That Day – Part II

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‘A place she doesn’t know. A place that she feels like shouldn’t exist. And she’s there right now, breathing heavily and scared. But she’s there.

A voice. “I know, I’m asking for too much–”

If you know you are, then don’t ask!

“But you’re my only hope. Our only hope –”

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A sustained, ringing tone that starts from low rumbling to a piercing screech rings in her ears.

Suddenly, it stops. Then, a voicesays,

“When there is fear, there’s courage. When there’s hardships, there’s hope.”

Why does it sound familiar?

A light so bright comes shining out of nowhere. This time, after the light fades away, she sees a mouth, bloody, smiling at her.

—-

She blinks awake as she hears a voice that says, “Wake up, wake up, come on,” she opens her eyes and sees a mouth, smiling at her.

“Didn’t you have blood in your mouth?”

“Huh?” The person asks. “What are you talking about?”

“Nevermind.” She groans. Because… What is she talking about? Why does this person’s mouth have to be bloody? That makes no sense. She looks at the person in front of her. Brown hair, that falls around in her shoulder. She’s bending down as she offers her hand.

“Hmm? Is there anything you want to say?”

Is there? “No. Nothing. Excuse me, but where are we?” She takes her hand to stand up.

“See, that’s why I woke you up because I don’t know either. It looks like we’re going to get some wood but the thing is… I don’t know who you are.” She glances at her, expecting. “I have a feeling you might be the same.”

No s***, she thinks to herself in panic. Why wouldn’t she know who she is?

“– HEY! HEY!” A voice yells. “Hey! You! Both of you!” A woman is running towards them. She stops when she reaches them, breathes in deeply before saying, “I thought you guys are going to get water. Imagine my surprise when someone said they saw you guys in the forest instead.”

Who are you? is what she wants to ask but the one with the brown hair ends up blurting out, “We were supposed to get water?” Brown Hair ends up looking at her.

“I…” she frowns. Because Brown Hair is right. It has to be wood. She feels like it should. “Wood. I’m sure it was wood.”

The other woman who just came smiles. Or tries to smile because it doesn’t look natural as much as she wants it to be. “It was water. We got an adequate amount of wood in the house. Bring that back, anyway. I’ll help with the water.”

“We have a house?” She blurts out. “Whoa, a house?” Good to know she’s not homeless. She looks at Brown Hair.

“As it turns out, yes.” Brown Hair shrugs.

“What the f***…” she mutters.

The other woman scowls. “You don’t know you live in a house?”

She answers, “No! I don’t! I do?”

“You don’t remember?” The other woman prods on.

She shakes her head.

To Brown Hair, the other woman asks, “Do you remember?”

“No, but I could try, if you want.”

The other woman looks as confused as she feels. “My name is Lyanne. We live in the same house. I think people thought I’m your mother.”

Brown Hair snorts. “You look too young.”

Is that an insult? She wants to ask but doesn’t.

Lyanne ignores what Brown Hair said. Instead she replies, “Get back with me. To the house. We have to… discuss something.”

They follow her. Lyanne takes some of the wood Brown and her got. She wants to ask Lyanne if they’re near the house when they see a fight happening in an alleyway.

Kids.

“Bully…ing?” She says, tilts her head. Because… Why does this look familiar? She watches as Brown Hair walks towards the fight and Lyanne tries to stop her. Brown Hair doesn’t stop until she starts ripping kids at each other and throwing against the floor or the wall.

Except for one kid. And Brown Hair says the kid’s name, “ Eren.”

She feels her stomach turn and her throat burns. Her eyes roll at the back of her head and —

‘There’s a boat. And a kid. There are people with him there. Hundreds of them. The boat feels a lot like a funeral. The kid in particular feels angry. 

“–ILL — -LL!” The sentence doesn’t make sense nor does it ever feel like it’s real.

It’s not real.

It’s not your responsibility anymore .

She throws up. Lyanne is on her as soon as this happens, “Hey! S***! You okay?”

“Sorry, I–“

“It’s fine. Don’t worry. Can you stand up?” Lyanne helps her, but she still feels a little tender to her core. Lyanne turns around a bit to tell Brown Hair something. She doesn’t know what Brown Hair does but she can hear a faint childish eek.

“Hey! Let’s go!” Lyanne exclaims, frantically.

“It’s… not…”

Lyanne looks at her. “What?”

“It’s… not… our… responsibility… anymore…”

Lyanne looks shocked. “You, too?”

She chuckles because this is somehow funny. Like group insanity or something. But she feels her stomach turn so she doubles over and curses, “F***.”

When they actually reach the ‘house’ which is technically not a house, but she’s just happy that she could take a rest because her stomach really hurts, a woman in her late forties sees them and says, “Oh, Blythe and Lia are here. No water? Where did they go? For nothing?”

Lyanne awkwardly laughs as she opens the door and makes them follow her inside.

If the outside is… unique, the inside is no better.

Lia, hopefully, she’s right about that, helps her sit and sits down next to her. Lyanne sits across them and sighs. They all look at each other, trying to maintain the very uncomfortable silence they have.

Then, Lyanne says, “You felt that, right? The voice and the… memory…”

“The one with the boat?” Lia asks.

Blythe adds. “And the one who says it’s not our responsibility?”

“Yes,” Lyanne says while nodding.

“Maybe, we’re just insane.” Lia leans forward and shrugs. “I mean, it’s not that far-fetched. This place is like Satan’s butthole.”

Lyanne chuckles but worry is evident in her face. “I wish we were insane.”

But we aren’t, she thinks. “But how can you explain those things we just experienced?” Blythe asks. She grabs her stomach as it turns again.

Lia turns to her. “You okay?”

“I’m fine.” Blythe smiles, she feels like it’s forced but her feelings are genuine. “Just… I don’t know. I feel anxious about something. Like, we need to do… I don’t know what. But we have to do it.”

“Like what?” Lia raises an eyebrow. 

“I don’t know.” Blythe whines, she doesn’t mean to act so childish. “I don’t know. I can’t explain it either. But we have to do it. We have to.”

Lyanne shakes her head a little and sighs. “Maybe we’re just tired. Listen, go and take a rest. I don’t think we have an appetite for dinner.” 

“Speak for yourself.” Lia says as she stands up and goes to the kitchen. “I’m hungry.” 

She knows Lia is doing this for her. Abs Blythe welcomes the pampering. “Can you make me soup, Lia? My stomach still hurts.”

“Yeah. How about you, pseudo-mother?” 

Lyanne chuckles. “Yeah, sure. We got food there? You know what, get out. Let me cook. I don’t trust your cooking.”

She wants to believe they’ll be okay, even if there are a lot of puzzle pieces still lingering around them. She has two people with her who cares about her, it’s fine.

It’s fine. It has to.

—-

Lia climbs one of the trees and Blythe watches her as she does.

“You said you don’t care about Eren.” Blythe says, with an eyebrow raises. “What’s this, then?”

“There are three kids now,” Lia grunts as she finally reaches the only apple in the entire forest. “So, my care added up.”

Blythe rolls her eyes. But she has to say, the weather is nice today. The wind is warm and the sun doesn’t feel too hot. It’s just right. “You know,” she murmurs. Lia is going down slowly from the tree. “This feels like a lot like the calm before the storm.”

Lia cleans the apple with her shirt. She looks at her and says, “Aren’t you a positive-thinker.”

“Say what you want but you have to admit we’re in a weird state.” Talking voices in their heads, unclear memories, no recollection of who they are? Isn’t that a recipe for disaster?

“You’re way negative. Just be like me, take it one step at a time.”

One of us has to think for our future.” She mutters. She helps Lia bring the wood she collected before climbing a tree.

They walk on the way to their home when their nosy neighbor — Paula, her name is — catches them.

“Hey, Lia, Blythe, going home?”

“Yes.” Blythe answers, innocently. “By the way, Paula, remember what you told us before, about the King… King Fritz, was it?”

“Yes, what about him?”

Blythe smiles. “Is he helpful to the people? He’s the King, right? He must be so kind.”

Paula frowns. “Well, no, not really. We never really saw him, actually. He’s just… there .”

Blythe feels her blood boils. F****** monarchs. They should just abolish that system. Or actually just kick the current King and bring another who is not useless.

Lia clears her throat. “How about the titans?”

Paula shivers when Lia says the word Titans. “What about them?”

“What do they look like?”

“Why would you ask what titans look like? They’re just tall! Too tall! They are ugly and they eat people. The only person who can kill them accurately is Humanity’s Strongest Soldier.”

Lia blinks. “Who?”

“Captain Levi of the Survey Corps.” Paula says, annoyed. “He’s the best at killing them. Only if they don’t waste our money, they’d probably be well liked.” Paula clicks her tongue.

Lia and Blythe look at each other and decide not to say anything.

They reach their house, waving a goodbye to Paula, and Lia pushes the apple in Blythe’s hands. “Give this to them.”

“Why me?”

Lia just shrugs and pushes Blythe.

Blythe throws the apple at Eren, who looks shocked. “Share that.”

Lia doesn’t say anything. She can feel all of them looking at her.

Lia and Lyanne bicker at the door and Blythe just sighs as she follows them inside.

“You did well.” Lyanne says with a smile.

“Titans.” Lia chuckles without actually meaning it.

She feels disgusted just by saying this. “Monarchs.

Lia walks to the window and checks outside. “Eren is still here. Seriously, what is up with this kid?”

Blythe would like to answer but she feels it’s too hypocritical of her to say anything when something is wrong with her, too. So instead, she goes to the wood and arranges it.

“I’m going to cook.” Lyanne announces.

Blythe asks. “To feed Eren?”

Lia snorts. “Of course, to feed Eren. What else?”

Lyanne doesn’t reply to them but Blythe thinks the slap at the back of Lia’s head is enough.

—-

When Blythe and Lia come back from getting some water, they find Lyanne lying down on the floor beside her vomit.

“What the f*** is going on here?” Lia asks as she throws everything she’s holding. “Are you okay?”

Blythe goes to the kitchen and takes some rags. She starts cleaning the floor.

Lia helps Lyanne up and makes her sit in the chair. She brushes the hair in Lyanne’s face as Lyanne slowly opens her eyes and the frown on her face gets harder.

“Are you okay?” Lia asks.

“I yelled at the kids.”

Lia cups Lyanne’s face. “Hey, Ly, I need you to listen to me. What happened?

“Had a vision.” She murmurs.

“What’s the trigger?”

“Sea.” Lyanne answers weakly. Then, she tells them what she can remember and what happened to the kids.

“They probably went home, Ly. It’s okay.” Blythe says, tries to make her voice as comforting as possible. She pats Lyanne’s back and Lyanne leans forward to hug Blythe’s middle.

“I’m tired…” Lyanne mutters. “We all are, right?”

It’s okay.

Blythe shivers.

It’s okay.

Blythe tightens her hold to Lyanne. Is what okay? What is?

—-

The next day, Eren still comes back and they all decide to just drop him off at their house.

But of course, her emotionally stunted women will push Blythe to talk to the kid she didn’t even upset. She rolls her eyes and goes, anyway.

“Hey, Eren. I heard Lyanne yelled at you yesterday. She was just… tired and a little bit sick but she didn’t mean it, okay?”

Eren looks at her, with his puppy dog eyes and nods. He stands up and walks together with her.

Lia doesn’t give Eren any attention and Blythe nudges her with her elbow. “What?”

Blythe snickers. “You care about Eren~ you don’t have to hide it.”

“I’m not hiding anything! I–“

“That’s not where I live!” Eren exclaims suddenly that makes them jump. He starts to point at directions and starts talking about his family and friends.

“You got a dad?” Lia asks.

“Yes, he’s a doctor.”

Lia gives Blythe a look. “A doctor, huh? Maybe, he can diagnose us.”

“Why? What’s wrong with you?” Eren asks.

“Don’t confuse the kid.” Blythe hisses as she nudges her with her elbow again.

Lia is still laughing. “I’m just saying. Right, Ly –” She turns her head and Blythe follows her. “What’s wrong with you?”

“I’m just hungry.” Lyanne lies, Blythe knows she’s lying. “Hopefully, Eren’s mother will feed us.”

Eren excitedly then talks about his mother.

They reach Eren’s house and he knocks excitedly that Blythe can’t help but smile at him. The door opens and it reveals a woman.

A woman with long black —

‘– hair underneath a boulder and surrounded by a house destroyed. She looks utterly defeated and afraid. She’s bloody and she’s asking for help, help, help —

And a broken voice that yells “MOM!” While a kid is running away.

Nothing is clear, however. The images she sees are glitching, like they’re not supposed to be seen.

But she does.’

It’s okay. It’s okay. It’s okay.

You can’t save her.

You can’t save her.

You can’t save her.

She’s sure Lyanne and Carla are talking about something but she’s only aware of exactly what is happening when Lia drags her away.

“What’s wrong, Bee, you okay?”

She doesn’t blink, she’s not even focusing on anything in particular. She just breathes deeply, in slow phases. “I — we have to save her.

You can’t save her.

Who?

Blythe looks at Lia, and she feels her eyes moisten. “Eren’s mother.” She chokes out. “I know — I know it was her –“

“What is? Hey, Bee! Let’s go home –“

You can’t save her.

Even if that’s the case… if Blythe can’t, then who will?

Blythe finds out her name is Carla. Eren’s mother. Carla.

A beautiful woman, with long, black hair and a yellow-ish pair of eyes.

She’s really beautiful, she seems lovely. She seems exactly the kind of person that needs to be in this world.

She has to save her.

You can’t save her.

She will.

—-

It doesn’t surprise her to find out Lia is gone. She’s always been someone that takes I should have roots instead of feet if I’m not allowed to leave, seriously. But Blythe has a feeling this time, it’s not just about her being free to do what she wants.

Lyanne seems pissed about it, though.

“We’re still going to Carla’s, right?”

You can’t save her.

“Yes… Blythe, are you sure you’re okay? You’re pale.”

“Yes, I’m fine. Just a little anxious.” Blythe honestly answers.

You can’t save her.

Eren knocks get persistent. Lyanne opens the door and he seems happy enough to see them. His face starts to get worried when he sees Blythe. “Is Blythe okay?”

Blythe pats his head. “I’m fine.” And to Mikasa, she says, “Hello, Mikasa.”

You can’t save her.

Eren excitedly walks with them and starts telling them how much excitement his mother has been exhibiting. He says something funny and Blythe looks at Lyanne if she finds it funny too, except no one is there.

You can’t save her.

“Where’s Lyanne?” Eren asks.

“Wasn’t she with us just a moment ago?”

Blythe reassures the kids. “Don’t worry. She probably just saw something shiny and followed it. She’ll be back.” Or lie, more accurately.

Eren doesn’t look comfortable about this. He sighs. “I was really looking forward to spending this day with you, Lia and Lyanne.”

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Blythe giggles. “You’ll have more time later. I promise.”

They reach Eren’s house and Blythe officially meets —

You can’t save her. You can’t save her. You can’t save her. Youcantyoucantyoucant.

— Carla.

“Blythe, right?” She grins at her. She cleans her hand with a cloth before hugging Blythe. “I heard so much about you. From Eren, obviously.”

“Mom!”

“Was it supposed to be a secret?”

Mikasa!

If this was a normal day, Blythe can imagine smiling and enjoying this company. But she’s a woman with a talking voice in her head.

You can’t save her. You can’t save her. You can’t save her. Youcantyoucantyoucantyoucant.

“Actually, I’m about to finish cooking. How about you fetch Armin?” Carla asks. “And also how about Lyanne and…”

“Lia.” Mikasa finishes.

Carla smiles softly. “Yes, Lia.”

“I could help you.” Blythe blurts out. “I mean, Eren and Mikasa–“

“No, no. Armin would like to see you there, too.”

You can’t save her. You can’t save her. You can’t save her. You can’t save her.

Eren starts to drag Blythe out of the house when she gives Carla one last look.

“I promise we’ll be back.”

Carla smiles. No. She smiles. “Of course, you are.”

You can’t save her.

Eren drags Blythe away by holding her hand Mikasa follows them. He tells Blythe stories about Armin and his grandfather but Blythe’s full attention is on Carla and how she wants to turn around and go back right now.

They reach Armin’s house and Blythe finds Armin outside, already waiting for them.

“My grandfather is out at the moment but he said I could go if I want.”

Blythe nods and she’s about to leave when Armin just stares at her. She blinks. Ah, right.

Blythe kneels down and opens her arms. “Would you like a hug, Armin?”

Armin slowly smiles and runs towards her to wrap his arms around her.

You can’t save her.

A large explosion happens and she suddenly tightens her hold around Armin. She lets go a bit to look at Eren and Mikasa. She drags them both against her and —

Explosion. Screams. Cries.

For a moment, time seems to stop.

You can’t save her.

There’s an unusual feeling of terror in the wind when Blythe slowly looks up and sees an eye of a titan.

Carla.

“We need to go to your mother now, Eren!” She exclaims. She stands up and runs. She looks behind her from time to time to make sure the kids are still following her. Armin falls down, she stops to help him and runs again.

She can’t breathe. She can’t breathe. She can’t breathe.

You can’t save her.

Carla is already underneath a boulder that seems to be the same size of her memories.

You can’t save her.

Run.

Run.

Run.

Run.

No.” She whispers, terrified. “No!” Again, with more conviction. “No, no, no!” She runs towards Carla. Tries to push the boulder off her. Eren tries to walk towards them to help but. “No, Eren. Run! Find an adult!” She screams at the kids as she tries to push the boulder to let Carla free. “Now, Eren!” Blythe snaps.

Eren is frozen, however. Like he doesn’t seem to believe what he’s seeing.

“Mikasa!” She exclaims as she starts to dig this time. Maybe, they could pull Carla off that way. “Get someone, anyone! Go!

Mikasa’s eyes are wide with tears in her eyes but she seems to get what needs to be done. She leaves.

“Eren,” Carla starts. You can’t save her. Run. Leave. You can’t save her. “Eren, you need to listen to Blythe. You need to go. Don’t worry about me, Blythe is here. She’ll help.”

Carla is bloody, injured and afraid. But she doesn’t let her son know about it. What a f****** strong woman. Blythe can feel her tears fall.

She needs to live. Carla Jaeger needs to live .

You can’t save her. You can’t save her. You can’t save her.

“God damn it,” she hisses, in between her tears. “God damn it!”

Mikasa comes running back to them with a man in tow.

“Hannes, take the kids. Please. Take them. I will be fine. Blythe is — Blythe is helping.” Carla tells the man.

Blythe can’t even feel the pain in her hands because the pain in her chest is much stronger. More destructive. More explosive.

You can’t save her. You can’t save her. You can’t.

Hannes picks up a screaming Eren and Mikasa. Armin gives Blythe a look.

Go!” Blythe snarls.

Hannes starts running when Carla says the most unexpected thing Blythe can hear.

“End it.”

Blythe stops pushing. She feels cold, all of a sudden.

Carla smiles. “Please, end it.”

Blythe’s face contorts as she sobs. Tears falling uncontrollably. Her chest hurts. She grabs a handful of her shirt. “No.” She whimpers.

It’s okay.

You can’t save her.

It’s okay.

Her hands are shaking as she wraps her hands around Carla’s neck.

It’s okay.

But she hears footsteps that’s way too loud to be just for a normal person.

You can’t save her.

Blythe doesn’t know which one it would be: she ends Carla’s suffering first or she dies in the hands of a Titan.

That’s when Lia swings with a gear and grabs Blythe while she escapes.

Blythe feels her heart drops as she watches Carla being picked up by a Titan.

Titans are ugly, Blythe watches in horror as the titan breaks Carla’s back. They eat people. And as the Titan bites into her, Blythe screams the most wrenching scream she had ever let out.

It’s okay.

The gear Lia is using suddenly stops working and they fall to a roof and they crash down the ground.

You can’t save her.

Blythe can still hear Carla asking her to kill her, and can still see the scene where a Titan eats the strongest woman Blythe knows.

She grabs a handful of dirt and throws it away. “F***!” She screams. She punches the ground. “F***! F***! F***!” She keeps punching and punching until her hands bleed. “F***! F***! F***!” Her tears and snot fall down from cheeks to her mouth and she keeps punching and punching until Lia stops her.

“Enough! Enough, Blythe! Stop!”

“I’m so stupid! So f****** stupid! Useless! F***! F***!

“No, you’re not! Stop!”

“I let her die! I let Carla die! F***! F***!” She struggles from Lia’s hold but she successfully pushes Lia away. She starts to punch the ground again. She’s angry — furious — can feel the hot, liquid running to her veins. To whom? She doesn’t know. To herself, maybe. To the titan that killed Carla. To Carla who asked her to kill her. To the voice who knew she couldn’t save Carla.

It’s okay.

“Shut up! Shut the f*** up! Enough! Enough!” She grabs a handful of her hair and pulls. “Enough!”

Lia gathers Blythe and embraces her. “It’s okay, shh, it’s okay.”

She pushes Lia away, pushes and pushes until she grows tired. She cries, whimpers, says Carla’s name like a mantra.

And wonders, where did I go wrong?

Why me?

Why me?

It’s okay.

It’s okay.

It’s okay.

You can’t save her.

“Come on, come on,” Lia murmurs in her ears. “Blythe, we need to move. Remember? For the kids. For Eren .”

Blythe breathes shakingly, as she stands up. Lia looks up at her. “Okay,” she says. For Carla. She has to make sure eren survives. “Let’s go.”

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Title: World of Expertsd | Tags: Cultivation, Second Chance
Synopsis: The online game <> entered the whole world. It's a game about territorial construction and war to reconstruct alternate history. Although it's virtual, it'll change the world. Shi Hao, an ordinary freshman, decided to bravely enter <> in order to gain the approval of his beloved goddess's elder brother. He, however, accidentally got a super skill at the beginning because of a strange game-helmet.

— New chapter is coming soon —
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