The grinding sounds of clockwork scrapping against one another started to overtake Dolly's hearing. Her mind was under attack as if someone had successfully clouded her judgment by the whispers of doubt. Nothing made sense until it finally did. The people, the underground bunkers, and those who stayed on the surface, many of them warped into unrecognizable, heinous creatures by the colorful waves which change the constitution of reality.
That is, until she just found out with her own eyes, that those who got killed by one can turn into a monster as well.
Realms that require test subjects to taste new food, drink new liquids, levitate, and other abnormalities…. What happened to those who’ve gotten poisoned, fallen, or failed?!
The pungent smell of corpses exited out the creature's mouth as it exhaled, its hollow eyes glared deep into Dolly's insecure ones. It started to pull out its sword. Its head jolted to the right for a moment as it nodded profusely, its back cracked a few more bones before readjusting its dangling wrists to their proper positions.
Those who were killed, WHERE DID THEY ALL GO!
The creature's movement became a blur. The next thing she saw was the shimmering reflection of the sword next to her neck. She narrowly missed it, as the sharpness of the weapon slung right above her head. She saw it twinkled under the sunlight. Her breathing was strained as she faced the monster she once called a friend.
However, the creature was intelligent, for it knew how Dolly fought. It stretched its arm out and tripped her as it proceeded to try to impale her arm as she was falling.
The android turned right as the monster's sword sliced a small piece of her outer skin off her upper arm. She yelped but focused on grabbing the grass below her, jerking them until they were forcefully ripped from its roots.
Before she can use them, the creature kicked Dolly's back, sending her crashing once more onto another tree trunk.
The smell of oil was signaling to her that she's potentially damaging her components, but she didn't care. Her legs rattled as she struggled to stand up.
Another powerful force was thrown onto the surface of the android's belly. The monster wasted no time to give Dolly a breather. It had jumped from where it stood, zooming past a couple of trees before it repositioned itself in midair. It lightly dug its nasty feet onto the surface of the android, pushing her into the trunk and exiting out the other way.
Her body clunked against the aggressive impact, as she skidded on the ground multiple times before she could land on her knees. The agonizing pain suggested she had plenty of scratch marks, as well as internal damage.
This realm… it’s ultimately a place where humans who were morphed into monsters reside!
The monster leaped onto the empty space above the treelines.
Failed experiments, or results that caused the abnormalities in an individual after eating or drinking something, no wonder…!
She followed the monster upwards and blasted herself up. Right before she was about to punch it, it turned around and swung its sword in front of Dolly.
At the last minute, she effectively dodged the pointy blade, twirled her curves as her pink hair flowed against the direction of the wind, and smashed the monster back down onto the earth. Another huge crater was formed as the ground rumbled, the noise of an impactful hit reverberated within the forest around it.
She landed next to where the creature laid. It was covered in dust and grass blades as the thin layer of smoke dissipated.
She thought it would attack immediately, but instead, it spoke.
“IT’S…... A DOLLY….”
She subconsciously opened her hand, her palm ready for a deadly blast suited for just killing the monster.
“IT’S A DOLLY…... A DOLLY…..”
The monster started to groan with impatience.
“IT’S A DOLLY! A DOLLY! A DOLLYDOLLYDOLLYD̴͚̠͎͉̓̈́͑̒͂͆̅͋̚͝O̶͓͎͖̬̭̥̞̱̳̮͗̂̾̆̀̏L̶͚̼̪̦̮̭̹̦̤̒́̈́Ļ̴̨̖̜̫̣̇̃̉̋̐̾̑̈́͘Y̷̛͖͚̗͋͋̇͐́̐̆D̴̛̘̣͗́̆͛͆̒͝Ơ̴̢̦̝̊̅̈́L̷̡̞̳̤̱̺͐̐̔͛͜L̷̡̰̥͔̳̦͈͇͕̓́̏̒̽͋͑̚͘͝Y̴̨̳̭̯̒͜D̷͓̹͚͕̲̀̇̄̿͑͘̕͘ͅǪ̸̟͖͓̰̯̓̉̓͒̿̀L̸̘͆̿̓̏̀͘L̶̤͎̆͝Y̵̠͊͜!!”
It lunged itself into the air and threw a couple of the blades laying around it. Dolly crouched and ripped a flower from its roots. She blew the petals toward the monster, who sliced it all and inevitably caused explosions around it.
Given the effort, she was using it as a distraction for her to roll and jump over to where the purple hyacinths were. All she had to do was to get the creature to cut them, because, according to Noah, the creature should be hit with a massive surge of negative emotions.
“The purple hyacinths! There!”
Her eyes had noticed the purple hyacinths patiently waving with the wind earlier. There were lots of them, all neatly gathered in a couple of condensed spots, along with the happy colors of pink and white hyacinths at nearby roots.
The monster's sharp fingernails headed for Dolly as she ran off for the hyacinths, but she slapped its extensive arms away from her. It was caught off guard momentarily as the distance between her and the creature lengthened.
Her rough hands pulled a few of the flowers until they snapped out from the ground. The sudden shriek behind her insinuated that the monster was approaching. In an instant, she threw the purple hyacinths in the air right as she dodged the sword that came to her threateningly from behind. The sword inevitably sliced the hyacinths, and then the mind-shattering sensation of grief took over.
The monster bent over and placed its hands on its head, its legs stomped onto the grass, causing a childish ruckus. It screeched in agony, its head creepily nodded faster as the tick got stronger by the second, until it twitched uncontrollably in all directions.
However, the scent also affected Dolly, for she was too close to where the hyacinths were sliced. Noah never told her how far a person has to be once the power of the hyacinth was activated, and she too could now feel the overbearing memories of when she was talking with Noah, to the initial hatred she felt about Netty, to the confusion of why the master was being vague on a lot of topics, to…
...to the realization that now she must kill him.
The monster cried out and slammed its fists onto the dirt repeatedly, trying to get a sense of itself. Tremors rippled for every punch was so impactful it was making a preposterous mess. This was the perfect time to blast it. Her arm trembled as she aimed for its face.
I can’t bring myself to do this.
A piercing scream.
The monster turned at Dolly, whose hollow eyes and wide grin hadn't changed albeit the emotions it was feeling. Dolly wondered for a moment what the monster could be thinking. Noah was dead, so can it experience his memories? Or are the feelings of sadness forced onto the seemingly emotionless creature?
It howled and lunged at Dolly, shoving her against the clutters of grass. The android watched in horror as the edge of its sword went straight for her collarbone.
Dolly's amnesic memories flashed before her.
A glimpse of nothingness.
And yet, the monster stabbed its sword onto the ground right next to her head instead. It failed to kill her off, merely shaking in her presence.
Dolly was paralyzed under its weight, not certain what she could do from here. Eventually, she had to kill it, or else, other slayers can be in danger.
The scent of Noah's cologne hasn’t worn off yet…
She smiled at the creature. Her eyes softened.
The creature was still shaking.
Dolly raised her hand, her palm opened, ready to release another blast. The monster shrieked upon seeing the light coming from her palm, but before jumping away from her, it pulled its sword away from the ground and proceeded to stab itself.
This took Dolly by surprise. The creature stumbled back on its knees, still gurgling in pain. It looked up to her before it pulled the sword out and stabbed itself once more. Whether the monster just wanted to end its suffering, or if it didn’t want the burden to fall on Dolly, remained a mystery. The creature did one last shriek before it fell onto the dirt, seemingly unconscious.
However, the body slightly jolted, signaling to the android that perhaps she would have to do the killing after all. In fact, if it was this easy where monsters could end their suffering on their own, they would not rely on other individuals to help them escape this terrible fate.
With one deep breath, Dolly raised her arm.
With a bittersweet smile, the blast exited her palm and onto the unconscious monster.
A huge explosion can be heard, as a mushroom cloud ignited over the forest.
And the deed is done…
Dolly sauntered into the cloud of smoke and ash. She gazed ahead, as the sparkles of ash glistered under the ray of sunlight faintly penetrating through the thick smoke.
At least, now Noah can be in peace.
She forced a smile.
He can be….in peace.
The fog eventually thinned out, and she could see that there was a hole dug a few feet in from where the monster once stood.
When she looked into it, tears welled up in her eyes. Noah's voice dominated her thoughts.
“OK fine. To be honest, I am not sure if all of them would transform into food if they’re from the realm, but looking around, I don’t see refreshments for us.”
“It’s up to you whether you want to believe me or not, but the next time we fight a monster, you’ll see!”
For there, laying inside the hole, were pieces of Noah’s sword, along with a heart-shaped energy bar.