Translator: DarkHeartedAlchemist Editor: Weasalopes
【Episode 2: Heart and Heart, Part 5】
Then she spun around, her long hair fluttering about, and looked me in the eyes.
「Whether I care about them or not has nothing to with the current situation. If I had a choice in the matter, then of course I’d like to get along with them, but…」
She cut her sentence halfway.
「But there are… they have circumstances that are preventing us from doing so, and I don’t think that there is anything I can do to help them. And I’m sure that by being overly kind to them I would’ve only hurt them more, so I chose not to do it.」
Shiki just stared at me as she bit on her lip and placed her tightly clenched fist on her chest.
Now this was most unusual, for her to allow her emotions to surface like that. I know It’ll probably be inappropriate for me to say this in this situation, but seeing Shiki being vulnerable like that made my chest feel hot. I must’ve been hard for her to just bottle all that frustration inside her up until now, and I wanted to say something that would cheer her up even the slightest bit, but since I am so emotionally impaired I struggled to find the right words.
「I don’t know what happened between you in the past, but I do know that you wouldn’t do anything that would cause harm to those around you, Shiki. If anything, you’d do anything in your power to help them, and I’m sure that this time you’ll also be able to think of the best possible solution, and I’ll be there for you to lend you a hand. So let’s think of a solution that will allow all of us to be happy, without harming or killing anyone, all right?」
Even though killing techniques are my forte, I didn’t want to use them, because I didn’t want to kill anyone, and certainly not the members of Shiki’s family. Oh, and not dying myself in the process would be a nice addition too. Immortal as I am now, dying was still an unpleasant thing to go through.
「The happiness of those two is really important to you, huh, Monjiro?」
「Hm? I’m sorry, can you repeat that? I couldn’t quite hear you.」
「No, it’s nothing.」
Shiki then turned around and continued to walk forward. Was it because of something I said? If so, then that’s quite a shame, and I’ll have to make sure to apologize and hear what she wanted to say after we reclaim my heart.
After a few minutes we have indeed arrived at the bathroom on the ground floor. This mansion had separate baths for men and woman, but the one we arrived at now was the shared one, meaning that both males and females could use it at the same time. If my heart was still in my chest right now then I think it would be pounding like mad and my cheeks would probably go red, but since it has been misplaced, I felt next to nothing, and that bothered me a lot.
「You feel nothing because the circulation of your blood has been disrupted. Other than that, you’re probably thinking why are we starting our search here, in such a place?」
「I won’t lie, the thought crossed my mind.」
Beyond the door which opened sideways was a large changing room. In the back of it was a large frosted glass window beyond which was the bath area itself, but thanks to the glass it was impossible to determine whether or not someone was inside.
「That’s because it’s an ideal place to bring a freshly cut out heart of course.」
I placed my hand on my chest, but no matter how often or how long I repeated that same motion already, the ever-so-familiar sound of its heartbeat just wasn’t there, and that was a strange, uncomfortable feeling. And speaking of the heart, it should be about the size of a male’s clutched fist, so concealing it and carrying it around shouldn’t pose that much of a problem.
「To wash it clean of all the blood, Monjiro. Why else?」
「Well, there must’ve been quite a lot of it, so I guess that makes sense.」
Heart is the most important organ in the entire body, since its responsible for keeping the blood flowing. It would stand to reason that at them moment of cutting it from my chest it was still full of it… ahh, I see, I get it. Yugao could have brought it here to get rid of all the excess blood from it without leading any bloodstains anywhere. She probably placed it in one of the baths, allowed it to bleed dry, and then allowed all the bloody water to drain like nothing ever happened. At least to me, it sounded like the most logical thing to do. However…
「How can you be so sure about it, Shiki? Have you ever seen a human heart? Have you held it in your hand?」
「Not really, but I studied all about it and the methods of stopping, cutting and isolating it from the rest of the circulatory system as part of my 『Monjiro’s Immortality Analysis Project』.」
「I didn’t need to know that last part, but thank you for the info anyway. Now I know that I must sleep with one eye open at all times.」
The fact that she was able to go to such extreme lengths just to test the limits of my immortality was both creepy and admirable in its own twisted way.
「Shiki, it’s good that you’re so devoted to your hobbies, but it’s time to stop, ok? Put the mad scientist in you back into his lab, and let him stay there for good, please?」
She just gave me one of those 「I have no idea what you’re saying」 looks, so all I could do was to shrug it off and drop the subject entirely.
「Since we’re already talking about water and stuff, there is a shower room in here, right?」
「Of course. Even if it was cut out of your chest, your heart must’ve pumped out all the excess blood from it, so even if it was transported in a bag or some other container, it would probably still made quite a mess out of the clothes of whoever was carrying it, but our little culprit could use the shower to clean themselves off all the blood and throw the clothes into the washing machine after bringing a spare change of clothes for themselves.」
So that’s why she deduced that a bathroom on the same floor as the crime scene would be the first place where Yugao-chan would go?
When I was stabbed from behind, a lot of the blood from the wound probably ended up splashing around all over the place, so natural some of it must’ve stained Yugao-chan’s clothes as well. And since she planned this whole thing up, she probably knew that walking through a set of corridors and stairs to the first floor while carrying a bagged heart that was still gushing out blood that could leave the obvious marks on the floor was not the smartest thing to do. But if she were to go to the bathroom that was on the same floor, all she would have to do was to clean the floor of the eventual bloodstains, and she could do that effortlessly with just a wet mop and some detergent. She is one of the two maids who work here, so she should have unrestricted access to these. But since she was not here, then I guess all those speculations are just that: speculations.
「It looks like no one’s been here recently, but I assume you accounted for that possibility, so let me ask in advance: where shall we go next?」
「The second most probable place I deduced was the kitchen, so we’ll make our way there in a while. But before we do that, let’s check every nook and cranny here, just to be sure.」
First the bathroom, now the kitchen, looks like we’ll be checking all the places even remotely related to water. And speaking of water, the thought that a girl could take a bath together with my heart was an alluring concept. If my heart was still within my body, then I think I would’ve blushed at that thought, but since it wasn’t, there was no such reaction, and maybe that’s for the better.
「But before we do that, let’s take a bath together.」
「Beg your pardon, m’lady?」
「It’s a mixed bath after all.」
「Yes, it indeed is, but if we did that we’d get into all sorts of trouble, so if you want to do bathe, then please do so normally.」
Playing the straight man to Shiki’s pervy antics again, I opened the frosted glass door.
And what we found at the other side…
Was a large bathtub filled with the parts of innumerable, disjointed corpses.