Chapter 36:

The Little Things


Regret, guilt, fear, he had lost count how many times they appeared in just the span of a week. It felt like a never ending torrent of negativity designed to crush him under heel. Like he was merely god’s play thing. He was no protagonist from his stories that would go punch said god in the face. Super powers or not, the truth remained that he was just a scared kid in a world he couldn’t comprehend anymore.

Life and death were just concepts that heroes gave speeches about. Death was something that he cheered for when the villain got what was coming to them. Cried when a hero fell before their time. Smiled at the beauty of life painted on a two page spread that he would talk about for the next week. All stories, all fiction and none of it real.

His own mortality felt real, but someone else. It was different. People that were supposed to be his enemies he couldn’t even find the sorrow for even as his stomach twisted and rejected everything. But not like this, an innocent fading before him. That beautiful life, a painting torn to shreds.

“…is…she…safe…” Fumiko coughed deeply, spilling blood from her lips. It snapped Yuki out of his fears for the moment drawing him towards her.

Yuki leaned close to her trying to understand what she was saying. “Do you mean Ayumi?”

“…the little…girl…”

His eyes widened when he heard her worrying about the safety of the little girl. He tightened his fist that rested against the ground feeling the shaking pain in his chest. Tears from his eyes were streaming down his cheeks uncontrollably. “…Yes…she’s safe now…”

“…good…” she said with a weak smile forming on her face.

‘…why…she did nothing and yet…I have to do something! I have to save her! I can’t let this keep happening and do nothing, but cry!’ Yuki rubbed his sleeve over his eyes to get the tears out of his face and stood up. He looked down at Fumiko not sure how much time was left. ‘There’s no time to second guess myself. I know what I want…that should be enough.’

Yuki closed his eyes, concentrating on his singular wish. There was only one thing that he wanted from his power right now. Nothing else mattered to him. ‘Give me the power to save her life!’ The wind suddenly blew up around him as waves pulsed out of his feet making the grass blow away from him. All around him light began to appear from the grass and cement around him gathering at his hands.

Opening his eyes, he looked down to see thin strains of energy being drawn towards his hands. He knelt down at Fumiko’s side not completely sure what he had to do, but instinctively placed his hand on her wound. The strains of light flew up into the air blowing in the breeze digging into the skin and wound of Fumiko. All around the injury green light shone between Yuki’s fingers. Yuki held tightly to Fumiko as more strains grew up, attaching to Fumiko slowly closing up the wound from the inside until the skin was sealed up.

Yuki pulled his hand away looking through the cut in the uniform to see that there was nothing but blood left where the wound was. He smiled in relief and fell back on his legs. Fumiko groaned and coughed as she opened her eyes. “Are you alright?”

“Huh?” Fumiko pulled herself up looking around, no longer certain what was happening. The cold feeling of the void that she had felt was no longer surrounding her. A warmth carried through her giving her the reassurance that she was still alive, contrary to a minute ago. “How am… Is this heaven?”

Yuki laughed a little, wiping away the newly forming tears in his eyes. “No, you’re alive still.”

“Alive? But the pain…the wound!” She looked down at her uniform seeing all of the blood that had soaked in her clothes and around her. It confirmed for her that she had not dreamt of the injury. She remembered feeling the blade going through her and yet now there was no longer even a scar on her stomach. “It’s gone!”

“Yes, I healed you.”

“Healed? How?”

As relief settled in, it broke the focus Yuki had. His awareness of the world around him struck back as voices of students poked in. He looked around to see they managed to draw a big crowd. People confused or taking pictures. “I can’t explain here. You okay enough to move?”


Yuki jumped up, waving his hand for an opening. “She slipped and cut herself on the gate! It looks worse than it is, but I’m going to take her to the clinic nearby. Let us through!”

“What was that strange light?”

“Was it his phone?”

“There’s so much blood…”

He grabbed a hold of Fumiko’s hand and rushed through the crowd in the direction Ayumi ran off. They made it past the school and down the corner between two buildings. “Not sure how much of that they bought, but without evidence, it should just be crazy rumors.”

“What was all that, Hayashi? And how am I still standing? I don’t even feel pain.” Her legs buckled for a moment before Yuki caught. “Ok, maybe a little lightheaded. So it’s all real…”

“It’s complicated. I’m sorry you got involved with all of us. I tried to keep you uninvolved once I realized…”

“Why is this all starting to sound like one of those trashy light novels?”

His face went through several different emotions, almost not sure which to pick. “Finally someone that thinks like I do! But, hey… I guess it sort of does. No, that doesn’t matter right now! I need to go find Ayumi. You should be fully healed, so you can return to school.” Yuki turned to make a run only to get stopped.

“I’m going with you!”

“What?! You can’t, this isn’t something you can handle. It’s best to just forget about all of this and return to school. Knowing Ayumi, she’ll make you forget anyway…”

Fumiko pulled on him, getting Yuki to look at her again. She pointed at her uniform, bloody and with a hole. “I can’t go back to school like this. They’ll think I came out of a horror movie!”

“Good point…but you can’t follow me either!”

Chapter 36 – The Little Things

No one around her made any moves. If they were hidden in the crowd they were extremely patient. She followed the trail to the intersection, checking in subtle ways with her field. Faint snow hung above out of most people’s sight and cut off abruptly to the east. They were nearby, but moving away. It was her only clue.

Two streets later, she stopped at a park. ‘They’re waiting inside…this’ll be less clean up…’ She lowered her Illusion Field briefly before restoring it once more. Snow stretched out everywhere over the park, except for a large circle near the center. “There’s no hiding.”

The same child as before appeared in view as though a curtain opened in reality. “I’m not hiding, unlike you, Eudokia. Playing your games in a high school?” She rested the nearly meter long blade against her shoulder like it was cardboard.

She caught the narrowed look in Ayumi’s eyes. “Oh that’s right. You’re going by Ayumi these days aren’t you? Having fun playing a Japanese school girl for that boy?”

Ayumi stared at the girl, continuing to be cautious of her movements. The real fight had yet to start. They had her at the disadvantage with their identity concealed. “I’m keeping a low profile.”

“Making good use of your skills. But you really have fallen, breaking away…”

Sensing the shifting tides, snow whipped around Ayumi’s body quickly. Her school uniform changed out for her battle attire. She held out her blade towards the girl. “I’m still loyal, unlike the rest of you!”

The girl smiled at Ayumi and held out their own sword. “Not taking this seriously?”

“You aren’t being serious in the form.”

“I guess not,” said the girl shrugging, acting like she did not have a care in the world. The girl swung the sword down from above her head launching an energy beam from the tip of the blade. Snow came up blocking the attack. Ayumi sliced her sword through the wall of snow creating ice projectiles. The assassin swung her blade horizontally. A trail of energy traced a thick line in the air that widened quickly. All of the ice impacted on the semi-opaque wall of energy causing small waves as they were vaporized.

Ayumi sprinted forward to close the distance with the girl with her sword held back. The child matched Ayumi’s movements. Metal clashed together echoing through the park grounds. Ice and energy sparked around their collision.

‘I’ve got to end this quickly, but…’ Ayumi summoned up her ice to go after the legs of the girl, but she pushed back on Ayumi. The child created space as Ayumi’s ice attack approached. They swung in a smooth motion, cutting off the advancing ice. The girl jumped back a step throwing out another energy beam from the tip of the sword.

Ayumi knelt down, placing her hands in the snow to reinforce a barrier. Even with the strength that she provided, it carved through the snow burning over her shoulder narrowly missing. On her back, Ayumi pressed her hands into the snow. Spikes of ice extruded out of the snow. One shot out in counterattack, followed by more in sequence.

The girl dodged and cut off the spikes, but it soon grew to exceed her capabilities. The ice attacks forced her back as she was cut through her dress, avoiding a wound. The tearing cloth flew through the air as she came to a safe landing. She effortlessly drew the sword through the ground erecting a light field from the energy that the ice impacted on. Ice assaults continued as she could see thin pieces of the ice making it through. “Well if you’re getting serious…”

Suddenly the ten year disappeared from the assault. Ayumi scanned around the park looking for the real body. ‘I knew it was a fake still, but I couldn’t pinpoint the real body.’

From where the girl had been was a colored mist that pulsed outward. It fell into the ground expanding to change the grass and cement into a pool of liquid-like multi-colored energies. A mark of her strength, the Field covered a vast area, exceeding the park limits. The changes eliminated everything in the park. Anything on the edge of the Field was carved out like an arched cross section.

Ayumi watched her own field disappear further than previously. It ate through more of her snow field reaching dangerously close. The change made her tighten her grip on the sword. Tension mounted in her body with the appearance of the real assassin.

Out of the fading mist came an adult woman with blonde hair and medium blue eyes. She had a surprisingly calm and gentle expression on her face. She had strains of hair from the side of her head twisted and pulled back to be tied behind her keeping her medium length hair in place. Covering her entire body was a gray body suit that matched her figure completely. She stood taller than Ayumi and the sword that the little girl had been using looked almost small in her hand now. “Ready, Eudokia?”

A small gasp escaped Ayumi as she recognized the woman. She quickly controlled her reaction and narrowed her eyes. “I didn’t expect they’d send you…”

“You did kill everyone else they sent. Naturally, the Council would turn to the one that knows you best.”

“I’m not the same girl you knew.”

“No, you’ve become quite famous since the last time I saw you.” The woman raised up her sword to point it at Eudokia. “But come, stop hiding behind this lie. I might have taught how to do it, but it’s wasted energy.”

Ayumi pulled herself together, narrowing her eyes and controlling her features. She raised her sword up releasing the chakram from the hilt in her off hand. “I have everything I need to kill you, Dareia.”