Chapter 4:

04

Extracurriculars 怪獣教師


The vast lands and waters of modern-day Earth are divided into many different regions, and many different sovereignties rule over them. As power is never evenly balanced naturally, there are four major powers that stand above the rest, and that everyone alive knows the names of.Bookmark here

The Nation of Azmarin. Notorious for their country's success coming from their proficiency in trading and negotiations, as well as their abundance of cunning and silver-tongued merchants. Azmarin is the wealthiest nation. Most countries have their own unique currency. If you can think of a country, Azmarin probably has much more of that country's own currency than the actual country does. Being as rich as they are, they are an important player in the world's financial affairs. That includes poking their noses in places they have no business sniffing around.Bookmark here

The Bladeforge nation took nothing in way of creative liberties when naming themselves. While every country has internal manufacturing of weapons, Bladeforge sits atop the throne. They are the world's number one weaponsmiths in both quantity and quality. Bladeforge weapons are known worldwide to be of the highest standard because they set the standard that high for everyone else with their remarkable craftsmanship. Their weapons outperform all other countries' weapons, especially in the small arms category. That's of course not to neglect that Bladeforge also makes weapons colossal enough for global warfare. Point being, they're armed and dangerous.Bookmark here

Kilead is the world's agricultural powerhouse. Just as they are, the nation's lands are always optimal for farming year-round, but the farmers utilize every method they have to maximize the soil's fertility and the product's quality. Kilead may be more rural, and less technologically advanced than the rest of the world, but they wouldn't shy away from building the world's largest computer if it meant the end result was a greater harvest. Kilead is the top export of produce, livestock, meat, flowers, and just about anything that can be naturally grown or raised. When you eat at a restaurant, or you're buying groceries, you can look for a Kilead seal of approval to ensure you're getting the highest grade cuisine.Bookmark here

The Hwen Kingdom is the most advanced of all nations. The Hwen kingdom has probably found the most efficient way to do anything you can think of, except for farming and weapons production. Trying to beat Bladeforge and Kilead at their own games would be like the Hwen kingdom throwing international relations into a blender and setting it on ultra. That's not a stir they want to cause. Education, military power, labor, law enforcement, medicine, and especially technology are all things Hwen is on top of. While you'll see cars, subways, trains, cell towers, and skyscrapers in most countries, you'll see infinitely more of them in Hwen, because that's where all the other countries got them from. Kilead didn't have modern transportation before they made a trade deal with Hwen; they rode horses, which is oddly fitting when one pictures their aesthetic. For someone from an outside nation entering Hwen, they might feel as if they've stepped decades, or even centuries into the future upon their first visit. And fitting for the most electric nation, there's the most electric city- Alryne, the capital of Hwen, and the city in which I live.Bookmark here

Each nation has the things they're good at, and the things they're not. The one thing they have in common, though, is a characteristic that every nation, kingdom, country, province, territory, city, town, and village shares, even all the way down to the level of individual people.Bookmark here

Shady business happening behind the scenes.Bookmark here

Buried crimes waiting to be unearthed.Bookmark here

The underground parts of a society that people aren't supposed to find out about.Bookmark here

Secrets to be taken to the grave.Bookmark here

Things that will be kept quiet at any cost.Bookmark here

Worlds far beyond what you see on the outside.Bookmark here

Both Hwen and Alryne had more than their fair share of them, and I was well aware, not that anyone knew that I was. Especially not my parents. They were the ones whose stuff I always snooped around to figure that things were not as great as they seemed. Cruel human experiments, inhumane military exploits deleted from the records, corrupt officials occupying the nobility and even the royal bloodline, crimes ranging from petty to catastrophic, all of which were overlooked by law enforcement agents who criminals persuaded with the universal language- money. Any bad thing you could think of was going down in Hwen, and anywhere else in the world. It's not that Hwen has an exceptionally high crime rate, though that could be argued, it was just that I had unfortunately found out that the city of Alryne was in the center of much of the 'evil'.Bookmark here

Once I was able to understand the severity of the things I was blind to up until then, I was shocked, sad, and afraid. I eventually accepted these things, because I hadn't actually seen any of them myself, and also because I learned from my mom and dad's files that there were quite a few forces nearby working to fight what each of them thought was 'evil'. I placed my trust and hope in them. I had to. There was nothing that a person like me, who had nothing special about him, could do. I just prayed that the ones who do the real cleanup work from the shadows were even closer than I thought, but not so close that I'd become directly involved with them. I wanted to avoid that at all costs, and I'd been doing a fantastic job at it.Bookmark here

But that ended the day after Ms. Kamiya came over to my house.Bookmark here

That day, after school, in the faculty room.Bookmark here

"I can't believe that. I just don't think that's the case." I explained to Ms. Kamiya.Bookmark here

"There's no other explanation. You were able to make me feel pain, albeit barely. That means you have to be a kaiju." She claimed, which was an accusation I never thought I'd hear. I was reluctant to accept it or even consider it since there was no tangible evidence. If someone just out of nowhere says they think you're a monster, wouldn't you refute it as much as you can, even if they're right?Bookmark here

"I sure don't look like one."Bookmark here

I didn't think I was a kaiju, or a monster of any sort. Even so, I struggled to come up with things I could refute with. Ms. Kamiya's claim was bold if not outrageous, but who's to say she was wrong if I can't prove otherwise?Bookmark here

"I didn't either, did I? You only saw through me once I went in to eat you. That's how kaiju are. Looks can be deceiving. If you're a kaiju, you'll only look like one when you're attacking someone or eating someone."Bookmark here

"I feel no desire to attack or eat. I'd like to think of those as signs enough that I'm human."Bookmark here

Ms. Kamiya started thinking, with her hands on her hips.Bookmark here

"The only other possibility is that you're a caster."Bookmark here

I paused, looked into Ms. Kamiya's eyes, and posed a question.Bookmark here

"The hell is a caster?" I asked.Bookmark here

That's the first I'd heard of the term.Bookmark here

"Caster is a general term for anyone who can use magic. Though casters are rare on their own, they're the most common type out of all the ranked magic users." Ms. Kamiya said, resurfacing even more of the information I gathered from my parent's files. I now had a name for the kind of people mentioned in the files.Bookmark here

Magic exists and nations have figured out how to use it, but the world's powers united to make it as well kept of a secret as possible. I suppose it's partly because such a revelation would cause quite the uproar, but I figured it was so they could limit the people who can use magic to a certain few individuals that are designated by a nation as their 'Dark Ops' team, that would take care of all the dirty work the regular military can't, and anything else a country wanted to be kept under wraps. And I was excruciatingly spot on.Bookmark here

I assumed it wasn't like they were going to kill anyone and everyone who finds out that doesn't need to know, as Ms. Kamiya died in an unrelated accident, but I didn't put it past the authorities to take action should magic become the talk of the town somewhere. After all, there's no point in having a secret weapon if it's not a secret, is there?Bookmark here

The unfortunate thing is that although most people don't know about magic, the ones that do are typically people who even you and I could agree that they shouldn't; Criminals or other underground organizations similar to the ones nations set up as a hidden branch of their military. The difference between these groups is that they're independent and act on their own.Bookmark here

Because what could be more dangerous to an established ruling body than nonconformists with destructive power?Bookmark here

A lot of those people are violent terrorists, so I support the efforts to get those people under control. Some magicians play vigilante and act based on their own ideas of righteousness, and some are even mercenaries who do just about anything for appropriate compensation. But as one would expect, or at least hope, not all of the underground magicians are bad apples. The magicians and groups of magicians that fight organized crime and whatnot from the shadows still existed, even if sparse.Bookmark here

All of this is just what I heard, though. I'd yet to experience any of it firsthand, but that was surely coming. Nevertheless, I had this knowledge.Bookmark here

"But what do to with it?"Bookmark here

"Did you say something, Takuya?"Bookmark here

"Oh, nothing. So, how does someone become a caster?"Bookmark here

"You need the DNA. Either you inherit it from your lineage, or a one in a trillion miracle happens and you turn out to be the first in your bloodline. Of course, how much caster blood you inherit is entirely up to chance. You may end up with very little of it and barely be able to use magic at all, or you may have a lot of it and be incredibly proficient from the get-go."Bookmark here

It was not to my surprise that even magic, a concept already so whimsical and out of reach to the average person, was a factor determined by luck, much like most other things.Bookmark here

"Another problem is that even if you're a naturally gifted caster, there's not much you can do unless you're taught how to hone it, which the resources for are strictly preserved for the nations' governments. If I were a caster, I definitely wouldn't want to work with Hwen's military, but there's not really another way to become stronger as a caster."Bookmark here

I presumed she wouldn't want to work with the Hwen military as she is now, nor associate with the Hwen government at all, nor did I think the Hwen government would be up for working with her. To me, it just seemed like common sense that kaiju would not be welcome company.Bookmark here

"That's the limit of my knowledge about it though. I really wish I could tell you more or help you out, but I can't. Be extra careful- if you do too much digging around, you'll end up with the Sacred Oath in your backyard, or even worse, the casters Hwen keeps secret."Bookmark here

Sacred Oath: Hwen's most elite organization at the very top of their (public) military. Unaffiliated with the nation of Bladefall, despite looking and acting like they are. They use guns but are notorious for using swords, knives, and the like as their preferred weapons in combat. It is the year 20XX and those people can still get away with bringing knives to a gunfight. It's astonishing, and how they do it is just beyond me.Bookmark here

Unsure of what to do next, I hesitated between inviting Ms. Kamiya back to my home, and going home alone. I had eventually settled on the former but was unable to act on my plan, as I heard a loud crash come from the hallway outside the room. Normally I wouldn't involve myself in whatever the commotion was, but I'd have to go into the hallway to leave school anyway, and I didn't want to be there longer than I had to. The best-case scenario was that I walked past the unknown disturbance without causing an incident. What was I capable of doing in the first place?Bookmark here

In the hallway was a boy, unfamiliar since he wasn't in my class (not that I knew anyone in my class), cowering on the floor, back against the wall with his arms out in front of his face.Bookmark here

"P-please stop, I'm sorry..." he said in an overtly timid voice, as he began groveling to the trio of girls standing before him.Bookmark here

"Why should we stop? You're only receiving your punishment for getting in the way of the Zen End."Bookmark here

The Zen End. A trio of delinquents that extort, blackmail, and abuse anyone who they feel arbitrarily inconvenienced by. They get away with it because they're a branch under the all-powerful student council, despite not actually being a part of it. Zen End is an incredibly stupid yet equally fitting name, as anyone who runs into them is sure to realize that any peace, tranquility, and solidarity they had, were having, and were yet to have was already over.Bookmark here

That's the subject matter on which I was informed about after the fact. When I first assessed what I was seeing, it appeared to be three random girls beating on one random guy. That's hardly fair.Bookmark here

Once again, I don't normally interfere in matters like this. In fact, I don't really ever notice them. That's not to say they don't happen, because I had no doubt that they did even before I started noticing them. It's not like the things I don't notice or acknowledge don't happen. How easy would life be though if it worked that way? My attention span for anything other than Ms. Kamiya just happened to be pretty short. I'd like to think that it grew even just a little bit after my feelings were reciprocated. Completely unrelated to that, and for no reason, I decided to try and play the hero. Actually, I did have a reason, although it was a baseless one. The sight of this guy getting ganged up on pissed me off. If I had caster blood as Ms. Kamiya hypothesized, perhaps I could make use of it by throwing myself into a sticky situation. I wasn't sure how aggressive the Zen End would be, so I put up a little act just to be safe. Fake it until you make it, they say. And isn't the imitation just as authentic as the real deal when the imitation tries to be like the real thing more than the real thing tries to be like itself? Maybe not.Bookmark here

"How long do you plan to torture the guy?" I asked, with a fake haughtiness, as I walked closer with a fake arrogance.Bookmark here

"Torture? We've barely laid a finger on him." The girl in the middle exclaimed sarcastically, though she firmly believed in what she had just said. Her perception of torture was off. Or maybe mine was off. Or maybe his was off. It's more likely that they were all off, but there was no one to confirm or deny any of it. Like her, I was confident in my perception- my perception that her perception of torture was skewed beyond recognition. And that my perception was right, at least to me, if not the rest of the world.Bookmark here

Her claim that they barely laid a finger on him was an utter joke. His cheek was grazed open in a manner that could have been easily accomplished by forcefully pressing in sharp fingernails. His face was bruised all over, and he looked like he could no longer stand. There were no objects in sight which could have produced the sound I heard earlier, so the few dots I had to go off of ended up connecting. She, or her goons, must have grasped the guy by the face and slammed him down to the ground, and I deduced that he might have broken a bone or three in the process. But it wasn't really deduction. It was elementary. Anyone could've arrived at the same conclusion. No detours needed.Bookmark here

"Really? Ok. Then, for what reason are you 'punishing' him?" I fervently asked.Bookmark here

"He-"Bookmark here

"Actually, before you continue. If you say that he got in your way, he disturbed you, he bothered you, he was interfering with you, he was disrupting you, or anything similar, I won't accept that as an answer. And I won't be very happy."Bookmark here

"That's- Ugh, do I really need a reason? He looked at me weirdly, so I'm punishing him. It's just my natural right to exercise my power on those beneath me," She said with an authentic boisterousness.Bookmark here

"...I see."Bookmark here

It was the second time I'd experienced that strange unsettling feeling in my heart, but it wasn't the same as the first. This time, I could clearly identify exactly what it was I was feeling- it was anger. I dropped the act. The charade fell, but my emotions did not.Bookmark here

"W-what's happening? What did you do?" She frantically asked. My heartbeat rapidly increased, and my body temperature was rising. I felt like I was about to lose my sense of self, but it was something I decided I could live with, as long as my love for Ms. Kamiya remained, and I was confident that it wouldn't be going anywhere no matter what happened to me. A green and black aura gathered around me, and the hallway started to shake. A flood of memories that were not my own surged into my brain all at once. I swiftly shut my eyes, as seeing them all would be too much to bear. Pain, Sorrow, Anguish, Violence, Aggression, Grief, Death, Wrath, Defeat, Victory, and countless lifetimes' worth of them all struck me at once.Bookmark here

"Ha ha... I really should start paying attention to my surroundings."Bookmark here

"You- you're not... the same person..."Bookmark here

I opened my now feverishly, abysmally black and bright yellow eyes.Bookmark here

"I would've done it sooner if I knew people like you were festering around."Bookmark here

I had absolutely no right to say what I was about to say. An average guy like me, who has nothing in way of what could be considered strength- no reach, no influence, no impact, nothing. Someone like that, who throws himself into harm's way in desperate hopes that something might come of it. Someone like that is just a suicidal pessimist with a glimmer of hope. It felt like I'd lost control of everything. I hadn't, but I chose to let myself go. The Inotani Takuya the world once knew was forever cast into the void, and a new one was taking his place. I walked forward as my new self, who at the time felt like he was only partly me. The tiled hallway floor cracked underneath the places I stepped.Bookmark here

"Let me show you some real power."Bookmark here

----------------------------------------------Bookmark here

"What are you calling me for this early in the morning?"Bookmark here

"Apologies, Mr. Inotani, I forgot about the difference in time zones. I thought you'd like to know that he's fully awakened to his abilities and he's about to wipe the floor with some student council lackeys as we speak."Bookmark here

"Tha- it's good that he's awakened, but don't let him do that! Make sure he doesn't hurt innocent people."Bookmark here

"Oh, but they're far from innocent. I'd even say that those lackeys would've killed the poor soul they were tormenting had Takuya been another second late."Bookmark here

"I told you not to do something, and here you are doing it. I shouldn't be surprised though. Anyway, what side has he awakened to? Caster? Kaiju?"Bookmark here

"I didn't do anything. He did this on his own. But it looks like he's using both at the same time. Dominantly caster, but this surpasses anything I've ever seen. No first-timer would ever be on this level. He might not even be just a caster. This is eons beyond anything a caster could do. This is power that only one chosen by the gods could wield.."Bookmark here

"If it's that severe, do something! It won't be just those lackeys that get obliterated."Bookmark here

"Looks like I have to, otherwise all of Hwen and its neighboring nations are at risk. Don't be shocked if I die, though. This kid is undoubtedly far stronger than I could ever dream to be."Bookmark here

"You're a grown woman, you can figure something out. I knew he'd be strong, but you telling me he's really that strong is incredibly hard to believe."Bookmark here

"Let's hope so, because if not, you and I, along with everyone else in existence, are absolutely fucked. The world will come to an end, and he'll be the gods' problem after that- hold on, there's someone at my door. I need to deal with this, I'll keep you posted. Later." The woman exclaimed as she abruptly hung up the phone. Her focus was shifted toward her unexpected visitor.Bookmark here

"Care to explain?" The person intruding in her office asked.Bookmark here

"Explain what?"Bookmark here

"What's happening on the second floor? Is this your plan? I demand an answer. Every inch of my school must remain under my control."Bookmark here

"Your school? Quite cocky, aren't we, Ms. Student Council President? Last I checked, I'm the head chairwoman."Bookmark here

"This became my school the moment your incompetence ran the academy down the gutter. As such, I demand an answer as to who that boy is and what he's doing."Bookmark here

"If you're looking for an answer, I don't have anything of the sort. Why don't you ask him? I wouldn't recommend that, though. You'll be much safer if you just sit back and watch."Bookmark here

"I can't believe this. This behavior is unbefitting for even an adult woman as crude as yourself. What are you playing at?"Bookmark here

"...Did you really think that you're the only one who can play dirty? It's not like I can't pull strings or make underhanded moves too. In fact, I'm quite confident that I've been managing my pieces in this little game far longer and far better than you have."Bookmark here

"We'll see."Bookmark here

"I'll tell you what. If you can stop him, I'll oblige any one of your requests. But just so you know, he's infinitely stronger than you or any of your underlings. Actually, three of them are probably about to die, so you should get going if you want to stop that, and if you want me to listen to what you have to say."Bookmark here

The student council president rushed out of the chairwoman's office, and the chairwoman put her feet up on her desk. She took a bite from her apple.Bookmark here

"Don't say I didn't warn you."Bookmark here

Bookmarked
You can resume reading from this paragraph.