Chapter 23: The Test
It was only a few days ago, where Gary couldn’t do any type of physical activity and now, he was planning to scale the side of an apartment block. Leaping up, Gary had jumped higher than he had ever before and grabbed onto one of the ledges.
He could feel his muscles working, and soon propped his other arm up to grab onto the ledge with both of his arms up. The only way to progress further up, was if he leapt up to the next windowsill, or if he jumped to the metal pipe and attempted to climb that.
After completing the first jump, he was full of confidence and swung his body over, but, at the last second, he hesitated. Still his body weight had swung in motion and his fingertips had left the windowsill.
“Aw Crap!” Gary shouted, as he had completely missed the metal pipe and had fallen onto the solid hard concrete.
“That freaking hurt.” Gary said, attempting to get up slowly. His heart was still beating fast though and his energy points were going down quicker than when he didn’t use the skill.
‘I guess, even if this skill does make me stronger, it still doesn’t change me, I need to get used to it.’ He started to flex his fingertips a bit and could see that the skin on it had slightly ripped as well, and his arms were now sore from holding onto the ledge, but he could feel the pain going away quickly.
‘I guess, double my current strength and stats isn’t so impressive. If I can improve my whole-body shape and increase my stats, that will also make the skill more effective. I also have to be wary of my energy points.
‘Using the skill itself takes up ten energy points, and it almost feels like an adrenaline shot, but then I have less points to heal myself with. While getting my heart rate up naturally that high, it won’t use the energy points initially.
‘But other than thinking of that… I don’t really have a good method of controlling my heart rate.’
Thinking of that said person, Gary almost forgot the reason why he was trying to scale the wall in the first place. He thought if he got up high, then maybe he could start leaping across rooftops while following the girl.
It was a fantasy that was short lived.
Canceling the skill was easy, and Gary soon just stuck to what he was doing before as he exited out of the alleyway and attempted to catch up with the girl.
The good news was there didn’t seem to be any signs of trouble. Gary wasn’t sure if it was because it was so early in the morning, or if something else was going on. Eventually though they had reached the school and, at least knowing this place was safe from others, he could take off his hood, but he didn’t stop to follow the strange girl.
‘Damn, I feel like a stalker, why am I still following her anyway? I was just going to protect her, right?’ Gary thought, and eventually found himself on the third floor, where the senior students would be. He never expected her to be a senior student. Just as he was about to turn away though, he saw the girl talking to someone else he knew, and it looked like the two of them were on good terms.
‘Is that Kai?’ Gary thought. Without a doubt it was Kai, but why would these two know each other? He thought that anyone who would know Kai would also be involved in the underworld like he was. Thinking about this, made him think about how the girl was also being attacked by the gang, could it have something to do with Kai?
Unfortunately, without getting any closer and being found out, Gary would just have to leave it at that, making his way back to his own class.
Just outside though, he managed to bump into someone that he was actually pleased to see.
“Oh Gary!” Tom said, holding a carrier bag, and nearly stepped back after seeing Gary.
“What’s the matter? You seem a little jumpy, is everything okay?” Gary asked, as he walked past and entered the classroom putting his bag on the desk. He was happy to see Tom, because Tom was the only normal thing he still had left of his ordinary life, and he was hoping talking to him would remind him of the time before all this craziness.
Tom went to touch the pendent in his pocket, he grabbed it for a second and was wondering just how he would get Gary to wear it or touch it. Even if he could, or if it would do anything.
“Hey, do you mind if I show you a magic trick?” Tom asked.
‘If it starts hurting him, I’ll take it off straight away and I’ll know the truth.’
“Okay, but I didn’t know you were into magic now as well.” Gary replied.
“Just keep your palm open and close your eyes for a second.” Tom said.
That’s when Gary could hear it, something was definitely up with Tom. The two of them weren’t far from each other, and now he could hear it. He could hear Tom’s heartbeat, beating faster and faster.
‘Is he that nervous that the magic trick is going to fail?’ Gary thought, and closed his eyes, opening the palm of his hand to give him more confidence.
Then holding the silver chain with the pendent. Tom was about to place it in his hand when he started to have second thoughts.
‘Why am I doing this, shouldn’t I just ask?’ Tom thought, as he felt a little bad, he was tricking his long-time best friend.
Due to how long it was taking, Gary got impatient.
“Come on.” Gary said, having opened his eyes and grabbed the pendent. He then looked at it and wondered what it was. Tom nearly shouted out telling him to stop, but there seemed to be no reaction at all. A big, huge smile appeared across his face instead.
“Did I ruin the trick?” Gary asked.
“Umm, yeah but don’t worry I need more practice anyway.” Tom said, as he took the pendant away and placed it back into his pocket.
‘What the hell was I thinking, Gary a werewolf, maybe I’ve been reading too many novels.’ Tom thought.
“Hey so what’s in the bag?” Gary called out.
“Oh this?” He replied, opening it up and pulling out a large chocolate bar. He then threw it over with no worries at all to his friend. “I had a craving in the middle of the night, but I can’t eat all this on my own so decided to bring it in.” Tom smiled.
Class hadn’t started yet, as the students were still coming in. The tutor had arrived but wouldn’t take the student register until the bell rang anyway. So, Gary thought it wouldn’t be bad to take a nice bite of chocolate, after all recently everything he had been eating was a little strange.
Not having a care, Gary nearly bit half of the chocolate bar off as if he didn’t have a care in the world. When suddenly, he felt his throat swelling up. He placed his hands around his throat as if he couldn’t breathe.
“Gary, are you okay, what’s wrong!” Tom asked.
Soon, Gary’s body couldn’t take it anymore, as it rejected the chocolate, throwing up the contents in his stomach. It spread across the whole floor and soon all the students stepped away.
“What is that? Is that bile? But why is it so… red?” The students thought.
‘He threw up… Why did he throw up?! Don’t tell me it was from the chocolate bar!!!’ Tom started to panic.