(Disclaimer: This chapter contains scenes of gore and violence that some viewers may find uncomfortable.)
Bertram followed me with a confused expression. I whispered calmly to him, "Don't act suspicious. Just act natural."
He nodded, "Alright."
I glanced at him and noticed he was making a strained face. I rubbed my face in exasperation.
How can someone be this bad at acting? Oh well. I guess I will just have to compensate for him.
I calmly walked down the alleys as if it was a natural thing. We left the red light district and found ourselves in the cemetery. Bertram looked at me in concern, but I ignored him and led him into a mausoleum building.
When Bertram followed me in, I grabbed a shovel on the far wall. I weighed it in my hand and practiced some swings, "Oh yeah. This will do nicely."
Bertram looked at the slab which held a not so empty casket. His face turned white, "W-Why are we in here now?"
I grabbed Bertram and positioned him in the darkness. I ignored his questioning and stood next to the opening in the darkness. Bertram opened his mouth, but I put a finger over my lips to silence him. He closed his mouth and just looked at me in confusion.
We didn't have to wait for long.
Two men dressed head to toe in black silently snuck in with swords drawn. They seemed to be highly skilled as they didn't even make a slight sound. They paused once they realized something was off.
The two men were knocked unconscious by the shovel in my hand. I looked at their unconscious bodies and scratched my nose.
Bertram stepped out of the darkness, "Did you just knock them both unconscious?!?"
I nodded, "Yes, now help me tie them up."
Bertram frowned, "With what?"
I ripped off some rope that was used to decorate a casket. I held it out, "Here."
Bertrams mouth dropped, "Seri... That's...
I frowned, "It's just rope. It's not these people were using it."
"That's not the point..."
"Just hurry up and help me."
Bertram reluctantly agreed and helped me as I tied the two up. I bound their mouths as I waited for them to wake up. After a while, they both slowly opened their eyes. Noticing they were tied up and silenced, they both stared at me with resentful eyes.
Bertram glanced at me, "Now what?"
A sinister smile broke out on my face, "We start a fire."
Bertram suddenly grew concerned, "A fire?"
I chuckled in a low voice, "I said we need to teach them a lesson. Luckily, we can do that now."
Bertram frowned, "But setting them on fire while they are alive seems a bit cruel."
The two men looked at each other with fear in their eyes.
I shook my head, "I'm not going to set them on fire!"
The two men sighed in relief.
I continued, "I'm going to use the fire to stop them from bleeding out."
The two men's relief didn't last long.
Bertram spoke, "Alright, I will go collect some firewood-'
I stomped on a casket knocking apart pieces of wood. Bertram shrieked in horror, "What are you doing?!?"
"I MEANT I COULD GO OUT AND GRAB SOME!"
I collected the pieces, "Eh, this is faster."
Bertram felt like crying, "This is too much!! Even for you!"
I ignored him and started a fire. I looked around the mausoleum and noticed a metal platter with offerings on it. I chucked off the offerings and placed the pan on the fire.
Bertram shouted, "Seri! You can't just desecrate people's caskets and burial sites like this!"
"Why not? It's not like they care."
Bertram turned paler than before, "Seri!! That's sacrilegious!!"
I held out my hand, "Just give me your knife."
Bertram handed it over and started fidgeting. The two men felt a new sense of fear. If someone could just desecrate caskets without blinking their eye, then just what will they do to them?!
Bertram frowned, "Seri... Maybe you should stop... What if the dead becomes angry and haunts us?!" Bertram shook at this thought.
I frowned, "Bertram, there is no such thing as ghosts. Once you're dead, you're dead. If there even is such a thing as an afterlife, it's not going to be one where they are watching down from above. They are probably in another world completely unaware about what or who they left behind."
Bertram made a pained expression and I realized immediately that I said too much. Bertram had always been sensitive about this matter because of his wife and child.
F*ck. I can never say anything right, can I?
I sighed and began to play with the small blade, "Don't think too much about what I said." I stood up and looked at the two men who didn't know whether to look afraid or resentful.
I smiled at them, "Now let's see. You two are from the Thieves Guild, right?" One mumbled behind the cloth stuffed in his mouth. I ripped it off.
He repeated, "We won't tell you a thing."
I chuckled, "You're mistaken. I don't care about what you have to say. I already know the answers. No, I'm not interested in talking."
"Pah!" The man spat out, "You can just go ahead and kill us! We don't care! More will come after you!"
A cold chuckle escaped my lips, "There are far worse things than death." I shook my head, "No. I'm not going to kill you."
They looked at me in confusion. Will the Black Death show them mercy?
Bertram was also confused, "Then what?"
I gave him a meaningful look, "Do you know how to win a war?"
Bertram tilted his head, "By killing the opposite sides forces?"
I shook my head, "No. That's time consuming and inefficient."
"In war, you do not aim to kill. You aim to maim or disable them. Then once they recover from their wounds, they return back home but are unable to contribute. They take up resources and become a burden. The kingdom will be unable to keep up with the demand of food and work, then will crumble and collapse. That is how you win a war."
"So you mean to say..."
I nodded in excitement, "That's right. We won't kill them, we will just maim them!" I turned to the two men with a crazed look. They shrunk back in fear after hearing my speech. They no longer dared to have their arrogant expressions.
I played with the knife in my hand, "Now just how shall we maim you? Well since you call yourselves thieves, it's only natural I destroy the very thing you rely on for your work.. Your hands."
Bertram looked at me in surprise, "Seri, do you really think that's such a good idea?"
I shrugged, "Well, I haven't slept in two whole days. So there's a chance I might be a little more unbalanced than usual..." I shook my head, "But I still think it's a d*mn good idea."
I knocked the man out with the shovel before Bertram could try to convince me otherwise. The other man's muffled shrieks echoed off the walls. I dragged the unconscious man over to the concrete slabs and put his hands down.
I chuckled, "Say goodbye to your little fingers." I swung the long blade down. I frowned, "Huh. I thought that the hand would be cut off cleanly. Isn't that what usually happens in the movies? Instead my knife got stuck in the bone... So what should I do? Just kind of chop at it?"
The other man fainted at the scene. Bertram watched in horror as I tried to finish the job. I grabbed the burning hot pan and placed it on the wound to cauterize it. The man finally woke up from the sensation. His screams filled the air. Seeing that he was now handless, he fainted from the shock.
When the other man who was still bound opened his eyes, he saw me hunched over looking at him eye to eye. He began to sob as he saw the blood on my mask and the deranged look in my eyes.
"Shhhh shh. Don't worry." I spoke in a soothing voice, "I'm not going to take your hands."
"Nope. It's waaay too messy. They always make it seem so easy when it happens in shows and novels." I let out a sigh, "Hollywood has lied to me again."
The man breathed a sigh in relief.
I continued, "So I'm just going to take your eyes instead."
His eyes sprung back open, "!?!"
"Yeah, it's less messy that way. Plus thieves rely just as much on their eyes as they do their hands. So I will just take those."
I held the knife tip close to his eyes. He shrunk back as far as he could, but he couldn't get away. He could only look at the blade in horror.
I chuckled, "I've never taken out someone's eyes before. I wonder if they bleed? I also wonder if you can die from it... Hmm. Well, I guess this will just be a learning experience."
After I nonchalantly poked the man's eyes out, I untied him and left the mausoleum with Bertram. Bertram looked at me with a petrified expression, "Seri..."
"I'm just now realizing how disturbing your mind can be."
"I can't argue with that." I took off my mask and looked at the blood stains with a frown. "I should have joined the yakuza. I would have been a natural."
I shook my head, "It's nothing. But, I do admit I may have went a bit over the top."
I groaned and rubbed my eyes, "What do you expect? I'm barely able to think clearly right now. I'm way too tired."
Bertram sighed, "Just... Wash that mask and go to sleep."
I nodded. After I snuck back in my room, I sighed when I saw that the sun had risen. Looks like I ought to skip another day of school. It's fine, it's not like I do anything there anyways.
I laid down on my bed and quickly fell asleep...
Well... That got dark...
It's not over yet.
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