Chapter 04 - Reasons

7 min read

"Abandoned Sanatorium is a place where people, like you, who have committed sins, can save themselves and serve the great lord in order to purify their souls," said Kurogami.

Soon after Kurogami said that Asami pondered and asked him, "What do you mean by sins? I haven't committed any grave sins or something." Kurogami paused and fixed his gaze on Asami. "Do not interrupt me, you ignorant fool," he said. Asami felt a sharp pain and looked down at her hand, where she noticed that her index finger was missing and it was bleeding.

"Wha-what the hell is this?! Why is this happening to me?" she said, crying and about to faint but managing to keep herself up. Kurogami's grin widened as he looked toward the slightly fainted Asami. "Let us continue, shall we? This Discord server merely serves as a medium to honor our great lord and all of you will be nothing but pawns sacrificed for his glory. You can now ask your questions. Go ahead," he said.

The room fell silent as everyone remained fearful of Kugo. His piercing gaze fixed on Kazuki this time, and the same sense of fear permeated the air. After a moment of tense silence, Kugo spoke again. "When I said to ask questions, it became your responsibility to do so. Why are you still standing there doing nothing?" he said. Kazuki was still in shock and couldn't muster the courage to speak. Suddenly, he felt a sharp pain in his left hand, and his finger was missing. Blood gushed out profusely.

Very well then, since it seems you have no questions," Kugo spoke with a hint of disdain in his tone. "Let me tell you about the sins you have committed. Do you even know how many sins you have committed in your life? Even if committed unknowingly, sins are still sins, and one of the most common is the sin of not noticing someone."

As Kugo finished speaking, Kazuki pondered his words, questioning how not noticing someone could be considered a sin. However, before he could voice his thoughts, another one of his fingers snapped, causing him to recoil in fear. At this point, he was even more scared of what Kugo was capable of.

Kugo continued speaking, seemingly enjoying the fear he had instilled in everyone. "I will tell you one more thing," he said, his tone filled with sinister satisfaction. "Do you know what drumming is for? It is a way to purify someone, to cleanse them of their sins, and ensure that they never commit any more in the future."

Kazuki was unaware of the significance of drumming and was left wondering about Kugo's words. And as Kugo continued speaking, he realized that the man was relishing in the fear he had created. "And as for why I told you all of this," Kugo added, his voice becoming even more menacing. "It's because it's more fun when someone knows they are in grave danger, isn't it? Let the fun begin."

After uttering those words, Kazuki found himself transported to a different room, completely separated from Asami. The room he found himself in was a traditional Japanese-style room, with tatami mats covering the floor and sliding doors leading to the outside. It was a dimly lit room with fire lamps in the corners and centers. In the center of the room was a Kotatsu, and as Kazuki looked around more carefully, he noticed a clock on the wall. Upon closer inspection, he saw that beneath the number 20, there was a small finger icon that resembled his own finger. The same was true of the number 18. Realizing too late what was about to happen, Kazuki's third finger disappeared with a sudden, unbearable pain that brought tears to his eyes and caused blood to flow from his hand and now the clock was pointing at 17.

Kazuki's ability to reason was hindered by the intense pain coursing through his body. Despite this, he knew that he needed to flee from his current location as quickly as possible. With a look of agony etched across his face, he attempted to slide open the door directly in front of him. However, his left hand was bleeding profusely, making it difficult for him to grip the door handle. After numerous attempts, he managed to use his right hand to pry the door open. As he swung the door open, he heard a similar sound coming from behind him.

Kazuki turned around, his heart racing with fear, and saw another sliding door at the back that was not there before. Through the door, he could see a person who was also turning back at something, then he realized that he was looking at himself from the back. Nonetheless, he took the risk and entered the room which was there and ended up in the same room as before. As he did that, he heard a voice in his mind saying, "Leaving so soon? You haven't even had a chance to experience the full extent of our purification." It was Kugo's voice, and Kazuki realized it.

As he stood there, his pinky finger was suddenly severed, adding to his already unbearable pain. With only his left thumb remaining, he collapsed to the ground, sobbing uncontrollably, his legs folded beneath him. He was unable to move, and his vision was beginning to blur.

With each finger that was severed, Kazuki felt his life force draining away. When all of his fingers of hands were gone, he screamed in agony "Just kill me already!" he shouted, his voice hoarse from the pain. "I can't take this anymore!" he cried, his voice cracking. "Please, just ... kill me".

He had become a living corpse by the time his left leg's fingers were gone. He was no longer able to feel the pain and was lying on the blood-stained tatami mattress with tears flowing from his eyes.

With the first finger of his leg gone, drumming started in his ear. He thought, 'Oh, so this is the drumming you were talking about, huh? It will finally end,' and he felt a strange sense of relief.

The drumming grew louder and louder as time passed, and Kazuki began to laugh maniacally while still lying on the floor. Then, to his surprise, the clock pointed back to 20, and all twenty of his fingers had magically reappeared. However, he was not happy about it at all. He knew that the cycle would repeat itself again and again, and he would be trapped in this loop forever.

He started opening the doors of the room one by one, hoping that each one would lead him out of the endless cycle. However, with each door he opened, he found himself back in the same room again and again. As he continued to open doors, he lost one finger after another, and the drumming sound continued to ring in his ears. The endless loop was starting to get on his nerves, and he was growing increasingly annoyed by the incessant sound.

At last, he sat there in the middle of the room in Kotatsu, looking at the clock and waiting for it to reach 20 again. He had lost count of how many times the clock had crossed 20, and he was still sitting there. He was no longer crying, but just sitting there with a blank expression on his face. And then, at last, his brain exploded, and he died there. His body was laying there in his blood and his eyes were open. Soon enough after that, the fire lamps went out and the room was plunged into darkness.