I charged in and so did Xykoss. Every punch or kick of mine was dodged or blocked. The constant impact was putting my arms through hell. My knuckles were bleeding, and my legs were sore. Eien didn’t even twitch. He kept counterattacking and every hit broke a bone or damaged my internal organs. That was at least how it felt like to me. The building was in shambles. I couldn’t tell up from down apart. I kept jumping from debris to debris. My hammer swung and came down on him serval times. Xykoss kept assaulting him as well. If we would have an audience, they would probably not be able to follow us with their naked eyes. The little girl with no name was silent, but I knew that she was watching me from somewhere. Ready to take over, if necessary, but I refused to let that happen. The only thing that was on my mind was to defeat Eien and get out of here alive. And if possible, take his Paroxys with me, so the cycle of torment and misery could finally end.
“Do you seriously believe that you can defeat me?”
He kicked me in my stomach with both of his feet. I stumbled back and supported myself with my hammer to not lose my balance. Xykoss’s claws went underground to get behind him, but pieces of wood and stone started coming flying towards us. The shards of the stain-glass windows were like knives that would cut deeply into my flesh. Xykoss came to my rescue and stood before me like an impenetrable wall. Eien disappeared and reappeared behind me. I dodged his punch and swung my leg at his head. He blocked it with his arm while grabbing on to it. I was pulled and heaved up. Before he could hurl me, Xykoss bit his head off. I quickly realised that he wasn’t the real one and noticed him standing behind Xykoss. He had taken off his gloves and pierced both of his hands into Xykoss’ body. A sharp, excruciating pain shot through my body and paralysed me.
“I think you forgot that the pain travels both ways. The Paroxys hurts when the host is hurting and vice versa. I could kill Xykoss here and now.”
“Not while I’m here.”
I gave Xykoss instructions to merge with me and he vanished before our eyes.
“A Paroxys protects its host and vice versa. I will protect Xykoss.”
My speed drastically increased, and I managed to grab him by his hair. I jumped up and kneed him in his face. He was flung back and crashed into a floating piece of the piano.
“Now we’re even.”
I said and saw how he wiped away the blood that was dripping from his nose.
“Cute. You’re delusional and think that you’re strong.”
He chuckled and within a split second got in my face. My hammer turned into a claw and came down on him. He dodged in time, but his shirt got ripped into pieces.
“I can go on like this for forever but what about you? I think you’re slowly reaching your limit.”
“I haven’t even touched it. Shall I show you what my actual limit is?”
Several shockwaves left my body. They were bigger than the ones before. Eien was having difficulty approaching me. With every heartbeat, a new shockwave was born.
“Have you decided?”
The little girl with no name was floating upside down in front of my face. Her multi-coloured eyes were staring into my soul again.
“Yes, I have made up my mind.”
“Good. Then I shall assist you. I think you know what you have to do.”
Her hair was flowing around me and nearly covered my entire body. The bell chimed heavenly, and a black light escaped from it.
The little girl giggled and disappeared. My eyes were closed, and I was closely listening to the beating of my heart. My breathing slowed down and my body was not in pain anymore. It felt tranquil. Like I was in control, but the truth was that the little girl was in full control. The shackles that had been restraining Xykoss came off. My consciousness was still intact, but I didn’t know what the consequence would be. And at this point, I didn’t care anymore. I opened my eyes back up and they were not shrouded in red anymore. Instead, I was seeing multiple colours. My hair was not short anymore either. After having a proper look at me, Eien started laughing hysterically.
“This has to be a joke. You’re using two Paroxys at the same time. Do you really think you will survive it?”
“It doesn’t matter as long as I take you with me. Let’s make this hallowed ground into both of our graves.”
I had used Xykoss in this state before, but I realised he had never been at a hundred percent. The little girl was forcing out his full potential. I charged in and left a crater behind me where I was standing. It was as if two thunderbolts were colliding. I could see in his face that he was struggling to keep up with me. My attacks were slowly overwhelming him. I started grazing several parts of his body with my claw. The atmosphere was rumbling, and what was left of the building’s walls gave in. The ceiling came crashing down on us. One quick move of my claw and it was teared into multiple pieces. We continued our fight as we went up, using the debris that was coming down as steppingstones. The more I kept hurting him, the more hesitant I was becoming. Doubt was creeping into my mind. It was sitting at the back of my head and inside of my heart. I knew it was there. He tried to punch me, but I blocked and grabbed hold of his arm with my claw. His arm broke into two with one clench, but that was not the end. I twisted my body and threw him into the ground. My leg came down like a meteor and crushed his other arm. He let out a groan, but immediately tried to stand back up. I grabbed him by his shoulder and pushed him back down. My body was trembling.
“I want to make this quick.”
I whimpered and pressed him further down.
“Then make it quick and kill me before I kill you.”
He said with a grin on his face.
“Why did it have to come down to this? Why do I have to do this?”
My grip firmed and he let out a scream. I could see the sweat glistening on his forehead.
“You don’t have any other choice. It doesn’t matter if I’m killed. Someone will replace me, and it might even be you. Because you’re just like me. If you let me go, I will certainly kill again. Do you really think the military will be able to restrain me?”
My jaw was locked, and my breathing fastened.
“I’m not like you. I don’t want to do this. I really don’t. No matter how much I hate you, I don’t want to do this.”
I stuttered. His hand went up and he grabbed me by my long hair that was falling on to his face. I grabbed him by his wrist and snapped it. His limp hand fell to the ground next to me.
“You sure are not making this quick. You’re just tormenting me with your indecisiveness.”
His words struck a chord and I instinctively let go of him. He tried to kick me in the face, but I quickly moved aside. My advantage was gone. I was on the defence again. Even though I did some damage on him, he was still moving as if he was not hurt at all. I was getting pushed into a corner.
“I thought you made up your mind. I told you that I will only assist you if you have the right intentions.”
The little girl’s voice was resonating in my head. My eyes were moving frantically from side to side, and I couldn’t put together a rational thought.
“Then I will do the job for you.”
My hair started to move on its own and snatched Eien midair. Xykoss howled and my ears started ringing. I felt disoriented and my heart stopped beating for a second. It was over before I could process what had happened. My claw was emerging from the other side of his body. My arm felt disgustingly warm, and I could feel how something was running down my forearm and dripping down to the ground from my elbow. It had made a puddle next to my feet. And it had splashed on to my face too. His body was pulsating, and his eyes were staring blankly into mine. My mouth dropped open and my lips were quivering. Tears were running down my cheeks.
“Wait. Wait! I didn’t mean to. I-“
Only a whimper came out of my mouth.
“Ah, you finally did it. Congratulations on your first kill.”
He uttered with a smirk. His face was losing its colour by the second and he was breathing heavily. I grabbed my sleeve and hysterically tried to pull my arm out. But it wouldn’t budge. I kept pulling and pulling until it ripped. I grabbed on to my arm next, digging my nails into my skin and pulled until I was bleeding. My arm wouldn’t come out of his body. I dropped down to my knees. My mouth was wide open, and my high-pitched cry broke the silence into half. My breaths were short and my heartbeats even shorter. My head was stuck, facing upwards. The sky had returned which was a dark orange mixed with blue and purple. The sun was disappearing behind the horizon. The building was completely destroyed. I kept wailing and sobbing. I never thought that it would come into reality. Me killing someone with my own hands.
“No. Please, no. This is not what I wanted. How did it end up like this?”
The clouds above me broke open. Rain drops started falling from the sky.
“I didn’t want to hurt him. I really didn’t.”
I cried and cried. I kept repeating the same thing over and over again. The tears would not stop falling, just like the rain.
“You did what was right.”
The little girl with no name said while standing next to me.
“What was right? I just killed a man. I promised to be useful and save people. I am supposed to be an Outliner.”
“You were useful. And you completed your job as an Outliner.”
“No. No, you’re wrong. What have I done?”
“You’re wasting your time thinking about it. It can’t be undone.”
My arm was released from his body and he dropped to the ground with a thump. My hair was back to normal length. I placed a hand over my mouth to not throw up. My shoulders were shaking, and my body was frozen in place.
“We can’t waste time. You have to go. I have already collected his Paroxys. It’s mine now.”
Her words echoed in my ears. My legs started to move on their own, and I managed to stand up. I stumbled my way out of the mess. My mind felt numb. My body felt numb. I only had one thought which kept repeating itself over and over again like a broken record. Did I just kill a man for his Paroxys?
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