“You... bastard!” Sheena gasped, letting loose with a card that boomeranged around Kuchinawa’s head before returning to her hand. Her adversary spat on the ground as though expelling fatigue and pressed on with his attack, delivering a straight kick that caught Sheena in the gut. Winded, she hit the ground hard, but rolled away from him.
“Sheena!” Lloyd cried out in concern. She silenced him with a shake of her head.
“You can’t get involved, Lloyd!” she said. “This is just me and him...” Lloyd’s hand edged away from his left-handed sword slowly.
Kuchinawa chuckled, his eyes narrowed as he watched Sheena struggle to rise. She had shaken her head back to send her hair from her eyes and was watching him, waiting for his move. He didn’t advance on her; he simply drew Corrine’s Bell from a pouch at his side, and passed it between his hands, taunting her with its jingle.
“I’m glad the little runt is dead, Sheena,” he smirked. “Maybe now you’ll start understanding my pain.” He kicked out at her savagely, a move she barely dodged. “Maybe now you’ll understand the feeling of what I lost thanks to you.” He swept around with his leg, the grass rustling underneath him as it went. She tripped over it and fell back on the grass. He exchanged the Bell in his hand with an arrow shuriken in his pouch, and stabbed at her. She caught it by the sides of the arrow and held on. It began to rip the fabric covering her palms.
“I lost things, too!” she grunted, struggling to keep the deadly point from her body. It was pressing down on her, threatening to sink into flesh at any moment. “You weren’t the only one who lost... who lost–”
“But I’m the only one who understands that it matters!” he screamed with renewed vigor, forcing the shuriken lower. “And I’m going to be the one who kills you for it!”
The shuriken was embedded in the ground, just missing a rolling Sheena. She moved to draw a card, but the jingle of the Bell made her freeze. She looked back slowly. It was bouncing up and down in Kuchinawa’s hand.
“How much does the bell mean to you, Sheena?”
“Does it mean everything to you?”
“Is it everything you have of Corrine? Your memories, your friendship, all tied in this little object?”
“You still wouldn’t lose as much as me.”
Kuchinawa opened his fist and dropped the crushed remnants of Corrine’s Bell. It dropped to the ground in a shower of glittering metal.
“Corr...ine...” Sheena gasped, tears threatening to spill.
“Dead like all the others,” he said emotionlessly. It was as though he had no emotion left to spill on this, and only this one task to keep him going. “I’ll make you pay, Sheena. “I’ll make you pay!”
His knee connected into her stomach and sent her flying back before she even had a chance to defend herself. She was too deep in shock over seeing the remnants of Corrine’s Bell scattered in the earth to care. She bounced against the ground limply.
“Sheena!” Lloyd screamed. “Get up!”
She rose slowly, far too slow to protect herself from Kuchinawa’s tackle. He rammed into her and sent her flying into Lloyd. The two collapsed to the ground, Kuchinawa advancing on them, but only caring about Sheena. He took a flying leap at her.
“You weren’t even worthy of that dead runt!” he cried in midair.
Lloyd saw her open her eyes, and saw how lifeless they were. The pain and sorrow of her past was now overflowing in her. There was nothing to lose.
She drew Lloyd’s swords.
“Why y– bitch!” Kuchinawa spat as he landed on the outstretched blades, run through by his own momentum. He coughed up blood, and fell to the earth.
“You’re right,” Sheena said sadly. “I wasn’t worthy of Corrine...”
She dropped the swords by Lloyd, walking over to the remnants of the broken bell, where she knelt over them and cried. Her tears carried the smallest fragments of the bell into the river. They drifted away, unnoticed, but not forgotten.