Chapter 6: Alone and Dead Inside
After the resolution time skipped once again. The Hamato family, April, and Casey could only tell that time was moving forwards as each kid grew more wounds, slightly taller, paler as each day passed and their clothing was more tattered, ripped, and covered in blood from over use as tourniquets on the extremely wounded. The cell was starting to become covered in blood from every time the kids left to battle and return with a broken battered body. But then the time skipped stopped on a particular day where all except Kyoga were sitting in the cell waiting for him to return.
It was after Kyoga returned that everything changed. Kyoga was dragged in by soldiers but this time they didn’t leave, all they did was stand outside of the cell and stared at them. Everyone gathered towards Kyoga as Akane cradle him in her hands.
Everyone saw that Kyoga did what he promised, he was dying with everyone he love around him and with a smile. The wounds that were taking Kyoga away from them was a knife that was just a few inches off his heart, a slash from a sword to his right leg and the sadder sight was his missing right hand. As blood dripped off his body Kyoga looked at everyone and even though he had tears streaming down his face he looked at everyone with a smile.
“I’m glad…you guys are the…last thing I see be-before I die.” Kyoga forced a smile. Grasping his sister’s hand in his own.
“I did what I h-had to d-do to s-save my family. I’ll see…y-you guys again….on….the….other side.” Kyoga’s left hand dropped from his
sister’s grasps and fell to his side. Kyoga slowly closed his eyes as he watched everyone grow more distant and darker.
‘Goodbye my siblings’ Kyoga thought as he gave his last breath.
There was not a dry eye with any of the kids, Akane cradled her dead brother’s body in her arms whispering in his ear, ‘I love you’. Riki and Riku held Kenji and Sora in their arms while Shadow and Kai tried their best to keep the others from falling apart. It was only a few minutes after Kyoga passed when every discovered why the soldiers that normally disappeared stayed.
Yasha stepped out and walked towards the kids. Pointing at Kyoga’s body he said in a demanding tone.
“Give me him”
Everyone snapped out of their trance and rushed to protect Kyoga and Akane, while Akane held Kyoga’s body close.
“Never” Akane shouted.
“Heh, I thought so.”
Yasha said taking out his little device that would send electricity to each of the kid’s bodies. Yasha tried to use the device as a way to make them fear him but no one wavered from their position nor their glares at Yasha and his soldiers.
Yasha shrugged his shoulder and said “Oh, well I did warn you.”
Yasha mercilessly pressed the button and even raised the voltage up from 3 to 5. Everyone fell to the ground clutching their necks. Akane tried to shield her brother’s body but the pain from the collar was becoming too much for her. Shadow could see from the corner of her eyes that Akane was struggling to shield Kyoga’s body.
‘I’m sorry for this Akane’
Shadow quickly crawled over to Akane and took Kyoga’s body into her own whispering into Akane’s ear,
“Sorry but I’ll never let Yasha have his body.”
Shadow rushed over to one of the corners with Kyoga’s body in her arms and with little focus and power she could muster Shadow breathed out a long stream of fire at Kyoga’s body. Kyoga’s body quickly became ash thanks to Shadow’s flame and the intense heat from the phoenix. Shadow smirked through the pain of her collar, saying
“Oh well too bad you can’t have everything you want you spoiled rotten brat.”
Shadow collapsed to the ground as the pain from the collar grew stronger and stronger. Yasha took his finger off the device to the collars but a vein on the top of Yasha head popped out as he was raging from what Shadow did.
“Get her! NOW!”
Yasha yelled out pointing an accused finger Shadow. Everyone was too exhausted from the collars to fight back but Shadow didn’t have a grudge against them for that. The soldiers dragged Shadow out of the cell and threw her at Yasha’s feet. Yasha took out a knife of his royal robes, and waved it over Shadow’s face.
“Oh where, oh where will it land, oh where, oh where, will it be” Yasha chanted.
“I have no regrets do your worse.”
Shadow said glaring back at Yasha with her grey eyes never wavering as the tip of the knife blade moved back and forth from her view.
Kai rolled off his side and onto his stomach he raised his hand out shouting “NO! DON’T”
But it was too late, Yasha began to slash at Shadow with his knife. Shadow tried shielding herself with her forearms as blood from the cuts ran off and onto her clothes and floor. Yasha began laughing uncontrollable at the sight of blood and when he was too tried to continue he finished by slashing at Shadow’s right eye.
“ARGH!” Shadow yelled out covering her wounded eye with her hands. Yasha signaled towards his soldiers and they began to drag Shadow back with the other kids.
“That’s what you get for not heeding my request” Yasha said turning his back to the kids, the soldiers ran up and joined Yasha as they left the bleeding Shadow and other kids to deal with her.
Kai, Riki, and Riku quickly jumped into action and wrapped Shadow’s arms with parts of their clothes while Akane held Shadow’s head in her lap.
“You mad?” Shadow sheepishly asked. Akane shook her head,
“No if anything I need you to thank you. I think my brother can now rest knowing his body isn’t going to be used for anything.”
Shadow smiled sadly at Akane as Riki finished applying part of his shirt to Shadow’s eye.
“I don’t think I’ll be using that anymore” Shadow said touching the cloth that was keeping the blood at bay.
“I’m sorry” Akane choked out. Tears started to roll off her face and onto Shadow. Shadow reached out and bobbed Akane lightly on the head saying,
“I would do it again”
Shadow reached into her pocket and pulled out a simple craved stone on a string. The stone had the Kirisawa clan symbol inscribed on the front and Kyoga initial on the back.
“I grabbed it at the last second so that you could still have something from him.”
It was after the cycle ended with each of the kids fighting for their lives in the battle arena when Kenji asked about what would happen if one of them died. It was a long discussion but the Kai and Akane agreed that they should use small stones in the cell and crave their clan symbol in them and have their initial on the back so that they could tell them apart. With each of the necklace they all knew that they would have something left of each other in worst case scenario. Each of them wore the necklace around their necks just like the army did with dog tags.
Shadow handed it to Akane but she shook her head.
“No let’s put it somewhere else so that Yasha can’t take it from us.” Everyone looked around to where they could hid it. Kenji pointed towards one of the rocks under their pledge.
“How about under there?” Kenji asked.
Kai, Akane, and Shadow with the help of Riku look at the rock. Jamming one of the knives they had under it they were able to loosen the rock enough that they could lift it up. Shadow took part of her shirt and wrapped the necklace in it. Kai and Riku slowly placed the rock down and they all nodded.
Time skipped once again.
Between Shadow, Riki, Riku, and Akane they all decided that if Yasha came to claim one of their bodies one of them would incinerate the body so that they couldn’t be used for whatever Yasha could think of.
The Hamato family, April, and Casey watched time move fast forward. Each of the kids gathered more and more wounds from the battle arena while growing taller and skinner. One by one they also started to disappear.
Riku was the next to be killed, dying in his brother’s arm Riki electrified Riku’s body so that Yasha couldn’t do anything about it. Yasha punished Riki by pulling out his teeth with a dirty wrench.
Riki couldn’t eat anymore and became skin and bones even though the other kids tried to help him eat. Every time he tried to eat he would flash back to what Yasha did to him and start to hyperventilate. Riki was finally kill when he entered the battle arena where the only reason he made it out a live was due to adrenaline. Riki died in Shadow’s arms but Akane took Riki away from her and incinerated his body herself. Akane was punished for this and had left with the electrical charge on her collar on at level 2 until the next day where she had to go and fight in the arena. She barely made it out but Akane still lived.
Kai was next, he came in with swords and knifes still sticking out his back. Kai died in Shadow’s arms with him telling her that he loved her and that she must continue living. Shadow was about to incinerate Kai’s body but Akane intervened and took the punishment for it. Akane was left blind from Yasha’s knife, the same knife he used to attack Shadow when she was the first to break one of Yasha’s rule. Shadow cried over Akane asking why.
“I did it because just like Kai, I know you will watch over the other kids and live on. Remember this and promise that you will live no matter what.”
Akane stretched out her pinky and wrapped it around Shadows’.
Shadow nodded and said, “By my honor”
It was no question that Akane was next, she even left her necklace with Shadow when she left to her battle. Akane stated that she wasn’t going to come back and that she needed to leave it with Shadow. Sora worry about what would happen to her body after since they won’t be able to get to it but Akane reassured them that she would still be able to incinerate her body herself.
It was later that day that they when they got the news about Akane that they knew she achieved her goal and was even able to scar Yasha’s face when she died. From what they could piece together Akane engulfed her entire body in flame and ricocheted her flaming body until she impacted where the cage and the box seat that Yasha used to watch them. Yasha now had to bear a scar on the right side of his face from Akane and he was mad at them. Shadow stood protectively over Kenji and Sora when Yasha came in with bandages over the right side of his face.
Shadow slammed her body into Yasha so that she made sure they would take her instead of the others.
Shadow succeeded and she was dragged away into a dark back room where she was pinned down on an operation table. Shadow struggled under her restraints, Yasha walked into the room with a mischievous smile on the half of his face that Shadow could still see.
“You will pay for your friend mistake.”
Shadow spit into Yasha face shouting back, “I’m proud of my sister and I hope to God that I’ll be able to pay you back tenfold you monster.” Shadow glared at him with her good eye.
“Well I was going to give you a little pain killer but after your little stunt and rant I think not!”
Yasha placed heart sensors and heavier restraints on Shadow. Shadow struggled again but now her body won’t move an inch.
“Now that I think about it I think the human spline is something you can living without right?”
Before Shadow could answer Yasha started to draw out a line to where both her spline was and where he was going to cut.
“Scream for me” Yasha said.
Yasha started to cut deeply into Shadow. Shadow struggled under the restraints and cried out for him to stop. But Yasha didn’t with little knowledge and skill Yasha cut into Shadow’s body and was able to remove her spline. Cradling the organ in his hands he looked it over and then back at Shadow. Shadow was covered in sweat and some blood that sprayed on her during the ‘operation’, the only saving grace was the fact Shadow passed out during the operation due to blood loss and pain.
Yasha shrugged his shoulders and tossed the organ into the trash stating he had no need for it and left the room with his hands and clothes still covered in blood, stating he needed to take a break from everything and he would be back to sow her up.
Yasha indeed returned after half an hour and by that time the floor was covered in Shadow’s blood and Shadow was semi-conscious. Shadow still glared at Yasha as he passed her view. Very sloppily Yasha sowed Shadow back together but Shadow still glared at Yasha for what he did and what he was doing to everyone. Yasha was getting annoyed at this and picked up a scalpel and with no mercy he took Shadow’s remaining sight from her. Soldiers came into the room when Shadow started shouting and clutching her head with her hand. The soldiers dragged Shadow out of the room and threw her back with Kenji and Sora.
Sora and Kenji didn’t know what to do but with what little water they had Sora used the knowledge Shadow told her and was about to heal Shadow’s wound on her torso and her eye but she warned Kenji that she won’t be able to see again. Kenji clutched his fist together tightly as he watched over Shadow.
The good part of their wait was that Shadow wasn’t going to be called to battle but that meant that Sora and Kenji would have to take turns fighting. This signaled for Kenji that his death was next. Kenji drag himself back into the cell after his second time in the ring. Sora ran over to catch Kenji and take him over to Shadow who was still lying down from her last ordeal.
“Sora listen to me, I’m dying and I need you to do this for me. I need you to do that thing you did earlier with Shadow and take my eyes. I need you give Shadow my eyes.” Kenji pleaded.
Sora was shocked, Shadow and other kids talk about things like the human anatomy at times and Shadow did explain how to do operations on the others since she was the only other person that could control water and needed to learn how to heal but still to try and attempt it meant that if she failed both Shadow and Kenji would suffer. Kenji placed his hands on Sora’s face and brought their foreheads together.
“I believe in you little sister I know you can do this. Do this for Shadow she is the one that can get out of this. Trust me.” Kenji stated.
Sora looked back from Kenji and Shadow and nodded her head.
Sora began the long process of giving Shadow Kenji’s eyes but after most of the night and into the next day Kenji was lying with his eyes wrapped up and Shadow lying next to him with her eyes uncovered. Sora stepped back and wiped the sweat off her brow. All that needed to happen was Shadow to open her eyes. Sora waited for both the call to battle or Shadow to wake up and the news about Kenji’s sacrifice and death.
Shadow grumbled a bit but opened her eyes, she was shocked when she saw that she could see. Shadow turned to see Sora with tears running down her face and Kenji lying next to her.
“No, no, no, no, Sora you didn’t?” Shadow looked at Sora but all she could do was nodded.
Shadow cradled Kenji’s body in her arms. Shadow removed Kenji’s necklace and gave it to Sora to hide. Shadow held Sora back and handed hers to her also stating that she couldn’t wear it anymore. Sora nodded and placed Shadow and Kenji’s necklace with the others but before she put the rock back down Sora added hers to the pile. While Sora placed the necklaces under the rock Shadow incinerated Kenji’s body. Shadow pulled Sora into her arms after she was down and started to cry.
“What I see is what Kenji would also see, so I must continue to live for the both of us now.” Shadow stated wiping the tears from her face.
Shadow turned to see Yasha making his way to them once again. Yasha was shocked to see that Shadow didn’t have tattered shirts over her eyes but now she had amber eyes in place of her once natural grey eyes. Yasha looked around to see no body of Kenji so he knew that something happened while he wasn’t looking.
This anger Yasha but he had a way of making them pay. Yasha signaled to his soldiers. The soldiers both dragged Shadow and Sora out of the room and into the battle arena.
Yasha stepped out and announced with glee what was about to happen.
“You will both put on a show for me. Two have entered and only one will make it out alive. Now fight and give me a show.”
Shadow and Sora stared at each other. Both of them didn’t want to fight but when they didn’t move and Yasha used the collars around their necks to make them they both knew they had to end this. Sora looked at Shadow who was willing to kill herself so that Sora could make it when she sadly smiled at Shadow.
“I didn’t want to tell you thing Shadow but just like you I can control more than one element but I didn’t think I would have to tell you this way.”
Shadow confused by this asked, “What do you mean little sister?”
Sora took Shadow’s knife and with force angled it to her.
Shadow looked with wide eye saying, “You can use metal.”
Sora nodded and said, “I can also use fire but I was too scare to tell you guys when you started to get rid of everyone’s body. I still can hear everyone’s screams from their punishments for taking away what Yasha wanted but not I don’t care. I’m sorry for being selfish but remember just like everyone I love you and you need to live for us. After all you were always different even from us.”
Sora didn’t wipe the tears that began to follow off her face. Planting herself firmly in the ground Sora manipulated the knife out of Shadow’s hand and directly into her chest where she smiled sadly at Shadow and said
“Until we meet again.”
Sora turned herself into a big ball of fire and laid on the ground with Shadow rooted to the ground. Sora was the last to die while Shadow continued to live for them.
Time skipped for the last time
The Hamato family, April and Casey watched time move forward. Shadow continued to grow and fight. With more wounds and little care in the world there was no need for Shadow to wear the collar anymore. When everyone stared into Shadow’s eyes they were all devoid of life; Shadow was dead to the world.
That changed one day. From what Shadow could understand she was ten years old and it was the anniversary of her capture. Yasha decided to no longer hold Shadow in a cell and moved her into a room with a cot and blanket and he even started feeding her regularly. Shadow didn’t understand this but from what she could piece together Yasha had his full trust in her. When Shadow was moved she secretly took the cloth that had all the necklaces in them with her in the move. Shadow ripped a part of her blanket and placed the necklaces in it, tying the top off Shadow attached it to her waist.
Yasha had achieved his plan with the nine kids, turning one into an emotionless indestructible killing machine that would do as he pleased. Yasha thought he broke Shadow but when he started to reveal where they were located was when Shadow turned on him. Shadow played Yasha in his little mind game and only pretended to be broken so that he would leave his guard down. Shadow looked at Yasha and just like what he did to her years ago, Shadow left him a faith worse than death, she stole the last of Yasha sight with the same knife he used on her and Akane. Shadow battle the soldiers that tried to come after her but by that time they forgot that she fought for the last five years of her life. Shadow easily defeated all the soldiers that came after her.
When she left the old factory Shadow had to cover her face with her arms and find somewhere to hide until the sun left the sky. When the sun finally came down Shadow found a sign that said that she was in Kyoto; one of the countryside of Japan. From there Shadow walked until she couldn’t anymore. With the bag with all the necklaces in her hand Shadow collapsed in the middle of a village market. No one ran over to help her as they walked over her body. That was until a small large figure’s shadow loomed over her. Shadow didn’t have any strength left but when she peered out of he corner of her eyes at the figure she could see he may help her.
“Who are you?” The man asked.
“I am what people call the ancient one please let me help you heal some of your wounds.” The Ancient One said holding out one of his hands. With a trembling hand Shadow grasped the Ancient One’s hand.
Everyone watched until they were forced out of the portal and back in the room with all the memory portals with Shadow looking over them.
“Does that help?”