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Shift - Chapter 27 - Against Logic

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Yuki had made it back to his house without incident, though Momoko was staring at him like she was ready to knock him through a wall for being so late. She ran through a usual recycling of her old material that he had heard before. Once she was done with him a plate of food was thrown at him and things returned to normal.

It had been a week since Momoko had found his friends in their living looking like they had been through a warzone, minus the injures. She had not blown up on them like Yuki was expecting, but she was being polite in front of all of his friends. The yelling and scolding happened afterwards with Yuki taking the full force of a worried sister’s frustration and a situation she could not understand.

When he had the time to spare he would visit with Ayumi for their training sessions, but he had not been making any progress. All she was doing was trying to cram countless years of exercises and knowledge into him as quickly as possible like she was on a deadline. It was no different for Yuki tonight either. They were in her underground training room that had looked more or less the same as the first time, though she insisted that it was not the same. Yuki was tired and exhausted from the mind exercises that she was making him do with none of them producing the results that she wanted.

Chapter 27 – Against Logic

“I can’t do anymore…” he said wiping away the sweat on his face holding a pencil in his hand. Yuki stood up throwing what was in his hands at the feet of Ayumi. “It’s too much for me!”

Ayumi clearly angered by Yuki refusal picked up the book and pencil in her right hand balling it in a fist staring down Yuki. “It just a Sudoku! It’s not that hard!” She tried to push it back into his hands for him complete, but he pushed it back against her.

“I don’t even understand why you want me to do them! It’s not help me any!”

Ayumi threw the book and pencil across the room spinning around hitting Yuki with the back of her leg in his neck. The force sent him sliding across the floor roughly coming to a stop. She marched over to him pulling Yuki up by his shirt and threw him even further until he landed against the wall at the end of the room.

Yuki staggered to his feet trying to get his bearings while Ayumi closed the distance quickly. “Why are you attacking me now!?”

“Maybe I can knock some sense into you!” she said unable to hold back her frustration that Yuki had pushed her to now. Teaching was not her forte and she had even less patience for someone that was unwilling to listen without mocking everything of their traditions.

“That makes even less sense than the stupid puzzles!”

“The stupid puzzles as you call them are important!”


“To test your mental capacity and flexibility. Logic problems like this require you to store information and remember it while you work the problem and sort through the facts. This is an important task that you have to master for your training.” Ayumi’s face was only inches away from Yuki in their staring contest with both of them showing angry veins popping from their foreheads.

“But what does that have to do with the Kasou-ryoku?!”

“Stop calling it that…” Ayumi said lowly under her breath only causing her eyes to narrow more. The annoyance that she was feeling was starting to change to the desire to cause pain. However, she managed to pull herself back finally realizing the composure that she had lost. She smoothed out her dress and stepped back away from Yuki. A long drawn out breath returned her features to the blank cold expression that Yuki was too familiar with. She turned around quickly looking like she was going to walk away, but her leg was extended in the turn catching Yuki pulling him off the wall and throwing him back to the chair that he was sitting in before.

Ayumi walked towards Yuki as he recovered himself. She came to a stop a few steps short of him and stared down at him. “I’ll explain why this is important. So listen closely since this is a very important component to our powers. The way our powers work require us to know what we want and to remember it. If you aren’t thinking about it, it no longer exists. The subconscious can’t be relied upon to hold everything. Our powers work in the conscious section of our minds and everything in the field is maintained by that. Up until now you’ve been activating it subconsciously and that’s worked, but it was only simple things. Such as your unwieldy and pointlessly large sword and ostentatious fantasy armor from when your power first awakened.”

“Hey!” Yuki said taking offense to her degrading his fashion choice when he had fought the assassin in his home.

“It should be practical and allow for movement.”

“And where as a kimono is practical?” said Yuki commenting on Ayumi’s own clothes that she wears during her activated state.

The assault on her wardrobe made the smooth features of her face crack a little and twitch, but she held herself with a redirect. “They were simple and only a couple things. So the subconscious can keep it, but that has its limit and as such you haven’t done much more than that. If you have fifty objects in a field they are only present because you are thinking about each and everyone one. If you can’t, then they will disappear. Like this sword.” Ayumi had summoned up her field and was holding her sword that she used to fight with in her hand. “This is only here because I’m thinking about it, once I stop thinking about it, it will vanish. That is why it is important to retain information. A Meso Prosecho user’s worth is judged heavily on how many objects that they can maintain in their field at one time and still be able to function.”

The field suddenly grew several swords from the field to demonstrate her point and then disappeared. While she had her field up she decided to bring up another matter that important as well. “On the subject of remembering things, you need to understand another important part to our power. It is the Agros Nomos or Field Law.”

Yuki was already staring at her confused when she made an immediate translation for him. “Field Law?”

“Yes, when you see the area of influence that someone creates there are certain laws that are created at the same time. Before a field is created you first have to decide how you want the area to function. For you this has been a subconscious matter based on what you needed, but for a skilled user they can actively set how it will function. This allows the ability to defy the natural laws, because our powers project a field that can overwrite any hardcoded law that exists. This can allow for the creation of anything including your fantasies that you read. However, it is important to remember that once the field is created you can’t change the laws. You have to shut down the field and rebuild it to change the laws. So if you did not remember to allow for the air density to be altered so you can walk in the air, it won’t be possible.”

Yuki’s head was starting to spin around making him wobble with his eyes losing focus. He was hearing so many words and explanations that they were going in and out of his mind too quickly to understand. “Air density… Law… Fields… Subconscious…” Yuki did not realize how complex a power the Kasou-ryoku truly was and now that he was getting a taste of it being able to control it seemed even further out of reach for him.

Ayumi gave an aspirated sighed to Yuki’s reactions and took pause to rethink her approach. “In simpler terms, each field has rules you make that allow for the powers you want to have in a given situation, but you can’t break the rules or change them. So if you want new rules you have to start over. So plan ahead.” She stared at Yuki with an almost demanding look of expectation. “Understand?”

He raised his hand up to his head scratching and rubbing through his hair as he was trying to process it all. “I guess so. So you’re saying that if I have magic, but want to do energy attacks I can’t unless I restart? That seems pretty lame. Why can’t it be flexible?”

“The fields we create go against nature itself, changing its properties is not that simple. It’s not possible to maintain a stable field with changing laws, it’ll collapse.” The entire idea was very abstract and she knew it, but if Yuki was going to improve or grow he would need to understand what his power can do. This was all about control and focus which was not necessary at the beginning. However, Ayumi was running out of time and the assassins would be coming for Yuki at an even greater rate now that they knew where to find him. She did not have the luxury to wait until he could fully summon his field reliably before progressing on. All of this normally followed an order, but it was screwed up due to their situation.

Ayumi looked over towards Yuki to know where he was at in taking all of the information in. “There is one more thing I should tell you now when speaking about making laws. It’s about yourself.”

Yuki had been looking at the ground finally understanding at some level what Ayumi had been getting at with her long explanation. When he thought about it the whole thing made a lot more sense than just being a random generator of fictional things. However, he tilted his head over to Ayumi seeing a very serious expression in her eyes. “Me? What do you mean?”

“Our powers can’t be used to change ourselves. We can’t make ourselves stronger, heal faster or immortal.”

“Huh? But how is that so since it is I seen you use energy attacks and its possible to use magic and such. Doesn’t that change us?”

“We are normal human being even during that. It is all external and not internal. The powers are created from the will of our mind. But that is not what I wanted to remind you about. We are normal human beings with only our physical abilities to protect us. So it is important to always protect yourself from the enemy, because even a normal human with a gun could kill you if you don’t have defenses.”

The mortality of his own life had already been called several times for him, but he had never thought about how he changed with his field being active. “So even with the Kino…” He pulled up his hands staring at them trying to take it in and thinking about every time that Ayumi had fought. Each time she went into battle she was risking her life as an average girl. “…Ayumi…” Yuki’s mind went to something that Ayumi just mentioned. “But if that is the case then we—“

Ayumi knew what he was thinking before he needed finish. “It’s not possible. On weaker opponents maybe, but someone of equal or greater mental strength it won’t work. The bullet would just be neutralized against their field and they’d have a bruise at best. You would have to be at point blank range for it to have a chance and it is easier to damping a small bullet than a large object. That’s why much of this is done in melee combat.” She knew that his idea was the not the first time someone thought of it, but they had found it to be unreliable from experience. It would have to be real to have any chance and a good opponent would have lightning reflexes for defense. “I told so that you would understand the reality. You’re head is too wrapped in fantasy to see clearly. This is the real world.”

“I know! I know! I… know…” Yuki turned away walking until his leg’s shaking made it impossible for him to move. It was something that he always forgot about. Nothing seemed to be real. This world of his was nothing like the real world. It was closer to a fantasy than being real, but it was reality for him. Ayumi kept yelling at him about facing it, but he would brush it aside so easily. ‘I thought that… if I just got better everything would work out… I don’t know if I thought it would make me invincible or something, but I never considered…’

Outside of Ayumi’s house standing at the top of a tree blanketed by the darkness of night and only a silhouette from the moon to outline was a figure of a man. A deep voice lowly echoed in the air to themselves. “They’re together… This will be a problem. They must be separated first…” Once their position had been confirmed the figure leapt from the tree to the roof of the nearby house and disappeared into the night.

Lunch came as quickly as could be expected, the morning was exhausting on Saki and Ayumi having to cover again for Yuki’s errant mind. He had ended up creating a small patch of grass around his feet and made some of the walls begin to warp into jelly-like substance. Neither of them knew what was going through his head at the time, but they had plenty of time to talk while Yuki was in the nurse’s office.

Ayumi and Saki had come up with an excuse for Yuki’s passing out in the middle of class. The nurse did not seemed to be convinced due to the bruise that was on his head, but Ayumi and Saki happened to be very convincing. Yuki threw up the covers of the nurse’s bed that he had been resting in for a while. He rubbed his head still feeling sore from the impact as he stood up pulling his jacket off the rack. His dress shirt had been unbuttoned during the examination and he had to button it back up.

Ayumi and Saki waited outside of the office while Yuki got ready. Saki was not certain why she had followed or helped out Yuki. The feelings from yesterday were still gnawing at her, but Yuki was acting like none of it happened. He made it easy to forget sometimes that she was upset and uneasy. During the entire time Saki had remained distant or quiet. For Ayumi, she was lost in thought while Saki was a little distant until she noticed Ayumi. “Something wrong? Is it about his powers?”

“Huh?” Ayumi said snapping back to reality and turning to look over at Saki. It took her minute to really hear what she had said. “No, I don’t remember him being so physically fit.”

Saki slipped from the wall and fell to the ground painfully from Ayumi’s seemingly random reply. It took her a moment to get herself standing and jumped over at Ayumi. “What?! Why are you thinking about that?” Her breathing was not calming down for Saki leading to her almost panting in front of Ayumi becoming a little red in her face. ‘What’s going through her head? This isn’t the sort of thing I’d expect her to be thinking about.’

Ayumi did not understand Saki’s reaction to her comment remaining serious and matter-of-fact the entire time. “During the exam I noticed that Yuki had a lot of muscle definition, which seemed contrary to his poor athletic performance and personality.”

The fact that Ayumi seemed to be almost analyzing the situation managed to temper Ayumi mood, but it also changed it from embarrassment and panic to confusion and stuttering. “Wha-wha-what?!” Saki took a breath to attempt to recollect her and then speak again still a little out of breath. “There’s a reason for that… Until a year ago Yuki fought nearly every day and when he was younger he took lessons in martial arts, but I think his violent tendency got him kicked out. While he may have not used those muscles a year isn’t going to completely make years of training disappear.” Saki held her head low thinking about it. ‘…Seiji…’

“I see.” Ayumi could understand what Saki was saying and it was something that should have thought of, but it was easy to forget when looking at the way Yuki acted.

The nurse’s office door opened suddenly bringing the two girls to a stop as Yuki exited the room. He turned to look at the two of them still rubbing his head. “You know how much that hurt?” Yuki glared at the two of them knowing without question that it was one of them that ended up hitting him. It did not matter to him that it was the fastest solution. The pain he had to deal with afterwards lasted. “I’m going to have brain damage after all of this!” Yuki marched off down the hall before he could be lectured by Ayumi for not controlling his powers properly.

Ayumi and Saki ran after him, but for them it seemed to be a lot harder than they thought to catch him. They had almost lost him in the school when they were about to catch up to him on the grounds of the school. However, Yuki came to a sudden stop at the school entrance. Saki was brought to a sharp halt as well with Ayumi stopping only out of confusion. “Seiji…” Saki said slowly.

“Hey Seiji!” Yuki said cheerfully masking up his surprise in seeing him appear at his school. “What you doing here aren’t you in class?”

Seiji raised his hand trying to act pleasant as well for Yuki. “Hey Yuki! Yeah, but didn’t feel like it today.” He approached close to Yuki catching out of the corner of his eye the stares of Saki piercing him.

“Ditching again huh?” he said feeling a little sense of nostalgia coming over him.

“You up for ditching. This time we won’t get interrupted.”

Yuki stared up at Seiji trying to get a read on his face. It was true that they had not been able to get to the matter that was bothering Seiji the last night. It had been bugging Yuki what was wrong with Seiji and this could be his only chance. ‘Ms. Kuniyoshi probably still thinks I’m ill. I want to know what’s wrong with Seiji.’ Yuki gave Seiji a firm nod and stepped forward to the entrance to leave with Seiji.

Saki resisted her urge to go after him as he disappeared with Seiji. While Yuki had acted like nothing happened the day before during class it was still weighing on her. ‘What should I do?’

Hiroshi from inside the hall standing against the wall looking around the corner watched everything. He had seen Yuki run by expecting to have lunch with him, but had kept going. When he saw Saki and Ayumi following him he became curious and followed. “Seiji again… Something from Yuki’s past...” Hiroshi waited until Saki and Ayumi had left before he moved away to the entrance of the school. There would be ground that would have to be made up, but he had questions and a feeling that he could not let go. “Yuki’s a friend and I want to know more. Though I guess me tailing him is not very trusting, huh?”

Yuki and Seiji walked without saying much to each other as they went into the shopping district of the city. The silence was awkward, but Yuki was waiting for Seiji to make a move rather than force him. However, their peace was broken by an echoing voice from a dark alley connected to the sidewalk they were on. “Yuki Hayashi, I’ve come for you!”

To be continued…

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