Chapter 72:

When Heartstrings Come Undone

Lovely kNight


An impact breaks my world into scattered shards. Broken, blurred, distorted. All sense is discarded to oblivion where I lay upon the cold, hard floor and feel my body thrown beyond even pain. Dulled and numb from the sheer, overwhelming force which has torn through my very existence.

But in the haze of my mind, I still remember. I could never forget that fear. Those sights and feelings which thundered inside of me. And I know that there’s no time to waste. That’s the one thing I know for sure even if my eyes refuse to see the world as a whole. It’s only a matter of time before she’ll be taken away from me.

I can’t let that happen.

I push myself up and feel my arms nearly give way. But I refuse to fall again and force with all of my might to place my weight on to my knee. A bubble raises up from my core and I feel a warm, thick liquid splash from my teeth as it pops in my mouth. My hand and the floor are marked with strikes of crimson. I pay that no mind while I gather my strength to scream and raise to my feet.

Although the room liquefies in my sight, I focus hard enough to capture a red marking in the streaming blur. Everything fades away beneath my feet but I won’t give up. I find myself holding that person tightly in my arms. The feeling of her weight and warmth gives me something lucid to hold onto when life itself has become a chalky cloud of chaos. Something to keep my mind together for even a single minute longer.

Still breathing. Hope still remains.

I steps towards her salvation. Each is like walking through spikes and blades surrounding me from all sides. Piercing, tearing, striking to my bones. I fight against the ocean of sharpened glass to reach for her rescue. All of the pain I’d ever experienced relentlessly tearing my heart and soul from my body throughout my life has at last been a blessing as I endure the terror of limitless agony.

“S-… You need to st-”

Even sound itself has dampened into a muck as everything comes to me as if I walk beneath an ocean’s waves. It’s all infrequent, muffled and disconnected. But that doesn’t matter. Nothing else matters but that she’s taken where she’ll be safe.

“You don-… damage-…”

“I don’t care.” I warn the shadows gathering around me.

I keep my eyes forward and they break ways like a parting sea. They stand still and uncertain while they continue watching me forge forward through them. If they won’t stop me by force then they won’t stop me at all. If they’re too cowardly to fight me, then they can’t have her.

To the overhead, I spot a flat object hanging down. Its face is hard to read as its characters are smeared but I strain to make sense of its garbled font.

Infirmary.

I follow its direction down a hallway and find myself face to face with another obstacle. Deep violet in color a more spirited figure stands in my way.

“Kh-… You need to-… What w-… you to-…”

“Move. I’m taking her to safety. I’m going to make sure she’s safe.”

The figure joins my side and walks with me unlike those who had stopped in their tracks as I’d cut them in two with my steps. The blur of violet pleads to me, follows me at my shoulder, but its attempts to prevent me won’t hold.

I soldier on.

✩ ✩ ✩

It’s the next moment I can understand while living in my own fractured reality. I come to realize that I’m forcing my way through rooms and stop for no man as I seek for a soft surface to lay her. When I see a smudge of pure white among the colors of the room, I gently set her down and watch over her. I see her soft features at a still as she sleeps. It’s then I can at last feel my heart beating once more.

I breathe a sigh of relief.

And then another.

And one more.

With each breath my body begins to feel shallow.

It falters.

I grab my chest and hear the laughter of an old wound jet and wave through every fragment left of who I am. Its pain begins to awaken the blades and swords I’d pushed myself to cross. Every cut, scrape, blunt strike now bares the true edge of its teeth onto my body.

The blurs and splotches of watercolor I see begin to dim. All colors of the world are stolen away and all that remains is darkened grays and blacks which fester like scrambling insects. Those too are soon revoked from my life and everything falls to darkness.

I fall into the black.

And I fall.

And I fall.

But I can smile as I descend. I can feel joy while reality fades away.

Juna is safe. She’ll make it.

The only remorse I feel is that I’d stained her clothes with my blood.