Chapter 25: Confusing Emotions
"Just… just make yourself at home, okay? I am just going to take a shower."
"I… I just need to clear my head so I can give you the information about Mega Woman clearer."
"I see. Then you may do so, Scarlet Mage."
The muffled sounds of the shower whispered into the air as Riley was left alone in Scarlet Mage's living room. The only thing that Riley could do while waiting for Scarlet Mage was look out the window wall, which surprisingly, had a somewhat amazing view.
The apartment provided for the teachers of Mega Academy was beside a man-made lake, and since Scarlet Mage's apartment was located on the 8th floor, you could even see the school building from there, but still not outside the walls that surrounded the whole Academy; a testament to how tall it truly was.
Riley had already thought that the rooms provided for the students were already quite luxurious and spacious; but seeing the teacher's apartments, his room suddenly felt subpar. Just how much budget did the world government actually allot for the Mega Academies? And considering there were more in other countries, they truly have been preparing for this for a while now.
They even have a colossal dome, which replicated the sky, protecting them from being seen by the outside world from above-- that alone would have been costly. Not to mention the technology needed to create and maintain everything. The technology here… was almost alien.
Mega Woman came from another planet; perhaps it has some sort of correlation? Maybe she even provided and shared the technology? But Mega Woman was against something like the Academy being built… So what exactly was going on here?
"What are you thinking about?"
"That was quick, Scarlet Mage," Riley then quickly turned around as he heard Scarlet Mage's voice, "Did you make sure to wash everything?"
"I did!" Scarlet Mage could not help but groan in frustration as soon as she heard Riley's words. She was wearing a robe that almost exposed most of her skin, and that was his only reaction? Shouldn't guys his age be panicking right now as his hormones turn crazy? Even if he had a form of autism, it shouldn't mean Riley wasn't able to feel his prepubescent urges, right?
"..." Scarlet Mage could only furrow her eyebrows from the dangerous thoughts in her mind. If this were any other case, then she would definitely lock herself up in jail for having thoughts like this towards a minor. But this was Darkday, so there should be an exception; and besides, she was doing this for a good cause-- and perhaps the only cause that matters right now.
She even made sure that the curtains to her apartment were fully open, and the cameras in the entrance of the apartment were able to see her and Riley enter, and hopefully, someone reports them to the higher-ups so both of them would be kicked out-- this is, after all, the first part of Operation 'Turn Dark into Light'.
"A… and please, call me by my real name when we're alone," Scarlet Mage then said as she sat on the sofa, crossing her legs as she started drying her black hair, which was previously red.
"You… could also change the color of your hair? That is a very weird power, Scarlet Mage."
"No, it's a wig and a part of my costume," Scarlet Mage let out a small giggle, "And please, call me by my real name while we are alone. It's weird being called Scarlet Mage without wearing the mask."
"If you are more comfortable with that, Katherine."
"R… right," hearing her name being called by Riley, she could not help but look to the side as she felt her face slightly warming up, "Anyway, what were you thinking about earlier?"
"I was thinking about Mega Woman."
"I… see," Katherine held her breath upon hearing Mega Woman's name coming up. She told Riley that she had information about her so that he would follow her here, but in truth, how could anyone gather information just after a day? And why would she even do that in the first place?
"And so?" Riley said as he slowly approached her, "What news do you have of her, Katherine?"
"That's… Maybe you would like some coffee first?" Katherine, however, suddenly stood up from her seat, trying her best to avoid the topic. And perhaps due to the force of her standing up, or maybe even perhaps subconsciously deliberate, her robe loosened.
"!!!" She quickly covered herself up, but not before Riley was able to see her finely shaped breasts bouncing lively. She so wanted to run away and scream in frustration, but no-- the mission comes first.
And so, the only thing she could do was slowly turn her eyes towards Riley to see his reaction, "Did you see my--"
"I don't drink coffee, Katherine. But perhaps if you have milk?"
"..." Was that some sort of joke since he saw her breasts? Or did he really just want milk? But considering the deadpan way he just uttered that, it would seem that he didn't even care that he saw her breasts.
Impossible. Even insects copulate, it's in the nature of every living being in the world. Riley should feel something.
"Did you see my breasts?" Katherine could not help herself from asking, the tone of her voice unwavering.
"I did," Riley quickly answered.
"It is irrelevant in our current situation."
"You…" Katherine's eyes could not help but twitch upon hearing Riley's words.
Irrelevant!? Doesn't he know how many fanfictions she has in Blueit? There were hundreds, some even written in another language. She knows she should feel relieved that Darkday didn't have any sort of feelings for her, but seeing him without his mask and looking like a not-so-normal and slightly attractive person; for some reason, there was this growing sense of… wanting validation from him.
She knows it's wrong, but she just couldn't help it. It was final, Riley did have enchanting powers. It might just be some sort of Stockholm syndrome, but she was betting on the former. Evil, truly evil.
"Don't… you feel anything?" But contrary to her feelings, she didn't back down.
"About your breasts?"
"Yes, about my breasts! What else!? Do you not feel anything while looking at me!?"
"Should I?" Riley squinted his eyes as he looked at Katherine from head to toe, "You are very beautiful, Katherine."
"W… what?" Katherine could feel her legs turn weak from suddenly hearing Riley's words.
"I could say I feel lust," Riley then stood up from his seat, slowly approaching the slightly fazed Katherine.
"W… what?" Katherine could only repeat her words, "W… what are you doing? What's happening, why can't I move?"
"I am not using my powers, Katherine," Riley said as he slowly lifted Katherine's robes, slightly exposing her breasts, "Yes, it is lust I feel. Is that what you wanted to hear from me, Katherine?"
"T… that's not what I--"
"I know," Riley then let out a sigh as he fixed Katherine's robes, tying it tight so it won't fall off again, "My mother told me that lust is fleeting and that what women really want is love. But love, in my mother's knowledge, happens instantly, but could develop as long as it wants to take… and blossom eternally."
"And if that is what you wanted to hear, then I apologize," Riley then returned to his seat as he looked to the side, "You and I both know that something is mentally wrong with me, Katherine. I do not think I am capable of feeling love."
"..." Any nervousness or silliness that circled around Katherine disappeared as she saw the look on Riley's face. He… wasn't really expressing anything and still held the completely stoic look that seemed to be his default resting face. It might just be her imagination, but Riley… felt lonely.
It was almost as if he was fragile and could break at any moment. She thought that Riley was most human when he emits his Darkday aura, but seeing him like this now… she just could not help but hug him.
"What are you doing?"
What exactly was she doing!?-- Is what she wanted to ask herself as her arms suddenly wrapped around Riley. The last time she touched him, she was almost choked to death. Realizing this, she quickly pulled herself away, putting up some sort of wind barrier between her and Riley.
However, contrary to her expectations, Riley remained sitting.
"You… are not going to kill me?"
"Why would I do that?"
"B… because I touched you? You said it in the car yesterday, that no one is allowed to touch you."
"You're not just no one, Katherine."
"You're my first subordinate," Riley let out a sigh, "And it is common for subordinates to feel awed by the presence of their master, I have watched it on TV during a documentary of a country in Asia."
"...Right." With the way Riley was talking, it was as if he was saying that Katherine was just a tool. And would one be mad if your screwdriver touches you? Her analogy was somewhat flawed, but it was the only thing she could think of right now.
"So it's alright if I touch you again?" Katherine then quickly said, her tone a little agitated from the thoughts that she was having.
"If that will finally allow you to tell your reports about Mega Woman, then you are free to do so."
"Fine," Katherine then stomped her way towards Riley, stopping only a foot away from him before slightly crouching on the floor in front of him, "Can I touch your chest, then?" magic
"It's fine, I am giving you permission to read my heart," Riley nodded before letting out another hurried sigh.
"..." As for Katherine, although she was a bit agitated from the way Riley was treating her, it doesn't mean she wasn't feeling nervous; this was Darkday, after all. And so, the only thing she could do was take in a small gulp as her hand slowly made its way to Riley's chest.
"Are you really only 16 years old?"
"Then aren't you technically just a child?" Katherine muttered, "How… are you capable of doing the things you do?"
"Because I have power."
"Then why are you doing it? Killing millions of people, torturing heroes on live TV… killing… killing helpless children and elderly," Katherine's voice started to stutter as she remembered all the things that Darkday has done, "How…
...how are you able to live with yourself?"