AN: Yes, I'm starting another story, another NiChu story, no less.
I wanted to talk a little bit about the plot of this story first. This is probably one of the most taboo stories I will ever write. I understand that this is a very heavy time period. Pretty much everything in this story will be very heavy. I do not mean to offend anyone and I apologize in advance.
Now, the plot itself. This is not entirely fiction. To make a long story short, my uncle served in Vietnam during the Vietnam war. Towards the end of the war, he met a South Vietnamese citizen who cared for a Viet Kong soldier who was fatally wounded in a bomb attack. The soldier died soon after being taken in, and the man my uncle met died soon after meeting my uncle. I remember him telling me about this and being completely blown away by it. That pretty much served as inspiration for the basic idea of this.
Now that we've got that done, I hope you enjoy this. Thank you for clicking on it. ^^
Shortly before dawn, a muffled scream pulled Yao out of sleep. Lying on his side, the man blinked several times as he tried to force himself to wake up, almost afraid to make any noise. There! Another scream broke the stillness, a cry of pain from the sounds of it. His heart pounding, Yao touched the gun that lay beside him for reassurance that it was still there. He just hoped he wouldn't have to use it.
The young man continued to listen to the sounds around him, still barely awake. It certainly didn't sound like they were being attacked again, but his fears weren't soothed.
Curiosity beginning to get the best of him, Yao grabbed the firearm and climbed out of bed. He winced as he stretched, his spare hand quickly moving to the small of his back. The attack really hadn't been too long ago, and it certainly had done a fair amount of damage. As soon as the pain subsided he grabbed his shoes and headed out of the house as quickly as he could, the firearm still gripped tightly in his right hand. He wasn't sure why he even decided to bring it along; if the area was being attacked again, it certainly wouldn't be much help.
"It's something-aru," he muttered to himself as he exited the house, glancing around uncertainly.
Despite dawn drawing near, the world outside was still very dark. A storm must be coming, Yao thought to himself as he stopped in front of his home, listening carefully for the cries. Hearing them again, he hid the gun under his clothes and hunted to the source, glancing around uncertainly to see if anyone was out. He lived on the edge of the village, far enough away from anyone else that he didn't have to worry about someone seeing him, but he didn't want to risk it.
The cries seemed to be coming from the patch of wilderness not too far away. Throwing another glance over his shoulder at the village, Yao ventured into the forest, walking carefully to stay silent. As he approached, he noticed the shouts and cries getting louder. It sounded…sounded like someone was being tortured, the Chinese man realized as he gripped the gun in his hand for reassurance.
A twig snapped nearby. Heart stopping in his chest, Yao turned immediately to where the crack had come from and drew the gun, pointing it in the direction of the sound. He scarcely dared to breathe as he continued to grip the gun with shaking hands. Another twig snapped and a small bundle of white fur toddled past him, over the dirt path and into the brush to the man's right. He lowered the gun in relief. It was merely a panda cub, he realized with a heavy sigh, brushing his dark hair back.
Perhaps the panda had been responsible for the sounds he had mistaken for human cries of pain, Yao tried to tell himself. It wasn't exactly unlikely, after all. But he couldn't shake the feeling that somewhere a human was in pain.
A tortured, muffled scream cut through the silence of the forest, startling the Chinese man. No, there certainly was a human somewhere, Yao realized, cocking the gun before continuing to where he thought the cries were coming from.
Stopping by a thick tree, he brushed several loose strands of hair back while carefully scanning over the area, his eyes stopping at what appeared to be a clearing not too far away. Frowning as another cry of pain sounded from that direction, he began to cautiously approach the area, the firearm in his hand still held at the ready.
Drawing near the clearing, Yao almost dropped the gun when he was suddenly able to make out several voices. There had to have been at least three people in the clearing, or at least, three that he could hear, not including whoever was in pain.
The leaves of the trees rustled as someone ran past, shouting at whoever was with him. As a gust of wind blew past him, Yao instinctively dropped to the ground, crouching behind a thick, fallen tree trunk.
The speakers were hurling vicious insults at someone, accompanied with laughter and…yes, he heard it again, more muffled cries in-
Yao shrank against the log, still gripping the gun tightly. Despite speaking only some Japanese, he had no difficulty recognizing the language. He certainly had heard enough of the language in the past year to recognize it with ease. This speaker sounded…scared, terrified. But it didn't sound as if he were begging or trying to negotiate, the Chinese quickly realized, trying to listen for anything he could understand.
The others had begun to speak again, to themselves this time. Yao could barely make out the words, but the sound of someone cocking a gun was all he needed to hear; they were going kill, more than likely the Japanese man. Frowning, he looked up at the sky through the trees, watching as it slowly became less and less dark with the coming sun. What did it matter if they killed the Japanese? He was probably a soldier, a murderer. He waited in the dark for the sound that would be proof that the man had been killed.
The gunshot never came.
"He'll be dead soon enough. Not worth wasting a bullet on," one of the harsher voices said. The sounds of feet pounding against hard dirt soon reached Yao's ears, and he instinctively pressed himself closer to the ground and the trunk of the fallen tree, praying that it was too dark for them to see him if they happened to come this way.
He saw their boots through the tall, overgrown grass and bamboo shoots as they ran past him, counting five pairs of running legs in total. The Japanese soldier didn't even have a chance, he thought, sighing as he stretched once they had long gone.
Like they hadn't had a chance, a voice in his head whispered bitterly as his back began to throb again. Yao shook the thought out of his mind as he moved to head back towards the village.
Something pulled him back, kept his feet glued to the hard, cold ground. They said that the soldier would be dead soon, right? So there was a chance that he was still alive.
A series of rapid, forced coughs from the clearing quickly confirmed that notion.
Yao sighed, turning to the clearing and frowning. The idea of leaving someone to die in the forest left him feeling almost…guilty. Sighing, he hid the firearm under his clothes and ran a hand through his loose hair, almost wishing he had tied it back, before venturing into the clearing.
He spotted the Japanese soldier immediately not too far away. Frowning, Yao cautiously approached him, kneeling by the man's side.
He looked remarkably young, barely even an adult, with shockingly pale skin that contrasted sharply with raven-colored bangs that obscured the top half of his face. The young soldier was covered in blood, which stained the ground beneath him, and patches of skin which were swollen and beginning to bruise.
"What did they do to you-aru?" Yao sighed with mixed emotions, gently brushing the soldier's dark bangs back, revealing slightly open, swollen eyes that met his with surprising ferocity before closing. So he was still alive, barely by the looks of it.
Perhaps he should…
"No," Yao told himself, already knowing where his mind was headed. He couldn't possibly…an enemy soldier nonetheless! A murderer, he could have killed anyone, he could have been the one who killed…
"Stop it-aru," he sighed again, nervously running a hand through his long hair. Mei would kill him. If anyone in the village found out, he would be killed.
But at the same time, he couldn't stand the idea of leaving such a young soldier, even if he was an enemy, to die on the hard, cold ground in the forest.
"What am I doing?" He frowned again at the unconscious Japanese soldier, his mind already made up. With a cautious glance to the slowly brightening sky above, he gently lifted the soldier off the ground, holding the young man tightly as he glanced around again and hurried to his home on the edge of the forest.
Thanks for reading! Please, reviews are love?