“What would you like to talk about? Your father? Yabumi Yasahino? Or perhaps why I am after that little girl?”
I walked closer to narrow the space between him and I. The various sounds of combat and struggle could still be heard all around us.
“Yes, my father, Moriuchi Sora. What happened 10 years ago? Why are you after Xykoss?”
“Well, where should I start? What happened between me and Moriuchi Sora, your father is straight-forward. I wanted him to join the RIP, but he refused. It didn’t matter to me, because what I really wanted was his Paroxys, Xykoss. I just gave him a chance to live. Let me explain what I mean by that. My Paroxys lets me do whatever I want whenever I want to. So, if I want to have someone’s Paroxys, I can easily, with a snap of my finger cut the thread that connects them with their hosts. As a result, the host dies, as did your father. I thought I won, but to my and everyone’s surprise, you came and ruined everything. Not only did you take away Xykoss, but you also had the audacity as a little child to rip my left arm off.”
He started laughing and shook his head.
“Now, I want to present the same offer to you. Would you like to join the RIP, Moriuchi Ayumi?”
I stayed silent as I watched him getting closer to me. Each step of his was heavy and produced a dust cloud around his shoes.
“I guess, this is your answer. But just like with your father, it doesn’t really matter if you join us or not. I want Xykoss and I will get him. You see, I have been playing around with the subject of Paroxys and their existence and discovered something very amusing. Or should I rather say fascinating. Do you know about the term doping? You have probably heard about it in sports and such, but I took a step further and made something grand.”
He stopped and looked over to the mini giant who was still laying face down and motionless on the ground.
“I found out that if you force a body to make specific neurotransmitters, you can create memories and feelings that never happened, causing an emotional disarray in the human mind. A so-called opening. The next step would be to stuff that hole, but with what?”
He didn’t have to finish his statement for me to know where he was going with his story.
“You have been stealing Paroxys from others to carry out your grotesque experiments? To make these giants by giving a person multiple Paroxys?”
He snapped his fingers and pointed at me.
“Bingo. And I need Xykoss to complete the one giant that is currently over there. It has been a work in progress for over 10 years now.”
His head pointed towards where Yu was and the other giant. The white dragon roared, and the lightning strikes around him rumbled.
“I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but I won’t allow you to have him. He belongs to me.”
“We’ll see about that.”
I charged at him, but before I could reach him, he snapped his fingers again. The ground was snatched away from underneath my feet and the grey sky got coloured in red. I knew the scene too well that was being painted in front of me. My mind was telling me to turn around as I was falling down, but I knew what was waiting for me. There was no end nor bottom. I kept falling and falling. I was within my nightmare. The only thing that was different was that the man was with me and falling as well.
“Where are we?”
I asked out loud and tried to get closer to him, but he quickly dodged and snapped his fingers again. The scenery changed again, and we both were suddenly standing within an entirely white room. No entrance nor exist could be found. He slowly opened his mouth and placed his hand on his cheek.
It was a whisper.
“Tell me where we are? What did you do!”
I demanded and tried to take a step but couldn’t. My leg was being held back by something. I looked down and saw a metal chain attached to my ankle. It clanked and echoed through the empty room as I was trying to get it off. Not even my hammer or claw were able to cut or break it.
“You’re pretty pathetic. How is it possible for you not to be in control over your own mind?”
“My mind? What the hell are you talking about?”
He let out a sigh and sat down on the floor.
“We are inside of your mind. It’s one of the abilities my Paroxys has.”
He said while pointing at his own forehead. My hands twitched and my body felt heavy. What he said was ridiculous and I didn’t want to believe him, but it automatically made sense to me. As if I had already known that we were existing inside my mind. I panicked and grabbed on to the chain and pulled it several times. It wouldn’t budge. I was feeling uneasy and restless.
“Get this chain off of me.”
“Can’t do. Whatever is happening to you, you are doing it to yourself. Lucky me.”
He snapped his fingers again and I was expecting for the scenery to change again, but it didn’t.
“Great. Now my bottom is wet.”
He was annoyed by the water that suddenly was covering the floor and quickly stood up. My breathing fastened and I bent over. What was this uncomfortable feeling? Like someone or something was pulling at me. No, at my very soul. It felt ice cold.
“Ah, there you are. I’m disappointed that you haven’t had noticed it yet.”
My voice was thin and pitched.
“Your Paroxys. I would love to have yours as well, but now after getting a proper look at it, even I am a little terrified of it. And honestly, I wouldn’t know what to do with it. I am already capable of collecting other Paroxys.”
My eyes were shaking, and my teeth were clattering. The sound of someone sleeping was resonating through the room.
“It is still in its slumber, but I wonder what would happen if I would wake it up. I think I have a good idea what your Paroxys is and what it can do. I mean how else were you able to collect Xykoss. The whole purpose of your Paroxys is to collect and control other Paroxys.”
He took a few steps in the direction from where the noise was coming from.
“Stop! Don’t get near it!”
I kept pulling on the chain to the point where it was digging inside my hands and was covered in my blood. He ignored me and continued.
“Why are you doing this?”
I cried out loud.
“Why am I doing this? I’m preparing for when the world will end. The balance of the world, thanks to our extraordinary attributes will eventually tip over. You know, humans tend to categorize everything into good or bad. And usually their consensus overthrows yours, but that means nothing in front of power. Having the capability of making your word the law. That is why I am doing this.”
“That is a selfish and petty reason to shed blood for and to take away lives.”
“For you it might be, but not for me.”
I dropped to one of my knees and was still holding the chain in my hands. My hammer was on the floor next to me, and I could hear Xykoss wailing inside of me.
“If you want to stop me, then get rid of that chain first. It’s a tragedy. Your father and that girl died in such pitiful ways. Trying to save you, but their sacrifices will mean nothing once you’re gone too. They were utter fools.”
The chain fell into the water with a splash. I twisted the knob on my hammer and threw my claw on to my hand. My leg was throbbing and the water beneath me was turning red with every step that I was taking. I was focused on one thing only.
“You’re joking right? Did you seriously cut off your leg?”
He shouted while trying to dodge me, but I was faster. My claw came down on him and slashed his throat open. Blood squirted on to my face. He tripped back and pressed down on the wound with his hand. Drops of blood were dripping from my claw and into the water.
“Loosing a leg means nothing to me. I am willing to offer my life to protect those who are important to me.”
He started laughing like a maniac and stood back up again.
“You have lost your mind. I love it. I should have warned you that staying too long inside your own mind will make you go insane. But who would have thought that you would go this far? Honestly, I don’t know if you’re real body was affected or not.”
I could see how the slash in his throat was closing up.
“You can’t kill me within in your mind. You’ll have to drag me out of here and do damage to-“
A gunshot interrupted him, and another fresh wound appeared on his shoulder. A bloody stain appeared on his rose shirt. He disappeared from in front of me and the white room started to tremble while the water became unruly. Before I vanished too, I saw a little girl sleeping, submerged in the water on the floor. We had been returned to the normal world. The gunshots continued and the man kept evading them. My body was frozen, and I knew that Xykoss had left me. I couldn’t move a muscle nor have a coherent thought. Everything felt far away. I saw how Kawaguchi had joined Yu and defeated the giant in the blink of an eye. It was the very first time I was seeing his Paroxys. A beautiful woman with long hair who was transparent was floating behind him. He had told me that he was capable of producing shock waves that caused internal damage. And the one who was responsible for the gunshots was Himura who was pursuing the man while keeping the mini giant in check. He had both of his guns out, who were glowing in an ominous dark red light. He had told me as well about his Paroxys. How he was capable of interfering with somebody else’s emotions and feelings. He would attack a Paroxys’ core by filling up the bullets with his own emotion. One shot was always enough for him to win a fight. But it was different this time.
“Himura Jun, you came at the wrong time. We were getting to the best part.”
He tried to jump back, but Himura was faster and appeared behind him to hit him in his head with the back of his gun. The man fell forward and Himura relentlessly and ruthlessly kept firing off bullets into his body. The man grunted and moved away from him.
“That really hurts. I think I have lost this fight. What a shame.”
The man disappeared and reappeared next to me. His face closed in, and he whispered something into my ear, before vanishing with the rest of the RIP from our sight, once and for all.
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