V8 Story III – Part 05

I opened the door to see a person suspended in the air.

The old man I was after was hanging crosswise, his hands and feet bound with chains, four of them firmly embedded into the walls of the room. The feathers scattered on the floor rose softly with my every step.

It felt like a dream. Honestly, I had no idea what was going on. Coming to kill someone, only to find them already restrained, was a ridiculous joke. It felt like an unexpected welcome. It was annoying as hell.

For just a moment, I wondered if there really was a god. This old man incurred divine punishment because of all the things he did. How awfully poetic. Maybe my hour of death was close as well.

But too bad. If there was a god, the world would be marginally better.

For now, I decided to wake the old man up. I tried punching the chains, and a grating groan came from him. Maybe it hurt. I had no idea how long he had been hanging there, but he seemed considerably weak.

Then, suddenly, I realized something very disappointing.

Do I really need to kill this guy?

“Who… are… you…?” he wheezed. “Help… me…” His face was covered in drool and tears.

Did you even once listen to anyone who begged for… I stopped. Too much effort.

I grabbed the old man’s face without saying a word. His skull creaked, like it was about to crack open.

Maybe I should test his skull’s durability. But I decided to try communicating with him. My mind was currently in chaos, so it seemed crucial to gather information from the person involved.

“Hello there, old man. How are you doing? Did you think I was here to help you? Sorry to disappoint, but it’s just me. Can we chat for a bit? Hmm… but there’s no point in asking why things turned out like this. I mean, I’m going to kill you anyway. Hahaha. Oh, I think I just figured it out on my own.”

The old man’s eyes widened, and he shook his head. Unfortunately, I couldn’t hear him as his mouth was covered. I thought about what else I could ask him. But whenever I tried to verbalize the questions, the words just disappeared.

Nothing I asked seemed to matter. It was too late to lambast him. Besides, I didn’t even consider him human. I couldn’t believe Hirugao put up with this guy. Ah, crap.

FREEZE: I regain temporary control.

The image went black, as if someone turned off the TV. I came back to my senses. Yusuke’s consciousness was cloudy or maybe, out of fear, I subconsciously severed the connection. Since I’d become accustomed to reading memories, it was possible my defense mechanism kicked in. The video suddenly resumed.

When I came to my senses, the old man’s face was crushed. His nose was broken, and blood was gushing from his eyes.

Who did this? My sneakers were a mess, covered in saliva and blood, broken teeth between the laces. I could have asked him to compensate me, but magnanimous as I was, I decided to let it slide.

I looked at the handle of the bat. I struck him with the back of it, but it wasn’t too bloody. Thankfully, I didn’t get covered in blood. Suddenly, a simple question came to mind. I thought I might as well ask him.

I grabbed the old man’s hair and lifted his gaunt face. “Do you remember Hirugao? Oh, I guess that name won’t work. Uh…”

His wrinkled cheeks trembled like amoebas; he seemed afraid of dying. To think that a monster could feel fear—the mysteries of life were incredible.

Holding back laughter, I continued. “The kid from Maihime’s place… Uh, I believe her last name was Karakuri? You know her, don’t you? You bought and sold her. Right?”

“Ah…. Ah…”

Well, he didn’t have to answer.

I was waiting for an answer, but also not really. No matter what I asked, the conclusion remained the same.

He would suffer if I just left him like this, so I was hesitant about beating him to death. Still, I wanted to break a few bones and rupture a couple of his organs. I had no intention of stopping now.

Nevertheless, I waited for his answer. While I was killing time, the old man spoke, trembling.

“The buyer… was awful…”


No good. He was just rambling now. I wasn’t exactly in the right headspace, but this was too much. He shouldn’t have said that.

This was bad. Really bad. From bad to being too late. To be honest, I didn’t want to think rationally. As much as possible, I didn’t want to think about her.

I was already on the verge of dying from thinking about reality that I couldn’t change. I was too exhausted to be angry. Confronting my rage was something I wanted to avoid. And then he just had to say that. What were you trying to say?

“The price was… too low.”

FREEZE: A heavy silence.

A few seconds later, I heard the sound of flesh being beaten. I wanted to cover my face, but there was no concept of a body here. I bemoaned Yusuke’s actions, but I also felt like this was inevitable. I almost validated his quest for vengeance, but I quickly disavowed it. I shouldn’t approve of it. Everyone else might, but not me.

When I came to again, the old man was dead. I was aware that I killed him.

His skull was cracked open like a watermelon, the contents spilling on the floor staining the feathers red. With this much damage, the skull shouldn’t be able to laugh. I felt a bit relieved.

The old man was completely dead. I cocked my head, thinking he died a little too fast.

I failed. Seriously, what had I done? I was planning to slowly torment him. I didn’t feel any exhilaration or sense of accomplishment. I wasn’t really expecting much anyway, but getting absolutely nothing left me empty.

“Ahh… fuck this.”

I glared at the corpse. Even someone I hated became just an object once they were dead.

Just as I was about to touch his arm, heat seared my hand. Chains were driven between my fingers. A bit of the flesh was cut, and blood splattered.


Chains flexed like snakes and pierced into the walls one after another. I dashed out of the room.

The room was filled with chains, leaving no space to walk. I checked my injured hand. I had lost a bit of flesh between my thumb and index finger, but I could still grip my bat.

“Ah, phew. Ouch… What the hell was that?”

Entering the room again seemed impossible. Chains had completely surrounded the lifeless body, as if warning anyone not to touch it. As I shook my head, I noticed someone.

A girl was glaring at me, dressed in all-white like some prisoner. Her beautiful golden eyes had unusually narrow pupils. Almost like the eyes of a snake.

“Um, who are you?”


She narrowed her eyes, looking displeased.

Then I realized something. This girl had to be part non-human. The chains that pierced the walls were probably her doing. I felt that incidents related to the supernatural were somehow linked to non-human beings.


“Why what?”

She pouted, stomping on the floor wildly.

Shaking all over, she began shouting. “Why did you kill him? You can’t do that! I worked so hard to tie him up, to catch him! I wanted to torment him, so why did you do that?!”

Her tone reminded me a little of Hirugao, but her words were disturbing. I was tongue-tied. My throat felt constricted, making it hard to breathe. I didn’t want to suffocate, so I forced the words out.

“Ah… I see. Yeah, I was thinking the same thing.”

I didn’t know what to say. For now, I decided to apologize.

“Sorry. What he said ticked me off, so… I didn’t mean to.”

Apologies wouldn’t bring the dead back to life. Not Hirugao. Nor those two. I felt it was dangerous to think any further. I gathered all my thoughts and cast them aside completely.

“So, yeah… Um, whatever.”

I grew tired of talking, so I extended a hand instead. She must have been bought. It was my duty as someone older to take her outside. The old man was dead, and the door was open.

“Let’s go,” I said. “I’m sorry for killing him. Okay?”

The girl didn’t take my hand. Come to think of it, my palm was covered in blood. And there was a dead body in the room.

A mistake, it felt like. If I were this girl, I would never take my hand.

“I killed that guy, right?” I said. “Killing him means I don’t like him. So we’re on the same side. Understand? See, it’s not dangerous. I’m not gonna hurt you. Okay?”

“I can’t get out,” the girl muttered suddenly.

Her snake-like eyes became moist, and tears slid down her round, pale cheeks.

“I can’t get out,” she said with a contorted face. “I tried and tried, but I couldn’t. It has to be his doing. So I hanged him. Why…”

She stomped her feet in frustration. Confused children can’t speak coherently. Her words were chaotic, irrational, and far off the point.

Nevertheless, realization dawned on me. I wished it didn’t.

“Ah, you’re… I see, Okay.”


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Beyond Another Darkness ~ B.A.D.

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