"What do you want?... Wealth, Fame, Power, Freedom or anything that you desire?"
"None of these, I only want to kill that man!" pointing at the man on the top of the VIP seat that was also looking at her, smiling deviously.
Two youngsters were fighting inside the wide circle stage of the arena. They were being watched by a crowd of audiences who were betting on them, waiting for who will win... or Die!
Most of them are thrilled to watch blood splattering, players killing each other, screaming and crying. It always makes them hype and alive.
In this kind of hell, one of the player is named Mizu Sodomaki, a 15 year old girl who's one of the youngest players in the arena. At this peak of a thrilling moment, she was fighting a player that is twice her size on the stage.
Even though the crowds are cheering thunderously. She can still hear her heart beating loudly.
Mizu's left arm was already numbed because of the excessive gushing of blood out of her new wound. It was a deep, long slice on her skin with a length of 3 inches that kept the blood from dripping all over her arms. Not minding the wound she stayed focused on the fight on hand. Like they say in this 'Survival Game' they called, "hesitation and losing your guard will lead you to death". "It was either to kill or be killed!"
Stepping into this arena was already like a gateway to hell.
Looking at her opponent, Mizu felt her hair rising. This tall, thin boy in front of her was licking the bloodstain on the blade of his knife while staring at her with those piercing and bloodshot eyes. Ready to taste blood and excited to kill her.
On guard, she holds the silver knife firmly. Pulling up all her strength and courage she attacks him first before he can manage to hit her a second time. But unfortunately, her opponent was undoubtedly fast. He dodged her strike several times that were aiming at his trunk.
In a split of a second, this tall man swayed his arms again and playfully slashed her back and kicked her hardly. This made her kiss the solid and rugged floor. And because of the excruciating pain, she groaned. At that moment, Mizu somehow managed to step forward, this move lessened the impact in her back. But unfortunately, she wasn't able to predict the tall man's second move.
Lying on the floor, Mizu immediately rolled over. She barely avoided the sudden jump of the tall man on top of her, that was aiming to stab her head. She then immediately stands up, in a stance to defend herself. She knew that her opponent will not waste any time to attack her.
"It won't take any longer... Obviously, player A will win this game. What do you think?" one of the lady sitting on the VIP seat asked the man beside him, who was watching the fight with interest.
"Hmm, Let see... I think... in just two strikes, that boy will lose his life." He said confidently while eyeing the girl on the stage.
"That's absurd. Her opponent is even twice her size and in perfect shape."
"My lady, my eyes never lie."
Mizu observed her opponent, thinking how on earth will she defeat him. "If this took much longer, I will die." Looking at her own wound that is still bleeding profusely.
She calmed herself in the next second, putting all her courage for this next move. The boy ran nimbly towards her aim at her back once again with such confidence that this time he knew he will able to kill her. But Mizu already predicted his attack and habit in fighting. Sacrificing her hand are the key to all of this plan. And so, she immediately turned around on the side, dodging his attack and bent her knees to slash the leg of her opponent.
Striking the leg minimized his fast movement and by just being able to wound him, his ego ultimately crashed. His weakness was his own leg and that was the source of his strength and confidence.
The tall man lost his balance with quite a shock on his face, and fell to his knees. This is what Mizu was waiting for! A split of a second... A chance to kill him! Mizu didn't waste any moment and with a strong sway of her arm, she swiftly slashed the man's throat with her sharp blade.
The scene was too fast to comprehend that everyone outside the stage was silent in awe. Mizu grip her knife tightly. The thick filthy blood dripped on the blade as she raise her right arm confidently to declare victory!
"Wow! I can't believe this! This little girl is awesome! She's worth watching for."
The silent crowd suddenly turned into a loud cheer, so hype as they shouted her pseudonym. Their scream was so loud and ear-spliting, very deafening that it filled the arena. It took quite long until she can't hear it anymore.
All her surroundings are seem to turn from hazy gray to black.
"Mizu! Mizu! Hey! Stop spacing out!" a familiar voice of a boy shouted beside her. "Hurry! We need to run!" When she regains her consciousness. The first thing she noticed was that she was running with a bunch of kids following her. They were being chased by a grown-up with an apron tied to his waist.
Remembering what happened, Mizu laughed. They just stole some bread from that vendor.
"Quick! Run and split up, let's meet up in the hideout."
The kids running beside her follow her order and ran in different directions at the next intersection. But this vendor chose to follow her behind. Well, she's the one holding the most number of bread they have stolen.
It was winter and the freezing wind brushed her skin made her hug herself. Hearing the noise of cats and crows in the junkyard of their hideout, gave her goosebumps. She successfully lost the vendor that was chasing them. She looked at the crow at the top of a trashbin, she felt this bird was staring at her intently. The crow was tilting its head while looking at her. Mizu knew what this bird wanted. She tore a little bit of the bread and gave it to the crow, but just after the crow gulped the piece of bread, she heard footsteps. So she hid immediately and the crow flew away.
"Mizu! Mizu!" As she found out that it was just her peers, she got out from hiding and ran towards them.
"Thank God you're all safe!"
After making sure that everybody was safe and sound, they all gathered their stolen food and hid it in their hideout. To save it for another day.
She tore the bread in pieces and equally handed it to them. Even though they lived like this, the smile on their faces was wide and never did it vanish.
Mizu was living in the slums along with her peers who are struggling and stealing food in order to survive. Even though life was unfair to them, they still want to live, to live a life just like what a normal kids have.
It's getting dark and the snow was falling heavy. Her peers went back first to their wrecked houses in the slums while Mizu and her friend Kuro, the oldest among the kids with 2 years gap between their age, were left behind to tidy everything up on their hideout and make it ready enough to stand against the heavy snow later on. After an hour they also left and went home. While walking home, she hugged herself as the cold made her shiver.
"Mizu wait here."
"Huh? What?! Why-" Mizu asked in perplexed at Kuro who suddenly left her in a hurry. Waiting in this snow, made Mizu want to kick Kuro's butt. But her attention was suddenly taken by a crying sound beneath the wall of a certain alley. When she checked it, she saw a boy burying his face on his knees while hugging his ownself. He then stops crying and looked up at Mizu. Looking at this boy, he seemed just at her age.
"What happen? Are you alright?" She asked in concern.
The boy only stared at her and not saying a word.
"You child!" Mizu felt shivers down her spine when she heard the duckly voice of the vendor. 'He's still searching for us even now? What an old man.' But before the vendor can catch them, she grabbed the hand of the boy and ran.
His hand froze like he was outside for almost a day. Mizu looked at him while still running. He looked like an innocent boy who has no idea of anything around him and his weight was light as a paper.
After a long time of running and making sure no one was already chasing them. Mizu stops and gasped for air. Looking at the boy, his body was shaking terribly because of the cold and he seemed like he had not eaten for a day.
Starving from hunger was a terrible experience for her.
Mizu let out a half of a bread from her mini sling bag and gave it to the boy. This boy ate it immediately and afterwards she rubbed her hand and placed it upon the boy's face to make him warm.
"What is your name?" Mizu asked while still holding the little boy face.
"I-I don't know..." His voice was almost cracked.
"Why are you here?"
"Are you like us?"
"I don't know." The only phrase that he could utter.
While looking at the sky, Mizu saw the snow fall. She opened her hand and when the snow flakes dropped on her palm it disappeared immediately, but it's such a mesmerizing scene to watch.
Then suddenly an idea came to her, she excitedly looked at the boy and exclaimed.
"Because you don't know your name and its such a hassle to say 'you' everytime.. I will call you Shiro! White as a snow. You won't mind, would you..?
The boy only nods to her, to simply say yes.
Later on they heard sounds of footsteps from a distance, Mizu stays on guard and gestured the boy to stay quiet and dragged him to hide.
"Mizu! Mizu!" she felt at ease when Mizu heard her friend's voice. She thought for a moment that it was the vendor.
"Kuro!" She gets out and called her friend.
"Where did you go?" I kept looking for you and thought that you might be in trouble!" He was always worried about her ever since then. He handed the thick sweater to Mizu that he found somewhere and Mizu grab it immediately.
''So, this is the reason why'd you hurriedly left.''
"And who is that?" The boy looked at them and when he saw her friend, he looked away and hides in her back.
"Oh, he is Shiro!" Mizu joyously stated while putting the sweater on the boy that Kuro just gave her, making Kuro's face turn to disbelief. After explaining what happened, they went back to the slums.
"What will you do about him?" The two were in front walking ahead and the boy was only following them.
"Hmm... I will let him stay in the house."
"What? Are you crazy?"
"It's not like I can just leave him there."
Kuro just sighed. He will never win if he will argue with Mizu.
"But your Mother will beat you again if she will know."
Looking at the sky with a bittersweet smile and holding Shiro's hand, she said, "It's fine, I'm already used to it."