Chapter 26:

Battle Tactics

A Place between There and Now

I turned around slowly, she was still sitting there and hadn't moved a centimeter.

“Did you kill him? Is he dead?”

I knelt down, picked up my knife and put it back in my jacket pocket.

“Yes, yes it is dead.”

While saying this I noticed another shadow in the bushes.


I looked at her, she was still staring at the corpse. The sun came out from behind the clouds and blinded me. She continued to sit in the shadow of the building and looked at the face of the body now illuminated by the light. Her gaze wandered up to me and back down to the body.

“Why does he…“

No, that couldn’t be, how should she know

“…Look like you?”

But that was how it was, she knew it, or rather she saw it. Something I could not see, some would even say she saw the truth, unlike me.

“Say, where do you think I’m from?”

“Why is that important now, are you just trying to distract from this?”

“No, I will answer you but please tell me, where do you think I’m from?”

She looked at me confused

“You don't look like you have any foreign backgrounds, and your skin color doesn't look much different, maybe a little lighter. I would say if you were not purely Japanese then you probably have American or central European roots.”

That confirmed it, she saw me as I was, not as the shadows, for her I was not a silhouette, that also confirmed that all the shit with the umbra of which the teacher spoke was bullshit. But she didn't only see me like that, but also the shadows, the question is since when she saw it like that, she had talked about a black hand hitting the window of the classroom door, so she already saw a shadow as I saw it.

“So, when are you going to tell me what the fuck is going on here? Who is that and why does he look like you?”

“Well, let’s just say it’s complicated and leave it at that.”

“No! I’ve been monologuing here for the last hour, then you can tell me at least what's going on here.”

She was right, but why should it be in my interest to tell her? No matter if she would become a problem at some point, as long as I didn't tell her, she would never be a danger to me. This information was a kind of security, as long as she didn't have it, I would always be able to find a way to escape her, no matter if she had the same powers as me.

She walked past me towards the corpse. I didn’t look at her. What was she doing, did she just want to walk away? No, she wouldn’t back down like this, she still wanted answers. I remembered what she did after I killed the teacher. The shadow’s knife, was still lying there, was that what she wanted? My hand slowly slipped into my jacket’s right pocket.

“say, isn't it funny that you're stuck in a warehouse somewhere in the middle of nowhere and you don't even know what you're doing here? Be honest, you are hiding something from me, you know more than I do, so why do you want me to explain it to you? Is it to be able to assess how I see the situation and how I will act based on my knowledge?”

she giggled softly. I heard her stand up behind me.

“You are smarter than I thought, but no, you are completely wrong, and no matter how smart you are, you will always be a fucking idiot. Do you know what the problem with idiots is? They don't act rationally. You don't care if you look down on them, let the dirt-digging idiots who are closer to pigs than people kill each other. Who cares! But some idiots wind their way through the system and get power by a stroke of chance, and if someone with power does not act rationally, continents are blown up or middle school girls are stabbed by crazy people with knives.”

I turned around, she was holding the knife in her right hand.

“And what about you, wouldn't only an idiot raise the knife against a more powerful person, no matter if he is an idiot or not? Face it, you can't beat me.”

All this would not lead to anything, I had to make it clear to her that she had no say, that she was under me, that she was weaker. At that moment an idea came to me, a plan which would show her that there was no point, that she could give it up right away.

“Fuck you! If you're so fucking sure, come on, if you want to see what I can do, then stab me in the chest, that worked well last time.”

She was easily influenced by her emotions, which was one of her greatest weaknesses.

She ran toward me, her knife in her right hand. But I had overlooked something, she also held something in her left hand. She waved a handful of earth at me with her left hand, but this did not work nearly as well as she would have liked, because of the rain the earth was damp and lumpy, so the only thing she achieved was confusion by surprising me. Despite all this, she was too fast, I could not block with the short blade of the knife and had no time to dodge. She had me, at least that's what she thought. I felt her knife pierce my chest. When I looked into her eyes, I saw the same feeling of superiority and finally being victorious I felt when I killed my first shadow. She thought she had won, the poor girl. before I closed my eyes I could see a shadow, it was already behind her, so my plan had worked, at least until here, how satisfying.

I held the knife to her throat from behind, she was still standing in front of my last self, her knife in Its chest. I took the blade from her throat and stepped back.

“Is that enough for you? Admit it, you can't win.”

She screamed and tore the knife out of the shadow's chest with one pull. She turned around, but the hatred in her eyes quickly turned to fear. She looked past me to the right at what was standing next to me. I smiled more broadly than ever before, never before had I felt such a sense of superiority. It was wonderful and it confirmed that my plan had worked perfectly to the end.

“Shall we leave it at that? Two against one is a bit unfair, isn't it?”

The shadow standing next to me took 2 steps forward and stopped in front of me.

“Ok, I give up.”

I saw from the side how the shadow showed no reaction, why should he, he saw everything for the second time. So that was it, I was no longer needed. The shadow turned around and plunged the knife into my heart.

I pulled my knife out of his chest and let the shadow fall to the ground.

“You can keep the knife. I haven't met anyone here yet, but maybe it would be nice if you could defend yourself anyway. I think you understand that attacking me is useless.”

I took the knives from the two shadows lying on the floor.

“I'm not going to attack you anymore, I see that there is no point, so please tell me what is going on. I really have no idea and if I can't turn on you it would only benefit you if I could help you. There is no risk because I am not a danger to you. However, as long as you don't tell me anything, I can't do anything.”

I stood up and put the knives away. After I was done, I slowly turned to her. She was right, what should she do? In the end, she was just a child. I decided to take her with me, I didn't like her, but she could be really helpful, she knew much more about this time, no matter what she said now, at least as long as she didn't lie to me. I had decided, I would tell her.