Phantom Assassin

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Chapter 01

Hot, vengeful tears streamed down Mylo’s cheeks. Pain shot through his arm, numbing everything below his elbow.

Mylo stood up, legs wobbling, and cupped his hand around his wrist, ready to pull it off. The hand was only connected by a piece of skin, so there was no way he could repair it.

“Kira,” he sobbed, tearing his hand loose. He winced, collapsing back onto his knees. The bloody hand thudded onto the ground. Black spots corroded his vision, but he strained to see the girl’s head at his feet. “I’ll definitely bring you back.”

He pulled his shirt off, ripping a chunk of fabric from the base. Then, he carefully wrapped it around the shattered bone stuck in the flesh of his wrist. It turned crimson red in an instant, dripping with the metallic scent of blood.

He rolled the head, matted with sweat, blood, and hair, onto his shirt and tied it up. It, too, soaked up the blood.

“I’ll definitely bring you back,” he repeated, his voice changing pitches randomly. He continued to say this as he lifted the little body off the ground, cradling it in his arms. The lifeless corpse limbs spilled limply over Mylo’s arms, swinging side to side like some disabled pendulum.

He brought her through the forest, watching the sun slowly take place of the moon. He stomped on flowers that were lifting their heads up to feed on the sunlight, he crushed the insects that were crawling out of their holes. He swayed uneasily left and right, nearly hitting trees, rocks, roots…

His foot sank into a frigid stream of murky water, and he quickly hopped across, letting Kira’s hands brush against the stream’s water. The murkiness dissolved and the water was cleaner automatically.

“Kira, I’ll save you,” his shaky voice continued to repeat, as if he couldn’t control it.

On the other side of the stream he set the girl down on a bed of rocks. Even without her small head, she seemed at peace. Her arms lay flat on the shiny rocks, her toes brushed with hints of dirt, and her delicate pink dress was scattered in folds around her, offering comfort.

Mylo stepped into the stream and bent down, letting the cool water rush over his wound. Redness grabbed at the water, heading downstream. His blood washed away, until the wound looked clean.

He wrung out the fabric with his useful hand and thwacked it against a rock to make sure no moisture was left before wrapping it back around his wrist.

The sun smiled heartily at the rushing water, and, in turn, the water smiled back with sparkling excellence. Rocks shifted around under the steady flow of the water, finding little notches to squeeze into.

Mylo turned, crawling on his knees, to his sister. The girl waited, a sleeping beauty, on the rocks. Mylo suppressed a frown. He couldn’t stand to look at his sister, not until she was smiling back at him.

“I’ll definitely make you live again,” Mylo said sternly, resting next to her. He turned away from her and stared at the waving green grass, envious of how careless it was.

Mylo fought against the memory. He couldn’t let it invade his mind, or he knew he would go insane. But even though he was aware of this, the memory found a weakness in his defense, and it took over.


The gloved hand closed around Mylo’s neck, threatening to squeeze tighter. Mylo could feel something clawing at his lungs, trying to get out. He couldn’t breathe.

“If you don’t tell me where she is,” the man threatened, his lips curled into a disgusting grin, “you’ll die before you can say ‘goodbye.’”

His threat didn’t seem that credible, however, Mylo felt he was losing consciousness, so he nodded wearily, blinking the blackness away.

The man let go, Mylo crashing to the floor. The boy gasped for air, coughing and spitting to get the oxygen he had lost.

Mylo, heaving for air, still, glared at the man with the most angry face he could muster. He didn’t understand why the man was there, why he wanted his sister, or why he was being killed. He only knew that if he didn’t speak up, his sister would be hunted down mercilessly.

“You’re in the wrong place,” Mylo lied, darting his eyes away from the man. “She went with my mother to the market.”

The man knelt down to Mylo’s level, his grin turning into an all-knowing smirk. “You shouldn’t lie, Mylo.”

In lightning speed, the man’s glove closed around Mylo’s throat once more, this time squishing together all of Mylo’s neck joints and muscles until he felt he was about to implode.

“You’ll die here,” the man said darkly, squeezing tighter around Mylo. Mylo clawed around his neck for breath, choking like crazy. His head felt numb, like it could pop at any second.

“No, Mylo!” A shrill scream broke out. The man dropped Mylo a moment before he would’ve died, twitching his head around.

The girl stood in the doorway, tears spilling out of her eyes, her whole body shaking. Her crystal blue eyes were filled with innocence, her light pink dress soaking with her tears.

Mylo’s eyes widened to the size of oranges, his mouth dangling off its hinges. He outstretched his hand, screaming something. He didn’t know what, but it was anything to get this killer away from his sister.

The man was too fast. His cloak flew up in a frenzy, blocking Mylo’s view of what happened. A sword raised over the man’s head and quickly shot down. A dull chopping noise and a stolen scream filled the room.

In a second, the man disappeared. Mylo clamped his jaw and beared the tears that wanted to come. He inched towards the girl on the ground, stepping over dashes of blood decorating the cool tile. When he caught the gaze of his shocked sister, the tears came. She was dead. Dead.

Mylo could fix this. He could make it all better. He carried the girl’s body and head to the stone well near the edge of the forest, quick to drop her in. This will do it, Mylo thought. She’ll be fine.

The girl’s body floated out of the well, her head sewed back on. The pink dress was cleaned of blood, her hands pale and tiny, twitching with life.

Her eyes shot open, like turquoise gemstones, and stared out blankly at the darkening forest. Mylo gazed up at her, his tears starting to dry up. It’ll be okay, he repeated to himself. It’ll be okay.

She smiled at Mylo, gliding down into his outstretched arms. He caught her light body and nestled her down in the grass. She wrapped her arms around him, tugging him into a hug. He cried happily, squeezing her close…

He knew he did something wrong. The well held the power to bring back life to elderly monks and saints, not normal children. Mylo knew there would be a cost. But without his sister, he would’ve rather died. A payment for his wrong deed would be worth it. Or so he thought.


Mylo turned to look at Kira, imagining her head screwed back on, a happy smile on her face like back then. Yes, back then everything was perfect. How long ago was back then? Mylo couldn’t remember.

Kira was only five years old, and she had been hunted. Mylo was twelve, and he had been spared. His mind thought up scenarios as to why this was, but concluded that the man must’ve only wanted girls, but even this confused him.

Sighing, he lifted the body from the rocks and set her head gently in her lap. He would get her life back, even if it meant sacrificing his own, because he knew it was his fault she was dead.

That’s right. It was Mylo’s fault.

If only he’d had time to tell Kira to hide, or had the strength to do something. If only he could’ve been with her, and not moping around at home…

She was killed twice. Twice. And by the same man, too.

Mylo clenched his teeth, squeezing the corpse close to his chest. This time, this time, he wouldn’t mess up. He’d protect her and die in her place.

As he approached the well that had brought back his sister once, a thought rolled into his head: This will allure the killer, for sure. It’s a pointless revival.

Mylo shook this thought out of his head, steadying Kira’s body over the well. He dropped her in, feet first, and then unwrapped her head to drop in. The bottom of the well sparkled with power, and bubbled for a moment.

“Come on out,” Mylo taunted the man that he knew would appear. “Try to kill her again. Try.”

He could hear the insane tone in his voice, but he felt thrilled to be able to speak so readily, knowing that the man could appear any second.

After a few seconds, Mylo turned around. His little sister hadn’t come up yet. It was taking a little longer than expected.

“Mylo,” a voice whispered over the boy’s shoulder. Mylo flinched, falling back on the stone rim of the well. The voice had come from the man. This time, a scythe was clutched tightly in his white gloves, ready to swing. “You’ve already broken the taboo twice. You must know what your fate is.”

“Let her live,” Mylo stuttered. He straightened out and shouted: “Kill me instead!”

“A brave thing to say, for a twelve-year-old,” the man remarked, standing ramrod-still in front of Mylo, readying his scythe. “But you aren’t the one I was ordered to kill.”

As Kira floated out of the well, the man sliced her head back off and then swished an ‘X’ with the blade across her body. Blood spattered everywhere, warm on Mylo’s skin, almost like it was burning him.

Mylo didn’t speak. He just bent over, touching his forehead to the grassy ground. Sweat protruded from his forehead, his body going hot. He bit down, hard, on his lip.

“Kill me,” he ordered flatly, his hair standing on end.

“Hm,” the man pondered a moment, and then laughed. “Nah.”

As Mylo raised his head, the man pointed a strange-looking gun at him. Silver stripes covered the sides, and a large barrel was slanted down, angling at Mylo’s foot. The man pulled the trigger, and a sharp shriek stuck in Mylo’s throat as he froze in place, rolling over.

He hoped he was dead.

But he wasn’t.

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