The Girl, Part One
Knock, knock, knock.
Huh? Someone is knocking the gate? What could it be? Or have I lost it finally? I’m too scared to even try guessing what could be knocking. If it’s that aberration… No, it wouldn’t dare to come this close to this accursed place. Too cruel, this is just way too cruel! Not even once has it played with my mind in this manner, causing this kind of hallucinations. In a world without humans, just how am I supposed to believe that there’d be one now after all this time? Lies!
But what if there is a human?
It’s a lie!
I’m too scared to go check who’s knocking. Even now, I’m hiding in a cabinet. I can’t help it. This room’s on the first floor, close to the gate, so I can hear the knocking well and loud. I hug my legs and bury my head in an embrace. In a world where all life has disappeared, would you open a door if someone was knocking it?
Though the upper floors have far more comfortable rooms, for some reason I grow more and more terrified the higher I go in this place. Maybe because I can exit this place here on the first floor, which is quite impossible up there.
Knock, knock, knock.
So there truly is someone knocking? Can’t you open the gate by yourself? It’s not like it’s heavy or something. Even I can open it by myself. Just open it and come in, though I do admit that the gate looks heavy enough to be impossible for humans to move. However, just like this whole place, the gate is messed up and weights as much as me, probably.
I grit my teeth to gain resolve. I count to three, then I leave the cabinet to open the gate. I don’t know why I’m doing this, but I’m definitely an idiot since I’m doing this. This castle has already done wonders to my senses, in a bad way, and I bet this is just another way to scare me. Wouldn’t be surprised to find nothing from the other side of the gate.
As I prepare to open the gate, knock, knock, knock, the third instance of knocking happens. When the knocking ends, I open the gate.
And I never expected to see a boy. A boy close to my age, a young adult. From his equipment, I can tell that he is a ranger or something. Wait, is this a hallucination? Will he turn into a monster right before my eyes? Or what could it be, Castle Zero? What are you about to throw at me this time? And why is that boy looking me with a face that’s hard to read? Like he was longing for me? Mom told me a long time ago that men are not to be trusted until you’ve learned their true nature.
“Htao… osar?” He asks me, I think?
Now he’s taking steps towards me? Should I run? I’m scared, he could be anything but human. Should I hit him? Maybe kick? I…!
He hugs me.
He really hugs me, and very caringly at that. His embrace is warming, and for the first time in two years, I feel safe. Now thinking of hiding in a cabinet feels far more terrifying than standing in the middle of danger, if I’m embraced like this.
“Terrao, dantte tahkis oklahren.” I can’t make heads or tails out of that.
Can I remain like this forever? I feel like all the locked up sorrow and despair is pouring out in form of tears. No, I don’t feel like that, I am letting out all that sorrow and despair by crying. To think that I’m not the last human on this earth…! Thank you, thank you!!!