Itsuka Tenma no Kuro Usagi:Volume 1 Chapter 4
Chapter 4 - The Scarlet Witch
A few hours before that.
A few minutes before Kurogane Taito was knocked down by a truck.
The whole world was dominated by pain and despair.
It was a world without anything.
Light. Sound. Dreams, hopes, joy, sadness, a world which had lost anything and everything.
It was in this world without anything, that Saitohimea was confined.
With a small body. Bearing a childish form that was exactly the same as nine years ago, when she was shut inside here.
Even in this world without any light, she is an extremely beautiful young girl.
But her beauty was limited to only her appearance.
To the dispirited her who had ended up in a state akin to junk, the beauty was completely meaningless to her.
Both her hands and feet were staked to the ground.
Even though no blood was flowing, the same pain which she had felt at the instant she was pierced had continued to assault her all this while. That was the nature of the curse carried by the stakes. The pain which was at the level where a normal person would have asked to be killed had been running through her hands, feet, and entire body.
The Church said that it was a punishment.
A punishment for the criminal comrade of Bahlskra, who was responsible for sending the world into confusion, they said.
Nine years had passed since then.
During these nine years, that pain that could have driven her crazy was running through her body.
The pain coursing through her was so intense to the point where she could cry out in anguish, anguish, anguish, no, even that was not enough to describe its extent.
But even so, she said nothing.
She merely stared ahead with her empty eyes.
As if she was waiting for something.
As if she was waiting for something to come, she could only stare into the darkness of this world.
Of course, at the start, she hollered.
In too much despair.
In a solitude too deep, she hollered.
Someone save me.
I'm feeling lonely, all alone in this dark place, she hollered.
But that voice did not reverberate.
Since there was no sound here.
Since there was no light here.
Since there was no hope here, her cries of anguish did not reverberate.
And did not reach anyone.
That's why she had given up in calling out. And thus, she only continued looking into the darkness.
Three thousand, two hundred, and eighty-five days.
Seventy-eight thousand, eight hundred and forty hours.
Occasionally, she thought that maybe she was truly going mad.
Bitterly, painfully, at this rate, she thought she was going to dissolve into the darkness.
At those times, even though being aware that it's useless, she would try opening her mouth. To ascertain that she still had a mouth. She would open her mouth to ascertain that she was still sane, that she was still alive, that she was still here in the darkness.
Taito, she would try calling his name.
Of course, her voice wouldn't reverberate. Even when she murmured his name, she couldn't hear it.
But still, even so.
When she tried mouthing his name, it would lessen her pain, if only by a little.
She smiled and said again.
She called his name.
And then, not yet?, she murmured.
Even when no sound reverberated, "not yet?", she murmured alone, all alone in absolute solitude.
You're not yet here to get me, I wonder?.
It'll take a little while more huh, I wonder?.
I'm lonely, you know.
I'm in pain, you know.
It's really painful, you know, Taito.
This place is really dark. So dark, that it feels lonely to be here by myself.
Her hands and feet were in pain.
There was no light nor any scenery.
Even if she cried, Taito would not be there to wipe off her tears like before.
That's why, everyday, she seemed about to give up.
But still, even so.
Every time when she wanted to give up, his face would surface.
The face of the boy who had called out to her, one who had been plagued with solitude since she was born, would surface.
Because she was born with too great a power, she had always been used, always been used, and sunk in despair about everything, she, who should have erased her presence.
She, who should have placed a curse upon herself, a curse that would hide her from the eyes of all, but yet, for some reason, he could see her, and called her a comrade, a friend, those words of his would surface in her mind.
And then he said it. Playing the scene in her mind, he said it. With his usual kind, gentle face.
"I enjoy being with Himea."
He had said that to me.
Even though he had yet to be conferred with any power. Even though I have yet to confer him with any power. Even though he was not wielding any of my power --- without asking anything from me, he smiled kindly,
"I enjoy being with Himea."
He had said that to me.
Those words sent a wave of shock into me, paralyzing me. And I can remember my whole body shaking in immense joy.
Since that was the first time I've heard that.
Ever since I was born, everyone was telling me that they wanted my power. They told me that they only wanted the power that was inside me. They were only thinking of how to use my power.
But yet, Taito, truly, without asking anything of me,
"I really enjoy being with Himea."
He had said that to me.
Just by remembering that brings tears to my eyes.
And I said that I enjoyed it as well. I'm really filled with joy whenever I'm with Taito, I told him. My body will only tremble when I'm with Taito, I told him. So joyful that I couldn't care about anything else, that I feel like crying, I told him.
I really want to tell him more of that --- she thought.
She thought in this place that had nothing else but darkness.
That's why she had hidden all her powers inside of Taito. In order to prevent anyone other than Taito from using her powers. She would only use her powers for his sake. Since I've decided that I would give my powers only to him.
That's why she made a contract.
Choosing Taito as the << S-a-c-r-i-f-i-c-e >> and granting him immortality, and on top of that, hiding all her powers inside of him.
Covering up her powers with a complex enchantment, hiding them inside of him.
The conditions for the powers to return to her were as follows.
1. Taito dies, and the power of immortality activates.
2. That Taito still remembers me, even till now, and wants to seek me out to save me.
She had set it such that her powers would only return at the time when the two conditions were met.
Once she had decided those conditions, even she would not be able to revert them. With that powerful enchantment, she had placed her powers inside of Taito.
In order to prevent Hinata from uncovering the location of her powers.
In order to prevent the Church from uncovering the location of her powers.
In order to prevent Bahlskra from uncovering the location of her powers.
In order to prevent the others who would want to make use of her powers from uncovering the location of her powers, she had hidden her powers inside of Taito with these strict conditions attached.
But sometimes, she would think.
Unexpectedly, the depths of her heart would sometimes be pricked with a sense of unease.
If perhaps, Taito had already forgotten about me, and not coming to save me, what should I do?, she would think.
If perhaps, Taito is already living in happiness with someone else...... and no longer wants to see me, and no longer thinks about saving me, what should I do then?, she would think.
But, even if that happens.
Even If that happens, it's fine, she would think.
As long as Taito is happy, it's fine, she would think.
It can't be helped right.
Since a very long time had since gone by.
With the passing of such a long time, the situation changes. The world changes. Even a human heart.
Even Taito might have a change of heart.
That can't be helped.
It can't be helped, she would think.
The only person who wouldn't change would be herself.
Only herself, who would be stupidly screaming alone in this darkness.
Thinking about that, ahaha, she would laugh out. Ahaha, she would laugh out at her own despair. And then, it can't be helped, she would murmur once again. If Taito is living in happiness, if he's happy, even if he forgets me, so shall it be, she would murmur.
But, just as she thought.
Just as she thought.
I won't want that, she would think.
I don't want this, I don't want this, I don't want to continue living alone for eternity like this, she would think.
It's lonely. It's painful.
She really didn't want to be forgotten.
I don't want you to forget me.
I don't want you to forget me.
Hey, Taito, please.
Don't forget me.
She would cry out, she would cry out in a frantic voice.
But, as expected, it didn't reach anyone. Since the world was dominated by darkness.
Since it was dominated by despair.
That's why, Himea felt like crying. She was on the verge of tears. For eternity, she would remain in this darkness, in this despair, in this soundless world ---
In an aimless, meaningless solitude, she would pass the time fruitlessly.
At that moment.
Suddenly, something irregular happened. And she knew that something in her had changed.
She opened her eyes. She opened her eyes wide. But all she could see was darkness. Of course. There was no light here. However, right now, what she felt was not the feeling of darkness that had been present up till now. It was neither the feeling of despair.
No, with her powers.
All of a sudden, with the powers that had come back to her, she could feel the area beyond the reach of this sundering darkness.
That's why she sundered it.
She opened her mouth,
That voice reverberated. Even though here was the world that should not be carrying any sound, her voice reverberated.
Immediately, the darkness parted.
A light radiated from within her.
The light returned to the world, and for the very first time, she was getting to know what kind of place this was.
It was a narrow, narrow, narrow prison.
Without a ceiling, without a floor, without walls, it was a monotonous white-colored world without a scenery.
But, looking at that whiteness.
Looking at that whiteness that was neither darkness nor blackness, she felt like crying. She felt like crying out loud. However, without uttering anything, she removed the stakes --- the weak curse attached to them seemed like nothing to her now --- that had been impaled into her hands and feet.
And she stood up. Following that,
She murmured. Once again, she felt like crying on hearing her own voice. Her voice resounded. And her powers had returned.
In response to that.
"...... Taito...... Taito is coming to save me......"
She murmured, and once again, she was on the verge of tears. Even though her tears were overflowing, Uhuhu, she laughed. And she remembered.
The promise. That promise. That's right. They made a promise. To meet there. They made a promise to rendezvous there if they were to get separated.
The preparations were already in place.
A dimensional rift to that place had already been prepared in advance nine years ago.
The place where they had agreed to meet.
"I have to go."
As she said that, she raised her hands, and at the moment she was about to make a dimensional rift in this world,
She stopped. And then.
"...... erm, how do I look now, I wonder?"
A mirror was conjured into her hand, and she looked at her own reflection. At least, she was wearing some clothes. Though those ragged white clothes looked like those worn by patients. But the crux was the appearance of her body that was wearing those clothes.
A still childish body. Even though nine years had gone by, she still retained her childish body.
On seeing that, she tilted her head slightly,
"...... er~m, if I remember correctly, I was in the form of a six year old around the time when I met Taito right? So, about nine years had passed since then...... uhn. In any case, I'd have to fix that."
As she said that, she gave a small tap to her body. After she did that, she again chanted several lines of spell verses.
Following that, all of a sudden, her body started growing.
These nine years. She was bringing back these nine years of time that had been frozen by the cursed stakes.
And then, her figure had become that of a fifteen year old young girl. With a slender and nicely shaped body, and long legs. She knew not how tall Taito had grown, but for now, she had made her height neither too tall nor too short.
With long lavender colored hair flowing all the way to her back and long eyelashes. And those mischievous deep crimson eyes that had become more adult-like.
With those deep crimson eyes, she looked at her reflection in the mirror.
"...... u~mm. Will Taito tell me that I'm cute? Then again, if he doesn't, I'm going to kill him."
She said, and smiled.
She then snapped her fingers. Clothes were conjured and affixed to her body. A white one-piece dress. Since she didn't know what was fashionable right now in the world, and what kind of clothes did Taito like, she went for a safe choice.
And once again, she raised her hand before her. And spread her long, slender fingers. This time round, she would sever this damn annoying prison.
And then go meet Taito.
Go meet Tai......
"Uwuu, don't start getting nervous."
As she muttered, she started severing the prison that been constructed by the Church in this alternate dimension.
She noticed a small, a really small black dot on the white wall before her.
Looking intently at the black dot with her deep crimson eyes, she could tell that it was a spider.
It was a really, really small spider.
A spider so small that it would be blown away with a single breath, was there. However, on seeing that.
She became nervous.
Since aside from herself, no other living thing should be able to exist in this prison.
Since, in a world without food and water, bearing only darkness, there's no way another living thing could live and exist here.
At that moment, a voice came from the spider.
"Ah, as I thought, you had hidden your powers away."
That voice which she had heard before. That most despicable voice which she had heard before. The voice of the demon god believer, who had attacked her and Taito, and killed Taito again, again, and again, and who further went on to take Himea away to conduct some terrible experiments repeatedly.
"...... Hi, Hinata......"
As she uttered, the spider said.
"It was indeed the right decision to attach a spying familiar spirit onto you. Nine years. Uhn. It took so long. But, your powers appeared to have returned. Well then, I shall open a << Way >> to your side to receive those powers, so wait a bit......"
But, without waiting for him to finish, she waved her hand.
She shouted and invoked her powers.
As she did that, an intense shockwave was emitted from her hand. Towards the spider.
But the spider was not the least intimidated.
"Hahaha, stop wasting your efforts. Since our last battle, you should be full well aware of the difference in our strength right? On top of that, it has been nine years since then. You have not done anything during this time. The gap between you and me has only widened. Now, give it up already, and just wait there. I'll be right th......"
At that moment, at the centre of the spider on the white wall before her, the dimension started warping.
And the voice came again.
"I'll be right there. I'll be right there in a moment."
On hearing that, Himea's face contorted in fear, and trembling, she turned on her heel.
"What, what should I do?"
"Even though I thought I could get to see Taito soon, but yet......"
"In, in the first place, for him to come get me before Taito, what's the meaning of this!"
She uttered angrily and waved her hand.
Bringing forth her power, she opened an air hole on the wall opposite from the one that Hinata was about to come through. She passed through the hole. And came out into an unfathomable, infinite corridor made from blue-black bricks.
Himea turned her head around, and thrust her hand towards the direction of her former prison.
"...... << Magical Being That Dwells In The Magnetic Plane >>, abide by our pact, come forth to me!"
She called forth a simple familiar. Immediately, in the space before her hand, a slimy, sludge-like, insubstantial monster was conjured.
<< Vaaaaaaa -- Va -- Va -- Vaaaaaaaaaaa 1 Aaaa 1 Aaaa 12 Aaa >>
An ear-splitting howl. After ascertaining that, she pulled her hand away from the prison.
And was about to close the hole.
In reponse to that.
<< Vaa? >>
The familiar cried out in alarm,
"I'm being pursued. Would you devour and stop the enemy for me? Greel."
On hearing Himea's words, the slimy monster nodded with its head whose location on the body was a mystery,
<< Va va va va >>
It was probably an acknowledgement. In response to that, she nodded back and closed off the dimensional rift.
Following that, she started running along the infinite corridor.
After advancing forward for a while, she further went on to open another dimensional rift. Where this rift connected to was unknown to her. Since this was not the << Holy Ground >>, she could not freely choose the pathway of the conduits.
The only place she could choose was the anchored location that was connected to the portal that had been set up in advance, the location at which she was supposed to meet Taito, but right now, since she was being pursued, there was no way she could go there.
Since if Taito were to stand before Hinata again, this time round, he would probably be killed for certain.
That's why she ran. Moving from dimension to dimension, she ran.
Of course, moving between randomly opened rifts was a pretty dangerous act itself.
Though there existed a possibility of connecting to an incredible place where a death curse is activated instantly the conduit is opened, but still, even so,
There was no time to hesitate.
She had to lose him somehow. She had to get to a faraway place, a place without him.
That's why she ran frantically. And then she took a quick glance behind her.
Behind her. In the space at the place where she had released her familiar, it had already begun warping.
Even though the familiar was not really that weak, Hinata had broken through easily.
"I need to get a little further away......"
Saying that, she waved her hand. Once again, a dimensional rift opened. This time round, the rift opened into a desert world that was red as blood.
Except that this was a vast expanse of land. Different from the corridor and prison, it was a real world with a vast expanse of land.
"It will be easier to escape if it's this vast right......"
As she said that, she entered the conduit.
But on that side of the rift.
She could see that the scenery of the blood red desert on the other side had started warping.
She could see the formation of a dimensional rift.
And on the other side of that rift.
She could see a young girl with a pair of gentle eyes and a ponytail.
A man who was drinking red tea while reading a book. Even though he looked different from before, she could tell right away.
Jet black hair and piercing eyes. A stand-up collar school uniform.
Even though he was no longer in the form of a child, she could tell that it was him with just one look.
That Hinata looked up and looked in her direction, Looking at her with rational, black eyes with a quiet light embedded within them.
Different from before, there was a trace of humanity and emotions remaining within them, but in spite of that, there was no doubt that the face belonged to him. That demon god believer. That fellow looked here and then looked to the side at the cute girl with the gentle eyes.
"...... alright. The << Way >> has been opened. Well, let's go, Mirai."
And he stood up.
Himea raised her hand,
"Come, come here as well, << Magical Being That Dwells In The Magnetic Plane >>, abide by our pact, come forth to me!"
She summoned another Greel.
<< Vaaaaaaa -- Va -- Va -- Vaaaaaaaaaaa 1 Aaaa 1 Aaaa 12 Aaa >>
Letting out a howl, appearing onto the blood red desert with a bang, once again, the sludge-like magical being looked at her,
<< Va va? >>
It was seeking for Himea's instructions. And she pointed towards the other dimensional rift,
"De, defeat them!"
<< Va va vaa 2214 aa >>
And then Greel leaped. Towards the dimensional rift opened by Hinata, it leaped.
On seeing that, the young girl with the gentle eyes and ponytail began,
"Uwahh, this is terrible, a monster is coming!?"
As she said that, the rift was closed hurriedly.
However, Greel managed to lodge itself into a gap of the rift. And it forcibly tried to wrench open the rift. Don! Don! Attaching itself forcefully, and attempting to go through to the other side.
On seeing that,
"You, you can do it, Greel!"
After ascertaining that, Himea closed the conduit connected to the blood red desert.
And then, she let out a sigh.
Somehow, it seemed like Hinata would not easily defeat Greel. Otherwise, he wouldn't have hurriedly tried to close that dimensional rift. So, in other words, she managed to buy some tim......
At that moment.
From behind her, ga ga ga ga, an ear-splitting sound rang out from the dimensional rift which she had used to get away from the prison.
On hearing that, Himea turned around.
And she could see from that dimensional rift, a huge, an immensely huge leg of a spider stepping through to this side.
And furthermore, on top of that spider
He was right there.
A man that looked just like the one who was drinking red tea on the other side of the dimension with the blood red desert a while ago.
Jet black hair and piercing eyes.
The same identical face. The same identical face as the one with the stand-up collar earlier.
But the type of eyes he had were different. What was embedded within those eyes was of a different nature. A dark color with no trace of any emotion, overflowing with a feel of insanity. The same color as the eyes of that boy who had attacked Taito and Himea when they were children.
Compared to these, the eyes of the man with the stand-up collar could even be said to be kind.
That man with those freezing cold eyes spoke.
In a delighted tone. Despite having a face that didn't look like he was having fun, he spoke in an extremely delighted tone,
"...... didn't I tell you I won't let you escape?"
On hearing that, she could not reply. Without saying a word, once again, she opened that dimensional rift which she had just closed a moment ago.
And then Hinata said,
"As I was saying, even if you ru......"
However, without waiting for him to finish, she escaped.
Into the blood red desert world.
And while escaping, she thought.
While her face was on the verge of tears, she thought.
Just like before. This was the same as before, she thought.
Trying her best to somehow escape the clutches of Hinata in order to meet up with Taito, but, due to her excessive injuries, she was captured by strange people.
And once again, she returned to the days when she was made use of.
Being made use of, being the subject of experiments, and then discarded.
On top of that, she was sold to the Church, and subsequently imprisoned.
And for nine years, nine whole years, she could not see Taito. She could not see him. Despite how much she had wanted to see him for a long, long time, it didn't happen.
And, it's happening again.
Before she could meet him.
Before she could see him.
"...... maybe I'll die."
As she mumbled, she felt like crying.
But, even so, Himea ran.
She ran on the desert of blood in desperation.
Taito probably wouldn't be up ahead.
Since it wasn't the appointed place which they had agreed on.
Since it wasn't that appointed park where they had played together.
Even so, she.
|Prev||Itsuka Tenma no Kuro Usagi||Next|