Chapter Three: Second Chances

by: Shiryu

            When his vision finally cleared, Nick was on his hands and knees, blinking away the white spots in his vision. When the haze and nausea finally faded, he choked on his next breath at what he saw.


            He was staring right into cold, dead eyes. Correction: his cold, dead eyes.


            He’d seen his eyes in the mirror before – they were dark, shadowed, haunted by a past that always appeared whenever he closed his eyes and his mind began to wander, but alive, most definitely alive.


            As he looked on in terrified fascination, he could see that these eyes were glazed over, unfocused. The glinting life had gone from these eyes, these windows of the soul that were now no more than bundles of nerves and sensitive tissue.


            Tentatively, he lifted a hand to the face. Blood surrounded him and his body, mingling with the rain to create a giant pool of crimson-tinted water, but he paid no notice as he brushed blood-matted hair away from his face. The red substance continued to travel in small rivulets down his face, giving him the eerie impression that he was looking into a cracked, blood-stained mirror. He flinched uncharacteristically when his fingers brushed lightly against freezing skin. Did I die that long ago, for all the warmth to be gone? Or was I cold all along, without knowing it?


            An odd numbness stole throughout his current body as he allowed his eyes to travel down his shattered body, and with slight dismay, noted how… delicate… he seemed. He scowled at the thought, even as he let his eyes flit down the slice that nearly severed his body in half. As he stood up, he didn’t seem to care that the rain was pelting him, as he examined the devastated plain before him. Blood spattered grass and ground alike, and large ravines seemed to have appeared, crisscrossing everywhere.


            And as the memory of what happened came back to him, he started to shake with fury.


            He was dead. Dead. Taken out by something not even a fraction as powerful as those who had killed his parents. Fists clenching, trembling with rage, he dropped to his knees and roared.




            The ground seemed to tremble as he screamed, the ravines widening, the concrete path cracking under the tremendous force. The air suddenly crackled with white tendrils of energy, as the wind suddenly picked up and screeched through the air around him.


            Chest heaving, he stopped, still panting with suppressed anger. The world seemed to stop moving as he calmed, settling back into its usual silence.


            “I will not leave this world,” he whispered. “I will live. I will kill. I will get revenge for the wrong that has been committed. And I will do whatever it takes to make it possible.”


            Still shaking, he faintly realized that there was a chain attached to his chest. As his eyes followed it tiredly, he realized with a pang that it led back to his body, the heavy steel links becoming a delicate silver chain that was nearly completely lacerated, barely linked together. Vaguely, he noticed that he had not the energy anymore to keep his body upright, and as he collapsed in an exhausted heap beside his own corpse, his vision dulled.


            But he kept breathing, with one hand unconsciously clutching the chain that truly was his lifeline.


            After what seemed like hours, there was finally a sound, as the leaves in the trees above rustled lightly, and with a sudden rush of wind, a black-robed figure was beside him, her hair pulled back into a ponytail, a sword at her side. Burnt brown eyes stared down impassively at first his battered shell of a body before drifting casually to his own shadowed bay eyes, seemingly unperturbed by the violent scene before her.


            “Whatever it takes, ka?” came her low voice, a sarcastic drawl that snarled through the air. “Are you really willing to take that chance?”