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Echoes of the Mirror 1.4 ‘Manifest’

*Authors Note*

In this particular series, it should be noted that there is a heavy focus on sexual themes, violence, and traumatic events.

These are meant to challenge the main character's views on the world and his relationships. 

That being said, If your someone who's okay with that, I'd really appreciate it if you want to check it out and leave some feedback.

Thanks! =^.^=

***

After the park, Kira and I decided to go to the main street and peruse the shops there.

It was nearing the end of the week, so almost every store was getting in new stock.

This was, to most of the residents that lived here, the most exciting time of the week since almost nothing else was worth noting in Hira.

I saw Kira peer through one of the shop windows.

“Cute~!” She exclaimed.

I walked over and peered over her shoulder.

In the window there was a little old stuffed bunny that the antique store must of gotten ahold of somehow.

That?” I asked.

She nodded her head.

“That looks pretty old Kira… Even if you got it I don’t think it would last very long.”

Kira didn’t seem to care about this.

“I wish I could buy it, but I already spent my paycheck this week…” She said with as a sigh as her body drooped down the glass.

“Well there is always next week. I personally can’t see anybody else buying that raggedy thing.”

“...Ok…” Kira slowly walked away from the glass with slumped shoulders.

-Hmmm…

Oh?

“Anyhow Kira, why don’t you check out the library and pick out those books you wanted. There’s a shop I gotta check out real quick.”

Kira looked confused but didn’t ask any questions.

“K!” She let out with a smile as she walked away.

-Almost…

-Aaaaannnddd…She’s gone!

You’re really going to buy her that...thing?

I walked into the antique shop and saw Miss Yamada’s grandson.

-Yeah. Why wouldn’t I?

I picked up the rabbit from the window, walked up to the counter and bought it.

Just seems a little cliche…

-Shut up. She never asks for much and I already missed her birthday 2 years in a row now, so I might as well be spontaneous and do something nice for her.

I walked out the door with a paper bag under my right arm and proceeded to walk down the street.

You never got me a rabbit…

-I’ve only know you for a few days, anyhow, you’d just devour it’s prana anyhow.

Hmph!

My familiar seemed frustrated with me, but I personally couldn’t summon the will to care.

I stopped.

I felt eyes on me.

Something is following me.

I closed my eyes and tried to inspect the presence to no avail.

I can’t feel an aura, but whatever is following you is definitely making an effort to hide its presence.

I decided to act like nothing was happening.

I wouldn’t have any idea how to go about confronting my pursuer, and even if I did, there was little I could do after that.

I continued to walk down the street towards the library.

As I approached the small building I saw Kira bust out of the single door facing the street with a large stack of books in her hands and a large smile.

“Got what you wanted?”

“Mhm!” Kira nodded happily.

She noticed the bag under my arm.

“Did you buy something Haku?”

“Oh...Yeah.”

“Watcha’ get?” She asked as she stooped over and started inspecting the bag.

“Just a few pieces of clothing...Nothing special.”

“Oh...Ok.” She answered with a finger to her mouth, obviously thinking about something.

Why not give it to her now?

-Presentation is key.

If you say so…

-I do!

“Oh, Haku, do you mind if we stop somewhere real quick?” She asked.

“Not at all.”

Kira and I started walking towards the west side of town.

However, instead of going towards the housing where Kira lived, we came upon an empty lot secluded from the rest of the town by a thin line of scattered trees.

Kira stopped in the middle of the lot facing away from me.

“Hey Kira, what are we doing--?”

Flash…

The sky above us let out a thunderous noise and a bolt of lightning fell from the sky and penetrated the ground behind us.

“EEEEP!!!” Let out a noise just a few meters behind me.

“I don’t appreciate you following around Haku like that.” Kira said as she slightly turned her head, showing a soft gold glow from her eyes.

I turned around to see Himari crawling backwards on the ground scared out of her mind.

“P-Please d-dont hurt me!”

It looked like she was on the brink of tears.

“I-I w-wasn’t s-stalking or anything! H-haku said I c-could c-come with you guys...ummm…”

I thought it best to intervene.

What Himari said was true, and if Kira pushed her any further I speculated that the chances of Himari wetting herself were high.

“Kira stop!”

I put a single hand out towards Kira while standing in front of Himari.

“Himari...I think what Kira wants to know is why you were following me without making yourself known…”

Himari’s eyes started to well up.

“I-I’m n-not v-very good at ummm… T-talking t-to people...I-I w-was g-going to c-confront you...b-but I-I was scared…”

Pathetic.

-Play nice.

My thoughts on her haven’t changed from before…

Something is extremely off about this girl.

-What? Because she’s extremely shy? Give me a break!

Kira calmed down a little bit and the glow in her eyes began to fade.

“Why didn’t you just say so!” Kira let out with a welcoming smile.

-And you don’t find this strange?

I never said that.

Kira walked over to Himari and helped her off the ground.

Soon after this situation we found ourselves walking around aimlessly with Kira asking Himari a never ending barrage of questions.

I decided to butt in and ask a few of my own.

“Hey Himari…” I asked.

“Y-yes?”

“How did you manage to hide yourself that whole time?”

“O-oh...Ummm...Like this…”

Himari stood still for a few seconds and spoke.

“Fade.”

The pact mark on the back of her neck glowed a purple hue and what looked like a shadow wrapped around her body.

I stared in awe as her body slowly started to fade and disappear.

“See?” Asked a voice that was in the spot where Himari once stood.

She then quickly faded back into existence, making herself fully visible again.

“COOL!” Kira bursted out in excitement as she grabbed Himari and rubbed her face against hers.

“U-Uum!” Himari stood there with a blushed face as Kira squished the life out of her.

“Oh, didn’t you say you needed to go somewhere Himari?”

Himari hesitated.

“A-actually there was just someone I needed to talk to real quick...B-but umm...I already did before I met up w-with you guys...so umm...I-its fine…”

-Strange…

Kira went back to asking Himari questions and I started to feel my phone buzz in my pocket.

I took out the phone and answered.

“Hello?”

“Haku!”

“Oh, hey Alex. What’s up?”

“Where are you right now?”

“Just hanging out with Kira and our new friend Himari.”

“WWWHHHHHAAAATTTTT!!?!?!?!”

Alex yelled so hard into the phone I almost dropped it.

This made Kira and Himari turn back to look at me with confused faces.

“OUCH! DON’T DO THAT!”

“Oops. Sorry Haku. I’m just surprised…”

“About what?”

“Well Himari is a loner and doesn’t really talk to anyone...To find her hanging out with you of all people…”

“Hey! I can be fun!”

“Suuuuuurrrreeeee you can….hehehe.”

“Screw this...I’m hanging up.”

“Nononono! Wait Haku! I’m sorry! Anyhow, do you guys want to meet up and we can go to the field or something?”

I looked over at the girls.

They looked back confused.

-A klutz, an introvert, and a force of destruction… I wonder what could go wrong?

“Yeah I guess that’s fine…”

“Great! Meet me at my place?”

“Sure.”

I ended the call and put the phone in my pocket.

*Sigh*

It seems that things are about to get interesting…

-Please don’t talk.

“You guys want to come with me to swing by Alex’s?”

This question seemed to invoke a nervousness in Himari.

“Ok!” Shouted Kira, putting a fist in the air.

“Umm...Sure…” Himari said with a certain uncertainty in her voice.

With that we headed towards the Matsumoto estate, Alex’s house.

Approaching the gates of the eastern-style estate, we were greeted by Alex who was leaning against a nearby lamp post wearing a t-shirt, cardigan, and jeans.

“Yo.” She said with a wave of her hand.

Before I could even say ‘hi’ Alex was already being thoroughly accosted by Kira as per tradition.

“I...Can’t...Breathe…” Stated Alex underneath the weight of her best friend.

“Umm...Does she always do this?” Asked Himari from behind me, clinging to my sleeve.

“Essentially.”

“Oh…”

It was obvious that Himari wanted no part of what was taking us.

I don’t blame her.

When Kira finally decided it was time to stop rubbing faces, Alex picked herself off the ground.

Dusting her jeans, she looked around.

“Where’s Himari?”

Lifting the arm that wasn’t carrying Kira’s present, Alex spotted Himari’s face from behind me.

“Hi…” She said, still trying to hide herself.

“Definitely as shy her reputation lets on…” Alex said with a scratch of her head.

“Yeah but she’s really nice~!” Kira stated as she grabbed Alex’s arm.

I could hear Himari let out a squeak from behind me.

“Well...We might as well head off.” Alex stated.

So the four us headed off to the field.

As we walked I started to feel a bit of reluctance.

Nervous?

-Of course.

Why?

-Well...I haven’t been to the field since then.

It’s not it’s going bite.

“Why are coming here anyway Alex?” I asked.

“Hmmm? Oh. To do a bit of sparing perhaps? Kira and I haven’t had a match in a while, and I’m kind of interested in seeing how Himari fares.”

“Ummm...I-I’m sorry...I can’t fight…”

Kira and Alex looked at her in disbelief.

“Oh! Ummm...Well it’s not like I don’t want to… It’s just as a ummm...A darkness-spirit user...I have no physical combat strength…” Himari continued looking to the ground embarrassed.

“Oh yeah…” Alex started with a finger to the side of her mouth.

“Darkness users are all about illusion…” Alex remembered.

Himari nodded her head in shame.

“Oh well. At least Kira and I can go at it.”

“K K!” Shouted Kira obviously excited.

When we finally got to the field I decided to leave Himari with Kira’s present and go off to the shrine while Alex and Kira sparred.

Don’t you think it was rude leaving Himari behind?

-It can’t be helped. I want to see something.

As I went through the path to the shrine I noticed that my blood trail was nowhere to be found.

This wasn’t that peculiar though…

It’s rained at least once after the incident.

When I finally made way to the front of the shrine, I gave it a push with my left foot.

*Click*

I bent down and swung open the hatch that was underneath.

Before me was the corridor that got me into this situation.

You’re going back down?

-Yeah…

I turned on my flashlight and began stepping down the stairwell.

Why?

-I’m curious what’s down there. Last time I went down it was pitch black and I couldn’t see anything because I was going into shock.

Luckily I made it to the bottom of the stairwell with no injuries.

I proceeded into the corridor and then into the room that followed.

I walked into the center of the room and pointed my light down.

I saw a giant magic circle carved into the stone floor.

It used to be the town well I believe.

-Oh?

They carved that circle before hand and trapped me below before they sealed it off.

-Actually, what were those chains that were here? Was that your physical form?

No.

Those were the chains of fate.

-Chains of fate?

A gentle reminder from the Gods…

-How so?

To remind me that I was forsaken.

I stood there feeling a bit of pity to the spirit that bound to me.

-What were you forsaken for?

Wanting to stand as an equal with my peer.

I was taken back.

I don’t need your pity.

Now the same chains that bind me bind you.

What acted as my crown in the land of hollows, shall now act as yours.

As I was about to question my familiar what it meant, I saw a faint glimmer from the corner of well that was once the center of chains.

Walking over I saw a rusted katana impaled in the stone wall.

-What’s this?

I asked as my fingers caressed the grip of the blade.

Ah… That was my sword from long ago.

When I was sealed inside this well, that was the object I forced my spirit into so I could prolong my existence.

I contemplated removing it as I felt the hilt.

Take it.

With a light tug the blade came easily.

The blade itself was rusted terribly but it felt as light as a pencil.

The blade you now hold is demon one.

It will not break, will remain forever sharp.

Inspecting the blade I highly doubted this…

However, owning such a thing may be useful.

Careful. Wounds made with that blade will not heal…

It was good that I heard this before I ran finger across the blade to check it’s sharpness.

Thinking back to the girls I left at the field though, they would definitely question where on earth I picked up such a thing…

This town is an old one. You could easily say you found it in the woods.

-True… Is there a sheath though? Carrying around an open blade back home through town might cause problems…

I see…

How about...this?

The back of my hand glowed a dark red hue as what seemed to be a dark cloud of smoke arose from my bandages.

From this smoke I saw a single rusted chain come forth and wrap slowly around the blade.

As the smoke dissipated along with the chain, in its place was a matte black sheath that looked like unpolished obsidian.

-Perfect… Thank you.

With that I turned around and started to exit the well.

Suddenly I hear screaming off in the distance.

-Himari!

I started running as fast I could to the field.

It was probably just Kira trying to cuddle her or something, but I wasn’t keen on taking chances…

Though ironically what could I even do if something was actually wrong?

Returning to the field, I couldn’t see hide nor hair of the girls.

I can feel the strange girl’s presence… Off to the left… Under the trees.

Taking off as fast I could, I soon caught a glimpse of blue from behind a bush.

Curled under the foliage, grasping her knees and shaking, was Himari.

“H-haku…”

I knelt over and picked her up to lean her back against a tree.

Noticing wetness on my arm and a strong scent of urine, I glanced down at Himari’s elegant dress to find it completely soaked through.

“I-Im s-sorry...Haku...Please...save me…”

Himari’s words were completely in disaray due to her crying. Whatever was going on here was serious.

I contemplated picking her up again and escorting her back to town…

But with an uknown danger lurking around, not to mention the lack of Alex and Kira, doing such a thing would put Himari and me in more danger than neccesary.

-Any ideas on what’s going on here?

I could sense my familiar surveying our surroundings.

I can feel an evil presence nearby…

-What is it?

Being given the immense aura, I can only assume it’s a demonica.

I froze.

A demonica…?

Here?

-What class demon?

Greater.

My eyes widened in horror.

While lesser demonica by themselves need a team of atleast 5 to take down due to their immense resistance to magic…

A greater demon?

That would require the whole town!

It would appear that your friends are trying to hold it off until reinforcements arrive…

*Craaack*

Turning my head towards the sky, I could see brilliant streaks of lightning pierce the clouds.

-Kira…

I looked at the girl in front of me.

“P-please d-dont leave me…”

I felt bad.

Horrible even.

But there wasn’t much I could do.

“I’m sorry Himari...I’m going to have to leave you here just for a little while, but I’ll come back for you.”

With this, I took off my sweatshirt and wrapped it around her shaking body.

While I knew this wouldn’t do much, It was the only thing I could think of that would provide some sort of comfort.

Turning around and running towards the middle of the field, I saw the culprit…

Making its way through the line of trees across the field was a hideous abomination.

It had the look of a giant rotting wolf emanating a black smoke that stood 3 stories tall.

It’s head turned towards me.

Several red spots donned the area where its eyes should of been.

It opened its mouth to reveal at least 12 rows of sharp and jagged teeth.

I wanted to turn tail, grab Himari and escape, but I couldn’t move my legs.

I was paralyzed with fear.

As I looked onward, I spotted Alex falling from the sky, about to deliver a kick to the demon’s head.

The demon lifted up a single rotting clawed paw and swatted Alex out of the air with an immense force, leaving only a cloud of red where her body once was.

Her body arcing violently backwards, Alex was shot to the ground with a *crack*.

Her limp body skidded and tumbled to a halt only a few meters away from me.

I quickly regained my senses.

Without catching the demon’s notice I ran over, threw her on my shoulder, and ran over to the tree where Himari was hiding.

Placing her on her back I quickly began stripping her, looking for any wounds that would be life threatening.

It seems that her familiar prevented any grievous wounds… However, her prana is severely drained.

Regardless… She’ll live.

I felt relieved by this.

“Haku...Please...Run…”

Alex’s face looked pained.

Unable to make myself do as she asked, I stripped her of her cardigan and placed it under her head.

“Please…” She began.

Unable to see my friend this way, I turned my gaze back to the field and saw Kira sprinting towards me.

“Quick! Hide!” She was yelling.

She quickly dropped a leg and skidded to a bush near Himari.

“I’m sorry Alex… I couldn’t hold it off.”

Kira’s expression was filled with anger and regret.

I could see that she was gripping her upper arm with a single hand.

“Are you okay Kira?” I asked.

She looked towards me and only gave me a pained smile.

“Nothing life threatening…”

It seems her prana has been drained quite a bit too. Her arm is also fractured.

I grimaced.

My friends were out there risking their lives and there was nothing I could do.

I saw Alex try to stand up.

“Alex don’t!” Kira started.

As quickly as she tried to get up, she fell.

“I...Don’t think I can fight anymore…” Alex let out with a cry.

This was an impossible situation.

The only two people that could fight were now completely debilitated.

I saw the demon turn it’s gaze towards us.

“Haku! Run! Leave us!” Kira shouted at me as Himari started to fall into hysterics.

“You have no way of fighting back Haku… Leave us and take Himari…” I could hear Alex speak out.

“Haku...Please…” I heard Kira begin with tears in her eyes.

I glimpsed over to Himari who was rocking back in forth in place.

I knew I couldn't just leave them...

No matter how terrified I was.

Haku--

-Can we do it?

Do what?

-Can we beat this thing?

-Answer me!

If you were to try and summon me, it would be your demise.

-FOR ONCE AS A FAMILIAR ANSWER ME DIRECTLY! CAN WE BEAT IT!?

There is a way we could while minimizing the risk to your prana but--

-How.

Haku--

-I am your master… you will obey me and answer me.

So be it…

...

Call my name and call me forth as your mantle.

This will materialize me inside of you...

Doing so will grant you direct control over all my powers.

I walked forward a fair distance from the girls and began undoing my bandages.

I could feel the girls behind me staring.

Let it be known that if you push yourself past the power I have available…

Letting my bandages fall to the ground I put my sword before me and laid my hand on the grip.

...You will die.

I began to speak…

“I am the will that drives you…”

I could feel my body shake in fear as I recited what I knew of the full summoning incantation.

“I call forth to you who obeys…”

I tried to steady my breathe.

“Act as my blade and I shall be your wielder…”

“Haku..” I could hear Alex voice from behind me.

-Give me your name…

My name…

“Grant me your power as my mantle...”

I am called…

I could hear Himori scream from behind me as I watched the demon approach.

Lilith.

COME FORTH! LILITH!”

I violently ripped my blade from my sheathe as my hand erupted in a red light.

*BOOM*

A violent gust of wind blew back everything around me in a violent shockwave...

The ground beneath me shook as a dark smoke poured out of my body…

The chains of fate broke free from the earth around me and encircled my body.

I could feel something manifesting inside of me.

Shackles shot forth from the ground, and took their place at my hands and feet.

Around my neck a giant shackle took place as a collar, nearly covering my mouth.

My canines grew larger.

a ragged tattered cloak with a hood that covered my head and nearly my eyes began to form around my body.

Boots took place of the shoes I wore, and my pants turned black.

A length of chain connected itself from the shackle on my right wrist to the sword in my hand as the lower half of the blade itself gained serrations.

The chains that encircled me now floated freely around me clothed in a black smoke.

I walked forward without fear, I became one with Lilith.

The chains slithered at my feet as I walked towards the demon.

My mentality had completely changed.

I only felt an overwhelming rage.

Bloodlust consumed me.

...

I stopped short and gazed up at the demon that was before me and held out my blade.

“I will slay you.”

The demon shot forth with an open mouth.

Just before its teeth could reach my face I moved to side and slashed open its stomach with demonic speed.

From the wound I gave him poured maggots and coagulated blood.

The demon let out a roar.

As it turned towards me I gave a wave of my left hand and a chain shot out of the ground piercing the demon’s neck, incapacitating it.

I jumped onto its back as chains erupted from the ground and began to bind him.

I slowly walked my up its back and neck.

I planted a single foot on its head as I raised my blade.

“Die.”

My sword plummeted into its skull.

The demon let out a pained roar as it fell onto its side.

I jumped of his head and landed a short distance from were it layed.

Facing away from the demon I raised an open left hand.

As I slowly began to close my hand the chains that bound the demon tightened.

I could hear its flesh being torn.

With a final turn of my hand I quickly closed it the rest of the way.

The chains completely tore through the remains of the enemy.

As I flicked the blood off my blade and sheathed it behind my back the demons body exploded into ash.

Holding my arm off to the right as I walked, the ash blew forward and encircled me as it wrapped around me and entered my pact mark.

I had devoured its prana.

I found myself in front of the girls once more.

None of them spoke.

The terrorfied looks they had before could not compare to the looks they had now.

There’s people coming…

I looked off into the distance and saw specks fast approaching the field.

*sigh*

I looked back towards the girls near my feet who were desperately trying avoid touching the chains.

*snap*

I snapped my fingers and a cloud of black smoke encircled us.

As the cloud circled faster and faster, it soon became impossible to see anything outside of it.

When it dissipated, the environment around us changed to my apartment.

Seeing that all danger had passed, I held out my right hand.

“Return to me.”

All the features I had gained during the summoning had reverted back to their normal state as a black ash returned to my pact mark.

“Haku…” One of the girls began.

As I opened my mouth a spurt of blood greeted my throat.

I fell backwards and lost consciousness.

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