Translator: DarkHeartedAlchemist Editor: Weasalopes
【Episode 4: Day and Night, Part 1】
Search results for 「Yorugao」 (Moonflower):
• Flower belonging to the same family as 「Hirugao」 (Japanese Bindweed)
• Blooms between summer and autumn
• White in color and popular due to its pleasant aroma
• Not to confuse with the Yugao flower
• It means 「Night」 in the language of flowers
How many shadows have I torn to shreds?
How many times have I swung the knife?
How long have I been fighting?
Before I could realize what was going on around me, the enemies that blocked our way forward like a wall of darkness were all gone, but another wave of darkness was already on its way to replace it.
A sharp, high-pitched sound pierced my ears, and with it, all the foes that were charging at us were obliterated without a trace.
「Annihilation of the last enemy confirmed. Thank you for your hard work, Monjiro.」
「Haaa… haaa… you’re welcome.」
Finally having a moment to catch my breath, I fixed my glasses with shaky hands and looked around me. Shiki was right, with our combined efforts, we were somehow able to dispatch every foe is this hallway. As we were doing that, we were slowly moving forward step by step, inch by inch, to finally arrive at the doors leading back to the courtyard.
「So, can we finally move on?」
I placed my hand on the door.
「Yes, we can. Go on Monjiro, ladies first.」
Shiki encouraged me as she stood behind me without any intention of going forward.
「I thought we were going in together?」
「Normally that would’ve been the case, but this time it’s different. The courtyard beyond this door is no longer a part of our own world: its been taken over by that other world from whence the monsters came. If we rush blindly into it without any plan of action we’ll just end up swallowed by it, meaning that Kaguya will lose two of the Knights who were supposed to protect her.」
「Ah, I see where you’re going with it.」
「So you know that it’s imperative for me to remain here on standby. That way I’ll be able to pull you back if things go south… or run with everybody else should you fall in battle and find another Knight for Kaguya.」
「Un, that’s right. Since I’m no longer immortal, the risk of me dying is real this time, so if that happens, replenishing senpai’s ranks is the most logical step.」
「Maybe so, but I…」
Even in such circumstances, Shiki was able to deliver a cool and logical judgement. What she was saying was certainly right. If I perish here today, Shiki will be the last one of senpai’s Knights to protect her. Since I’m now without my Gift, losing me wouldn’t be that big of a casualty, and that’s why I should do this. I’m not going to resent her thinking ahead, since she made the right call. What I’m going to do, however…
… Is to put my hand on her head and gently pat it.
Her hair were smooth and soft to the touch, probably the same as the rest of her body. That’s right, she might be keeping her cool and act emotionless and indifferent at all times, but that doesn’t change the fact that Shiki is still a girl. Thinking what she must’ve gone through up until now I felt sorry for her, but I didn’t want to make her angry by openly pitying her, so I just closed my eyes and took a few deep breaths to calm myself down.
「I will try my best not to die, both for my and your sake. And I’ll bring Yugao-chan back with me. If anything tries to interfere, I trust you to deal with it.」
Her hands. The hands that constantly had to be ready to release deadly threads that could slice everything up into tiny pieces were now firmly grasping my own hand. And they were shivering. That alone told me everything I needed to know about how much it cost her to send me onto the battlefield that was at the other side of the door. And you know what? Witnessing that made me feel glad. I was happy that I could witness the hidden side of a girl whose mind was usually like a steel trap.
「My heart might be missing now, but I can still feel my chest burning up with the desire to give it my all and find a way into your heart al well, Shiki.」
「Into my, heart?」
「Yes, and in order to do that, I have to do my best not to disappear here tonight. That being said, it’s probably so complicated that I’ll need you to guide me through it properly.」
She did not reply to that, instead letting go of my hand and placing her own hands on my chest, clinging onto me with her entire body. Her incredible warmth and softness made me inadvertently tremble all over.
「How is it, Monjiro? Feeling excited? Can you feel me getting excited?」
*Ba-Thump! Ba-Thump! Ba-ThumpBa-thump! Ba-ThumpBa-ThumpBa-Thump!*
Yes, I can feel it all too well! I can clearly feel the acceleration of her heartbeat against my chest! And when I looked at her face, I saw that both her deep-blue and golden eye were glossy and moistened.
「Thank you, Shiki, but I’m all right now. No need to make a face like that. You can rest easy and leave everything to me.」
「Then I guess I’ll take you up on your kind offer.」
Then we slowly let go of each other, but the warmth of Shiki’s body lingered on me for a while longer. It was a pleasant, calming feeling.
Up ahead is another world, the heart of the enemy territory. Worst case scenario, it’s a one-way ticket for me, but somehow, I knew that everything is going to be fine and I won’t lose. And if I get killed, all I have to do is walk it off, and return to Shiki so we can both go back to Shiinamachi-senpai to report our success. Knowing that, I psyched myself up and shouted:
「I’m heading out!」
「Yes, see you in a bit, Monjiro. Stay safe.」
I showed a thumbs up to Shiki who saw me off passionately. And just like that, I swung the doors to the courtyard open, and dived head-first into the darkness of another world.
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