Simple and straightforward my ass. The moment the exam started, we were teleported to different locations and my surroundings changed to a mountainous landscape. I was by myself and the first examiner I saw was Choko. A couple of students ambushed her simultaneously, but she gracefully was blocking their attacks one after the other. I decided to watch them from afar.
“Lahan. Oh warri'r, protecteth and guideth those who is't disbelieve.”
A golden light escaped Choko’s eyes and mouth. The sky turned black, and a crack appeared. A giant golden hand came down like lightning and grabbed her. Slowly, a head and body were emerging as well. It had eight white wings and its face was upside down. Choko was lifted up and was standing on its hand. With a clap of her hands, the sky lit up with millions of stars. And they were all coming down towards us. Like small missiles, they were hitting the trembling ground. My mouth dropped open and I turned hard and ran the opposite direction. No way in hell was I fighting that thing. And didn’t she say protect and guide? How is that protecting and guiding anyone? She once did mention to me that her Paroxys is officially classified as a weapon of mass destruction and can only be used in the case of emergencies. But this was too ridiculous. I passed by the examiner called Nishi Sachie as well who was wrestling a buffed-out grandmother. It only took me one look and I refused to get involved in that too.
I hadn’t called Xykoss out as of yet. I was saving up my energy and after I observed each examiner, except for that creep, I would decide my strategy and attack. No other students could be seen, and it had been a while since I heard any noise coming from my proximate surrounding either. You could see from miles away that Choko was still going crazy with her Paroxys. The scenery suddenly changed to a rainforest before my eyes. Did I get teleported somewhere else? Or was only the scenery changing after a while?
A shudder went up my spine. It was the creepy voice that belonged to that creepy man. I alarmed looked around but couldn’t see him anywhere. Should I bring out Xykoss? But Yu told me not to engage him no matter what. And on top of that he also told me not to show him my Paroxys. I felt a presence behind me and ducked, to then low kick whoever it was. He had tried grabbing me by my head. My kick was easily dodged by him jumping into the air. I supported my body by placing both of my hands on the ground and quickly kicked upwards. He blocked with his arm and took a step back.
“Oh, I really don’t want to get dirty. I have a date after the exam is over.”
He patted his trench coat to get rid of any dust and dirt. His voice was really irritating me. I felt disorientated.
“Now it’s my turn.”
He whispered. I would lie if I would say that I wasn’t scared or nervous. Kawaguchi Hibiki was the man Yu was not able to defeat. No matter how many times he had tried. And I was not even close enough to win against Yu. He walked closer to me.
“If you would be nice enough to not move, I would greatly appreciate that.”
His words echoed in my head again, but it was different this time. I heard my heartbeat for a last time and then it vanished. Actually, all and every sound around me had vanished. I felt like a statue. My body would not move. He was getting closer and closer. And after seconds, he was standing right in front of me. He was hovering above me and looked even more threatening now that he was up close. Just him standing, and not doing anything was giving me goosebumps.
“Sorry, but I need you to lay down for me.”
He placed his index finger on my forehead. With a light push, I lost my balance and toppled over. There was nothing that I could do to stop him. My voice had vanished too. He then decided to sit on my stomach. His feet were on my wrists to keep me from moving.
“Usually, women sit on top of me and not the other way around.”
My right eye started twitching.
“Moriuchi Ayumi, let’s have a talk.”
I inhaled deeply.
“Get off me you pervert!”
My voice had suddenly returned. I was surprised.
“Is that what Yu told you about me? That I’m a pervert? I might be one, but I have never cheated on my partner. Though my relationships don’t usually last very long. I admit that.”
“What the hell are you talking about?”
He extended his arm, and his fingers touched my black tensha earring.
“Tell me what else Yu told you about me?”
I swallowed hard.
“That you’re a murderer. Specifically, a serial killer. You were rotting in prison when our principal bailed you out.”
“That hurts. Yu could have used nicer words. Just to be clear, I don’t think I’m a bad guy. I got rid of some scum that I thought didn’t deserve to be alive. What’s the big deal?”
“You clearly have a screw loose.”
He laughed out loud.
“I think he forgot to mention the most important part about me. I love to fight. The stronger my enemy, the more excited I get. There are not many people in this world who can give me that pleasure. Jun and Yu are some of the exceptions. That’s why I love them. Now, I was wondering if you could become an exception too. You have been training with Yu, haven’t you? Show me the luscious fruit of your hard work.”
I turned my head sideways.
“No. I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
I was trying my best to pretend that I wasn’t bothered by him the slightest. He took out his mobile phone and started showing me pictures. They were pictures of me and Yu and how we were training together. My mouth dropped open.
“You both look cute together. Are you going out?”
“Where the hell did you get them from? Don’t tell me that you’re a stalker too? Ah, why am I asking? You probably hundred percent are.”
“I asked someone to take them for me. And they did.”
For some reason a picture of Toshiko flashed before my eyes. I let out a sigh.
“Also, it seems like you’re slightly taller than Yu. I should inform him the next time I see him.”
“You better not. He’ll get upset and will probably take it out on me.”
He laughed again.
“You really are amusing. Moriuchi Ayumi, tell me. Is every life worth saving?”
I looked at him confused. Was that supposed to be a serious question?
“Of course. I don’t think we are in any position of deciding if one can live or not.”
“But what if you can save several lives by ending that one life? I mean think about it logically. If you kill a serial killer or arsonist, you’re going to save people, aren’t you? Because you broke the cycle. The legal system is too flawed. You can’t trust those rich pigs. Don’t you think it’s weird that ever so often criminals walk free even though they have committed several or very severe offenses?”
I made my hands into fists.
“Are you talking about yourself?”
His face looked surprised. I had enough of him. He was annoying.
“Xykoss. Devour those who stand in thy way.”
The black light engulfed us both.
He quickly got of me and moved further away. If he hadn’t, Xykoss’ claw would have ripped him apart. I stood up.
“Please don’t rip my clothes. I told you, I have a date after all of this is over. I just came here to have some fun with you.”
I decided to attack him to get away from him. But within a split second he was already behind me.
“Tell me, Moiruchi Ayumi. Is sound or lightning faster?”
I had trained enough with Yu to get accustomed to superhuman speed. Also, I really wanted to try out my new skill. My left eye was covered in a black shadow and a red light was piercing through. It was the eye of Xykoss that I was borrowing to see my enemy’s moves clear as the sky.
I was already in the air above him. My body spun twice, and I came down on him with a heavy kick thanks to the support from Xykoss. Yu warned me not to hold back. Every examiner has a golden badge. They were easily capable of holding their own against us. The ground cracked and a small crater was formed. I took that opportunity and ran as fast as I could. Luck was on my side and the scenery changed before he could catch up to me. I figured that every time the landscape changes, we get teleported to another location. My legs sunk into a deep layer of snow. It was freezing cold. I looked around and saw someone sitting on a rock. It was an examiner. If I remembered correctly, her name was Uehara Yuzuki. She had noticed my sudden presence.
“Give me your jacket.”
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