Why now?!!

Now…

At present, her assessment showed she was rather helpless. What was happening to her? Floating around like some lost soul without a body? No. She vaguely sensed that she was still somewhere within her old shell albeit she wasn't sure of the exact location. That was good; at least she was still inside.

Inside but not in control…

Thea silently pondered on what Tora may have been doing with her body, remembering the terrible blood red gaze she met at a seemingly realistic vision that last struck her when she took a bath. Realistic vision… She debated with herself about what had transpired at the bathtub, whether it was a mere dream or a reality. Yet despite how she tried to convince herself it was nothing the suspicious wound had scarred and marked the skin, reminding her of that long red fingernails digging deep into her neck.

And what about the recital scheduled for tonight? With her stuck God-knows-where, what would happen? What about Janus? She was sure that with her body that demon would definitely wreak havoc at the competition. And those innocent people… She would have to get a message thru Adrian or Raeloa to take care of Tora and…

Adrian…

He was genuinely concerned and she pushed him away. Thea knew that it was selfish and cowardly. She just resorted to those things because she was protecting herself and by doing that she hardly noticed the fact that Adrian could also get hurt. She was terribly afraid. So afraid of him knowing what was happening to her, that she'd sicken him with the idea that one of those demons they usually banish got inside her, that somehow she's a demon too. She didn't want that. And the last thing she wished to happen was for him to hate her. Adrian was special. He was the one who truly listened, the one who understood and looked past the perfect girl she had unconsciously mold herself to be.

Thea cared for Adrian more than she let on to anyone else.

But it was completely useless. Without her powers, how could she contact Adrian? How could she tell him she was sorry? That she absolutely needed him now even after avoiding him like the plague these past few days? That she actually, undoubtedly, have fee-

 There's just no way I can go back…

Nobody will know it's not me…

Then Thea began to hum that familiar song, hoping in her heart that there would be some kind of a miracle. That something might just carry her song, like the wind that blew it off and brought Adrian to her the first time.

Come to earth, come to me…

Into my open arms, be with me

My soul has been awaiting yours

Come and hear, my spirit sing…

The spirit kept pure to you I give

As I call upon your name

Will I ever see you again, Adrian Glace?   

A/N: I apologize for the lack of updates…so sorry! I just got over my slump; thank God I finished this way way late chapter. I would like to give thanks to danilion for reviewing! I just read your review earlier and it certainly made me feel guilty for not finishing this chapter sooner. I hope the next chapter goes out a lot easier than this one…