Ch 2: Returned
The last bell had rung nearly an hour ago for Tomoya high school and most students had already gone home for the day. Those that were left, were students that were part of after school clubs and a few teachers here and there. Outside, a lone middle-aged man sat in a small security box just in front of the main school gate. Having such a simple and cushy job, the man had put on a few pounds over the years and had become quite easy-going or rather lazy as the staff would call it but seeing as nothing ever happened, the man’s job was secure.
Wiping a line of sweat from his face, the man let out a long sigh.
(Another boring hot day has come and gone. Well at least I’ll be able to leave soon and then I can grab a couple of cold beers, hehe.)
With such simple thoughts, the man looked down at his watch and became gleeful seeing that there were only 5 more minutes until his shift was over. Just as he looked back up however a look of annoyance spread across his face.
A figure in a large black trench coat approached.
The approaching person was suspicious, no, rather this figure was beyond suspicious. Not only because it was the middle of summer and the person was completely covered from head to toe in this sweltering heat but this person also had their face covered. The security guard couldn’t make out who it was but looking at the height and build, the old pudgy guard could tell it was a man.
Before this questionable character could waltz right through the gate, the security guard quickly got out of his box and picked up his walkie talkie, ready to call it in if need be.
Holding out his hand, the guard shouted.
“Stop! What’s your business here? Dressed like that it can’t be anything good.”
The figure didn’t reply nor did he stop moving forward. Seeing that, the guard panicked a little and shouted once more.
“I SAID STOP! Turn around and leave or I’ll have your ass thrown in jail.”
The figure ignored this warning and continued forward, causing the guard to take a slight step back and raise his radio to call in an intruder warning to the school behind him, as well as contact the police.
“Hey, this is Jin at the fron…”
Before he could finish his words though, the man in black appeared directly in front of him and threw a palm strike to the guard’s chin.
The guard’s eyes began to roll to the back of his head and he felt his legs grow weak beneath him. Before he could even try to gather an ounce of strength…
The man in black swept the guard’s legs, causing him to fall back, hitting his head on the ground below. The guard was out.
The man in black pulled a seemingly normal golden compass from within his chest pocket and opened it. Normal, however, this compass was not. A blue light shone on its surface and an image of a silver arrow floated a few inches above the compass and began to rotate until it pointed not north but instead towards something within the school. The arrow seemed to lock in on something before flashing three times indicating something to the man. Closing the compass, the figure in black smirked.
“It’s almost time.”
The security guard’s radio on the ground started making noise before a voice was heard coming through.
“Jin, hey Jin, this is Tom. Can you repeat what you just said I didn’t catch it? Hello, hello Jin are you there?”
The radio instantly cut off as the man in black crushed it with a firm stomp before continuing forward.
Inside the school, in a certain classroom, 3 students were gathered around some desks.
*Beep beep beep*
A boy, 16-17 with short brown hair and green eyes, lay across his desk while playing a video game.
A strong fist hammered down upon his head. The boy jumped in pain and yelled at his assailant.
“Oy, Asuna! what the hell is your problem?”
The girl called Asuna had long red hair that flowed like a waterfall, stretching all the way down to the middle of her lower back. With sapphire blue eyes, a cute little nose and delicate lips, her beauty betrayed the look of frustration she wore. Scrunching her nose and with both hands on her hips, she yelled back.
“That’s what I should be asking you Ryuta. You and Sam have both been failing history and math so I graciously volunteered to spare some of my time to help the two of you study and you’re over here playing that stupid game. How can you act so ungrateful?”
Ryuta took offense to that statement and pointed accusingly at his friend sitting beside him.
“Then why the heck didn’t you hit Sam? Look at him, he’s been playing games just like me.”
*Beep Boop Beep*
The sound of a video game could be heard playing off to the side. Suddenly another sound rang out, *DadaDing* causing the boy named Sam to lift his head and smile.
“Hehe, looks like I leveled up again.”
It was only now that Sam even noticed Asuna’s presence. Standing up, he nodded at her and stretched.
“Hey, Asuna, when did you get here?”
Before Asuna could answer though, Sam’s attention waned and with those few words, he looked back down and went right back to gaming.
Ryuta’e eyes widened and he shouted.
“See, ya see that. Why does he get off scot-free and I get hit, huh? Where’s my justice?
“He’s taking a break. Look at the worksheets in front of him. Although his attention constantly drifts after only a few seconds, he’s already completed 3, while you haven’t even gotten halfway through one yet. The reason should be obvious right? Right?”
Ryuta could not refute any of that but still, he laughed it away. Shaking his head he shrugged his shoulders.
“Ha, who asked you to volunteer anyway?”
Asuna’s voice rose 2 octaves in frustration.
“What! If I don’t help you two then only doom awaits you. That’s a k.o got it, not a technical but an actual k.o.”
Ryuta’s eyes suddenly went sharp. Walking up to Asuna, he grabbed her hand causing her cheeks to slightly flush and with the most serious expression he said.
“If I just enter crunch time and go Super Saiyan, I can cram all this in a few hours, after that, easy peasy.”
Asuna’s left eye began to twitch. She was on the verge of snapping but before her anger took hold of her…
A ring of light lit up the floor and glowed like a golden sun. The three were immediately shocked and tried to get away but their bodies were locked in place as though the hand of God itself held them there.
Panic spread across their faces and Asuna shouted.
“What. what is this!?”
She looked at the two in hopes of something but they looked at each other as well with the same fearful expression, asking what the hell is this and help.
Another ring of gold appeared in between the first one and the three students. Following that new ring, thousands upon thousands of symbols written in a language they couldn’t identify sprung into existence. These symbols etched themselves into the ground beneath their feet before the symbols themselves also began to shine.
The door to the classroom was opened and then shut but before it was fully closed, a small linen cloth bag that emitted a purple smoke was tossed in. From Ryuta’s position, he saw the door open and the bag flying in but before he could say anything, the purple smoke had already begun to work.
Asuna’s eyes quickly grew heavy as well as Sam’s and Ryuta’s but Ryuta was doing his best to resist. He tried to cover his mouth but felt the invisible power of the ring holding his body in place. Asuna and Sam’s eyes closed and their consciousness left them but the effects of the ring still held them in place, leaving them standing in the same position out cold. Just as Ryuta was on the verge of following suit, the door to the classroom once more opened.
The man in black strode in as though he owned the place. The purple smoke seemingly having no effect on him whatsoever. Just as he was about to enter the golden ring, the man pulled a large almost fist-sized crystal from his pocket. Inside the crystal, a liquid moved about, the color of which constantly shifted, going from red to blue and back to red again. A never-ending cycle seemed to flow within. The man took the crystal in both hands and exerted his strength upon it.
Not even a second later, the crystal broke and the red and blue liquid spilled out. Just before it hit the ground though, the man inhaled deeply and the liquid, as though it had a mind of its own, resisted gravity and flowed back up, entering the man’s eyes, nose, mouth, and even the pores of his skin. As the liquid disappeared into the man, the man released a delightful long breath.
Stepping forward, the man flicked his wrist and the golden ring on the floor split apart just wide enough for him to step past it. Right after he stepped into the ring, the broken part of the ring re-fused itself, completing the connection once again. With the liquid ingested, the man could still feel plenty of power, allowing him to move within the ring but this was not enough. The man flicked his wrist again and a small symbol formed on his forehead allowing his movements to become much freer, although just walking forward was still difficult. Each step brought immense pressure upon his shoulders, causing the floor beneath his feet to crack but still, he continued.
One step, another, and another, until finally, he was face to face with Ryuta. Ryuta was still on the verge of passing out but through will power, he just managed to resist. Gritting his teeth, he used every ounce of strength he had left and asked.
“Who, who are you?”
The man though just snorted at the dumb question before raising his hand and flicking Ryuta in the forehead. This caused Ryuta’s body to go flying out of the circle. The circle once more broke with his exit and re-fused together before Ryuta’s body even hit the ground. The moment he did hit the ground though, the purple smoke, combined with the impact his body had just taken, robbed him of his consciousness and put him in a world of dreams.
Since the man entered the classroom and knocked Ryuta to the ground, it had only been a few seconds but the man knew he was running out of time and he had to finish things quick or everything would be ruined. The inner ring began to rotate but the man needed a few more seconds. Breathing in deeply and exhaling just as much, the man waved his hands about and flicked multiple symbols with his fingers, causing the ring to visibly slow its movement.
(Let’s do this.)
The man tore off his black trench coat and surprisingly he wore a uniform underneath but not just any uniform, it looked identical to the same one that both Ryuta and Sam wore. Taking off the covering from his head, the man revealed a flawlessly handsome face. With sharp black eyes that looked as though they could kill at a glance and a strong chiseled chin to match, the man felt his face in sadness for what he was about to do.
Pulling a small vial from his pocket, the man uncorked it in hesitation. The greyish liquid within pulsed with undulations of power. Gulping hard, the man steeled himself before quickly pouring the greyish liquid upon his face.
The first thing to go was the symbol upon his head, causing the man to be locked in place within the ring. Following that though was the beginning of his own, personal hell. The skin on his face instantly started to sizzle and bubble before melting away. The pain this inflicted caused the man to scream in agony.
The hair, skin, cartilage and connective tissue from his nose melted away, leaving a hole in his face. The little bit of fat, as well as the muscle, continued to melt away until even his nerve endings were no more. The acid was not finished however and even his eyes dissolved and were eaten away by this acidic hell. His face bled profusely leaving hot sticky blood that soaked his chest and back, causing the shirt he wore to cling disgustingly to his skin.
The sight of this looked more akin to a zombie than to a living person.
The pain the man felt as well as the smell of melted flesh this left behind, nearly caused the man to vomit but he forced the contents of his stomach back down his throat, just so he could breathe properly. If the ring didn’t perfectly hold him in place then his entire body would be trembling now. He was about to pass out from the pain but his thoughts of what was to come kept his mind from slipping into darkness.
The man could no longer slow the ring but now it no longer mattered, he was ready.
The golden ring on the floor began to speed up, rotating around the three like a tornado. It began to shrink and expand rapidly in on itself, as though it were a breathing living thing. This caused the light to glow brighter and brighter until finally.
The classroom dimmed and silence filled the room. Left behind was a single young man, collapsed on the floor, still in his dreams.