Chapter 12:

Hopelessness (Miya Eri) - Part 2

Mages and Dragons in a New Land? They Obviously Haven't Seen a Modern War Man! Book 2


The traces of mana were faint and they were only getting fainter. Eri was shocked. The cannons were ineffective. She saw the faint traces disappear and gasped in horror.

‘The wounds healed?’ she thought.

Who were those flies that shot those bullets at us!” the voice bellowed.

The figures lunged at the mages and only a searing hot pressure was felt before the screams of horror.

The row of mages was incinerated by searing hot flames.

Morsus!” the voice said, “Do we let these small fries go like that?

Isn’t it obvious, Deploro? We do not.” Another voice boomed, “They die!

“Attack!”

War cries were heard. Among the hundreds of footsteps, Eri was one of the few. She charged at one of the dragons.

“Oho?” the voice resounded, “You dare approach me, girl?”

She didn’t respond. She swiftly jumped up with her blade on her hand.

‘I don’t have to stab him.’ She thought, ‘I just need to touch him.’

She swung her sword forward to the dragon’s side, ignoring the suffocating smell that the duo gave off. The blade moved flexibly, digging into the flesh.

Eri had a grin on her face as she placed sigils wherever possible. One on top of the other. Taking the blade out, she stepped back.

“Kiri!” she shouted as the group of sigils exploded violently.

A cry of pain was heard. The dragon fell.

But at an instant, a slash was heard from the flank of the group. The other dragon clawed many of the students and was coming after Eri. She sidestepped and slashed its legs out. The other students cast a barrage of spells at the duo, wounding them profusely.

Moments followed. The offensive barrage seemed catastrophic for the opposition.

Both of them were already down.

“Decimation Flash!” Eri heard Nobaru shout as a huge amount of mana enveloped the dragons. It was the same spell that took a toll on him last time.

The wait was on. As the light faded away, they expected Nobaru to have taken him out.

But to their surprise, they were nowhere to be seen.

“Where are they?” a student asked.

The group was in a state of confusion.

Eri looked around using Mana Sense as a guide. But to her surprise, nothing was visible.

Above, below, to the left, to the right. Nowhere to be seen.

‘Where are they?’ she thought, ‘Mana sense isn’t working! Why?’

But suddenly she was pushed roughly out of the way, her body hitting the hard ground.

She groaned in pain as she looked to see who did that. What she felt was shocking. She felt Nobaru’s presence fade. The impossible occured.

“Nobaru no!” Eri shouted but all was in vain.

Their claws dug into him, the sounds of blood spewing out sent Eri in a state of shock. Nobaru’s body lay on her arms. The warm, caring hands that looked after her were cold. The mana inside him dissipated as his life came to an end.

The scent of rotten corpses overwhelmed her once again.

Nobaru was dead. Right in front of her.

---

A fire of rage burned inside her. She felt tears flow down her eyes. Eri recklessly charged forward. The dragons were too distracted by their victory.

‘Silent Slashes!”

As if chopping up fruits, she delivered quiet precise slashes with her blade. The dragons looked at her and breathed hot flames.

“Ha! Serves you right, girlie!”

But she wasn’t incinerated. She was on the top of the head of one of the beasts, a dome of water surrounding her.

“What are you waiting for!” she shouted, “Don’t let them escape!”

The whole crowd of kids got their bearings back. Here was a blind second-year student struggling but fighting on. And they were standing like dummies.

“BIND!” they all shouted, getting into a defensive position. A bunch of dark chains shackled the pair.

“Huh?!” they exclaimed, “Impossible.”

They tried to escape but they were only interrupted as Eri’s blade dug into Deploro’s flesh. Deploro tried to shake them off. Morsus tried to breathe flames at her but the spell had it hard for him to move.

With a scream of rage, Eri beheaded Deploro.

And just for a moment, she left fulfilled.

---

Quiet.

Everything dissolved around her. Her will faltered. She was falling into despair. Pain overcame her.

The cheers of the crowd faltered.

“You… YOU!” Morsus shouted, “YOU KILLED HIM.”

Eri coughed, feeling overwhelmed by the pressure. Opening her mouth hurt. Standing hurt, lying down hurt. The very concept of moving hurt her.

“An… eye for an…eye!” she managed, “A brother for…a brother.”

“YOU!”

The world around her was enveloped in a sea of flames. Everything burned in anger, resonating with that of the dragon.

The people around her were screaming in pain as the sensation of pain enveloped their bodies.

“I am the dragon symbolizing pain!” He declared, “You will feel the same way I did when he died!”

Eri screamed. Her flesh was being torn apart. She was disintegrating. Her bones broke, she coughed out cold blood as her currently frail body hit the ground.

‘I can’t…fight. I’ve always… been a pain in the ass.’

---

The world turned black before her.

Well, it had always been dark to begin with. She was blind after all. Unable to see properly since birth.

Was she a nuisance? Probably. She used others. She depended on others. She wasn’t strong or independent. In fact, she was not what she wanted to be. Everything, her wishes, her desires. Everything was a waste.

Those who were dependent and weak are the lowest of the low. All their dreams and aspirations will stay that way…

Just unfulfilled.

She wanted to die, she wished she was never even born. She was just an inconvenience after all.

Even in a simulation. Even in a game. She couldn’t hold herself together.

She couldn’t stand on her own two feet.

She remembered when Nobaru took her hand when she went to school in the simulation. Those warm, nice but delicate hands.

She let him get ripped apart. She let that person- the one who accepted her, who cared for her- die in her arms.

It’s unfair that you have to go through not having everything I do. It’s unfair that you are blind.

So if this makes you feel better, I’ll give you everything I have so you won’t feel left out.

She recalled his gentle words. She thought that maybe she wasn’t as bad as she thought herself to be.

Until she let him down and let him die.

Her beliefs of herself got stronger.

She was nothing more than a pain.

She should just die…

It’s better than dragging others to their deaths.

“Maybe I should just…”

She found herself grabbing a cylindrical hilt. The hilt that belonged to a cold blade. It was provoking her to just quit.

She felt herself smile serenely.

“If I die here, I may die in the real world.” She told herself, “But who cares. I’m sure no one does.”

She raised the blade, taking a deep breath. She had a relieved smile on her face and closed her eyes. She didn’t want to see the weird black void that she saw every day.

At least no one will be hurt because of me now.

She felt herself bringing the blade to her stomach.

Goodbye…

But just when she thought she stabbed herself, she felt herself stop. She felt the knife inches away from her stomach.

She opened her eyes to a bright light.

Silhouettes.

“What are you doing, Eri!” the voice shouted. An electrifying slap landed on her face.

“Huh…?” she said, confused. “I can see again...?”

Ana stood with an enraged expression.

“What do you think you are doing, sis?” she asked.

“Glavanna…?”

“Yes it’s me!” she responded angrily, “You TRIED TO STAB YOURSELF! What were you thinking?”

“What choice did I have, huh?” she shot back, “Tell me, Ana. What else was I supposed to do?”

“Oh, I dunno. NOT stab yourself?!” she replied.

“Who cares about if I die or not? I’m just a nuisance to others! I let people down. Nobaru died trying to save me over here. Hugo got hurt trying to save me a while ago. People always get hurt because I am around. It’s best if I’m not around. Then they won’t be hurt.”

“Eri do you think that’s true?” Ana asked, “Do you really think that’s true?”

Eri nodded, “Why is it not true? You have seen it yourself, haven’t you? I’m not surprised if you hate me too. You are living inside a weak person like me after all. It’s high time-”

Ana landed a punch on Eri’s face and grabbed the blade away from her.

“Give it back!” Eri shouted, “Give it back, give it back, give it back!”

The two struggled over the instrument that would take her to the realm of the dead. Eri grabbed Glavanna with madness reaching for the blade in her hands as Ana tried to push her away from her death.

“No, I won’t. I don’t want you to do this!”

But Eri wasn’t listening to her. She hopelessly reached for the blade.

“…Give it back, Ana...” she said miserably, “You better find another host. You will be better off that way.”

“Aaah!” Ana shouted, and pushed her away. She threw the knife away and a clanging sound echoed.

“You keep thinking about me or others! Think about yourself for a change. Or those who protected you for that matter. Do you think they did it for the sake of doing it? No, they didn’t! They did it because they cared about you. Imagine how sad they will be because you died.

Nobaru is thankful that you exist and he always will be. He feels like he’s being responsible. He has his own insecurities. He’s not as perfect as you make him out to be. The way you accepted Kaeda as your friend, do you know how much that meant to her? No! Because you didn’t pay attention. And you don’t need sight for that.”

“But-”

But there was no stopping her. She was on a roll!

“And don’t get me started on the rest of the class. Hugo and Big sis Shizuko were happy that you were there for them. You must’ve realized how much Hugo cares about you. He got hurt, yes. But was he angry about it? No. He was only glad that you were safe.

Big sis Shizuko was happy that you considered talking to her about your problems. I could tell that she was happy that she could cheer you up when you and Hugo were not talking to each other.”

Ana, who was teary-eyed at that point, took a deep breath.

“But everyone would get hurt.” Eri responded, “If they don’t regret it now. They will later.”

“No… they won’t!”

Ana hugged her tightly. Eri felt tears flowing from her eyes.

“They won’t, dammit!” she shouted, “Why are you so stubborn? Do you realize how sad I am? You talked about things being better if I found someone new. But you are the one I want to stay with. Nothing will change that. You are like a big sister to me. I’ve been watching you. I know what you’ve been through. But big sis Eri, don’t die. Live! There are people who love you and care for you. Absolutely no one underestimates or hates you.”

A comforting warmth spread over Eri as Ana let go of her.

“And if there are people who would do things to you because they hate you, I will show them that they made a big mistake.”

“You would get hurt too, trying to stand up for me. Do you really want that?”

“Yeah?” Ana responded, “You are very important to me. Of course I would choose to get hurt if it meant protecting you. And I can hold my own on the field. Just because I’m younger than you doesn’t mean I am weak! I am the Lightning Princess after all!”

Eri opened her mouth. She had heard comforting words throughout this entire simulation. But even if they were simulated, she was glad and should’ve realized.

She wiped her tears away and slapped herself to her senses.

A cheerful grin spread over her face after moments of long, hard reflection.

“I’m all better now… I think.” she said, “Thanks, Ana!”

Ana laughed loudly, slapping Eri's back.

"No problem."

"I'm sorry too." she continued, "Did the knife hit you anywhere?"

"Nope!" Ana responded, "I’m fine.”

"But you sure are a crybaby huh?"

Eri made a pouting face, "Hey! D-don't say that."

Ana just laughed playfully, "But that adds to your cuteness!"

Eri blushed, "I don't know if that's a compliment or not."

Suddenly a loud sound interrupted their discussion. Eri's guard went up instantly.

"It's fine. It's just a doorway." Ana reassured, "Looks like it's our way out."

Ana took her hand.

"Let's go? Big sis."

A grin passed Eri's face.

"Yeah, let's get out of here."