Rise of Glie Chapter 35
Previous: Rise of Glie Chapter 34: Kagami's Bird
FHD Remix: The Rise of Glie
Chapter 35: Kagami's Terror
"Can that really happen?" Aware asks, "I- ... I mean, I thought that only happened in stories. Can one actually-"
"Yes," Shiden says, "There are even a couple cases within this wall from before the battle. It was a capital crime."
"That happened to Kagami?" Aware gasps.
"Yes," Shiden sobs, "It wasn't just a part of her old life, it was her old life. The Saviour brought her here to show her what her life was supposed to be like, and so that she could forgive..."
"Forgive?" Aware asks.
"Three years ago," Aware says, "Crystal and Kagami came to me wondering about a crow that had fallen off Old Home's stone's fence. Was that when you found out your little girl was in Glie?"
The crow nods, his right wing already extended.
"Why are you here as a crow?" Aware asks grimly, "You deserve to burn in hell."
"The Saviour died for people such as him, too," Shiden says, "The monster that hurt Kagami is dead. This crow is a new person, born again because of the Saviour's blood. Confess your sins one to another, so that you may be healed. Thank you for revealing yourself to us, little one. And once again, thanks for all the other wonderful things you have done for us."
This does little to comfort the crow, but he manages to lift his bill from the desk and nod.
"Are you willing to let Kagami confront you?" Aware asks, "It might make it easier for her to make her forgiveness."
The crow lifts his already extended right wing.
"Summon her," Shiden orders..
After Aware leaves, Shiden's almost-never-seen pet cat jumps up onto the desk with a fresh kill, a small rat. She drops it on his desk and purrs at Shiden. Shiden swats the black spot on her rump, "Hey, I told you not to bring me those."
The crow thinks back. The cat is six years, four months, and thirteen days old. He raised her after her mother died on the sixth day, the only one of her litter to survive. He is amazed to see her here. She nudges the dead rat towards him with a paw.
"Oh, it's for him?" Shiden says, "How do you know that's what crows like."
The cat smiles at him like, "Oh, please! All we cats know," and then lounges on the desk like she's queen of the Temple. [Yes, cats smile, you just need to know what to look for.]
The crow appears grateful and starts eating. He realizes that this cat is probably just as dumb as any other cat, and almost certainly does not recognize her surrogate father. Having imprinted on a crow as a kitten, she must believe them to be of her own kind, and probably babies all.
"The Toga think she was raised by crows," Shiden explains, "They said they brought her here because they were scared she might hurt them by trying to play, and that her hunting instincts weren't very good."
She was raised by just one crow, and her hunting instincts suck because she can't fly, and crows can't run. It was the best I could do, thinks the crow.
"It's really funny to watch her try to give you guys hunting lessons," Shiden laughs.
At Wire Factory that day, Bangou stares intently at a set of tiny lights. They light up in a certain sequence, she frowns, then looks at her chart, and frowns again.
"Still pretty good, considering its from our first batch, no?" Fushoku says.
"Yes, it is," answers Bangou gratefully, "but still, we make nothing from the effort until these things are actually working."
"That's what you think," Fushoku teases, "Don't you feel happy at the progress made? I'd say that's more than nothing."
"You know what I mean," she grumbles.
Bahitsu arrives, all bunnied up, but not very well, as though he did so in a flat rush.
"Bahitsu," Fushoku almost laughs, straightening out his filter mask for him, "Your work day's over, and you don't work here anyway."
"It's Kagami," Bahitsu explains, "Washi's summoned her to the Temple and she's scared out of her wits. She refuses to leave her room until Bangou's there," he turns to her with a nod and says politely, "Ma'am" with one eye half closed.
Bangou and Fushoku make haste to wrap up and go home, since no one has ever heard of Bahitsu saying "ma'am" unless it was a mortal situation.
Less than twenty minutes later, Bangou arrives at the door of Kagami's room.
No sound comes from inside.
"Kagami, it's Bangou," she says, "Bahitsu came to get me. I'm coming in."
"Aware says he's waiting for me," Kagami sobs, "He's waiting for me at the Temple. Oh, God!" She's petrified.
"You've seen him before," Bangou assures her, "Washi's not that scary."
"The monster," she hisses, "The monster in my dreams that does such horrible things to me. From behind he looks at me in the mirror," she sobs, "He's waiting for me at the Temple!"
"All I said was, <<It's time to forgive your monster.>>" Aware explains from the door.
"He's there, isn't he!?" Kagami screams at the top of her lungs. Far from the childish squeal she hatched with, Kagami is now physically about thirteen, having grown a bit faster than expected in her five years in Glie.
Aware produces no answer to her question.
"We're going with you," Bangou says, "I won't let anyone hurt you, not even the Communicator, understand?"
Kagami shakes her head hard, her halo flies about, goes dark and bounces off the wall. Loose from her head, it rolls to Aware's feet. He stoops, picks it up, and shakes it. It doesn't have any light in it at all.
Bangou is alarmed at the progression of the blackness in her feathers, "Kagami, we have to go now!"
"It may already be too late," Aware says grimly.
"I don't care!" Bangou screams, "We're going!" She picks the bawling adolescent from her futon mattress on the floor and carries her out.
"Stanley, we need your truck," Bahitsu says to the mayor, and drops the tailgate before Stanley has a chance to speak.
"What's wrong?" he asks almost breathlessly.
"Please, sir," Aware presents the grey halo, "Kagami's halo has fallen off, it's an emergency."
Stanley nods his approval, "Drive safely, and don't even think about taking it past the grassline."
Bahitsu brakes a moment late and the front wheels stop a few inches into the grass. Fushoku jumps out first and lowers the tailgate.
Bangou drops Kagami on Fushoku's back, "Just for the climb," she says before jumping out.
"I don't wanna go, I don't wanna go," Kagami bawls.
"You are going to lose your wings if we don't hurry," Aware explains, "Your halo sustains them, and it will hurt much worse than when they came out."
Bangou shoots him a "How they heck do you know that?" look. Turning back to Kagami, she says, "No one's going to hurt you, I promise."
They proceed quickly with only Kagami uttering any sound, her cries advertising their position at all moments as they climb and descend the path to the Temple's front door. She is again in Bangou's arms as they rush through the gates, not even pausing for their bells.
The Communicator waves off the temple guards following the hasty procession as it approaches his desk, the crow still standing there next to him.
"I don't want to see him," Kagami sobs.
"You've seen him once already, sister," The Communicator intones, "and he was just as scared of you then as you are now. You don't remember, do you?"
Kagami's eyes open. Bangou lets her down and she looks around, "He's not here?" she asks cautiously.
"Yes, he is here," Washi says softly, "but I must have you all know that it is top secret that the crows are sentient beings, resurrected into our world just like us haibane, but with their memories completely intact." He gestures to the crow on his desk, "Kagami, this is the father from your old life. The one who raped you."
Next: Rise of Glie Chapter 36: Kagami's Choice