Seduce And Kill, My Love

The full moon is out early on a late summer evening, slowly rising from behind the trees and peaking out from the horizon. A boy in his study stares out a window in full view of the suns dying light, and raven hair burns gold atop his head. The light from him competes with the fiery ball in the sky; ever since coming to this school, hes never found out why, but its been a year since the headmaster chose him to become more than a nobody adrift in the universe.

He doesn know why his eyes being pure gold, are so unique and why his parents never shared the same quirks, but the opportunity to ask is as dead as they are.

He watches as the light descends past the horizon, the golden hour succumbs to the creeping dark of night, and his hair also returns to an endless black.

Though the moment passes, the muscles in his back uncoil with relief, refreshed and energized by absorbing the suns rays at their weakest.

According to an alleged friend of his father, his ancestors were responsible for giving the sun its power for the day and taking it away for the night.

He smiles softly and closes the curtains, amused at how magic and science are to the untrained eye but are the same to him and the rest of the academy.

”Master, your dinner is ready, ” Two metal hands hold a tray of food in front of him, ”remember to chew exactly forty-seven times before swallowing. ”

”Ill remember. Thanks, Runa. ” He sets everything neatly on his desk, pausing when the machine still stares. ”Something wrong? ”

”Master, why don you ever want to eat with your other classmates? ”

The boy casually sips his tea, ”Because they
e idiots, hanging around them will turn me into one… ”

”Master! ” Runa scolds, ”If you keep up this sort of behavior, youll die a lonely old man. ”

”Runa, what have I told you about calling me that? ” He stiffens his jaw, glaring into the cup. ”I never shouldve left you alone with Wrath. ”

”But, why, master? ” Runa leans in, and pink faux locks fall over their collar bone, ”He only taught me the proper way to treat my creator! ”

”Mom is your creator, ” He guides the robot away from him with a finger and takes another sip. ”and by that logic, I inherited you as the son of your creator, but Im no more your master than you are my servant; call me by name. ”

”No, master, your name isn cute at all! ”

The boy coughs, choking on his tea. He shakily puts the cup on the desk to raise his hands, giving his lungs more room to expand.

Runa watches in horror and spins his chair around to face her, ”Oh no! Master is choking! What do I…? ” She recalls what to do in these situations from connecting to the internet, ”Oh, wait, I know what to do! ”

”Runa, ” The boy beats his chest, ”Im fine, I- ”

”Do not be distressed, master! ” Runa lifts the boy from his chair to dangle like a ragdoll and flips him upside down, ”I, your loyal servant, shall save you from your incompetence! ”

”My, what? ”

”Next, I must hit you on the back to dislodge the food from your throat! ”

”Runa, no! Ill toss my lunch! ” The boy says, trying to reach down and free himself. ”Put me down! ”

”Do not worry; Ill beat the stupidity out of you as all servants must do with their masters. ” She extends her other arm to form a fist at the boys backside and mercilessly beats his spine straight with her metal fists, ”I do this with love! ”

Nauseous and weak with every blow to his back, the boys only hope stares him in the face.

He grabs her leg, catching her by surprise and stopping the onslaught of punches.

”Master, no! ” Runa says, trying to push him away. ”Please, I have a wife and kids! ”

Run rambles, but all of her pleadings are a safety precaution should anyone accidentally press the button, so the boy ignores her blatant falsehood.

He presses a thumb to her kneecap, and it unlocks for him, stubbornly holding onto her leg as Runa shakes him.

”Think of the children, master! Think of the- ”

The glass casing slides away to reveal a giant red button.

”Master! ” She cries against his ankles, ”Master, stop, or Ill tell dad! ”

”Will you listen to me and delete all the garbage that fool taught you from your software? ” He stares down at her.

”Yes! Please don reboot me! ”

”Say my name… ”

”Why? Can you take my word for it? ”

”If you say my name, I won press it. ”

”Okay, but put my knee back first. ”

”Im not falling for that; either say it, or youll have a new birthday. ”

”Okay, Ill say it! M…m-ma… ” Runas voice glitches, ”Ma…m-ma…mAsS dEsTrUcTiOn! Error; failing to compute. ”

”Runa, you
e not even trying… ”

”Yes, I am! ” Runa twitches, ”M-Manatee! M-man…manboobs! Manager! Mango! Manscaping! ”

”Where the hell did you learn a word like that, missy? ”

”Sorry! M-Manual! ” Runa cries out.

”…Okay, close, but say it with my accent. ”

”Ugh, please don make me… ” Runa gags.

”What is so repulsive about my name!? ”

”Can I just say Mango? ” Runa whines, ”Its cute- ”

”No, you
e banned from saying that word! ” He snaps.

Runa flinches and starts making noises that crying babies make since robots cannot cry.

The boy falters, ”Runa, you
e not crying. Stop that. ”

Runa ceases crying, ”I know you
e sad, but master still has me, his faithful servant. ”

”Goddamnit, Runa… ” Manuel sighs and holds down the button to speak. ”You
e making this difficult for me. ”

”Wait, I can say it! ” She says. ”For real this time, I swear on my central processing unit. ”

”Last chance, Runa… ” Manuel says impatiently.

Runa nods and wills herself to say the name of the boy she admires the most, the only friend and family shes ever known. It all comes down to this moment, staring symbolic death in the face at his hands. Runa raises her head to will her mind to focus on his name: Manuel. She clenches her free hand with his name on her mind: Manuel. Runa must say it, even though its a name that is boring, average, and dare anyone say it: uncute!

Manuel stares in confusion, feeling offended without knowing why.

Manuel, Manuel, Manuel, Manuel, Manuel… Runa whacks herself on the head, Say, Manuel!

She opens her mouth, then looks away from him in disgust, wearing his patience thin, ”Ugh, no, I don want to…so gross… ”

”The blood is already pooling in my head; before long, Ill press this button and end this dizziness. ” He warns. ”You think I won do it? ”

”Okay! Geez, I heard you the first time. ” Runa pouts, ”Manu…e…el! There, I said it! ”

”I don remember adding another syllable. ” He frowns.

Runa exclaims in frustration, ”Ugh! Manue…elephant gun! ”

Runa gasps, trembling before the face of utter disappointment gaping at her.

”…System reboot, ” Manuel says coldly.

Runas face goes blank, falling face first onto the floor beside him, ”System rebooting, one percent…two percent…three percent. ”

He dusts himself off while Runa counts, stepping over her body to sit at his desk and bury his anger with food.

After finishing his plate, the boy rolls her onto her back and flips her kneecap back into place. Something catches his attention beneath her skirt, and Manuels frown deepens.

”Who told you to buy these tacky clothes with my money? Thats way too flashy. ” He says, pulling them off her and tossing that with the rest of her clothes into a pile. ”What am I going to do with you, Runa? You call me master, yet you never listen. ”

He continues, grabbing some clothes from his closet and dressing her in them, ”I don need a maid and never asked for one, though your cooking is a bonus… ” the boy pulls her arm through a sleeve, ”You
e like a sister to me, and walking around with those miniskirts isn appropriate. ”

The boy places a pillow under her head and rises to his feet to handle the dishes in the sink when Runa sits up immediately.

”Oh, well…that was faster than last time. ”

Runa turns to face him, ”Hello, please enter your four-digit access code. ”

He approaches, and the Runa kneels before him, bowing her head. He brings himself down to her level, moving her bangs out of the way to see the keypad.

The boy types the numbers for his birthday, which is the tenth of August.

He considers changing it because its too easy to guess but never gets around to doing it each time, so he presses the top of her skull down until it clicks into place, waiting for Runas eyes to flash green.

”Code accepted! What is the name of your new Runa Bot? ”

”Runa. ” He answers.

”Please enter the name you wish Runa to call you? ”

In hopes of regaining a normal relationship with Runa, he says, ”Manuel. ”

”…It seems youve entered an inappropriate name; please enter the name you wish Runa to call you. ”

”Inappropriate? ” Manuel deadpans.

”Please enter the name you wish- ”

”Manuel. ”

”…Is manure the name you choose- ”

”Of course not! ” Manuel frowns. ”Is this some joke to you? ”

”Sorry, of course not is unacceptable as a name. ”

”Runa, what do you want from me? I don want you calling me master anymore. ”

”Is master the name you- ”

”No. Cancel. Backspace. Delete! ”

”The name, master, has been accepted. ”

Manuel holds his face in his hands, ”Useless all along, I see… ”

”Hello, master. ” Runa smiles.

”Hi… ” He says from behind his fingers.

”Whats that? ” Runa stands and points at something behind him, jumping up and down like a child. ”Whats that thing, master? ”

Manuel turns to look at her, ”A bookshelf. ”

”Whoa! ” She plops down in front of him and pokes something else. ”What do you call this thing, master? ”

”Thats my nose… ” He gently removes her hand. ”Listen, since youve been rebooted, Ill have to perform my duties in person, so- ”

”Whats this flat, rectangular object? ” She walks over to worship it. ”Is this another bookshelf, master? Do we worship it? ”

”No. ” He slides between her and the object, ”Its a door. ”

”You go through it? ” Runa proceeds to walk into the door. ”Master, I can see anything. ”

Manuel spins her around.

”Oh, there you are, master. I don understand the purpose of this door. ”

”Doors are supposed to be opened, but you
e not allowed to open this door for any reason. ”

”Can I teleport beyond this door, master? ”

”No. ” Manuel guides her away from the door and farther into the room, ”Stay here and don touch anything while Im gone. ”

”Understood, master. ” Runa levitates.

”You can touch the floor, Runa… ”

”Where is the floor? ”

”Below you; no flying until I get back. Understand? ”

”Affirmative, Master. ” Runa drops to the floor.

He shrugs on his school jacket, ”Don move until I get back. ”

”Does worshipping the door count as moving? ”

Getting fed up with Runas childish curiosity, he grabs some chalk from his room and draws a circle around her on the floor.

”Okay, do not put any part of your body outside this circle. ” He says wearily, ”This means no flying, teleporting, or moving the floorboards from where they are now. Is there anything else you don understand? ”

Runa raises her hand eagerly, waiting to be called on.

”Gods, give me strength… ” He groans, ”What is it? ”

”Whats a circle? ”

He makes a broad gesture to the white line enclosing her.

”Ah, I see. This circle has me trapped inside it, and I cannot remove myself from inside it? ”

”Thats right, you can and won be able to escape the circle unless I say so. ”

”Understood, master. Ill stay within this circle until you return from beyond the mysterious door. ” The robot sits cross-legged on the floor.

”Thank you. ” Manuel sighs in relief.

Runa puts her palms together and flashes her eyes in morse code.

Manuel watches with exhaustion, ”…Runa, are you worshipping the circle? ”

Runa stops flashing her eyes and looks up at her master innocently, ”…No- ” Runas nose extends five feet in front of her, narrowly impaling Manuel through the chest.

”Be careful with that thing! ”

”Forgive me, master. ” Runa chops the lengthy metal from her face with a hand. ”Are you angry with me? ”

”No more worshipping. At all. ” He says sternly. ”No worshipping the door, either. ”

”Understood, master. No more worshipping the almighty circle or the door of mysterious mystery- ”

”Its not a door of mystery; its just a door… ”

”…A door of impenetrability. ”

”Stop it. ”

”Runa will remain the same as where you left her. ”

Manuel lets a small smile form on his lips as he pats her head, ”Good girl. It shouldn take me more than a few hours to finish. ”

He walks away, closing the door behind him and leaving Runa alone in his room.

A few moments pass, and Runa bows to the circle, ”Almighty circle, we are alone now. Tell me, what is an hour? ”

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