Chapter 68:

Good Versus Evil

Red-Black Course

Back to the present.

When the familiar messy blond hair and glasses face appeared before Mike and Zain, both of the teenagers couldn’t believe their eyes.

“… Lewis?” Mike was the first to break the silence, but considering the way his voice cracked and shivered, even the most oblivious person could see that the boy was in great distress. And who could blame him, when not only did his best friend – the one person he never wanted to be involved in this side of his world – find out about him, but that friend would be standing face-to-face against him on the side of his enemies.

‘Mike…” on the other side, Lewis also muttered. Not an ounce of surprise, but filled with regret.

“I can explain…”

“No need, Mike,” Lewis slowly, but firmly shook his head. “I was the one at fault.”

Hearing those words only made Mike more confused than ever. “What do you mean?”

“I know that you wanted to help me achieve my dream… I’ve unknowingly placed such a burden on your shoulders, when I should have been the one to do it on my own…”

“Lewis, you’re not making any sense! You’re not forcing me to do anything!”

“No, it was my fault!” Lewis, unable to keep his calm anymore, shouted at the top of his lungs. “Because of me, you had to engage in such dangerous activities, and then you… you…”

Lewis’s shoulders shivered, as tears slowly flowed out of the boy’s eyes, which only served as more cuts to Mike’s already open wound.

“You’d end up influenced by this villain!” Mustering all his strength into his arm, Lewis pointed at Zain with all his might.

“Villain? What are you talking about, Lewis? Zain isn’t…”

“No! You don’t understand!” Lewis screamed out before Mike could finish explaining. “Don’t you know where he was from? Don’t you realize what kind of atrocities he’d done?”

Just as the atmosphere between the two boys was more intense than ever, as if the string was forcibly snapped by a clean knife slash, a dry, booming laugh echoed through the chamber.

While Mike turned to his back filled with confusion, Lewis’s flames of anger only burned brighter.

The perpetrator was none other than Zain himself.

“Atrocities? Good one, you,” feigning to wipe his tears of laughter, the young man sounded. “I’m curious myself; what kind of atrocities did you see me do?”

“I…” Lewis couldn’t respond. Of course, there was no way for him to respond, for he had not seen anything that he was told. However, just like how Mike placed his trust in Zain, Lewis also placed his trust in Yusei. Not only was he the esteemed Student Council President of Aoba Academy, but he had also saved Lewis from trouble, while even revealing his secrets to him. If there was anyone that was evil, Lewis was sure that Yusei wouldn’t be him.

Mike, however, couldn’t understand everything that went inside Lewis’s head. And so, seeing that his friend hesitated, the boy took it as a chance to turn the tables around:

“See, Lewis? You can’t answer, right? Then he’s not the type of person you think he is!”

“… Then what about you, Mike?” Lewis, hearing those words, would only be even more angered. “Have you seen him doing good ever?”

“Of course, I have! He’s…” Mike stopped himself before he could say anything further. Angry as he might be, he was also aware that bringing up Zain’s vigilantism wasn’t the best move. He didn’t know how much Lewis knew about things, and if Yusei and the rest of the Student Council were withholding information to deceive him, then it would be even more problematic.

“See? You can’t answer either!” Lewis, not wasting any minute reaction, retaliated. “Then he’s not the good guy you thought he was!”

Mike gritted his teeth in frustration. The boy could only blame himself for the situation in front of them, as he questioned if the move he made was the right choice after all. But now that Lewis had had the chance to retort, what else could he have done?

The answer soon showed itself in the words his friend told him. They were at a standstill, so they couldn’t do anything. Powerless – that was the state that they were in.

However, there was one thing that Mike had forgotten, and that was the fact that the friend he made along the way wasn’t necessarily one that would accept being powerless. And coincidentally, facing him was also someone with the same mindset.

A clanging sound echoed through the secret room, gaining the attention of everyone present. When Mike and Lewis turned to the source of the noise, both were flabbergasted as sparks flew in the air, and the only thing they could observe with their naked eyes were flashes of a shining knife and the black silhouette of a suit of armor.

“Finally, the fodders have quieted down a bit, don’t you agree?” Within that chaotic speed, Yusei let out a grin, swinging his knife at lightning pace.

“Can’t say I disagree with the notion,” Zain replied with the same grin. “Your getup on the other hand...”

True to his words, Yusei had gotten rid of his Aoba uniform and even the bright, red wig he had while in school. The man dashing in and out of Zain’s range of attack was lean-built with short black hair, wearing the same blue outfit Zain had seen throughout his life.

“How long since you’ve been posing as Yusei?”

“Posing? I think you’re mistaken,” the young man answered with a smirk. “I’m always Yusei Kotaro. The look you see at school was just something that I’ve come up with to better hide my presence. No one expects the flashy hairdo as a wig, after all.”

“Can’t believe I fell for that,” Zain clicked his tongue in annoyance before throwing a punch from the left side. However, his fist was soon blocked by Yusei’s knife work again.

“There’s a lot you don’t know about… Like this! Now!”

As soon as the words left his mouth, two other blurs of silhouette charged out from the corners. Before Zain could have time to think, the young man had already felt incredible pressure to his right, causing him to unconsciously block the attack right away.

There was an attack on Zain, but its strength was nothing like he imagined. For the first time in his life, Zain was pushed away as far as he was – without him steeling himself and planting his heels on the ground, he would have been sent flying to the wall. Instead, the result of that single punch was two lines of eviscerated tiles caused by Zain’s friction against the floor.

The young man’s arms were shaking. Not in fear, but in physical pain. But he didn’t have the chance to recover, as another wave of assaults came crashing down like a tidal wave as soon as he could get a peek at the situation.

And once he did, Zain’s eyes widened in shock. His opponent was none other than one of the girls he had seen with Yusei, but the level of absurd power she was dishing out at him was the physically strongest he had ever experienced.

“Die, you bastard!” The girl shouted with all her might, as if her voice alone would be able to blow someone away. However, Zain was no ordinary person, and once the words reached him, a strange intuition arose within the young man.

This girl… is hostile?

Even throughout every fight that he had experienced, Zain had never experienced hostility. When he was in the Infinite Prison, the inmates would show fear when facing him, while the wardens would show contempt and arrogance (save for Bruce, who was more akin to pettiness). When he was outside, Leo gave him a feeling of being toyed with and tested. Even as he was fighting just now, Yusei never let out a true sense of hostility, but rather the same kind of messing around that the wardens showed him. But this girl in front of him was different. For the first time in his life, Zain had met a person that genuinely wanted to kill him.

And so, he couldn’t help but be intrigued.

“Who are you?” Asked the young man.

“You don’t have the right to ask that question!” With a roar akin to a wild beast, the girl jumped at Zain once again. Punch after punch was thrown, while the young man had no choice but to defend himself. But even so, the resulting shockwave from the constant attacks was enough to trash the room, with cuts appearing one after another on the nearby.

“Tch!” Zain clicked his tongue in annoyance once more. Though he was hurt, it was nothing that he couldn’t handle. However, the constant barrage of punches limited his movement as well as his vision of the field. And not to mention, Yusei was still lurking around the battlefield, circling him at a blistering speed like a shark just waiting for the perfect moment to strike his prey.

At that moment, a thought ran across his mind.

Wait. Weren’t there three of them?

“Mike, look out…”

Before he could finish his words, another flash appeared before his eyes. This time, it was another knife strike, but unlike Yusei’s playing moves, this one was silent, merciless, and most surprising of all, emotionless.

As if there was nothing put into the attack, and the slash just happened to hit his face.

Joining the fight was indeed the final obstacle that Zain was worried about – the crimson-haired girl from the Student Council.

“Don’t worry,” the girl spoke in the same cold tone as her attack. “They’re still Aoba’s students. We won’t lay a finger on them. You’re the only target we’re after.”

“Gee, thanks for the consideration,” lightly wiping off the blood on his face with his thumb, Zain let out a worried grin. “Then I guess it’s time for the climax.”

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