Caged in by steel walls that appeared to lack sunlight, Kimoto rested like a ragdoll, nailed to a wooden pole by his hands in the center of the room.
Five hundred… and twelve
His torso had pieces of flesh torn out and blood was strewn beneath him in aimless splatters.
A shockwave thrust his body backwards as a mace-like weapon drew contact once more.
Blood poured out from his mouth and drooled down his chest as he grunted.
Five hundred… and thirteen
His head was covered by a straw sack, and the only clothing he wore was the underwear beneath his blood stained trousers.
A bucket of cold water sat next to the pole, waiting to be used.
“Hold it” a flat, soft voice commanded from the distance.
The crackling of wood and scraping of metal filled the empty room as the mace was dropped without a second thought.
Footsteps crept towards Kimoto in an unsettling motion as blood continued to drip. They were not ordinary footsteps – they were the footsteps of an intruder on broad heels.
The cover was swiftly plucked off, unveiling Kimoto’s lifeless, slouched head.
His energy had depleted to the point where keeping himself steady and upright was a major struggle – he was drained.
“Your endurance is impressive.” the soothing voice glided through Kimoto’s mind as a cold, smooth hand gripped onto his jaw, slowly lifting his face in vision of his own.
The figure that stood before Kimoto manifested the appearance of a tall and elegant man in his mid-twenties, dressed in a red velvet suit and a black shirt with a black tie wrapped around the collar.
He bent down, almost crouching, his hand still firm on Kimoto’s face.
A few rapid chuckles escaped through his nose as he cocked his head to the right, bringing himself a few inches closer to the pinned target.
His sharp cheekbones emphasized the long, pasty face that was home to a sinister and amused smirk that had developed over time.
“I have an offer for you.”
Kimoto ignored him as his weary eyes slowly shifted around in order to examine the environment he was trapped in.
A statue of Buddha…
The large, golden figure of the religious deity ranked high above everything else a few meters away, accompanied by countless broken skulls and bones, on and around it.
“What the fuck…?” Kimoto muttered under his breath in confusion and disgust.
“Aah! I see you’ve noticed my statue!” he lit up with excitement.
Kimoto continued his visual patrol for a few more seconds.
The only source of light were the large, half melted candles that had been strategically set out around the dome.
In the far end where the room was darkest, a box with a wooden stand rested and was surrounded by more candles, this time they were red and untouched. The whole structure had a grey cloak covering it.
A memorial, huh? Kimoto questioned himself.
“What do you think of my aesthetics?” He brought Kimoto back into focus, finally releasing his grip.
Kimoto’s head slumped down once again, the last few drops of blood on his chest forcedly hitting the ground.
“The pain…” he whispered with closed eyes.
He was becoming numb to the torture due to the physical and mental repetition, his mind growing more and more blank.
The suited man stood up and wiped his hand with a handkerchief.
He paused and stared down at the helpless victim.
“Pain? – You don’t understand pain well enough to mention it so vainly”
“Your wounds will heal with time, my mental scars have been permanently engraved to my soul” He assured the prisoner.
Kimoto had already given up on escape and life, and took careless steps.
“What do you know about pain?” He resumed the dialogue.
The man paused in disbelief and adjusted his body language directly towards the younger.
“When the person who was your paradise lived happily with you knowing what you were beneath the mask disappears forever” his soft voice growing louder
“When the only person to see beyond your appearance has their soul taken by gang scum like yourself!” he gripped Kimoto’s entire face with his left hand before delivering a critical blow to the chest with his right fist.
The boy managed to share a painful grunt before the hit penetrated through the wooden pole, sending him flying backwards onto the ground with dozens of wooden pieces scattered next to him.
“And all those countless times I’ve tried leaving this Earth forcefully to follow her into the afterlife?!”
He tugged onto his shirt, ripping it off with one swing and revealing deep scars from neck to abdomen. They looked perfect in size for Katana blades. The figures '0035' were marked on his chest.
“But I cannot die!”