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Mirror, Mirror [Twisted-Wonderland]

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PROLOGUE 1 - 8 | The “Gracious” Headmaster

Ramshackle Dormitory, Hallway

        “Hmm… I see, I see. So, that’s what happened here.” Crowley nods as he listened to the detailed summarization of Leveret whose ears were laying flat on her head, afraid that they might get scolded and perhaps thrown out for the destruction they caused to the dormitory but that thought quickly vanished when she saw the unbothered and calm expression on his face which he tried to hide by placing a hand on his mouth—an action he probably thought would make him look like an understanding and mature adult to which they quickly saw through.

        “Now that you’ve mentioned it,” he begins, “I do remember a report stating that there were some prankster ghosts living here that’s why students usually stay away from this dormitory. I may have forgotten to warn you both about that—my apologies.” He apologizes.

        Unfortunately for him though, despite the fact that he apologized to them in person and bringing them supper for the time being, he ultimately failed to consider the consequences of his reckless decisions since Yuu, who has been complaining since they arrived in the dormitory, finally lost his cool.

        “You… forgot about it… you say?” He chuckles, shoulders shaking as he tries to withhold the laughter—a small action that caused Leveret and Grim, who were quietly standing behind him, to flinch. Not because he was suddenly chuckling but from the tone of his voice which dropped in a couple of octaves instantly and the ominous aura he was emitting. “Do you even know the amount of trouble you forgetfulness got us into?” He asked as he stalks his way to Crowley with his head down, memories of him waking up inside a coffin with new clothes, getting chased by Grim to the library, being accused by Crowley for things he did not do; and then falling for his cheap tricks—it all rushed back to him like a waterfall to which he could only laugh at. “Not only did you force—no, trick me into helping you with the martials you “coincidentally” forgot in Mister Sam’s shop which led us to leaving Leveret behind with that professor who was all too excited to be left alone with her.” He stops just a few inches away from Crowley whose back is now against the old walls of the dormitory. “You also forgot to mention the fact that we were going to be living in a place where there were not only one,” he pauses to chuckle once more when he recalls what happened before Crowley arrived, “but three ghosts currently residing in it!” He claps his hand from how hilarious it was. “Let’s not forget that you also forgot to enlighten us that the place we’ll be living for god knows how long is in shambles.” He raises his head, an eerie smile on his face before slamming his right hand on the wall, causing dust to fall from above them due to the strength he applied into it. “Just how will you repay us for the things you’ve done, Headmaster Crowley?” He tilts his head as he asks him that, bright blue eyes seemingly glowing from how intense his pent up emotions were.

        Crowley could only stare at the male in front of him with wide eyes. This was the first time a student not only backed him against the wall but also dared to talk back to him and trapped him despite being magicless—it truly was a sight to behold. Maybe it was because he only showed how intellectual and collected he was. That's why he was backed up against the old walls of the dormitory or was it perhaps the intensity of his gaze? Whatever the reason was, he was at a loss for words—so flabbergasted that he was unable to either say something or think anything.

        “Don’t tell me you’re not going to do anything about this mess?” He asks, tilting his head in a frightening manner that those who were witnessing the scene can feel the hair on their body stand. “This can be considered as fraud, Headmaster Crowley,” he stares straight at Crowley’s eyes without fear or hesitation, “so you better have a solution for this problem before I decide to report and sue you, even if I’m not from this world.” He warns, causing Crowley to raise his hands in front of him with a nervous look as he stutters out a reply.

        “N-now, now, Mr. Miyazawa. Let’s not make hasty decisions and talk about this in a civil manner.” He tells him which only made Yuu even angrier.

        “You lost your privileges for a peaceful talk ages ago.” He crosses his arms, an annoyed look plastered on his face. “If you have nothing to offer as a compensation for us then we have no choice but to file a case against you for fraud and kidnapping.” He has a wide grin on his face as he says that, eyes glimmer in mischief knowing that he got Crowley trapped.

        “But I did not even kidnap—wait a moment!” Crowley utters out in panic, darting out his right hand and latching it onto Yuu’s shoulder just as he was about to move away. “H-how about I give the both of you a job here in Night Raven College?” He promptly suggests, sweat beginning to form on his forehead. “As the both of you do not know anything in this world yet, why not work here? Not only will I allow you to stay here in the dormitory for free but I will also pay you to work here? Ah, my graciousness truly is limitles—”

        “That’s not enough.” Yuu interrupts.

        “E-excuse me?” Crowley blinks.

        “I said that’s not enough.” Yuu repeated. “Do you really expect us to simply accept the offer just because we get to stay here for free?” He raises a brow at him as he says that. “What about the food? The bedding for the coming season? Clean water for drinking and warm water for bathing?” He raises a brow at him. “Have you not seen the condition of this place? I bet the plumbing and gas doesn’t even work just from how abandoned this place is.” He places a hand on the bridge of his nose, head throbbing just thinking of the amount of work they need to do to make the place at least livable for the coming months. Groaning, he lets out a sigh before saying, “just thinking of the money we need to save in order to renovate this place coupled with our daily necessities,” he looks straight at Crowley’s eyes and says, “is clearly not enough—even when the entire place is rent free.”

        “Now that you’ve mentioned those, it is not enough.” He places a hand on his chin, trying to think of another suggestion only to come up with nothing. Having no choice, he looks back to Yuu before asking, “then I would like to hear your proposition in this matter, Mr. Miyazawa. What do you have in mind?”

        Yuu raises his left hand and shows three fingers in front of Crowley. “I only have 3 conditions from you: the first one is making sure that we are given jobs that are not only appropriate for us but also won’t hinder Leveret’s class schedule,” he pauses for a few seconds as if thinking his next words carefully before saying, “the second one is giving us a monthly allowance of 50,000 madol.”

        “A monthly allowance of 50,000 madol?!” Crowley exclaimed.

        “Why are you so shocked?” Yuu raised a brow. “That’s just a small value for fixing the dormitory, it's probably not even enough despite the fact that I have no knowledge of this world’s economic system. I’m just basing the cost with the ones on my world.” He placed a hand on his hip, an exasperated look on his face. “Necessities are already included in that calculation. If we spend our money wisely and search for cheap yet good quality materials for the dorm, we might even be able to decorate the place with the remaining funds—that's only if there is any remaining money.” He groans inwardly. Does this place even run with electricity and water? Or perhaps with those magic stones from earlier? Yuu asked himself, making a mental list of the things they should start doing along with potential materials to buy. “And lastly, the third condition,” he subtly glances at the side before sighing and pointing to Leveret and Grim, “let the raccoon stay here with us. He did lend us a hand in fending off the ghosts earlier.” He turns his head away just as he feels their gaze on him.

        “You…” Grim stares at him with wide eyes.

        Crowley was very surprised at the last statement. He was not expecting him to use the last condition to allow the monster that wreaked havoc during the ceremony to stay with them. Maybe it was because Yuu snapped at him, changing his image of him or was it because he is the type to speak his mind despite the difference in power—an excellent trait to have if he says so himself. Unfortunately, those who tend to be the most honest find themselves in situations that are quite often troublesome, such as offending someone of power. Or was it simply because he has let out all the pent up emotions within him?

        Interesting, interesting indeed. He mentally nods to himself.

        Seeing as he had already driven himself into the corner, he had no choice but to agree to his conditions which led Grim and Leveret to cheering. “However, that is only if the three of you show me how you exterminated those ghosts.” He said, causing Grim to frown, ears flopping down.

        “Well… talk about short-lived joy…” Grim mutters.

        “But Headmaster,” Leveret tilts her head with a confused expression, “we already got rid of the ghosts, how do you expect us to do that?”

        “I shall be the ghost.” He crossed his arms which caused her to raise a brow. “If you beat me, I’ll accept your conditions—I might throw in some cans of tuna for you. For I am gracious.” He takes out a vial that contains a light pink liquid and gulps in down, his form instantly changing like one of the ghosts earlier.

        “Eeeeeh? I don't wanna. This is a pain and I have to team up with them again when they did not even do anything…” Grim pouts despite the opportunity given to him.

        “Are you sure about that?” Leveret stares at the cat on her arms. “This might be your only chance to show your abilities to him and get into the school; Yuu used his last condition for you to stay with us to let that happen.” She tells him then adding, “I guess you weren’t serious about that dream of yours after all.”

        “Grrr! This is the last time, alright?! You really, really have to give those tuna you promised me this time!” He cries before leaping out of the comfort of her arms then launching himself at Crowley, wanting to catch him off guard only to slam his face against the wall.

        “You… really are an idiot, aren’t you?” Yuu mutters, already beginning to regret using the last condition on letting him stay with them. Though, I could’ve added more conditions rather than limiting it to just three, he sighs for the nth time that night, aside from him tricking us and the fact that we were summoned here from another world without permission, I don’t have anything on me that has value aside from manual labor. Ahh! He ruffles his black hair in frustration. I’ll think of these things later. He stretches for a few seconds before stepping forward, having enough of watching the two running around the hallway like headless chickens chasing and attacking Crowley. I have to guide these helpless buffoons on defeating the headmaster.

        “Grim!” He calls out, avoiding one of his fiery attacks. “For the nth time, stop attacking with your eyes closed! How will you predict where your opponent is going to attack if you keep shutting your eyes like some turtle hiding inside their shell until danger is gone? Observe your surroundings and figure them out!” He yells at him before turning to Leveret. “And Lev,” he points his index finger towards her.

        “M-me?” Leveret points to herself, not expecting him to give her a nickname.

        “Yes, you. I shortened your name since it was beginning to feel like some tongue twister the more I said it, but that’s not the reason why I called you out.” He takes the broom he used from earlier and twirls it. “I don’t know what’s bothering you from using magic but stop it.” He suddenly swings the broom on his hand to the right to which Crowley appeared, disappearing just as quickly when he got hit. “You’re the only one I can trust since Grim is too stubborn to even listen to a word I’m saying, but I’ll still try to knock some sense into him.” That was all he said before shifting his attention back to Grim, shouting instructions to him.

        Hek! Did he really have to say that?! Can I even control my magic without proper training? Leveret gulped down the saliva that had gathered within her month nervously, ears laying flat on her head as she began to overthink. What if I destroy the house? What if I accidentally hurt someone? What if I can’t picture the spell I’m supposed to cast? What if it’s not good? Those were the words that ran through her mind, self-doubt slowly eating her from the inside until she hears Yuu yelling at her from the  other side, ultimately snapping her out of it.

        “Lev! Move out of the way!”

        Blinking away her thoughts, she finally sees the ball of fire that missed Crowley and is now heading towards her at an alarming rate. Having no time to think of something, she throws a hand out in front of her and casts whatever that was on her mind: a vintage mirror. Everyone in the room thought that it wasn’t going to do anything and would just shatter upon impact; yelling at Leveret to move away from the mirror but to their surprise, the fire bounced off the surface of the mirror and was reflected back to them—back to the target, Crowley, who was too stunned to move away.

        “Oh! That was close!” Crowley breathes out a sigh of relief, taking off his hat to put out the fire, barely avoiding the attack unscathed. “It seems like I have to make this a little more difficult.” He wears his hat before disappearing and appearing all over the hallway with fast movements, this time throwing small items towards them.

        “The dormitory is already a mess! Don’t add more things for us to clean up!” Yuu snarls at him, hitting the wooden planks that were heading towards him before running to grab Grim by the back of his neck when he noticed the chandelier above him was shaking too much and was about to fall due to the corroding reinforcement. “I’ve had enough of your games.” He lets down Grim and turns to face Crowley with gritted teeth, he tightens his grip on the broom as he says that. “I was thinking of just cornering you to win but seeing how you’ve been treating us the whole time, we’d just have to beat you up.”