The new arrow shined brightly above Kazuki’s golden compass and pointed to someplace unseen. Without question, Kazuki followed it. He himself didn’t know why but at this point, there was nothing more he could lose.
Crossing a great desert, trekking through jungles, climbing mountains. Eventually, Kazuki followed the arrow and found some ruins in South America. That’s where he found it. Deep within the ancient ruins laid a labyrinth filled with traps and other dangers but with his ki, Kazuki managed to traverse it all. At the very center of this ruin, he found a chamber that held the ancient hand symbols. Along with a few odd rocks. Inside these rocks, Kazuki surprisingly found liquified mana swishing back and forth within them. The color of which constantly shifted from red to blue.
Kazuki’s eyes shined with greed finding these rocks. At first, he gathered the rocks up and prepared to leave, not knowing the importance of the symbols carved out on the wall. The compass though started to unknowingly absorb power from one of the rocks. Just as he was about to leave the ruin, thinking he had found everything, his compass lit up again. A light poured out from his compass and shot forward into the sketches in the wall.
Kazuki had no clue what was going on but he stood there mesmorized as the faded and unremarkable symbols on the wall began to become clear and like a sticker being peeled, the symbols fell off the wall one by one and hovered in the air. It was then that he saw them clearly and recognized what they truly were and whispered to himself dumbfoundedly.
“This…This is the ancient language of magic. How can this be?”
Kazuki had read nearly a library of books growing up in his adopted father’s private library and remembered seeing these symbols in there.
Soon Kazuki identified a few words as they floated around the room.
“That one is fire.”
Kazuki saw a twisted symbol glowing brightly and hovering around him. He immediately knew it meant fire as fire was his main element before his Mage core was stolen. Out of curiosity, he looked up what his element looked like when he was younger. One by one he began to identify these ancient words. That’s when he noticed something else carved below at the very bottom of the wall. There was something written out but he couldn’t quite make it out as it was covered in layers of dust.
He wondered why only this stuff at the bottom didn’t glow and approached the bottom of the wall. Wiping it off with his shirt, he looked at the images at the bottom of the wall.
“Hands, why are there so many drawings and carvings of hands?”
Across the bottom of the wall, Kazuki noticed hundreds of different drawings of hands. Each one was in a certain position with the fingers crossing or bent at weird angles. Looking around, he noticed that the hand symbols continued around the entire wall but they didn’t stop there. They stretched throughout the entire ruin. After a while, The glowing ancient language of magic faded and sunk into the wall. Just before it did though, Kazuki spotted the ancient language disappearing into the hand signs.
He spotted the word fire falling into 3 different hand symbols on the bottom of the wall and out of mere curiosity, he felt like making the hand symbols.
Slowly he tried out the complicated hand gesture and finger placement.
“This one, this one and then it ends like this.”
A tiny spark of light similar to when someone fails to ignite a lighter jumped from the tip of Kazuki’s finger, causing him to almost fall back in fright.
As the ruin grew dark, lit up only by a flashlight, Kazuki’s eyes seemed to show a bit of craze within them.
“I…I used magic without a Mage core!?”
Kazuki’s memories skipped ahead once more. Several years were passing within the blink of an eye as he made his preparations and study the ancient hand symbols. One by one he learned them all by heart and they became second nature to him.
Kazuki’s compass led him to a certain young man. As soon as he saw him, it was as if the compass was communicating with him and he knew right then and there why he was led to him. As Kazuki thought about the consequences of returning he looked at the young man and a plan began to form in Kazuki’s head.
Kazuki spied on the young man for around a year and began to copy and mimic the boys every gesture. Practicing his voice, the way he walked, the way he acted, every detail he conquered. The time for him to return was coming.
Kazuki held his compass in front of him and it pointed at a school. Snapping it close, Kazuki knocked out a security guard before he ended up walking to a certain classroom. After using some sleeping powder on the three students in the classroom, he walked in. A large inscription circle had already lit up on the floor and was about to teleport three students away.
There in front of him, both Sam and Asuna were unconscious. Ryuta, on the other hand, was not. Kazuki used some power and walked into the circle. Knocking a surprised Ryuta out of the circle, Kazuki then proceeded to destroy his face. Only a moment later and the inscription circle and the three people standing within it disappeared from the world called earth.
Kazuki’s memory flashed forward again and no matter how hard he tried he could no longer resist the Mind Frey and everything else was put on display. At this point though none of it mattered. Everything he wanted to hide, every secret he wished to remain buried, all of them were seen. In the end, Nearly all of Kazuki’s memories were on display for all to see.
The blue holographic images floating in the air faded and cut out. The Mind Frey fell to the ground before shriveling up into a dried almost mummified husk.
Everyone, every single one of them, whether they were a part of Muteki’s squad or Asuna and the others, they all stared in absolute shock. Especially Asuna and Sam. Sam was filled with hatred and confusion. He felt disgusted and used. He had only decided to leave Tresta because he thought Kazuki was his best friend and he though his friend was in actual trouble. Had he known the truth he would have never followed Kazuki.
Asuna’s entire body trembled. Her emotions were all over the place. Hatred, betrayal, loss, her stomach twisted in knots and she could barely breathe. Danny, on the other hand, began to shout and throw blame.
“I knew it! I Fucking knew it! All this time, I found you suspicious, the way you did things the calm demeanor when you would take life and the way you spoke. The constant lies and lame excuses, again and again, and again. The way you would sometimes act mature beyond your years and the way you knew certain things about this world that we didn’t. This whole time you were an imposter. You were born in this world and raised in it too. Now we know why, now its all become clear. YOU FAKE BASTARD!”
Kazuki shook his head, sorrow filled his voice.
“It…it was the only way.”
Danny was about to pile on some more when Sam began to struggle violently.
He was trying to crawl over to Kazuki, to do god knows what but Muteki walked over and stomped on his back, stilling his movements dominantly.
Asuna as well, her face became hot and she burned with rage.
“All this time you weren’t even real. None of you was. We must all be fools in your eyes. Because of you, all of this happened because of you.”
Asuna lowered her head and whispered.
“Please just take us back already. I…I can’t do this anymore.”
Shin for once in his life was speechless. No thoughts came to his mind and he just stared at Kazuki blankly. This was the biggest twist he had ever experienced in his life and he could even begin to understand how he felt.
Asuna, Sam, Danny and Kimi, all looked at Kazuki with rage. Nunully, Mei and Tsura, on the other hand, felt differently about it. Nunully already knew he was hiding a lot and seeing his traumatic past she felt sympathy for him. To her, he was still the same person, and she understood why he did what he did. Her mother was similar in the fact that Lamia also was seeking out revenge for her husband’s death. All in all, she was still in the same boat even after learning about Kazuki.
She was still at the end of the line and would soon be killed by Muteki. She thought about if she were in Kazuki’s shoes. If her family member was killed, if her mother was killed right in front of her by someone she trusted, Nunully couldn’t imagine any other way to go about life without either getting revenge or die trying. A few tears fell from Nunully’s eyes and she cried for Kazuki. She cried for him and for herself as well, as she felt their fates being locked in place.
There was nothing they could do it was too late. She would never be loved by Kazuki now and she would never be able to see her mother ever again. Nunully cried bitterly into the snow and shut her eyes tightly. All hope was lost.
Mei was confused by everything and more scared than anything else, while Tsura understood Kazuki’s feelings. She and her husband sacrificed just to try and get Mei out of the forest and her husband had ended up dying. She would fight for her child and is her daughter died like Kazuki’s brother did, there’s no way Tsura would stop until those responsible paid with their life. Tsura scooted on her stomach and got close to Mei before whispering into her ear.
“Mei Mei, if you transform, do you think you can break these ropes?”
Little Mei was scared but hearing her mothers whisper a small comfort entered her heart. She felt the ropes in hope but after a quick moment, she shook her head.
“I…I don’t know.”
Tsura whispered to her once more.
“Baby listen to me. Very soon, I want you to try with all your might, I know you can do it. Once you break free, I want you to fly as high as you can and fly as fast as you can far far away.”
Mei didn’t understand what she was talking about.
“But mom what about you?”
Tsura shook her head.
“Don’t think about me, don’t think about anyone but yourself. I want you to fly far away and never come back. You…at least you have to get away.”
Mei began to cry more and more but Tsura reprimanded her.
“Stop that right now and listen to me!”
Mei was frightened by her mom’s angered tone but still, she quieted down into low sobs.
Tsura’s face relaxed and she spoke with affection.
“Little Mei Mei, mommy loves you very very much, with all her heart. No matter where you are or where you go, you must remember that mommy always loved you and I always will. I want you to fly far away and trust no one. Hide someplace and grow and grow and grow until you are the biggest and the strongest. Only then can you roam the skies unimpeded, only then can you truly be free. I want you to promise to me right now, that you’ll listen to me and do as I say.”
Mei continued to sob but she slowly nodded her head.
“Mei Mei, I love you.”
Tsura leaned over and gave Mei a kiss on her forehead before she laid her head down tenderly on Mei’s little shoulder.
The two cried with one another.
Kimi was beyond scared at this moment but seeing Kazuki just laying there in silence, her fury outweighed her fear and she roared at him.