【Epilogue: Afterwards and from now on, Part 2】
On my way to school, I decide to stop by the convenience store.
「Welcome… oh, if it isn’t Monjiro-kun!」
Naturally, it was the one where Fujisato works at her part-time job.
It looks like there she had no clients come by for quite a while and she must’ve been dying of boredom, because as soon as she saw me her face immediately light up. When she leaned over the counter to talk to me, I felt a sweet sensation that made my nose tingle and my heart race.
「Hm? Is something wrong, Monjiro-kun?」
「No, everything’s fine. I just thought I’ll buy some things before the sleepover, that’s all.」
「Ah, is that so? Now that you mention it, you did say that you’re going to have a sleepover party for just the three of you. If that’s the case, then I guess the perfect gift for such an occasion should obviously be a high-class pudding! We should still have some left, so gimme a sec and I’ll be right back with it.」
As bright and cheerful as ever, she rushed to the aisle where the puddings were located. Looking at her as she was working, she seemed to be satisfied.
「Now that you Gifts are gone, I guess you’re no longer a Lord, huh?」
On that day, all the Gifts were returned to the world on the moon. The things which made the Nightkin Lords who they were have disappeared, but it was not a phenomenon exclusive to those who were present at the at the mansion at that time, or should I say, those very few who managed to survive. If her words from that time are to be believed, that ceremony had an impact on the entire Nightkin world.
「Well, I think you’ll agree with me that a Lord without her Gifts can hardly be called a Lord anymore. The only thing I have left from that episode of my life is a longer-than-usual lifespan, but that’s about it.」
Fujisato said while bringing the three expensive looking puddings back to the cash register.
「I mean sure, not having any supernatural powers is a slight bummer, but hey, look on the bright side. I always been more of a fan of mingling together with you mortals instead of distancing myself from you so nothing much will really change for me. Also, now that I don’t have to search for more Lords to off, I will be able to focus one hundred percent on my school life, and I’ll even be able to graduate together with you, Monjiro-kun!」
Fujisato laughed carefreely, like she always does. Yeah, looks like she’s really enjoying her current life. Even if she wasn’t a 「Lord Killer」 she would still be the same old Fujisato Yuika I always knew.
「As for my current goal in life, it is to attend the same university as you so could spend many a passionate nights together. The thrill of doing you right under Shiinamachi-senpai’s nose is simply too much to pass up for me!」
「Pardon my French, but what kind of a slutty dream is this?!」
「Eh, slutty? Aren’t all female college students like that?」
Such an opinion is very biased, but then again, I don’t know any college students so I couldn’t tell if it was true or not even if I wanted to.
「Besides, wouldn’t it be an ideal combination? You’d have yourself your perfectly normal normie school life with your girlfriend, but whenever you’d feel like it, you could always use me, your faithful, loyal sexfriend with benefits to blow off some steam?」
「Well, you do have a point there… but that is not what’s important here right now! You’re reading to many ero-mangas and dirty magazines, Fujisato!」
「Perhaps. Normal magazines for women have that stuff in them as well I’ll have you know.」
If that’s really the case, then they are spreading terrible misinformation around, painting such a horrible image of college! Isn’t it first and foremost a place for learning? Or is it just my opinion and I’m thinking too hard about it?
「Ahaha! Monjiro-kun, could it be that you’re really considering having such a relationship with me? I didn’t know you were actually such a horndog!」
「I wouldn’t go that far, but I can’t deny that I feel grateful for all that you did for me, especially the night before that final battle. Without your encouragement back then, I probably wouldn’t have made it this far. So if having a relationship like that was really what you wanted, and I was still single, I would at least consider giving it a try.」
「Wow, you really are a genuine horndog!」
For some reason, Fujisato was really surprised at my statement. It might not be that much of a big deal to everyone else because they won’t even notice the difference, but as for me, I will now be living in a world where my skills as a killer are not needed anymore, because Nightkin Lords and Knights have essentially ceased to exist. In this new, peaceful world, Sakuradamon Jiro is a human who has nothing of substance to add to it, and it’s making me really anxious. So it should be natural that if there are still people who like me for who I am I would want to treasure all of them.
What can I do now, and who will I become? Those are the questions that I am apparently afraid to find answers to. Maybe that’s why my answer to Fujisato’s teasing became slightly more exuberant than originally intended.
「Fufufu, well aren’t you as serious as always, Monjiro-kun. I know you might be worried about what lies ahead for you but rest assured: as long as you remain the same old Monjiro-kun you always were, I will always be by your side.」
「W…wow. Thanks, Fujisato. You really put my mind at ease here.」
I am really lucky to have a friend like her. So in order to show her my appreciation, I walked to the shelf where the puddings were and took the most expensive-looking one out of it and came back to the cash register.
「Here, this one’s for you, Fujisato. For everything you’ve done for me.」
「Ohhh, that’s so sweet of you, Monjiro-kun! I love you!」
I knew she said that to tease me but hearing her shout it like that made me extremely embarrassed, so I just waved her goodbye and made a hasty retreat.
While continuing my walk towards the school, I couldn’t shake the intense feeling of déjà vu off my head, an it only got reinforced when I reached the slope leading towards the school’s main gate, illuminated by the moonlight, only to find my kouhai from the Librarian Committee and the ace of the kendo club heading in the opposite direction to me with a bag with her training sword handing from her shoulder.
「Fancy meeting you here, Monjiro-senpai. Good evening.」
「Good evening, Kuhoh. Going home after practice?」
「Yup. I skipped a bunch of training sessions awhile back, so now I have to make up for lost time.」
Before the incident took place we had our strategy meetings practically every day, so we couldn’t attend to clubs or Committee responsibilities. It must have been especially bad for Kuhoh, who is known throughout the school as a serious and diligent girl who always takes her job seriously, no matter what it is.
「You don’t have to look so glum, senpai. Helping you was my own decision, so now I have to face their consequences. So please, do ty to cheer up or else Shiinamachi-senpai and Yatono Shiki will get mad at you for spoiling the mood at the sleepover.」
「Well, what can I say, you really can read me like an open book, Kuhoh. I wish I could be as cool and collected as you all the time.」
「Haha, so you say that I am a cool beauty? That is the ideal I’m aiming for, so it makes me happy to hear you recognizing me as one.」
Yes, out of all of my acquaintances, Kuhoh is definitely the most mature, so much so that it almost does not suit her age, and she will probably keep on blooming as she grows up, and I honestly can’t wait to see how much sex appeal she’s going to have once she becomes a full-blown adult. This is definitely going to be a wonderful sight.
「Senpai, you have that lecherous look on your face again. If you want to fantasize about be that by all means do so, but in the safer=ty of your own room, okay? I don’t want you to cause a misunderstanding that would result in you being taken in by the police for questioning.」
「I, uhm, well… sorry about that.」
「It’s all right senpai, I was just kidding. But I have to admit, that side of you which can’t take a joke is quite cute. I like it a lot.」
It was so easy for he to say that she like me, or rather my cute expressions. Therefore, her 「like」 is a safe, friendly kind of 「like」.
「But this sure is nostalgic you know? Back when I first transferred here, I would never expected that I’ll be able to befriend someone like you. Even though it was for the purpose of my mission of observing Shiinamachi-senpai, the time I’ve spend with you is among my most treasured memories.」
「Yeah, you were like those mysterious transfer student you see in anime and mangas a lot. Maybe it was that air of mystery that has drawn me to you in the first place?」
At that time, Kuhoh’s superior acting skills managed to completely fool me. I really believed she was a genuine transfer student who had trouble fitting in with the rest of her peers. I would have never thought that this was just a ruse that was supposed to bring her closer to senpai so she could kill her.
「If I may be so bold, senpai, I still feel guilty about what happened on that fateful night. If you think back on it, this is where your bizarre adventure in the Nightkin world started. Do you remember that day, senpai? Because I remember it as if it was yesterday. When I saw you here, I was quite shocked, but also somewhat excited. If only I knew where you were going, I wouldn’t have tried to kill you together with Shiinamachi-senpai. If only I didn’t do that, things might have taken an entirely different turn for both of us.」
「Probably. But that’s in the past now, so there’s no need to be dwelling on it so much.」
Fortunately I didn’t have to kill anyone even though I was raised to become a killing machine, but it looks like Kuhoh was not as fortunate as I, which made me feel sorry for her. The only solace in this is that she has not gone so far to the dark side that the death of her friend would not shake her in the slightest.
「I would be much more worried if you weren’t feeling any regret for what you did.」
「As expected of you, senpai. You really are too kind for your own good. But that’s right, you’re exactly right.」
Kuhoh smiled bitterly.
「There is no killer in the world capable of killing his or her heart in its entirety, so you have only two options here: embrace it as a part of you, or let it go and let it fall into ruin. There’s even data that says that killers who accept the feeling of guilt are more likely to survive another mission.」
「Hee? And who compiled such data?」
「The dark side of society of course. You’d be surprised how scary they can be if there’s something that can help the further their endeavors.」
I also smiled bitterly, patting Kuhoh on the shoulder.
「Well, whatever I guess. Thankfully Shiinamachi-senpai and Monjiro-senpai came back to life, for which I am thankful. It was a precious experience that made me think how much I don’t want to kill the same person again. In that sense, I guess the two of you… and especially you, Monjiro-senpai… you were my first.」
「Kuhoh! Hit the brakes for crying out loud!」
If anyone heard her just now, I might’ve ended up taken in by the police charged with sexual harassment.
「Fufu, look like I managed to inflict some heavy mental damage on you, senpai. I’ll have to make a note that those kinds of attacks are the most effective against you.」
「I’m begging you, please don’t do that. If you want to continue doing comedy routines with me then that’s fine, but I won’t be able to deliver my punches as a straight man if I’ll be held behind bars due to a misunderstanding! So no more talking about first times, okay? Can you promise me that?」
「Even though in a sense it was my first time and I’m glad you were the one who took it from me?」
Another deadly haymaker-like line straight to my sanity! This time I felt as if something literally died in me. Did Kuhoh always had this sadistic side to her, or is it something that has only recently awakened? Either way, without immortality I feel like surviving such mental assaults might be nigh impossible, so I have to do everything in my might not to make her flip that switch in her mind from now on!
「Well then Monjiro-senpai, I guess I took enough of your time, so I’ll be heading back home for today, for real this time.」
「You say that, but should I expect a do-over from last time?」
「I cannot stop time anymore, but I can certainly try a different trick instead if you want.」
She then winked at me and proceeded to go down the hill. Looking at her back as she did so, I realized that having someone with whom I can talk so openly about everything is important to me as well.
Kuhoh is important to me.
She’s my precious kouhai, and I want to continue to get along with her. I wonder if I managed to convey that feeling to her properly?
Arriving at the bottom of the hill, Kuhoh turned back towards me again, and waved goodbye to me with a big, totally-unlike-her girly smile on her face.
Witnessing such an adorable gesture, it took all my strength to turn around and keep moving forward instead of running downhill to hug her.