The swarthy-skinned leader seems unable to comprehend the situation.
He just continues to stare wide-eyed at Alicia.
And Alicia is standing there frozen, ax raised, her face becoming grimmer by the second.
A deep rivet cuts between her eyebrows and her expression looks strained, like she’s putting in everything she’s got.
Like she’s desperately trying to move.
She must be fighting Liz Cather’s magic with every fiber of her being right now, but from head to toe, not even a single muscle gives.
Even her voice seems to be sealed.
…..That’s the saintess for you alright.
No one can match her in sheer magical power.
I look towards the door and scream as loud as I can, “Liz Cather! Stop!”
But my words don’t seem to register with her at all.
Even if they did, she probably wouldn’t understand what I wanted her to stop doing.
They do seem to strike a chord with the swarthy-skinned leader though.
My yell seems to have shaken him from his stupor and allowed him to guess at the current situation.
“Gahahaha! Can’t move, canya!” he mocks, laughing maniacally and showing off his stained, rotting teeth.
Reaching into his jacket pocket, he pulls out a small blade.
For the first time since this whole battle started, Alicia’s expression turns impatient.
I realize that yelling won’t solve anything, but I can’t help it.
The cry is ripped from my throat as I watch the man approaching Alicia, knife at the ready, a sinister smile creeping onto his face.
Fear stabs through me as I curse my inability to move.
No matter how desperately I tell my legs to work, to do something, they don’t budge an inch.
And for the first time I realize that they must be broken.
I hadn’t had the time to even notice that until now.
I give up on using my legs and reach out with my arms, dragging myself painfully across the floor over to Alicia.
When I’m just about to reach her, the swarthy-skinned leader walks leisurely over to me and raises his big, thick, leather boot.
With a smirk, he stomps it down as hard as he can on my hand.
There’s a crunch as the bones of my hand are crushed.
I hear insane laughter from above me as he continues to grind his boot down.
I try to raise my head to look but before I do, he lifts his foot just long enough to send a vicious kick to my abdomen.
My whole body lifts off the ground with that kick and revolves in the air.
Time once again seems to slow to a crawl.
As I spin, I note that the thug is looking at me with a smile that makes my skin crawl.
Then Alicia comes into my view.
She’s staring hard at me with fear in her eyes.
Rather than worrying about me, you should worry about yourself! I try to convey to her with my gaze when we lock eyes for a split second.
And then a boom shakes through the tiny cabin as my body smashes to the ground.
Intense pain shoots through me.
It hurts so much that I wouldn’t be surprised if I died right here.
But, more than the pain, I can’t stand the idea of Alicia no longer existing in this world.
If this battered body is enough, I’ll gladly trade it away… Take this forsaken life too.
Take it all, God! Just don’t let Alicia die.
I won’t ever resent you again.
I’ll never again complain about being born in that hellhole nor being forced to live my life in an unreasonable situation.
Just, somehow, please save her.
I’m begging you! From the bottom of my heart.
Using every last bit of my strength, I drag myself on my hands and knees the rest of the way to Alicia.
As I reach her feet, I fall to the floor.
I don’t even have the strength to raise my head.
There’s a sound, a wet slitch and then a few droplets of a bright red liquid drip onto the ground right in front of me.
Ice slithers down my spine and I can feel all the blood draining from my face.