"What do you want? Wealth, Fame, Power, or Freedom?" he asked. The host was in his 40's and waiting for the girl to answer.
"None of these," she replied while her gaze suddenly changes to the crowd.
The host was surprised by her answer, as it was the same answer he heard a long time ago. As he looks at the girl, she was still young but her skill in fighting was unbelievable.
She tightly grips the knife while her hand was still shaking. He followed the gaze of the girl where she was looking.
"But!" she shouted, her voice echoing to the whole arena and eyes were burning with fire, "I only want to kill that man!"
She points to the man at the top of the VIP seat that was also looking at her, smiling deviously.
Two youngsters were fighting inside the wide circle stage of the arena. They were being watched by a crowd of audiences who were betting on them, waiting for who will win... or Die!
Most of them are thrilled to watch blood splattering, players killing each other, screaming, and crying. It always makes them hip and alive.
In this kind of hell, one of the players is named Mizu Sodomaki, a 15-year-old girl who's one of the youngest players in the arena. At this peak of a thrilling moment, she was fighting a player that is twice her size on the stage.
Even though the crowds are cheering thunderously. She can still hear her heart beating loudly.
Mizu's left arm was already numbed because of the excessive gushing of blood out of her new wound. It was a deep, long slice on her skin with a length of 3 inches that kept the blood from dripping all over her arms. Not minding the wound, she stayed focused on the fight on hand. Like they say in this 'Survival Game' they called, "hesitation and losing your guard will lead you to death." It was either to crush or be crushed!
Stepping into this arena was already like a gateway to hell.
Looking at her opponent, Mizu felt her hair rising. This tall, thin boy in front of her was licking the bloodstain on the blade of his knife while staring at her with those piercing and bloodshot eyes. Ready to taste blood and excited to kill her.
On guard, she holds the silver knife firmly. Pulling up all her strength and courage, she attacks him first before he can manage to hit her a second time. But unfortunately, her opponent was undoubtedly fast. He dodged her strike several times that were aiming at his trunk.
In a split of a second, this tall man swayed his arms again and playfully slashed her back and kicked her hard. This made her kiss the solid and rugged floor. And because of the excruciating pain, she groaned. At that moment, Mizu somehow managed to step forward, this move lessened the impact in her back. But unfortunately, she wasn't able to predict the tall man's second move.
Lying on the floor, Mizu immediately rolled over. She barely avoided the sudden jump of the tall man on top of her, that was aiming to stab her head. She then immediately stands up, in a stance to defend herself. She knew that her opponent will not waste any time to attack her.
"It won't take any longer... Obviously, player A will win this game. What do you think?" One of the ladies sitting on the VIP seat asked the man beside him, who was watching the fight with interest.
"Hmm, Let see... I think... in just two strikes, that boy will lose his life," he said confidently while eyeing the girl on the stage.
"That's absurd. Her opponent is even twice her size and in perfect shape," she argued while still in disbelief. The man's gaze was now on the woman he was talking about. "My lady, my eyes never lie," he said calmly with an evil smile on his face.
Mizu observed her opponent, thinking how on earth would will she defeats him. "If this took much longer, I would die here." Looking at her own wound that is still bleeding profusely.
She calmed herself in the next second, putting all her courage for this next move. The boy ran nimbly towards her aim at her back once again with such confidence that this time he knew he will able to kill her. But Mizu already predicted his attack and habit in the fighting. Sacrificing her hand is the key to all of this plan. And so, she immediately turned around on the side, dodging his attack, and bent her knees to slash the leg of her opponent.
Striking the leg minimized his fast movement and by just being able to wound him, his ego ultimately crashed. His weakness was his own leg and that was the source of his strength and confidence.
The tall man lost his balance with quite a shock on his face and fell to his knees. This is what Mizu was waiting for! A split of a second... A chance to kill him! Mizu didn't waste any moment and with a strong sway of her arm, she swiftly slashed the man's throat with her sharp blade.
The scene was too fast to comprehend that everyone outside the stage was silent in awe. Mizu grips her knife tightly. The thick filthy blood dripped on the blade as she raises her right arm confidently to declare victory!
"Wow! I can't believe this! This little girl is awesome! She's worth watching for."
The silent crowd suddenly turned into a loud cheer, so hype as they shouted her pseudonym. Their scream was so loud and ear-splitting, very deafening that it filled the arena. It took quite long until she can't hear it anymore.
All her surroundings seem to turn from hazy gray to black.
"Mizu! Mizu! Hey! Stop spacing out!" A familiar voice of a boy shouted beside her. "Hurry! We need to run!" When she regains her consciousness, the first thing she noticed was that she was running with a bunch of kids following her. They were being chased by a grown-up with an apron tied to his waist.
Remembering what happened, Mizu laughed. They just stole some bread from that vendor.
"Quick! Run and split up, let's meet up in the hideout."
The kids running beside her follow her order and ran in different directions at the next intersection. But this vendor chose to follow her behind. Well, she's the one holding the most number of bread they have stolen.
It was winter and the freezing wind brushed her skin made her hug herself. Hearing the noise of cats and crows in the junkyard of their hideout, gave her goosebumps. She successfully lost the vendor that was chasing them. She looked at the crow at the top of a trash bin, and she felt this bird was staring at her intently. The crow was tilting its head while looking at her. Mizu knew what this bird wanted. She tore a little bit of the bread and gave it to the crow, but just after the crow gulped the piece of bread, she heard footsteps. So she hid immediately and the crow flew away.
"Mizu! Mizu!" As she found out that it was just her peers, she got out of hiding and ran towards them.
"Thank God you're all safe!"
After making sure that everybody was safe and sound, they all gathered their stolen food and hid it in their hideout. To save it for another day.
She tore the bread in pieces and equally handed it to them. Even though they lived like this, the smile on their faces was wide and it never did vanish.
Mizu was living in the slums along with her peers who are struggling and stealing food in order to survive. Even though life was unfair to them, they still want to live, to live a life just like what a normal kid has.
It's getting dark, and the snow was falling heavily. Her peers went back first to their wrecked houses in the slums while Mizu and her friend Kuro, the oldest among the kids with 2 years gaps between their age, were left behind to tidy everything up on their hideout and make it ready enough to stand against the heavy snow later on. After an hour they also left and went home. While walking home, she hugged herself as the cold made her shiver.
"Mizu wait here."
"Huh? What?! Why-" Mizu asked in perplexed at Kuro who suddenly left her in a hurry. Waiting in this snow, made Mizu want to kick Kuro's butt. But her attention was suddenly taken by a crying sound beneath the wall of a certain alley. When she checked it, she saw a boy burying his face on his knees while hugging himself. He then stops crying and looked up at Mizu. Looking at this boy, he seemed just at her age.
"What happens? Are you alright?" she asked in concern.
The boy only stared at her and not saying a word.
"You child!" Mizu felt shivers down her spine when she heard the duckly voice of the vendor. 'He's still searching for us even now? What an old man.' But before the vendor can catch them, she grabbed the hand of the boy and ran.
His hand froze like he was outside for almost a day. Mizu looked at him while still running. He looked like an innocent boy who has no idea of anything around him and his weight was light as a paper.
After a long time of running and making sure no one was already chasing them. Mizu stops and gasped for air. Looking at the boy, his body was shaking terribly because of the cold, and he seemed like he had not eaten for a day.
Starving from hunger was a terrible experience for her.
Mizu let out half of the bread from her mini sling bag and gave it to the boy. This boy ate it immediately and afterward, she rubbed her hand and placed it upon the boy's face to make him warm.
"What is your name?" Mizu asked while still holding the little boy's face.
"I-I don't know..." His voice was almost cracked.
"Why are you here?" she asked.
"I-I don't know..." he murmured while his face was still confused.
"Are you like us?" she asked again but now she was curious about the boy.
"I don't know." The only phrase that he could utter.
While looking at the sky, Mizu saw the snowfall. She opened her hand and when the snowflakes dropped on her palm it disappeared immediately, but it's such a mesmerizing scene to watch.
Then suddenly an idea came to her, she excitedly looked at the boy and exclaimed, "Because you don't know your name and its such a hassle to say 'you' every time... I will call you Shiro! White as snow. You won't mind, will you?"
The boy only nods to her, to simply say yes.
Later on, they heard sounds of footsteps from a distance, Mizu stays on guard and gestured the boy to stay quiet and dragged him to hide.
"Mizu! Are you there?" She felt at ease when Mizu heard her friend's voice. She thought for a moment that it was the vendor.
"Kuro!" She gets out and called her friend.
"You idiot! Where did you go? I kept looking for you and thought that you might be in trouble!" He was always worried about her ever since then. He handed the thick sweater to Mizu that he found somewhere. Mizu grab it immediately and said, "So, this is the reason why'd you hurriedly left? I'm sorry."
"And who is that?" Kuro points to the boy beside Mizu. The boy only looked at them and when he saw her friend, he looked away and hides in her back.
"Oh, he is Shiro!" Mizu joyously stated while putting the sweater on the boy that Kuro just gave her, making Kuro's face turn to disbelief. After explaining what happened, they went back to the slums.
"What will you do about him?" The two were in front walking ahead and the boy was only following them.
"Hmm... I will let him stay in the house."
"What? Are you crazy?"
"It's not like I can just leave him there."
Kuro just sighed. He will never win if he will argue with Mizu.
"But your Mother will beat you again if she will know," he exclaimed.
Looking at the sky with a bittersweet smile and holding Shiro's hand, she said, "It's fine, I'm already used to it."
The white and freezing snow is dropping majestically and softly down in a rusty and wrecked roof of a house. It was small and built-in pieces of metals, woods, and a thick and dull color cloth that was all found in the junkyard.Inside the shallow hole on the ground located at the center of a certain room of a wrecked house. The light flickered in red and orange. Ember glows and sparkled from the small pieces of dried woods that were rapidly consumed by an aggressive fire. This made the room temperature warm.Two kids were lying on the ground, covered in a thick blanket that has many patches sewn on it. Mizu holds Shiro's hand that until now was still terribly trembling. "Was it because of the cold? Or something else?" she wondered. This boy's hand was soft and slender than any other kid's hand she ever holds. While holding it, she felt that it wasn't cold like before, and it's getting warmer.
District 33 is under the country called Hesteria. This place is divided into 3 areas: The town, the junkyard, and the slum. Wild forest surrounded this district.The town has its own wall that separates the two areas. Where most people have an average life, a mediocre, not too rich or too poor. Yet, still incomparable to the other areas of the said place. And they are under Government's care.The junkyard, a place where the waste of most districts are been dumped. This place is connected to the slums, where people in the slum get their materials and things for a living. They collect scraps in exchange for money or food.The slums, a place of poorest people. Even every day of their life is like hell and a battle against the grim reaper. It is an unlawful place where dead bodies are a natural occurrence every day. Corpses died in hunger, disease, or even murder. No one even cares,
Eyes were barely open, the vision was in a blurry state like it was covered by a thick white fog. When her eyes were already adjusted to its surroundings, the first thing she saw was their wrecked ceiling. She looked around hoping to see the figure of someone she badly wants to see, however, nothing came to her view. Realizing what happened that day was real, it hurts her extremely.Mizu just regained her consciousness after 3 days. In all those times that she's in her deep slumber, she never visits by a dream with her mom, neither with Shiro. She was only surrounded by cloudiness and all she did was running in a spiral all over again, shouting her favorite name until she was exhausted, wanting to escape from this labyrinth.Alone in this wrecked house, put her more on grave."What should I do now?" made her wonder.There's no mom who will scold
An outsider couple has come into the slums, they're about in the late '20s of age. The man was average in looks, yet have warm and gentle air that surrounds him. The body has a trace of physical training, a typical appearance for a good guy who protects justice. The woman was quite good looking, her alluring natural beauty will captivate anyone even without using any make-up. Her short light brown hair, sparkling amber eyes, tender lips always arching with a sweet smile are giving off an air of gentle flower around her. Just by glance, you can tell she's a perfect mother figure and kindhearted one.They're are looking for Hana, the mother of Mizu. Both lead in the junkyard where the hideout of the kids was. Knowing that the person they are searching for was already dead they search for the daughter instead. The woman introduced herself as Hana's younger stepsister, named Yuri Sodomaki, and the guy is her husband, named Taiga Sodomaki. They ar
Mizu was in awe seeing new and bright things outside the window of the running train. The bright pink flowers of fully bloom Sakura tree, the sparkling blue water of the sea, the conical mountain with snow cups on the top, the red tori gate she saw in the distance, the shrines, the skyscraper buildings that even her eyes can't see the top, and the crowded people wearing gallant clothes much better than the people she saw in town. She was so overwhelmed seeing new things that she can't stop her mouth to gape open.Today she seems to look like an ordinary kid.Yuri and Taiga, the married couple was smiling sweetly seeing her enjoying the scenery with them.This kindhearted couple was living in District 20. A place where people live in prosperity and harmony. Their small house was only one story, build strong with cement, modeled in western type house. There's a wide space in front where a beauti
Mizu was already 15 years old, a first-year high school student. It was spring season once again, a new beginning, a new hope, a new year to be filled with happy memories."Ma, Pa, I need to go now," Mizu said as her parents are still hugging her at the entrance of their school gate. The passerby is already looking at them weirdly, and time is tickling she was about to be late."O-our Mizu grows so fast, *sob, she's already a grown lady…" her Mother Yuri sadly stated."Our beautiful baby will surely have a bunch of admirers, *sob papa doesn't like that." her Father Taiga uttered. He was on his police uniform about to go to work.Her foster parents are very emotional on her being a high school student, this only means after 3 years she will be a college student and will be independent, leaving their house to have her own life, preparing he
"She was having a nightmare again. This time she's asleep for almost 4 days huh." a lady in a messy ponytail, hair dyed in red and fringe covered her enchanting amber eyes, are leaning in a door frame of the iron jail, while linking her strawberry flavored lollipop."Mizu always mumbling the names of her friends, painfully. Seems she's having a dream of that time again. Haunting her every time… she killed someone in this hell place." a blonde short hair woman, with red ribbon neatly tied on her hair, sadly said while wiping the beads of sweat on Mizu's smooth forehead, and putting a wet towel on it. She was taking care of unconscious Mizu, laid in a wooden bed without a blanket nor pillow in her room, every time she was suffering on a drastic fever."If it's not for her condition, she might be ahead of us, now. Anyway, she can leave this dirty place in her next match. She was about to reach level 11 anyway.
When Mizu wake up, all around her was a group of people she's not familiar with, in all ages from kids to adults. Most of them are terrified, crying, confused, and scared about where were they and what's happening. Mizu then noticed they've been locked up with shackles and chains on their hand, leg, and even on their neck. All of their chains are connected to each other.They were inside a big jail, no windows, no doors, only iron bars, and dim light coming from the walls. They seem inside a cave, yet no stalagmites or stalactites only a plain concrete wall built in an arc.Everyone has no idea where they are, nor know what will happen afterward.Mizu seated quietly, not minding the background noise. She was in her own space, in her own world. She was still mourning woefully at her parents' death. The horrible scenery was still fresh and vivid in her mind. Life only gives her a t