Translator: Kurehashi Aiko
Chapter 4: Fujisawa Masumi
The next day Takeru developed a high fever and as a result stayed in bed. I was the result of the curse being put on her, combined with her exhausting the reserves of her own ki.
Up until now she was somehow managing to keep herself together, but with that kind of curse it was impossible to resist endlessly. And it so happened that during the yesterday’s battle her curse managed to slowly build up, resulting in taking over her body due to her own ki being almost completely depleted.
I tried to heal her and dispel the curse on my own, but it proved to be too strong for me to handle. My power was not enough to bring her fever down and to ease her suffering.
No, even if I had the knowledge necessary to do that, I would still be unable to do anything. Dispelling such complex curses required and impressive skills and knowledge, one which I didn’t possess. Only a seasoned Exorcist could help Takeru right now.[Don’t, make that kind of face…… It’s totally unlike you, Mikoto……]
Even though her body was ravaged by high temperature, Takeru was still trying her best to smile. Her eyes, usually so clear and composed, now were full of tears. Her skin was flushed red and her temples were covered in beads of sweat. That picture was more than enough to confirm just how high her fever was, even without bringing your palm to her forehead. Her chest was moving up and down heavily, her breath ragged and full of suffering.
Mikoto couldn’t bear to watch her sister in such state.
(It’s all my fault…… Because I was rampaging so much……)
No amount of regret would be enough to redeem her. No amount of remorse would fix this. She wanted to do something for her –––– Holding back her tears, she held the burning hot hand of her sister.[I’m so sorry, Takeru. Even though I’m the older sister, I always end up putting you in a harm’s way.] [Goodness gracious…… Nee-san, you just worry too…… Fuhn, haah……]
Takeru tries to say something, but then her expression twists into that of pain. It seems that even moving her mouth was painful for her. Without her usual glasses on her face, she didn’t look calm and collected at all. Thinking about it now, Mikoto didn’t remember Takeru ever being sick or catching a cold. She was always taking an exceptional care of her health.
That is why it was so painful for Mikoto, seeing her little sister in such state. Takeru also seemed to hate that.[Yeah, I understand. What a relief that is. You just focus on resting and leave everything to me!]
Mikoto covered Takeru with a blanket all the way to her chest and then replaced the wet towel she placed on her head some time earlier. She stood up after that. Takeru did not reply. It seems that she fell asleep, or maybe lost consciousness, but her expression was still that of pain.
Takeru’s voice from last night was still ringing inside of her ears. She was her dear and important little sister. She was always so proper and diligent, but now the enemy got her and she was forced to suffer like that.
They didn’t know why youmas were targeting humans and what did they wanted to use them for. But,
But that doesn’t matter.
(Just you wait, Takeru. Be it investigating or be it extermination –– I’m going to take care of it all on my own! Sis is going to make whoever did this to you pay!)
Squeezing the stuffed cat hanging from her wrist, the red-headed girl put her hand to her chest as she vowed to herself.
After leaving Takeru in the dorm, Mikoto went to the staff room to receive a phone call. The Headmaster contacted her and said that there was a lone boy waiting for her in front of the Academy, waiting to arrange their stuff and daily necessities. Since the rules at Seisen Girls’ Academy were really strict, the students here were not allowed to carry cell phones with them. The call could only be made over a really small distances, and each call was being monitored, but for Mikoto that wasn’t much of a problem.
“I asked the Headquarters to send over your belongings, but this place is way in the mountains. It may take some time for them to reach you. So until they get there, you’ll have to get by on your own somehow.”
Her colleague, Tachibana Yamato, said that while biting on his fingernails. But,
“I get it.”
That fact did not caused Mikoto’s determination to waver one bit.
(I’m going to get rid of this menace before our things get here!)
She was going to make them pay for causing harm to her dear little sister. She was going to destroy them with her own hands.
(I, with my own hands……!)
Clasping the stuffed cat hanging from her wrist and walking in a fast pace, she arrived at her classroom before long. As soon as she opened the sliding door, the usual friendly chatter became quiet.
Oh no, not good –– she thought to herself, seeing the startled looks on her classmates’ faces. However, she just couldn’t bring herself to soften her angry expression and try to hide her rage. She was never good at doing that.
(If it was Takeru, I’m sure that she could maintain her neutral facial expression, even at times like this.)
Remembering my poor sister’s face, I sat at my desk and let out a sigh. Then I notice that Fujiwara Masumi walked up to my desk.
“Good morning, Shiratori-san. You were absent during this morning’s service. Were you not feeling well?”
“I’m feeling fine, but my sister, Takeru……”
“Oh, Shiratori-san’s little sister? Is she sick?”
The young girl was asking question after question while looking rather serious. Mikoto didn’t like being cross-examined like that, but right now she wasn’t angry in the slightest. Maybe it was because Fujiwara Masumi had the looks of a little angel. Her voice was also pleasant, just like a myriad of silver bells ringing at the same time.
“I guess you could say that, but it’s something that’s been sticking with her for a while now.”
She answers in a vague fashion.
“So I guess it very well may be something related to ‘that’, huh?”
The ‘that’ that Masumi mentioned was probably related to the recent attacks on the students here. Fortunately, no one here knew about what Shiratori sisters were secretly doing at night, that they were hunting down youmas.
(If Fujisawa-san was to cooperate with us…… No, no, no, Takeru would surely get angry at me if she heard me say that.)
Mikoto quickly dismissed the idea that suddenly came to her mind. It was just yesterday that she was telling Takeru that they shouldn’t get th general public involved in their fights.
However, she also thought that getting some help would be really nice.
Without Takeru’s help, they only had half of their usual manpower, but if she was to involve someone else that person would also be more of liability, for they would be unexperienced in combat and lacking the necessary knowledge. So that wouldn’t really solve the problem, and would only serve to endanger innocent bystanders.
“I…… I see……”
Assuming Mikoto’s silence to be a positive reply, Masumi bites her lip and the expression on her face tenses up. She must have probably thought that if this was just a pervert, she could handle him on her own. Like that, she was bound to start making night rounds all on her own.
She would balance on a thin line between safety and danger.
This beautiful girl was probably willing to take action, without knowing the full risk it may involve.
(Uhh…… What should I do……? What should I do……?)
Telling her the truth would only inevitably get Masumi involved. However, keeping silent would also seem suspicious. And who knows? Maybe she would be able to come up with some sort of a plan, even though she had no real experience? Mikoto was shaking her head, unsure of what to say to Masumi.
A pair of small hands clasp around my hands.
Masumi’s face was dead serious, an awe-inspiring surprise.
“Please, Shiratori-san. If there’s anything I can do, please let me help you.”
Her words were clear and her voice was strong. She leaned closer to Mikoto, and her long, black hair slipped over her blazer, making a squeaky sound. The scent of her perfume penetrated Mikoto’s nostrils, reminiscent of the damp and wet atmosphere of the deep forest.
“Shiriatori-san, I am a member of the Disciplinary Committee. And the incidents that happen in this Academy are ours to take care of. However, if the two of you are doing something to stop this madness, even though you are an outsiders, risking your lives for us…… That is something that I absolutely cannot agree to!”