Chapter 3:

Chapter 3: Son of man

Madman's Forgiveness

Chapter 3: Son of man

She began to draw her bow, readying herself to kill more of them. This action kept the horde at bay. Though, at any moment they could attack. Both parties found themselves in a stand-off. Trying to see who would make the first move.

Hiro just couldn’t believe it. Could it really be possible that the woman standing before him was his ex-girlfriend? Despite having similar facial features. She held herself much differently than the girl he remembered. His eyes bore into her. Still trying desperately to convince himself of minor differences in their appearances.

He began to grow frustrated when he saw the only things that separated the two were minor details such as their hair and eye-color being slightly different hues. While he remembered Suzume having bright orange hair with sky blue eyes. The archers' hair appeared an unnatural dark red color to contrast her lime green eyes.

“Suzume, is that really you!?”
He called out to her, desperately wanting to get answers.
“It’s me, Hiro!!”
“Where are we and why do you have weapons?!”

The joy that he felt from possibly reconnecting with her began to overshadow his fear.

He hoped that this gesture would be enough to capture her attention. However, this would prove to be a double edged sword. His response came in the form of her coldly cutting off his pleas.

“I don’t know who you’re talking about.”
“For that matter, I don’t even know what you’re doing this far out here without a weapon.”

“The only thing I know for sure is that if you were having trouble with a single Kappa. You have no hope of surviving out here.”

“You should just leave the rest of the fighting to me.”
“It’d be advised to not interfere.”

She spoke in a dismissive tone, never once taking her eye off of the horde. It was as if his presence alone was enough to annoy her.
“What happened to that preppy personality..” He asked himself, thinking back to how differently she acted compared to how she did when she introduced herself to him. It had become clear to him that outside of appearance, she was nothing like the girl he knew. Believing that in her eyes, he was nothing more than a liability.
Deep down though, he felt that she was right to think that much of him.

“Even if I were some sort of badass isekai hero. I’m clearly at a disadvantage here.”
“I’m just glad she was able to make it in time.”

“A couple minutes later and..”
He notes, turning his attention away from the horde. Disgusted by a few of the younger ones taunting him by licking their beaks.
“I’d have probably been a kid's meal..”
Helpless to do anything, Hiro just sat there. Patiently waiting for everything to be resolved.

Though she initially seemed alert. The archers' eyes began to close. With her bow still drawn, she now lowered it so that the arrow was aimed at the floor.
Exhaling deeply, she began to speak in a language unfamiliar to Hiro.
As she did, a strange purple aura slowly began to envelop her weapon. Her arrow in particular began to glow. Becoming more vibrant with each word. This sudden illumination proved to be too much for Hiro however. Opting to shield his eyes to protect them from the sudden brightness.

“This chick must be crazy!”
“Am I supposed to believe she can take on all of them with a single arrow!?”

As if on queue, the incantation finished with a phrase that sent chills throughout Hiro. Not because of the tremors of energy that were dispersed throughout the landscape. It was because this was the only part of the incantation he could decipher.
“Thus spoke, The Maiden’s Will.”
As this phrase was uttered, she raised her bow to the sky and fired.

The kappa began to laugh wildly as the arrow ascended into the night sky. Eventually disappearing beyond the clouds. Hiro was baffled. Their only hope of getting out of this alive was just discarded so easily! Furious, he rose to his feet and made his way over to her.
“Do you have any idea what you’ve done!”
“Now they’re just going to kill us both!
“Do you have anything to even say for yourself?!”

Placing his hand on her shoulder, he began to turn her so that she faced him. That frustration that he felt quickly shifted to confusion. There on her face was that same dopey smile.

“It looks like the lass has finally given up!”
“To think that she even thought she could stand a chance in the first place is beyond me!”
“She’s almost made it too easy surrendering her weapon this early into the fight!”
“If you wanted to die that badly, you should have saved us the trouble and used that arrow to take your own life!”
“It’d have been a far more meaningful use.”

“But I digress. It’s time to cut your lovers' quarrel short.”
“I’m sure you’ll meet each other again in hell-

The sound of a loud explosion tore throughout the night sky. It was as if the heavens themselves had ruptured. There, just beyond the clouds formed a purple fissure. What looked like ash began to seep from the cracks. As they fell, they notably began to change in shape and size. The arrow that the archer had fired had multiplied into hundreds of copies of itself in what felt like mere seconds.
“If I wasn’t so sure of your incompetence. Perhaps I may have honored that wish.”
“Unfortunately, this will be the last time we meet.”
She spoke softly as she turned her attention away from the creatures. This left Hiro as the only witness to the effects of this attack. As the frenzy of arrows began to rain upon the kappa. They were all fizzled out into nothingness. Consumed by what looked to be television static.

“This brings me no joy..”
“But if I’m going to honor “his” name, I have to do my best..”
“I may only pray that in their next lives, these “things” lead better ones.”
At the end of the day, saving Hiro was just a job for her. Something that she felt obligated to do based on the set of guidelines she followed.
She saved him, so her job here was finally complete. Seeing as though Hiro was no longer in danger. She began to clumsily walk away. Tripping over every third step.
It would appear as though that attack drained a lot of energy from her. Yet she was too prideful to admit it, or ask for help for that matter.

“Hey! Where are you going!?”
Hiro demanded, grabbing onto her arm just in time to stop her from falling.

“Home, I advise you to do the same!”
She yelled, yanking her arm free of his grasp.
“You could have gotten yourself killed tonight you idiot!”
“The Kappa may be gone but this place still isn’t safe!”

As they began to argue, the two were unaware of a threat waiting just right outside of their field of vision.


“If I knew how to get home, do you really think I'd still be in a world where everything wants to kill me?”
“It wasn’t even my choice to come here in the first place!”
“I was just trying to watch a movie and got sent to your world!”
“Now I’m stuck with a bitchy tsundere who looks exactly like my ex!”

A look of bewilderment formed on her as she focused on Hiros words.
“What did you mean by your world-”



The sound of laughing caught their attention. One of the injured kappa rose to its feet. During the onslaught, it had survived due to it shielding itself with the bodies of it’s brethren. Something that they weren’t exactly willing to do. Oddly enough, the creature was laughing.

Seeing as though it was the only survivor seemed to fill it with a newfound determination.

Clasping onto the sides of the orb atop it’s head. The creature began to ready itself.

“Shirokadama..” It began to repeat in a slow, almost calming procession.
There was no malice in its voice. Yet as the incantation continued, it’s form began to shift. It was no longer a mere Kappa. The longer he repeated that phrase, the more monstrous it became. The being standing before them had grown to the size of a small skyscraper. Standing at roughly 40 ft. tall in height. It was almost as if the moonlight had been snuffed out. In its place was the bright orb atop the creature's head.

Tears began to well in Hiro’s eyes as he watched the creature transform. The archers' bravado quickly faded as well. They both knew they were powerless against that thing. The archer exhausted all of her energy, stopping it’s comrades after all. She was unprepared.
Never has she come face to face with the likes of this type of beast. While mere kappa were nothing more than fodder for her. The creature standing before them appeared to be the culmination of centuries worth of evolution happening in mere seconds.

“The one eyed priest?!”
She thought to herself. Could it be that this was the legendary kappa that the manuscripts had warned her about?
“This isn’t good.”
This thing is literally a demi-god!”
“I have no hopes of actually defeating it!”
“I have to think fast or we’ll both end up dying here”

Still attempting to play the hero. She held a hand behind herself signaling Hiro to stay back.
“Go!” She ordered him.
“There’s a pair of Minka not too far from here!”
“Just follow the lake and you’ll eventually find one of them!”
“Go to the one hidden at the end of the waterfall!”

“But what about you!?” He screamed.
“You and I both know you can’t face that thing alone!”
“You’re just sending me off so that you can buy me time!”
“Don’t give me that heroic sacrifice crap!”
“I already lost you once!
“I refuse to lose you again!”
This comment causes the archer to lose her focus. She breaks once more to turn to Hiro. “Again..?”

“DAMA!” the creature roars as it sends the orb hurtling toward the two at alarming speeds.
“So this is it huh..?”
“This is the perfect life you wished for?”
A voice unfamiliar to Hiro floods his thought process. It was as if his body was beginning to move before his mind could even react. The same static that had formed with the kappa’s deaths formed around him. His eyes began to glow a bright white.

“There’s so much more that I've yet to learn about you it seems.”
“So I can’t have you dying on me just yet.”

The voice jokingly mocks him, but Hiro is too blinded by this newfound emotion washing over him to put much thought into its remarks.
He was in the process of losing himself.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Crudely pushing the archer out of the way. Hiro simply holds a single hand outward in the direction of the obstacle.

“Watch out!” The archer manages to choke out, only for her attempts at warning him to be halted immediately. There before her stood an unscathed Hiro holding the orb in suspended animation.

“But, how..?”
She questioned how someone who came off as that weak was able to learn such a skill in so little time.
This wasn’t Hiro anymore. Though he wore his skin and had the same mannerisms. The situation had turned him into just what he needed to be in order to reach his current goal.

Coolly turning his head, he now stared deeply at the Kappa.
At first, the silence was near deafening. The Kappa trembled with fear, not daring to move. It knew that it’s life source was in the hands of its opponent and it hoped to buy time.

“Hmph.. that fool.”
“I just need to stall a little longer so that I can revert back to my base form.”
“If I do this, it will automatically return to me!”

“This is pretty important to you, right?”
Hiro’s sudden inquiry shocked the Kappa.
“How could he have possibly known!” it thought.
Remembering that Hiro had witnessed how the archer had dispatched the first of them.
“Whatever you’re going to do. I’m sure we can just talk about-”

Without another word, Hiro snapped. A surge of energy rippled throughout the orb, filling it with static until there was nothing left.
The Kappa immediately followed suit.
Turning now to face the archer, he mimicked that same closed eyed dopey smile. She couldn’t help but feel as though she was still in danger. His smile felt hollow. As if there were no true emotions behind it.

“Did we win?

He asks, opening his eyes slowly. Revealing that they’ve reverted back to normal. However this came with a price. The world around him slowly began to fade to black. Attempting to make his way through the fast approaching darkness. Hiro began to move closer to the archer. Only to collapse in her arms.

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