“So THIS is where you were!”
With a hysterical laugh that grows closer with each step, the teacher marches on towards me. A siren goes off in my head, causing me to kick off the ground, and limp around the lab table in the center of the room.
“Get the hell away from me!” I lean over the table and grab the first thing I can find, before blindly hurling it his way.
A vial flies off my hand, and smashes against his raised arm.
“You’re being bad now. I’ll have to punish you, young man!” His grin turns into a frown, and his eyes emit a dangerous glint. “There’s no use in running, for I have this…” His frown steadily turns into a grin, as he flashes me a familiar key that he fished out of his pocket.
I quickly tap my pockets to notice that this is the same key I found at the bottom of the pit.
Damn that psycho!
“So if you want to get out of here, you need to entertain me some more!”
“Fuck!” I hiss as I scan the room once more. I need to form a plan and quick! Yet another, smaller door stands at the corner close to me. Opting to find a hiding spot, I take a step back and open the door, my sights still set on him.
“Wherever you go, I will find you…” He mutters, a pair of red beads staring back at me, piercing my soul. With swift steps back I slam the door shut yet again, and look around.
This must be the storage room…
I can see another door to the right connecting this room to another. That must be the room we were in at first… This room is a mess too. But not so as the lab back there. I can see closets, cabinets, and a good number of tables lined up, littered with so many surgical tools it would make one’s head spin.
“Hide… Hide…” I force the weary overused cogs in my head to spin forth yet again “But where?” Instinctively I look down at my feet, and notice the red drops of blood that have dripped down my arm, and mark my trail perfectly.
Damn it! I should have noticed earlier…
Wait. The cogs in my brain pick up the pace and spin rapidly.
“Heh…” I crack a smile. This is it. Despite the pain, the cold, and the fact I’m walking on one leg, I walk over to the nearest table. From there, I pick up the scissors and grit my teeth.
I hear a voice behind the door, slowly edging closer “Come out, come out, wherever you are!”
No time for hesitation…!
With force, I move the blade closer to my injured arm, and make another laceration, this time lower, yet not nearly as deep.
As much as the urge tells me to clutch my injured arm, I don’t. Instead, I let the blood flow to the floor, and walk over to the closet by the door, connecting together a red trail of blood.
“Hah!” The teacher opens the door with force, but his expression falls at the sight of an empty room.
Thank God he gave me time to hide…
“Where did you—“ He halts, gazing at the drops of blood on the floor. “Heh…” A cackle. He walks on, following the crimson trail riddling the dirty floor.
With a triumphant snort, he comes to a halts in front of the closet. “You think you could hide from me?”
“Heh.” I chuckle lightly, clutching the cloth around my injured arm. I watch on expectantly, crouched behind a counter, staring straight at his back.
Will you kill him?
As he opens the door to the closet, I swiftly yet silently get up, and close the distance between us.
With the same pair of scissors from before in hand, I raise my arm and slam it against the back of his neck.
With a battle cry, my weapon connects and I feel the pressure against the blade give in, as it sinks deep into his flesh. “I’m right here, you bastard!”
“Aaaagh…!” The crazy teacher kneels to the floor, a low cry escaping his mouth, as crimson gushes out the back of his neck, I raise my hand and stab again, and again.
After three good hits, I kneel to the floor as well, gripping the bloody scissors squeezed in my palm.
“Damn it… Damn it!”
I stabbed someone.
I know I had to… I know I had to but… this blood isn’t mine. The feeling of flesh sinking against my blade is fresh in my mind.
“Damn you, psycho!” I spit once again, and hold back the urge to throw up, as I check for a pulse. He’s dead…
How does it feel?
I take a second to reply, weighing in my answers.
“Better than being dead that’s for sure.” I won’t let myself be manipulated.
As I turn his limp body over on his back, I start rummaging through his pockets.
“Here it is…” I mutter, with the familiar ornate key to the roof in hand.
“Now for the key to the door of the lab…“ Right as I’m about start rummaging again, from a small door within the storage room, where not even a human could fit, a humongous, yet familiar creature steps out.
“W-W-what…?” It stutters, its red glowing eyes locking with mine. It’s the janitor.
As I’m about to get up and flee at once, I feel a cold hand grip my right arm.
“You thought you’d killed me?! Hah!” The man I thought had killed with my own hands opens his eyes to stare back at me once more. He grins viciously “Think again!”
You have to be kidding me!
His grip is strong and firm, his strength makes me feel like I’m suddenly up against a wall. I can’t shake him off before the janitor gets me…
That’s when I hear a voice.
From the door at my back, and right when despair is about to set in, a familiar face emerges.
I turn to the sound, and see my friends standing huddled at the door. How did they get here?
Without hesitation, Noriko steps forward, and a strange, almost visible wave rushes out of her lungs “AWAYYY!”
The advancing janitor staggers back with a cry, and despite the ringing in my ears I use the opening to fight back against the creature holding me captive.
“I’m borrowing that!” I grab the scissors sticking out the back of his head, and with the adrenaline rush at my aid, “RAAAARGH!” I stab him clean in the forehead.
Despite the fatal wound I’ve inflicted it’s clear this humanoid won’t die that easy. Yet I find the brief window of weakness in his grip to escape his grasp. Using every ounce of his strength, he glares at me fiercely, “You won’t get away…”
Freeing myself, I step back while still on the floor, wincing under the pain.
“Here!” Ayase quickly rushes over and offers me a hand. I normally wouldn’t want her to see me like that, but due to the circumstances, I gladly accept.
“Thanks, Ayase.” I throw my arm over her shoulder, and accept her help in supporting me as we make for the others.
“Hideki!” Mayu gives me a warm, relieved smile before assuming her role as a leader yet again “Okay, let’s scram!” She exclaims in a jittery tone, as our group marches on towards the exit with frantic, hurried steps.
“Is that thing following us?!” Kazuya turns back to watch the janitor stagger after us as we leave.
Noriko nods and clutches her head “I can’t use my ability much anymore… we need to flee…”
“Hideki-kun, what happened to you…?” Hotaru asks, as we make it out the door and start moving down the narrow and dimly lit hallway.
“I’ll give you the deets in a bit…” I spell out, still leaning on Ayase.
“How are you feeling?” Mayu chimes in,
With the adrenaline in my body slowly dissipating, the cuts and bruises on my arms and legs are inflicting quite a bit of pain. Not to mention the blood loss…
Why did I think of that…?
Ayase notices my steps wavering, and looks over. “Hideki…?”
“Sorry, it’s nothing…” I fight back the urge to let my eyes rest, and continue down the path. We’re being followed, I can’t collapse here “How did you even… get here?”
“The entrance down here just opened up, and we followed the path.” Mayu replies.
In order to not faint, I keep myself talking. “And the door… to the lab? How did you… get in?”
This time Noriko speaks up, her tone low. “There was a padlock attached to the door, so we used the same code as before…”
What? So we were essentially trapped in there? But how does that work?
My head’s pounding from all the thinking…
It’s not too long before we finally reach the entrance to the pit, and with a little teamwork, we all successfully make it out to the classroom.
I never thought I’d be so relieved to be back here again…
The janitor too appears to have lost us, and gave up on the chase. Thankfully, there’s no thunder for him to appear at random again, so it’s safe to assume we’re in the clear for now.
Thus, Ayase found the time to patch me up. Both arm and leg. The cuts in my foot were the most troublesome, but we managed to get the pieces of glass out.
“Why are you so reckless all the time?”
The drowsiness has thankfully left, yet despite that I still feel significantly weaker. But the warmth of my clothes is second to none…
“So let’s take it from the top…” Mayu says, pacing back and forth around the room “You were hit in the back of the head, strapped to a chair, stabbed, stepped on glass, and then ambushed him in order to escape?”
“Why do you always make my adventures sound so lame?”
I honestly feel like I just came back from war over here!
Spirits are visibly higher now that we’ve gathered all the keys. Yet I can’t quite forget the sensation of stabbing another living being. The feeling of sinking flesh… The blood on my hands…
Stop it. He wasn’t human.
Does that make you feel better?
“Stop giving me lessons on morals…” I whisper.
I honestly can’t wait to get the hell out of here...
“Okay, you’re all set…” Ayase says, having tied a bandage around the laceration I made myself on my forearm.
“Thanks, Ayase…” I mutter with a smile, feeling her touch still lingering on my cold skin.
With a quick look around to check if we’ve got some space, she silently places her arms around my neck, as I sit on the floor, back on the wall. “You’re such an idiot…”
Yeah… I think I missed this warmth the most…
“Welcome home…” She mutters, squeezing tighter.
Yet, this sweet moment is cut short, by a glaring Mayu and a blushing Hotaru “Ahem!”
“Hideki-kun, you do have the key, right?” Hotaru asks timidly.
Brushing off the embarrassment, I nod. “Y-Yeah…”
“That’s great. We should…” Kazuya turns around to face the door, raring to get out of here “…Go.”
“We can finally leave…” Noriko mutters to herself, almost in disbelief.
We’re getting out…
I repeat over and over in my head. It’s somehow hard to believe that all we’ve been through in this school will be a distant memory from here on out. We’ll be able to escape…
Despite the pain all over my body, I push myself off the floor, and dust my clothes.
Finally all this suffering will end.
“Let’s go.” I say firmly.
Mayu nods along, a big smile on her face “Yeah, let’s!”
Hm, leaving so soon?
I smile at those words.
You too, will be a thing of the past soon…
Ayase touches my shoulder, before walking after me. “Hideki, can you walk?”
I give her a small smile in response. “Yeah, I’m good now. Don’t worry.”
“Stop the flirting and make haste!” Mayu beckons us from the door.
Make haste? What are you? Noriko?
With elevated spirits, we all walk down the hallway, Mayu at the head of the group. Behind her, I walk alongside Noriko, with Ayase closely behind me.
“I can’t wait to drink some hot chocolate once we get out!” Mayu smirks at herself. Noriko in the same wavelength as her, nods along.
“Hot tea would be nice…”
“Heh…” I hold back a chuckle at their childlike excitement. I almost want to run at the roof right this instant, but I hold back that urge.
Despite that, I feel like not everyone shares the same sentiment as us. The others have been awfully quiet…
“What are you— AAH!”
Before I’m able to turn around, I hear someone cry out. That’s Ayase’s voice. Instinctively, I whirl around to face something unthinkable.
“Shut up!” Kazuya hisses, holding Ayase from behind, a knife to her throat. His eyes lock on us, a dangerous glint spurring them on.
Kazuya… has betrayed us?