Chapter 02 – V
“Viola~~~!!” A cheery girly voice could be heard from miles away. After that, a dark shoulder-length haired girl jumps onto my back, but I was only slightly flinched as I was expecting that.
“Hey Alis.” I look over my shoulder.
“Can I copy your homework??” she asked with a cheeky smile.
“You never change. When are you gonna stop copying my homeworks? Don’t you know that if you don’t do those practices then you won’t be able to do the exams?”
Despite all the lectures I made, I still open my bag and hand her the notebook anyway.
“Aww… You know I’m not so bright like you, Vi.” Alis snatches my notebook and starts copying right away.
“I thought I told you not to call me like that.” I pinch her.
“But it’s shorter! You know? One syllable?” She laughed.
“Fine. From now on, I’m gonna one-syllable your name too,” I threatened her.
“Hah! My name is already one syllable. How exactly are you—?”
“What the heck!? That’s a guy’s name!!!”
“Told you so.” I smile at her playfully and take out my studying materials as the instructor enters the class. “Hey. Don’t get caught…”
“Hah. Don’t underestimate me! I majored in the arts of copying since—.”
“Miss Rockwell, may I see your homework?” the instructor called out to Alis before she could even finish her sentence.
“Uh…well…I uh…my dog ate them, sire…”
“That’s like the oldest trick in the book. Minus points for unoriginality,” the instructor said calmly and takes out his attendance sheet while the whole class starts laughing.
Alis passes my homework notebook back to me, banging her head on the table in desperation.
“So I assumed you never graduated this major?” I teased her.
“Don’t rub the salt, you purple head!!!!!” The girl scowled me before banging her head against the table again.
After the period, I pack up my stuffs and get ready for the next class.
“Hey, Viola. Wanna go to the movies this weekend?” Alis asked.
“Movies again? Mid-term is like two weeks away,” I said.
“Aww, come on. You need only like five minutes to memorize all those journal entries. Don’t be so serious! Lilia and the others are going too!”
I seriously can never keep up with her persistence.
“[The Holy Mirror] of course! The adaptation of Mad_Cartoonist’s first novel title, remember?” she asked eagerly.
“Of course I remember, dummy. I’m his fan and you know it,” I said and softly flicked her forehead because she moved her face too close to me, “Anyway, I don’t know. From the trailers, I heard they are retconning lots of stuffs from the original, and I’m not sure I’ll like what I see.”
“Oh!! Come on!! It’s not gonna be fun if you’re not there, Viola! You have to come!! Please~!” Alis pleaded some more.
“Okay fine. If you have to put it that way.” I smiled at her pleading face. “I’m gonna go review my stuffs in advance then.”
“D’aaawww! Stop bumping the mean!!!!”
“Well, that’ll force you to start reading your stuffs!” I laugh victoriously.
“Tch, nerdy girl.” She frowns and walks away.
And that’s my dear friend for you.
Before I know it, the day is almost over. It’s pretty funny how time flies so fast some times, but perhaps that’s because I am enjoying my life. I board the coach and head home just like usual. Traffics near my place are jammed around evening, so I had to hurry back home. Besides, mom is coming back home early today and I do not want to be late for dinner.
As the coach moves onto the highway, I look out of the window while listening to music from my portable player. Andoria is a middle-sized town, holding about 50 thousand residents. After graduation, most new graduates leave the town to work in big companies, such as the Nebula Corporation, for bigger pays. As such, this town is a fairly peaceful town and a very great place to live.
After a while, the coach finally makes its way back down to the main street, parking at the stop near my house. Once I step down from the coach, I make a stretch and take a deep breath after the long trip. Even though the coach is air conditioned, sitting down for half an hour straight is still pretty tiring.
I make my way up the skywalk, crossing the street to the other side. My mind is completely occupied, dreaming about mom’s tasty dinner. However, the moment my feet touched the ground in the middle of the skywalk, an eerie sensation suddenly emerges from behind me, sending chills down my spine. The presence is frighteningly cold, and it seems as if time itself freezes along with my body. I could almost feel color draining from my face. My eyes start rolling left and right, looking for the source of this sensation. This chill is simply beyond my ability to describe into words, but ‘something very hostile and frightening is just around the corner’ seems like a fairly accurate substitute.
The thought about dinner immediately vanishes and mom’s face instantly rises to the top of my mind. Something is telling me I should hurry home as soon as possible.
I force my trembling body to start running toward home, ignoring an unknown fear that starts building up with in me.
As my house comes into view, my eyes widen up when I notice that the front gate has been broken to small pieces and the front door sliced opened in two.
I immediately run into the house, where the cold eerie sensation only grows stronger.
Barging through the living room’s door, I scream to the top of my voice in fear as my eyes witness the horror; mom is lying on the sofa, completely stained in blood. Standing right next to the couch is a figure in a black hooded coat, staring down on mom. His right hand is loosely gripping a sword, soaked with blood.
My legs are trembling and all the energy inside me drains away in a blink of an eye. That moment, I finally realized; this man is the source of that eerie sensation.
“V…Vio…la?” mom whispered my name and puked a glob blood out of her mouth.
The figure slowly turns his head towards me. His hood covers his head down to his nose, so all I could see is a horrible frightening smirk.
“You are finally here, Viola.” His voice is cold and threatening. “I’ve been waiting for you.”
The hooded figure then slowly moves towards me with his blood soaked sword.
…He was expecting me?
“The time has come, Viola! The time that you shall become one with me!!” He spreads out his arm whilst walking towards me.
“D…Don’t come any closer!” I force out every ounce of energy left inside my body trying to run. But all I did was stagger back a step. He continues his way towards me, licking his lips thirsty for more blood.
That moment, a sharp familiar pain emerges right above my right breast once again. At the same time, a bright light shines above my right palm as I use my left hand to block the light.
“Yes, Viola!!!” The man in black coat laughs maniacally. “My dear Angel of Libra! It is time you wake up!”
As the light fades, I notice that a long object has been materialized on my right palm. It is a white lance, slightly longer than my height.
“Good. Let’s see what you’re made of!!”
The man in black coat then immediately leaps at me in a flash, brandishing his sword at me.
I was very scared. That blood stained blade is obviously the weapon that wounded mom and I am about to be its second victim.
However, all of the sudden my body starts moving on its own! My knees duck down, evading his slash, and my hands counter him with a lifting blow using the lance. However, the man in black coat hops to the side, dodging it with ease.
That moment, the fear in my body suddenly converts itself into rage and hatred, refueling my trembling legs back to its full strength. I leap towards the murderer with the white lance in my hand but he simply hops over my head to the other side of the room where I came in.
“I see that your powers has just awaken,” he said, chuckling, “So I guess I’ll have to wait a little longer.”
After that, he turns his back at me and heads for the door.
… He’s leaving!?
After barging into my house and harming mom, he is just going to leave like that!?
“You’re not going any where!!!”
My hands automatically swing the lance down against the floor, releasing a blast of energy wave at that man. However, he quickly puts up his sword and blocks the wave from hitting his body. As a result, all the wave did was blew him out of the house. Gritting my teeth, I immediately follow him out of the house but he is nowhere in sight.
“Show yourself, you coward!! Don’t you dare run away from me!!!” I scream with all the voice I have, but there was no reply.
He shouldn’t have gone too far from here, so I thought about looking for him. However, I have something more important to attend to.
I hurry back into the house, dropping the lance on the floor near the living room’s door.
Thank goodness she’s still breathing.
“V…Vio…la…listen to me,” she whispered.
“Save your energy! I’m calling the ambulance!” I reach for my cell phone in my bag but she quickly grabs my wrist.
“No! Listen to me, Viola! My…My time is running out…I have…to tell you.” She inhales deeply. “…I’m…not your real mother…”
My mind instantly becomes blank for a while. It took my brain several seconds to fully process mom’s words, and even then, all it did was filled me up with confusion.
“W…what? What are you talking about!?”
Tears suddenly well up in my eyes.
“I didn’t tell… be…cause…I don’t want you…to…su…suff…suffer.” She coughed. “If…possible…I wanted you…to…not…be involved…again…”
“Come on! That’s enough! Let me call the ambulance before its too late!!!” I cried.
“It’s already…too…late.” She pukes out some more blood. “Listen, Viola. Don’t…! Don’t go to the cops…You…can’t trust…them…You…can’t…”
Her eyes are not staying still. That is a very bad sign.
“Please mom! Don’t go! Don’t leave me like this!!!” I beg and cry. Deep inside I felt so mad I could not do anything more than that.
“Go…go…to the Cancerian…Laboratory… Go get… your answer…Go…go…g…g……g………..”
Her lips stop talking.
Her body lies still.
Her eyes are no longer moving.
“Mom…? Mom!? No mom! Don’t do this to me!!! Moooooommmmmmm!!!!!!!!!”
I scream out of sadness, grief, fear, confusion, and rage. All sorts of emotions are stirred up inside my mind. But more importantly, I screamed, because that was all I could do.
Everything was covered in silence.
She is no longer with me.
I hug my knees, feeling lonely, confused, and scared.
If memory serves me right, that was the place mom used to work before I was born.
…Before… I was born?
What does she mean when she said she’s not my real mother?
If she’s not my mom, then who is?
And why is she telling this to me now?
Don’t want me to suffer?
Don’t want me to get involved?
What was she trying to tell me?
And who is that man?
Why did he have to kill mom?
How did he know me?
What did he want from me?
…… And who the hell am I?
More and more questions pop up every second, but there is not a single person to answer even one of them for me.
All of the sudden, my cell phone starts ringing. The screen shows ‘Alis’.
…Should I tell her about this?
And what do I do after that?
Mom told me not to trust the cops. And knowing Alis, if she knows about this, then the cops WILL be coming.
Tears ran down my cheek as I hit the ‘reject’ button.
In just a short moment, I was thrown into an unknown world with no family, no friends, and no one to be there for me.
But that was when my eyes caught onto the white lance, lying still on the floor next to me.
What was that light?
Where did this come from?
What’s this ‘power’ that man was talking about?
I am still lost in the dark, but for some reason, I could vaguely see a glimpse of light on the other side of the tunnel. Mom said my answer is at the Cancerian Laboratory, and that is where I will be going. Perhaps, I would be able to get half the answers to all the questions in my head right now.
I close mom’s lifeless eyes then pick up the lance with a tight grip. My first clue is at the Cancerian Laboratory – the first destination of my new journey.
All was stripped away from me in a blink of an eye by that man.
…He will pay…