Chapter 5: Neil’s First Outing
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According to the divine oracle ability, the level of difficulty for saving people was split into three tiers.

Tier 3 was your average white numbers. Even if the life span were lowered, it wouldn't warrant the need for the intervention of a death watcher.

Tier 2 was your yellow numbers. This meant the lowered life spans were at a point where a death watcher had to intervene before it went in the red.

Tier 1 was your red numbers. This meant that the target would die without fail if a death watcher did not intervene right away.

Short, clear, and concise that was how the information was placed in my brain. It still took some getting used to, but I quite liked knowing the answer to everything. I wished that I could have relished in my new found abilities a bit more, but there was a huge problem that had to be solved first.

Unbelievable as It may sound, here I was face to face with a target that had a tier 1 difficulty. This was the little boy that I traumatized earlier. Under normal circumstances, I couldn't care less whether this boy would die or not, but now my life was at stake. I had no choice but to save him. Even so, it was quite odd that a little child such as himself needed to be saved. He didn't appear to be in bad health. What was causing this red zero to appear was a perplexing question that kept my mind running in circles.

I did the only thing I could think of and decided to use the divine oracle. At least then, I'd have some small idea to go off on. This was the first time where I manually activated the divine oracle ability. It felt like being hooked directly into an internet database. I used my mind like how I would have used a keyboard. Though Instead of typing, I visualized the small boy standing in front of me. A light blue holographic screen then appeared, and his profile popped up in an instant. I then imagined my hand tapping on the screen, and his profile snapped opened. So far nothing out of the ordinary stood out. He came from an average two-parent family and seemed like everything a typical elementary school student was.

The only useful information I got was his name, Steven Cradle. Something strange then happened. The words around me then started to become disfigured and flew off the profile. The world inside my mind crumbled away. The only thing I could think of was that something or someone in the outside world was breaking the link to the database.

My hunch was correct because when I came to my ears were being tortured by constant yelling. My arms were being tugged at, and I could swear that I got some of Steven's snot on my clothes.

"Hey, mister. Snap out of it. Are you there?"

Aside from the loud yelling, my head was throbbing. I felt fine when the information naturally came into my mind, but being forcibly ripped from the divine oracle ability leaves quite the aching.

Massaging my forehead with my fingers, I was reminded of another headache. In my field of vision was the annoying angel girl who was responsible for this mess. She squeezed both of her index fingers on her cheeks, signaling me to smile. I glared at her which was my signal to shut up. With trembling lips and wide eyes, Bree switched tactics.

Was she actually trying to guilt me? Needless to say, it didn't work.

Guilt was an emotion I cast out long, but I don't think I can save this child if I didn't at least fake being nice. It wasn't me giving in to Bree's insistence, but rather a necessity to ensure my survival. There was no way I was going to be a plaything in her hands.

With my teeth clenched and my cheeks curving upwards, I put together my best efforts to produce a smile. My eyes met Steven's, and with my most courteous tone I asked him,

"What's a wrong little boy?"

There was nothing but silence for a moment, and then Steven's wide eyes slowly transitioned into a frown

"Do you need help mister? Is your face suppose to look like that?"

At that moment, I felt like glass shattering into tiny pieces. My pride was broken, and I didn't know who to hate more; The kid who stomped on my efforts, or the idiot angel over there. She was holding her hands over her mouth, trying not to laugh at my humiliation.

Though at this point, It was hard to hide her pleasure. Her cheeks were puffed out, containing all the laughter coming from her lungs. A slight giggle then escaped from her hand, and I shot her a glare.

"That stupid angel," I muttered.

This was the most humiliating thing I've ever done. Why did I even listen to her? Of course, it would look unnatural. Smiling was for the weak and stupid. I couldn't be lumped in with those idiots.

If I didn't do anything fast, the kid was going to die. It was one thing for his life span to be at 0, but Steven's 0 was a red zero. How unlucky could I be? I don't even know how much time this kid actually had left. The zero was quite vague since it didn't also give an exact amount of remaining time. This kid could be shot, ran over with a bike, or have something fall out of the sky and strike him at this moment.

The urgency of the situation was no laughing matter, but to solve this problem, I had to analyze the case earlier. I drew my mind to a blank and worked through the headache caused by being ripped from the divine oracle. I replayed the last few minutes in my mind. It was like sorting through a filing cabinet. The papers were organized, but it still took a long time to find them. Then a light switch went off in my brain. There was one scene in specific that I found quite odd.

"Eyes. His eyes. That's it"

"Mister. Why are you talking to yourself? I keep asking this, but are you okay?"

I was doing it again. I could never keep my thoughts to myself when my adrenaline shoots up.

It's time to recollect my thoughts. Earlier Steven's eyes were sullen and lifeless. That was the biggest clue I had at the moment.

The only thing still troubling me was if Steven had a red zero before I met him. Without that knowledge, I had to assume that I was the instigator. After all, I saw his lifeless eyes only after I traumatized, ridiculed, and publicly shamed him.

By using his lifeless eyes as a basis for my deductions, I managed to narrow it down to two plausible reasons with me as the instigator.

1. He was upset about his airplane being crumpled

2. He was upset that his father was fired

If the problem were the airplane, it would've been a simple matter. All I had to do was buy him something better. In fact, I may as well buy him anything he wanted to ensure that the problem was one hundred percent solved. On the other hand, if it were his father being fired that would be a bit more difficult. I never bothered to save his number in my phone, since I thought he was unimportant.

I found it weird that this boy would worry so much about his father being jobless. His clothes don't quite spell out poverty. He wore what any middle-class child would wear. Even with his father jobless, I doubt they'd be homeless or thrown into intense poverty.

How was I suppose to save this kid? His profile only included trash information, and I knew nothing about him besides trivial matters. I needed more information to work with, but the divine oracle ability was inaccessible at the moment. With every attempt to connect to it for answers, it always ended up feeling like a short circuit. I guess I had to handle this target blind, or rather I didn't have a choice.

"Note to self. Never be forcibly ripped apart of the divine oracle ever again", I thought.

At a loss of what to do, I decided to test out reason number one, which was giving him something better than an airplane. I looked at Steven's eyes and said,

"Let's go to a toy store. I'll get whatever you want, you know for destroying your stupid airplane."

"Really mister? Anything I want?"

"Well I said whatever, so I guess 'anything' follows under that category."

"Do you promise mister?"

As much as I hate making promises, I don't think I had a choice in the matter.

"Yeah, I promise."

Saying those words felt like a punch to the gut. I was going to get him toys regardless of a promise or not. He didn't need to make me keep my word.

I looked at Steven's pupils expanding as if he was falling in love for the first time. Is this what excites commoners? I couldn't understand why going to the toy store would be so enthralling. Steven was busting at the seams and his smile was so vast, that you can see the gaps in his teeth. Steven then grabbed my hand and started to pull me towards the toy shop in the plaza.

"Let's go right now! There's a new video game I want."

We were finally about to start heading to the toy store and made our way across the bridge. The pink sky was beginning to turn a bit indigo, as the street lights lit up. The city was preparing to enter its bustling nightlife, and I was finally able to get this death watcher business done with.

In the distance, a shout rang out. The sound was far away that it was inaudible, but then it got closer. Before I could turn around, Steven did. I could tell the voice held a sense of familiarity to him. Steven's arms and legs trembled, his body shivered, and his eyes started to lose color. His number used to be a stagnant red zero, but now it was fluctuating rapidly. I couldn't understand what was going on. Why was that voice causing Steven so much fear?

"My dad is coming."

Steven said that with a terrified voice. At that moment it pretty much confirmed that scenario two was the right deduction. The cause of Steven's zero wasn't the airplane, but it was me firing his dad. This made it easier for me because the solution was coming to us. Though this seemed too good to be true since nothing had seemed to work out today after all.

I now knew Steven's father was the problem, but why he instills so much fear in Steven still lingered in the back of my mind. If I couldn't figure out soon, there was only one thing waiting for me.

Death.

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