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Echoes of the Mirror 1.7 “Rain and Blood”
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.
When I opened my eyes, I was dismayed by the fact that I wasn’t greeted by the surroundings of my bedroom; I was in an alleyway in the middle of the night in the pouring rain. Nonetheless, I was grateful not to be on the operating table anymore. While I couldn’t comprehend what the purpose was behind my capture, I was surprised that I wasn’t still in the possession of my kidnappers.
-They… let me go?
Checking my person, I found myself completely devoid of all personal belongings… Including my clothes. Luckily enough, it seemed my wounds had fully healed. The giant V that was once cut into my chest existed no more. I closed my eyes and tried to remember what the man in glasses was saying…
Sounds like they were researching.
-That’s what you consider research?! I’d really hate to see what you consider torture!
Nonetheless, Lilly’s hypothesis did seem accurate… Though, I did vaguely remember them drop the term ‘job’. However, I came to the conclusion that this wasn’t exactly the best time to go over such things.
I tried to stand up only to have my knees buckle underneath me, sending me crashing into the concrete.
Easy now, Haku…
-Yeah… I know.
Aware that I was still mildly under the influence of the sedatives from earlier, I placed a hand on the brick wall beside me and managed to stand. Despite the fact I was still mortified by everything that happened to me, I tried my best to keep my composure and a clear train of thought.
-I need to at least get out of here…
I raised my right hand and spoke.
“Take me to where I desire.”
I can’t… There’s still traces of mana powder in your body. It’s making it very difficult to use any of my powers.
-Since necromancy is an anti-magic of sorts, I’m guessing that’s the reason it’s so effective?
Without my phone, there was no way to call anyone to pick me up… Even then, who would I call? With everything that happened so far, I yearned to call the police, but with my wounds already healed and the man with glasses nowhere to be found, why would they believe me?
I walked slowly towards the end of the ally, careful not to fall again, and took a look at the street sign.
-North Street?! That’s all the way near the end of town!
Making my way all the way back home in this state seemed like an impossibility… I needed clothes. If anyone was to find me like this, they would call the authorities immediately and I would be the one arrested...
The hand that I had against the brick wall turned into a fist as tears rolled down my face.
-Why? Why did this all have to happen to me?! What did I do to deserve this?!
My legs shook as I thought to myself in anger. It seemed that even the sky was punishing me… My naked frail body could only stand helplessly as the rain poured down on me.
-For the love of all that is good… Will this rain-
Suddenly, a bright blue circle appeared around me and the rain above me stopped in place. The anger inside me disappeared within an instant, being replaced with awe. Reaching a single hand up above me, I touched the raindrop... It was cold to the touch, yet still wet.
“It’s stuck in one place… almost as if it’s frozen?”
The circle once again appeared from underneath me and the raindrop turned ice cold and solidified into a single sphere of ice. Quickly yanking my hand away, my eyes widened in panic.
-What’s going on?
It’s your gate… I assume that right now it’s extremely unstable. After all, it’s an artificial gate that your body isn’t fully in tune with yet…
As my mind flashed to the operating table, my body fell to the ground like a sack of rocks. The horrific memory of my gruesome ‘operation’ began to flood my mind in agonizing detail.
Calm yourself Haku… With that gate in the state it's in, you’re going to hurt yourself… I’m here with you now. You have no reason to panic.
I focused on Lilly’s voice and looked down at my hands to find them shaking violently.
Standing back up on my feet, I felt just as unstable as before. I took a breath and tried to think of a way to at least find something to cover myself…
I remembered that on the edge of town, there’s an old abandoned garage that may have something in it. At most, the only thing that I would find the would be a moth-eaten uniform of horrendous age, but even that would serve my purpose.
Narrowing my eyes, I began to visualize the layout of Hira in my mind.
-North Street… So… Not even a block away?
Nodding my head, realizing that this was the best idea, I started to make my way towards the other end of the alley. Reaching the corner, I took a look at the buildings and confirmed there was no one around.
While I wasn’t exactly in the best shape, I managed to sneak around the back of several buildings with some semblance of speed and stealth. Checking the area around me before I moved to the next, I chuckled to myself.
-I can only imagine how this would look to a passerby…
...Like a sex offender probably… Not even a smart one at that…
The humor I had towards this situation was quickly dashed away as I let out a sigh.
-Thanks, Lilly… Way to lighten the mood. I feel sooo much better now...
Crossing several more areas, a question popped into my head.
-Actually, I never had the chance to ask you, but how do you know so much about the modern world? I thought you were trapped for thousands of years?
I could tell that my familiar was amused by this question.
Oh... That. Hahaha. I may have trapped underneath that well, but I could at least get a vague sense of what was going on around me… As a Demonica, we have much higher senses than humans do.
-How does that work?
Think of it like being able to hear everything around you, then being able to look at the source of a particular sound with a pair of binoculars… Hmm… Maybe that’s not the best way to put it, but it’s the closest example I have… Anyhow, over time I’ve been able to gather quite a bit of information over time on this era, even being able to learn a bit about the residents of this town.
Seeing an old woman take out her trash, I quickly dipped underneath a nearby staircase and hid for a moment.
...Like you, for example.
My heart suddenly skipped a beat.
-You… knew about me?
Hmm? Of course. Does that surprise you? You managed to segregate yourself quite a bit in your time here. If anything, you stuck out more than anyone else I’ve seen that lived here… I’ve seen you and your ‘attempts’ at trying to find a familiar… Though I will admit it took a bit longer than I wanted for you to hear me calling to you.
As I watched the woman struggle to lift the lid on her dumpster, I could feel myself being overwhelmed with questions I wanted ask…
-Hold on, you’ve seen me try and make a pact with a familiar? You’ve called to me?
Oh? You didn’t know? I thought you came to the shrine because you finally heard me?
I could feel a lump in my throat as I tried to swallow.
-N-no… I didn’t hear anything…
Oh… I see… That’s disappointing… Didn’t you ever wonder why every spirit you approached denied you?
It’s true… I wondered this for the longest time… For all these years I thought that perhaps I was just incompatible. I’ve seen everyone else make their pact with ease. I remembered when Alex made her pact with Masaru. She did it so easily… All she did was walk up to it and hold out her hand. It was at that moment that I first thought that maybe it was just an impossible feat for me. But does that mean-
I claimed you...
My eyes widened as I tried to comprehend what my familiar meant…
...I claimed you when I first saw you… You were always mine.
I could feel my hands begin to shake as she continued… But what did she mean?
You may be my master… But you belong to me. No other spirit would ever dare get in the way of that… Not that it matters anymore.
I let my familiar's words swirl in my head as I watched the old lady finally walk away from the dumpster. I lingered for a moment… Hoping to hear a better explanation.
Not satisfied with that~? Perhaps I phrased that wrong…? Hmm… No… That was right. All you need to know is this: You are mine, just as I am now your’s… We will live together, and we will die together. That is how this relationship works.
I’d go now, Haku… You’re short on time…
I wanted to know more, but she was right. Taking the opportunity given to me, I left my hiding spot and went to the next area.
Before long, I spotted my destination in the distance. Surrounded by a few large trees was a large brick building covered in moss. If I remembered correctly, it used to be the garage for the municipalities' department a couple of decades ago… Back when Hira was a bit more self-sufficient.
Making my way through a line of trees, I reached the back door entrance of the garage. Reaching for the handle of the wooden door in front of me, I found it locked.
I took a few steps back and surveyed the back of the building… No windows on the ground floor.
-No such luck… Only the second floor has windows…
If you were in better shape I’d suggest just breaking the door down.
While it wasn’t really a joke, I couldn’t help but laugh a little. I was nervous, cold, tired, and traumatized. I was willing to take anything to lift my spirits.
-Yeah… If only we could…
Suddenly an idea popped into my head.
You aren’t seriously planning on trying that, are you?
-What else am I going to do? I can’t use your powers, I’m not strong enough to break the door down, and there’s nowhere else secluded nearby.
Be careful. You have no idea how to control it…
I took a few steps towards the door, leaving it still a fair distance in front of me. I thought back to Alex’s match with Itsuki… Where all this began… I imagined her raising her hand letting go a burst of wind. Closing my eyes, I took a deep breath and tried to draw out the power of my Gate… I didn’t have anything to reference, so with Alex’s match in my mind, I thought back to the void.
I saw myself standing in the desert of black ash… I stood naked in this realm of nothingness… My soul. Looking in front of me I saw Alex peering off into the distance with a ferocious look in her eyes. As she raised her hand, so did I… I could see her mouthing a single word with her lips.
Opening my eyes, a green magic circle of light drew itself in the grass beneath me. Focusing on my will, I opened my hand.
A powerful gust of wind blew past me and blew the wooden door clean off its hinges, leaving the entrance to the garage wide open.
I smiled as wide as I could, feeling the triumph in my task of recreating Alex’s attack.
Slowly walking through the threshold, I found myself in a small decrepit office area. As I looked around, I frowned.
-Well… This isn’t promising…
All the equipment inside of the room was gone... only broken desks, soggy drywall, and rotten wood remained. Stepping further in, I noticed that the wooden floorboards were splintered in several places. Taking care to not injure myself, I walked into the middle of the room with as light-footed steps as I could manage.
I hoped that upon closer inspection, I might find something useful under all the debris and rubble… But no… it was obvious that this place had been heavily vandalized. The possibility of finding clothes here was scarce.
I clicked my tongue in disappointment as scowl crept across my face.
This is only the first room… Upstairs maybe?
-I doubt it… But I’ll give it a shot.
Taking heed of Lilly’s advice, I headed towards the door that led deeper into the building and opened it. I was greeted by a pitch black hallway.
“...Considering I don’t have any shoes, some light would be nice.”
At that, a circle of white light appeared below me and rose off the ground settling at the height of my waist, Illuminating the surrounding area.
“Okay… Magic floating circle of light then… I guess I can deal with this”
I walked through the hallway, careful not to step on anything that might cut me and made my way up a wooden staircase. Reaching the top of the stairs, I was greeted only by a very large open area with broken windows surrounding the perimeter. All that remained were wooden beams and brick. Even the carpeting and tile was gone.
-So much for that…
Maybe the actual garage has something?
-I don’t know… Looks like they packed up everything and left.
Well, do you have any other ideas?
-No. No, I don’t.
Off to the garage with you then.
I backtracked my way back to the office area and went through another door that led to the garage. The entire area was empty except for a single vehicle in the middle.
-I recognize that vehicle…
I walked up to the side of it to find it was an old grey Mitsubishi van… The same van my father and I came here in.
-No, it can’t be…
It more than likely isn’t, Haku… You humans have millions of vehicles, many of the same kind.
Walking around to the back, I saw that the license plate was missing.
-I don’t think I would’ve been able to remember the number anyhow…
Tossing this idea aside, I reached for the double door hatch on the back of the van and opened it. Laying lonely on its side was a black suitcase with a tag that read ‘Erin Maeda’... My father’s name.
My body stopped and my eyes widened as I traced the outline of the bag with my eyes. My thoughts became frantic as I realized what this meant.
-This… Shouldn’t be here… My dad went missing… He took the van with him!
I stood there frozen… There was no way that this was possible…
This isn’t the time, Haku. I can only imagine what you’re feeling right now, but we need to focus on getting you back home.
I took a deep breath and closed my eyes.
Once again, she was right… While this place is abandoned, if someone heard me break open the door and came to investigate, finding me here naked would be extremely incriminating. There’s also the fact that someone hid the van here… It was obvious that I wasn’t supposed to find it.
With a certain reluctance, I pulled the suitcase out of the van and unzipped the main pocket hopeful to find some clothes.
My hands were greeted by a giant lock box that took up the entirety of the bag.
In the middle of the giant metal lid was a combination lock.
I remembered back to when I was little and thought of the PIN that my father used to unlock his phone… My birthday. Entering in the combination, my ears were greeted with a click. Opening the lid with shaking hands, I slowly reached in and began to pull out the contents.
In my hands were a jet black uniform with combat boots and a coat that looked like a hybrid of a trench coat and a cloak. My mind raced with questions as to why my father owned these and why they were locked up, but I decided to set that aside for the time being. Placing the clothes on the floor of the van I began to dress myself.
My father was around the same size that I am now, so everything fit pretty snugly. Putting on the insanely heavy pants and shirt, I buckled the combat boots and pulled on the coat.
-This thing nearly touches the ground! What type of uniform is this!?
The coat itself was devoid of any markings and had an extremely heavy liner. Taking it into my hands, I examined the knit.
I assumed that’s what it was, at least… I never saw anything like it. I looked back to the bottom of the lockbox and rummaged through the remains.
-A pair of semi-fingerless gloves…
Looking outside, I saw it was still pouring, so I put them on.
In my hands was an extremely large handgun.
-Yeah… a D-Eagle… I was at an airsoft store with my dad and he pointed out a replica of this.
I cradled the extremely large gun in my hand careful not to pull the trigger. Picked up a fully loaded magazine with my other hand, I looked it over.
-This definitely isn’t replica… What was my father doing with this!?
Well, what did your father do for a living?
I closed my eyes and tried to retrace my memories…
While it was vague, I did somewhat remember back when I lived with my mother and father… Altogether it was just a normal-ish childhood with a normal family. My mother was just a calm and patient woman who cared deeply for her family. As for my father, while he was pretty overzealous about some things, he seemed like a pretty average guy. On the days he worked, he left in the morning and came home at night.
Suddenly, I remembered something important… My head hurt as gruesome images of blood flashed through my mind… I remembered crying…
“It’s okay son… Everything will be alright…”
“But what about Mom…?”
Clenching my teeth, I covered my eyes as I tried to think harder…
“Why do you have to be gone all the time, Dad?”
“Well… Sometimes when things are tough, we have to work harder to support the people we care about… Even if it means doing things we don’t want to…”
“I don’t understand…”
“And I hope you never have to…”
Uncovering my eyes, I only remembered just as much as I did before… Nothing useful.
-I... Don’t know… He got a new job when my mom died, but he never talked about it.
I could tell that my familiar was thinking about something, but I decided to ignore her and direct my attention back to the pistol.
-Should I take it…? Guns are illegal in Hira…
If it was your father’s, why not? After all, with everything that’s happened so far, a gun may come in handy…
I slid the magazine into the pistol and pulled the slide back.
My father took me to a shooting range a few times, but my mother threw a fit about it since I was so young… Guns were generally looked down upon anyhow, so my dad stopped taking me. After that, we played around with airsoft guns, so I have a basic idea of how to use one.
I pulled the gun up to eye level, steadied it with my other hand, and aimed. The motion was natural for me since my father was pretty anal about proper stance. Lowering the gun, I felt a twinge of reluctance.
-Let’s hope I don’t have to use this…
Hahaha… A gun, sorcery, and summoning… I knew I was right to choose you… Feel like a badass yet?
Clicking on the safety, I slid the gun into the back of my waistline, placing it in a pre-attached holster conveniently built into the pants.
-No… I feel like a high schooler that’s sick of this shit.
I threw the empty suitcase back into the van and closed the doors.
-Alright… Let’s get out of here…
Turning around, I threw my hood up and exited the garage. Taking the long way around the building, I found myself walking down the streets of Hira. Looking up to the sky, I held my hand out.
-The rain stopped… A good omen maybe?
I’d stop saying that, Haku… Every time you say that something is a good omen, something worse always happens.
-You have a very good point.
As I walked down the street, I noticed that the sedatives must have worn off; I was walking with little to no problem.
-Can we teleport yet?
No... That mana powder may take days to wear off… The most I can do at this point is heal any wounds you may obtain.
I stopped for a second.
-I’m going to go see Kira.
Hands in my pockets, I stood in the middle of the street and looked solemnly towards the ground.
-Because I need to talk to someone… I need to tell someone what just happened… Kira and I are on bad terms right now but I really need her. I need to cry and yell right now.
Is that the best idea? Why not just talk to her tomorrow after school?
-I’m not going to school tomorrow. I just got cut up on a fucking operating table and found my father’s stuff 11 years after he disappeared. I need to talk to someone about this. I’m doing all I can to not curl up into a ball and bawl my eyes out… If I go any longer without talking to someone I’m going to go insane and kill myself.
With that, I made my way towards the west side of town.
As I approached a medium sized white modern house, I took a deep breath and approached the front door.
-Well… No turning back now…
Stepping away from the door, I looked towards the driveway and noticed a lack of cars.
-Her parents aren’t here right now… Maybe they’re at one of their stores?
I had no idea what time it was, so such a thing wouldn’t surprise me. Peering through the front window, I narrowed my eyes and noticed that all the lights were still on.
-That’s odd… They never leave the lights on if they aren’t home.
I glanced into the kitchen and looked at the wall clock… It was 2:34 in the morning.
-Yeah… Someone should definitely be home.
I knocked on the door again.
“Kira! It’s Haku! Are you home?!”
-Her parents are known to go on small charity trips every now and then… They could be gone… But Kira should definitely be here.
Maybe she’s sleeping?
-With the house lit up like a goddamn Christmas tree? I don’t think so.
I went to knock on the door again, but I stopped as I heard meowing from the window… Looking to my right I saw Kira’s cat pawing the glass…
-Something isn’t right…
Looking closer I saw that the cat’s paws were stained with blood, leaving long streaks of red on the window.
I reached for the doorknob and tried to turn it only to find it locked… Acting out of desperation I pulled the D-Eagle from behind my back and clicked off the safety.
What are you doing, Haku?! How is that going to help?!
-Desert Eagle… chambered in 50.AE, it was originally made for taking out engine blocks. Kira’s door is steel reinforced… But I guarantee I can blow the lock.
I pointed the barrel towards the deadbolt and let loose a round.
...Then towards the knob
I underestimated the recoil of the pistol. It was nothing like a 9mm… My hand was shaking violently and it hurt like hell just from the two shots. Flipping the safety, shoved the gun back in my waistline and put a hand on the door.
A circle of green light surrounded me and the door flung open, nearly tearing itself from the doorframe. Running upstairs to Kira’s room, I found her door cracked open. Throwing open the door, I rushed into her room.
“Kira! Are you alri-”
My eyes widened in horror…
Haku! Remain calm! Your gate is still unstable! If you don’t get your emotions under control RIGHT NOW you could easily destroy the house!
My entire body quaked…
-No… No no no no no no... This can’t be happening…
Slowly pacing my way over to Kira’s bed, I dropped to my knees. In front of me was Kira dressed in her cute bright pink cat pajamas… Her eyes were open and grey with blood covering her mouth. Her right hand clutched a kitchen knife that was planted deep into her stomach and her left held her pink phone.
My eyes traced the blood-soaked bed in pure horror… I couldn’t believe what was happening. I refused to.
“B-but… I saw you yesterday… You were fine…”
Reaching out, I touched her face only to find that it was ice cold… Reality began to dawn on me as I realized what happened.
She killed herself.
I grasped one of her shoulders tightly and lightly shook her. Around me, a circle started to form, crackling electricity.
HAKU! REMAIN CALM!
“Please, Kira! Wake up!”
I kept calling out Kira’s name… but I didn’t hear a response…
My head fell to her chest as tears started streaming down my face.
“Please, Kira… I’m sorry… Please wake up…”
I pulled her closer to me and snuggled my head into her chest.
I took my ear and placed it near her mouth… She was still breathing.
“Kira? Hold on Kira! Please!”
I picked Kira up in my arms and cradled her against my chest.
I looked down to see that Kira’s phone had fallen onto the floor.
Her screen was on with a message open…
“To: <3 Haku <3
...I just want you to know that I always loved you and all I wanted was to be with you.
None of the friends I have ever made could replace you.
This isn’t your fault, It’s mine.
You need to hurry Haku… The only thing keeping her alive is her familiar… Her prana is weak.
Nodding my head, I rushed out her bedroom door, through the living room, into the streets of Hira. I broke into a sprint and ran as fast as I could down the sidewalk.
As I ran block by block, I could see various townspeople looking at me through their windows... I didn’t care. I was going to save her life, nothing else mattered to me at that moment. I was going to make things up to her when she woke up… I was going to tell her how much I loved her.
“Please *HUFF* Hold on!”
I cradled the girl in my arms as delicately as I could as ran. I could feel her blood dripping down my arm, soaking the front of my shirt.
-I NEED to make it!
She didn’t have much time. I pushed all the emotion out of my head and focused on running… The clinic wasn’t too far away now.
I almost lost my footing a few times... Her body was heavy. Glancing down into my arms for a moment, it seemed she was looking back up at me… Almost as if her eyes were pleading with me. Glancing up, I could see light shining through the double glass doors of the clinic.
Reaching the double doors of the clinic, I busted into the reception room. A nurse stood up from the desk. Looking towards her, I shouted in panic.
“She needs medical attention NOW! Quick! Get a doctor!”
As she ran towards the doors on the left, she yelled out to me.
“Take her to room 3A, it’s on your right!”
I quickly ran into the room and placed her on the medical table. Grasping her hand, I held it to my chest.
“Hang in there Kira...Please…”
I heard footsteps behind me.
“This doesn’t look good… Nurse, get him out of here.”
As the doctor pushed by me, the nurse now dressed in pink scrubs escorted me out of the room and locked the door.
This was all that I could do.
I sat on a chair in the reception room and placed my head in my hands… Hours passed as I watched several doctors come to and from Kira’s room. Eventually, the doctor that originally had me escorted out of the room approached me.
I looked up to see a middle-aged man with a comb-over in front of me. Anxiety sweeping over me, I stood up.
“Is she okay?”
The man looked nervous as he looked me over.
“...Yes...She’s still near death’s door but she’s stabilizing…”
I let out a sigh of relief.
“Thank god...That’s good to hear…”
The man fidgeted in place as if expecting me to question him. As I looked at him questioningly, he handed me a clipboard.
Looking at the top page of the clipboard my anxiety only heightened… “Complete Medical File: Kira Nakajima”
The man began to speak with a certain nervousness in his voice.
“T-that file includes all of Miss Nakajima’s medical records… I can also make you a copy of all of her family’s records as well if you require it…”
-What on earth? Why is he handing me these?
“Please… There’s nothing else I can do… We appreciate the NES bringing Miss Nakajima here… But your superiors should be satisfied with those documents…”
At this time my confusion reached a climax.
“What the hell are you talking about? Kira is-”
The doctor interrupted me and began to list off information.
“Miss Nakajima has been prescribed antidepressants before to combat her Major Depressive Disorder… She has also been going to psychiatric therapy regularly. However, I’d also like to point out that while this isn’t the first time she’s inflicted self-harm, this is indeed the first time she has ever attempted suicide. We assure you and your superiors that Miss Nakajima will be committed to a psychiatric hospital as soon as she is fully recovered…”
-Kira...has depression? She’s hurt herself before?
“...We spoke to her psychiatrist and it appears her mental state has been steadily decreasing since several months ago. It seems her degraded relationship with a ‘Haku Maeda’, a love interest of her’s, acted as a catalyst to her mental health…”
My eyes widened in disbelief…
-I did this…?
“...With that being said, we apologize for whatever inconvenience she must have caused you and your division during your time here in Hira and assure you it will nothappen again…”
I furrowed my eyebrows and decided to play along… It was obvious that I was NOT welcome here.
“Be sure it doesn’t… I don’t require any further documentation. Thank you for your cooperation.”
I really wanted to visit Kira and make sure she was alright but dressed as I was, this wasn’t going to fly. Quickly leaving the hospital, I took to the streets of Hira and headed home.
-Kira… Why didn’t you tell me…
I thought back to the doctor and how he reacted to the way I was dressed…
“Dad... Just who the hell were you?”