Translator: DarkHeartedAlchemist Editor: Weasalopes
【Episode 3】Life and Mind: Part A (2)
Before we go any further, let’s go back to yesterday for a bit.
After being drugged by Shiki, I apparently fell into a deep coma. It was well past midnight when I finally regained my consciousness, and the first thing that I felt right after that…
… was a soft, very pleasurable sensation on my lips that was accompanied by a sweet fragrance that tickled my nose.
Getting my thoughts together and opening my eyes was more difficult than usual, but when I finally managed that, I saw Shiinamachi-senpai’s face right next to my own!
「Oh, Jiro-kun, you’ve finally woke up?」
Senpai was sitting on a bed beside me, averting her eyes and covering her lips. Her overly shy motions, that sweet smell, the sensation of something soft touching my lips just now… don’t tell me…! Has… has senpai really did that with me just now?! Did she?!
「Um, senpai? I have a question: You, my lips, I mean did you…」
「Fufu, and what do you think I did? You looked so cute and defenseless just now.」
I was on the verge of having a heart attack from anticipation. If my hunch was correct and senpai has in fact kissed me just now, then I think I could’ve died right here, right now without any regrets. But if I was wrong and she was just teasing my fragile feelings by using her fingers to imitate the sensation of her lips…
…I’d still feel thankful, because even if they were just her fingers, feeling her touch on my skin was a great reward in itself. Therefore…
「It was a surprise for sure, but not an unwelcome one. In fact, I’d love to experience it again. So, senpai, could you please…?」
「N-No, no way. Doing something so lewd while you’re wide awake and watching, the embarrassment would’ve killed me! Again!」
Senpai’s cheeks were red like a ripe apple, and judging by that cute reaction, my guess might be right after all. So, to satisfy my youthful delusions, I’ll now proceed to think that senpai had indeed kissed me while I was unconscious. It was a good feeling, but as we know, all good things are bound to end, and since I had some questions, I had to end it right here.
Getting myself up was a difficult task, but once I did that, I confirmed that I was still inside Shiki’s room at the back of the IT Club’s computer laboratory. I tried to look for Shiki but she was nowhere to be seen.
「If you’re looking for Shiki-san, she’s probably taking a bath in my room right now.」
「It might just be my imagination, but you seem to be very concerned about Shiki-san, Jiro-kun.」
How could I not be when she drugged me with some unknown drug that put me in a coma-like state? And that golden eye of hers! That was definitely not something that a normal girl should possess! But senpai probably had a different kind of concern in mind.
「I am concerned about how suspicious she is, and also…」
Wait a second. Since Shiki was Shiinamachi-senpai’s friend, voicing my suspicions about her so openly might not be a good idea. One wrong word, and my relationship with senpai might end in ruins, for example…
「Jirou-kun, to say something so rude about my BFF, how could you, you insensitive oaf! Monster, you are an enemy to all women! I don’t like you anymore!」
Something similar happened to me in the past. My little sister asked me to voice my opinion about one of her friends, to which I replied:
「I think she’s cute but that’s pretty much it. She might become a stunning beauty in the future, but I don’t really know, the chances are fifty-fifty.」 That was the day when I brought my sister’s wrath down upon myself, and I don’t ever want to experience something like that again.
As a wise man once said: women’s train of thoughts is a complicated thing.
「She has some good qualities about her, especially her personality, but the rest is just…」
「Hmm? The rest is just what?」
「Never mind. The point is, while I might have some doubts about her, you’re still the one that I’m concerned about the most, Shiinamachi-senpai.」
「Is t-that so? Y-You don’t say.」
I will say that as many times as it takes, especially since I was still in the dark as to why was senpai here, and what kind of messed up situation have I got myself mixed up into.
「Senpai, I’m so concerned about your blushing face that I want to see more of it!」… I really wanted to say that, but now was not the time to be teasing each other, so I held that urge back.
「Senpai, can you explain what actually happened to me?」
Although I was super happy to see senpai, especially now after she (probably) kissed me, but more than that, I needed to know what was going on here.
「Most likely one of Shiki-san’s experiments?」
「Yes, an experiment with death, to be more precise.」
That’s way too dangerous of a hobby, even though it probably doesn’t sound so convincing coming from someone who was raided to be an assassin from day one!
「So what you’re trying to say is…」
「A trial in which Shiki-san has drugged you to test the limits of your ability to resurrect, yes.」
Now what would an ideal comeback to that statement be? Oh wait, I know!
「That’s totally murder! A ruthless, cold-blooded, calculated murder!」
「Not exactly since, according to Shiki-san, your body was not dead, but was placed in a state of near death.」
「…Oh really? Lucky me then!」
I couldn’t help but complain about that.
My assassin consciousness wanted to remark that since I was still alive the experiment was an utter failure, but I chose not to voice that opinion out loud. Besides, since I only lost consciousness, this was more of an assault rather than murder, right? Nah, that was not going to cut it, since there was no visible marks of violence on my body that could serve as proof.
At times like these, being immortal sure was inconvenient. Now I was really afraid that Shiki could use that fact to her advantage to conduct all sorts of effed up experiments on me, just so she could satisfy her scientific curiosity.
「No, that won’t do, that won’t do at all. Next time I’ll see her, I’ll give her a piece of my mind!」
I’ll probably forgive her in the end, but what’s truly important here is letting her know that I was not okay with being a guinea pig.
「Yes, I’m sure you’ll do that, Jiro-kun, but shouldn’t you be going back home?」
Ah, now that she mentions it, it was probably late. My sister must be worried sick.
「Umm… What time is it now?」
「A little bit after midnight.」
Then the excuse 「I went for a walk」 should still be valid for me. If my sister tried to pull that excuse on me, I’d have been very mad at her, but since I was a guy, not a girl, then I thought it was a little bit more acceptable for me. But for the record, I did feel bad about not letting her know beforehand that I was going to be late, but if I tried to tell her that that was because I actually died, then I have a feeling she’d try to drag me to a certain type of doctor who’s specialized in mental health issues. So there you have it, good old 「I stayed late at school」 excuse.
「Well then, I’ll be on my way home.」
「Yes, that’ll probably be the reasonable thing to do.」
Shiinamachi-senpai smiled at me and expressed her agreement.
「Senpai… be safe, okay?」
Apparently she didn’t quite get what I was getting at, because she just blinked a few times and then said:
「Fufu, I’ll be safe as long as I stay in school, but I appreciate your concern.」
The word 「safe」made me remember something she previously said, a matter that concerned her 「safe day」. It was weighing on my mind all this time.
「No, really, don’t worry, today is a safe day, so…」
「…So? As far as I can tell, last night actually wasn’t very safe, was it?」
I only wanted some confirmation, and senpai gave it to me by nodding slightly. So there was something wrong with that day after all, and she still told me not to worry because it was a safe day… man, this whole conversation is just filled with 18+ innuendos, isn’t it?
「No, that day was truly my safe day, of that I have absolutely no doubt.」
There they are again, the words that are making my fragile masculinity spiral out of control! Be calm Jiro, deep breaths, and count backwards from thousand to zero by subtracting sevens each time!
「The reason why I didn’t check who was at the door was because you were supposed to come visit me. Under normal circumstances, no one can enter my room unless I invite them inside personally.」
「No one can enter…?」
「No one, even if they were Gift users, because that room is my absolute territory protected by a special barrier.」
I see. So senpai was murdered because she thought that the murderer was actually me. That thought instantly filled my heart with a heavy regret.
「Fufu… it makes me happy that you worry about me, Jiro-kun, but at this rate we’ll never finish our talk here, so let’s end it here for today. I’ll see you off to the school’s entrance.」
「It’s close to the clock tower, so it’s fine by me.」
I probably would’ve been fine by myself, because there was nothing except for a small forest at the back entrance to the school, but since senpai herself offered to see me off, I had no reason to deny her. As for Shiki, I guess she really must be in senpai’s room, huh?
「Oh, by the way senpai, Shiki could be the culprit.」
Maybe it was due to me being overly suspicious, but I shared Kuhoh’s opinion with senpai.
「She really thinks so?」
「Yes. I disguised the events of your murder as a thinking game and got Fujisato and Kuhoh to share their opinions on the whole matter with me, and Kuhoh was especially active in that discussion. According to her, there are three prime suspects: me, Shiki, and you, senpai.」
「I see. Now that I think about it, we never really did suspect each other of being the murderer .」
Shiinamachi-senpai processed that thought for a while, and then she nodded in agreement.
「Shiki-san is my Vassal just like you, so I don’t think there is any reason for me to suspect neither of you…」
Indeed, Shiki was senpai’s ally after all, so it’d be illogical for her to go after her master’s life. I wanted to believe she was innocent too, but I couldn’t shake off the feeling that there was something terrifying behind that golden eye of hers. Just remembering it made me shiver from head to toe.
「… Besides, if Shiki-san wanted to kill me, I think she could’ve done so long ago without bothering herself with the little details.」
「I guess this is true, but disturbing at the same time.」
Senpai was definitely right. Since Shiki earned senpai’s full trust, there was no need for her to wait until her「safe day」to make an attempt on her life. Then again, maybe she was just waiting for the right moment to perform one of her weird experiments on her the same way she did with me, but that would rather be mischief for the sake of mischief rather than a legitimate murder attempt. And lastly, knowing her, if she was the killer, she would most likely be declaring the news right after the deed has been done.
「Oh, while we’re on the subject.」
「Senpai, didn’t you say before that if your life ends, mine will end as well?」
If my memory serves me correctly, she mentioned something like that right after I was resurrected for the first time.
「That’s right. From now on, our lives are bound to one another. If I die, then you’ll die as well.」
She said the exact same thing when she was giving me a lap pillow.
「Bound to one another… I think I know what you mean, but… what does that mean exactly?」
「Basically it means that your immortality is not a true immortality. If my life comes to an end, your’s is going to end as well.」
So that’s how it is? Those were some heavy news, but I’m glad that all the cards are now on the table. Now that I knew it, I could truly wholly devote myself to protecting Shiinamachi-senpai as her Vassal, her knight. But there was still one question that I had to ask her.
「And what about Shiki? If you die, is she going to die as well?」
「No, that rule applies exclusively to you.」
Shiki was one of the candidates for senpai’s killer. If her life was bound to senpai’s just like mine, then I could consider her to be innocent, but since that wasn’t the case at all, everything was still possible.
Senpai glanced at me shyly with her cheeks flushed. She looked as if she wanted to say something, but the words couldn’t escape her throat.
「Well, how do I say this? Can I count on you to always be by my side on dangerous days?… W-Will you do this for me? Or is that too much to ask after all?」
Being by senpai’s side on dangerous days…
*Sigh*, Jiro my boy, could you stop your heart from jumping out of your chest every time certain suggestive words are invoked? I mean come on, you can do better than that, I know you can!
「You can count on me, senpai. Even if you didn’t ask that of me, or my life wasn’t bound to yours, I’d have still done it nonetheless.」
Even if my life was not tied to yours, senpai, I’d still do everything in my power to protect …
I made a vow to senpai as I clenched my fists so hard that I could feel my nails digging into my skin.
「Thank you, Jiro-kun. This means a lot to me, truly.」
Senpai placed her hand on mine and smiled at me. The touch of her soft hand was very soothing and comforting.
「But, if you say that you won’t leave my side so confidently like that… it’s quite embarrassing, you now?」
「I only realized that now.」
I made a very poor attempt at a smile as senpai was still flustered.
「Oh, that’s right, Jiro-kun. If it’s alright with you, then I have a favor to ask you.」
「Sure, what is it?」
Delighted with my answer, senpai said to me with eyes opened wide with excitement:
「You don’t have any lessons tomorrow, right? Let’s go on a date then!」
My heart stopped for a good moment after I heard her suggestion.
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