“W-what do we do?” The fright-filled voice of Simurton filled the echoey room we stood in, all our faces plagued by the panic that the sight had stricken upon us. It was too soon, right? There was no way the next one could be so soon after the first!
“I dunno!” Medys was on the verge of hyperventilating; we’d never expected to witness death or anything of the sort in our lifetime, and this was the third time in three days I’d witness the same thing, yet it still spoked me all the same. How many had to disappear? Did we have to go soon too? “If only Thanatos was here…” My brain sparked for a split second. In the midst of the fear and the panic that encircled the room we stood in, I tried desperately to recall the theory that I and Lamia had devised together. Piecing it together took effort and time, however, and I certainly didn’t have time!
“Uhm… Why did it stop..?” Simurton’s face looked a little relieved as he directed our attention towards the dying person before us, and the pulsating ball of darkness had diminished to the size of a golf ball, resting firmly on the person’s waist.
“B-but faith is the most important thing! If we don’t believe, she’ll never make it!” I argued, hiding the little futility I felt inside my mind, but Lamia brought it back to the surface.
“She doesn’t know us, nor are we doing something for her. What’s our support to her?” With those words, I knew I was wrong. I closed my eyes and looked down, my hope to save this girl crushed by Lamia’s wisdom.
“I guess you’re right, as usual…”
“Umm… Mitsuna? You okay?” I felt my consciousness slowly fade back into my mind, my vision becoming less and less blurry. Had I blanked out?
“Yeah..?” My mind was still a little teetered, switching between reality and the past, and I debated whether it was worth coming back into reality. “Sorry, I must’a spaced out…” I regained my bearings. I was in the Student Staff’ Head’s house, with my friends trying to save this girl on the floor.
“I… had a thought.” We both turned to face Medys, who looked a little deep in thought, yet still in touch with the real world. That seemed strange; I could swear my thoughts seemed more real than what was happening now! She cleared her throat and looked up a little. “This girl was known for being mysterious, right?” I nodded, Simurton simply keeping an eye on the collapsed individual before us. “Well, she lost that fight with Havocilla about four days ago, if I remember correctly, and I recall her getting ridiculed by the higher years for her defeat.” I had no idea where she would go with this.
“This shame, I heard was spread across the entire school, and she became the laughing stock of all but a few people… e-excluding us, of course. Then word left school and went to her parents, who joked around with her about it, but she, ashamed of her loss, took it the wrong way.”
“You’re not making much sense, Lamia.” Simurton butted in, refusing to even look up at us or in the eyes. “Please cut to the chase, so to speak.”
“Well, that green-haired girl? She’d been feeling pretty hopeless a few days before she vanished without so much as a single trace.” But there was a trace. I stuffed my hand into my pocket and felt the metal and silk hairpieces lying around in there. “And our friend Persia? She’d felt rejected when I hugged Thanatos and he wouldn’t let her join in.” I began to realise what points she was making and putting together.
“So, you think that it’s only people who have lost faith in their lives that we’re losing?” Medys nodded solemnly.
“And I think all the torment may have proven too much for our friend Garuda…” She pointed to her near lifeless body on the floor, her breaths loud and raspy. Lamia’s words rung in my ears.
“She doesn’t know us, nor are we doing something for her. What’s our support to her?” Our support would do nothing in this situation!
Suddenly, a beefy looking bouncer burst through the door, and rushed past me and Medys to speak face to face with Simurton.
“Master Harunt! There is an intruder, and your parents are not present! What do we do?” An intruder? But why? Thievery perhaps?
“Apprehend them, and bring them here. I will speak with them myself.” He cracked his knuckles as he gestured to the bouncer to fetch the intruder. He hastily rushed out, pulling a black telescopic baton from his belt hook and extending it as he exited the room.
“Someone keep an eye on the guest here. Someone else come with me and join the hunt for the intruder.”
“I’ll stay, Mitsuna. You go with Simurton.” Medys seemed intent on sticking around with Garuda, so I nodded as I left the room with him; we closed the door behind us to prevent harm to either of them.
“So, where do we go?” I asked, curious to learn how exactly Simurton planned on finding this intruder, and he pointed upwards to a watchtower adjacent to the room we were previously in.
“We’ll watch from above, and the inside guards will scour the building itself. It’s highly unlikely they’re any further than the courtyard. The security here is impermeable to intrusion.” Something in the pit of my guts made me doubt that statement. “Come on, the staircase is not a large distance from here.” We ran across the corridor to a spiral staircase in a circular tower, just as well decorated as the rest of the building despite looking like it would rarely be used by Simurton himself. We frantically hurried up the seemingly endless amounts of stairs; in reality there were probably only about a hundred, but it seemed much more, and we heard a strange noise coming from outside the manor, like that of a distorted battle cry.
“W-what was that? You know what that was, right?” I shook Simurton in fear, and he pushed me into the wall behind me, though the distance between the two walls was short, and he’d only pushed me about 3 centimetres.
“Pull yourself together, Azura! You must be hearing things!” He yelled, probably right. The whole ordeal was messing with my head enough as it stood, but didn’t hallucinations seem a bit far? Who knows?
We unfroze from my terror and hurried up the last few stairs to the watch-guard’s quarters above, a rifle loaded with electrically imbued bullets laying across the large arched window in front of us, the three others around us being bare. “Look around, see if you can triangulate his location.” He threw the gun into the air and caught it, spinning it around his right index finger, the barrel slapping against the wall a little. He rested the bottom of it on the window and scoped in, his breaths becoming more and more concise. Why did everything, even down to his vocabulary, have to be so professionally done? I doubt he even gets more than 3 hours of sleep! Regardless, I put my hand over my eyes and scanned the nearby area for the intruder, looking around for anything that might be deemed suspicious, but because I was surrounded by rich, expensive objects, some of which I’d never seen before, I really couldn’t tell what was what. It was as if everything in his courtyard was simply for display or for vanity! Even the flower beds, which housed many vibrant, colourful species of flower which I’d never seen before seemed to serve little purpose. This place had it all, from everything I knew to the things I didn’t!
“Private pool… fountains… sand pit… This place..!” I realised I must have been thinking out loud, as Simurton looked at me with an angered expression.
“What do you think you’re doing?!” I jumped as his voice boomed loudly in my ears, his vision still focused solely on the scope of the rifle.
“I couldn’t see them, so I was admiring the sand pit and stuff…” He merely sighed at my reply.
“Unbelievable…” He muttered as he regained his focus, but something seemed to be ailing him. He raised his right eyebrow and looked at me suspiciously. “Did you say sand pit?” Was he not aware of the sandy area to the right of his view?
“Yeah, over there…” I pointed shakily towards the neatly laid out sand, and he shook his head.
“But, my family never ordered something so stupid, or anything of the sort.”
It was at that exact moment my guts told me something was very wrong. I think it was something like caveman instinct, where a person can sense that someone is within six feet behind them, though the feeling was amplified tenfold. All the hairs on my body stood in place and quivered as if it were winter inside my clothes, and I started breathing heavily. Heavily enough to get the concern of Simurton. “Are you alright?” He asked, and I saw the sudden realisation sink into his face.
“W-what do we do..?” I whispered, now certain that we were being spectated from a close, burning eye. My conscious refused to sense anything, but I was certain my sub-conscious was screaming at every fibre of my being to get out of there.
“Just stay calm.” He said sternly as he swiftly turned around, an overly confident look spread across his sweating face. “Gotcha… Wha?” What had he seen? “Stop making me panic. There was nobody there.” He turned around and stomped his foot on the floor, sending a faintly visible amount of sand flying around my face.
“This sand is really starting to get to me…” I looked down at the pile of sand on the floor, and questioned whether it was there before, or if it was possible for it to just appear out of nowhere.
“There’s no more sand. Stop messing with me, or just return to Lamia.” He seemed on edge, but wanted to hide his fear from me. I saw no reason to ignore this! He was far too stubborn for his own good! My body turned to ice as the feeling returned, twice as powerful as before this time; I had no doubt that someone was within licking distance of my back. I hunched my body together and braced myself for the blindfold that would come over my face just before a kidnapping, or the hands over my face to stop me from screaming out for salvation, though nothing really happened, except I thought I was going to start hyperventilating. For a minute, I stood there, watching in sheer horror as Simurton simply ignored the feeling that enshrouded the room I stood in, not daring enough to look behind me. I went to move my right hand through my pigtail, as I usually did when I was nervous or worried, though it wouldn’t move an inch. I tugged on it, only to find it was… attached to something?
“A-AH!” I pulled as hard as I could, though whatever it was would not release its vice grip. Whatever it was had a grainy and arid feeling to it; it was as if it was absorbing all the moisture in my hand! Did I dare turn around?
“It is fine. You have no need to be afraid, my dear.” Simurton?! What did he think he as doing?!
“G-Get off, Simurton! And who are you calling dear?!” I angrily tugged at the force he was putting onto my arm, though he would not release it.
“My, you sound different. Do you have a cold?” What was going on?! I looked down at Simurton’s hands, which, to my surprise were holding the rifle he had not diverted his attention from since the initial scare. “Or it it because this is the first time I’ve been so close?” The more I listened, the more I could tell the difference between Simurton’s and this other person’s voice; The voice speaking to me seemed much more friendly, yet much more eerie at the same time. Now I had to turn around, but now it was even more difficult!
“W-who are you?! What do you want from me?!” Now I was hyperventilating.
“An odd choice of clothing too. And your hair…” I closed my eyes and counted to three in my head, and I’d decided that on three, I’d turn around and face whoever was creeping up on me. I breathed deeply to regain my regular breathing rate and began counting in my mind. “Why have you stopped talking to me?” One… “You know how long I’ve had my eyes on you…” Two… “Or rather, how long I’ve wasted my time admiring you from afar, my dearest-” Before I could even say the word three in my mind, I felt a strong force whirl me around to face the intruder, and I pried my eyes open, to be met with a face full of shock and panic.
“AAHH! What the- Who are you? Explain yourself!” We must have said the exact same words in perfect unison, more or less, both of us rapidly trying to catch our breaths.
“Where is Garuda Susano? This is of dire importance!” He slumped to the floor, sand leaking from his baggy, dry coloured clothing, a glass cane poking out from them too.
“S-she’s… Downstairs… Oh, don’t do that… that’s plain creepy…” If I recalled correctly, this was the same person who saw Garuda leave the classroom when the dropouts were messing around with me. I didn’t know anything about him though… I pulled on Simurton’s leg behind me, sending him falling to the floor.
“Wah!” His face narrowly avoided slamming into the marble-tiled floor as he caught the banister, and pulled himself to his feet.
“I… found him…” I said as he turned to face us, aiming his gun at the intruder.
“You move so much as an inch, and you’ll be subjected to combatant suppression like none other!”
Again with the overdone vocabulary…
“Do it. I’ve got myself covered if you refuse to comply.” And with that, he drew the glass cane from his clothes, and pushed it down into the sand on the floor, spraying it a distance around the impact zone.
“Your choice.” Simurton muttered as he pulled the trigger on his gun, and to our shock, nothing but a burst of cubic glass shards came from the barrel. “What the- What is this?!” He pulled the trigger multiple times, the same thing happening every time he did so.
“I believe you now know where you stand.” The intruder maintained a fairly serious, yet still creepy face throughout the entirety of the ordeal. Just who was this person? “I seek Garuda. I am aware she followed some crook through the forest, and I just cannot have that happen to her…” Was she his love interest or something? Lucky, able to plan out everything that way.
“And why should we confide in you? You’ve intruded private grounds! I should just send for security!” Simurton stomped his foot again, though our ‘guest’ seemed much to confident.
“Taken care of. Trust in my word, and they will live to see another day.” This guy was shadier than a lamp shade! Something, deep within me, was screaming something, but I couldn’t quite hear it.
“W-What did you do?! I demand an explanation! Your criminal record and place in the school both hang in the balance, do you hear me?!”
“I hear you. Though any attempt to leave the building or communicate with the outside world will be in vain. The place is in full lockdown, and you’ll have to follow my word if you wish to continue life as normal.” I could hear the voice within me clearly, at the cost of tuning out from the voices around me. It was faint, but it was certainly there.
“She doesn’t know us,”
“I would never place a student’s life in danger! What do you take the head of Student Staff for, a fool?!”
“Yes. You have no idea what’s going on.”
“Azura, wake up! Explain to this delinquent the situation!”
“What’s our support to her?”
“She does not understand either. I had mistaken her for Garuda herself!”
“Azura, snap out of it! …Unbelievable, she’s daydreaming again…”
“She doesn’t know us, nor are we doing something for her. What’s our support to her?”
“Wake up and face it. Garuda is in need of my presence.”
“That is an invasion of her privacy! You shall stay away from her, or I shall cast a restraining order in her name upon you!”
“H-huh, wha…?” The two conflicting voices faded back into reality, Lamia’s words swimming around in my head, trying to complete a fuse within my mind.
“Azura, refrain from zoning out so frequently!”
“You pay attention, Harunt! Garuda will never fall into your hands, she is mine and mine alone! I refuse to allow anything to happen to her! If you intervene any more than you already have, I’ll have no option but to take fervorous action against you!” His voice was filled with a passionate, heart-felt tone, and I knew that every word that was coming from his mouth was either genuine, or plain creepy. I struggled to choose between the two. I leant out over the windowsill to divert my attention from the ongoing argument, catching my breath and bringing myself back into reality. What was going on? My mind slowly waltzed from thought to thought as I tried once again to make sense of the past few days. Nothing had made any from of it though; if no-one remembered the green-haired girl and if all traces of her existence were gone, why did I remember her? Why did Medys remember her? Did anyone else remember her? I thought of Medys and Garuda. What were they doing right now? Was Garuda fading to darkness in Medys’ heavy arms? And then my thoughts directed themselves towards Lamia’s words again. They’d not left my mind for he past few days, and I wondered why. Were they relevant?
“Haha! I know what you mean!” I heard a distant voice from down below and looked around for its source.
“Don’t get too friendly with me. You and Thanatos are nothing but trouble. The name sends shudders down my spine.” I traced the voice down to the main gate of the building, and I saw ?Garuda talking with Medys, as if they were about to leave!
“Hmm? Why’s that? Were they deliberately speaking loudly so I could hear? Or was my hearing just enhanced right now?
“Never mind. I just know that someone, somewhere, cares about me. And I’m going to find out who. Excuse me.” Garuda walked off into the forest, and Medys pulled what looked like her phone out and just stood there. In the midst of the two others arguing, I slipped past both of them, and decided to go home after a long day, knowing deep down that this person didn’t have the powers to prevent our escape. I only caught onto one last sentence from Simurton’s mouth:
“Forget it, Phernus. No girl deserves to be stalked that way!”
I have been made aware that the situation with the girl by the name of Garuda Susano. Supposedly, she remembers nothing about what happened and claims to have never been feeling down at all. I don’t see how losing a fight could lower someone like her to that state, but I believe my previous predictions are being proven correct, and this worries me. I cannot allow the Angelic Army to descend. Their actions are far too rash and malicious for the human race. While named ‘Angelic’, they are far from it. I have little time, I must be purified once more.