"What're you doing this weekend?"
"Staying in my place." With Shin, I wanted to add, but Jae's is already talking again.
"Come on! At least go out once in a while and socialize. Being inside all the time does no good.
Imagine that if you died in there, the only way people would notice is by the smell of your dead corpse.
There's been two thousand plus cases of that all over the country! You don't want to end up like that, right?
" I am amazed by how manages to breathe when his eyes widen, like the image had popped into his head.
"Yeah." He always gets worked up so easily, I thought. And relentless. "What did you mean? 'Yeah', I'm right. Or 'Yeah' you wanted to -"
"You're right, Jae." As badly as I didn't want to exist.. "But I won't die alone. There's still Shin."
"That's not the point!" I could almost see the flames in his eyes. Or more likely, they were just the amber contacts he usually wore. They complemented his bleached tips quite well.
Several rules broken if he were in another school. No set uniforms, less restrictions in choice of wear and we're allowed to use our phones and laptops in class.
A lot of things about this school was different....
"Are you even listening to me?!" Jae's voice pierced my thoughts. "Look! You space out often too! Tell me what I was talking about. Now! Talk!"
"Don't be so mean, Jaybird." An arm snaked around Jae's throat. "How can she talk when you can't keep your beak shut? True yes, Kite?" Her chin comes to rest on Jae's shoulder.
"No need for that, Illya."
She smiled, seeing my disapproval. "You're mean too, Kite." She let go of Jae, letting him breathe the air I didn't think he needed, hooking my arm with hers. "I like that about you."
"Don't block the halls." Mr Asher says as he comes out of the class. "And do try to refrain from public displays of affection, Leah."
Instead of correcting Mr Asher to call her by 'Illya', as she'd brainwashed the rest of us, she said "Will do, sir! See you tomorrow." Tomorrow? It'll be Saturday...
After Mr Asher walked off, Jay, voiced one of my thoughts, daring to ask "You're actually dating a teacher?
" Well, technically he was just a substitute, who was filling in for his aunt, Mrs Drew, while she went on maternal leave.
He recently dropped out of his uni, but with his looks and undeniable charm, most of the students over look that, making heart eyes at him. In Illya's case, it was more predatory.
Sure enough, she said "Hey, gotta catch 'em while they're not hooked." I worried. Ever heard of doe eyes? Illya had them, misleading most people. But really, she's nice.
"Anyways, wanna go kill time?"
"Don't bother. Kieren doesn't want to." Jae answered for me. I nodded in agreement, slipping out of Illya's arms before they squeezed. "I have other things. Sorry."
"Yeah. Like letting her cat eat her remains - Ack!!" Illya had her arm around Jae. "It's fine. Maybe next time."
"Okay. Bye Illya, Jae." I turned, making my way toward the stairwell. "See you, Kite! Happy weekend." Illya calls after me. Jae must've twisted free, as I bounded down the steps.
I hear him saying in his loud voice: "Make sure to enjoy it! Don't stay in -" The abrupt end meant Illya again.
The warm night air greeted me as I walk out of the building. I pass the booth with the newly appointed guard, showing my card.
He approved, jerking his thumb to the gates, and resumed his reading.
Strange how Nyx Academy -which according to the locals' hearsay, for nearly two centuries kept their odd day and night school hours - would need to go through so many guards lately.
That guy was the third or fourth this week.
Stepping across the door frame, I recall what I've heard about the last guy. All the bones in his torso broken.
His bleeding body sprawled just inside the door, as if something crushed him as he tried to escape. Wonder how long the new guy would last.
After Kieren had left, Jae and Illya headed to the arcades. Or, more accurately, Illya dragged Jae there.
The game she was playing was a beloved classic. Pinball. This one was astral themed. Pinging sounds rang from it while Illya played for higher scores.
The large star lit up in flashes of blue and white, declaring Illya's achievement. She pumped her fists, much to Jae's discomfort. "Please let this be the last game.
" The boy never could keep his thoughts to himself.
"Nope." Illya pushed her neon rimmed glasses up, not so subtly showing him a rude sign. Jae was short for Jason after all, also the name of several of Illya's exes.
"Next time I'd have to do better on those group assignments." Jae said aloud. To be fair, in Jae's view, Kieren did offer to help. He did do what he was supposed to do. With assistance.
"You brought this on yourself. You're gonna pay and repent." Illya reminded him, positioning the gun in her arms. She'd decided on a shooting game. "Consider. This. Mercy.
" An infected patient's head blew up in bits with each word. Virtual blood splattered on the screen. "Kite had her own projects to do and you let her help.
Budgie practically shouted at Kite for that."
"They did get the merits anyway. Besides, Beth's a thorny bitch to anyone."
"Got that right." The screen flashed with words, showing the combos Illya made.
"She didn't even thank Kieren in the slightest bit. She just kept mouthing her off. And you saw the look on Kieren's face when we did go to thank her. I hate that.
Like she expected us to be like Beth. What's worse is that I realised that she has helped most of us in class several times before."
The game's timer went out. Beneath Illya's total score, the game presented her achieved rank. 'MD Corpse Killer!' She placed the gun back in the holder.
"That's why you've been nagging Kite, huh? I'll bite."
"Not me, I hope." Jae flinched a little when Illya slung her arm around his shoulders.
"Dunno. Let's ask Kite later."
"Asher not appealing enough?"
Illya held up her phone. "Asher not free enough. He texted that he'd have to go for his first meeting. Says he's gotta make a good impression and needs sleep."
"Doesn't need you." He slipped from her attempted chokehold, laughing. He made it to the end of the street before noticing she hadn't followed him.
He went back, finding her by the noticeboard near the arcade. The board was filled with many kinds of promo flyers, ads and the like.
Illya had ripped one off the board. Jae leaned in. She had chosen their event to do with Kieren. "How bout this for starters?"
"Could be fun." Maybe Kieren would think that too.
Ophelia City. Not a particularly well known city. And like many places, it had it's own tales, lost to the current of time. Supposedly, the land became heard of when an inn had been established.
Next came a town, now a city, named after the woman who built the inn, Ophelia Orven. Little known in life, her death left unsolved, the city prospered under her name.
Decades after her end, a statue was built in her image. The hall it was meant to be in destroyed in a tremor, she now resides in Orven park, surrounded by an arrangement of broken stone beams.
Under the starless sky, three approached her.
"A figure of a dead woman in the shell of a building." One said aloud. He studied her smooth features, running a finger along her jaw line. "Tempting."
"Not to you, of course." His companion's voice came to his left, her head under the stone woman's raised arm.
He took his hand off the statue, and curled the violet ringlets that came loose from his companion's hood around his finger, flicking it. "Of course."
"There's so many here, Zad." She breathed, a cloud escaping her lips. The warm air had suddenly dropped, becoming cold. "Don't get too excited. It's starting to freeze.
" He told her, seeing the polearm she carried glowing faintly. Her powers were strong, but she didn't quite have the same self-control.
The air warmed again, just as their third companion bared it's canines, stiffening on all fours. They're coming, he seemed to say.
The other two understood, standing their ground as he continued to growl. When he had quietened, he pounced.
It seemed like he was jumping pointlessly, but he hit something and sank his claws into it, biting down. A dark mass became visible, inky black fluid flowed from it's wounds.
The hound held on making it for the moment, immobile. The lady moved forward, tapping her polearm on the ground, raising an object in her other hand.
Her polearm glowed again, brighter this time. The hound leapt away as silvery strands appeared, enveloping the black mass. It hissed, it's 'skin' sizzled and boiled.
Zad watched with mild interest, until clawed hands grabbed at him. They manage to scratch his greaves, and the hands burned as it made contact.
Zad assessed the creature in it's bewildered state. A spider - like body with dozens of clawed appendages. No eyes, just a gaping hole where pincers would be.
Four more of them came to it's side. What a kill, Zad thought, unable to hide his grin.
The spider things' presumed leader attacked first. From his greaves, Zad extended his blades, slicing the creature. Bloodless, he noted. The rest followed in the wake of their fallen.
Minutes later, Zad was surrounded by severed appendages and chunks of the spider things' bodies. All bloodless. Useless.
"Not your luck this time Zad." His cousin walked toward him. She held her hand for him to see the three marbles. She had captured two more while he dealt with the spiders.
He'd see what she caught when she presents them later. She pocketed the marbles, looking at her cousin's work.
"Well, they're all yours, Albinus." Zad told the hound. Albinus accepted. Some of the appendages twitched even as the hound helped himself.
Would've been nice to take them in to study, she thought, though she knew the bloodless were worth nothing.