Chapter 2:

Just a Cigarette

One Step To Hell [Short]

The Captain almost without seeing himself appeared in front of the mysterious man and said: Bookmark here

“Who will be responsible for my students injuries?” Bookmark here

“How fast.” said the mysterious man with a slightly worried air. Bookmark here

“You were surprised at my speed were you? Look, it's not my best quality.” Bookmark here

The Captain after saying that managed to put a straight hit on the mysterious man putting him on the ground. Bookmark here

“So, this is all you have?” Bookmark here

The mysterious man quickly got up and used one more spell. Bookmark here

“Dark Illusion: Cursed Power.” Bookmark here

It felt like an aura similar to the one my body had at the time had stayed on the Captain. Bookmark here

“Dark Illusion? It's a difficult type of magic to cast spells, but you seem to master it well. Too bad it has no effect on me.” Bookmark here

*Guffaws* Bookmark here

As if it was nothing, the Captain had released himself from that spell leaving the mysterious man surprised. Bookmark here

“You can only be a Special Class!” Bookmark here

“Well, I happen to be. But that...” Bookmark here

Whoever was possessing my body punched the Captain, but he defended himself with only one hand. Bookmark here

The mysterious man took advantage and fled, leaving just me and the Captain against each other. Bookmark here

“Guys, is this guy here your friend?” Bookmark here

“Yes!” said Kin. Bookmark here

“Help him get back to normal, Captain, please.” said Yumi. Bookmark here

“It has to be there, doesn't it? The things I don't do for my students. Well, but at least let me light a cigarette, boy.” Bookmark here

He, who still hadn't let go of my fist, grabbed it with superhuman strength and threw me to an absurd distance. Bookmark here

“Now I have time to light a cigarette.” Bookmark here

He lit the cigarette. Bookmark here

“I can take things seriously now.” Bookmark here

My body moved at high speed towards him, but... Bookmark here

“Absolute Gravity.” Bookmark here

My body was stretched out on the floor, I couldn't move it. Bookmark here

“Holy Light.” Bookmark here

I felt that I was regaining my body and my consciousness, but at the same time I felt like I was going into a deep sleep. Bookmark here

Bookmark here

I opened my eyes. I realized that it was already night. I saw a fire lit in front of me. I was surrounded by trees, must have been in a forest. I started to smell food, and at the same time the smell of a cigarette. Bookmark here

“Looks like you woke up.” said the Captain. Bookmark here

I immediately apologized for what happened to Captain, even though I wasn't in control of my body. Bookmark here

“No need to apologize, after all you were possessed.” Bookmark here

I was speechless, after all, I had never faced such a situation. Bookmark here

“Listen, let's talk a little bit about what happened to you, since these two are still sleeping.” Bookmark here

I hadn't even noticed that Kin and Yumi were with us. They looked tired from everything that had happened, but they were fine. Bookmark here

“Take this. You need to eat to regain your strength.” Bookmark here

I accepted the food and thanked him. Bookmark here

“Well now, let's talk about how you were possessed. Do you remember anything?” Bookmark here

I explained everything that had happened after I lost consciousness the first time. Bookmark here

“Somehow you managed to get in touch with the spirit world.” Bookmark here

I was surprised and immediately asked what this “spiritual world” would be. Bookmark here

“The spirit world is the place where different spirits meet. Some are from ancient warriors, others are from legendary animals, among other hypotheses. To connect to that world, you need to be at a very high level, that is, be at least a Class 1 and even Class 1 have difficulty connecting to that world, to tell the truth most can't.” Bookmark here

I was surprised at what he had just heard. As someone like me who didn't understand anything about magic, just the basics that Kin and Yumi explained to me when we were in Kando village had managed to do something like this. I asked the Captain how I had managed to do something like this. Bookmark here

“It's true, we haven't introduced ourselves yet. I'm Michio Kawabata. I only realized now after you called me Captain more than once.” Bookmark here

*Guffaws* Bookmark here

I also introduced myself to the Captain and explained why I was with Kin and Yumi. Bookmark here

“I see... I see... Maybe I can help you with that situation of becoming a Knight of Redon. But to answer your question, I don't have a logical explanation of how you got into the spirit world. It's the first time I've witnessed something like this. The “Holy Light” spell I used on you was to make you return to our world. Now the only thing I'm sure of is that you were in the Special Class at that time.” Bookmark here

I remembered that the mysterious man had said something about the Captain being a Special Class when I had no control over my body. I asked him what that would be. Bookmark here

“I will explain to you how Classes work in a simple way. All people in the kingdom can learn to use magic, but many choose not to. These people are classified as Class 4.” Bookmark here

I asked if this wouldn't be my case. Bookmark here

“Exactly. In your current state you are a Class 4. Class 3's are people who can already use the minimum of magic. Kin and Yumi are already at this stage. Class 2 are people who already have an easier time using magic and who already use some spells. As you can see me and the man I faced used to say the enchantment of the spells and cast them from our gloves. These gloves are used to more easily channel magic and that's thanks to the technology we have today. They are used by people Class 2 and up. Class 1 are people who can use magic very easily and who can use different spells, and of course some can seek more power through the spirit world, as I have already explained to you. Last but not least, the Special Class. There are few who reach this stage, but those who reach it become “unique”. They are able to use magic and spells unlimitedly and has access to the spirit world in an “easy” way. I only know two people at this stage so far and that man who disappeared now. Kin told me that he said something about “Battleground for Special Class”, so it seems that he is on the same level.”Bookmark here

I was curious to know who the other two people the Captain knew would be, but I already predicted that one of them would be the Captain himself. I ended up asking out of curiosity. Bookmark here

“Well, one of those people is just me and the other is someone with your age.” Bookmark here

I, who was already surprised at the minimum number of Special Class people, was even more surprised to learn that one of the two people known to the Captain as Special Class was my age. Bookmark here

“Minori, I believe you can reach that level too, since you managed to enter the spirit world, even without knowing how.” Bookmark here

The Captain barely knew me, but he said that as if he already predicted that I would reach that level. Bookmark here

“Let's make a deal. I make you a Knight of Redon and in return we will keep this conversation between us, at least for now.” Bookmark here

I asked why the Captain wanted to keep our conversation a secret. Bookmark here

“What happened to you wasn't normal, besides it looks like they want to capture you. So I think the fewer people who know about it, better.” Bookmark here

I agreed with the Captain. Bookmark here

“Captain?” said Kin as he got up. Bookmark here

“Kin, are you awake yet?” asked the Captain. Bookmark here

“Minori, you're fine, fortunately.” Bookmark here

I thanked Kin for his concern and asked how he was feeling. Bookmark here

“Much better, thanks to the Captain.” Bookmark here

“What the Captain won't do for you.” Bookmark here

*Guffaws* Bookmark here

“Can you guys make less noise?” said Yumi as she got up too. Bookmark here

“Look who she is, are you awake too?” asked the Captain. Bookmark here

“Thanks for the help, Captain. Minori, are you better?” Bookmark here

I told Yumi that I was as good as new. Bookmark here

“What a relief. I apologize for not being able to protect you.” Bookmark here

“Yes, I'm sorry too, Minori.” Bookmark here

“Shut up!!!” said the Captain, looking annoyed. Bookmark here

“Situations like this can happen sometimes, that's why I'm going to help you get stronger to face greater dangers.” Bookmark here

We all agreed and promised to get stronger together. Bookmark here

“Guys, tomorrow morning we are going back to the capital.” Bookmark here

“To the capital, but already Captain?” asked Kin. Bookmark here

“Yes, I need Minori's immediate approval in the Knights of Redon, and I want him to meet a person..." Bookmark here

“Who is Minori going to meet?” asked Yumi curiously. Bookmark here

“Secreeet.” said the Captain with a joking tone. Bookmark here

*Guffaws* Bookmark here

We spent the rest of the night there and the next morning we headed towards the capital. Bookmark here

I wondered who would be the person I would meet. Bookmark here

“We will rest in Ersham village and continue tomorrow.” said the Captain. Bookmark here

“Captain, are you sure?” said Kin with a worried look. Bookmark here

“Kin, we as Knights of Redon must be able to live in any environment. I think you already know that, right?” Bookmark here

“You're right, Captain. I apologize.” Bookmark here

Yumi just listened to the conversation, but she looked even more worried than Kin. I started to feel that village had something that those two didn't like. I decided to ask the Captain what was so intriguing about that village. Bookmark here

“Ersham village is a place where there are no rules. Due to the high poverty in the village, people even kill each other to obtain the few goods from whom they kill. It is also one of the few places that still hasn't had the technological development of today.” Bookmark here

I didn't know what to say or how to react to what I was hearing. Even though my village had a hierarchy, people all acted equally towards each other. I wondered if the cause of this wasn't the money. Bookmark here

“Minori, it looks like you were a little shocked.” said the Captain. Bookmark here

“He's from Lywood village, Captain.” said Yumi. Bookmark here

“So that's where your surprise comes from. You must have already come to a conclusion as to why this happens, right?” Bookmark here

I replied to the Captain that I thought the cause for this was the money. Bookmark here

“Exactly, but not only.” Bookmark here

I asked what else it would be. Bookmark here

“Some people look for “achievements”. They seek to defeat the “leader” of an area of the village in order to have that area for themselves.” Bookmark here

I started to wonder if there was anything we could do about the situation in Ersham village. Bookmark here

“Minori, there's nothing to be done...” said Kin. Bookmark here

Once again, it felt like he was reading my thoughts. I asked him why he thought there was nothing to be done. Bookmark here

“Because as long as people are blinded by money and power, nothing will change.” Bookmark here

I didn't quite understand what he was saying to me. Bookmark here

“Minori, in time you will understand better how the kingdom works.” Bookmark here

I just stayed in silence, wondering if I really could do anything. Bookmark here

We continued our journey to Ersham village. After a few hours we were finally reaching our destination. It bore no resemblance to Kando village. The atmosphere was different, there were no people on the streets, while in Kando village there were people scattered everywhere and they all seemed to be happy. The houses that in the village were beautiful and modern, in the Ersham village were mostly ruins. Bookmark here

“Stay carefully.” said the Captain in a whisper. Bookmark here

The way Kin and Yumi were just made me more scared, but I knew that in a place like that I couldn't show a weak part. Bookmark here

Bookmark here

Suddenly, someone appeared from a dark alley and shouted: Bookmark here

“Die brat!!!” Bookmark here

“Minori!!!” shouted Kin and Yumi. Bookmark here

Taylor Victoria
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