□ □ □ □
It’s so dark. Dark. A darkness without light spreads before my eyes. Does it go on forever? Or does it stop in front of my nose? I don’t know.
But I can sense that something is moving within that darkness. I didn’t notice it at first. But my eyes slowly grew used to the darkness, and then I realized that it was a moving corpse that was only a torso.
I screamed with horror and thrashed about in an attempt to escape. But I couldn’t move.
“Damn you…you killed meee…”
A low, low voice that seemed to sound from the deepest depths reached my ears.
“I had no choice…It was you who were attacking…!”
“It hurts…it hurts….”
The bandit used its arms to crawl up to my feet.
“Stop. Stop. Don’t come any closer!”
The thing that was moaning had now grabbed my foot. And it was crawling upwards.
It grabbed my clothes as it climbed up my body, and when it was finished, the thing wrapped its arms around my neck. It’s jaw now lay on my shoulder. The sounds of its breathing brought a sense of dread as it said:
“But you will face the same fate.”
When I realized that I was shouting, I was in the same field of blood that I had been in before passing out. In a panic, I looked at my surroundings until finally understanding the situation.
“Good morning, Asagi.”
Though I was stuttering, we exchanged the same greeting that we always did after waking up. And then I realized that Daniela was carrying me.
“Sorry…I can walk now.”
“Are you sure? I do not mind carrying you.”
I immediately knew that she was not just talking about me, but about what I was harboring. After all, we were deeply in love and of one heart and one mind…heh. Even making jokes like that did little to raise my spirits.
“Um, are you alright…?”
A voice suddenly called from behind me. I looked behind me to see a young girl looking up at me with concern.
“I am called Marie Elle. Thank you for helping me.”
Someone was alive then… So there was someone that had survived because I killed the bandits…
Daniela slowly put me down. My legs still shook, and I immediately fell to my knees.
The girl who had survived, Marie Elle, stood in front of me. A small girl. Her dark brown hair was covered in a spray of blood. The way she held her hands in front of her with uncertainty made her look even smaller.
I stretched out a shaking hand and touched her dark brown hair.
It was warm. I could feel the warmth. It reached a heart that had been chilled by blood. When I felt that warmth, tears began to flow.
“This child, Asagi. You saved her.”
“Yes. You fought to save others, to save lives. You fought, and you survived because you won. And it is because of that that Marie Elle is here, living.”
I hear that word and then look at the girl in front of me. She must have looked so concerned up until now because she was worried about me. Now she smiled gently.
“It is because of you that I am alive. Please do not blame yourself.”
It was wretched, but what I couldn’t express after hearing those words, came out as a sound. And when the words finally did come out, I embraced her tightly.
“Thank you…for living…thank you…”
That was all I could do. Repeatedly thank her for being alive.
This gratitude that I felt, took over my whole body, and before I knew it, the shaking in my limbs had subsided. Still, I could not stand. I surrendered myself as Marie Elle’s hand gently held me, and I wept.
I hope you enjoyed(?) that chapter. And thank you so much to everyone who rated, reviewed or donated! It means a lot!