Translator: DarkHeartedAlchemist Editor: Weasalopes
【Episode 4: Day and Night, Part 7】
「Fufu~~, how careless of you to lower your guard like that! I know you harbor no ill will against Yugao, but too bad for you! I was born out of Yugao, and my only reason for existing is to help her achieve her goal! So I won’t allow her suffering and efforts throughout the last four years to go to waste because of someone like you!」
Then lightning passed throughout Asagao’s body, and in the next moment, countless 「arms」 erupted from both her back and from underneath her skirt.
A total of ten arms came flying towards me, but I’ve already fought them once before, so I knew how to avoid them by rolling backwards.
But I have to say, I am hellishly confused right now. She wanted me to help her save Yugao, hence she asked me for help. So why is she treating me like a threat to her now?
「How is it, huh?! Have you really been so bewitched by Yugao’s charm that you can’t even think straight, you man whore?! Or was it perhaps how nice her blood smelled to you?! Or maybe you wanted to see her cry that much, you filthy deviant?!」
Asagao’s doll attacked me as she was lashing out at me.
It’s true that I saw Yugao-chan in her most vulnerable state and that I hugged her. But I only did that to comfort her, there wad no ulterior motives behind it. Was that really because her blood taken its effect on e again, even though my heart which contained the core of my Gift was no longer in my chest? Have I really unconsciously allowed my own desires to overcome my promise to save her? If that was really the case, then I feel disgusted with myself.
The bleeding in my right arm does not stop. She must have probably gotten me around an artery. And since currently my life is being supported by Shiinamachi-senpai’s heart, her life is going to be in danger if it continues.
「O-Onee-chan, why are you doing this?!」
Yugao-chan shouted at Asagao’s doll hysterically. It was understandable that she was confused, especially when it was all about to be over.
「Forget about him, Yugao! He only wants your body, just like the rest of them!」
「That’s not true at all! He only wanted to help me!」
「And is that what you really want, Yugao?」
Asagao spoke in a cold tone.
「I know that I’m only a tool created by you to fulfil your wish. A wish to save not me, but your real sister. You don’t have to listen to what he’s saying at all! As long as you have his heart and you’ll use it, you can still save the real me!」
… She’s right. I guess I subconsciously wanted to steer Yugao-chan away from that simple fact. She still has my heart, and as long as she uses it, she can save Asagao. That is what that mysterious Lord told her, after all.
「That’s why you can’t put your trust in him, Yugao! Now, give me the order, and let’s defeat Monjiro-san together!」
「Onee-chan, but, that’s…!」
Yugao was still confused, and that was a good thing. It showed that she truly wanted someone to stop all this madness. At least that’s what I thought, since all this time she did nothing with my heart. That’s why I can’t decide on what to do now for her. It’s a decision that she has to make on her own.
Ah, I get it now, Asagao. So that’s what…
「I understand, Asagao. Let us fight.」
I deeply inhale and then slowly exhale, feeling as if there was something really heavy stuck in my chest. I don’t know if what we’re about to do is right or wrong, but I remembered.
「I promised Asagao that I will help you reach a better, brighter world. Just for that to happen, your sister have been patiently enduring her situation for the last four years. But you know what? If there’s a chance of breaking her out and reuniting you, then I want to take a shot at it. I know that it won’t be easy, but if there’s anything I can do to help, anything at all, then I want to do whatever I can.」
The words that Asagao’s doll said to me.
「So just leave everything to me, okay?」
As well as the gentle warmth of her feelings, which were indistinguishable from the human ones.
「Asagao. I promised 「you」 that I’ll do my best and I intend to do just that.」
Grabbing the knife with my remaining hand, I turned towards her, but she just kept smiling in a way that only the strong can smile. And to tell you the truth, I still don’t want to fight her. But I guess that somewhere deep down inside myself I was ready for it all along. Because I knew that such an outcome would be inevitable.
「Just so you know, I am pretty strong, Monjiro-san.」
Looking at Yugao-chan’s teary face made me feel like the worst scum there was, but there was no other way around it. So in order to get completely serious I took off my glasses…
… and violently tossed them to the side!
Immediately after, Asagao charged at me, swinging her elongated nail like a sword while she used her many limbs to increase her mobility. But right now, my gaze was fixated only on the 「arm」 that was directly in front of me, so I didn’t even realized when she summoned additional 「legs」 and other body parts.
「Fufun, you seem to be on a pretty high alert there!」
Asagao taunted me, countering my every attempt at offensive. Her voice was brimming with absolute confidence and none of her moves left her with a clear opening for me to exploit. But even so, I wasn’t going to give up that easy.
「Fufu. As expected of a Knight selected and approved by Shiki-sama. It’s like you’re a completely different person than you were just a second ago! Which makes me wonder, which one is the real you, Monjiro-san.」
The real me. In other words, the 「me」 who was indistinguishable from a doll. A simple killing machine. I remember very little of my early childhood, but I do know that I didn’t perceive crying or being sad or hurt as an actual emotions relevant for my growth, but rather I saw them as just a physical and psychological condition meant to reduce the mental stress placed upon the body.
That’s why I could do nothing but sympathize with Asagao’s doll who was programmed to be this way. She was like that since four years ago, but I only stopped being like that roughly two years ago, so she’s in a much better situation than I was. The only difference between us is that she was created as a doll, and I am a proper human being who was 「acting」 like a doll.
Thanks to which I know all their strengths and weaknesses!
One of Asagao’s 「legs」 tried to kick my head off my shoulders, so I swung my knife towards it, cutting it off from the rest right below the knee. Using the momentum from my attack I ran forward, keeping my injured right hand in front of my face to use it as a shield against Asagao’s elongated fingernails which were shot towards me.
I purposefully blocked another kick that came my way which was a feint aimed at disguising the real attack, a strike with the nails to my blind spot. Knowing that it was coming, I was able to catch them in the middle of their movement. And…
I closed the distance between us in an instant, and initiated an overhead kick.
It was impossible for Asagao to avoid this attack completely at this distance, and I managed to score a solid hit on her hand.
She wasn’t lying when she said she’s really strong. If I want to defeat her, I’ll have to think at least three steps ahead of her and utilize unpredictable surprise attacks. That way I should be able to catch her off balance and go for a fatal strike, but if I mess this up, I’ll be left wide open, and I know she won’t miss this chance, especially when it was already hellishly difficult to both avoid her attacks and trying to go on the offensive myself. Luckily for me, thanks to my mother’s training I was able to keep up with her while I carefully observed her movements and analyzed them, and all of my observations pointed towards a singular judgement: that doll was made with the intention of being an assassin from the very beginning.
「All right, I have to admit, you’re not half bad when you turn into a killing machine, Monjiro-san!」
But there is one crucial difference between me and her. As a doll, she has no need for a part called 「heart」 and therefore she does not understand its importance, while I know it all too well, and that’s why I need to get it back no matter what.
「No, stop it, you two… don’t fight, please!」
Yugao-chan was trembling all over as she covered her eyes from the violent spectacle that was unfolding in front of her.
Knowing that she was this close to us, I unconsciously started to pull my punches in order not to seriously hurt her before her sister’s eyes, and of course, Asagao noticed that without fail.
Is there really such a big difference between her and me? Between someone who turned from a doll into a human with the help of his family and friends and a doll who had her entire personality programmed into her? One thing’s for sure, she won’t hesitate to kill me as long as it’s for Yugao-chan’s sake. On the contrary, even though Yugao-chan killed me with her own hands, now she was doing everything she could to avert her eyes from this battle.
「Asagao, am I correct in assuming that you won’t be satisfied until we reach a proper conclusion here?」
「Naturally, Monjiro-san. You know, earlier you were going on about how Yugao doesn’t have to suffer or be sad anymore, but the past four years weren’t just filled with grief and torment for us. There were plenty of times when we laughed in each other’s arms and enjoyed our lives the best way we could. And you know why is that? Because that’s how the human beings work. They are made to forget their painful experiences and move on from them, given enough time.」
I was kind of relieved to hear that. It was truly uplifting to know that not every one of Yugao-chan’s days was filled with fire and brimstone of the fanned by the fiery guilt of losing her real sister. And I was happy to know that it was the same way for Asagao as well.
Before I could finish my sentence, Asagao closed the distance between us. I tried backstepping to increase the distance again, but my foot stumbled upon something round and lost its balance.
It was an 「eyeball」.
I should have expect3d as much since she could command her other parts such as 「arms」, 「legs」 and 「heads」 at will. She was a puppeteer after all. Using one of her spare head’s eyeballs remotely as a scouting device or a n obstacle to break my balance should be no problem to her.
「You’ve let your guard down.」
You can say that again, this one’s totally on me. Since Yugao is here I can’t go all out against Asagao in fear of how Yugao-chan might react if I hurt her. That’s why I didn’t assume that she might be using her eyeballs remotely, all because I’ve let my guard down! And here I thought I could understand her because we were similar!
I honestly thought I could have convinced her to stop this pointless fighting and get my heart back. Then we would have explained everything to Shiinamachi-senpai and the others, and we would all get ourselves a nice happy end we could all laugh about one day. But unfortunately, reality is not as pretty and forgiving!
「I’ve made my decision, Monjiro-san. I might not know how to do it yet, but even so…!」
「Onee-chan, S-STOP IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIT!!!!!!!!!!」
When Yugao-chan screamed, my field of vision was flooded by an amber-colored light at the exact moment when Asagao’s hand-sword pierced my chest, making blood gush out of it like a crimson fountain.
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