Chapter 1

 

***


The blade struck the hard flesh, embedding deeply inside. The opponent no longer made any noise as tears and blood flowed like a rivulet. Nevertheless, the blade, which was raised high once again, shone bright in the dark.

 

I have waited for this moment for a very, very long time.

 

Yes, it was something that he had been preparing for a very long time.

 

As I was bowing to the man who had already stopped breathing, I could not tell whether I was laughing or crying.

 

Are my emotions fading away? 

 

There was nothing left for him to say. 

 

I still have my reputation to keep. 

 

I opened my eyes slightly while dragging back the feeling of entanglement like a spider’s web.

 

It was obvious that the man’s body temperature, which is warm, was slowly getting cold quickly.

 

Even if he held his breath and listened carefully, he couldn’t hear a living person’s heartbeat. 

 

I couldn’t believe it, so I checked several times more, but nothing changed.

 

He’s really dead.

 

When I finally engraved the reality that resonated in my mind, nothing came out of my mouth. I was pale with a mixture of feelings. I didn’t know whether it was relief, contempt, or guilt. I rubbed the back of my hand against my wet eyes as I watched the lonely world crumble down. I thought tears would ooze out, but strangely enough, the back of my hand was dry with blood marks.

 

I’m the cause of your death.

 

He murmured, groping the cheeks of a man he had never touched before, and a light flashed out from below.

 

 There was not a single number stored in the old 2G phone that you could throw right away. It was only natural that they disposed of it as soon as they finished their work.

 

“……”

 

It was just like me.

 

Nothing was saved, no meaningful number pops up even when a call comes.

 

So he moved his feet without even looking at it. There was a plop and the thing that was tucked under the bed would no longer be used. Not knowing what expression he had made, he hesitated, spat on the  man, and turned away. Because that’s the greatest insult he can afford to show.

 

Leaving the blood and the weapon that was littered with fingerprints behind, he left the disgusting place. The morning air was still chilly, the sickening noise above the dirty streets… It felt like a quiet town might have been killed by someone, unlike the morning.

 

The tight shoes left a red mark for a while.

 

The people walking around at this hour have no facial expression as usual.

 

Is it because all men are of the same race, that a blood-soaked man wanders the streets and the others pretend not to know?

 

 I don’t want to think about it any more. 

 

With a feeling of near exhaustion, all the strength trickled down his fingertips. Like a fairy tale, if you look back on the past, it seems that you have left traces behind.

 

Walk along the narrow, foul-smelling alley and you’ll see the crossroads.

 

The street lights that went out are still not fixed even after a year.

There was no hesitation in his walking pace even though it was a place he hadn’t come to for a long time. It was natural to hide in a dark corner when you see a building under human control. 

 

I walked a little more, reached a familiar place, and finally quietly climbed over the high wall. 

 

Landing without a sound,he approached the entrance and searched around his neck.

 

When he pulled the chain around his neck, a key hidden inside the T-shirt came out. It was quite awkward to open the door slowly while looking at the silvery-white, glossy surface.

 

He pulled out the door-knob and slipped inside without saying a word. The interior without a single piece of furniture or a single ray of light looked more dreary than the darkness outside.

 

But he didn’t turn on the lights.

 

Passing through the living room, he stopped in front of the door of the innermost room, opened the door slowly, and a smell of oil drifted up his nose.

 

Something is wrong, he walked in thinking it was a strange idea. He lightly stroked the paint on the table. It was dusty and rough, but everything seemed serene.

 

Finally, fatigue came to him at a rapid rate.

 

He looked around the poorly outlined studio, barely enduring the drooping down of his body as if his whole body was a sponge, soaked with water. 

 

I finally found the canvas knife through a high-quality raw wood easel, a dry palette of paint, an empty canvas and a wooden drawing board that had not yet been primed with gesso. 

 

[T/N – Canvas knife: A thin blade of varying flexibility set in a handle and used for mixing colors or applying them to a canvas]

 

The canvas knife that I used was quite sharp. It bends well, although the material is poor but this is sufficient. 

 

Sit in a nearby armchair and hold it slowly.

 

I have no regrets about the hand I raised. Take a breath, close your eyes and just do it.

 

Just grab the blade and put it in….

 

“Ah.”

 

Without a moment’s hesitation, he stabbed his neck and looked vaguely at the distant landscape by the window.

 

The sound of longing came from somewhere.

 

The body fluid that flows along the spread of the meat quickly gauges the sins that one has committed. 

 

I promised not to forget those because there were too many.

 

Then it suddenly dawned on me that life was hard. 

 

It was hard to breathe as if someone has been looking at this side without closing their red eyes . 

 

Sorry, I realized I didn’t apologize today, so I moved my lips but only a scream came out. 

 

Every time he breathes, he loses oxygen and collapses.

 

At the end, he rummaged in his pocket, but his body, which had already weakened, was unable to function properly. After a few futile attempts, he looked down and couldn’t see anything. But it was still fine. 

 

Even if I can’t see it, I’ll still  remember everything.

 

This is the only way to atone my sins.

 

The man smiled briefly at the frayed, tangled end. It was like recalling buried memories, the view was endless.

 

However, his stuttering eyes closed like curtains, expressing that he would never regret it.

Notes

N/A

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