Chapter 2 — Coming of age, a ceremony needed for emancipation. Part 18
The wound was shaped like a symbol resembling an N with the upper and lower ends stretched out.
ba-dump––– a loud heartbeat rang in my ears out of the blue.
The symbol must have caused it—it was so sudden, I felt like that had to be it.
But then, I remembered.
“In other words,” ba-dump, ba-dump, ba-dump, the beats thundered louder and louder. “You’ve started throwing your humanity away?”
“Yeah, you’re right, that’s exactly it.” Her voice increasingly grew more excited.
“But why did you…” ba-dump ba-dump ba-dump–––
“To appease a need, to fill the emptiness left by losing Aya.”
“But then, why me…?”
“No reason in particular, but only you—only your face came to mind every single time!”
She was going insane, but I was ecstatic.
She was my enemy. An enemy just for me. The only enemy that was truly the same as me!
I could feel all the cells in my body revolving in joy.
If it was light that the silver wolf had cast upon my heart, then this girl standing before me was the shadow caused by it.
An equalizing shadow.
The destruction was accelerating, the world was crumbling, and I…I was being reborn.
Two knives were present here, both reflecting light from the fluorescent lamp. And meanwhile, our own eyes reflected each other.
“Fill the emptiness left by Aya with your life, fill the emptiness in my heart!”
Her blade drew a straight line as the bandage fluttered and her hair streaked behind her, darting like lightning towards me.
She was like a flash, aiming straight for my nape.
As I was left staring at her afterimage, I barely managed to grasp my knife and parry her attack. It felt like I could see death vanishing into the distance after my knife slipped between my nape and her blade.
The loud metallic shrills of clashing blades reverberated loudly through the empty infirmary.
Grinding my teeth together, I rammed my blade against hers while she tried to overpower me.
Her whole body was leaning on my blade, and I could feel that she had the upper hand as my hands started shaking.
I closed my lips shut and glared at her. Her bright right eye contained not a single speck of hesitation, it was completely overtaken by killing intent.
ba-dump, ba-dump, ba-dump, ba-dump ba-dump ba-dump.
The three hearts were pulsating, reverberating through my entire body as though some ringing alarm was violently exciting them and…
…filling them with strength.
With sheer force, I pushed her over and stood up, taking the advantage.
Her eye wavered, slightly impatient.
But I was smiling.
I parried her blade to the left, destroying her posture in the process.
Then I shoved my knee into her exposed stomach.
She let out a muffled cry like a bug that was being crushed, and her torso flopped down.
I wasn’t going to let her escape.
I raised my left elbow and hit her in the cheek, causing her whole body to stagger while increasing the distance between us at the same time.
Lowering my waist, I used my left feet as pivot and rotated my entire body, focusing all the momentum into a kick that would send her flying backwards.
I heard the dull sounds of bones cracking, then saw her body head straight to a broken window, partially going through it.
The frame of the window rattled loudly and came loose, falling to the floor and pulling the curtain rails down with it.
Countless shards of glass glittered with a red tint from the setting sun as they rained down upon her body.
But I wasn’t going to end this just yet.
My body was shaking, and the black birthmark on my skin was throbbing.
As if screaming at me to use it.
–––Karma befitting the child who was shunned by the world where people amass piles of corpses, wandering down various paths of blood–––
“Heed me Crescent Moon’s Shadow!”
I transferred my knife to my left hand, then pulled the trembling whip from under my sleeve.
It felt incredibly familiar in my hand, as though I had been using it for thousands of years. My body instantly knew how to use it.
Using the momentum from my entire body, I swung the whip with my arm and took a step forward, making my hair disheveled in the process.
It was like a macabre dance.
Marked by a screeching noise, the black whip conjured a storm with the sharpness of a knife and the weight of a hatchet, devastating everything within the small infirmary room.
It crushed the beds, split open the floor, ripped apart the ceiling and knocked over shelves of medicine, wreaking havoc all around.
And ahead of all this uncontrollable destruction was Budworm, standing on her knees.