Chapter 7:

Called to School (1)

My Demon Queen

Evening came with Liliath undergoing recuperation— aka, sleeping. She woke up somewhere around noon, just before lunch. In the afternoon I had her do whatever she wanted— which was a mistake because in the end, she sought the reference books I recommended to her. What a studious fellow. Bookmark here

That’s bad.. I’m slacking on my studies. Bookmark here

Thus I accompanied her studying— though having her there was more distracting than anything I’ve ever encountered. I caught myself sneaking peeks at her every so often. Darn it, talk about being seduced. In no way am I planning to forcefully make her mine without her personal approval—Bookmark here

Late afternoon was also the time my sister came back from school since she had a group project forcing her to stay back late. She helped Liliath kill time— watching cartoons on television. Liliath didn’t seem all that into the show— though she did take interest in ads during the intermissions. Weird..Bookmark here

I came to my room after dinner and proceeded to draw. I’m an illustrator, did I forget to mention that? Yeah, I took a break yesterday since I nearly broke my spine and wasn’t in the mood to draw either, anyways, thanks to Liliath, I’m back to drawing.Bookmark here

My father, though an architect, was also an amazing artist— or mangaka? I’m not too sure, he’s not Japanese so... a comic artist?Bookmark here

If I were to say honestly, he was the one who inspired me to draw. Though I didn’t really put too much serious effort into it, the habit of drawing every day does wonders. I’ve gotten pretty good if I must say so myself— until I realize how I’m not. There are waaaayyy to many professionals out there. My artworks can’t even hold a candle to their standards.Bookmark here

The past me said to wait until my 16th birthday, when I acquire my TALENT, before deciding on what career path I should seriously devote myself to. Though I now realize that's a big mistake. I shouldn’t just ‘wait’ for the opportunity to arrive, I need to act, do, take action. Bookmark here

Initially when I thought I was a TALENTLESS— that was just yesterday by the way, I took that into consideration and made the decision to devote myself as an artist. Bookmark here

I like art so.. why not? I found the work of a user by the name Yu.Ta on the internet which totally caught my eyes. That’s his alias.. I don’t know much about his real name. Main point is this, his TALENT had nothing to do with art. Basically speaking, it’s purely skill based. If he could achieve his level of art without the aid of a TALENT like some artists do, then I could too right? I mean, he’s like one of the many examples of people who didn’t follow the orthodox route of adhering to their TALENT.Bookmark here

TALENT isn’t necessarily the dictator of one’s life, is the point they always emphasize.Bookmark here

—That’s a new entry into my journal.Bookmark here

I was drawing half-way when I heard a knock on my door. It was getting late— around 10:30 pm? I usually sleep at 10. Shoot. I still have school tomorrow. Or should I just not go?Bookmark here

“Who is it?” I asked, hoping my voice would travel through to the other side of the door.Bookmark here

“It’s Liliath.”Bookmark here

“Hm?” Bookmark here

Liliath? Why would she— no... it can’t be right? No way.. that kind of development.. I thought it was best for her to sleep in my sister’s room— to which my sister totally approved of but...Bookmark here

I pulled open the door. There, Liliath in a slightly too small mint-blue pajamas bowed, then looked into my eyes and said, “Good night.”Bookmark here

I stood there stunned, but eventually managed to reply back with those same words, “Good night.”Bookmark here

Looks like she’s going to sleep in my sister’s room after all. Wheewh. So it was a misunderstanding on my part. Ha. Ahahaha. Bookmark here

I’m alright, don’t worry about me, I’m not disappointed, not at all.Bookmark here

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Blare. Blare. Blare.Bookmark here

Shut up. Shut up. Shut up.Bookmark here

Opps. I almost smashed my phone there... I have to be more prudent. I still haven’t figured out what would happen if I lost my phone— that gacha app specifically.Bookmark here

Now that I think about it... it’s scary isn’t it? My TALENT revolves around the usage of my phone. I wonder if It’s possible to download it elsewhere? I don’t think such an app even exists.. I tied searching for it yesterday to realize the app doesn’t have a name to it. Huh. Weird.Bookmark here

I need to cherish my phone.Bookmark here

“Morning mom,” I stretched, walked into the kitchen to grab a glass of water to wet my dry throat.Bookmark here

“Morning Noel,” my mom replied, hands busy cooking.Bookmark here

“I’ll take a bath first.” I took the towel on the rack and proceeded to the shower.. I just realized. This was the same towel Liliath used yesterday wasn’t? Our family was the kind to share the same towel.Bookmark here

Why am I thinking these thoughts..Bookmark here

In any case, I took a new towel and placed the old one in the washing bucket. Wait, isn’t it the same thing? Liliath would be using this same towel here... ughhhh... forget it forget it. Forget I ever thought about this.Bookmark here

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Apparently Liliath was a late riser. My sister had trouble calling her up. Bookmark here

With the image of Liliath who just woke up in mind, hair all tangled, I set off to school. I didn’t bump into Prune this time. What a rare occurrence.Bookmark here

By the way, since my bag broke, I brought a substitute— something like a shopping bag.Bookmark here

“Yo, talentless shellfish.”Bookmark here

“Morning, what is it Gruan..”Bookmark here

I saw him waiting at the school gate with the group of imbeciles. Oh, if you’re wondering why I’m being so respectful towards him even though he treats me like crap— I don’t really have a particular reason as to why. It’s to do more with me than him. If I allow myself the world to push me around and tell me what to do or how I should react to certain situations— like punching Gruan in the crotch, what’s the point? There isn’t any benefit to it.Bookmark here

“Nah. Just wondering why you didn’t come yesterday. We had a blast you know? You just had to miss out on the cake,” he tried to hang his arm over my shoulders but I dodged it.Bookmark here

“I don’t particularly like cake,” I replied without turning around and continued down the path adorned with petals of cherry blossom flowers.Bookmark here

He didn’t comment any further.Bookmark here

I reached class to realize that Prune was absent, or rather, had been absent. Eavesdropping on the conversations of others, it looked like she didn’t come to school yesterday either. I wonder what happened? Well, Prune is pretty much the closest person to me second to Gruan. Besides that, I’m not really friends with anyone else.Bookmark here

Hm?Bookmark here

She transferred schools?Bookmark here

Now that I think about it.. I should’ve transferred elsewhere too shouldn’t I? With my grades, it should be no problem. I wonder why I’m still here— being fatso’s punching bag.Bookmark here

It’s not like my parents disagree. If anything, they know about my situation as a bully victim. It was I who remained adamant on staying. I wonder if it’s because the year is coming to an end? Well, perhaps there’s this feeling of wanting a fresh new start.Bookmark here

Or is it because of..Bookmark here

Prune?Bookmark here

I don’t know. Bookmark here

Maybe I do know... Bookmark here

..Bookmark here

I’m just denying it. Bookmark here

Since she’s gone might as well just— move on. Yup.Bookmark here

While planning out my schedule— drawing schedule, I heard someone call out to me. Bookmark here

“Hey Noel. The principal is calling you,” it was Freya in her green jacket yet again.Bookmark here

Eh? Did I get into some trouble? I merely skipped one day of school? It’s not like I hold a perfect record of attendance either.Bookmark here

“Come on now,” Freya placed both her hands on her hips and called out again.Bookmark here

“A-alright.”Bookmark here

Looked like Freya would be guiding me to the principal’s office. Freya is the class monitor by the way— Wait, her birthday was yesterday wasn’t it?Bookmark here

“Um, Freya, sorry. Happy belated birthday.”Bookmark here

“Oh, thanks, it’s alright,” she smiled.Bookmark here

We continued down the corridor with students loitering around. Bookmark here

“What TALENT did you acquire?”Bookmark here

“My TALENT? Let’s see..” she raised a thinking posture. Bookmark here

She pointed to the front.Bookmark here

“This.”Bookmark here

Then all of a sudden I felt my view distort before noticing she had appeared at the location where she had pointed at before. I was still where I stood, the change was that she— teleported?Bookmark here

“Teleportation?” I caught up to herBookmark here

“Time distortion,” She stuck her tongue out, but her complexion was rather pale, “I can only use it a little bit though.”Bookmark here

Wow. Now that’s an overpowered ability!Bookmark here

“Wait.. that means..”Bookmark here

“There’s a limit to it though. It’s tiring for one, and I can’t move objects in the distortion state. If I try to interact with objects, say for example kicking you, nothing would happen. I can’t even lift an eraser off a table. The only thing I can do is move myself.”Bookmark here

“Then your clothes?”Bookmark here

“Eh?” She looked with a befuddled expression, as if realizing something super important,“I guess it’s still a mystery after all. I’ll have to experiment with it more..”Bookmark here

“In any case, why am I called by the principal?”Bookmark here

“Hm? Well.. about that. There are two reasons. I think it’s best if he asks you about it himself.”Bookmark here

“Ok.”Bookmark here

You can resume reading from this paragraph.