Sorry. I somehow felt like I had to do this...
It was not that the boy had never fallen for a woman before.
But since he was not able to control his power, he ended up giving her serious injuries despite having meant to save her.
That was not an isolated incident; the same thing happened over and over in an endless cycle.
Until - he had forgotten when that was - there was not a single soul left who was willing to get close to him.
Things had remained this way even after he had grown up. Only one Orihara Izaya approached him - but often only with the intention of using him. Of course, Izaya was male, so it could never have anything to do with affection or love to begin with.
At some point, the boy came to a realization.
It was not an epiphany - just something he gradually came to learn in the cycle that kept repeating itself -
All he wanted was to be loved by someone.
But he could not love anyone.
- Because he invariably ended up hurting the ones he loved once they got closer to him.
Even if it was never his intention, there was no doubt that it was the catastrophic result of the power he possessed.
The boy might still have been able to forgive himself had his power existed to protect something.
But he knew only too well how the world would call it.
A simple word. Of course, there were also people who drew the line between violence and justice according to the way the power was used. Their judgment on his power would have been unequivocal: it was nothing other than violence.
The boy could hold neither himself nor his "power" back. It was released with his anger whenever he felt emotionally disturbed.
Even his self-consciousness had faded far into the background -
Power, and only power, reached the destinations the boy himself was never able to foresee.
Time elapsed - until the grown man was told that he was "loved" for the very first time.
And then the grown man faced the being who "loved" him with the purest love ever -
And, without the least mercy, sent it flying into the air.
Celty Sturluson, death god slash rider who used to warn people of their impending deaths, the "Headess Rider" who caused commotions in the Ikebukuro streets -
Could only stand where she was in the middle of the park and goggle.
Not that she was overwhelmed by the sheer aura of intimidation from more than a hundred Slashers.
She was reminded of the Dollars gathering a year ago when she first took notice of the red-eyed army that was beginning to surround them.
Yet the situation ended up developing in the exact opposite direction.
With his bare hands, the man named Heiwajima Shizuo -
Fought on par with the hundred-odd Slashers and kept winning.
Heiwajima Shizuo's way of fighting was actually very simple.
Throw into the air with force.
That was it.
Punch punch punch punch.
Kick kick kick kick and kick.
He would throw one into the air while kicking another and turn around to deliver another punch.
Simple repetition. if this were made into a fighting game, his entire set of moves would have required no more than a button to perform.
Yet - the simpler it was, the greater the fear it evoked.
Shizuo only had to hit a Slasher's arm to make his opponent's wrist cackle unpleasantly and stop functioning. A low kick, usually meant only to deter the opponent, was sufficient to break his opponent's knee when Shizuo was the one delivering it.
If he threw people into the air, then away horizontally they would go - just like the way things were in manga.
His way of fighting was devoid of flair unlike the heroes in Hong Kong action films. But Celty - and the hundred-odd Slashers present at the scene - could not help but be mesmerized.
That word alone would have sufficed to describe the way Shizuo was right now.
No, actually…she needed another two.
And - "awesome".
- This man……this man -
- I knew he was strong……but this is still……!
Even if Celty tried - even if she attacked him with her shadow scythe, she did not feel like she could win against Shizuo the way he was now. Or rather, she would not even want to.
Martial artists often want to challenge stronger martial artists than themselves, and Celty felt like she was the same kind of person.
But she would never want to challenge Shizuo the way he was right now.
It was not only a matter of fear.
She was downright unable to use her scythe on anyone who truly moved her.
He was already more than a "demon".
Right now, Heiwajima Shizuo was strong enough to be called a god.
But there was no need for words to begin with.
His strength alone had surpassed all words added together and made his existence felt to the entire world.
Regarding Shizuo's strength, Shinra had once said to Celty:
(His muscle fibers wanted to grow thicker, but his anger would not grant them the time they needed.)
(And so, whether you choose to call it fate or a miracle, his cells embarked on a different path. His muscle fibers gave up trying to grow thicker and chose instead to remain as thin as they were but become more resilient. That's probably one of the reasons he is so thin but so exceedingly strong for his build.)
(Minimal self-repair. In order to become more resilient, even his joints and bones have changed their way of growing to adapt to Shizuo's lifestyle. His bones have become hard as steel, and his joints evolved to be more resilient than ever after countless rounds of dislocation and relocation. All within a single generation, in these few years of Heiwajima Shizuo's life!)
(This - has to be a miracle of sorts.)