I did it! I killed a dragon with a single sword strike! It’s unfortunate I crashed into a lamppost afterwards, but at least I made it to Ilya. She didn’t get eaten or burned. It looks like I didn’t take too long to break through the divine realm. Ilya Number Two is scared but safe. Her grandmother’s fine too. And Ilya’s dad looks unhurt as well. All the important people are accounted for. And there’s Snow!
“Snow, you bastard! It’s time for you to meet your maker!” I charged at the bunnykin and raised mini-DalDal into the air. I couldn’t use my qi since there were predators around, but there was no way Snow was going to escape my strike! My speed was an uncountable number of times faster than it was before. And I can see every minute movement of his.
The bunnykin screeched and raised his hands in front of his face. “I’m Reena! Reena!”
Oh. It’s a good thing my strength increased too, or I might not have been able to stop my sword in time. Phew.
“Snow’s over there, Lucia,” Ilya said and pointed at one of the predators. Underneath the predator, a pale figure was struggling to get free. Its legs and stomach were pinned by the predator’s weight. On top of the figure’s head, there was a pair of bunny ears. It’s Snow! “There’s something wrong with him though. I think he’s already dead.”
A flower was growing out of Snow’s ear. It was purple and a bit creepy, but it did make him look more feminine. It made me a little jealous. Bluish-green veins were decorating the surface of his skin, and his eyes were bloodshot but glazed over at the same time. “That’s really Snow?”
What happened to him? I walked over and crouched in front of him, but he didn’t seem to notice me. He was still trying to crawl out from underneath the predator. They weren’t even that heavy. Mrs. Wuffletush only weighed about three tons, and this predator’s even smaller than her. I know Snow poisoned me and all, but it feels a little wrong to kill him when he’s not paying attention to me. So I poked his head with the tip of my sword. “Hey.”
Snow stopped moving and looked up. His eyes widened before narrowing. He sighed as his arms’ movements ceased, and he rested his chin on the ground. “There was another legend in hiding? And you seem to be unaffected by the giant squirrels. How inconvenient. Mm, well, the family should understand if I fail.”
Snow’s voice didn’t sound like the one I heard way back when. Maybe he went through puberty? It doesn’t seem like he recognizes me. “Hey, Bouncykins. Are you there?” I lifted the predator off Snow’s body to check his feet. He tried to move, so I brought my sword down and cut off one of his arms. And he didn’t even scream. Am I disappointed? I’m not a sadist! There’s no way I’d be disappointed about someone not screaming when I cut them. But Bouncykins isn’t there. Snow’s not even wearing socks.
“What happened to you, Snow?”
“You knew me?” Snow asked and raised his head. Blood continued to pour out of his shoulder, and the veins on his body were shrinking back underneath the surface of his skin. “Interesting. I don’t have any memories about someone as strong as you.”
“Who are you?”
I looked at Ilya. “Did I get the wrong person? Is he another one of Snow’s cousins like Reena?”
“That’s definitely Snow Flopsy, Mrs. Fluffytail.” One of the henchmen who reported to Reena earlier stood up and bowed towards me. “He created the Flopsy Gang again after it was destroyed the first time. I was one of the new gang’s founding members. While adventuring, he thought he found a space with treasures, but when he came out, he had that flower on his head. Then he started changing.”
“And you still followed him?” Ilya asked.
The henchman shivered. “I didn’t want to die. He still treated us well as long as we did what he asked.”
Then … doesn’t that mean Snow’s already dead? I was cheated! How dare he die before I killed him!? “You bastard, give Snow back to me!” I grabbed the flower on Snow’s head and pulled at it. Snow screeched like a dying pig as a bloody root came out of his ear, attached to the flower. It was nearly three-feet-long and there were bits of brain-like matter attached to it. Ew.
Snow’s body shivered and convulsed. He thrashed around on the ground like a fish out of water, and his eyes were rolled upwards so that only their whites showed. Blood gushed out of his ear and shoulder, and I wasn’t sure if I should’ve cut his head off to put him out of his misery or not. Luckily, he stopped moving a few seconds later, and his eyes rolled back down. They were clear but a bit dull. “L-Lucia…?”
“You’re Snow Flopsy?”
A weak laugh escaped from Snow’s lips. “I won’t apologize for what I did. You deserved to be poisoned after treating me like you did during our travels.” His eyes dimmed even further as his eyelids drooped. “Just kill me. Please.”
…This isn’t the revenge I had in mind. Where’s the despair? Where’s the begging and pleading? He should be on his knees, praying for someone to save him. He should have a strong will to live! This, this is pathetic. I was poisoned by someone like this? “Where’s Bouncykins?”
Snow exhaled, and his chest and stomach deflated. “Dead.”
Dead? “Beg for your life, dammit!” Ah, why are my eyes hot? I’m not crying!
“I refuse…, dummy.”
“Snow Flopsy! You’re not allowed to refuse!”
“Idiot….” Snow’s eyes closed.
“You can’t die like this!”
The corners of Snow’s lips turned upwards. “Stu…pid.”
Am I crying? Who’s cutting onions? F***ing flower, what are you looking at? I stabbed the flower with the long, bloody root and tore it to shreds. It screamed, but it didn’t make me feel better. Wasn’t I supposed to feel better after getting revenge? Why don’t I feel better? The hatred’s gone…, but nothing replaced it. I was promised happiness; where’s my happiness? Snow, you bastard. You were the shittiest first beastkin friend a person could’ve made. And you didn’t even let me say goodbye. I hate you.