“Aselsi. Freezeth, burneth and shatt'r into pieces.”
Hino came down from the sky. She was holding something in her hand that was reflecting the sunlight. It was a katana. She swung it down towards the ground and created a wall of blue flames. It was radiating not heat but coldness.
“Are you okay, Moriuchi?”
She stood next to me and was swinging her sword left and right.
“Yeah. Thank you for saving me.”
“What are these things? I have never seen anything like it.”
Fighting back got a lot easier with her. I was slightly relieved, but we still had to figure a way out of this situation.
“I don’t know. I heard a scream and ran over to help but it was already too late. I have no idea where they came from.”
Slowly but surely, we were pushing them back.
“It’s someone’s Paroxys. They have to be close by. And don’t say you were late. You saved the girl.”
Her comment took me by surprise and so did her smile. She was strong. I could tell. No wonder Uehara had her as her assistant. I was still carrying the girl on my back. The others hadn’t arrived yet, but the ghouls started to disappear one by one. By the time Yu got to us, none were left. You only saw the aftermath, the dismembered and bloody corpses scattered around the park.
“Moriuchi, give me the child. I’ll take her to the police station and give them my report of what happened here. Fujinomiya, I’m leaving the clean-up to you.”
Uehara said while walking up to me. She had arrived with Shiraishi. The girl’s body was still shaking. Her eyes were red from all the crying. I put her down and petted her head.
“Don’t worry. Everything’s fine now.”
She looked up to me and gave me a crooked smile.
“Thank you for saving me.”
She was trying to be strong and brave. I gave her a smile back. My heart was squeezed inside my chest. I guess, I really wasn’t too late. At least not for her sake. Uehara took her by her hand. She gave out instructions of what we were supposed to do but we were interrupted. I shuddered in horror. A huge black gate appeared underneath Hino. The doors were slowly opening up. She wasn’t noticing it. The intricate symbols and characters engraved on it were glowing. It was a Paroxys.
“Xykoss. Devour those who stand in thy way.”
I could do it. It was possible for me to push her out of the way. If I was able to borrow his eye, then surely, I could borrow the legs of Xyoss as well.
I sprinted and jumped to avoid touching the gate. My hands reached her and with one heavy push, I managed to get her off the gate. She had noticed it too and braced herself to land. I was happy that I made it, but the gate was fully open underneath me. The momentum from my jump was gone and I was falling. I looked around in panic to see if I could grab on to something and saw Yu flying towards me. He quickly grabbed me and discharged his lightning into the gate. I thought that we could make it, but I was wrong. Dozens of big tentacles emerged from the gate and firmly grabbed hold of us. They were crushing and dragging us down with them. The gate started to close up again. Hino and Shiraishi were desperately trying to fight back the many tentacles to reach us before the gate would shut completely. But it was too late. The last rays of sun were removed by the heavy thud that the gate made while it closed. Yu and I were swallowed up by the darkness.
I opened my eyes. Did I faint? My body was stuck to something. It was a white cube that was floating around in the air. I struggled but to no avail. I was glued on pretty good. The place I woke up in was strange. It was coloured in black and white. A giant moon was hanging down from the ceiling. The ground was covered in water. White cubes were floating around everywhere. Gravity seemed off too.
It was not just me who got caught by the tentacles. I hoped that he was alright as I kept screaming his name.
“Stop screaming, idiot. I’m right here.”
I turned my head and saw him stuck on a white cube as well. He was floating around just like me. It was a funny view to look at and I couldn’t help myself but laugh.
“Oi, can you use Xykoss?”
“Yeah. For some reason, I can’t activate my Paroxys.”
That was when I noticed. I felt empty. Like something was missing.
“Xykoss. Devour those who stand in thy way.”
Nothing. He didn’t come out. I repeated myself but still there was nothing. What happened? Where did he go? He wasn’t there anymore.
“Ayumi, calm down. It might be because we’re in someone else’s Paroxys. There is a high chance that it’s causing the interference.”
“So, what are we supposed to do now? We can’t fight without them.”
“Don’t worry, I’ll find a way to get us out of here.”
“No, you won’t, Mr Knight-in-shining-amour.”
Someone joined our conversation. They were standing on top of my white cube. A guy and a young girl were looking down on us.
“So, you’re the famous Moriuchi Ayumi?”
The guy went down on one knee and arched over me with his upper body. His dark brown hair was touching my face. Some of his hair strands were coloured in bright red. His bangs were uneven.
“I’m getting all excited. What should I do with you?”
He licked his fingers, and a wide smile was plastered over his face. The sense of urgency came over me. I tried to pull and twist my body off the white cube, but it wouldn’t budge.
“Don’t you dare touch her.”
Yu caught his attention.
“Shut up. Tsukiko, send him to Dimitri. He wanted his revenge, didn’t he? He can deal with him.”
The guy stood up and went through his hair with his hand. He looked annoyed and gestured with his hand for her to get rid of Yu. The girl hadn’t said anything since they had arrived. She was small and looked frail. Her dark grey, straight hair was unkempt and reached her shoulders. Her face was hiding behind it. She was wearing a simple, white dress and no shoes.
“Goelni and Soeki. Encave and seeketh the rotten ones.”
Her voice was a faint whisper and after she finished her sentence, Yu instantly vanished from in front of me.
“Yu! What did you do to him?”
The guy ignored me entirely and faced the girl.
“Now, send me with her to the Monitor Room. After that, go and catch the others.”
The girl lifted her hair to show her face. Her eyes were completely black and unsettlingly big. She nodded her head and disappeared into thin air. At the same time, the guy and I were translocated somewhere else too. It was a small room with nothing but a chair in the middle and an old television.
“Sit down on the chair.”
The room had no door, nor any other visible exit.
He sighed out loud and gave me a hard push. I stumbled but didn’t lose my balance.
“You’re really weak, aren’t you? You can’t do anything without a Paroxys.”
I went in with a punch but was stopped by him. He twisted my hand and forced me to my knees.
“Listen, let’s not do this. You’ll just get hurt. And I’m not allowed to hurt you even though I would love to.”
He was a lot stronger than he looked.
“That makes two of us.”
I swung my other fist at him, but he dodged and pushed me to the ground. He grabbed a rope that was underneath the chair and proceeded to tie me up with it. In the end, I had no choice but to sit on the chair.
“Let’s see what we got here.”
The guy was standing next to me while fiddling with a remote controller. He had painted his nails black and had a nose piercing. The black vest he was wearing was not zipped up and you could see that his upper torso was covered in white bandages. Everything he was wearing was in the colour black, including his pair of trousers and his shoes.
“If you’re no allowed to hurt me, what do you want from me? Isn’t your goal to kill us?”
My questions made him laugh out loud.
“Is that what you think we do? Just kill everyone and anyone?”
“Yes. You killed so many innocent people just seconds ago.”
I raised my voice.
“Ah. Those were necessary to capture you.”
“Yes. To lure you out. It was the easiest and most fun way to do it.”
I couldn’t believe what I was hearing and clenched my teeth to calm myself down.
“And to answer your previous question. We want Xykoss.”
“Xykoss? My Paroxys?”
“Oh my, what did you just say?”
He walked behind me and grabbed me by my hair to pull my head back. His dark orange eyes widened and were intensely looking into mine.
“Tell me, who told you that it was yours?”
The wide smirk on his face was back. My body was trembling.
“What are you talking about? Xykoss is my Paroxys. He lives inside of me. I am the only one who can use him.”
His face got closer.
“Stop being delusional. Xykoss does not belong to you. He never did. You stole him, remember? The original holder was your father, Moriuchi Sora.”
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