Part 82: Choose Your DestroyerPart 82 - Choose Your Destroyer
"I wondered how things would turn out when you declared you would kill 5,000 people."
"It took backbreaking effort on my part to iron things out for you. Especially making certain that the Committee of 300 didn't pick up on it."
"I'm most grateful for your cooperation."
Norose bowed his head slightly.
"But now that this has been completed, it makes 5,000 people seem like a piddling number."
"We can already witness it taking effect. The people out there are beginning to turn into cattle."
"With this, the day when the world falls into our hands will at last become a reality."
Inohana and Kuramochi exchanged looks with each other and smiled disquietingly.
Norose watched them without lifting an eyebrow.
"That aside, Norose, what fascinating taste you have."
"Whatever might you be speaking of?"
"It's a piece overflowing with such artistry. I'd very much like you to prepare one for me as well."
"If it's ingredients you want, feel free to select the cream of the crop from among my organization's believers."
"Kuku, how lavish of you, Kuramochi."
"To make Noah II reach even greater heights of perfection."
"Well, let's leave it at that."
"More importantly, I'd like to see a demonstration of just how much Noah II is capable of accomplishing, in concrete terms."
"Good idea. So show us, be quick about it."
Still as expressionless as a Noh mask, Norose gave a little shrug of his shoulders.
"Then how about this?"
That miraculous occurrence had become reality without any alterations or gestures on the part of either Norose or Noah II.
"Hoh, it's exactly the same as the real thing."
"Almost like some kind of sleight of hand."
"You can't lump it in together with party tricks, I'm afraid."
"Those guns exist in reality."
As they scrutinized their guns, Inohana and Kuramochi nodded in satisfaction again.
"Indeed. A power transcending God."
"I suppose I'll keep this gun for the sake of commemoration."
"....Such lightweights you are."
The other two failed to hear Norose's faint murmur.
"Let us move right into considering our plans from here on out."
"First comes the elimination of the Committee of 300."
"Norose. You've worked hard."
"We'll contact you again later with respect to our next step."
In excellent moods, the two of them readied themselves to leave the planetarium on light-stepping feet. However--
"There won't be any need for that."
"What do you mean?"
No, in actuality, he was looking down on them--
"I'll inherit your plans. Not, however, for lowbrow goals like the ones you have in mind, but for the sake of something far more sublime."
Norose's tone continued to be courteous through and through. Yet when they realized the meaning of what he was saying, both Inohana and Kuramochi naturally became infuriated.
"You bastard, you're going to betray us!?"
"Do you perhaps think you've become a god?"
"The Committee of 300 won't stay quiet about this!"
"Are not the two of you waving flags of rebellion against the Committee of 300, even while numbering yourself among its members?"
Norose's eyes, fixed on other two. The emotion in there was--contempt.
His cold gaze, as if he were contemplating something dirty, signified the fact that he had merely been using Inohana and Kuramochi all this time.
"Everything you've done has been according to my plans."
"Including how you're going to die here."
"Don't fuck with me!"
"It isn't nonsense--"
SFX: BANG BANG
The two guns fired at the same time. The sound they made thundered around inside the dome.
SFX: Thump, thump
"It was foreknowledge."
The pair of them, lying there as comrades with holes open in each other's foreheads, had already stopped breathing and changed to mere lumps of flesh.
"Noah II is in my hands."
"You Philistines seem not to have understood that."
The "demonstration" that Norose showed the two of them hadn't ended with producing the guns. He had made them mistake each other for him, and forced them to kill each other.
Everything up until then had been part of the "demonstration."
With the power of Noah II, he'd accomplished it all too casually.
Rimi had entreated Norose to release Nanami, and in exchange for agreeing to this, he had taken her hostage instead.
Perhaps because of the psychological attacks she'd received from Nanami, most of the vigor had gone out of Rimi, and now, staked in place, she hung her head powerlessly.
But her shoulders shuddered faintly when Norose approached.
"Without.... dirtying your own hands... you do only cowardly things...."
"You're the... Philistine."
Norose backhanded Rimi across the cheek. Then he grabbed her by the chin, forcing her to face him.
Though her expression was dead-looking, her scarcely-open eyes alone pierced Norose with a blazing light, even now.
"Why don't you seek Nishijou Takumi's help?"
He whispered by Rimi's ear.
"Don't.... get him involved in this...."
"Of which 'him' are you speaking?"
"Both.... of them...."
"As far as I'm concerned, either one would be more than enough by himself."
"The one who conceived of Ir2, and his perfect copy."
"Both of them possess monstrous power."
"If I obtain one of their CODE samples, Noah II will draw even closer to perfection."
"Achieving a power that surpasses the gods."
Rimi lowered her eyes in apparent pain.
Norose roughly removed the hand gripping her jaw, then looked up at Noah II, a smile playing about the corners of his mouth.
"Now, call out to him."
"I don't care which one."
"I'll welcome him."
My pace naturally started to hasten. It was my first time doing anything like walking along subway tracks.
Even though I thought there was no way they'd come, I kept inadvertently checking in front and in back of me to see if a train were running my way.
By train, it took about a minute to get between Shibuya Station and the station at Shinsen. In terms of distance, it was surely less than a kilometer.
Luckily, it seemed like the Inokashira Line's tunnel hadn't experienced many cave-ins, and at this rate, I'd probably be able to make it to Shibuya Station.
"Kozi-pii can't heeelp you, but...."
"Be careful, Takumi-shan."
I came close to cowering. I felt really lonely and helpless.
Continuing all on my own down this pitch-black tunnel.
When someone told me there was something dreadful lurking beyond here, of course it made me hesitate to go on.
My heart whispered to me, teling me I should turn back right away and head to Shibuya Station aboveground.
But I couldn't afford to lose so much time.
So I chased away my fear by picturing Rimi's smile at the back of my head.
I thrust my Di-Sword forward and illuminated what lay down the tunnel. Its red light aggravated my sense of eeriness and insecurity.
A sudden feeling of displacement.
I felt like something peculiar had crossed my eye, and I sent my gaze darting around restlessly, wondering what it could be.
About ten meters ahead down the tracks. There I found a tiny, protrusive shadow, the likes of which I hadn't seen before.
I strained my eyes.
What? Why had someone left a figure in a spot like this?
It was all too out of place. In the dim subway interior. Atop the tracks between stations.
A place the general public definitely couldn't enter. Smack in the middle of the tracks.
The figure laid there.
It was my current favorite, the post-awakening version. On top of that, the area around her chest had been crushed.
Could it possibly be....
My figure, which I'd dropped in the midst of the tumult at the scramble crossing yesterday....?
Why was it in a place like this?
Plus, she was standing upright, and her bewitching smile looked straight at me.
"Seira, why're you...."
"Hm--m, so that's how it looks to you, Takkii."
I heard her voice. Seira's voice, which I always fantasized about in my head.
The majority of the text below this point features excessive amounts of Orgel Seira, and is thus NSFW. Click these links at your own peril.
"Well, I'm okay either way. Hmm~n~"
In less than a second, the amount of time it took me to blink.
Seira-tan, who should've been a figure, began converting her form to life-size scale.
And, just like a human being, she wriggled her smooth and sexy body. Her full breasts shook, and her hair rippled.
Was this a delusion of mine....?
"Hey, Takkii. Let's play."
I heard her voice from behind me. When I turned around with a gasp, another life-sized Seira-tan was there.
"Leave Rimicchi be."
Not just behind me. To my left. And to my right.
The Seira-tans steadily multiplied. They came streaming up out of the darkness.
I felt a faint chill as I regarded that spectacle. At last, the number of Seira-tans increased to almost three-digits.
"Wanna do sexy things with me?"
Those hundred Seira-tans surrounded me and spoke simultaneously.
"Of course you do, you dummy~"
One of the Seira-tans in front of me lunged at me, smiling.Her slender arms lowered an enormous metal club.
It had a real impact. I felt it passing down my Di-Sword, which I'd used to stop it.
Such a heavy blow that my hands went numb, as if they were convulsing. They ached.
At that, I finally knew.
Reality-- This wasn't an illusion-- They were real-booted existences.
Everyone here was my enemy--
"If you won't play with me, I'll send ya flying."
"If you're my wife.... open the way for me...."
I would have to break my way through. I re-clenched my sword tightly.
The fiery symbols on the hilt of my Di-Sword blazed. The sword gave off an increasing amount of red light.
I slashed. At one of my brides.
I felt no weight in my sword. Smoothly. It traced the orbit I desired.
I cut her down from shoulder to hip.
I felt absolutely none of the resistance I would've expected from flesh and bones being severed. There was almost no need to put any strength into it.
Seira's glamorous body split in two diagonally. She collapsed, spraying blood.
Even her innards had been reproduced realistically. They glistened pink. I shifted my eyes away.
"I'm sorry, Seira...."
I'd killed my favorite character with my own hands. As an otaku, there could be nothing tougher than this.
Even so, I couldn't let myself get held up here.....
"So strong, so strong!"
"There's my Takkii~"
"I love you when you're like that, Takkii."
"Make me feel even hotter."
"I'll mess ya up real bad."
"So fun, so fun!"
The individual Seira-tans began talking on their own, all as they pleased. Their voices became a deluge and threatened to swallow me.
I had to stop thinking of them as Seira, I told myself.
In order to continue forward, I took a swing at the Seiras blocking my path.
"Outta the way....!"
Another one of them grabbed for me from behind. She wrapped her arms around my neck, like a rear naked choke. Her large, soft breasts pushed against my back.
I impaled my Di-Sword through the face of another Seira-tan, who was trying to cling to my leg. It made her attractive face melt down, a hole opening up in it.
I couldn't breathe. She was choking me. It seemed like I would asphyxiate.
"No cheating on me!"
Her metal bat approached me from the front. I switched myself around where I stood. Presenting her with my back.
As Seira-tan shuddered, her arms weakened around me.
"Forget about Rimicchi."
I shed the Seira-tan on my back. Pivoting, I swung my Di-Sword.
All three toppled forward at once. I stepped over their backs.
"I love a strong man~"
I lowered my sword toward a Seira swinging her bat around further back.
Her metal bat caught my Di-Sword.
To be more precise, my Di-Sword didn't "cut."
Rather than saying that it sliced things, it would be more accurate to say that it forced everything along its arc to vaporize.
No matter how hard.
No matter how soft.
No matter how cold.
No matter how hot.
In a matter of moments, this sword made everything it touched boil up and burn off.
I felt the hairs on my body stand on end.
At the spectacle of anime characters, all with the same face, calling my name simultaneously. Attacking me.
I raised my voice to fire myself up. I lanced the Seira-tan who was right in front of me through the chest.
That Seira-tan seized the Di-Sword. At almost precisely the same time, her hands evaporated.
"It's hot, it's so hot...."
Chills shot through my spine. I turned rigid.
This wasn't Seira. Seira wouldn't turn on me.
"Takkii, you dummy!"
The sound of several of my ribs shattering. The dull noise of the bones in my right arm creaking as well.
It resounded from inside my own body.
I went flying.
Slammed into the wall.
Hit my head straight on.
"Let's fold our arms and think real hard!"
Everything below the elbow of my left arm turned to mincemeat. She gored right through me and into the wall's concrete.
"My arm.... My arm....!"
"Takkii, you can't run away~"
Another metal bat swept toward my leg.
My limp right hand. If I moved it even a little bit, agony would reverberate up to my brain.
I ignored it. And swung my Di-Sword.
Cleanly severing the metal bat pressing in on me. Pain made a howling sound leak from my mouth.
I dove within reach of the Seira in front of me. I pressed my Di-Sword to her torso. I swung it all the way through.
My numbing heart. Pain alone reigned over me.
I wanted to block all it off, but I couldn't. Not as long as this "pain" were here.
"Gah, haah, haa, ah, gah.... uguh, haa...."
Gouts of blood overflowed from my crushed left hand.
It was hard for my right hand to hold my Di-Sword, too.
Pain strong enough to make me faint rang out from inside my bones.
Before I knew it, I'd gone sweaty all over. Drops of it entered my eyes, making them sting.
My fogging vision. The Seiras closing in on me.
Like a deep reverberation, their delighted, laughing voices made my eardrums shiver.
With these wounds, I might not be able to live for more than another few hours.
That thought occurred to me suddenly. But I didn't especially mind. I was a delusionary existence, anyway.
The kind of existence that would probably disappear on the morrow.
I didn't care how much I got hurt.
As long as I could rescue Rimi. As long as I could destroy Noah II.
If all I needed to offer up were parts of this body of mine, I'd give them as much as they wanted.
"Open the way...."
"Let's stay together~"
A metal bat attacked me yet again. I'd thought, I would avoid it. But pain and exhaustion slowed my reactions.
I took it right in the temple. There came the sensation of its enormous studs sinking into my skull.
I tripped and fell. As I fell. I used my right hand, resonant with pain, to make sure my Di-Sword was still there.
I clenched my crushed left hand in an effort to push myself back up. My exposed bones hit the earth.
A crash like an electric shock ran through me. I momentarily passed out. But soon revived.
My sight returned. My body was rising. The bottoms of my feet got a hold of the ground.
Using the centrifugal force of having been knocked with such momentum. I charged into the midst of the Seiras. Swinging my right hand.
My bones creaked.
Fresh blood spurted from the Seiras. The stench of blood reached my nose.
My own blood? Or Seira's? I no longer knew.
They mingled together. I knew I was covered in blood. My fogging vision went red.
I went on slashing. I had no idea how many of them I'd cut down.
When would it end?
I had the hallucination that Seira would keep multiplying infinitely.
Seira clung to my right hand. I swung that Seira around along with my Di-Sword.
But she wouldn't get off me. Instead, she bent my arm backward.
My joint popped out. I couldn't flex it anymore.
I dropped my Di-Sword.
Nausea surged up. I broke out coughing.
The taste of blood spread through my mouth. My broken ribs may have damaged my insides.
Every kind of pain out there ate into my body. I was going out of my mind.
I prayed. I couldn't keep myself from praying.
I wanted to be released. I knew it to be impossible. And so this prayer was akin to a little charm for luck.
"Shall I wipe your sweat for you?"
Seira peeked into my face, smiling widely. I kicked her in the jaw with all my might.
I forced my right arm to tense up. It was losing all sensation. I had the hallucination that my nerves were burning apart. My entire body went hot.
At this point, the pain in my bones went rippling through my whole body, instead of being confined to my arm. As though my entire body was breaking.
I heard a voice like a beast growling. I wondered whose voice it was, and it turned out to be emerging from my own mouth.
I moved the fingers of my right hand a tiny bit.
I picked up my Di-Sword. A delusion.
An image of being bound by a cord. For an instant, it became reality. A cord affixed my hand to the sword.
I had to go. To where Rimi was. Beyond this darkness.
"Takkii, why won't you stay with me?"
I spat out the blood stopped up in my mouth. Around me were piles of Seira corpses lying prone.
Other Seiras rushed toward me, kicking them. Ripples went through the pools of blood on the ground.
I slowly shook my head.
I grit my teeth.
"Aren't you from an anime--"
Those standing became life-sized cardboard cut-outs. The corpses lying down became body pillow covers.
They had returned to their original dwelling--the second dimension. And they were no longer moving.
"Dust has gotta go back to dust."
"I'll join you later."
I lowered my head for just a little bit, as though holding a moment of silence for them and their wreckage.
In a corner of my head, I thought to myself that body pillow covers with Seira looking all bloody and guro on them definitely wouldn't sell too well.
Even now I was on the verge of passing out, but I bit my lip hard and withstood it.