Millennium Match Chapter 8: Millennium Revolution 1 – Awakening

New chapter already? I’m as surprised as you are.

…you are there, aren’t you? Just checking.

Chapter 8: Millennium Revolution 1 – Awakening

As far as I could tell, it was the start of another ordinary day. There was the regular swarm funneling through the school gates. I stopped by the journalism club room to see the regulars.

I make it a point to keep profile cards of people I meet. It’s an important reference tool, though I don’t know how others might react to having themselves explained in a 3×5, so I usually keep them private. Here’s mine:

SEINO, Rie / Age 17
Journalism Student, Senior Year
-Seeks the pursuit of truth and justice through the power of the media
-Maintains an interest in local history
-Never stops when hunting down a good lead
-No plans to enter a university
-Enjoys takoyaki

Man: Ah, Seino! Here, listen to this!

YOSHIDA, Kaoru / Age 16
Photographer, Junior Year
-Owns a top-of-the-line digital camera and telescopic lens
-Interests include sci-fi light novels and manga
-Spectator at most womens’ sports games
-Has a crush on a girl in the horticulture club

Rie: What is it this time?
Kaoru: We need to do a story on the UFO!
Rie: Huh?
Kaoru: The field east of here has a bunch of weird markings that can’t be explained by anything other than a UFO landing!
Rie: Somehow I doubt that.
Girl: Forget that, I’ve got a juicier story!

ICHIJO, Kanami / Age 15
Reporter, Freshman
-Professional for the most part
-Writes lazy when the topic is about her own interests
-Plays basketball
-Once knocked a guy out with her cell phone after he broke up with her.
-She had to buy a new one. Cell phone, that is.

Kanami: We have GOT to do a profile story on Miura-sempai!
Rie: Not this again…

MIURA, Subaru / Age 17
Mysterious Transfer, Senior Year
-Seems to bleach his hair
-Very popular with the girls
-Reportedly athletic

Rie: Miura-kun isn’t news.
Kanami: I’m sorry, but what have you always said? If it interests the students, it’s news! And look at this unofficial popularity poll taken last week! He’s topped the charts!
Rie: *sigh* Fine… I suppose I can try to interview him. He’s in my ancient history class, after all.
Kanami: Thanks! Oh, and Kaoru, make sure to take lotsa pics!

Kaoru scowled at her.

Kaoru: You think I would waste memory on that jerk?

Kanami scowled back with the fury of a thousand fangirls.

Kanami: You watch what you say, loser!
Kaoru: Ugh…
Rie: Enough already. I’m going.

The time passed quickly enough before my last class.

Teacher: And so, from this evidence we can see that the text was not entirely consistent…

SAKAI, Kazuya / Age 32
Teacher, ancient history
-Started teaching two years ago
-Spaces out sometimes, but he knows what he’s talking about
-Single, somehow

I did a profile on Mr. Sakai when he first arrived. He had a deep interest in his subject, the likes I rarely see in other instructors. I remember he had a well-furnished apartment with a lot of interesting trinkets. He actually had a small hokora in the corner, and on the shelf was what looked like a mummified finger.

Sakai: Oh, and that seems to be all the time we have.
Subaru: Sensei! Can I talk with you about my grades?
Sakai: Miura? Ah, yes, of course.
Rie: Oh, if you don’t mind, I’d like to ask a few questions for the paper…
Subaru: I’ll be happy to answer your questions, but this is a private matter.
Rie: Okay, I’ll wait until you’re done.

I stepped outside the room and waited just outside. I heard them close the door and lock it. I used the time to look over some of Kanami’s notes and think up some decent questions.

Before I knew it, I had dozed off.

Rie: Nn? Ah! How long… I missed my chance…. Why didn’t either of them wake me?

I tested the door; it was locked. Peering inside I didn’t see anyone.

Outside, the sun was starting to set. But as long as there was light out, I decided to check out the strange markings. I didn’t believe in UFOs, but there has to be something to this story. Chemicals? It’s a possibility. Vandalism? Very likely. I felt some comfort knowing I had my trusty weapon in my bag. I call it my weapon because I couldn’t think of a catchy nickname for it. It’s a combination air horn / pepper spray. In addition to disabling 2-3 of the opponent’s senses momentarily, the loud noise can get the attention of people nearby.

I finally made it to the area I heard about. There was definitely something strange about it. There were shapes in the middle of a healthy grass field where the grass just died and shriveled. The day before, they were perfectly healthy. Now, they looked as if the grass were completely drained of their water. What could have possibly done this?

Rie: This could just be my imagination, but… are these footsteps?

If these were indeed footsteps… perhaps they formed a trail. I took my weapon out and followed the trail. The trail ended soon enough; a large area of dead grass obscured any further trail. I looked around and found myself in a construction area. I remembered, this was where Crossroads Academy once stood. It took ten years before the decision was made to build over the site.

It was going to take even longer now.

A loud booming caught my attention towards the half-built structure. All I saw was a huge plume of gray dust where a wall used to be. This was a much better story, and it fell right onto my lap.

Rie: Hey! Anyone there?

I didn’t hear any other noises before that, so there wasn’t much chance of a construction worker, but I hoped. Just then, a body came flying out and landed in front of me.

Rie: Kyaa! Ah… hey, are you okay?
Sakai: S…Seino-san… Get out of here!
Rie: Sakai-sensei?!

I could just barely see a shadow in the distance. He said something, but I couldn’t hear him. Mr. Sakai seemed to understand. I held my weapon and pointed it at the figure. It was just out of sight… Whoever it was, it was holding something in its right hand. Something long that reflected the light of the sun. Was it a blade? Looking down at Mr. Sakai, I noticed he was holding something as well: a tree branch.

Rie: What the heck were you doing out here?
Sakai: Doesn’t matter. Run!
Rie: Uh…

The figure came closer. I could sense it was going for the kill. It was an incredible speed. I don’t know how he covered that much distance so quickly. Mr. Sakai pushed me out of the way and took the hit. I saw him get cleanly gashed down his side. Panicked, I unleashed my weapon. Somehow, I hit my mark.


???: AARGH!! Damn…
Rie: That voice…
Sakai: Now!

It must have been some sort of illusion. Sakai-sensei threw his tree branch through the assailant’s body. The figure didn’t fall, but he must have been hurt badly. That’s an assumption on my part considering he took three giant leaps backward and was out of sight in an instant.

Looking back at Mr. Sakai, he was completely drenched in water, though I have no idea when that might have happened. But more importantly…

Rie: You need medical help. I’ll call someone…
Sakai: No, don’t….
Rie: I hardly think you’re in any condition to…
Sakai: I’m fine… Just…

Mr. Sakai collapsed. I shook him to see if he would come to, but no such luck. There was no way he could survive long with such a terrible wound. Luckily for him, there was no such wound to speak of.

Rie: Eh? But I was sure… I saw the blood splatter…

There was still blood in the area, in fact. Just no open wound.

It didn’t seem like he wanted to be sent to the hospital, and the extra attention wouldn’t do us any favors. I tried my best to carry Mr. Sakai to his apartment.

Along the way, I got a bunch of odd stares and the occasional smart-alecky wisecracks. “Hey, your old man have one too many?” was said more than once. It seems Mr. Sakai was just conscious enough to move his legs.

I was able to make it to his apartment. I checked his pockets and found the key, then brought him inside and set him down on a cushion. There didn’t seem to be a bed, so I checked the closets for a futon.

Sakai: Seino.
Rie: Sakai-sensei, you’re awake?
Sakai: Was anyone following you?
Rie: I didn’t notice.
Sakai: . . . Do me a favor. Take a look inside the hokora.
Rie: Uh… okay…

It was an odd request, but stranger things have happened today. I opened up the hokora and looked inside. There was a familiar-looking drawing on the bottom shelf. On the top shelf were seven colored rocks spaced evenly apart. Violet, blue, green, yellow, orange, red, and white in the center.

Sakai: Which stones are glowing?
Rie: Glowing?
Sakai: Never mind. Can you get me some tea from the fridge?
Rie: Sure.

In the fridge were several cans of iced green tea.

Rie: Is that all?
Sakai: Yes, for now.

Mr. Sakai sat up and held the can. I walked back to the mini-hokora to close it when I noticed something.

Rie: Ah… the green one started glowing.
Sakai: Is it? That’s good.
Rie: . . . Sensei… that was Miura-kun back there, wasn’t it?
Sakai: Seino, I want you to forget about what happened today.
Rie: You think I’m going to just ignore something like this? I saw you cut open! You shirt’s still torn! Mind explaining to me how that wound closed up so quickly?
Sakai: I’m serious. Seino…
Rie: If you won’t give me any answers, perhaps Miura will.
Sakai: That’s not going to happen.
Rie: Oh? And why’s that?
Sakai: Because you won’t be seeing him again.
Rie: Huh?
Sakai: I’ll tell you at least this much. We’ll probably get a note tomorrow morning informing us that Miura Subaru has transferred to another high school.
Rie: That doesn’t make sense.
Sakai: It makes perfect sense, considering he’s dead.
Rie: Wha?!
Sakai: I probably sent him on his way, but they finished the job. Damn, and I was starting to enjoy this life.
Rie: Please, tell me… What’s going on? Are you in danger?
Sakai: I’m telling you to forget it.
Rie: And I’m telling you I refuse!
Sakai: . . .
Rie: . . .
Sakai: No.
Rie: Then I won’t stop tailing you until you do.
Sakai: I see. Then I have no choice but to protect you.
Rie: Huh?

I suddenly felt very sick. It became hard for me to breathe, and I felt like throwing up. I think I did. I’m not sure. I felt too weak to stand up straight, and a second later I was out.

I woke up in a hospital bed. I was told that I was found passed out in a field by my school.

Doctor: You’ll be fine. Luckily, you were just outside the danger zone.
Rie: Danger zone?
Doctor: The construction site where Crossroads used to be, there was some explosion or something like that earlier today.
Rie: Y.. yeah…
Doctor: Seems you suffered a mild faint. You should recover nicely, but I suggest you spend the night here just to be sure. I’ve contacted your parents, and they should be here soon.
Rie; Oh… thanks…

I was asked all sorts of questions; mostly why I was out there. I told them that I was investigating a UFO sighting when the wall collapsed. It didn’t explain much, but that was all I could tell them. There was no point in talking about anything that happened afterwards.

Mr. Sakai had given me a warning. He and Miura-kun both had some sort of power, and if I were caught up in their world, this could be the least of my worries. But I didn’t care. I was too determined to find out why this happened. Why those two fought, why the mysterious transfer student was now dead and covered up exactly the way Mr. Sakai said it would.

One thing was certain: I would need a better weapon.

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