Weak Beast made out of China
~1~ Shattered pieces of China
This is the ruins of a battlefield...
This is now a graveyard...
I was dully patrolling the city as a Shinsengumi duty like every other boring day that was supposed to end early and I was just thinking about going to sleep after reaching the headquarters before doing the paper works because I really couldn't be stuffed doing them.
The patrol was another boring one where I had stopped a few fights, helped girls who were about to get hooked, and settle the troubles the Amanto from other planes had made.
It was those kinds of lame days... or so I had thought...
But that was different...
Something had happened.
I now come to think that this day was probably the huge turning point of my life, and perhaps wished that this day was another lame day.
At that time, I didn't think 'lame' meant 'peaceful'...
Not until I saw that scene...
Not until I saw her...
It was sunset already and the streets were becoming heavily over-shadowed by elongated shadows of the city buildings and such, especially around here at the edge of this city, Edo.
The atmosphere here is so dark and gloomy.
With the exception of extremely violent fights against gangs and mobs every few months, no one was ever around; as if it's a dead part of the city, full of ruins like a graveyard.
I would get to know how right my definition of this place was, when I turn that next corner of the building...
When I turned that corner, my eyes widened at the bloody red, death scene like an aftermath of war. And within those ruins, all faces are familiar as if this was another nightmare I was having which seemed all too real.
There was boss, the good-at-nothing glasses, China girl and that Umibouzu who was supposedly one of the strongest sweepers in space who go after the most dangerous beasts to exterminate them, I think it was.
And if I look more closely, I can see one other one lying dead, apart from the others. I think he was one of the feared strongest forces, Captain of Harusame Space Pirate.
...What was his name again?
All the ones who weren't supposed to die -who shouldn't have died- lay on the ground in a bloody mess.
Where did all the strong samurai souls go? Weren't those souls protected by the hardest shield called determination and faith or so they called it?
I had thought boss wasn't one to die no matter who the opponent was or how out-numbered he was... But here he was, with eyes that don't reflect this world anymore.
The look that pierced everyone seemed as if it had reflected back on itself now and his eyes were just wide open in death along with a face expression that didn't suit him at all...
I close boss' eyelids in respect and move onto the next, doing the same to the 4-eyed kid. He was probably the first to die amongst everyone here...
"That's why weak ones shouldn't come along to a battlefield..."
Even though I knew my voice wouldn't reach his ears, that was what came out of my mouth.
"Even if you cry... you're not allowed to make your sister cry. That's just a shameful thing to do as a guy- no, as a brother..."
Those were the kind of words that just fell out, when I knew that I was just the same as him. As if I was telling this to myself as well, because I, myself had chosen the battlefield over my sister, leaving her behind.
It was easy to say what I mumbled out to him, but we couldn't throw away our pride as being a man and choosing the battlefield to protect the one we wanted to...
This guy's feelings... I was the one who knew the most.
That's why, it was understandable of how much determination he had coming to this battlefield, despite how much he might make his sister cry when he left her behind.
That's why I wouldn't ever be able to say he made the wrong choice...
Because I would have made the same choice...
The next corpse was Umibouzu.
His eyes are already closed.
Was that plaited red-head stronger than this ultimate sweeper?
I didn't even know that was possible, but facts can't be twisted if the scene set before my eyes say he's dead.
And so I walked over to the next, and my eyes widen at the sight.
The plaited red-head had no face...
It was completely smashed into a bloody mess.
It doesn't seem like this battle was a draw...
Was their another opponent here?
No, then it would have been this guy's ally, and that boss would never had been allies with this guy.
But his face is completely crushed.
Was he betrayed by his ally?
But if so, then what was the purpose of just crushing this guy's face?
I don't get it.
There's too many unanswered questions.
Now the one left is China girl...
I stood up and made my legs travel to where the girl was.
But as I got closer, I saw that she wasn't there and I rush over, but there are only bits of her red Chinese clothes splattered in red.
Where is she!?
Even if I scan the area, I see no sign of her anywhere.
To find any traces, I look down, and then see something.
Small splattered trails of blood, leading to somewhere further than my eyes were able to make out in this darkness.
Maybe that girl's still...
My legs suddenly bolted along the trail of blood that probably directed me to that girl.
Far out from the scene, there was a river that was a huge step below the levelled up concrete wall. And when I look down below, I see that girl, curled up into a ball. 3m was about the distance between her and me right now, and I swiftly close that distance with a graceful jump down the concrete wall.
If a normal person fell from this height while being blinded by the night's darkness, the drop would have been fatal, but as I look into the China girl state, she seems well enough to look as though she came down purposely, and what was more, she had hardly any wounds unlike the others as if she just ran away from the battlefield without hardly a fight.
But that's not like her...
Nevertheless, she was still alive, and looking more closely, I could see that she was shivering all over like a shaking leaf.
Is she... crying?
Wrapping her legs tightly to her body, she had her head buried, so I wasn't sure.
"...Hey, are you ok?" a gentle voice, that didn't sound like mine, came from me as I worried over this tiny looking China girl.
With her like this, I couldn't turn on my 'sadist-mode' like usual, and that really got me unsettled because I didn't know how to cope with a girl like this who had been a rivalry opponent. But I knew that if I break into my sadistic side, this girl was going to break. I wasn't stupid enough to not know that, nor try it out.
But I also knew that there was nothing I can do.
I didn't know what I was supposed to do.
All I was able to do was put a hand on the shoulder of the girl who gave no reaction to me so far, and feeling my touch, the China girl raised her head for the first time and looked up at me.
Her eyes were red and her cheeks were all wet with tears.
But as if she tired herself out from crying, the tears weren't flowing anymore, and her eyes didn't reflect any light.
Her eyes were dead, or more like not reflecting my existence.
She was half unconscious that she wasn't even able to recognise me...
All her senses... were dead.
When I thought she couldn't even speak, her mouth slowly opened.
"Don't touch me."
She wasn't speaking through her consciousness.
Her eyes were dilated and she was staring at my direction, but not me.
So what made her react to my touch...?
Was there some reason that big to not want anyone to touch her?
"Don't come near me."
Her voice was an emotionless monotone and her appearance was like a tragically messed up doll that was no use for anyone anymore.
I felt the pity within my heart that I thought I'd ever find within me.
"What are you saying?"
Was my voice... reaching her?
Staring down at her slightly raised bloody palms and fingers; China girl speaks again, almost the way as if she was talking to herself.
"If you come near me... you will regret it...
If you don't want to die, don't come near me..."
Like a broken robot, she speaks like an inputted sentence and my eyes widen at her words because from that, a certain assumption was made in my mind.
Was it her...?
The one who killed...
"Oi, what the hell are you saying? What happ-?"
My voice cut off as the China girl suddenly grabbed her head with both her hands and started screaming and crying.
"Noooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! No! No! No! No!"
As if I triggered something, she started screaming and shaking her head.
I had never seen her so broken and mentally unstable.
She looked like a screaming, weeping weak girl...
Not the usual no-girl-manner-at-all, bad mouthed China girl.
I don't... know her...
No matter how many times I try to call out to her, she doesn't react to it and she screams as she suffers from the inside.
If I don't bring her back to her senses... she's going to lose her mind!
Name... name... what was her name? I can't remember!!
Just as I thought that, I suddenly thought I heard boss' voice calling her out her name.
That's right! China girl's name is-
I tried saying it with my own mouth, and surprisingly, China's eyes widened and light was back, reflecting her eyes as if she was awakened from a hypnotic sleep.
She looked up and was able to tell who I was.
"The name is Sougo," I correct her.
I crouch down beside her and stare into her eyes that now reflected my existence properly now.
A tear streaks down China girl's cheek and her eyes become distant with solitude.
Though being a sadist, he felt that this was something he shouldn't mention again, after seeing even the real China react like this.
"Anyway, Kondou-san and the others will be here soon. You are going to come with us."
But there was no such movement showing that she was going to come along, and if I try to pull her by the arm gently, she shakes my hand away.
"Hey, are you intending to just stay sitting here forever?"
"Who care's about me! Just leave me alone! It doesn't concern you, Sadist!"
"How can it not concern me? This is my job!"
She silenced at that. Pain shot across her face.
Maybe she heard it as though I said 'I'm only just doing it for the sake of my job'...
This was getting irritating and I scrunch my hair up in frustration.
At this point, I would normally drop a hard fist down on her head and say 'are you thinking something stupid? Don't jump into conclusions just because I said it was my job', or something along those lines...
But the China girl right now, sitting right here in front of me, was made out of China.
If I hit her... she would break.
I really don't know how to cope with these types...
"Don't get yourself all concerned about me...you can just leave me alone."
There she goes again with that small, weak voice.
Her voice was cracking and I knew she was in verge of tears again.
Even though, that was the only thing I was able to say back to her.
"If I fall unconscious again and go wild, I'll become a monster. You will definitely die."
Though so weak and fragile the voice was, it pierced and echoed right into my mind, and froze my heart in shock.
"Gin-chan, Shinpachi and Papi- got killed by Kamui... and...I had killed Kamui..."
My voice didn't work. Couldn't work.
I was truly lost for words.
This girl... what is she? Stronger than that boss? The rivalry fight that we always used to do... what was all that then...?
I felt myself shiver, and the observing China girl's eyes grow dim with depression and loss of hope.
"Do I...scare you?"
Just those simple words made my body react of its own accord, and suddenly knew what I had to do. I knelt before her and gently wrapped my arms around her to give her, to make her feel the comfort and ease.
Such a small, fragile body.
If I embraced to hard, I'm afraid that she'll break...
"I'm not scared. I'm not scared at all."
So don't make that face...
My feelings must have reached her, because China girl held my back tightly and started to cry onto my shoulder.
She was probably scared... of being all alone...
And at this time, I suddenly felt emotions that I wasn't familiar with. I felt the strong thoughts I never came across before.
I want to protect her...
I need to protect her...
As a guy, I felt I had the duty to protect this weak girl.
This China girl always acts strong and would hide her true feelings all the time so I didn't notice... but she was just another normal, weak, small and fragile girl.
Boss is now gone and no one is here to protect her anymore...
Ane-ue(sister), I have decided thatI will protect this girl.
I am Sougo Okita.
Captain of the Shinsengumi First Division.
18 years old and I've finally found a girl that I need to protect...