❯ Sakura Blossoms – Chapter 6
The monster’s mouth seemed to have curved into what would’ve been called a smile. « Quick aren’t you? But I take that only refers to action. »
Anissa paused for a moment, looking as if she was waiting for him to attack, instead of trying to make sense of what he said. Before she could help it, she spoke loudly in anger, realizing the meaning. « Not true! »
The monster attacked her as soon as she finished speaking, in a blur behind her and bringing one of it’s claws down toward her back. Anissa lept forward and missed his claws barely, landing in a heap on the ground. Experiencedly, she sprung up off the ground and attaced the monster in return as it pried its claws from the ground.
« You cheat! » she shouted, pulling a round-house kick against the face, combined with one of her twin blade attacks, triple X.
« I know I do, dear Anissa. Otherwise, I wouldn’t be a very good ‘villan’, would I? »
« How do you know my name?! » she shrieked, freezing in her running steps.
« By all means, it is only necessary to know the name of my victims, so it is only natural that I know yours. If you would like to know the name of your killer, it is Hitori de. »
« Alone. Why is that your name? » Anissa asked.
A moment later, she felt stupid for asking such a question like that.
« I take pride is always attacking while my victims are alone, surprising them and catching them while they aren’t prepared. » He sneered, seeing that Anissa had paled when he informed her of the reason he was Hitori de.
« Your victims? How many of them have you killed? » Anissa asked him softly, her voice no longer rash and angry but solemn and sad.
« Many, » he answered simply, rolling his eyes quite discreetly and closing them in agitation. Too many questions the girl was asking, a loudmouth victim that stayed a loudmouth when under pressure of life and death. He hoped this girl was more perceptive along with the ability to stay herself in battle. Hitori De wished that he had gotten the older sibling instead to attack, maybe then he would have been freed instead of killed.
Hitori De shifted his weight to his other hind leg, scratching at his collar as he listened to Anissa’s running footsteps approaching him quite rapidly on her leather boots. He heard the metallic friction of her twin blades when she removed them from their metal holders at her waist. The fabric of her clothes brushing together in soft friction and the faint beat of the girl’s heart beating quickly with anticipationa dn adrenaline. The short, quick, quiet breaths she took as she tried her best to be stealthy. She was failing miserably. She lashed out at her, his claws sending lethal waves of dark blue energy toward her. There was no way she could miss them. She was down.
« You can’t tell me you assumed I was weak! » Anissa shouted, kicking Hitori De hard in the stomach, watching as he started to double ovre in pain then turned to look at her coldly. Creepy, she thought. How can you glare at someone coldly with blood red eyes?
« Easy, you little wench, you look at them like death! » he roared, grasping her neck when she wa momentarily stunned by his voice. The naive little girl thought she had knocked the air out of him.
« That…..does not- make…….any sense! » Anissa struggled to breathe. Hitori de’s hold on her neck was tight, tighter than she thought it would have been. She had already lost most of the feeling of her neck, his hand was so tight.
« Like you will be their death, the one that will release them from this world and onto to the next life. »
Anissa, if she had been able to control whether air went into her lungs or not, would’ve stopped breathing. He had a veiw on what happen to people after they died, or passed away. He wasn’t a monster controlled by data programs, he was controlled by a human, someone alive and truly with a mind of its own. She wanted to spill out the contents of her lunch but, that would only result in getting herself and, not to mention, Kayane’s floor covered in bile that she would have to clean up.
« Who- are you? » she asked hoarsely, her hands pulling at his claws pricking the skin of her neck painfully through the numbness that was increasing slowly.
« I told you, Hitori De, dear girl. » He sneered, loosening his hand a fraction so the girl could have some air while still being at his mercy. Any normal data monster wouldn’t have the power he had, to affect the real body of the player like he was at the moment. Thanks to his lord, he wore the crimson ribbon that allowed him to do so around his neck, yet he still hated it with all the power it gave him.
« No, I meant your real name. Your- human… name… » she grunted, kicking her feet, hoping to make contact with any part of his body and be freed. Anissa’s foot connected with Hitori De’s neck and a shot of pain ran up her leg when her foot touched the ribbon collar. Apparently, pain jolted through Hitori De as well, seeing as he released her neck with a howl and fell to the ground clutching the collar hatefully.
« What is that? » Anissa mumbled, wincing over her now tingling leg. It felt as if her leg was asleep and refusing to be awoken, fighting back against the needles poking everywhere. « Why did it do that? And how? » Anissa held her head with one hand, feeling extremely lightheaded with all the oxygen that had rushed up to her brain and sung with relief.
« You wench, how did you do that? » Hitori De seemed clueless as to how she was able to make the collar feel threatened by her touch. Yes, the collar threatened by her. That was the side-effect. If the collar felt pressure or power that was enough to break it, a wave of pain shot through whatever and whoever was touching it. Self-defense, to put it lightly.
« Do what? All I did was kick it, but it wasn’t even very hard because I didn’t have much air in me for my body! » Anissa shrieked, alarmed that her leg still wasn’t waking up while Hitori De seemed to have forgotten the pain already. She stood up with mych effort and eyed Hitori De warily. He was scratching at his collar… like a-a-, well, a dog.
« You almost broke the damn collar! Do you know how bad that would have been? I would have lost all the powers I had and my lord wouldn’t have let me have them back, you fool! » Hitori De lost it, he was in a panick. If his master, Shi, found out how close he had been to losing the collar, he wouldn’t feel anything for at least a week, he would feel pain so badly. He didn’t care if the Anissa heard him, he doubted that she would even touch the crimson ribbon again, even to stop him.
Hitori De paced around in a circle, panicking. He would bet on his life that Shi was watching him to make sure he didn’t kill the girl or push her too hard. This little setback would earn him a couple punishments but that would most likely be all.
Anissa took her chance while he was distracted by his own thoughts and ran as quietly and quickly as she could with her twin blades already in her hand from where she had dropped them. His collar, she guessed, was his weakest spot but also his strongest. Ironic. If Kayane knew of something like that, Kayane would not be attacking it from behind, she would be trying to figure out how it worked. Especially the fact that it allowed Hitori De to affect her real body and almost kill her. She lept up into the air and brought her twin blades down the back of his neck, digging them in as far as she could make them while still dragging them down to cut the blood red ribbon.
Hitori De howled in sheer pain when his neck was sliced by the girl and he let out dry cries when he felt even more pain from the ribbons defiance to be cut. It was too much for him. He slipped from the World and reality, went on to his next life.
Anissa fell back and started to cry, laying on her side. She was in absolute pain. Her arms from the pressure of gravity on the cool, leveled ground. The black of the night, no moon or stars to light her way to peaceful sleep and good ending to the day, she stayed awake, bearing the pain best she could yet still crying. God, she hoped her sister or Shugo or Rena or anybody would come and find her. So she wouldn’t be alone. So she wouldn’t bear the pain by herself.
« So weak, yet so strong. »
Anissa froze the best she could, still letting out silent, choking sobs and shaking barely as she tried to seem the opposite of what she was. Not vulnerable, not in pain, and not feeling very, very lonely. « Who are you? » she whispered, her voice hoarse even more with crying.
« Well, I was the master of Hitori De, but it seems he is no longer alive. I fear it was only because he was afraid of what I might’ve done to him if he had indeed survived. I must say though, he did quite a fine job in doing what I ordered him to do. »
« W-was? » Anissa’s eyes went wide. This man, whoever it was, was saying she had killed him. Acting as if he was truly living, like she thought, and not just a regular illegal World monster, like she wished. He was sayign she had murdered someone. « He was j-just a m-moster, » she said, more to convince herself than the man walking around to the front of her.
« No, he was alive, a human, stupid girl. Your sister would have known that and simply slipped the collar off then destroyed it. » Shi was doing what he came do. Make the girl feel guilty, lesser than her sister, weak. Divide and conquer. How he loved that saying. « It is all your fault he is dead. » He loved the grief and misery people felt when guilt overcame them. Shi loved the emotion on faces even more, especially women since they were more emotional than men. Anissa seemed like a VERY emotional person with the way her guilt was pouring off her in waves. Fear was mingled with it too, fear of her family and friends finding out and rejecting her because of it.
« No, » she moaned, crying as he kneeled down and showed her his face. « I didn’t- he wasn’t re- he’s not- he can’t be… » Anissa was on the brink of hysterics, ready to start screaming and crying loudly for all the World to hear. Between her gasps of panick and denial, she heard the sound of someone teleporting in through the Chaos Gate. She watched Shi disappear, amazed when he seemed to fade away, still kneeling down by her.
« It wasn’t a human… he wasn’t a human… I didn’t do it, I didn’t kill him… » Anissa continued to ramble on, her voice barely that of a mumble. Tears still streamed down her face mercilessly, and she still shook as if she was in the artic in a swim suit.
« Oh, God, Anissa! » she heard from behind her. Anissa barely recognized it as her sister’s voice. She had never heard her sister sound so… so… scared and in a panick. Less than a second later, Kayane was at her side, embracing her and crying. She wondered how bad she must have looked to make her sister, the strongest person she ever knew who didn’t cry at all when their mother refused to have any connection with her eldest daughter, was crying harder than Anissa beleived Kayane had ever cried. She expected her to swear loudly.
« I’m sorry, » she cried into Kayane’s shoulder, clutching the fabric of the back of Kayane’s clothes for comfort. « I didn’t mean to! I didn’t know he was human, I thought he was another monster! I didn’t think he would die! » she sobbed. In all her worst dreams, Anissa never thought she would kill someone intentionally without actually meaning to. She never thought she would kill in the first place.
« It’s all right. Shh… »
Anissa slumped against the warmth of Kayane’s arms in a what seemed to be a freezing area for Anissa. She was safe and she wasn’t alone. Slowly, as if she knew exatly what pain Anissa was feeling, Kayane rubbed her hands up and down Anissa’s arms, unaware that her hot tears fell on Anissa’s arms. « I killed him, Alyssa. » Anissa forgot about calling her sister by her player name. She forgot she was in the game and that three other people were kneeling on the ground and surrounding her and her sister. « I didn’t mean to, I thought he was a normal monster but he wasn’t, he was alive, he was a human and I killed him. »
« It isn’t your fault. You didn’t mean to, you were defending yourself, don’t let false guilt overwhelm you, » she assured her younger sister. « Just forget about it and- »
« I can’t forget about it, Alyssa! » she cried, her voice barely muffled by the clothing fabric her face was buried in. « If it was you battling him, you wouldn’t have killed him! You would have had the sense to know he was human and to take off the collar then destroy it! » Anissa shouted. More than ever before, she noticed just how much she was comforted by her sister’s presense. Usually, she felt normal and she wasn’t away from her sister in the way she was moments before.
« No, I most likely would have done the same thing you did, » she responded. « Just because I am older doesn’t mean I do things differently. »
« Yes, you would have done that. You would have noticed and saved him! You would have destroyed the crimson ribbon after taking it off his neck! »
« No, I would have done the same damn thing. I probably woudl have just gone ahead and killed him without even thinking he was human! I’m proud of you, Anissa! You did what you had to to stay alive! I would have rather had him dead, like now, than you dead! I don’t care what ANYONE says, you are not in trouble and shouldn’t feel any guilt for doing what had to be done. He was a menace to the World and you did what was right by clearing him off the to do list. »
Anissa looked up at her sister’s face for the first time after the fight, and saw she wasn’t lying. Kayane never could lie. She saw, though, that everything underneath Kayane’s eyes was wet with salty tears. Her eyes were red and still looked panicked, her lip was red from where she had been biting it quite hard and, most of all, her face was pale with dread at the thought of losing her only sister. Anissa uncurled the fist she held clothing fabric in and wiped away tears on her own face.
Kayane lifted up her knees and sat on the heels of her feet, watching as Anissa wiped away tears of pain and guilt. She sniffled once, and hugged herself, swallowing hard. She had almost lost her little sister.
Anissa’s eyes went wide as she realized her arms didn’t hurt as bad as they did, they barely hurt at all! She must have healed me as she was hugging me, Anissa realized in her mind. She looked around her, feeling as if someone was watching her beside her sister, and smiled when she saw the twins kneeling at her sides. « Hey guys, » she smiled weakly, a bit embarrassed that she had cried and said those things when they could hear.
Shugo, finally having her attention without having to do anything to get it, hugged her tightly. He couldn’t speak. He nearly died when he saw her lying on the cold ground, crying and shaking and mumbling as if she was insane, he was so scared. « God, Anissa, what the hell? » he said when she pulled herself onto his lap without actually knowing it. « You had us so damn scared, I thought you were going to die when I saw on the ground like that. » Shugo didn’t know what he was saying, he was lost in his thought, so relieved yet so scared he wasn’t thinking and talking the way he wanted to. Although, what he was saying and thinking were the absolute truth.
« I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to scare you. » Her voice was a whisper. It had been awhile since she had been in his arms. The last time was a year and seven months ago, Anissa’s boyfriend, who she had been going out with for a total of twelve months, a full year. He broke up with her on their one year anniversary, saying he had been double-timing her for the last two months. He wasn’t nice or polite to her in anyway. Dumped her off at the pier and drove off with his new girlfriend who was actually ‘willing to fuck’ with him. She had run to Shugo’s house and cried herself to sleep in his arms. The next day, her ex came up to her with a broken nose and apologized. Anissa still had the suspicion that the broken nose wasn’t from falling on the ground, but from Shugo’s disagreement with his decision.
« It’s okay. I’m just so glad that you are all right. I don’t know what I would have done if you had been killed. »
« Good thing, I didn’t, huh? » Anissa smiled. He always knew how to make her smile, from either the sound of his voice or the way she had to make him smile if he wasn’t.
« Hell yeah. » Shugo glanced over at Kayane, seeing her stand up in the corner of his eye. He turned his attention back to Anissa quickly. « Don’t go off like that again. »
« Okay, mommy, » Anissa chided, giggling a bit at his annoyed, yet amused growl. « I won’t go off again, Shugo, I promise. Even though this time wasn’t my fault. I didn’t come here on purpose. »
« I know but… still… for future reference in case you decide to choose disappearing in the World as a way to get revenge for something. »
« Don’t do anything to me that I might want to revenge upon and I won’t get revenge at all. »
Shugo rolled his eyes. Anissa was now sitting with her legs draped across Shugo’s in the opposite way of his own, her head nestled under his chin in the crook of his neck. Her outer arm was holding him close and his arms were around her to help her keep her balance and because he wanted to. « You never know, I might get bored and throw a pie in your face, maybe to make you stop rambling on about guys you think that were cute and in our class last school year. »
« Hey! » Anissa scoffed. « I do not ramble on about cute guys at our school! »
« Yeah, you do, » both Kayane and Shugo said at the same time.
Anissa glared at Kayane only since she didn’t want to move her head up just to glare at Shugo. « Be quiet. Private conversation. Don’t interrupt again, for a third time, okay? Okay, good. »
Kayane raised an eyebrow along with Balmung. She chuckled lightly while he simply rolled his eyes and turned back to Kayane and the dead wolf/human/monster thing they didn’t know what to call.
« Anissa said something about a ribbon collar. A crimson ribbon collar, » Kayane murmured, more to herself than Balmung really. Her hands were set on her hips to stop them from trembling. She was still shaking from seeing Anissa near death on the ground. Her heartbeat hadn’t slowed down one bit and neither had her hitchy breaths she couldn’t control. She hoped no one noticed, that thier attention was focused on Anissa instead of her. She looked up from Hitori De’s lifeless body at Balmung, feeling his eyes on her, and met his eyes. She could tell that he noticed because he had looked down at her hands seconds after they made eye contact. Kayane turned around, pretending to not have noticed his perceptiveness and to be looking for the ribbon. It wasn’t on Hitori De’s neck.
« Is this it? » Rena asked, standing over a wide and long ribbon on the cold, gray stone floor.
Thank you so much, Rena, she thought relievedly, glad she didn’t have to search long for it and end up having to talk to Balmung or even say anything to grab his attention. Kayane walked over to Rena as calmly as she could.
Kayane stopped Rena from leaning over and picking up the ribbon. From the way Anissa had been injured and had been talking, she didn’t like the ribbon. Sighing silently, she kneeled down and reached out a shaky hand to pick up the ribbon.
TO BE CONTINUED