Those were some of the many words that might describe him as a person. Being one of the bearers of the name Zoldick, he is expected to be those.
Yet…why is he here? Walking in this dark alley, fuming at every detail of the event that took place a while ago?
“Irumi! Come back here!”
“Mother, listen! I will not marry that…that bitch!”
“Don’t you dare call Arisa a bitch!”
Irumi shrugged. ‘What do you expect me to call her then?’
Kaneda Arisa, no doubt a good-looking lady, but all she worries about is her looks. She can go on for days
talking about her nails, her skin, etcetera. A girl who doesn’t care about anything not concerning herself.
‘So goddamn selfish.’
The Zoldicks once visited them. The moment they arrived there, she goes screaming all the way, welcoming them. For the whole day, all she talked about were her fashion statements. Everything
concerning herself. How her nails were painted so nicely, and other damned things.
Irumi can tell that even her mom was just putting up with this girl. Why? To successfully betroth him to the girl.
“It’s for your own good. If you marry her, both of your financial states will be stable!”
“I don’t care. I won’t marry her. I can take care of my self.”
“Damn! Will you just please listen to me for this one minute?!”
‘This is too much…’
“I’VE BEEN LISTENING TO YOU ALL MY LIFE! I’VE DONE NOTHING, NOTHING! TO DISPLEASE YOU! I’VE FOLLOWED ALL YOUR ORDERS! KILLED ALL THE PERSONS YOU WANTED ME TO KILL! NOW, YOU WANT ME TO MARRY HER?!”
“I’ve had enough.” He said as he walked away. Walked away from this prison. From this prison that has been suffocating him all his life, sucking all his will. This prison that he have long called home.
This must’ve been what drove Killua away from them to take the Hunter’s exam
5 years ago.
The iron grip of their mother. Refusing to let go until you please her. Until you fulfill all her commands. He realized he’s like a puppet controlled by a puppeteer everytime he is with her. Doing what she willed, moving by the precision control of her strings…
“But not now…”
~End of Flashback~
Irumi looked up. The dark sky…like soft velvet spreading through the horizon.
Yes, the sky was almost empty. No stars graced the dark horizon. If ever there are any, it’s almost impossible to be seen by the naked eye.
He continued to walk…to walk and walk, suddenly, something made him stop. He doesn’t know what was it. When he looked around, he noticed that he was standing in front of a park, glued to the ground that he was standing on.
He looked around him…
A blooming sakura tree stood at his far left side.
Ah, yes. Cherry blossoms. How long has it been since he has seen one?
This tree, overflowing with beauty, but as you gaze at it longer…you will notice it’s sadness. Loneliness buried in the depths of its body. Loneliness that’s hidden beneath its radiating beauty.
“Flowers of this sakura tree, blossom, wither and fall, even as you watch. Time flies so fast when you’re gazing at it, so absorbed by its beauty. So absorbed that you never notice that its exquisiteness is slowly withering and disappearing right before your very eyes. So it is with all those who quickly become no more. How bitter it is, that all I can do now is wait and wait, even when all feelings inside me are like
scenes of dusk. Everything disappears… People.. words… even feelings…”
The man abruptly turned his head, looked in every direction. There beside the tree, slowly emerged a young lady. Forlorn eyes looking straight at him. Bitter smile gracing her lips.
He approached her. “Who are you?”
“It’s not important isn’t it?” she murmured as she sat beneath the tree. Legs folded so gracefully.
“True. But I still want to know.” he sat beside her. His eyes focused on the falling sakura petals. Head, resting on the tree trunk.
“If you insist. Tanaka Chie.”
“Chie. Rather uncommon.”
“Your name. Can I know your name?”
“Yours is more queer than mine. Zoldick…I see. An assassin.”
She said that without batting an eyelash. Without flinching
She wasn’t intimidated from the sound of Irumi’s name. She wasn’t intimidated to know that he is a Zoldick.
Irumi looked at her. But frowned from what he saw.
“A student. What are you doing here outside? It’s late.”
“Concern. Is that what I depict in your voice, Irumi-san?”
Concern. Probably one of the emotions he thought he would never feel in his entire being. But with this girl, Chie…
What is that something that she possesses to draw out that feeling from him?
“Have I offended you? I’m terribly sorry of I did. Its just that…”
“You haven’t offended me in anyway. I’m just surprised at myself. I haven’t showed concern to anyone as of yet. You’re the first one.”
If there’s one thing they have in common, it’s that they both talk in a flat tone. In a voice lacking expression. Lacking emotion.
“How old are you?”
“What are you doing put here this late?”
She looked at Irumi. Uncertainty glazed her amethyst eyes.
“This is my favorite place since I was young. A place where I spend most of my time. A place where I can
run to when something is bothering me. I love this place since it gives me peace of mind. Its solitude calming every nerve in my body, whenever I needed it. But it seems that…it failed me now.”
“Come with me if you want to know.”
Irumi shot a long glance at her. Then understood…
They walked in silence. He has no idea as to where they are heading to.
The occasional howls of the wind, disturbed the ruling silence every now and then.
“When you learn that the world is hollow, that is the time when sadness in you increases greatly. Everything disappears.”
“What do you–”
Before he managed to finish his sentence, they stopped in front of manor. A big one to say the least.
“We’re here. This is my home.”
The gates gave out a shrilling sound as it was opened by Chie. It’s creaking sound, resonated in the whole neighborhood.
“Come on in.” She spoke in her usual, cold, flat voice.
It’s first thing Irumi smelled when he came in.
How could not he recognize it right away? For countless times, he has seen it, memorized the scent that’s creeping up his nostrils, the feeling of it slowly oozing down his fingers forever tainted in his memory.
Light flooded in the whole manor when she pushed a certain switch.
He was right. There lay before them, three pale corpses drenched in their own blood.
Crimson liquid stained the immaculate white marble floor.
“Who are they?”
“My family.” she replied as her tears slowly starts falling one by one….
“They were brutally killed,” she tried to sound audible as sobs tried overpowering her. “This…this afternoon…I came home late from school because of a stupid student council meeting. I am very much looking forward to this day because we we’re supposed to go out for dinner…but when I came home, opened the doors…” she halted as unstoppable tears flow mercilessly down her pale cheeks.
Chie slowly approached a certain corpse. A girl.
This time, she let her emotions took advantage of her. Her cold demeanor vanished instantly.
“Onee-san…” she said as she cradled the body in her arms. Blood staining her uniform.
“You can’t do anything now. They’re dead. No matter how much you want to, you
can’t bring them back to life.”
“I know. I know that very well. Dakara… I…I wanted to die right this very moment. I’m supposed to be dead by now…if I haven’t come home late…”
“There’s a reason why you are still alive.”
The next thing he knew, she was hugging him. Asking Irumi in that cold tone of hers.
Her cold attitude. Its back. Throwing all her manifested emotions away behind her now frozen tears.
“Irumi-san…you’re an assassin right? Is it alright If I hire you now?”
“Yes. I’ll hire you to…to kill me.”
This girl is insane. Irumi said to himself.
“Please…you can have this manor if you do it. That will serve as my payment.”
“Just do it. End my suffering… I don’t want this… I don’t want this anymore.”
What’s happening to him? Why is it all of a sudden, he became…soft? He felt pity? Irumi was bombarded by his own questions. Questions wherein he doesn’t hold the answer.
“Come.” she said as she held his hand.
Their footsteps echoed in the whole house. Breaking the silence.
A while later, he was brought in a room. Chie’s room perhaps. Pink Victorian curtains hung on the floor to ceiling European windows. A huge bed lay in the center of the room.
She pulled one drawer and brought out something from it.
“Here. Use this. My father gave this to me. He said use it when I really need to.”
Irumi brought it out from its leather case. A knife. No. Not just any ordinary knife. A knife made of strong steel. Sharpened to perfection. Its handle is made of gold. Its base is studded by a single ruby.
This knife must’ve cost a fortune.
‘I don’t know!’ True, he really doesn’t know what has gotten into himself. What is so wrong?! She is hiring him to end her life! Hiring him to kill her… Yes…that must be it. He hasn’t encountered a person like her before. Hiring someone to kill herself. Usually, people hire assassins to kill persons who wanted to kill them. Who post a threat to their existence. This time, it’s different. So much different.
“I am hiring you. I am not pleading. It’s an order. I’ll pay you with this manor.”
“But I can decline, am I right?”
She clutched his clothes. “I don’t want you to decline!”
Chie’s staring straight into his eyes. Mauve eyes filled with angst. Lips trembling. Her lips…so perfect.
What happened next…he doesn’t know. The last thing he felt is something soft pressing
into his own lips.
She pulled away. Wide-eyed. “What are you doing?”
“Why? What…what did I do?”
“You kissed me.”
I kissed her?
Irumi has lost track of his self-control. He stared at her. Then realized that she has suffered enough. That killing her would probably be the right thing to do now.
He hugged her. Taking in her warmth. “I’ll do it.”
A glimmer of hope shined in her lilac eyes. “You will?”
‘What a foolish girl’
“Yes, I will. But not at the moment. I want to spend time with you first.”
Chie fidgeted under his embrace. “Spend time?” She disengaged herself from his touch.
Irumi pulled Chie back again into his arms, burying his face in her shoulder length ebony hair. It’s scent. Ah, yes, lavender.
The sweet scent of lavender.
“So beautiful…so fragile. So hurt…”
Chie fought the urge to pull away from him. She wants to know what’s going on…
Irumi buried his face deeper into the girl’s hair, for a moment admiring how the artificial light in her room made it so lustrous.
“Why are you doing this?” she asked, still not pulling away.
“You’re really pretty.”
He earned a soft laugh with no trace of humor in it.
“How flattering. My assassin, admiring my beauty.”
“I’m dead serious.”
“Oh really? Then tell me why you’re doing this.”
“Because,” he started, leaning over and slowly, deliberately pressed his lips against her pale, graceful neck. She flinched and Irumi pulled back. “Because I love you.”
Chie quickly disengaged herself from Irumi. “WHAT?! Impossible! We just met awhile ago! You couldn’t love me! Another thing, you’ll have to kill me. So…so, you can’t fall for me. You’ll be hurt.”
“No matter how much I wanted not to believe what I am feeling and saying right now, it wouldn’t change anything. I still love you. And.. I will still…carry out your order.”
“No…this can’t be happening…” she shook her head violently.
“But it is…it is…”
She looked straight at him, looked straight in those midnight black eyes…glazed by an unknown feeling for the first time.
“Will you? Just tonight. Before you go…” he asked, his voice husky from all these newly felt emotions bombarding him.
“Irumi.” Chie let out a shaky breath.
“Just…don’t go…for tonight…”
Chie looked up. Confusion etched on her face.
She placed a hand on his cheek. Caressing it.
“You love me…yet you are willing to do that for me?”
“If that’s what you wish, I can’t help it can I?”
“It’s just so weird…” the girl trailed off as one of Irumi’s hand ran freely through her hair.
“I know.” he smirked, making Chie gasp as he ran his fingers up and down her spine.
“Are you sure of what you’re going to do now?”
“I am.” he smiled as he pressed his forehead into hers.
“Okay. Just promise me that you will forget that this happened. Forget me after all this. Forget this night, forget all about me.”
He nodded. Although he very well knew that he can’t. Can’t forget all this.
“Promise me…” she murmured before she kissed him.
Lights were turned off.
Only the silvery full moon beneath the dark clouds shone on the intertwined bodies in that dark room.
“Irumi…” she trailed. She was now wearing her uniform. The moment of bliss had ended. Ended forever…
“I’m so sorry for what I did. I don’t know what came into me.”
“But I still love you.” Irumi pushed Chie’s head against his chest, holding her securely. Not wanting to let go.
“I’m not sorry for what happened. Why are you?”
“I did force you didn’t I?”
“Forced me? Correction, I agreed on this. Its not your fault!”
“Thank you. At least–”
Chie interrupted, “Besides I like it better this way. I’m happy that I met you. That I could entrust myself to you.” Chie shifted weakly, hiding her uncertainty, and glanced at the sheathed knife lying on the table. Does she really want to die? Right now?
Irumi noticed her faraway gaze. He tipped her chin up. “You want this so as not to feel any sufferings brought about by the incident. I’m still willing to do it. But are you sure? You want me to end your life?”
‘Do I really want it?’ the girl questioned herself. But nodded still. She felt weird. Why was she being unsure all of a sudden? But, there’s no time to reconsider things now.
A long moment of silence ruled between the two.
“Alright.” he finally said.
He stood up and picked up the knife and unsheathed it. He looked at Chie’s face. It clearly showed the anxiety that she’s feeling right now.
He managed to smile. Probably the last and genuine smile that he can show to the world.
“This’ll hurt me more that it will to you.” he didn’t manage to hide the bitterness in his voice.
He took her small, pale hand.
Chie looked at Irumi incredulously. Then looked down. Guilt flooding into her heart. ‘He’s trying to cover up his sadness so that I won’t feel any guilt…’ she realized.
Irumi looked down, staring at the knife in his hands with abhorrence. His lips set in a
dour line. But when he looked to look at her, he forced out a smile.
Irumi squeezed her delicate hand before finally letting go. “I’m glad that you let me
just for this once in your heart, in your life.”
Chie gave out a small but genuine laugh causing Irumi to relax a little. “Me too.”
Taking her lightly by her shoulders, he laid her down on the bed.
“I won’t” Chie managed to gave out a reassuring smile aside from what’s about to
Irumi tightened the his grip on the knife. Beads of sweat rolling down his pale cheeks, onto his neck. He positioned the knife above her heart. A sure hit.
He raised it a few inches above her chest.
There was an extensive hopeful silence between them.
The loud sound of something cluttering beside her suddenly made her open her eyes.
She saw the knife discarded on the floor.
He hastily picked up the knife. His hands shaking. “I…I can’t…” he shakily said while glaring at the knife. A mix of astonishment and self-hatred can be depicted in his voice.
‘Why?!’ he said angrily to himself. ‘Why can’t I do something as easy as this?’
‘Something that I’ve been doing all my life?’
“Why?!” he voiced out loud in a shaky voice.
Unstable, almost frightened breaths escaped him, and he felt a lump form in his throat. His body still shaking.
Chie reached up with her slender arms and wrapped them Irumi.
“Please…don’t be like this.” Chie murmured softly. “You shouldn’t feel any guilt in doing this. There’s no need for you to feel it… I…I wanted this.”
He cradled her body into his arms. “Dammit, I know that. But still I can’t do it. Knowing it’s you.”
“Don’t hesitate.” she whispered. Running her hands across his back.
He slowly kissed her forehead, her cheeks then finally her lips then pulled away.
He tightened his hold on the knife. “I really don’t want to do this. But if this is the only thing that would make you happy, so be it.”
She felt the tip of the blade grazing over her chest. She quickly shut her eyes tight. Anticipating for any amount of pain.
“I love you, Chie. And…I’m so sorry.”
“Don’t be…don’t be…” was the last thing she managed to say before Irumi plunged the knife into her.
Chie’s eyes shot open, her pupils dilating as she felt immense pain. She tried so hard not to scream from the pain. Tried not to burden Irumi with the guilt. But a small whimper still came out from her tightly closed lips. It hurts… it hurt so bad… The knife was plunged deeper, Chie could feel the cold, unforgiving steel drive into her heart.
He heard the agonizing sound of the knife breaking into her breastbone, piercing her heart.
Closing her eyes, she felt a strong arm wrap around her waist. Hoping to ease the pain. Hoping to comfort…
‘Irumi…I should be the one who’s sorry…not you.’ Chie thought bitterly.
“Chie…forgive…me…” she heard him whimper.
‘I’ve been so selfish…’ she admitted. How she wish that she could turn back time.
‘Why? Why now?’ she asked herself. She could feel the tears threatening to spill anytime. ‘Why did she realize it only now?!’
Dizziness took over Chie as Irumi pulled the knife from her. She could feel his lips slightly grazing hers. The girl jerked unintentionally as the knife was driven once again into her. This time at her side.
Irumi’s lips pressed harder. Tears started to form in his shadowed eyes.
“Don’t open your eyes, Chie.” he parted from her lips.
But her tightly shut eyes flew open. Her mauve eyes met his.
He stared sadly at her. But, Irumi forced himself to look away upon seeing the pain in her eyes.
“I told you not to open them.”
“I’m sorry.” she coughed. Crimson blood spilled from the side of her mouth. Gathering her remaining strength she reached out her hand to turn Irumi’s face. “But… I wanted to see you for the last time…”
He kissed her forehead and slowly pulled out the knife from her body.
“Chie…” Irumi whispered, at a sudden loss for words.
He could only stare aimlessly at the small and fragile body laying in the pool of blood. Chie’s breathing came out in soft, breathless pants.
There are so many things that she wanted to say to him. But all could mutter was an almost inaudible “Irumi…”
Irumi pulled Chie’s drenched body into him. Almost crushing her.
Chie felt like all the air in the room was taken out. She could not breath, almost suffocating. But still, she could feel Irumi. It all felt so right. His arms winding into her, his scent going up her nostrils. Reassuring arms giving her peace. Saying that everything’s gonna be alright. But…its not. For she was to die any moment now. Vanish from Irumi’s sight forever.
“I…” she trailed off, her hand reaching to caress his cheeks. “I forgot to..tell…” more blood came out as she coughed once again.
“Irumi…I forgot to tell you that…that…” she managed to continue aside from the pain, from the small, slowly reducing breathless pants coming out from her. “I…” she managed to smile that sweet smile of hers one last time. “I…love…”She felt her eyelids go heavy and closed them, hand falling lifelessly to her side
unable to respond to the loud and outlying shouting and begging of Irumi.
‘I thought… I’ve got nothing to lose once I’m killed. But I was very, very wrong… I did have someone to lose after all ‘ Chie thought,
“You.” and managed to state out the last word of her confession before she fell limply into his arms.