Nanaya: The goons inside your head.
"----Huh! I guess you won't fall for it. Alright then. It's all about killing each other from now on.
Let's see who's the better killer."
SHIKI laughs, still down on the ground.
I don't answer and instead walk straight to him.
About ten more meters to go.
I will be able to jump at him within a few seconds.
"...... Heh. Don't tell me you think you're good just because you cut one of my arms off, Shiki."
What are you gonna do, bleed on me?
"I'll teach you one last thing.
You know everyone in the Tohno family has different powers, right? I guess Akiha's good at taking heat from her surroundings. Well, it's kind of like that, influencing the outside world, like an interference ability."
"Well, let's put Akiha off to the side. It's more important to talk about me right now."
"Shiki, I'm like the old man; I have no method to interfere with the outside world. The vampire ability isn't my original ability. This is more like a bonus that I got later. My real ability is 'immortality'."
"Well, there are limits to my immortality, since I can't heal my own wounds. Isn't it weird that this ability is called immortality?
But it's true that dying is hard for me. My body changes its context so that it can survive whatever state it is in at that moment.
Humans die when they lose a large portion of their body, right? That's because humans need a 'Human shape' with all the necessary parts to live as a human. If they can't find a substitute for their lost part, they die. Well, it might be more correct to say they cannot continue to live."
"But in my case, it's the opposite.
I don't supplement my lost parts. Instead, I continue to live even if I lose an arm or all my blood. My body changes its internal organs so that I can live without the parts I lost.
See, can't you say that this is 'immortality'? I would probably live even if my head only remained. ...... Well, there's no way I'd want to be like that."
"...... You're about to kill me, huh?
Well, what I want to say is this. I have the ability not to influence the outside world, but rather my inner body.
Do you get it? Even if it seems like a useless part of your body to you, for me------"
This is it.
You guys sure do love seeing Shiki die.
"I don't have the ability like you or Akiha to hurt others directly, so I have to rely on little tricks like these.
But if this 'someone' in my head becomes clearer, I might be able to use his ability as a vampire."
"-----I guess you can't keep yourself together anymore.
Then this is it. You can leave the rest to me and you can go back to your grave, Shiki-----"
As fun as it would be to watch this again, it's the exact same as the last lesson.
...so let's get right to the choice where we live.
SHIKI is laughing loudly.
...... I know. If I stop now, he will recover from his wounds.
I know I have thrown away my last chance.
But still----if there's a way to get Akiha back, I have to hear it.
"What? I can't hear you."
"...... Is it for real, SHIKI?"
"Yeah, I talk a lot but it's against my policy to ever lie. So I'll tell you if you stay there a bit longer---and depending on your attitude, I could go ahead and save Akiha myself."
"............... Save, Akiha............?"
Is it that I felt something bad in those words?
My body shakes and I almost fall.
The ground is slippery because it's slimy------
I am now...
"So if you reset things back to the state where she can live as a human, she doesn't have to rely on the Tohno blood.
See? Isn't it easy? If you want to save Akiha, all you have to do is eliminate the cause for her current state."
I am standing in a puddle of blood-----
I love this exchange. SHIKI is all and Shiki's like, "Say, the grassies is all wet!"
"So all I want to say is, everything will be fine if you just die--------!!"
At the same time.
I jump to the side with all my power.
I roll on the ground and fight the pain.
I still got lucky. If I hadn't of wiped that blood off my chest, I would have grown swords out of my back and died instantly.
Yeah, that's about right.
I hear a voice.
The sound of SHIKI running toward me through the grass accompanies it.
"You don't know when to stay down. You should have died with that-----!!"
I cannot fight back since I'm on the ground.
He sticks out his arm with sharp nails and approaches, trying to dig my heart out.
It's like a circus.
Dark forest. I get excited thinking about when the curtain will rise.
I sure don't ever get tired of seeing that picture, no sirree.
It's like he's reading this LP and he's talking directly to you guys.
Okay, I'm seriously beginning to wonder if it was keeping track of all those deaths even though I know it wasn't
"Are----you kidding me?"
With a sound,
SHIKI's body slides to one side.
SHIKI desperately supports it as he gets away.
"Why-----why, why, why? Hey Shiki, this is wrong. This cut, why----won't it stick back?"
With a cramped smile on his face, SHIKI staggers back.
His upper body and lower body slowly separate.
SHIKI looks like a circus clown trying to desperately hold onto his body.
Now where were the circuses with the brutally dismembered clowns when I was a kid? I wanna be scarred for life, too!
"Ou----ch. It hurts. I don't like it. I'm going to pass out. I can't stop bleeding. My body is separating. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hur----"
SHIKI falls to the ground.
His legs are still standing.
Only his upper body falls to the ground like some kind of joke.
Did you hear the one about the guy who got cut in half with an antique pocketknife? It was the end of the line for him.
Music: play track 9
I kneel down in front of that thing that is dragging itself with its right hand.
I raise my knife.
Now, all I have to do is to drop it.
If I drop my knife in the center of his body, in the "point" next to his heart, everything will end.
...... Will end.
A stupid story that has continued for eight years will end with just that.
SHIKI's voice resists death.
...... It's not like I feel sorry for him.
It's not that I got scared of killing him.
It's not that my anger has gone away, but "...... Why?"
Laughing, that thing disappears into the bushes.
I look with a blank stare at my bloody knife.
...... I did not kill him.
Or was it that I could not kill him?
Hihi, hihihi, hihihihihihihihi.
I hear the annoying laughter.
It seems like he is going toward the detached building, where Akiha is left.
I get up.
How stupid of me! I should have known that he would have gone to Akiha.
I start to move my weak legs and head for the detached building.
Leaving a trail like a slug, SHIKI crawls toward Akiha by the wall.
"He, lp, me-----Aki, ha----"
SHIKI reaches out his hands asking for help.
His bloody fingers reach out to Akiha.
I won't let him.
I have to go over there and finish him off----
Blood sputters all over.
Waves of red blood color the tatami floor and the walls.
Aha, ahaha, ahahaha.
Laughter of unbearable happiness.
"S-stop, stop, Aki, AKIHAAAA!!"
SHIKI's scream ends there.
It's because his throat, the organ allowing him to talk, is crushed, and was torn away along with his head from his body.
There's no answer.
That is all I can say to her. She's lost her mind.
The sound of Akiha's laughter echoes in the room.
She was fiddling with the body of SHIKI, but seems to have gotten bored of her toy which didn't move anymore.
After looking around the room, she rips through the shouji and runs outside.
Her hands are still drenched in blood.
I can't tell her to wait.
...... I know.
I know that everything is too late.