Part 78: Birth of the New Generation of MadnessPart 78 - Birth of the New Generation of Madness
A delusionary existence, falling in love?
Could even a delusionary existence harbor the emotion of loving someone? Or was it a hallucination?
I didn't know,
Wanted to stay true to this feeling.
Rimi regarded me as a friend. She definitely didn't have any awareness of me as the opposite sex. An otaku freak like me wouldn't suit Rimi well, to begin with.
But.... even if it were unrequited love, even if it were mere self-satisfaction, even though I was a delusionary existence, I wanted to at least do something for somebody.... do something for Rimi, and then disappear.
It was creepy for a creepy otaku to be in love. It was creepy for a delusionary existence to be in love.
Our memories of this past month were a form of local shared recognition between the two of us, me and Rimi.
Even if everything was make-believe. These memories. And the emotions born from their accumulation.
Were the real thing--
Said "Shogun." I shook my head.
"I'm not a hero. I'm not a human being, either."
"What're you thinking.... asking someone like me to save the world or whatever?"
"I feel truly sorry, but there's no choice except to have you do it on my behalf."
"That's so stupid, apologizing to yourself."
I glared at the real me. The real me accepted my impostor's gaze.
"I hate you."
"I envy you."
"I can't push myself for the sake of the world."
"I don't care about stuff like saving the world."
I'd be the one to decide the meaning behind my birth.
"Only.... I'm gonna.... save Rimi."
SFX: Beatings, glass breaking, raised voices. Above it all, the sound of the 'silent weapon'.
At this point, it had become a riot.
In my surroundings were the smell of blood, roars, screams, moans, and.... a howling, mechanical sound. These things overflowed everywhere.
"Tell me how to get my Di-Sword."
I raised my line of sight. I searched for the shape of a sword blending into this scenery.
Rocks flew through the air, smoke from tear gas bombs climbed higher, and nearby people crashed into me over and over.
Under those conditions, I made my consciousness focus, and sought the sword I had glimpsed for only a second before, from the roof of O-Front.
I should be able to see it. Without a doubt, it was somewhere out there.
Part of the scenery. Mixed in with the rest.
Catch sight of it. Your Di-Sword is always by your side.
The building to the right of 107. A colorful billboard arranged vertically along it. It appeared as a sword to me.
Tension. My breath caught.
I'd been able to perceive it in the form of a sword before as well, when I saw it from the roof of O-Front.
But at the time, I'd ultimately failed to grasp onto it.
"Maintain your will with as much strength as you can. You mustn't waver."
"You're already more than qualified to attain a sword."
Standing in place, I extended my hand.
In order to rescue someone precious to me. I needed that sword no matter what.
No matter what--!
I clenched my back teeth together.
It was different from before.
My heart was so serene, even I found myself startled by it.
I wasn't afraid. I couldn't afford to be afraid.
But I wasn't cool-headed.
There was an emotion simmering, boiling hard inside me.
There was something I had to do no matter what--!
SFX: Takumi has grabbed hold!
Though I should have closed my hand around empty space. I felt something.
It was neither cold nor hot. Neither hard nor soft.
Seizing it, I slowly pulled it toward me.
Ripples rose in the air. It came slipping out from within them.
Listen to this
OST: Find The Blue (Instrumental)
So slender, it seemed about to break any moment.
Brimming with a phantasmal dignity.
Revealing absolutely no surface resplendence.
Possessing both a pure malice, as though the soul had been sucked out of it,
It linked with my exalting heart, and the foreboding pattern of flames in its hilt quivered.
I felt not a trace of its weight.
In fact, it was as though it had become one with my hand. As though it had been there from the start. As though it were a part of my body.
I had no real sense that I was holding a sword.
This is.... a Di-Sword....!
I clenched it tight with both hands. Now I should be able to real-boot it as well.
If it attained the shared recognition of those in the area, this sword would bring its shape forth into reality.
I didn't know how to do it. I simply prayed.
Become real, I shouted at it internally. I would no longer waver.
SFX: The Di-Sword is beginning to Real-Boot.
As though answering my cry, the Di-Sword began glowing faintly.
The pattern of flames on its hilt transformed to real flames, enveloping the sword. I felt no heat.
At last those flames were sucked away into the sword's entirety--
A portion of the people nearby spotted my sword and went dumb with shock.
But it was only a portion of the whole. The others were fixated on hitting and slandering each other. The riot didn't seem likely to calm down.
"Find the porters causing this disturbance. If you destroy the devices they carry with them, the rise in people's biorhythms will also start to settle down."
"Those who exist as terminal units for Noah II."
"You should already have viewed a hint about them."
"It's carved inside your head as a memory."
"So I'm a Peeping Tom. How fitting."
As I laughed self-mockingly, "Shogun" calmly gave me directions.
"Open your channel, and read the porters' minds. In the same way as 'Kozu-pii.'"
"They're somewhere in this scramble crossing. Find their locations."
I opened my channel.
I didn't think about how to do it.
Without taking conscious heed of it, I enacted it through my senses alone.
OST: Gradually Panic
Became visible. And poured into me all at once.
A manifestation of the ugly emotions people hid from others, far more direct, and atrocious, and revolting, than anything communicated in words.
Every manner of negative emotion people embrace within them became a torrent of images, swallowing up my heart, breaking me, violating me.
They bathed me in despising gazes, abused me with words of contempt, spat at me,
Peeled my nails off, pummeled my cheeks with their fists countless times, kicked me in the buttocks,
Ripped my hair out, bit my nose to pieces, gouged out my eyeballs,
Pulled my tongue out, sucked up my blood, poured scalding water on me and burned me,
Raped me in the ass, smashed my genitals, ripped off all the skin on my body,
Severed my arms, broke the bones of every part of my body, struck me with blunt objects,
Stabbed me with blades, dug out my intestines, strangled me tight around the neck,
Made vast beasts devour my flesh, pushed me off from high places, drowned me in water,
Burned my whole body in flames--
Once I tuned into it, my heart would break. I seemed about to go crazy.
Gritting my teeth, I frantically held up my own will.
Could it be that Kozu-pii had constantly been living under these circumstances?
"Control which delusions you need to see."
"You mustn't accept and believe everything. Narrow it down methodically."
"Rely on the 'sound.'"
I listened desperately, enduring the negative delusions pressing in on me.
All I could hear were voices. I blocked them out. I sought out the sound.
I heard it, a mechanical noise. Seira-tan had called it "the sound that would kill me."
That sound also appeared in my memories, the ones I'd obtained by recording the thoughts of others. A porter's rucksack made this noise, and Sena had used her Di-Sword to destroy it.
When I concentrated on that noise--
SFX: There are three voices. Two male, one female. The woman sounds familiar...
"There seem to be three of them."
OST: Find The Blue (Instrumental)
A chaotic flock of people. This pedestrian scramble, without so much as a fragment of law and order, where they walked wherever they liked and struck out at one another. It would be a trial to go straight forward.
I hacked into the delusions of the people leading up to my target.
Our eyes met.
He was plump, and wore a suit, and had a rucksack on his back.
Through the crowd.
Without bumping into anyone.
As the crow flies.
Dragging along my Di-Sword.
First Porter: "H, how--"
In the same way as Sena. I swept my Di-Sword, much longer than I was tall, horizontally.
As before, I sensed no weight in it. I could manipulate it as if it were part of my own hand.
The man slumped down in place and trembled, holding his head.
Again, all obstacles on the way there disappeared. They were constructing a road for me.
Upon catching sight of me, he tried to blend into the crowd. Before then, I threw my Di-Sword.
I had a delusion.
That it disregarded the laws of physics, and accelerated as it soared forward, horizontal to the earth.
A faint flash burst forth. The man fell down on the spot.
I had met that porter several times before.
No, to put it more accurately,
I was used to talking to her on a daily basis.
The waves of people parted. For the third time, a path manifested, a perfectly straight line.
At the end of that path. Was a woman who stood out very much, a woman in white clothing.
Now she glared at me with a piercing look in her eyes. She held an oversized handbag. There was most likely a Noah II terminal inside it.
"If you show the people here what she's done--"
"This feverish disorder will subside."
What she's done?
"Think back to the first time I made contact with you."
"I foretold the 'staking' incident to you. It was meant as a warning."
I remembered. Our exchange in that chat.
And when Grim first explained the New-Gen cases to me, he'd said:
"They're all in your neighborhood, heh"
Never mind the fact that I'd never said a word to him about living in Shibuya.
And in our chat just a few hours before, Grim had let slip words that suggested he knew I was Nishijou Takumi.
"You're a celeb, so you'll be the center of everyone's attention"
I sucked in a breath.
"The true criminal....?"
Atop the bed was the form of a young man--Konoe Chizuo. Fed sleeping pills, he was in a state of clouded consciousness.
"May the Divine Light save us...."
Repeating the same words over and over like a Buddhist chant, Hazuki rubbed her enormously swollen stomach.
She slowly shed her nurses' whites. She sat down on the operating table and took up a scalpel.
"Haa, Haa... salvation..."
And without anesthesia, she slit open her own belly.
If any surgeon or obstetrician saw it, all would laud her as having nigh-genius abilities.
Though she was a nurse, she possessed a startling faculty for surgical operations, and while enduring the pain of cutting her own body open sans anesthesia, Hazuki made an incision into her abdomen with commendable skill.
Blood and amniotic fluid came leaking out of the wound. As her face contorted in pain. Hazuki at last thrust her own hand into her abdomen.
She took out a bloodied fetus.
Still not fully developed, the fetus had already perished in the process of being forcibly removed.
Cutting the umbilical cord, Hazuki lovingly cradled her child, then laid it on a platform beside the operating table and began suturing her wound.
Upon completing that step in less than an hour, she rose from the operating table while bearing up under an excess of pain in her abdomen--an ordinary person would have passed out ages ago--and, holding the fetus, stood beside the man lying in bed.
She looked down at the unconscious man's face with bloodshot eyes. She deliberately stuck a scalpel into his stomach.
With a violence far separate from the delicacy and accuracy with which she had slit her own stomach.
Pain made the man awaken. But both his arms and legs were bound firmly to the legs of the bed, and he had no way to escape.
Paying no heed to his weeping and shrieking, Hazuki pulled at the scalpel she had thrust in him. It tore his skin and flesh. Blood sprayed out, landing on her face.
"Fufu.... May the Divine Light save you...."
She put both hands to her victim's wound.
With a coerciveness it would be safe to call forcible, she spread the wound open on both sides. The sound of meat ripping echoed through the operating room.
The man's body convulsed as he fell into a cycle of blacking out, then reviving in pain.
Contemplating the sufficiently opened wound, Hazuki smiled gently. And she took her own child, which she had removed shortly before--
And shoved it inside.
Atop the bed was the form of her colleague, a psychiatrist--Takashina Fumio.
He was strapped down to the bed. But he wasn't merely bound there.
His brain lay exposed in his head. His cranium had been cleanly cut away from above his eyes.
"May the Divine Light save you, Dr. Takashina...."
Takashina was conscious. As there was anesthesia at work in him, he appeared not to feel any pain in his head.
His eyes were wide with fear, and cold sweat ran down his whole body.
"Haa, haa.... salvation...."
Ignoring Takashina while he pleaded for his life, Hazuki slowly removed a silver, shining instrument from the pocket of her white uniform.
To be more accurate, it wasn't a surgical instrument.
It was a spoon. A regular utensil, the sort one might see around a dining table.
Wearing an expression of ecstasy, Hazuki scraped out part of Takashina's brain as if she were scooping up curry.
She shook it off the spoon and onto a stainless steel tray as though to hurl it down. His pink brain tissue pulverized atop the tray like jelly.
Hazuki jabbed the spoon into his brain for a second time. This time, she shaved off a more heaping pile of brain matter.
SFX: The riot seems to have been stopped. Nothing can be heard. No violence, no shouting. Not even Hazuki's Terminal.
The four jumbotrons set around the pedestrian scramble.
Her own memories were playing out there as a film. She didn't understand how it had been done. It was probably due to Nishijou Takumi's power as a Gigalomaniac.
Nishijou Takumi murmured, head hanging, holding his Di-Sword.
Several thousand people, who moments before had been striking out at each other, not caring who they hit, all looked up at the jumbotrons in unison.
Those who went pale and averted their eyes. Those who vomited in revulsion.
The members of the media attempted to fix their cameras on Hazuki. Their brilliant flashes burned over and over.
"You were the true perpetrator behind the New-Gen cases...."
"....You projected my memories into video, didn't you."
"You can't make any more excuses...."
"They'll know once they analyze your DNA and the baby's...."
"Why would you do such things....? Hey, Grim....!"
"I followed the words of our revered founder in everything."
Therein lay a Noah II terminal port, and a surgical scalpel.
Grabbing the scalpel, she laid the tip of its blade against her own neck. As she was a nurse, her line of work meant she was well familiar with the location of the carotid artery.
Hazuki smiled at Nishijou Takumi. Her kindly smile, akin to the one she gave her patients--
Female Crowdmember: "He's the.... Messiah...."
I realized they were speaking about me because of the countless gazes piercing me.
Before a vast number of people. Hazuki Shino had committed suicide by slitting her throat.
Perhaps it would be more appropriate to say she'd become a martyr. The choking smell of blood hovered in this place.
The riot had now completely subsided.
Hazuki Shino's memories of her crimes, which I had projected onto the jumbotrons, had been ideal for silencing the agitated crowd.
Every last one of them lost all words in shock at the video.
The dead body of a violent murderer. So they were saying they didn't need to pay it any respect.
What would they do next, decapitate her and hang her head up like we were in the Warring States era?
What difference was there between her and the people kicking her corpse?
People were helplessly ugly. Myself included.
SFX: Noise has returned, but it's now gone back to the excited feeling it had when Takumi first arrived, as opposed to the violent riot of a few minutes ago.
About half of them went to Hazuki Shino's body. The remaining half were near me.
Male Reporter: "Nishijou-kun! Splendid work!"
Female Reporter: "Did you just use a supernatural power!? You were an ESPer after all! How amazing!"
Male Reporter: "Was the gathering today intended from the start to draw out the real culprit?"
Female Reporter: "At what age did your supernatural abilities first appear?"
Male Reporter: "What were your childhood nicknames? Have you ever been called a wonder child or something?"
Female Reporter: "Do you have any future plans to cooperate with police investigations?"
Male Reporter: "Won't you appear on one of our station's programs?"
Fan A: "Nishijou! Great work!"
Fan B: "Kyaa! Nishijou-kuuun, look over here!"
Fan C: "You're incredible!"
Fan D: "I love you! Please go out with me!"
Words of good will, tossed at me one after the other.
Everyone Present: "Takumi! Takumi! Takumi!"
That mirth returned. The enthusiasm they'd shown when looking up at me on the roof of O-Front.
Everyone Present: "Takumi! Takumi! Takumi!"
SFX: Everyone obliges.
Unable to take it, I yelled.
Tears came out.
I was terribly grief-stricken. And it was so terribly ridiculous.
I couldn't get by without crying.
I'm not a hero.
"I'm a creepy otaku! A perv who faps to sexy figures of Seira-tan!"
"I'm a guy who plays eroge and goes way moe~ over them, never mind that I'm not eighteen yet!"
"In my head, I take all you bitches walking around town, and strip you naked, and have ero fantasies! That's me!"
"So how d'you like them apples? Tell me, am I still a hero!?"
"No. I'm not anything like a hero. At the end of the day, I'm a delusionary existence, an otaku creep, a good-for-nothing who can't do a single damn thing on his own!"
The voices in the area went quiet.
The silent spectators. The reporters showing me dubious faces.
At the heart of Shibuya. In this wide pedestrian scramble. My voice alone rang out.
"That's me! I won't let you people, you strangers, decide what kind of person I am! I'll be the one who decides what I'm really like!"
"I'm not your toy! I'm not gonna be your exhibition!"
"There's something I need to do! I'm not gonna act for the sake of people like you!"
For the sake of the one I loved. I would fight. And disappear.
Not from clouds. And certainly not from out-of-season snow.
"The Third Melt!? Earlier than planned....!"
Next, I was assaulted by a fierce ringing in my ears. A shrill, head-splitting resonance. Everyone around me covered their ears as well.