Chapter 8:

Chapter 8


A red energy blast zoomed past the trees. It was barely hovering above the surface, making a low hum as it maneuvered through the forest. It then decimated into red particles.

“Tsk! So close!” I clicked my tongue, watching the particles vanish in front of me. “I could’ve landed that ending!”

After all this time—and growing a pair—I’m finally practicing my newfound power. I’m already proficient in my swordplay, so the next logical step is to test this out. I didn’t have any time for this because of all the shit that happened earlier with the homeless people and all that. But with that pushed to the side, I can finally hone my skills.

So far, maneuvering the energy ball is an easy task. All that needed to be done was binding it to my will and sending it around places. Although, I can’t seem to get it to come back. All it keeps doing is diffusing in place after a certain time.

When it comes to controlling its size…well, that’s still a “work in progress” if you know what I mean.

Other than that, I think I can get the hang of it. The only thing I have to worry about is blowing the forest t

o kingdom come.

My eyes darted at the rising sun casting a rosy hue across the morning sky. Sunrise already? Damn, all this training made me lose track of time.

Oh well, I can sleep the whole day to regain my strength. My arms are feeling sore, and I’m feeling a little light-headed.

After watching the sunrise in the sky, I strolled back to the dojo, ready to crash on my mat.

“I’m home,” I said. I knew that there’ll be no reply, but it always felt good to do it anyway.

I slid off my kimono and kicked off my sandals as if I was coming home from a long day of work. On the way to my room, I stumbled over a piece of wood. I let out a hiss in pain as I held my foot. The injury wasn’t major, but it hurt like hell.

If I’m going to make this my “home” then I have to pick up the slack and clean this place up. Cobwebs, pieces of wood, debris, holes in the ceiling, mold, and vines riddled everywhere. I’m surprised that it’s still intact after all this time. It’s nothing but a miracle.

Once I reached the room, I dissolved onto the mat. Man, I’m beat! I lay on my back and my surroundings began to darken as I fell asleep.

“Haha! Stop it you!” A voice laughed.

My eyes shot open. I reached for my katana and unsheathed it. “Visitors” don’t come here often and if they do, they just look at the dojo in awe. Not to mention that they’re old people, and that voice didn’t sound old at all. So who the hell is it?

I opened the door slowly, peering my head out. From my eye line of sight, there was no one. Am I hearing voices? No, the voice I’ve heard recently sounded deep, sinister, and outright demonic. This one sounded like a young man, filled with life. It also sounded eerily familiar.

Cracking the door open, I stepped into the hallway, trying my best to be as sneaky as possible. The voice became more audible and clear as I approached it.

With one quick swipe of the sliding door, I held my sword in place, ready to strike.

"Hmph! What took you so long?" The familiar voice chuckled.

I lowered my sword. "You're—you're—"

"Yep! It’s me."

Satoshi. Yeah, that’s him. He looked the same as I remembered him. Fluffy brown hair, gray eyes, fair skin, those baggy dark blue assassin clothes. It’s him.

I could barely utter his name. My hand trembled as I reached out to him.

He stood there, in the middle of the hallway, smirking at me. "Your trusty companion, Satoshi."

I grabbed him by the collar and yanked him into a tight embrace. “I…I thought you were dead.”

He pushed me away, looking confused.

“Dead? What are you talking about? I’m alive and well. Now come on, the others are waiting for you.”

Satoshi took me by the hand as he led me out of his dojo. His hand was…cold and dark gray. I felt an eerie sensation from him, like he was hiding something.

I instinctively reeled my hand back. Something doesn’t feel right about this.

“What’s wrong?” He asked with his back turned.

I remained silent. I felt like something was wrong, but I couldn't put my finger on it.

He turned around. That's when I noticed it. His eyes. They were vacant. Empty. Cold. His pupils were completely black.

I screamed.

"What is it? Does my appearance frighten you, demon?!” Satoshi’s voice became distorted as he approached me.

Satoshi’s appearance started to change drastically. His clothes were now nothing but drags and his hair was a mess. Black liquid started to pour out of his mouth and eyes, as well as his chest.

I knew it was too good to be true! I was so foolish to believe that he survived. I should’ve known better.

My eyes fell on the sword that was a few feet away from me.

"What are you waiting for, Minji?" He cackled as he approached me.

I picked up my sword and swung it at him.

The blade hit him in the chest and his entire body was covered in black liquid. He looked at me with his lifeless eyes, unable to move.

I froze.

Did I just…

“Nice one Minji.” Satoshi smiled.

“Satoshi” didn’t fall over, he stood stationary with that stupid smile on his face.

The sound of chains dragging on the floor approached the front door.

“Woah, what happened here?” Another familiar, yet distorted voice asked. I already knew who it was.

A man with gray skin, messy black hair, and a black jumpsuit with chains attached to them ambled into the dojo.

“Lee.” I said softly.

His eyes, just like Satoshi’s, were black and lifeless with the same color liquid pouring out of them.

“Are you alright bo—” His sentence was cut short with a quick swipe to his throat.

Lee gave me a cheeky smile. “The others aren’t going to be happy about this, boss.”

More black liquid came out of his mouth.

“Let them.” I spat, rushing past my old “companion” and out of the dojo.

I knew that there were more of those things out there. They must be dealt with, friend or not.

I scanned the area, listening for any possible sound. It was quiet, too quiet. They must be hiding. Damn bastards, I’ll find you and rip your heart out!

A nearby bush rustled and I ran towards it. My blade came down on it and nothing came out. I raised my blade, another rustle came from a tree behind me. I whipped out my tanto and threw it in that direction. Nothing.

I felt my anger rising. “Where are you?! Damn you!”

“Jeez, Min-Min, you need to take a breather.” Something or someone tugged on my kimono.

I looked down and saw Harumi, looking the same way as my other “friends.” I tried to pry her away, but she wouldn’t budge.

“Let me go!” I snarled.

Kim and Ryuk came out of the forest and approached me.

“Hey, you need to calm down, Minji,” Kim spoke.

“Seconded. Calm yourself, Minji.” Ryuk agreed.

My heart was racing. What the hell kind of sick joke is this?! Is Lilith behind it? She hasn’t been around since our scuffle, so is this her way of getting back at me?

Satoshi and Lee emerged out of the dojo looking more dead than ever. I wanted to run, but there was nowhere to go. Kim tried to pry the katana out of my hand and he succeeded. I was too terrified to fight back. All I could do was gawk like an idiot as they crowded around me.





They all called my name in their distorted voices. It made me go crazy.

“Why? Why did you leave us to die?” Satoshi moaned.

“I didn’t leave you to die!” I whimpered. “It was…it was…”

“It was who, demon?!” They all said in unison.

I instantly snapped.


I swung my sword wildly. All of them moved back, looking shocked.

“Minji, it’s us. Your fri—”

“You people are not my friends!”

Swinging my sword one last time, I cut them all down. I didn't stop until my blade was covered in black liquid. I just stood there, panting as I looked at them. I knew they weren’t real but it pained me to look at them in such a condition.

I tore my eyes away from the sight and staggered towards the dojo. Before heading in, I didn't know why but I felt the need to look at them one last time. I knew that it would've been easy for me to just turn away and leave. But I couldn’t.

Letting out a loud sigh, I turned around to say one last goodbye to my friends to see that they were gone.

Wait, gone?

“What the? Where did they go?” I questioned. “They were just here a minute ago.”

The scene was silent and dark, all of the blood gone and the corpses gone, except for the blood on my sword.

I walked back into the dojo. Nothing remained of them. Everything was clean. I felt a little cold at the realization that they were illusions.


I whipped around with my blade pointing at…


“Uh, hi there ma’am.”

“What the hell are you doing here?”

“Um, well.”

Her eyes cut down to my blade which was still at her neck. When I realized this, I lowered my weapon.

“Thanks,” Hae mumbled.

“What are you doing here?” I asked my question again.

“I’m here because…because.”

From the corner of my eye, I watched as Hae squirmed around. I groaned inward.

“Come on! I don’t have all day!” I snapped, making her flinch.

“Okay, okay. I’m here to tell you that Kija sent more men into our alleyway,” Hae spoke, and that nervous tone went away immediately. “He must’ve gotten wind of our revolt and tried to shatter our spirits. We tried to fight them off but we were outnumbered.”

Wow, those hobos actually did something right? I’m impressed. Looks like they took my word to heart.

“I see.” I mused.

“We went by your advice and fend for ourselves. All we need is some guidance.” Hae finished.

I let out a chuckle, which turned into a laugh. They’re never gonna let this die down, huh? Well, I might throw them a bone since they held their ground.

“Alright, alright. I think I held y’all on the backburner for too long. I’ll help you.” I said.

Hae’s eyes brighten. “Thank you!”

She walked up and grabbed my hands. Her grip felt warm, unlike…no, it wasn’t Satoshi. It was an illusion. It was nothing.

“By the way, how did you know I was here?” I questioned, changing the subject brewing in my mind.

Hae got a little flustered.

“After you left the allies a day or two ago, I followed you.”

I rubbed my temples. Note to self: Cover your tracks and take different routes.

“I also saw you acting crazy. Swinging that sword around, saying random names.”

I froze.

I gripped her shoulders tightly. She tried to pull away but I used my strength to hold her in place.

“Did you see any corpses lying around?!” I implored.

“Corpses? Uh, no?” Hae sounded uncertain.

I eased my grip and let her go.

“Nevermind,” I sighed. “Forget what I said.”

Hae must’ve seen my glum expression and tried to cheer me up.

“You’re not the only one who hallucinates things, Minji. A shot of Jagermeister will have me acting like a superhero.” She smiled sheepishly.

Despite her attempt to make me feel comfortable, I still felt like shit. She doesn’t know the pain of watching your dead comrades come back to life just to torment you. Ignorance is bliss.

“Let’s go.” I mumbled, walking out of the dojo with Hae following suit.

The quicker I finish this, the better.


Crazy Kid