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Echoes of the Mirror 1.2 ‘Regrettable Actions’
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.
-Oh god, she’s going to be SO pissed if I’m late!
I found myself running as fast I could around the various corners of the town, bound for the open field on the east side of town.
My heart racing and my breathe heavy, I soon found myself behind a small group of students from school.
Looking in front of them, I saw Alex.
She had a smirk on her face and a countenance of conviction.
In front of her was a medium-height, short haired blonde male.
He stood there with his arms crossed and a scowl.
“Come forth, Iwao.”
A mark on the right side of his face glowed brown, and beside him the ground crumbled…
What came forth looked like a giant translucent snake nearly 6 meters long, that glowed the same color as his mark.
The audience cheered.
“Yeah! Get her!”
“Show that stale gale who’s boss!”
Alex didn’t even flinch.
She swept her right arm to side and spoke…
“Come forth, Masaru.”
Under her stocking, her left thigh with a mark similar to Itsuki’s glowed green.
The wind grew fierce, and beside her, what looked like a miniature tornado revealed a translucent falcon about twice the size of a normal one, which glowed the same color as her mark.
“I pray that you’re ready Alex...” Itsuki spoke.
It was obvious that Itsuki was no stranger to duels.
When Alex summoned her familiar, he didn’t even do so much as flinch.
“You aren’t beating down freshman this time.” He finished.
“Huh? You mean you’re a middle schooler? I thought you were older, but I guess you’re tall for your age.” Alex said with a smirk, crouching like a lion about to pounce on prey.
Itsuki clicked his tongue, clearly aggravated by Alex’s banter.
He put a single hand to the ground and furrowed his eyebrows as his familiar curled backwards ready to strike.
The tension in the air was so thick that you could cut it with a knife.
I stood back with the rest of the crowd and prepared myself.
“GROUND BREAK!” Itsuki shouted out.
A jagged line pierced the earth and shot towards Alex.
“Now.” Alex let out with a sigh crossing her arms.
Her familiar, Masaru then took off into the sky.
As the earth below Alex burst, she seemingly disappeared.
Itsuki looked around confused.
Itsuki let out a grunt as he threw himself to side…
Where he once stood, were deep gashes in the earth.
Alex and dropped from the sky to the ground gracefully as Masaru glided around her.
“Quick!” Itsuki yelled at his familiar, Iwao.
“Huh!?” Alex let out in surprise as Itsuki’s familiar flung itself forward a few meters and wrapped itself around her legs.
Caught off but not even putting up a struggle Alex snapped her fingers, which signaled the air to burst around her.
Itsuki’s familiar was flung to the side in a gust of wind, twisting and turning all the while.
Iwao let out a *Hiss*, shot upward and burrowed itself in the ground.
Alex crouched as wind started to circle around her like a ring of blades, her familiar perched on her shoulder.
Itsuki's familiar burst out from the earth behind her which made Alex jump to the side.
However, before she could even get her bearings, the ground from under her feet crumbled, making her fall onto her back.
“NOW!” Itsuki yelled at his familiar, still standing a comfortable distance away from the battle.
As Itsuki’s familiar quickly slithered towards Alex, she kicked a leg to the ground and flipped herself back to her feet.
Iwao only a half meter away from it’s target, received a side kick from Alex.
Itsuki’s familiar tumbled to the side, letting Alex leap into the air in a gust of wind produced by and attempt to land a kick on Ituski.
Sensing he was in danger, Itsuki lifted his right leg and planted it into the ground with force.
A sudden cloud of dust flew into the air, and Alex’s foot only made contact with a wall of jagged rock.
Using her momentum, she planted both her feet on the wall and bounded backwards with an elegant backflip.
Behind the cloud of dust ran Itsuki… Obviously trying to avoid Alex’s next imminent attack.
Alex lifted an arm into the air, the surrounding air encircling it, turning her arm into a deadly wind-dance of invisible blades.
I soon saw Itsuki in my peripherals, about to run in front of the crowd.
Alex put her arm in front of her and opened her hand.
Alex said as a sharp burst of wind, as deadly as blades, flew towards Ituski.
The crowd suddenly let out a shout as everyone tried to move out of the way.
Itsuki managed to dodge the deadly burst, as did the rest of the group of students.
I stood there in shock…
Alex’s deadly burst…
Was heading forward…
Right towards me!
“HAKU RUN!” I heard Alex’s voice yell out.
A red mist took place of the area in front of me.
Pain took place of every other feeling that I had in my body
I fell to the ground and my vision became blurry…
“Oh my god!”
“He was hit!”
“Quick stop fighting!”
The students were yelling out.
Everyone went silent.
“Haku!” I heard Alex let out.
I looked up to see Alex looking at me tears running down her face.
“I’m so sorry!” She cried.
I opened my mouth but no words came out.
I lifted up my right arm and saw deep gashes spewing red decorating the appendage.
Alex ripped off her blazer and wrapped it around my arm to keep it from bleeding.
“Are you hit anywhere else!?” She asked me desperately, voice cracking.
I looked to the left of Alex to see Itsuki.
He stood there staring at me horror.
“I-Im s-so sorry H-haku…” He said.
Alex’s hands searched me desperately, making sure that an artery wasn’t hit.
“Ok...It doesn’t look like you were hit anywhere else…” She said with a relieved sigh as she embraced me.
I quickly searched my body for any other source of pain...
I found none.
I got up onto my feet and draped my arm to the side, grasping the blazer with a single hand to keep the tourniquet functional.
Alex grasped my left arm and quietly talked to me…
“Come on Haku… Lets get you to the clinic…”
“I’m fine…” I said.
She looked me with a furious look, clearly on the brink of hysterics.
“Don’t be a fucking idiot Haku! If we don’t get you to the clinic you’ll bleed out!” She yelled at me, tears in her eyes.
I looked down.
“I can get there myself Alex, I’ll be fine.” I said in a monotone voice.
If looks spoke words, Alex’s spoke very clearly- “Your insane!”
“You have to finish your match Alex. You’re very dedicated and I’m not gonna let you stop the match just because I didn’t get out of the way quick enough.” I said before Alex could say anything more.
This was my fault...
This was the epitome of my personal failures…
The gnarled pile of flesh hanging from my side just served as a personification of everything that I failed to be…
“If I just studied harder and became a summoner than this wouldn’t have happened… Right Alex?” I finished with a blank expression.
“I…” Alex started.
Before she could answer, I turned around and started to leave the field.
“Ugghh…” I let out a moan.
-God this hurts…
I walked the wooded path that lead out of the field.
As I moved forward I left a trail of blood behind me.
I could feel the warmth of the liquid drip down my finger tips.
I kept thinking about how this was the punishment for me not fitting in in Hira.
-Why does it have to be this way?
As I slowly walked the path my vision began to blur more and more.
-Am I going to die?
I furrowed my eyebrows.
-Would it even matter?
My mind flashed to the two beautiful faces of Kira and Alex.
I didn’t need their pity.
Bitterness overwhelmed me.
I stopped walking for a moment and tried to take in the scenery with what little consciousness I had left.
The trees around me on the wooded path swayed side to side.
The moon was almost invisible through the leaves that hung above me.
I looked to my left and saw that the path the I stood on branched off further into the woods.
-The shrine huh?
At this point I lost almost all will to escort myself to the local clinic.
I decided to make the choice to humor my bitterness and self-pity.
I took the path to the shrine.
Before me was a modest shrine made of aged wood.
To what god did it belong to?
This I didn’t know.
And honestly I couldn’t find the will to care less.
“All I ever wanted to do was fit in...” I said to the shrine.
I looked at the shrine expectantly as if it would answer.
“If you’re the cruel god that put me in this situation…”
“ANSWER MY PRAYER AND GIVE ME A FAMILIAR!” I screamed at it.
I was no longer able to contain my rage…
I lost my reasoning and I ripped the blazer acting as a tourniquet off my arm.
“TAKE THIS FOR PAYMENT!”
I whipped the appendage at the shrine, covering it in red glistening beads.
Surely I had completely lost my mind.
If there was a god that oversaw this shrine, surely the audacity of my actions just sentenced me to an eternity of torment…
If I was to die here and be reincarnated, even a life as an amoeba wouldn’t be fit for someone who just disgraced the gods as deeply as I did.
Realizing my actions I dropped to my knees…
The town of Hira never accepted me in life, and surely by defacing one of their shrines they would curse and spit on my name in death.
I started sobbing.
I looked up to the shrine to see my blood slowly coalesce into thin tendrils that slithered down to the base of the shrine.
I crawled forward and gave the shrine a forceful push with my left hand.
The shrine dutifully obeyed the push, and slid backward into place with a click.
In its place was a rusted metal trapdoor inscribed with heavy-handed and violently drawn characters.
It was written in a tongue that I didn’t recognize.
The blood that was on the shrine slithered through the cracks that rested around the perimeter of the trap door and disappeared into whatever lay beyond it.
I grabbed the oxidized ring that was bolted to the top of the trapdoor and swung it open to reveal a stone staircase covered in moss.
I got onto my feet and peered down the dark stairwell…
I couldn’t see anything.
It was as if light itself was forbidden in the area that surely rested below.
Wiping the tears from my face, I began to walk down the stairwell.
I soon found myself completely surrounded by pitch black.
I no longer thought of my wounds.
I was completely consumed by the desire to see what rested at the end of this path.
Each of my footsteps down the decrepit staircase echoed down the corridor.
I could feel the moss under my feet give way to each of my steps with a *squish*.
It was obvious that no one had been down here in quite a while.
-What is thi..?
Suddenly I lost my footing and I started falling down stairs.
“AAAAAARRGGH!” I screamed out as my body made contact with the bottom of the stairwell.
I grabbed my left leg and clenched my teeth as I writhed in pain.
My left leg had got caught beneath me when I fell.
The force of my body coming down on top of it snapped it as easy as one would break a twig underneath their feet.
I took out my phone with my quivering left hand and tried to shake it a few times to turn on the flashlight.
I reluctantly shined the light at the source of my immense pain and saw that my entire left pant leg shone with a maroon hue.
Half my calf was twisted in an unnatural position and I saw a jagged shape stick out from underneath the pant leg like a tent.
I could no longer think and I was already on the brink of death.
I clawed forward down the corridor that was before me, quivering and snivelling like a newborn baby.
My head hit the floor with each tug of the bloodied right hand that pulled me further down the corridor.
With movements like a worm I finally found myself at the end of the corridor.
I tilted my head up and saw a large round room filled with rusted metal chains that stretched from a dark corner of the room that my light could not touch.
I dropped my phone and my vision started to cut out.
I could plainly tell that I had reached the threshold of death’s door.
A voice clawed its way into my mind, echoing in the hollow depths of my psyche.
You lay before me like a maggot devoid of purpose…
I could only listen as my heart rate began to slow.
I could feel it pierce through my thoughts and memories, tearing through my very being, inspecting all that I was.
The very fiber of your being is held together with fibers of doubt and self-loathing.
What is it that drives your insignificant existence?
That is truly all you seek…?
Accept me and I shall invigorate you with power and life anew.
You will stand before the residents of this town and they will look at you as one would look upon a god.
Toss aside whatever doubts lay threaded within your weak mind and take me upon your soul.
Do you accept?
This wasn't something I could debate.
I was only half a moment away from death.
I had no reason to refuse.
I choked as I used my last shred of breathe to say my final words.
So be it…
The chains in the room ripped themselves from the walls of the room and bounded into the air.
I could faintly see them come down onto my right arm and force themselves into my open wounds.
I could only wimper slightly.
The pain that I felt now was unlike anything I ever felt before.
I could feel the chains force themselves into my body.
I could feel them snake into my veins...
They slowly crept through my heart, my bowls, every internal organ of my body.
Like a needle and thread I could feel the chains run through my being and weave through my soul…
I was not going to die.
Whatever entity was that forcing itself upon me would not allow it.
My body convulsed on the floor as the entity conformed itself within me.
I stared at the stones above me as this entity invaded my body and felt myself slowly drifting off into unconsciousness.
I woke up to see the familiar interior of the bedroom in my apartment.
-This isn’t possible…
I quickly stood up out of bed and glanced around.
It was indeed my room.
I saw my bed in the corner, my desk near the door, and a random assortment of my other belongings organized in the other corner.
Remembering the school uniform left in tatters, I checked the closet to find an ample supply of uniforms left of the same number I always owned.
I checked my person and found myself naked, just as I had always slept.
I thought to myself that whatever I just experienced must have been a dream.
I looked at my leg and didn’t even see so much as a scar.
I decided to take this as a good omen and I glanced at the alarm clock resting beside my bed.
School was in half an hour.
I quickly threw on my clothes, but as I went to put on my blazer I noticed something on my right hand.
What lay above my wrist was a marking that looked like an aggressive assortment of characters arranged in a circle.
In the middle of the circle was an unfamiliar jagged shape that I couldn’t even begin to describe.
I broke out into a cold sweat.
This very clearly was not here yesterday.
I was confused beyond all belief.
One might have believed that I would have put two and two together, but after finding myself awake in my room with no explanation after the events that may or may not have taken place last night, drawing any sort of conclusion would be impossible for even the most savvy individual.
Instead I tossed my blazer to the side and ran over to my nightstand to grab phone.
I unlocked it and saw that I had received a few messages from Alex…
“I hope you got to the clinic alright.
I’m so very sorry for what happened Haku.
I hope that you can forgive me.
They probably put you in the clinic for the night, so don’t worry about coming to school.
I should have followed you last night and made sure you were okay.
Please respond when you get this.
If anything happened to you I don’t know how I would live with myself.
I couldn’t sleep last night. I kept thinking about what you said to me.
I honestly don’t care that you don’t have a familiar, and I don’t think you should either.
Please be okay.”
That was the end.
I clasped the phone to my forehead and came to the conclusion that last night was definitely not a dream.
However, while I’d like to stay home for the day and wrap my head around the situation, missing a day of school over something medical requires a doctor’s note.
It was imperative that I make it to school.
If I indeed was a summoner, the details surrounding how I became one are horrific.
It was obvious that whatever entity I was master to, was not something normal.
I ran into the bathroom and grabbed some medical bandages.
I proceeded to wrap my arm up to my fingertips to at least give the impression that I received medical attention.
Hiding my pact mark also seemed to be the best decision especially since I didn’t want anyone trying to pry into the details of my night after the match.
Looking at my alarm I saw that it was 5:50.
The bell would ring in 10 minutes and even running to school would see me late.
My credits can’t take any tardies…
Looks like it can’t be helped.
I threw on my blazer and ran outside to behind the bookstore.
I ripped the tarp off the object that was in front of me.
It was a jet black motorbike that Alex gave to me for my birthday two years ago.
I personally didn’t really enjoy riding it, but I accepted it gratefully since Alex went through alot of trouble to obtain it.
I jumped on the bike and kick-started it.
The engine roared to life.
I pulled back the throttle and soon found myself roaring down the streets of Hira to school.
Seeing the school on the right, I quickly whipped around the side of the school to the area for student parking, and set the motorbike against the wall next to the side entrance.
When I arrived to my classroom, everyone gave me strange looks.
“Good you can join us Haku…” Stated professor Reid from behind his podium.
“You made it on time, but surely you remember that school rules dictate the fact that motorbikes are not allowed on school campus hmm?” He continued as he leaned forward onto his hands with a scowl.
“Yes professor. I’m very sorry. It won’t happen again.” I replied with a deep bow.
“See to it that it doesn’t.” He said as he turned to the whiteboard to begin his lesson.
As I took my seat I saw Kira staring at me with a very concerned look on her face.
I saw her point to the phone that was on her lap.
Getting the message, I discreetly took my phone out and put it on my lap.
I unlocked it to see that Kira was messaging me.
“Are you okay?”
Looking around to make sure I wasn’t being watched I replied.
“Yeah I’m fine.”
The look on her face told me she didn’t believe me.
“Alex told me about last night…”
“It’s okay. I went to the clinic and they told me I would be fine to come to school today.”
“You look pale Haku.”
I didn’t even have a chance to look in the mirror this morning so I didn’t even notice.
“I will admit that I did lose a lot of blood…”
“Alex is really concerned about you Haku. I am too.”
“There’s nothing to worry about Kira.”
Even over text I can tell that she is probably seeing right through my lies.
“Alex wouldn’t stop crying.”
I felt terrible.
I said and did a lot of things that I shouldn’t last night and my actions are obviously causing pain to those around me.
“I’ll talk to her after school okay?”
She looked at me with a face that looked distraught.
I could tell that it looked like she was thinking hard about something.
“Actually Haku, I want to talk to you about something too.”
It seemed that my problems were on the verge of reaching a climax.
Unlike the past few times, I had no opportunity to dodge this one.
“It’s something I have to tell you about in person.”
Kira’s feelings were evident.
Seeing that I went through the self-destructive actions of last night, she has come to the conclusion that she needed to confess her feelings now before things spiraled in an uncontrollable fashion.
Before I could respond Kira had already sent me a message.
“Can you meet me at the big cherry blossom tree outside the middleschool after you’re done speaking to Alex?”
This time, I can’t refuse.
I turned off my phone and rested my head on my desk.
-Whatever happens now…
Miss Yamada’s voice rang in my ears…
...if you make a decision tonight, with your own mentality, you will have a tumultuous path ahead of you…
-I can’t turn back...