Chapter 7:

Backtrack Pt.2

Lights Off

Elai: 20 years ? This is impossible! Didn't you meet his father or something?

John: No, I personally investigated him, he has no family or people close to him, even his highest-ranking employees don't know much about him.

Elai: Even though he's mysterious that doesn't explain the fact that he hasn't changed in 20 years

Elai: It's impossible for someone close to 70 to look like they're close to 50 without using beauty products

John: I know souns unbelievable, but I believe he is much older than that.

Elai: How is that possible?

John: So far what I have are just theories, his clothes and way of acting give a lot about his origins

John: If I'm correct he must be over 100 years old.

Elai: Over 100 years old? Did occultists discover the fountain of youth or something?

John: The story is much more macabre than that

John: There are stories very well hidden in our world that tell of a miraculous substance that allows youth to be kept forever

Elai: I think I heard something about when I was watching a conspiracy theory video

John: Stories say that this substance is produced in the human body through extreme fear.

John: But not just any kind of fear, but the absolute dread that can only be obtained when someone is about to die

Instantly I remembered what Adam did to me and Annie

Elai: Do you think he was trying to get this substance from me and Annie?

John: It's a possibility

John: But the amount a person can produce of this substance is extremely low.

John: It's horrible to think how many people he must have killed all these years to keep his youth

I hated Adam before, now I saw no difference between him and a demon, if he is indeed as old as Father John thinks, imagine how much he took advantage of the wars and conflicts of this century and the last century

Elai: And do you believe in your heart that you can convince a monster like that to just give up going over your church?

John: I can't do it alone but with God's help I have faith that I can do it.

Elai: I don't think faith alone can help you in this situation

John: God's love can save even the most damned of souls as long as that soul accepts it

Elai: I sincerely hope you are right, it would be frustrating for a team to lose its leader early on in battle.

John: I appreciate your confidence

Elai: So... I think it's time for me to prepare too

Elai: I'm still upset about almost losing to the anteater demon, who's taking care of the weaponry?

John: Klovis is assembling makeshift weapons from what he finds in the church, you should talk to him

Elai: Right, by the way what is Klovis like?

John: You will definitely know who he is once you see him

Joseph didn't go into much detail about what the people he saved were like, but he told me how big Klovis was as a closet, I thought he was overreacting because of his personality

"If you'll excuse me, I'll be on my way" I got up and walked out the door

John: When you have some free time you can use the bathroom in the back to take a shower and change your clothes.

I think that was the way he managed to tell me I was looking like a beggar without being rude

So I left Father John's office and went to the most obvious place where Klovis could be

When I got to the altar I could see the church completely and a short time later I could see a giant man in front of a small group.

He was teaching them some self defense techniques using the improvised weapons

"Wait... Is that Emilya?" she was in the middle of the group looking intently at the teachings of Klovis

I walked up to the group and by default everyone there suddenly quieted down

Emilya: Seriously guys, if you make that face every time a stranger shows up at our church it's going to get a bad reputation

Klovis: And one of the main stars of the church finally joins us

Elai: What?

Klovis: No need to be shy! You've made the news since Lunna walked in carrying you through the door.

Klovis: Plus this short one here talks about you and this Annie in a way...

Emilya blushed in a way that anyone there would have guessed she would burn inside with embarrassment.

Klovis: Haha! No need to be embarrassed girl

Klovis: Anyway... Lunna told me about the mess you made just now and honestly I was curious to know how you fight

Elai: What do you mean by that?

Klovis: Let's fight now

Everyone there synchronously said "what?" in amazement at Klovis' unexpected invitation

Klovis: Relax, it's going to be friendly combat, we'll still be fighting our enemies in a few hours

Elai: I'm not a fighter! All I did was use RPG strategies and pray not to die

Klovis: What?!? It's impossible for a novice to have managed to survive like that just using game strategies

Klovis: Are you embarrassed to show yourself

Elai: No no! I already said that...

Klovis: En garde!

Klovis then made a quick lunge taking me completely by surprise, he moved forward giving me a front kick, although he is much taller than me he was very fast

I flew straight to the ground, I was getting annoyed at how many times I had been knocked down and been in a shitty state in such a short time.

I punched the ground frustrated by my weakness and then I got up in anger

“Emilya! Can you heal me if I get hurt?” I looked seriously at Emilya and she replied in a shy way that she could

“Okay, you're the teacher here aren't you? You will teach me in practice how to defend myself” I was not understanding myself at the time, in other circumstances I would have been avoiding direct combat, but now I challenged an experienced guy much bigger than me to duel

Klovis: Oh! I liked that look! Well, I will make a point of doing a good job with you in these few hours we have

"Stand your guard" he ordered like an army general

I in response just raised my arms

"You call it combat stance you brat!" he screamed furiously

"First you have to position your legs, try to repeat what I'm going to do" he then slowly spread his legs a little so I could understand, and I tried to mirror his movement

"A little more out or someone can trip you like that" he then kicked my legs causing me to lose my balance and fall back to the ground

“Get up man! Do you think they'll wait for you to recover?”

I then got up again ignoring the pain of falling to the floor again, the church floor was made of solid wood but my clothes even though in a bad state still served to cushion a little.

"That! Anyway, now let's try again!” he then ordered me to repeat the same combat pose and again kicked my legs but this time i didn't fall but staggered for 3 to 4 steps

In the meantime I could see that the whole church was watching us carefully.

“Pay attention to me! I am your opponent now!” he yelled calling my attention

“Periodically observe the environment around you but don't forget about the enemy you're facing, as well as being a dishonor to your opponent, it could end up killing you for receiving an unprepared blow”

"Raise your fists like this" he showed me how I should raise fists

"Remember - if, the power of your punches mainly comes from your legs and torso"

"If you do everything right, your punch should be something like this" he then punched the air directly, you could feel the power of his blow just by looking

He left me practicing the same move for about 2 minutes until he gave me more instructions

Klovis: I think you've got the hang of the bare minimum to fight decently, let's level it up, hit me right here

He then pointed to his abdomen and encouraged me to hit him with full force a punch

I then threw the hardest punch I could even hesitantly, but to my misfortune it was like hitting a wall, I felt a pain like I had broken my hand

“That hurts doesn't it? That's because I worked my muscles well and I'm wearing a vest" he looked at me sarcastically

Klovis: This always happens to newbies, they never hit something solid and end up getting hurt when they try

Klovis: Healer Girl, Heal Only His Hand

Emilya: I said you can call me Emilya

Emilya then healed my hand and the pain in my arm disappeared completely

Klovis: You won't always get help like that, always clench your fist as hard as you can and never bend it while throwing a punch

Klovis: Your fists are like spears, don't forget that

Klovis: We're out of time, so let's move on to defensive and counter-attacking training.

Klovis: Raise your guard again

And then I raised my guard

Klovis: Yeah, now put your chin down, remember to keep your chin covered unless you're taunting your opponent

Elai: I understand

Klovis: Now attack me again

Once again I went all over him, but this time I made sure to close my hand as tightly as possible before throwing a punch.

This time instead of receiving the punch he parried with one arm opening my guard and with his free hand punched me straight in the face

I gave a howl of pain as I stumbled backwards with one hand over my face feeling the blood trickle down my nose.

Emilya: Mr. Robinson, don't you think you're pushing him hard?

Klovis: Of course I am! We don't have a month to train

Klovis: But don't worry I can control my strength

Klovis: In case you have any doubts, in your friend's current state I would be able to crack his skull like a car crash without any problem.

Klovis: Anyway, if you're done screaming in pain, think about how I hit you and then come back and hit me again

I spent a little time thinking until Klovis advanced on me again

"Your time is up" he said giving me various punches, they felt like hammering and were only hitting my upper body

“Don't close your eyes! Keep your focus on me” he said as I backed away little by little until he pushed me to the ground again.

Klovis: Healer! Your turn

Emilya: I already said that... Oh forget it

Emilya then healed me from the most serious injuries and so we continued

Klovis: Boy, you're not going to become a great fighter today, but if you make it to the end of this class without giving up, you'll be able to learn on your own how to improve.

Elai: Motivational speech? Now ?

Elai: Whatever! I've never taken so many blows in my life as in these last 24 hours, come-on  professor!

I remained motivated to fight Klovis for another 30 minutes, it was obvious he was taking it easy on me while I was concentrating.

The whole church looked like an audience of a street fight, maybe if they were more daring they would start betting

After 30 minutes Emilya had already healed me more than 10 times and on the eleventh something happened

Her gaze drifted away for a moment and she got dizzy and almost fell to the ground, but I was able to catch her in time.

Elai: That was close... Are you okay?

Emilya: Y-Yes, it was just a slight dizziness

Klovis: I'm sorry healer, I should have asked if you were alright

Emily: N-No need to worry about me, I'm fine already

That was unexpected, it wasn't like I believed the “magic” she was doing was infinite but that somehow could mean that if they overreacted it would be the healers themselves.

Elai: I think you should rest

Emilya: No need to worry about me, I'm fine already

John: Go rest Emilya, that's an order

Elai and Emilya: Father John?!?

Emilya then let go of me, dusted off her clothes and walked to the back of the church.

Elai: How long have you been here?

John: Not long ago... I was starting to find the silence of the church strange.

Elai: I think I got carried away by the excitement

Little by little, the members of the church returned to their normal activities.

Elai: I forgot Klovis, you're the one taking care of the weapons aren't you?

Klovis: Yes, do you need some?

Elai: Yes, I plan to go back to the club soon and I want to be well prepared.

Klovis then ordered the other members of the defense group to get back to their lives and the two of us headed towards a side exit of the church.

We got to Lunna's car again and I got my stuff from the backseat.

As soon as Klovis saw my scythe his eyes sparkled like those of a child getting a candy

Klovis: Curious toy you're holding, may I have a look?

As soon as I handed over the scythe he started to analyze it like an expert.

Klovis: Hmm... It's a little heavy for it's size, what's it made of?

Elai: No idea, I don't know where “demonic metal” would fit on the periodic table

Klovis: Demonic metal?

Elai: Yes, I did it while I was trying to survive a demon with a goat's head

Elai: I modified it as soon as I arrived at the Taylor house so I could at least lift it off the ground

Klovis: Interesting, that explains the deplorable state it's in

He then starts to rehearse some blows in the air and little by little he seems to be adapting to the scythe

Klovis: I'm curious how you managed to survive with this scythe that doesn't cut

Elai: What do you mean it doesn't cut?

Klovis: Look at the state of it, your hands must already be in a bad state just from shaking it

Elai: This scythe is the perfect example of “don't judge the book by its cover”

Elai: Hit anything with it

Klovis looked around looking for something to hit until he found a tree nearby

Klovis: So you're saying that this sickle-shaped piece of iron cuts something?

Elai: Yes

Then Klovis hits the tree with all his strength and the scythe goes through it as if it were made of Styrofoam leaving a thin trail of fire wherever it went.

Klovis: I've never seen anything like this in my life

Klovis: Boy! Do you know where I can get a sickle like that?

Elai: So... As I said I got it near my building while I was fighting, I already consider it a great luck that I got this one.

Elai: It's been more than 12 hours, but there may be the possibility that no one has shown up to get a scythe

Klovis: So what are we waiting for? Let's go there!

Klovis then calls Lunna to drive the car, before she comes I grabbed my backpack again and heard a strange sound

Elai: Hmm... What is this?

It was then that I remembered the bottles I had taken from the house

Elai: Ahh shit!

All were broken with the exception of one

Klovis: How much glass is that? Are you a garbage man or something?

Elai: I had the idea to put holy water in these bottles like a game I saw once

Klovis: It's not a bad idea, but there's only one left

Klovis: Let's make it worth it

Klovis: Let's do something better than just add water

Elai: What are you planning to do?

Klovis: Have you ever heard of Molotov?

Lunna: Molotov? I love these things

Klovis: There is the queen of flames

Klovis: She once on a mission burned down an entire apartment using hot oil and water.

Lunna: So what are we planning to burn this time?

Elai: A succubus and maybe her master together

Luna: Oh! Glad we left the church, you know I'm pretty superstitious so I think talking about murder in a church can have consequences

Klovis: But in theory, hasn't the church been doing this for over 2,000 years?

We 3 were silent for a while

Lunna: Anyway... I know a great mix to make a good Molotov

Lunna: But it takes a while for the ingredients to react and take effect

Elai: Isn't Molotov made with gasoline and motor oil?

Klovis: Don't disrespect the queen

Lunna: Mine are made with a recipe that I keep under 7 keys and I don't intend to reveal to anyone

Klovis: Before you make your artwork, I have to ask you a favor

Lunna: Are you asking me for favors?

Klovis: I need to go to the boy's building to see if there's a scythe like that over there

Lunna: I knew you would be interested in this thing, deal done

Lunna: But you Elai will stay here

Elai: You two don't even know where I live

Lunna: We spend a lot of time with your friends, we're good at getting information

Lunna: Also, you reek of sweat, dust and alcohol

Lunna: You'll only get in my car again when you don't look like a homeless man who survived a fire

After that the 2 got in the car and quickly left for my building

Elai: She's right, I should take a shower and change my clothes

Klovis Robinson's point of view

Klovis: How long until we reach our destination?

Luna: 2 minutes

Lunna ran through the streets as if she had grown up in them, as much as we've known each other for a long time, her precision in curves still impressed me

It was still a little hard to get used to the darkness of the sky, remembering the face Stevan made as he ran to warn us makes me laugh so far

I didn't have time to distract myself, those demons were really ugly and there was a small horde blocking the passage just ahead

Klovis: What are you going to do Lunna?

Lunna: Isn't it obvious? I will go over them

Klovis: Have you forgotten what happened last time?

Luna: This time it will be different

She so instead of swerving or braking she accelerated more and more, I totally trusted her abilities but I still had doubts about what could happen.

As soon as we passed the first demon a blue flame started to take over the car and we went straight through the horde like a blue comet that annihilated everything in its path

The 2 of us couldn't contain our happiness and we started celebrating like it was the championship final

Klovis: How did you do that Lunna?

Lunna: I saw what that water did to our blades so I asked the priest to bless the entire car

Klovis: Great! Let's do this on the way back too

Luna: But of course we will

After that it didn't take long to reach Elai's building

You couldn't go wrong, it was a big building with a collapsed part

Lunna then stopped in a safe place and I went down to look for a scythe, that's when I smelled a strong smell of corpses

When I looked where the smell was coming from I saw a creature cut in two on the ground rotting and next to it a nailed scythe

Klovis: You've made a big mess here Elai, you're so lucky and you don't even notice

Klovis: Hmm... If I remember correctly there should be 5 demons around here but I only see 4

Klovis: That shouldn't be my problem for now

"If you've found what you were looking for, let's not waste any more time here" Lunna then yelled from inside the car

I took the scythe and to no surprise it was as heavy as Elai's

"I'll take your head to decorate" I took the opportunity to test the scythe and cut off the head of the demon Elai killed and went to the car

Luna: This is disgusting

Klovis: This should look great as a decoration

We discussed a little bit about the head's appearance until some demons showed up

Klovis: Am I allowed to enjoy myself Captain?

Luna: You have 2 minutes! Don't forget we have a war ahead

I ran among them like a child in the crazy playground to try out the new toys

The scythe was heavy but I accepted the challenge to wield it, the angle the blade was at was horrible, great precision was required for the blows to take effect and this was already bothering me a lot

Who knew that the boy in the decision to modify the weapon to adapt to it would be so right

Little by little the number of demons was decreasing, in fact with a special weapon the situation almost became common

I must have counted something like 30 demons that I managed to kill, compared to the number that me, Lunna and Stevan killed together that was impressive

Lunna: Your time is up Klovis! Let's get out of here

Klovis: Yes ma'am!

Elai Rivers point of view

As soon as I entered the church I looked for something to put the broken glass that was in my backpack and as soon as I found it I went to a church room where there were showers

Arriving there I saw the door half open so I thought there was no one there, it was common to find lights on for obvious reasons so I went in without knocking on the door

As soon as I opened the door I was startled. I saw firsthand Emilya finishing changing clothes

As soon as she saw me she instantly covered herself and squealed in embarrassment

I feared some kind of misunderstanding so I left the room and closed the door

"When you finish changing let me know" I spoke in a normal tone and after a while she said I could come in

We look at each other with an awkward silence

Emilya: So... You won't apologize?

Elai: And why should I?

Emilya: You entered a room without warning when there was a lady changing her clothes

Elai: It's not my fault you didn't close the door properly

Emilya: That was rude Elai, you shouldn't treat girls like that

Elai: The last girl I saw didn't care if I saw her naked

Emilya then turned red with embarrassment and covered herself again with her arms

Elai: No need to be ashamed, you have nothing I haven't seen before

Emilya: You are a wanton Elai

Emilya: Your body should only belong to God the person you marry

Elai: Whatever, I only saw you and your scars, you don't have to pay so much attention to it

Emilya: So... Did you see them?

Emilya looked really sad to hear that I saw her scars

She had scars on her back and arms that looked like they had been made with some object like a whip.

Elai: Yes, I saw them clearly

Elai: You don't need to tell me their story, but just answer me one thing

Elai: Who made you those scars is in the church?

Emilya: No

I didn't know much about Emilya but I felt that in the short time we've known each other was enough for me to want to protect her

Emilya: Elai can I ask you something?

Elai: What is it?

Emilya: Don't tell anyone what you saw now

Elai: What?

Emilya: Please, with the exception of my parents only you know my scars

Elai: Aah! Okay, but we're still going to talk about it.

Emilya then ran and gave me a tight hug without even realizing it, I hesitated to hug her back because I was filthy but I relented and hugged her

Emilya: You stink...

Elai: Yeah I know, but it was you who came to hug me

Emilya: I didn't get a chance to tell you this but I was very happy to hear that you were fine after the sect.

It had been a while since someone hugged me like that, it reminded me of the time when my grandmother was alive

Her hug was good, I wanted to stay there longer but I couldn't

Elai: Emilya, your new clothes will get dirty if you keep hugging me for too long

Emily: It's true

She then released me and took some dust off her clothes.

Elai: By the way shouldn't you be resting?

Emilya: I have good stamina, don't worry about me

Elai: If you say then I'll take a shower

And then I went into the bathroom alone

As soon as I looked in the mirror I could see the state I was in, when Lunna said I looked like a beggar who survived a fire she wasn't kidding

I looked at myself in the mirror for anything that could have been stuck in me but I only found slight slight bruises

I got in the shower and after a while I started to get distracted in my thoughts

A big battle was coming, and I had already chosen which side I would stand on, I couldn't help but think about the fact that I left Annie and Carmen alone in that house... Soon I would be back and I could stop the two of them from get into trouble

Problems... How could I get so many problems in such a short time... Not so long ago my only problems were about work and what to eat

I was taken out of my thoughts when I heard a distant car sound arriving at the church

I was sure it was Lunna and Klovis who had just arrived, that meant they came back safe from their trip, Lunna really drive like a devil

I finished the shower and changed into my new clothes, as soon as I left the bathroom I saw Emilya lying in the corner of the room sleeping

Elai: Good stamina? I see how you have

She looked calm, without all that energy she usually has while awake, I couldn't help but be worried about her

I turned off the lights in the room and left her inside to rest and went looking for Lunna and Klovis

In the runners I saw Dorothea on her way to do something, as soon as she saw me we walked towards each other saying nothing

It looked like a old west scene where 2 rivals face each other waiting for an opportunity to shoot

“When this is all over I want you to never speak to Joseph again” she said as we crossed paths

If Joseph wasn't one of my best friends I would start an argument right there, but I had more important things to do than argue with her, so I just ignored her like she hadn't said anything

Arriving outside again I saw Lunna and Klovis struggling to get a cut in the handle of his newly acquired scythe

"Boy! Come here" he shouted from afar as soon as he saw me

As soon as I got closer he asked me what kind of black magic I had used to cut that hard wood on the handle.

I explained to him that I got it just using the scythe itself and that apparently demonic objects interacted with each other like normal objects

He opened a cut in the handle and placed the blade of the scythe vertically in it and then tied it tightly, turning the scythe into a heavy spear.

He then distanced himself and began to test his new invention in the air, his blows were precise and clean, his firmness made it seem like the weapon didn't have a third of the weight

Lunna: Watch out or you'll start drooling looking at him like that

Elai: Oh no, I'm just amazed at how he ignores the weight of that scythe

Lunna: This is nothing to him, you should see what he did in Osaka last year

Elai: Osaka you mean in Japan?

Luna: That's right

Elai: This is far from here, you must be very rich to be able to travel like this

Lunna: As soon as we have some time off I'll tell you some work stories

Klovis: The 3 things the captain is best at

Klovis: Drive, burning things and telling a good story

Elai: Is she that good?

Klovis: Is she good? she is the best i know

Klovis: Once in Monaco she told such a good story that she got her full Mustang armor paid for by the moguls there.

Elai: Is it serious?

Klovis: Of course not

Klovis: She did worse, she got everyone there to believe she was the owner of the event, even the owner of the event believed she had taken possession of his event and then she demanded a big buck to "give it back" to him

Lunna: It's not my fault that only few people are good with their tongue the way I am

Lunna: But enough talking for now, I'm dying to make a Molotov that burns even a succubus!