【Last Episode: Curtain Call and the end Part C, 10】
It was a familiar, dark world. Up until recently I thought this was a place that existed between life and death, but now I know that this is in face the space where senpai’s 『Sariel』 manages my soul. Also, I think that as long as we’re here, the time has essentially stopped for us, since all the concepts of reality shouldn’t have any effect on the realm that exist sorely for the purpose of two souls having a talk with one another.
As expected, mother was already waiting for me here. But she looked somewhat… different.
「Eternal beauty is every girl’s dream, but in the end it’s just that, a dream. So don’t worry about it too much, Monjiro.」
Mother’s face and physicality had apparently caught up with her actual age and I could clearly see that she was not happy about that, since she had her hand on her waist and happed it furiously with her index finger, a gesture she was making every time she was extremely irritated by something.
Could it be that this is because this space shows the souls like they really are? Or maybe because due to 『Code: Calvariae’s』 influence I was finally able to see through the guise of her 『Doppelganger’s』 shapeshifting?
「Just be glad that you have a body at all. I’m so jealous. You might be older, but you still look mighty fine.」
Asagao was also here, with her arms crossed on her chest and her head tilted in puzzlement.
「I appreciate the complement, but I was rather fond of that loli body, which was created to be pinnacle of womanly beauty. Ah well, no use crying over spilt milk I guess. For now, I would like to know why my current appearance came bundled with this little thing right here.」
Mother said, pointing at the large knife sticking out of her chest, which also grew somewhat bigger compared to the one she had in her younger form.
「Am I supposed to take it as a manifestation of your hidden desires to pierce me with your pocketknife, Monjiro? Because I don’t remember raising you that way. Heh, what a pervert you grew up to be, just like your father.」
She might look older, but that grumpy expression was definitely mother’s. And as for that knife, this world is probably recreating her state from before she ended up in here. Actually, I find it funny to some extent. She raised me like a normal child, acting like a normal parent, only to kill my heart and emotions for the sake of her Lord’s plan, so maybe that knife in her chest is her own subconsciousness getting back at her for doing something so inhumane? But is she’s having moral hangovers about it, then why did she chose to do it in the first place? I guess this is the single most unsolvable mystery here, one which I highly doubt she’ll be filling to talk about on her own. That’s just the kind of human my mother is.
「And you even placed me in a state of suspended animation just so I could help you here. Clever, if not a little cheap.」
So she saw through my intentions after all. That is probably why she accepted the blade that pierced us without any resistance. If it wasn’t for that and she fought me seriously with all she had, I would have had little to no chance of beating her.
「You know what Monjiro-san? You really are a dastardly villain after all. Not only you’re using a spirit draining pseudo Gift like that 『Code: Calvariae』 of yours, but now you probably want to rope us into lending you our own spiritual energy, am I correct?」
Being called a villain made my chest hurt. Nevertheless, they were the two people with the strongest spiritual power I knew.
Asagao, a girl who was stuck in this space for such a long time but was still able to keep her smile and continued to wish for her sister’s happiness.
Technically we could communicate here just by thinking, but still I decide to call out to her properly.
「What is it?」
What I’m about to do is so absurd that it almost makes me laugh out loud.
For you see, mother….
「Won’t you help us free Kaguya of her burden?」
I think that mother is unpredictable, and maybe even insane to some degree. But no matter if she is resented or disliked, she will never stop until she achieves her goal once she sets her sights on it, no matter what that goal might be. If need be, she’s spend decades on it, using anything and anyone at her disposal. She is one of the villains in this story, but she always had nothing but a single purpose in mind:
The happiness of her Lord, Kaguya.
I thought about it for some time, and the following words are the result of that.
「Although you raised me to be an emotionless killer and used me like a pawn in your own endeavors, I am still grateful to you, mother.」
She does not answer. She just stares at me.
「But at the same time, I hate you. For using me, Shiki, Shiinamachi-senpai, Aika and everyone else. No matter how hard I want to do it, I can’t forgive you for it.」
「And? What of it?」
Mother’s eyes shine provocatively. That was very much like her, acting like she doesn’t care at all.
「So from now on, I’ll be keeping a close eye on you. As your family.」
I will not forgive you, and I won’t let you go anymore. I have to keep her from acting selfishly, and what better way to do it than through a familial bond?
「You’re serious? After all you went through, you still want to coax me into being a mother for you?」
「Nonono, I wasn’t planning on coaxing you into anything!」
「It’s all right. Even if you stop her now, there is always a shadow of a possibility that Kaguya might want to return to her plan after witnessing you and Shiki acting like a stupid couple, raining hell upon your two-timing ass in the process, so I guess witnessing your life turning into a living hell might be a nice source of entertainment for me. Until that day come, I don’t mind playing babysitter to you and your sister.」
「So we have a ourselves a deal?」
「Yeah, I guess we have ourselves a deal.」
It took some time, but I guess I can say that we are finally going to be a real family from now. That’s why…
「Looking forward to it, mother.」
We firmly shook our hands.
「Ahahaha, you know, right now you’re looking more like lovers than a family.」
Asagao cut her way into our touching moment, ruining it with her snarky comment.
「So you’re going down the full -blown 「Sweet Home Alabama Route」, huh? From 「The Legendary Knight」 to 「The Legendary Cougar」?」
「Going down that route might actually be really fun, so maybe I’ll give it a try.」
「No you won’t mother! And don’t even joke about it!」
If she really decides to go down that rout then I’ll be in real danger, so I have to make sure that never happens!
「Don’t worry, Monjiro. Since I decided to help you, I will give it my all. So, you ready to do this?」
I looked at Asagao, and she looked back at me. We sighed practically at the same time.
All right then.
「I’m counting on the both of you!」
When both mother and Asagao shouted their reply, the world around me regained its colors, and I found myself hugging Kaguya’s body.
「Ugh?! So you still have so much energy left in you?! But why?!」
「So you could hear me better.」
When I spoke like that….
『Kaguya, just to let you know, I gave my spiritual energy to my stupid son, so he can do this all day without stopping!』
Kaguya and I heard mother’s voice in our heads.
『I have something to say as well! I have to tell you how thankful I am to you, Shiinamachi-sama! Because you used your Gift on me, I was able to continue to exist as a spiritual body and observe as my precious little sister did her best every day to live for both our sakes! So thank you! Even in the depths of despair, thanks to you I was able to endure the loneliness… and find the ultimate happiness!』
We were both listening to Asagao as she poured her heart out to Kaguya.
And then, while still holding Kaguya in my arms, I jumped backwards… right on time for our bodies to collide with the rays of light raining down from the sky. It was a simple motion, but it felt like I have placed all of my power into it and jumped all the way to the moon.
Everyone saw our bodies being enveloped by the light, slowly disappearing into the particles of pure whiteness.
….. But we didn’t die.
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