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It couldn’t have been human. It couldn’t have.

 

He sprints through the darkness, chanting his mantra of denial as if it’s a warding prayer. Branches scrape his flesh and knees as he races through the undergrowth; even the accursed forest is mocking at his plight.

 

His lungs begin to scream, and so does his muscles. He slows to a jog, constantly whipping his head back to see if those things are still after him. Nothing, of course. His eyes are completely worthless in this darkness.

 

“Why me… why me why me why me…”

 

He doesn’t remember how long he’s been running, nor does he remember where he is; all he remembers are those eyes― a pair of purple, and a pair of gold― and how quickly they decapitated his friend. His friend… wait, what was his name?

 

“Found you~”

 

The chirp sends a jolt of terror to his heart, and he whimpers, scrambling forward.

 

A whistle pierces the air, and immediately he feels a sharp pain blasting the side of his head. He screams, clutches his ear and drops to the ground, rolling about, trying to numb the agony. The pain, the fear, the darkness― it’s all driving him insane. Gritting his teeth, he forces himself to stand up―

 

The rustling of leaves ahead stops him. He freezes, the pounding of his heart so loud he can no longer hear the song of nocturnal insects. One beat, three beats, five beats… nothing. He begins to move.

 

Twin purple orbs flash before him― eyes.

 

He screams, staggering back, wildly flailing his free arm in front of him as if it were a weapon. Branches snap and shrubs part as he does so, as if trying to avoid his frenzy.

 

The eyes draw closer, until he can finally make out the figure before him― a beautiful young girl, her skin smooth and fair, with an elegant and slender build. A streak of red slashes the side of her long purple hair which flows halfway down her back. Her outfit is like nothing he’s ever seen before: a dark grey long-sleeved collared top, cropped so ridiculously high it barely even covers her chest, a pair of shorts and black thigh high socks.

 

Wait, how am I able to see her so clearly now?

 

“Ah, I see…” To his shock, the voice that’s coming out of that person is that of a boy’s. “So this one has barely turned. You probably don’t even realise what a monster you’ve become, huh?”

 

“M-monster? What’re you talking about?” he stammers.

 

The feminine-looking boy cocks his head quizzically. “Are you trying to speak to me? Sorry, I don’t speak Seeker.”

 

Seeker? Those demons? What is he

 

Frustrated, he reaches out to grab his collar, but the boy nimbly steps back, and his hand meets thin air. But that’s when he notices something very wrong with his arm; sickly white shells cover his limb, and his fingers are twice as long as he remembered. With a scream of terror and confusion, he drops to the ground, dropping his mutant arm onto the earth and reels to the side, away from the monstrous thing, doing everything he can to ignore and forget that abomination.

 

And that’s when he notices his other arm is mutated as well. More panicking, more screaming, until a dull pain throbs in both his mutated limbs. Then, the pain crescendos, rising to a sensation that’s like being crushed by boulders. The sound of bone snapping rends the air in chorus with his demonic roars, and his arms and legs extend, crimson blood bursting from the joints of his monstrous, armoured limbs.

 

WHAT’S HAPPENING TO ME? WHY? WHY IS THIS HAPPENING?

 

His attention falls back on the boy, who now seems to be a fraction shorter than he was before. Those glowing, purple eyes; his superhuman speed and strength; it all makes sense now― this boy is the real monster, not him. He’s the one who killed his friend, and he’s the one responsible for his mutation right now. There’s no other explanation. This has to be it.

 

With a shark-like grin, the boy purrs, “Now that’s more like it.”

 

Fear morphs into anger; anger morphs into bloodlust. The former human lashes out at the risqué-looking boy, but he dodges the blow with ease. Enraged, the beast claws at him again and again, ripping through shrubs and bark alike and toppling trees, but the boy leans, sidesteps, somersaults to evade the attacks as if he’s a circus performer. It’s like chasing a shadow.

 

Eventually, he runs out of patience. With a manic roar, he brings his mutant arms down on the boy…

 

But they never reach him.

 

Another person stands between them, holding against the beast’s arms effortlessly. A girl this time, for sure. She heaves, throwing his arms aside before firing a fist at his abdomen. It’s like being slammed by a sprinting horse; the blow knocks the wind out of him, shooting him back and sending him crashing against a tree. Pain quickly follows. If his current body still has ribs, the newcomer must’ve broken it all with that single punch.

 

The girl dons the same scanty outfit as the other human, but she has silver hair which runs down to her collar and shoulder-length sidelocks. And those eyes― blazing bright golden, are like twin suns in the night. Breathtakingly beautiful like the other… except this one’s demeanour is much colder. Murder. Death. That’s all he can sense from him.

 

“Let’s just put it out of its misery,” the newcomer says with a boyish voice. No, he must be a boy too.

 

What pathetic bloodlust the beast once had has all but extinguished by now. He wants to cry, break down, curse at his fate, curse at the world, rip the entire forest with his monstrous arms with the insanity plaguing his mind from all of these emotions…

 

And these emotions are all he needs to reignite his desire to kill. With a blood-curdling screech, he springs towards the boys.

 

The silver-haired child is no longer there.

 

Something holds him back from moving forward. The beast looks down. The boy has his arm impaling through his shell-covered chest. Before he can make sense of the situation, he rips a chunk of pulsating flesh out, along with all of the strength in his body.

 

He couldn’t even see the boy’s movements. There was no chance of victory. He relaxes. So it’s true; they’re the monsters after all, not him. Does this mean… he can finally shed himself of this body? Be human again?

 

 

The boy crushes his heart unblinkingly.

 

The beast falls to the ground, no longer having the strength to feel anything. No pain, no fear, no anger… nothing. Sleep is approaching. Perhaps this is a blessing.

 

But in its dying breaths, there’s one last thing he’s unable to understand; the monster with golden eyes now wears an expression of sadness.

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Miuu

Bio: Pen name: Han Sung Chul

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