The boy had never felt so much pressure in a room before. He remembered when Mr Shin had menacingly joked about knocking him out. Maybe that was about to come true.
Cadell's back hit the cage wall. Without knowing, he had moved back, boxing himself in a corner.
"Let me give you a little bit of advice," Mr Shin said. "Don't be a coward."
Cadell moved forwards to punch, and his fate was sealed. At that moment, he realised fast reflexes were not as overpowered as he thought.
What was the point in seeing an attack if you couldn't do anything about it?
Mr Shin launched a devastating wheel kick to the head just before Cadell released his own punch. It was a perfectly timed counter.
Cadell's body went stiff, his fist merely inches from Mr Shin's chin. Completely unconscious, he fell hard onto the canvas.
Cadell's eyes fluttered open to see Mr Shin with a bucket of water. The man smiled sheepishly. "I'm sorry, kid, but I couldn't resist."
Cadell gripped Mr Shin's ankle with a trembling hand. "Teach me... your ways, Sensei."
He fell unconscious yet again.
Later that evening, Cadell sat at a desk in his quarters with a paintbrush in hand.
He rhythmically nodded his head to hip-hop music blaring in the background while delicately stroking a canvas board with orange. His first painting was just about complete. He would call it... The Eccentric Genius.
The painting showed a dark-skinned boy crouching on a chair, enveloped in flames. The artwork wasn't done, but it still gave chills down his spine.
During Cadell's recovery stages, he had started sketching pictures to get Sara off his case. At first, it was simple things like flowers and other random inanimate objects, but now it was... well...
Cadell looked at the painting at an angle.
Whatever this is.
Sara messaged him every night, eager to see what he was working on and even more eager to know when he would start her painting.
He hated how much he enjoyed painting. Someone like him wasn't supposed to be having fun like this. He would paint once more for Sara and then he would quit.
There was a knock at the door.
"Yo, it's me!" Elijah yelled, "Open up, open up, open up—"
"What?" Cadell said.
Elijah twirled goggles around his finger, breathing heavily. " "I know how MI0 could see your delirium projectiles." He stormed into Cadell's room and instantly noticed the painting.
"Holy shit, you finally started painting. Is this a hallucination of me?"
"This is awesome! We could sell this for some good money."
Before Cadell could respond, Elijah laughed. "I'm joking. Make something bro. I want to see if this baby works."
Cadell made a small Delirium cube, and Elijah punched the air triumphantly.
"What's the secret then?" Cadell asked.
"Infrared goggles. The portal, the delirium weapons, they give off a heat signature even if they are invisible."
"But MI0 didn't have goggles."
"Maybe they had some kind of contact lenses, but here's what really bugs me, Cad. How did they know you had invisible weapons, to begin with?"
Cadell's eyes widened as the delirium cube crumbled away. "They have experimented on or at least encountered others like me."
The room silenced for a while as the revelation hit them both.
"How's the special move coming along?" Elijah asked.
"It's almost done. We cleanse the hustlers next week."
"Are you sure? You might not be ready by then."
Cadell glared at Elijah. "Oh, I'll be ready."
Cadell unleashed hell onto a heavy bag.
Countless hours of practising various punching combinations bore fruit at this very moment
Thunk, Pat, Pat, Thunk!
Thunk, Pat, Thunk, Pat!
Thunk, Thunk, Pat!
Cadell grunted with every hit, content with every blow. Those sounds were just like Mr Shins.
Right, left, to the body, keep my guard up, uppercut.
Cadell turned away from the heavy bag. He maintained his fighting stance, but now his punches smoothly sliced through the air, fluid like water. He continuously weaved his head as he imagined the blood-crying demon's vicious attacks.
The imaginary enemy tried to feint with a left hook, just like Lila did before. At the time, Cadell didn't even know how she had tricked him. He was a fool, just a guy who relied heavily on symptoms of an illness.
Cadell stepped forward and twirled his body. His right leg whipped out into the air, colliding with the heavy bag with so much force it blew backwards. Far, far backwards.
The vigilante breathed deeply through his nose, then breathed out. "It's time to cleanse," He said.
Thanks for reading!
YOU ARE READING
As a child, Cadell Walker once told himself that having superpowers would be the best day of his life. He couldn't have been more wrong. In a near-future London, eighteen-year-old Cadell suffers from a super-powered schizophrenia which torments hi...