Chapter 5:

Meanwhile at church

Lights Off

A few moments before Joseph pulled Emily into the church

Joseph Taylor point of view

Emilya: Dance class? But what kind of excuse is...

I pulled Emilya to the side of the church and slammed the door shut making everyone there look at us.

We were extremely embarrassed, it was clearly visible Emilya's face getting redder and redder

Emilya: Why did you pull me inside?

Emilya: Let me out!

Joseph: Eh... I can't

Emilya: Why can't you?

I was nervous, I couldn't keep eye contact with her, she was looking at me angrily, she reminded me of my mother

Joseph: Eh... Father John is calling you

Emilya: That's a lie! You're hiding something and I'll find out

Then Father John appears at the altar

John: What a racket this is! I thought the demons managed to get into the church

Joseph and Emily: Pardon Father John

John: Let's go to my room

I spent the whole way wondering how mad Emily was at me. I always watched her from afar, her behavior in church was impeccable to the point that I never heard Father John raise his voice to her

Arriving in the room, Father John asked us to sit on the chairs and soon after he joined us

Emily and I were with our heads bowed waiting for the priest to give us a punishment but what he did was just look at us with a calm expression

John: Explain the fuss you made

Emilya: I was talking to the new friends I made outside and then Mr Taylor came out saying that Mr Father was calling me

Emilya: I invited the 2 to join us at the church but they had a place to go

Emilya: When I questioned them where they would go in this whole situation, Mr Taylor intervened and like a caveman pulled me into the church with a futile justification

Joseph: I apologize Miss Rose... I was nervous, I acted without thinking

Emilya: And why were you nervous?

I couldn't think of a suitable response for Emilya until the priest raised her hand in a sign of enough.

John: Miss Walker and Mr. Rivers are on a special mission for our church

Emilya: Mission? What kind of mission?

John: At the moment I can't reveal it to you

Emilya: What?!?

Emilya: Sorry for raising my voice

Emilya: Why can't you speak to me?

Emilya: With all due respect, I am the closest person to you in the church.

Emilya: Whenever I can I help with church activities

Emilya: Tell me why you trust Mr Taylor more than me?

Father John let out the air knowing the storm he would have to deal with

John: Ah... In fact but this is an odd situation.

John: The fact that Mr. Taylor knows what this is about is a fluke of fate

John: If it wasn't for the information he gave me this mission wouldn't exist

Emilya then looked at me as if I had just taken something precious from her

John: Miss Rose I have a request to make you

Emilya: Yes sir! Anything!

John: I will have to take time off from my activities for today and I would like to ask you to replace me

Emilya's eyes shone like two emeralds as the priest made his order.

Emilya: Is this serious?

John: Of course! When you're free I want you to help me with the research

Emilya: Right! I won't let you down! If you give me the license, I have to prepare the materials for the mass.

Emilya got up from her chair and quickly left the room.

A few moments passed in silence

John: Mr Taylor

Joseph: Yes?

John: I would like to ask you how you feel about all this

John: 2 of your friends are currently going into the darkness

Joseph: I must tell you that it's not pleasant

Joseph: I haven't even dealt with the alley situation and then my best friends are going to a hornet's nest and I can't do anything

John: I see...

John: How did you meet? If I may comment, the 2 are not what I would expect from your friends.

Joseph: What do you mean?

John: Your parents from what I could see are quite demanding, judging by the style of your friends I doubt they would even consider the option of allowing you to attend the same environment as the 2

Joseph: I see what you mean

Joseph: I ask you to keep a secret from my parents about what I'm going to tell you

John: You can trust me

Joseph: As you can imagine, my parents are very demanding

Joseph: They always watch everything I do so that “bad influences” don't get to me

Joseph: The only place I was free of their surveillance was at school

Joseph: Since I was a child I was in a highly restrictive school, depending on how we looked at our fellows we suffered punishment

John: Hmmm... The way you refer to school... Did you happen to go to White Rose High School?

Joseph: Yes! You know ?

John: I never went there in person but many of the people who come to confess to me studied there.

John: Miss Rose's family has been running the school for generations

Joseph: Are you saying that Emilya is director Rose's daughter?

John: Exactly

Joseph: Ah... Now I understand her obsession with the church

John: Hm?

Joseph: If the principal was extremely strict with the students at the school, I imagine how much she must have suffered having the principal as a mother

John: I don't reveal confession secrets but they keep under wraps that a son of the White family ran away from home and never returned

Joseph: This is horrible

Joseph: What happened to him?

John: What I learned about him was that he became a Death Metal guitarist but ended up dying a short time ago saving a girl from getting hit by a truck.

Joseph: Wow...

John: I'm sorry to interrupt you

John: Can you continue the story

Joseph: Where did I stop... Oh yeah

Joseph: The only ones who had a little more freedom in there were the supervisors and those who offered to take care of the school.

Joseph: I saw it as one of the few opportunities to be really free, even for a miserable time.

Joseph: One day while I was organizing the computer room I saw one of the students in the corner playing RPG on a computer

John: RPG?

Joseph: RPG is an acronym for "Role Playing Game"

Joseph: In short they are games that portray another reality where you are free to choose how your “Avatar” will be and how it will interact with the world

John: Fascinating, I remember hearing something like but other than computers people played together at a table

Joseph: Yes yes... They're called tabletop RPG

Joseph: Moving on...

Joseph: I couldn't contain my curiosity to watch that student play, when he noticed he instantly closed the game window and opened a window with a church article

Joseph: So it went on for a few days, I was starting to do my activities faster to see him play

Joseph: One day he got tired and asked me to play with him

Joseph: I didn't understand anything about how the game worked but he explained everything he knew to me.

Joseph: He even managed to add me to his guild

John: Guild?

Joseph: Guilds are like an organization that comes together to help each other in the game.

John: Like a gang?

Joseph: Eh... I would cite the church as an example but a gang also fits the requirements

Joseph: Anyway... One day a new player joined the guild, that was Elai

Joseph: We quickly became friends, he was of a higher level than me and my veteran friend.

Joseph: We had similar schedules available, we never asked about each other's personal lives, what mattered was the day's adventures

Joseph: Annie joined us later

Joseph: Unlike us, Annie seemed to have nothing else to do if she didn't play that game

Joseph: She quickly surpassed the 2 of us but continued to always play with us

Joseph: There came a time when the game didn't present any more challenges, she just showed up to talk to us

Joseph: It didn't take long for that student to leave school for reasons I don't know, so Elai and Annie became my only friends

Joseph: My exemplary behavior started to be noticed by everyone at school, I performed the tasks better and faster than everyone there, I ended up getting my cell phone thanks to the contribution I made to the school

John: This is great

Joseph: Yes but what I didn't know is that with the cell phone it would be easier for the director to ask me for more and more works

Joseph: With that my time was decreasing and I disappeared from the game

Joseph: I passed my contact on to Elai and he made a group for the 3 of us

Joseph: He said he had moved to our town and that's when Annie and I found out that we live close to each other.

Joseph: So we saw each other in person in the time I had free instead of playing

John: It's a fascinating story you told me

John: I just have one more question

John: Did Miss Walker ever invite you to join the occult group?

Joseph: No. We never hid our faith, to be honest I think if it weren't for Elai me and Annie would never be friends

John: Now I understand how you 3 became friends

John: I imagine you must be waiting for news about them

Joseph: You're right

John: Help me with the polls while we don't get any news

And then we started reading some books from Father John's library in search of information that could be useful in fighting demons.

Little by little I began to convince myself that nothing there would be of use to me until I remembered the prayer that Father John prayed to heal me

Joseph: Father John

John: Yes?

Joseph: Do you remember the prayer you said to heal me?

John: Yes I remember

Joseph: How did you discover its effect?

John: I was performing a ceremony when darkness came

John: Everyone who was present started to get tense

John: So the idea came to me to recite this old prayer in an ancient language

John: Amazingly when I finished reciting this prayer the pain I had felt in my back for a long time ceased

Joseph: I understand why I don't recognize this language

I learned Latin and Hebrew at White Rose school, we even had lessons in basic Greek but nothing was comparable to the language the Father recited.

Joseph: Does this language have a name?

John: I believe her official name has been lost in history but the name "Tongue of  Angels" has become popular

Joseph: Tongue of angels?

Joseph: Do you have any documents in that language?

John: No, my knowledge of this language is limited

John: What I learned was from a wandering exorcist I knew a long time ago

John: He told me that was restricted knowledge.

John: Outside the Vatican only few people know this language

Joseph: A few like how many?

John: He said at most about 100

Joseph: Wow! And how did you manage to convince him to teach you that language?

John: We all have secrets boy forgive me but this one I can't share

Joseph: Oh! sorry for asking

John: No need to apologize

Joseph: Did he teach any prayers besides the healing prayer?

Father John was thinking for a while until he remembered something

John: I remember he taught me a prayer of blessing

John: But he said I should save it for an emergency situation

John: I think now is a good time to test this prayer

John: Joseph, can you go to the kitchen and get a glass of water please?

Joseph: Yes

I was on my way to the kitchen when I ran into Emilya on the way.

She was just finishing preparing for the afternoon Mass celebration.

Emilya: Wow, you finally left Father John's room

Joseph: He is in need of a glass of water

I walked away ashamed to look at Emilya

Emily: Mr Taylor!

I turned to her afraid she would scold me

Joseph: Y-Yes ma'am!

Emilya: I would like to apologize for what happened before...

Joseph: No need to apologize... I was wrong

Emilya: Accept my apologies!

Joseph: No! You accept my apologies!

We continued this looping for a while until we felt we were being watched

So we stopped the discussion and each went their own way.

Arriving in the kitchen, my parents were finishing washing the dishes and I went to get the water for Father John

Carlos: Joseph!

Joseph: Yes sir

Carlos: Looks like you and Miss Rose are getting pretty close

Joseph: N-no... It's not what you're thinking...

Carlos: I hope you don't get frustrated

I didn't understand what my father meant at that time so I just got the water and went back to Father John's room

On the way I got a message from Elai

3:06PM Elai: Guys you need to see this! :D

3:06PM Elai: *Video

"Hmm... A video of Elai after he went out with Annie?" I was really curious to know what the video was about

When I opened the video I saw Carmen with 18 cigarettes in her mouth as she lit them all at once

Joseph: Wait! Can Carmen smoke?

Joseph: Where is Annie?

Before I could ask myself how they got to this situation, Carmem inhaled all the cigarettes at once until there was nothing left.

She looked like a cartoon character the way she inflated herself

Funnier than seeing her like this was to see all that smoke expelling

"That was epic!" Elai screamed while coughing and fanning the smoke, Carmen also looked very cheerful as she bounced.

I watched the video a few more times barely able to hold back my laughter until I remembered that I still had to bring the water to Father John

I returned to the room faster than before fearing a warning or even punishment from the priest

Once there I opened the door slowly so as not to make any noise, and then I saw Father John listening to an audio on his cell phone

Before I could say anything the priest saw me and made a sign to silence

I joined his side so I could also hear the audio

When I arrived I finally realized that it was not an audio but a call that was on speakerphone

There was a man speaking, something like an emperor or a general, he was excited about the current situation in our world

I realized that this was the occult sect that Elai and Annie were, so I assumed that the cell phone that was making the call was Elai's.

I didn't have time to think correctly when the leader openly shouted that they were going to orchestrate an attack on our church.

"Oh my God!" I held my mouth to muffle her sound, receiving such news left me surprised but Father John's expression didn't seem to have changed

The leader then announced that the attack would take place in 12 hours and that the servants must tame a demon in order to proceed with the attack.

And then he saluted the devil and his subjects repeated

“You 2 and the sheep come with me” The leader said to Annie and Elai, shortly after the call ended

I was distressed by the current situation, Father John noticed and then told me to calm down

I didn't pay attention when he said it for the first time so he punched the table making me have a big scare and so I calmed down

John: We must stay calm!

John: We still have half a day to prepare for their attack

Joseph: What do you think we should do?

John: First we must evaluate our options

John: I would have no problem evacuating all of our faithful and letting them take over the church.

John: But that would be too risky... Many of us wouldn't be able to defend ourselves and the closest church to us is an hour's walk

Joseph: Should we surrender to them?

John: Of course not! To surrender to them would be like denying our Christian nature

I've never seen the priest change his tone like that

Joseph: I'm sorry to say that...

John: Don't worry

John: Did you bring the water I asked for?

Joseph: Yes! Here it is

Father John took the water and closed his eyes for a moment, he looked very focused, he looked like he was blessing the water.

"I hope I did everything right" he then opens his eyes and pours the water on his desk while making a thoughtful face

Joseph: Is there something wrong sir?

John: I'm thinking about how to test if my blessing worked but I don't feel right to ask any of you to go out there.

John: I'll have to go there myself

Joseph: We don't need to go outside

John: What?

Joseph: Elai gave me parts of the first demon he killed to defend ourselves

John: Great! And where are they?

Joseph: They are in my backpack

I had taken my backpack off my back and left it in the kitchen to get more comfortable and then left the room quickly to get it

I was able to quickly spy Emilya leading the mass as I came back

When I got to the room again I took the claws out of my backpack and gave it to Father John

He looked at them as if analyzing them

John: Alright let's start the test

He then asked me to hold the glass while he turned the table to serve as a shield

"Is this necessary?" I asked him thinking he was exaggerating

"We don't know what to expect from the reaction, you must have learned to protect yourself from possible accidents in chemistry class, right?" he said as he positioned a claw slightly away from the table.

So we hide behind the table with the cup

John: Are you ready?

I agreed with him even though I was scared

After a count to 3 the priest threw a part of the water over the claw

The claw then started to catch fire, the fire was a bluish hue and no smoke came out of it, the water was not enough to burn the claw entirely but it corroded a large part of it

"Fascinating!" The priest seemed very happy with the effect of the water he blessed

John: The experiment was a success

John: Joseph, go to Emilya and tell her to come to my office as soon as she has some free time.

I left the room and went to the altar, Emilya was finishing reading the verse of the day

I approached her politely and said quietly, "Miss Emilya, Father John told you to come to his office as soon as you have some free time"

She could barely contain her smile after hearing the message but she remained focused on doing the ceremony.

As soon as I got back to the living room I heard low sounds like distant shots

Father John and I went to the windows to check what had happened

We saw a sturdy car parked in a distant place while there were two people defending themselves from a horde of lesser demons.

Joseph: We have to help them

John: Get the water and go ahead while I get help

Before leaving the room Father John whistled to get my attention and then threw a baseball bat for me to pick up.

I looked at him without understanding anything

“Don't just stand there! They need help urgently!” the priest yelled taking me out of my distraction

I left through the church's side exit and ran until I got very close without the demons noticing me

“Come on Joseph! You don't have time to stand still” I said to myself as I took courage

At that moment I imagined what it would be like if it were Elai and Annie in my place

I couldn't stay in the shadow of the 2 forever, they had made a lot of progress since darkness came.

Conveniently I found a plastic bottle on the floor trampled on so I put the water in it so I could use the bat with both hands.

"It's now or never Joseph" I whispered to myself before running and throwing the glass to hit a demon that was near the people in the car.

To my bad luck I put a lot of force in my pitch so the cup ended up hitting the rear window of the car, but that caught the attention of some demons

I ran out screaming towards the first demon that was in front of me and hit his head with the bat using all my strength.

The bat broke entirely in my hand while the demon didn't seem to have taken any damage

"Oh shit!" I spoke as I ran desperately to get out of reach of the raging demons

I instantly regretted hitting that demon however I ran faster than all of them, maybe out of desperation

In the midst of despair I thought about throwing my water on the demons but I thought it would be a waste so the idea came to me to use my water on what was left of the bat

I used some of the water and tried to hit one of them with the piece of wood, it didn't work like plain water but it was enough to hurt the demon

I managed to push them away for a while but it didn't take long for the demons to regain their courage

Then someone managed to get to where I was and fend off the demons using brute force

He was a taller man than me, appeared to be about 30 years old and was bald

"Boy! Run" he then pulled me while there were 2 more in front of us who started shooting to distract the demons

"How did you manage to hurt them?" he asked while pulling me

"I used the water from my bottle on this piece of wood and it seems to have worked"

"Give me the water" he reached out to get the water

I gave the bottle to him and he pulled a giant knife I don't know where and wet it with all the water

I was about to reprimand him for using water like that until he stabbed a demon in the head

His head started to burn like the claw and then the man kicked the demon to take the knife out of his skull

"Show time!" he then yelled and started to turn the tables in our favor

The other 2 stopped shooting and started walking away

"That's enough Klovis, we have to find a safe place" the woman from the trio yelled to the man with the knife

She was a blonde woman, appeared to be about 28 years old as well as being in good physical shape.

Klovis: Let me have some more fun Captain

"Negative!" She then said in an orderly tone

Before the man with the knife could stop “having fun” some church members along with Father John arrived at the scene.

They were fending off the horde with sticks and stones but it had no effect

“It looks like there's no way captain, we'll have to take care of it right here” a man in a cap said to his captain

“Aaah! How can you call me captain if you don't respect my orders! Whatever! I would hate to have to leave the car behind"

"Boy! How did you get this water?" the captain asked me and I pointed to Father John

A few moments later the captain told the church people to stop helping and then joined the man with the knife.

Before the game was turning in our favor but now we were having a landslide victory

A few moments later the man in the cap sat beside me

"They are good right?" he looked at me smiling

He looked younger than the 2, he was redheaded and had a scar on his nose

“My name is Stevan Silva, nice to meet you”

Joseph: Joseph Taylor

Stevan: You showed a lot of courage now boy, congratulations

Joseph: Thank you

Joseph: Hmm... Won't you join them?

Stevan: I don't do well with knives I think you already noticed, I would be in the way

Little by little the other 2 were eliminating all the remaining demons, making way for the car that had a flat tire

The men who came from the church promptly went to push the car, the 2 soldiers tried to help but were prevented

It was like a matter of honor as they couldn't do much

We arrived at the church and I was greeted with my parents hugging me as if they hadn't seen me in years

Dorothea: Joseph why did you go there alone? you could have been hurt

Joseph: We didn't have time, it was an emergency situation.

Dorothea: From now on you won't leave my side

Stevan: Sorry to intrude ma'am but if it wasn't for your son we might not be in such good condition

Dorothea: And who are you?

Stevan: My name is Stevan Silva, I'm my team's sniper

Dorothea: Team? Which team?

Stevan: You can say that we are a specialized cleaning team.

Stevan: The big bald guy is Klovis Robinson, he takes care of the heavy cleaning

Stevan: I take care of the most difficult dirt to find, the one that is often far away or hidden

Stevan: And the beautiful blonde over there talking to our priest is Captain Lunna Victoria

Stevan: There's nothing in this world that she doesn't know how to drive

My parents weren't out there to see the damage those 3 did so for me it was absurdly easy to understand the metaphor that Stevan was using

I think he would tell my parents what they really do but he must have understood that not everyone there would be ready to embrace who he really was

After a few minutes of conversation Father John called the 3 to his room

Emilya ended the celebration and soon after she came to talk to me

Emily: hello hero

Joseph: Hmm... Are you talking about me?

Emilya: Of course I'm talking about you

Joseph: But I'm not a hero

Emilya: Look at this, you barely received the title of hero and is already being humble as a hero would be

Joseph: But I don't... Oh I can't convince you otherwise can I?

Emilya: No hihihi

Emilya: So... how does it feel?

Joseph: What do you mean?

Emilya: How does it feel to save someone?

Joseph: I think this is the first time I stop to think about it

Joseph: Saving someone with my own effort...

Joseph: It feels good

Joseph: The feeling that all your effort was worth it

Emilya: It must be amazing what you're feeling right now, I'm even jealous

Joseph: What? Envy ? But that's a sin!

Emilya: Not that kind of envy you fool! I also want to save people

Joseph: But you're already doing it and in a better way than I am

Emilya: What do you mean?

Joseph: Look at all these people

Joseph: Father John cannot fulfill his activities but you managed

Joseph: Imagine how many of these people you saved from despair in that time

Emilya was thoughtful for a while

Emilya: You are right

Emilya: But don't think I'm going to stop there!

Emilya: I will become the greatest savior of this church

Emilya: No! I'm going to become the greatest savior in this city, or better in the entire state!

My words lit Emilya's competitive flame, she reminded me a little of Annie being determined that way.

Annie... Elai... With all this mess I had forgotten about them

I was ready to send a message to Elai but Father John called Emilya and I into his room.

The 2 of us entered the room and all 3 of the team were also in it.

John: Emilya

Emilya: Yes sir!

John: I have something to tell you

John: First of all congratulations on the celebrated mass

Emilya: Thank you! I said I wouldn't let you down again

John: Secondly, I have very bad news to tell you.

And then Father John told Emilya about Elai and Annie and about the attack that was planned to take place.

Emilya: But this is horrible! What are we going to do ?

John: Joseph and I were starting preparations while you were holding mass.

John: Now that you are finished I would like to ask you to help us with the preparations

Emilya: Yes sir! whatever you need

John: This team has agreed for us to help defend the church as a reward for Joseph's favor.

John: So if I'm allowed to be a little old-fashioned I officially name you the Clark Church Special Team!