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Unusual Duo

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“Urgh…” The feeling of your throbbing head made you dizzy as you groaned in pain and held your temple to ease the pain. Looking around, the place doesn’t seem familiar to you. Just a big empty white room with no windows or anything.

 

“What the— how did I get here…?” You hissed in pain, trying to remember how you get into this unknown situation, but to no avail, there was nothing coming to your head. Might take some time for me to fully remember. You sighed in disappointment.

 

Standing up, with a slight tumble as you did, you fixed your clothes and tidied up your hair.

 

“Beginning voiced guidance…” The voice echoed throughout the room making you look around where the source of the sound came from. The voice called out your name. “Please proceed to the door in front of you. Watch your step as you proceed and please bring along that bag placed beside you.”

 

Searching around, you furrowed your brows in confusion, no signs of any mentioned object in the room until you looked down. “Oh…” As you reached for the bag, you noticed a familiar maroon beret lying against the floor. You placed the beret on your head comfortably and the sling of the bag on your right shoulder.

 

Your heels clicked on the floor as you walked towards the door. Opening it, you felt a strong breeze kissed your skin. You shivered at the coldness. You pulled the sleeves of your sweater closer to you as much as possible to find warmth to your shivering figure.

 

Apart from the wind, you were greeted by nothing but darkness. “Seriously…?” You muttered to yourself.

 

“Oh, and lastly,” The voice called out to you but you were already moving forward, you can only hear muffled words as you take your step. Your vision darkened as you walk, so you transferred near the wall, touching the surface as your guide.

 

You could only hear your breathing and your shoes clacking against the floor as you advanced. How long is this? You don’t know but you were sure you’re getting impatient. If there’s nothing going to happen the next step you sure are going back to that room.

 

It seems the gods had heard your wish as you didn’t feel any hard surface or the sound of the heels of your shoes clicking on the floor.

 

There was only an empty ground.

 

Then you could only hear yourself screaming as your body was swooped down by the winds.

 

 

 

 

You bolted upright and clutched your chest in surprise. Remembering the scenario of yourself falling, your vocal cords released a loud scream that made the unknown people cover their ears.

 

With them surrounding your sweating body, now moved away.

 

You didn’t care if it broke their eardrums. You just wanted to stay as far away from them as possible, wanting to protect your own self. You just wanted to go home then got into this weird situation. What did you do to deserve this?

 

Wait, is this a surprise party for me?!

 

“AAHHHHHH!!!” Your screaming hasn’t stopped and you crawled backward until you felt the cold wall touched your clothed back. “W-who are you?!” You shakily lifted your finger at them and one man raised both of his hands as if in surrender.

 

“Whoah, calm down there, missy. Everything’s going to be alright. We just wanted to check if you’re okay.” The blond man asked in a sluggish tone.  You raised your arms in defense and squinted your eyes at him in suspicion.

 

You reached out for the bag (you just realized you weren’t holding it) and lifted it, ready to smack him if he does anything to you.

 

“Hey, it’s alright. We won’t hurt you.” You whipped your head when you heard a boyish voice beside you. You looked up and was met by a warm teal eyes. He reached out his hand for you asking you to take it. You hesitatingly grasp his hand with yours as he lifted you up.

 

Cold.

 

That was the first thing that came to your mind the moment you touched him.

 

Shaking that thought off, you once again tidied up your appearance then placed all your weight in one leg, resting your hands on your waist. “So… can anyone tell me what’s going on here?”

 

“That’s what we want to know.” The man who helped you spoke as he fixed his scarf. You looked back at the blond man who nodded with his answer. Before you could speak out, someone was screaming out your name.

 

“[NAME]-NEE-CHAN!!!!” You turned around and saw a familiar brunette running up to you with a big smile plastered on his face. You felt your lips tugged upwards as your heart suddenly lightened in relief to see someone you haven’t seen for a long time.

 

“JOE-KUN!!”

 

“JOE!!”

 

Another voice synchronized with yours and you saw a girl with a ponytail running up behind him as she punched him in the shoulder. The boy hissed in pain, stopping midway of his running to give a big bear hug.

 

You peered over his shoulder and saw another familiar face. She was gritting her teeth in anger. Still not aware of your presence, you called out her name in a playful tone. “Sara-chie~”

 

At the mentioned of her name, she stopped hitting Joe, much to his relief, and turned her head to look at you. Her purple eyes gleamed in delight then ran up to you to give you a hug. “[Name]-nee-chan!” Joe grumbled to himself as he rubbed his shoulder to ease up the pain that was aching.

 

“I was supposed to be the first one to give her a hug.”

 

“Well too late.”

 

“H-hey!”

 

Sara hasn’t still released you from her hug, she just only snuggled her face onto your neck. You felt her gripped the back of your sweater and tightened her hold on you. “Yo~ How you’ve been?” You casually asked her and brushed her hair aside.

 

Joe joined with the hug but he tightened it even more making it difficult for you to breathe. Though, you didn’t mind since you understand how he felt seeing you again. “Y-you’re back?! Since when?! You didn’t tell me—“

 

“Us.” Sara corrected.

 

“You didn’t tell us you’re coming back.”

 

“Yeah about that it was supposed to be a surprise but looks like it still is.” You laughed heartily forgetting the current situation. The sound of someone clearing their throat reached their ears. “Hey, sorry to bother the reunion, but we need to understand what’s going on here.”

 

“So, Joe, Sara, and [Name], eh? The muscular blond breathed out all your names catching all of your attention. “You two are siblings or something?” He asked.

 

You chuckled and shook your head. “No, but I wish they are.” You draped your arms on Sara’s and Joe’s shoulder and pull them closer to you, squishing all your cheeks together. “Oh how much I miss you two~”

 

“Missing you as well, [Name]-nee!” Joe laughed with you, not minding the childish act you have.

 

“Well, it’s good to see Joe here started speaking up. We’re all wondering where are we and what are we doing here, right?” The man faced the other people standing in the room. You forget (again) that the three of you weren’t just the only one here. There are about 12 people in this room including yourself.

 

“How about we introduce ourselves? Should ease the suspicion a little, at least.” He said whilst placing his hand on the back of his neck. “Introductions, you say…?” The man in apron repeated.

 

“What else can we do, right?”

 

And so each of you introduce yourselves, giving a little info about themselves. You tried your best to remember all their names. Keiji, the policeman. Mishima, a high school teacher. Reko, a singer. Q-taro (What a weird name. You thought) a baseball player. Nao, an art college student, and Kai, a homemaker.

 

Then it’s finally your turn.

 

“Yaho~ The name’s [Name] [Last Name], you can call me anything you want! I’m 19 turning 20 this year. And my birthday is on— mph?!” Your intro has been interrupted when someone covered your mouth with someone’s hands. “N-nee-chan, are you seriously giving out your info that much?!” Sara whispered to you, still not letting go. You grabbed her hand and placed it down.

 

“It wasn’t that much.” You pouted as you twirled one of your [hair color] locks. Joe snickered in amusement. “You still haven’t changed have you, [Name]-nee?”

 

“Of course I haven’t. Well, besides after graduating high school…” Your mood dropped down, remembering back your high school days. “Whaattt? But I like your style back then!” He puffed his cheeks playfully and placed his arms behind his head.

 

“Don’t remind me of that, Joe-kun.”

 

“But you’re the one who mentioned it first.”

 

“Oh…”

 

Sara heaved a sigh at their shenanigans but it actually calmed her a bit to see them smiling. Yet, she couldn’t get off of her mind how she almost died. Cold sweat dripped down on her neck as her face paled. No, let’s forget about that. What’s important is that we survived.

 

She enveloped her arm with yours and smiled at the crowd. “Pardon her. She’s quite… eccentric. But you’ll get used to it.” She assured them with a gentle smile.

 

“[Name]-nee-chan is currently working as a model!” Joe proudly expressed to everyone, puffing out his chest and giving that goofy smile of his. Half of the people awed and looked at you, no wonder why you look so attractive. Your maroon beret snugly placed on the crown of your head as your locks smoothly falls down stopping at your waist. A sweater with a small rose design planted slightly above your chest with a checkered skirt tugged in it.

 

The beanie guy looked at you with a vigilant look. Scrutinizing your appearance and sticking it in his mind. He switched his gaze to the other direction when your eyes met with his for a second.

 

You raised your brow in confusion wondering whose intense look was that. It only gave you shivers and pull your sweater closer to your body. You fixed your purse that was falling off your shoulder. “I’ll just take that as a compliment, Sara-chie. And Joe-kun, you don’t have to brag about my occupation.” You grinned at the two, ignoring the chill you felt.

 

The discussion continued until Sara asked you what you were doing before coming here. You closed your eyes and placed your fingers on your chin, trying to remember the events. “Oh, right! I was waiting for a taxi to pick me up, but when I entered I suddenly blacked out.” You hummed in affirmation, though your demeanor changed once again.

 

“Looks like I wasn’t able to do my surprise act for you, huh…” The teenager flinched and assured you that you did surprised them. “Not in this way.” You corrected. You pressed your lips to a thin line, still bitter the effort you’ve gone through only to be wasted by this— whatever in the world that’s currently happening to all of you.

 

Sara faced her friend. Knowing what she meant just by her eyes, he nodded and faced all of you. “Sara was being harassed by a stalker, so I went home with her that day.” At the mention of harassed, you pulled the two friends closer to you in a protective manner.

 

“Can you elaborate that for us, Joe-kun?” The said male bobbed his head and continued telling something happened to her household and how the stalker was there. Sara’s optics widened and faced her friend. “That’s the first I’ve heard of that!” She exclaimed.

 

Joe only chuckled at her reaction. “Didn’t have a chance to mention it.”

 

The female only grumbled to her goofy friend. The brunette continued his story, telling you he failed saving Sara from the stalker, though you appreciated his effort to do that for the sake of his friend. It made your heart tugged so you pulled him closer to you once again, nuzzling his cheeks with yours.

 

“Aww, you’re such a hero.” You wiped the small tears falling off your cheeks as you shakily sniffled. “[Name]-nee, I’m not a kid anymore.” He complained. Even though you’re very aware that you still pet his hair like a child much to his discontent.

 

Next one was the guy who helped you. You stared at his appearance for a good minute, wondering to yourself why he seems familiar. Or perhaps it’s just your mind tricking you that you know that man. “My name’s Sou Hiyori. Err… well, just a job-hopper. Ahaha…” He sadly chuckled. He doesn’t seem confident with his introduction.

 

You shook your head, not because of his statement but his lack of confidence. You always see him smiling. Possibly he’s the timid type.

 

“Definitely a bottom.” You muttered to yourself. Joe and Sara looked at you in puzzlement whilst Sou blinked his eyes at you owlishly. “D-did you say something…?” He asked as he fiddled with his scarf.

 

You giggled and waved your hand at him in denial. “Nah, it’s not that important.”

 

Even if you said it like that, it still bothers me! Sou fussed inside his head and just held a strained smile at you.

 

You sure are odd.

 

Your attention started to fade as you just absentmindedly stare at the girl quivering in fear. Getting caught of you looking at her, she stepped back and held her hands closer to her chest as her face paled even more than you could imagine.

 

You approached her slowly to alleviate her uneasiness and crouched down to her eye level. She let out a short gasp and stepped back once again. As she moved away from you, her stepping slipped and the gravity pulled her down heavily. The little girl closed her eyes tightly, waiting for the impact to greet her but she only felt something warm grabbed her arm and pulled her until she felt a breathing tickled the side of her ear.

 

Instead of pushing away from this unknown person like what she should’ve done, she only stayed in her place, frozen like a statue. The girl’s tensed shoulders calmed down as she buried her face on the person’s neck.

 

Now it was your turn to be confused. You blinked several times trying to understand what was happening. You weren’t expecting this, you thought the girl will shove you away or something, not a hug. You didn’t know where to place your hands so you just awkwardly patted her head, trying your best to calm her down.

 

You faced Sara and mouthed Help me! You didn’t want to move her so you just let her do whatever she wanted, making sure she’s fine.

 

“Um.. are you okay?” Sara softly asked her. “If you’ve calmed down, could you talk to me?”

 

The girl lifted her head a little to peek at the one who’s speaking. From the corner of your eyes, you saw her opened her mouth slightly. “I’m Kanna Kizuchi….”

 

“Could you tell me about yourself?” The teenager softly inquired. Kanna hesitatingly nod and looked down to avoid Sara’s gaze sticking on her figure. She informed her that she’s in middle school and explained what happened before getting abducted.

 

Kanna and her sister went out for some ice cream, talking about what they would have for dinner. As they were walking, some suspicious people came out of a car and when they woke up they were suddenly brought here.

 

Were they kidnapped? You thought.

 

Sara bit her lip thinking for a moment if she should ask the girl a question that bothered her for a while after Kanna’s information.

 

Someone.

 

When Sara mentioned the girl’s sister, you felt her body quivering. You inspected her for any signs of discomfort and you saw her complexion changed into purple. Her lips were shaking, nails hitting against your skin, green eyes getting darker.

 

Kanna was breathing heavily, panting against you. Before you could calm her down, she let out a loud scream, crying that it was all her fault. Soon after, her body passed out and you caught her swiftly by holding her small waist from falling.

 

Tears stained her pale cheeks, green tresses disarray. Not just her, but everyone else is a mess. Just what in the world happened?

 

 

 

 

You laid Kanna on Nao’s lap as you discussed with other people what to do next. Q-taro called for everyone’s attention and held an enormous box. “Was this from the First Trial?” Sou inquired and the giant nodded. Joe let out a baffled noise, his thoughts are in shambles wanting to know if everyone had different trials.

 

“Trials…?” You muttered. Sou looked at you from his mid-peripheral vision and quirked his brow at you. “Yeah… everyone was tasked to do something in order to survive.” His face darkened and looked at you with sharp eyes. “Or perhaps you didn’t do anything?”

 

You waved your hand at him in a dismissive gesture and said, “No no, the voice didn’t told me it was a trial or anything like that, but they did ask me to do something.” His eyes light up again and gave you a sad smile. “Oh is that so? Pardon me for being rude.”

 

Your attention went back to Q-taro who was holding the box. Everyone gathered near him to see what it is and Keiji tried to open it but won’t budge. Sara looked at the three holes placed in front, realizing what it was for, she took out the key from her pocket and placed it on the hole.

 

“It fits!”

 

Nao searched for her key and gave it to her then looked for Kanna’s key. Sara inserted both keys to the slot and the sound clicking reached their ears.

 

“Alright, let Mr. Policeman handle this. It’ll be dangerous to handle it to someone else.” You and the others stepped back to make way for Keiji and watched him slowly open the box. When he peeked inside, his features turned white. Before he could stop everyone, Sara already saw what’s in it.

 

Inside was a girl’s head.

 

Joe fell down to his bottom as he let out an ear-splitting scream.

 

“WH-WHAT THE HELL IS THAT?!”

 

You leaned forward to see what they were screaming about, and sure it was, it really is a head of a girl. You let out a whistle and rested your hand on your hips. The head dropped to the floor and let out a loud thud, the people gathered near it scattered, moving away from the severed head.

 

“Wait, isn’t it just a doll?” Sou remarked as he touched the hair of the doll. “Oh, you’re right.”

 

“Hey, there’s a note inside.” Sara grabbed the piece of paper and scanned the words neatly written on it.

 

Find my body

Bring me back

For I don’t have arms or legs

 

“We have to find the body parts of this… thing?” You cringed in disgust, whether this game is a prank or not, it’s not even amusing. “Looks like we have to search around to look for the body parts.”

 

“Let’s search in groups!” The teenage boy suggested.

 

Reko and Nao will watch over Kanna. Mishima and Gin, the strange little boy, will go to the first hallway while Keiji and Joe will search in the second hallway. The sensation of tapping on your shoulder made you turn around and quirked your brow to face who did it. “Wanna search together?” Sara asked. You agreed with her immediately, glad she’s the first one to approach you since Joe was already with the policeman.

 

Before the two of you could walk around, someone called out your name. “Hey, [Name]-san.” The teal-haired male approached the two of you and you greeted him with a wave. “Oh, hey, Sou.” The male fidgeted with his scarf and looked at you in the eye.

 

“You don’t mind if I search with you two?” Sara’s eye twitched in uncertainty and tilted her head to the side. “Eh…?” Sou looked away from her and faced the ground, rubbing the nape of his neck in embarrassment.

 

“S-sorry! If you can’t trust me… that’s fine…” The way he talked made you chuckled and grabbed his arm. “What’re you talking about? Of course, you can join! The more the merrier!” You winked at him and intertwined your arms with him.

 

“Um…” The male gave you a crooked smile, slightly unsettled by your chirpiness. Sara called out by your nickname and you removed your arms from him to fix your beret. “Oops, sorry about that.”

 

He let out a nervous chuckle, just to get used to your eccentric behavior. You looked at them from your shoulder as you gave a big grin at them, interlacing your fingers at your back since both of them doesn’t seem to be comfortable with you being touchy-feely.

 

“Alright, shall we go?”