Chapter 10:


Silver Heart

“Everyone has a moment where they doubt everything. Themselves, their friends, allies, and family. In those times it's important to have someone to support you. When you lose faith in all else, place your trust in someone or something. If no one or nothing is supporting you… You will shatter.”


“How are you feeling?” Mana asked me as she saw me enter the room she was imprisoned in.

“Better,” I said.

“You don’t look so good. You seem a little bleak. Are you sure you are okay?” she said as she got closer, placing her hand on my forehead.

The room she was in was barren. Only a bed and two chairs filled it. The rest was just white walls. No windows, no desk, not even a table or trash can.

“Don’t worry about me,” I said as I softly took her hand off. “Mana… I appreciate that you got angry for my sake, but please worry about yourself first. I don’t know what they’re going to do with you… You should have known that shooting Akihiro would cause a lot of problems.”

“I knew it was, it just didn’t matter to me. He overstepped his boundaries and he was even going to continue. I’m pretty sure you were unconscious for a while. That… demon… he needs to learn a thing about humanity because he lacks it.”

“In any case… this is bad. MINX is attacking tomorrow, and because I was out of commission after Akihiro brought up… the past… I haven’t been able to do a lot of planning…” I placed my hand on my forehead and lowered my gaze.

“Don’t you think they’ll let me and Akihiro out of here before the attack or during?”

“...They won’t let you out…”

“What! Just Akihiro?”

“That’s right. The board took a decision this morning concerning the attack. You will stay trapped here, while Akihiro will help me.”

“He isn’t trustworthy. You think so too don’t you?”

“I… To be honest…” I don’t even know if I can trust CLEAR itself anymore…

I glanced at the camera in the corner of the room and tussled my hair a little.

“On the positive side, since you won’t be able to help, Kanaye will be allowed to assist. Originally they wanted to keep him a secret for as long as they could, thinking that you, Akihiro, and I would be enough to defend. Now things have changed.”

“What are you going to do with Akihiro?”

“I have something planned to keep him away. I got everything under control,” I said as I forced a smile.

“Be careful. If you need any help, damn the rules and free me, okay? This whole situation makes me irritated.”

“I’ll see you soon,” I waved goodbye and exited the room.

“Wait for a second!” Mana called out.

“What is it?”

“Akihiro has known about your past for around a week. He told me about your parents when breaking me… He said the board told him… but I don’t believe that.”

I narrowed my gaze a little and frowned.

“Thank you,” was all I said before fully leaving the room.

Akihiro’s prison wasn’t all that far from here. But all of this seems childish to me. House arrest for two adults… it's stupid.

Akihiro brought up a traumatic event, Mana defended me. Yet she’s the one that gets all the blame purely because the board doesn’t trust me?

I’ve done everything for them…

I tussled my hair again and brought my focus back to real life. Akihiro’s room was right in front of me.

I took a glance at the camera and the door to Akihiro’s prison opened quickly after.

I entered the room, which was identically decorated as Mana’s prison. There, on the bed, laid Akihiro. He sat up once he saw me and began talking.

“You don’t look so good, are you sure you should be working?”

“Do you think your funny or something?”

“Well…sometimes… Everyone has their good and bad moments.”

“And you caused a bad moment of mine,” I said grabbing my chair and sitting with my legs crossed.

“What can I do for you?”

“Did the board tell you about my past?”

“How else could I have known about it?”

“You tell me, I’m the one asking, aren’t I?” I said, emphasizing some of my words.

“They did tell me,” Akihiro said, his off-putting grin once more on his unpleasant face.

I didn’t take my gaze off him…

After a while, I continued talking.

“I’ve been told you’re being released to help me.”

“That’s right. I can guess that Mana won’t be released. She did shoot me and break my metal arm,” he said, waving the newly repaired arm around, its metal encasing on display.

“Akihiro… You’ll be placed in charge of a few Cybers. Your task is guarding Isao and any evacuated workers. I’ll guide you if need be from the security room.”

“Are you sure you don’t want me on the frontlines?”

“Tell me, how would a sane person trust their backs to someone like you, especially after what you did to me?”

“Well, first of all, you aren’t exactly sane.”

“I’m getting tired of you real quick, Akihiro.”

“We’ve been friends for years, and now you suddenly decided that you should condone my way of acting? Is it because I tried to break you? Did you have to personally experience it to do something about it?”

“Do you think you are strong or invulnerable or something? You targeted a trauma, one of the easiest things to take advantage of, do you think that’s admirable? When you did it to others, I had always thought you did so for them to grow past their flaws, but now I know you’re just a cold-hearted demon that targets all weaknesses, no matter the consequences.”

“You have me all wrong. I care about you Erity, that’s precisely why I targeted a trauma. You will be my greatest masterpiece. I’ll make you realize that you shouldn’t close your eyes or run away like a little girl. When I’m done with you, you’ll be the person you’ve always wished to be. You don’t know it, but I am your savior”

“We’re done talking,” I said firmly as I stood up.

“I’m not stupid Erity,” Akihiro said from behind me, “you’re not so sure if you can trust me, because I used your past to hurt you. That’s why you're not putting me on the front lines or in any position of command. Let me guess, the Cybers you're going to give me will prioritize your commands over mine. You’ll also memorize their authorization codes, won’t you? Just in case you need to take ‘care’ of me.”

“For a schemer, you talk too much,” I said, leaving the room.

Waiting until I arrived back in the security room, I grabbed my phone and called Kanaye.

Tomorrow MINX attacks, and he will be a key player.

Kanaye responded quickly, his image appearing as a 3D hologram in front of me.

“Are you ready to listen to my plan?”

“I am. What do you need me to do?”

“You will be our secret weapon. Once the intruders advance too deeply, you will show yourself. If the Expansion Suit Silhouette is there, then you need to take care of it. Arrive here early in the morning, I’ll show you where I want you positioned. From that place I want you to aim up.”

“Aim up?”

“I got permission to cause some damage. I can almost guarantee Silhouette will make an appearance. Remember that it's a model based on stealth. If you’re not careful you might lose it. If Silhouette isn’t there then kill everyone. Leave no survivor.”

“Understood. What happened to Akihiro and Mana?”

“Mana and Akihiro won’t be participating. If you notice anything odd, or if you have anything to report, then you’ll only have me to tell.”

“What will you do after you give me the starting signal?”

“Good question, unfortunately, that’s for me to know and for you to wonder. All you have to know is that I’ll be watching from somewhere and guarding the server room. Any more questions?”

“Where do you think they’ll attack from, and why do you think they’ll go for the server room?”

“Who knows? For you, I’ll just say it's a gamble. Anything else?”

“If the Expansion Suit is here tomorrow, I assume I can’t just fight it here, right?”

“If you already know, then don’t ask. Force the Expansion Suit out, or use that obscenely large sniper rifle to instantly destroy them.”

“Are you okay Erity? You seem a bit agitated.”

“Unless you have any other questions, goodbye.”

I hung up and the hologram turned off. Placing my phone back in my pocket, I walked over to a suitcase I had placed on a chair when I first came here.

I opened it and saw all kinds of mechanical devices I had stuffed in. They all served the same purpose.

I took a few devices out and placed them around here and there. Near the door, near the computers, under the central elevated platform.

A total of six devices.

They all had a panel with buttons. Inserting a code into each one, I placed a timer on them.

“Don’t overdo it,” Isao said as he entered.

“This is a danger zone with these in place. You shouldn’t be here sir.”

“I want to tell you something.”

“About what?” I said as I finished setting up the last device.

“The board of directors will gather tomorrow to watch how you defend from the attack.”

“They’re going to gather? Here?”

“In their respective home on the highest level. They’ll holographically call each other and watch over the battle through the security cameras. They also told me that if things don’t look satisfactory, they’ll take measures into their own hands…”

“Wait… does that mean they can suddenly take control of the traps or Cybers? If they do that, my plan will fall apart!”

“In the worst case, they’ll even command the Cybers to explode with the authorization codes, if needed. The arrogance and distrust of those…” Isao said as he pressed his forehead and forcefully closed his eyes.

“Do they not trust me? I lived my life for CLEAR ever since they saved my life! Everything I’ve done has been for CLEAR!”

“I know that… I know that better than anyone. That’s why this annoys me. And if you fail… they will probably place all blame on you, and cast you out…”

“Am I some kind of tool to them?!” I said, yelling for the first time at Isao. “I’m not something they can just throw away! I won’t accept that! I’m a person… a living human… I’m not a damn Cyber…” I said, placing my hand on my forehead and lowering my gaze.

“Erity…will you be okay? Be sure to rest up at home when you are done…” Isao said, his eyes lowered.

“I don’t know if I’ll be able to rest…” was all I could say.

I walked up to the central elevated platform and typed various commands on the computer. I downloaded all the files onto my security tablet, as well as all functionalities.

“All I know is that I’ll give them hell.”


I placed my hand on the mirror and cleaned the steam off it. There I saw myself… nothing more than a mere blur was visible.

Despite that, I knew what kind of face I was putting on... I know myself too well.

Weak eyes filled with tears. An expression that made me look lifeless. A voice that would tremble upon speaking. A cold and confident attitude when around other people.

White hair, red eyes.

It was just me… someone I don’t want to be…

I extended my hand to the mirror, it trembled even when I tried my best to keep it steady.

That face, that look, that gaze…

Throughout my entire life, I’ve always wished to be someone else. That princess from a fairy tale, that hero from folklore. Someone strong, someone who could push through everything.

An ideal I always wanted to reach… One that I will never be able to touch.

I wiped the mirror, wanting to clear it up more, yet it only got more cloudy.

I gave up and instead placed a hand on my face.

What do I want to be?

The child of a couple… one that always had the best intentions for me in mind.

What do I wish to be?

Someone… that’s confident and caring, not cold and stern. A warm person who can help others… like her parents before her.

I clenched my other hand tightly.

That face I touched… the face my parents cared for, the face my parents loved, the face I find the most disgusting, the face I hate the most in this world.

All of this…

It’s all just tiring.

The regrets deep within, the disgust welling within me, the stress that’s been building up… everything is just so tiring.

At this point, I don’t even feel alive anymore… I felt cold…

What do I want to be?

What do I wish to be? Who do I wish to be?

What do I want to do?

I don’t know anymore.

I just… want to forget… Forget about my past… forget about my old life, forget about my parents…

I wish I could move on…

I wish I could be as strong as Mana but I just can’t.

Why can’t I?

“Why am I so weak?”

I thought I could leave everything behind when CLEAR saved me. I thought I could start over again, make new friends, new family… a new me… leaving that weak little girl behind…

But I couldn’t. I was afraid people would laugh at me. I was afraid people wouldn’t take me seriously… And so, I stayed by myself… and when others did try to get close, I was cold and lifeless…

The only way I can leave everything behind is if I dedicate everything to CLEAR… even if they see me as a tool… as long as I can forget… it’s fine…

No matter who I need to betray…

No matter who I have to kill…

I will do whatever is necessary…

And yet… the past keeps resurfacing. Whether it's the words from someone… whether it's a flower I noticed… whether I see my parents in the faces of bypassing strangers…

Treat people the way you want to be treated, saying thank you when someone gives you something, helping someone when they ask kindly.

Those words still curse me, even now.

I thought I could be a new me… But the harder I tried, the more I returned to that pathetic little girl.

I truly believed that I could forget about the past and act as if nothing happened.

I believed it so much… I threw away everything that reminded me of them…

Even my name…

I truly thought I could leave everything, I wished for it so dearly…

I have to push through this… I have to succeed. There’s no other way of moving past this…

If I fail… I’ll be stuck in that hell where they died…

Succeed, and I can put everything behind me…

I will leave the past behind, and move on.

And for that, I need to destroy MINX…

For that… I need to discard Akihiro…

“I will leave everything behind,” I said, gazing into my own eyes.

My expression had changed.

From sad and helpless, to indifferent and lifeless.

Today is the day MINX attacks.

Today is the day I will leave everything behind… the day that little girl finally dies…


The door made a beeping noise and opened up. I sat up from the bed and stood up. Cracking my neck, I walked out of the room I was imprisoned in and walked off.

Today is the day MINX attacks.

I found my pistol, belt, and security tablet. Booting the tablet up, I tried looking at the security cameras, only to find that I wasn’t allowed access to some.

I grinned once I noticed it.

“You really don’t trust me, Erity?” I said to myself.

In a way, it made me happy.

I’ve been planning this for so long that I can’t even remember how long ago I started scheming. It's been seventeen years since I met you, and twenty years since I started…

Finally, everything is wrapping up nicely. And everything is in the place I want them to be.

Finally… I’ll leave everything behind me. All these past twenty years… Finally, I can leave ‘Akihiro’ behind me.

I smiled softly. I felt bittersweet. Anxious and a bit afraid, but all are within the margin of error

Mana, Erity, and I… In a sense, the three of us are all the same. We want to be someone stronger, and better.

Mana is wonderful… she grew beyond my expectations and turned exactly into the person she wanted to be.

I’m not strong enough… I wonder if I ever will be…

I want to be a hero, not a schemer that pulls strings in the darkness…

Today is the day MINX attacks. Today is the day ‘Erity’ dies…

How I look forward to that moment. That moment where everything comes crashing down, the moment your attitude shatters and your true self will be revealed.

How I look forward to how you evolve.

Will you be like me? Or will you be someone like Mana?

Masterpieces take time to create… and this one has been in the making since I first saw you so desperately struggle back at the orphanage.

I looked at the cameras and found her…

Walking to the security room with about five Cybers accompanying her. I look forward to meeting you.

At the grand climax of everything…

I look forward to the scene that is being set up as we speak right now.

But for now, I have to be patient…

Before I can make my first move, MINX needs to attack…

Metal footsteps echoed throughout. I gazed at the source and saw three Cybers heading my way. Their white plating shone more than ever…

They stopped walking in front of me and at the same time they did, Erity spoke to me through the earpiece.

“You have to guard Isao and the workers evacuating to the lower floors. You’re not allowed to move freely. If you want to do something, you must first ask permission from me.”

The Cybers started moving straight ahead, almost as if they wanted to move straight through me. To prevent that, I began walking to where Erity wanted me to go.

“I understand completely.”

“Will you behave?”

“I’m not a child, you know?” I said mockingly, “I will do whatever I need to do to fulfill my mission.”

“And what mission are you talking about? The one I gave you? Or another mission you have?”

“Answer that yourself,” I said, stepping into the elevator.

Erity went quiet.

The elevator wasn’t cramped, despite the three Cybers and I that filled it. We quickly arrived at the intended floor, upon arriving I saw Isao waiting for me.

The Cybers continued walking to the designated room that everyone needed to evacuate to when necessary.

“Are you ready?” Isao asked me, his gaze shooting around, never looking at anything for more than a few seconds.

“I am.”

“Erity is graciously giving you as our bodyguard. Don’t disappoint her.”

“Why does everyone think I’m the one always holding her back?”

Isao didn’t answer my question and instead walked to the evacuation room. I followed him silently, placing my arms behind my head.

Today is going to be fun…

Isao and I continued walking until we almost reached the room when I stopped. Small earthquakes can’t be noticed if you keep walking…

And when I did stop walking, I felt the building shake…

It has begun… the battle has started.