Part 39: DelusionPart 39 - Delusion
As Grim had told me, the Internet was going bonkers over it.
Many at @chan were convinced that all four New-Gen homicides had been committed by the same murderer.
Like >>140 had mentioned, all the big channels except Tokyo TV were broadcasting special programs, and they aired the aforementioned video over and over.
The special programming itself ended in about an hour, but it was a minor shock for the country when that video got broadcast nationwide.
Although all of the stations voluntarily censored themselves, cutting off the last scene, where the actual jumping took place, it still had an astoundingly powerful impact.
The drift of the debate on TV was by and large the same as online, and people seem to have all but decided that the four New-Gen cases had been committed by the same criminal.
Which was natural enough. They'd already discovered common ground between two of the New-Gen incidents.
It had originally made its public debut via the fourth New-Gen case, "Vampire House."
Despite that, one of the victims from the "group diving," which took place over a month earlier, had let the same words slip.
At present, these words were known to have been used in the first and last of the four New-Gen incidents.
What that pointed to was.... as everyone thought, the possibility that the four incidents had been triggered by the same perpetrator.
Some politicians were also saying things like, "How greatly regrettable. The criminal must be apprehended as soon as possible."
@channers had long since finished capturing the vid and spreading it around by uploading it here and there and everywhere. No one could stop them.
Without my realizing it, I had started eavesdropping. Today I was oversensitive to the voices of those around me.
I listened to all kinds of conversations, but no big surprise there: everyone was talking about the "group dive" video from yesterday. There were also girls jokingly saying "Whose eyes are those eyes?" to each other.
I bit my lip and studied the surface of my desk.
That video was "proof."
Which meant I didn't have multiple personalities. The old man in the wheelchair was the New-Gen perpetrator.
But for what reason could "Shogun" have deliberately uploaded that video....
Why would he himself do something to hint at his identity, when the criminal had previously been swathed in mystery?
When I pondered this, I came up with two conclusions.
The chances of this seemed pretty high, given how he had gone out of his way to show himself to me.
As for the other possibility--
For reasons unknown, "Shogun"--along with his underling Yua--were meddling with me.
I didn't know why they felt the need to do so, but they'd almost succeeded in setting me up as the New-Gen criminal. It was possible that the police continued to suspect me even now.
"You must awaken.... Quickly."
"Because if you don't--"
"Many more people will die."
I could only think of it as a form of intimidation, the equivalent of "I'm gonna kill you" "So don't run away."
And this time, he'd taken the unprecedented action of uploading the video and making sure it was seen throughout Japan.
"Shogun" had undoubtedly moved to the next step of his plan.
I had been naive to think that maybe he'd stopped targeting me. On the contrary, it would be better to assume that he had at last begun to attack and plot against me in earnest.
I was scared.... That video had given me the shakes.
If everything New-Gen-related had been done by the same person, it meant that "Shogun" had enacted the brutal "pregnant man," "staking," and "Vampyre" cases with his diminuitive body.
Or maybe Yua had helped him....
Either way, I didn't have any confidence in my ability to protect myself against people capable of carrying out such horrific acts with ease.
My terror of them. My rage against the unfairness of my being targeted. And--the message of, "Whose eyes are those eyes?"
If I weren't careful, I'd start trembling.
To suppress that, I would have to keep myself from relaxing for the time being.
I constantly paid close heed to my surroundings and braced myself so I could flee if someone seemed to be approaching.
I didn't know when "Shogun"--or else Yua--might suddenly appear before me.
I had to do everything in my power to avoid being ambushed, like yesterday at @Cafe. If not, I'd get killed next time for sure.
I had to get a Di-Sword, fast....!
Obtaining a Di-Sword was the only way to break free of my current situation.
After listening to Ayase and Sena, and actually researching it online, I was all but certain of it.
Yesterday evening, I had been frantically collecting information on Di-Swords while I kept an eye on the frenzy online, but I didn't meet with much success.
How the hell was I supposed to become the owner of a Di-Sword!?
I was becoming more and more impatient. Anxiety threatened to make my chest cave in.
Hurry.... I had to hurry and find a Di-Sword.... No matter what it took, a Di-Sword....
You've gotta find it.... Everything will be over if you don't find it....
I've gotta find it.... before I become the next New-Gen victim....!
But how was I supposed to find one.... I didn't know of any good methods....
Some kind of hint.... a hint.... I have to rush.... or I'll lose my chance to find it.... Am I capable of finding it....
This wasn't the time to be doing stuff like coming to school.
Yet why was I....
Rimi was there, blinking at the suddenness of my movement.
I'm the one who was surprised.... don't scare me like that....
Released from my tension, I let out a sigh and flopped flat against my desk.
As usual, Rimi took a peek at my face. Flustered, I lowered my eyes.
"You're really pale."
"And you're sweating a ton."
"And your eyes are bloodshot."
Was Rimi on my side, or was she my enemy?
What had been going on when I saw her covered in blood at the "staking"....
We were supposed to have been friendly classmates since freshman year, but why was she completely missing from my memory....
"Taku? You not feeling well?"
Rimi tilted her head, looking troubled.
"It's.... it's.... nothing...."
Even during class, I had ceaselessly and warily surveyed my surroundings, paying no attention to the classes themselves.
I hadn't slept since yesterday, but the sheer tension of it kept me wide awake.
School today had felt virtually endless, and its excessive length had sent me into despair time and again.
I wondered why one's sense of time could be so drastically affected by one's state of mind.
Your subjective point of view can change the speed of time.
In fact, I had a hard time thinking of people's attempts to affix standalone values to periods of time like seconds and hours as anything but a plot to cover up the differences in subjectively perceived time, and thus make all of humanity recognize it the same way.
That occurred to me because of what Sena had said about "controlling the free will of others."
"People who have been blind since birth can be made capable of properly seeing the scenery before them. With the intervention of a filming device similar to a video camera."
In fact, there was no reason that said recording device needed to be a video camera.
For example, what would happen if you connected them to a hard disk recorder and showed them recordings of a nature program?
What if, instead of a nature program, you showed them an anime?
Come to think of it, anime was 2-D; it was delusionary.
if Person A put their imaginary visions into a hard disk recorder and transformed it to image data, then "sent" it to Person B, wouldn't A's delusions turn into B's reality?
Uwah, am I some kinda genius? lol
The magnificence of my idea thrilled me.
Perhaps this itself was the way to obtain a Di-Sword. Hadn't Ayase called her Di-Sword a "delusion"?
Positive, Negative or Neutral?