Translator: DarkHeartedAlchemist Editor: Weasalopes
【Episode 3】Life and Mind: Part B (9)
「…Suppose if I were to beat you right here, right now… would you… would you still be able to remain friends with us? Could we…. Return to how things were…. Before all this?」
Once more, my wishful thinking got the better of me. Fujisato must’ve think so too, because she looked like she was about to laugh.
「Pft… Ahahahahaha! Monjiro! You’re standing on your grave and you still think can beat me? Your determination is cute and admirable, but that’s really, truly impossible for you right now. But points for trying, and being cool until the very end. I respect that.」
Aaaaaaaand she was laughing, of course she was laughing. Who wouldn’t at such a ridiculous proposal?
She wasn’t looking down on me. She did that because she really thought that what I said was genuinely funny. Ahhh, looking at her now… how can I put this…? I’ve always thought that she was the prettiest when she was laughing.
「…If I defeat you… wouldn’t that be… a trick? …Fujisato…」
「Well, mister magician…」
She pondered my question seriously while looking at me tenderly.
「…I guess it would be possible. If by some miracle you manage to defeat me, it would be quite a surprise, but not a bad one, oh no! One, that would certainly made me happy. So go ahead, give me your best shot, and who knows? Maybe you’ll even make my heart skip a beat?」
Her voice and expression were both so gentle that it was hurting me physically. But in the midst of that gentleness, I could feel loneliness and despair similar to those that I and Shiki heard in Kuhoh’s voice.
「…Just you wait… it’ll be a surprise of the century… after all… I am super amusing and cute… after all…」
「So you were eavesdropping when you went to the kitchen? Monjiro, you’re such a little perv, but I think I like it.」
In response to my desperate declaration, Fujisato patted me on the head. She then stood up, spun around a full circle and bowed down towards me, awaiting my action.
「So, what are you going to do now, Monjiro? And how about you, Kaguya-sama? You do realize that together with 『Chronos』 I currently hold a total of four Gifts? Faced against someone like me, your chances of winning are looking pretty slim.」
So what if the Nightkin were hard to kill and she held the Gift advantage? So what if the chances of us winning this were pretty much nonexistent? So what if us winning would be nothing short of a miracle?
It only meant that I had to show her how great my resolve was. No more holding back. The time has come to pull out all the stops.
And the first step to do that was getting rid of all the blood that made it harder for me to speak from my lungs.
「Fujisato, look carefully. With those hand of mine, I will definitely crush your story.」
「Fufu… how did you said it back then? Ah, I remember: Don’t go threatening me with a marriage proposal, Monjiro.」
I shared senpai’s story with her now, just as Fujisato shared hers with Kuhoh. That is why I didn’t really wanted for any of them to come to an end here.
「…J-Jiro-kun, you mustn’t…!」
Senpai must’ve realized what I was about to do, and tried to protest against it. That was the first and the last time in my life when I was willingly going to assume the mantle of a bad boy who was about to go against both his mother’s and his master’s orders.
「Senpai, I… this is the only way. I will die at this rate, and Shiki is unable to fight. That is why, I want to do everything I can to protect you and your story.」
I heard senpai gasping from behind my back.
「Now that I think about it, this is probably this 「unbeaten path between life and death」 we were talking about. Is so, then I want to be the one who will blaze a trail on it for you.」
Even after reverting back to my old self, everything will be fine as long as I’ll remember that Shiinamachi Kaguya is my master whom I’ve sworn to protect.
It was only for four months, but it felt like years. Living an ordinary high-school life, meeting new friends and the girl I’ve fell in love with, and finding something that I wanted to protect, even if it meant putting my whole existence on the line. Yes… Sakuradamon Jiro had a short, but fulfilling life. But I do feel sorry for my sister. After all, she worked so hard to make me who I was today… ah, that’s right… today is…
「Shiinamachi-senpai… Is today your safe day…?」
Senpai was crying without any reservations. Hearing her, I felt like the worst human garbage that ever walked this earth.
I felt guilty for causing ser so much pain, but at the same time, I felt the sense of duty filling me up inside. This is good, this is fine. That way, everyone will be able to spend the their youthful days in happiness.
Smiling senpai, goofy Shiki, calm and collected Kuhoh and the ever so cheerful Fujisato… With my last free thoughts, I tried to imagine a future in which all of us could be together, and it was so bright and warm that it made me want to cry.
「Senpai… it might take a while, but I hope you can wait until my soul finds its way back into this body… thank you, and forgive me.」
「…N-No! Jiro-kun, I-I haven’t even gotten a chance to tell you yet…!」
Senpai’s hand touched my back.
Part of me really wanted to know what senpai wanted to say to me, but perhaps not knowing it is going to be for the better after all. That way, I’ll have something that might just allow me to go back from what I was about to do to myself…
Sending a silent prayer towards the heavens, I touched the scar that was placed on my right shoulder so long ago, and used my other hand to take off my glasses and throw them away to the side, entrusting myself fully to my killer’s mentality.
And finally, my throat gave a vigorous shout that announced the death of the current Sakuradamon Jiro.
I spoke the cursed words that sealed my fate. Now, there was no going back for me. My right shoulder flared up with pain I have never felt before, and an ominous skull emblem that glowed with a pulsating purple light appeared on it.
First thing to disappear was my reason for being here, then after it followed the ability to discern emotions, everything I have done up to this point and what I wanted to do in the future. Anyone and everything that I have ever held dear, and even the fact that this was my own body. I have simply… slowly forgotten it all.
「*Sob*… Jiro-kun… please… capture… Fujisato-san… but do not kill her no matter what…」
The person this body recognized as its master: Shiinamachi Kaguya, issued an order, and it instantly complied.
By the time Fujisato was able to react properly, this body has already closed the distance and was standing right before her. It grabbed a hold of one of Kuhoh Nagi’s knives, and intended to stab it into her chest before she could have a chance to realize what was going on. Noticing that something was wrong with my body, she used 『Chronos』, the ability to stop the time for one second, in order to move away from it, but it had already anticipated where she was going to appear next, and launched a kick with its shattered leg at that exact spot.
As expected, she tried to block it with her left hand, but that was exactly why this body used the damaged limb to perform that attack just now. As she was holding it, this body put as much force as it could into finishing the kicking motion. The leg made an unpleasant sound and bend in a direction it was not supposed to be bending, but it had already served its purpose.
「Monjiro, are you crazy?! What are you doing?!」
Still holding the broken leg with her hand, Fujisato screamed this body’s owner’s name, but this body paid no heed to it. It used the presented opportunity to pull her onto the floor along with its broken leg.
She hit the floor hard with her back and cried out in pain. Using that opportunity, this body straddled her. She tried to attack it with another wave of electricity, but this body already attached some Shiki’s metal wires it has wrapped around itself to the window’s metallic frame to avoid being electrocuted.
It did that in advance because it was already aware of the 『Demonic Beast’s Kirin』 electrical attack which was used to defeat Yatono Shiki. Realizing that, Fujisato stopped emitting lightning from her entire body. Then the knife that was in this body’s hand was grabbed in a reverse grip, as it was preparing to stab it into its defenseless prey.
「Look at you, you’re practically a walking corpse, and yet it seem that your personality too a complete 180! What’s up with that?! Have you lost your mind from the pain?!」
Fujisato’ eyes snapped open and then immediately narrowed, emitting a crimson glow.