“The Hidden Truth” By Emma Liu

Written by plumtree

Topics: 2021-22 School Year

As I close my eyes, I remember why I’m fighting my comrades in this war. The memories turn into daydreams. It becomes a typhoon. It sucks you in, wanting to relive those memories. However, there are two types of pain, one that hurts you, and the other changes you. 

Nevertheless, it’s all over. I know my place in this war, and they have made it clear to me that they would rather hurt me and stay with Karin rather than be friends with me and be associated with Kira. It hurt at first, but now I know that everyone has two faces in this world, and nobody can be trusted.

1668/6/26 – Japan

As I slowly drifted off to sleep, my brain began to wonder about my past misfortunes. 

When I was little I fell off the slide. My brother runs to me asking me what happened. I explained everything to him, from start to end.

“There are two types of pain,” he began in the wise tones I am familiar with, “one that hurts you, and the other changes you. This will only hurt for a bit.”

All I could think about was the pain. It didn’t hurt too much anymore after a bit.All I could do was ask myself, how could the pain come so quickly and leave so slowly? As we walked to our makeshift house.

My eyes snapped open to be greeted with the darkness of my room. I felt an unknown weight on my chest as I gasped desperately for air. I threw many punches and kicks at the strange being. A loud thump smashed on the floor beside my bed, and the weight above me finally released. 

I yell, ”Who, are you? Where do you come from?” still gasping for air. 

The mysterious person didn’t say anything, so I leaped over and ripped off their mask. He is knocked out cold. I can’t see his face too clearly in the darkness of my room, so I drag the body down the hall, suddenly his body moves and kicks me. I see his face in better lighting. 

“Brother?” I say.

“Who is this brother? I know no person by that name,” he says seriously.

“Haru, it’s me, your sister, Akamaru,” I explained.

“Huh? What,” Haru said, confused.           

“What-? Really? I thought you had died! They told me that!” Haru exclaimed

“How would I have died?” I say, confused.

“They said they poisoned you or sent an assassin,” Haru said.

“Well, anyway, why did they send you to kill me when I’m already dead,” I said mockingly.

“I—I—I don’t know,” Haru sighed.

“Are you honestly really that blind? How could you forget me that easily, or just accept the fact I was dead,” I screamed in anger.

“Was I that easily forgotten? Was I just nothing to you? How could you accept the fact I was dead, and not hold out hope I was still alive!” I continued to yell.

Haru just stood there, taking what I said in. He couldn’t believe it, he thought his sister was dead, but he was sent to kill her instead. He just stood there in disbelief.

“I—I—I’m sorry,” Haru said quietly, stuttering.

I had stopped yelling by then.

“Anything else?” I said angrily.

“I’m—I’m—” Haru sputtered.

I smacked him in the back.

“Stand up straight and say it like you mean it.”

“I’M SORRY!” Haru yelled. He went down on his knees pleading that I would forgive him.

“I—I can’t choose right now. I have a lot of thinking to do,” I said quietly. “I’ll show you to your room for the rest of the night, a guard will be watching you, by the way, I can’t trust that you won’t do that again,” I continued. 

He got up from his knees and nodded, I called a guard in and said just watch him for the night. I showed him to his room, he thanked me and changed, and went to sleep. I couldn’t sleep, I had a lot to think about. I was torn on the inside, whether I should forgive him or not. He was just as I remember him, tall, muscular, blond brown hair with blond tips, and ocean eyes. As I fell asleep again, I dreamed about when I was a kid.

“Hi! Yuri!” I yelled as I ran over to my best friend.

“Hey, Aki!” Yuri yelled back.

Aki was my nickname, we went to the same elementary school, we were best friends, and inseparable. She gave me new clothes, shoes, and food but little did I know that she was thinking of something horrible that day. After school, she asked me if I wanted some new shirts, saying that I had no parents or my brother at the time. I was desperate for new clothes. So I agreed. After school, I followed her to the girls’ bathroom. She had locked the door without me noticing. As I watched my younger self get beaten up, tortured, and talked poorly of me. I couldn’t do anything to save my younger self. All I could do was just watch, and relieve that pain again, and feel helpless that I could only watch. After that day, it happened daily, and I had to act like I was fine, and when someone asked I had to make an excuse. On the inside, I was dying. It was like that for a few years. Until she moved, I was so happy. By then, I was emotionally broken. I had gone through four years of being bullied, put down, and tortured. At that point, I couldn’t trust anyone. I woke up at 8 on the dot.  There was work to be done for the war in two days. I was going to win the war for myself and my parents. I walk over to Haru’s room. I see him gone with the guard. With a note, eating breakfast at the table. I walk over to see him with sushi and onigiri. I used to love those, my mother would make those before she was murdered. I sat down as he slid me a small plate of sushi and onigiri. 

“Who made this?” I asked.

“Your chefs did, well I mean I kinda did,” he explained.

“Well, what do you mean?” I said.

“I gave your chef the recipe and they made it,” he continued.

“Okay, thanks. I need to use the bathroom,” I said.

I excused myself and instead of going to the bathroom, I went to the kitchen. I asked the head chef.

“Did a man help you make sushi and onigiri?”

“Yeah, why? Did it taste bad?” she asked.

“No, I just wanted to ask to make sure he didn’t like putting anything into it that would poison me, also, he’s my brother.”

“Ah, ok, he didn’t put anything in it. I made sure of that because I don’t want to be beheaded,” she chuckled.

“Okay,” I laughed as I left.

I go over to the dining room to see Haru still there waiting for me. 

“You still look the same,” he said with a heartwarming smile.

Black hair, dark brown eyes, beautiful, slim, but strong.

I ate sushi and the onigiri, which were quite good. I said my goodbyes and told the guard to stay with him at all times, never to leave him alone. My brother still insisted that he didn’t want to be a bother. I ignored him and left to go to the training hall. There I trained for a couple of hours. I took a break to wipe the sweat from my face, in the mirror, as I looked at my reflection I knew my only purpose left was to win the war for the Kira. My only purpose. It was the only thing I could think of when training. I felt so much anger, they were the reason my parents died. How can they just leave it like that! I was fighting with anger instead of being smart and patient. I knew I needed a break, so I went to the armory. It was almost time. I looked at my armor, clean, pristine, red and black, the color of the Kira. More determined than ever as I go back to train. As I was walking over I saw my brother…without the guard. I start dashing to him,

“Get back here!” I yelled.

I eventually caught up to him and pinned him down. I drag him back for questioning. Turns out, it was just a realist mask. And it was a person with a similar voice to Haru. I questioned him for hours, and he wouldn’t tell me anything. I decided it was time to break him like how Yuri broke me. It was the next day by then. I decided to burn his skin and whip him till he broke. 

“Agh, please stop!” the man pleaded

I couldn’t stop. His pain, it gave me… joy? I thought to myself.

When I realized it, it was too late. “Your brother killed…”  were his last words. The man was dead, I was furious, not by the death, but how he couldn’t endure more.

I’m becoming Yuri, I thought.

I had the man buried with peace, I couldn’t forgive myself that I did that to the man. No man deserves a death like that. By then, it was the evening, I couldn’t think about that now. The war was tomorrow. I took a hot bath, I had to think and question. After an hour or 2, from the bath, and went to sleep

The War

1668/6/29 – Japan

I woke up at the brink of dawn, it had begun. I saw guards, soldiers rush out the doors, the archers, with their bows ready to shoot. It was amazing, I knew the war had begun. I grabbed my armor, put it on, it was beautiful, dark red scales, with red silk. I snapped myself out of my awe. War had started, I had no time to waste. I could finally get my revenge on Yuri, I knew she was going to fight in this war, it’s required on Karin. I figured she was the head since her father was the overlord, which let her get away with the torture she gave me. She had moved castles. I rush out, this is a war of a lifetime my friends, I say to my soldiers. All is fair in love and war. As we charge, all the memories flood back. I felt the blood inside me begin to boil. As I rush forward, I start killing the Karin soldiers with ease. I made a straight line. Soon enough I reached Yuri. I saw her, and she saw me, we locked gazes. Her face looked shocked. She still looked the same, blonde hair, green eyes, and just slightly taller than me. I start to approach her and we start to walk around in circles as we start circling each other preparing to fight, 

“Ah, I see, it’s been years since we last saw each other, you going to  beat me again?” I say mockingly.

“N-no,” Yuri sighs.

“Tell me! Why all those years of pain and you just disappear,” I yell.

“There are some things you don’t know,” Yuri says.

“Like what? Like how you’re a coward?” I say.

“It’s your parents…and your brother,” Yuri sighs.

“H—Huh?” I stutter, confused.

“It’s, uhh, your parents, your brother,” Yuri sighs.

“Your brother killed your parents, he was hired by a friend of your friend, he was paid a lot, here is the document with all the information,” as Yuri took a sheet of paper out of her jacket and handed it to Akamaru.

Akamaru read it, and reread it over and over again, she couldn’t believe what she was seeing, suddenly a soldier stabs Yuri. Akamaru runs over to the injured Yuri.

“I—I—I’m sorry,” Yuri says as the light in her eyes dims.

Akamaru couldn’t believe her eyes, the person she hated most was hiding something so large that would have crushed her if she knew back then. And that’s how she toughened her up for the day they would meet again. Because she knew she was going to die, but rather keep her best friend alive longer and have herself killed, she agreed in a heartbeat. Akamaru screamed in heartbreak. 

The sun rises, she looks off into the distance, knowing her new purpose is to avenge Yuri. As she runs off into the distance she could only think, pain, one hurts you, but the other changes you. She knew what both meant now. As she ran off, in search of her brother to have the final duel, a duel of a lifetime, the duel of the century.


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