♞ Chapter Twenty Choice Two : Flight

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♞Chapter Twenty Choice Two : Flight

I can't compare strength with strength, the best I can do is run.

With that in mind, ________ took off down a random corridor of the house and left the living room behind. With no destination to move to, all she could do was run until she could conceal herself somewhere. The best idea she currently had was hide, wait for the intruder to walk away from her hiding spot, and get out through the open door. The banging outside the entrance was increasing in strength and velocity but the door wasn't giving way. If the door broke down eventually, then she couldn't use any way to take the enemy down. If it came to a battle of wits, maybe she could lure the enemy into the approaching smoke outside. After that, drop everything and run for her life.

Was there any place waiting for her? Was there anything she had to trigger to leave this hellhole? Or was she supposed to take refuge somewhere and wait for assistance? If the answer was the latter, _________ didn't know how long to wait or what to do during that time to keep herself alive. She wasn't sure if she would get hungry in this unrealistic world, nor did she know how to survive in this place. If she held hope and waited, there was no guarantee that someone would come and help her. So far, she knew of only one name that would probably try to shed light on her current situation as well as the danger in this world, but they weren't here right now; she would have to make do.

Before she could prepare herself any further, she found a dining room in front of her. The wall in front had many identical doors that decorated it. Judging from all of them, they lead to different rooms of the house but only luck could tell which one was able to lead her to a safe place. With no way of knowing, ________ chose a random door located on her right and proceeded to twist the doorknob. It crumbled to ashes in her hands and the door dissolved too, revealing a bedroom swathed in many gentle colors.

In the middle of the room was a plush bed with a few life sized dolls the color of peach sitting crosslegged at the feet of the bed. There were dolls the shapes of adults, teens, and children, and some of them were placed fastidiously so that they faced the window. However, the sunlight coming from the window didn't reach the dolls at all. Looking closely, ________ thought she saw the dolls glowing on their own with their white silhouettes emanating bright fairy lights. Did they belong to someone that still lived in this house? She felt like she had just invaded someone's privacy by setting foot within this room, but the presence of a window in this room was relieving. She could jump out of the house through the window since this room was on the ground floor, and probably run somewhere where the smoke and intruder wouldn't reach her.

Suddenly, _______ heard a girl's voice humming a tune. She turned around and saw a stranger with long curly hair holding a piece of paper in her hand. Without warning, the stranger looked behind her and started running towards _________, taking her back by surprise. She was about to bolt, thinking that the girl had caught sight of her but she merely ran right through _________ and into the room. As her body brushed through ________, she saw that the girl's outline emanated fairy lights just like the dolls. Frozen in place, _______ watched the girl's actions.

She walked around the room and inspected each of the teen-sized dolls closely without paying attention to the child dolls and the adult dolls. Whenever she chose one, she would stop in her tracks and hold up the doll's face, as if judging the compatibility of the doll to something. Finally, she settled on a lean one and pasted the piece of paper on the doll's forehead. She then summoned a small light and started to write something on the piece of paper with it. _______ watched her finger trace slowly over a letter . .

Just then, someone leapt out from the piece of paper that was pasted onto the doll's forehead towards ________ and grabbed her hand. Reflexively, she jumped back but then the figure in front of her materialized into a face she knew well. It was the face of the person who had warned her to keep running once she was in this world, how did he know where she was? As austere eyes started to color themselves into existence, Utatane Piko talked agitatedly to her.

"You're finally here, ________. They did not get you at all, did they?"

At his words, ________ remembered the situation she was in. The intruder far behind her that had probably busted the door down by now, the smoke, the villagers that died a gruesome death, and the destroyed town. The previous fear was now starting to take hold of her as the memories flooded back into her, and all she could do was shake her head. Noting her fright, Piko placed his free hand comfortingly on her shoulder and stared right into her eyes, probably attempting to calm her down. _______ noticed that he wasn't wearing his normal hoodie but was donning a weird looking outfit instead.

His hair that was almost always tied up was now flowing freely around his head, the rim of his dress-like outfit had cyan lights flickering on them, and he was wearing detached arm sleeves with an azure jewel the color of his left eye on the outside of each. His USB cord tail was trailing behind him freely behind black leggings and odd looking boots. Overall, he looked like a cybernetic version of her friend with his new clothes, but his eyes still contained the same gentleness that he always directed at her.

"I know you do not want to go through all that again, but there is still a long journey ahead of you. All I ask is that you keep yourself safe and alive so that you can be saved. That is why I asked you to run, you are being hunted."

Pausing momentarily, Piko glanced behind her and his eyes widened. Without waiting for _______ to say anything, he wrapped his arms around her and fell backwards. ________ turned around at the last moment and saw the dark red smoke start to seep into the room but they were repelled by the ashes of the doorknob she had touched earlier. She felt herself free falling through the same doll into a dark blue void with Piko clutching her tightly. Once both of them fell through, he ripped off the aforementioned piece of paper from the inside of the doll and kept a tight hold on it. ________ had no idea why he did that, but she wanted to get some peace and forget about the twisted world she had temporarily been in.

With its absence, the doll started to crack and its companions shattered too. However, the girl that had previously been sitting beside it was consumed by the smoke. ________ saw a gnarly claw with many cat eyes inside it press itself onto the doll, as if searching for a way to follow the two. Before she could comment on it, Piko gently turned her face away until she was looking at him. Looking at her sorrowfully, he ran his fingers through her hair and pressed her closer to him. It was a move that her friend normally wouldn't do, but she was too relieved to find a companion that no words came out for fear of breaking this comforting illusion.

"Please entrust yourself to me for the time being, _________. Nothing can harm you while I'm here."

He was kind enough to shield her eyes from the smoke, but she could hear sounds of crumbling glass behind them as they descended down the void. She didn't want to survive on her own with nothing to guide her, but there was no decision to make. The adrenaline had left her unable to relax, but soon she felt her wakefulness waning and fell asleep in Piko's arms, dreaming of a time where she would not face death again.

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