"So they've found us..." mumbled the man who was watching through the window.
He was wearing a black suit, covering that skinny body of his completely. Those red-colored hairs of him made up most of his facial expression since they were arranged in a long hairstyle.
While watching outside of the building with his Hazel eyes, he tightened those eyes as he felt a surge of anxiety striking him simultaneously.
It seemed his plans didn't go forward as well as what he had imagined. As he was peeking the boy who was inside of the classroom, he didn't stop watching that black crowd of people in the outside.
The death of Mr. Yagami — calculus teacher of Giichi — had provided a great chance for him. It was like a help sent from the Heavens.
—I thought this appearance would buy us some time. Apparently, I was wrong. But how did they find us so quickly? I shouldn't have underestimated them after all.
Those thoughts belonged to Yuma Takahashi, the father of Giichi. That was why the death of Yagami had provided a great opportunity for him to use. He could become close to Giichi as a new teacher and keep up the act. In this way, he would be able to contact his son without letting "them" be aware of it.
However, it didn't advance satisfactorily as they somehow had found him. This knowledge and the sudden appearance of those people — who were dressed in black and waiting for him outside — didn't cause him to feel this much worried. It was their number which made his unease grow higher.
"How am I supposed to deal with all of these priests?" he thought, trying to find a solution.
There was also another reason for choosing this place to save Giichi. He could put pressure on them with having the students there. Therefore, they wouldn't use destructive and massive prayers since it can hurt everyone in this area. There were also many other advantages for him. Those people had to be careful while attacking him; accordingly, they would hold their powers down.
Yuma had anticipated things with considering these two advantages, though still the first one — not attracting the priests' attention — hadn't gone well, so it would be possible for the second part to fail as well. Priests might just ignore everyone and start attacking him with no mercy.
—What should I do?
He had stood behind him, looking at his father happily. Now that Yuma was finally with Giichi, he could never leave him again.
It had been 4 years, living away from his family, from his dear son, from his beautiful wife.
Anyone who knew about Akane's beauty would call Yuma a "foul". Why should he divorce such a goddess and leave her away? Nobody could find an answer. People also knew how much he and his son were close to each other, so it was hard to accept he would someday leave him too.
Nevertheless, he had his reasons behind this. And those reasons were hidden in the depths of his heart. Consequently, he decided to get away and never come back. Any relationship — even the least — with his family could bring problems for them since it was equal with letting Church know about their existence.
— He was a wizard after all —
In the sight of priests, the Wizards were simply evil. There was a long story behind the events which had happened between these two groups — priests and wizards. The priests were the servants of God, as the Wizards were the children of Demon. Dark against light, spell against prayer, God against Devil, they were two enemies in nature. Therefore, the hatred of them toward each other couldn't vanish.
But right then, Yuma wouldn't think about fighting with "priests". All he wanted to do was to protect "Giichi", though it meant ignoring Akane at the same time. He had already decided whom to rescue, his beloved son.
There was no other choice, sometimes it's impossible to save everyone you love and if you hesitate in making your decision, both of them might lose their lives.
Still, had he chosen the best decision? Was it the best move to follow? Choosing this place and time to come, putting the lives of all those students in danger, prefer his son over his wife, was it the right thing to do? Only time could tell this.
Yuma promptly started to turn around from the window and look at the clock. The hour hand was set on 10 as the minute hand could be seen fixed on 12; the second hand's tick sound could also be heard simultaneously.
"It should be time for the start of the classes," Yuma thought, contemplating about his next move, "well, priests haven't attacked yet. It means they are waiting for me to do the first move, huh..."
Suddenly, he felt an enormous presence of energy as the light started to shine through the window and lighten the room. It didn't take long, though the brightness of it was dazzling even in that short time. Even though Yuma's eyes were bothered because of it, it seemed Giichi wasn't giving any attention as though the light is completely invisible for his eyes.
Yuma returned toward the window again, watching through it hastily.
"—A paladin," he apprehensively said, "now I have to deal with that countless priests while fighting with a paladin? Hey hey... you've got to be kidding me."
He unexpectedly heard the sound of ringing — of the school bell — as his face was sweating profusely. One could easily identify the feeling of worry on his face; that was why Giichi instantly responded to it.
"Father, are you alright?"
"Ah, y-yes my son..."
That answer was told in a trembled-tone with apprehension. It would concern Giichi even more than before; Yuma could definitely guess that while looking at him.
It was the time for the students to enter the classroom, becoming ready for another ninety minutes of tedious schooling.
By the time that the first student had decided to step inside, his movements abruptly stopped like everyone else in the school. No motion could be identified by looking at them, as though all of them were dead.
"[Demonic Time] [Stop]"
The tick-tock of the clock couldn't be heard any longer. The silence was dominating the atmosphere of the room as Yuma started to take Giichi's hand.
Time had stopped. The only person who could move was him, Yuma Takahashi. He still had Giichi's hand grabbed by his own, holding it firmly.
That word animated Giichi Takahashi's body, making it able to move, breath, and live again. Unlike everyone else — who weren't able to even budge an inch — Giichi and his dad could move normally in that silence.
"W-what?!" Giichi suddenly breathed, looking so confused.
Yuma was watching him while considering how he — Giichi — would react. His reactions were as to be expected, facing such an incredible thing at once would confuse anyone.
"Let's hurry up," Yuma told in stress, "as I've already said, I will explain everything to you later."
—If I can make it out alive...
He then began to run through the gap between the inert bodies of students while holding Giichi's hand, pondering to find what to do next.
A paladin was waiting for him outside along innumerable priests with immense spiritual powers. It couldn't be worse; all he had predicted came out to be useless. Everything appeared to be much more unbelievable than he had imagined. Even in the worst scenario, nobody would expect this situation.
"No, I shouldn't surrender yet," Yuma thought as he was peeking at Giichi, "if I do, who knows what will happen to him..."
Everywhere was full of inanimate humans, though there was enough distance among them to move through it.
Yuma stopped running all of a sudden, leaning on the wall of the corridor. When he glanced at Giichi, Yuma could say he's deep in thought, though he didn't know what he was thinking at that moment.
♦ ♦ ♦
God was uprising inside of Giichi Takahashi; everything he had experienced would be interpreted as a sign of a power beyond the capabilities of the humanity. And it was what he wanted to know at the first place. God wanted to be God after all, and he wasn't able to assure himself without the required proof.
And there it was, the ultimate sign of his identity. He had been used to be "Giichi Takahashi"; it took a while but it still happened eventually. However, with the appearance of his father, everything was changing quickly.
The reason why God had lost to Giichi Takahashi was this human body and his surroundings. There would also be these emotions which could bind him to his family, his parents. God had been used to fight in a disadvantageous situation, and consequently losing to these circumstances was quite likely.
There had been many maddening happenings that he had faced with. Those two priests could be exampled as one of them.
But now that the most parts of the puzzle had gathered, those events would no longer make him insane. With recoursing to his knowledge as the Lord — which had remained for him — everything sounded understandable.
Wizards, priests, magic, demons, angels, spells, prayers, heavens, all of these concepts existed in his wisdom. Giichi Takahashi had been trying to ignore them and be normal all this time, though God had been struggling to keep his identity.
Now was the chance for God's personality to take over Giichi's characteristics. "His father showing up from nowhere and doing things beyond the power of the humanity" wasn't an everyday event. God had to use this chance to stabilize his character in this world; otherwise, he would become a human entirely.
Incidentally, God didn't intend to ignore his humanity completely. He knew it was impossible as long as he's in this imperfect body, therefore struggling to reach a perfect condition was useless. What his character as God desired was to dominate over the "other" character which belonged to Giichi.
Those were the Lord's thoughts in a situation like that, though Giichi Takahashi would think about something else if he didn't have the knowledge of him. He had questions about his father, but with hearing "I will explain everything to you later" Giichi understood it wasn't the appropriate time to ask questions.
The only thing that God — who precisely understood what was going on — and Giichi — who didn't comprehend anything — had in common was that both of them knew they were in trouble.
Yuma — his father — had leaned on the wall as his face was implying his inconvenience. Suddenly, Yuma's eyes began to change their direction toward Giichi.
A flash of fire instantaneously appeared in the air between him and Yuma. It didn't take a while for it to change to a luxury small card, waggling around itself swiftly.
—So this is magic.
"Take this, there is an address written below it. An old friend of mine lives in here, right in this city. Find him, and give him this card. Tell him your name, he will definitely help you."
"B-but... what are you going to do?" Giichi worriedly asked as he took the floating card.
"Don't worry about me, I will join you later," Yuma gently replied, showing a smile on his face.
Subsequently, Yuma looked at the doorway which was near them and pointed at it.
"Go hide there and wait," Yuma paused, "you will stay there until you hear me saying 'Night Wall', that's when you have to run away with all of your might. Use the back entrance to get away from here and get to that address; alright?"
"Alright, but what about you? Promise me you will be OK."
"I'll try to buy some time for you to escape, but surely I will join you at the end. I'm not planning to die here. Now go an—"
A loud voice stopped him from continuing his words. The main door of the school corridor instantly opened, and a man in cassock clothes walked through it.
"Die wizard!" he shouted, ignoring all of the students in his way, "[Holy Eagle]"
Nothing strange was visible in the sight of Giichi. His instincts expected to see something magical with hearing that phrase, though nothing could be seen. There was also no sound as though nothing had occurred. But with looking at Yuma's face, it was plain to see he is observing "something" in the corridor.
"OK forget about everything I said, just stay close to me!"
After shouting those words hurriedly, Yuma immediately shadowed Giichi with his body as he was staring straight.
Something could be heard, this sound neither belonged to [Holy Eagle] nor [Demonic Eagle]; it was the sound of the students falling on the ground. Now those inanimate bodies were truly "dead".
Something could be seen, it was the shedding blood which had reddened the floor, ceiling, wall, and everywhere with the students' gore. Even the light of the sun had become red by those gores. Time had been stopped for them, though still, their fresh blood seemed so alive.
Something could be smelled; it was the odor of the blood that had been shed. The smell of blood was dominating both Giichi's mind and the atmosphere of the place.
The scene before him was unpleasant and too aggressive. Giichi Takahashi could never watch it without becoming depressed. But what would make it even worse was that he didn't know the cause for this incident.
If it was possible to find a reason for their death, he would be able to lessen his despondency. The problem was there existed nothing in the corridor to shed all of this blood.
By giving more attention to what that priest had said, Giichi thought he might have summoned an invisible creature who did all of this. Still, what about his father? He also did something magical. Did he summon a magical beast which can't be seen too?
Although this thought seemed unthinkable at first, it became more feasible when he was thinking more about it. According to his knowledge as God, extraordinary creatures existed in this world and they were also hidden from the eyes of humanity. So that should be it.
But even if he accepted it, this wouldn't change the fact that all of these lives were taken in the blink of an eye. How can it be? When was it this much easy to die? How much worth is the life of a human? Is it so worthless that it can be taken right away?
These questions struck Giichi Takahashi exactly after seeing those lost lives. There were many other thoughts in his human mind, occurring to him every moment.
—Whose fault is it?
Normally, the person who started all of this — that priest — should be at fault; yet, would any of this happen if his father hadn't chosen this place to fight? Was Yuma responsible for all of these lives? They would have run if he hadn't used that [Demonic Time] magic to stop them all in their place.
Giichi could never accept it; he would never let his father be responsible for this slaughter, thus he tried to think more to reach another person.
Or maybe it was Giichi's fault? If he weren't born at all, nothing like this would happen since his father had done all of these things for him. But was it his choice to be born in this world?
No, he didn't have a say in coming to existence. God was in charge of those kinds of stuff after all. So was it actually God's fault?
Right then God was so weak, limited inside of a faulty body in a world full of imperfections. Now that he came to think about it, all this time world had been without a God. If anything wrong happened, God wouldn't be able to fix it.
Was it God's weakness that let something like this happen? If he were in his past position, he "could" fix this immediately, though this is not an acceptable excuse. In his current condition, he was so weak that he couldn't even see an invisible beast. So, was it God's fault because he was weak?
No, even if he had his powers back, still he "would" never care about such an incident. The humans are so inferior to have the honor to be saved by the merciful hands of God. That's what the Lord thought about these beings.
Consequently, this wasn't God's fault; expecting the Lord to save those lives would be totally void. He was never a person whom you could count on for getting help. Therefore, expecting him to help in such a situation is invalid.
Even if he could find the person at fault, would it bring back those dead lives? It didn't matter whose fault it was since deads were dead; they would never come back to life no matter what. Even if you find the person at fault, they won't come back to life.
As Giichi Takahashi was deep in his own thoughts, he could hear another falling sound. The priest had been defeated. Even though he couldn't see what had killed him, it was plain to understand what was going on — at least for God.
It was then that Giichi Takahashi's eyes involuntary glimpsed those faces. Among all of the dead students in the corridor, he could see it clearly. The faces were in the blood; the hairs were in the blood; his friends were in the blood.
—Noburo... Megumi... Hiroshi... Yumiko... Sakura...
His human mind began to instinctively recall the memories which Giichi Takahashi had with them. It was impossible to feel anything except sorrow, grief, anger, depression, and sadness.
Although the physical state of the corridor contained light of the sun, there wasn't even a little bit of gleam. There just existed gloom and darkness, nothing else than these two.
Giichi Takahashi could no longer think; his mind had become inactive meanwhile. Only his heart was throbbing strongly. It was an effect of being human after all; it couldn't be helped.
"Giichi, hurry up and run. I will try to buy some time."
There was no reply from Giichi, although he started to turn around and go toward the back entrance of the school to do what his father had told him.
Yuma didn't notice his son's face since he had it lowered down. Those black hairs didn't let his expression become obvious. If one saw him in that situation, this person would definitely get shocked by looking at his great sadness.
As Giichi was getting far from Yuma, he could hear some voices from there. His father was staring at his right side and talking with someone there, even though only Yuma Takahashi could be seen by using his human eyes.