The twilight skyline fell over the city as Rina put her book into her backpack. She had stayed late at school again.
"Rina, at the rate you are going, you try taking the high school 2nd year exam soon," Her teacher praised. The woman was praising her fervently, enthusiastic. She was probably expecting a raise from her advancement then. Rina nodded silently, her mind dull.
That is what the tests label her as. Although she tested as a rank F, her IQ was over 150. She was the highest scorer in the school, her intellectual abilities outstanding.
Not that it was extremely significant at this day and age. Many people had intellectual abilities after all. And the concept that brains ruled over brawn died the moment humans gained abilities.
She sighed. The world is merely a stage where you act your part. From the moment you were born, your role was determined.
And her's was at the bottom of the ladder.
Rina silently packed up and bid the teacher goodbye.
Outside, on her way back to the dorm, Rina's backpack moved. "Vulpix," Rina gathered the soft Pokemon in her arms, her heart lightening. It went beyond logic why she felt attracted to Hana's summons. Was it because they were soft? Because they fit the typical description of cuteness?
"Vulpix, vulpix, vul . . . " The fire Pokemon nudged Rina softly, burrowing into her arms. Pokemon were sensitive creatures after all. Sensing the sadness in her owner's sister, the fire Pokemon attempted to cheer her up.
"Ok," Rina smiled, stroking its fur. Her face turned back into that of a young child's again. She quietly made her way through the alleyway to the dorm. It was a shortcut she knew of.
Normally, she wouldn't take it because she had to work at the bakery, but since she stayed at school late, she would just go this way.
The shadows in the narrow path covered her as she walked through. Suddenly, Vulpix raised it's head. Danger!
"Vulpix?" Hana saw the unease in the Pokemon's eyes. "Is something wrong?"
The fire Pokemon leaped out of her arms, crouching into attack position. Rina understood immediately. There was someone hostile near her. She gripped the strap of her backpack fearfully.
"Aiya, little girl, your fox is good." A middle aged men melted out of the shadows. He tossed knives in his hands casually, leering at her.
"Robbery?" Rina scanned the man. He looked like a thug. But why would he go after her? She was dressed in plain clothes. Nothing about her stood out enough to warrant a robbery. Was it simply bad luck then?
"Naive child, do I look like a robber?" The man grinned. "Well, I might be after all. I'm here to rob you of your life after all hehe."
Rina backed up a step. A murderer? Assassin? "Why?" She couldn't think of anyone she had offended recently. She had never seen this person before either.
"Why? Mah, maybe because your existence is a nuisance. The actual order was to put you in a coma, but my hands feel itchy today. Too bad for you." He stalked toward her.
"Vulpix, Flamethrower!" Rina yelled. Thank goodness Hana had taught her attack commands for Vulpix in case of emergencies.
A torrent of flames rushed toward the man.
"What a cute attempt." A horrendous gust of wind blew forward, blasting the flame apart. It slammed into Vulpix, tossing it backward into the wall.
"Vulpix!" Rina yelled in alarm. She scooped up the Pokemon in her arms. The fire fox made a disoriented sound.
"Oh? It's studier than expected. I thought that would have been enough to kill it," The man mumbled. He drew a knife. "Nevertheless, it's futile to resist."
As if sensing the man's movement, Vulpix jumped out of Rina's arms. It crouched in front of her. Despite it's trembling leg, it was evidently adamant in defending her. It's eyes, filled with determination, stared at the man.
"What tenacious little bug." The man glared maliciously at the fire Pokemon. He slashed forward. Wind blades assaulted the Pokemon from all sides, leaving cuts all over its body.
"Recall! Go back now!" Renae yelled, her voice edging on hysteria. "Leave!"
Vulpix ignored her, sending another blast of flames toward the man. It clashed weakly against his wind, before dissipating.
"Amusing creatures this is. But pets are merely pets after all." Swirling a finger, the wind rushed toward the fire Pokemon. It lifted it up despite its struggles, and blasted it into the air. Within a blink of an eye, it vanished into the distance. "Hmm, I'm sure when it falls down, it will die anyway."
Rina stared blankly at the empty sky. Her heart clenched, eyes darkening.
"Why . . . "
"Why? Hmm, I guess it wouldn't hurt to tell you. Dead men tell no tales anyway." He grinned , tapping the knife against her cheek. "Ah, who knows what you did to offend the Zhao family. Blame yourself for not recognizing Mt. Tai ah." He clucked his tongue in mock pity.
Zhao family. Zhao family. Again this Zhao family.
Rina laughed, a sardonic expression on her face.
"My mother is gone because of me. My sister is gone because of me. Now the mongrels from the Zhao family have finally come knocking on the door as well."
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Oh, she was all too aware of her past. Despite, her sister's effort to hide the truth from her, she was well aware of their past. The accursed surname that she bore. She hated it.
"Well, perhaps your next life will be more lucky." The knife plunged through her stomach.
The pain ricocheted through her body. Rina coughed. "Next life?" Her eyes blazed with anger. "I rather haunt them as a ghost after death." The hatred in her eyes was unnerving given her young face.
She fell into the darkness, just as a beeping noise sounded in her head.
[Detecting imminent danger to host body. Override sleep mode. Initiating system takeover. Detecting suitable action . . . affirmative]
"What the hell! " The man leaped back in shock. Rina stood up robotically. Red pupils stared at the man.
[Detecting of threat to host. Eliminate] A brown belt appeared around Rina. [Activate trump card]
In a flash, Rina transformed, lion ears and paws appearing on her. [Eliminate]
Her hand closed around shocked man's neck. He chocked, his eyes trained on the knife wound in the stomach. It was completely healed!
Rina's hand snapped the neck like a twig.
[Complete. Searching for safety zone from memory].
Her tiny figure vanished into the darkness.
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