Itsuka Tenma no Kuro Usagi:Volume 2 Chapter 6
 And Then The Tenma Is Sung ---
And the time shifts back to the present part of the story.
Almost getting killed by the red rain that had started falling on the rooftop all of a sudden, in a frantic manner, for now, Taito was heading towards the student council room, to ask the irritating Gekkou on what was actually happening here.
He descended the stairs swiftly, and ran along the corridor. As he was running, he took his cellphone out from his pocket, in order to ascertain the current time.
It was now twenty three minutes past two.
However, just a while ago, two minutes ago to be precise, he had wasted four of his lives, and so, erm. In any case, within the next thirteen minutes, he should only be able to die two more times.
But, if fifteen minutes had gone by since the beginning, meaning after 2.36 pm, he would be able to die another six times --- after ascertaining that in his mind,
"...... alright, for now, until 2.36 pm, I shall be careful and endeavor not to die even once."
As he said that, he put his cellphone back into his pocket. And he turned his head around. To make sure that Himea was indeed following behind him.
As he did that, Himea smiled.
"Erm no, I was just making sure that you're right behind me."
"Ah-ha, you're worrying about me <3. You're thoughtful as always."
After saying that, she clung to his arm.
By the way.
Taito was running with almost full exertion of his energy, and Himea was following lightly, right behind him.
Even though Taito was anything but slow in his pace, for some reason, she was following right behind him lightly, at a jogging pace,
"...... hey Himea, aren't you really fast on your feet?"
On his query, with a look that seemed to be saying that the question was but a trivial one, she said.
"It's because I'm using my magic."
"I see. A magic that increases your running speed?"
"Nope. A magic that follows behind a moving object. That's why I'm being pulled along by you instead of actually running you know?"
"You're not running?"
"Yup. Look at my feet."
As she said that, he looked down at her feet, and indeed, even though both her right and left slender legs which extended out from her skirt seemed to be moving in a running fashion, for some reason, her feet, despite being very close to the ground, were not touching the ground at all.
On seeing that,
"You see? That's why I'm quite surprised at how fast your legs are. This is probably, already...... at a speed that is beyond that of a human."
As she said that, a snap sound could be heard from his leg. And following that, an excruciating pain ran along his leg.
His tendon had snapped.
As a result of him running hard with all his might for too long, his tendon gave way and snapped from the extreme fatigue.
However, it reattached itself immediately. Thanks to the time-conditional immortality power granted by Himea, his wounds healed up readily.
As his fatigue disappeared completely, he further went on to increase his speed. And ran along the corridor at a slightly faster speed.
Looking at Taito, Himea said happily.
"It seems like you're mostly used to that body. Didn't I tell you? You'll become strong."
"Only my legs have gotten faster."
"Along the way, it will be more than that, don't fret, don't fret."
As she said that, she turned her sight to the side. She turned her sight towards the classrooms. Beyond the classrooms. She turned her sight to look out the windows of the classrooms.
Following her gaze, Taito looked out as well.
Of course, as he was running past classrooms one after another, the scenery outside was hardly visible to him, but, it was enough just to be able to catch a glimpse for an instant.
That was how unpleasant the scenery outside the window looked like.
Compared to the scenery viewed from the rooftop earlier, this was completely different, and was much more like a horror setting.
Even though it was still afternoon, the sky was completely covered with dark clouds. The sunlight was completely cut off and the school yard was dark like the deep night.
And in that school yard that was dark like the deep night, blood red rain was still falling. Red rain that could kill off a human being readily was still falling. And from somewhere, outside the windows, he could hear high-pitched noises that seemed to come from insects. Kichi kichi kichi, kachi kachi kachi, like the biting sounds of insects. While he didn't know what it was, in any case, without a doubt,
"...... something is there right?"
As Taito said that, Himea acknowledged.
"Seems to be something awfully dangerous right?"
"Is it an enemy?"
"......I'm not sure. But......"
On hearing her words,
"Ah, well, I've already been killed four times right? It's clearly hostile."
But, in response,
For some reason, Himea did not answer.
She shut her eyes, appearing to be thinking about something; Isn't it dangerous to close her eyes while she's running, he thought, but, well, since Himea is not human, she should be fine, I guess, he thought.
And at that moment, he turned around a bend in the corridor. As he did so, Himea followed along even with her eyes closed; ah, she's truly using magic to follow after me,
"Then, even with her eyes closed, it should be ok."
He felt more settled at that thought.
And with that, he quickened his pace.
Hurrying towards the student council room.
The truth was if he didn't hurry, the situation would become pretty awful, it seemed.
Since clearly, the schoolyard had become a horror setting. A red moon had appeared, with red rain falling, and on top of that, from the kachi kachi sounds in the schoolyard, something would be entering the school in a moment.
If he didn't hurry now, when else would he hurry?
"Jeez, thank god there are no other students......"
But, at that moment, suddenly.
All the lights of the school that had been turned on until now went out at the same time. His eyes plunged into darkness in a single breath, and frantically, Taito came to a halt. Almost tumbling forward, he stopped himself by braking his hand against the wall.
He was already right before the stairs that were descending one level down to the fifth floor, and from there, the west premises of the school, he could make his way to the student council room at the central premises of the school and get to where Gekkou would be.
However, without moving, Taito squinted his eyes. And he opened his eyes wide as much as he could, and, quickly get used to the darkness, get used to it, get used to it, he muttered in his mind. And earlier than expected, his eyes got used to the darkness and he surveyed the scene before him.
Within the unpleasantly dark school premises, despite the fact that it was not even three o'clock yet.
He was now on the corridor of the sixth floor, where the AV room, the playroom, and the music room were situated. Right at the end of the corridor. Just a little further, he would be at the staircase which would lead him to the fifth floor.
Taito turned his sight in the direction of those stairs. The stairs were terribly dark. The very faint light that was streaming in through the windows of the classroom did not manage to reach the stairs, and it was really very dark to the point where he could make out almost nothing at all.
And from below the dark staircase, he could out make some faint noises. He could make out some strange noises. And he stretched his ears. As he did that, bit by bit, it seemed like the strange noises were getting closer.
Kachi kachi, they were soft but he could hear them. Kachi kachi, kachi, the noises that resembled the sounds of biting insects were coming up from the deeper part of the darkness that was shrouding the stairs.
On hearing that,
"What should we do? If we don't take this stairs, we won't be able to reach the student council room though...... will we able to fight it off?"
After saying that,
"What do you think? Himea."
He turned his head around. He turned around to look at the figure of the girl who should be right behind him with her 'following' magic.
"...... huh, Himea?"
For some reason, Himea, who should have been right behind him, was not there.
"Hey, Himea, where did you go?"
Even as he called out to her, there was no reply.
The only thing he could see were the dim rays of light that had passed through the gaps of the doors of various classrooms along the dark corridor.
"Crap, you're kidding me right. I lost her."
He panicked, and started making his way back to the corridor. And peered into the first classroom. But, she was not inside the music room. And he ran on further. And peered into the playroom. But she was not there.
And at that moment,
< Here, idiot. >
A voice sounded. A strangely high-pitched voice which he, as far as he could remember, had never heard of, sounded.
It came from in front of the AV room.
As Taito turned his sight to look in that direction, down the corridor was Himea, lying on the ground. Congregating around her body was a red jelly-like substance,
Yelled Taito. And he was about to rush up to her.
"...... don't, don't come over!"
Himea said. For some reason, she sounded as if she was on the verge of crying, and without looking up at him, she had told him not to come near her.
But Taito did not stop.
"I'm coming now."
"Please don't come. I......"
She said it with an agonizing voice. On the verge of tears, lying there, in an agonizing voice that sounded as if she were dying,
"...... I don't want you to see me...... like this......"
For an instant, he almost halted. From hearing that desperation in her voice, he almost halted in his tracks.
"I'm coming to save you now."
She was in great agony. She was lying on the floor, crying out with a voice that sounded as if she were dying. On top of that, she appeared to be assaulted by a jelly monster.
There was no way he would not go save her.
That's why Taito ran.
"...... no...... no...... no."
As Himea continued muttering, Taito ran towards her.
"Don't, don't, don't......"
As Himea called out in a shaking, teary voice, he ran towards her. And then he could hear her voice. As if she were talking incoherently, he could hear her voice.
"...... it can't be...... I don't want this...... I don't want to, to turn back, so early...... after all this while, I've finally met up with Taito, but yet...... I don't want to be separated...... from Taito anymore........................"
At that moment.
And he reached her side. Following that, he kicked away the red jelly that was covering her, and helped her up.
And at that instant, Himea suddenly looked up. And she looked at Taito. With a face that had a beauty not existing in this world, she looked at Taito.
Taito was surprised by the sight of her face.
Because, for some reason, there was not a single tinge of white in the iris of her usually mischievous eyes. As if they were covered in paint, every single part of what one would call the eye in human anatomy was smeared completely with red.
Totally red eyes.
Red eyes like those of a rabbit.
And then, she thrust out her hand. Her hand came outstretched towards the chest of the Taito who was helping her up.
A stabbing sound was heard from his chest. And Taito shifted his gaze to his chest. Looking at his own chest. Himea's slender hand was piercing through his chest, and had pulverized his heart.
And with that, he could feel his mind blanking out. He could feel his bodily functions stop as a result of his heart getting destroyed. His knees bent, and he fell to the floor.
In exchange, Himea stood up. He could see her fluttering skirt. Her slender legs were standing on top of the red jelly.
< Ah~ >
She said. It was a high-pitched voice that was difficult to make out, the voice which he had heard earlier.
And once again,
< Ahh >
She spoke. The pitch of her voice became a little lower. And it became easier to make out. While Himea was speaking in her low voice, for some reason, it sounded like a completely different person.
And then, once again, ahh, she changed the pitch of her voice,
< Something like this I think...... >
At that moment, she was already using a voice that was very much different from Himea. Expression. And her atmosphere as well.
That Himea who was not like Himea looked down at him. Her face looked down at him.
< ...... hah, for the sake of this. For the sake of this worthless human, Saitohimea is willing to throw her life away...... >
< ...... answer me, Saitohimea. For the sake of such trash, you chose to abandon me? >
At that moment, he could feel his heart regenerating. He could feel it regenerating slowly. But, he still couldn't move. He couldn't move right away.
In the meantime, as if she were querying someone, Himea continued speaking.
< Answer me, Saitohimea. You broke your contract with me, and fell in love with such a man? >
She said angrily. With both her hands spread out, she said angrily.
His heart finished regenerating. The only thing left was to wait for the hole in his chest to close up, but, it was not like he needed the hole to close up before he could move. Though it was painful, he could move. That's why Taito sat up. And looked up at her.
He looked up at the Himea who had eyes red like a rabbit.
Looking intently at her,
"...... what on earth has happened?"
Himea then turned her gaze onto him. And smiled. A smile that was so dark and cold which he would never have thought that she would ever have spread across her face,
< None of your business...... >
As she said that, she waved her hand. And then, a large mass of the same red jelly that was covering the ground sprang forth from her hand. And it struck the upper body of Taito. And his body started to dissolve. His skin and muscles dissolved, showing his bones. And those bones dissolved as well, sending waves of excruciating pain to assault him.
He wanted to scream out in agony, but the mouth and throat which he would use to scream dissolved as well, and Taito disappeared. His consciousness and his upper body; and he could see no more.
And once again, regeneration started.
As he groaned from the intense pain which had assaulted him, he regenerated.
And before him, Himea was smiling. She was smiling delightedly. Looking intently at him,
< Now, that makes it six times you've died right? If I kill you just one more time, you won't come back to life...... >
As she was saying that,
This time round, her real voice sounded from her mouth. And Taito's eyes widened,
He shouted. And her face relaxed. On the face which looked like a completely different person just a while ago, a gentle smile surfaced,
"Ta-Taito...... hang on for a little while. I'll suppress Him now......"
To suppress Him, in other words,
"......your body got taken over by Bahlskra?"
<< VampireMost Ancient Sorcerer >> Bahlskra.
He had heard of that name before. Gekkou had mentioned that he was formerly Himea's comrade and was a criminal wanted at the international level. At any rate, he created some kind of tremendously dangerous magic which would throw the world into chaos, and was feared by the world, but, Himea had somehow sealed him up some way or another, well, something along those lines as far as he could remember.
And, that dangerous << VampireMost Ancient Sorcerer >> who should have been sealed up was here right now, and for some reason, had taken over Himea's body.
Looking at that scene before him,
Terrible, Taito thought. So as to speak, if this were a game, wouldn't Bahlskra be the last boss?, he thought.
Even that insanely strong Hinata had hunted Himea for the purpose of reviving that Bahlskra.
On top of that, Himea had called those people who wanted to revive Bahlskra mad worshipers of the Demon God.
Mad worshipers of the Demon God.
Demon God worshipers.
Demon God, wait, doesn't that make him a god!?
Looking intently at the Himea who was in agony, he said.
"What should I do? What should I do to purge Bahlskra away from Himea's body?"
And Himea replied. No, that's not it. Himea replied with the voice of Bahlskra. Glaring at Taito,
< ...... purge me? I've taken over her body? Ha, haha, don't shit with me. Weren't you the one who had taken over her heart? Weren't you the one who had stolen her body, human? The truth is, she is my thing. The beautiful Saitohimea belongs only to me. That's why I'm taking her along. To the world which you can't reach. A place which you definitely can't reach, to our << Paradise >>. >
After saying that, she(he) put her hand forward. And from that hand, a mass of red jelly formed.
But, at that moment.
Himea's voice said. And flung her hand away from Taito, firing the jelly in the process. The wall of the classroom dissolved into nothingness in an instant.
Taito looked at that. And grimaced.
If it had hit him, he would die for sure this time.
He had already died a total of six times within a span of fifteen minutes. If he were to die again, he would not return to life anymore.
"...... Ta-Taito...... get out of here...... I'll...... I'll suppress him so use the time to...... get away......"
But, in this situation, even when he was told to run away, there was no way he could do that all by himself.
Taito looked intently at her,
"Damn, what the hell should I do?"
Following that, he looked around him and in a loud voice,
"Hey Gekkou! The school has turned into a mess now, so what the hell are you doing!"
But, as he thought, there was no reply.
There was no sign of that irritating, but yet somewhat reliable when it comes to such urgent circumstances, student council president coming to help them.
And in the meantime, right before him, Himea's body was taken over by some mysterious fella. And on top of that, he seemed to possess some tremendous power and was the verge of killing Taito.
And Himea said it again. Get out of here, she said. To the shitty me who isn't of any use, get out of here, she said.
But nine years ago, he didn't run away.
I'm coming to save you, the Taito then had shouted to the abducted Himea and had gotten up again. Though he couldn't land a single hit, but even so, he got up in desperation to protect Himea.
The end was a bad one though.
But, even so, during that time, he had stood up in an attempt to protect her.
But, this time round, he could not even do that.
The monster called Bahlskra, had somehow taken over her body.
Using her mouth to speak, and using her hand to kill Taito. In other words, if Taito were to attack him, it would mean that he would be attacking Himea as well. As he thought about that,
"What should I do about this?"
And in response to that,
"Quic......kly...... ahh, no...... I can't hold him back any longer...... quickly...... get out of here......"
But, Taito shook his head.
"If...... if I run away now, then won't it be like nine years ago, where Himea was taken away from me? If so, I can't run away by myself. Even though right now, I have no idea what is happening and can't do anything yet, I'll figure something out...... I'll do my best and figure something out, so wait for a little while."
He said. Following that, he took out his cellphone from his pocket. He scrolled to 'I', to 'Irritating Kurenai Gekkou', and called. After two, three rings, it switched to voice mail mode ---
"Damn that fella, he's useless during such critical moments."
And at that moment, Himea pointed her(his) hand in his direction.
< The one who's useless is you. Time to die. >
But, at that juncture, her face contorted, seemingly about to cry.
She said in a pained, shaking voice. And moved her hand towards another direction. The red jelly was fired off in another direction again, and the ceiling dissolved.
"....... pl-please...... please, Taito...... listen to me...... I can't...... I can't hold out, any longer...... I don't want you to die. If you die...... if you die, I'll......"
At that moment, her words stopped. Without any more strength left to talk, she shivered, and stopped. Her eyes were overflowing with tears. Her eyes that were red like a rabbit were overflowing with tears.
The tears were red. Red like the blood.
Taito looked at those tears. He looked at her tears. He had made her cry. Like a dead-weight unable to do anything, he had made her cry.
Looking at that.
"Damn, what the hell is with me? Like always, why can't I do anything?"
He was exasperated at his lack of power. Even when there was a girl crying right before him. Even when she was crying and wanted to be saved, he could only be exasperated at his own idiocy and ignorance at what was happening.
He could only be exasperated at his own weakness, at his own reliance and hope in that Gekkou or someone else would come and help them.
And then, he would once again lose something precious to him.
Forgetting about how a crying girl got abducted by a monster, how he was hollering then, and living his life like an idiot, laughing everyday.
Smiling, laughing, not knowing what he wanted to do, living every day in a boring way for the past nine years; he remembered those days.
He remembered those nine years in which he had forgotten something important to him like an idiot.
"...... I don't want that to happen again."
Taito murmured softly.
And then in his mind, if that's the case, what should I do?, he muttered. Use my head. Previously, I only tried to rush Hinata like an idiot. Not understanding how powerless I was, I only hollered 'I'm going to save you'. But this time, I can't afford to do that anymore. Even if I lack the power, even if the enemy is far stronger than me, I can't afford to lose.
I can't afford to have that same regret another time.
Then, what should I do?
Use my head. Even if I have absolutely no idea as to what's happening, use my head. Use my head. Use my head. Use, my head!?
What on earth should I......
"What should I do...... to protect Himea?"
"Tell me how. I don't know how since I'm an idiot. But if you would tell me how, I'll do it...... so tell me what I should do to save you, Himea?"
Taito asked Himea.
On hearing that, she(he) smiled.
< If you die...... >
"I'm not asking you!"
She(He) raised her hand towards him again. Red jelly was formed and launched towards him. This time round, Himea could not protect him. Seemingly having lost her strength, she could not protect him.
As Taito groaned, somehow, he dodged it. The jelly readily dissolved the door of the classroom. If he got struck by that, he would have died without a doubt.
While he stayed wary of her hand,
"Can you hear me, Himea. I'll protect you, so answer me. What should I do? What should I do to save you? What on earth should I do to protect you......"
But, his words were interrupted,
< Ha, haha, what the hell. What the hell's with that. Save her? You say you want to save her? Isn't the real culprit who had broken her you? >
And with that, she(he) put her(his) hand out again. Red jelly formed. This time round, a massive amount of jelly, as much as what was covering the corridor, formed and was fired.
Taito dived into the AV room, and evaded it. The jelly engulfed half the classroom, dissolved it, and it became connected to the neighboring playroom.
But, Bahlskra did not slow down in his attacks. She(he) put her(his) hand out. Red jelly formed. And she(he) looked at Taito,
< That's why I will never forgive you, Kurogane Taito. For an ugly human...... for a lowly worm only fit for crawling on the ground...... I won't forgive you, the one she loves. >
"As I was saying, I'm not talking to you! Himea, answer me please."
< There's no need to answer you. There's no need for her to answer trash like you. >
< The one who should shut up is you, Kurogane Taito. The truth is, she is a perfect existence that should have no weakness which I can take advantage of. A perfect existence that even the << Tenma >> is afraid of...... >
"I said shut up......"
< But yet, you broke her. You made her become strange. In order to bring the useless you back to life after you died seven times, she...... she paid the price with most of her life...... >
On hearing those words.
Taito remained silent.
On hearing Bahlskra's words, Taito had nothing to say in response.
Rather, he was not quite able to make sense of what Bahlskra just said.
But, her(his) words continued. From the lovely pink lips of Himea, his words continued.
< Such a useless you wants to protect her? Save her? Don't make me laugh. Don't make me laugh. Don't make me laugh. Aren't you the one who killed her? Aren't you the one who broke her? Because of her love for you, she went crazy and chose death. Already, much of her life is spent. It's all because of your fault, that she does not have much time left to live. >
On hearing that,
"...... huh? Wa-wait a minute."
"What do you mean? Not much time left to live? What on earth......"
However, with a pained expression,
"...................don't listen to him...... Taito."
"There's no reason for you to listen to him......"
However, she was interrupted by Bahlskra.
< Don't be a fool. Why don't you tell him? Why don't you tell him the truth? Why do you have to be the only one suffering? I too, I too don't wish to see you cry...... >
"Shut, up, Bahlskra...... my life is for...... me to decide......"
< Don't shit with me. Isn't it because of this human's fault that you don't have much time left! The << Tenma >> is coming. The << Tenma >> is coming to violate you, who have lost your powers. If that were to happen, everything will end. Since you have lost your powers, there's no way you can defend yourself. You'll need my hel...... >
"I don't need your help...... if I can just stay by Taito's side and laugh with him...... that alone will be enough...... that's why I just want to be with him a little longer, and after that...... after that, I shall disappear."
When she said 'I shall disappear', she had a sad, resigned, but yet a little happy look on her face.
On hearing that, Taito's face contorted and he looked intently at her.
He looked intently at her face, where the red tears were still flowing.
And he started thinking about the meaning of what she had just said.
Of course, he was not able to make complete sense of the conversation that had taken place between Bahlskra and Himea.
What is the Tenma?
What is it that's making Bahlskra so panicked?
What is the relationship between the two of them?
He couldn't make head or tail of those matters.
But, there were also things he understood. There were also things he understood from their conversation.
And that was, for some reason, Himea had thrown away her life for him.
For the sake of a human who could not do anything, she had thrown away her life stupidly.
Thinking about that,
What the hell, he thought. What the hell is with that, he thought.
During the time when that Hinata was rampaging at the park, didn't I throw away my life in trying to save her?
Didn't I throw away my life with the thought of letting her live a life without tears, after all the pain she had gone through for the past nine years?
But yet, the result is this?
He didn't manage to protect her nine years ago as well.
And even after those nine years, he had made her cry like this. And even took her life away.
And there was not much time left for her to live.
For some reason he was not aware of, before he knew it, there was not much time left for her to live.
Even when he had thought they could be together forever. She had been imprisoned for nine whole years, and on top of that, Taito had forgotten about that. But, at last, even though they could return to the old days. Defeating Hinata, saving her, at last, he thought that bit by bit, she could recapture the time she had lost; even though that was what he had thought.
But yet, there was not much time for her to live.
For my sake.
Because she chose to bring the useless me back to life, there is not much time for her to live.
But yet, every day, she was smiling happily.
I love you, Taito, she would murmur while smiling happily.
Just by being with you makes me happy, she would say while smiling happily.
Croquette bread tastes good, she would say. When I'm eating with Taito, everything tastes good, she would say. It's really fun not to be alone anymore, she would say. I want to be with you forever. I want to be with Taito forever, she would say while smiling.
Even though the truth was that there was not much time left for her. Even though she knew that there was not much time left for her to live, she had smiled happily at Taito and told him she wanted to be with him forever.
To be with him forever......
Was it okay for me to make merry about being able to coming back to life without knowing all that? Was it okay for me to laugh like an idiot, thinking about how great it was for her to enjoy herself in naivety, and that little by little, the school life she was leading would heal her wounds?
"...... only qualify me as trash......"
Bahlskra then looked at him intently with eyes full of hatred,
< It's too late to only notice it now...... you have defiled her too much. >
Taito had nothing to say to those words.
< You can't protect her. >
Taito had nothing to say to those words.
< That's why I'm requesting you. To just disappear. And never to lead her astray again. >
Taito, as one would expect, had nothing to say to those words.
Because it was true that he could not protect her.
Because it was true that he was too weak and powerless and unable to protect her during critical moments. And to top it off, the worst thing was when he didn't even realize that she was shouldering such pain. He did not even realize that she had been crying.
What can trash like me protect?
Taito thought. He thought from the bottom of his heart. He thought in exasperation.
But, at that moment, Himea gazed at him,
She said. He looked at her. She was indeed smiling. In pain, sadness, but also in a little delight,
"...... don't make such a face, Taito. You have been...... protecting me all along......"
On hearing that, Taito said,
But she cut him off,
"It's true...... since I had always been shrouded in loneliness and had felt like dying...... but you found me. You found me in that park...... and protected me from that loneliness. So, Taito, don't make such a face. Taito will always be able to protect......"
< Enough of that, shut up, Saitohimea. I'll be the one to....... >
"Impossible. You...... you won't be able to protect me. Taito is the only one who can protect......"
< That's not true. I was born only for the sake of protecting you. I was born to keep you company, so that you don't live in loneliness. >
"...... but...... but, I was lonely. You...... you can't fill the gaps in my heart. Taito is the only who can fill them. Taito is the only who had found me. So, Taito...... have some confidence......"
Said Himea. With her rabbit-like eyes looking at him. Within the depths of those eyes were her usual kindness, mischievousness, but yet tinged with sadness,
She called his name.
She called his name in a teary voice.
"Taito...... protect me. If you would embrace me...... he would disappear. The other me who was born from my extreme loneliness --- Bahlskra, would disappear."
Taito's eyes widened.
The red-eyed monster called Bahlskra who had taken over her body appeared to be an alternate personality born from herself.
Then, when Bahlskra said that he wanted to save her, they were words that had come from her very self?
Those words of Bahlskra, about Taito having broken and blemished her ---
But, as he was thinking, Himea spoke.
"I love you."
"I love you, Taito."
She said. And she spread her arms. She spread her arms wide as if she was ready to accept Taito into her embrace. Smiling gently.
"...... now, let's end this. Taito, embrace me......"
In response to those words,
< ...... are you planning to retrieve the power of immortality granted to that human and use it to erase me? >
< You are mad. You are insane. If you erase me...... if you erase me, you'll die you know? >
< The << Tenma >> is already coming. The << Tenma >> is coming to attack the you who have lost your powers. That's why I awoke. I awoke to save you. If you kill me...... >
However, she ignored those words and looked intently at Taito,
"Hurry up and hug me, Taito. That will put everything to an end. And then, we can be together again."
But, on hearing that, for some reason, Taito sensed that something was amiss.
However, as if to erase that uncomfortable feeling, Bahlskra spoke.
< Wait. Stop, Saitohimea...... ahh, damn. It's your fault, human. If you really love her, then don't do it. If I disappear...... things will turn for the worse. If I disappear, she will really lose her life. >
"Lies. Don't believe him. I won't disappear. If Taito stays by my side, I won't......"
< What are you saying? That can't be right, isn't it? That's not how things work. That's not how...... >
"Just listen to me, Taito. Let's stop this farce and end it, shall we? Embrace me. And we shall terminate the existence of this puny Bahlskra."
Spreading both arms.
She took a step forward.
With a smiling face that was on the verge tears, she looked at her intently.
Those eyes were indeed red.
Red like a rabbit.
Taito looked intently at those eyes.
Taito looked intently at that smile.
He looked intently at that beautiful face, that kind and mischievous expression of Himea that had taken the place of that belittling expression of Bahlskra a while ago.
However, while looking intently at her ---
"...... who the hell are you?"
On hearing that, Himea smiled,
"What are you talking about? I'm Himea."
She said in a similar voice as Himea, with a similar smile as Himea.
"...... you're lying. Himea will never have that kind of mean smile."
On hearing those words.
Himea smiled again. She smiled with a kind-looking, mischievous-looking face. But that mouth of hers was gradually contorting. A contorted mocking smile filled with delight and amusement surfaced,
<< Ah-ha, ah-ha, ah-hahahahahahaha, I've been seen through huh. Such a human, such a human could actually see through me...... this is a surprise...... >>
A high-pitched voice said. It was like a completely different personality had emerged from within, speaking in the high-pitched voice of a woman different from Himea, and different from Bahlskra as well.
In response to that,
< ...... what, are you...... >
Bahlskra spoke in a surprised voice.
And replying to that,
<< I won't tell you ~. But then again, I thought that I made the switch at a good timing though ~. Ah-haha. Well, whatever. Anyway, Taito, just hug me. Everything will then come to an end. >>
The high-pitched voice said. And she took another step forward.
< Stop. If you erase me, Saitohimea will really die...... >
<< I said shut up ~. It doesn't really matter to me. Hurry up and do it. At any rate, Saitohimea is as good as dead for falling in love with such trash. Now, embrace me, human. Hug me. Or do you need me to remove my clothes? Will that be more exciting? >>
As she said that, she removed the ribbon at her bosom. And tossed it away. Ah-haha, she laughed.
On seeing that, Taito grimaced,
He called out.
But she did not reply. Her face, the face which Taito knew well, did not return.
< When was it? When did you start impersonating Saitohimea? >
<< Didn't I tell you to shut up already ~. Ah, ah, but whatever. Since you're going to be erased anyway. Since I'm going to take away Taito's powers and erase you, feel free to keep on whining. >>
< Stop...... >
<< I won't stop. Ah-hahahaha. Now Taito, let's have some fun~ >>
The impersonator said something incomprehensible with Himea's face. About to close in on him.
< Stop...... >
< Damn...... this fella is stronger than me...... get away, human. Right now, right now, just by being here...... >
<< No way no way. I'm going to have some fun with Taito. Now, come over. I'll let you have a taste of something awesome. >>
On saying that, she came closer to him. In a delightful manner, she came closer.
But tears were still flowing from her eyes. Red tears were still flowing.
Taito looked intently at those tears,
"...... Himea, you're there right? Answer me please."
<< She's not there. I've already devoured her. >>
<< It's true ~. I've devoured her. She was a tasty one ~. So give it up and go out with me. I'm definitely much more fun to...... >>
"Shut up, bitch. Hand over Himea now. I'll only listen to Himea......"
<< Didn't I tell you that she's no longer around~. Such a thick-headed kid. >>
She said in a cheerful tone.
She said while her tears were flowing.
Looking intently at that,
"Then, why are you crying? Himea is the one crying right? You're the one who made her cry right?"
He said as he glared at her.
Continuing to smile, she brushed her tears off with a finger.
<< Uwah, you're right. That girl is crying. Laughable. But, even so, all that crying won't change anything...... >>
But she got cut off,
< ......enough of that...... just get away, human. I will hold her back...... that's also what Saitohimea will wish for...... >
<< No, she doesn't ~. She also wants to have some fun with Taito you know ~ <3. Now, now, let's do it. And let's erase this annoying Bahlskra. >>
On saying that, she took another step forward. And closed in on him.
On seeing that, Taito retreated a step.
He called her name again.
Even while he was confused as to who was who, and who to listen to, still,
A smile then floated on her face,
<< I told you I've devoured her. >>
<< No, well, not entirely yet though. But, much of her consciousness has already been devoured by me. >>
<< But, at any rate, the thing that you've fallen for is this beautiful appearance right? You meaningless human are lusting only for the flesh, aren't you? Then, it's fine right? Let me be your partner...... I'll only make you feel good. >>
"Didn't I tell you to shut up!"
<< Ah-hahaha, you're so forceful ~. Well then, to accommodate the shy Taito, perhaps I should remove my skirt. >>
A foolish thing she had said. Cheerfully, she unfastened the clip of her skirt.
However, Taito ignored that and said.
He then yelled.
Inside the dark school without a single light,
"Answer me, Himea!!"
He hollered at the top of his lungs.
And then, her hand stopped. Her hand left her skirt, and she turned her face towards him. With dark face seemingly shrouded in shadows, she looked at him,
<< ...... ah-ha, ah-hahaha, what's with the hollering...... even when you have never really accepted that girl's feelings. The truth is you have never intended to fill the gaps of her loneliness...... that girl, she realized it you know? The truth is you don't really care about feelings, do you? You're just going along with what's convenient for you...... but you really intend to ditch her right? But yet, you easily called her name in such a familiar way ~ >>
She said to him.
Taito then looked intently at her. She was indeed crying. Her tears continued flowing.
Looking at her face,
"...... that's not it. I too......"
But, Himea smiled.
<< Lies, lies. Then, what about Haruka-chan ~? What are you going to do about the kind, gentle Haruka-chan who made you a bento ~? >>
<< See, you can't answer. Now, you have no right to call her by her name anymore. Ah-hahahaha. Well then, this is the end. Everything will end. So now, at least...... hug me, comfort me. With that, everything will end. It's time for me to disappear, hug me and comfort me. >>
She said. She said it in a mocking manner, as if she was mocking everything.
Taito stared at her in a dumbfounded manner.
The voice which had sounded like some other strange monster had just sounded a little more like Himea's voice, and consequently, Taito stared at her in a dumbfounded manner.
With tears flowing, she was clearly shaking in insecurity.
And he started thinking about the words she had said.
Even when you have never really accepted that girl's feelings.
You're just going along with what's convenient for you but you really intend to ditch her right?
What about Haruka-chan?
See, you can't answer.
At least hug me, comfort me.
With that, everything will end.'
It's time for me to disappear.
After pondering about those lines,
Taito called her name again.
On hearing that, with tears flowing,
<< Didn't I tell you not to call me in such a familiar way? >>
"...... Himea is."
"...... Himea is...... feeling insecure?"
<< ...... who are you talking to? Did I not tell you that she is no longer around? >>
She said. She said while crying.
But, Taito ignored her and continued.
"...... no, it's not surprising that you were insecure...... in spite of throwing your life away and coming to save me...... in spite of having waited for me for the past nine years...... but yet, I didn't give a proper answer to what Himea said."
As he said that, he remembered.
After she had come back to him, for umpteen times, whenever she told him that she loved him, he had always made a troubled face.
Whenever she flew into his arms and told him how joyful she was to be with him, how blessed she felt to be with him, he had never properly answered her.
He had never said them.
Words like I'm also happy that Himea has come back to me, and words like I'm also having fun with Himea by my side.
He had only made a troubled face. When she came back suddenly, he only had an expression of uncertainty on him.
Even when she had waited for him for the past nine years.
Even when she had thrown her life away to return him back to life.
And because of that, she didn't have much time left to live.
"...... and I didn't even...... I didn't even give a proper answer."
And he remembered the promise they had exchanged with each other in the past.
And he remembered the promise they had exchanged with each other nine years ago.
She had said.
As she injected << Black MagicPoison >> into his neck, she had said with a serious expression.
"Tell me you love me."
She had said.
"When you do that, the << Black MagicPoison >> will be completed. Or is it that...... is it that you hate me?"
On hearing those words.
On hearing those words said by a girl who had an unsettled face unlike her usual strong-willed look, Taito had replied.
In order to make her feel settled.
In order to bring her usual smile back to her usually mischievous looking face, Taito had said.
"I...... I also love you, Himea."
In that instant, the magic bounded the two of them.
In that instant, the << Black MagicPoison >> bounded them.
She had said that it was a magic that binds two people in love together for eternity.
She had said it in a delightful manner.
She had said it in a joyful manner.
And she had believed it.
For those nine years. She alone had believed in Taito's words.
But yet, when she was free, Taito had not responded to those words. On top of that, he had a childhood friend with whom he was on friendly terms by his side, and was making either a troubled face or 'you got me' face, carrying a shitty attitude along those lines.
"So, this is it......"
"This is what is making Himea insecure......"
She was still crying. Red tears were still flowing. And then,
<< Are you an idiot? What's with that 'I got it' face? Disgusting. Well whatever, quickly hand over your power. With that power, I can kill Bahlskra and free myself. >>
But, Taito did not hear those words. Ignoring those words,
"You know, Himea. Were you broken...... because of that insecurity?"
<< Didn't I tell you that you're disgusting...... >>
"Tell me. Was it because I didn't keep my promise...... was it because I didn't give a reply to you that caused you to become all weird?"
<< Ahhhhhhhhhhh, how annoying. Shut up shut up. Can you shut up already? I've told you that Saitohimea is no longer around. >>
However, ignoring that, Taito continued.
"If that's the case...... if that's the case, then there's no need to be like that you know. I'll give you my reply properly. I will give a proper reply to your feelings......"
<< Shut up, shut up, shut up...... that girl had conferred much of her power onto you as a result, she had disappeared...... ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, this is irritating. What's this? What the hell's this? Enough, enough of this. I'll kill you. I'll this fella...... with my power, even without you, I can still erase Bahlskra! >>
As she said that, she raised her hand. She raised her right hand. And once again, red jelly was formed.
However, Taito looked straight at it.
< Dodge, idiot. >
Bahlskra's voice spoke for some reason, but Taito ignored that and looked straight ahead. The jelly was released. And struck his head. His head was blown away, but it regenerated right away.
Himea's face then contorted.
<< Damn...... fifteen minutes have already passed...... then, I shall kill you seven times straight! >>
She hollered. She hollered crazily.
However, without moving, Taito merely looked straight at her,
"I'm probably, also...... fond of Himea you know."
He said. And he took a step closer to her.
<< Sh-shut up! >>
Himea hollered. And fired off red jelly again. Taito's upper body disappeared. His consciousness disappeared as well. And he started regenerating immediately again.
With his regenerated eyes, he looked intently at her,
"...... it's the truth. I also......"
<< Shut upppppppppppppppppppppppppp >>
The red jelly was released again. Twice. Thrice, it was released consecutively. Each time, Taito regenerated. And he took another step closer.
With that, he had died a total of five times.
He could only afford to die one more time.
If he died another two times, he wouldn't be able to come back to life anymore.
"...... so Himea, come back. There's nothing for you to feel insecure about. I'll protect you, so...... so go back to the way you wer......"
<< I told you she's not there! I told you that Saitohimea is no longer around right! You're really noisy. All this time, you've really noisy you know! >>
On saying that, she released her jelly again. And that hand that was firing off the jelly was held back by the other hand of hers. And then,
< Fool...... this fella is speaking the truth...... all this while, I can't feel the presence of Saitohimea's power at all...... so quickly get out of here. Or you'll be killed. If that happens...... if that happens, Saitohimea may disappear for real. That's how important...... your existence is to Saitohimea...... >
But, in the midst of his sentence,
<< You shut up too. Everyone shut up. Everyone...... each and everyone of you are damn noisy!? >>
She hollered in a high pitched voice. She hollered in a teary voice. She hollered in agitation.
And she shook off Bahlskra's hand, and pointed her hand towards Taito. And released her jelly. Consequently, Taito's life was extinguished readily.
That was the sixth time.
He had been killed six times.
Now, he could no longer revive.
The next time would be the final death for Taito.
< Hurry up and run, fool. I can no longer suppress this fella with my power...... >
<< Ah-hahahahahahahaha this is the end, the end, the enddd...... one time, and you'll be dead. And Saitohimea will die as well. And Bahlskra's existence will become meaningless as well. And everything will end. This pain will end. This pain in my chest will end. And my madness will end. Now, die. Everyone, please disappear? >>
After saying that, she stretched her arm. She stretched her arm towards Taito.
Even as he looked intently at that hand, he took another step closer to her. He was now almost within touching distance from her hand.
"...... I'm fine...... with Himea killing me. In the first place, I'm alive because you have given me yours. If you really don't have much time to live...... then, I'm fine with dying with you. But......"
Taito put his hand forth and touched her hand. He touched the hand that was about to give birth to the red jelly. And grabbed it. Even when she screamed she was going to release it, she did not. She definitely would not. And with that, he placed her hand on his own face. If, in this position, she were to release her jelly, his head would be blown away once again. If that were to happen, Taito would not be able to come back to life. He would not be able to come back to life again.
However, he was already indifferent to that. He only clasped her hand strongly and put it against his cheek,
"...... but, before I die, I have something to say to you. I have yet to tell you this. I have yet to tell you I love you. Because I have yet to tell you that...... can you wake up so that you can hear me properly?"
<< Shut...... >>
"I love you, Himea."
<< ............ >>
"I love you."
<< ............ >>
"So please don't feel so unsettled."
<< ............ >>
"I'll always be by your side."
<< ............ >>
"I'll never let you be alone again."
<< ............ >>
<< ............ >>
"Take my life if you wish."
<< ............ >>
"So, show me your smile again."
<< ............ >>
"I love your smiling face the most."
After saying that, Taito closed his eyes. And he kissed her hand. With tears flowing, he kissed her hand.
As he did that, her hand shivered. Her thumb searched for Taito's lips. And touched them gently.
Taito then opened his eyes, and there she was.
The usual Himea.
Her eyes were no longer red like the rabbit. Her tears were no longer red.
With mischievous-looking, but yet kind-looking eyes, she looked intently at him. She sniffed. She sniffed up her tears.
Looking at her face, Taito smiled.
She then hugged him, and started in a slightly strong tone,
"What if you really die......"
"If my consciousness did not return...... if in the event that my consciousness did not return, you'd die you know?"
Once again, Taito apologized. And with that, he returned her embrace. He embraced her slender body with so much strength that one might wonder whether that slender body would get crushed by that strong embrace.
"Sorry for not paying attention to you all this while."
And she remained in his embrace for a while, then,
"Since you have told me you love me, I've become invincible."
On hearing that, Taito smiled,
"...... if you're invincible, that could be dangerous."
"So, you're fine now?"
"What about Bahlskra?"
She then replied promptly,
As she replied, Taito pushed her away from his chest in a slight movement. And looked at her face.
"Ehh? Then, what about the other woman......"
"She's also there. Now that my strength has returned, she is staying quiet for now...... but she is indeed there."
Taito then panicked and looked intently at her. After ascertaining that the face, manner, and expression were no doubt those of Himea,
"...... erm, ah ~, even though I don't really get it...... what on earth happened just now? Were they Himea's alternate personalities?"
She shook her head in response.
"Nope. That's not it. It was magic."
"Yeah. The first stage of magic to using << Bliss >>."
"...... Bliss? First stage? Erm, I can't really see where this is going......"
"Don't worry about that. They won't come out anymore. I'm sorry for putting you through......"
As she said that, she stepped away from Taito, and looked around her. She found her ribbon on the floor and picked it up. Then tied it back to her bosom.
While Taito was looking at that.
While Taito was looking at the usual Himea, he asked.
"....... but, regarding what they said earlier......"
However, at that moment,
She cut him off.
But, that was not something he could just forget. The words of Bahlskra, as well as the words of that woman with a high-pitched voice, were not something he could just forget.
"Just now, when Bahlskra talked about...... that not much of your life is left......"
"I'll be fine, so don't worry about it."
She said to him, but,
"No no, you can't be fine right. It's my fault right? In order to bring me back to life, you......"
However, she just looked at him. She looked at him with a delighted face. And she smiled. Smiling with her usual strong-willed eyes. Keeping quiet, she smiled.
"I love you."
"Hey, don't gloss it over......"
But, all of a sudden, she came flying into his chest. On top of that, she pulled her body up and pressed her lips against his own.
She totally evaded the question.
And with that, her lips left him. But even so, he could feel his heart racing, racing, racing,
Taito asked, and she smiled mischievously,
She said. Her face blushed slightly in embarrassment.
"Taito, I love you very much."
"How about you?"
"Eh? Ah ~"
"Do you love me?"
On hearing those words.
Taito made a troubled face again. He looked up at the dark ceiling, following that, he looked back at the ground, and tried to hide his blushing face,
"...... yeah, ermm...... I love you too."
He said. After saying that, he groaned silently to himself, chiding himself for getting overly embarrassed when he said the words 'I love you'.
Peering at his face,
"Your face is red."
"That goes the same for you."
As Taito said that, ah-haha, she laughed. And he laughed too, following that he raised his face,
"So, is everything over? With regards to some incomprehensible power rampaging in your body, and causing red rain to fall; are they all over?"
At his query,
"No. I wasn't the cause of the red rain."
On hearing that, Taito said,
"Eh? Then who caused it? Was it the one called Bahlskra who took over your body to......"
But she shook her head,
"No. Bahlskra came to help me...... as I was becoming too weak."
And she replied.
With one word.
"<< Tenma >>."
In that instant.
Kachi kachi kachi sounds could be heard from behind him. The sounds resembling those biting sounds of insects from the schoolyard could be heard.
The unpleasant sounds of kachi kachi coming from the stairs at the end of the corridor could be heard.
In response to that,
As Taito was about to turn around,
"Don't turn around."
Himea held him back. And she smiled.
"We kissed huh."
She said something which should not be said in a 'this is not the time for that' kind of situation,
"Erm, Himea, this is not the time for......"
"And I was really happy when you told me you love me."
"Erm, well, as I was saying, this is not......"
But she cut him off,
"That's why...... I don't have any more regrets."
On hearing those words,
"...... huh? Hey, wait, Himea, what......"
But, even as his body moved and pulled away from her --- for some reason, he could not move. He could not move a single finger. Restrained by some strange power, his body could not move on his volition.
On realizing that,
Taito uttered in surprise and Himea gazed at that surprised face with sheer joy. She gazed at him happily. And then for just an instant. For just a single instant, she made a sad and lonely face.
"I was really lying though. I was lying about not having regrets but...... this is enough."
"Wait a minute. Don't go on talking by yourself. What is happening? What is happening here now......"
But, she placed a finger on his mouth. Hush, she said. With a sad, smiling face, hush, she said.
"Quiet. This is the last time, so show me a smiling face."
Even when she said that, there was no way he could smile. There was no way he could make a smiling face.
"What's the matter? What are you planning......"
Himea took a peek behind Taito. At the end of the corridor. She looked straight, intently, at the darkness,
"That thing is after me."
"That thing, you say, is it the Tenma that Bahlskra was talking about earlier?"
"What the hell is that? Is the same TenmaMartes Devil whose power you conferred on me......"
"They are two different things. This is something worse, of a totally different nature. If I continue to remain here, not only you, but the school, the world, everything will be made bad by it. But if I go...... if I get ravaged by its power and disappear, the world will be preserved for some time. At least, for the rest of your life span......"
However, she did not finish. Her sad face became a smiling one,
"Kidding. Since this is it, there's no real need to get into such details."
"Well, see you. Taito...... make sure you attain happiness with that Haruka-chan in this world."
"I was really happy when you said you love me towards the end."
"I guess I can say that there is some worth to my life."
As she said that, once again, she stretched herself. And kissed Taito on his cheek lightly. Following that,
"Bye bye, Taito. I love you very much."
After saying that, she started walking in the direction behind him.
She started walking towards the end of the corridor, where the strange kachi kachi kachi sounds, which were still going on, were coming from.
On seeing that,
Don't shit with me, Taito thought.
What the hell is this?, he thought.
And just when I thought you were saved, what the hell is happening this time, he thought.
And he remembered. Is that it?, he remembered. The words that Bahlskra had said. Regarding how she had not much time left to live.
In order to bring Taito back to life, she had lost her powers to defend against the Tenma. That's why she didn't have much time left to live.
Because of Taito.
"...... will Himea die because of me......?"
And he tried moving his arm. He tried turning around. But, it seemed like he was restrained by some powerful force and couldn't move at all.
"Himea, wait a minute."
"Remove the restraining force on me!"
But, there was no reply. There was no reply from her. And Taito said,
"Don't shit with me. I'll definitely, definitely not let you go."
And he tried to move his body with all his strength.
"Just now, you said we are going to be together forever, but yet, you are planning to lie to me again? Don't underestimate me. I'll definitely......"
And at that moment, his right arm could move a little. His right leg too.
"I'll definitely not let you go there alone......"
He bit his lips. He bit his lips with the same amount of force he would use for gritting his teeth. And his left leg was able to move too. And with his right arm which was capable of partial movement, he punched his own face. He punched his own face with everything he got. With that, his body started turning behind. His face turned towards his back. His eyes turned towards his back.
And then, the scenery behind him came into his view for an instant.
He could see a darkness that was darker than darkness closing in from the end of the corridor. With kachi kachi kachi noises ringing out, something strange......
But, at that moment.
"Don't turn around."
With that, his eyes were covered by Himea's hand.
"Don't look. Why did you turn around!? Just by looking, just by setting your eyes on that as a human, your existence would disappear you know!?"
She said in a panicky voice.
But, he grabbed hold of her arm. And he wrapped his arm around her waist. And then said,
"Then, don't go. Don't dump me here......"
"But, but, if I don't go......"
But her words were cut off,
"The hell I care about that. If Himea is going to sacrifice herself, I'll die with you. Even though I don't really know the meaning of getting my existence erased, but the hell I care. I'll disappear with you."
"Hey, don't be foolish, Taito, stop being willful......"
"Aren't you the willful one here!"
"Don't say things like 'I'm going alone'. Don't shoulder everything by yourself. Why are you not saying anything and taking on everything by yourself? Don't go about bearing all the pain by yourself. If you don't say anything at all...... if you don't tell me anything at all and bear all the pain by yourself, I'll be crushed right!"
On hearing that,
Himea remained silent. He could only tell that her hand was shaking. He could tell that she was shaking slightly.
And he said to her,
"So, tell me more about the current situation. Then, let's resolve it together. Even if I'm totally unreliable and can't help you in anyway, there is still that irritating student council president right...... so...... so let's fight together. Don't just give up and say you're going to die. There's definitely a way out. If we just make our way to the student council room......"
She said, but,
"There's nothing that's impossible."
On saying that, he took her hand away from his face. Of course, he didn't turn around. She had said that a human who set eyes on what was behind him would have his existence erased. Then, it probably would really happen the way she had said.
That's why Taito did not turn around.
He only looked intently at Himea,
"I'll save you."
"Shut up. I'll save you. So, you should do your best with me too."
"Let's head to the student council room. Let's seek Gekkou's help. But, since the stairs are already blocked, we can't get down to the next floor."
"So we shall drop down from the veranda of the AV room."
"Then, we'll have Gekkou open portal to another dimension, and get away from the Tenma. After that, we can figure out how to deal with the Tenma. Okay?"
As he said that, she smiled with a troubled, teary face,
"...... jeez, I didn't remember bringing you up to be such a willful kid......"
And he smiled,
"Is that so? I've always been willful you know?"
After saying that, he started to move. He grabbed her hand and pulled. In order not to let her go back to being alone again, he pulled her along strongly.
And she followed. Even though he could not turn around, he could feel that she was following along.
And then, acknowledging satisfactorily,
"Alright, let's go."
And they entered the AV room.
The windows of the AV room had totally dissolved into nothingness earlier from the red jelly released by Himea. And even the veranda had a large gaping hole created as a result of the aftermath.
"Alright. We can descend without getting the rain on us......"
"Himea, are you able to follow after me?"
"I'll be right behind you."
Following that, he nodded once more was about to jump off the veranda.
He could see the scene before him outside the window.
The blood red moon had risen into the sky.
And from mass of clouds that were covering the moon, red rain was still falling.
Looking intently at that, Taito said,
"Now, let's go."
And he jumped down, to the next floor below.
And the two of them descended to the fifth floor where the student council room was.
The place shifted a little bit from there.
It shifted to a location where a dimensional warp existed in the space.
That was the other side of the rift on the wall of the student council room.
Much more further in.
It was a totally red world.
A world where everything was red.
Red earth, red sky.
All the way till the edge of the horizon, it was red, red, red.
The red was way too red,
"...... damn. My eyes hurt."
Gekkou muttered. After blinking two, three times, he looked at his surroundings exasperatedly, and after that,
"Why did you bring me here?"
Following that, from behind him, Mirai started,
"Yeah yeah yeah! Why on earth did we come here......"
"You're too loud. Just shut up."
"Just shut up."
Gekkou said as he turned his head around. He looked intently at her with half-opened eyes.
Looking intently at that electrified hair, and the body that was clad in a sailor uniform, at the lightning girl who seemed to have come from a manga,
"Do you know, Mirai. I didn't really sleep today. And I'm sleep-deprived. When that happens, I'm in a real foul mood. Listening to your kii kii screeching sounds really makes my head hurt. So, keep quiet."
On hearing Gekkou's words however, Mirai puffed up her cheeks in anger. She desperately tried to moved her calm looking eyes upwards to glower at him,
"I'm not screeching!"
"Pii pii then."
"Neither did I go pii pii! Hey, that sounds like I'm having diarrhea righttttttt!"
Mirai's hollering was really making Gekkou's head hurt and he covered his ears. He took an exasperated breath. And then,
Ignored her for now.
"Don't ignore meeeeeeeeee!"
And he ignored the hollering from the diarrhea brat behind him.
With that, he looked to the front again,
"In other words, that's what it means."
"I'm somewhat sleep-deprived and in a foul mood. Depending on circumstances, I might kill you, get it?"
He said. And he drew his sword from his waist. And swiftly, he swung it back in a downward direction, poised. To show he was ready for a fight at anytime.
And then, he looked up at something before him.
He looked up at a humongous creature, which appeared to be a hundred times larger than him at least, before him.
The creature bore some resemblance to a dragon from the fairy tales, but, because it was too humongous, he was unable to see its entire body, and as such, he was unable to tell what its true form was.
Even as he looked up at this dragon-like creature, it was like looking up at a mountain, he felt.
How could he fight it? For an instance, such a self-mocking laugh came from within the depths of his mind, however, he suppressed it and said.
"So, what do you want with me?"
On hearing that, the mountain-like creature answered.
<< I just wanted to take a look at your face. >>
He couldn't tell whether the voice belonged to a male or a female. However, he was certain that it did not belong to a human.
Well, it's a mountain after all --- he muttered in his heart and felt like laughing. Somehow, it seemed like he was really in badly need of sleep.
Looking up at the mountain-like, dragon-like creature, he went on.
"To look at my face, you say?"
<< Yeah. >>
<< Because I wanted to know what kind of crow has been chosen this time. >>
"I'm not a crow. I'm a human."
<< Ha-ha-ha, hahaha, ha-ha-ha. >>
The sounds of laughter coming down from that mountain made Gekkou scowl.
"Shut up. Your laughter is getting on my nerves. And makes my brain hurt."
After saying that, the mountain laughed again.
<< This time round, we have an interesting fella again. So, what are you? >>
"I'm a genius."
However, for some reason, that was ignored.
<< Are you the right head that bears the darkness? >>
<< Yeah. >>
"I don't get you."
<< You don't get it huh. >>
<< Then...... then, the one who is shouldering the darkness in agony must be your little brother. >>
On hearing those words, Gekkou's eyes widened. With some of his fatigue flying away, his eyes widened.
"Do you know my little brother?"
<< Yeah. But that's fine. More importantly, in the distance, the light rises...... the moon...... the red moon weeps...... the mad witch weeps. The right head of the crow weeps. And you, the left head, what kind of sound will you make? >>
The voice said. The voice said something incomprehensible. And without answering his question, the mountain-like, dragon-like monster had went on.
In response to that,
"Answer my question."
<< Ha-ha-ha, hahaha. >>
"Didn't I tell you that your laughter is getting on my nerves? I'll really kill you, you know?"
<< Ha-haha, hahaha >>
Gekkou then thrust his sword into the ground. No, not the ground, but a part of that red monster.
This entire world was a part of that monster.
Impaling a part of the body of that monster,
"...... exorcise this fella, Spell ErrorWicked Blade."
He murmured. And then, the sword,
The sword had no reaction.
The Spell ErrorWicked Blade that should be able to exorcise everything had no reaction.
He looked at it, then looked up to the sky,
"Bastard, what the hell are you?"
And the voice from sky descended.
It was indeed a strange voice, a voice which Gekkou could not tell to belong to a male or female.
<< Tenma. >>
<< I came to lend the crow a hand. >>
<< I came to tell you the way to kill that witch...... that mad << Ramiel LilithMost Ancient Witch >> who has made the world an anomaly. >>
And that was what the Tenma said.
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