Translator: DarkHeartedAlchemist Editor: Weasalopes
【Episode 3】Life and Mind: Part B (8)
I tried to move my head to search for Fujisato, but she was nowhere near her original hiding place. Instead, she was standing in front of Kuhoh, who was still being suspended from the ceiling. I wanted to ask how she did that, but right now my mind was so foggy that I had trouble to even think in a straight manner.
She just stood there, touching Kuhoh’s cheek affectionately.
When she did that, Kuhoh twitched, and then went limp.
What was that? What just happened?!
I heard the other two girls calling to me, but they sounded like they were calling to from far, far away.
「Monjiro! Protect Kaguya!」
When that scream reached my mind, I transferred all of my strength to pulling my lead-heavy body up from the ground. Then I turned around, and reflexively performed a backwards roundhouse kick. But it did nothing, as someone grabbed my leg in a grip that was so strong as if an iron claw was crushing my leg to the very bone. Half-blind from the pain, I looked in the direction of the hand’s owner, only to see an unbelievable scene.
「Nicely done, Monjiro. To think that with your body in such a state you’ll still have so much fight left in you, I have to applaud your tenacity, if nothing else.」
My leg was being held by a slender hand with a golden ring on it, and its owner was giving me the same warm smile and spoke to me with the usual warm tone of voice. As much as I refused to believe it, both the hand and the voice belonged to Fujisato Yuika, my classmate and class representative.
「But you know, that action of yours gave me quite a scare just now. I never thought you’d be capable of kicking your classmate like that! What would’ve happened if you kicked me right in the face, huh? That would have been so mean of you!」
Keeping the same smile on her face, her brows lowered in a frown, and then…
Just by putting some more strength into her grip, she shattered the lower half of the bones in my leg into pieces.
That inhuman strength, that unwavering motion! Was she really the Fujisato that I knew?!
No… I see now. I did not understand Kuhoh, and I didn’t understand Fujisato as well. I have subjected them to my own wishful thinking, without even trying to understand what might be going on inside their heads.
「That’s all you’ve got, Monjiro? And here I thought I could play with you a little bit longer?」
And she poked me innocently, sending me backwards towards Shiinamachi-senpai at an incredible speed.
Our bodies rammed into each other violently, and we both crashed into a wall next to the window.
「I’m… fine. That was… nothing *cough cough*!」
Knowing that senpai’s body cushioned me from damage filled me with intense sense of guilt.
We slowly slid onto the floor from where I looked at Fujisato.
She still had her lovely smile on her face as she was making her way towards us.
In that moment…
Numerous wires wrapped themselves around Fujisato like snakes, cutting her deeply. However.
She shrugged it off like it was no big deal for her.
And then Shiki made an eardrums shattering scream and went completely still.
「『Satori』 is such an inconvenient Gift for someone using wires as her weapon of choice. With enhanced senses of touch and vision required to utilize them properly, all I need to do to inflict serious damage upon you is to give you a little slap with electricity. Oh, and in case you were wandering, that lighting that fried her just now was the ability of another one of my Gifts, 『Demonic Beast Kirin』. It basically allows me to power up the electrical currents coursing through her body to the level of lightning bolts! Isn’t a lovely Gift?」
Paying no attention to the wires that were still loosely tied around her, Fujisato skipped towards me and senpai.
「I didn’t want to believe it at first, but it really looks like you’ve lost your memories and Gifts, Kaguya-sama. I thought that you were just being deceptive, but now, seeing as you yourself were so powerless against my Vassal, I am finally sure of it.」
「Fujisato… why are you…」
I was coughing up blood left and right and had difficulty speaking, but I had to ask her that one important question no matter what.
How was she… how in the goddamn hell was she able to act so cruel while maintaining that angelic smile of hers?!
「Don’t worry Monjiro, I know what you want to ask, and I’ll answer it, so don’t hurt yourself even more than you already are, okay? I am a Nightkin Lord, and Nagi-chan is my Vassal. I was the one who gifted her with 『Divine Gift Chronos』, but I’ve just taken it back from her.」
She took it back? So that’s why she was able to move so fast. The rest of what she said hit me hard after a brief delay, probably due to all the wound I’ve sustained.
「Lord…? You’re a Nightkin too, Fuji… sato?」
「You bet I am! But my story is rather boring, you know? All it says is 「Bring about the demise of your fellow kinsmen」, so that’s why I had my eyes on you for some time, trying to verify with my own eyes whether on not Kaguya-sama really was stripped of her Gifts and memories, and what do you know, she really is. But that’s to be expected of the Legendary Princess Kaguya, The Princess of the Night and the Lord Above All Lords.」
The Legendary Princess Kaguya? Normally I would question what does 「The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter」 had to do with our current situation, but somehow I felt that it was very fitting for some reason. Thanatos and Chronos were mythological gods, and Satori was the name of a demon. So you want to tell me that each Nightkin and her Gifts serve as emulators to legendary stories? Talk about cliched.
「Defeating a high-ranking Nightkin like Kaguya-sama without lifting as much as a finger, my story must be on a last stretch towards its climax, although if you asked me, it all feels rather anticlimactic. But it was definitely fun while it lasted and well worth it, since I was able to get to know my cute Monjiro better and become friends with all of you.」
Right now, Fujisato seemed to be genuinely happy, curious, inquisitive and free-spirited just as I remembered her. That was probably why Shiki failed to identify her as a Nightkin: because she was living in our world among us humans without acting all high and mighty. She never doubted herself and always confronted everything head on as she continued living with such an attitude. She was like a coin, where both sides, the happy, cheerful one and the one that send me and senpai flying without batting an eye constituted who she really was.
My remorseful voice was very weak and mudded, but I had to call out Fujisato’s name, even when as I was practically shaking hands with the Grim Reaper now.
「Hm? What is it, Monjiro?」
Fujisato knelt in front of me to listen to my dying words. Even if we were enemies now, she was still going to do this much for me because she considered herself my friend.
But I was already at that point where articulating full sentences seemed like an impossible thing to do. My thoughts were in a state of chaos as they’ve all swirled wildly inside my mind, and yet I was unable to voice any of them at such a crucial time.
「Take your time, Monjiro. I am here, and I’m listening. I can at least do that much for you.」
Now that she already exposed herself as a Nightkin to us she was treating me like she always did: with gentleness that could melt any heart in a matter of seconds. Was she doing that because she had everything under control, or perhaps because she was feeling bad about hurting me in such a way?
「 Fujisato… S-Suppose… ssssssuppose…」
「Yes, suppose what?」
「I… you… right here… would…」
She gave me a look that was filled with genuine curiosity. That was to be expected. After all, I was in no shape to put up any kind of resistance against her. I was barely breathing, Shiki was unconscious and probably paralyzed, and senpai was still on the floor, exhausted after that one attack. But even so, even with the odds stacked so heavily against us…