His hand was gone and it hurt. But he didn’t have time to focus on the pain. He’d suffered from painful injuries during plenty of fights. At least this time he hadn’t been poisoned. He would still be able to fight just fine. It was his right arm he needed anyways. And he still had that.
What he needed to focus on was the demon in front of him. Upper Moon One. His ancestor. Apparently. He hated to think of him that way though. This wasn’t what he had expected when the Ubuyashikis had told him about his ancestor way back when they’d first tried to recruit him and Yui. He hadn’t thought he would look like this thing standing in front of him.
He could deal with the pain. But he did his best to ignore it of course. What was more important right now was stopping the bleeding. If he could do that, he could continue to fight no problem. He wouldn’t need to worry about bleeding out. He ripped off part of his left sleeve and used it to wrap around his upper arm, using his teeth to help himself tie it.
It was how he’d always watched Yui tie knots when he needed to. He always used his teeth. Muichiro had always offered to help him of course, but Yui always protested, claiming he could do it himself, which he always did just fine. Muichiro was glad he’d had all those chances to watch his brother do that. Knowing what to do helped him to stop the bleeding quicker than he would have otherwise.
With his hand on his sword, he ran towards Upper Moon One ready to jump back into the fight. There was no time to take a break. As he got ready to use Fourth Form, he felt his sword being ripped from his hand, turned back around on him and driven through his right shoulder, pinning him to a column behind him.
It hurts. It hurts.
“My descendant, I will have His Lordship use you as a demon.”
He felt the sweat dripping down his face. All he could do was stare at the demon in front of him as he bit back screams that were trying to force their way out. He wouldn’t give him the satisfaction.
“The fact that you’re my descendant is surprising and deeply moving to me.”
He wished he would stop referring to him that way. He hated the idea of him and Yui being the descendants of this thing. He didn’t look anything like them. He was far uglier. He was glad they didn’t get their looks from him at least. He wasn’t fun to have to look at for so long.
“Yes, there is nothing to fear. As for your arm, if you become a demon, you will grow a new one. I am now the only Upper Moon demon capable of fighting effectively. I’m sure His Lordship will approve of you.”
There was no way he was going to become a demon. He wouldn’t allow that to happen. He couldn’t just leave Yui like that. He had to keep fighting. If only he wasn’t stuck. He couldn’t yet force himself to turn him down, knowing the words wouldn’t come out right with all the pain he was in.
“I will stop your bleeding. Humans are so fragile.”
The demon pulled out some bandages and started wrapping Muichiro’s stump. He didn’t know why a demon would have bandages on him. He thought they were supposed to heal quickly. Maybe he was just weaker than he liked to think. If he wasn’t stuck dangling from his sword, he was sure he could beat him easily.
But honestly, he was starting to wish that the demon would just kill him already. He wondered if he’d ever stop talking. He couldn’t seem to shut up. Demon should be killing humans, not playing doctor. He would much rather die than be forced to look at the demon’s ugly face any longer. The fact that he had six eyes was really gross to him. He and Yui really lucked out. They were a lot nicer looking in his opinion.
“However, if you bleed to death, or His Lordship doesn’t approve of you and you die, then death was always your fate. In that case you were no greater a man than that.”
He finished wrapping the bandages. Muichiro figured he could finally speak now, without sounding like he was in too much pain.
“I won’t let you turn me into a demon. I don’t want to be ugly like you.” That last part he hadn’t meant to say out loud, but it was too late to go back and fix it, so he just continued. It probably didn’t matter anyways. “I don’t care if my hand is gone. I don’t need to grow it back. My brother does just fine without his arm. I’ll be just fine without it.”
“You have a brother?” Muichiro couldn’t quite explain the expression on the demon’s face. He blamed that on the fact he had too many eyes than anybody ever should. It made it much harder than it should have to read him.
The demon stared at him for a while, not saying anything more. He then reached a hand up to Muichiro’s head, grasping onto some of his hair. He pulled Muichiro’s head forward then slammed it back into the column.
Pain spread through Muichiro’s head before everything went black.
Muichiro woke up to the sound of screaming. His head was throbbing, and the screams didn’t do much to help with that. It wasn’t just his head that hurt either. When he tried to move his right arm, pain shot out from his shoulder, and his left arm didn’t feel that great either.
He couldn’t remember what had happened. All he knew was that he’d been hurt, and at some point he had likely been knocked out. He couldn’t even remember where he was. He blamed the confusion on his head injury.
The screaming turned into yelling, but Muichiro couldn’t make out the words. His head hurt too much to focus on them. The yelling itself was making it harder to concentrate. Why couldn’t the person stop already? The voice sounded vaguely familiar, but he couldn’t quite place it. If he would just stop, Muichiro would be able to think more clearly and figure it out.
Eventually, he managed to crack his eyes open. He hoped getting a nice look around might help him remember where he was. What he had been doing. What was going on. However, it only left him more confused. He didn’t recognize where he was at all, and he was pretty sure it wasn’t just because the room felt like it was spinning. It wasn’t a location he was familiar with.
He went to push himself into a sitting position to get a better look at what was going on. He first moved his right arm, placing weight onto it slowly, trying to ignore the pain in his shoulder. He could handle it. It wasn’t too bad.
The problem came with his left arm. When he went to place down his left hand, he learnt the hard way that it wasn’t a good idea.
There was no hand.
Just a stump.
And it hurt .
He cried out, unable to stop himself.
He did manage to sit up somehow, despite the pain, using just his right arm.
He did finally remember what was going on, so something good came out of the pain at least. A demon, Upper Moon One, his ancestor, had cut off his hand. Then he’d stuck him to a column, impaling him with his own sword. And then instead of killing him, he’d just knocked him out.
Earlier they had all run into Muzan. It was the first time any of them, except for Tanjiro, had seen him. Tonight was the night they were going to finally be fighting him. They were going to win. And Muichirio couldn’t just sit around like this. He needed to help. He was a Pillar. He couldn’t just sit around doing nothing. Who knows how much time he’d wasted being unconscious.
This time, only using his right arm to help him, he forced himself to his feet. He wouldn’t make the same mistake with his left arm again. Thankfully, his legs weren’t damaged at all. He could stand up just fing. His right arm was well enough that he’d be able to hold his sword. He would just have to suffer through a bit of pain, but he’d dealt with worse. He’d be fine in the fight with Muzan.
As he stood, the room started spinning. Worse than it already was.
He threw up.
He stumbled, not able to keep his balance.
He wished his head didn’t hurt so bad.
He was going to fall.
But before that could happen, he felt an arm wrap around his waist, gently lifting him off of his feet. He looked up, to see who had caught him. It was Himejima. He was crying which wasn’t really new, but it felt different for some reason. Maybe it just felt that way because of his head.
“You shouldn’t be up,” Himejima told him.
Muichiro opened his mouth to protest, but he got distracted when his eyes landed on the source of the yelling. Shinazugawa knelt on the ground across the room in tears, as he leaned over Genya, who lay bleeding in front of him. He’d never seen Shinazugawa cry like that.
No. It was only half of Genya.
It would be okay though, right? Because he ate demons. He would heal like them too. He had to. But then why would Shinazugawa be crying?
“What... what’s wrong with Genya?” he slurred. His words wouldn’t come out right. He was getting frustrated with his head injury. He didn’t understand why the demon had just knocked him out like that. It came out of nowhere. As soon as he’d brought up Yui.
“The three of us were fighting Upper Moon One,” Himejima said as his way of explaining. He slowly lowered Muichiro to the ground, leaning him up against one of the columns, so the Shinazugawa brothers were still in view. Then he continued. “We defeated him, but we’ve lost Genya.”
It took awhile for Muichiro to fully comprehend what was happening. His head still hurt so much. Genya was crumbling. Crumbling to dust just like all the demons he’d ever killed had done.
His best friend was dying right in front of him, and he couldn’t do anything.
There would be no body to bury.
His cheeks felt wet.
He didn’t know when that had happened.
If he’d been conscious during the fight, Genya might not be dying.
In just a few moments, he was gone. All that was left was Shinazugawa crying over a pile of Genya’s clothes.
“I’m cold,” Muichiro said, words still slurring.
“Let’s get your shirt back on.”
Muichiro looked down at himself, only just now noticing the bandages wrapped around his chest, covering the wound on his shoulder. He wondered if it had been the demon. He had been the one to bandage his arm after all, so it wouldn’t surprise him too much.
“Genya got you down and bandaged you up before joining me and Shinazugawa in the fight,” Himejima said as if reading his mind. He started to wonder if maybe he’d been speaking out loud and just hadn’t noticed.
Himejima began to help Muichiro back into his shirt, carefully moving his arms, so that they wouldn’t cause him too much pain. Only once did he move his right arm in a way that made him almost cry out. He hoped Himejima didn’t notice. He didn’t need him to feel bad over something so minor.
“Shinazugawa and I will be leaving shortly,” Himejima informed him as he finished getting Muichiro back into his shirt. “Upper Moon One might be dead, but we still have to defeat Muzan. You’re going to be staying here.”
“I’m going with you. I don’t want to stay here,” Muichiro said. He had been completely useless in this fight, and because of that Genya was dead. He wasn’t going to stay here and let somebody else die just because he’d been injured a bit. He would feel so guilty if anybody died and he wasn’t there to fight, when he was perfectly capable of helping.
“You’re staying here,” Himejima said again. “You’re left hand is gone, you don’t seem to be able to move your right arm without causing any pain, and you can’t even stand.” So he had noticed about his right arm. Although Himejima was blind, he was very observant.
“I haven’t done anything. I’m a Pillar. I should be helping. I can’t just stay here and let people die.”
Himejima took off his haori and draped it over Muichiro’s shoulders. He must have noticed he was still shivering. “You’ve helped us enough. At the state you’re in, you’d just slow us down.”
He was right, and Muichiro hated that. He was useless right now. He couldn’t even think straight. And if he was already like this, chances were he wouldn’t last long. He knew it wasn’t fair to wish to stay alive, when he knew others were dying or had already died. But he needed to get back to Yui. He needed to stay alive for him.
“I’ll stay here,” he said finally.
“You can return that after this is over,” Himejima said, gesturing to his haori. “Shinazugawa or I will make sure to come find you after this is over. I promise. Your sword is right next to you in case anything happens.” He gently placed a hand on Muichiro’s head. “Don’t blame yourself for any of this. You did what you could. You fought him off long enough.”
Muichiro could only watch as Himejime got to his feet and made his way over to the crying Shinazugawa. He wanted to go with him so badly, but he couldn’t even force himself to stand up right now, no matter how much he wanted to. They spoke for a while, and then they were gone.
Muichiro was alone.
He would just have to wait for them to return.
They would return.
But they never did.