Where could you be…?
I searched everywhere for her, to see if she as in any trouble. But, I can’t find her anywhere.
I kept on walking through the woods, alone and in the dark. I saw a figure approach me and I immediately recognized it as the demon who took Rena.
“Hello again, Furukawa Airi, nice to see your face once again.”
“I can’t tell you that kind of information. All I can say is that she fell right into my trap.”
“You damn..!” I went for my sword but she appeared behind me and grabbed both my wrists. “Let go!”
“Why do you care about her? She betrayed you. She used your trust to her advantage.”
“Because… Because the bond of my loved ones is stronger than the bond of any demon or human for that matter!”
“Tsk, human emotion is futile in the long run.”
“What was tha--?!” I met her gaze and found myself locked on her eyes.
What’s going on..?
“You must hate her. Because she betrayed you and hurt your trust. Somewhere deep inside, you hate her.”
“Hate Akane..? N-no, I’d never..!”
“But she used you. You must feel so upset.”
She… she did reveal where Rena was being kept… but….
“I know it’s hard to accept. I understand that you humans fear the cold, bitter truth. But that is all there is. She betrayed you.”
“That’s right. She broke your trust, your heart. Don’t you think she deserves to be punished?”
Punished… Punish.. Akane..? I-I can’t.. I..!
“It’s because of her… She...”
“That’s right. It’s her fault.”
“It is her fault. It’s because of her that I’m feeling this way.”
“You must be angry. You want to make her pay for hurting you like this.”
“Make her pay...”
“Yeah. Make her pay.”
Make her pay… I’ll make her pay!
I have to go find Airin…!
I got back to the village and started looking around to find Airin, but she wasn’t at her home. She was nowhere.
“Maybe she’s back at that mage’s place...”
Just then, I heard a clicking sound that made chills go up my spine.
Oh God, no!
“It’s seems you’ve found me.”
Wait… that voice.. Tsugumi?
I looked behind me and saw the two of them. Tsugumi’s eyes were cold and looked evil.
“Tsugumi… what are you doing?”
“Nothing, just working for Sae. My true master.”
“What?! What are you saying? That’s crazy!”
“No it isn’t, Takayanagi. Sae is my master, I belong to her,” she said as she showed her neck.
There was a red mark that resembled a flame.
“Now, if you’ll excuse us, we’ll get going.”
“Hahahaha!” Gekikara grabbed me and threw me.
I heard her insane cackling as she walked over towards me again.
What is this… raw power that’s emitting from this girl…..?
Blocking the incoming punch, Gekikara gave me a sneaky, evil grin.
I couldn’t reply with words, but instead I tried to punch her. She grabbed my fist and twisted my arm.
“Ugh.. What…?” I tried to match the pieces together, to solve what was going on here.
“Hehehe, you’re so weak~” she giggled before kicking me to the ground. She kept kicking my stomach while laughing.
This girl is insane..!
I coughed. Coughed so much that there was a slight spluttering of blood.
“Hahahaha… red...” She grabbed my head, pounding it repeatedly into the ground. “Red! Red!!! MORE RED!!!! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!”
I looked up at her hazily. Her eyes were full of madness, like she wasn’t even thinking. She was only driven by the instinct to kill.
“Nighty-night~” she said before headbutting me and my world went dark.
When I came to, I was chained up to a wall and saw a figure standing in front of me. The figure held a sword to my neck and gave me a dark glare.
“Who are you?”
“I will be the one to end your life, Takayanagi Akane.”
I tried to move, but the chains wrapped tightly around me.
“Do you work for Miyazawa? Where is she?”
“She’s with Iwanaga Tsugumi and Gekikara in the human realm. Right now, they’re causing havoc among those innocent creatures and taking their lives.”
“And it’s YOUR fault.”
“E-Eh? T-Then… who are you?”
“Me? I’m Sashihara, the gatekeeper of the realms. You need to die before anything worse happens.”
“P-Please….” I pleaded with her, “I-I have someone to save.”
“You mean your precious Furukawa? Ha! Sorry to say this, but she’s looking for you, and she wants you dead.”
“Oh, don’t cry. I’ll put an end to your misery.” She raised her sword, then….
“Sashiko-chan, Sashiko-chan!” a little girl came and hugged Sashihara’s legs. “Whatcha doin’?”
“U-um, Nako, can you not bother me? I’m busy--”
“No! Nako wants to play with Sashiko-chan!”
“Nako~” Another little girl came. “Mou, why do you always go to Sasshi-san?”
“Because~ I love her!”
“Hey, why are you using the voice-changer thing? Take that off!” Nako grabbed a microphone that was hidden in Sashihara’s robe, and her hood also came down and revealed a normal face.
“Hey! Stop!” she said in her normal voice.
From the hood and the voice, I was expecting something more evil and demonic… like a skeleton. But, she looked like anyone else.
“Why am I truly here for, Sashihara-san?”
“Ugh, fine. I brought you here because Gekikara was about to kill you.”
“Gekikara?! Where is she?!”
“Right here.” She pointed at a cage in the corner of the room. Gekikara was sleeping, blood covering her hands and her body.
“Why did you--”
“Because I know a way to save her.”
“I can remove the demon from her. For, you see, I am the daughter of Hades, ruler of the Underworld.”
“So… You’re above the leader and the generals?”
She then approached the cage and her sword turned into a scythe.
“I feel sorry for this one, she had to deal with a demon living inside her all her life.”
She raised her scythe and made the tip of it touch Gekikara’s chest. A dark flame rose up from her chest and into Sashihara’s hands.
“It is done.” She said before the flame disappeared.
“Now tell me, why does Airin want to kill me? Who’s behind this?”
“Well, it was Miyazawa. She used her powers to make Furukawa turn on you.”
Damn it… That Miyazawa, she really is a monster!
“Take me back...”
“Sadly I cannot do that.”
“What?! Why not?!”
“You’re stuck in Purgatory, for now.”
“It’s the midpoint of the realms, for those humans that have perished before their brethren or those supernatural beings who have done serious crimes against their race.”
“No way...” My head hung low.
What does this mean..? If I don’t leave, Airin will…!
“I beg you! Give me a chance to redeem myself! If I don’t do something, the Maou--”
“The Maou? It’s been centuries since I have last heard of that name. Why are you mentioning him?”
“Because there are a lot of things happening, like the Nightcrawlers. They’re getting stronger, rampaging and attacking the humans down there!”
“Alright…. I have the perfect test for you.”
"I'll do anything for Airin's safety."
“Then, here’s my test. Prove to me that you can defeat a being that is inside every single one of us.."
She went up to me and touched my chest, it felt as though all of my life force was being out of me. A dark blue cloud was formed her hand.
“The demonic, evil side to all of us. It wants to come out, Takayanagi. You need to fight it, if you truly wish to save your loved one.”
“If that is what you want. Then I’ll do what you want me to.”
“Alright then. It starts now.”
Her hand started to glow and the cloud started to form into a human body.
“What is that?”
I watched the cloud as it started taking a form and a face appeared.
Is that…. me?
“This is your inner evil self.”
“You need to fight her in order to go back and save Furukawa.”
The chains released me from their grip and pulled out my sword. It was glowing a sky blue colour.
I stood up, facing my evil reflection.
“Prepare yourself.” she spoke.
“Of course I will. I’m always prepared.”