The Death of Saeko: Tokonosu's Reckoning

"Child…"

"Yes sir?"

"Do not rely so heavily on your sword."

"Yes sir, but I must remark… it is what gives me strength…"

"Ah, you think the sword is your ally?"

"What do you mean by that sir?" asked a bewildered Saeko.

Bane looked up and gazed into Saeko's eyes in an attempt to ascertain the depth of her emotions. But he perceived nothing. Her eyes revealed no metaphysical sensations. The window panes of her soul were stained with the filth of corruption and blood-lust. It was impossible to see through to the other side of her stone-like façade.

"You are weak." stated Bane as he looked back at the sight of the disintegrating city below them.

Saeko tightened her grasp on her katana's sheath.

"But sir, I have taken out multiple hordes before I became acquainted with you."

Bane stood from his seated position and placed the edge of his hand gently on Saeko's shoulder. His immense stature towered over the young woman.

"And this gives you power over yourself?" asked the masked behemoth.

Saeko delicately placed her soft hands on top of Bane's hand; a gesture that possessed both submissive and seductive notions. Bane stood unfazed by her feminine aura. He lifted his hand from her shoulders and grasped Saeko's hand which was around her sword's sheath.

"Victory has defeated you. You mistaken your victory as a testament to your power." said Bane.

"Considering my survival a personal victory may be an overstatement." said Saeko.

Bane chuckled deeply from within his mask.

"Survival was never your primary goal. Your previous group of comrades was never your salvation. You have survived so far because of your blood-lust alone."

A startled Saeko grasped her katana tighter. Her thoughts raced as she tried to determine how this man reached so deep into her persona.

"Sir, how did-"

"Sadism is universal. It is human nature. I have embraced it! Capitalized on it at every juncture. You, on the other hand, fear it."

Saeko looked down at the ground as a frightening rage grew within her.

"You fear yourself." Bane continued "You are ashamed of yourself. Your rage consumes you. Your inexplicable hatred for the world around you is futile in your efforts to appease your inner demons."

A gust of wind picked up on top of the hill on which they both stood. Saeko's long, silky hair was tossed over her face, hiding her eyes which now expressed internal turmoil to a degree she never felt before.

"You cower underneath yourself." said Bane.

"No… stop." demanded Saeko as she tried to keep her composure.

"You display yourself as a cultured, well-mannered individual. What a pitiful farce. You warp people's perceptions of you until you eventually convince yourself you are who you aren't."

Bane crossed his arms in discontent.

"You're an insecure fool. Your life is all compensation for your existence! Your exterior pretense is compensating for your inner evil. Your strength with the katana compensates for your lack of power over yourself."

Saeko glared at Bane with budding blood-lust.

"I possess great power." said Saeko as she grabs the handle of her katana.

"Is that so?" mocked Bane "Chaos does not breed power. Power comes from within. Within you is nothing but filth."

"ENOUGH!" screamed Saeko as she unsheathed her blade and swung at Bane in one motion. Before she could follow through her mighty swing, Bane dodged her attempt to kill him and punched the blunt side of the blade.

The blade snapped and shattered.

Startled and dumbfounded at what had just occurred, Saeko kneeled down and inspected her broken blade as tears fell from her beautifully flawed face to the cold metal remnants on the ground.

"You… you broke the Kissaki-Moroha."

Bane stepped closer to the devastated young woman.

"I broke you, child." stated the beast.

The beast shifted his mandibles around Saeko's head. Her hair crunched under the pressure exerted by Bane's hands.

"You think rage is your ally? I was born in it" Bane orated "Molded by it! When I experienced compassion, I was already a man."

Saeko closed her eyes as a calm disposition smothered her rage.

"By then it was nothing but…" Bane paused as another slight wind rolled by the grassy hill.

"BLINDING!"

With one motion, Bane broke Saeko's neck.

The beast tossed the lifeless body into the pile of other lifeless bodies at the trough of the hill.

"You shall rest with the victims of your imperfection." said Bane as he took one final look at Saeko.

In the pile were Rei, Saya, Kohta, Shizuka, Alice, and Takashi.

All of them appeared uninfected, but mutilated limb by limb.

Takashi's head was decapitated by a clean cut.

"Your only catharsis was death."