Chapter 20:

Leap of Faith (Shiro Kaeda) - Part 2

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


“Why didn’t you raise your weapon against them? That gig would have sufficed”

Kaeda stood inside a dark space. She felt an odd tiredness creep upon her along with the feeling that some…thing was inching closer and closer.

“Who’s there?”

“Oh, You don’t recognise me, even though I was borne out of you?”

A look of shock passed through Kaeda’s face. “But-”

“I am your rage. Your sadness. Your loneliness, Shiro Kaeda.”

“Huh? What do you mean?” Kaeda asked, “Borne out of me?”

“Yes… You will know soon enough. All the things you have suppressed. Do you think that it’s a good idea to have this much in your mind? Did you think that nothing will come off of it?”

A grim expression crossed Kaeda’s face.

“What do you want?” she asked weakly.

“You scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours.” it said, “Let’s make a deal. You give me control of your body. I’ll collect the payment from your tormentors for making you suffer. What do you say?”

Kaeda shifted into a thinking position.

“Hmm… Sounds alright, not gonna lie…”

“Great-”

“But I’d rather take matters into my own hands than trust some shady person in my head.”

The atmosphere turned cold and cruel. Kaeda felt chills down her spine but that wasn’t going to stop her from holding her ground.

“Let’s see how long you can hold on without falling. Without balance, there will only be chaos.”

The ground below her instantly split open, sending her down the dark abyss. Pain shot down her spine whilst her vision blurred into nothingness.

—-

Kaeda opened her eyes.

‘What even was that?’ she thought. She got up, her head hurting. She found herself on the cold wooden floor of her room. The sun shined directly at her. She sat up rubbing her eyes.

"Without balance, there is only chaos"

That raspy voice resounded in her mind still. She felt herself shivering at that thought.

"I-I'll go eat breakfast, alright?" she told herself, walking downstairs. But she stopped in her tracks, hearing the voices of her parents. Their faces, grim. The mood, dismal. The pair stood near a familiar vase. It belonged to a Chrysanthemum flower.

"An old acquaintance of mine really liked this flower." Yoshiko had told her.

Kaeda remembered herself asking with amazed-looking eyes, "Ohh! Where is this person now?"

She remembered the sad expression on Yoshiko's face; an expression similar to the one her parents had now.

Today's the day… huh?" she heard Yoshiko say.

"Indeed" Ichirou responded, "14 years and it still feels like yesterday when I had met the two of you. Neither did I know what the two of you were doing in Alynth, nor did I care."

Yoshiko laughed, overcome by nostalgia, "That was when Hikari had the quadruplets, no? I didn't think he would end up fathering kids."

'Auntie Hikari?' Kaeda thought, 'What's she gotta do with this? Does she know this person too?'

"Times change people." Ichirou commented,"Even him. I mean, look at us! Who could've thought we would marry each other considering how much we had hated each other at first."

Yoshiko laughed, "You do have a point there."

She watched as the mood turned serious again. Her father looked around as, if scanning for threats.

"Does she know?" Ichirou asked.

"No." Yoshiko replied in a hushed tone, "But considering what has been happening to her life so far, It's only a matter of time before-

Kaeda sneezed. Her cover was blown.

The room fell quiet except for the calm breeze outside.

"Who's there?!" Yoshiko exclaimed, alarmed.

Kaeda cursed under her breath and stepped out, her arms stretched as if she had just woken up.

"Good morning…" she feigned a yawn,"What's going on?"

Her parents breathed a sigh of relief.

'She hadn't heard a thing!' the two thought.

"N-nothing, dear!" Ichirou responded, "Did you have a good rest?"

"Anything strange happened?" Yoshiko asked.

Kaeda really wanted to tell them what she saw but considering what she'd just heard, she didn't feel so good about the idea. She wanted to know more.

"Huh? What do you mean?" she asked, "Nothing strange happened and yes, I slept great~" she lied.

Her parents heaved another relieved sigh.

"W-what's for breakfast?" she hurriedly asked.

"We were hoping to eat the Maqu you caught yesterday." Ichirou replied, "It's done with the cooking."

Kaeda raised an eyebrow, "You guys didn't let me help again. You do know that preservation would be quicker if I did it. I do have the mana for an ice magic spell. Wait, why do this when we could've just had it yesterday?"

"Because you came home late yesterday…" Ichirou answered.

"And to answer your previous question," Yoshiko added, "We didn't want to wake you so early. You looked so peaceful~"

Kaeda sighed face-palming.

"You know that I won't mind!" she protested, "And again, I came home late because I was helping a little kid I saw-"

"Okay okay." the two of them interrupted.

Yoshiko ruffled her hair while Kaeda made a pouting expression, "Let's have some breakfast shall we?"

Kaeda and Ichirou consented and moments later they say down. But they were interrupted by a knock on the door.

"I'll get it."

Yoshiko stood up and left the table.

'Wonder who it is…' Kaeda thought.

Moments passed. Kaeda heard her mother's voice getting more and more serious.

"Kaeda…!" her mother called. She sounded angry.

"Coming."

Kaeda walked to the front door and saw a pair of elves, a girl seemingly of her age and a woman. The girl who seemed familiar had her hand bandaged. The woman had a stern expression and glared at her when she saw her. Her mother's eyebrows were furrowed.

"Why were you late again yesterday?" Yoshiko asked.

Kaeda was confused, "Like I said. I was helping a kid down the hill on the way back."

"And yet this lady comes here saying that you hurt her daughter."

Kaeda had a baffled look on her face, "Huh? No I did not."

"Yeah, you did!" the girl protested, "You had a gig and everything. Did you forget?!"

Yoshiko looked at Kaeda after hearing the girl's protests.

"Why would I hurt you? I don't even know you!"

"Oh come on, brat!" the woman shouted, "I know what kind of elf you are. We all do! Of course your kind would do such things!"

Kaeda stood mum. She remembered the words of the one in her dream.

Make her pay you back for that insult.

She heard that voice again.

See how they try to antagonize you? You can fix that. Within a split second I can do that.

Kaeda felt herself being drawn to those words.

'No!'

Kaeda shook that feeling off and slowly, the voice lost power.

"Please, shut up." Kaeda retorted, walking up to the woman and staring her down.

"Why you-"

She raised her fist in an attempt to hit her but it was intercepted by Ichirou. The woman looked at him who had an angry looking smile on his face.

"Now now," he said, "We can resolve this issue over tea but you can't touch our daughter."

The girl grit her teeth and raised her fist at Kaeda but Kaeda quickly caught it. She glared at her and exhaled.

"Now wasn't that hand I had stabbed you on?"

Kaeda held the hand tight while it struggled to free itself. The women gasped. Yoshiko took the hand and tore away the bandages revealing..

"Her hand is fine…?"

Yoshiko had a surprised look on her face but the confusion was halted as Kaeda laughed mockingly.

"See? When you hear a statement, you must first look to see how true they are."

Kaeda grabbed the girl by the neck of her skirt top.

"And you! You were the one that looked like you were having the time of your life when you were beating Makoto up. How does it feel to get exposed, huh?"

The woman was shocked, "Kimi! What's the meaning of this?"

"Mother I-"

"So you don't know? This girl was beating up a little kid when I saw her. So your name is Kimi, huh? Ironic since you have no honour as far as I have seen."

"Impossible!" the woman exclaimed, "My daughter would never do such a thing."

"It's easy to assume something but hard when people do the same to you or someone you know, huh?"

"And what's the proof?" the women asked, regaining her poise.

"Go ask the victim himself, won't you!" Ichirou shouted, "Having the nerve to cause a scene here."

"All of you are the same." Yoshiko started, "What do you have against us? Against her? It's been years! Why don't you all just leave?"

Yoshiko's eyes glowed red. The ground began to shake. Kaeda felt drawn to her as she watched. She felt a weird feeling in her gut. She thought she was feeling pleasure as she saw the terrified faces of Kimi and her mother.

And she swore she saw a horn on her head growing longer.

"Yoshiko!" Ichirou exclaimed. The crimson red glow disappeared and her eyes reverted to a shade of sunny yellow. Kaeda slapped herself back to her senses and suddenly didn't see the horn anymore.

Yoshiko collapsed but Ichirou caught her before she hit her head. Kaeda grit her teeth looking back at the mother and daughter struck with fear. Her head suddenly started aching.

"Get out already!" she shouted, annoyed by the pain, "The hell are you standing here for?"

The duo stride away quickly. The mother glared at Kaeda once more.

"Screw you, girl! You all are monsters I tell you, monsters!"

Pain shot at her head like a thousand needles. Kaeda staggered forward.

"Kaeda!" Ichirou called, "What's wrong?"

A wave of tiredness hit her. "N-nothing… I'm…fine. I just need a little…"

Kaeda felt herself lose balance but she felt as, if she was being lifted up.

"I'll take you both upstairs." she heard Ichirou say.

The last thing she felt was the warmth of a blanket and the softness of her matress.