Chapter 27:

I'll Sleep When I'm Dead

66 Hours

For a second, all we can do is watch as the creatures burst out of their confines one by one. Whatever divine power was holding them back has now vanished, and they’re now ready to prey on the humans in front of them.

“We need to get out of here right now!” Mayu’s voice is full of panic and urgency.

She’s right… I know she is. But the monsters that have been unleashed upon this room are currently standing between us and the only door around.

We don’t have the time, nor the way to aim for the door we came through… we need another way out. But we’re currently at the end of this long room. Our backs are quite literally against the wall right now.

In a state of panic, and with the monsters rushing towards us with each passing second, we all scan every nook and cranny of the room in an attempt to find a way out.

My heart rate speeds up to the point it’s about to jump out of my throat, as I silently pray for mercy…

This can’t be the end…

Yet despite my state of denial, there’s nothing that might help us escape. Nothing, until…

Is that?

As I spin on my heel, my eyes fall atop a narrow opening in the corner of the wall behind the podium.

“Over there!” I point at the path leading up, and soon, everyone dashes down towards it.

Some of the creatures have now reached the stairs leading to the podium, as we all huddle in front of the small ascending steps.

Mayu goes up first, with Noriko and Ayase following up together, with the path being just wide enough for both of them to somehow fit.


I’m at the last step to ascend the set of stairs, before the creatures have finally reached the podium, and are now making a beeline for us.

I can hear their growls and snarls loud and clear, as they claw their way up the stairs, hot on our tails.

The staircase turns into a spiral along the way, as we ascend in a panicked manner. With scarce torches to light our way, and the threatening sounds from behind us to serve as a reminder of what’s to come if we were to stop now, we finally reach a flat surface, although just as narrow as before.

We dash down the path, with Noriko assisting Ayase as much as possible, our feet kicking off the dust from the stone flooring. As we make a beeline for another set of stairs down the hallway, I can hear some of the creatures have reached the same level as us.


These damn things are too fast on an even surface!

And to make matters worse, the path ahead, seems to narrow even further, with each passing second.

I’m in such a panic, my eyes are playing tricks on me.

“Guys, hurry it up! The way ahead is about to be blocked!”


Mayu’s announcement catches me off guard.

Just how many more things need to happen for this school to be satisfied?!

Despite the absurdity, surely enough, there’s a moving wall, that’s already about halfway through the length of the narrow corridor, just about ready to block our path.

Thankfully, the first person to reach it, slips past quite easily and halts just a few steps away.

“Come on!”

Mayu beckons us over, as Ayase and Noriko struggle to the finish line, using every ounce of their strength and willpower.

Somehow, they make it through just fine, and so I sprint down the hallway myself, without pulling any stops.

Thankfully, there’s plenty of space for me to go through, but I still dash nonetheless. Can’t be too safe after all.

As I kick off the ground with all I have, dead-set on getting through on time, just a moment of distraction is all it takes for the sole of my shoe to slip against the dusty stone. Before I know it, I’ve lost my balance, and I fall flat on my face hard against the ground.

“Hideki!” “Hideki-kun!” Noriko and Ayase, who are just over the threshold, turn to the sound of me falling.

As I lay there, I dare not turn around. I do not need to. It’s painfully obvious how close the creatures are to me. And the wall is about to seal my fate. Is this how it ends? How can it end like this?!

As I kick myself off the ground, I can see the small gap between the two walls narrow even more. It’s over…

“Hideki! Hurry the hell up!”


The first one to cross over, has turned back around to block the gap from closing with her body, her eyes narrowed in pain.

That’s reckless! What is she doing?!

“Hideki! You better run like the wind!”

Yet despite the absurdity of Mayu’s scheme, the other two girls join in too and push against the wall, that has somehow halted its movements.

I don’t need a second warning… this time I dash down the narrow path with all I have, and make it to the narrow space. Once I’m there, Mayu and the girls move to the side, and I jump through the small gap, like a starfish doing a cartwheel. Of course, my execution is not nearly as elegant as I made it sound, because I fall flat on my sides.

Yet despite that, the adrenaline pumped through my veins has nullified any sort of pain, as I sit up and share a celebratory look with the girls.


I’m alive!

“We fucking did it!” I shoot up like a spring, and pump my fist in the air.

“We actually did!” Mayu joins in too, mimicking my motion.

“Yoshaaa!” Ayase is the third one to shout, yet somehow she earns a questioning look from everyone. “Mhm…” Then she clears her throat, her cheeks slightly tinted red.

“Y-Yay!” Noriko hurrays too, despite being somewhat unsure. Well, for a person like Noriko, that’s a full blown celebration if you ask me.

After our brief celebration, we all start walking along the path, this time without the panicked bits. As we do, I notice Mayu clutching her right shoulder, probably the one she used to block the wall. Just from a glance, I instantly feel guilty.

“Hey, is your shoulder okay?”

“Huh? Yeah, I’m as great as can be!” Mayu smiles, yet I’m not convinced.

And so I tap it with my palm.


I can’t help but sigh.

“Idiot, stop acting tough.” I want to give her a forehead flick, but I stop my motion. She did all that for me, so I can at least cut her some slack.

“Thanks, Mayu. You saved my life. I’ll patch you up when we get back, okay?” My lips naturally curve into a smile.

Relying on people truly is rewarding. Especially in people like these girls. Maybe I was wrong before…

“It’s probably just a bruise…” Yet Mayu looks away, her face tinted red by my sudden declaration of gratitude.


Safe to say I’m having none of it.

“Okay, deal…”

“Hey.” Noriko points down the hallway we’re currently treading on.

What now?

“These stairs lead up to the surface?” Ayase mutters, and Noriko nods animatedly.

“It would seem so.”

Thank the heavens!

I heave a relieved sigh, as the four of us walk up the illuminated stairs. They’re illuminated by… light?

The kind that’s artificial. Meaning no more torches and candles. Speaking of candles, I’m pretty sure we dropped that somewhere along the way during the chase, yet I can’t remember when…

Oh well, no point in dwelling on that.

As me make our way upstairs, I can’t help but think back on Kazuya and Hotaru. The chances of them being safe are really slim, so it’s only safe to assume the worst at this point…

Yet I can’t help but wish they’re alive and well… or wish things had been different.

Still, the rest of us are alive. We’ve been through hell, but we’re still here…

As I’m absorbed in those thoughts, a stinging pain spreads across my forehead…

But I don’t have time for something like this. The four of us keep heading onwards. In a matter of seconds, we’ve reached the peak of the stairs, and quickly climb out. Our surroundings are familiar, as we scan the building we’re in.

“The showers?” Mayu mutters, as we’re all clearly confused.

“These are the showers indeed.” Noriko nods.

And judging from the scent, probably the ladies’ one at that. But of course, there’s no way in hell I can say that out loud.

“We made it out…” Ayase releases all her pent up stress through the form of a sigh, as she slumps against the wall next to us.

We did, but what about the rest of us?

Again, I can’t say that aloud. This time, for all sorts of different reasons. Yet despite us not mentioning anything, we’re all thinking of the same thing, our heads hanging, and our gazes cast low.

A quick check at Mayu’s wrist watch informs us that the time is just barely past 11, meaning we’ve got some time before any new monsters pop up. Or at least that’s what we’d like to believe anyway.

Silently, we make our way outside the showers, and right as we’re heading towards the school building, we spot a pair of silhouettes just ahead of us.

Could these be…?

One of them is lying on the ground, as if they just woke up, clutching their head, and the other is kneeling next to them.

There’s no way…

“Hota-chan? Kazuya-kun?!”

As we walk closer, the figures become more apparent, and Mayu calls out to them. They raise their heads at the sound of their names, and their faces light up like candles in the dark. No pun intended.


Hotaru rises to her feet and runs across the grassy field, shrinking their distance between them rapidly. Soon they come together, as Mayu envelopes the short girl in her embrace.

“Mayu-san?” Hotaru is taken aback, yet she doesn’t move away.


And the calm and collected leader of ours finally bawls her eyes out, having completely forgot about the pain on her shoulder.

The rest of us walk up to the heartwarming scene, smiles plastered on our faces.

“You rascals, you’re alive and well.” I chuckle to myself, while Kazuya nods with a smile.

“You too.”

“Thank God, everyone is okay!” Noriko is practically beaming too.

“This is wonderful, but don’t get me wrong here… what EXACTLY happened?”

Somehow, Ayase has voiced a pretty solid argument.

“What do you mean somehow? Are you calling me stupid or what?”

Oops, forgot how she can hear my narration sometimes.

Despite the small pause, we turn back to the pair in question.

“I don’t know… Frankly, I just came to.” Kazuya scratches the back of his head in apparent confusion.

“Yeah, I just woke up here a minute ago too…” Hotaru nods in typical timid Hotaru fashion.

They woke up here? How did they move from the basement all the way to this point? Did someone, or something carry them? But why would a creature in this school do that? Maybe it was Mei? That wouldn’t really make any sense though… I’ve seen her pass through objects before…

As I’m thinking, another surge of pain shoots through my head… I’m assuming my brain is “out of order” until I get some rest. Let’s hope I won’t need it for the rest of the night.

“Doesn’t matter anyway. What matters is we’re all fine!” Mayu beams, clutching Hotaru close to her. I think she’s starting to feel uncomfortable judging from her expression. Mayu CAN be overbearing at times, yet that’s part of her charm.

“She’s ri—“


Yet another one of those spontaneous headaches.

What the hell? I can’t even talk now?

“Hideki?” Ayase, the first one to notice glances at me, as I clutch my head for a second.

“I-I’m just beat… Let’s get the hell out of here.” I somehow manage a reassuring smile, as the group agrees and we all get moving, our sights now set on the Home Ec room…

A couple more minutes, and I can finally rest…

My feet drag me at the back of the group, while everyone walks on merrily ahead.

A couple more minutes…

Yet my eyes don’t seem so patient. I can barely keep them in check, as I’m struggling to walk forward.

Come on… A couple more minutes. I can do this.

A couple more—



I’ve somehow lost my balance, while my eyelids feel heavier than ever before. I can’t resist the urge to shut them closed, and drift away from consciousness…


Lucid Levia