Chapter 1:

Gremlin Schoolhouse

Teakettle Story

“Mommy, wah─!” Ears perked to the desperate outcry, the boy in the center of the classroom stood upright dumbstruck.

Gunshots no longer echoed in his ears.

Gilgamesh Summers had his black hair sway after the distinctive rush of his laughing classmate. His hair dropped down cement about a second ago; or was it his head, a cranium drilled of arrow in the exact center? Slap on the forehead, then a seamless transition of deja vu. It swirled to his head—and effectively died.


If you think his name is hilarious, then there’s no other choice but to chuckle.

You may want to meet him: but first, he features nothing spectacular aside from his name.

His father thought of naming him after the Sumerian hero, and so he’s been registered. No one wants to talk about it being a terrible pun, how he’s a sensual dad joke. Well, validly from the standpoint of his name’s origin already lost until his father discovered the records.

A single drop of tear escaped down his cheeks before he realized.

No, he wasn’t the one calling for mommy.

Nothing about the childish gesture defines his welfare.

More so, he was the only child in the room who didn’t cry for help.

Also, he understood he’d later be subjected to the chaos and felt indignation instead of what’s common.

No fear felt, only a warranted disappointment he’s nowhere near a quiet environment.

Academia is a sweet place, he could care to be in a room of his adolescent peers clutching his pen while doodling in a textbook.

Yet, as a standard to life, beggars like him don't have a choice.

“Wah─! Mommy, I wanna go home!” Memories otherwise subjected to stagnation, he could tell right away it was Chloe’s woeful cries.

Czeslaw was on a rampage again, teasing both boys and girls alike in class as he zoomed from one end of the wall to another. Anya, who was beside her, lost hold of her toy bear. Soaked to paint as it was art class, the canvas became bigger in scale. Little hands soaked in paint, everyone ran in circles to a colorful initiation of tag. Cheeks lined in red, floorboard creaked from their little footsteps─the obvious was howled.

“Hagh, that’s dangerous!”

Although an overstatement, chaos followed where children gathered.

There was no mother to be seen.

“What do I do, what do I do? Ngh, I’m so fired after this!”

Only a frantic woman who wore glasses: she looked young and seemed inexperienced in handling children.

Gilgamesh can’t possibly blame her if she froze in the center of the room, mumbling in panic all by herself while the gremlins cried.

No, the gremlins laughed, and domino fell onto the last remaining human.

As he likes to call them though, Gilgamesh has never seen a gremlin before.

Metaphor for children most of the time: not once in his life has he been near a child who didn’t whiff their snot. Li was tackled and dropped down the floor, none the fatal injury and yet he bawled. Luna has gotten hold of the toy bear turned paint brush. One heck of a little devil, she smacked it onto Himiko’s cheeks.

Czeslaw Holland’s impertinence aside, an explosion of energy can only be felt alongside warranted irritation.

Disgust emanated from happiness.

Gratitude grew unfettered all in the direction of grievance.

Everything opposed each other, but nothing constituted confusion.

Mundane meeting the weirdness is a fairly normal occurrence, as he was told before.

Gilgamesh understands now.

No such time should exist where the feeling of gratification won’t envelop his mind.

All in all, he couldn’t hear the gunshots anymore.

None the fear of running around the burning sacred tree, holding onto his dearest life as the world itself exhausts all nourishment.

No more life needlessly waged for the sake of foolish endeavors─and he could go back to being an everyday citizen. He didn’t yearn for the common life as he’d rather uphold the same enforcer position. It’s the will of the universe he was thrown back to the past, he wouldn’t want to extract defiance.

Kindergarten is too far back.

He can restore the timeline nonetheless, but imposing to agonize for a future fifty years ahead is a lost cause.

He listened intently to the soulful noise.

Abrupt as everything commenced though, there’s now his fragile frame involved in a cataclysm brought by his home’s innocent children.

Gil definitely thought he was within the bounds of imagination, yet shackled in a space unclassified if it’s a dream or nightmare. It wouldn’t have hurt to observe an event where he’s been found lying unconscious in the field. Such a scenario must carry an exquisite value to it, where he’d only have to recuperate his wounds.

Much to say it was too good to be true.

For him to truly awaken from the surrealness, he needed the cliched slap everyone has asked at least once in their lives.

Fortunately, Luna has been thrashing his fellow classmates around with her flocculent hammer.

Not missing a beat, he taunted her, “Hey, Luna!”

Our rambunctious female troublemaker Luna desisted from painting yet another child in crescendo, and looked in his direction. Impromptu paintbrush cast down her waist while the fresh paint trickled over old newspaper pages. Eyes leveled for each other broke a stage in Gil’s problem. He called onto a person and he was heard loud and clear. Else, the metronome in his chest reverberated faster now he has the devil’s attention.

Separated only two meters away from each other.

His motive would come and go─and yet he held onto his collar.

Gulped childishly for a rash decision he didn’t think twice for.

“What do you want, Gil?” Luna squinted her eyes.

Fuck it! It’s now or her ADHD will just activate, Gilgamesh Summers huffed in preparation to his welfare.

“Luna and Czeslaw should kiss under the persimmon tree,” he mocked her at his behest, romanticized for children and not otherwise an aping old man.

Snap─! One harmless joke ignites every injurious bone for a little child.

“Hiya─!” Luna Lafayette, his supposed little nightmare rushed towards him in her cute outcry for vengeance.

Mere words reciprocated by violence, only the motivation was ridiculous. Sensibly serving Gilgamesh as an afterthought, adults are only children who grew in size. And yes, Luna Lafayette bashed his consciousness to the downtrodden floorboard.

He didn’t object on being hit, receiving an impactful brute force albeit the weak constitution.

So, Gilgamesh Summers lost his foothold as he was thrown from the shockwave.

“Wait, what?” being the optimal internal shout, the charged attack should have been physically impossible.

Fright spiraled in lieu of his objective─sensible for the breakage in his thoughts in a closely looping momentum. He died and was sent through time, so it couldn’t have been a dream. If it was a dream though, there’s the question of how long he has been asleep. All said and done, he died from where he remembers last.

So in conclusion, he’d find himself drifting in limbo if he’d be aroused from the dream.

Skepticism does let you venture anywhere through everything, all at once.

Oh shit, the memories are flooding back into his mind despite the momentous sight. Loud voices constricted the conscience, and time turned back to where it left. Gunshots, raging flames alongside the perish song of devils and imperial soldiers no longer determined for the battlefield. Gilgamesh Summers came from the apocalypse─and he’s too afraid to come back.


“The holy Twilightwood tree is burning… no, there’s no more bright future left ahead of us!”

Once more, the glorious castletown of Philadelphia. Gilgamesh Summers has tedious luck in his disposal. He awakened into a corner in town, and death and destruction─the common yet sublime phrase─blared for the people of the promised lands.

Twilightwood, the sacred tree of life, has been set ablaze: once was the beacon of hope, fire raged to its expanse. Leaves left to fall as ashes, its wood no more than divine charcoal. From all forms of hopelessness, all eyes were set upon the divine savior.

A beacon of everyone’s survival in the dying planet, Gilgamesh can’t imagine anyone at all being lackadaisical enough to set the world on fire.

Cast no care of the world, who set it on fire must have been psychologically challenged.

Gilgamesh Summers, a detective turned soldier, could have stayed there and lamented alongside his brethren.

Although he cannot fathom the thought.

All because he was the reason the Twilightwood was being engulfed by flame.

He didn’t have the qualifications of a victim, and he wouldn’t allow himself either.

Huff a sigh.

He can be insensitive though, so maybe it was because he was being chased. Looking at a different palette, he had no choice but to run from one branch to another, a roof into the next, all to shake his pursuers. Puff, puff, and leap! Muscles pushed to their limits, the rifle bound to his arm slowing him down a notch. Mana consumption weighed heavier than usual, sinful for how he’s ironically holding onto the reason for life's imminent demise. If he didn’t load the next round though, he’s no longer alive at the briefest glance of hostilities.

Gilgamesh Summers has two definitive sins.

No, it’s apart from killing seventeen fellow imperials so far.

He wouldn’t lament his villains for as long as he breathed.

First of his crimes, he shouldn’t have discovered the rifle when they ventured to the ruins of the sleepless metropolis.

Gilgamesh should have grown weary of the recent goblin infestation, and bailed out of the investigation. No derelict infrastructure should have been entered out of intuition. Hence, he couldn’t have found mankind’s most vicious weapon and drove the nations into the most violent arms race yet.

And second, he should have done his utmost to fend off the enemies of the church.

If he ended the farce sooner, they wouldn’t have cast their last ditch effort to unleash the Zabaniyah. For him to think they won was a foulest of foul plays he called in his lifetime. Now haunted by the eternally burning angels, the paradise he swore to protect all his life will soon crumble to smithereens─and it cannot be stopped. Church and the sacred tree of life itself, falling down to wreak apocalypse once more─all resources will begin to diminish.

Exponentially at its base.

“Puff… puff… You’re always so unreliable when you need to, Gilgamesh Summers,” he told himself, grasping for the already thinning air. “You’re already a dead man, why are you scared of death?”

After the tree burns, the planet should perish.

Mind was pressed to the equation: first, the Persian Empire’s stolen tree of life has already been killed thanks to the empire’s decree.

If his intuition is correct, the sacred tree should burn perpetually as a reaction to hell’s angels.

More than a barren planet no longer able to sustain life, it’d be an inferno hostile to everything in its wake.

Hmm, nonetheless, through and through, he’s hopelessly a thinker.

And─he could really use it to his advantage.

Stricken by impulse, Gilgamesh was given a thought instead of only shaking his pursuers off.

“Okay… I must save the world,” he declared, joyous in his psychotic path. “I’ve never been on top of the tree. Obviously because it’s forbidden by the church. I’m a devout, don’t get me wrong, but I’ve always had the urge to see what’s hidden at the end. It doesn’t matter if the church is no longer functional. I have but only one way to find out now that you’re burning from the inside out, huh? If I don’t drop the curiosity, everyone you ought to protect will perish.”

Heh, eleven kilometers can’t be managed.

No one asked.

“Forgive thy distraught follower, Mister Twilightwood, for I will sin once more!”

Gilgamesh was tired, exhausted even from all the events leading to the ruination.

He shouldn’t run all throughout the chase, seeking a place to hide which might as well be his tomb.

Come to think of it, he’s not being chased anymore. He looked back and there were none. He can no longer hear the audible footsteps of three men supposed to be expanding their lungs in uncanny parallels.

Means he can do what he’s supposed to do.

Skepticism lies dormant, but his inaction means an apocalypse.

Satiation of the thought alone kept coloring him insane.

When nothing will remain, squeezing the last juice of effort is only optimal. Almost everyone either stopped or panicked, the reliance for vengeance lies on his hands. Maybe not alone, but he wouldn’t dare press common sense against the race of time.

Gilgamesh Summers huffed a breath, and extracted mana from the wandering spirits.

Contrary to his name, nothing about him spoke of being a heroic figure.

Mister Summers misjudged his son growing as a child straight out of a legend, and he was only being ridiculous.

About pompous he knows a scrap in history no one in their neighborhood knew nor cared for.

He has been proven wrong on countless occasions now, he must want to crawl out his grave and slap his son once and for all.

Alright, if he was to die then and there─he could at least honor his father for the last time.

“Let’s soar!”

Jump─! A circle of light flashing neon irradiated under him─a quantum tunnel breaking a singularity in his creative void space. As soon as it appeared, Gilgamesh rested three of his limbs, lest his rifle hand, down the solid surface.

Assessing its properties, his portal works one way─meaning pressure collected underneath him while he can’t fall down the wormhole.

His ashen crown swayed to the breeze of wind from the established portals. Hand spread to channel his mind down, both his feet strengthened for his most ambitious leap yet. Inhale for a second, and whoosh!

Gilgamesh expanded the pressure to generate an implosion.

Next thing he knew, he’s on an upright skydive as though gravity took an insane hiccup.

He would have shouted in extreme excitement had it been a carefree sequence in discovering his powers. Imitating superheroes might as well calm him down, but restrictions meant so dire to his survival. As a recompense, his manic smirk took over his face as accentuated by his sleepless yet exhilarated eyes.

Flight has only been a capability reserved for the winged races either pure or stained.

He had the research shelved for decades long, but now he has the chance to romanticize something out of a mere human’s grasp.

Less than actual flying though, he’s only being pushed by his violent conjuration. He can only achieve what’s considered hilarious. Honestly, the same effect can be achieved by loading yourself in a trebuchet. Black Mages were his inspiration, where they ignite compressed air to gain velocity, but he might as well think of people in catapults.

Never mind, he’d let himself strike through the clouds and afterwards, warrant himself a skydive: from mister desperation’s insistence, it’s not supposed to be big of a deal.

Before he could do so, and reach even halfway through, a trigger clicked.

Scent of vengeful mana raged from a distance.

And soon, he was shot exactly in the shoulder blades─where he’s channeling mana to his rifle through cables. “Guh!” His ambitious grandfather bit his lower lip from the rupture. Yet, he managed to keep himself straight and look at the penetration. Five have been severed, only three remained. Out of the three vessels, only one operated as it should. He can no longer breathe mana into his gun as intended… No more worries can be thought of, a second shot has been fired.

Now, he saw the bullet dead in the center.

Light flashed between his eyes: flickering bluish white rounds, they disappeared midway and zoomed to his cranial support.

Matter points for only a fraction of a millisecond and his tissues scattered across the blazing cityscape. Scenic as it was from above the clouds Left to become ashes either civilization is lost once more, or rebuilds itself from the first square.

His heroism was denied before it began.

Nevertheless, he couldn’t lament more as he’s been given a second chance.

“Gil is a bad person!”

Snap─! Luna Lafayette, his fellow kindergartner; or, the mean soul who followed after the bully’s footsteps, declared in front of Gilgamesh himself.

Truth in his matter, he is a child once more─consciousness drifted to an approximate of fifty years in the past. Plenty of time before his venture brings the whole world to its knees. For what hellish duty he imposed in blasting himself beyond the stratosphere, he instead tapped into a chance accident serving him an indispensable platter of time.

He wouldn’t even direct issues to his assassin rather than be grateful for his intervention.

If not for him, he wouldn’t be looking outside in a trance, imaging the picturesque scaling barks and verdant leaves of Twilightwood.

He heard the spirits claim it was only an overgrown coniferous tree, but it’s forever a monument of Earth’s resolve for him.

If anything, he has always sworn to protect its holiness no matter what effort he takes for the preservation of life. The Zabaniyah takes half of the upcoming century to arrive at its base, he only has to render the events nonexistent. No longer will the planet turn into the imagined hellscape after the sacred tree’s decimation into smithereens.

“Gil is a bad person. I don’t like him at all!” Dress was tugged, and the adult woman accompanying her looked down. Fingers indexed straight unto the old child, the monstrous gorilla demanded in an almost sickening plight, “Mama, scold him.”


So, it’s one of those missions to save the world.

Of course, it’s a tall order.

He didn’t expect himself to do so as he thought about it.

Plans were laid.

Firstly, he needed to extinguish the fire churning inside the beast he managed to piss off. Huff a sigh once more─and, “Good grief! I hope time will be kind this time around.” Not that he was serious, he meant to jinx the heavens out of himself.