39 Breaking news

It was safe to say that after receiving that message in the middle of the night, Gary didn’t get the best of sleep. Every time he would close his eyes, his brain would play out images of himself turning into a werewolf who would start clawing out his sister, since she was in the bed right next to his.

It wasn’t that his body felt like doing it, in fact, although the system claimed that his bloodlust had increased, Gary didn’t feel any differences, least of all a sudden desire to harm anyone. The high schooler still felt like his usual self, apart from all the super strength and speed he felt from the powerful moon, but that was becoming more ordinary by the second for Gary.

[You are exhausted from a lack of sleep]

[Until you get some proper rest, your Energy bar has been lowered to 75%]

‘Well, whose fault is it that I couldn’t sleep, you stupid system?’ Gary thought irritated, as he made his way to school. Still, even with 82,5 Energy he could still use Charging Heart and do plenty of other things. It was also a pleasant surprise, that aside from Energy, all his other stats weren’t negatively affected in any way due to this.

Entering his classroom, there was a brief encounter when Gary and Xin locked eyes with each other. The girl had actually been ready to approach Gary as she had developed a slight interest in him. Alas, unlike yesterday, he didn’t pay her any special attention, completely ignoring her greeting. Leaving her to just give an awkward wave.

The boy had headed straight to his desk, put his bag next to him and then immediately put his head down. Now that he was in school, a wave of drowsiness came over him, so he planned to use the time before the teacher would arrive to get a quick nap in.

‘Did something happen to him yesterday? Could he not sleep because he lost that fight to me?’ Xin wondered. Having failed to make up with one person who was supposed to like her, Xin was now very worried about how her conversation would go with the girl who was holding a grudge against her...

By the time Tom finally arrived, he found his desk mate lightly snoring on his desk. Since this wasn’t Gary’s usual behaviour, he decided against waking him up. Be it sheer dumb luck, his teachers not caring or perhaps having some sympathy for Gary, nobody had found a fault with him sleeping through their class. Eventually, it was break time, giving Tom a chance to talk to his friend.

“Good morning, sleepy head. Well, technically it’s noon now, so how’re you feeling? Was your impromptu nap some sort of statement about how useless all this stuff is we’re forced to learn or was it because it's getting closer to a…” Tom looked left and right to see if anyone else was listening. “Full moon.”

Hearing those words just reminded Gary of what the system had told him.

“I just couldn’t get any sleep yesterday. It's nothing to do with that crap.” Gary replied groggily after Tom had woken him up. “Come on, why don’t we just talk about something else?”

“Sure, but it’s kinda important, seeing as we only have 11 more days.” Tom said. “We have to figure this stuff out, check if there are any changes… Say, are you going to quit the Rugby club? If you don’t someone could seriously get-“

“Enough.” Gary was so annoyed that he almost shouted. “You're nagging me worse than my Mom. Look, I know you mean well and I swear I was thinking about that stuff and also worrying about it. However, I can solve things my own way, and it's hard to explain this stuff, what's happening to me.”

It was hard on Tom as well, honestly, he couldn’t remember the last time he and Gary had an argument, but lately it seemed like he was stepping on his nerves a little too much, but Tom had to admit he probably was being a little bit too overbearing.

Gary was right, he couldn't imagine what it was like to be in his shoes right now.

“Right now, Rugby is actually one of the only things going well for me, so I don’t want to give up on something that can keep my mind off of everything else that’s happening.” Gary replied.

——

When classes had come to an end, instead of heading to the next fighting club like Tom thought Gary would do, they found themselves on the Rugby field once again. Due to there being a match coming up next week, they had asked the non-regulars to stay on the bench and observe, this included Tom.

The regulars were split into two groups as they had a practice match against one another. Blake and Gary were on one team, while on the opposing team were Gil and Barry, who didn’t exactly have good feelings towards the newest member of their team.

‘This is a good chance for me to test a few things out.’ Gary thought as he looked at his stats.

[Strength 5 (+1)]

[Dexterity 3 (+1)]

[Endurance 9 (+1)]

The boost from the moon was still present, but what Gary wanted to test was how much these small increments of numbers affected him. The whistle blew and as soon as it did he activated Charging Heart.

His base stats, but he could see that he was also still receiving the one extra point of boost from the power of the moon. The ball was in a player’s hands, but running past the others on the line, it looked like Gary had come out of nowhere, as he tackled the player with the ball, going straight for the legs.

The large high school student went down almost instantly, and recovering straight away, Gary was also able to pick up the loose ball that was on the ground. Soon two others went to stop him, and he was able to dodge two of them with his reflexes and their predictable tackle patterns, until he eventually had been hit from the side and piled on by the rest of the team.

‘Has he gotten faster? Heck, even his tackling has gotten better.’ Blake noticed.

“What are you doing, broccoli head?!” Mr Root shouted. “I got you so you could mainly play defence. Did you think your slow self could go for a point all on your own. If you manage to get possession of the ball, I want you to lure them and then pass it!”

Gary admitted that he got a bit carried away, but his body felt great. It felt so light when using ‘Charging Heart’, it was almost addictive. It was a strange feeling suddenly becoming twice the person you once were.

As the rest of the game went on, Gary showed off his skills and it was noticeable to many of them on the field. Gary was soon becoming a prime tackler, and a reliable player. He had also tackled Barry thinking that with a touch he might be able to get rid of the Marking, but it wasn’t that easy.

“This is a bunch of crap!” Gil said. “Look how much they're praising that guy just because he’s having a good day today! If this keeps happening, Harvey will never be allowed back on the team. We have to do something.”

Barry looked at Gary, but for some reason, ever since he had stood up to him, a chill ran down his spine whenever he saw the other. He either wanted to completely avoid him, or his instincts were telling him that he needed to do whatever he could to get rid of him, before he disappeared.

“Yeah, but there’s nothing we can do! Blake made it abundantly clear that we’re not to touch Gary. If we do something stupid, we might be the ones to get kicked off the team ourselves.” Barry replied.

Looking over at the benches, Gil’s eyes set on someone else.

“Fine, we might be unable to touch Gary, but there is someone else that we can go for instead.”

With Rugby not really being interesting to Tom, especially knowing that given his physique he would never amount to anything in that sport, he had decided to play on his phone and keep up to date with whatever he could. That was when he received a notification from the local news channel.

[Breaking news; Murderer on the loose!]

[In the small town of Slough in the Montay area a husband and wife were found dead in their apartment block this morning. Police have yet to reveal any information on what exactly had occurred but at the moment they are looking for any tips on their missing son, Billy Bruntin.]

‘Whoa, I know the police haven’t said it outright, but if they are looking for the son and he’s missing, doesn’t that just make him the prime suspect? What would make someone go so bad that they would kill their parents though?’ Tom wondered.

It wasn’t long after that, Gary received a disturbing message from his system, one that he didn’t quite understand.

*****

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