Absolute Duo:Volume 6 Prologue
"I will be waiting–––Until that time you become desperate, and arrive at that tragic decision, that time, when you'll arrive at the «End's Domain»"
The manifestation of his own «Soul»–––
For Tooru whose «Blaze» was severed, those words spoken by that youth covered in darkness were inaudible.
He was only losing his consciousness, collapsing on the ground.
His fallen figure on the ground wasn't even reflected in the eyes of Narukami Sakaki–––the one who had slain Tooru
And naturally, he was completely unfazed.
Instead, the one who clearly showed a burst of emotions was that silvery girl, who only stood as a spectator to their fight.
Being aware of the situation surrunding those two, Julie was desperately holding back the desire to go assist Tooru.
She knew, this was Tooru's fight and she had no right to intervene in it.
But that horrible difference in strength was so dreadful that even she, who hadn't even exchanged blows with Sakaki, could clearly notice it.
Though the reason she didn't stop them even while being aware of that was because this fight couldn't possibly be stopped.
Being an «Avenger» herself, if she were to stand in a similar situation–––taking revenge for her father, no matter what kind of a difference in strength there was, the option to abstain from fighting would be nonexistent.
And at the same time, one couldn't deny that she stilll believed that that youth, Tooru, could win.
The feeling that, no matter how hopeless the situation, that boy called Kokonoe Tooru would definitely emerge victorious, that he would take the triumph in his hands.
But this time–––
Her feelings couldn't reach him.
And the fight was decided.
No miracle happened.
While she whispered the youth's name, the slain «Blaze»––– the «Shield», lost his shape, and vanished in «FlamesBlaze»
Together with her sorrowful cry, Julie ran.
She ran, until she was between the fallen Tooru and that youth of darkness, and stood there with her hands outstretched.
"The result has been decided. I will not let you do anything more to Tooru"
While saying that with a frail voice, she glared at Sakaki.
He just stood there silently, his dark and hollow eyes fixated on her–––
And took a step forward.
Noticing that, Julie's entire body shook slightly.
"I won't allow–––"
–––you to come any closer.
Julie couldn't finish speaking, since Sakaki's figure had disappeared from in front of her.
"You don't have to worry, Julie Sigtuna"
Hearing that voice from behind her, Julie turned around.
Further away from Tooru's body, the youth shrouded in darkness stood facing away from her.
Having been unable to at least see the youth's movements, Julie stood shocked.
But even more shocking was the fact that Sakaki had just mentioned Julie's name, although the silvery girl didn't notice.
"I've already done what I came to do. I don't have the need to cross swords with you right now"
Those words, were also said in the sense that he had no intention of taking Tooru's life.
Still, even though he had said that, there was no way those words could possibly calm Julie's wariness.
A silent smile floated on the dark youth, then turned around and started walking away.
For him, it might have been a way to put his words into action, but when Julie saw him intentionally turning around defenselessly, it only fueled her wariness even more.
"Is that the «Force of Bonds», I wonder..."
Muttering that, he turned around for a moment to look at Julie and–––
Then at Tooru.
"I will show what that really is someday, if the situation were to arise, that is"
Finishing his words, he turned away once again, and walked off.
Hearing Tooru's groaning voice, Julie came back to her senses.
She hurriedly kneeled at Tooru's side, but the moment she whitnessed the condition of his wounds–––the silvery girl had to gasp.
He was still alive, as alive as the groan he had made a moment ago.
For now, he was.
But his wounds were deep.
The situation of his arm that had been cut away was obvious, but the wounds all over his body were in a similar state.
Blood wouldn't stop oozing from his cuts, and his breathing was rough and erratic.
At this point, one could see Tooru's life dripping away together with his blood.
(At least first-aid...!!)
Being driven by her anxiety, she hurriedly tried to reach for the bag that had the first-aid kit.
Her mind was only repeating the same thoughts: First quickly apply the emergency procedures, then take Tooru to a medical facility.
If she did not–––
Tooru's life would be lost forever.
Just like how Julie once saw her own father lose his life in front of her eyes.
An uneasy chill ran down her spine.
Because she had realized something she would have been better off without knowing.
Julie noticed then, that on the hand she had extended to open the bag, her fingers were shaking violently.
If I don't hurry–––
Her mind was completely filled with that thought, but her body wouldn't listen to those thoughts.
But finally, the bag was open.
Her hands that wouldn't stop shaking, somehow managed to also take out the first-aid kit–––
(How...should I use this.....?)
She couldn't remember anything from all the emergency procedures she had once learned in her classes.
Because her trauma was kicking in, she was nothing but a powerless existence right now.
"A, ah, ahh..."
Her head was turning blank, she couldn't even remember what she was supposed to do.
I have to save Tooru–––
But how should she save him?
While thinking in circles like that, Tooru's life continued being drained by his cuts.
With a trembling voice, Julie pressed at the diagonal cut running through Tooru's chest with her bare hands.
But of course, that would never be able to stop the blood from flowing away.
Even so, there was nothing more Julie could do right now.
With a quivering voice, Julie asked for help.
"Someone, save him... someone please save Tooru...!"
The dojo where Tooru once had passed time together with those people–––
At it's ruins, a sorrowful cry resounded.
While the evening sun bathed the world in a red light, Ougi saw Sakaki coming from the dojo ruins, and thought.
(I can't believe this. To think he had come this close to the «Judges'» territory. I thought he was supposed to be hiding his location...)
While lightly scratching his head with his fat finger, feeling completely outwitted he sighed.
It was two years ago–––
After he had disappeared inside those flames, any kind of news from him was practically nonexistent.
He tried following the youth's steps using all sorts of connections and networks, but everything he found couldn't even ammount to useless traces.
But then again, that was at least something, considering that the «Tempest Judges» were involved.
That young man clad in an army uniform was proficient at fabricating information after all.
(...But he really, is looking like him)
While he observed Sakaki, Ougi started remembering.
He remembered that time he used to be enrolled at the Single-Handed-Sword dojo, his rival–––Sakaki's father, who he used to exchange blows with countless times, and the woman who became his partner.
"SoleilNarukami Sakaki, I'm guessing you are done with your business"
The one calling over to the youth of darkness, was that man who had deceived Ougi, one of the members of «Rein».
But it was also true that this young man had also brought him to Narukami Sakaki.
Although for Ougi, it was more than obvious there had to be some kind of reason behind this.
"Without a hitch. But really, I'm sorry for taking up so much of your time, Clovis"
"Non non, it was an honor to do that for you. And while we waited I was able to deepen my relationship with this person here, it was a really enjoyable time"
The young holder of the title «Tempest Judges»–––Clovis, turned around slightly, and looked at the big, slightly dark skinned man standing at his side.
However, Ougi stayed silent, without moving at all, only staring at a single point.
At the black sword the youth of darkness held, at its blade, bathed in red.
"...What the hell did you do"
Sakaki smiled slightly when he answered him.
"I only slashed Tooru"
An answer he expected–––
But was shocking to hear–––
Whether he cursed or not, he still ran towards the ruins.
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