Translator: DarkHeartedAlchemist Editor: Weasalopes
【Episode 3: Tension and intention, Part 3】
「Yes!? Did I hurt you?」
「No, I’m fine, but if you won’t hug me tighter, you might fall off. I know you’re trying to be considerate of me, but in this case I advise you to be a little bit more selfish.」
Under any normal circumstances those words would’ve been very erotic, but since they were spoken by Shiki, naturally I began to overanalyze them to search for the possible hidden meaning. Maybe she was saying that in order to stir my emotions? If that’s the case…
「Excuse me then.」
「Go right… ngh, ahead.」
As I thought, with her 『Satori』 active I’m going to hurt her even if I’ll try to be as delicate as possible. Now our bodies were literally glued to one another so much that the smell of Shiki’s shampoo tickled my nose with its strangely nostalgic scent. And it might have just been my imagination, but now that we were so close to each other, I thought I could clearly feel the rhythmical beating of her heart.
「No need to act tough, Shiki. If I’m hurting you, just say it.」
「It’s fine, you can keep going. I can bear that much.」
…Is what she’d probably say with a slightly ragged breath and flushed expression, but she just remained quiet and fidgeted in place, making me feel the warmth of her body with my own.
And then, without saying anything, she just turned towards me and affectionately wrapped her hands around my back and waist.
Still no response. And because she was resting her head on my chest, I couldn’t see her face at all. Just what kind of expression are you making now, Shiki? Is it your usual expressionless one, or perhaps an embarrassed one?
「You smell like blood.」
「Ah, sorry about that.」
After all, I did have my heart ripped from my chest not that long ago, and there was probably quite a lot of blood after that, so it’s not really that strange that my body smells like it.
「But I can also feel a different, more pleasant kind of smell. Your smell, Monjiro.」
I don’t know how to respond to that and telling her that she also smells nice seemed inappropriate in our current situation, so I just kept my mouth shut.
Maybe that was Shiki’s way of calming herself before the inevitable confrontation with one of her cousins, whit whom she secretly wanted to get along just like they used to in the past? I that was indeed the case, then I could only fathom what kind of internal torment her mind must’ve been going through right now.
「All right, I’m fine now.」
We couldn’t stay like that for long, but if it would allow Shiki’s heart to find even the slightest bit of comfort, I wouldn’t mind doing that for a while longer.
「Oh, heads up, Monjiro. Looks like we’ll be in for some super wire action up ahead, so hang on tight if you don’t want to fall.」
「I might be hard, but I’ll try my best!」
Shiki tightened her grasp around my body to support herself better.
「Are you ready? We’re breaking through!」
Right after that…
My body was pulled backwards with unbelievable speed, and in the corner of my blurred vision I saw that something that looked like a window was approaching me just as fast. I wanted to raise my hands to shield us from the impact, but before I could even lift a single finger my body was thrown in the opposite direction and my head almost had a close encounter with the floor.
I was being thrown in every direction like a ragdoll, until everything around me turned into a single indistinguishable mass of colors and objects. Ceilings, floors, walls, windows, I was no longer able to tell which is which, as all of them were nothing more but hooking points for Shiki’s threads. It was such a violent ride that I think I even experienced zero gravity for a brief moment.
「We have arrived at our destination.」
And without any prior warning the ride ended with us on the ceiling above Shiinamachi-senpai’s room, where Shiki commanded all of her threads to return to her, resulting not only in the disassembling of our moving platform, but also in return of the forces of gravity.
Shiki landed on the floor gracefully and almost without a sound, but I hit the ground rather hard and had trouble getting back up and standing on my wobbly legs, which were drained of all their strength after my desperate attempts not to fall our ride on the way here. Scary. Shiki’s 『Enhancement of the Five Senses』 and her threads were even scarier than I initially thought! Just like when I saw her using them for the first time back during our fight against Fujisato and Kuhoh, I was grateful for not being on their receiving end.
Still feeling a bit nauseous, I managed to ask a question.
「W-What the hell was that about?!」
「Most likely a distortion in the gravitational field caused by the barrier. Good thing we managed to get out of it when we did, otherwise things might’ve been pretty bad for us.」
「You seem awfully calm about something so serious? Have you ever had to deal with something like that before?」
「Once or twice.」
Once or twice she says. Peachy.
「Think we can just casually open the door then?」
「Gravity seems to be working properly here, so, yeah, probably.」
That answer felt more anxiety-inducing than reassuring, but I opened the door to senpai’s room either way…
… Only to be attacked a cascade of lightning strikes!
I avoided them by sprawling myself on the floor while Shiki, who maintained a safe distance by standing outside the door dispatched her wires to neutralize them. I have seen and fought both that lightning and the one who commanded it before, but the question was, why was she attacking us now?
Confirming that the lightning has been dealt with, I attempted to get up from the floor.
And immediately fell back onto it. If I didn’t do that, my head would have been cleanly decapitated from my shoulders. The knife that was supposed to accomplish that was stuck into a wall just a few centimeters away from me. Needles to say, I was also way too familiar with the person who utilized such methods of fighting against her opponents.
「Fufu, the fact that you managed to avoid both of that attacks means that you’re the real Monjiro-senpai, Yatono-san.」
Kuhoh exclaimed happily, even though she tried to cut my head off just now.
「Good job getting through the barrier, you two.」
The tension disappeared from her body and she showed us a warm smile while she put back the second knife she was holding in her other hand as if nothing had happened.
「As carefree as ever, eh, Monjiro-kun? Barging into a girls room like that without knocking first.」
Soon after Fujisato came out of the bedroom, with sparks of lightning still dancing across her fingers. And behind her, sleeping peacefully on the bed was Shiinamachi-senpai.
「So Kaguya is safe and it looks like there are no problems with gravity here. Good, very good indeed.」
「Uhm, problems with gravity?」
「It’s a long story, Fujisato Yuika. Ask Monjiro if you want more details.」
「It would seem that you had quite some fun while we were stuck here with Shiinamachi-senpai.」
「Quite some fun indeed.」
Shiki said that with a genuine smile on her face, surprising everyone else in the room. Putting me aside, that was probably the first time when Fujisato or Kuhoh saw Shiki display normal emotions in (relatively) normal situations, so I honestly can’t say that I blame them.
「Sooo, care to explain what’s the situation like outside, Monjiro-kun?」
「Well, where should I even begin?」
Since all of us were no strangers to messed up situations, but this one was something else entirely, what with the different worlds and their monsters and whatnot. Nevertheless, I should at least try to give those two a rundown of what has transpired thus far. Unfortunately I was unable to give her all the details I initially wanted, because in the middle of my report, I noticed something alarmingly disturbing.
I noticed that a dark, muddy substance began oozing down the walls, as if they were bleeding.