Chapter 7:

Chapter 7

Toaru Kagaku no Magician

Ishiki struggled, trying to get loose, but the fabric wouldn't tear where the metal darts stuck him to the ground. His movements became more and more violent until finally, he heard the right sleeve of his shirt tearing slightly at the spot where the metal needle was stuck.Bookmark here

Shirai's fingers were only six centimeters from his face, inching closer. If he wanted to stop the girl from using her Teleport to pull him out of the gym, leaving him at the mercy of at least two dozen Anti-Skill soldiers, he had to act fast.Bookmark here

He could set fire to the oxygen above him, forcing Shirai to retreat, and perhaps causing severe burns to her hand. Or he could even freeze the entire gym again, this time along with the girls who were there, and give him plenty of time to break free and run away.Bookmark here

However, he also did not want to risk seriously hurting anyone who was not part of Skill-Out. To him, it was morally wrong to directly hurt people unrelated to his interrogations, and it was absolutely stupid, a very irresponsible thing to even consider directly attacking Judgment's people.Bookmark here

But... what if Shirai thought he was about to hurt someone?Bookmark here

Now that the girl's fingers were four centimeters from him, he had no time to waste. Taking advantage of the small space between his left leg and the metal dart that pinned his pants to the floor, he gave a very light kick to the ground.Bookmark here

However, the small vibration caused was enough for Ishiki, using Base Alter, to amplify it greatly. The earth shook violently, cracking slightly, as if it were an earthquake of level 6.2 on the Richter Scale. The walls of the gymnasium cracked, and debris fell from the ceiling. Even the main building of Kurumizawa Academy, where the teachers' lounge and most of the classrooms were located, suffered some damage. Glass was shattered, blackboards were broken, and light bulbs were blown out.Bookmark here

The darts holding Ishiki to the ground loosened due to the cracks in the floor. Shirai overlooked it, however, as she had turned and was watching the scene above, on the ceiling that covered her companions. Several pieces of it had been loosened by the earthquake and were falling straight towards the girls still hiding behind the overturned desk.Bookmark here

Acting as fast as her ability would allow, Shirai teleported to her teammates. Placing a hand on the shoulder of each of them, she used her power to pull them out of the gym that was collapsing on their heads, managing to escape unharmed.Bookmark here

"W-what's wrong, Shirai-san?", Uiharu asked, trying her best not to be knocked down by the force of the earthquake, which was beginning to subside ever so slightly.Bookmark here

"Kōrihi took us by surprise. The bastard almost killed us by throwing that building on top of us", replied the girl, letting go of her companions, who were still trembling with terror even though the earthquake had been reduced to a slight shake. Shirai looked over her shoulder, trying to locate Ishiki with her eyes. However, as she had expected, he was gone.Bookmark here

He managed to throw us off, the girl thought, looking at the metal darts she had kept Ishiki restrained with, faintly reflecting the sun's rays.Bookmark here

"Escaped?! B-But what are we going to do? Do you have a plan, Shirai-san?", Uiharu asked, visibly nervous.Bookmark here

"He can't be far away. I contacted Anti-Skill headquarters", said a female voice, approaching the girls. The tall woman walked confidently and firmly, stepping hard in her riot gear, letting her long ponytail sway in the wind. "An APB is being issued right now with the information on his student ID. He'll have nowhere to hide."Bookmark here

The woman was right. Just by looking up a student's name in the Data Bank, they could find out not only what ability they had, but also their ID number, photograph, and academic record. Wherever Ishiki tried to hide, as long as Anti-Skill and Judgment knew his name, he would be found.Bookmark here

"I'm surprised at the power that boy wields", Shirai sighed, looking at the ruined gymnasium and the collateral damage to the main academy building. "Even having read about his skill level, I never thought he'd get to the point of nearly killing us. Is he really a Level 4?"Bookmark here

Several students were beginning to peek out of the broken windows, and even some confused teachers were looking around to make sure no members of the class had been hurt.Bookmark here

Yamada, who was still waiting for his turn to be questioned, watched with concern at the outcome of the earthquake.Bookmark here

Somewhere in a certain classroom, a girl without superhuman abilities was watching outside. She had seen a figure in the academy's male uniform running away at full speed, almost as if being propelled by the wind.Bookmark here

"Kishi-kun...", she murmured, as a tear rolled down her cheek.Bookmark here

What kind of trouble are you in now...?Bookmark here

Somewhere in Academy City, far away from all that chaos, far away even from his own apartment, Ishiki Kōrihi was hiding in an alley.Bookmark here

Shit, shit, shit! Now that those Anti-Skill fuckers know who I am, it's only a matter of time before they find me, he thought, moving stealthily through the abandoned backstreets of a remote district.Bookmark here

It had been two hours since his identity had been discovered, and in his flight he had barely managed to grab some clothes from his apartment to change. After all, in the Data Bank was the location of where he lived, so he wasn't really attracting anyone toward his hiding, and he felt that was a risk he should take. After all, without his uniform, finding him would be a bit more difficult.Bookmark here

The gray sweatshirt he wore, as well as his jeans, were quite dirty and stained by the blood and dirt from his disastrous escape. Adjusting his emerald green cap until the visor partially hid his face, he walked out into a strangely empty street.Bookmark here

The area was desolate, as if it had been abandoned in a hurry. There were few vehicles parked in front of a building that had all the appearance of having been, at some point, some sort of warehouse. The vehicles were so damaged and so thickly dusted that it was normal that no one had returned to look for them, and some of them even had parts of the chassis and tires deformed, as if they had been subjected to extreme heat.Bookmark here

Now, where should I go? He still had yet to find any Skill-Out members to proceed with his interrogations. After all, he still didn't know who was orchestrating those murders, nor why all the victims were, conveniently enough, Ability Users.Bookmark here

"I guess I'll scout that warehouse first... Maybe there's a Skill-Out group or two hiding in there. They always look for the dirtiest, loneliest places to organize, like the damn rats they are."Bookmark here

Walking towards that building, he could feel an ominous aura falling over him.Bookmark here

He didn't know if that ominous aura came from the stress of knowing that he was now a full-fledged criminal, and that he would never be able to return to his normal life.Bookmark here

Or maybe that feeling came from sensing that, even in that place, the most dangerous thing he might encounter wouldn't be a gang of Skill-Outs.Bookmark here

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