Chapter 14: Echoing Bells

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3rd POV


Everyone in the stands was staring at strange, giant hammer that the male pilot was carrying with curiosity and interest. The various leaders of countries around the world were gazing down with awe and shock at the tech that far surpassed that of their individual home countries. And his opponent was trembling as her eyes ran over the instrument of her terror.

She had already determined that her chances of winning had dropped significantly, but she still held onto hope.

"Begin!"

The announcement rang out, but neither moved. As if everything had come to stand still, Rin heard the wind, which gently blew through the arena, like a hurricane. Her heartbeat was so loud, she believed her eardrums would rupture.

He just stood there.

Waiting.

Even without having the cold steel of the end of a pistol pushed against her head, even in the supposedly 'safety' of her I.S, she could stop herself from trembling. She couldn't stop herself from feeling that oh so familiar sensation when she stared at him.

A feeling of her heart tightening as if an invisible hand was grasping it with a grip that threatened to crush her entire being. With all of this, the illusion she had seen once before began to shape itself again. 

To her, what stood in front of her, not a soldier, not a student, and definitely not human. All she could see was what her mind had created to help her comprehend how she felt about the boy in front of her. 

Death itself had drapped itself around Yn. Wrapping its arms around his neck from behind, its scythe positioned exactly as his hammer, signifying how cautious she should be of it, and its gaze didn't even seem to be on her. It was almost as if it was looking through her, looking beyond. 

And it terrified her. 

None of the audience could see him in the same way as she could, for none of them had to face what could only be described as an unstoppable force.

This place...

She glanced around the arena, staring at the walls of energy, the barrier that protected the people from stray shots and attacks.

...this isn't an arena...

She slowly began to realize.

...this is a cage...

Her heart dropped. No way out, and she couldn't surrender easily either, it would damage China's reputation. She could always forfeit in the middle, at least show how powerless she was so people could understand. But that would mean...

"That would mean...I'd have to actually...fight him..." she whispered to herself as she tried looking back to the entrance she had entered the arena from, only to see it had been locked up tightly.

This is a cage. And I'm trapped in here. With him...

"!"

Hearing what she believed to be the tiniest movement from Yn, her head whipped back to where he was standing, almost dismissing the fact that she had just fired her impact cannons as a reaction to her sudden startle.

Her eyes scanned where he was. Or at least where he had been previously. It was nearly impossible to perform a sneak attack when your opponent was in an I.S since the I.S altered the pilot's senses so they could basically see in 360 degrees vision, but it did not help Rin when she was forced to look upward, staring at the shadow that she had a hard time pinpointing from the sunlight beaming behind it.

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