The sound of rumbling thunderstorms and heavy downpours of rainfall disguised the ear-piercing cry inside the cabin. Smells of burnt woods and condensation blended, forming pleasant essences around the air. Somewhere inside the forest and between trees, three souls resided, protected from the cruel weather.
"Tell me," The voice comes out in a hush, "does it hurt that bad?" The man squatted down, using his right hand to grab the woman's head and checking her well-being, "Do you want us to stop?" He indicated the word 'us' for the other female in the room although technically she didn't do anything to the woman.
"Please stop." The woman whimpers, "I'll give you everything you want, I swear! I have money, just name the price, but please stop!" She wailed and tried to push the man's hand from gripping her too hard.
The man laughs as he takes one of the chairs to sit upon. "Sure, sweet stuff." He released and pretended to think about her offer, "How much do you have?"
"Many! I swear I will give enough so you won't have to work anymore in your whole life!" The woman said hurriedly, trying to control her trembling figure when she realized the man wasn't quite interested, "If it isn't enough, I will double that! You will be able to live in prosperity for the rest of your generation! I swear I won't try to search for you or get any revenge if you release me now so just… Please…"
"Now we're talking my language," The man snickers and the woman's eyes glint with hope, "But your 'enough' is not enough for me."
"Then I will triple it!" The woman shouts in desperation, "If it's still not enough then I'll quadruple it!" She cried in anguish when the man shook his head.
"I never ask you to give me scarps of your wealth, sweet stuff." He started to stroke her hair and whisper slowly to her ears, "But if you want to offer them to me, the least you can do is have the guts to give all of them."
The woman became quiet at his words before she started to sob again. It was quite clear that unfortunately, she still holds dear upon her material possession although her life is going to be the price for that.
"Yuuto, Ryo wants to talk to you." The other female in the room finally decided to break her silence during the whole scene when she saw her phone rang and tossed it to the man.
The man easily caught the phone and grumpily mutters, "I swear someday I'm going to kill him." He walked away from the two and surprisingly answered the call with instantaneous respectful tone.
Yuuto is a man who is too strong for his own good, the opposite of 'brawl without brain' principle. Wise and smart, the two exact words to describe the man. That was the reason despite his dislike towards Ryo, he keeps speaking politely, as if careful to not let any sign of distaste exposed.
"Please, help me." The woman is still sobbing and begged to the other female, still wishing at least one of her captors is going to let her go.
The other female ignored her pleas and only stared outside the window. She preferred on concentrating her mind towards the splashing sounds of water, mind wandering outside the sheltered cabin. Rain is always soothing and pleasant to her ears.
"Ryo wants us to be back tomorrow." Yuuto announced as he put the phone on the table.
"The hostage?" The female questioned, even though she's perfectly aware about the woman's fate.
Yuuto glanced at the woman and noticed that now she was frantically trying to unchain her legs with her own bare hands. "Sadly, sweet stuff isn't allowed to come with us." He approached her slowly, taking his time to scare the woman. "Now choose, to die here this instant killed by me or die later because of starving?"
The woman became more hysterical and began to yell incoherent words. Some of them can be intercepted as something like 'I will give you all of them'.
It was her last words.
Yuuto had always hated loud noises. He said it reminds him of the crowds that used to cheer for him when he was still a wrestler champion. So considering all the shouting the woman had been doing, she had lived pretty long within his arms reached.
"Yuu—" The female abruptly stopped when she sees needles piercing her companion's head. His eyes were blank and in less than a second he falls to the floor with a loud thud. Her gaze followed the body and immediately noticed the shadow of another person behind her. She twirled around and stared at the most pitch-black eyes she had ever seen.
The new man has a jet-black hair that matched with his eyes and for a moment, also stared back at her. It wasn't until he blinks for few times and fished a phone inside his pants' pocket that neither of them move.
"Her killer is already killed. Please transfer the full payment." He said flatly without any expression, almost like it's a habit.
At that moment, few scenarios went through her head. One, the man was an assassin sent by the dead woman's family because her family thought she was already dead. Two, the dead woman's family hired a detective and an assassin to track the woman's whereabouts. Three, he was hired by another different dead person's family because even she had lost count on how many people Yuuto had killed while she was accompanying him.
The only absolute fact that she managed to grasp without fail is one fact: the man that is standing in front of her is absolutely an assassin. With that soulless eyes staring at her with indifference, as if he could care less about other things than his quest on killing Yuuto, she had no other doubts. She had to look up to see his head, his height as if towering her and probably if she had to guess, their gaps are about 40 centimeters tall.
However, that's not what bothered her the most. Another fact that she had realized was the man had killed Yuuto right after Yuuto killed the woman. It was as if he had been watching them from outside the cabin all these times. Or worse, inside. If that was true then she's screwed up. There's no way she can survive if he suddenly decides to attack her.
To her surprise, after the man made his call, he keeps it inside his pocket again and walked away. It was as if she's not important to him. And maybe, she's really not. He was hired to killed a killer, and although she has indeed witnessed many murders, she never did it with her own hands. Does someone who's only been giving orders in a murder can be called a killer?
Before she knew it, the man had already gone and she was left with two corpses. Carefully, she examined Yuuto's body, as she deemed the woman has no more importance in her life.
Poor Yuuto. She still remembered the first time he joined the organization, an angered and vengeful young teenager who craved power. His family had been slaughtered under atrociously inhumane conditions in front of him by the organization.
That's how the organization works. They always recruited their members through their family. The males will be forced to watch their family tortured before they were finally killed. They said this kind of procedure is needed to ensure the recruiters wouldn't escape because of their hatred. Foolish idea, but effective nevertheless. The employed male members are judged from their physical attribute, Yuuto and Ryo, for example. One is a champion at a wrestling competition for three years straight and the other is at karate.
There are differences between male and female recruitment requirements. Whereas they seem to only want strong physical males, they didn't want that attribute from the females. The organization desires females with strong mental mind and high survival rate. Another curious dissimilarity is while the male is forced, the female is given options, as they are more needed in the psychology area of the job.
She recalled the moment several people in suits broke into her house and threatened her along with her whole family. To say it was cruel was an understatement. They had asked her to choose only one person to survive the ordeal. She almost begged them to just kill her and let everyone go, hoping at least she can be a sacrifice.
She used to have a loving family. A gentle father, an understanding mother, and most importantly, her sweet and kind little sister, Ame. They were happy. But when the people in suits told her if she can't choose then they will ask another member of the family to pick, that's when the real hell begun.
All of them weren't tortured physically, but emotionally. It was like all the jogs in her brain simultaneously move. She couldn't bear the sin to choose one from the three, she loves them. But when she apprehended the situation, she became aware with one of the worst possibilities that could happen.
One, if she didn't choose, then they will let others to choose. Two, what if no one loved her enough to choose her?
She was one hundred percent sure her parents would rather choose her sister than her, and she too, almost chose her sister to be the only survivor. Her sister was the youngest and therefore that earned fifty percentage of her vote. The young shouldn't die earlier.
But what about her? Did all of them not love her enough to choose her?
The moment she laid her eyes on her family was the moment of revelation. Between three of them, only Ame will chose her and that makes her determination stronger.
"I choose myself." She had said the words loudly to told the people in suit, and most importantly to convince herself for her decision.
She really wants her sister to live, but if she and her parents aren't here then where will her sister have to go? What if the visitors asked her to work for them? To kill people without any mercy? Ame won't survive that. And even if the people in suits wouldn't offer Ame to do that, they had no relatives left and she didn't want her to live bearing the guilt that her life must be earned from her family's blood. The people in suit had promised them easy death with no pain.
"YOU SELFISH KID!" Her mother's voice rang the instant she made her choice. Her parents looked at her as though she was some kind of beast disguising in human skin, and perhaps they were right. Maybe she had chosen herself to be the only survivor because her ugly nature insisted to put her needs first before anyone else.
"It's okay, mom." Her sister had tried to calm her mother even though her tears were evident on her cheeks. "I'm sure she's already think this through. She always does."
That was the last words her family said before all of them killed.
After that she was brought to the headquarters and trained. She came across many girls with the similar fate as hers and learnt that all of them were enemies.
That's how the organization works. You will live if you betray others. A male and a female will move in pair and do all of the organization's dirty job as working ants. This is one of many tactics to screen the members. Once a month, the male and female will have separate meetings and given a certain task. They had to denounce any member who seemed to act weird or show any weakness. One of the easiest example was if the member happened to fall in love with their partner.
She used to be paired up with Ryo, but when Ryo reported his so-called friend, he had been given a reward. A raised in position and therefore, got closer to whoever the head of the organization is.
She was grateful when she saw her new partner was Yuuto. Although Yuuto also seeks revenge, his intent wasn't nearly as strong as Ryo's motive. Ryo was far more brutal at handling his work. The female exists merely to monitor and report the male's job. If the organization wants to extract information, the female has to stop the male from taking things too far and take control of the situation. However, Ryo didn't need her at all. He can perfectly handle all the jobs by himself.
Yuuto was different. Sometimes he can be wild and sometimes he can be composed. He was more mundane than Ryo and that was soothing in its own way, to know not having to work with a monster anymore.
However, Yuuto's gone. He's dead and she will probably follow him soon. One of the rules from the organization is that if your partner die, then you'll have to die too. This rule may sound foolish to others, but it has saved many from being killed. Some may have disliked their pair, so this rule existed to prevent any unneeded killings. They had to withstand another's company every day without any complain.
She sighed and rumbled her hair. She can't die now, she refused to. She had lose too many to live this long and there's no way she's going to die just because her partner is stupid enough to get himself killed.
Just like on cue, another person entered the cabin. A man with white hair and blue eyes. His brows furrowed and gazing around, searching for something. The second he set his eyes on her and the corpses he groaned and turn his back, clearly not wanting to do with anything that transpire.
"Wait," Her sounds come out as a plea and the man did stop, "please help me."
The man eyed her with boredom apparent in his face, "What do you want?"
"Someone is going to come here and kill me, please hide me." She gripped her own arm and bite her lower lips. She was nervous because of the man. He had the same air as the one that just killed his partner, yet he seems softer. The only thing she could do is to lay hope to this man, as she couldn't fight the organization on her own.
"A certain organization. They had killed many people and they will kill many more, including me as one of them."
"I don't know, I-"
"I'm leaving." He started to walk away again. His hands rested in his pockets, figure off-guard, as if implying he seriously didn't give a damn about the female nor he feared her.
"Wait!" She almost shouted, getting desperate to get his help. She had met many people in her life, from the top to the bottom of the food chain that was called society. The man that was standing with apathy in front of her was one of the top if she had to guess from her experience, leading her to a massive chance of surviving.
"I don't have any interest at a liar." He already opened the door, a step away towards outdoor.
She panicked, "I'm one of the organization member and he's Yuuto, my partner, he's killed by a mysterious long black hair man with pale skin just like yours and then he left right away. But if Yuuto's dead then the organization is going to kill me too so please help me."
Her rambling managed to stop the man from leaving and closed the door. There are two possibilities on why he decided to stay longer, whether he's interested in the organization or he's interested in the emo man. She wished it was the latter.
"Where is he?"
She was relieved by his question. She took a mental note that the two must have some connections and truthfully answers, "I don't know, before I knew it he was gone."
The man observes the female longer this time, "What's your name?"
"Sora." She's a bit reluctant to tell him, yet she did it anyway.
He opened the door again, but this time it was wider. He let out another sigh before taking another look at her and says, "I'm Killua."