Another request from a friend yayyy~ I hope it's good! It has slight shipping vibes~
Word count: 1,406
Characters: Lily, Haru
This whole Great Void thing should be frightening. It's a massive sphere of dark energy floating in the sky that spews out people every once in a while. I'm alive, but I still find it impossible for anyone to survive a drop that high. It's unnatural. Uncanny. It's flat out weird.
Yet when I stare at it from the beaten paths in Rucco Town... I'm filled with so much excitement. It's enough for me to visibly grin like a madwoman.
I came from that. I'm a SoulWorker now. This power; I could adapt to this quite easily. I already feel like I knew how to wield this scythe when it first manifested itself in my hands, and that is certainly natural.
Whatever kind of past life I led doesn't matter as long as I can keep shredding these miserable beasts to pieces-
"Yes...?" I was pulled away from my inner monologue by a timid voice. It was another SoulWorker that fell from the Great Void, too, but I don't particularly like her.
I've teamed up with her for a few missions Miriam and Benjy assigned to us so far. She's a skilled swordswoman and I respect that, but what I hate is how she hesitates to finish the job. She could swing her sword and injure a Skitter or one of those Malevils, but her blade quivers ever so slightly before she deals the killing blow. If she keeps that up, she'll be a goner when we have to fight greater foes.
I will admit. I do like watching our enemies uselessly squirm about in pain before they perish. But when our lives are on the line in this crisis, we don't have time to appease such a tiny delight.
...It's a delight for me. Haru probably sees it as something heart wrenching, like watching a puppy die right before your eyes.
"Miriam found three people that need saving in Control Zone 43, so she's sending you and me." Her irises shook, and by the time she said her last word, her gaze fell to my feet.
"You're scared of me, too? You're a SoulWorker."
"A little... Yeah," she admitted with a mumble.
"That's fine. I won't hurt you while I'm out there, but if it frightens you that badly, then just stay behind me so you can't see my face. It might help... Maybe."
She looks so pathetic like that. I hope Seoni reconsiders her decision of letting Haru become a doctor instead of fighting on the front lines like I am. This was kind of endearing at first, but it's quickly turning into an annoyance.
Haru picked up her head. She's looking past me. Not at me. "...I will fight, Lily. Don't get me wrong. I simply need time to adjust."
"Show me on the battlefield. Then I'll believe you."
She didn't reply. We wordlessly went off to the place where Miriam spotted the hopeless victims last.
The great part about fighting these monsters is that I could go totally braindead and let my scythe do all of the work. They become predictable since they're missing the tact humans possess. This one will try to bite me from the left... Easy. It's already dead. This next one will try to jump at me thinking I'll be distracted from its deceased brethren... It's dead now, too. This is so satisfying.
"Yah!" I heard a scream behind me. In the time it took me to kill four of these overgrown spiders, Haru managed to kill a measly total of one Skitter. It's a small one at that.
"Great job," I flatly complimented her.
"Thanks," a gentle blush tinted her cheeks, but I saw the sweat on her forehead. You're not fooling anyone. You're still nervous. Can't you tell I was being sarcastic?
Ah. Whatever. Chole said one of the victims is ahead of us. When we moved to the next area, we spotted him cowering in a corner away from the roaming monsters. There's not too many here, but one of these could easily kill a normal human with a single bite or claw. Rescues are my least favorite missions since I have to babysit someone. It sucks the fun out of mindlessly killing things.
A mission is a mission. I'll do my best to get this fool out of here. Haru and I got the attention of the wolf-like monsters and baited them to the opposite corner so the civilian wouldn't get attacked in the crossfire. The plan worked well. We only needed to occasionally glance in the civilian's direction to ensure nothing approached him. It felt like the typical hack-and-slash I enjoyed.
"S-stay away!" A fear-stricken voice erupted from the man attempting to back away from a rogue monster. I reacted faster than Haru could and effortlessly glided by his side to slice the monster clean in two. He gave me a forced smile and a choked out thanks; if I were him and completely powerless, I'd probably look just as pitiful, too.
His eyes widened, and he pointed behind my head. "Miss! Behind you!"
He didn't need to warn me. By the time I turned to block, Haru already struck it down.
I would have been hit. Even I'm unable to respond that fast.
When she drew her sword back to her neutral stance, I caught a glimpse of her face. Her furrowed brows, her narrowed gaze; this determined demeanor... Is this the true Haru? Or is it a front?
"You learn quick," she faced the remaining enemies before I finished my sentence.
"I find this easier when I have someone to protect." She replied cooly. Wow. That sounded like it came straight from a movie where the hero wants to impress a cute girl.
I do like this Haru more than the scared one. It shows me she has a fighting chance out there.
...So I stopped my own killing spree to observe her. This is interesting, watching her develop like this. The guy behind me was scared to death and whimpered if I took even a half step away from him, so that was another factor of my useless idling. Me standing here brought him some peace of mind.
Even if he wasn't here... Hm. I might have still watched.
She lost that hesitation when she killed the monsters. Who knew a minuscule motivation like that would make that huge of a difference? I shouldn't be one to talk, I suppose. I get my kick from something much darker.
"Hey, Haru," I started once she killed the last one, "why don't I take this guy back to Rucco Town, and you go handle the rest?"
"No way...! I don't think I'm ready for that."
"I think you are. Now would be the best time to grow when we know the enemies up ahead are spread this thin. Just picture it like you're protecting us as you did here."
"It's not the same... Lily, trust me on this. Let's swap. I'll take him back and you keep going."
"You don't even want to try?"
This is a little frustrating, but arguing here would be unwise. I'll bite. I'm confident I can handle it alone. "Alright. Take this shivering mess behind me back to the town."
The civilian protested but I didn't bother listening to what he said. In the meantime, Haru and I traded places so she could properly take him away. When we passed each other, she kept avoiding my gaze. Haha. Still scared of me, I see. I don't get how she fights more efficiently when the person she's defending frightens her to this extent. She might have been defending the civilian and not me... That'd make more sense.
"The way back shouldn't be too bad. We killed most of the monsters already. Walk ahead of me," Haru instructed the civilian, and the pair took their leave.
She's... Something else for sure. Not a bad person, but not totally good either for as timid and clumsy she is at times. I wonder how far she'll go until she quits fighting on the front lines. She may not even have the option to quit since the SFL is so desperate for members and Haru would bend to the peer pressure despite her aversion towards killing these monsters.
Until then, I'll keep coaching her when she needs it. I'd rather have a useful partner than one who gets in the way.
It's kinda like I'm tending my own garden with her. I want to see her grow.
I'll wrap up this mission for the time being. Maybe next time she'll be able to kill more things if I pretend I need help...