Chapter 31 - Rage : Sacrifice(?)
With the pressure they were experiencing and seeing the boy draw his sword, all three men immediately reacted. The short, stout man closest to Lili lifted her body and put a knife to her throat as the other two began maneuvering to flank Vahn's sides.
Seeing the man use Lili's body as a shield, any remaining restraint in his body completely vanished. A state of mind similar to when he had awakened on the second floor set in as he dashed towards the smallest man to his left.
Vahn approached with a terrifying momentum, causing the man to panic as he shouted towards his companions. He took up his sword and tried to thrust it towards Vahn to break the charge.
From Vahn's perspective, the shout was muted in his ears and the movement of the sword seemed to trace its path in a slow motion due to the vast difference in their stats. Using his gauntleted left hand, he altered the vector of the blade and directed it into the ground.
Having his blow suddenly change direction, the small man was knocked off balance as he stared in absolute shock at the shadow of the approaching blade. Instead of a thought, the last thing that passed through his mind before embracing death was the blade of Vahn's sword.
The other two men looked on in horror as the hooded assailant turned their companions head into meat paste with the sheer force of the wind generated by the deadly thrust. They felt their legs begin to tremble at the ruthlessness of the figure before them. The stout man tightened his grip on Lili's neck before shouting out.
"You [email protected]! You killed Todd!" He saw the figure turn towards him and he subconsciously tried using the small body in his grip to create a wall between him and the monster.
"M-move another step and the b!tch is dead! Dead, you hear me you [email protected]!?" As if to solidify his threat, he squeezed until the girl began to gurgle and twitch.
Vahn couldn't seem to hear anything the man was saying, but as soon as the first syllable issued from Lili's throat he sprung into action and bisected the man that had been maneuvering into his blind spot.
The man was completely unprepared for the blow and stared at the 30cm gap that had separated his torso from his legs. Even though Vahn had cut cleanly through him, in a manner similar to what he had seen happen to his friends head, the trailing winds tore through the severed area like a meat grinder. He couldn't even scream as he stared at the legs that had yet to fall to the ground. Almost as if echoing the sounds of the young girl held hostage, he began to gurgle before finally choking on his own blood and organs.
Screaming at the sight of his second companions death, the man squeezed Lili's neck like a vice causing her windpipe to collapse. He attempted to use the dagger and jam it into her ribs with the intent of robbing her life.
A muffled sound tore through the air. The stout man who had backed up against the wall while holding Lili hostage stared in horror at the left arm which previously held the dagger. In its place, there was the sheen of an evil black blade embedded into the wall beneath where his shoulder previously connected to his arm. Before he was able to regain his senses, an irresistable force surrounded his neck.
Vahn lifted the 155cm raccoon-eared man using his right hand as he shattered the man's remaining wrist with his left, freeing Lili in the process. Seeing the small girl fall to the ground unmoving, Vahn put more pressure into his grip until he could feel the outline of the man's spine in his palm. At this point, the man's face had bloated beyond recognition as the pressure caused his eyes to free themselves from their sockets.
Even though the man had long-since died, Vahn completed snapping his neck. When he released the bloated creature, the head dangled loosely like a sack as the body collapse to the ground twitching.
The moment the body hit the ground, Vahn felt a powerful migraine overcome him as his clarity returned. He grits his teeth before turning towards the young girl who lay helplessly on the ground gurgling for air. She had already begun to froth at the mouth as light pink bubbles were endlessly generated in her attempts to draw air.
As he cradles her body, she stared at him with her single tear-filled eye. Vahn's heart wrenches in pain as his brain starts churning rapidly to come up with methods to save her. As her throat had collapsed, he couldn't feed her a [Senzu Bean] and none of the potions he possessed would be able to remedy the injury quick enough to prevent her from asphyxiating. There was no time to look through the system and find a solution.
Vahn did the only thing he could think of. He took a [Senzu Bean] and placed it into his mouth, chewing it into a paste. He gently caressed Lili's face as if to reassure her...and activated his [Wound Transfer: B] for the first time as he swallowed the bean paste.
Steam began to emit from all the wounds on Lili's body as she was rapidly healed. The resultant steam entered through the pores of Vahn's skin and the wounds that had previously been on her body began to appear on his.
He grits his teeth until his gums start bleeding as the pain begins to wrack his body. The now fully recovered Lili stares in shock as the boy that just saved her begins to writhe on the ground in a state worse than she was in previously. She didn't know what had happened but understood the boy had somehow transferred all of her wounds to his body and was now on the verge of death.
She screamed and tried to help, but no matter what she did the wounds only seemed to get worse.
Vahn felt his body tearing apart. Though he had consumed a [Senzu Bean] to counteract the damage absorbed by the transfer, the two mystical forces seemed to battle within his body. One was trying to heal his wounds while the other continued with unrestrained vigor trying to generate them. As a result, the two forces were wreaking havoc in his body and causing his flesh and bones to shatter in their wake.
He could feel warm tears dripping onto his face, and stared through bloodied eyes at the young girl crying over his body. Due to his [Pain Tolerance: S] Vahn was able to maintain his clarity through the pain. He lifted his hand to try and console the girl but stopped after seeing it's bloodied state.
Seeing his attempt and hesitation on his face, the girl grabbed the outstretched hand and placed it to her face as she tried to stifle her tears. The blood from his hand marred her otherwise flawless face, and Vahn couldn't help feeling a little guilty as he smiled at her.
Suppressing her tears, Lili tried speaking to the boy that had sacrificed himself to save her. "I don't even know your name. *sniff* Please don't die, please, please...." She kept repeating the word over and over, mixed between her sobs and snot.
Vahn shook his head before withdrawing his identity slip from the inventory. Seeing the name of her would-be hero, she managed to speak out a few more words. "Thank you Vahn..."
Hearing her words brought a smile to his face as he laid back and felt the strength leaving his body. He couldn't help but recall part of the words Chloe had spoken before they parted ways. "For now, focus on discovering where you want to go in your life. When you figure that out and become strong enough to share the burden of others...if your feelings remain unchanged, you can try asking me out again... Though I can't promise I'll accept when the time comes~nya"
The smile on his face increased as he began to lose consciousness.
//[Effigy of the Hero: S] Activated//
Vahn felt a powerful energy fill his body and he opened his eyes to meet the gobsmacked expression of Lili. One woundless boy covered in blood, and one disheveled young girl both stared incredulously at each other.
For the first time in both of his lives, Vahn began laughing without inhibition. Lili stared at him like he had lost his mind, unsure of what happened to bring about the current situation.
After a while, she tried asking the boy named Vahn what was going on, only to see him collapse powerlessly onto the ground and fall unconscious. She fl.u.s.teredly checked to make sure he was still breathing before releasing a relieved sigh.
"What kind of crazy person did I get involved with..." She shook her head before resting to boys head on her lap, waiting for him to wake up.