This is a contest where the community selects the next book to publish. Authors can submit a book by May 31, 2018, then users will have the opportunity to choose one.

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Lied: Chapter 5 – Iduma

Story and TranslationMitsuaki Seiji

Illustration: Ana Paula Peixoto

 

Susumu and Lied, at last face-to-face! And finally the questions can be asked...

The two boys were transported to the police station. None of them opened their mouths during the trip, Lied was clearly the most thoughtful. They were left in the station, not very busy since most of the agents were all in service abroad.

At the moment they were in a small, closed room, with a table and two chairs in which they sat.

"Before you ask any questions, I don’t know much more than you. About them... and about me..."

Despite being the "protagonist" of the case, Lied revealed as much ignorance as Susumu, who could see that the boy wasn’t trying to hide any details.

One of the aspects that earned him the title of "prodigy" was precisely the ability to read between the lines and see beyond the logical. In that respect, Lied revealed a demonic sincerity, that calm was astounding.

Usually, a teenager who went through everything that Lied did wouldn’t resist reminiscing about dark memories.

"Peculiar and suspicious", Susumu thought.

"I see... I only have one question to ask then."

 

...

The nightfall brought new meetings and desired reunions predestined by something greater. Naomi chases the red-haired boy.

Although she only glanced at him, Naomi was sure it was the same boy of her dreams, as he wore a cross around his neck. And even if it wasn’t the same person, there wasn’t harm in at least being sure.

Or so she thought…

"Please wait! I'm not going to do anything, so... just wait a bit!!"

The few people still in the street looked, perplexed, at the girl's “pursuit of nothingness”. Apparently, Naomi was the only one who could see him.

"Huh…? He disappeared…"

She reached a dead end. Unbelievably lost him. Frustrated, turned her way back home.

"That's enough for today", Naomi thought.

 

...

 

"Can you guess... why you are at the center of everything?"

In other words, what the detective wanted to know was what they really desired from Lied. Why does everything revolve around him? Lied couldn’t give exact answers.

However, that one specific question was the one that most excited Lied's curiosity and from which he probably could form plausible assumptions. The “golden apple” went through his head. The very ambitious attitude of the man he confronted in his “soul” implied that they desire the apple.

Lied still preferred to leave his conjectures to himself, the level of reliance in Susumu wouldn’t make the boy trust his life to him. For the moment, there is no one in the world that Lied really trusts.

After making the brief inquiry, Susumu left the police station to continue his investigation. Before that he was sure to signal an officer at the station not to let Lied leave.

Knowing that it was Lied whom the mysterious individuals wanted, it would be too negligent to allow the boy to wander in the street, at the risk of being ambushed.

But Lied isn’t the type to keep quiet and heed the orders, he'd find a way to escape the “prison control”. He knew he couldn’t just stand there.

The agent outside the room wasn’t exactly the most skilled; we can even say that Lied was lucky, because the sloppy ones are the easiest to fool. Taking advantage of one of these moments of negligence, the lad escapes. The next phases of the escape were even easier, as the remaining officers in the squadron were all shut in their own cabinets.

Now outside, Lied remembered the white hooded... He would try to meet him again.

 

...

 

Another day of classes, this one still full of murmurs about the disappearance of a student. Naomi kept the mouth shut - she felt she shouldn’t tell the teachers or anyone about Lied.

But in her mind Naomi kept thinking about the boy of her dreams. Could she ever see him again...?

 

...

 

In the classroom next to Naomi, the same hubbub echoed. It was talk all over the island. A student of that same class, who used a false name to hide her true identity, tried not to pay much attention. Which is ironic, because she was the most knowledgeable and yet pretended to know nothing.

As part of her mission, Core infiltrated Ganeden's society as a student and had so far managed to go completely unnoticed. It should also be noted that, although she only "transferred" this year, Core managed to fit in perfectly with the group, with her notable grades making the disguise even more convincing.

The teacher closes the book and the students immediately get up.

Another tedious day passed for Core, who could only think for how much longer she had to do this boring routine. Even the fact that she had to wear a uniform every day disgusted her.

Bag in the shoulder, the young leaves school and moves directly to the base of the group in Ganeden. As she heads to the Municipal Park, Core senses a familiar and somehow nostalgic energy close to her.

Turns her head several times until she meets the source of the sensation. A 12 years old boy, in a blue and white jacket, with red hair and red eyes. The two glimpsed at each other for a moment, a devious smile opening on him before he ran off to wherever.

"Wait a second!!"

Core ran after him.

 

...

 

Naomi still couldn’t get the boy out of the head. His existence occupied her mind so much that not even Lied was popping up anymore.

Like her classmates, Naomi says goodbye to school for two days since today is Friday and the weekend was right next.

On her way home she noticed the rush of a girl who, judging by the uniform she wore, attended the same school as Naomi. Recognized that face – someone from the class next door. The observation helped her abstract from the thoughts, but not for too long…

 

...

 

Core was forced to run as much as she could; abnormal the speed of that child. And judging by his posture, he can run even faster. This attitude angers Core, who felt underestimated and naturally increased speed.

The two of them dragged on to a street relatively far from the park.

In a single jump the child raised himself to the window ledge, where he sat down. Agitated, he moved his legs from side to side, back and forth. A remarkably large scar above the nose stood out.

Neither Core nor the boy felt fatigued by the race, the latter mainly, who’s vigorous.

"Eeeeeeh...? Ain’t ya actually pretty tough?"

The antsy Core stared at him, carefully examining his spiritual flow. She feels like it isn’t the first time she meets him.

"You… who are you?!"

The lad shakes his head in disapproval.

"Straight to the questions… But ya know, this isn’t how it works, at least with me - with the great Iduma! AH!! I just told you who I am! But that name doesn’t ring a bell to ya... right?"

Core doesn’t say anything.

"HMMM… let’s do like this…!"

He stood on the edge of the ledge. The balance with which he sustained himself was impressive.

"Have you played that game where you try to catch someone running away from you? Eh? No? Never?! Not even once?! What, how bland!"

Iduma grimaced stupidly.

"What’s his problem?"

He could be as annoying as Nemo, and that's hard.

"If you take life too seriously, you will have wrinkles ahead of time!"

Iduma stopped the grimace for a moment to stare at Core. In a visual and spiritual analysis, the conclusion the boy drew was allegorically his natural sarcastic smile. He also recognized her…

Iduma returns to the devilish grimaces.

"Explaining in an easy way…"

"If I catch you, you'll tell me your identity. Let's go.", Core interrupts Iduma.

"Eh, clever", Iduma thought.

"Since you aren’t very experienced, and to give you a chance, I won’t run with my full speed! Uuuuum, let’s see... How about 50%? More 20% of what I ran just now!"

He started a light and quick warm-up before putting his legs to work.

"Ok..."

Then a blank aura dressed Iduma's body and the crimson eyes became white. A vibrant white cross emerged around his neck. This change of appearance surprised Core, who recognized that form.

"That cross…!"

"LET’S HAVE SOME FUN!"

...

 

Naomi, head down, walks home. With so much in her mind, maybe it’s better to sleep in order to rest the brain of the mental stress. But on second thought, wouldn’t sleep make her dream of him again? No matter what she does, Naomi will always feel the same way.

The girl sees a child passing at an almost supersonic speed down the street. She couldn’t see his face, but something made her aware of who it was. It was more than mere instinctive awareness, Naomi could still feel remains in the atmosphere... of that familiar energy.

Was she going to ignore that new and probably last opportunity given? And simply forget everything and wait for time to take away lost memories and unanswered questions? But if Naomi does this... what will she have left?

Didn’t she wish, from the bottom of the heart, for an extreme change in her tedious life? For a different and thrilling course?

Anxious, Naomi asks a middle-aged lady watering flowers:

"Um, did you happen to see a boy with red hair and red eyes?"

"With red hair and red eyes...? No, I didn’t see anyone like that."

"I see… Thank you anyway."

Disappointed, Naomi said goodbye and resumed her search. How would she find the boy if no one saw him? He also left no traces...

«Traces»…

click in Naomi’s head.

She remembered the feeling of a presence and tried to feel it again.

Idealizes.

Naomi idealized the man in his 20s from her dreams and his child form that she was now pursuing.

And feels.

An invisible pathway appeared in the air. Following the directions she had been given, the lass ran.

Luckily Naomi has flexible legs that allowed her to be the best student in PE. It's not like she trains every day; since very small that Naomi has this natural gift. And now was the time to actually use it... for real.

Naomi could feel it. She’s getting closer and closer. With every step Naomi took, the immaterial road opened wider. One last narrow street followed, and there her fate awaited.

Naomi gave it all she had and that gigantic effort rewarded her. Naturally tired, her knees almost on the floor. Beside Naomi is Core, the girl she has seen, looking at her flabbergasted.

And in front of the two girls, Iduma. She... finally caught up to him.

"Finally... gasp... gasp...!"

Iduma chuckles.

"Finally, yeah?"

 

...

 

At the base of the mysterious group...

"Damn, Core is taking too long! Is she doing extra work? If so, then it’s well deserved, ehehehe.", Nemo mocked as usual.

"Indeed, she’s taking longer than expected."

Zechariah was surprised by the girl's delay. Varius didn’t comment, remaining silent as he normally stays.

"What, she will soon appear. Nothing to worry about…"

Martyr, relaxed, got up from his chair and began to walk out of the room.

"Hey Martyr, I don’t know what you're going to do exactly, but don’t overdo it. We only have one job, don’t forget it."

"Eh, don’t fret. I’m just going to 'greet' our target. You, Zechariah and Varius, can do 'recon' and I can’t?"

Varius set his suspicious eyes on Martyr.

"Now... it’s my turn."

The snake asserted and left the room with an avid grin. His target, Lied, couldn’t even imagine what awaited him.