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Echoes of the Mirror 1.10 ‘Nightmare’
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.
I found myself running through the streets of an unknown town with blood dripping down my arms and face.
-Faster! I need to run faster!
Seeing an alley up ahead, I ran into it… I could hear them coming. Reluctantly peering around the corner, I saw flocks of mutilated bodies crawling their way up the road.
Why us, Haku?
You’re a killer…
The moans of the bodies were clawing their way into my head, blaming me.
Accept your fate, Haku.
Feeling something on my shoulder, I whipped around and fell backward, panting. I saw Kira in front of me smiling.
“It’s okay, Haku… I’m here…”
She held her arms outstretched towards me.
“K-kira? I-is that you?”
She nodded her head before crouching down on top of me and embracing me. I could feel my heart rate increase.
“Don’t be scared, Haku…”
She pressed her body against mine as she began to kiss me… I was scared but I wrapped my arms around her anyhow. Despite the comfort of Kira’s touch, I couldn’t stop trembling.
“Hmm… Are you afraid, Haku?”
I noticed that her face seemed hardened as I tried to steady my breathing.
“Y-yes… I’m afraid…”
She began stroking my face as she looked into my eyes.
-Why...why am I afraid? I can’t seem to remember…
“I-I...I don’t kn-”
I looked at her confused.
Her eyes began to turn frantic.
“Why? Why!? WHY!?”
My eyes widened in horror as blood began to drip from her mouth.
“WHY DID YOU DO THIS TO ME!?”
Blood began to spurt from her stomach as her eyes turned a dull gray.
I grabbed her by her shoulders and tried to shake her. As I did, I could feel a chain work its way up my leg.
“No… Please, no!”
I started to panic as I tried to kick it off… More chains started to break through the ground as I tried crawling away. They began to bind me as Kira laughed maniacally.
“WHY WHY WHY WHY WHY WHY WHY WHY WHY WHY?!”
Soon several chains crept across my face, forcing my mouth open.
A chain erupted from Kira’s stomach and started to force itself down my throat… I was gagging… I couldn’t breathe… I was dying. The chains bound my arms tighter, cutting into my flesh, as I saw Kira morph into someone else…
A man in a hood stood on my chest and pointed a katana at my throat.
I woke up covered in sweat, gasping as tears ran down my face.
-It… was a dream…?
I looked around me, but the room was pitch black. The last thing I remember was Lilly killing me… Was I dead? I checked the surface I was laying on to find that it was a bed. I was in a bedroom… Though it didn’t appear to be my own.
Getting up, I began to search the wall.
-Aha! A light switch!
I flicked it on and observed the room.
-Yeah… I definitely don’t recognize this...
The gigantic bed I slept in seemed awfully ornate. It sat towards the back of the wall towards the middle and had a giant canopy hanging above it. The quilt was a deep gold and the sheets seemed to be made out of a fine silk. Looking around, I saw several old porcelain dolls decorating the fancy dressers, bookshelves, and desk that were in here.
-A girl’s room…?
The room itself was painted white and the moulding looked just as ornate as everything else. Turning around, I saw an old-fashioned rocking chair with a stack of clothes and note. Walking over, I noticed that it read ‘Haku’.
“These clothes should be your size, meet me in the living room when you're ready for breakfast! <3”
I had no idea where I was, but I didn’t appear to be in danger… After all, one hardly offers their guest breakfast if their intent is ill. Picking up the clothes, I noticed how fine the material was.
-These… are definitely expensive…
Turning them over in my hand, I noticed several tags.
-...And apparently new…
I set them on the bed and proceeded to get dressed… Despite the clothes being along the line of dressy, they were surprisingly comfortable. After buttoning my shirt, I took a deep breath and left the room.
My eyes were immediately greeted with a small hallway that was just as fancy as the bedroom. I began to slowly walk down it as I observed the various Victorian style paintings that hung on the wall.
-Now that I think about it… This actually might be hell…
Finally, reaching the end of the hallway, I was greeted by a large and well-lit living room. Sitting on a couch near the middle was…
She was dressed in another black and white lolita dress sipping tea. Looking up, she gave me a smile.
“Good morning, Haku! How are you feeling?”
I looked around in complete confusion.
My eyes glanced over all of the old-fashioned gaudy furniture.
“...Overwhelmed? Confused? I don’t know. At this point, a pink elephant could come waltzing in through the front door and I’d probably think it’s normal.”
“No pink elephants here. Just me.”
“Why don’t you sit down, relax, and have some tea with me before we eat?”
The atmosphere seemed very light and joyful… It scared the hell out of me.
As I took a seat on the couch in front of Himari’s, she handed me a cup of tea. Taking a sip, I found myself pleasantly surprised.
-This… is actually really good.
I glanced up from my cup to notice her gleaming brightly at me.
-For the love of god, please never call me that again.
She set down her cup and gave me a smile as she folded her arms across her lap.
“Well. As you probably remember, Lilly incapacitated you last night…”
-Incapacitate?! Yeah, I guess that’s one way to phrase ‘punch a hole through your fucking chest’!
“...So after she managed to escape with you, she met up with me and we brought you here!”
I set down my teacup and cast her a confused look. Tilting her head, she frowned.
It obviously appears that I've died and been sent to a parallel dimension where nothing makes any goddamn sense.
“You...met up with Lilly?”
“Well yeah, silly. I ran into her in town just right before you fought with Alex’s grandmother.”
She makes it seem like they just happened to see each other at the grocery store while shopping for milk.
“Anyhow, Haku, we still need to prepare for our departure… It wouldn’t be wise of us to stay in this town for any longer.”
I could have sworn she just said ‘we’.
“Oh! Don’t worry! I already have our moving plans taken care of. There’s hardly anything you need to worry about! Matter of fact, Lilly is hard at work moving your possessions into my basement for the time being.”
She tilted her head as she looked at me with a curious look.
“What’s wrong? You seem confused.”
I am confused.
“Wait, wait, wait… So where am I going exactly… and when?”
“Well, we are moving to Nashta! I already have a nice condo picked out for us and I already have a job lined up for you at my company!”
She clasped her hands together
“Everything should be all set by next week!”
-If I have to say ‘what’ to myself any more than I already have, I’m going to break.
“Wait… You own a company?”
Himari narrowed her eyes a bit as she picked up her cup and took a sip of her tea.
“Of sorts… However, that’s a conversation for another time, my love. Why don’t we focus on breakfast for right now? I know you must be starving.”
The fact that she just called me ‘my love’ irritated the living hell out of me… but I was hungry…
I found myself sitting in a large dining room at the head of the table. In front of me was a spread of various different dishes… Omelets, pancakes, an assortment of different toasted breads, and more. Himari’s chair was to the right of mine, being so close that it wouldn’t have been a stretch to say that it was almost on top of me.
Letting out a sigh, I clasped my hands together.
“Thanks for the food.”
Despite my personal space being virtually non-existent, I was too enamored with the thought of stuffing my face to care. My eyes narrowed as I set my sights on the array of omelets.
I reached out to get the plate only to be interrupted by Himari.
“Here, let me get that for you, Haku~”
As she stood up, she pressed the side of her body against me, very purposefully brushing her hand against mine as she reached past me.
“Here you are~!”
She smiled brightly at me as she served my plate. I tried my best not to groan.
-Come on, Haku… It’s just food… She’s just being nice…
My eyes darted to a bottle of ketchup on the table… I was almost too afraid to ask…
“Umm...Himari… can you hand me the ketchup?”
Her eyes sparkled with some weird sort of desire as she nodded violently. This only served to heighten my already sky-high anxiety. Instead of just handing me the bottle like a normal human being, she, of course, chose the weirdest possible way to answer my request…She poured it for me.
I looked down at my plate and almost gagged.
-Why. Why like this? WHY CAN’T SHE CONVEY HER FEELINGS LIKE A NORMAL PERSON!?
-Come on, Haku… compliment…
-It’s not that hard…
She smiled wide.
“Anything for you!”
By some sort of miracle, I was able to muscle past my nausea and eat the delicious food. I just really wished that she didn’t stare at me the entire time…As I set down my fork, Himari looked at me with a desperate expression.
“Was it good?”
Hearing the pleading in her voice, I let out a sigh and decided to answer honestly.
“Very. Honestly, I think that was the best omelet I ever had.”
Her face went red as she let out a weird squeal.
-OH GOD, DID I MAKE IT ANGRY!?
“THANK YOU SO MUCH!”
Observing her face... it didn’t seem like it.
“I tried really really hard! I’m super happy you liked it!”
She seemed genuinely elated… Why did she care so much?
*Ring Ring Ring*
Himari began searching her body frantically before pulling a phone out from her bra.
“Yes...That is a problem…”
“No… I’ll see to it...”
“Hmm… That’s not good…”
She ended the call and let out a heavy sigh. Giving me a weak smile, she began to speak.
“Sorry about that… Looks like things are going faster than we expected… In too many ways…”
The last part of her sentence came out like a whisper.
“Anyhow! It’s nothing you need to worry about.”
I opened my mouth to ask her what was going on, but she silenced me by pressing her lips to mine.
“There will be plenty of time to talk, my love. For the time being, I need to leave for a bit.”
She began to walk out of the dining room with a look of anger on her face.
Turning around, Himari quickly changed to a smile.
“My home is your home. Feel free to stroll around, just… don’t go anywhere okay? That wouldn’t bode very well for either of us…”
She blew me a kiss before leaving.
-That… was odder than normal.
I chuckled at the use of the word ‘normal’.
Leaving the dining room, I decided I’d go to the basement to find Lilly. Himari may not have been keen on answering my questions, but I hoped my familiar would elaborate further.
-How can this place be so big!?
I walked around for what seemed like hours.
-So far I’ve found more bathrooms and closets than any normal human would ever need!
Finally, I came upon a door it seemed I hadn’t checked yet.
-PLEASE OH, MERCIFUL GODS! PLEASE LET THIS BE IT!
Opening the door, I let out a sigh of relief. It may have just been a staircase going downward, but it seemed like a heaven send. Carefully making my way down the steps, I came upon a large open room with several of my belongings in the corner. Looking around, I saw no sign of my familiar.
“WHY!? WHY, HAKU!?”
Lilly materialized in front of me carrying a fairly large box. Her hair was in complete disarray and she was clothed in nothing but a tank top and a pair of my boxers. Walking over to the pile of my belongings, she dropped the box with a huff. Turning around, she glanced over at me.
She walked briskly over to me and grabbed me by the shoulders.
Between the scene I was presented with and everything that I experienced before I came downstairs, I was genuinely frightened. Lilly dropped to her knees as she grabbed me by the hem of my shirt.
“Why do you own so much stuff!?”
She seemed to be almost crying.
“Do you have any idea how many magazines with naked girls you own!? Huh!? TOO MANY! And the computers… OH GOD, THE COMPUTERS!!!”
She looked like she was in hysterics.
“Lilly! Calm down!”
She flashed me a look of pure anger.
“HOW CAN I CALM DOWN!? THERE’S SO MUCH STUFF! YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND!”
Looking over to the pile, I saw how large it actually was.
“Uh… How long have you been doing this?”
She started trembling.
“I DON’T KNOW!”
Breaking down into hysterics she fell onto the floor and started crying.
“That little bitch wouldn’t even let me sleep…”
I could’ve sworn that familiars didn’t need to sleep… but I decided to keep quiet.
“I CAN HEAR YOU!”
She began to hug herself as tears streamed down her face.
“Got into the bed and everything… I was so comfy and warm next to you... half asleep and what does she do?! Throws a conniption! Grabs me by the legs and drags me out of the room screaming ‘NO NO NO NO!’.”
She looked up at me with a puppy dog look.
“Master...please... please let me take a break.”
I handed Lilly a plate with several omelets on it. I watched as she scarfed them down in what seemed to be mere moments.
“I can’t hear you if you don’t swallow your food…”
Swallowing her food, she grabbed a water bottle and chugged it.
“Ah! Much better!”
She looked at me with a smile and food on her face. Letting out another sigh, I took a napkin and began to wipe her mouth.
As I carefully did my best to clean her up a little, her face went bright red.
Setting the napkin to the side, I figured I’d start asking her some questions-
“I don’t know… I don’t know… and I don’t know.”
She looked over at me with a look of amusement as I furrowed my eyebrows.
“What do you mean ‘I don’t know’? I haven’t even asked you anything yet!”
She took a finger and pressed it to my forehead.
“I know what goes on up here, Haku. It’s my business to know. You don’t need to ask.”
“Anyhow… I’m just as confused as you are. All Himari told me was that she’d ‘take care of it’.”
“That’s pretty vague, Lilly…”
My familiar let out a sigh.
“The town is in complete disarray right now, Haku. They think that you left already, but there is some major turmoil going around. The fight between you and ‘granny’ destroyed a significant amount of property. The school also decided to close for the month so everyone can attend the funerals they’re planning.”
-That seems terrible…
Lilly looked at me with concern.
“They want you executed. Surprisingly, the Matsumoto family haven’t spoken on the matter. Neither have the Nakajimas.”
Kira’s parents… I wonder what they thought about this. I wonder if Kira-
“She’s still hospitalized… I checked… Just for you.”
Lilly scratched her head as she reclined a bit.
“That’s all I have. Long story short, we need to stay low and hidden. I’m not too big on having that strange girl boss me around…”
She looked at me with a strange look in her eyes.
“...But if that guarantees your safety and happiness, I’ll put up with it.”
Lilly stood up from the stairs and stretched.
“Speaking of… I still have quite a bit of work to do.”
She glanced over at me and gave me a smirk.
“I’ll try and see you tonight.”
Lilly disappeared into a cloud of black smoke, leaving me alone on the steps with her plate.
Five days had passed since I came to Himari’s house… It was the weirdest experience of my life. Almost every night, I’d fall asleep with Lilly at my side and wake up next to Himari. I mean… it was her room, so I didn’t really have a right to complain. The fact that I got pampered daily was odd as well. I was given expensive clothes, healthcare items, food, and she even bought me a new laptop. Himari was at my beck and call every day and she never left my side… It was exhausting… I just wanted some alone time…
I shot up out of bed covered in sweat again. As I glanced around the room to make sure I wasn’t still dreaming, I felt a hand on my side.
“Did you have another nightmare again, Haku?”
Looking over, I saw Himari with a concerned look on her face.
“Do you want to talk about it?”
-No. I don’t want to talk about it...
Letting out a sigh, Himari got up out of bed and walked over to one of her dressers.
“If you say so…”
Holding a pair of lacy underwear in her hand, she looked over her shoulder.
“Hey, Haku… You know we haven’t done anything since that one time… maybe it might take your-”
“Not in the mood. Sorry.”
I could see her hands tighten around the article of clothing, turning her knuckles white.
“Okay… Maybe later then, right?”
Getting dressed, Himari finally left the room.
I lifted my right hand and glanced over my pact mark.
“Come forth, Lilith.”
A bright red hue shone from my hand, lighting up the room. I looked down as a black smoke began to pour out of my mark and crawl underneath the covers.
“Good morning, Haku.”
Looking over to my right, I saw my familiar’s head poking out from underneath the sheets.
I felt a hand on my chest as a voice appeared in my head.
Was it that bad?
If you don’t even feel like talking, it must’ve been…
-I don’t know… between the nightmares, Himari, and Hira… I just feel like I’m losing it.
I felt a wetness against my neck as Lilly wrapped her legs around my waist. As the wetness moved up to my ear, I could hear her whispering.
“Well… You know we haven’t done anything since… ever… but it might take your-”
I groaned loudly.
“You’re not funny.”
Throwing her body to on top of mine, she lowered her face to mine and gave me a fiendish grin.
“Who says that I’m trying to be?”
I took my index finger and flicked the bridge of her nose as hard as I could.
She immediately pulled back and covered her face with her hands.
“That really hurt!”
I let myself laugh a little.
“Well don’t act like a brat then.”
She puffed out her cheeks before sticking out her tongue.
“Yeah. Like that.”
Picking her up off my lap, I moved Lilly to the side so I could get out of bed. I stretched before moving to one of the dressers.
I suddenly found Lilly standing in front of me.
“Wouldn’t you rather wear something different?”
Holding up her hands, she presented me with a stack of jet black clothes. My eyes widened as I began to realize what she was holding.
“Hold on… are those…?”
“Your father’s uniform? Indeed, they are. Didn’t you plan on being bad today?”
-Oh yeah… Today is the day before the move…
“Yeah… I did… but how?”
Pushing the clothes into my hands, she evaporated into a black smoke and reappeared behind me with her arms around my neck.
“I’m powerful enough to do this amongst other things…”
Setting her head on my shoulder she looked into my eyes.
“But in all seriousness? I went back for the jacket and knicked the pants from Himari. You’re welcome.”
I didn’t plan on getting caught, but if I did, the kevlar would prevent me from getting shot. Even if I could heal myself, it still hurt… Deciding that she did a good job, I began to pat Lilly’s head, making her face go red.
“H-hey! I’m not a puppy!”
“Suuure you aren’t.”
Removing her arms from my neck, I walked over to the bed and set down the uniform. I’d still need to dress regularly until Himari leaves…
Walking back over to the dresser, I put on a simple pair of sweatpants and T-shirt for the time being.
-Time to eat breakfast with Himari…
-You know the drill…
“Return to me.”
Evaporating into a black smoke, Lilly returned to my pact-mark. I would’ve preferred to have her company, but Himari acted… weird… around her. I took a deep breath before leaving the bedroom and making my way to the living room. As I exited the hallway and entered the large spacious room, I saw Himari sitting in her usual place, reading something on her tablet as she sipped tea. Noticing me, she tilted her head to the side and gave me a strange look.
“Oh… were the clothes I bought you not to your liking?”
Crap… I offended her.
“Nonono! I just felt a little down today, so I decided to put on something a little more comfortable.”
This seemed to worsen her mood.
“Ugh… I forgot to get him lounge clothes… I’m so stupid…”
Her eyes seemed hectic as she bit the tip of her thumb. Realizing I was still standing there, she immediately switched back to a smile.
“A-anyhow… I’ll try and get you something comfortable for you to wear on your off days soon…”
She patted the spot next to her, beckoning me to sit. I walked over and reluctantly sat next to her as she began to pour me a cup of tea.
“Umm… So, unfortunately, I won’t be able to have breakfast with you this morning, Haku… There’s still quite a bit to take care of before we move to our new home…”
I tried not to show the immediate relief that I felt.
“But of course the table is already set, so you can help yourself to whatever you’d like.”
Finishing her tea, she stood up.
“...Is there anything I can get you while I’m out?”
I quite literally already have everything I need.
“No. I’m fine.”
Seemingly disappointed, she gave a weak smile.
“If you say so…”
As she turned to walk out the door, her eyes widened as if remembering something.
“Oh! I completely forgot!”
Turning around, Himari pulled an object out of her bra.
“This is for you.”
Handing the object to me, I realized it was my phone.
“I found it at the school. I was going to buy you a new one…”
A look of anger quickly flashed across her face and disappeared.
“But it looks like that’s already the newest version of that device. Apparently not even on the market yet… pity…”
I booted up the phone to see the NashTek logo flash across the screen.
Presented with the homescreen, I felt like puking… She set the wallpaper to the picture of us lying in bed. Bending over in front of me, she seemed awfully pleased with herself.
“I already put my number in there, so if you change your mind about needing anything, please do call me.”
Suddenly, a feeling of realization swept across me.
“Wait… Himari… Can’t the police track this?”
“Of course not. I already had the number changed… Anyhow, sorry to cut this short, but I really do have to get going.”
Planting a kiss on my cheek, she turned to leave.
“Try not to miss me too much, okay?”
Finally, she walked out the front door.
Are you missing her yet~?
Locking the screen, I threw the phone into my pocket and went to the dining room. As promised, the table was already set.
“Go nuts, I guess.”
A black cloud floated out of my pact mark and into the chair that was next to mine. Not even fully manifested yet, Lilly was already piling several items on to a spare plate.
“Hey… can you… I don’t know… calm down?”
Looking over to my right, I spotted the upper half of my familiar shoving several pieces of toast into her mouth as her lower half slowly faded into existence.
“I can’t help it! That girl won’t let me sleep, won’t let me eat… I don’t even think she’d let me breathe if she had the choice!”
Scoffing, I reclined a bit in my chair.
“At least you don’t have to sleep with the damn girl. I swear she’s only two steps away from following me into the restroom.”
Swallowing her food, Lilly gave me a smirk.
“Well then. I guess we both have it bad, don’t we?”
After finishing breakfast, I went back into the bedroom and changed into the uniform. As I pulled on the gloves, I flexed my hand a little. Thoughts of fighting with Akari flashed through my head. Laying on the bed, Lilly spoke to me.
“Don’t worry so much… The mana powder in your bloodstream is gone now. I doubt anyone would be able to put up much of a fight with you as you are now.”
This didn’t make me feel any better… I didn’t want to fight, no matter how good my odds were. Reading my thoughts, Lilly sighed.
“Nonetheless, you did fight even when you didn’t want to.”
This was true… If me wanting to avoid a fight actually did equate to me being a pacifist, then I wouldn’t be wearing kevlar. I fully planned on putting up a fight if someone caught me.
Turning around, I saw Lilly releasing the slide on a pistol.
“Huh… These are so odd. So these are what humans use instead of swords…”
Seeing her point the gun at a wall, I walked over and pried her finger off the trigger and flipped the safety.
“Never put your finger on the trigger unless you’re ready to fire, Lilly. If you put a hole in Himari’s wall she’d be pissed beyond all recognition.”
I expected a snappy comeback, but instead, she just nodded her head and handed me the gun.
“After this is all said and done, do you mind teaching me?”
-That… Is unexpected…
“Yeah… I can do that.”
Stretching her arms, Lilly flipped herself off the bed. Holding her hand out in front of her, the rusted katana I used against Akari materialized in her palm in a cloud of black smoke. Looking over at me, she smiled.
“These, I can work with… But being able to fight humans on their own level seems useful.”
This worried me.
“Lilly… After this, we won’t be fighting anymore. I fully intend to live a peaceful life after we move.”
Lilly frowned as her face hardened.
“Don’t confuse not wanting to fight with not fighting at all, Haku…”
As I opened my mouth to ask her what she meant, she held up a finger to silence me.
“Don’t get me wrong. I want nothing more than for you to be able to put all of this behind you. I want you to be happy… But I told you before...”
A red glow seemingly filled her eyes.
“Your destiny reeks of bloodshed.”