HAPPY BIRTHDAY MY DEAR LOVE OF MY LIFE, THE SWEET SAI-SAI!
This is so bad. I SWEAR IT IS, I FELT LIKE I JUST FAILED YOU. ESPECIALLY THE ENDING. Yeah it's open for interpretation I guess? If you have something to share then do so? ww~
UGH UGH THIS IS SO BAD BUT I LOVE YOU SAI... I wanna rewrite but it's 6k words already how am I SUPPOSED TO GO BACK.
I FEEL SO CONFLICTED.
By the way please don't skim it when reading, it destroyed the thrill (or something, if it even have thrills.)
hajimekara means from the start
tsuzukikara means continue
[like a game's main menu].
Yukimura Hyouga was his name. That was the one thing he wouldn't forget, whatever happens. If he was to 'forget' or 'lose' his name, he would be done for. Everything he'd done will be for naught, and even he himself will be erased. The world was not as forgiving; losing your name meant losing your existence.
"O confused little one," he had heard a voice one day, when he was desperately running away from the Dream Eaters. They were creatures created to eat dreams, their existence was only to destroy, and nothing else. Was there ever another reason why they were created? Not that the human race knows.
"Halt thy steps," said the voice again, this time louder; it was almost rumbling, Yukimura unknowingly grimaced, "For thy to escape, thy shalt meet a knight."
"A knight?" Yukimura said out loud. He had no other hope now, anyways; this was his last line, and he sure as hell wouldn't miss it for anything.
"Yes," said the voice, "Thou shalt meet a knight, and then rendezvous with a Goddess."
"The Goddess shalt be the guide," the voice was slowly, yet surely fading, "Do not forget. The light shalt guide thy steps."
"I don't get it!" Yukimura screamed, "I-"
"Thou shalt not forget." Was the last thing he heard, before he collapsed to the grassy field below him.
He never really remembered how he'd end up in this place, to this insane wonderland at the first place. Yukimura was never one to mess with things; he'd always been one that was careful, yet a bit hot headed.
This world; this world he called an insane wonderland was truly what it is. Here, you could get anything you want; with a price so steep that he'd rather have nothing.
The price was your dream.
The horrors he had seen each time someone gave up their dream was not something he would be able to forget, not now, not ever. His defense mechanism might be to lock the memory deep down, but even then, fragments of nightmares would always haunt him in his sleep.
Truly, what was this world? The place he called world, was it even a world?
Who was he to know the answer to his endless, timeless questions?
Was all this even worth to be thought about?
Will he... be able to—
"OI!" A shout suprised Yukimura, as he nearly jumped off of the... bed...?
"I..." Yukimura said, "Where am I?"
"My house," the dark blue haired man who stood beside his bed said, his face clearly showing irritation, and most of all, wariness towards Yukimura. "Why did you-"
"My, my, Kyousuke!" said someone else, this one with a kinder and warmer voice. It was a man in wheelchair, his face blooming with a smile, "That's not how you treat the wounded, yes?"
"...I'm sorry, nii-san."
"That's okay. You should apologize to him, instead."
"..." Kyousuke looked at Yukimura with such intense stare that Yukimura couldn't help but to stare back. Besides, what was his problem? "...I'm sorry."
Yukimura, taken aback by the sudden change of mood, nodded in confusion, "...Where am I?" he repeated his last question, now louder and much more pressing.
"Please, don't worry," said the kind-looking man, "We would not hurt you. This is our home, and I am Tsurugi Yuuichi. That one," he said as he pointed at the irritated-looking boy, "Is Tsurugi Kyousuke, my little brother."
"Kyousuke found you collapsed on the forest outskirts. Him being him, of course he's worried sick about you." At this, Yuuichi laughed, as Kyousuke tried his best to keep his irritated poker face.
"...!" Yukimura, bewildered and surprised, looked at the younger Tsurugi's face. But no; why was he collapsed in the forest at the first place? He never had a recollection of...
Was it that time?
"May I know your name, then, young man?" Yuuichi asked kindly.
"...I'm Yukimura. Yukimura Hyouga."
"What a nice name," Yuuichi replied, "Don't ever forget it." As he said that, his face turned into that of melancholy, "Our parents—Kyousuke and mine—had forgotten theirs. They met their end quite painfully, it was... hard to forget, to say the least."
Kyousuke didn't say anything, not even when Yuuichi easily gave away their past to someone they had just met. Indeed, hard to forget was saying the least of what it actually is. Yuuichi always had nightmares; Kyousuke always shed tears at night.
Yukimura nodded, as he looked down. Really, he had nothing he could say to cheer the siblings. He was never one that could give warmth or shoulder to lean on; he was always alone, what could he possibly say, when he never really understood the grief of losing someone in the first place?
"Oh... I'm sorry, I went on ahead talking as if we were old friends. It must be uncomfortable for you, huh?" Yuuichi said, as he gave Yukimura an apologetic smile.
"No, it wasn't," Yukimura shook his head, "It's... no problem at all."
Yuuichi looked at Yukimura in shock, but then his face soften, as he smiled, "You're a very kind person, aren't you, Yukimura-kun."
Yukimura's cheeks warmed, "I-I..."
"Ah! I have to go and cook dinner. Kyousuke, please entertain Yukimura-kun while I'm gone, alright?"
"Nii-san, let me cook dinner, I—"
"No, Kyousuke. It's my job. Besides," Yuuichi said as he prepared to wheel towards the door, "Wouldn't it be fun to talk to someone your age for once?"
The clock ticked by painfully slow. There was no topic to talk about, and although Yukimura was not one to talk a lot (or even try to strike a conversation), the silence was unbearable. Kyousuke doesn't seem like he wanted to talk, as well, so they were each to their own thoughts. Kyousuke was looking out the window, to where the uncanny forest is.
Dirt-colored trees and sky-colored land, it was quite a sight.
"You." It was Kyousuke, with his arms crossed. He walked to a nearby stool and sat on it, as he stared at Yukimura for quite a long time, before settling with a sigh.
"?" Yukimura couldn't really understand his action.
"You're not from around here, are you?" The aloof man asked, as he gazed at Yukimura questioningly. Yukimura could only nod in response, as he really don't know the details. He never did understand how he managed to get here, after all.
"...I see," Kyousuke said, "Why were those Dream Eaters chasing you?"
"I'm not sure myself."
"They're wild beasts, that was sure, but... for a hoard of them to chase you..." Kyousuke said, "And to top it off, you were unconscious. Had I saw you a moment late, you'll be as good as gone."
Yukimura was, in fact, pissed that this dark haired male suddenly burst out things like that in front of him. Sure, he'd die if not for the fact that the younger Tsurugi rescued hi-
Wait... did he...?
Yukimura decided to not burst his anger in front of him. 'Sides, now that he thought it through, it wouldn't really give him anything. At least, no brownie points. "Are you the one rescuing me?"
Kyousuke scoffed, "Of course. I just told you that."
"How did you fight them off?" Yukimura asked. Kyousuke was a bit taken aback by the enthusiastic questions; it was as if Yukimura had moodswings, but he just let it go and reply. Besides, Yuuichi, his brother, said that Yukimura is a kind person.
Kyousuke had never doubted Yuuichi's intuition before.
"With weapons, of course," said Kyousuke, as he pointed at the corner of the room. Indeed; there rests a clean, shining sword. If there was ever blood on the shining metal, then the owner had done a great job cleaning it. "They're quite tough, though."
"...Swords..." said Yukimura, "Don't tell me... you're the knight?!"
"Knight?" Kyousuke shot him a look.
Yukimura decided to tell him his story, from before he was unconscious; the voice and the hints about the Knight and the Princess was all he had for him to go home.
"It must be you," said Yukimura, "It must be you."
"...Perhaps," said Kyousuke, "But I'm not really sure."
"I'm a step closer..." said Yukimura, "Towards my home."
"Your home?" Kyousuke asked.
"I'm not sure either," Yukimura shook his head in melancholy, "But that's... that's what I'm supposed to call the place I come from, right?"
Kyousuke looked at Yukimura with a firm gaze, as he said, "Yes, that's what you call it."
After eating the dinner Yuuichi made (it was quite well made, if Yukimura was to say), Yukimura retold his story, now with Yuuichi listening intently. As he finished his story, Yuuichi nodded his head in understanding.
"This Knight you spoke of..." said Yuuichi, "I'm pretty sure it is my brother, Kyousuke."
"Nii-san? How could you be so sure?" Kyousuke asked, his eyes wide in surprise.
"It's just 'Big Brother Hunch' thing," said Yuuichi as Kyousuke and Yukimura comically fell down the chair, "But... have my hunch ever been wrong, Kyousuke? Even our mother and father's deaths..."
Kyousuke nodded his head. A moment before their parents' death, Yuuichi already said things about 'forgetting names' and 'their end', and although they had tried their best to stop it, alas, fate was not one to be played with.
"Kyousuke, you should go and help Yukimura get to his home." Said Yuuichi, "To his home sweet home, to where his loved ones are waiting for him."
Yukimura looked at Yuuichi, confusion apparent in his face, "I... I don't remember about having any loved ones..."
"Is that so?" Yuuichi said, surprise evident in his voice, "Do you not remember anything about your parents?"
"I... I don't..." Yukimura said, as he mentally smacked himself. He do not remember anything about his parents, nor people he knew, and he had just realized!
"Well," said Yuuichi, "You can always count us as your loved ones... yes?"
Yukimura looked at Yuuichi and Kyousuke, as he nodded slowly, "...Yes," said Yukimura, "But... we will part soon."
Yuuichi smiled, seeing Yukimura flushing red, "You know," said he, "Love surpasses even place and time. As long as you remember us, we'll remember you too. As long as we remember each other, our love wouldn't fade."
Kyousuke remained silent even with a conversation striking back and forth in front of him. He'd join Yukimura on his quest to get home, but... just where will they go?
What if he's not the Knight that voice told Yukimura?
"Nii-san, we're going now." Kyousuke said. Yuuichi nodded, as he gave them both a box of lunch. Kyousuke looked at Yuuichi exasperatedly, as he said, "This is not a field trip..."
Yuuichi kept smiling, "But you wouldn't want to go without any supplies, would you?"
"..." Kyousuke nodded, "That's true, too..."
"Be careful on the way," said Yuuichi, "Be on your guard... especially against Dream Eaters."
Kyousuke and Yukimura nodded seriously, as Kyousuke said, "But will you be alright on your own... Nii-san?"
"Of course! I'm actually quite strong!" said Yuuichi, "You know that firsthand, right?"
"Then, just go and don't look back!"
With their newfound confidence and strength, the pair walked out, leaving a smiling Yuuichi.
"Please," Yuuichi prayed, "Let Kyousuke come back safely... and Yukimura to find his home."
"We said that but... where should we go?" Kyousuke asked Yukimura.
"I'm not sure either," he replied, "But we have to find the Goddess..."
Kyousuke and Yukimura looked like they're both lost in thought, as they walked across the sky-colored forest. They had no idea where to go, and although walking wasn't a problem for both of them, it was getting quite tiring without any directions.
Suddenly, a voice rang inside Yukimura's head, much like the first time.
"Thou shalt meet a Goddess," said the voice, "As thou hath met the knight."
Yukimura looked around in confusion, but he settled in with shouting, "Where's the Goddess!?", surprising Kyousuke in the process.
"The Goddess shalt be in the Holy Village," said the voice again. "You must be quick."
"Holy village? Where is that?!" Yukimura asked, but nobody answered. The voice was gone again, and they were left with only 'holy village' as their hint to get to the Goddess.
Yukimura, realizing Kyousuke's weird and surprised stares towards him, started to explain about what he had heard from the voice. Kyousuke nodded in understanding; however, where was the holy village—wait...
"...Holy Village... is it that one...?"
"Which?" Yukimura asked, happy that they were finally a step closer towards his home.
Kyousuke's face was then marred with disgust, as he explained, "That village was nothing but holy," he said, "They sacrificed their Priestesses; virgin girls who knew nothing, to the Dream Eaters they thought of as a God. They did a good job in concealing it from the girls on their village, but word got out."
Yukimura's face turned to that of disgust, as he said, "That's insane. Are you proposing that the Goddess maybe somewhere in that village?"
"Yes," said Kyousuke, "I believe so."
"...Then, there we should go."
A moment later, with Kyousuke's instructions, they were able to reach the Unholy Village, or so Kyousuke dubbed. It was a village that looked very normal; a fleeting glance wouldn't be able to tell about the disgusting tradition that went for hundreds of years in the said village.
"Tsurugi," said Yukimura, "How do you suppose we go inside?"
"We just go," said Kyousuke, "Head-on. Adventurers are normal for them; in fact, they're not hostile at all. As long as we don't get close to the shrine where they sacrificed their Priestesses," as he said that, he scoffed.
"Do you think that the Goddess might be someone who was going to be sacrificed?"
"The voice... did say that we must be quick, right?"
"It did..." said Yukimura, as his face paled, "Then, we must go!"
Kyousuke and Yukimura looked for the Goddess in vain. They didn't know how she looked like, moreover... the village is actually quite spacious despite its outside appearance. However, it was quite deserted, despite there being a few people running around. After asking around, Yukimura and Kyousuke found out that it was because of the Festival that was going to be held. Everyone was back in their own house preparing their own things.
"Let's split up." Yukimura said—this was going nowhere, at least he knew that.
"Are you sure?" Kyousuke replied, "They're already quite wary of us."
Indeed, when Yukimura and Kyousuke looked around, the few people outside was looking at them suspiciously; almost glaring, even.
"Damn!" Yukimura cursed under his breath, "We can't have the whole village to chase us out—"
"Psst!" Suddenly, they heard a voice from inside a simple looking house. It seems that somebody called them out from there. "Come here!" The voice said again, as the door to the house opened.
Kyousuke looked at Yukimura, and the latter looked at the former. Was that voice talking to them?
"Yes, you two!" It whispered again. "Quick!"
Kyousuke and Yukimura nodded to each other. Whoever called them should be someone who knew things more than them.
"I'm sorry for calling you guys like that." Much to their surprise, their caller was a girl; a beautiful one at that, with bright, wavy orange hair and greenish, dark blue eyes. She was wearing such extravagant clothes that they couldn't help but to stare at her. "W-what is it?"
"No... nothing." Yukimura and Kyousuke instantly replied, as they turned their heads.
"Anyway, you guys should leave. Now." Said the girl, surprising both Yukimura and Kyousuke.
"No, we have business here," said Yukimura, "Who are you, anyway?"
"Ah, I'm sorry, that's rude of me. I haven't even introduced myself," The girl said, an awkward smile etched on her lips, "I'm... Sol."
"I'm Yukimura Hyouga." Yukimura said, nodding at Sol.
"I'm Tsurugi Kyousuke." Kyousuke followed suit.
"By the way, I wasn't kidding when I said you guys should leave. It's time soon. You guys would be killed too if you stayed here for far too long."
Kyousuke and Yukimura looked at each other, surprise apparent on their faces. Was Sol implying that the sacrifice is beginning soon?
Sol interrupted Kyousuke's question with a sad face, as she shook her head, "They're going to call for me, soon," She said, "You guys hide inside the cupboard. They're not going to waste their time in picking me up."
"Are you fine with being sacrificed?!" Yukimura shouted, "That's ridiculous!"
With a smile, Sol replied to his outburst, "I'm quite strong, even if I do not look it."
Before anyone could retort Sol's words, the door was knocked. Sol immidiately pushed Yukimura and Kyousuke towards the cupboard, as she closed it. "You can lock it from the inside. Do not open it before we're gone. After that, run. Run far away, do not come back."
"Tomorrow is the day," said a girl so beautiful, softly. "I'm going to go to the shrine now."
"Are you sure you're going...?" A boy asked, as he took her hand in his, "I've been suspicious of the elders for a long time... what if they'd do something to you?"
The girl gave a hearty laugh; a laugh he had loved every since they met, "Don't worry," said she, as she gave his hand a gentle squeeze, "I will be fine. Besides, it's not like I will leave you forever, right?"
The boy gave her a bright smile, "Mm..." he said, "I love you."
The girl's eyes widen in surprise, but then she settled in with such a bright, warm smile that he had never seen etched on her lips, "I love you, too. I love you, forever and ever; not even when death do us part. "
"Sol, you're finally here." Said the elderly women waiting for her in front of the shrine. They were wearing red robes; traditional clothes for the priestesses. Sol, though; she was wearing one with silver linings and golden thread; she was the Head Priestess, after all.
"I'm sorry to have made you wait," Sol said, with an embarrassed smile.
"It's fine. Could we start the ceremony now?" The red-haired elder said, with an impatient frown marring her wrinkled face. "We're late by ten minutes already."
"W-wait!" Sol hastily intercepted, as she said, "Can I get my naginata? It's a family treasure and I'd feel... very troubled if I don't have it by my side... Can I?"
The elders discussed amongst themselves. Most of them agreed; besides, what would a frail girl be able to do with a naginata? They doubted that she could wield it properly. It was her last request, after all. Why not agree?
The blue haired, veil-wearing elder replied to her request, "Sure, could someone get it for Sol?"
Hearing this, Sol immediately gasped, "No! I have to go get it myself because... umm..." Sol blushed, embarrassment apparent on her face, "I hid it somewhere in my house... I don't want anyone to rummage through my belongings..."
The middle-aged women gave a hearty laugh, as the elders said, "Then, go get it yourself! Someone, go with her." A few women walked towards Sol, giving her a smile.
"You mean to monitor me," Sol thought, as she blanched inwardly. "Alright! Let's go~"
"Are you sure you're letting her go?" A man, about twenty in age, shouted at the boy. He recognized him as one of the adventurers who come and go; for he wasn't familiar in his eyes.
"What do you mean, Mister?" the boy asked innocently.
"The girl who was always with you... I saw her getting taken away by those women."
"Yes, she'll be a head priestess—"
"And you actually believe their words?!" The man exploded.
"I-... w-what..." The boy looked at the man, fear apparent in his eyes.
"They're killing her! They're taking her away to the shrine to be sacrificed! Just how gullible are the people in this village?!"
The man looked at the setting sun, as he pulled down his hat to cover half of his eyes, "Perhaps it is too late," he said, as he patted the boy, "I... I shouldn't have told you anything."
"Go to the forest behind the Shrine after daybreak; nobody would be there by then," said the man, "See for yourself, what kind of cruelty..." he paused, as the boy looked at him expectantly.
"...Nevermind. If... If you cannot... then..."
"Mister... I don't understand you..."
"...To understand me, you should go to the forest I told you," said he, "However... it wont be easy... to stomach the kind of things you'll see."
Sol looked around her house. Her naginata should be somewhere nearby... she never hid the naginata. Nobody had ever tried to steal it; why would they? A naginata serves as nothing for them. As for her earlier words, those were a complete lie.
"Sol? Are you done?" The women outside called out to her.
"Just a second!" Sol replied, "It seems that Yukimura and Tsurugi already left. I doubt they're leaving the village, though..."
"Sol!" The calls were louder now, laced with impatience.
"Y-yes! I'm on my way!" Sol said, as she decided to drop the matter. As long as Yukimura and Kyousuke wouldn't interfere with her, then...
Everything's as good as a success.
Sneaking with much difficulty, the boy finally reached the forest located behind the shrine. If there was ever a place he'd though of as creepy, this would take the throne.
The scent of blood, the smell of death marred this place's lands; it was sickening he had to try his best to not throw up. However, the next thing he saw was...
"...Ugh!" He fell to his knees, his hand clutching his stomach, the other his mouth.
There were dead bodies scattered around in the land; some already reduced to skulls, some was in the process of rotting. It was horrible; the scent of decomposing bodies and blood was mixing into one.
He desperately tried to stand up, as he looked for his loved one. There was no way she was here...!
She's still alive, breathing and well, he just...! He just knew it...!
As Sol approached the elders, she could see two human silhouettes behind the house near the shrine. Those silhouettes were strikingly similar.. to both Yukimura and Kyousuke.
Sol promptly glared at the silhouettes, as the they flinched.
"This is my fight, Tsurugi, Yukimura," She whispered, making sure that nobody saw them.
"Did she just glared at us?" Yukimura and Tsurugi asked at the same time, as they looked at each other. They're currently hiding behind the house near the shrine; Tsurugi with his sword in tow.
"...Yes. We should respect her wishes," Tsurugi said, "I'm sure she has a plan up her sleeves."
"That naginata is proof enough," Yukimura said, "But when the time comes, we should go and help her."
"...Do you even have any weapon, Yukimura?" Tsurugi asked, as realization hits him.
"I do," Yukimura said as he pulled out a knife from his pocket, "Sorry, I took it from your kitchen."
Tsurugi sighed, "Nii-san's going to look for it," he said, "But fine. Just don't die first, or everything will be in vain."
As Tsurugi gave him a smirk, Yukimura smirked back, "The same goes to you."
"Sol, you're finally here," said the black-haired elder, giving Sol a small smile, "Let's start now, shall we?"
"Yes," Sol replied, as she gave a polite smile. Her naginata in tow, she approached the shrine's door. "This is it." She thought as her grip on the antique, beautifully carved naginata tightened.
"Please open the door," The elders chorused, as two middle aged women walked towards the door, opening it ever so slowly, just a little gap. It would only fit Sol; they've thought it well.
"Now then, Sol," said the blue-haired elder, "We wish you good luck."
Sol responded with her usual soft, yet bright smile, as she walked inside the shrine; her face turned into that of disgust with each step she takes.
"I'm going to end this once and for all."
"No..." The boy whispered, when he saw the body of his loved one. "No...!"
There she was, with her extravagant clothes stained with her blood; with her hair no longer neat in place. She wasn't breathing; her heart didn't beat.
She was... dead.
Her hair hasn't lost its shine, and her face was still as beautiful as when the boy saw her for the last time. It was apparent that her death was a painful one; however, her face shows little pain, and more sadness. With her eyes closed, she looked... as if she regretted something.
As if... she regretted leaving him.
"...I'm sorry..." As the boy took his lover's body in his arms, he whispered, "I'm sorry..."
"I'm sorry, I'm sorry... I love you, I'm sorry... I should've stopped you..."
Tears streamed down his face, as he continued chanting those heart-breaking words.
"I'm sorry... I love you forever..."
"My love..." he said, "Not even death... could do us part."
Sol walked inside the shrine. It was a spacious one; however, it looked run down inside. Nobody seem to have done anny maintenance to the building. It was to be expected, of course; who whould, in their right mind, walk inside and just sweep off the floor with Dream Eaters around?
Sol readied her naginata. From where will those disgusting beings attack her?
"Krrrrshhhhh...!" A hushed screech signaled ther start of Sol's fight with the six legged, twelve eyed, sickening, silver-colored monster.
Moments had passed since Sol's initial entrance to the shrine. By now, the elders were convinced that she was already eaten by the Dream Eaters.
"Open the door," said the purple-haired elder. The middle-aged women quickly approached the door, just to almost get pierced by a naginata coming from inside the shrine.
The door opened from the inside, with Sol standing firmly, her clothes stained with black, black blood, the Dream Eaters' blood. She had an eerie aura, as she pulled her naginata close.
The elders couldn't move; they flinched when Sol walked towards them. The first one to recover was the black-haired elder, as she shouted, commanding the women to ready their weapons.
Sol readied her naginata, finally it has begun.
Kyousuke and Yukimura gasped; she had won against those Dream Eaters... Well, it wasn't like they didn't believe her, but still... it was quite impressive. What a feat, especially by a girl...!
"It's time for us to help her, Yukimura," said Tsurugi.
"Yes," Yukimura said, as he readied his knife, "Let's go."
Although deep inside he still had his doubt, he knew that something was driving Sol to do what she's doing now. However... was helping her the right thing to do?
Should they help her? Or stop her?
The women was no match to Sol. She was younger, faster and she has better reflex, to top it off. There was no way that the women could win; but when she saw Yukimura and Kyousuke coming out from their hideout, her concentration dropped a little.
"Sol!" Kyousuke shouted as he dashed towards Sol's back, his slash injuring a woman who were trying to cut Sol's neck.
A moment later, the fight ended quite one-sidedly. Sol, Yukimura, and Kyousuke won by a mile; older women were simply of no match for them.
There was one woman left; it was the black-haired elder, her form quivering.
"Does she fear death?" Sol thought, "How ironic."
Sol approached the woman. Yukimura was about to stop her, but Kyousuke stopped him. This was her problem and hers alone; what do they have to do with her?
Sol's steps were slow, with her naginata in tow. She clenched her naginata so tightly, her face contorted with rage.
"Do you fear death?" asked Sol, "How ironic. For you, who have killed countless of young girls for your own selfish, worldly desires..."
The woman's eyes were brimming with tears.
"I bet you've forgotten most of the girls you've," Sol scoffed, "SACRIFICED, for that being who wouldn't be able to grant your wishes, anyway!"
Sol continued, "I bet you didn't even realize..."
Yukimura and Kyousuke were listening intently.
"That amongst those you killed, there was my lover, too!" Sol shouted, with much hatred.
Tsurugi and Yukimura's eyes widen in surprise. "Lover?"
Sol readied her naginata, as she looked at the elder with much, much, much hatred and disgust, "I bet you didn't even realize that Sol was, in fact, Amemiya Taiyou, the lover of the girl you sacrificed a year ago!"
Tears streamed down the black-haired elder's wrinkled cheeks, as she hiccupped. She... she didn't even realize... Sol... was... Amemiya Taiyou...! The boy who were always smiling with that beautiful girl they sacrificed a year ago... They hadn't even realized their similarities...
"Not even death could forgive what you, and the rest of the village has done," said Sol—no, Taiyou—as he clenched his naginata, "Even if you die, I doubt that hell would accept you."
"Now, die, writhe in pain, like how my lover did."
The older woman closed her eyes, preparing for the impact of, perhaps, having her neck cut.
The impact never came.
"...Was what I'm about to say, but I'm sure she wouldn't be happy with what I did." Said Taiyou. "I'm leaving the village for a while."
Taiyou continued, "When I come back and still see you practicing this virgin-killing," said he, "I will swear upon my name that I'd destroy this village, I'll set it ablaze, along with all of its villagers."
The elder nodded hastily, desperation apparent on her face.
"Let's go, Yukimura, Tsurugi," Taiyou said, as he led the way out.
The journey out was in utter, complete silence. Nobody knew what to say, most likely because Kyousuke and Yukimura was still shocked by the revelation. That Sol was a boy, that his lover was killed, that he did everything because of his love...
It was all too much.
"Yukimura, Tsurugi," Taiyou's voice snapped them back to reality, "I'm sorry for getting you two mixed up in this fray; although it had ended, you two had to see me... like that."
"It's fine," Yukimura replied hastily, "It's... really okay."
As the walk resumed without any more words, something rang inside Yukimura's head.
"Thy hath met the Goddess," said a voice, appearing suddenly. "The path is close."
Yukimura shouted in frustration, "But where?!"
"It is near," said the voice, "...North, is where it is." And then it was gone again, leaving a frustrated Yukimura.
"What is it now?!" Kyousuke shouted.
"It told me that we're close. We have found the Goddess," at this, Yukimura glanced at Taiyou, "We must go north."
Taiyou gave a confused gaze to Yukimura, "Now... mind to explain...?"
"I see!" Taiyou said, after Yukimura and Kyousuke's long explanation, "So, I'm the Goddess?" He stifled a laugh.
"...I think so, although it is quite weird..." Yukimura said.
"Perhaps I posed as a girl for far too long," Taiyou said, with hints of sadness inside his voice, "Ah... well. I managed to do what I wanted to for a long time. I guess it is worth it in the end."
Yukimura could see that Taiyou was probably having a flashback in his mind; most likely about his dead lover. Nobody said a thing; it was a moment of peace, for the three of them.
Yukimura, Kyousuke and Taiyou decided to look for a village close to their current place to stay for the night. It was a good thing that both Taiyou and Kyousuke had their own money; the only one who had nothing was Yukimura, but that's to be expected, Kyousuke said.
After walking for a few more kilometres, they spotted a village; quite big and lively, it was a beautiful village.
"Let's head there," Taiyou said, as he smiled, "We'll need to plan our movement, as well."
Inside the town, they were welcomed by lots of things; circus players, fruit sellers, vendors, even small child who were running around, playing with their friends. It was very different than Taiyou's village.
Taiyou's heart clenched in pain; how she would love being here... seeing all kinds of things...
Taiyou shook his head. No, no. It's not time to think about that; no more angst time for him; it's time to make her proud... so that she wouldn't be sad up there, whilst watching over him.
"I found an inn," Kyousuke said, "Let's go."
It was a relatively simple yet cozy inn; there weren't many people inside, and the interior was furnished nicely. The rates aren't that high, too, so it was a win-win situation for the three young adventurers.
After taking a bath one by one, they were left each to their own thoughts.
Hours ticked by quickly, and the sun sets. The three slept; with Taiyou taking the bed (unconsciously, it seems that Yukimura and Kyousuke still had that gentlemanly reflex even after knowing that Taiyou's actually a boy), Yukimura and Kyousuke on the sofa, each at the different ends of the room.
What lies for them tomorrow, nobody knows.
The sun was already high in the sky when the three adventurers opened their eyes, slowly awakening from their deep slumber. They'd still need to eat breakfast, and then start their journey again, to get Yukimura back to his home.
Taiyou had changed (after all, his clothes was that of a girl's—although admittedly, it fits him quite nicely) to one of Kyousuke's clothes, as he restyled his hair so it doesn't look much like a girl's.
"You look... surprisingly good as a guy, too." Yukimura and Kyousuke commented.
"Was that a praise?" Taiyou chuckled, "Glad to hear. But it's time to head out."
They continued north from the village. North, north and north, just as the voice said. They had no other hints, but as long as they went north, they hoped that they wouldn't lose their way.
After a tiring day full of walking, they rested under a big tree, with its gigantic roots visible on the surface of the land. That day was surprisingly hot; the sun burns almost excitedly up in the sky. After a few moments of rest, they continued their journey, towards somewhere not even they themselves know.
Soon, they could see something up in the distance. It was a house; a run down one, seemingly abandoned by its previous owners.
"What's a house doing in the middle of nowhere like this...?" Kyousuke wondered.
"I don't know," said Yukimura, "We should check it out."
"AGH!" Yukimura exclaimed, as he fell down to his knees. His head hurts a lot, as if it got hit by a blunt object. "The place." A voice rang, successfully made him even more in pain.
"Wh-what is it?!" Taiyou asked, as he kneeled down to examine Yukimura.
"It's h-here..." Yukimura said, with much difficulty due to the pain he's suffering. "The place... is here..."
"It... it is?!" Taiyou and Kyousuke exclaimed.
"Let's try... a- and g-go inside...ugh..." Yukimura groaned in pain, as he tried to stand up. Kyousuke quickly helped him, supporting Yukimura's body. "Th-thank you."
Taiyou could see the deep friendship they had created over time. What a warm, warm feeling.
Inside the house was like it was in a different place. Such spacious place, yet there was nothing but concrete flooring and stone walls. The lamps were candle sticks; it was truly, unimaginably creepy. To top it off, the door suddenly closed off on its own, scaring the three young men.
"What—what was that all about...?" Despite his question, Taiyou maintained his usual bright smile.
"I-I'm not sure..." Yukimura replied.
"I heard something," said Kyousuke, as he sushed his two mates.
Tap. Tap. Tap.
It was the voice of someone's steps; it was slow, and light.
Tap. Tap. Tap. Tap. Tap.
It went closer and closer; Kyousuke and his mates gulped.
As the tapping stopped, they could see someone; finally, he was illuminated by the candles. It was a boy with black hair, his gaze sharp and firm.
"Tsurugi Kyousuke." He said, as he glanced at the dark haired boy.
"Amemiya Taiyou... or Sol." He continued, glancing at Taiyou.
"And then... Yukimura Hyouga."
"How did you know us?" Kyousuke asked, a bit aggravated, but he kept his emotions in.
"I know very well about all of you. My name is Shuu, and I was assigned to welcome the three of you... to this place, known as the Pandora House."
"Pandora... house...?" Yukimura asked.
"Yes. Follow me."
After walking down countless of stairs, they ended up in another spacious room, this one lit brightly, unlike the first one. This time, Shuu walked in front of them, hurrying into the center of the room. He took a few steps to the right, and then he kneeled.
When he turned around, it was apparent that he brought a black box with him.
"What is that...?" Yukimura asked.
"This is the Box," he said, "Now, it is your choice."
"For you to go home, your two friends must die."
"For them to get back what they wanted the most, you must die."
"If you do not make a choice, then..."
"All of you will die."
Yukimura, Kyousuke and Taiyou gasped. Just... just what nonsense is this white haired young man spouting?!
"...Don't play with us!" said Kyousuke, enraged, "There was no way Yukimura could choose!"
"Don't complain to me," Shuu said, "This is merely a game for him. He had made Yukimura Hyouga journey around to look for the Knight and the Goddess for no reason; I don't se ewhy he wouldn't be able to kill the three of you in one fell swoop."
"...You mean... all of this... was in vain?" Yukimura asked, his heart breaking into pieces.
"No," Shuu said, "In the end, you're here; you've reached the place where you wanted to reach."
"Shut your mouth," Kyousuke shouted, "Are you trying to make him choose?"
"Yes," Shuu said, "I've told you earlier that the three of you will die, if Yukimura didn't make a choice."
Everything seemed like it's far away.
Far, far away.
He didn't know what to do.
Everything seemed like a fairytale.
Everything wasn't real from the start.
"So, which one will you choose?" Shuu asked.
Nobody could say a thing; not even words of comfort.
...He wanted to get out. To go home.
He really do, but...
What kind of human would he be, if he sacrificed his friends so easily?