Chapter 26:

Completely Realizing (Part 3)

White Nightmare

Ringo’s body became weak as her psyche went haywire when seeing the huge monster before. She could barely stand, but she forced herself anyway.Bookmark here

Dirt stained all over her skirt. Her hands were still trembling, yet she tried to hold herself together. She’s still willing to go and find Ruru Blanche.Bookmark here

“That monster... wherever it goes, I think it’s headed straight to where Ruru is...” said Ringo weakly.Bookmark here

Shortly, she continued running and this time she followed where the knights went off. Coincidentally, the huge Woruven was also heading the same direction as they were.Bookmark here

She kept running through the field despite her condition. She was already far from her garden. She was farther from Astur City. If she screamed for help, there would be little chance and perhaps nobody would come to aid her.Bookmark here

Her ankles were weakened.Bookmark here

Every step she made was nothing but pain, but she battled against it and kept on going, just for the sake of finding Ruru.Bookmark here

After a short run, her eyes discovered an emanating white aura from somewhere. That aura was large and pouring out like a geyser that gradually increasing its intensity. Just by staring at it made her will daunted.Bookmark here

“...Oh, god... is an Arch Demon nearby?” she wondered while panting. “That aura came from beyond that hill... that giant Woruven had climbed that hill. Those troops from before... they went around the hill, don’t they...?”Bookmark here

She eventually followed the trail that led her to that hill. She climbed it with some effort. And eventually, she managed to get to the top. She leaned against a tree to rest herself after an exhausting move.Bookmark here

But what was revealed to her eyes were nothing but catastrophic.Bookmark here

She witnessed the giant aura towering highly into the night sky, lighting everything around it.Bookmark here

Such sightings were only visible to those with the ability of magical perception like Rodan, Nono, and Ringo herself. Those who didn’t have it would not know the horror that Ringo spotted with her eyes.Bookmark here

It was terrifying.Bookmark here

The Asturian Knights were faced off with the giant Woruven, but they didn’t notice of the giant aura near them.Bookmark here

“That Woruven... it’s impossible if those knights can handle it...Bookmark here

...H-Huh? It didn’t care about those people? Hold on, that creature was staring into the center of that aura? What was in that aura, anyway?”Bookmark here

The giant version of the Woruven monster howled loudly into the aura as if recognizing a huge threat. Its scream cracked through the air and could possibly deafen unsuspecting human. Luckily, Ringo wasn’t too affected since she reflexed on closing her ears just in time.Bookmark here

“Eerrgh...!”Bookmark here

Suddenly...Bookmark here

The aura disappeared almost instantly.Bookmark here

In the root of it, Ringo witnessed someone she didn’t think of.Bookmark here

“”Bookmark here

Those knights were shocked to see someone suddenly appeared before them. Their attention was taken away by that white humanoid creature which was standing firmly with its eyes closed.Bookmark here

The giant wolf monster roared and attempted to charge against the white creature.Bookmark here

The white girl that Ringo knew as Ruru now suddenly grew long claws. As her eyes opened, revealing all around shining in ruby-red. Inside her two human eyes were three small demon pupils, which made it look like she had four eyes on each side.Bookmark here

“...You... you gotta be kidding me...” said Ringo tremblingly.Bookmark here

Ruru looked calm and composed, even though the demon was aggressively charging at her.Bookmark here

Without even noticing her move, the Woruven had already sliced to pieces, killing it ultimately.Bookmark here

Not long afterwards, hundreds if not thousands of smaller Woruvens were gathering around her, ready to charge at any moment.Bookmark here

Ruru slightly gave a smile while blinking once. When she reopened her eyes, she had disappeared into the fray, rampaging insanely as the monsters got decimated one by one without a trace. Her move was so quickly and unpredictable, making anyone who saw her would greatly fear her. The knights who saw her quickly backed off.Bookmark here

“M-Monster...!”Bookmark here

Not even a minute had passed. All Woruvens in the area were dead. Their essence was absorbed by Ruru in the shape of glinting sparkle.Bookmark here

“Q-Quick, run! Run for your lives!”Bookmark here

When some of the knights attempted to escape, Ruru quickly batted an eye to them. In the next second, she reappeared right in front of those humans and killed them. Their heavy armors couldn’t protect them from the sharpness of her claws.Bookmark here

Some of the knights who stayed still could only watch their friends’ demise. Their lives didn’t last long either.Bookmark here

In a calm voice, Ruru spoke:Bookmark here

“Good... night.”Bookmark here

And in that moment as well, those knights were gone.Bookmark here

Ringo were shocked at how insanely powerful Ruru was. In her last strike, which produced a heavy tremor all around the place had made the hill uneven. When Ringo attempted to escape, the hill crumbled along with her.Bookmark here

“Kyaaaaah!”Bookmark here

Ruru heard a woman’s voice, one that she recognized. She realized there was someone else nearby.Bookmark here

Injured by the landslide, Ringo couldn’t get up at all. Her gravity magic didn’t activate once again. She felt like her magic was cancelled when she wanted to activate them.Bookmark here

“Drat... why the hill suddenly... nngh?!” she said while holding off the pain. She was crushed under the weight of the boulders of the hill.Bookmark here

But when she was warding off the sense of pain, suddenly Ringo spotted her.Bookmark here

...Ruru was standing close to her...Bookmark here

White aura was emanating from all around her body. Her eyes were shining menacingly. But unexpectedly, she crouched down and lent her hand to reach for Ringo.Bookmark here

“Miss... Ringo...”Bookmark here

She called her name with a smile.Bookmark here

But Ringo didn’t perceive it as a warmhearted smile Ruru usually showed.Bookmark here

“No...! Don’t you... come close... ahack!” she said weakly as she coughed out. Ruru’s expression shifted into concerned yet seemingly looking down at her pitifully.Bookmark here

When she saw her pitying face, Ringo’s past suddenly triggered in her mind.Bookmark here

She saw a massive wildfire in her mind.Bookmark here

She heard multiple screams.Bookmark here

She heard footsteps everywhere.Bookmark here

She saw a house was burning down.Bookmark here

She saw the entire forest was burning. It was all in terror.Bookmark here

And ultimately... she saw a white figure standing before her.Bookmark here

Her memory that was supposedly gone suddenly pouring back to her mind like a bombard hitting her head. It was crystal clear of the white figure she saw in her memory.Bookmark here

That creature crouched down to her, lending their hand to her with the same pitying expression.Bookmark here

That memory... looked exactly as what she was experiencing now.Bookmark here

Ringo’s eyes trembled crazily. Her breath became unstable. She sweated profusely. She couldn’t even grasp the ground firmly. Cold of the night grazed her skin. She couldn’t scream. She couldn’t call for help. Only fear was in her mind.Bookmark here

It felt like she was experiencing death.Bookmark here

Then...Bookmark here

She ultimately remembered it. Many voices rained down to her head. She remembered it clearly:Bookmark here

“Don’t look at it. Bookmark here

Don’t listen to it.Bookmark here

Don’t bother it. Bookmark here

Don’t talk to it. Bookmark here

Leave it alone. Bookmark here

Leave it as far as possible. Bookmark here

Run when you see it. Bookmark here

Hide when you notice it. Bookmark here

In the end it’s for everyone’s sake.Bookmark here

Beware...Bookmark here

...of the White Nightmare.”Bookmark here

Her eyes could no longer show reflections. She couldn’t avert her tears from running down her messy face. The weight of the rock that crushed her was unfelt anymore, overwhelmed by the intense horror she’s experiencing.Bookmark here

Ruru reached for her. “Miss Ringo...” she called calmly. “Are you okay...?”Bookmark here

Her supposedly kind words should’ve moved anyone heart who heard her. But in Ringo’s eyes, she saw nothing more than the catastrophe that led to her horrifying memory to rekindle.Bookmark here

“Stay away from me!” she screamed out loud.Bookmark here

“Stay... STAY AWAAAAY!”Bookmark here

Ruru was extremely shocked by her scream.Bookmark here

“M-Miss Ringo... it’s... me...!” Ruru tried to assure her. But any words she spoke will not affect her mind anymore. She was uselessly trying to talk things out.Bookmark here

“What’s the matter...?” she asked in fear. “It’s me... Ruru...!”Bookmark here

“You’re not the Ruru I know...Bookmark here

No... you’re not Ruru...!Bookmark here

You are... You are the WHITE NIGHTMARE!”Bookmark here

Ruru was astounded and her mind went numb. She instantly stepped back once as she heard that horrific title. Her eyes went blank as thousands of memories started to flow back into Ruru’s mind like waterfall filling a jar to the extent of too much. Her mouth was agape, revealing her sharp teeth to Ringo’s eyes. She stepped back once again before finally crumbling by the weight of the memory that filled her brain.Bookmark here

“I... no...” she voiced out lightly. “White... Nightmare...?”Bookmark here

Ruru caressed her head with her claw hands. Both of her arms were revealed to have changed into spiky hides like the ones she had back in the circus. Even worse, now she had grown a pair of horns.Bookmark here

Ruru disbelieved.Bookmark here

Ruru didn’t want to believe it.Bookmark here

“No... grrrgrrrgh! I am... nngh... not...”Bookmark here

Ruru’s pupils became shrouded entirely. Her eyes turned completely red. In the expense of her memory flowing back to her, she went insane.Bookmark here

“Aaagh! Gaaaahh!”Bookmark here

Her identity of her present time was buried. She no longer identified herself as Ruru Blanche. Because of her insanity, she went to kill Ringo with her claws. Her actions now based on her instincts alone. She couldn’t think clearly, but her instincts told her that Ringo was the source of her pain so that she must be removed.Bookmark here

Ringo could feel how deadly her power was. It terrorized her. In that moment as well, Ringo knew she won’t be breathing in the next few seconds.Bookmark here

“Ah... so this is how it ends...”Bookmark here

After letting a drop of tear fell off Ringo’s cheeks, Ruru swung her claws in a blinding speed right at the apple girl’s head.Bookmark here

But in the last second of her terror... a sparkle of hope flashed brightly.Bookmark here

Ruru’s attack was blocked completely. A bastard sword whereas its blade lighted in red radiance managed to defy the inhuman strength of the white-haired girl. As the sword and the claw met, a massive shockwave struck around the area.Bookmark here

When Ringo opened her eyes, she saw the person who saved her life.Bookmark here

It was Rodan. He landed in front of the apple girl and managed to block away Ruru’s attack from ever causing a mortal blow to the apple girl.Bookmark here

“”Bookmark here

Ruru’s sanity recovered when she recognized Rodan’s smell. She was shocked to see the red-haired man appearing right before her as the person who blocked her unconscious attack. She wanted to hide her demonic looks, but she couldn’t do it at all. She immediately retook control of her body and jumped backwards.Bookmark here

“No...!! This is...!”Bookmark here

Ruru was panicking. She greatly worried that Rodan would not believe what she had done to Ringo. She worried that he would never believe in her and began to look at her not the same way again.Bookmark here

She gasped as she tried to retain sanity. She was letting her tears fell off unconsciously. Her tiny heart didn’t want to lose the trust of the man she cared of.Bookmark here

But surprisingly, Rodan never showed any fear. He stood unperturbed even in front of a scary and overpowered creature. Instead, he gazed her with his sincere look, the same one Ruru saw when she rampaged in the circus.Bookmark here

In a comforting voice, Rodan spoke to her. “Calm down, Ruru.”Bookmark here

He approached her. Every step he made as he went closer to her caused Ruru’s heart to thump. She couldn’t bear his presence. She was beginning to freak out.Bookmark here

Ringo wanted to stop him from ever going closer to her. Bookmark here

“S-Stop... don’t you go, Roro...! She’s... she’s the White Nightmare...!” But her voice was never able to reach his ears. Moreover, Rodan was focused on Ruru entirely. Other things wouldn’t catch his attention.Bookmark here

“Calm down, there...” Rodan stated softly. “Don’t you worry, Ruru. I will not be scared by your looks. You are still who you are. You are still the Ruru I both know and love.”Bookmark here

“No, I am not...! I am... not that person you know! I’m... I’m a filthy creature!” said Ruru denying while holding her head in distress.Bookmark here

“Don’t filth yourself like that, Ruru...” said Rodan while stopping his move. He knew he must be careful at picking words here. “I will never look at you that way.”Bookmark here

“No... please don’t... come any closer...”Bookmark here

The stressful pain was still writhing within Ruru’s head. She couldn’t express it to him. But without her saying a word to him, he already noticed how she felt.Bookmark here

“It’s painful, right?”Bookmark here

“E-Eh...?”Bookmark here

“That sense of destruction seething in your head. You just want to let it go even though for a second, don’t you? Even though you could not express it to me through words, I can tell how you felt just by simply looking at you.”Bookmark here

“H-How...” she said while holding against the aching pain. “How did you... know...?”Bookmark here

Rodan gave a smile to her. Even though his mouth was covered by his mask, Ruru could see him smile just by looking at how his cheek bone rose. He was smiling sincerely to her.Bookmark here

“...because you are my disciple.Bookmark here

It is my responsibility as a master to understand my disciples and take care of them. Therefore...Bookmark here

Please calm yourself for now... let the pain flow off your body—”Bookmark here

“—ARGH! No-no-no-no-no-no-no! I don’t... I... urgh... get away... I... aaagh...!”Bookmark here

“What the heck’s happening with her?”Bookmark here

The pain nearly made her insane again. Bookmark here

Ringo tried to get herself out of the rocks, but failed anyway. Instead, she stretched her left arm out as if trying to reach Rodan’s back.Bookmark here

Her scream was finally heard to Rodan…Bookmark here

…and was the ultimate nail in the coffin for Ruru’s sanity.Bookmark here

“RODAAAN!Bookmark here

Stay away from her!Bookmark here

She’s…Bookmark here

She’s the WHITE NIGHTMAAARE!”Bookmark here

Rodan’s eyes widened instantly as in extreme dismay. Bookmark here

“White Nightmare…?” he whispered to himself.Bookmark here

Ruru went insane as soon as she heard Ringo screamed out that wicked title. She instantly swung her arms in her and Rodan’s direction, causing a strike of claw-shaped wind to her. But Rodan managed to activate his barrier immediately and blocked the strike.Bookmark here

The aftermath of the attack causedRuru turned her attention away from him as she began to take step to run away.Bookmark here

“Ruru!”Bookmark here

The moment Rodan called for her, it was too late. She blasted off like a missile through the field in super speed. She left a massive crater as she launched herself away.Bookmark here

The albino girl had escaped.Bookmark here

You can resume reading from this paragraph.