Chapter 6:

Scripted Violence.


The soil and the blade complimented each other perfectly. Almost as if they understood the significance of timing in destiny.

Time suddenly began to move again as the ecliptic edge dissolved almost completely with a drop of sweat landing upon my cheek followed by the dissonant distortion of-

"DIEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!" cutting through the wind with an explosion of emotion aimed towards the-

"GRGGGGGGGGGGGGGRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!" I had owed the breath of relief I drew upon realizing that the blade didn't define my end.

This breath was drowned by the sensation of my neck swerving in the direction of the distortion in order to make sense of it.

My line of sight arrived right on time to witness a relentless barrage of arrows being released into a towering tree tearing it into bits of bark and broken branches.

The barrage continued diagonally into the height of the neighboring trees giving the notion that the target was moving.

Insanely so, I might add since the arrows were being released at a speed that would resemble the likeliness of a healthy minigun at best emphasizing the isekai-ness of this scenario.

"QUOLIAN HALT!" shouted the shadow that crouched above me only moments before he made a leap in an effort the close the distance between him and his accomplice.

He was successful in doing so as he was able to grab him by the back. He turned to us momentarily putting a halt to the assault as the boy turned to him with a face full of annoyance and slight shock:

"Hey, what are you doin-"

A huge chuck of his waist flew off in a fountain like spill of blood coupled with the crunching sound of crushed bones and destroyed organs.

A quarter of his face followed suit with a gaping hole replacing his left eye /side spilling bits of brain and bodily tissue all over the surrounding grass.

With his hand and face both drowned in blood and terror, the elderly stoic figure broke down into something more human. He caressed his assaulted comrade delicately as if this person was the only entity of importance.

The blood soaked deep dying the black cloaks in which both figures were dawned into a tragic crimson red.

A voice broke through the soundless mourning,

"Pain eludes me, strangely enough. How unfair this fit of irony truly is. Galivanting throughout this anomality judging those based on their significance in relation to my pursuits. Hopes, dreams, ambitions. I crushed them all in my own fallacies. In all their pain. Yet when my hopes and dreams are vanquished by a mixture of misjudgment and an act of selfish redemption, it carries no more weight than the breeze. *Chuckles* Almost as if, I was not deemed fit to be able to comprehend what I had once initiated."

"Nonsense, Sir Quolian! I was the one who saw it fit to dispose of those who weren't the target after your misjudgment! I thought there would be no repercussions in the absence of the judgmental sun this place had created! That our light here would be limited to what we had determined as such! A delusion of adequacy I prided myself with exacting!" responded another voice in a face wrinkled painfully in grievance. He spoke in a voice boldly contrasting the barely audible whispers of his comrade. It was if he were trying to shake his comrade out of their calm slumber with the volume of his voice.

"And one that I had allowed to ensue. My blundered guidance will have me die here for the both of us. How fitting it is for our victim to witness my retribution, totally aloof with his innocence and injury reflecting all that we had taken and all that was preserved admiss the taken. Approaching death really does allow distant thoughts to grow founder and more potent."

"Enough! One's last breath shouldn't be filled with self-ridicule or bitter reflection! This makes it so that a greater shadow is casted over those who loom in your absence!"

Even with the minimal understanding I had of these two individuals and my faulty relationship to them, I could still feel the dampness of the reservoir of feelings flowing though their dense exchange. It urged me to grip tightly onto the book resting beneath my left palm.

An epiphany again struck me.

I guess this isn't completely unwarranted in an emotionally galloping situation such as this.

This situation seemed to have pushed me into a re-interpretation of Scabbard and Stubborn strangely enough. Perhaps in this childish tale, the stubborn knight represented the tendency of human conviction to prompt self-conservation in any circumstance concealing their true nature ceaselessly. With the stories always concluding with the knight always drawing the sword regardless of how the situations are framed, it could point to human conviction towards concealing their nature being futile as it will always forcefully prevail as a result of causality.

This might have been what was happening before me, no, ever since I came to this world.

Before, I had always tried to conceal my true nature due to past circumstances but the small time I had spent in this world had already laid waste to my conviction. Now, I was made to witness this occurring between two complete strangers as they shed their seemingly hard, immoral exteriors as a result of the presence of death: a symbol of causality.

But then, I wondered, what does it mean to become celestial? pondering if this realization was one of the was occurring to the wishes of the one who casted me off into this world.

Suddenly, I began to realize that this could also be used to add context to what I had been asked shortly before:

"MY LIFE WAS WIEGHTLESS IN THIS STIUATION!" I blurted out in scorching emotion causing my voice to slightly crack.

"No..r-rather it was the scale that caused you both to put your lives out to weigh!"

That's right. Ever since I've arrived in this world--no, my entire life, I've only ever been used by others to quantify their worth. The "forces" mother spoke about only ever opposed me when I tried to go beyond that. When I tried to be anything more than what I really was.

"Nonsense." the dying figure retorted as if he were both replying to me and following up on what was said earlier.

" When shadow is cast, looming won't be the only thing one does following my absence. It.. will....'s...ra.......ys."

The figure had emptied that retort, against their mourner's wishes, into their final breath.

"BRAAAAAAAAVOOOOOOOO! A brilliant expression of narratology in the form poetic justice that consumed everything!" was what sounded through the air almost immediately afterwards, cutting through the entire scene before us. It was accompanied by an applause too healthy to be coming from a single pair of hands.

"AGGGGGGRRRHHHHHAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!!!!!" I screamed tearing through my tonsils as everything came back to me.

The insatiable agony I had once gripped my leg in order to combat awoke once again with every witnessing nerve pulsing to communicate to my brain just this. Waves of tears rushed down my cheek in response to the maddening message making it clear that the pain had driven me completely out of control.

"HAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHA! Heightened indeed this entire scene was! Rushing emotion! Communicating humanity passionately!" the sudden monologue continued with the voice releasing an uncontrolled but satisfied laugh.

"W-W-What? Young Quolian....just what this...." mumbled the silhouette in a confused tone as he stared in total puzzlement at the blood-soaked boy resting eternally within his palms. With a shake of his head, he continued to himself much more aggressively-

"How could I have.... after knowing full and well........YOU HEATHEN! THE NERVE!"

He finally exploded, turning his attention to the figure existing amidst the high trees who metaphorized into silence.

He seemed to have only taken this form in order to properly observe what had been taking place below him as he quickly reverted in an audibly ridiculing tone:

"Why do you persist at being whined by your anger though? We're all the same here, regardless of our differences. Mortals dwelling in favorable sins that we believe to be instrumental. Results come first in all of our eyes--though I would say I am slightly above this. Not by choice, however. NO! NO! NO! Tch! I daresay I were forced into this position. Patrolling these formidable foreign lands weaving sinful escapades into fits of literary potency."

The man dawned in the blood-soaked cloak only groaned maliciously at this volumetric rant causing it to continue.

"Take you three for example. Two murderers so skilled and stoic in their trade that they see it as both a convenience and ends to a means; killing to further their goals and killing to patch up potholes during their journey. This continues until they stumble upon a pothole that they sink into more deeply that could've dreamed during their attempt at patching it, forfeiting the rest of their journey consequently. It is in this darkness--no, this pit that they meditate on their blighted humanity! Even the pothole starts dwelling on its own existential significance! OH, I'VE SIMPLY OUTDONE MYSELF THIS TI-"

A blunted strike finally had put an end to the long-winded soliloquy with significant collateral damage being done to noticeably outgrown branch on which this had taken place.

The strike had forced the figure perched on the branch into the surrounding grass, mud and dirt that he had before spoken down upon.

The resulting sound of the strike again gave away the crunch of destroyed bones at first. This was before it became a much bolder disturbance announcing the scenary-distrubing, miniature crater and clouded dust this entire exchange gave birth to.

"What vices we flirt with self-indulgently aren't another's to sanctify. Especially not as they indulge in their own."

"Effortlessly hypocritical or possibly even submerged in ignorance! Either way, your current endeavor should be an absolute thrill to antagonize!"

Clashed both the sterile but vigorous and the audibly stimulated voices before both their silhouettes even emerged from the erupting dust.

It had appeared that the blunted strike was delivered in the form of an unnatural punch. The punch was indeed rather unnatural due to how it was thrown. An arm, resembling a brown bear in likeliness and an elephant's leg in size with it being only slightly smaller had emerged with notable speed from beneath the stoic man's cloak. It came out as a jab healthy enough to push someone from the height of a tree into newfound depths of dirt.

What had appeared even more unnatural was how the jab was handled. Human arms in both proportion and likeliness crossed each other creating a barrier separating this jab from the upper torso it had been directed at. This barrier had managed to calm the jab in all its momentum while remaining intact.

Except visible swellings that had appeared signifying the bones that were now completely dispelled.

"How blessed-" the owner of these hands began with a kick emerging from beneath the barrier landing directly into the stoic man's chest. It was delivered with enough force to send him skating across the crater putting a fair amount distance between the two parties while retaining his footing.

"We both are."

Again, the sound of crunching bones echoed throughout the forest almost identical to before.

Circumstances differed though. This time, it was accompanied by the swellings existing on the hands mentioned before slowly fading out of existence.

The bear shaped arm was gripped in a manner similar to a wound being comforted. The seemingly human arm that did the gripping seemed oddly misshaped--almost as if it were swollen.

This was followed by stressful gritting of the stoic man's teeth coupled with based groans and a wrinkled expression pointed at the slender, tall figure before him.

A figure of man with hair braided into magnetic elegance as it rested upon his small but husky shoulder. At least that was how his hair would've interacted with his torso-

"What is the meaning of this? "This was what was murmured stressfully as he gazed at the figure before him.

As the slender figure was dawned in a cloak almost exactly identical to his.

" A textbook example of an antithesis. Down to even the color pallets. Sigh, how uninspired this entire development panned out to be." The responding voice had toned down drastically almost as if he had sobered up from the rave of adrenaline that had consumed him only moments ago.

"Young Quolian's predicament is beginning to strike me as being a lot more plausible seeing this."

Riling up small heaps of dust behind his left heel, the elderly man began backfooting the dirt as if he were readying himself for something.

"How obscene! Your greatest foil is within your presence and the only lines of dialogue you put out are spent on the irrelevant and deceased, exactly how dull do you insist on characterizing yourself out to be?!"

"Pfft. You'll soon understand well enough after you've seen what brings my thoughts together. I'll make sure of it."

By this point, everything had seemed like a fleeting after thought to me with my injuries claiming my consciousness.

I was unable to fully witness the scene that had unfolded after the man had left dust filled shockwaves after he had launched himself towards the chatty imposter that had stolen his look. All in an effort to avenge the cloaked figure resting on the grass in the silence of eternity.