48

"Perel," Sol stated bluntly. "Wait." Confused thoughts ran through his head, all of them contributing to his building anger. He clenched his fists, trying not to yell or overreact.

The trainer turned around and motioned for Sol to follow. "C'mon, Sol. I know this is all a shock to you, but...we can't talk about this now."

"Why not?" Sol shot back.

The clashing power outside the school building could be felt by anyone. "Sol! We have no time! Blade and Secille are out th-"

"Let them fight!" Sol yelled. "We have all the time in the world right now!"

Annoyed, Perel decided to let the boy speak. "Fine, but make it quick."

"Why..."

"What?" Perel responded, confused.

Sol glared at his trainer with a powerful, confident glare. "You confirmed that what the old man said was true...so why didn't you ever tell me, damn it!"

Perel's eyes widened with surprise. She would have never thought that he would have asked that one question. "I guess I have to talk now." The trainer rubbed her hands and then proceed to remove her beanie. Tossing it aside, she began to stretch.

"Hurry up!"

Perel smirked. "We have all the time in the world, right?"

Sol clenched his teeth. His eyes began to glow gold. "Tell me!"

The trainer narrowed her eyes on the boy. "Anger's completely taken control of him," she thought to herself. "Alright, Sol. Ryan...convinced me that before my arrival at Oshikiri Hotel, he had told you some minor lies to keep you from getting into trouble."

"Trouble? What did what he said have anything to do with trouble?" Sol questioned.

Nodding, Perel continued. "That's what I thought too. And then I overheard your conversation."

"What about the conversation...?"

"Minor...? His lies were devastating!" Perel exclaimed. "Sol...Today was the day you were introduced into this Hybrid world."

Sol stepped back. "Wh-What do you mean?"

Watching Sol's feet movement, she took steps towards him. "I realize only now that his words really were to protect...but not to protect you."

"That doesn't even make any sense! If he's protecting me, then how is he not?"

Perel pointed a finger at Sol. "I never said his lies protected you, all he wanted to protect were the secrets that will be soon revealed."

"Secrets? What secrets? You know, don't you?"

Perel shook her head and shrugged. "I have no clue...The guy doesn't even tell me this stuff. I don't think even Sembel gets in on that information." She folded her arms on her bright sleeveless coat. "Now that you know the truth...some things may start to make some sense."

Sol's eyes widened. "What about Cera? Reiko? Avy?"

"They're mere humans," Perel replied. "But...there's an exception to Reiko, Blade's apprentice."

"What?"

Perel paced around Sol, who's feet he couldn't move due to the sudden turn of events. "Before Ryan left, he told me that Reiko is developing the first case of Hybridization, which is...the process of becoming a Hybrid...like us. That's all he told me and he ordered me to keep it a secret...but I'll no longer listen to him."

The waves from the current battle could be felt again, this time even stronger.

"We have no time, Sol. Let's go."

Suddenly, the speakers went off in the gym. With a loud, sharp voice, the principal spoke. "Attention all students of Akuma High School. Please evacuate the school from the rear exit. This is an emergency. Please evacuate. Thank you." A quick click was heard and the principal's voice was no more.

"I can sense it...Things are getting bad out there."

Before the trainer could leave, Sol laid a hand on her shoulder. "Wait! One more question."

"Sol...if we talk as long as before...then-"

"Please...just one more."

Perel hesitated, but finally agreed to let the boy ask one last question. "Fine, just one more, alright?"

"The fight was outside...but I'm in the gym. I want to know how and why you came after me instead of stopping the battle!"

Perel gasped, as she was shocked to hear that question asked as well. The trainer tapped her fingers on her arm, quavering. "I-I told you I could feel the aura clashing between those two."

"I know. I just want to know how you knew I was here," Sol responded. "And why it was your first priority to find me."

The trainer glared blankly at the ground. "I got a call from Sembel."

"Sembel? What'd she say?" a curious Sol asked.

"..."

It was morning. The sun's light penetrated the thin curtains and shed brightness on the once dark room. The bright light spread through the room in seconds, and eventually fell upon a single eyelid.

"Ugh...Morning already?" Perel tossed aside her blankets and sat on the side of her bed. She grabbed the alarm clock and glanced at it. "Only 8 o' clock? I better remind myself to paint my window black."

Deciding to finally leave the bed, Perel stood and entered the restroom. She grabbed her toothbrush, but couldn't help looking at the other brushes. It only reminded her of the loneliness she's experiencing.

After brushing her teeth, she sat alone in the living room. With nothing to do, she grabbed the remote and turned the television on. She skipped through channel after channel, nothing seeming to please her.

"That's such bull...morning broadcasts suck." Setting the remote aside, Perel approached the refrigerator, only to find out that the groceries were missing. "Crap...forgot to go buy some."

With a shrug, she grabbed the last ice cream popsicle in the fridge. "At least there's one ice cweam left."

Suddenly, the phone rang, alarming the woman and causing her to drop the ice cream.

"Wh-Wh-Wh...What the fuck!"

Agitated, Perel snatched the phone. "Hello? Who is it!"

"Perel..."

The trainer's eyes widened. "Sembel? Where've you been?"

"Following Ryan..." Sembel replied. Perel narrowed her eyes, sensing the uneasiness and worry in her tone.

"Something happened...What happened?"

"We were attacked by some masked man at night," she added. There was a long pause. "I was shot, but...Ryan held the man back. He ordered me to run away...as fast as I could...so I did. I...I...I'm so useless!"

"Sembel! Get yourself under control! It's not your fault!"

Perel could figure out just by listening that the maid had begun to cry. "I don't know what's happened to him now..."

"Don't worry...I'll find him. Where are you right now? I can get help."

"No...no...It's fine, Perel...He told me to tell you this if anything happened to him."

Perel's attention focused completely on Sembel's voice. "What is it?"

"The truth is going to be revealed to Sol at exactly 9:15 AM today. He'll be in the gym."

Perel looked at the nearest clock. "It's almost 8:30...I better hurry."

"G-Good luck...Perel."

"Thank you, Sembel...and...I'm sorry for what happened," Perel finished, ending the call.

Sol was filled with shock. "What?...Ryan's dead?"

"It looks like the Black Wave got him. If only he'd stayed at Oshikiri..."

"That's why...you won't listen to him anymore...isn't it? Because he's gone?"

Perel ignored his statement. "That's all then, Sol..."

"How'd he know that though?" Sol muttered. "He has to be some sort of damn psychic."

Perel shrugged. "If he were here, he'd probably say, 'I'm 1000 years old' or something." The woman sighed and walked towards the exit. "We can talk about Ryan's status another time...but now...we have to take care of what's happening outside Sol...It's gotten bad."

vvvvvvvv

Secille panted, exhausted from her battle with the reaper. Blood leaked from her head and down her cheeks. "This man...He's definitely...the 4th Infernal...There's no other explanation for this power," she thought to herself. There were tears all over her new jacket and bruises in many areas of her body.

"Are you done, woman?" Blade asked. Even the great reaper wasn't perfectly fine. Though receiving much less damage than his opponent, he still had several bruises including the two pencils that were stabbed into his body. "Looks like I forgot your name...since you've lasted this long, I'd like to remember it now."

Secille gritted her teeth. Her heart began to beat faster out of anger. The blood in her veins began to glow brighter. "Don't mock me! My name is Secille Von Vallimont!" The teacher approached Blade with a clenched fist.

"Reckless fool." Blade held his hand out and caught the incoming fist. "Weak..."

"Shut up!" Secille released another burst of power. She pulled back her right fist and began to pound the reaper with both arms.

"This strength is unnatural...even for a Hybrid. This...This must be the fourth Infernal. Perfect!" After taking a barrage of blows, the reaper kicked Secille back. With a grin, he laughed madly. "Hahahaha! So you're the Infernal I've been looking so hard for! I can't believe that this...this is what you have to offer."

"What did you say?"

"This fight is over...You've lost three times as much blood as I did...Vallimont."

Secille's eyes widened. "I'll crush you!" Tempered even further, the teacher ran in again with a clenched fist. "You arrogant bastard...I'll make you shut up...permanently!"

Blade smirked. "You've tried this same thing many, many times already. It'll only end with your agony."

Blade grabbed her fist, but this time, his own arm was pushed back due to the force.

"What?"

"You underestimated me, reaper!" Her fist collided with Blade's face for the first time in the battle. Noticing that she had staggered her opponent, Secille followed up with a left uppercut.

Still slightly dazed, Blade didn't see the next attack coming. The teacher landed the uppercut, knocking him down onto the ground for the first time.

Secille took a deep breath. "Damn...I really took a beating."

"Haha...Guess I should try now." Secille's eyes widened. The reaper pounced back up to his feet, ignoring the blows that he received just moments ago. "What? Surprised? Did you really think you would have beaten me with two punches?"

Secille clenched her fists. "Damn it!..."

Blade touched the bruise on his cheek. "That was a nice one...but...not good enough!" The reaper approached Secille and grabbed her jacket. "It was fun playing around with you, but I'm going to have to play serious now."

Blade slammed the woman into the concrete ground and followed up with a hard punch across the face. The reaper grabbed her jacket and held her up. "You're finished."

There was no reply. Unconsciousness had already fallen upon the teacher. Her motionless body was held up only by Blade's arm.

"It was a fun fight...Too bad I'll have to-"

"Stop right there, Blade!" a voice yelled.

Blade's eyes widened. "What? Perel?"

The trainer pointed a finger at the reaper. "Put her down...or else," Perel ordered, holding her hand on her eyeptach.

The reaper hesitated, but willingly let Secille's bloody body drop to the ground. "Very well."

"Now leave!"

Blade chuckled, and without a word, turned around and walked away.

After Blade was out of site, Perel ran straight towards Secille. From behind a nearby tree, Sol stepped out and helped the trainer. "Well...he was rather obedient..."

Perel nodded. "Yeah...Not sure why...He probably realized that he wouldn't have been able to beat me in his state." The trainer examined the wounds on Secille's body. Pressing around different areas, she found that no bones were broken. "Her bones are okay, but...she's going to need some serious help."

"Will she live?"

"Yeah..." Perel glanced up at the boy. "Sol...School's definitely going to be called off today...Find Cera and go back home...Go to Shinji's house. I'm going to take Secille to the hospital."

"Noboru Hospital?"

"...Yeah."

Sol raised his eyebrows. "Can I come with you?"

"...Why?"

"Personal stuff."

Perel nodded. "Fine...you can go. You haven't visited your little sister in a while."

The boy smiled. "Well, I'll go look for Cera first, then we can go." Before Perel could reply, Sol had already run off.

The trainer watched as Sol ran towards the opposite end of the school. "...Welcome to the Hybrid world, Sol..."