Sorry, I have yet to thank you all for giving me your time. I hope you all have enjoyed things thus far.
"Hey Kai! What's the matter with you!" I hear, who I think is, Jasper yell.
I turn to see what's going on when a huge fist flies at me and I get sucker punched in the cheek. My head spins as I land hard on the ground with a thud. Holding my bruising cheek I shout back, "Hey! What was that for?!"
I was hit by a tall well-built guy with a small piercing in his ears and brown curly hair. One of the many students that go here, yet one of the few going to the Knight School. Carefully reading his body language and observing every inch of his body, I notice that his palms are bleeding.
That hit hurt and I can taste blood. A warm drop slides down my chin, yet I can tell that he tried to hold back. He tried to move his fist out-of-the-way. He's probably possessed. Looking from his hands back to his face I see that his eyes are white. Yep, called it, his eyes are the biggest hint right there.
"Mr. Smith I'm going to have to ask you to leave!" Scolds Mr. Hawkins. He grabs the boy by the collar but he resists, and manages to get loose.
"Mr. Hawkins" I call. "It's a Tempt." He's possessed. Good way to start off the school year. A Tempt will posses someone who's extremely depressed or angry. The way he's acting, I'm going to go with angry.
"How in the Hell did that get in?" He says to himself. "Students get back."
Everyone does as he says. I stay close in case things get out of hand. He pulls out the gun that sits on his hip and places a green tinted bullet in the chamber.
"You're gonna shoot him?" Nico panics.
"It can only hurt demons, not humans." Mr. Hawkins says. A bullet like that with cause physical injury to the demon within a person and not the human himself. It's a good tool to keep around. Nico calms a bit after that but you can still see the "Oh my god, my teacher is gonna kill my best friend" look on his face. Poor kid.
Mr. Hawkins aims but the kid, that I'm assuming is Kai, moves out-of-the-way at an inhuman speed. The shot misses him completely. He moves past Mr. Hawkins smacking the pistol out of his hand. I start chanting a Latin charm and manage to slow the boy down a little bit.
Just as I'm about to try to help a bit more, a boy in a black hoodie comes running in, jumps while placing his feet on Kai's chest, pushing him back into the wall. He lands perfectly and grabs hold of Kai's throat. He places his left palm on Kai's chest while the right holds the boy down. His hand glows a dazzling blue. Pulling the hand back while making a fist. A black mist pulled out of his chest.
Everything happens so fast before I know it, it's all over. The smaller boy holds the Tempt by the scruff of its neck. Tempts look like small monkey with pointed ears and teeth. Their eyes are all black bordered with yellow.
I notice that the boy in the hoodie's rather small. Maybe 5'2'' and I can't tell what he looks like because of the hood that covers his face. Suddenly someone starts clapping and each bounce off the walls of the gym, echoing throughout. I turn to see Oliver. He's dressed in an all black suit and with a red shirt. Well at least he's not dressed like a clown now. "Well I thought I'd stop by to see how all of our Knight students would handle a situation like this."
"You let this one in?" Mr. Hawkins asks unsurprised. To be honest I'm not too surprised either.
"Yes I wanted to test our newest student. Everyone I'd like you all to meet Miwa." He says smiley.
Miwa doesn't even pay attention to him and hands the Tempt to Mr. Hawkins. He then approaches to the boy on the floor, offering his hand. The boy on the floor takes it and lets Miwa help pull him up.
"My head's killing me." He manages to say holding his head.
"It'll hurt for a while." Oliver says. "Miwa, good job taking the right course of action. As for you my dear Ana, you failed that test. I thought that you would take more action than that. I'm a little disappointed that you only used a low-level chant. Normally you would have exercised the Tempt with no problem, but no you left that for Miwa. Your studies better not slack being back in school. Mr. Hawkins, I'm sure you will keep our young Ana in check. She can be quite the handful given the chance."
"Of course I can." He says. "But I can't see why you released a Tempt when you know Kai's hostility towards you know who."
"I wanted her power tested against Kai, but like I said, our dear Ana failed at that test." Oliver says.
I'm right freaking here, and people go around talking like I'm not here. I cross my arms and close my eyes trying to calm myself. "I didn't know and would have done something if I knew that I could. You said a while ago to leave things to the teachers around the school."
"I do not recall saying that." Oliver claims. "When was this?"
"Two weeks ago." I say, mustering every ounce of self-control possible just so I don't hit him.
"No, I sure I didn't." He smirks.
I put my hand on my head and mutter to myself, "I'm surrounded by idiots." I don't think anyone hears me.
I walk over to Kai. Shoving my hand in my pocket I search for the one thing Oliver always said that would help in a situation like this; chocolate. The strange thing is, it does help. I can't explain how or why but it does. Probably the whole endorphin and other chemicals being released in your head. I try to always keep a bar or two on me and a few more in my bag at all times. Breaking off a piece I kneel and offer it to him. "Here. It helps."
He examines it a moment and takes it. He doesn't seem too friendly about it though. Hopefully it's just the after effect of being possessed. Maybe I should keep some distance between us, just in case.
After he eats it, some color comes back to his face. After a few minutes of sarcastic comments and Kai having his hands wrapped, he's able to stand by himself. Once he gets stable, Miwa leaves the group to lean on one of the side wall. The Tempt's taken away from the gym by another teacher. Mr. Hawkins and Oliver start talk about the rules, training regulations, what they expect, rankings, being an exorcist, being a Knight, and a bunch of other stuff I already know, but I stay quiet and listen in again.
"The greatest achievement and goal set by most exorcist, is becoming one of the 6 Knights." Mr. Hawkins says. I feel a set of eyes burn a hole in the back of my head. I turn my head and see Kai staring at me. When he notices I'm looking at him he turns his attention to the teacher. "A Knight is one of the most powerful exorcist that come through this school, and the reason that the school is named 'Knight School'. Well that and none of the day students will ask when knight is a play on words. There has only been one in history that achieved this title without going to this school. His name, is Samuel Ross."
Again I feel someone watching me. This time it's not Kai. Jasper, Nico, and Maya all have the complete attention of Mr. Hawkins and Oliver. Who is it? Wait, Miwa! I turn my head, sure enough, there's Miwa staring me down. His face concealed completely by the hood. Except his eyes. All I can see are his aqua eyes. It's almost intimidating.
I try to turn back to the conversation at hand, yet I can't. It feels like his gaze is going right through me. A sweat drop rolls down my brow, and I can't move. Every muscle in my body goes tense. It feels like Miwa and I are the only living things around. There's no sound and everyone around us fade away.
It's just like that time with that King, Leon. Except it's different at the same time. Leon showed his power. This isn't just power, but I can't quite tell what it is either. Damn my vision's getting blurry. My knees start to go weak and I become unbalanced.
I think I hear someone shout my name. The voice sounds so far away, like a whisper. When did I fall on the floor? The ceiling's facing me, lights shining down on my face. It's so bright, it almost burns my eyes. Yet I can't see the out lines of the lights. There's a shadow above me as I feel myself be lifted into someones arms and lap. A figure's form starts to come clear. Oliver? He says something. I can't understand or respond. Everything fades again and my vision goes completely black.
What is this place? Everything's black, yet I can feel substance around me. Maybe there's a way I can get out of here. Turning to my right I see, surprise, nothing. To my left, nothing and behind me guess what. Noth- wait is that light? Yes, it is! Hold on, does this mean I'm dead? Wait, how would I have died? I check myself. There's no signs of any visible injuries. Nothing hurts either. No holes in my head. I decide that I'm still alive, but what is this freaking place?!
Knowing that I probably shouldn't, I start to walk towards it, but I stop myself before getting too close. The aura feels off, and the further I go, fog starts to blanket the ground. Slowly the light changes shape. Two doors appear where the light once was. One elegant and white as snow, and the other black as night. A wall around the two slowly fades in. The room becomes a semicircle. Looking behind me, the other half of the room is nonexistent. Are the doors the only way out?
I go towards the side that doesn't have a physical wall. The closer I get the more visible the wall becomes. On the other side the wall's still there. So if I were to walk in a complete circle would I be stuck in a room? It really does seem like the doors are the only way out, so which one should I pick. White door it is.
The door's a lot larger than I originally thought. Maybe nine feet tall and 6 feet wide and curved at the top. The black one has the same height and width, but it's pointed at the top and has what looks like claw marks scratched into it, and a pair of dull red eyes. The distance between the two would be about one-third the size of the room.
The handle is gold and circular. Another, larger circle makes its home right in the center. A small part is black, maybe an inch. The rest is and off white, enough to catch your attention. Maybe I am dead. Which would make this is the gate to Heaven. Though I was expecting fluffy clouds, a bright blue sky, and well, less depressing. Then again there's that other door. If this Heaven's Gate, then would that make the other the Gates of Hell.
I pull on the handle, and it doesn't budge. Well if this is the Gate of Heaven, then I might be in some pretty big trouble. I yank again and still nothing. Just in case the handle is for show and I've made a complete fool of myself, I push the door. Still nothing.
I know haven't been the best person in the world but could I really have been Damned? Well I can't get out anyway so I might as well accept my fate. I walk to the black door and grab the handle The eyes flash a brilliant red and I'm pushed back by some force. On an instinct, I do a flip and land on my feet about 10 feet back. Well then it seems that Oliver's training paid off, and my reflexes have improved. I can't go through the white or black door. I can't help but yell, "So I'm stuck in purgatory!" My voice echos. Now what do I do?
"Oh, why not walk around in a circle to get the rest of this freaking room to appear." I think sarcastically to myself. May as well there's nothing better to do.
To my surprise, the rest of the room appeared while I was trying to open doors. In the center of the brick floor is a tall, dead looking tree. Examining every inch of the bark, I can't see anything out of the ordinary about it. Once I reach the complete opposite side and find a find a stone plaque about the size of my head. There's a fire symbol surrounded by a circle. It begins to glow and I feel a tug on one of the chains I wear. Looking down I notice it's my black, supposed to be white, but color changing pendent with a silver half-swirl cloud. I grab it before it gets to close since I have no idea what's going on. There's writing. I lean in closer to read, hand still grabbing the pendent, but it's too faded.
The ring and fire start to glow a bright fiery red and my hand starts too as well.I examine it a second and see that the plaque starts to draw in the light. I let go of the pendent and put my hand to the symbol. The picture starts to dance and a small fire appears between the tree and me, engulfing my hand. I can't move my hand away, but it doesn't feel hot. Energy drains from my body. I can feel the energy travel from my chest, to my shoulder, out my hand, and into the stone. It only lasts a few seconds, and a bright white blinds me. More than anything it feels really weird when the light fades, I find myself on my knees. Mustering some strength to stand. The pendent drops back down to its home at my chest.
"Light the path with flame and fire, fuel the blaze and achieve goals higher." A deep voice says. I look around trying to find where it came from. Behind me is what looks like a man. He's shirtless, except for a piece or armor that only covers the top part of his torso and wears black pants. His eyes red as an inferno, and wears a charred helmet that covers his hair. "I am Paytah, master of flames."
"I'm An-" I start to say.
"I am aware of who you are." He says voice booming. "You've been using my power without permission. I will allow you to continue to use them, but you'll need to prove yourself to me. I will wait for you until you're ready." He starts walking away from me.
I shout to him. "Hey wait!" He ignores me and continues towards an old rusted gate that wasn't previously there. Instead of opening the gate and walking through, he just fades through the gate.
I go to follow him, but a girl catches my eye. She leans on the wall to my left. She has long black hair, aqua eyes, and her arms crossed. In a way she reminds me of Miwa, only smaller, younger...and well, a girl. I ask, "Who are you?"
"My name," she says. "is Yukio. I'd wait to follow if I were you. Do you know what's going on?"
"No, I have no idea. Where am I exactly?" I ask, moving a bit closer. hoping for an answer.
"You have no memory, correct?" She asks, avoiding my question.
"Yes, but what does that have to do with anything?" I ask wanting to know what's going on.
"I have kept an eye on you for a while." She says. "This place, is a part of your soul. Each doorway or gate you find leads to another part of you soul that tie into Anima."
Anima is the demon realm. "Why is my soul connect to Anima? And why is it so depressing here?"
"You're the one who decides how you soul looks." She looks me in the eyes. "The reason," She pauses."Can only be told after you prove yourself to Paytah. After that I will be willing to tell."
"Okay," I sigh giving up on trying to find out anything from this kid. Two years of dealing with Oliver and you know when it's a good idea to give up. "How do I 'prove myself?'"
"You will have to fight and defeat him." She says. "I wish you luck."
"I thought that you were going to tell me what was going on before I proved myself to him." I say still holding onto the hope that she'll spill.
"I changed my mind." She stands up straight and walks past me a few feet. "Come here. I follow her instructions and stand next to her. She raises her hand so it's parallel with the ground. A dull white light engulfs her hand and a small spot on the ground. The brick rumble and a small pillar grows. "Place your hand here. It will heal you. Be sure to do this every time you come here."
"You mean I have to come back?!" I pout. She gives me a look and I place my hand on the warm stone, feeling it's healing powers. Well if I have to come back that means that I can at least leave.
"Do as I instruct and you will have little problem defeat your adversary." Then, almost reading my mind, adds. "Yes, you will have to fight here again. I will explain after. You should get going now."
I give up on understanding people. You try to tell me one thing but change your mind right when you go to. I start to walk towards the gate. Alright so it's a fight with Paytah. Paytah means fire, and the symbol on the tree was fire. He also said that I've been "using his powers." I know I can use fire, so that would mean that I've used his flames this entire time. So I can understand if he's a bit angry, but he didn't act like he was.
I push the gate, it sticks a moment and slowly creaks open revealing a greenish-gray landscape. I can't see anything because of a dense fog that covers the ground and stands about 3 feet tall, up to the middle of my waist. Not able to see the ground I feel around with my feet. Once I'm sure I found the right path, I continue forward. After only walking about 10 feet, I step on something kind of hard yet soft on the outside. Stepping up and off to the side, trying to miss the object, my foot is caught on what feels to be the same thing. In a hopeful attempt to see what exactly it was that I tripped on, I squint my eyes and look past the barrier.
My eyes widen as my stomach drops and I feel the need to throw up. I just stepped on a dead body, but it's not just any body, but Maya's. Her once bright green eyes clouded and her blonde hair stained with blood. I reach out to her. Her skin's gray and clammy to the touch. This isn't happening. My head starts to spin. I close my eyes, wait a few seconds and open them again. The room changes, and this time it's the gym.
Maya's still at my feet but this time she's breathing. Her hair's longer and she looks younger than the heap that was on the floor. She mutters. "Please, stop this."
"Let go of her you bastard!" A younger version of Kai yells, running past me. I turn to find a black, winged demon, standing at about eight feet tall and having a build that's absolutely hulking. In its right hand is a girl with black hair is being held by the neck. She kicks her feet and claws at the demons hand. It doesn't budge and continues to hold her.
Kai has what looks like some metal piping in his hand. As he runs towards the demon, he pulls his arms back and swings the pipe like he would a baseball bat. Before he can hit the arms of the demon, it spreads its right wing and sends Kai into the far wall. He collapses onto the floor with a thud.
"School evacuation 100 percent complete. In approximately 10 minutes Oliver will return along with the rest of the staff." A girls says throwing something that shines. "Until then, I'm going to have ask you to let go of that girl."
It hits and stabs the demon in the arm. Black blood flows from the wound. It drops the girl onto the floor. Kai doesn't get up from his new bed on the floor.
"Ana! Yuki!" A boy with strawberry blonde hair yells. Yuki? Yukio! That girl looks like the Yukio I just met! Who else did he call? Ana, but I'm Ana. Taking a closer look I realize that the girl on the floor is me. The hell's going on? "Heaven's shield!"
A brilliant white shield appears around me. Well, the one on the floor anyway. A good thing too, since I almost bit the dust. The demon lowered its humongous fist right where my head was. The shields power only lasts seconds under the pressure, and shatters like glass. The next I look, I'm nowhere to be seen. "I reduced the power of the shield in order to get you out." The boy says.
"Thanks Jas. I owe you one," The younger version of me thanks still catching her breath, laying flat on her back, arms pointing straight out from her body. "Of course you too, Yukio."
"Then pay back that debt now and get on your feet." Yukio says. "The two of us are the only one's strong enough to hold our own against something as strong as him." She turns to the boy. "Can I count on you to protect the others."
"Of course." He answers.
"Then we'll leave Maya and Kai to you." The young Ana says getting back on her feet. I've always been one to catch my breath easily. "Take care of them."
Ana and Yukio cause a distraction. It seems to anger the demon. Ana runs through the doors trying to lead it away. It works too. The demon spreads its wings, crosses its arms, bends its knees, and soars through the gymnasium roof. Debris falls to the ground as Jasper puts a shield around Maya, Kai and himself. Yukio turns to follow.
"Yuki!" Jasper calls after her. She stops and looks at him. "I've got a bad feeling about all of this. Please be careful."
She gives a gentle smile, "Always am." She turns back around and runs after me and the demon, leaving Jasper behind to tend to Maya. He looks almost like he's gonna cry. The worry almost radiate from him. Everything fades back to black.
The room turns back to the dull greenish-gray landscape. There's less fog now and I can at least see where I'm walking. Only now I'm walking through a cemetery. Old, cracking gravestones line my path. Weeds grow along the cobblestone path and each stone. There's no visible bodies either, so I think I'll chalk that one up as a plus.
There are names I've never seen before. Samuel Ross, Zak and Anniko Hale, Enzo Mason, Yukio, and several more. Each name, once beautifully carved in black, now faded and weathered. Even for a cemetery the place is dead. No pun intended but it lacks life. Alright now I'm just digging a hole for myself. What I getting at is there are no flowers for loved ones lost. No toys to appease the restless spirits of the two Hale kids, whose shared gravestone reads "Taken before their time, XX45 to XX55." Only ten years old. Above their grave sleeps what's left of an old willow tree. The leaves, once green and lushes, now crumble at the slightest touch.
Why would Yukio's name be here though? Probably the same reason she's here in my soul. Hopefully she'll be willing to answer that too. If this place is my soul, it's pretty creepy that people are walking around in here.
Pushing the thoughts of Yukio and the two kids' grave aside, I continue forward. My footsteps echo across the cemetery, filling the dead space with a some life, as I move toward the where I think Paytah is. I can see what looks like his figure where the ground becomes raised and an old rusting entrance way stands. The closer I get the more clear Paytah becomes.
As I reach what looks like crumbling stone steps, I pause and take a deep calming breath. Continuing forward I can start to feel Paytah's energy and power. It's weaker, so he's probably concealing it until the fight. He turns his head, over his shoulder, towards me "Are you ready to begin?"
I nod, swallowing the nervous lump in my throat. I haven't been in a real fight for over a year. Lets hope that my training's paid off. I've never fought a demon before, that I remember. I muster every ounce of strength, "Yeah."