V2 Story IV – Part 09
I decided to create a god.
For the record, it was not a decision made out of sheer madness, nor delusion born of blind faith. I, as a human being, chose to challenge my own preconceived notions. I knew it was a foolhardy idea. I understood from the attempts of those before me that it was a frontier I could never reach. Nevertheless, I had decided to follow this path. I will draw a god to life out of the sea of subconscious. I will reach that frontier. I, a human being, will attempt to reach a place that no human has ever set foot in.
They will criticize me.
They will try to kill me.
But they can’t stop me. I will create a god.
For one and one purpose only.
I betrayed my dear sister, Shirayuki. I killed my own attendants out of rage, foisted all responsibility on her, and left my home. I engraved terrible pain on my innocent little sister’s heart. I took away her voice forever. Shirayuki will never forgive me for this. She will never stop hating me. She will try to kill, I am sure. How heartbreaking that would be. Nevertheless, I have no other choice but to walk this path.
My dear sister. I hope you understand. Not following this path is tantamount to death. I never meant for you to carry so much burden. I never intended to cause you pain. I wanted to die peacefully, without hate in my heart, without incurring anyone’s wrath. I wanted to die for my clan, for you, with everything on my shoulders. But I had to do this. I have to summon a god, even if it means sacrificing a young girl, a living god, to do so.
For my wife.
For my loving Yukino.
Will my wife forgive me? I doubt it.
Will Shirayuki forgive me? I don’t think so.
Still, I choose this path. I am certain I will not regret it. Yet I can’t help but feel terribly sad. I am a fool. She died smiling, and I am a fool for not letting her go. I can’t give up. I am scum. But I hope you understand this small wish of mine.
I leave this letter to you, Shirayuki. In my room, in this place where I have always sat.
Will you take it, I wonder? Will you read what I wrote? No, you will not even notice it. Unless by some miracle, this letter will never reach you. I will leave without telling you about this letter. I will tell you nothing. I will not allow my selfishness to upset you any further.
I know it’s foolish, but I can’t help myself from leaving this letter.
You can call it a selfish soliloquy.
I simply wish to ■■■■.
Please forgive me.
I opened my eyes, and tears spilled down my cheek. I had a strange dream. Someone speaking softly. It must have been the man’s last memory.
It was a sad dream. It was a lonely dream.
Ruminating over the man’s thoughts over and over, I wiped away the tears. Shirayuki and Mayuzumi were staring at me. Mayuzumi was wearing her usual smile, while Shirayuki was looking at me with concern. I forced a smile, and she nodded repeatedly in relief.
I rose up. We were in Mayuzumi’s apartment. They lay me down on the leather couch, it seemed. Mayuzumi was wearing a blood-stained lab coat over her gothic lolita attire. It was the usual scene. Yuusuke was nowhere to be seen. Either he was kicked out, or he had gone out to get some food. Yukihito was still hiding behind Shirayuki. His occasional peeks showed he was concerned about me. Even now that I was back in the room filled with the smell of chocolate, the feeling that it was all over didn’t immediately sink in. However, seeing Mayuzumi’s arms crossed, I slowly felt relief.
It was all over.
And yet, there were still things I didn’t understand.
“Shirayuki-san,” I called. “Will you tell us this time? Why did your brother betray your clan?”
Shirayuki lowered her head. Her lips were trembling. I didn’t mean to upset her.
Hoping my voice sounded as gentle as possible, I continued. “Maybe it doesn’t matter anymore. No, it didn’t matter from the start. This isn’t something we need to know.”
A ritual to summon a god took place, and ended.
Those of us who just happened to be involved need not to know what his motives were.
Perhaps we didn’t even have the right to know.
“But still I want to know.”
The meaning behind his last smile.
The meaning behind his wish.
“In all the memories I saw… he was always sad.”
Shirayuki slowly lifted her head. A look of determination gradually filled her eyes. Then she picked up a brush and ran it across the fan furiously. The crooked words looked like a cry.
“My brother loved a woman. We shared a similar-sounding name. Hers was Yukino. She looked after me often, saying I was like a real sister. She was a sweet person.”
In my mind, I saw a woman singing a children’s song. She had a gentle smile that suit her perfectly. But her body was somehow morbidly thin.
“She was infirm. Since she could barely stay healthy, she couldn’t bear any children. If she had been forced to give birth, she would have died along with her child. When my brother announced his intent to marry her, the whole clan objected, especially the head of the clan, my father. But my brother married her anyway. He seemed happy. Very, very happy.”
I remembered the emotions that the child in my belly transmitted. He was indeed happy. He was content just having her by his side. His decision to marry her was probably his first show of defiance after living his whole life for the clan.
There was nothing more precious than the joy one had grasped with their own hands.
“One day, my father was unusually demanding in him divorcing her. He must have realized that his health was declining. If my brother was to succeed as head of the clan, he had to have children. My brother adamantly refused. At that time, Yukino-san was not feeling well. Yukihito here was taking care of her. Yukino-san looked in pain, but she was full of spirit. She smiled and said that tomorrow morning she would be able to get up again.”
Yukihito nodded, then looked tearful. He was wearing the exact same expression he had shown at the goldfish house. It was the face of a man who had heard something unbearably painful.
What was the old man talking about at that time?
“She passed away the next morning.”
The old man’s words came back to me. “She could no longer bear any children, so I sent her somewhere else.”
She couldn’t bear a child. So…
“Outraged, you ran away after watching Shirayuki become the head,” Mayuzumi said. “You couldn’t stand the clan any longer.”
With a bitter look, Shirayuki continued. “I don’t know if my father was behind Yukino-san’s death. But it must have been obvious to my brother. Some time later, he killed members of the clan and collected their blood. He escaped the clan’s pursuit, went into hiding, amassed enough power to kill my father, and plotted to summon a god.”
And it all led to this case. He became obsessed with summoning a god. He wanted to gain power by collecting more blood, take Mayuzumi’s blood, and invoke a diving being.
“I understand why my brother betrayed the clan. But I don’t know why he tried to summon a god. Did he want to surpass the whole clan, or was it his way of exacting vengeance? Then he must have hated me too.” There was sadness in her brushstrokes.
I almost shouted that she was wrong. I knew.
In my dream, he asked for forgiveness. He just wanted to ■■■■.
Maybe I was the only one who knew why.
“If I could, I would like to see my brother again and ask him. But I know that’s not possible. He died a mad man, and no one will ever understand him.”
That’s not true. He wasn’t mad.
He wasn’t trying to surpass the entire clan, nor did he want to demonstrate his power.
He didn’t do it for honor. He didn’t attempt to summon a god because of conceit born from a feeling of supremacy, or because he wanted to reach the heights of his supernatural abilities.
“He just wanted to see her,” I muttered.
Shirayuki’s eyes widened, puzzled.
“He didn’t care if people mocked or despised him. He just wanted to see her again.”
I looked at Mayuzumi. I thought she would laugh at me, but to my surprise, she didn’t say anything. Wearing a serious look, she simply nodded, urging me to continue.
I simply wish to see her.
Please forgive me.
Those words must have been his last wish.
“There should be a letter addressed to you.”
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