My attack stat… – V11 Chap 330 – I Will Chase After You

“That lecture is soooo boring!” I cried out as Katalina and I walked away from the classroom, after making sure that the professor was out of earshot.

“I could tell. I lost count of how many times I had to poke you.” The smile of the ever-studious girl held a hint of annoyance, but in a lovable way.

“You know, silently holding my hand to catch my attention just backfired. I mean, it woke me up for all of a minute before it warmed up enough to feel cozy.”

“Excuse me for having cold hands like every other woman!”

Our normal banter continued as we stepped outside, the day clear and bright. Especially after the stuffy room and droning background noise of a lecturer who knew nothing of what cadence was, the chirps of university students all around gave me a second wind.

“Well, I have to go to my next class. See you in the afternoon.”

Katalina skipped off while absently waving back to me. I returned one even though she didn’t turn to see it. For a moment, I stood there blankly, unsure of what to do since I didn’t have any more classes for the day. I could have shouldered more credits but my laziness to sign up for more early on put me behind the ambitious ones.

It was expected. Katalina knew exactly what she was aiming for. She had a specific major guiding her forward, different from mine, so we would only share the initial courses. I wondered what I would do without her help, but then I remembered that even the classes without her had been on the upswing. Perhaps, her work ethic drilled some sense of responsibility into me.

“Responsible, me? Hah! I am a man of culture that moves for only that which appeals to me!”

It had meant to be a joke, a jab at my obvious reasons to succeed. But even if they were tied to Katalina, was that wrong?

‘My Knight. My ‘Hero’, Claude.’

‘I love being around you, without excuses or reasons.’

I clutched my head. For some reason, these voices echoed heavier now. They started giving me vertigo, as I couldn’t recall a moment that fit the situation. The more I tried to dwell on them, the more static sounded in my ears. And it felt more than a daydream…

Bah! It was childish to be thinking of such things. Fantasy-like RPG settings, where Katalina and I were the stars. It was laughable for us to be posing as such weird characters as an excuse to be together, after all that Katalina had already done for me. That was better saved for some fiction that I had no urge to pen.


‘Don’t you think? Even us, we have changed so much as well, but all we can do is pay attention to what we can, do the things we can, and enjoy what life brings us.’

That thought felt so familiar, like my lips had spoken them before. But to who? Why?

A sudden voice entered my thoughts, and along it, platinum hair.

‘Then, take responsibility, Claude.’

Red eyes, fiery and full of passion. A prideful grin, hiding sorrow. An expectation pierced right into my soul.

I knew that face, but somehow, the girl that I met last Sunday should have been a stranger. The girl, casually sitting next to me on the bench and making small talk – I had to see her again. To understand just what this strange feeling was.

I found myself suddenly scanning all around, looking for that distinct shade of hair. I hadn’t noticed it before, but it was certainly unique and visible from a mile away. But if she was hanging around the campus on a Sunday, there was a good chance that she was a student here.

My feet picked up the pace, now set on trying to sniff out some hint of that girl. I still didn’t know why I cared so much, but an unsettling feeling gnawed at me, like there was something that I had forgotten.

‘Where? Where is she?’ My eyes frantically darted from place to place for that conspicuous color.

The campus was a big place to go searching for one random person. I didn’t recognize her in any of my core classes, so she wasn’t likely a second year. And somehow, I felt like she was younger. What little I could recall from that short exchange was an impression of a young girl trying to act mature and responsible.

I took a stroll through the freshman dorms, the dining hall next to it, and then, the lecture halls where I took courses the previous year. Just in time for class to end. Yet, there was no sign of her. But then, my instincts told me of another place.

‘Of course, the bench!’

I smacked myself when I thought that. If she was the type to randomly approach strangers while people-watching, the commons area was a nice, open view. Plus, that was where I first saw her.

As soon as I approached the area, a flash of platinum caught my attention. Sure enough, she was there, sitting at the same bench, vacantly gazing out into the distance like she had nothing else to do.

I walked right up, without her ever turning and noticing me. I nearly called out to her, but a gust of wind blew just then, carrying her long locks to the side. The scene looked a bit melancholic for some reason. Her red eyes closed gently, and she let out a sigh, wistful and resigned. Like she had given up on something.

It was the look of rejection from an opportunity after looking very much forward to it. It was coping with failure and picking up the little pieces that were left. It was something that seemed all too familiar looking at the mirror.

“Should your gaze fall so heavily on someone else despite having a girlfriend?”

Her voice called out to me, waking me up from my musings. I retreated a step back in surprise. But then, I walked right up to her.

“Do I know you from somewhere?”

She blinked strangely at me. And then, she shook her head.

“No, you do not. Not in this life anyways. Maybe, we crossed paths in some previous time, if you believe in reincarnation, but that doesn’t change the fact that we are strangers now.”

“Weird. I just get this feeling. Like I should get to know you.”

“Oh? Wanting to be a bad boy now and cheat on such a nice girl. How callous of you.”

“That’s not-”

Another sensation of vertigo hit me, along with more voices. It made me hunch over and clutch my head against my palm.

‘Even if Katalina is okay with loving you while you love another, I don’t think I can bear it!’

‘It’s… your fault! It’s your fault I’m like this! I just want to do something that makes you rely on me more! To love me more! To make you think that I’m deserving of your full attention!’

‘Claude, I love you.’

This girl’s voice rang in my head, saying all of these things out of the blue. There was no way that my imagination was this wild. And somehow, she knew Katalina as well. Something wasn’t right here!

I looked up at her. Her hand momentarily reached for me, but then pulled back. Her eyes broadcasted her desire to help, but she restrained herself. For some reason, I wanted to reach out as well. But then, my lips spoke all on their own.

“I will come for you, Eryn. No matter where. You are not alone anymore.”

Those words danced on my tongue, bittersweet but nostalgic. Her eyes widened, in a way that I was sure that it was her actual name, and surely, mine did as well. It felt natural to say it, like I had known her forever. But then, Eryn turned around and ran.


I recovered instantly and chased after her. Down the walkway and past crowds of people, I managed to stay on her tail even with the late start. People were shooting weird looks at me as I passed, but I didn’t care. I had to catch up to her.

“Don’t chase after me!” Eryn called out as she looked back to see me following.

“I just want to talk!”

Suddenly, two guys stepped forward, into my path. I didn’t blame them. On the surface, it probably looked like I was harassing some poor girl, but they didn’t know what was going on.

As they held their arms out to try to restrain me, I quickly grabbed one arm and twisted in a joint lock. With my foot, I hooked the guy in the back of the knee, causing him to topple over and right into the other guy.

It was strange how quickly I took down those two, as I never took up any martial arts. But I was more concerned about catching up to Eryn.

Bounding more steps forward, I didn’t fall at all behind as more guys stepped up to try to stop me. I was too heated up to let them stop me, quickly jabbing each one in a pressure point to momentarily stun them. They recoiled and took several steps back, yielding an open path forward.

I felt bad that I was using my mother’s healing techniques to inflict pain, but my hands moved before I could think. The swift blows felt natural, like I had done them many, many times before. But aside from video games, I wasn’t what I would consider to be a fighter.

Despite that, people were knocked away, and I was gaining on Eryn. I felt like if I lost this chance, then nothing would be explained to me. So I pushed on, step by step. I reached out my hand to grab her shoulder.

“Don’t touch me! You’ll regret it!” she cried out, not in fear but in desperation. A voice full of regret and sadness. It seemed to echo with my soul. Like once upon a time.

“You know that if you say it with such pain in your voice, I’m not going to ignore you!”

My hand tapped her shoulder, and instantly, the world froze.

I looked around. Other guys were bounding toward us, no doubt to stop me. But they were frozen in place. For several long moments, nothing happened. Like it was all a dream.

And then, Eryn slowly turned around.

“Fine! Be that way!”

Time started up again. The guys running toward us slowed down to a stop, and then, they absentmindedly turned around and continued with their day. The other onlookers, too. They had been staring at the commotion. But like nothing had ever happened, they simply walked off.

I turned back to Eryn, perplexed. But then, she was glowing before me. Her whole body, white and angelic. I felt like I should be waking up at any moment, laughing at such a gimmick right out of an anime. But this power felt familiar. I walked right up to her, unafraid.

“What is going on here, Eryn? I want explanations. I don’t get anything as to what is happening!”

A tear rolled down Eryn’s cheek. She wiped it away before looking straight at me.

“You just couldn’t forget like how I wanted you to, could you?”

“Forget what?”

“Everything! The hopeless world that we left behind. It was everything that I could to bring you here and start anew. To take away all the bad memories and let you live a life free from those burdens! Why would you want to throw that away now! Is this peace and comfort not enough!”

Eryn looked so fragile, saying all those things. I found my arms suddenly wrapping themselves around her, feeling her shake from who knew what she was feeling. Even still, she continued to rant.

“What more do you want!? Just look at how happy you two were! All you had to do was stay dumb and let me watch over you!”

“But then, you don’t sound so happy about that.”

Eryn choked back her sobs and then looked up at my face. Slowly, I could see her face twist in realization. She still loved me, even if I didn’t remember her. It had a look of pure devotion and honest hope that I would at least be happy. Even if she never got what she wanted. As long as I was content, she would spend the rest of her life making sure that I was saved.

“I hate that kind of thinking. I won’t forgive myself if anyone has to suffer for my sake.”

“But, but you could have anything you wish for. I control this world. I can make it so you can have whatever you want here. I’ll even join in on your wonderful college experience, so that you can have a girlfriend on each arm without anyone even batting an eye. Katalina won’t care. She’s not even-”

Eryn cut herself off, realizing that she had slipped up.

I pushed her back, figuring out what she implied by that. If this world wasn’t real, then none of its inhabitants were. Eryn was its creator for my benefit, so likely, they were all puppets dancing to the same leader.

“What I want is the truth, Eryn. I’m done playing around in this fantasy. It was nice, but this isn’t who I am.”

“I see….” Eryn smiled, teary-eyed. She reached up and touched my forehead with a glowing hand.

My attack stat… – V11 Chap 329 - A Lazy Sunday
My attack stat… – V11 Chap 331 - Stay or Go