CHAPTER 6 Part 3: Last “Best” Gift
As I open my eyes, I saw my father breathing heavily with both arms and knees on the ground, his legs were heavily damaged. Cuts, scrapes, and burns cover his entire body.
“Did he manage to beat all of them?”
As I reach out to him feeling happy that he won.
I saw the familiar figure before in the market walk towards Griffin and strangled him.
“Y-you!” Griffin barely able to breathe said in a hoarse voice.
"It seems I underestimated you again, old friend… Unfortunately, this is where you die.”
Tears began to fall down my eyes as Yuna prevented me from coming out of our cover.
[he’s too exhausted, the wound on his back must be killing him from the pain, he used up all his strength! GRIFFIN!]
“Let go of me… please” I plead, wanting to run and use every spell I know to rain down on the man who is grabbing my father by the neck
“I can’t… I’m sorry” she cried, her heartbroken as she held me tightly not wanting to let go
[Please… I can’t take this anymore, haven’t we suffered enough? Don’t take this away from me. NOT AGAIN!]
I felt the whole world stop as the robed man tightened his grip on Griffin’s neck and grabbed my father’s face with his right hand. I clenched my fists and gritted my teeth while Yuna wrapped her arms around me, her head placed on my back not wanting to watch the scene, feeling powerless as I watch my father struggle to free himself from his old acquaintance. He tightened his hold on the man’s arms, tried to reach for his face, eyes, nose, anything that could result in his escape but to no avail. He tried to punch and kick, but the man didn’t budge. I couldn’t stop watching the scene in front of me, remembering the same feeling of helplessness as I lose every single member of my family on Earth.
The dreadful man twisted and ripped my father’s head from his body, his spinal cord still attached to his head. Blood sprayed violently. My heart sank deeper than the sea, I wailed softly the moment I saw the light in my father’s eyes disappear, the first person I ever saw since coming to this world…
He slowly left the battlefield, throwing my father’s lifeless corpse onto the cold hard ground and shaking off the blood from his hands. My hands started bleeding as I clenched my fists harder, nails digging deep into my palms, cursing on my mind, wanting to kill my father’s murderer.
A peasant-like Shadow Summon suddenly rose from the darkness, kneeling and handing the man the familiar grimoire that I was hiding underneath my bed. The man took the book and both slowly sank into their own shadows, disappearing into the darkness.
[I caused all this… if I hadn’t touched that book…] I blamed myself.
I run towards Griffin the moment they disappeared from the battlefield, finally out of Yuna’s arms. Fire burns violently in the background, painful screams echoing in the distance, streaks of blood dyed the white snow below my father’s body, ash falling down from the sky above.
Yuna came from behind grabbing Griffin’s dagger that was on the ground, tears still dripping from her eyes.
"This is his present to you.
Me, Mary, and Mom helped him look for this.
Aishita told me that Griffin was so excited to give this to you that he just kept staring at it whenever you weren’t around, she kept telling him to wrap his gift but argued that whenever he looks at this dagger, he sees you smiling uncontrollably from the ‘best’ gift you would ever receive… Stupid right?"
Yuna forced a smile as she hands Griffin’s gift, her eyes red, mouth quivering as she tries to stop her tears. My knees gave out the moment I got my father’s first and last “best” gift, holding it tightly in my arms, feeling the world’s weight crushing me down.
"I’m… so sorry… dad..." I said as I wailed, tears flowing like a violent river stream, unable to hold them back, feeling more guilt now that I know that somehow, I caused all this.