Chapter 14: Deceived (1)
My opponent for this training is Victoria. But what is her ability? She’s a deceiver. She doesn’t appear to be on the defense-offense line like Ethan, but I don’t trust her with that attitude. I know there’s something more to her ability; there’s more that she could do. She is not going to be Victoria, the bitch if she can only do simple things.
“I’ll wait for you guys, here,” Luna said and went to a corner and simply watched us.
Okay. So I have to face Victoria. Big Deal. But in the back of my mind I know it’s indeed a big deal. What exactly can she do? Each member went to their own positions in the large training room. Then they looked at the center where the two of us, Victoria and I, were left. Do they intend to just watch us?
“Non-defense line is always the first to go,” Luna said when she noticed that I was confused. She often does that. I haven’t asked any questions yet but she already has an answer. Am I that easy to read?
I noticed Gin leaning against the wall with crossed arms. He looked straight at me. He didn’t even intend to hide that he was staring at me and waiting for my next actions.
“What are you waiting for?” Victoria called from the other side of the training room. I peeked again at my wrist. The black ink was still clearly stamped there. I wondered if it will ever disappear.
I walked towards her direction. I’m not nervous. As a matter of fact, my body is starting to feel numb again. That’s what it does if the situation becomes overwhelming. It doesn’t want to feel. But I know that I’m not scared or nervous. What can be worst than earlier? I already faced the Team Captain. It was one heck of a deal gone wrong. Nothing will happen worst than that. But I can feel that something is going to happen and I won’t like it. Whatever it is I need to be prepared.
“You’re too slow.”
I ignored Victoria’s words when I reached her. Because something already occupied my senses. I turned abruptly to the group— I stepped into something. I immediately know that there’s something wrong. I gazed at Luna who was only a few meters away from me earlier but now I could barely see her. She’s so far away now. They seemed to be in another space, a place that’s far and different from the training room. What the heck happened?
I looked around and there I noticed. There was something from the ceiling emitting a foggy smoke. While that smoke gradually descends to the floor, it becomes clearer. I can now clearly see Luna and the others. But their location and distance are different from ours.
“It’s a dimensional apparatus,” Victoria said while looking at me and raising her brow. Maybe, I looked like a fool in her eyes that I didn’t even know how this training works.
Victoria suddenly approached me. I drew back as a reflex. She smiled at the sight. “Scared?” she asked with a mock innocence.
“More like suspicious,” I answered. “What can you do?”
She looked at me as though laughing at my question. I feel suffocated with this dimensional thing. Like the very air that I breath is artificial because of all smokes around us.
Victoria was still coming at me. The smile on her lips didn’t disappear. I know Luna and the others are close by and they can clearly see everything. But right here, right now, in this dimensional shit, it has only me and Victoria in existence. I need to focus my attention to her if I want to win this duel.
Victoria eventually came close to me. Her perfect face was just inches from mine. Smooth, pale white skin, and with a malicious smirk on her lips. She put her hands on my shoulder and spoke to me in a whisper, “Tell me, Shia, what can you say about Gin?”
I was startled at her question. I can feel myself stiffen. In a slow motion, she looked at Gin’s direction, as if daring me to do the same. But I didn’t do it. I didn’t turn and look at Gin.
“Don’t worry, they won’t hear us”. Her voice was too sweet, too angelic, too evil because of that. If you look from afar, it’s like we are close friends casually chatting. Our eyes were the only give away that it’s the other way around.
“I don’t have to tell you,” I replied still looking straight at her. She laughed softly at my response.
“How about Corrine?” she asked again while walking around me. “You know, there’s a great resemblance in you two,” she said. “The only difference is she looks angelic while you are a little devil.”
What does this woman want to say? Why is she asking me irrelevant questions? Can she just shut up so we can start this fucking thing?
“Tell me something about Lucas, then.”
There I was completely stunned. I never saw that coming. She would never mouth that name, Lucas’ name. It’s too eccentric. How did she know about Lucas? Something in my head is starting to tell me that I should stay away from that question. Something is warning me that it’s a disguised trap. But I want to know how she knew about Lucas. How did she— I was stunned again when the surrounding suddenly change.
Victoria smiled sweetly. “Sweet dreams.”
That was the last thing I heard before the surrounding start spinning. It’s very fast that I nearly vomited and lost my balance. I kneeled on the floor and held on it because of the dizziness. Is the floor shaking? Or the walls spinning? What is happening? I closed my eyes but even the darkness was also swirling, making me dizzier. SHIT. THIS IS THE TRAP.
I tried to tightly close my eyes so that the swirling will stop. My senses were in full numb condition but I knew this was not a mere physical event. But out of nowhere the spinning gradually weakened. The floor became stable. I carefully opened my eyes, standing slowly while staring in front of me. My mouth went dry and I couldn’t speak. I was no longer in the training room. I was inside a room, a very familiar room, from the old wooden floor, the yellowish window where lights barely passed through, the old bed with a thin blanket, and the old man lying there. “Shia,” he called in a weak voice. I could hardly hear it. The old man was very weak. “Shia.”
A girl appeared from the doorway. She was wearing a black jacket and looked in a hurry. “Grandpa, wait for me,” the girl said with a messy hair. She tried to tie it but almost nothing has changed. “A healer is in the town now,” she said completely facing the old man. “I will bring her here. Please grandpa, wait for me.”
The old man didn’t answer. He only watched the girl. “Shia, it’s raining. Don’t go.”
“Grandpa, you need a healer.” The girl watched the old man’s body; he was very weak and emaciated. “I don’t know when the healer will visit the town again, that’s why I need to bring her here.”
The old man didn’t speak. His eyes only followed the girl while she’s preparing to go out. “Don’t,” he weakly whispered. “Don’t go. Stay here.”
But I know she didn’t hear it. They also can’t see me, because this is my memory.