It had been a completely underwhelming feeling when he finally did it. He thought he’d feel something more... Elation? Superiority? Closure? In the end all he felt, though, was the warm blood spilling out of his mouth and pooling on the ground below him. And then that warm blood turned cold. As cold as the body that lay before him.
It was a little anticlimactic, to be honest. He expected Yoshimasa to beg for his life or to beg for forgiveness. Maybe even explain the reasons for his betrayal, not that it mattered anymore. Instead he chose his last moments to protect some kid that wasn’t even his own son.
How dare he… Shamrock had angrily thought, How dare he try to protect someone when he had done nothing for me.
A bitter taste filled his mouth and he spat out the remaining drops of blood from his former teammate. Such a disappointment. He thought the blood would taste sweet… Sweet satisfaction. Sweet revenge. Didn’t he at least deserve that? But no, it was not sweet at all.
He wanted to leave this place as soon as possible. The smell of the spilt blood, the frantic, terrified, and mournful cries of the boy, the bitterness in his mouth...he wanted to leave it all behind.
He took one last look at the body at his feet (that was once his friend) and turned to leave. Higan was talking about killing the boy that Yoshimasa had tried to protect, but Shamrock argued against it. They had done what they needed to. And also the desperate terrified look on Yoshimasa’s face when he told the kid to run burned in Shamrock’s mind.
He continued to walk further away. The distance increased but the bitter taste in his mouth remained.
He got what he deserved.
Shamrock thought back to his own death and the helplessness he felt...the fear...the betrayal. “He got what he deserved,” he muttered out loud. But suddenly an image of the two of them flashed in his mind followed by an image of him and his family. Yoshimasa was smiling in each image. He was always smiling. But, Shamrock supposed, now he wouldn’t be smiling anymore.
He stopped walking and stood motionless. An unpleasant sensation that he refused to name grew inside of him. It gnawed at him and he tried to suppress it. He felt heavy and sluggish, like he had overeaten at a buffet, but at the same time his stomach was in knots and he could feel a lump rising in his throat.
He wanted to throw up.
An emptiness consumed him and he struggled to breathe. Higan had come up to him and was asking him what the problem was. Shamrock couldn’t answer. Afterall, there shouldn’t be a problem, right? The man who was responsible for his death was dead. Shamrock got his revenge. Sweet revenge. He should be more than satisfied now.
Higan clamped a hand on his shoulder and said it was time for them to return to the young master. Everything he said though, sounded muffled, as if he was speaking to Shamrock through a wall. In fact, everything around Shamrock seemed to have gone dull. It was like he was in a small room with frosted glass walls; the scenery was blurry, filled with unrecognizable shapes, and the sounds around him were indistinguishable.
He couldn’t focus on anything around him, the only thing he was aware of was the growing emptiness within him that threatened to devour his entire being. It felt like a black hole sucking up everything in its path and utterly inescapable.
Even before becoming a vampire Shamrock was already used to taking lives. Granted, those were undead lives, but since becoming one of the undead himself, he realized that there wasn’t much difference between being an undead vampire and a human. Both were living creatures in one way or another. But even though he was used to killing, even though his revenge felt justified, he couldn’t get rid of the unsettled feeling of seeing his former colleague laying in a pool of his own blood.
Nor could he get rid of the nausea that came with the knowledge that he was the cause of the human’s death.
He got what he deserved…
It was cold comfort, but Shamrock kept drilling that statement in his head.
Before he knew it, he was back at the hideout and Tsubaki was congratulating him and Higan on a job well done. His taunting eyes slid over towards Shamrock, slumped against a wall, and he asked in a sing-song voice, “Satisfied now?”
Shamrock’s one eye blinked at his master and took a moment to focus. His other eye- or where it used to be- throbbed briefly and the subclass gave a strained smile. “Yes,” he murmured and winced inwardly as his stomach churned and a wave of nausea swept through him. His strained smile wavered as he added, “Very much so.”
A knowing smile that was never friendly nor malicious spread on Tsubaki’s face and Shamrock thought he heard him mumble something that sounded like “Interesting.”
Shamrock excused himself and headed off to his room to rest. The bitter taste in his mouth had come back and it seemed to seep into every ounce of his being. He wanted to sleep and let the rest of the day pass. Tomorrow he would feel better, he was sure of that. And the day after that, even more so...and so on and so on. And one day, he wouldn’t even remember the taste of Yoshimasa’s blood.
He collapsed on his bed and felt the energy drain out of him. He closed his eye, but his ears remained alert for any approaching sounds. When some time passed and he was sure that none of the others would come looking for him, he let out a shaky breath and murmured a quiet confession into his pillow.