Barry: “You want answers, you say?”
Kais: “Yeah, that’s what I just told you.”
There is a knife at Barry’s throat and I am the one holding it.
He clicks his tongue but doesn’t show any intention of speaking. It’s irritating but I need to put up with it rather than losing myself to emotions.
Sona: “Do I need to remind you about what that knife does?”
Sona looks at him threateningly as if to remind him of what she had said just a moment ago – that this knife is imbued with spiritual energy and will cut the connection of a ghost with rest of their body essentially destroying their existence.
Barry: “No, I remember it very well.”
He says in an irritated tone.
Kais: “Then talk.”
I say as I press the knife on his throat.
Barry: “Hahahaha! Hahaha!”
He, however, laughs.
I just can’t understand this bastard. What is he laughing for? I know he knows he can’t get out of this situation unless he tells us the things we want to know and yet, he is laughing.
Barry: “Well, never mind.”
Kais: “Don’t you dare ‘never mind’ me.”
Barry: “Don’t get so worked up, dunce.”
Kais: “You – don’t call me that.”
Anger and frustration are the two most prominent emotions inside me right now. I want to bash Barry’s head in.
Kais: “Stop dodging the question.”
Barry: “Since when did I start taking orders from you?”
I click my tongue.
Kais: “You bastard!”
I can’t stop myself from kicking him in the face and,
My hand, the one which wasn’t holding a knife to Barry’s throat, gets wrapped by vines.
Sona: “Control yourself. Don’t let your emotions take control.”
I realize only when Sona words it out for me that I was about to do something foolish once again.
Kais: “Yeah, I’m sorry.”
Thanks to her though, I didn’t.
Kais: “Now please let go.”
I say in a much calmer tone than I had a moment before. Sona complies with my request and releases my hand.
Barry: “That was something.”
I and Sona both glance at him.
Barry: “Didn’t know you two had such a friendly relationship.”
Sona: “That looked friendly to you.”
Barry: “Certainly, you stopping him so he would not do something that he would end up regretting – was a very friendly thing for you to do.”
Sona narrows her eyes.
Barry: “I can’t imagine you would do something like this for everyone.”
Sona sighs as she hears what he just said.
Sona: “I suppose I do value my childhood memories. Which is why, I don’t really want to hurt you either, so the one who will be hurt in your place will be your partner.”
She says as she turns towards Ro and the vines wrapped around him suddenly get tighter. Ro tries to endure the pain but one can clearly see that he is suffering because of it.
With a sigh, Barry speaks,
Barry: “Well …”
Barry: “If you want answers, then ask your questions.”
I feel doubt in my mind as I hear that.
Barry: “If I think your questions are things I can answer, then I’ll try.”
He adds to his statement, which only ends up annoying me.
Dragon: “Well, that sure took some extra time, didn’t it?”
He says while continuing to stand at the place he was.
Dragon: “Hey Sona, could you undo this contract now. It’s only really dangerous for you after all.”
Sona sighs as she looks at him and says,
Sona: “Fine. Just don’t move until I tell you.”
The dragon nods. Since her left hand was being used to control the mole spirit, Sona raises her right hand. She made it so her palm would be facing the seal.
Sona: “Okay then,”
Under her breath, she mumbled chants that I can’t understand even though I can hear them because of my clairaudience; the ability to hear what normally can’t be heard.
Sona: “Now, you are free to move.”
Dragon: “I am? But the white marking are still there.”
Sona: “Of course they are. Those are physical markings. The spiritual energy, however, has left them.”
Dragon: “I-I see.”
The dragon cautiously moved from his place and got off the markings. All of our gazes got fixed on the markings, but nothing happened.
Seeing that, the dragon closes his eyes and sighs.
Dragon: “Well, I guess that’s that. I was really worried for a while there.”
He says as he opens his eyes and looks at Barry.
Dragon: “I can do the task of keeping that knife on his throat so you focus on asking the questions.”
He, obviously, says that to me. However,
Kais: “No, that might be dangerous.”
Dragon: “You don’t trust me?”
Kais: “It’s not about trust. I have known this man well enough to know that he is trying to think of a way to escape right now. I am a psychic so I can pick up on anything he might try to do. That’s not the case for you though.”
I state my reasons for not letting the dragon do this job. Hearing that, the dragon folds his arms.
Dragon: “I see. That’s quite the problem, isn’t it?”
The dragon says while looking at Barry.
Dragon: “Well then, let’s get on with the questions.”
I nod. Sona nods. The dragon nods. As we three confirm to each other, Barry looks at me with narrowed eyes. I look back at him.
Kais: “First of all, tell me again who you are working for?”
Barry: “The Vampire Kingdom.”
Yes, that’s completely true. I am using all the methods I have of detecting lies. All of them tell me it’s the truth.
Barry: “Well, there is more than one reason.”
That is also the truth.
Kais: “Then start naming those reasons.”
Barry: “Fine. One reason is that I was ordered to do so.”
Kais: “By whom?”
Barry: “The vampires. I had been associated with them because I am the brother of Valdis, the queen of Vampires.”
Kais: “Yeah, about that, what the hell does it even mean?”
I had heard that before but how could he be her brother?
Barry: “Exactly what it sounds like. I am her brother, you are not. I think you should be able to figure some things on your own.”
I can take a guess. I am not her brother but he is, so we are not really brothers. But then, what relationship do we have?
Barry: “I was adopted into your family so I started treating you as my brother, though I would tell you that was not a coincidence.”
It wasn’t a coincidence. That’s not a detail I can ignore.
Kais: “What does that mean?”
Barry: “It means that I was sent there to act as your brother by the ruler of the vampires.”
Kais: “You mean your sister sent you on this mission?”
That would mean his sister is connected to all of this.
Barry: “No, not my sister. I am talking about the previous ruler of the vampires.”
So when he was sent on this mission, his sister was not the ruler of the vampires. That’s something I need to remember.
Kais: “I see. I get that you couldn’t have told me all of that, but why hide the fact that you are not my brother?”
Barry: “If you knew that, seeing how you were just a child, you may have started to see me in a different light. I couldn’t risk it.”
Kais: “And why couldn’t you risk it? What was the problem?”
Barry: “Well, let’s just say that the shock you felt that day 12 years ago would have been different.”
Barry: “Don’t tell me you haven’t realized yet. That day is the reason why you are able to stand here like you are now.”
Dragon: “Does that mean …”
Barry: “It does. It means that I did all that to create the ‘you’ that you are today.”
That’s just absurd. That is the worst reason I have ever heard for killing hundreds or thousands of people.
Kais: “To create the ‘me’ that I am today, you killed all those people?”
My eyes turn bloodshot and I again start losing my mind. But this time, I am not losing my control over my emotions. I am losing my sanity.
With an agitated tone and murderous intent that I can’t stop myself from feeling, I say,
Kais: “You killed thousands to …”
But before I could finish,
Barry: “… to save millions.”
He does it for me.
Barry: “That will be the result of what you have become today.”
I don’t understand.
Barry: “You will end up saving millions, maybe even billions of people.”
I just don’t understand.
Barry: “And this is only because I killed hundreds or thousands that day.”
Just what does that even mean?
Barry: “In the end, I won’t be a sinner for nothing.”
Just how am I supposed to save that many people? Just what am I supposed to save them from?
Dragon: “Okay, hold up. From what you have said until now, it seems the previous ruler of vampires was also connected to all of this, right? Why did he send you to act as Kais’ brother?”
Barry: “Someone told them to send me.”
Sona: “Now who would tell the ruler himself to do that?”
Barry: “Well, it was someone you all probably have heard about.”
Kais: “Just say the name.”
Barry sighs and then opens his mouth,
Barry: “He’s been manipulating your whole life from the start. So obviously, this was his doing as well.”
Dragon: “That bastard!”
Silence falls upon us as none of us seems to be able to say anything. This silence continues.
I stare down at the ground in the irritation I feel towards the so-called god.
The dragon grits his teeth in anger.
Sona looks at me with expressions I can’t read.
Barry looks at me with a mix of pity and anger on his face.
And Ro looks at the whole scene through a calm and calculating gaze.
Kais: “You said there was more than one reason. What were the other reasons?”
All the gazes shift to him.
Barry: “One reason was that my sister, Valdis, wanted me to get away from the Vampires.”
Barry: “In fact from what I have heard, Ozyllus only brought forth the proposal to send someone to act as your brother. It was Valdis who said that I should be the one to go.”
Barry: “To protect me.”
Sona: “From whom?”
Barry: “From the vampires.”
Sona: “And why would you have needed protection from them?”
Barry: “Because we weren’t originally associated with them.”
It surprised all of us to know that and yet again, we are left speechless.
Barry: “My sister was turned into a vampire but I was not. I was kept as a potential food for the vampires. So, my sister used that opportunity to tell them about my potential as a psychic and make them agree to send me on that mission.”
I just can’t think of anything to say right now. These are things I never expected to hear, much less from Barry.
Barry: “And if you want to know, there was another reason for sending me.”
He continued without anyone urging him this time.
Barry: “It was because I could gain something that I and my sister never had.”
And what was that? Just as I was about to ask, the answer came to me.
Barry: “It was parents.”
All of sudden, his words that day 12 years ago came back to my mind.
Barry: “My sister tried to give me the chance to live with a family and see what parents are like. Unfortunately, as soon as they found out about my abilities and yours, they left us.”
Barry said to me that day that I didn’t lose anything when our parents left us. He wasn’t just trying to make me feel bad. Those words were not careful manipulation like I thought they were. They were the helpless cries of a child who was searching for love but never found it.
Barry: “Well, I guess all your questions thus far were things I could answer after all. If you have any more questions, then I probably won’t be able to answer.”
I could not say anything. I could not do anything. All I could do was remove my knife from his throat.
Kais: “So, in the end,”
The words come out of my mouth without me even trying to say them.
Kais: “You were also his victim.”
Barry: “I assume you are talking about Ozyllus. Yes, he is the one who destroyed my real home, who forced my sister to turn into a vampire and told me to kill thousands of people in front of you or he would have killed the whole Vampire Kingdom, which included my sister.”
That’s was how it was. At the end of the day, he was also a victim.
The knife in my hand dropped even as I tried to keep it still.
Ro: “So, you are telling me that Ozyllus is the one orchestrating all of this?”
Dragon: “Yeah, he has been manipulating people ever since a thousand years ago.”
Ro: “You are kidding me, right?”
He asks in shock but the dragon replies in a calm yet raging voice,
Dragon: “I am not. For a continuous thousand years, that man, or his ghost at least, has kept trying to make things go his way by manipulating everyone.”
There’s no denying it anymore. I regained my memories. Barry answered all of my questions, and I know that he didn’t lie even once. The dragon said so too and it all makes sense when you think about it. Ozyllus – is the man responsible for everything.
Sona: “Hey, don’t tell me that …”
I glance at Sona and see a horrified expression on her face. Seeing that, the dragon sighs and closes his eyes. He then opens them as he looks at Sona with a sense of powerlessness.
Dragon: “Twelve years ago, Ozyllus told me to go to a village to bring a girl, who was a spirit-user, to him. However, I never met her. Before I got the chance to, Ozyllus told me that she has already left for there. I didn’t completely get it and wanted to stay away from the bastard as much as I could so I didn’t ask for the details. I just left. Looking back at it now, that was a mistake.”
I realize why he is telling us all of this. That girl must have been Sona.
Sona: “So, he is the one who killed all of the villagers. And he made it look like you did it.”
Dragon: “Yeah, probably.”
Sona falls on her knees as she hears that. The vines let go of Ro as the spirit’s master had lost all will to keep holding him.
We were either enemies or allies a few minutes ago. But now, none of us can look at the others that way, because all of us at the end of the day are victims, just victims.
Why did Barry lose his home and everything else he lost? It was because of Ozyllus.
Why did the dragon tried to deceive us and play us? It was because of Ozyllus.
Why did Ro have to die and fight this war? It was because of Ethan Kales, who I am pretty sure at this point is also a victim of Ozyllus.
Why did Sona go through what she did? It was also because of Ozyllus.
Why did I go through all I did? It was once again because of Ozyllus.
We are victims, victims of that man, no, victims of that monster who calls himself a god. We are just his victims, which is why,
Kais: “There’s just no other way.”
So I’ll have to take that only way that is present.
Kais: “I’ll have to destroy him – utterly destroy him.”