The Consequence of Saving the World
It took me everything to cling on to whatever shred of sanity I had left. My hearing still hadn’t fully returned yet.
I could care less about the wet feeling below my legs or how pale I looked. The rope around me made escape impossible.
Just trying to look at Remus felt like coming face to face with the Demon Lord himself. My mind held on purely through the need to comprehend how I would die. It was scary, but at least it would still be more comforting than passing on without any idea how my life would end.
I tried my best to study the revolver in Remus’s hand.
It was a small weapon, but it was capable of killing from a distance instantaneously. Above all else, the sound that it made was pure terror. If the gods wanted to signal the end of the world, this would be their instrument of choice.
Still, what kind of monster was Hanasuke that he would hand such a weapon to someone like Remus?!
And they played a game called Russian Roulette? Did this game involve the revolver? Both Remus and Hanasuke were lunatics!
“You see, how the revolver got its name is from its cylinder over here, which revolves.”
Remus revealed a compartment in the gun and proceeded to spin it around like a wheel.
“This design makes it so that it rarely jams. I can’t imagine how I’d end up facin’ some demons if it were to give up on my ass, so I’m plenty thankful for that.
You see these six chambers on the cylinder? You keep the bullets in here, basically their the revolver’s arrows.”
Inverting the revolver slightly, six bullets fell to the ground from the cylinder. It sounded a bit like heavy coins being dropped on the floor.
He already fired one bullet just now, why did six fell out? Was I hallucinating?
Remus picked up one of the bullets.
“Oh wait, this was the one I fired. The casing gets left behind in the chamber, you see. Think of it like the gun only fires the arrowhead, but the arrow shaft stays inside. I ain’t exactly sure how it works, but that’s how it works.”
He picked up another one and placed it in an empty chamber. His finger nudged the cylinder back into the rest of the revolver, after giving it several spins.
“Russian Roulette is a game of luck. There’s six chambers in the revolver, but only one has the bullet. We’re supposed to take turns shootin’ ourselves, but since I ain’t gonna untie you, I’ll do it for you instead. The game ends when the bullet is fired, and the loser is obviously the one who gets shot. You dig?”
There was a one in six chance a player would die. As the round progressed, the chances of that happening increased until someone dies. I understood this on a conceptual level, and it helped me come to terms with my inevitable demise.
There was no way Remus would willingly kill himself. There had to be some trick or set up beforehand which ensured that he would win.
“I’ll go first and show how it’s done.”
Placing the tip of the revolver by his temple, his finger was wrapped around the trigger. I could see the weird horn-shaped mechanism at the back of the weapon moving as his finger slowly pulled the trigger.
Instead of a loud bang, all I heard was a soft click. No bullet was fired.
“Now is your turn.”
Planting the barrel of the weapon on my forehead, the heat from the weapon as it came into contact with me didn’t bother me at all. I closed my eyes and silently prayed. At least my death would be painless.
“Well, we both survived. It’d be kinda anticlimactic if the bullet fired this early. Remember anythin’ yet, kid?”
There was no point answering him. People like Remus couldn’t see reason.
“Let’s get going then.”
Once again, Remus pointed the weapon at the side of his head. His expressionless face told me everything I needed. My death was guaranteed.
Without saying a word, Remus aimed the revolver right at my face. I began to wonder—would I still hear the loud sound first? Or would everything just instantly fade to black.
In this silence, the answer I got was the deafening sound of the click.
“Alright, this is startin’ to get exciting! Don’t you feel pumped knowing that we’ll find out who wins and who loses with the very next shot?”
He was only excited because he knew he would win.
“Remus, what happens if I die?”
Curiosity got the better of me. I didn’t understand why he was putting me through this.
“Nah, you won’t. I’m damn sure that if the gun goes off on ya, the real kid would come out and heal you right back up.”
He was a lost cause. Overwhelmed with denial that his friend was no longer the same person he once knew, Remus played this stupid game just to satisfy his own fantasy.
I let out a sigh, knowing that the end was nigh. My only regret was the state of the world after my death. If the countries decided to go to war, at least it wasn’t my problem anymore.
As he positioned the revolver next to his head one last time, I grinned knowing the pointlessness of all this. His finger gradually pressed down on the trigger.
The weird mechanism at the back of the revolver hammered down again. This time, the ear-shattering sound was all I heard.
The force of the bullet knocked Remus to the floor. His entire body went limp, lifeless. Blood oozed out from the side of his head.
I couldn’t believe it.
The revolver landed on the ground, its handle no longer grasped by its wielder. The smoke escaping from the barrel served as further evidence for my disbelief over what just happened.
I survived the auditory attack, but Remus did not live through the gunshot. My breaths were ragged and heavy, mainly due to the loud sound, but I still could not comprehend the situation right in front of me.
Was this a miracle? A divine intervention? A second chance at life?
This was absurd, but I was still alive and breathing for reasons beyond me.
“Well, aren’t you lucky?”
Hearing that voice startled me for a moment. I looked around, looking for who said it.
Only when I saw Remus’s blood flowing back into his body, did I realise something even worse.
That voice belonged to him.
The corpse of Remus Whiteaxe raised itself like a motionless puppet lifted up by an unseen puppeteer. Completely stunned by the scene unfolding before me, I was further horrified to see the mass of flesh that was his head.
The top part of his head was reforming itself, assembling the blown off pieces through long, extended tendrils. A wide smile covered the bottom half of his face while the top part reconstructed itself, gradually regaining his human-like appearance.
“What the hell are you?!”
I knew it wasn’t wise to yell at the top of my lungs in front of a monster, but I wasn’t able to control myself. This thing was Remus Whiteaxe? This thing was one of the Seven Heroes?
This thing wasn’t even human!
“Aww, I thought you’d remember. We played this game when we were drunk one time cause’ we just couldn’t die. I mean, you couldn’t regenerate like this, but you could still heal your way outta death.”
By the time he finished talking, Remus’s head was exactly like how it was before. Even the wrinkles on his forehead were there. Not a single wound could be found. This entire process only took a few seconds.
“Let’s see, what else can I do to jog your me—”
At that moment, a door swung open from the darkness. The light from the moon spilled in.
It was Melyeze!
Even though I was bound, I was able to use my feet to kick the revolver on the floor away from Remus.
It was futile. There was no way she could win against something that couldn’t be killed. The least I could do was to buy her time to get away!
However, she lowered her stance as her eyes began to burn, illuminating the entire room. Kneeling down, she slammed her fist on the ground causing a massive stone spike to emerge between me and Remus.
The cone-like stone structure completely blocked Remus from my view. I wasn’t sure if it hit him or not, but it continued to grow incessantly, piercing the roof and causing the entire building to collapse.
Using her enhanced speed, Melyeze grabbed me and pulled me away from the crumbling building before any debris could hit me. Her stride was huge, leaping away from the premises and into the soft grass.
I turned around and saw the stone spike sticking out of the wreckage. It was easily the height of a watchtower, several times taller than the small building I was in. Judging from the pile of debris, Remus kept me in some sort of storeroom of sorts.
Still, the grassy plains that we were at were in the middle of nowhere. Without any other structure in the vicinity, I failed to understand the purpose of the storeroom.
“That’s a pretty cool Augmentation you got there.”
Remus got up from the remains of the building. The rubble on top of him offered no resistance whatsoever as he casually stood up.
“Shall we dance?”