Chapter 12:


Silver Heart

They broke through again…

In the past fifteen minutes, something had changed within that group. A single member with short blonde hair had rejoined the group, a tablet in her hands.

“You are a part of them then… Is MINX a part of the government or was that a lie… Shina… I hope you’re the one that the Xenos meant…”

Each time I ordered a Cyber to attack, she would always know from where, command her group, and activate a trap if possible.

Each time I tried to catch the group by surprise with a trap, she would deactivate it immediately.

The building shook violently. Kanaye was fighting Silhouette somewhere, occasionally crashing into the building.

A warning appeared on the tablet.

‘Unknown entities entered the security room’

I checked the camera to find about ten of them had gathered there. They were already inside and didn’t suspect a thing.

I activated the devices placed inside and their timers went off.

First, an EMP explosion to prevent anyone from running. They all dropped to the ground like flies, trying to crawl away or grasp their bodies.

A few seconds later, orange light filled the room and shook the camera violently, destroying it and everything inside the room.

I changed to a camera outside the room. The door was destroyed and I could see inside. Every device inside was broken. All the computers, monitors, and keyboards shattered and their parts and wires were laid everywhere along with the bodies and pieces of artificial limbs scattered around.

I placed my focus back on Shina’s group. They were almost here… But in case anyone made it this far, I placed a trap.

Shina gave a command and someone aimed at the camera I was looking through. I can’t let that happen yet!

I gritted my teeth and frowned.

Pushing the button with all my force, an invisible force spread throughout the hallway.

The intruders upfront dropped to the ground. Some coughed blood, others gasped for air.

The ones at the back remained intact, they were just out of range. Someone beside Shina ran to the intruders still moving and was quickly rubbing his hands together, creating sparks.

They touched an intruder, stopping his gasping. One by one, she went to each intruder still alive and one by one they all slowly recovered…

This… How…?

I bit my finger forcefully and tried to come up with another plan…

More Cybers? Call Kanaye back? Akihiro?

Everything was failing. All my plans were taken care of one by one. They will know what I’m going to do and where it will come from…

Think! Think! THINK!

What can I do?! What should I do?!

“Erity!” someone called out.

My gaze went to the door and my heart skipped a beat. They couldn’t have gotten here that fast. But luckily it wasn’t them.

“How are you free Mana?”

“I was freed by someone named Shina,” she said, running to me.

“What? Wait hold up! Stay where you are!” I said, placing distance between me and Mana.

“She didn’t place anything on me,” Mana said, spinning around with her arms spread open.

“Are you sure?!” I asked as loud as I could.

“I am. Please trust me.”

I narrowed and lowered my eyes.

“Fine. I need your help. Everything I’m doing is falling apart. I don’t know what to do anymore…”

“I’ll help you,” she said, pulling out her security tablet. “There’s a Cyber heading directly here… Did you call it?”

“I didn’t. Could it be hacked?”

“I can't give it any commands... It’ll arrive in a bit,” she said pressing on her tablet forcefully. “Akihiro is also walking over here…” she said softly, her eyes glaring at the screen.

“One thing at a time please…” I said, dropping the tablet and aiming my pistol at the door.

The door opened to reveal a single Cyber. It calmly walked over to us and showed no signs of attack.

“This is the board of directors,” the Cyber lifted a tablet to reveal a call had been ongoing. We couldn’t see their faces, but that voice was recognizable enough.

I lowered my pistol and grabbed the tablet rapidly again.

“I don’t have any time for this! I’m sorry but if I’m not paying attention how do you expect me to succeed?”

“We don’t. Not anymore,” the tablet said, the Cyber coming closer to me until it towered over me. “Stand down.”

My eyes looked at the tablet in front of me. Stand down…?

Does that mean I failed…?

“I’m not done yet!” I said to the voice, directly staring into the tablet’s camera.

“For your incompetence in stopping the intruders, and because of Mana’s presence outside of her prison. Erity, you HAVE failed.”

“I haven’t! I haven’t…”

I lowered my head and hands, letting the tablet hang beside me.

My breathing was accelerating and my pulse was heightening. I couldn’t do anything about it, no matter how hard I tried.

I felt hot and droplets of water made my clothing wet.

I can’t have failed here…

“The attackers still haven’t accomplished their goal…” I said rather softly.

“We still aren’t done!” Mana yelled.

“Is that the choice the two of you have made?” The voice said carefully.

“It is!”

“Then you two are nothing more than mere traitors. You will be disposed of as Xenos,” the voice said sternly.

The call ended and the Cyber dropped the tablet. It lowered its head to stare right at me.

I didn’t know what it was about to do, but Mana pushed me pre-emptively out of the way with her own body, her back towards the Cyber that burst violently and chaotically within an instant.

When I regained my senses, I was laying on the ground, Mana on top of me, her back and legs pierced with metallic pieces and her head bleeding.

I turned her around, holding her slightly above the ground, and checked her pulse.

“MANA! MANA!” but no response came.

Her heart was still beating. Her body felt hot, and blood dirtied my hands.

“Why did you protect me!” was all I had on my mind. “You hated me just a week ago! Why would you risk your life for me after years of hating me!”

But no response came. Mana was unconscious. Her face was dirtied with blood and black smudge.

I shook her body around and placed my hand on her cheek. Repeatedly calling out to her.

But there was still no response.

Not again… Not again!

The door opened up and my body stiffened. I couldn’t move, no matter how hard I tried. I was afraid to look. Afraid to see the person whose footsteps slowly sounded closer and closer.


My heart sank at the sound of that voice. I slowly turned my head and looked.

Short, black hair that faded into white at its tips. Dark-brown eyes. A lifeless stare and a dull expression.

The person I didn’t want to see at all now stood in front of me, gazing at me as if I were just some pawn in his plan.

That look infuriated me, yet also scared me. That expression that could turn at any moment... His calmness that could turn into cold-heartedness…

“Why… are you here Akihiro?” I asked softly.

I felt something hot and painful rising.

“Why else would I be here,” he said, his gaze slowly shifting from me to Mana. “They really did explode a Cyber. I had a feeling this would happen… but I didn’t want Mana to be hurt…” he said slowly and softly. “Do you see, Erity?” his eyes still on Mana, “CLEAR is evil…”

“Akihiro… You are the traitor from MINX,” I said almost whispering.

“That I am,” he said dully, “and my real name isn’t Akihiro… It’s nice to finally meet you, Erity. I am Matoya. A spy from MINX,” he said whilst bowing to me slightly. “I could save her, you know?” he said, pointing at Mana.

I tightened my grip around her body. The person in front of me was not even a stranger. He was a hated enemy.

“Why would you do this to her!” I yelled, liquid falling from my eyes.

“Ironically, she hurt you more as a friend than she ever did as an enemy. That prophecy became reality, as much as I wish it hadn’t,” he said, his gaze lowered.

I didn’t know what he was talking about. I didn’t understand his mannerisms and personality anymore. I couldn’t understand anything about him anymore.

I held Mana close to me, lifted her, and made a run to the servers. I had to escape from here. As long as I can regroup, I can recover.

I need to take Mana somewhere safe and protect her.

The wall on my right exploded and a metal figure was launched onto the walkway in front of me causing it to shake violently. I dropped to the ground with Mana in my hands and looked at the thing blocking my path…

“Kanaye…” I said as I gazed upon the badly damaged white Expansion Suit in front of me.

An Expansion Suit landed with one foot on Kanaye with no noise. Kanaye remained still, not moving at all… It aimed its rifle at his head and had its finger on the trigger. But it didn’t shoot.

The back of the Expansion Suit opened up and a girl with brown hair jumped out, placing herself between me and the two Expansion Suits.

Kanaye started to move slightly, but the girl moved as if punching the air below her and the Expansion Suit mimicked her movements, punched Kanaye violently into the ground with a loud metallic noise... He wasn’t moving… not anymore…

The girl remained quiet, just staring at me…

“It's been a while Matoya.”

“Right back at you Julia.”

I didn’t know what to do anymore… I was trapped between a traitor and a superior force… I can’t do anything anymore… and knowing that made me collapse on the ground, Mana still in my arms.

The door opened up, and a group of black-clothed people entered.

One with short blonde hair and green eyes walked next to that traitor and looked at me with sadness.

Another large person stood on his other side, making any chance of breaking through impossible.

I had failed… thoroughly…

“Now that everyone is here,” the traitor said, clapping his hands.

“I got this,” the girl named Julia said. “Silhouette, Kill them,” she said monotonously.

The Expansion Suit vanished into thin air for a few seconds…

And began shooting a barrage of blue energy blasts at the people behind Shina, the large man, and that traitor, disintegrating their bodies in an instant.

It flew around the room before finally settling where it once stood, one foot on Kanaye’s Suit.

“Now let’s talk,” the traitor Akihiro said, his gaze to the floor.

I wanted to run away… I wanted to disappear.

Nowhere to run, nowhere to hide… Either I die here… or I get sent to the lower levels later…

I didn’t know which one I preferred…

I lowered my head and closed my eyes as hard as I could.

It had to be a nightmare… this wasn’t real, this couldn’t be real…

Kanaye might be dead… Mana is dying because of me! And Akihiro…

I couldn’t stand this. I hated this. I couldn’t take this anymore.

What do I do?

Will someone please help me?!

Someone, please save me!!


I didn’t look at the voice… I couldn’t.

My body was trembling and my grip on Mana’s body just tightened more and more.

“Do you feel powerless?” the monster asked me. “As powerless as when your parents died in front of YOU! How does it feel? To not have grown at all in the last seventeen years! How does it feel to still be a little girl!”

With each word, I tried to make myself smaller.

I wish I could disappear…

I wish I had just died in the attack…

“You act confident, you try to suppress the past, yet the more you do that, the more your past comes up. You’re still that little girl from years ago. Powerless, helpless… longing for someone to save you, wishing for someone else to be your hero! Instead of acting yourself, you just wish someone would do everything for you. You’re just that little girl, a spoiled brat who acts like the queen of a magical land!”

Tears poured down my face, and snot filled my nose.

My breathing was uncontrollable. Short and fast.

I felt sick, lightheaded, and weak. I wanted to throw up.

I felt pathetic and worthless…

“You’re just a parasite that latches onto people. Wishing they could be your hero... Do you think life is that sweet?! Even when CLEAR saved you from those terrorists years ago, you are still a tool! Something meant to be used and abused by others, only to be thrown away when you’ve outlived your purpose. Can’t you see that’s what happened now?! You’re a tool that has been cast aside... They never considered you to be a person.”

My head continued spinning around. My grip on Mana loosened up and I felt like I was about to pass out…

“But I do…” he said.

Those words…

“You consider me to be a person…?” I asked through my tears and snot.

“You are a person,” he said, placing his hand on my shoulder.

“I was just a pawn in this plan of yours… Just like CLEAR, I was a tool to you!” I cried out.

“But I won’t cast you aside…” the voice said softly.

“SHUT UP! I can’t be bothered anymore. You, CLEAR, my parents… they all said the same thing. They would never leave me, they would always need me, and yet… in the end, I’ve lost everything again…”

“I won’t go away.”

“Even if that is true, how do you expect me to trust you?! You lied to me for years! YOU ACTED AS IF YOU WERE MY FRIEND! You hurt Mana, Kanaye… Me… DO YOU NOT CARE WHO YOU HURT?”

“I care about you and Mana…”

I pushed Mana aside and grabbed Akihiro’s hand, putting all my force into twisting and breaking it, Akihiro didn’t even try to struggle.

I twisted it more and more until a loud crack sounded within my ears and part of the bone pierced his skin.

I smiled and looked at his face…

Filled with empathy and sadness. Tears flowed down his face, yet he didn’t get angry.

“I have a deal for you, Erity,” he said, still as softly as before. “Join MINX and come with me. I’ll show you how to live for yourself… I’ll show you how to put everything behind you… I’ll even save Mana… Please come with me,” he pleaded.

I–I what? I- don’t know. No. No! NO! I CAN’T TRUST YOU…

“GO AWAY YOU TRAITOR,” I threw his hand away and distanced myself from him.

“Is that so…?” he said, standing up.

I turned my back to him and hugged Mana as tightly as I could, not letting go, crying uncontrollably, and letting everything within flow out.

“If that’s your decision…” he said.

I felt something cold pressing against my back…

A shot reverberated through my ears…

I felt weak, weaker than ever before.

I fell over Mana and felt faint. Hot, yet cold…

I closed my eyes slowly and wished…

I wished for someone to save me from this hell…

“...Please…save me…” I uttered softly as the last tears left my body.

Everything turned black.

Everything felt cold and lonely.

Yet through that darkness…

“I will…”

…A dim light pierced through.