5 men were gathered around the low light of a lamp in the underground cellar.
“You think he’ll pull through?”
“Kid didn’t look too bright to me. Whatever, he fails, we kill ‘im. The end.”
“At any rate, tonight’s the big night. It’s almost time. Where’d Zack go?”
“In ‘is room. Stomach pains, he says.”
“The hell? Bastard’s been acting strange lately. You don’t think, he’s leaking intel to those Royalists—”
“Oi, it’s time.”
Signalled one of them as the door to the cellar opened.
In the dark, decrepit room, a single figure approached the five.
The figure’s identity was slowly revealed as he approached the light.
“You’re alone. Where’s the girl?”
“Tsk. Didn’t pull through after all.”
The men were badly disappointed.
The black haired boy standing before these intimidating prisoners looked the definition of ordinary.
His dark eyes were looking down, staring at the shadows extending across the floor.
“Hey, you better not say you got cold feet.”
One of the men pulled out a knife.
“Hey! Talk! Where’s the princess!?”
He threatened, holding the knife at the boy’s throat.
The boy began trembling like the weakling he was— or so the men had imagined.
The boy didn’t do that. He didn’t shake, he didn’t even move. He simply kept staring at the shadows below.
“The princess, Clara…”
He muttered softly.
His voice wasn’t loud but everyone could hear it clearly.
His eyes were yet glued to the floor.
However, his lips held a tiny grin now.
“The fuck are you talkin’ about, huh!? Ya got cold feet and came here alone, that it!?”
The boy was silent.
“What now? We kill ‘im?”
“Gotta at least show him not to mess with us.”
“Yeah. We beat him up and try again.”
The men all stood up and surrounded the boy.
“Messin’ with us, eh dipshit?”
The man who had the knife at the boy’s neck grabbed a fistful of his hair with his other hand and pulled his face up.
What the man saw there was the boy’s eyes, pitch dark eyes lacking in emotion.
“I don’t like that look.”
Looking annoyed, the man grazed his knife along the boy’s neck.
A line of blood escaped the shallow cut.
“I said, I don’t like that look.”
But the boy didn’t comply. He just kept staring blankly.
No, not quite. The small smile on the boy’s lips had grown into a visible grin.
“What’re you laughin’ at!!”
The man smacked the boy’s face with the butt of his knife.
But the boy’s smile didn’t falter, not in the least.
“You don’t seem to realize you’re in deep shit, brat.”
Stronger this time. Enough to break the cheekbone, maybe even knock loose a tooth.
Still no reaction from the boy.
The boy simply kept on looking at the man with a grin across his face.
“Oi, you goin’ easy on ‘im or what?”
From the side, one of the man’s comrades came up an
d punched the boy in the face.
“That’s how ya punch a face. Leave ‘em half dead and they’ll never— Huh!?”
That punch was meant to knock the boy out cold.
But the boy just stood there as if he felt nothing. The spot where he’d been battered had remained spotless.
Those emotionless eyes still peered at the 5 men.
It was freaking them out.
“— Is that it?” Finally said the boy.
“—!! You’ll regret that!!”
Furious, the man began pummeling the boy with ferocious fists.
He punched like no tomorrow, until his breathing became rough.
“See, this is what happens when you— HUH?”
“— Are you done?” Said the boy, ever smiling.
His face revealed not one bruise.
“This kid’s fucking strange.”
“Tsk. Gimme the knife.”
The man from the side took the knife and stabbed the boy in the ribs.
The knife, penetrating only the boy’s clothes, stopped there. Even putting more strength into his arm, the man couldn’t cut the boy’s skin.
“O-oi, what’re ya playin’ around for?”
“Stab him, do it!”
“Sh-shaddap! Knife ain’t going in!!”
The man tried stabbing again and again.
The knife never penetrated even skin deep.
His breathing had gone arid as the man stepped away. His eyes couldn’t believe what he’d just witnessed.
“W-what, the hell are y—”
“— So you’re done?”
That’s when the boy swung his fist.
Yet, no one saw it move. Such was its speed.
What they saw was the result only.
The boy’s fist had punched through the man’s chest and come out the other side.
The man dropped to the ground, creating a large pool of blood.
“D-did this guy just punch a hole through…”
The boy walked on the the bloody floor.
He taunted the men, still grinning.
The remaining mens’ faces stiffened.
“Goddamn… w-we’ll take ‘im down with all of us!!”
“D-don’t mess with me!!”
“D-Die, fucker, dieeee!!!”
Four shadows converged on the boy. The flame in the lamp flickered.
— Dancing shadows.
Once the flame regained its calm, on the floor of the cellar lay 5 corpses with holes for a chest.
“— looks like we’re done.”
No one answered now.
Splich, splich. The boy stepped over the blood as he walked away.