Part 60: Kozu-piiPart 60 - Kozu-pii
Including those blood-drenched juvies, of course.
I can't think of you as anything but a delusion!
You're the same as Seira-tan. One of my brides who appears only in my mind.
"Rather, you mustn't cheat on me, Takkii. I want you to only look at me."
In the first place, I didn't have any recollection of an idiotic-sounding character like this Kozu-pii....
Then who are you? Surely not the transfer student fidgeting right in front of me?
The transfer student gave a small nod.
Eh, you, you're kidding.... It must've been a mere coincidence.
And it had appeared as if she were nodding, but thinking so might've been some kind of mistake on my part.
That's completely, impossibly, impossible! Like you can pull off this telepathy-esque stuff!
What did she mean by "Unyuu~"? The transfer student looked vaguely sad, so I couldn't quite tell.
Dammit.... I was getting fed up with this.
If you're gonna say that, Kozu-pii or whoever, gimme some proof that you're the transfer student.
What're your three sizes?
So she couldn't answer. Which meant she was a delusion of mine, after all.
Then just the bust is fine. Give me an approximate number.
....Hmmm. I got a little turned off by the overly lecherous conversation taking place in my own brain....
The transfer student was flat-chested, that's for sure. Okay, so the dots connected there, at least. On a side note, I dig tiny breasts.
For some reason, the transfer student's face went red. Her body, already small enough, shrunk even further into itself.
The voice and her reaction had simply happened to synch up. Besides, what she'd said hardly counted as proof.
Come on, I had no way of knowing the transfer student's bust size. I'd be up for arrest if I asked her to please let me measure it.
Fine, so what's your birthday?
Well, not that I could easily double-check that, either.
I'd have gotten a life long ago if I were capable of asking a 3-D girl who I'd hardly ever talked to, "When's your birthday?"
The transfer student, who had been hanging her head in front of me, abruptly began rummaging around inside her bag.
She pulled something out and thrust it at me, teary-eyed.
It was a student ID handbook. Still all but brand new.
When I opened the cover, her headshot and the name "Orihara Kozue" appeared, along with her date of birth.
"Eh, no.... way...."
Come to think of it, her name. As far as I could tell from her ID, the transfer student was....
"For, for real...."
"That's whyyy, that's whyyy I said it from the start. I'm Kozu-pii."
Was this really not a delusion....?
The source of the voice.... was her.... you mean?
"Nishijou-kun, are you ooookay?"
Facing downward, the transfer student looked up through her eyelashes and pointed at my face. Her fingertip trembled.
I touched my face. The space beneath my nose was wet. I had a nosebleed.
The transfer student offered me some pocket tissues.
I had an eerie feeling as I accepted them from her and wiped the blood coming out of my nose.
The transfer student--
"I'm 'Kozu-pii,' you know?"
"It's the voice of my heart."
Don't talk like that. It's a turn-off to hear it in the third dimension.
"Fueeuu, so, soooorry...."
"I can hear you."
"Wh, why don't you ta, talk normally....?"
I see.... I could understand how she felt. Because I was the same.
"I think it'd be better to leeeave here."
Why? Perplexed, I followed her.
There was a stabbing pain in my side. Since it throbbed every time I took a step, I stopped when I couldn't stand it any longer.
I held my side and took a breath.
There were so many people. I frigging hate Shibuya....
It felt like everyone who passed by was laughing at me. It felt like all of them were watching me.
I began to think that everyone knew my face.
--Don't look at me.
--Don't laugh at me.
I wanted to rest someplace where there weren't any people....
Kozu-pii's energy level was blatantly different from the countless times when I'd spotted her at school.
And though she was wordless in real life, her mental voice was so, um....
"Ah, just now, you thought I was a nooooisy girl! Upuu!"
....It was convenient to be able to have mental conversations, but also kind of disagreeable.
Could it be a real psychic power....?
"So you think Kozu-pii is creepy.... after all."
"This kinda thing isn't normal...."
....I don't mind things that aren't normal. Lately I've had a lot more opportunities to encounter other eccentrics.
"It makes me happy-happy when you say that...."
Kozu-pii abruptly started crying as we walked along. Surprised, I hastily returned her tissue pack.
She bowed her head to me more than was necessary as she accepted it, and wiped the tears below her eyes.
....Back to what I was talking about.
"But, buuut, I hear it even if I don't wanna.... unyuu~"
Is that so....?
Well, whatever the case, you don't want to hear that from a gross otaku like me....
A guy as creepy as me really doesn't have any value....
Just as I was about to revert to depression mode, Kozu-pii cried out loudly in the voice of her heart.
"Noooo, you can't say things like that."
"Such sad-sounding things...."
She started streaming tears again.
Why was she crying? Did she sympathize with me?
If so, I didn't need it.
After all, I created personalities in my brain and mistook them for real live people. Rimi, for example....
You know her!?
"Well, she's our classmate."
"And she's your girlfriend."
"Wrong? I totally, totally, oooonly thought she was."
She wasn't my delusion. She wasn't a character I'd devised in my brain. Rimi really was there.
I must've fallen out of favor with her after what happened at O-Front.
"On the day of the earthquake, Sakihata-shan went pale and left early."
"She hasn't come to schooool since then, you know?"
"Something saaaad might have happened to her family.... maybe~"
If that were the case, I had a reason to attend school again. I wanted to see Rimi one more time. Until then, I'd try my hardest, and keep going to school--
"I didn't say it cause I thought you were going out with Sakihata-shan, but, but, but--"
What do you mean....?
"I don't really get Sakihata-shan...."
I'm asking what you mean....
You don't get her, you say--
Or how I was missing my memories of being classmates with her since freshman year?
There were definitely things about Rimi that remained mysterious, even now.
But she'd saved me countless times. When I was frightened, she'd told me, "I'll be there for you."
She wasn't my enemy....!
For some reason, Kozu-pii's eyes were rolling back in her head.
"Kozu-pii can't keep upsie-daisy~"
It was sort of odd.
When I was talking to people, I generally ended up saying less than 2% of the conversation, but when I spoke in my heart, I "talked too much," or rather, "thought too much."
It was the same for Kozu-pii.
I hadn't thought she would be so talkative--in her head, anyway.
"It doesn't feel much like I'm talking."
"If you're not used to it, your thoughts can get all mushy-wooshied up with theirs, and it gets all unyaa."
Although I sort of got the nuances of it.
So there weren't any little subleties, like in regular conversations.
Things like seeing the other person's expression or finding yourself unable to say what you wanted wouldn't happen.
If people's thoughts kept leaking out, you'd lose the ability to "read the atmosphere."
"That's why, thaaat's why, it's comfortable, and it makes you feel close--"
"But it's easy to hurt people."
For a second, Kozu-pii's face clouded over. But she soon put on a teary smile.
"Eheh. It's your first time, but you're reeeeally good at it."
"Your beep-beep-beeps match with Kozu-pii's."
My beep-beep-beeps.... Was she trying to say that our wavelengths matched?
"Riiight. Wavelengths, wavelengths."
Well, it might've been because Seira-tan had the same kinds of speech quirks....
"This morning, in the classroom."
Geh, now, now that she mentioned it.... I'd fantasized about some really bad stuff, hadn't I.
"That's why I thought fuhyaaaa, and I just kind of had to talk to you...."
"Though reeeally, I've decided to let as few people as possible know about my power."
No, at the time, I hadn't give a damn about anything.... umm, umm.... well.... they were mere delusions to the end, I guess.... haha....
It'd be normal to despise me for it. Haa....
She said something so disturbing with such innocence. The gap between the two made me shudder.
From the way we walked wordlessly, without glancing at each other's faces, an observer might have perceived us as a charmingly naive young couple.
Next to me, Kozu-pii caught an enormous breath. Eyes round, she looked up at me.
"You're going all fuhyaaaa on me again."
"I thought you'd give me a lovey-dovey-loooovey confession...."
Yeah, it was pretty hard to cope with how everything passed through to her.... When talking with Kozu-pii, it would behoove me to do my best not to wander into unnecessary daydreams.
"Ummm, ummm, I wanna ask."
....She wouldn't believe me even if I told her.
"Don't decide that for yourself. Upuu--"
"Kozu-pii was down below when it happened."
"At the scramble crossing. In front of the turnstiles at the Hachiko exit. I was just passing through."
"Saying I wanna save Nanami-shan, I've gotta save her."
"I heard you."
My mental voice had traveled that far? There was an unexpectedly great distance between the O-Front roof and the station turnstiles.
"That's how stroooong your emotions were then."
Then Kozu-pii would understand.
That I hadn't created such a ruckus with the intention of putting on a psychic performance.
But.... in the end, it hadn't done any good. I'd prioritized my own life over saving Nanami.... my little sister. I'd fled at the very brink of things....
Kozu-pii stopped in front of Roft. She looked at me as she pointed at the store entrance.
Apparently the place she'd said she would guide me to was inside here.
I didn't think there was anywhere to rest in Roft.
Besides, there were a lot of customers in a small, enclosed space there.
I didn't want to go anywhere that was full of people.... I wouldn't have anywhere to escape to if I entered Roft....
"It's all ooookay."
Doing my best not to look at what lay around us, I had no choice but to hurry on after her.
I hadn't saved her myself. It was the same as if I hadn't done anything....
"You streeetched your hand from the roof, didn't you?"
"What were you trying to do?"
"Fly away, all pyooon-like?"
....No. I was trying to take hold of the sword.
It was an illusionary sword, one that blended into the vista I saw from the rooftop.
Yeah. That's it. He'd said I could grasp it if I reached out, but I couldn't do it.
I unthinkingly shouted.
A couple passing us on the downward escalator gave me cold looks, and I hurriedly covered my mouth with my hand.
It was similar to the gesture of someone using her hand to create a shadow as protection against the brightness of the sun.
No, more so than simple light, they were lines.
If I were to make an analogy, they resembled a wire frame.
Numerous lines of light intermingled intricately in the space where there should've been nothing, and at last they formed a shape akin to that of a snowboard.
Several streaks of blue light--more fiercely brilliant than the wire frame lines--ran across it.
Transformed to a solid, cold-seeming metal plank,
As though textures had been applied to it.
Too sinister to be called a plank.
Too undecorative to be called a sword.
Positive, Negative or Neutral?