Chapter 66:

Volume 3: Chapter 1: Preparation - Part 2

Nephalem


July 7th. Monday. It had been about six weeks since Jacob had nearly been killed by Gabriel, one of Heaven’s archangels. That was six weeks since they had participated in the Sports Festival for Saitama Private Academy.


In some ways, nothing had changed since Jacob’s fight with Gabriel. In other ways, everything had changed.


Summer would be starting soon. They were thirteen days from summer vacation. Already the days had become almost unbearably hot. Even with their summer uniforms on, Alicia felt like she was sweating up a storm as she sat at her desk, fanning herself.


I wish I could use magic to cool myself off.


It was unfortunate, but ice magic wasn’t her forte, and in fact, she would even go so far as to say she was atrocious at it. Any devil who wanted to use ice magic needed to be trained in using the elements for it, water and wind. If a devil didn’t have the aptitude for a certain element, then they would need to train themselves in that elements use, or they wouldn’t be able to use it.


Alicia was a Bael. Her clan was well-known for their Powers of the King, the incredibly destructive energy that, in the right circumstances, could destroy mountains with ease. As a Bael, she couldn’t use any element. The Powers of the King smothered any potential with other types of magic that she may have had.


'Ugh… if I was like Kanna, I could have used ice magic to cool myself off.'


She wasn’t the only one complaining about the summer heat as, all around her, students of both genders whined about how hot it was. The only person who wasn’t whining was Jacob. He sat at his desk, chin set on the butt of his hand as he stared out the window, his brows furrowed in contemplation.


“What are you thinking about?” she asked.


Jacob blinked, which she only saw in the window’s reflection, and then turned to her. He smiled.


“I was just thinking about the award our class is being offered,” he said.


“You mean the summer trip to Okinawa?” She asked for clarification.


He nodded. “That’s the one.”


Their class had won at the Sports Festival, and so they’d been given the prize for winning first place, a week long trip to a hot spring resort by the beach in Okinawa. Alicia had looked up the place they would be going to on the internet. Having never visited Okinawa, she’d been wondering if all the anime she watched had accurately depicted the prefecture of Okinawa, which was comprised of over 150 small islands in the East China Sea between Taiwan and Japan’s mainland.


“Let me guess…” Alicia placed the elbow of her right arm on the table, and then set her cheek in her right hand as she stared at him. “… you’re wondering if they’ll even allow you to go, right?”


“Well… yes.”


With a shake of her head, Alicia gave him an indulgent smile. “I thought we’d been over this. They can’t stop you from going, especially now since they’ve made all those changes.”


Several new rules had been instituted in Saitama Private Academy, or rather, some of the rules that, up until now, had not been upheld—at least, in regards to Jacob—were now being strictly reinforced. The bullying rule was one. Anyone caught bullying was suspended for a week. If they were caught a second time, they would be expelled.


The ringleader of the people who bullied Jacob was someone who’d been expelled.


“I know,” Jacob said, looking away. Was he blushing? “I guess it’s just kind of hard to accept, you know? I mean, I’ve never been allowed to go on a school trip before.”


“Well, you’re going on this one,” Alicia said. “And you’re going to enjoy it.”


Smiling at her, Jacob said, “Yes, ma’am.”


The words made her smile.


Jacob was a Nephalem, a being born from the union between an angel and a devil. His very presence made the hairs on her neck stand on end. This was despite how important Jacob was to her.


Humans, even ones who didn’t practice magic, were capable of feeling this to some extent, and it made them wary. Nephalem had a long history of being mistreated by humans because of this. Of course, Nephalem were so rare that there were no recorded documents about them.


Jacob, for the entirety of his life, had been mistreated by humans. He’d been abandoned as a child. From what Alicia knew, he was kicked out of his orphanage when he was barely old enough to speak. He had traveled across Japan for years, doing whatever he needed to survive, until about four years ago or so when he was discovered by Azazel, the leader of the Grigori.


Alicia never asked Jacob about his past. Everything she knew was what she had inferred from his actions.


Until several weeks ago, Jacob had accepted any abuse people had given him. He would let them shove his head down toilets, he wouldn’t fight when they tried to beat him up, he never stood up for himself. It had driven Alicia mad when she found out. She’d been even more upset when she had discovered the graffiti that people would leave on his desk and inside of his shoe locker.


It hadn’t been until after Gabriel nearly killed him that this changed.


Alicia could still remember the conversation they’d had, how she had told him that he was important to her, so he had to stand up for himself from now on. She had made him promise. Even now, to this day, remembering what had happened still embarrassed her.


Of course, the reason for her embarrassment didn’t stem from the conversation.


It stemmed from the fact that this conversation had happened while they were in the shower.


On the advice of Matilda and one of Alicia’s favorite anime, she had gone into Jacob’s shower while he was bathing and offered to wash his back. It hadn’t quite turned out the way she expected. Even so, the incident had culminated in Jacob promising to place more importance on himself, so she couldn’t complain.


'However…'


Alicia’s face still burned when she remembered how she had pushed her breasts against his back. The feeling of her nipples, hardened into points as they rubbed against Jacob’s skin, was still fresh on her mind. Sensations like electric currents raced through her breasts whenever she recalled what happened.


'Speaking of breasts…'


Alicia looked down at hers.


'They’ve gotten bigger.'


Her bra felt tight. It was uncomfortable and made breathing hard. She would have to get a new one.


'This sucks.'


These were bras that she’d bought several months ago, back when she had first arrived in Saitama Prefecture. Jacob had lent her money to buy clothes. She had dragged him shopping with her that time, though she hadn’t forced him into the lingerie section when she was choosing bras. Now it looked like she was going to have to go shopping again.


'I wonder…'


Alicia looked at Jacob again. However, before she could finish her thought, the door opened and in walked Ms. Kotomine Kanzaki.


Kotomine Kanzaki, the homeroom teacher, was a woman of slightly below average height for a Japanese woman. Her long brown hair and doe-like brown eyes made her look sort of like a child. Alicia wasn’t fooled. This woman wasn’t someone to be trifled with. There were rumors that she’d put a boy in the hospital for disrespecting her.


A girl at the front of the classroom stood up. Her mousy hair and glasses gave her the appearance of a quiet girl who spent all her time in the library. Alicia thought her name was Urihara Kohaku.


“Rise. Bow. Sit.”


Every followed Urihara’s instructions. However, Ms. Kanzaki waved them off.


“Sit down, everyone. We’ve got a lot to cover today, and I’d rather we just get started.”


As the sound of chairs scraping against the floor echoed around the room, Ms. Kanzaki grabbed a marker and began writing on the dry erase board.


“Next Monday we’re leaving for a five-day field trip to Okinawa, where we’ll be staying in the renowned Hotel Orion Motobu Resort and Spa.” Ms. Kanzaki would have probably said more, but a great cheer went up at her announcement. Alicia watched the large vain that appeared on the teacher’s forehead throb. “Shut up, you brats! For the love of God, do you want me to pound your asses into grass!!”


Everyone settled down. Ms. Kanzaki waited to see if anyone would be stupid enough to speak again. When no one said anything, she huffed and went back to the chalkboard.


“There are some things that you all need to bring,” she continued. “Toiletries will be provided by the resort, but you’ll probably want to pack your own if you have a preference. You’ll also want to bring your swimsuits for when we go to the beach, along with several spare changes of clothes. Now before any of you get too excited, there are some rules about what kind of swimsuits you girls can wear.” A chorus of groans made the homeroom teacher snap again. “Shut up! Thanks to all that damn anime brats like you have been watching, we’ve been forced to implement these new swimsuit rules, and you will obey them!”


Alicia wanted to frown at the words “damn anime.” As a rather big fan of anime, and in particular the genre that Ms. Kanzaki was no doubt speaking of, she took serious offense to those words. She didn’t say anything. However, it was a near thing. Her mouth was halfway opened before she stopped herself.


'Still, even with the new rules in place, I’m sure I can get something cute.'


While the rules made it so people couldn’t buy swimsuits with cuts that were considered too immodest or erotic, it didn’t mean people couldn’t buy a good swimsuit. Bikinis were still allowed.


'I should ask Jacob if he would like to come with me to buy a swimsuit.'


She was sure he wouldn’t refuse. He might be embarrassed at first, but he’d gone shopping with her before. Besides, it had been weeks since they had gone out together, and they could do more than just shop for swimwear. It could be like a date!



'A date?'


Alicia blinked at her own thoughts, the word date echoing in her mind.


She and Jacob hadn’t really gone on a date before. However, Jacob had gone on a date with Gabriel, which still bothered her. It would be nice if they could go on a date. That said, if they did go on a date, should she consider it a date date, like the kind couples went on, or just a playdate between friends.


Alicia was still unsure about her own feelings, about whether Jacob was just someone she liked as a friend or something more. She didn’t know. He was important to her. Alicia had admitted that she didn’t want to live without him anymore, but she just didn’t know what that meant. She didn’t understand what it meant to love someone.


As the daughter of King Bael, Alicia had never been allowed to date anyone. This was further compounded by the fact that she’d been engaged before the attack on her home by Belial. The engagement had been something of a long-standing contract between the Bael Clan and Paimon Clan. She didn’t know much about it. The marriage contract was only activated because the Paimon Clan’s heir was male and she was female.


It would be nice if she went on a real date. When all was said and done, Alicia was still a young woman who dreamed of ordinary things that young women did. She wanted to find love and go on dates, have fateful encounters and meet that perfect boyfriend.


Compounded on those desires was her love for anime, particularly the harem genre. She wanted to reenact scenes from those anime. It was half the reason she’d walked in on Jacob while he was showering twice.


As Ms. Kanzaki continued, someone knocked on their door. The teacher frowned. She wandered to the door and opened it, blinking as someone from the other side handed her something. Alicia also looked. A hand the color of dusk retracted to the other side. Ms. Kanzaki read the note she’d been given, and then sighed.


She walked back to the front.


“Okay class, before we go any further, I have an announcement to make.” She cleared her throat. “It seems we have a new student who will be attending class with all of you.”


Her words caused a smattering of conversation to break out amongst the student body.


“A new student?”


“You mean we’re getting another one after Alicia?”


“I hope it’s a hot chick!”


“I hope it’s a cute guy!”


Alicia almost smiled at the tacky dialogue. This conversation was exactly like the kinds she had seen in her anime!


“All right, you,” Ms. Kanzaki gestured at the open door. “Come on in and introduce yourself.”


Whatever joy she felt left as the person on the other end walked in. Skin the color of dusk created an exotic contrast with the porcelain skin of everyone else. Dark hair framed a face that could have only been described as cute. Small button nose. Yellow eyes. She wasn’t wearing her usual made uniform, but the short skirt and white sailor fuku uniform fit her just as well. Her body was slight, not just small, but also lithe, making her reminiscent of a cat. Speaking of, even without her feline features, Alicia would have recognized this girl anywhere.


What’s Yūgure doing here?!


Yūgure stood in front of the class, hands clasped behind her back as she bowed. The class broke into whispers.


“Whoa… a dark-skinned girl.”


“She’s so cute!”


“I’d tap that.”


“Ew! Gross. Go be a Lolicon on your own time, you sicko!”


Alicia frowned at Yūgure, who should have been with Matilda, learning how to be a maid. She then looked at Jacob. He looked as shocked as she felt.


So, he didn’t know about this either.


That was reassuring, though she didn’t know why.


“This is Yūgure,” Ms. Kanzaki said. “I hope you’ll treat her well. Yūgure, why don’t you introduce yourself?”


Yūgure stared at Ms. Kanzaki, who stared back. Several seconds passed. Nothing happened.
“Oi! Are you gonna introduce yourself or not?!” shouted Ms. Kanzaki.


Lips twitching into an almost imperceptible frown, Yūgure grabbed a marker and wrote something on the board. She stepped back.


I can’t talk, was what she had written.


“I see.” Ms. Kanzaki sighed and rubbed her head. It looked like she was getting a headache. “In that case, why don’t you just sit in that empty seat over there?”


The homeroom teacher gestured to one of the only two empty seats. Alicia had noted it was the one furthest from Jacob.


Yūgure also noticed this. She looked at the place Ms. Kanzaki gestured to, then at the one next to Jacob. Without bothering to even look at the teacher, she made a beeline for the seat in front of Jacob, sitting down and looking at him.


“I didn’t know you were going to attend school with us, Yūgure,” Jacob said.


Yūgure held up a spiral bound notebook. There must have been writing in it. Alicia couldn’t see what was written, though.


“I see. So, this is a part of your training.”


Yūgure brought the notepad back down, scribbled on it with a pen she had pulled from somewhere, and held it up for Jacob again.


“Ah,” he said. “Yeah, that makes sense.”


The strange conversation between the two caused everyone to break out into whispers again. As the rumor mill quickly filled with outrageous and sometimes downright stupid ideas, Alicia glared at Yūgure.


She didn’t know what this girl was doing in their class, but she was going to find out.


*********************************************************


Part 2 of chapter 1 is here! I'm sure you've all noticed the difference in perspective. I'm telling this part from Alicia's perspective. The reason is to add more depth to the world by presenting it through the eyes of another character. I also wanted to add a different type of perspective. When viewed from the perspective of Jacob, the story is told in 1st person. When viewed through anyone else, it's 3rd person. I did this because I wanted the main character to have a different POV than everyone else. This also further reinforces the fact that Jacob is the protagonist.


Anyway, that's all for today. Please tell me what you thought, don't forget to like this chapter, and share it with your friends if you're feeling generous. Thank you for reading!
(^-^)