Villain Retirement

Chapter 17: Nosy People Always Get In Trouble


Chapter 17: Nosy People Always Get In Trouble

"I much prefer to be with you, Scarlet Mage."

"What was that?"

"I prefer to--"

Riley's muffled voice slightly whispered through the air as Scarlet Mage covered his mouth before he could say anything more. Scarlet Mage then smiled and chuckled awkwardly as she looked all over the place, shaking her head towards the other people in the mall; telling them it was not what it seems.

Afterward, she dragged Riley all the way outside the mall, and into one of the basement parking lots that were surprisingly quite spacious. But considering most of the school itself was built underground, perhaps it wasn't surprising after all.

And without even saying a word, Scarlet Mage continued to drag Riley until she pushed him inside what seemed to be her car.

"..." Riley looked around Scarlet Mage's small sedan; and considering there weren't any trinkets or pillows of some kind inside, it was probably a car provided by the Academy. The number of cameras inside the basement was also obviously less than above, making this probably the best place to kill Scarlet Mage. But then again... they were surrounded by hundreds of Supers-- it will become a massacre once they found out he killed her.

That would have been preferable as Darkday-- but he was just Riley Ross now. He needed to play the part if he wants his retirement to be successful, if not-- then that would make him into a liar. There was also the fact that Hannah was here as well, he couldn't risk her getting hurt because of him.

"What are you thinking right now?" While Riley was somewhat lost in his own thought, Scarlet Mage suddenly took off the mask that was covering half her face, completely revealing her eyes, which were red in color, as well as her slightly thick eyebrows.

"I'm thinking about my sister," Riley quickly answered, only looking at Scarlet Mage's eyes for a single second before looking to the side.

"Your sister? Is that just it?" Scarlet Mage, on the other hand, was not letting her eyes travel from Riley's, "You are always saying that you need me, that you prefer me. And even though it is just the first day of the Academy, it is already making me uncomfortable so I think we need to set boundaries between us. So let me ask you, Riley...

...Why are you saying that to me? Why are you telling me you need me?"

Riley did not really respond, just looking to the side as both of their breaths filled the inside of the car.

"We are not going out of this car until you tell me," Scarlet Mage shook her head, "I don't know about you, but I am used to this kind of heat. This might seem a little... inappropriate and hypocritical, but I think this is the only way I can get you to stop-- a heart-to-heart talk. So please, the faster you say what you feel, the more I can finally move on with my life as a teacher in the Academy. I am not used to this, I was just invited by the government to do this-- I would just rather be out there saving lives. So please, please tell me why you always seem to have something you want from me; I can always ask your father."

Although Scarlet Mage was clear with her words, in truth, she was trying her best not to mumble due to the anxiety that was slowly building inside her. Even if Riley was young, he was still a man. And for someone like her, whose work and job as a superhero had always preceded over her life, this wasn't something she imagined doing.

But finally, after her long speech, Riley opened his mouth to speak.

"Because I am afraid that as time moves on, you will discover who I am."

Hearing Riley starting to open up, Scarlet Mage could not help but slightly let out a smile. But still, she was also slightly confused; he said he needs her, but his answer was somewhat contradictory.

"So, you telling me you need me is because you want me to know who you are... but you're afraid I would get to know you?"

"No," Riley shook his head.

"Then can you tell me how you feel right now, at this exact moment when I do this?" Scarlet Mage said as she suddenly grabbed Riley's hand, "Tell me what you-- !!!"

However, as soon as she did so, Riley grabbed her by the neck; perhaps due to the force, or maybe because of Riley's powers, the car slightly moved to the right, causing a loud squeak as its tires left their mark on the pavement.

"Do not touch me!" Riley screamed, his eyes reflecting the ball of fire that was hovering on Scarlet Mage's left palm, "No one is allowed to touch me!"

Scarlet Mage was at a loss as to what to do. Riley was currently on top of her, both his hands on her neck; she was going to smack her with a fireball on the face but hesitated to do so as finally, she felt his heart fluctuate.

"I...m sorry," Scarlet Mage struggled to breathe, but still, she looked Riley straight in the eyes, "I am sorry, I was... I was out of line. Did... did someone..."

But alas, before she could finish her words, she could feel her vision slowly darken-- her limbs slowly losing their strength as the last breath she had in her also slowly faded its way out of her body.




Scarlet Mage then suddenly woke up from the sound of her own gasp, hitting her head on the roof of her car as she tried to stand up. And upon touching her face, she almost panicked when she found out that she wasn't wearing a mask; but as soon as she saw Riley quietly sitting beside her, she quickly remembered what she was doing.

Did... she just lose consciousness? Wait, did she almost just die here?

With that thought, she could not help but look at Riley, who just had a slightly bored expression on his face as he rested his head back on the seat.

"Riley... you... you almost killed me," Scarlet Mage grunted as she gently grasped her neck.

"Almost," Riley nodded his head, "But I can't kill you now. Not in this place, not now."

"What? What do you mean kill me?" Hearing the casual tone in Riley's voice, Scarlet Mage could not help but slightly feel uncomfortable. She knew Riley had autism, it was clear in his file; she knew that he was socially inept... but Riley rarely lies. Especially not with something like this.

And so, with this thought, Scarlet Mage's heart could not help but slightly beat faster, "Why... do you want to kill me?"

Was she wrong? Did Riley Ross belong in the Potential Villain category after all?

"I have already told you, Scarlet Mage. I am afraid that you are probably one of the few people that would know who I truly am."

Riley said the exact same words he said before, but Scarlet Mage could no longer feel the warmth in his words, or perhaps there was no warmth in the first place and she only just imagined it?

Was she truly wrong in her assessment?

"...Why?" Scarlet Mage whispered.

"But you do not have to worry, I no longer wish to kill you, Scarlet Mage."

"Why did you want to kill me!?" Scarlet Mage could no longer hold it in as she raised her voice. This was the first day of school, and things were already turning a turn for the worse. For a student to want to kill her on the first day... just what kind of job did she accept?

"Because you would probably discover that I am Darkday."

"What are you--"

Before Scarlet Mage could finish her words, Riley suddenly turned his head and for the first time, looked her straight in the eyes, "I am Darkday. I am telling you now so I would no longer need to guess whether you have discovered it or not...

...Katherine Read."

"W... what?"

"That is your name, yes?" Riley then slightly raised his hand, and on it, was what seemed to be a driver's license, "You... in New York."

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