Chapter 3: Have you experienced Despair?
Little Fatso’s tragic screaming and crying echoed in the park in succeeding fashion. It was as if his cries would shatter the evening afterglow, drowning all light.
With all four limbs severed, and his tongue in pieces, Shi Xiaobai lay there bleeding profusely. He let out whimpers of anger, hate, and worry. It was unknown what “magic” the calamity fiend had cast on him before leaving him. A black glow enshrouded him, and the stumps of his four broken limbs were no longer bleeding. The pain was intense enough to knock him out, yet he found it impossible to go unconscious.
The screams of Little Fatso and the cruel laughter of the calamity fiend assaulted Shi Xiaobai’s ears, making him imagine all kinds of scenes with the calamity fiend torturing Little Fatso. Unlike the previous decapitation, the calamity fiend seemed to torture Little Fatso with extreme patience. Shi Xiaobai knew that the calamity fiend was venting his anger that had arisen from his provocation.
“Sorry, Little Fatso. I was unable to save you, and instead, I harmed you.” Shi Xiaobai felt extremely agonized. For him, mental torture was much worse than physical torture, making it easier for him to break.
Little Fatso’s screams gradually weakened till they disappeared. It was a long process, so long that it seemed to cross millennia.
“It’s your turn. Remember this Demon’s name, Sahadun. It will accompany you through the short remaining life of yours with extreme pain,” the calamity fiend’s cold voice echoed, and immediately following that, the sound of the calamity fiend’s footsteps could be heard.
Shi Xiaobai slowly closed his eyes, waiting for the incoming ordeal.
“Make your choice, youth!”
Suddenly, the fiery voice boomed once again in his mind as Shi Xiaobai opened his eyes instantly. All he saw was the still scene of the calamity fiend sticking its head out of the black hole from the past. Everything had once again returned to that moment when time had stopped. He was still alive, and everything was as perfect as before.
However, Shi Xiaobai was not dumbfounded, nor was he pleasantly surprised. He did not have an ounce of emotion and only faced it with an ashen face, as if he was a walking zombie. Previously, he had attempted to deceive himself by thinking it was a clairvoyant dream, but now, he finally reached the point when he needed to carefully think things through.
Why was he returned to the moment before making the choice twice in a row? So it was not a dream, nor was it an illusion, but because he had failed. He had failed to “Save Little Fatso”, resulting in time being reset.
“What will happen if I were to choose the other options?” That was the first thought Shi Xiaobai had. His eyes landed on another line of black text—”Escape”!
“If I were to immediately escape, I’ll definitely be able to succeed… Then, time would probably not reset to this point in time. I will not die, while Little Fatso will probably be killed, but at least he wouldn’t be tortured…”
“But… I really want to… save him!”
Shi Xiaobai’s eyes, which had just lit up, turned cloudy once again. His thoughts turned dark, as the voice inside him began to laugh in derision.
“You can’t save him. You are a weakling. You are garbage. You can’t protect anything.”
“Do you understand? You are neither a protagonist, nor are you a hero… You are just an ordinary student found commonly on the streets… But if you had to become a protagonist in a certain piece of work, then you would definitely end up in a tragedy…”
“You can’t even save yourself, so how are you to save others?”
“It’s not fair? The unfairness in this world boils down to the person in question being inadequate. Little Fatso will die, because he doesn’t have the ability to survive.. but you can, you can live on!”
“Run, run, run! As long as you run, you can survive!”
This voice had an enticing charm to it, as it made Shi Xiaobai’s eyes slowly turn red. If he were to choose “Save Little Fatso” once again, it would only be causing the tragedy to repeat itself once again. However, if he were to choose “Escape”, then his suffering would come to an end, and he would be liberated.
Scenes of bloody brutality flashed past Shi Xiaobai’s mind, as if it was bewailing the pain and horror he had previously suffered. It seemed to persuade him to be firm in having the will to escape.
Suddenly, the scene flashing through his brain stopped on the soccer ball. That ball that had flown through the twilight sky and had gently hit the calamity fiend. It was very gentle, but yet it seemed as heavy as gold.
Expression and emotion returned to the youth’s black eyes of eternal luster. An unyielding conviction emerged from the bottom of his heart.
It was truly a long evening. It was clearly the final struggle before the arrival of the night, yet it refused to give up. It clung onto that last ray of light, releasing that remaining warmth.
Regardless, time began turning once again.
The calamity fiend’s neck peeked out of the black hole. Little Fatso still looked like a resolute wall that would make its final stand before it fell. The tragic scene was about to begin immediately.
“Hahaha! O great Lord Sahadun, this lowly one… this lowly one has been kowtowing to the Demon World for thousands of years, and have finally awaited your arrival, so as to witness how this ruined world will lie prostrate beneath your feet after a long and hard wait!”
A flattering but eccentric voice suddenly emerged. Shi Xiaobai had suddenly knelt down on the ground, fully prostrating himself and doing it three times with his arms stretched out. Every time his forehead hit the hardened ground, it would emit a clear thud.
The calamity fiend had only crawled out halfway and was just about to kill the child that had scolded it “Big Baldy”, but when it heard Shi Xiaobai’s words, it immediately turned its head over and said in disbelief, “You… Human, how do you know this Demon’s name?”
Shi Xiaobai stood up from the ground and said with a passionate stare, “This lowly one has been waiting here all along for your arrival! You are this lowly one’s king, and the ruler of the cosmos. How can this lowly one not know of your great name!”
“Your grandeur is darker than the night, your existence is more scarlet than blood. It is your body and your supreme volition. Your Excellency Sahadun, this lowly one swore by his blood before the coming of darkness. For those foolish creatures who obstruct your very path, this lowly one is willing to devote his body, and burn his soul, so as to become a small stepping stone for your magnificent exploits. This lowly one will die without regret.”
Sahadun’s gaze turned soft, as he slowly eased up on his vigilance and animosity. As one of the weaker existences amongst the calamity fiends, this was the first time he had received such veneration.
“Big Brother, what’s wrong with you? Big Brother…” Little Fatso spoke in a confused and terrified voice.
Sahadun was jolted awake. That kid who shouted “Big Baldy” deserved death! Sahadun immediately raised its right hand, about to slash off Little Fatso’s neck.
“Wait! O’ great Sahadun! Listen to this lowly one first!” Shi Xiaoba anxiously piped up.
“Oh?” Sahadun stopped his action and looked at Shi Xiaobai with a scrutinous gaze. Its vigilance and animosity rose once again.
“This person has reviled your magnificence—he has committed a sin that is deserving of a thousand deaths! He absolutely should not be put to death easily. He must experience all sorts of torture before he can die with an aggrieved heart! And only then can that relieve this lowly one’s hatred for him!”
Shi Xiaobai’s voice was filled with anger and hatred. He took a few gentle steps and walked towards the sandpit.
“Big Brother?” Little Fatso’s eyes were brimming with tears. He looked at Shi Xiaobai with eyes of deep disbelief, but he still had a tiny flicker of hope left in him.
Shi Xiaobai took no notice of it and said politely to the calamity fiend, “This lowly one believed that compared to physical torture, the pain from mental torture would be many times worse! This lowly person will rip apart the remaining hope that he possesses, making him despair with no form of reprieve.”
Shi Xiaobai turned to look at Little Fatso and said coldly, “You foolish and contemptible human. You thought your Big Brother is really a hero? You think your Big Brother will save you? No, all of them were lies. They were all fake, understand? Do you feel despair?”
Shi Xiaobai appeared to laugh crazily and was already standing beside the sandpit. Suddenly, he lifted his leg and forcefully kicked Little Fatso. Little Fatso immediately flew backwards as he cried in pain.
“O’ great Sahadun, please take a rest first. Let this lowly one tell this foolish human what despair is.”
Shi Xiaobai walked towards the fallen Little Fatso, with his eyes appearing as if the most cruel demon resided within.
“Foolish human, have you ever experienced despair?”