Translator: DarkHeartedAlchemist Editor: Weasalopes
【Interlude】A Boundary Between Dream and Reality
All of a sudden, I found myself drifting through the soft, murky darkness.
I remembered that seeing such a scenery was often associated with loss of consciousness due to extreme exhaustion. So either I had collapsed due to such an exhaustion, or died altogether, and was now in the afterlife. But then I remembered that I was immortal, so the odds of the latter occurring were rather slim.
In that case, the only possibility left was the death of my soul.
『Code: Calvariæ』 was the emblem of death used by my family for generations. It was a power that was supposed to elevate the users body and mind to their utmost limits, but at the cost of erasing any unnecessary elements that would hinder the body from functioning in such a state, thus resulting in the complete annihilation of the user’s memory and personality. They were all converted to information whose sole purpose was to make finishing the mission more efficient. That was exactly why I’ve found myself in this dark and lonely place now.
Well, there was nothing I could do about it now. Even if I were to be resurrected, without a soul I’ll just be an empty shell. But maybe, just maybe, if my sister, my friends, and my beloved Shiinamachi-senpai will still be willing to spend their days together with me, then maybe one day this empty body of mine will once again develop a new personality. Yeah, that would be nice.
So there I was, floating around in the darkness, thinking about doom and gloom.
Now that I think about it, even if I will no longer be myself, my body will surely develop a brand new personality different from the 「Sakuradamon Jiro」 that existed up to this point.
I knew that it was going to end up like this, and yet I still chose to do it.
Faces of Fujisato, Kuhoh, Shiki and Shiinamachi-senpai came floating into my mind.
My only wish for now was for all of them to get along. Furthermore, if this body could continue spending time with them, if I can just have that, then I don’t mind the fact that my current consciousness is going to disappear.
Finally at peace with myself, I closed my eyes.
At that time, I thought I heard my mother’s voice calling out to me from somewhere. Knowing that it was impossible for her to be here, I focused my whole remaining attention at the source of the sound.
In the distance, I saw a woman standing in the middle of the darkness. It was my mother.
White uniform, slender build, long, straight black hair, no doubt about it, it was really her. But why was she here? And in a form that looked like a middle or high-school version of herself at that? Her eyes however, were as sharp as I remembered them.
This really was Sakuradamon Yuuto, my mother.
That name, as well as her age and all information about her, were probably fake. Even if we were the members of the same family, there was a high chance that she was not even my biological mother. That’s the kind of woman she was.
「Hello, mother. Long time no see.」
And she simply replied with
「How dare you calling me your mother like that?」
and threw a freezing cold gaze at me.
Refusing to acknowledge me so openly, yup, she was my mother all right. But even so, that was still messed up, especially when she herself was always encouraging me to call her like that, so that’s what I did.
And she was even treating me like I was a complete stranger to her.
「You sure used 『Code Calvariae』 like it was nothing.」
「I thought I told you that it was a last resort that would annihilate you if you use it carelessly.」
「Yes mother, you did told me that, but there were circumstances…」
「And still you choose to make excuses. Give me all my money for raising you back!」
「This is really unbelievable.」
I had no words to retort back to my mother’s barrage of verbal abuses. I couldn’t even find the right words to describe the situation properly to her. In the end, she just sighted again and said:
「Monjiro, why do I have the feeling that you died in a really stupid way?」
Another line I had no hope of refuting.
「Looks like I have to remind you one more time: using 『Code Calvariae』 erases your mind, turning you into a mindless killing machine, you moron. Way to go and destroy all over your sister’s efforts to make you into a proper normal boy.」
「I realize that, but…」
Did she just called me a moron in the middle of giving me a lecture? Because I think she just did. And yet, the only thing I could do was to bow my head down in shame.
「Shiinamachi Kaguya, Yatono Shiki, Fujisato Yuika, Kuhoh Nagi. You used that power to ensure they could all continue to lead their lives happily, correct? You perverted, harem-seeking monster.」
「Yes mother, it is exactly as you say, minus that last part.」
I’ve been wandering, was that apparition here really my mother? Or was she something else entirely? But she had to be real, since all of her mannerisms thus far have been too real to be simply called coincidental.
「You determined, like an idiot you are, that it was fine to sacrifice yourself as long as that would guarantee your friend’s safety, correct? A decision unbefitting of someone who’s calling himself my son, you four-eyed nerd.」
Another lecture and another problematic insult. But by now, I just decided to shut up and take it in stride.
「Monjiro, listen here, and listen well.」
And now even my own mother was calling me by that nickname.
「Are you listening to me? Because I won’t repeat myself.」
「Yes mother, I’m all ears.」
Assuring her that I was listening was a better alternative to having another insult hurled my way.
Instead of saying anything, my mother walked up to me and…
She slapped me in the face so hard that my glasses actually fell off my face. That was definitely going to leave a mark. It burned and stinged like all hell, too realistic to be just a sensation within a dream.
「You men all have this bad habit of sacrificing yourself because you think that it’s 「cool」. Your father was the same in that regard. But if you wish for everyone to obtain true happiness, then you need to work hard to obtain it yourself. Do you think that any of the girls you hold dear approve of what you did just now? That Shiinamachi Kaguya, will she be able to keep on smiling when you’ll be gone? Or that Fujisato Yuika girl, who was so happy to admit defeat that would allow herself to still be friends with you? Or that Kuhoh Nagi or Yatono Shiki, who fought so valiantly for the sake of their masters will let that slide?
Compared to the damage of the slap, those words were like a Critical Hit to my conscience.
Maybe the reason why mother was so angry with me now was because even though she taught me all that she knew as an assassin, she was hoping that I would never have to resort to using that knowledge?
「I forbid you from using that cursed technique ever again, do you understand?」
Throwing these words at me quietly, my mother turned her back to me.
「Monjiro, do you feel anything in your chest right now?」
「It hurts a lot, actually.」
I answered her question as she was standing behind me with her hands deep in her pockets.
I knew what she meant by that. I’ve always thought that even without me, the world will just continue as if nothing had happened, but that mindset was fundamentally wrong to begin with.
「Since it hurts, it works. That is the purpose of pain after all.」
*Thud, thud*… My mother’s footsteps echoed as she departed in the empty space.
That sound engraved itself into my ears, and made the tears flow from my heart straight to my eyes.
「Jiro, this is what it truly means to be alive. Embrace it, and move forward. Always forward, never back.」
Her image was slowly becoming one with the surrounding darkness as I cried out after her.
She looked younger than me. Her face bore a certain mixture of both youthful cuteness and adolescent arrogance. But even so, everything about her was telling me that she really was my mother
「Thank you, mother…」
I whispered my thanks to her in a quiet voice. I will make sure to do just as you asked… After I wake up again.