“Inside each of us, there is the seed of both good and evil.
It's a constant struggle as to which one will win.
And one cannot exist without the other.” ~ Eric Burdon
Lifting up, Ling let Kiseki lying on the floor. She gave him light kicks with the bottom oh her foot, but apparently he wasn't able to fight back anymore.
“Hmpf. Too bad for that poison. I wanted you to live a bit longer, 'cause the dead ones don't suffer.”
Moving forward, she stepped in front of him while something held her leg back. A hand grabbed round her ankle.
Silver Bullet lowered her head to glare at Kiseki in disdain.
“Wait… I'm not done with you.”
His face covered with blood and debris, the inspector had difficulties speaking. In a slow pace, he intended to stand up.
“Ara… You're pathetic.”
As she knelt to contemplate his attempts, she stroked his hair.
“You still didn't tell me why you wanted me to suffer that hard.”
Ignoring her mockeries, he looked directly into her eyes, raising his head.
“Haa? Why should I answer that?”
Kiseki didn't reply anything, though his eyes again repeated the question.
“Well, I suppose I may say it as to complete your dying wish. Though, that's quite easy. When I came to Asperia years ago, I saw what you've become. Seeing that you were a policeman, no surprise mister guardian angel. However, I was really mad at you.”
“Mad at me?”
“You wonder why? Back then, although you were obsessed by your justice thing at least you had a curiosity that didn't suffer any limit. Then, as I came to Asperia I found you as a slave of that saint-like fucking mayor. What an insult…”
While she pronounced her last words, a crimson feather fell right before her eyes. Her pupils retracted.
As she raised her head, she saw a cloud of feathers that had shaped above her.”
“Son of a bitch… You just made me speak to establish a distraction.”
And without waiting more, it seemed that a crimson rain was felling on Ling Zhen. Many feathers got stuck into the ground, as sharpened knifes.
Though she protected herself with her hands, projectiles hitting her submerged Ling and she shaped little by little into a ball of feathers, more and more dense, her face and any single space of her skin being covered. At this pace, she would be out of breath in no time.
“I won't let you step in my way anymore. I am here to bring back my daughter and I will achieve my objectives. Dying is not an option.”
Under the layers of crimson feathers, Ling could no longer be seen.
Not having any second to lose, Kiseki looked around him, looking for Woodle. The latter was on stage, gazing at the scene with a non dissimulated smile.
Remarking Kiseki approaching the center of the stage where he had an eye on everything, the leader of the Player observed him with interest glistening in his gaze.
Kiseki had difficulties in walking without falling to his knees. The poison probably affected his sense of balance, sweat already pearling on his face.
When he reached Woodle's position, Kiseki swayed barely avoiding not to fall.
“Is everything okay, inspector Idonosoko? I find you a little pale. Oh dear! Did your daughter possibly choose not to come with you?”
Placing a flat hand upon his mouth, he feigned sheer astonishment.
Kiseki gritted his teeth to the provocation, glaring at the hacker with a glow of anger in his forest-green eyes.
“I will not abandon her. Never! All I have done until now, it was for her… I will do my everything… My everything to make sure she would be safe and sound.”
Not responding to his words, Woodle approached the inspector with a moderate pace, examining his expression.
“I see. This means, from the very beginning you knew she was alive. Such a big liar we have here. It seems that lying to your citizens is part of your habits.”
“I did not have the choice.”
“Oh really? How interesting, please elaborate.”
Before Kiseki answered, he smiled apparently without a reason, closing his eyes for a second. Then taking an object in his sling bag, he threw it with a fillip up behind him. The instant after it exploded, flames burning the feathers that Kiseki tried to accumulate discreetly.
“I am offended. Did you really think that the same trick you used on Silver Bullet would work on me? Be more imaginative, please.”
Kiseki widened his eyes, shocked of the ease of that young boy to spot his attack. Was it that gross? What could he possibly do in his state, then?…
“Come on, don't let me speak alone, you didn't answer me. Oh? Maybe you have also difficulties in thinking clearly. Would you need this, by any chance?”
And, while saying this, the Player drew out of a pocket a phial containing an unknown liquid. That was the antidote!
Gathering all of his strengths to avoid losing consciousness, he took in a brisk of an eye his gun and pointed it on Woodle, ready to fire.
“Give it to me, right now.”
Not even glancing at the weapon pointed on him, Woodle's grin become larger while he mid-closed his eyes. It particularly irritated Kiseki.
“Are you deaf?! I won't have any remorse face to your corpse.”
“Oh, you misunderstood me, my bad. I wasn't laughing at your act, I just came to think that it is the first time you are truly trying hard for something.”
Albeit, as they were talking, the phial burst into pieces, shattering all around. Kiseki and Woodle froze. The saving liquid spattered on the ground, soaking it.
Enclosing steps. Holding a gun, she immobilized a dozen of meters away.
Grand sky-blue eyes, long golden hair, it was no one else but the mayor.
“He won't need it in the other world.” Merlish affirmed with a coldness in her voice they never heard before.
Woodle frowned looking at her, her presence wasn't planned and he didn't know her intentions. This was an embarrassing situation.
“Why… Why are you here?…” Kiseki asked, his previous assurance fading away.
“Isn't this obvious? I have come to correct my previous mistake. And, by the same occasion, eliminate all the troubles I met. As you failed protecting the city, I don't need you either, Kiseki. Our long collaboration come to an end today.”
It wasn't even possible to describe how pale and desperate suddenly looked like Kiseki.
“No… You can't do it.” he mumbled, his voice scarcely audible. “You promised… You promised me that no harm would be done to Marnie if I did everything you ordered me!!!” he shouted, completely disoriented. The poison taking effect, he fell to his knees.