Chapter 59:

The True Awakening


Monou High School stood in silence with not even a stone tumbling. A hush drew over the land for the moment that two fierce pairs of eyes exchanged looks. The sun high above looked down about the battlefield with anticipation as the two stood unmoved for seconds. A strong gust signaled Yuki to turn away from Demosthenes towards Saki. She laid on the ground still desperately fighting to stay conscious.

He knelt down to lift up her head seeing her light blue eyes defiantly staring up to him. A gentle calm came over his eyes as he watched. “It’ll be alright, Saki. You can rest now.”

She couldn't answer him immediately, but through the pause gained some strength. “…Yuki…please…”

“I know, Saki. But I can’t stand by and watch my friends be hurt because of me. You know how much that hurts me.”

Saki coughed before she closed her eyes momentarily in understanding. As she stared at him there was a different look that she hadn't seen in such a long time. ‘Yuki’s willing to fight, but it’s not because he’s doing it to enjoy it. There’s a kind, gentle look in his eyes like when he was much younger. Please stay like that, Yuki…’

He laid her back down on the ground. Yuki stood back and closed his eyes for a moment. Green waves burst from his feet quickly expanding out beyond the school faintly disappearing. Particles of energy lifted up from the grass, sidewalk and wall filling the air with a dancing show of lights. The energy began to be drawn into groups as it hovered over students that lay on the ground and entered their bodies filling them with warmth. Wounds, scrapes and bruises were all quickly mended together restoring vitality to them. Voices were murmuring across the school grounds as the light faded away.

“Everyone listen up!” Yuki’s voice carried across the Field. “Once you can move, please run away from the school.” There was a pause in his words as he thought back to what they had all done for him to protect him. “I’m grateful that you protected me, but this is my fight to deal with now. I don’t want anyone else to be hurt because of me.”

Demosthenes watched on monitoring the skill of Yuki having become curious. He could clearly tell that he was no longer staring at the same child he had faced the day before. The change that he had undergone was sudden and drastic. ‘If the seal is truly broken, he should have complete control. The last gift is finally gone…’

Saki stood up walking over to Yuki once she had been healed. “Yuki, let me fight with you!” She clenched her fists tightly trying to hold down the boiling emotions that were threatening to rage with her.

“This is his fight, Saki,” Ayumi said flatly as she approached from the opposite side.

“But I—“

“Hey, wake up man!” Hiroshi shouted in panic as fear was woven through his voice. They all turned around running over to Hiroshi’s side where Kazuhiro laid. Kazuhiro’s still body was unmoved by Hiroshi’s shaking. All of the wounds that he had suffered were repaired, but he still remained unconscious.

Yuki knelt down next to Hiroshi staring at Kazuhiro's emotionless face trying to find life. He turned back over to Ayumi looking for an answer from her. “Why isn’t he waking up? I healed his injuries!”

Ayumi joined them on the opposite side examining his body before checking for a pulse at his neck. She looked up at Yuki once she had finished. “He’s dead.”

“What?! But I healed him, Ayumi! He should have been fine!”

“You can’t bring back the dead, Yuki. You can fix his body, but not his soul.”

“What are you talking about?” Hiroshi looked between them. He held on to his friend’s hand. Tatsuya had finally joined them hearing the worried voices. Hiroshi barely kept his voice from failing him after hearing Ayumi’s declaration.

Ayumi stood up and started to walk away from the scene. It wasn't her place to be. However, Hiroshi grabbed her wrist quickly, holding her from leaving. “What do you want?”

“Fix him, damn it! I-I…” Hiroshi’s features were wavering under his emotions. His lips were quivering from the thought that his friend was really dead. “I know, know you can do something! I don’t understand it, but you can fix him!”

Everyone froze when Ayumi loudly slapped Hiroshi across the face. “Dead means dead! We aren’t gods!” There was hidden emotion behind the words that she spoke with a meaning that only she could understand.

Hearing the words had hit Hiroshi hard as he collapsed to the ground next to his friend. Tatsuya remained quiet trying to hold back tears. “…Kazuhiro…”

Yuki stared down at Kazuhiro’s body feeling his own emotions raging out of control. They were causing his arms to begin to shake soon followed by his body. However, it wasn’t fear that made him quiver. Anger boiled in his blood. He had been calm before thinking that he could save everyone and defeat Demosthenes, but it was different now.

‘He killed Kazuhiro… He killed my friend…’ Yuki started to turn slowly away from them towards Demosthenes. His head tilted down with his hair hanging over his eyes blocking them for view. ‘This was just supposed to be about me… How could he…’ His body felt warm as though a fire was burning in his blood. ‘I can’t let this continue any longer…’ The pounding in his heart was all he could hear through the echoes of Kazuhiro's voice screaming out to him.

“Ayumi…Saki…” Yuki said softly through tremendous control that still was barely enough to keep the shaking from his voice. “Take them away from here please.”

“Yuki! I’m not leaving you!” Saki screamed, starting to run for him only to be stopped by Yuki.

His head tilted over his shoulder with only one eye connecting with her. Deep despair surrounded by an immense fury glowed in his light brown eye. It had frozen Saki in her step. “I’m sorry, Saki. I don’t want anyone to see me like this.”

The emotions that were being transferred through his eyes choked off her voice. ‘He’s struggling…that’s why I should be here!’ However, her own body wasn’t acting as she wished, still paralyzed. “You don’t have to face this alone, Yuki! I know—“

“Please!” He felt the flames in his body getting fiercer. “I can’t protect you like this…and I don’t know…what’ll happen right now. Ayumi…” Yuki appealed to her hoping that she would understand and grant his wish.

“I understand,” she said calmly.

“Ayumi?!” questioned Saki turning around.

The snow Field had suddenly activated for her and raised a wall around her perimeter shutting off Saki from Yuki. Dull pounded from Saki could be heard through the semi-opaque ice barrier as it began to move with Ayumi forcing the others to move. They were soon out of sight having gone straight through the school.

Yuki returned to face Demosthenes with waves of energy starting to pulse from his feet through the ground as an ill omen. Demosthenes patiently waited the entire time just simply watching. It made Yuki feel even more enraged as though he was just an observer rather than one that had actually killed his friend. “…Demosthenes Alexander…”

“…Yuki Hayashi…”

Chapter 59 – The True Awakening

“So it seems you’re finally ready for our duel. Prove to me that you deserve the title of King!” His Field had been up the entire time, but an intensity seemed to glow from it as a couple waves pulsed from his feet. He tightened his grip on the spear in his hands waiting for Yuki to summon his Field.

A wind drew down to Yuki like a tornado sat atop him acting like a funnel on the clouds in the sky. It poured the clouds out into the ground rapidly to hit like an explosion. Pulsing waves issued forth stronger from Yuki’s feet passing by Demosthenes and continuing beyond him. ‘He’s got a flair for the theatrical it seems, but his range…’ The forced fed clouds hung like a fog creating an uneasy tension that concealed the raging torrent.

“No…” Yuki’s voice pierced through the fog as it began to evaporate into the air. “This won’t be a duel!” Yuki’s face was narrowed in uncontrollable emotions once he was revealed through the dissipating clouds. The pulsing waves became thicker as they were being released from his feet as though they were clumping together.

Slowly vibrating earth beneath them seemed to be responding to his fury, barely being held in check by Yuki. “You killed Kazuhiro! You killed my friend! I won’t let you think this is a duel anymore!” Thin streams of tears poured from his eyes as he shouted the words. Then as though his declaration had been the final lock on the cage of his heart the earth leapt into the air.

A literal wave of earth, broken apart by the unnatural bending, rose from Yuki shooting out like a shockwave at blinding speeds. Everything in its wake was completely altered as the wave didn’t seem to stop. No buildings were left as far as the horizon could be seen, just a vast field of tall grass and infrequently placed trees.

The old man had barely been able to defend himself from the release of the Field. It had only been his own Field strength that dampened it enough for him to brush it off as an illusion. He had no time to react. ‘Such power…I can’t see an end to his Field…it’s been a while since I’ve seen such power displayed…’ Demosthenes reaffirmed his hold on his spear staring down Yuki.

“…Yuki…” Saki watched from what Ayumi had declared a safe distance. She still kept them from leaving, but allowed a clear barrier for them to be able to see.

Ayumi narrowed her eyes in concern as she analyzed the scene. ‘His Field is far larger than it’s ever been… There’s something wrong with this Field…’

Yuki stood in the grass unarmed still wearing the white pants of a gi that hung loose on his legs. The white formal appearing robes over the upper part of his body were separated into layers. A longer sleeve form fitting undershirt extended out from the robes to a little past his elbow. Held over top was the second layer to the robes held loosely to his body with a thick obi around his waist up to his stomach. The third layer of clothes fell over top of the two bound layers like a long vest-like coat. Laid out upon the silk material were pale organic designs stitched to produce a raised surface on the clothes.

Across the grass in a lower cut grass Field stood Demosthenes with a couple spare weapons littered in his Field. “You need a weapon for us to begin.”

“For this fight I don’t need a weapon!” Yuki charged forward into a full sprint.

Demosthenes could see that Yuki was serious about taking him on with only his fists and accepted his resolve. The spear sang through the air as he made a slicing swing once Yuki came in range, but Yuki evaded the attack by changing his movement. ‘His reflexes are faster…’ Another swing at Yuki was dodged as he was keeping him at a distance.

A quick series of swings from the spear left them still unchanged. Yuki avoided any attempt, gaining barely any ground in reaching him through the range of the spear. The spear’s tactics changed as an opening was found allowing him to thrust at Yuki.

There was a dull ring of the blade’s metal when the spear came to an empty stop. It caught the old man off guard seeing Yuki stop the tip of the spear with merely his palm. A faint wave echoed from his hand as it held back the spear at no more than a centimeter from piercing his skin. Their actions paused there as Demosthenes gauged what had occurred.

The spear retreated back and took another swing down at Yuki with it being suddenly blocked by his crossed forearms. Once more the blade was held a short distance away from his skin, never making contact. Demosthenes continued to test out Yuki’s defenses, never able to make it through to wound him.

In the last thrust Yuki blocked the blade with his left hand coming in close to Demosthenes and gripped it bare. His right hand then rammed through the shaft of the spear, slicing it in two as he spun around. Catching the spear head, his left hand clasped the shaft rotating his body to run it into the old man’s ribs.

Demosthenes staggered back a step taken aback. He had been unable to make the spear disappear in time and now blood slowly dripped from his wound. The pain stabbed deep into his chest from the spear as he ripped it free from his body. Even through the pain his mind still tried to understand what Yuki was doing. “You…You blocked everything. How?”

Yuki adjusted himself to face the man still with rage filled eyes that had been staring at him the entire time. “It’s nothing that a dead man needs to be concerned with…” He raised up his hand with his fingers aimed flat. A moment later the tensed muscles released burying the hand in the chest of Demosthenes. Yuki pulled his hand out trailing blood through the air with his fingers coated. There seemed to be a release in his features as Yuki stepped back.

The old man collapsed to his knees before falling over, shock still etched into his face. Yuki closed his eyes, taking in the moment. His mind was still holding images of Kazuhiro, playing repeatedly for him during the fight. “I’m sorry, Kazuhiro…please forgive me…” A stream of tears fell down his shut eyes as he pulled his head back to face the sky.

Cold wind suddenly blew through the area pulling Yuki’s eyes open. There was something inside him that was telling him something was wrong. It broke through his sorrowful emotions trying to clear his mind. Yuki alerted himself. He scanned the area seeing nothing, but a large circle of shortly cut grass embedded in his own. “What’s with the grass here?”

“It would seem you’ve found your strength,” a bodiless voice declared.

It only took Yuki a moment to recognize the voice as Demosthenes. He turned back towards the body, but it was no longer there. The body had disappeared completely. “Where are you?”

“Right here.” The source of the voice became visible as though a mirage had been lifted from the area. It was the old man standing completely unharmed by any of the attacks from Yuki with a renewed spear in hand.

Yuki narrowed his eyes in confusion. “Damn, the same trick you used before.”

“A test. If you couldn’t defeat a weaker clone of myself, you wouldn’t be worthy of my real strength.” He lowered his spear down into an attacking stance.

“Does that mean this is the real you?”

“Yes, the real battle can begin… Show me if you’re worthy to inherit the King’s power!”