Chapter 15:

Diary of a Narcissus

Crimson Core

Khm* Khm* Khm*Bookmark here

(*clears throat)Bookmark here

Ladies and Gentlemen of all ages and spaces! Bookmark here

Welcome to our 17th addition of the show filled withBookmark here

A: Pure Fun, B: Excitement, C: Sleeping beauty!Bookmark here

(*sound of static)Bookmark here

(*booing)Bookmark here

(* someone throws a bottle)Bookmark here

Just kidding with that C!Bookmark here

But she does look precious while she sleeps, does she Sheekz?Bookmark here

(*broadcast over)Bookmark here

„...“Bookmark here

„Nana! I am not a tamer of shadow-lions!“ cried Omi while facing the beast eye to eye.Bookmark here

He tried to terrify the beast with a sword who's blade was made seemingly out of air, but it gave out pale blue glow.Bookmark here

Nana was attempting to sneak past the beast, into it's cage where a special golden key with purple ribbon was located.Bookmark here

„You carry a sword dude, just swing with that thing!“ Bookmark here

She wanted to yell at him but at the same time didn't want the beast to realize her sneaking around, so she had to satisfy herself with angry whispering.Bookmark here

„I use it to extract the Mana that YOU'RE supposed to bring out, not me!“ complained Omi while pointing a finger at Nana.Bookmark here

The beast followed the direction of Omi's finger and growled fiercely at her.Bookmark here

„Good kitty, nya nya, give 7 seconds to aunty Na Na.“ Bookmark here

She was preparing to pull out a hammer from her pocket that had returned to kid-size couple of minutes ago.Bookmark here

Lion's mane sharpened in form of many needles that stuck out from his head like a cactus.Bookmark here

„That can't be good! Ok, listen Omi, I'm going to jump into his cage an lock myself in, you distract him and then I'll pierce his furry bottom,“ Nana explained the plan while slowly approaching the cage.Bookmark here

„You're kidding? Is that his weak spot or?“ Bookmark here

Omi had so many questions but at the same time Nana had already went forward with her plan and jumped into the cage.Bookmark here

The beast maimed at her but in the last second she managed to lock herself within the cage.Bookmark here

„Who's the kitty now?“ Nana teased a lion by slurping mockingly.Bookmark here

She pulled out a tiny hammer from her pocket and started playing with the needles of the shadow beast.Bookmark here

„Not so fierce now, huh,huh?“ she enjoyed every second of the show.Bookmark here

„Are you mad? It'll kill you!“ Omi yelled behind the beast.Bookmark here

„Ok Omes, now it's your turn. Distract the beast someone and I will blow up it's booty,“ the hammer in Nana's hands enlarged significantly.Bookmark here

„Eh, if I'm going to die at least I'm going away as a partner of this crazy crazy hottie,“ Omi sighed.Bookmark here

„That's the spirit! Come on! Do it!“ Nana cheered at Omi from the cage.Bookmark here

„Here I am dumb shadow!“ Omi grabbed the beast by it's tailed and pulled it as hard as he could.Bookmark here

The beast complained by letting out an unexpectedly cute sound that perplexed both Omi and Nana. But the magic quickly disappeared because the beast turned around in complete rage and pounced at unprepared boy.Bookmark here

„Oh no you won't, homewrecker!“ Nana jumped out of the cage as if she was propelled by an invisible jet engine.Bookmark here

She indeed struck a poor thing at it's behind which made the reverberating sound.Bookmark here

The beast wasn't hurt at all. It just stumped for a couple of times while walking towards Omi and fell down. It snorted like a moving train a moment after.Bookmark here

„Well, this is new,“ said Nana as she wiped her hammer with her shirt.Bookmark here

With each snort, a small balloons with a pale glow were emerging form beast's nose and mouth.Bookmark here

„My turn!“ Omi pointed a tip of his sword that started absorbing the bubbles.Bookmark here

With each absorbed bubble, the color of the blade became more intense.Bookmark here

„Aww, such a cute magic trick,“ Nana was sitting on her hammer and joked.Bookmark here

„Shut up, just grab the key so we can proceed,“ Omi responded harshly.Bookmark here

„Yes, Dad!“ Bookmark here

„That woman will be the end of me, but seriously her strength is out of it's world,“ Omi looked at the peaceful but awfully loud beast in it's slumber.Bookmark here

„...“Bookmark here

Shiki spent a night in the Lotus Medical Institute. It was a restless night filled with strange dreams of circus, napkins and fruit.Bookmark here

When Shiki opened his eyes he didn't know where he is. He had lost the track of his whereabouts long time ago.Bookmark here

His own body didn't feel like his own. But he didn't question these strange sensations he felt.Bookmark here

He forgot that he condoned an experiment together with Dr.Chom yesterday. He was laying down in bed completely contented with himself.Bookmark here

The smell of the morning rain gave him enough material to think about for hours to end.Bookmark here

After some time, Dr. Chom has entered the room.Bookmark here

„Oh morning! You were exhausted so I just left you here for the night. Don't worry, I told your grandma that you were busy with school festival with some girls!“ doctor laughed enthusiastically.Bookmark here

„Thanks,“ Shiki answered.Bookmark here

Doctor noticed how expressionless his face was so he grabbed the chair and pulled it next to Shiki's bed.Bookmark here

„How are you feeling?“Bookmark here

„I don't know, fine, I guess.“Bookmark here

„You're free to go whenever you want, I can give you a lift home,“ doctor offered.Bookmark here

„No need, I'll just walk,“ Shiki stood up from bed and put on his jacket.Bookmark here

A muffled sound of thunder in a distance moved Shiki's head in a direction of a window.Bookmark here

Beside the window stood a big mirror. He looked at his reflection. Bookmark here

His own body felt oddly uncomfortable.Bookmark here

Body?Bookmark here

You're a no-body.Bookmark here

His lips created the words that echoed through his head. But the echo didn't hurt him. It comforted him.Bookmark here

„I'll be going, thank you for having me, I apologize for being a burden,“ Shiki bowed and left the room.Bookmark here

As Shiki walked down the stairs, he noticed a girl talking to one of the staff members at the counter.Bookmark here

He walked right past her and headed towards the exit.Bookmark here

„Hello? Kappa? It is me, Ren,“ a voice came from behind.Bookmark here

„Huh?“ Shiki gave out a confused look.Bookmark here

„I have a car prepared for you, please let me give you a lift home,“ Ren said gently.Bookmark here

Shiki had a trouble figuring out who the person that was standing before him was,Bookmark here

Miyako?Bookmark here

A name broke out in his mind and escaped over his dry lips.Bookmark here

Ren widened her eyes. She put a hand on her mouth and leaned with entire weight on the counter.Bookmark here

„Hey Ren! Are you okay?“ Ichigo quickly grabbed her from behind.Bookmark here

„Wha...what are you..saying?“ Ren fought for air.Bookmark here

„Sorry, I confused you for someone else,“ Shiki added and left the building.Bookmark here

Dr.Chom arrived down from his office as well.Bookmark here

„I did as best as I could. His mind is strained severely. Poor kid,“ doctor added.Bookmark here

„What will happen to him?“ Ichigo asked.Bookmark here

„That's up to him. Try to look at this from the positive side Ren, maybe he really is the definite key to save your sister,“ doctor consoled Ren.Bookmark here

„At what cost? I did not wish to sacrifice others for my selfish reasons,“ Ren tried to stop the tears, but it was in vain.Bookmark here

„The truth is, it is probably too late already, but now he at least will be able to help you,“ said the doctor.Bookmark here

„Those are unmistakably my Father's words,“ Ren wiped the remaining of her tears and walked towards the exit.Bookmark here

„Ren..“ Ichigo folded her arms.Bookmark here

„I and Alpha will save Shiki, say that to my Father,“ she burst out of the building.Bookmark here

„...“Bookmark here

Nana and Omi were still walking around the circus.Bookmark here

„So, are you having a good time on our first date?“ Nana asked playfully.Bookmark here

„Date? With shadows mopping around and bloodthirsty beasts in cages and that weird clown-looking thing that has no face, it's amazing of course,“ Omi listed everything he had seen around him.Bookmark here

„Oh come on, we're having fun. I never had this much fun inside the World, you know,“ Nana put her hands behind her back.Bookmark here

She noticed how Omi held onto his sword in case something jumps out towards them even though it can't cut anything so she couldn't help but giggle out of pure amusement.Bookmark here

„School festival is starting soon, I don't like normie holidays like that but after this trip, I'll be enjoying myself for sure,“ Omi muttered while following carefully the movement of each shadow around them.Bookmark here

„Is that so..,must be nice to a high school student,“ said Nana.Bookmark here

„What do you mean? You're only couple of years older than me, it wasn't as long time as you make it out to be,“ Omi corrected her.Bookmark here

„I never really finished high school, kinda hard to do so if you have to repeat the test over and over and over again,“ Nana said quietly.Bookmark here

„Seven times?“Bookmark here

„Yup“Bookmark here

„What's up with that seven thing anyway?“ asked Omi.Bookmark here

„It's a curse, and a blessing too. I'm grateful that I can be certain that everything will be all right after the seventh try. People were often forced to live through constant failures. I only have to endure seven of them,“ Nana smiled.Bookmark here

„You're such a weird gal,“ Omi added.Bookmark here

„Thanks. So, do you have a girlfriend?“ Nana asked without a pause.Bookmark here

„I, no, of course, I had a partner, shard partner, but we weren't compatible at all and she found a better partner so..“Bookmark here

„That blows!“ Nana shouted.Bookmark here

„I know, right?“ Omi chuckled.Bookmark here

„Don't worry, you're plenty compatible with me,“ Nana stuck out her tongue.Bookmark here

„So..your boss told you to get in contact with me?“Bookmark here

„His daughter did. Ren was worrying about your poor self and she knew how disastrous my partners were so yeah. Usually LMI employees can't be paired with high school students but daddy made an exception for his precious daughter.“Bookmark here

Omi felt embarrassed after finding this out.Bookmark here

„And you're okay with that?“ he asked.Bookmark here

„I wasn't at first, no, but after seeing your tired and lost apparition staring outside of main gates I knew that you're the guy,“ Nana laughed.Bookmark here

„Oh come on,“ Omi said while smiling.Bookmark here

„Hey, look at those strange doors, I bet we can open them with the key,“ said Nana.Bookmark here

Odd-looking door marbled with bronze flowers seemingly led to giant building made of stone and rocks.Bookmark here

„Give me the key, I don't want to wait for your seven tries,“ Omi grabbed the key from Nana's hand.Bookmark here

„Such a meanie,“ she pouted.Bookmark here

Omi used the key and the door opened. They entered the building. Inside was completely dark and the first thing Omi did was searching for a light switch.Bookmark here

He was feeling the wall with his hand until he grabbed something very soft. It scared him for a second so he made a tiny twitch.Bookmark here

„That's a switch, but not for the lights,“ Nana joked and continues, „let me do the old trick from the books.“Bookmark here

She clapped twice and the lights were turning on one after another.Bookmark here

„A..amazing,“ Omi was still in trance cause he is not absolutely certain what he had touched with his hand.Bookmark here

A lengthy filled brimming with various flowers prostrated before their eyes. The ceiling of the building was extremely high so it seemed like the sky itself was above their heads.Bookmark here

In the middle of a wide flower bed sat a tiny shadow of a girl. Bookmark here

„Now what? We have to water the flowers or something like that?“ Omi wondered.Bookmark here

„I bet that girl over there is Lilliana, Eden's childhood friend,“ when Nana said that Omi rolled with his eyes.Bookmark here

„Oh boy, childhood friends are the worst,“ he added.Bookmark here

„You see, it's not like he doesn't have any feelings for her. He uses his own self-indulgence to convince himself that he doesn't need anyone else to make him company. He is just afraid of showing his vulnerable side to others. He is aware that the will let go of an amazing person which will ultimately lead to his own demise so that's why he sought my help in the first place.“Bookmark here

„Long story short, spoiled brat wants to stop being super selfish so he can be mediocre selfish with her?“ Omi concluded.Bookmark here

„Being in love is all about being selfish in wanting that one person all for yourself, you have much to learn Mr. Omes,“ Nana smiled.Bookmark here

„Let's just get this over with, I'll never understand love thingy,“ Omi added.Bookmark here

In truth he understood what she was saying more than anyone. He was too stubborn to admit it. Now ironically he was about to help two childhood friendly with their love life.Bookmark here

„Do you understand the flower language?“ asked Nana out of nowhere.Bookmark here

„My friend Alp does, I'm more of gamer,“ answered Omi.Bookmark here

„Boys and their games,“ Nana teased him and explained, „there's a secret meaning behind every flower. Some mean forgiveness and truth, other mean love, courage and innocence.“Bookmark here

Omi followed Nana and pretended to understand and appreciate her words. He just didn't particularly care about all that.Bookmark here

„So, we're looking for a specific flower, right?“ he asked.Bookmark here

„A Narcissus,“ Nana nodded and continued, „ I won't bother you with old Greek myths so let's just say that Eden is a dictionary example of a Narcissus so we need to find it and cut it down.“Bookmark here

„Awesome, thank you,“ Omi wiped his head from relief that he won't have to pretend that he cares about old-man stories.Bookmark here

They walked through the field filled with flowers. Omi let Nana look for the flower while he was keeping an eye on the girl that was sitting in the middle of the field.Bookmark here

„There is one!“ she hammered playfully the poor flower that compressed into a ball of [Loose Mana]. Omi used his sword to absorb the Mana.Bookmark here

„How many do we need?“ Omi asked.Bookmark here

„Stop whining, we have only began.“Bookmark here

They circled the field far and wide. Nana would stomp the flower and Omi would absorb the Mana from it's remains.Bookmark here

After thirty flowers or so, Omi noticed that shadow of a girl is somehow bigger, or more precisely older.Bookmark here

„That looks like a shadow of a woman now,“ said Omi.Bookmark here

„That means we're finished soon,“ added Nana and jumped around searching for pretty flowers.Bookmark here

After a couple of flowers, the shadow of a woman stood up.Bookmark here

„Hey! Look!“ Omi nudged Nana.Bookmark here

The shadow of a woman bowed to them and put out an empty basket made out of similar shadow material.Bookmark here

„Your turn, Omi,“ she pushed him toward the shadow,Bookmark here

Omi walked slowly through the middle of the field. When he got near her, he grabbed a sword and put it in the basket.Bookmark here

The Mana it absorbed filled the basket to the brim with sparkling white and gold objects that resembled snowflakes.Bookmark here

The woman thanked him by bowing again and disappeared together with the basket.Bookmark here

All the flowers in the field became crimson in color. The waves of red light descended down from the ceiling and illuminated the entire hall. Nana quickly ran towards Omi and grabbed his hand.Bookmark here

„Close your eyes,“ she whispered while holding his hand tightly.Bookmark here

The area around them started shaking greatly and it seemed like the flowers got legs and ran around like maniacs. An intense feeling of unity washed over Omi.Bookmark here

He had never felt anything close to this with Ume.Bookmark here

That thought gave him courage.Bookmark here

That thought gave him dread.Bookmark here

Narcissus symbolize rebirth and new beginnings.Bookmark here

Maybe that was what he needed the most this entire time.
You can resume reading from this paragraph.