The two slammed their feet into the ground, proceeding to dash at each other. Alexander raised his right hand, attempting to grab Adam.
However, Adam’s body moved differently. Alexander could not immediately tell how, yet it was certainly different from how it was minutes prior.
Adam ducked his head, avoiding the grasp of Alexander’s hand. Clenching his fist, Adam swung right at Alexander’s chest, making contact. Despite this, it did not seem to do damage.
“Well, damn! Good thing I formed a second barrier right on my body! Ya seem to have it down! This level of energy in front of me just won’t work when it comes to defense! Did you forget a little something though while ya were moping? I can still get ya with—”
Before Alexander could reform his barrier to grab hold of him, Adam leaped backward. The new white line around him was making it so his body moved as if he was a ghost himself. The phantasmal appearance is something Alexander took notice of.
“Yeah, I can see now. How he’s using his power… It makes it slightly difficult to track his movements. Although, that’s not too hard to handle. While I tried to grab him, however…”
Adam jumped high into the air, forming energy around his right foot. As he came down, Adam attempted to stomp Alexander’s body into the ground. This did not work, as Alexander formed a wing as an effective enough shield to stop him.
“You’re really trying to go for a direct approach, aren’t ya!? Can’t ya tell by now that won’t work on me!?”
Alexander caused his wing to vibrate violently, propelling Adam into the air. He quickly regained his focus on Alexander, staring down as a second wing was formed.
“I haven’t fought too much. Sorry, but I’m not really sure how to deal with someone like you.”
“Ha! Well, I’m sure ya can figure something out! Come on, I believe in ya!” Alexander flapped both of his wings, beginning the pursuit of his foe in the sky. “Let’s see what you can do in the short amount of time before you land!”
Thinking swiftly, Adam focused power into his left hand, releasing it off to his side. The recoil from this tactic was able to move him out of the way just as Alexander swung one of his wings at him.
Alexander grinned, as he continued to jab at Adam with each wing. Adam had no choice but to continue charging energy into his limbs, doing what he could to dodge his opponent.
Doing this was incredibly painful, as it felt as though his hands and feet were breaking under the pressure of his own power. As he began to descend, Alexander rushed right at him.
Adam was struck directly in the chest by one of the wings. Alexander flapped the opposite wing to gain enough force to slam Adam into the blue stone below. As his body was shrieking at him to stop this fight, Adam stood back up.
Alexander flew above him, clearing the dust that had formed from the previous attack using the mighty gales from his wings. Adam stared up at him, clueless as to what he could do against someone who was this strong. What bothered Adam the most was that he knew Alexander was not even trying.
“You’re doing better! Good! Good! Keep that shit up!” Alexander opened up his hand, facing the palm at Adam. A quick shock wave of energy emitted out of it, just missing Adam by mere centimeters. The impact, however, was capable of throwing Adam off balance.
Alexander did not give Adam a moment to collect himself. A second shock wave was sent downward. Adam channeled his energy to the only place that was touching the ground, which was his right heel. The force was able to catapult Adam out of the way.
He landed on his back, holding his foot in agony. Adam was not sure how much longer he could last. What would even be considered as a satisfactory performance for Alexander? If he could not give him one, Adam was not going to be able to leave.
“Ya don’t seem to notice how your body has changed in regards to how you’re using your Ability. I guess ya really are new at all of this, huh?” Alexander put his hands together, gathering the raw energy of the Psycho Matter inside them.
“Let’s see what happens when I do this!”
Alexander opened his hands, raising them high into the air. A gigantic sphere of Psycho Matter formed, one that dwarfed Alexander in size. Without hesitation, he chucked it downward.
Adam stared in disbelief as the sphere fell toward him, growing even more substantial in size as it descended. There was nothing he could do against something like that. His eyes lowered as he started to give up hope.
His gaze fell onto his hand. For some reason, this simple act triggered memories to rise inside of him. Yet, they were not the kind that usually appeared when he looked toward his right hand.
Two hands touched the back of his. Looking up, Adam saw Brandon and Jerry. The three had just graduated from high school, as happy as they could be. Still dressed in their blue caps and gowns, the three had made a promise.
“We’ll kick the future’s ass, right guys!?” Brandon grinned at his friends.
“I’ll learn all kinds of things about Phantonics, and the rest of the world!” Jerry declared with confident laughter.
“The world, huh?” Adam smiled lightly. “Yeah, I want to learn about it as well.”
“Here, Adam. This is for you!”
Winona had placed a flower in the palm of Adam’s hand. It was her gift for his eighteenth birthday.
“It’s nice looking. What kind is it?”
“It’s a blue lotus! In Egyptian culture, it represents rebirth! You told me that’s what you want to do with yourself, right?” Winona grinned. “It’s also March 20th! Your birthday is the first day of spring this year! A definite season of rebirth, correct?”
“Yeah, you’re right. It’s perfect. Thank you, Win.”
Adam held the blue cartridge in his fingers. He was in complete shock as to what Emma had just given him.
“I wanted to get that for your birthday. Sorry it’s a month late, but I figured you’d still appreciate it.”
“How… How did you find this? This is a legit copy of the first Catch Man game! I lost mine years ago, and figured I’d never get one again!”
“Well, I know a guy in Nexus City who—ah… Don’t worry about it. Point is, I made sure that thing was indeed legit, and luckily it was! So, Happy late Birthday!”
“You took the time to get this for me…? Thank you, Emma.”
“No problem, Big Bro!” Emma smirked. A few seconds later, she cringed, a look of pure and utter embarrassment on her face.
“God, it’s been so long since I called you that.”
Adam placed his hand on Charlotte’s shoulder, who had collapsed onto her knees during their training.
“Charlotte, you don’t have to push yourself.”
“Curse this body…” Charlotte looked up at him. “I’m not even using my true power, and I can still get this exhausted.”
“Well, please take it easy. I don’t want you to end up disappearing on us.”
“What… What if I do disappear?”
Adam leaned down next to Charlotte, grasping her cold hand.
“Even if that does happen, we’ll get you back. You belong here—with us. At least, if this is where you want to be.”
Charlotte smiled, tightening the hold on Adam’s hand.
“Yes, I’d love to stay here.”
A young Adam and Faith stood on top of the cliff, hands practically glued together. They were in awe at the blue aurora that filled up the nighttime Requiem sky.
Yet, Adam’s vision drifted to the left of him, looking at Faith. For the first time in ages, she was smiling brightly.
Adam’s hand formed into a fist. He looked up at the massive attack, mere feet away from him.
“I guess I have things I gotta live for, huh?”
The World Mirror’s light engulfed his fist as he raised it upward.
The collision seemed to shake the entire Blue World. The energy Adam used was able to keep the large sphere at bay, even as it continued to grow in size. Alexander glared down at the event, filled with frustration.
“Moron! I gave ya plenty of time to dodge! Ya can’t overpower that! Damn, now I gotta weaken it so ya don’t freaking die!”
As Alexander moved his hand, beginning to move the Psycho Matter back in his direction, his eyes widened. It was, in fact, moving toward him, but not due to his actions.
The World Mirror was erupting out of Adam’s hand. He roared loudly, almost being audible above the ferocious otherworldly noises coming from the clash. Alexander’s sphere of Psycho Matter had stopped growing and had started to rocket toward him at swift speeds.
Using his wings, Alexander evaded the sphere just in time. It soared past him, as the beam of the World Mirror coming from Adam tore it to shreds.
The World Mirror has unleashed so much energy, that the beam appeared to have slashed right into the sky of the Blue World itself. Alexander landed, speechless at what Adam just did.
“He… not only destroyed my sphere… That power… It ripped right through this dimension! I can’t even do that with my Psycho Matter! I need to go to a source of distortion to enter and exit this place!” He swore under his breath.
Faith and Winona were in an ambulance on their way to a hospital located in Nexus City. The two were okay, aside from the extreme strain they put on their bodies due to their Abilities.
Winona was in worse shape, resting on the wheeled stretcher in the back. Faith was sitting next to her, with a paramedic off to her side.
The three heard a gasp come from the front. Faith wondered what was wrong as the paramedic looked to see what his colleague was reacting to.
“What the hell is that!?”
Faith slowly stood up, now going to check out the issue herself. As she got to the front, her eyes lit up in amazement.
The sky above Nexus City had seemingly split apart, with a white light shining stronger than the blue of the city.
The driver sighed. “First it was your town, and now it’s Nexus City. Weird things are happening tonight, huh?”
Faith stared at the light in silence. She had no idea why, but pain had begun welling up in her chest as the phenomenon slowly faded away.
Alexander stomped into the dust cloud that had formed, ready to take his frustration out on Adam.
“Ya had that much power!? Have ya been screwing with me this whole time!? Hey! Come here—”
Alexander froze, his eyes widening in pure disbelief as Adam came into view.
His body had begun to crumble, ash spewing from him like blood.
“What… the hell happened!?” Alexander walked up to Adam, almost reaching out to him. Adam had a blank expression on his face as if he was a statue slowly fading away.
Alexander’s hand lit up, forming a small amount of Psycho Matter. “I… shit. I’ve never tried this before, but if I can… if I can recreate properties identical to a human body, I can fix this. Even if this does work… I can’t change the color. You’ll be a walking pink freak for the rest of your life! I… I didn’t do this! It was you…”
There was a sudden shift in pressure, which rattled the Blue World.
Before Alexander could react to it, he started to feel dizzy. Trying to stay on his feet, he formed a cane-like structure out of his Psycho Matter. This did not help, as he collapsed onto the ground, losing consciousness.
The bodies of Adam and Alexander began to float, rising to the dark blue sky above. Adam had now lost all of his limbs, his face starting to break apart. What looked like tears began to form, although they quickly turned to dust.
A colossal amount of bright blue energy suddenly presented itself, merging with Adam as he ascended into it. The sound of a fire igniting, followed by the sound of crashing waves occurred as the energy filled Adam’s entire body.
He could feel the raw power coursing through him, causing the crumbling of his body to cease. The World Mirror took this opportunity to begin healing the damage that it had done.
Adam basked in the energy like he was sleeping in the world’s most comfortable bed, covered in blankets crafted by the gods themselves. His vision did, in fact, start to dim—the phenomenon lulling him toward where he originally wanted to be that night: his dreams.
He could barely register the figure that had appeared in front of him. The only thing Adam could make out was the calm, confident smile the unknown entity had on their face.
It then spoke to him.
“There are many players in action now. Going all sorts of directions, doing all sorts of things. You need to remain on the board, heading to where you need to be.”
There was a small chuckle that could be heard, as Adam fell into a deep slumber.
“…I look forward to the day where I’ll be playable…”
Next: Chapter 1.18
Previous: Chapter 1.16