Before you proceed to the story, I would like to remind you that there would be some bad words in here (thanks to Phyll). But don't worry much, it's just mild swearing. The person in the picture is Phyll. Those two people are both her: the pretty one is how she looked like during the whole FS night, and the one in the mirror is her past, creepy self.
Very slowly, the group stood up from their seats and walked around curiously. They poked frozen people here and there, amazed by their rock-hard skins. Zee went to the tipped glass of water and the contents spread on the air. She curiously poked the substance. Zee knew that it was just water, but it felt like gelatin. It was very soft and bends with her finger when she pokes it. She tried to grab a portion and held it in her hand in awe.
"Guys!" The sudden voice surprised her, making her let go of the water. Instead of splashing on the floor, it stayed on its place in the air, in the shape of an orb. She walked back to gather with the group.
"This is weird," Phyll mumbled. Jethro appeared after zigzagging his way through the frozen crowd.
"What happened?" He asked. "There's something weird about the water." He turned the glass he was holding upside-down, and the contents didn't even move an inch.
"Time stopped." Warren concluded.
"I think my déjà vu's were connected to this, but I don't know why and how. When I saw Sir Evans at the park when I was with Quaddle, I experienced déjà vu when he disappeared. Maybe he actually stopped time, walked away casually, and resumed the time again." Rin said.
"And remember when we were almost hit by a car? You experienced déjà vu before that, right?" Phyll asked Rin, and she nodded. "The driver said that he didn't see us. First, we weren't there, then we appeared in front of him like magic."
"He said time seemed to stop, yeah." Warren agreed.
"But why am I the one that experience that? Why me?" Rin whined. Warren's brows furrowed and he sat down to think.
"I have read something about this on the Internet. It was about what things would be affected if time is stopped. One question there was 'What are the things that would be affected when it happens? Would gravity be gone? Would the sun stop shining or would everything be kept as it is?' There was this certain part in that article that said how things would be affected when time is to be stopped. According to a theory about earth's rotation and gravity, when the earth stops turning, gravity would be altered. If time is stopped, then the earth stops rotating too. And you, Rin, have gravitational powers meaning, you have the most sensitive connection to gravity. Unlike us, the other people you see a second ahead when time stops, so when time continues again, you experience déjà vu. But I'm not that sure if my logic is right."
Their jaws dropped at Warren's detailed explanation. He really was a wonder boy.
"Oh... so that's why..." Rin mumbled. "And the handful of déjà vu's I went in earlier was just predictions for this." Everyone looked around at the silent place. Zee's head tilted to the side while wondering about something.
"How can we still move?" They glanced at their selves as if to check.
"Maybe Sir Evans is playing with us." Warren said.
"What's this?" Rho suddenly spoke and passed a small paper to Zee.
Come and find me, children. If you don't, then you'll have to live all eternity with time frozen like this. And don't you feel pity to all these frozen people? It would be too bad if they'd be like this forever, right?
Everyone imagined Sir Evans' evil laugh as he wrote that note. "Where did you find this, Rho?" Zee asked. The boy pointed to an unlit corridor.
"He's leaving us clues, so we better follow them." Phyll muttered darkly and cracked her fingers.
Warren nodded in approval. "We have no choice. As cruel as this may sound, we may have to hurt him..."
"Or kill him." Phyll finished him off. Nobody said a thing since they knew how long she has been keeping her hatred. Good thing she reserved all of it for the right time, which is today. They started walking towards the dark corridor, hearts beating faster with every step. They felt like going into the mouth of a wild beast without knowing how to come out. If Sir Evans was powerful enough to stop time like this, then what else could he do? He wouldn't throw bait if he wasn't confident that he'll win.
Zee decided to keep Rho first since he had the greatest possibility of melting since he was just made of paper, and he was one of Zee's masterpieces. She couldn't risk him by letting him walk around in the dark with an enemy lurking around.
"Does anyone have a flashlight? It's too dark in here." Rin squint her eyes to look at her companions.
"I could produce one," Zee suggested.
"No, save your papers for later." Warren stopped her from talking out her sketch pad. "I have a flashlight with me. We don't know how powerful is the person we're going to face, so we got to have all that we'll need for later."
"I can't fight while wearing this," Phyll hissed and took off her black heels, then threw them away somewhere.
"Hey, don't throw them just like that! They're worth $500!"
"They're not made in paper?" Phyll asked bluntly.
"NOOO!!" Zee whined. "You really thought I made you wear paper? Absolutely not!" Phyll nodded and picked up the heels to hand them over to Zee. "I'll lend you something to protect your feet. It's made of paper, though."
"Don't waste your papers, just like Warren said. I can walk barefoot."
"No, I have a ready-made one. It's better than walking with a bleeding foot, right? It's better to be safe, too." She said defiantly and summoned a red and black boot. It matched Phyll's dress very well. The poker face girl just nodded in thanks.
"I see something over there." Rin pointed to a very poorly lit post. They walked to it and discovered another note.
It's a rule to keep right to avoid accidents. Would it be the same to you? Enjoy the trip!
"That bastard is enjoying this." Phyll tore the paper from the wall and threw it away. The others looked right to see yet another long, dark corridor. Though the rest started getting more scared, Warren gathered up all his courage as a leader and threw his chin up.
"Okay guys. This is it. Whatever we have trained and practiced for many months, refresh them all in your mind. We would need both physical and supernatural strength to survive this."
"Survive? You're making this sound like we have a huge chance of dying." Zee squeaked.
"We can't do anything about it now. He's playing a game on us so we have to play along, though we don't know what the rules are." Everyone gulped and stepped into the 2nd corridor. As they walked on, they realized that it was the corridor passing through the sophomores' homerooms. Everything in there were unfamiliar to them since freshmen weren't allowed to walk into other year levels' corridors.
"I'll summon a few spies now. In all creatures I summon, I attain their point of view, so they'd be useful if I scatter some around." Zee said and took out her trusty sketch pad. She summoned 5 black butterflies and they immediately flew to different directions.
"Why didn't you just make spiders or ants? They're less noticeable." Phyll said. Zee looked at her weirdly.
"I thought, I already said I hate insects."
"But butterflies are insects too." Warren pointed out.
"They are?" Zee's head tilted to the side. "Well, they aren't creepy." The group just sighed and continued walking. Zee kept on mumbling about the butterflies' progress.
"Butterfly#1, none... Butterfly#2, none... Butterfly#3, still flying... #4, nope..." Zee suddenly gasped. "#2 saw something. A pair of legs passed a corridor quickly to the other side, and I think its north from here."
"Everyone, stay close." Warren said lowly and they followed. There was no clue in the next intersection so they turned right, following the last clue they got. Zee continued gathering information from her spies, and was startled when it came to #5. She turned around to look at it since it was the one keeping an eye on them.
"#5...?" She mumbled. The insect gave her a signal, and her eyes widened. "Guys, someone is behind u-" The door from the room beside them burst open and long, slender arms grabbed Zee. The door locked shut again and the group started banging on it. A scream erupted from the room and they started panicking more.
"I got this," Phyll said and froze the whole door. Rin kicked on it hard, but surprisingly, it didn't break. They tried again and again, but the door seemed to be made of steel.
"Children, over here." A voice from the end of the corridor said. They saw a tall man with his face hidden by a Pandora hat, obviously Sir Evans. They ran to him and he cackled while running into another corridor. The group chased him, turning left and right into other corridors, but they immediately lost track of him.
"I hope Zee's okay," Rin whispered with teary eyes.
"I didn't know an old man could run that fast." Phyll gritted her teeth. She punched a glass window in frustration and her fist bled. She healed it by freezing the wounds and she was quickly fine.
"A note," Jethro mumbled and read it aloud.
You lost a pawn! Too bad. You can't cry now, though. You have a game to finish, so you have to walk on. Good luck!
They weren't surprised when Phyll burned the paper. She was probably burning inside already.
"Where do we go now? We lost our only connection to the butterflies." Rin sniffed. Warren just concentrated on tracking the butterflies to know where they were, and he just hoped Zee would make them send signals when something is wrong. They started walking without a destination. They only kept right. What they only knew was they had to find Sir Evans and knock him out for this game to be over.
"A butterfly stopped on a room near the 2nd library. I think something's in there." Warren said, and they nodded. They started running and crossed the bridge that connected the FS and JS buildings. They saw the butterfly laying still on a wall, seeming like it was staring at a certain place.
"He must be somewhere in here." Warren said. The butterfly suddenly flew away, and an alarm went off. It was very loud that it irritated their ears, but to Rin, it was excruciating pain. Her ears throbbed so much that she felt like they were going to bleed. She just crouched down on the floor, trying to muffle the noise as possible, and trying to block the blood starting to drip from her nose. But despite the pain, she tried her best to smash everything metal that's attached on the walls. Crashing sounds were heard everywhere, and the high-pitched sound stopped. The group opened their eyes, while Rin collapsed on the floor, breathing heavily. Despite her situation, she managed to look at her mates to see if they were okay.
"Where... Where's Jethro?" Warren and Phyll looked around. Indeed, Jethro was nowhere to be seen. Warren went to Rin and helped her stand up.
"I'll tear that old bastard apart if I lay my hand on him." Phyll growled.
"Oh really? That must hurt." A pouty voice said from far away. One look and they immediately knew it was Sir Evans with his creepy Pandora hat. They dashed to him, not wanting to let him go this time. But they lost him again.
"DAMN!" Phyll screeched.
"Where'd he go?" Rin weakly said and leaned on a wall. The light coming from Warren's flashlight suddenly turned off, together with a loud "oof". They turned around, just to see him getting hauled into a room by long arms. The door locked just like what happened to Zee. The girls went to the door, once again frantic.
"Looking for me?" Sir Evans appeared behind them, near enough to smell his exotic perfume, and he immediately dashed off while laughing maniacally.
"No, Phyll! Don't come after him!" Rin's warning was too late, though. Phyll already had disappeared together with Sir Evans, probably chasing him at light speed now. Having only little strength left, Rin sat on a corner with eyes heavy. She could only think about their situation now, and how badly she wants to just sleep and forget about everything.
'I never noticed Sir Evans wearing an exotic perfume... And how many men could he have here that the group disappeared into rooms continuously? Why didn't Sir Evans have a Pandora hat anymore when Phyll chased him?'
Her eyes started to blur as she was about to drift to sleep. A tall man appeared on her blurred vision and approached her. Before she could comprehend on who was it, his strong arms grabbed her by the waist and lifted her up. She was carried over his shoulder as he walked. Rin wanted to kick him, whoever he was, but she couldn't move her limbs anymore.
She was suddenly thrown harshly into a room. Her head banged against the floor a little too violently, and she even heard a soft crack. She whimpered from the pain, but tried her best to at least sit up to face her enemy.
"Why are you doing this, Sir Evans?" She croaked. The man standing in front of her just chuckled. Finally, Rin got her vision to clear again and looked up. Now that the Pandora hat wasn't covering his face and was fixed over his head nicely, she could finally see him properly.
Sir Evans looked so different. Oh, that wasn't the case.
Actually, he wasn't Sir Evans at all.
Though every inch of her body was frozen in shock and pain, somehow, Rin was able to move her lips.