Chapter 31: Kindness

Barry: “Why are you crying, Kais?”

I was in a sea of blood with corpses all around. Only one living human stood there; the one who had become a monster.

Kais: “I … don’t know.”

And in this gruesome event that would haunt the whole world for many coming years, I was sitting on the ground, unable to move, and crying … without even knowing the reason for it.

Barry: “You don’t know?”

Kais: “I don’t know.”

As tears continued to flow down my cheeks, I continue to wonder who they were for.

Barry: “Tell me, do you actually feel sadness that someone has died. Do you actually want to cry over someone present here?”

I didn’t. As much as I hate to admit it, I felt no remorse over the death of those people whose corpses had covered my vision. I knew none of them. I didn’t want to cry over any of them.

Barry: “Do you feel sadness that I killed them. Are you feeling sad because I did this?”

No, that’s not it either. I didn’t feel any remorse over Barry having done this. But, I should have. And yet, I didn’t.

Barry: “You don’t, do you?”

As inhumane as that makes me, it’s true. I didn’t feel sadness over these things. All I could feel was …

Barry: “You are shocked right now, aren’t you?”

I was.

Barry: “Shock is all you feel. You can’t even feel fear.”

No, I couldn’t. I couldn’t even fear you back then.

Barry: “Isn’t that ironic?”

Kais: “W-what are you saying?”

I just couldn’t process anything anymore.

Barry: “You don’t know why you are crying, huh?”

I didn’t. I just … didn’t. Why was I crying? Why was I not crying over things that Barry mentioned? And, if not them, what was I crying for?

Barry: “Let me tell you why you crying then.”

Without even thinking for a second, I looked up at him. I wanted to know the answer. I wanted to know why tears would come out of my eyes. I felt like my existence will disappear if I don’t find out.

Barry: “You are crying because you can see yourself in me.”

He said.

I can see myself in him – is what he said.

What does he mean? I wondered.

He is joking, right? I thought.

He was standing there smiling after having murdered hundreds, thousands of people and I could see myself in him?

What a joke!

I had to be a joke.

It just couldn’t be true.

There’s no way I can see myself in that monster.

And, somewhere along the lines, I realized how true his words were.

Barry: “That entire time playing house you could only admire that kind, good-natured façade of the man you called your big brother.”

Façade, he called it. The image of Barry that was etched in my mind for the first 8-years of my life was being called a façade. I admired that façade.

Barry: “But now that you have seen this horrible side of him, you can relate to him, isn’t that true?”

I could admire that façade. But, when that was gone, all that was left now was – the real Barry. But, was that really true? Could someone really be a monster like this?

Barry: “Ah!”

He said as if he was in pain. But how could he feel pain? He was a monster. He was a demon. So, he shouldn’t feel any pain, right?

That’s right. Monsters like him – they don’t feel pain, they just give others pain.

Kais: “You are a monster, aren’t you?”

He had turned around and was walking. So,

Kais: “Hey, you are a monster, aren’t you?”

I repeated. I shouted out. But, he didn’t stop. He was not even flinching. He didn’t give a damn about what I was saying.

Kais: “Tell me, this is your true face, isn’t it? The façade that you had kept for so long is finally gone now, isn’t it?”

My voice – the voice of an eight-year-old rang out. There’s no way he couldn’t have heard it. But, he ignored it.

He kept walking. He ignored me. He ignored the mass of bodies that he had produced all around us.

Kais: “I … I … am NOT like you.”

I shouted at the top of my lungs.

Kais: “I would have never done something like this. You are WRONG.”

I knew he wasn’t listening. I was well aware he wouldn’t listen. But, I had to deny it. I had to deny it for myself. If I didn’t, I just couldn’t look at myself without remembering him. So, I had to deny it – I had to deny the truth.

Kais: “Ha … ha …”

I held onto my thighs as I panted.

Kais: “Listen to me, damn it!”

More than shouting at Barry to make him listen to me, I was shouting at myself. I was shouting at myself, telling to look away from the truth.

Kais: “I am NOTHING like YOU.”

I wasn’t trying to convince him, I was trying to convince myself.

And, the more I said it, the more I denied it; the more apparent the reality became. I didn’t have what I needed to accept reality and I was not even capable of running away. I was weak beyond any comparison. And then,

Abyss: “Don’t run away.”

I heard a voice. It was a voice that sounded pained, much more pained than mine.

Kais: “W-who …”

I wanted to ask who he is, but

Abyss: “I am … no one you should concern yourself with.”

I was hearing a voice in my head out of nowhere. I couldn’t comprehend the absurdity of it and kept talking.

Abyss: “Listen, don’t run away.”

He told me not to run away.

Kais: “W-why?”

But what else could I do but run away.

Abyss: “You feel pain, don’t you?”

He asked me a question – a question that was so easy for me to answer I didn’t need to think about it.

Kais: “I do. Of course I do.”

Pain had taken over my mind. I couldn’t think straight because of it. So of course, the answer was yes.

Abyss: “And you want this pain to go away, don’t you?”

Kais: “Y-yeah.”

Why won’t I? What idiot would not want to say yes to a question like that?

Abyss: “Then do it.”

He said in a voice so shaky it seemed as if he was barely holding himself back from shouting.

Kais: “Huh!”

But all I did think of was what he said.

Abyss: “If you don’t want to feel pain, then you should make the pain go away.”

Kais: “If … it were that simple, then don’t you think …”

I would have already done it – is what I wanted to say. But before I could,

Abyss: “It is simple.”

He said.

Abyss: “You can do it.”

He said.

Abyss: “You are strong enough.”

He told me.

Abyss: “You just haven’t reached your full potential yet.”

He said to me, giving me hope and despair at the same time. I needed that power and I had that power but only inside me, not in my hands. How can I be happy by hearing something like that?

Abyss: “If you want that power,”

And then he said,

Abyss: “I can help you reach it.”

I finally understood what he was saying.

Abyss: “So, what do you want?”

He asked in a pained voice that I just couldn’t understand the reason for, but I had stopped caring a while back. At that moment, all I cared about was –

Kais: “If I let him go, he’ll kill more people.”

Abyss: “He definitely would.”

Kais: “If I don’t stop him, then no one will.”

Abyss: “Yes, that is true.”

Kais: “He may even kill all my friends at school.”

Abyss: “Very likely.”

Kais: “He may even kill our parents.”

Abyss: “That should be obvious.”

Kais: “He may go and kill Sona too.”

Abyss: “I bet he will.”

Kais: “So,”

Abyss: “So?”

Kais: “I have to stop him, right?”

Abyss: “That’d be for the best, yes.”

Kais: “Then,”

Abyss: “Then?”

Kais: “I need … that power.”

Abyss: “Yes, you do.”

Kais: “You said you can give it to me.”

Abyss: “That’s more or less what I said.”

Kais: “Then, give it to me.”

After a constant string of words, a moment’s gap occurred. Abyss didn’t respond instantly, but after a moment,

Abyss: “As you wish.”

He said to me. I was in pan, yes. But I could feel something inside me hurting even more than what that pain ever brought to me. I could feel an ugly presence all around me.

And then when I looked at my hand, I couldn’t find it.

Kais: “Where’s my arm?”

He didn’t reply.

Kais: “Hey, tell me, where’s my leg?”

I looked back and forth at the places where my limbs should be but all I could see was some black figure.

Where was my arm? Where was my body? I wondered as I glanced at a corpse. That person had died with a mirror in hand. I took that mirror and looked at it, but all I could see was –

Kais: “Who’s that?”

There was a black figure with a familiar haircut and two round glowing similar looking shapes above the center.

Kais: “Who’s that?”

Who’s that?

Kais: “Who is he?”

Who is he?

Kais: “Who is … I?”

Who am I?

Kais: “Why am I asking that?”

That’s such a foolish question.

Kais: “I am Kais of course.”

More important than that, what was I doing here? I turned around to try to figure out why I was there.

These thoughts were going in my brain. I didn’t understand what had happened but I did understand that I was there for a reason.

Kais: “Barry.”

And then I saw him, and I instantly knew why I was there.

Kais: “I see. I remember now.”

I remembered why I was there.

Kais: “Die, Barry! Die!”

My words rang out and I used telekinesis to move a rod into Barry’s chest. It was one of the many rods lying because of Barry’s carnage, it was no special weapon. Barry should have been able to easily deflect it. But he couldn’t. That’s because it all took place in a fraction of a second.

That was the power that Abyss mentioned. That was the potential that he talked about. My speed, at that moment, was equivalent of light.

Barry: “A-Abyss!”

He said something that I didn’t bother hearing. Why would I have bothered to hear it when the ‘me’ at that moment wasn’t even the ‘me’ that I am?

Kais: “Well, wasn’t that easy?”

Having accomplished my task of becoming a murderer, I laughed. My laugh echoed. My echoes rang through my ears. My ears felt numb.

There was … a certain sense of loss in me. I knew that I would no longer be who I used to be.

*******************************

I was in my house. I had run away from the place that disaster had happened in. I had teleported back to my house and locked myself in. It was the house that nobody but me lived in now. The only other resident of this house was dead … killed by my hands.

Kais: “What have I done?”

It felt like someone other than ‘I’ was in control.

Kais: “This … this is wrong.”

Abyss: “What’s wrong about it?”

His voice came suddenly. Hearing that, I was relieved … that I wasn’t alone. I was relieved beyond comprehension.

Abyss: “You did want to stop him. And now you have stopped him. What’s wrong about it?”

Kais: “No, I … I just …”

It was so easy to say I wanted to kill him. It was so easy to say I wanted him dead. But I am sure I couldn’t have killed him in the end. In the end, a version of me I am not took control of my body and killed him. And then I was left with the consequences.

Abyss: “I see. I should have understood.”

That voice I had been hearing in my head … was so … so sad.

Abyss: “If you are not ready to hold this burden, then I’ll let you forget about it.”

Kais: “W-what …”

Abyss: “I am at fault here. I should have understood an eight-year-old won’t be able to handle killing a person.”

Kais: “I … I am …”

I was overwhelmed with guilt. Whether the guilt was for killing Barry or it was for wanting Abyss to go through with making me forget, I didn’t know.

Abyss: “Don’t blame yourself, Kais. This is not your fault.”

He said those words to me as if to comfort me.

Abyss: “This is not Barry’s fault either.”

He said things to me I desperately wanted to hear.

Abyss: “The one who is at fault … is him … the one they consider god.”

He said so.

Abyss: “Tell me, are you okay with forgetting these things.”

Kais: “I … I … I …”

Extreme guilt and shame caused my eyes to tear up. I just couldn’t hold it in anymore. So I cried. And I sat there crying. That was all I could do.

Kais: “Please, please Abyss; please make me forget all this. Please let me forget all of this.”

I begged him for it. I knew there was no need to beg, I knew I only needed to simply ask him, but I just couldn’t bare it if I didn’t beg him.

Abyss: “You will also forget everything about any other person with supernatural abilities you and Barry had ties with.”

He told me that.

Abyss: “That means people like Sona will no longer be in your memories either.”

He told me the only thing that could have stopped me from saying yes.

Abyss: “Do you still want to forget it all?”

I was told I would forget about Sona and every other supernatural I had ever met.

Kais: “I-I can’t live like this. Please, please …”

But, that didn’t stop me from begging for it. My guilt was just too much.

Abyss: “Very well. Just know that you will one day have to remember everything.”

He was always very clear with me. He was always trying to not hurt my feelings. He was always trying to help me in one way or another.

Abyss: “I wish I could change things, but I can’t. There is just no way for you to not get involved in this war.”

I know that the words he said that day were all true. He genuinely wished for my well-being and the pained voice he had was because he was seeing us suffer. Me and Barry both; his pain was because of both of our suffering. The world calls him ‘devil’ and hates him. They preach Ozyllus, tell tales of how Abyss was defeated by Ozyllus.

And yet, this ‘devil’ felt so much pain over seeing another’s suffering. I had realized by that point that the history was wrong. I had realized that he was being accused of false crimes. There was just no way anything he did could be that bad. And yet, I chose myself. I chose to run away from everything.

Knowing all of that, I chose to forget it all so I didn’t have to suffer.

Abyss: “Until then,”

That was it. I would forget about anyone supernatural that Barry and I had ties to as well. I had prepared myself for it, but only then did I realize.

Kais: “What’s your name?”

I would forget him too. I would not be able to remember who he was.

Abyss: “Ha! My name, you’ll forget it anyway.”

He said in a light, gentle voice.

Kais: “Still, please tell me.”

Abyss: “Okay then,”

My memories started to erode. Gaps were made in my brain. I was being granted my wish. And I was being dragged back from the darkness to the light by having the light of knowledge taken from me. And on that journey, the voice came to me,

Abyss: “I am Abyss, the demon of chaos.”

And I forgot everything.

*******************************

But that is all gone now.

Sona: “What do you mean ‘he saved your life’?”

I remember it all now. I remember everything now.

Dragon: “He saved your life, did he?”

I look up at the dragon. His expression, his internal emotions all showing reminiscence as he said,

Dragon: “Yes, that does sound like him.”

Saving my life – that sounds like the ‘devil’, huh?

Kais: “If I …”

Their eyes turn towards me.

Kais: “If I were to ever repay you Abyss, what should I do?”

The answer won’t come. I now have enough knowledge to understand that he is at a place inside my consciousness that I have locked away. And I now also understand that Ozyllus is there as well.

Dragon: “What should you do to repay him?”

The dragon repeats my question in a tone as if to say that the answer is obvious.

Dragon: “Expose the lies that blacken his name.”

Sona: “What lies?”

Dragon: “The very fabrication of history I told you about.”

Is that what I should do? Should I get to the bottom of this? Should I remove the dirt from your name?

Kais: “No,”

I stand up as I feel their eyes turning towards me.

Kais: “that is not nearly enough to repay the kindness he showed me.”

After having been blamed for every little thing for about 1000 years now, merely exposing those lies that cloud his reputation is not nearly enough compensation for him.

Kais: “I will”

To repay the person who saved me that day,

Kais: “fight in this war.”

I said what in my book qualified as repaying him.

Kais: “I’ll destroy everything Ozyllus, his sworn enemy, created. I will give him the justice he deserves. And for that,”

My hands are shaking – with anger.

Kais: “I don’t give a damn about The Dragon Alliance or The Vampire Kingdom. They can all go burn for all I care.”

I said in a voice that is shaking – from anger.

Kais: “I don’t care which of them wins the war.”

Which side I end up on? That depends on them.

Kais: “But I will CRUSH every single dream Ozyllus has ever seen in HIS ENTIRE LIFE.”

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