Chapter 4.1: Flashback; Black CardsMature

Two years ago . . .

I stood on the side of a London street, looking down the old paths as cars drove by me.

In my opinion, London is a dusty city of history. But it's lasted pretty long, and I'm impressed by how long they've existed. Problem? Yes. I wish the buildings here were a little more modern.

That, or maybe today, I feel a little like sketching new buildings.

With a sigh, I had to admit to myself that I haven't been able to follow my ambitions. Work as a Black Card and all that taking up my time.

"Kaden! There's some great ice-cream here!" Ulrich called at him, his voice a thick English accent. He was dressed in an oversized sweater with sleeves that were obviously too long for him he had to roll them back, as well as jeans and sneakers. Messy.

Can't he at least dress more appropriately? Rather, it's more like he's trying to displease me, the way he acts like an overexcited kid.

"I'm on a school trip from Evictis, but it's not a holiday, this is work," I snapped to him. He was going to be my tour guide in charge of leading me through London.

Ulrich, grinned. "I thought it would be good for you. You seem a little bothered. But you don't like friends, do you, Shadowalker? At least, that's what you seem like." He laughed as he came to my side.

I nearly chuckled at my nickname. At this time, the name Soul Reaper never existed, except in my hand, in the form of my scythe, Reaper. "What's the point of them? They're hindrances."

Ulrich stiffled a laughed. "Your language is complicated, even for a seventh grader, you know. Are kids from Amfer's most famous school given really tough English lessons?"

"Are you teasing my brother, brat?" demanded a loud, young woman's voice.

Mavis appeared from behind Ulrich, her arm curling around to lock around his neck. I felt her emotion, since she never hid them, even from my ability(simply 'cause she couldn't care about that). She was definitely irritated.

"Ow, ow, ow! That - hurts!" he gasped.

"It should!"

After counting to thirty seconds of my sister trying to strangle, I cut in, "Mavis, you can let him go now."

Mavis let him go, not letting the scowl leave her face, but changed the subject, running a hand through her long wavy hair.

"You two . . . are siblings, right?" Ulrich looked from me to my sister.

"Why?" I asked.

"You guys don't look that way."

I had to admit, that was true. Mavis has long, wavy, blonde hair; compared to me, who was born with an eccentric hair color in the shade of purple. Why I was born like this, I don't know. The only thing that would make me and Mavis as siblings were the colors of our eyes: dark grey. But that won't be enough to identify us as so.

"Even the doctor he was born under said Kaden probably had a defective gene that had something to do with his powers," said Mavis with a shrug. "It's one of those cases that began twenty years ago, where kids started to have strange colors replacing their irises or hair color. Good thing that there were no cases of people's skin changing color."

"Can we head to the airport now?" I grumbled. "I've got to meet the other five. It's almost time."

"Oh, that's right," said Ulrich. He bounced to the edge of the road. "TAXI!" Must you really bellow that loudly to catch a cab? In Amfer, all we needed to do was wave a hand, and the cab would stop, unless it's already got a passenger.

One stopped, and he bundled us into the backseat, taking us to the airport.

I had been the First-Rank Black Card when I was twelve, which was a huge improvement that also took me by shock. I mean, where did this spurt of improvement come into me when I didn't even notice? And before that, I was just before the proper rank of the sixth Black Card, but yet not strong enough.

After my first year as a Black Card, I gotta say, it was intriguing. And now everyone at Evictis Academy, the school I was enrolled in, knew me pretty well.

It's fun.

But I don't like friends. Who needs them?

When we arrived at the airport, the plane that was carrying the other five had just come in.

"Oh, goody, we didn't need to wait too long," said Mavis cheerfully as Ulrich led us through the airport.

And then we saw them: familiar figures with their own luggage approaching us.

Sixth-Rank: Seven Ivory, nicknamed Wordlock, which was a name for her ability to attack a person's mind. Yes, people, Seven was a Black Card, and made it here with too-excellent fighting skills that even the rest of the Black Cards can't beat her in combat that doesn't include using powers. All she'd need are a few knives she carried with her among her luggage. She couldn't just read minds like a proper sixth-sense person, but to be able to crush a normal person's thought process, even a whole army - 'mental control' is another way of describing her ability.

Fifth-Rank: Yuu Nagasaki, nicknamed the Blue Rush, particularly for his skills in manipulating water to the point of epic destruction, a half-Japanese, half-Canadian who studies in at Holden Falls Academy, fifteen years old. Blue Rush is basically the name he gave for his personal tsunami.

Fourth-Rank: Alpine Cray, nicknamed Killwing. That's a scary name for a thirteen year old, just like me and Seven, but unlike us, she's a home-schooler who takes tests under Evictis Academy when she was posed a threat with her Esper abilities at a young age. That power was to fight by way of creating a figure and controlling it by puppeteering means - through a phone she made herself.

Third-Rank: Akuchi Afolayan, nicknamed Dreamer, in which his ability is to recreate anything based off his imagination. Akuchi is a black African, but he at least speaks well with the rest of us. Twenty-one years old, the oldest of all of us Black Cards, and a university student of Falkland Academy, because Holden Falls wasn't an option(he's not rich) and neither was Evictis(because of other people's apparent racism - yeah, Evictis is filled with self-centered aristocrats who paid their way to get in - I've met a few, and didn't like them).

But even as I approached them, I noticed one person was missing.

Our Second-Rank, of course. My supposed right-hand, who always neglects his duties as a Black Card.

The End

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