Translator: DarkHeartedAlchemist Editor: Weasalopes
【Episode 3】Life and Mind: Part B (3)
「What’s the matter senpai? Was something wrong with what I said?」
「Oh, no, nothing at all… It’s just… if I had to bring you back to life in front of other people, it’d be a bit difficult… or rather, embarrassing.」
Embarrassing? How so? And then, completely out of the blue, a certain thought occurred to me.
When I was drugged by Shiki and senpai revived me, I thought I felt her kissing me. Could that really be more than just my hormone-fueled fantasy? But if that was really true…. Then that was such a waste! My precious first and second kiss were stolen by the girl of my dreams, but I had no memory of them at all! Now I had to know! Was the ritual senpai mentioned really a kiss after all?!
Unfortunately, I had no balls to pursue the matter further, so the sight of blushing senpai would have to serve as my confirmation, at least for now. Now, on to the next order of business.
「What’s meant by 『Divine Gift』 and 『Demonic Gift』?」
「The powers possessed of the Nightkin can be divided into five different types, and each type possesses its own characteristic. My own theory as for their origin is that their original users were the gods, monsters and heroes from our folklore and various mythos, or that said individuals were the first Nightkin and their Vassals. The categories we have confirmed are『Divine Gifts』, 『Demonic Gifts』, 『Heroic Gifts』, 『Angelic Gifts』 and 『Fallen Angel Gifts』.」
『Thanatos』 was a 『Divine Gift』 while Shiki’s 『Satori』 was a 『Demonic Gift』.
「What are the differences between them?」
「『Divine Gifts』 refer to all sorts of phenomena associated with Gods and mythical creatures from mythologies around the world. 『Demonic Gifts』 can grant it’s user enhanced bodily functions. 『Heroic Gifts』 turn a part of the body into a hero’s weapon or defensive gear, and 『Angelic Gifts』 and 『Fallen Angel Gifts』 can cause miracles to happen. So far, that’s all that we managed to find out about them.」
I was genuinely surprised at how many categories there were, and each had different features at that. That would mean that knowing the opponent’s Gift and its type beforehand could literally mean the difference between life and death. To be honest, I had absolutely no idea how to go against 『Divine Gifts』, 『Angelic Gifts』 and 『Fallen Angelic Gifts』… But as for 『Demonic Gifts』 and 『Heroic Gifts』 and their body-changing mechanic, I should be able to find ways to counter those.
「I get it now, so that’s how gifts are categorized!」
I also understood that utilizing one’s strengths to the fullest was important in a battle between Gift users. An attitude of 「I just need to finish the enemy off as soon as possible」 would do no good here.
「So… Senpai, there’s one last thing I’d like to ask.」
「Ah, yes, what is it?」
Senpai rubbed her neck with her hand and turned to me.
「You should have one last Gift at your disposal, senpai. What kind of Gift is it?」
「Oh, it’s called『Angelic Gift Sariel』.」
Shiinamachi-senpai spoke about it with some dosage of hesitation, and said nothing else about it beside its name. Seeing her like that, Shiki came to her aid and explained:
「Kaguya herself is not sure about this Gift’s nature.」
「Not sure about its nature? Meaning that she doesn’t know what exactly does it do?」
「Yup. That Gift can be classified as both an 『Angelic Gift』 and 『Fallen Angelic Gift』. As for its power… most likely it’s to have control over souls.」
…Indeed, after listening to this explanation, I found it hard too to understand what kind of Gift it was.
「I don’t understand that power well myself… If my memories were intact, perhaps I’d know it better, but now…」
『Angelic Gift Sariel』?
Indeed,『control over souls』was rather roundabout and not really helpful in guessing what it was supposed to do exactly . 『Angelic Gifts』 and 『Fallen Angelic Gifts』 could apparently be used to create miracles but wasn’t my resurrection technically a kind of miracle too?
「S-So basically… senpai no longer has any other Gifts she can use herself? 』
「Yes, indeed… That is correct.」
In other words, placing our bets on that Gift was probably a bad idea. Which in turn meant that Shiki and I had to be extra careful while guarding senpai during the battle that was looming over us.
I clenched my fists to psyche myself up.
「I also have a question for Monjiro, may I?」
Shiki raised her hand and stared straight at me.
「Sure, go right ahead.」
「Monjiro, what on earth are you hiding from us?」
「What am I hiding? What do you mean?」
I had no idea what was she going on about, hence I could only stare at her, dumbfounded.
「I’m talking about the scar on your right shoulder, the one that you chose not to inform us about.」
Shiki was staring straight at me, and it made my right shoulder flare up with deep, pulsating pain on the spot.
Even if it was uncomfortable for me and I didn’t want to do this, I guess now was not the time to be holding secrets from one another, especially if I had to use that power to protect everyone, but that was still the worst-case scenario.
I fell quiet for a while, searching for the right words to properly convey what I wanted to say to them, and even when I did found them, it was still hard to force them out of my mouth.
「This scar… it was made by my mother. Inside it, the ultimate technique of my family, the absolute pinnacle of the world of professional killers lies dormant.」
As I continued, Shiki was listening seriously, but senpai had a worried look on her face the entire time.
「According to mother, this technique will grant me immense power, but at the cost of the ultimate sacrifice.」
Senpai’s voice was trembling as she repeated my words. 「Ultimate Sacrifice」 referred to losing my mind, consciousness, personality, bonds that I’ve established… everything that made the current 「me」, the 「Sakuradamon Jiro」 that existed here and now. I wasn’t prepared to use it in the past as I was simply too young to truly understand it, which is why mother told me one day that I must 「grow up to become a person capable of using it.」
「Most likely, I won’t be able to continue living as 「myself」 anymore. I will probably revert to my original state, that of a cold-blooded killing machine capable only of taking the lives of others.」
「A killing machine…」
Now Shiki was also repeating after me.
「That is who I was in the past after all. The 「me」 that you know has only been born quite recently, a product of my sister’s hard work to make me a normal, ordinary person again. Should I ever fully revert to my 「Professional Killer Mode」, I… I’ll probably not be able to come back from it anymore. I will be nothing more than a human-looking doll whose only purpose in life is to kill others according to its puppeteer’s orders. That is what the scar on my right shoulder is.」
There, happy now? I’ve told them the truth while holding my right shoulder the entire time. I was only able to tell them that because I’ve placed my full trust in them. If I lost my life, I can always go back thanks to senpai’s immortality. But if I end up losing my soul… I don’t think I could ever come back from that again.
「Your soul… will disappear? You won’t be… yourself anymore?」
Senpai’s voice was shaking. She was on the verge of crying. Maybe it was because she experienced something similar before? After all, amnesia was essentially equal to losing yourself and becoming someone else.
This scar’s purpose was the same. It would make me into someone else, a force capable only of bringing destruction wherever it went. That is why my mother told me that I can only use it once I’m fully prepared to handle the consequences.
「Then I propose that we forget about this power of his and form another strategy, the one that won’t require him to use it.」
「Agreed. I don’t want to see Jiro-kun losing his soul. That is just… just too sad.」
For those kind words and their gentle smiles, I was grateful to them from the bottom of my heart.
「Shiki, senpai, thank you very much.」
After that, we’ve spent the next two hours formulating a plan of action for the upcoming party.
The biggest mystery was the kind of Gift that the enemy possessed. I had to know that if I had to eventually fight with him/her, but currently there was no way for us to confirm it. But even without that knowledge, we might have a chance if Shiki and I will work together to take our opponent down.
Gifts were super powers granted to Vassals by their Lords, therefore they were forces that bend the rules of our world to its user’s liking, and without knowing what to expect, formulating a detailed counter strategy was nigh impossible. Should push come to shove, we’ll just have to improvise on the spot in the heat of battle. But before that, there was still one problem that we had to tackle… how to force the eventual confession out of them.
「The best way would be to tell them directly that I no longer possess the Gift of Immortality.」
If one of them was the culprit, then they already knew that their murder attempt failed, and would be forced to confirm if senpai was still immortal or not if they wanted to have another shot at killing her. Simply put, we were going to use that fact as bait.
「After that, I’ll be counting on you, Shiki-san, Jiro-kun.」
「Of course .Everything to protect you, senpai!」
「Understood. It is a high-risk, high-reward plan, but we had no other option.」
Shiki and I expressed our agreement almost simultaneously.
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