Chapter 7 - The rescue
I fell on the ground on my knees and gasped for air immediately. My neck and leg hurt even more. I thought they’re probably bruised by now. I breathed heavily, my heart racing.
The gangster with a metal rod handed it to another member. He walked up to me with it, as I glared at him. There’s nothing left I can do, only accept my fate and miserable life. This is maybe only a weird dream; besides, they almost choked me. Have they decided I have to go through more pain? Torture? If this is my death, then it seems pretty painful.
I opened my mouth and yelled my lungs out for help. I heard rumors about this gang being the biggest one in their city.
The gang appeared to be divided into smaller groups; this one became the most dangerous. Every group had either metal rods or sharp knives. The band beats their victims to fainting or even dying with the stick, then steal whatever has value.
In the city we lived in, people were talking a lot about this gang a lot.
I found myself surrounded, unable to escape. I continued yelling for help, hoping someone hears me.
“You need to be taken care of; I won’t let you hurt my brother.” said their leader. “Besides, you’re still a threat. Even if you didn’t hire that girl.”
Then the gangster swung the rod, and I hid my head with arms. It thudded, and for a few seconds, everything went silent...
I know I’m dead; I must be. Why don’t I feel pain? I thought death is painful; maybe I was wrong. Am I in heaven or hell? Perhaps purgatory. How can I be in limbo if I’m not Christian? Or maybe I’ve teleported to a different world, and I’ll have my harem. Or I’m not an angel or ghost?
I stopped yelling a few seconds ago and opened one eye slowly. Someone stood in front of me. Someone who stopped the weapon from slaughtering me. I heard someone cursing and yelling angrily. Members stood aside, seeming surprised and shocked, not expecting what happened.
I noticed that somebody in front of me is Kurumi and gasped in surprise. Her bangs covered the left side of her face partly. The rest appeared hidden in the shadow, though her eye was visible and her gaze cold and hateful.
She resembled a dangerous murderer as she snatched the stick and hit the gangster’s head with it. He fell on the ground with a hollow thud, unconscious.
She came up to another gangster, swung the rood, and hit him too. At this moment, the gang’s members snapped out of the shock and attacked her. The next evildoer got punched into his stomach and bent, falling on the floor. The fourth one grabbed her palm from behind, ready to twist it, though she hit his head, and he dropped her hand. She threw the stick away, and it hit the fifth member. Only now, she turned and glared at the last one - their leader dead in the eye.
He looked around, realizing all of his members are down, unconscious, or hurt. He bore his eyes into Kurumi. “We’re not done yet. You’ll regret what you have done.”
With these words, he reached down a pocket of his pants, taking out a gun. He aimed at her. “All I have to do is pull the trigger, and you’ll be dead.”
Then he lowered his arm. “But I won’t kill you yet. I have bigger plans.”
He dashed through the street and away from them. One bandit of his got up and followed him as he limped.
“Coward,” she growled after the silence. In the place, lay recycling bins, tins, and in the background dumped carton boxes. Not to mention the road had a dead-end, not continuing anywhere.
Kurumi slowly approached the trembling me, sitting beside the lamp. Only this lamp illuminated the alley. She offered me a hand. “Are you okay?”
She suddenly didn’t seem like a threat. I answered after a while due to shock.
“P-probably.” stammering, she took my palm and helped me get up.
“They shouldn’t bother you from this moment.”
“I have a question, why are you helping me? How did you know I was here?”
Kurumi’s back faced me as she examined the place. A silence occurred, till she eyed me through her shoulder. “A few reasons. Mostly, I want to help people and don’t be rotten anymore.”
I stared at her. What exactly is she falling about, Rotten?“.
Kurumi refused to stay on this topic. “Will you go?”
I couldn’t examine her face, unable to see what expression does she have. We strolled through a few alleys, less and less dark, till we found ourselves in the road illuminated by lamps.
I stopped walking suddenly on the way to the train station; she almost bumped into me. “My question has still not been answered; how did you find me?”
“I heard screaming for help and immediately ran in the street to see what’s going on. I had a feeling something is wrong and figured it’s related to you.”
“Have you known this place?”
“I moved to this city recently, but since these streets are near my house, I know them.”
“I see,” I answered, not being sure what to respond.
She accompanied me to the train station, saying she lives near, hugged me, and sauntered off. I watched her walk away and waited for a train. It wasn’t far, but I did not want to meet any gangs. Not Hamasaki’s brother again, not that.
I walked into the hallway with a wooden floor, and white walls called a genkan at home. It’s a hall where people take off their shoes and take different ones. It’s also a waiting place for guests where they take slippers before entering the apartment.
“I’m home,” I announced, something Japanese people always say after coming home.
Why does it feel like something is missing? I moved my hand slowly and placed it on my shoulder. Wait, where is my bag?! I probably left the bag in the alley! Oh no...