Nikki - My Teacher Is Whack
I gulped awkwardly. My mother had said it so gently. Even splendidly, perhaps. It was the first time I asked my mom directly about dad. She would spill out some details when I was younger. But to ask her directly was a whole different story. I was curious. And I needed the answers.
“Can I meet him?” I suddenly asked. Her eyes were filled with anxiety. Its depths were revealed. And I knew that it was not a good idea to poke around that topic this early. But I needed to push her buttons. Things were at stake.
“You can’t.” Mom said as gently as she possibly could. Her gray eyes seemed to shimmer. Tears welled up in them. “It’s much more complicated than that. I promise I will tell you when you’re older. But for now, you won’t be able to understand how it works. It’s a bit painful even for me that you are already starting to ask questions.”
But I was unamused. “Until when do I have to wait?”
“I don’t know.” She admitted. Her lips quivered, and almost pouted. Something was up. I knew it. “That’s a dangerous thing to ask, Nikki.”
And I was impatient, too. I wanted answers as soon as I could. And the quickest way is for me to help the woman in dark robes. She was simply waiting deeper in Death. There was some sort of conflict within myself that I could not fathom. My train of thought was not welcoming.
“Dangerous, how?” I asked again.
“In many ways more than one.” Mom simply stated. And I didn’t like the fact that she was being very cryptic. Not one bit. “I don’t want you to meet him. Not yet. Only when the right time comes. It’s just too early for you.”
“But can you at least tell me how you met him?” I persisted. Clues would be useful. I’ll somehow find connections. But if I don’t. Then that would be a big problem. “Please don’t hold that away from me, at least. I am sorry if I just had to peek my nose in such things.”
She sighed and sat on a chair opposite me. “I was in Italy back then.”
If my ears could twitch like cats when they hear something, it would’ve. My curiosity was starting to get answers. And I wouldn’t want to miss any details. Not this time. “Why were you in Italy?”
“It’s a really long story, Nikki.” Mom sighed. “I don’t want you to know the kind of work I was exposed to before. You’re too young for that. But I will tell you when you are older. When you are someone who can make his own decisions.”
“But that’s gonna be a really long time from now!” I protested. I frowned at her. But at the same time, I knew she won’t give what I wanted. “You just kept giving me cliffhangers!”
“I’m sorry. But patience is a virtue.” She simply smiled. It was so warm and bright for me that her gray eyes sparkled. But only to my eyes. A dead end. “So anyway, we met at a dinner party. It was a really wild night for both of us. And his eyes, they were so blue. Shining, shimmering, and splendid.”
Just like how my own eyes were when I am in Death. It was another piece of the puzzle. At least I have something that came from my father. Whoever he is. My otherworldly powers were also proof of that. It could mean that he knows more.” How could you fall in love with one meeting?”
“You’ll see it when you’re older. I keep imagining you when you fall in love.” Mom giggled. I scratched my head with a blush was on my face. I knew because my cheeks felt warm. And I learned about love. But for me to be under its spell is a different story. “When you stare love in the eye, you will simply know that person is the one for you.”
“Yeah. Sure. Then he left you. He’s definitely the one for you.” I grumbled.
“Now, don’t disrespect your father.” She just smiled again. “He was kind. But his line of work wasn’t. Too bad he had been doing that job since like forever! No wonder he couldn’t keep me company for more than one night.”
“Then?” I leaned in closer.
“One thing led to another. Then we made love. And that love is you.” She flashed a warm smile as usual, and I made a disgusted face. “And that’s how I knew that he still loves me.”
“That sounds gross.” I muttered. “So was he tall? Handsome? Muscular? Fat? Hairy?”
She just giggled at my emotional outburst of vague imagination. “Stan was rather dashing when I saw him. Your father wore a black coat that night. His hair was wavy like yours, and he had the bluest of eyes. There’s no way you wouldn’t look at him again.”
“Mom, please.” I groaned. “Could you please skip the cheesy parts? I am not comfortable.”
“Then how will you know more about your dad?” She asked. One of her brows were raised. It was a check. If she pulled off a better move, then it would have been checkmate.” It’s what you wanted.”
“I don’t think dad is always this cheesy, is he?” I scrunched my nose. Sure, there were clues. But there were also unhelpful details. I was starting to regret that I asked. “And those aren’t the details I’m after.”
“I’m really sorry, Nikki.” She apologized. “But you have to understand that you’re too young.”
“I know, mom.” I quipped back. “But I really want to know more about dad.”
“What sparked your curiosity anyway?” My mother defended. “You barely asked anything about your dad before, and yet there is this sudden passion regarding his existence.”
I gulped. I can’t tell anything supernatural to my mother. She would definitely freak out if she knew. I felt the Nyxian Blade was about to appear anytime. At the worst possible moment. I tried to calm down because it quickly responds to threat.
“Nothing.” Nikki said with almost a whisper.
“See? There is no solid reason behind it. You’ll understand those one day, Nikki.” She replied. It was with a dismissive tone. If I pushed further, then it would end in a fight. Her tone was a challenge. And if I took her on, it was a checkmate. “Anyway, why don’t you go back to your room. I still have some things to do around here.”
“Okay. But promise me you’ll tell me more of those one day. I want to know more about dad. I need to.” I gently glared at her. “
“Sure. Just remember that there is the proper timing for everything. Don’t rush things. Or else you would just end up hurting yourself or others.” She calmly stated. I grumbled, but I had to obey her. Otherwise, means punishment. I went to my room and closed the door a little bit too loudly. It was to show her I wasn’t amused.
The next day, I got ready for school quicker than usual. It was time for me to confront Mr. Evans regarding the death of Miss Schwartz. It would be better if I confronted him alone. There was no way I would involve my friends. Especially Otis and Phineas. I could feel the danger in Mr. Evan’s eyes. He was more than being just a teacher.
As expected, the two of them met me on the bus. A usual morning our trio. Otis’ smile was shining brighter than it used to. It actually annoyed me a little bit. But I rebuked the feeling and focused more on how to confront their teacher. Phineas noticed this. The intensity in my eyes was far darker. And I knew because his face wasn’t amused.
“Hey, Nikki.” Otis started. “What’s with that look on your face?”
“Nothing.” I muttered. “Just a bad morning.”
“Did you and your mom argued this morning?” But I was silent. It was those moments I hated. When both of them pry into my personal affairs. I just shook his head and still said nothing. “So, what’s your problem?
“It’s no use.” Phineas butted in. “He won’t tell us anything.”
“Yeah.” Otis nodded. “You’re being secretive lately. That’s not like you at all.”
“It’s nothing, guys.” I sighed. “No biggie. No big deal.”
“If you say so.” Otis did a hands up. “We’ll be here for you if you need us.”
When the bus stopped at our school, the three of us stepped down. Then I faced them. I made sure I glared at them. It was as if I was preparing for a fight. “I’ll see you later.”
I went straight for the faculty room near one of the science laboratories at the west wing of our building. A teacher just went out of the room, so I talked to her and asked where Mr. Evans was. She just pointed at the door and told me to feel free to get inside. So I saw the opportunity and went in.
There were no teachers nearby. Only desks and papers were passed by the students. There were markings on some of the movable blackboards and would probably be used in their lessons. It would remind me of the time when I was sent to the faculty to retrieve some papers.
But I wasn’t in the faculty room anymore. The room became darker. The walls went colder. And there was a sinister aura all around me. There was this heavy feeling in my chest. Almost enough to make me heave for air. With a simple flick of my hand, the Nyxian Blade was quickly summoned in my grip.
I turned around to see Mr. Evans behind me. His hair had turned silvery white. The faintest hue of blonde in it was gone entirely. He seemed to get paler as well. The dark stare in his eyes was grimmer and scarier.
“I knew it.” I gripped my blade tighter. “You are no normal person.”
“Ah, yes. The Nyxian Blade. Always willing to protect its wielder.” Mr. Evans said stiffly. “I still am wondering who could’ve given you such gift. Frankly, I say to you, I am quite jealous.
“It can’t be.” I gasped. “You’re the man I saw in Death.”
“Don’t sound too surprised.” He said. “Deep in your head, you knew. But you didn’t listen to your instincts. There are a lot of things that will naturally come to your realization.”
“I don’t think I felt that.” I admitted. Then I glared at him. Like before, a dark aura was being evident on his skin. “But, I could’ve seen through your disguise if you faced me that night.”
“You’re supposed to be clever, Nicholas Ellison.” The man snapped his fingers. Then I was surrounded by black flames. I was in the middle of a circle of it. My teacher was still on the other side. There was no heat coming from the fire. It was even cold and had a chilling effect on my skin. What’s more, is that it was similar to the flames of the woman in robes. “If I was an enemy, then you would’ve dropped dead on your knees. Like you, I can at least travel back and forth in your realm and in Death.”
“Just who are you?” I roared. Then with a bit of an effort, I raised my blade. Ready to strike. Both of my hands gripped tightly. But he was unfazed. Not a single movement. He was as still as a calm sea. There were no signs of agitation on his face. His onyx eyes were piercing through me.
“I’m an ally of Death.” He declared.
“No.” I said calmly. “You don’t belong here.”
“How could you say such a thing when you can’t even use your powers correctly?” He said with a sly smile on his face. “Do you really want me to show you the extent of my powers?”
“Do what you want. But you don’t belong in Death.” I mustered all his courage to speak. “A true necromancer can communicate with the dead. But you can’t, can you? Your flames may be powerful, but it’s a different form of magic. It doesn’t belong in Death as well.”
Then I ran across the flames. It didn’t even hurt me. A risk I made based on my own calculation. I just went through them. Then I raised my sword and tried to hack him with one swift swing. But Mr. Evans was too fast. He easily dodged the blade so efficiently. He stepped back a few feet away from me. And I already knew what I had to confirm.
“You are indeed clever, little one.” Mr. Evans spat. “You truly are amusing.”
“Magic that doesn’t belong in Death can’t hurt those who are adept at it.” I stated with a cold tone of voice. I knew when I didn’t feel the heat from the flames. It was very similar to the fire of the woman in robes but still had a different feel. “I knew it. You’re a fraud.”
“A fraud. It sounded so bad with the way you put it.” The man snickered. “But don’t be too cocky, little one.”
“You can’t harm me with your magic here. So give your best shot.” I said bravely. My grip on his Nyxian Blade was unwavering. It seemed to grow lighter in his hand. A dark shroud of aura enveloped me. Protected me. Soothed the fear out of my bones.
“Is that your motive for looking for me? To kill me? To mock me?” Mr. Evans suddenly said. “I am sure you were looking for me for another reason.”
“Miss Schwartz.” I quipped. “You did something to her, did you?”
“Are you expecting me to be that old?” Mr. Evans chuckled. His smile had a devilish feel in it. He wasn’t planning to say everything. Not this time. But if I can, I’ll force it out of him. “Not me, little boy. But there is something else responsible for that.”
“Something?” I questioned further.
“Yes. Those aren’t human beings. And they killed Mr. Kelly as well.” He admonished. The tone of his voice was smooth and stable. Probably the truth. “I ruled out the detail that he was drained of blood when he was found.”
“Vampires?” I asked. “Impossible. Those things shouldn’t exist.”
“No. Something worse.” Mr. Evan’s eyes narrowed. And my heart made a strong thump inside my ribcage. “Vampires are much easier to look for than these monsters.”
“What could be worse than vampires?” Nikki frowned.
“Night Dwellers.” My teacher grimly spoke. “Looks like some of them were able to go through the Great Divide. And this is troublesome.”
“The Great Divide?” I tilted my head. “What’s that?”
“It’s an incomplete dimension.” He explained. Based on what he stated, he has a massive load of information about many other things. Things that were out of this world. “The Great Divide is the middle ground for all the other dimensions. It connects all the others. And it separates one of those dimensions that shouldn’t be explored. “
“Okay, Mr. Evans. My head is starting to hurt here.” I groaned. “So are you telling me that there are a lot of other dimensions? Just how many are there?”
“A lot, to be honest. But we have not yet discovered the right magical formulas to open the gates to the other dimensions.” Mr. Evans confirmed. For some reason, he reminded me of how I think. Creating analysis out of sheer observation. “It’s really fascinating to see through the differences between the dimensions.”
“Yeah. Like how cold it gets the longer you stay in Death.” I stated. And that was what I was after. For him to move slow enough for me to hit him. For some reason, the cold wasn’t having an effect on me this time.
“Precisely.” He confirmed.
“But you haven’t told me yet about these Night Dwellers.” One of my brows raised. I was trying to provoke him to give more information. And Mr. Evan stepped forward. That was the part wherein strength rushed into my arms. My dark aura dispersed to the area around us, touching even the enemy before me. It made him shudder as I step forward. “You will not frighten me, Mr. Evans.”
“Ah, yes. You are starting to awaken more of your powers.” He stated. His eye glared at me with malice I can’t understand. It sent a shiver down my spine. “But you are using them for the wrong cause. Which is much more pathetic if you ask me.”
“Pathetic? You have not even identified who you really are.” I hissed at him. Then I suddenly made a pose out-of-nowhere and held the Nyxian Blade on a back-hand style. “I think that’s more pathetic if you ask me. A man with no identity. No purpose. No allies.”
“Aren’t you projecting those things to me?” He replied. “Aren’t you the one without a complete identity? Aren’t you the one with no purpose? You don’t even have allies.”
“I have friends!” Nikki shouted back. “They will always have my back.”
“And what can they do in this realm of Death? Enlighten me!” Mr. Evans muttered. He made another step forward. An evil grin was on his face. And I was obviously being pressured. “I could tear them limb from limb. And I could break them apart.”
Then in one swift movement, my body absorbed the energy around me and was turned into sheer strength. My calves were suddenly empowered and used that might to lunge at him. And he wasn’t expecting that sudden movement. I pierced his left shoulder with my blade, and my other hand gripped his neck tightly. It was tempting to snap his neck like a twig. Then I saw the reflection in his eyes that my eyes were glowing in a furious blue. The impact created a huge crack in the wall behind him.
“Don’t you dare lay a finger on them. If you do, Death will be coming after you.” I hissed at him. “I am asking you a question. Now tell me, who are you?”
But instead, he chuckled. “Ah yes, the lordling of this dimension is finally awakening. It amazes me what potential you have to offer.”
I twisted his blade through the man’s wound. My scrawny, little body glowed with a dark aura. The tendrils of shadows around the whole area were drawn to me. It slithered around my body. And it was giving me extra strength. Meanwhile, Mr. Evans cringed from the pain as it shot through his body. “No more jokes.”
“I am known as Samael.” The man muttered. “I am the son of the Demon’s Witch. She’s also called the Black Sorceress. And she’s one of the most powerful mages of this time.”
“The woman in black robes.” Nikki quipped. “No wonder you have the same black flames.”
“It seems you have met my mother.” Samael winced. His wound was bleeding, and it felt good that I got to hurt him for some reason. “I am sure you had quite a conversation with her. And I know that she already marked you with a curse. Her aura is intertwined with yours.”
“You’re both snakes.” Nikki spat. “I’ll skin you both alive.”
“Now, don’t talk about my mother like that.” Samael calmly said. He dissolved into ashes and appeared behind the boy. But I wasn’t surprised. I simply pulled out his sword from the wall and stared at Samael. “You will be a powerful mage one day. You might even be one of the Seven Sons.”
“Seven Sons?” I asked.
“That’s a long story. We can talk about that after you learn more about what you can really do.” The man stated. His voice was filled with a bit of excitement. “You will learn your destiny some other time. But for now, I just want you to know that my doors are open. Your powers are useless if you can’t learn them.”
I didn’t answer any further. I just stared at my teacher with blank calmness.
“We’ll meet again in class.” Samael chuckled. “And I am sure you will seek me. There are a lot of things I want to teach you, young Necromancer. It will be a big waste if you oppose me.”
“I will kill you.” I promised him. Then gave him a deathly glare. But he was already used to my empty threats. Words I can’t even fulfill. The wound on his shoulder was gone, and it was as good as new. He just bluffed that I got him. “Mark my words.”
“Nicholas, I see greatness in you.” He stated. And he was being serious about it. The way he looked at me, there was kindness out of nowhere. A contradiction I am afraid to admit. “You can create magic that can change the world. Imagine a world where your friends can live in peace. That’s what I want. Just because our magic isn’t as flashy as the light doesn’t mean we’re bad people. Help us.”
“And what do I get in return?” I was planning to bargain as much as I could. It was a considerable risk. But they could also help me find my father. The woman knew about him. And it was the most substantial lead I have right now. I was willing to risk it. “I have my own quest to fulfill.”
“Can you be a little more selfless?” He asked abruptly. And I was dumbfounded by the sudden question he posed. “You can help others achieve peace without gaining something in return. It’s those who give themselves to others that find their true selves. And maybe, you can finish the quest alongside ours.”
He was right. And I was stunned. A few seconds passed, and I was eliminating possibilities inside my head if I could risk it. My forearm suddenly started throbbing, and I knew it was the work of the Black Sorceress. It was inviting me to agree with him. “I will think about it.”
“Very well.” A column of darkness erupted behind the man. Samael stepped in before the column vanished, and I was left alone in Death. His breath was shallow, and the icy coldness danced on the surface of his skin. His stay was long overdue.
The rest of the day rolled by. Otis and Phineas had the usual giggles, but I was awkwardly silent. My friends just kept staring at me out of the blue. But I knew why. It was pretty obvious something was bugging me. And I can’t hide that from them. Of all people, the hardest to lie to would be them. I was just glad they could still sense if there is something wrong. Someone will always be there to comfort me. However, the two were able to discern that they should get out of my way in the meantime.
When I got home, I went directly to my room. But there was a mysterious presence inside. A black cat was sitting on my bed. It was skinny and slender like a siamese cat. But its fur was as dark as the night sky. A red collar was around its neck with a bell made of glass just below the cat’s chin.
“Greetings, little boy.” The black cat suddenly spoke. Its eyes were calm and collected. I was mesmerized by the way the cat moved its jaws. My eyes widened in disbelief. “My eyes are still bigger than yours, even if you do that.”
“What the hell?” I gasped. The cat just stared back at me. Its head tilted a bit with a witty curiosity.
“Now little boy, don’t be too surprised.” The cat said. “My name is Isis, and I have a message for you.”