My Name is ******, I was once ****** Kishimoto, but then my parents died in a car accident when I was 7 years old, I was there with them when the car fell down from the cliff. I fell unconscious, but when I woke up, I was already at the hospital, and my parents were not. They were dead, but I was not.
I got no relatives left, so I was sent into the orphanage under the care of Mrs. Suzuki. Mrs. Suzuki was the owner of the orphanage, she was already 50 years old, but she still worked hard to take care of the orphanage and the children in it. That small orphanage was located at the foot of a mountain near the outskirts of the town, there were only around 20 childrens like me that lived there.
It was hard at first, but Mrs. Suzuki was really kind and caring to me. I saw her as my grandmother, and she saw me and the other children in the orphanage as her grandchildren.
Then, when I was 9, a pair of husband and wife came to adopt me. I was sad to separate with Mrs. Suzuki and the other children, but I know that the less children an orphanage have, the better it is for the orphanage. Since then, my family name changed into Kawamura.
My life was fairly happy and fullfilling. I felt content, there was a father that took me to the school and a mother that cooked delicious food for me.
But then, it all changed after my 10th birthday.
It was a snowy night. We were just walking home together after going to the amusement park to celebrate my birthday. We were walking hand in hand. My father stood on my right side, holding lots of gift boxes over his right hand, and my mother stood on my left side, holding a bag with my birthday cake inside. I was skipping along the road happily while holding their hand.
Then, we stopped right in front of a cross road. The road was empty, we were the only one that was waiting for the cross-light to turn green. On my left hand was a red clown shaped balloon that my father bought for me at the amusement park. Suddenly, my grip over it, was loosened, but I didn’t know why, it was just like a ghost suddenly grabbed it and pull it away from my hand. I tried to catch it again and again, but I just couldn’t. The wind then blew the balloon away from me, slowly, like it was dancing. It flew to the other side of the road on my left side, luckily, a tall man across the street catched it by jumping a little.
That man wore a black shirt, with a black jeans, and a long black coat. His eyes were deep black like a water well, and his long hair was also black. He looked neither young nor old, and his face wasn’t scary either, but I didn’t know why, I felt fear deep in my little heart. He stood there and smiled at us while putting the red clown ballon on his hand toward us.
My father wanted to cross the road to take the balloon from him, but suddenly the gift boxes fell down without any warning. Seeing that, my mother chuckled and said, “I will take it, just stay here with ******, I will be back soon.” Then she crossed the road, took the balloon from the black coated man and bowed to thank him. That man just smiled and stood there quietly, gazing upon the street, left, then right, then finally to me. I bowed to him to show my gratitude. Seeing that, he smiled again, but he didn’t leave, he just stood there like a scarecrow on a field.
My mother waved her hand to me while showing the balloon, then, as she saw the zebra cross light turned green, she started to run to me and my father. But then…., it happened….
I saw my mother running across the street, but, at the next moment, she was gone from my sight. All I saw was a truck, and when it passed, my mother was not there anymore, nor the black coated man across the street.
My mother was dead on my 10th birthday. She was ran over by the truck on that snowy night.
A year passed by since then, my father, no, that man that was my father is now already broken. At first, we were still a family, but after a year, he just couldn’t take it anymore. He then turned into a drunkard. Day after day, he blamed me for his wife’s death. He beat me up with his hand, then his belt, he also kicked me, but, after he was sober, he always hugged me and said, “I’m sorry ******, it wasn’t because of you, it was an accident… an accident.” Then, he cried.
At the beginning, I cried and struggled when he did all of that, but after a while, I just sat there, silently bearing the pain over the cold floor that was smeared by my bloods and tears, because I knew that it would happen again and again, tomorrow, the day after that, and so on until I died.
My body was full of scars, and my tear dried up after all of that pain…
Then, on my 14th birthday, it happened again….
It was a snowy night like it was back then when my mother died. I was thirsty, so I went to kitchen to grab some water, but he was there, he was sitting on the kitchen chair, drinking beer. When he saw me, he shouted, “What do you want you little bastard?!”.
I said nothing to him, I just stared at him, I didn’t know why I did that. But then, just like seeing a ghost, he suddenly fell down from the chair.
He then said slowly to me, “You…you…killed her that day…on this same day…and now…now… you will kill me too!! …No… NOOO…NOOOOOOOOOO!!!! I WILL KILL YOUUU BEFORE YOU KILL MEEEEEE!!!!!” He sprang up, grabbed the beer bottle on the table and ran to me.
Seeing that, I ran away scaredly, I ran to the front door and opened the door. Just as I was putting my feet outside, my head was hit by the bottle. I then fell down to the floor. All I saw before closing my eyes, was my own red blood over the floor and that black coated man, standing on the corner of the apartement’s corridor, smiling at me just like back then. Then, I fell unconscious…
I opened my eyes slowly and looked around me. I was on a bed and Mrs. Suzuki sat on a chair beside my bed. “Ah… thank God you woke up, you have been asleep for two weeks already. I fetched you up from the hospital and brought you back here…,” she said softly to me. ”Now, no one will hurt you anymore, you are safe with me here… Welcome home…”
Hearing her soft voice, I wanted to cry, but sadly, my tears couldn’t come out anymore, so I just smiled at her, and then she smiled back at me.
I heard from her, on that night, after all that commotion that my father did, the neighbour went out to find me laying down on the apartement corridor with blood around me, half dead near my apartement door. Then, she called an ambulance and the police. I was strangely survived after all that blood loss, but my father was found already hanging himself in the kitchen room.
‘That man was there when my step-mother died, and that man was also there when my step-father died. Who is he?…What is he…?’ I don’t understand, and I don’t want to understand, so I forced myself to bury everything that happened deep inside me…
Days passed, even though my body was full of scars, and my heart was full of holes, I still tried my best to live. I switched school to the middle school near the orphanage. At the beginning, I was bullied because of my scars, but then, my step-brothers and sisters from the orphanage always found me and helped me. Even though I got no friend in the schools, my brothers and sisters from the orphanage were always there for me.
Two years passed since the death of my step-father. I thought that all my bad luck went away already. I was happy to play everyday with the younger kids in the orphanage, I cooked for them, I teached them maths and literature….
……But then that day came.
It was a really gloomy night, a stormy night. Lightnings lit up the sky, thunders roared up above the clouds, and the winds blew hard against the window glass. I was walking slowly through the corridor to go to the toilet. And for an unknown reason, I just looked outside the window glass. I was petrified, scared, and mortified. There, under the giant tree that stood in front of the orphanage, I saw him, the black coated man. He stood there, looking at me, smiling….
I was startled, ‘When he is there, someone will die! I-I don’t want anyone from the orphanage to die because of me!!’ Without thinking much, I ran downstairs, opened the door, and ran away from the orphanage. I ran faster and faster under the pouring storm. I fell down countless time, but I woke up again and again just to make sure that nothing would happen to the orphanage. ‘I am already far away from the orphanage, I won’t let anyone from the orphanage to get hurt!!’ But then, I realized that I was naive…
GLUDUK DAAK DUUUK ZRAAASHHH
A heaven shattering sound was heard, followed by a rumbling sound of earth. I was scared to look behind, but I was concerned about the safety of the orphanage, so I hardened my mind and turned my body. There was a wave of earth and rocks, falling from the mountain, together with lots of water and soil. It was a mudslide….
Then I saw it swallowed the orphanage, but it didnt just stop there. It swept along everywhere as far as I could see, and then it stopped just like that right in front of me…
I fell down on my knees. In front of me was a heap of soil, no sound could be heard, and no lives could be seen. ‘Everyone are dead…is it really because of me….?’
“Yes… they died because of you…,” a sound was heard from behind me.
I turned my head, and he was there, the black coated man…
“Why…why did you kill everyone?”
“No…I killed no one…you did…”
“I…killed everyone…? B-but…!” I looked once more into the heaps of soil behind me.
The black coated man walked slowly to me and said, “You are the cursed child of death. Everywhere you go, death will be behind you…but you won’t die….no…you won’t…you will suffer… You will suffer pains beyond death…”
Then, I saw him squatting in front of me. His eyes was staring deep into mine, his skin was as pale as a corpse, and his pupil was as dark as the night sky.
“Don’t you realize? Your parents died because of you, your stepmother was killed by you, your stepfather tortured you, and then hung himself in fear of you…. and in the end…everyone you care about was dead under that heap of soils…and you even brought more innocent people to death…if you just stayed inside the orphanage, no one else would die but your friends there…you killed them…”
I was shocked, my mind was blank. Then he put his index finger on my cheek, and said, “And you will kill a lot more people as long as you live…” Tears of blood ran down from my cheek onto his finger.
“Who are you…?” I asked him.
“I am you…I am the embodiment of your curse….wherever you are I will be there…whoever you love I will kill them…no…you will kill them..or to be exact….’we’ will kill them…..” he grinned from ear to ear like a crazy pierrot.
“AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa…………….,” I screamed to the sky as hard as I can.
“AHAHAHAHAHA….suffer my girl….no one can help you….you will kill….and when you do, I will be there…….,” he said that excitedly as he faded away back into the darkness…
Silence fell upon that place.
I walked slowly, in the direction of the orphanage, I could feel my feet was as heavy as lead. Then I arrived, I clawed the earth, trying to look for the people beneath it, but no matter how hard I tried, the mud and soils just filled down the hole again and again…
‘…they died because of me…, and as long as I live more people will die…’ I gazed down the earth and found a piece of glass. “If I kill myself…won’t this all end…?”
I looked once more to the sky then smiled, ‘God….why did you make my life this miserable…are you happy now?’. Then I stared down to the earth, ‘Mother, Father…please forgive your daughter… I hope I can meet you again in the afterlife… I… missed you…’
I slit down my own wrist, and lay down on the bed of the earth. My consciousness started to slowly fade away…
I opened my eyes and looked around. It was a huge dark hall with mists floating above the floor. At the end of the hall, was a staircase that led to a huge black door. And from the opened black door, flew countless hand shaped smoke that was holding my feet. They were trying to pull me into the black door, but then I realized that someone was holding me under my arm and slowly dragging me away from the black door.
“Oh you woke up! Welcome to the Hall of the Dead!! Or in your people’s folklore ‘the Sanzu River’. There is no river here though, but the Netherworld is indeed beyond that black door, the Gate of Death… This is the third time I dragged you out from this hall, but this is the first time that you wake up hahaha…,” a voice was heard from above me. I lifted up my head and saw that the black coated man was there holding my body and dragging me.
“Why are you here???”
“Well, we haven’t killed enough people…, so I will drag you back to live throught the Gate of Life… I did it too when you were 7 and 14 years old. You were asleep back then though…hahaha…,” said the black coated man while laughing and pointing at a huge white door across the black door.
“So I survived all those time because of you??” I couldn’t believe what I just heard, he said that he saved me when I was 7 and 14 years old. It means that I should’ve been dead long time ago on that accident, and also when my stepfather hit me…
“Yes my sweetie… How could I let you die just like that…? We haven’t killed enough people yet…, and you haven’t suffered enough too… So let’s go back through the Gate of Life and kill more people…,” he said that with an evil grin on his face.
“No…noo…nooo…please…stop this…! I don’t want to kill anyone anymore…!!” I struggled and tried to escape but I just couldn’t shake him off.
“You can’t escape from me…, because I am you… We are inseparable~~” He was humming happily while dragging me further and further from the death that I seek.
Then the hall turned really bright….
“Leave her alone…!” shouted a womanly voice. A white robed woman was floating right above us.
“Holy Sword Goddess…?! Ugh, this is none of your business!! Go away!” roared the black coated man.
“I am a God!! You don’t have any right to command me nor to ask about my business!!” With a flap of her robe, the black coated man fade away into a black fog, and the hands that was holding my feet were also sent back into the black door.
“Who…who are you…?” I asked her.
“My name is Astraea, the Holy Sword Goddess, I am a God from another world… I came here to help you….” she said as she descended down in front of me.
“Why did you help me?” I questioned her. I believed in God, but the God had cursed me once… Now, I don’t know who else to believe…, and with that man inside of me, I couldn’t even believe in myself…
“My dear…, I helped you because it’s a wish of someone… So, trust me okay…,” she said to me softly.
She stroked my cheek with her soft finger and kissed my forehead with her pink soft lips. But then, without any notice, she stabbed me in the heart with a sword made of light.
But it didn’t cause me any pain whatsoever, it was even warm and comfortable. “I have purified your curse…, now that curse from the God of Death won’t bother you anymore…”
“Are you telling me the truth…?!”
“Yes my dear… God never lies….”
‘So, I can now die in peace…?’ I thought, ’Mother…Father…, I can meet you again…’ I was happy beyond belief.
“Do you really want to die?” she said to me as if she was reading my mind. She touched my hair softly while looking at me with a sad look.
I thought for a while, and then nod my head and said to her, “I have nothing left anymore, if I go back to life…, I have no family, no friends, and no more place to be… But maybe…just maybe…my family is waiting for me behind that door…” I gazed at the so called Gate of Death.
But she read me like a book, she hugged me in her arms and asked me once more, “Do you really want to die my dear?….You don’t need to lie to me…I knew how painful it was for you…”
I trembled in her embrace and fell down on my knees, “N-n-noo…! I still want to live…!! I want to have friends…, I want to fall in love like in the stories…, I want to do lots of fun things!! ….but if I go back to life, it will still be the same, I won’t ever be happy… I am ugly, I am broken, I have no one, and I have nothing…! I prefer to choose death, than that lonely life… I-I don’t want to feel sad and alone anymore……uuuaaaaaaa…..” I cried to her, my tear that dried up suddenly flew down without nothing to stop them. I hugged her tighter as I felt her hand stroking the top of my head.
Then she pulled me away and stood on her knees. She gently put her hands on my shoulders and stared lovingly into my eyes. “Silly child… I am a God you know… I can grant you a new life, but you still have to work hard by yourself to get what you want… But still, do you want to live now?” she asked me.
I was shocked as I stared at her. ‘I can do things over? I won’t cause anymore innocent people to die? I can have friends? I-I can fall in love?’
“I…I want to live!!” I said to her while nodding my head up and down.
“Good answer!” She nodded happily and pat my head again and again.
“Now, I will lend this Holy Sword to you… This will protect you in that world, but let no one see this sword except ‘him’, and I will give you a little portion of my power too, so you can protect the friends you will find and maybe…the man you will love…,” after she said that, two orb of lights flew into my body.
She fell silent for a while and stared at me with a sad expression. She then said, “I am sorry about your life back then… I know that I can’t make it up for you…, but I pray that you will have a fullfilling life in my world…”
“You saved me from the death and give me another chance for life, I can’t thank you enough for that…” I hugged her again like I hug my own mother.
The Goddess smiled and hugged the girl tighter. “I will clean up your wounds as a bonus…. Now, relax and close your eyes, I will send you to ‘him’. He will teach you everything about that world, you can trust ‘him’, and I will speak to ‘him’ later too…”
“Can you please let the wound on my wrist to stay there, I want to remember about all the people that was dead because of me…,” I said to the Goddess.
“Oh…you really are like ‘him’…,” a hint of surprise was shown on her face as she said that to me.
Then she smiled to me and said, “Now…, close your eyes…”
I feel like I was floating above the cloud for a long time, it feels nice. How long has it been since I have a peaceful nap like this…
Then a shout was heard from below, “Z, what is with the ruckus up there?! Did something happen?!”
‘Hmmm… Who is so noisy down there…? Where am I right now?’
I opened my eyes slowly. There, I saw a young man, he looked a little bit older than me, he had really thin eyes but with a sligtly handsome face, and his hair was brown just like foreigner in the movies. ‘Who is this man? Why is he staring at me like that? And what does he want to do with that robe on his hand?’
Then suddenly, wind blew and my body felt slightly cold. ‘Why is it so breezy??’
I looked down and saw my body, ‘Woooow…my scars really are all disappeared!…….Waiiiiit…..why am I naked???’ I was shocked, and covered all my important parts in an instant. I stared again at him. ‘Did he strip me?? Or was he trying to cover me with that robe???’ I was confused.
But then the man said to me, “Are…you…maybe…my girlfriend?”
‘Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat?? What is this man saying??? He is looking at a naked girl, and asking if I am his girlfriend?? He is…he is…he is a-‘
“Perveeeert!!!” I screamed, and then sent a punch to his face.
“Wait What?! I’m not a perv-“ he wanted to say something, but sadly my punch already sent him flying away.
‘What a jerk!! Stripping a girl naked, then asking if she is his girlfriend!! That doesn’t even make any sense!’ I looked around to search for my clothes, but it wasn’t there. Then I saw the robe that he was holding earlier near to me, so I take that and put it around my body.
‘Wow, he flew pretty far, did I really punch him that hard? Maybe he was really weak… Hmppphh, serves him right…!’ I thought of that while seeing that man stuck on a tree branches 9 meters away from me.
“Wh-who are you?? Where did you come from?? And what do you want from us??” said the voice from below me.
I looked down and found that I was on top of an old-looking, middle-aged carriage that was pulled by two horses, and near the horses were three people, one was bald, one had a long hair, and the last one was fat.
I frowned and put my finger on my chin while thinking, ‘Goddess said that she will send me to ‘him’, but there is three people here… Well, it was four, but that pervert can’t be ‘him’, it’s impossible that the Goddess will send me to a pervert!’
After thinking for a while, I put my index finger on my lip, then tilted my head confusedly while saying, “I wonder what I want to do…?”
“Eeeeeh…?” The three man tilted their head at the same time and stared dumbly at me.
Now all four of us, dumbly staring at each other, while tilting our head in confusion.
Then the pervert fell down from the tree, he stood up and walked slowly to me. His left eye was swollen with a hint of blue around it.
He smiled at me and said, “Sakura…”
‘Why does he know my name??’