When Silence Reigns (Naruto FanFic)

When eleven-year-old Shizumi comes to the Leaf Village after her desperate flee from her mysterious enemies, no one knows what to do with her. She slowly worms her way into people's hearts and makes herself at home. What will she do when the past comes back to haunt her, and she learns things she was never meant to know? (WARNING: Minor torture in first part, may have some more later on. It should all be minor, nothing excessively gory, but don't say I didn't warn you!) (AU [Alternate Universe]!) (Naruto FanFiction) I don't own Naruto or the plot or any of the characters that I didn't create. All that credit goes to Masashi Kishimoto!


1. Who am I Fleeing From?

Main POV


I ran through the forest barefoot, breathing shallowly from lack of air. I ran and ran, not stopping no matter how much my chest burned for oxygen, no matter how much my legs screamed at me to stop. My bag slapped against my legs as I ran, too scared go focus on it.


I evaded right, barely missing a tree that had been in my path.


I looked behind my shoulder, checking to see if I had any pursuers. I couldn't see anything, but I still kept running, running as if my life depended on it. Which I'm pretty sure it does.


I tripped over a root that was sticking up, most of it hidden under some fallen leaves. I grunted as I crashed heavily to the ground, scrambling to hide behind a nearby tree. Panting loudly, I tried to calm myself. I put a hand over my mouth to regulate and quiet my breathing, taking deep breaths as I tried to be as quiet as physically possible. I also tried not to think about why I was running. Why I was terrified out of my mind, why I was still trembling with fear and shock.


‘Blood. Bodies. Screams. Terror. Blood.’ Visions fill my head, none the same, all have one thing in common. THEM.


I turn to my side, roughly throwing up what little food I had in my stomach. I sobbed quietly, still fearful that someone would find me. After my stomach was fully empty and the only thing coming up was acid, I took deep breaths to calm myself.


I then shook my head roughly, as if it would rattle the thoughts right out of it. ‘Thinking about it won't help anything! If it were to actually do anything, it would probably be more negative than positive.’


I slowly stood up, leaning on the tree for support. I was mentally and physically exhausted, but I can't stop yet. I’m not safe, not yet. I peeked back in the direction I had come, looking once again for any signs of pursuit. When I had made sure the coast was clear, I continued on my path at the same fast pace, hurrying to my destination. ‘When I think about it, I don't really have a destination. I just want to be away from there.’


I winced in pain as old and new injuries flared, all the running taking its toll on my body. I could feel it slowly shutting down, my limbs feeling heavier and my head lighter. I slowly got a tunnel vision, but I still kept going. Images of what I had seen nudged me on, not allowing me to stop. Obviously, I eventually collapsed, gasping for air and clutching at cuts and bruises, sprains, and maybe even broken bones.


I didn't even know anymore.


My eyes started closing, the tunnel vision growing smaller and smaller until all was black, and thought was no more.






Third Person POV


Shikamaru Nara strolled through his family’s forest at a leisurely pace, looking for a different spot to cloud watch. It was his day off, and it seemed it was most people’s day off too. His usual spot seemed to be the place to meet for the day, so he decided to try and look for a new spot in the privacy of his forest.


He sighed, looking up as he walked. He watched the clouds, floating through the clear blue sky, free and lazy. Sometimes he wished he was a cloud, and often he envied them. But then he thought about the logistics about how they would soon bloat full of water, turn to rain, then be used for many things like being drunk, used to bathe or urinate in, and other unpleasant things like that. That was when he would drop the idea and be glad he was who he was.


He was thinking over this when one of his family’s deer walked into his path and stared directly into his eyes. His family had a tradition of naming every male with ‘Shika’ in front of their name, it meant deer in Japanese, so his family also had a long tradition of raising special deer to guard their lands. The herd did nothing more than observe if someone trespassed, but if someone did, one of the herd was sent to them to warn them.


This deer seemed to be doing just that. Shikamaru paused in his cloud watching to return the deer’s stare, waiting for it to do something. He didn't understand why it was coming to him instead of someone like his father, the leader of the Nara clan.


The deer nodded its head repeatedly, waving it in the direction that it had come. Shikamaru took this as a sign that it wanted him to follow, so he did. “Lead the way, I guess.”


The deer promptly turned and dashed away, not waiting for any more prompting. Shikamaru took off after it, not wanting to lose it. Inside, he was nervous about what he would find. He was only a new genin, what could he do if it was an enemy ninja?


Turns out he didn't have far to go. The deer must have come to him because he was the closest to the person. Odd that the deer still hadn't gone to get a seasoned ninja, even odder that the deer seemed…worried about the intruder. Shikamaru could be wrong, but he was rarely wrong in his observations


Upon arriving at its destination, the deer soon left, seemingly glad that it had fulfilled its duty.


Shikamaru looked around the area, trying to find what he was here for. What he saw actually shocked him. It was a little girl, probably around his age if not younger. Her clothes were in tatters, blood stained and ripped in multiple places, and her long brown hair had twigs and dirt in it. Around her neck were bandages, wrapped snug against it. Next to her lay a small bag, ripped and worn from use. Her face was pale, even paler than the rest of her skin, and she looked like she was shivering. A quick scan showed that the blood had come from her as there were many cuts and scratches covering her body. His first instinct was to run and get help, but he wasn't sure she would last long enough for him to do that. He was scared by how much blood was on her, and he wasn't skilled enough at the medical arts to know how much was too much.


He ran up to her and shook her lightly, saying, “Hey, you ok? Can you hear me?” When he got no response, he tsk’d and said, “Troublesome.” He leaned over and grabbed her bag, moved her onto his back carefully, wincing when he heard her whimper in pain. ‘At least she’s not dead.’ When he got her into a comfortable piggyback position, her arms hanging loosely over his shoulders and his hands supporting her legs, he took off at a brisk jog, careful not to bounce around too much.


His walking had taken him pretty far from his home, maybe a mile, but it didn't seem that long on the way there. Now it felt like an eternity. Shikamaru was constantly looking over his shoulder at her, checking to make sure she was still alive. So far she hadn't died on him, but he still wasn't home yet.


When his house came into view he almost collapsed in relief. He was careful not to though, 'cause that would hurt the girl. Running through the back door, he starts calling for his parents. “Hey, is anybody home? We have a problem!”


His mother, Yoshino, quickly opened a sliding door, wondering what her lazy son was calling for. He was normally calm and quiet, so anything that could make him sound as panicked as he did must be big. “What is it? What’s wrong?”


Shikamaru motioned with his head to the girl on his back. “I found this troublesome woman passed out. We should probably help her, I don’t want her death on my hands, it would be such a drag.”


She stared at him, an angry mark growing on her head. “Well, why the hell did you bring her here? You should have taken her to the hospital!”


Shikamaru also donned an angry mark, annoyed that she was scolding him. “Well, here was closer. Also, you have medical training, I don’t. I figured you could stabilize her before I did.”


“Where did you find her?!”


“In our forest.”


His mother paused, her gaze hardening as she looked upon the girl. “Why was she there?”


The Nara forest was a private forest, and all non-Naras were banned unless invited by the Head, or by someone who the Head had deemed responsible enough to choose wisely the people they brought. Since Yoshino didn't know the girl, it was safe to say she was uninvited.


With a shrug and a sigh, Shikamaru shuffled the girl on his back into a more comfortable position and continued. “How should I know. She was passed out when I found her. She wasn't exactly talkative.”


Yoshino sighed and rubbed the back of her neck with her left hand, waving at him to follow her with her right. “Alright, bring her into the guest room. I'll fix her up a bit, but then she’s going to the Hokage, not the hospital.”


Shikamaru paused for a moment, and then walked towards the indicated room, thinking about what his mother said. He wanted the girl to get medical attention, but his mother was right. She was an intruder, and she would be a threat to the village, no matter how small she was. He entered the room with his mother trailing behind, carrying the girl.


Yoshino had some first aid supplies in her hands and when she entered the room she quickly went about getting them ready.


Shikamaru went over to the bed and laid her down gently in the middle of it. He then set her bag on the ground next to the bag. He looked down at her for a moment, trying to figure something, anything, about her that would explain this bizarre situation. He then turned to his mother and saw her all prepared.


“Ok, I'm going to fix her up a bit; I want you to go run to the Hokage. Just tell him what happened and ask him what he wants to be done.”


He nodded, running of the do as his mother said. He dashed through the village, forgoing his usual lazy walk for one that would get him there quicker.  He saw some of his friends as he ran, but he didn't stop, not even when some called out to him.


He got there quickly; well, quicker than usual; and when he got there, he dodged passed the secretary and went straight to the Hokage’s office.


Shikamaru paused, thinking over what he would say. He honestly didn't know what to think of the situation, so he decided to just wing it in there. He knocked on the door, paused, and then opened it when he heard a calm, “Enter.”


The room itself wasn't very large. A desk, bookcase, and sofa were all in there, with one figure behind the desk in a large chair. All the furniture was plain and simple, made for use, not for looks. The man behind the desk was neither tall nor imposing, but something about him screamed, “important.” He was wearing white robes, with a large hat that had the Kanji for fire and a small veil on the sides of it. This was the Hokage.


“Ah, Shikamaru, what can I do for you today? I thought you were off today?” The Hokage took a puff of his smoke, leaning forward as he asked this.


Shikamaru stood up straighter as he reported. “Hokage-sama, there was an unidentified person in our forest found, and we are unsure what to do. The intruder was severely injured, and we cannot determine if they are a ninja or not. Yoshino Nara is currently tending to them so they don’t die from their wounds.”


The Hokage’s eyes widened as he listened, and when Shikamaru was done he took another puff. “Hmm… When they are stable enough, I want whoever they are brought to Ibiki. If they are not a threat, then they will be fine. If they are, however, then they will already be in his clutches."


Shikamaru tensed, imagining that little girl in Ibiki’s hands, but he pushed away his personal feeling and nodded, “Yes, Hokage-sama.” He then turned and exited the room, walking back to his house with a hollow feeling in his chest. This time, he didn't run into any of his friends, and for this he was glad. He didn't want to deal with the rapid fire question they were sure to fire his way.


He finally got home and entered, taking off his shoes. He walked directly to the guest room, walking in without pausing. He saw his mother still in there, just finishing up her first-aid work.


The girl laid there on her back, her long brown hair fanning around her head. Some of the ends hung of the edge, hanging there limply. She had bandages covering most of her body, even under her torn and dirty dress. She seemed to be sleeping calmly, her chest rising and falling with deep, even breaths. Though, every few seconds her eyes would twitch, as though in pain.


“Oh, you're back.” Yoshino said with a sad voice. “Well, she won't die now.” She paused and turned to look at Shikamaru, her eyes looking about as hollow as his chest felt. “Her injuries match those of someone who’s been tortured. It’s so sad to see these kinds of wounds on a child.” She turns back to the girl and places her head in her hands, hunching over. “It reminds me of you and how this could happen to you so easily…”


Shikamaru sighed, but walked over and gave his mother a hug. “I’m right here, troublesome woman, and I'm not going anywhere. I plan on outliving you and dad by many years, and living my life to the fullest. Whatever happened to this girl, I won't let happen to me. For your sake and for mine.”


Yoshino smiled softly, took a deep breath, and then put on her kunoichi face. “Alright, what did Hokage-sama say?”


Shikamaru tensed and looked away. “He said…He said to give her to Ibiki.”


The hollow look returned to Yoshino’s face, but she nodded quickly and stood up, preparing to move the girl. “I’ll get your father. He'll take her to the T-…Interrogation Force’s HQ.”


Shikamaru only nodded, pausing before he left. He glanced at the bag that was still next to the bed, “I-I’m going to keep her bag here. You know, in case she comes back.” He then left the room and the house. He just wanted to watch his clouds.


Yoshino set off to the other side of the house where her husband was. She found him quickly, and it was a small matter to get him to follow her. “Shikaku! Come here, I need your help.”


Shikaku lazily, but quickly, got up from his desk with a swift, “Yes dear.” He followed her to the guest room, wondering if she needed boxes moved or something. When he saw the young girl laying on the bed, he did a double take. He then looked at his wife, back to the girl, then back to his wife.


Yoshino, fed up with his antics, snapped, “Yes! There is an injured girl on the bed, get over it!” She sighed again, then said nicer, “I need you to take her to the Interrogation HQ. Hokage’s orders.”


Shikaku wanted to ask what this was about, but he knew better than to ask questions when Yoshino was in one of her moods. He simply nodded and walked over to the girl, picking her up bridal style. “I'll be back soon, honey.” And off he went to the T&I HQ.


He got there quickly and explained why he was here. They took the girl, and Shikaku sincerely hoped that he would never see her again.






Main POV


I woke up to the feeling of being wet. ‘Well, this is new.’


I sputter and blink my eyes as I try to see where I am. ‘Not a forest. Building. Stone room. Can’t move. Wet. People.’ This is what my brain picked up in seconds, and instantly I could tell where I was. ‘Another interrogation room.’


I could feel my body tremble and my throat constricting, causing my breaths to come out in small gasps. I lower my head, my bangs covering my eyes in shadows. Memories of previous torture rooms fill my mind as black spots dance across my vision from the lack of oxygen my hyperventilation has caused.


I could feel my consciousness slipping again as panic overwhelmed me. All of a sudden though, I felt calm. As if a switch was flipped inside me. The feeling swiftly changed to a horrid giddiness, the same feeling that came from every torture room.


I almost sighed as my body went through the same routine it always does at the site of these wretched rooms. The same panic, the same switch in personality, and then same sick pleasure at the feeling of release.


Chuckling darkly under my breath, I call out to the people standing around me, hovering and glaring down at me. “Don’t you interrogators have any originality? I swear, been in one torture room, been in 'em all.”


I can tell that some of the least scary ones were shocked at my teasing tone, while the scarier ones just glared at me.


One of them steps out of their little pack and walks up to me, holding an empty bucket with a little water dripping from the lip of it. He probably threw the water on me to wake me up. “Well, since you're so familiar with them, then you know how this goes. We’ll start easy and work up to the harder questions. If you answer them truthfully and quickly, we may not harm you. Now, who are you.”


Giggling, I decide to play. I always play when these rooms take me prisoner. “Well, that depends on the day. Sometimes, I'm a really fun and nice person who everyone loves, and sometimes I'm an antisocial one who avoids everyone. And then sometimes I'm just a mean person who rips everyone’s heads off. And I don't mean I yell at them, I mean their heads go flying. Literally.”


Ah, the pleasure I get from their faces, the horror and confusion clouding their features. But surprisingly, the big one with a scary face didn't do anything. Didn't flinch, didn't change his facial features, he didn't move at all.


“Look, I'm giving you one last warning. You’re just a kid and we don’t want to harm you. Now, Who. Are. You.” I turn to the scary looking man and smile.


“I’m sorry, but I'm honestly not sure how to answer that. If you’re talking about who am I as in my personality, then I dunno, I already explained it. If you’re talking about my name, then that is almost as difficult as my personality. I’ve gone by many na-” I’m cut off by a fist to my jaw.


“Fine, I'll elaborate. What’s your name.”


I chuckle and spit out some blood, cringing as the new wound aggravated my old ones, some of it coming out of my mouth and flowing down my chin. “Silence.”


This seems to anger him, as he sent two swift kicks to my abdomen. “Name,” he says, enunciating the word.


I cough, more blood coming out. I look down and see some of my other wounds were opening up. I was very painful to say the least. “Silence-” I try to continue, but he punches me again, this time to my other cheek. He then grabs my already messy hair and yanks my head up, forcing me to look him in the eyes. “I want your name, maggot, and I want it now.”


I can tell he’s getting angry, but so am I. “If you'd shut up for a mome-” And another kick to the stomach. I collapse onto the floor, looking behind me to see I'm shackled to a wall. I can't move my hands or legs, so now I'm kneeling in front of the scary man. Since he can't get to my stomach, he kicks my back twice.




“My name,” I gasp, “is Silence.” Gasp again. “Shizumi. It means Silence.”


“Full name.”


I gasp for air again, but I look him straight in the eyes. “Sorry, I can't,” gasp, “tell you. I technically,” gasp, “left my family. So, I have no name.”


Kick to the head this time. “Are you a ninja? Do you live in a hidden village? If so, which one.”


I groan in pain, blinking my eyes as sparks dance across my vision. My head’s now throbbing, and it’s getting harder to think. “I’m not…an official ninja, but…I do have ninja training. I never lived…in a hidden village. My clan…was not totally connected to a village. It was…affiliated with a hidden…village, however.”


Kick to the ribs. “What village?”


Tears spring to my eyes, but I force them back. “Wh-what village am I in right now?”I held my tongue from saying the name of the village, unsure if these people were friends or foes with it.


Three kicks to the back, two to the stomach, one to the head. “I ask the questions. But if you must know, we are in Konoha. The Village Hidden in the Leaves.”


I pause in my pain filled gasping and look at him in shock. He seems to think that I’m shocked because I’m scared of their power, but after a few seconds of not breathing, the air in my lungs escapes my body in a pain filled, wheezy laugh. “H-hey liste-”


He kicked me in the stomach, cutting me off, and scowled at me, clearly upset by my laugh. He kicks me a few more times in different places, asking another question. “Why are you here?”


The tears finally overflowed and I was gasping again. “B-because,” painful gasp, “you and your,” another painful gasp, “goons d-dragged me here.” Extremely painful gasp, “I only remember,” wanna-kill-myself-its-so-painful gasp, “passing out in the f-forest.”




I scream in pain, trying to fold into myself. I'm painfully aware of my now broken leg as Scary Man reaches down to grab my hair again. He lifts me up by my hair until I’m hanging above the ground, looking into his cold, black eyes. I shiver involuntarily, my golden yellow eyes caught in his. “You think this is funny? Well it’s not! Now give me some answers, dammit!”


I smirk painfully, my teeth red with my blood and my face stained with my tears. “Well, I guess you just have to take me to hell first.”






Oh, he did a very good job of taking me to hell. He actually made me my own personal hell, and I hated it. Every time I tried to bring something up, a very important something, he would cut me off and beat me again. His reasoning was always, “Prisoners should speak only when spoken to.” Or, “I’m teaching you respect.” It was quickly becoming frustrating, annoying, and painful.


I was drifting in and out of consciousness, my sense of days long gone. How long had I been there? Two days? Three? A week? I don’t know. I’m just in pain.


I hear voices nearby. “Damn, this one’s strong.”


‘Thank you, I'll take that as a compliment’


“It’s a surprise. She’s just a kid, yet she’s one of the strongest people I've seen in one of these sessions. Never seen someone take Ibiki-sama’s interrogation techniques and not spill their guts.”


‘Ah, so that’s Scary Man’s name. Ibiki.’


“I hear that Ibiki-sama went for Hokage-sama to see what he wanted to do next.”


I freeze when I hear ‘Hokage.’ ‘Did they just say Hokage?’


I try to call out to whoever is talking, but my voice is hoarse from screaming. “D-d-did y-you s-say, Hokage?” I finally croak out. I try to lift my head from where it lay; I had collapsed onto the floor after Ibiki’s last torture session. I finally gave up after I could only get it to move an inch.


I can't see anyone, but I could still hear them. “Did you hear that? She reacted to Hokage-sama being mentioned. We should report this. You go tell Hokage-sama and Ibiki-sama.”


“Rodger.” And then I hear nothing.


I pass the time that I'm conscious by tallying up my injuries. After awhile, I give up and decide, ‘There’s too many to count.’


Soon after I gave up on my quest, I hear footsteps. ‘Two sets, two people. One slow and steady, maybe a little wobbly. Sounds like an old man. Other, sounds like Ibiki.’


I manage to turn my head towards the doorway, wanting to see who the new person is. The only person who comes anymore is Ibiki, and he’s only there to hurt me. I haven't been fed yet, so I'm guessing that’s another tactic to make me spill my guts.


In walks Ibiki with someone trailing behind him. It’s a smallish man with white robes on. He wore a funny hat with a fire kanji on it and a white veil on the side.


I smirk over at Ibiki painfully, trying to keep up the pretense that nothing he does is affecting me. “So, you're so pathetic you need an old man to do your dirty work? Or are you finally just gonna kill me?”


I tilt my head to look over at the new guy. “Nice to meet ya, whoever you are. Are you my executioner? Gonna kill me since I won't talk? If yes, please get it over with.”


I see the shock and sadness overtake the old man’s face, his wrinkles deepening until each wrinkle looked like they had their own wrinkles. He walked closer, my eyes glaring defiantly into his, daring him to try and kill me.


He leaned over and…my cuffs around my legs came off. Then the ones on my arms followed them to the ground. I pulled my arms in front of me, massaging some feeling back into my wrists. I look up at the man and simply say, “Thank you.”


He smiles sadly and nods. “It was my pleasure. I hear your name is Shizumi, correct?” I nod, and he takes this as his cue to continue. “I'm terribly sorry for the way we have been treating you. I hope you hold no ill-will towards us.”


I shake my head, trying to understand this strange man. These people had just tortured me for who-knows-how-long, and he expects me to just say, ‘Of course not! I love you all!’? 


“Well, that depends.” I look up into his eyes as I say this, wishing the painful, raw sound would leave my voice.


He tilts his head to the side, his small smile never leaving his face. “On what?”


“If you will help me with a simple request of mine.”


The man shakes his head confused. “And that request is?”


“There is someone here, in Konoha, that is a…friend of mine. Sort of. Anyway, I’m here to look for him. I would like your help with it.”


The man’s face hardened, looking suspicious. “And why do you need to find this…friend of yours?”


“Well, he’s more of a master than a friend. It’s hard to explain our relationship, but I bare him no ill will if that’s what you’re worried about.”


The suspicious look fades away, an extremely confused one taking its place. “Master? Who is your ‘master?’ Maybe we can help.”


I turn my head away from him, staring over to the side. “Well, that’s why I need your help. If I know who he was, then I would have already found him, with or without your permission. He is my life, and I would do anything for him. The only problem is, I only met him once when I was young. I don’t even remember what he looks like or his name.”


Ibiki decides to finally join the conversation, adding his own comments. “I don’t know how you expect us to help you find him then; you don’t even know if he’s still here!”


“I know he’s here!” I yell out before I can stop myself. “He said this was his home, and he would never leave it!” I decided not to add the second reason why I knew, simply because I didn’t want to explain.


The Hokage put his hand up in a ‘stop’ symbol, speaking softly, “Ok, so let’s say that he’s here. What do you need our help with?”


I turn back to him and give him a small smile. “I want to say here in your village until I find him. Maybe even longer if he wants to stay. Now that I can, I will never leave his side again.”


Ibiki leans back on his heels and crosses his arms, clearly not liking the idea. The Hokage, however, seemed to be considering it. He brought one hand up to his face, pinching his chin, while his other hand cupped his elbow, performing the perfect ‘thinking pose.’


A few more moments of this before he responded. “Alright, I will allow you to say in Konoha. But, you are still an outsider, so you will need to say under observation. How old are you?” I turn and see him staring at me, trying to guess my age by my looks.


I look away, my cheeks burning. “E-eleven.” When I didn’t hear anything afterwards, I turned my head back and saw everyone staring at me in shock. “What?!” I croak, my voice coming out softer than I had meant. “What did I do wrong?”


The Hokage shook his head, “No, no, you didn’t do anything wrong. You’re just younger than we thought.” He paused, just staring at me again. “Well, I’ll get to work on getting you someone to watch over you. Until then, we’ll get you to the hospital to heal you up. I’ll leave it to Ibiki here to get you there, and I’ll have someone bring you to my office tomorrow.” With that, he smiled kindly and turned, walking out the door steadily.


I turn to Ibiki, glaring at him mistrustfully. “So, are you actually gonna bring me to the hospital, or are you just gonna try and get more ‘info’ out of me?”


He grunts, returning my glare. “Hokage-sama has ordered that you be brought to the hospital, and I refuse to disobey a direct order. Stand up so we can get a move on.”


I glance down at the ground, placing my hands on it to support me. I bite my lip to suppress any involuntary sounds as I painfully haul myself to my feet, panting as I leaned against the wall to keep myself upright. “I-I’m,” gasp, “up.”


He stares at me for a moment, seemingly expecting me to say something more, (like ask for his help since I’m in so much pain). When I don’t, he makes a “humph,” noise and turns on his heels, walking out the door without sparing me another glance.


I limp after him, mentally repeating to myself, ‘I’ve felt worse, I’ll be fine,’ like I was my only lifeline.


The walk to the hospital took an agonizingly long time. It was probably shorter than it felt like, but I still say it took too long. ‘I swear, I walked less when I took a trip to the Land of Lightning.’


We; Ibiki, myself, and some Anbu guards; arrived at a simple yet large hospital after the long walk. (I truly believe that the interrogation room I was in and the hospital were on opposite sides of the village.) They escorted me into the hospital where the nurse at the front desk sat. She was sitting behind the desk, looking over some papers.


Ibiki cleared his throat to get her attention, speaking when she looked up.  “Yeah, this kid need medical attention.”


She immediately stood up, bustling around when she saw the state I was in. “My goodness! You poor child!”


I look away from her and mutter, “Not a child. Haven’t been a child for years.”


She nods absentmindedly, brushing off my comment. “Yes, yes. Of course.” She walks away for a moment, coming back with a wheelchair. “Now, sit down and I’ll get a doctor for you.”


I silently sit into the chair, wincing a few times. Once I’m settled, she wheels me off to a room, leaving my guards behind.


It doesn’t take long for a doctor to come and check me, healing what they can. They couldn’t heal it all as it was worse than I thought. One broken leg, three fractured ribs, a concussion, a broken nose, a bruised jaw, chakra exhaustion and multiple other cuts and bruises. Truth, I could barely see any skin that wasn't marred by a cut or bruise. Now, it's all covered by white bandages.


After they got me settled into my own room, I sat back into the pillows and stared out the window that was right beside my bed. The sun was setting and the view was…peaceful. Children played until an adult called them in for the night, people walked calmly home to their families, and they all looked pleasantly happy.


‘Happiness, huh.’ I sigh as I think this, turning my head away from the window. ‘…Happiness…’


With this thought on my mind, I sat in that bed, unmoving and unsleeping. The hours passed by, the sky turned from a warm orange to a cold black, and I only moved when the warmth of the sun returned, preparing to shine another day.

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