Return of the Fallen Volume 5 Chapter 18


Author: Blue_Rat


ch18

“Asuna.”

Asuna was crying a few rooms over. Her head buried in the side of the couch, tears rolling down constantly.

Sam sat beside her and gently rubbed her back. It was all he could do to comfort her. Seeing someone he treated like a sister be so upset hurt him as well but he was never one with words and didn’t know what else to say or do.

Asuna cried for a good 10 minutes or so before she finally peeked her head up.

“God, why am I like this? What the hell is wrong with me?”

“There’s nothing wrong with you Asuna, you’re the best person I know.”

Tears began to well up in her eyes once again.

“Then why do I feel this way? I’m so confused.”

“What are you confused about? About Kazuki, the way you feel about him?”

Asuna nodded like a child.

“I think I get it.”

Asuna looked at him, confused.

“Not the whole love thing, don’t misunderstand but I do think of him as something like a friend. So in terms of caring about him, I do. When I first found out who he really was, I hated him. I wanted nothing more than to punch him directly in the face and make him bleed. Then I thought about a few things and it became much clearer. You and I, we were forcefully dragged to this world. Because of him though, Ryuta who also would have been dragged to this nightmare, because of Kazuki, Ryuta is still safe on Earth. Danny already died, I don’t know what I would have done if Ryuta was forcefully brought here with us and died as well. Knowing him, he would have gotten himself in trouble in no time. So I’m grateful to Kazuki because of that. Once I thought about that, I also considered Kazuki’s situation. He’s already been set on a path that’s hard for others to follow. He’ll have to face his sister and mother at some point and by the looks of it, the danger will always be there. Kazuki, even though he hates them, even though up to this point he seemed willing to do everything necessary to destroy them, he was prepared to give it all up and sacrifice himself to Garn just so we could live. I know how I feel about Kazuki. Someone who will give up their heart’s desire, give up his revenge so he can protect the people he cares about. If that isn’t a true friend, then I don’t know what is.”

Asuna didn’t understand where Sam was going with all of this.

“What does any of that have to do with this?”

“Hmm, I thought I made it pretty clear. My point is, I had to stop and think deeply about what I felt about Kazuki but at some point it all became clear. I’m saying you should do the same. Do you actually like Kazuki like that or is this just a passing feeling? If it’s the first one and you truly feel that way about Kazuki then look at what comes next. Are you willing to stay next to him and fight for him in both love and war? Kazuki was willing to give up his life to save us all. What are you willing to sacrifice. If the answer isn’t everything, then I’d give up right here and now. If it’s the other way around though and you can put it all on the line, then what’s stopping you?”

Sam then stood up and walked to the door.

“Eh, where are you going?”

“Somehow my mouth is tired so I’m gonna go grab a drink. I don’t understand how people can talk so much.”

Sam opened the door and Kimi fell in. Apparently, she was eavesdropping. Sam glared at her.

“What do you want?”

Kimi felt sheepish but hearing Sam’s words through the door she became inspired and determined.

“I…I came to talk to Asuna about what happened earlier.”

Both Sam and Asuna scrunched their brows.

“Does it look like she wants to speak with you?”

Sam didn’t yell at her but his tone caused Kimi to take a step back. Kimi went silent for a second before Sam’s speech a second ago echoed in her head.

(What would I sacrifice? What’s stopping me?)

Kimi took a step forward and she felt pain within her chest as she thought about what she had done. As she thought about how she tried to harm Asuna and how Sam had left her, the hurt was unbearable and tears fell from her eyes.

“Asuna…I’m so sorry.”

it was as though the flood gates had opened as tears fell like a river. Kimi did her best to wipe them away but the more she wiped the more they seemed to fall. All the while she continuously apologized with everything she had.

“I know I did wrong, I know how much I betrayed you, betrayed the both of you. I was scared, I didn’t want to die, I didn’t want to lose Sam and I know it’s not an excuse but but but…I don’t know what I can say or do but I’m sorry and and.”

Kimi’s words started to become incomprehensible at this point and both Sam and Asuna were completely taken aback. The same Kimi who was so degrading and never apologized. The same Kimi who’s confidence and ego was as high as the sky, was now bawling like a little girl and saying sorry.

Sam and Asuna just stared in silence but this only led Kimi to cry louder and harder. Asuna felt pity.

“Sam, why don’t you go on ahead and let me and Kimi have a private talk.”

“But, are you sure?”

Asuna nodded.

“Kimi doesn’t seem to be faking. I’d like to have a talk with her as well. You can go.”

Sam sighed before turning around to leave. Just before he left, Asuna called out to him one last time.

“Sam.”

Sam turned around and Asuna already had him wrapped in a hug.

“Thank you, your words, they really helped.”

Sam hugged her back with both warmth and gentleness.

“No need for thanks. Don’t you know, I’ve always got your back.”

Sam looked at Kimi’s pitiful state and sighed once again.

*Haaa*

“Kimi, come find me later, we need to have a talk as well.”

Kimi continued to bawl her eyes out and could only nod in response.

—————————————————————————-

Sam came back to the dining hall and walked up to Nunully. He was about to say something but held back.

(There’s no need for my words. What happens between the three of them, I just hope Asuna doesn’t get hurt.)

Sam sat down next to Kazuki and Kazuki passed him a drink.

“Is everything ok?”

Sam picked up the drink and downed it one go.

“Treat them fairly.”

Kazuki didn’t get what he meant.

“Treat who fairly?”

Sam said nothing else before grabbing a nearby meat skewer and taking large bites out of it, ignoring Kazuki.

Kazuki wanted to know what Sam was talking about but Shin started pulling on his sleeve, distracting him.

Shin then proceeded to get on top of the table and rip his shirt off.

Tilly responded in kind with some hooting and hollering while she continued to drink and Shin had fun with it. He began doing handstands and drinking upside down. His balance was impeccable and both Etora and Mei began to calp and cheer in delight at his entertainment.

A little later on, Asuna and Kimi came back. Both had red eyes from crying a lot but the two seemed to now be on good terms. They both had a few drinks and some snacks before Kimi pulled Sam off to the side and they spoke quietly for a bit. Well, it was more like Kimi speaking and Sam listening. Eventually, Kimi dragged Sam away so they could speak privately, away from prying ears.

After having a few drinks, Asuna walked over to Nunully and slammed her cup down.

“Challenge.”

Nunully raised her head confidently.

“For what?”

Asuna’s eyes wandered over to Kazuki.

“You know for what. Do you accept the challenge or are you a little scaredy-cat?”

Nunully saw where Asuna looked and she understood immediately. There was no hesitation as she slammed her cup as well.

“Fine but let’s end it here and now with this. If I win, you don’t mention this ever again and you give up. Kazuki will be mine and you won’t interfere ever, got it.”

Asuna was slightly surprised. For some reason, Nunully was acting bolder and bolder today. Asuna however didn’t back down.

“Sounds good to me. I’ll say the same to you though. You lose, don’t even look his way.”

Nunully snorted and stepped forward until her chest was pressing against Asuna’s.

“Hmpf, do you think I’ll lose?”

Asuna stepped closer as well making their chests press against each other.

“Just shut up already and drink.”

The two glared at one another before they both picked up their glass and slammed them back. The fight was on.



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