♘Chapter Twenty Choice One : Fight

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♘Chapter Twenty Choice One : Fight

Well, fight it shall be! I won't go down easily!

Quickly, ________ dashed towards the part behind the door after picking up a porcelain vase. The vase seemed to be empty but its sheer weight alone was making her arms wobble out of stress. Not that her arms were the only ones protesting, her nervousness was starting to make her heart race too. As hurriedly as she could manage, she positioned the vase above her head and prayed that her arms wouldn't give out and send the vase smashing onto her head instead. Luckily she didn't plan to throw the vase anytime soon, it wouldn't even make it out of her grip to her intended target. All she had to do was swing it onto the intruder's head, push them away and dart out of the house.

However, what came next? What should she do once she was out of the house? Where should she go to seek shelter? All that lay ahead of her seemed to be this intruder, the door and the dark future that awaited her no matter which road she went. Run until her legs shook from fright and lethargy? No matter what, the deadly haze would consume her eventually.

The more she thought, the more her will wavered. The banging on the door didn't cease but the door still stubbornly stayed in place and its hinges refused to creak. The longer ________ kept her hands above the vase, the heavier it became, as if trying to make her put it down. Despite this, she knew she couldn't, she certainly shouldn't put it down. The door could break apart any moment and if she was unlucky enough to have set the vase down, then all that would stand between her and the intruder would be the door and the vase that she couldn't pick up a second time.

Thoughts rushed and pummeled each other through her head and the the adrenaline was prompting her to run, but she stayed rooted. Her eyes were glued to the door, hoping that her position was a good one. She couldn't really stand in front of the door and risk being toppled over by the weight of the vase, neither could she stand far away and take a chance to throw it. No, she had chosen a good place; she couldn't leave and make up a new plan in such a short time.

Finally, the door was thrown off. Without hesitation, _______ violently swung the vase around the entrance and pushed it upwards as much as she could towards the head of the intruder. However, she felt the vase slip from her palm at the last moment and there was no sound that indicated the vase breaking. For a split second, she panicked whether she hit her target or not; but there was no time to wait as she was already sprinting around the door and ducking under the intruder's arms—

Her feet almost lost their footing. Ahead of her was a dark red void with completely no platform to hold her weight. Out of instinct, she flung herself back onto the solid ground of the house's entrance as the smoke that terrorized the village earlier started extending its hateful tendrils around the silhouette of the door and soon they engulfed the space that previously had an opening. The walls started crumbling too, and behind them was nothing but pure despair. From her vast experience of playing platform games, __________ knew that if she ever found herself falling down this endless hole, then she was truly, completely done for.

Her plan had just come collapsing down. There was no more road nor open window to lead her out of the house, the only way she could prolong her death was by running through the corridor of the house towards the other rooms. From the windows, the haze was engulfing the house. She didn't want to know where they came from but she definitely knew she wasn't going to bungee jump and hope the ground would catch her. If there was a back door, then she could probably run out that way and hopefully leave this wretched house. Without thinking her plan through, her feet pushed her up and she started running through the unknown layout of the house.

The house wasn't very big from the outside when she first caught sight of it, but she certainly hadn't accounted for the numerous doors that led from the dining room. She knew that she didn't have the luxury of checking what lay behind every door, so she went with her gut and started towards the door that she favored the most since all the doors were far away from her. Not that any of the doors were decorated with anything remotely fascinating, but she couldn't explore anything with such little room for margin of error.

The doorknob of the first door relented and she burst through, not knowing what lay beyond it. The corridor had plenty of stained glass windows that illuminated the danger outside, warning her not to stop. Her feet pounded on the floor as the windows started shattering and the smoke made its way inside. With each step she took, her breathing became more haggard and her strength started to wane. How long could she go on before her precision failed her? She refused to let her fear overtake her determination and continued to twist around corners. Would the smoke get off her trail and leave her in peace?

Wasn't there any way to stop the smoke from catching up with her?

Steadily, __________ started slowing down. Her face turned just a few inches to keep track of the smoke, but there wasn't anything chasing her anymore. All she saw were the pieces of glass that lay behind her, sealing off the way back. The only way she could go was forward, but there was nothing hot on her trail now. The warm rays of the sun shone brightly from the broken windows, illuminating the stained glass on the floor. To truly leave, all she had to do was raise her legs over the empty window frames, swing her feet over them, and walk away . .

It looked just like any sunny day, the perfect weather for a picnic. Had she imagined it all? The smoke, the nonexistent door, the furniture . . . The house? What about the way back? The sound of glass giving way under the pressure had rang behind her a few moments ago . . . Where were they?

Within the corners of her mind, something whispered comfortingly as if persuading her to calm down. The words promised her a peaceful and uninterrupted life far, far away from these nightmares that could erase her. If she could unclench her will and relax, then it would all be chased away and leave her forever . . The words were so tantalizing, and so close within reach. Just as she was about to let herself get swept away by bliss, a voice called her back to her senses.

No! Don't give in . .

Just like that, the illusion melted away and the glass continued to dance around her again in piercing shrills. Frightened, ________ prepared herself to bolt but this time there was truly nowhere to go. The glass flanking the sides of the road in front of her were now lying on the ground, and glass frames that led outside were no longer spacious; the smoke had occupied the once preen plain. She couldn't go forward or backwards unless she wanted the glass shards to pierce her feet. Tendrils wrapped around her legs and started spreading upwards, preventing her from turning around. They coiled around her whole body and started to hurt. She was trapped now.

"You were so hard to catch, and so speedy too. However, you gave up in the end . ."

From the void that surrounded her, a honeyed voice echoed as if the speaker was stalking around her immobile body. She could feel the malice from the tone caressing her body and started to shiver from the coldness. The rope around her mistook it as signs of struggling and gripped her like a vice, drawing blood.

She saw multiple pairs of cat eyes looking at her. Floating around, they regarded her closely. Soon, they formed into a blade and came down without any hesitation. ________ shut her eyes and braced herself for the impending doom; clinging onto the smallest sparks of hope that someone would save her.

Unfortunately, hope extinguished itself in the face of despair and help never arrived. Her life was forfeit as the blade sliced _________ in half.


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