Monogatari Series:Kizumonogatari/Koyomi Vamp 017
The iron-blooded, hot-blooded, cold-blooded vampire.
The legendary vampire.
The Kaii Killer, the King of Kaiis.
She is a vampire.
She has dazzling golden hair and a chic dress, a beautiful vampire, so beautiful your blood freezes -- no further exposition is needed.
It suffices to say -- she, of whom I am a subordinate, is my final opponent.
I brushed aside the barricade with all my might, and I opened the iron door of the PE storehouse -- outside the sun had already sunk, and she was there in the center of the sports field.
The ground at her feet was cracked.
It must have been the impact of the landing.
In fact, she sank ankle deep in the sports field.
On Kissshot's back, those bat-like wings were missing -- being her subordinate I grasp it by instinct, she undoubtedly arrived here from above the roof of the cram school ruin with a single running long jump with no approach run.
She waited for the sunset.
And she -- jumped to my location.
However, that was still incredible. Even if it was the same running long jump with no approach run, I patted myself on the back just because I jumped a maximum of 20 meters -- and yet Kissshot very easily jumped a few kilometres.
Of course, at that time I was not aiming at a record, I firmly intended on landing in the sand pit, so it must not be used for a comparison -- but if I were asked if I could jump from here to the cram school ruin, there is no need to say I would not be so sure about it.
I closed the PE storehouse's iron door with a hand behind my back.
Leaving Hanekawa inside.
In front of Kissshot that door was no obstacle whatsoever -- but nevertheless, it could give me some peace of mind.
Don't say a thing, I whispered towards the door.
After that, I took one step forward.
While greeting her in that way -- I get closer to her.
"I didn't think you would do me the favor of coming here."
I thought that was the best barrier.
The setup of time and place.
Unlike the times when I fought with Dramaturgie, Episode and Guillotinecutter -- there is no Oshino and his mediation.
I had no choice but to do the negotiations myself.
However, we were fellow vampires.
Master and servant -- her subordinate.
The fact she showed up almost simultaneously with the sunset could mean that since Kissshot obtained her complete form my movements might be completely visible to her.
Where I am.
What I am thinking.
I can't hide anything from her.
Kissshot is looking at me with eyes colder than usual -- and the first thing she did, was to pull out her legs from the sports field, right leg first, then the left leg.
"Just one time."
"Servant. While the sun was out, I understood thy feelings -- I understood the reason why thou wert so angry. I resisted sleep and I reflected upon it. I think I have been insensitive -- I think I lacked way too much consideration toward thou who were a former human. Thus just this one time I will bow my head to thee."
"Return beneath me."
Her's was a beautiful voice.
With a captivating voice -- she allured me.
"Live together with me. Thou saveth my life -- Thou art a weird guy, but it is for this reason I think I can live together with you. Do not turn back into a human -- dost thou not wish to live eternally with me?"
I looked back at Kissshot's cold eyes.
I strengthened my resolve -- and I said it.
"You ate a human. That was enough for me."
"If thou knew that -- wouldst thou have not saved me? Wouldst thou have let me die?"
"Kissshot -- I knew nothing. No......"
I shook my head.
"That's not it, I realized it from the beginning -- I just averted my eyes. I wanted to die for your sake, I thought -- in other words, I gave you permission to eat someone. However, I never imagined that as a result people would have died. My action was beautiful, but not right."
I am fine with dying --
But I feel bad when people die.
If I think about it, it's a selfish opinion.
It is impossible to subscribe to that sort of opinion.
"......I thought thou would say so."
Kissshot said while all smiles.
"I wanted to hear thee say that."
"With this my hesitation disappeared -- Servant. Even I somehow realized it from the beginning. I thought thou wert such a kind of guy."
"What kind of guy?"
"Thy gentleness to me -- would have lasted only for as long as I was in trouble, I knew it."
I thought that thou wouldst not have interest in me once I became complete.
Those words of Kissshot were bitter.
"Thou didst not save me because it was me -- thou wouldst have saved anyone who was in trouble."
I don't do it for everybody, though.
I am doing it because it is you, you know?
Even if it wasn't Kissshot -- at that moment I.
"Hence -- I sensed this would happen. By the way -- I saved thee because it was thee, thou knoweth? Thou threw away thy life for me, I would have regretted killing someone as gallant as thee."
"For the hard work thou did for me, once again, I thank thee. Hey, come closer, servant. From thine expression I guess thou already know, right? Exactly. If thou kill me -- thou can turn back into a human as you loved to."
I gulp down my saliva.
I recognize once again that my plan has been seen through -- and I recognize how much difference of ability there is between me and her.
Trying to face her like this -- it is different.
It is different from the patterns of when I fought those three -- I seemed to be oppressed by a formidable sense of intimidation, and by a feeling of tension.
The biggest difference -- is that the battle that will unfold now will clearly be a 'deathmatch'.
A deathmatch is not forbidden.
In addition -- the opponent was the Kaii killer.
"Do not let this dishearten thee too much, servant."
She looked even slightly happy.
"I am currently in my best condition in all these 500 years -- when I fought those three at the same time, not only my conditions were bad but I was also careless. I did not think my heart had been stolen, but...... at my level, there are not that many..."
"Chances to get serious."
Saying so -- Kissshot beckons to me.
"Speaking frankly, even I do not know how it will turn out -- but since thou art undoubtedly the strongest among those who have fought me thus far, there is no need to pull punches. It is a great pleasure for me."
"I may not live up to your expectations."
I summon my courage and step by step I walked up to her.
My normal self would have run away -- however, now it is different. Behind my back, inside the PE storehouse, there is an important friend. My back has someone to protect -- I can't run away.
I have to face her.
Hanekawa, look at me.
Because I can't look pathetic in front of you.
"After all, I am a former human -- 'a former food'."
"......Relax. I am going to kill thee with ill will and hostile spirit, but even so I will give thee a handicap -- What did that brat say...... oh yes, a fifty-fifty match. I will abide by that rule."
It is a game.
So saying, Kissshot jumped lightly.
The next instant after she jumped, she appeared right in front of me -- in a position with our legs crossed alternated.
In her complete form she was taller than me.
With that point of view, she was looking down on me.
"I will not fly in the air. I will not hide in shadows. I will not turn into fog. I will not turn into darkness. I will not disappear. I will not shape-shift. I will not use my eye power. I will not even materialize matter. Needless to say, I will not even use the demon sword 'Kokorowatari'...... the Kaii Killer blade. In other words, I will not use the active abilities of a vampire -- I promise. Of course, thou can use them -- though what thou art able to do is, at best, to shape-shift the tip of the arms."
And even that was something I was able to do because Hanekawa was taken hostage -- now that I am feeling closer to the human side than that time, certainly it will be hard for me just to even shape-shift my fingertips.
It would be different if I had Dramaturgie's spiritual power, or maybe if I had experience -- but I am new at this and I don't have either.
"Properly speaking, as thy master, I can to a certain degree control thine actions, but -- I will not do that. I promise I will not resort to such an ungraceful act. This will be a fight purely based on immortality -- so combat experience will not be needed. A death match while standing at this distance -- with this, it should be an even match between thee and me, right?"
"......What a bore you are."
Close to her, I glare at Kissshot's face.
"So you do this when you want to get serious. Or maybe it means you are careless, aren't you?"
"Carelessness? Unfortunately for thee not even I am so foolish to be careless when facing my subordinate -- But if I do not give thee a chance of winning there is no game right? I want to get serious. It would be dull to have the battle abandoned midway."
And then she formed handchops.
With both hands in the shape of a sword -- at this super close distance, she gets ready to fight.
I imitate her.
In this case a handchop is better than forming a fist.
With the arm power of a vampire, both fists’ and handchops’ power could be said to be within the margin of error. In that case then it is easier to use a handchop that is more flexible--
I examined the surroundings.
Although I said the sun already sank, it is still not such a late hour. There may be no people at school, but no matter how far away this school is from the other houses, there could still be eye-witnesses around.
If we don't settle this early.
However, when I thought that,
"Thou art very brave to look away when I am in front of thee, servant."
"Relax. Those three are not here anymore -- an ordinary person will not even be able to get near me when I am at full power. Even if someone saw me, at most I would become a rumor--"
Street gossips. Urban legends. Second hand information.
Calling a rumor a rumor -- and speak of the devil and he shall appear.
"Although -- thy portable food in the hut behind is different, right?"
"......Kissshot. I have one last thing I want to ask you."
"Ooh. Fine, a souvenir for the other world -- I will answer to everything. Just ask me."
"What are humans to you?"
It was a flash answer.
I was able to drive the last wedge.
"I wanted to hear you saying so -- I wanted to hear it from your mouth!"
And then I move -- Kissshot moved too.
"I will take your life, my master!"
"Time to die, my servant!"
Even that may have been in order to create an even match -- making it seem like we moved at the same time, Kissshot let me have the initiative.
My handchop struck Kissshot's face in a horizontal swing -- the upper half of her head was severed, and it was blown behind together with her golden hair.
Like she was waiting for it, Kissshot's handchop blew up my head. Although it was the same handchop, the power was different -- compared to Dramaturgie’s fist the impact point was smaller, but the power was more focused.
Both our heads flew away.
In normal circumstances this should have been the end.
However -- I and Kissshot are not humans.
We are monsters.
Even if our heads blew off, even if the brains was destroyed, unconcerned with the five minutes time limit, for just an instant our consciousness and field of vision were disrupted -- and immediately they returned as before.
Neither of us had taken any damage.
Kissshot -- laughs.
"Ha! "Haha! "Ahaha! "Hahaha! "Ahahahaha!"
In a vibrato like she was harmonizing by herself -- she laughs with joy.
"So good -- this is the greatest deathmatch between fellow vampires ever! Encore, encore, encore -- servant!"
The handchops interweave.
Not restricted to the head, they hit even the body and the limbs.
My handchops gouge Kissshot--
Kissshot's handchops gouge me.
We continue to brutally gouge each other.
Of course, it's not like my sense of pain was numbed.
The pain was still there.
If the brain is destroyed the thought stops, if the lungs are destroyed the breath stops, if the heart is destroyed the blood flow stops.
Even if I became a vampire--
It's not like my body physically changed.
Recovery power, healing power, immortality.
This is just what stands out.
However -- it sufficed.
"Haha! Scream more! -- I love manly roars!"
With her breast, as I expected, shaking violently -- although the attacks she was unleashing were even more violent -- Kissshot bursts out in a loud laughter.
Even Kissshot surely feels the pain.
There is no way her sense of pain wore out.
However nothing of that transpires from her, she doesn't even grit her teeth or scream like I am doing.
No matter where she is destroyed--
No matter if her brain, lungs or heart are destroyed, she keeps laughing out loud like she doesn't care.
With cold eyes, but an amused expression.
A ghostly laugh.
"Hey hey, it is too early for that word, servant -- like thou wert feeling bitter for something while under these equal conditions!"
So she grew accustomed to pain -- huh.
The pain of having her body torn for her can only be a sensation she got used to a long time ago.
If that's the case.
In these 500 years.
What kind of bloodshed did she survive?
What kind of line between life and death did she cross?
A difference of experience -- a difference of battle experience!
I am covering that difference in experience with willpower -- in this scene!
"Come on come on, keep screaming -- let me hear a war cry!"
"Don't get cocky on me, Kissshot!"
"If I think thou wilt be the last to call me so, I am reluctant to part!"
It was a pointless battle.
No matter how much blood was splattered or how much meat was scattered, it evaporates before reaching the ground, and when it evaporates it regenerates.
In the end there was no damage.
I could die from the shock caused by the pain -- maybe I already died from that shock and the vampire immortality resurrected me.
However...... it was strange.
We are equally immortal.
But Kissshot has greater offensive power.
This in itself is not strange.
However, I wonder about it -- honestly, I didn't think my blows held such destructive power they would be able to hurt Kissshot's body so much. In that regard, I just thought I would be overwhelmingly inferior to Kissshot -- but in fact, my blows destroy her body without much impact shock.
It felt like I was destroying tofu.
"Hahahahaha! "Haha! "Ahahahaha!"
With the cheeks destroyed, with a smiling face like kuchisake-onna -- Kissshot answered to my question. 
Master and servant.
She can see what I am thinking--
"As a matter of fact, servant -- vampire defensive power is not that high! Of course, it should not even be compared to the humans vampires eat, but -- as if inversely proportional to the outstanding attack power, the defensive power is low! If the attack power is 100, the defensive power's maximum value would go from 10 to 20, approximately! Servant, do you understand why it is like that!?"
Kissshot restores even the dress -- because that dress is created by her will. However I can't do the same -- my clothes are just clothes.
Above the waist I was already next to naked.
"Because the immortality is equal to a defensive power!"
"Thus in this battle thou doth not need to defend from mine attacks -- just concentrate all thy mind on thine attacks, and destroy my body!"
"Are you a masochist!?"
"I will not deny it!"
Sometimes the handchops even collided with each other.
When that happened, it was my hand that was destroyed.
In this battle there was no chance to play cheap tricks -- but on the other hand, there was no chance even for elaborate tricks.
Until the immortality runs out.
Or until the mind of one of us collapses.
Such was the battle -- no.
No, the truth is different.
This pointless battle has always been nothing but a preliminary skirmish -- for Kissshot it was something like a game, for me it was not a game, but still something like a preliminary step.
I know it.
I found it out.
And -- I sensed it.
The way to kill Kissshot-Acerolaorion-Heartunderblade.
The technique to exorcise her.
Now that I am actually face to face with her.
I grasp it by instinct.
I don't know whether it is the instinct of a human or of a vampire, however I felt it.
If I think about it, I heard it from Kissshot herself -- then that should certainly be a valid idea.
What I had to do was clear.
However -- I had no chance to do it.
Because the technique to exorcise Kissshot was at the same time the technique with which Kissshot would exorcise me.
For this reason it is a pastime for her.
Surely -- Kisshot can kill me any time. Of course that's not being careless -- she wanted to enjoy her own full power a little while longer.
Therefore -- if Kissshot shows an opening.
Waiting for that opening -- I must continue this standing exchange of strikes.
I must continue this pointless match of death and rebirth.
"Haha, I like it, servant -- thou have quite the willpower! Although thou have the power of a subordinate of mine, normally a new vampire would not risk his life so much!"
"It's because of this setup! It's great that you like it!"
"Just for that it is a shame! Thou could have become a legend like I did!"
"A legend? Like hell I'd want to become that -- just the thought of a stranger knowing my name makes me shiver!"
"I totally feel the same way!"
The conversation during the deathmatch.
The conversation while we gouge each other.
Yesterday -- the conversation we had above the roof of the cram school ruin was completely different -- this was a rude, random, purely spur-of-the-moment conversation.
I didn't have the self-control to laugh.
Kissshot was laughing, but it was completely different from the smiling face of last night; I couldn't feel any friendliness.
Even while we are blown off behind --
Both legs still remained.
This is the Hell of regeneration.
Even if the body is crushed into little pieces, with a gust of wind it is mended and it returns as before, gets further crushed, mended again, and again and again the body is crushed into little pieces, and it continues to be crushed for eternity -- that kind of hell.
One of the Eight Greater Hells. 
Then undoubtedly this, right here and now -- was hell.
"By the way, I will tell thee one thing -- servant! Although there is no point in thee knowing it since we part here--"
"Dramaturgie, Episode, Guillotinecutter for sure, all the vampire exorcism specialists that until now have tried to kill me -- even that brat with the flashy shirt did not know it, but I am actually a former human!"
Kissshot -- said while laughing.
She said it while her neck was regenerating a cut.
"A former human -- in other words I am the same as Dramaturgie and thee!"
"A--Ah? Weren't you an original!?"
I was convinced of that.
But come to think of it -- Kissshot herself never said such a thing even once.
"I almost forgot about the time I was a human -- I think I was born from a good family! Were we aristocrats? This dress seems a vestige of that time -- ha! Well, for vampires over 300 years old, there are no originals or subordinates anymore!"
"Hey -- What's your point?"
"No, I just forgot it for a long time -- I remembered it last night talking with thee! Even I at first felt hesitation about eating people!"
Kissshot for a moment stopped her attacks.
"If thou ate even one person -- thou would not feel it a sin anymore!"
I stopped my attacks, matching her.
Our injuries regenerate in the blink of an eye.
"Even Dramaturgie, despite being a former human......, moreover a vampire exorcist -- was eating people, thou know? Although it seems he is eating only capital offenders supplied by Guillotinecutter's church--"
"It is not right to eat them just because they are criminals...... all the more if they were judged criminals by Guillotinecutter's church."
"Aye. However the criterion of what is right or not to eat is not limited to humans. One must not eat cows, one must not eat pigs, one must not eat whales, one must not eat dogs -- this is not about Guillotinecutter alone, even between fellow humans there are difference in culture. Not to mention I am the Kaii Killer vampire. In a month it suffices me to eat 1 human -- in a year they are at most 12 people. Even accounting for 500 years, they would be a mere 6000 people. Looking at history, how big a number is it? How many humans did humans kill until now?"
"......This is a sophism."
"I am certainly not a threat for the world. My influence over the world is insignificant. And yet thou still tell me to die because I eat humans?"
"It is the human appetite that is the biggest greed."
If I do not eat I die.
It's not just vampires, even humans are like that.
It's not just humans, even animals are like that.
Even the plants in which I wished to turn into -- are like that.
As long as they are not inorganic substances.
As long as they are not stone or iron.
They must sacrifice other lives.
"That's not the problem, Kissshot."
"And it's like you say. What I say to you is -- die because you eat humans."
Kissshot received it with an ooh.
And -- she slowly thinned her cold eyes.
"Kissshot. I am a human."
"I see. I am a vampire."
And the battle restarted -- should have.
A pointless match of death and rebirth should have pointlessly unfolded -- at that moment.
On my back.
A voice echoed.
It echoed on Naoetsu high school's sports field.
That was clearly the voice of Hanekawa -- now that I mention it, just before there may have been the sound of the iron door of the PE storehouse being opened.
"A-Araragi-kun, there is something strange!"
Hearing that from Hanekawa behind me, I thought you are the one who is strange.
Why did you come out of the PE storehouse in this situation -- have you no fear? Even I who have an immortal body understand the reason, just by standing in front of Kissshot like this it wouldn't be strange if your heart broke -- didn't I tell you that Kissshot with her eye power has even the ability to destroy a concrete block just by gazing at it?
Then why -- did you show yourself?
"Hanekawa! Go hide yourself!"
Knowing the risk, I looked behind.
"No -- Run! Just run! Don't stay here! Put as much distance as you can from here!"
"I-It is not like you think, Araragi-kun--"
Hanekawa -- was upset.
Even when I deeply hurt her, even when Episode made a mess of her flank, even when Guillotinecutter took her hostage, the Hanekawa who remained calm all the time -- was plainly shaken.
"There was something really weird from before--, Araragi-kun, p-perhaps we were still failing to notice something very important--"
Failing to notice?
There was still -- something we were failing to notice?
No, there should be no such thing.
There is nothing left undone--
"Thou art noisy!"
Kissshot -- yelled.
Even Kissshot was upset.
That was quite an unexpected reaction.
Although I had seen only once the scene of Kissshot being upset -- when I was still a human, and for a moment I was abandoning her.
When I made the right decision
She -- was upset.
She was crying, begging, apologizing--
"Do not say any superfluous words -- portable food!"
Just by doing that--
The PE storehouse's iron door behind Hanekawa was blown off.
Unlike the time when I kicked it open, now it's impossible to fix it -- the PE storehouse's iron door shrank like when you crash aluminum foil, and was blasted inside the PE storehouse.
Even the ground around Hanekawa was cracked.
What was around and behind Hanekawa -- was erased.
Just by being looked at.
She just looked at it.
The iron-blooded, hot-blooded, cold-blooded vampire -- the Kaii Killer!
Obviously even Hanekawa for a moment gulped down her own words.
But I saw it.
I -- already saw it.
I know it.
I know her dangerousness.
I know that she won't stop for just that much.
She firmly, strongly; glared back at Kissshot-Acerolaorion-Heartunderblade.
"Heartunderblade-san -- could it be that you--"
"Human flavor -- Do not meddle!"
Once more Kissshot looks at Hanekawa.
Eye power -- vampire's eye power, however!
Being just a pointless deathmatch, at first it didn't produce Kissshot's opening -- at this point it produced it!
Of course, unlike me, even while facing me Kissshot should have had margin to literally look aside -- but now it is different.
Now it is different.
She is upset -- and looking at Hanekawa.
She is full of openings.
While I shouted her name--
I thrust myself between Hanekawa and her.
I received head-on her eye power.
While all the body was blown back--
the base of her neck.
I bite -- with extended double teeth -- with fangs.
The technique to exorcise Kissshot.
The technique to exorcise a vampire.
The technique with which a vampire exorcises a vampire--
If you think about it that's extremely simple and clear.
Instinct taught it to me.
It is not clear whether it was my instinct as a human or as a vampire -- however.
She said it from the start.
Before fighting Dramaturgie I received from Kissshot a tip that couldn't even be called a tip--
--Pay attention about not letting that guy suck your blood--
If a vampire has its blood sucked by another vampire
, its existence will disappear--
At that time I didn't have a bloodsucking impulse -- but now it is different.
Now I am -- hungry.
I suck her blood.
I drive my fangs into her soft white skin.
The way to suck blood -- I grasped it without anybody teaching me.
Undoubtedly it is the same as people taking a meal.
Even if the blood spilled out regenerates -- the blood sucked out won't come back.
Because this is energy drain.
Only for kaii against kaii.
Because they are not even a meal.
Though they are nothing more than a meal, they are not even a meal.
This is just -- kaii killing.
I made a shield with my body against eye power -- it shouldn't reach Hanekawa. If I keep sucking Kissshot like this -- if I fully wring her blood out, like Kissshot did to me that day--
While collapsing backwards -- she leans on me from above -- however.
She was still laughing.
"Haha "Hahaha "Hahahaha "Ahhahaha "Hahahahahahaha "Haha "Hahahaha "Ha "Hahahahaha "Haha "Ahahaha "Ahahahahahahahahaha--!"
She dies laughing, huh.
Even that may be fine.
Kissshot-Acerolaorion-Heartunderblade's blood -- was delicious beyond compare.
No matter the quantity -- I could keep drinking it forever.
I wanted to keep drinking it forever.
That's how delicious it was.
In this way, without obtaining a sense of fulfillment, or sense of achievement whatsoever, I will just exorcise you right away on the spot--
I will kill you.
The life I saved -- I will kill it.
This is my responsibility -- even if I turned back into a human because of your death, I wouldn't ever obtain any sense of fulfillment or achievement -- it would be nothing more than a consequence!
Suddenly, abruptly, I reflected.
Something I was failing to notice?
What is it that I was failing to notice?
I was failing to notice something so important that Hanekawa had to rush out of the PE storehouse -- what in the world could it be?
And why was Kissshot so upset -- why was she so furious for what was at most the nonsense of a 'portable food'?
She had so much self-control before.
Besides, I heard that before.
'Do not say any superfluous words'.
That line of Kissshot -- I think I heard somewhere the same words from the mouth of Kissshot even before:
--I do not know anything about stuff like negotiators--
--Do not say any superfluous words--
Kissshot said that to Oshino -- what was the topic?
I remember it.
Before that, the words Oshino said--
--I’m interested in you, Heartunderblade--
--you are willing--
--to help Araragi-kun--
--turn back into a human--
Pushed down Kissshot, and ended up on top of her -- without thinking, by reflex I got up. Naturally, I extracted my fangs from her neck -- and then.
I looked at her facial expression.
I saw it.
Kissshot's cold eyes, while still cold became hollow, her pupils seemed even slightly muddled -- even so her lips curl.
"What is it -- servant?"
"I have still -- half of my blood left."
"Now that I have so much blood drawn out of me I cannot move, but if thou do not hurry, soon I will revive, thou know?"
It is as she says.
Now she can't move, but she will soon revive, it is as she says.
However -- more importantly.
I had something I had to ask her.
Although the last question I wanted to ask her was what I should have already asked -- there was something I had to ask her.
Might have been something I shouldn't ask though.
"H-Hey -- Kisshot."
"What is it?"
In what way
did you plan to turn me back into a human?"
Kissshot bluntly tutted at my question.
"Dost thou care about such things now?"
"I care. It's important."
"That portable food. She should have stayed silent."
Kissshot cursed Hanekawa.
And she shut her mouth.
And then the accursed Hanekawa -- with a slow pace, walked up to me and Kissshot. Although she put back on her school sweater and tied back her scarf, judging from the shaking of her breast which seemed to have the boingboing onomatopoeia drawn in the background, it seemed she didn't have time to put her bra back on.
Unconcerned, Hanekawa came closer.
And then spoke.
She said with a respectful tone of voice.
"Did you plan from the beginning to be killed by Araragi-kun?"
"In order to turn him back into a human."
I failed to notice it.
If this didn't happen -- for example, if I didn't witness the scene of Kissshot eating Guillotinecutter.
In which way was she actually planning to turn me back into a human -- beside the method Hanekawa researched, what other kinds of method existed?
I didn't even think about that.
I completely -- failed to notice that.
"Do not talk rubbish, portable food -- as if there was any ground for it."
"Then please tell me in which way you planned to turn Araragi-kun back into a human. I researched it, and as for methods to turn a vampire back into a human I found nothing else."
Nothing else but to kill the master.
Nothing else but to break the master-servant relationship.
"Ha. It was a known fact -- it is just that in the first place I never wanted to turn this servant back into a human. I just lied to him to make him gather my limbs. I will tell all kind of lies in order to regain my complete form -- even the reason I turned this guy into a subordinate, to tell the truth, was simply due to my circumstances."
"That's not it. You made him gather the missing parts because if he killed you in an incomplete state he would not turn back into a human, isn't it? If you are not killed after you regain your complete form, it will mean nothing--"
Kissshot was in such high spirits not because she regained her complete form -- but because she satisfied the requirement to turn me back into a human -- then?
"Rubbish. Way off the mark."
"Then -- why did you come here?"
Hanekawa talks with Kissshot with extreme composure.
The predator and the prey.
Despite the fact they are a superior existence and an inferior existence.
They speak normally.
"Araragi-kun had a reason to fight you, but you don't have it. You covered it up with reasons like a chance to show your full power or something like that -- but in fact you came here to get killed by Araragi-kun, right? Just for that, right? Making the conditions an even match -- you deliberately stirred up Araragi-kun."
"Araragi-kun, be quiet."
Hanekawa strictly commands me.
And she continues.
"Of course, there wasn't any ground for this -- I just couldn't help but feel something was weird, but a while ago,
because you did not kill me who interrupted the fight
-- I understood. You..."
Although she blew up Hanekawa's surroundings with vampire eye power.
Hanekawa herself was not harmed.
Even though Episode threw his cross mercilessly towards Hanekawa who similarly intruded in the battle -- Kissshot, who called Hanekawa my portable food, didn't attack her.
She just threatened her.
"You plan to die."
"......Thou shouldst have stayed silent."
Repeated the same words as before.
"After saying it what do thou plan to do? After saying it -- do thou think my servant will be able to kill me?"
"As a master I understand well my servant -- he is a fool who saves a dying vampire. If he knew about what the brat called my 'will', would he be able to suck my blood?"
"W-Well -- but..."
Hanekawa is at a loss for words.
Kissshot coldly looked at her.
With hollow pupils -- she coldly looked at her.
"I thought that was the most difficult thing -- how can I make him kill me, that was what troubled me. Therefore I stayed silent on the method until the last moment. I was already thinking I had no choice but to play by ear...... however, although it was unexpected for me, thanks to Guillotinecutter the conditions were ready by chance. If he got so angry just because I ate one person, there was no need to bother worrying about it--"
I, she said.
Kissshot, with those eyes looked at me.
"--I could get killed by thee while being the villain, the bad guy. Thou didst not need to know mine intentions."
I was dumbfounded -- well, but.
It was a fact that with that explanation everything matched.
"Why did you -- such a thing."
"I was searching for a place to die."
"A place to die--"
The cause of death for vampires 90% of the time.
Boredom -- kills the vampire.
Quite the -- boredom.
"That was the reason I came to this country -- since the first subordinate died, I never came here again. It was not sightseeing--"
I do not want to die.
She said -- while crying.
The heart stolen -- the limbs cut--
She barely escaped alive.
"I thought it was time to die. That was my plan."
However, Kissshot says.
"In the end, I became afraid to die."
"I became afraid to disappear after having lived 500 years. I feared, I feared to disappear, I did not know what to do. Thou happened to pass by there. I begged you to help me."
"I -- helped you."
The outrageous thing was that I thought nothing.
I thought nothing about the consequences or the future.
It's just that.
I didn't want to see -- her tear-stained face.
I couldn't stand to see it.
"For the first time in my life, I was helped by another person."
"Whether they were human or vampire, nobody has ever helped me. While I was sucking thy blood -- I asked myself what I was doing. Therefore -- even if I consumed your blood, I did not eat thee any more -- I made thee my subordinate. The second subordinate in a lifetime."
Because thou wert not opening thine eyes, I thought thou wert going berserk -- Kissshot says.
With constant supervision all the time.
She nursed me.
"However, somehow, thou opened thine eyes. Well, I thought that if thou wanted to be a vampire all would be fine -- but thou, as I thought, said thou wanted to turn back into a human. While thou wert not conscious, I grimly thought it over. I decided it at that time."
Kissshot said, helpless, but with a powerful voice.
"I will die for thy sake."
"......For my sake."
"Thou wilt kill me, thou wilt turn back into a human, this time I will die. I felt I finally found the place to die -- the place to die I was searching from 400 years before."
"400 years before--"
That is -- the first subordinate.
About turning him back into a human.
--In those days it was impossible for me to turn him back into a human--
--This time, I intend to capitalize on that lesson.
"I could not die for his sake. I was unable to offer him my death. I could not turn him back into a human -- therefore."
"For my sake."
In order to turn me back into a human.
In order to help me.
She wanted to throw away her life.
"So do not be conceited, servant. It was originally my responsibility -- If I did not act so disgracefully such a thing would not have happened, and if thou did not save me, that time I would have died."
That...... wait a moment.
What is this situation -- impossible.
At this point -- my mental side.
I can take care of the mental side--
Even though I said that a little while before!
"......What is it? Art thou crying?"
Now that I notice -- my cheeks are wet.
Because even if that was the case -- it doesn't change what I have to do, right?
Even if she wants to die for my sake.
Didn't she eat a person?
"Thou are a crybaby -- my servant. How pathetic."
"T-That's not it. These aren't tears. This."
This, I say.
"This -- is blood."
"Blood is flowing--"
How did it turn out like this.
Kissshot is a vampire.
She ate Guillotinecutter.
She has eaten 6000 people so far.
"--Even your blood is flowing--!"
We are alive.
Therefore it's the same.
What I did.
What she is trying to do.
What she did.
What I am trying to do.
Aren't they perfectly the same--!?
"Really, thine intervention was unnecessary, portable food."
"And I had planned to be killed showing an opening at a suitable point -- but well, fine. Servant, after all thou hath no alternative left but to kill me."
The mental side.
My mental side.
"If thou do not kill me, from tomorrow on I will eat 1000 people per day. ......If I say this, thou hath no choice but to kill me right? As a proof this is not a bluff, if I start by seizing that portable food, wilt thou make up your mind?"
"It is better to pluck thyself the life thou saved. This is -- responsibility, right?"
"Thou art the second person to call me by that name. And thou will become the last."
I looked at Hanekawa for help.
Hanekawa -- was just biting her lower lip however, moreover she didn't say anything. It was as if to make known the desperation of this current situation.
Even Hanekawa does not know what to do.
It is as Kissshot said.
If things are like this, Hanekawa didn't need to rush out of the PE storehouse and disclose what Kissshot had in mind -- in the end, what I have to do doesn't change at all, in this way the situation only grew worse.
If I didn't know it -- and I kept misunderstanding Kissshot -- without being able to feel regret or remorse.
As nothing but a buffoon, I would have turned back into a human.
Would you believe it?
In the end -- only my wish was fulfilled.
Nobody is happy.
I just push everything on Kissshot.
"Come on. Come on. Come on. Come on. Come on. Come on. Come on. Come on. Come on. Come on. Come on. Come on. Come on. Come on. Come on. Come on. Come on. Come on. Come on. Come on. Come on. Come on. Come on. Come on -- kill me, servant."
She was searching the place to die?
That's -- just an escape!
It is proof you are running away from your heart!
No matter how dignified you act, your real feelings -- were the ones I heard that day, under that streetlight!
No, no, no!
I do not want to die, I do not want to die, I do not want to die!
Save me, save me, save me!
I cannot die, I cannot die!
I don't want to vanish, I don't want to disappear!
Someone, someone, someone, someonee--!
I am sorry!
I looked up at the sky -- and yelled that with all my strength.
With the vampire lung capacity, I shouted with all my might.
And -- I call out that man's name.
The name of that man dressed in an aloha shirt, frivolous and flippant.
The name of that man who understood everything from the beginning but didn't say anything -- that brazenly held only an unlit cigarette in his mouth.
"After all, you are watching from somewhere -- don't put on airs and come here quickly! You bastard, I've got work for you!"
Hanekawa was looking at me surprised.
Kissshot was looking at me surprised.
However without paying attention to their glances -- I keep yelling.
"Oshino! I know you are here -- with your neutral standpoint, there is no way that you aren't watching this place right now! I have understood all your words -- I don't seek an explanation anymore! So come here -- I have understood what I have done, I deeply understood even the fact that I am not a victim but an offender! So come here -- Oshino Meme!"
"--I can hear you even if you don't yell like that."
Always with a buoyant attitude -- Oshino was sitting above the roof of the PE storehouse.
He was sitting cross-legged -- resting his chin in his hands.
Looking really bothered.
How long -- or maybe he was there all of a sudden.
"Araragi-kun. It's a first for us to meet in this place."
"Hahhaa, you are really energetic -- did something good happen?"
"I've got work for you."
I stared at Oshino -- and I repeated it.
With a wry smile, Oshino jumped down from the roof of the PE storehouse -- he has a physique that doesn't make you think he has very good reflexes, however he landed neatly, without even bending his knees.
And then he cheerfully gets near us.
"You are too vague."
"I will pay money."
"It's not a problem of money."
"Then what is the problem?"
"It's your own problem."
Don't be pushy.
Oshino says like he is refusing.
In fact, he actually refused.
"Yo, class rep-chan."
And then Oshino raised a hand at Hanekawa.
"Nice to meet you, I'd say."
Hanekawa responded with a nod.
"Nice to meet you -- I am Hanekawa."
"I am glad that I stopped in this city just in case, even if the business with Heartunderblade ended. Because by doing so I was able to get to know you."
"......I always thought you certainly disliked me, though."
"No way. I never happen to dislike a girl. I warn you that if you hear something strange from Araragi-kun, that's a false rumor."
Oshino said a barefaced lie.
"In fact you are amazing -- although you had nothing to do with the Kaiis, you were affected so deeply, female high schoolers are really so energetic, did something good happen?"
"It's not like I had nothing to do with it."
Hanekawa said with resolution.
"Araragi's problem is my problem."
"Whoa, that's friendship."
Oshino lets out a simmering laugh.
It was a profoundly irritating demeanor that made fun of other people.
"Or is it youth?"
Kissshot says to Oshino--
"Do not interfere. We have a pact."
"I don't recall having made any pact with you, Heartunderblade -- I just wanted everything to turn out for the best. It was just better for me if you chose to die in order to turn Araragi-kun back into a human. For me -- in other words for humans."
Surely that was true even for Guillotinecutter.
I thought it was strange that he meekly returned Kissshot's arms, however, if I remember correctly, Oshino said he told Guillotinecutter the gist of it -- he informed him that I wanted to turn back into a human, and that Kissshot accepted it.
Therefore he returned them.
Oshino obtained a compromise by doing so.
By doing so he persuaded him -- with that reason, Guillotinecutter gave in.
If that was the case, even if he returned the arms he wouldn't contradict his doctrine.
He should have been able to preserve his face as an archbishop.
And yet, because I had been deep in talk with Kissshot, I had gone to the convenience store, and I had been regretting to part with Kissshot -- I dragged it out, no matter how much time passed I wasn't trying to kill Kissshot.
Guillotinecutter thought he had been tricked by Oshino, and he entered the cram school ruin alone.
Not even the barrier can hide Kissshot with her complete form.
"So well, although things approximately went as I thought...... Class rep-chan really did something superfluous. It would have been better if Araragi-kun didn't know it."
Hanekawa says not flinching at all.
"I think you are mistaken."
"Oh, boy. What a breast. I commend you just for your breasts."
Hanekawa pins down her breasts in hot haste.
Oshino looks at Hanekawa,
"Ah, I got it wrong. What a nerve. I commend you just for your nerves, I wanted to say" 
As if it is possible.
That was just sexual harassment.
"Anyway, an honor student speech is quite something, well then class rep-chan, what do you plan to do about this situation?"
"......That is something for Araragi-kun to decide."
So replied Hanekawa to Oshino's rebuttal.
"If nothing else, ending it all without knowing anything would be too cruel."
"You heard her, Araragi-kun. I am given the stern treatment -- Class rep-chan's excessive kindness is a cruelty. She is really abnormal. How in the world has she so much faith in you?"
"Say, what are you going to do?"
Oshino faced toward me--
And as usual, he held in his mouth an unlit cigarette.
"I just wanted to see with my eyes the after festival -- you have come so far, you have come so close, just in case I'll try to listen. The work you got for me as a specialist. About the fee, oh yeah, it will take over the 5 million yen I condoned you."
Oshino said, with a broad grin.
"Then, your wish?"
"......I want you to teach me a way to make everyone happy."
I put into words.
The wish from the bottom of my heart.
"A way to end things without anyone being unhappy."
"As if it existed."
Are you stupid, Oshino shrugged his shoulders.
"There's a limit even to convenience. That's a theme written by grade schoolers in moral classes. It's not realistic."
"Oshino -- I..."
He takes out from his mouth the cigarette and put it back into his pocket.
Oshino Meme looks at Hanekawa, at Kissshot, and at me in turn -- and says.
"There would be a way to make everyone unhappy."
He swiftly explains it to us who are dumbfounded at his words.
"In other words, I'm talking about distributing onto everybody the burden of unhappiness generated by this situation -- nobody will have his wish fulfilled, but if that's fine with you, the way exists."
Everyone will become unhappy -- everyone will be burdened with unhappiness.
Subdividing -- the burden.
This is certainly not something to push onto a single person.
"Concretely...... yeah. Araragi-kun, come very close to kill Heartunderblade. Almost strip her of her special characteristics and abilities as a vampire -- just make sure she doesn't die. Make Heartunderblade more moribund than before. So much that she won't even be a shadow of her former self, not even her name will remain. Make her an inferior existence, a human-like pseudo-vampire -- an entity that won't be able to eat humans no matter how hungry she is."
And then, continued Oshino.
"Araragi-kun, you won't be able to turn back into a human -- but you will be able to come very close to it. You will become a vampire-like pseudo-human. Some of the special characteristics and abilities of a vampire will remain -- it won't be possible to strictly call you a human, but you will be extremely far from a vampire and extremely close to a human, naturally you will be completely different from a half vampire, become this kind of halfway entity. It will suit you."
"I-It will suit me, you say."
"Naturally you too won't be able to eat a human no matter how hungry you got. However...... by settling things this way, setting Araragi-kun aside, Heartunderblade will starve to death without sufficient nourishment. You must continue to constantly give Heartunderblade your blood. The sole nutrient able to keep Heartunderblade alive, once degraded to that inferior existence, will be just your flesh and blood. You must devote the rest of your life to Heartunderblade, and Heartunderblade for all the rest of her life must stay close to you."
Hanekawa cut into.
"In other words, we, the humans--"
"Yes. Give up on exorcising a dangerous vampire. Give up on the complete elimination of the Kaii Killer, The iron-blooded, hot-blooded, cold-blooded vampire, as well as her subordinate. If she loses that much power, guys like Dramaturgie and Episode won't even be able to find Heartunderblade out. That is to say, the risk remains. The danger that Heartunderblade and Araragi-kun might turn back into vampires and eat people will remain to an extent that cannot be disregarded--"
If I do that--
Everybody will become unhappy.
Nobody's wish will be fulfilled.
Kissshot won't die.
I won't turn back into a human.
Both vampires will survive.
"......Do not joke around, brat!"
Kissshot yelled below me.
She raises her voice.
I already sucked half her blood -- unable to move, the only thing she was able do was to yell in that manner.
"What on earth does a brat who did not live a tenth of what I did understand!? Do not say convenient things -- I do not want to survive in those conditions! There is a limit even to disgrace -- I do not want to live in shame! My place to die is here! At last I found it -- at last I can die! I -- will die for my servant's sake! Let me die for his sake! Kill me, kill me -- hurry up and kill me! I do not want to live!"
"That's why you will become unhappy. Your wish will not be fulfilled. Although the one who decides will be Araragi-kun. Yes, it's as class rep-chan says."
As if she thought Oshino wasn't worth the talk, Kissshot turned her eyes my way.
"As I said now -- do not be taken in by that brat's fast talk. I do not want to live."
"......And yet, I..."
Without hesitation, I decided it.
It was definitively my responsibility.
I thought hard at the consequences -- and I said it.
"I want you to live."
Caressed her hair softly.
Her golden hair.
Her soft and smooth hair.
That -- yes.
It was certainly a sign of obedience.
"I will not say it once -- I will bow my head like a servant any number of times. So don't try to have a cool death -- live an awkward life for me. Don't search for a place to die, search for a place to live."
Kissshot -- had a desperate facial expression.
However she can't move.
She can't even struggle.
She is in tears--
With tears similar to blood, she was just supplicating.
"I-I beg thee...... please, servant. Somehow...... somehow kill me. Kill me, somehow turn back into a human. Help me--"
"I'm sorry, Kissshot."
I call out her name.
The name that perhaps I will not call her by again.
"I will not help you."
Thus -- my Spring Break ended.
The Spring Break that was like hell.
And my last Spring Break as a high schooler -- with a tragic bad ending in which nobody became happy and there was no salvation, the curtain closed.
 Translator's Notes
- kuchisake-onna is a legendary woman with a slit mouth
- also called Eight Hot Hells, from the Buddhist scriptures
- the second kanji of "nerve" is that of "breast"
|Back to 016||Return to Main Page||Forward to 018|