Hour Empty Child
The air remained still, not a peep heard from anyone present. On the grassy field at the center of the plaza were the individuals creating a scene that was a wonder why the Knights have not appeared at all.
The two on the ground, the bleeding male warrior and the female mage holding him, the one who downed the warrior, Sherald, and finally a young woman who entered the scene with a scowl on her face.
Her tiny fists gripping tight, Cirya, Sherald’s young aunt, stepped forward—her high-heel shoes clacking on the ground with a furious canter, inching towards Sherald with a looming aura around her.
The moment she stepped into Sherald’s eyesight, her short stature nearly reaching up to Sherald’s—Slap!—her hand strikes his face with a swift motion, the sound of skin hitting skin echoed across the plaza.
Each one in the crowd held their breath. That stunned the E-Plus.
Cirya, biting her lip, her eyes tearing up, snapped at him.
“How could you do such a thing?! I didn’t raise you to act like this!”
Cirya admonished him, having no fear against the young man whose face contorted to the side with a widened glazed look in his eyes. Cirya, however, did not pay attention to that and continued.
“You, out of all people, should know what it’s like to be the one on the ground! How could you have done such a thing to Jax, the one who let you in because he thought you needed a chance?! Out of every party that never invited you because of your awful habits, he’s the only one that cared enough to let you in! And now… to do such a thing… how could you?!”
Cirya let out every emotion she felt within her heart. Her fists shaking and her shoulders trembling at the thought of Sherald committing such a heinous act.
The very thought disgusted her, and she was showing it all to him.
Sherald continued to stay silent, slowly turning to her with a continued glazy look. Sweat ran down the E-Plus’ faces, knowing that doing such a thing while he’s acting like that was nearly suicidal.
However, Cirya continued to do so, as it is her responsibility to set him straight, no matter how dangerous he might be.
“Sherald, there is still a chance for you, no matter how small it might be,” Cirya spoke with all her might, a desperate look in her eyes as she spoke. “Turn yourself in now, and take your punishment. Go to jail and atone for your crime. If you do this now… if you do this, you can save whatever face you have left!”
Though Cirya’s words would sting anyone’s heart, they carry the bitter truth. In the end, she was acting like his guardian one last time.
“I’ll do whatever I can to help you. I always had, didn’t I? I am always by your side, even when nobody else wanted to! That’s why, listen to me, and turn yourself in. You can still save yourself!”
Cirya shouted with all her heart. The desperate yet loving tone of her voice reaching to everyone who listened. Some shared pity to her, each one feeling sorry for the young woman who cared so much for someone who has thrown everything else away for simple pleasure.
She is regarded as a kind-hearted, soothing woman who had the patience of a saint to deal with Sherald of all people. Even now, Cirya’s only intent is to help the fallen Sherald to follow the right path. Nobody has thought of her as being crazy; only crazily brave to confront him at his worst.
Sherald looked down, a shadow loomed over his eyes. The people within the crowd wondered whether he was listening at all. But then, for a moment, he lifted his hand, as if offering it to Cirya.
The others in the crowd grew relieved. Cirya let out a breath of relief, as if she was nervous this entire time and hoped for the best. A smile crossed her lips as she lifted both hands to hold his own hand tightly, and offer more words of comfort to say at least ‘good boy’.
But instead, he does the opposite.
Suddenly, Cirya’s throat closed in on her, desisting her from breathing. Her eyes widened as short gasps of air escaped her mouth to see Sherald holding her neck tightly with one hand.
She saw Sherald’s eyes turning to her, the former whiteness in his eyes grew cracked with red, his irises dilated to a small pupil.
“You… you have always stood in my way…! Always with your kindness and care!” Sherald scream was similar to that of a crooked megaphone, his voice stinging the ears of everyone listening.
Kudo gritted his teeth, seeing the poor young woman holding Sherald’s hand around her neck to try to release herself, but his grip was far too strong.
“I know you always treated me below you like everyone else! Admit it! You don’t even see me as a human being, much less a man! That’s why you always tell everyone how you’re sorry that they had to deal with me, and how you always have to make up to them! You never treated me with the respect that I deserved!”
Sherald poured strength into his fingers, squeezing Cirya’s neck which caused her facial expression to widen in fear as her throat became on the verge of breaking apart.
“G-Gah… S-She…rald…” Instead of clutching apart Sherald’s fingers to save herself, Cirya instead reached out to him with her right hand, though shaking as it may be.
She was trying to reach him, trying to bring him back from whatever abyss he fell into. But instead of seeing the young Sherald she knew in the past, she was seeing a man she has never seen before—a killer.
His brows furrowed and his expression grew to a crooked grin. He was no longer the young Sherald she knew in the past.
It was a monster. A monster in human skin.
“Cirya!” Hinota and the others were just about to rush in to save her, hoping that they can make it.
“Now die, like Jax! Die like an animal!”
Sherald was just about to put in more strength than before, willingly crushing Cirya to dust. But he wouldn’t have that.
Kudo rushed forward like a madman and, pulling his partisan out of his Magic Bag, swung horizontally across his torso and slammed the long shaft to his side.
Sherald’s body contorted, his mouth hanging open as his breath left him. His hand lets go of Cirya who fell to the ground, her eyes closed in the process after getting knocked out from losing her oxygen.
Sherald’s body launched forward, skidding against the ground like a ragged doll thrown hard before finally reaching to a halt. The slam pushed him far enough away, shocking every one from Kudo’s pure strength.
Hinota looked at Kudo’s side with widened eyes, her mouth hanging open to see Kudo with his partisan raised to his side.
Kudo turned his head towards Sherald, showing an expression she has never seen before.
His eyes grew sharp—his once vibrant jade-colored pupils shrunk, and his brows were knitted in a way that made his furious visage more intimidating than even Sherald’s. Rather than a crazed killer, he looked more like a soldier out for blood.
“You will no longer have your way… Sherald!”
Kudo charges through Cirya’s major pinch! Though, it looks like he might do something worse than Sherald ever did?! Find out what happens on this major climax!