That groan, that damned groan, came from the mouth it should never have.
The world slowed down to a crawl, forcing me to look at the scene far longer than I would have liked to.
The world turned black and white, save for the crimson blood glistening from the edge of Michael’s sword and staining that small back which was protecting me.
And so, I moved. I stepped forward till I was beside Sherry. I raised my hand, and let it go towards Michael’s throat. Because the world had slowed down for me, my hand was also moving slowly.
It was clear what I had to do now- grab this mongrel’s neck, and then give him a fate which he deserves for hurting my Sherry. Enough planning, it’s now time to act.
My hand was now inches away from his throat, but from the corner of my eyes I noticed something.
Sherry’s lips were moving; really slowly, but they were moving. For some reason, Sherry was trying to say something to this filth.
So be it, Sherry. I’ll give this one to you.
As I retracted my hand, the world returned to its former glory.
“Have you……. come back to your……. ugh!…. senses?” Sherry eked out after much trouble.
Control, Samuel Hayden, control. You MUST hold yourself back!
It’s true that Sherry has been hurt, but the injury is not severe enough to cause instant death, so Phiria, me, or perhaps even Sherry herself, can heal her. The situation is more than salvageable.
“She…..rry…..?” With his eyes, lips and entire body trembling, that scoundrel looked at the girl who had jumped into the path of his sword. The mana flowing out from his body vanished and he shuddered as it finally dawned on him what exactly he had done. “Sherry?! Sherry! Oi! Just what have I-”
“Shhhh.” She shushed him by putting her finger over his lips. “No need to… think anymore… just stay… like this…”
Sherry suddenly cradled his cheeks into her hands, and after some difficulty, she leaned into his face and kissed him.
Way to go, Sherry! And fuck you, Michael! I swear I’ll never understand why she fell for this broken condom. I’d usually say ‘To each their own’, but this mistake of an existence is where I draw the line.
Of course, that kiss (if it can be called that) didn’t last for long, as Sherry passed out soon and her head slumped over his chest. Michael stood there in a daze for a moment, and then snapped back into reality.
“Sherry?! Wake up, Sherry! You cannot die like this! I will not let you die like this!”
He took out the sword from her stomach and gently laid her on the ground.
Imma be honest here; I have seen some of the dumbest things people have ever done, but this one takes the cake.
Keeping the sword lodged there would have helped in stopping her bleeding, and this lunatic went ahead and pulled it out just like that. Moreover, he has the audacity to let his reasoning be blown away by his emotions; instead of trying to stop her bleeding or calling for a medic, he’s just slapping her cheeks gently and begging her to wake up.
If I was ever stabbed and someone tried to slap me awake, I’d probably wake up just to spit on their face, and then die immediately after as a ‘Fuck you!’.
It is because of cheap drama stuff like this that people die so easily. Even a single minute can make a difference, and yet they waste it in pointless actions.
Now, someone may ask, ‘Why are you just standing there and making pointless remarks?’ Because, as I’m making my in-depth analysis of this nonsensical situation, Phiria is already on her task.
She instantly made her way towards them, gripped that rascal’s arms that were clutching Sherry’s face in desperation, and forced them open.
Imma pretend that I didn’t hear that cracking sound from them.
She closely examined Sherry’s wound and started her healing magic. A small blue orb appeared on her hand and she put it over the slash on Sherry’s chest. As expected, in a matter of seconds, the wound closed and her torso returned to the way it was supposed to be.
After being healed her breathing stabilised, but her expression was still pale, probably due to the blood loss.
“Thankfully she hasn’t lost much blood, so with proper rest she should wake up soon.”
Hearing this, the absolute buffoon, who had been sitting on the ground and staring at them in a daze, looked up instantly.
“Sherry….. won’t die?”
“Nope.” Phiria replied without looking his way.
“I haven’t killed Sherry?”
“Isn’t that the same thing? Stop this useless blabber and get up on your feet.”
Phiria marched up to him and hoisted him with his arm, and then threw him where Sherry was lying.
“Oof.” Lantz winced after seeing that deflated troglodyte being manhandled like that.
That weak pull-out game muttered to himself as he put his hand over Sherry’s chest (what the fuck is this shithead doing?), over her heart to be more precise (phew). As his hand went up and down with Sherry’s breathes, tears started flowing from his eyes.
But he made no effort to stop or wipe them.
“I’m sorry…” He cried. “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to do that, I just…”
“Just?” I decided to intervene.
It’s true that I had decided to let him live for now, but that doesn’t mean I won’t do anything at all.
That fermented meat sack looked at me with his face full of snot and tears.
“Samael, what should I do?”
Oh? I’ll admit, I was expecting him to spout some bullshit about how I had mind-controlled her to get in his way, but turns out that he didn’t turn out to be that much of a lowlife. Though I probably have Sherry’s kiss to thank for that.
“I… I just stabbed Sherry. I almost killed the only person who had been on my side.” He hiccupped. “Just what… should I do?”
Hmm, the outcome was better than I expected.
“What were you trying to do just now?”
“I… was trying to protect my friends… no.” He shook his head derisively. “I was just falsely accusing you…”
He realises that? Damn, just how great of an impact did stabbing Sherry have on him? He seems traumatized, as if he had done something he had feared doing the most.
“I see.” I nodded. “As for what you should do now, I’ll leave that to Sherry when she wakes up.”
I left him with his mouth agape. As I did, Thor walked over to me.
“Sir Samael, can I kill this bastard?” His voice was chilly, yet there was a fire burning in his eyes.
Huh, never would I have thought that I would one day agree with Thor on something. These are confusing times.
“Well, do you know why Sherry jumped in between us?”
To be honest, I seriously want to know the answer to that. Why the hell did Sherry do that? It couldn’t have been to protect me; we are not close enough for her to risk her life for me. But it couldn’t have been for Michael as well; after all, I wasn’t doing anything when Michael made his last attack. Had she not interfered, I would have just let him stab me.
I do have a few theories, but I won’t really know unless I hear it from herself.
“It was… for Michael, wasn’t it?” He looked down.
“Yes. So, by killing him, you’ll ruin Sherry’s sacrifice.”
“So I should just shut up and do nothing?” He frowned.
“Well, do you have any right to do anything?”
“The one to be stabbed was Sherry. The one to be wronged was Sherry. And since she hasn’t died, she is the only one who has the right to punish or forgive Michael. And no one, can steal that right from her.”
“Then what am I supposed to do?! I!” He bit his lips and barely stopped himself from saying anything else.
“Well, how about you leave this to Sherry.” I pat him on the shoulder. “Believe me when I say this, but I want to kill him as much as you do, but I think we should respect her opinions and choices. If Sherry got into his way, she must have done this for a reason.”
“I, but, I-” He sputtered.
“Look, I know you, uh, care about her.” Saying that sent shivers down my spine. “That’s exactly why you have to respect her, alright?”
Thor’s lips moved for moments, but after a big long sigh, he weakly nodded and turned around to join the rest of his classmates, who by the way had already been healed by Phiria. Only if I could get her to purify the hand that had just touched Thor, then it would be wonderful.
When I was finally done talking with Thor, Cecile and Lantz made their way towards me. Clearly, they had something to say to me, but-
“Nnnn.” Right then, Sherry woke up. She opened her eyes, raised her torso and looked around a bit. “Wait…am I alive?”
“Sherry!” Before I could reply, the little pest went ahead and hugged her while crying.
“Uh, Michael, are you alright?” She asked while gently returning his hug.
“We should be the one asking you that, actually.” I intervened.
“I’m feeling… really good.” She smiled.
“That’s good. Now, I know this is straightforward of me, but can I ask you why exactly did you jump in between me and Michael’s sword?”
“I was, uh, t-trying to protect you?” She stammered.
“Oh, really? And by your own body? You do realise that a sword can easily penetrate a human body, don’t you? So just why the fuck would you do something as idiotic as THAT?!”
“You shut the fuck up you filthy mongrel!” I shouted at the insect and turned back to Sherry. “So, the answer please.”
“Well, this is a bit embarrassing, but I was actually trying to cast a barrier magic spell.”
“Really? I certainly didn’t see anything like that.”
Did that trash reach her before she could put up the barrier?
“Yeah, of course, you didn’t.” She scratched her head and sighed. “Because while chanting I made a slipup and botched the spell.”
Did that actually happen? Really? I suppose that is an exotic way to lose your life.
“But Sir Samael.” Sherry smiled coyly. “You seem quite… disturbed by the stunt I pulled there.”
“Well, of course I would be. I’m your teacher for damn’s sake.”
“Really? Because for a moment you sounded like you really cared for me.”
“But of course, as a teacher I do deeply care about my students.”
“I suppose.” Sherry made a slow nod.
Oh Sherry, you nasty little demon. Goddamn.
Ah, right, there’s this inbred mutt as well.
“I-I’m really sorry for-”
“Ah, don’t worry about that. It wasn’t your fault.” Sherry waved her hand.
“Of course it was! I stabbed you with my sword!”
“Okay… but was that sword aimed for me?”
“N-no, it wasn’t, but-”
“And had you done anything to alter your course in any way to stab me.”
“I-I didn’t, but-”
“Right. I was the one who jumped in your path. If anything, the responsibility is on me.”
“But I should have done something!” The douche snapped.
“Except that you couldn’t have done anything.” Sherry looked him straight into the eye. “You see, Michael, Samuel and I were really close friends.”
That moving mannequin was certainly taken aback by this sudden confession. By now, all the other classmates had gathered around and formed a circle around him.
“I’ll admit, that he was a nasty uncaring prick who did things as he saw fit, but he was still a really kind man.”
“I… know…” He exhaled derisively. “I know.”
“Even before disappearing, he gave us our chance to live. Right here, in this world.” She pointed to the ground below her.
“And I messed it up by letting Arthur and Susan die.” Tears gathered up at the edge of his eyes.
“And that’s it, Michael! You didn’t mess it up, we did.”
“What? No! I was the one at fault, not you guys! I was the leader!”
“Yeah, you were a leader, not a tyrant. And a leader needs to depend on his followers. We share the same burden, the same guilt.”
“But you shouldn’t!”
“Why? Because you took it all upon yourself?”
“Maybe you’re right, maybe we shouldn’t feel guilty for their deaths. But the fact is, that we do. And you know better than anyone else that a guilty person cannot be convinced otherwise.” She smiled.
“T-then… then… what am I supposed to do?”
“Michael, you cannot erase our guilt and mistakes.” Sherry looked down for a moment, but then cradled that bug’s cheeks and smiled warmly. “But you can take part in it.”
“She’s right, you know.” Kamia added with an abashed smile.
“Welcome to the group, brother.” Tom patted his back.
“You aren’t the only one who feels responsible for their deaths. We’re in this together.” Thor reassured with a nod.
And many more followed. All of them said different things, but their message was the same; whatever they face, they face together.
If I didn’t know any better, then I would have called this communist propaganda.
Finally, our Mr. Dickhead had finally been granted redemption. And of course-
“B-but… I hurt you guys.” He responded meekly.
“Ah, don’t worry. You are nothing compared to our Sir Samael.” Everyone laughed at the comment which I obviously take offence at.
What am I, a torturer? Just what do these guys see me as?
The little cunt burst out into tears when surrounded by pure goodwill(?). And so, this little group of brats had finally taken the first step towards being Heroes.
Though to be perfectly honest, this was a bit anticlimactic, but oh well, all’s well that ends well.
“Ahh, what a lovely party of Heroes we have here.” A sound came from behind me, from the caverns.
….Or maybe not.