Music: play track 3
"I'm home, Hisui, You look busy; what are you doing?"
"Ah---welcome home, Shiki-sama. I am going to take these to Makihisa-sama's room."
Hisui is surrounded by dozens of books.
Though each of them is light, a dozen of them is pretty heavy.
There must be at least fifty books around her.
It's not too much, but I don't think Hisui's slender arms are up to the task.
Hisui is very expressive this update, so I tried to capture it as best I could.
Her thoughts must be somewhere along the lines of "Get to work, bitch."
"You go on to the old man's room; I'll bring the books, you can sort them out once they're there. Everyone should work where they'll be the most use, right?"
"...... Yes. Well then, please do, Shiki-sama."
Apologizing, Hisui goes up the stairs.
Now I've just got to get this mountain of books up to the second floor.
"...... What does she mean by locked up? Maybe there's a lock on the desk drawer or something."
I take the handle of the drawer on the old man's desk.
As I pull, I feel a click.
"She's right, it is locked."
The old man's already dead, so what is it protecting?
Hisui isn't looking.
There's a letter opener on his desk.
It's the perfect opportunity.
I lower my glasses a little, and look at the desk.
Silently, I cut the lock.
Why even ask permission if you're just going to do the opposite anyway? Some help you are.
"...... No way. That old man adopted a son ten years ago... ah, but he passed away shortly thereafter."
Ten years ago, that would mean I was just in elementary school.
That long ago, it's only natural that I wouldn't remember.
Yeah, nine years old is too young to remember a sudden adopted brother who died in a horrible accident.
"But, the heads of the household have had pretty short lifespans. My old man died before he was fifty, and before that, before thirty in an accident... Wow, before that, eighteen years of age, suicide...!?"
Music: play track 6
----No, wait a second.
No matter how you look at it, this is strange.
Looking through the family tree, all members of the Tohno household have died strangely.
Madness. Accidents. Murder. Disappearances. Still birth.
...... Not one of them lived a long life or died peacefully.
This entire document is filled with horrible fates.
Even worse, most of the deaths are death by madness. Taking one's own life.
"Yeah... I'm okay... so..."
I try to regain my senses.
But the dizziness doesn't fade.
My vision flickers red and black.
I gaze at the nape of Hisui's neck, a terribly warm white.
I see a neck fetish is slowly developing here.
If my body could move properly, I would seize Hisui's body and----
Unable to bear it, I pull back from Hisui.
"No... it's alright... I'm alright, so, just leave me alone."
"I refuse. You do not seem to realize the state of your body, Shiki-sama. With... with your body like this, I cannot leave you alone."
And Hisui approaches.
This is, bad.
If she comes within reach of my hands, I'm afraid I don't know what I'll do.
Because you live your life as dictated by a group of panelists. If we say you're going to fuck your sister, that's just what you do.
"Shut up...! Don't you understand I'm telling you to get away, Hisui!"
A dull, thumping sound.
Hisui is thrown against the bookshelves, her face distorted in pain.
...... Her expression causes my sanity to return.
The dizziness fades quickly.
After just a moment, all dizziness disappears, leaving only a feeling of guilt.
"Shiki-sama, please return to your room. You are tired; if you rest, I believe you will recover immediately."
Hisui will not show me her face.
"...... I understand; I'll go back to my room. I'm sorry, Hisui."
There's no answer.
I leave the room behind, being crushed by self-loathing.
Music: play track 1
Looking at Hisui's neck, I was lusting.
"Necks are so great... even men have necks..."
Just like in last night's dream, I wanted to bite into her neck.
But, I can't even think about that right now.
Last night's dream, and myself a while ago.
I feel like there's someone inside me that isn't me.
"...and it isn't Arihiko either."
I touch my neck.
Those who are bitten by a vampire become vampires in turn, they say.
"...... That's stupid. I'm walking around in the daytime, after all."
...... Yes, it's impossible.
It was just dizziness and my fading consciousness contributing to the imagination.
What happened with Yumizuka is burnt into my mind, so I think I just remember it when I suffer from anemia.
"Like Hisui said, maybe I'm just tired."
I should hurry up and get to sleep, and rest my tired body.
----My body, once aroused,
can't be calmed with something like sleep.
Tonight too, I shall relieve my thirst.
Suddenly, I see a face reflected in the window.
The eyes are bloodshot, and the face looks quite insane.
----This dream, again.
It seems I found my prey.
I bring it down without a chance to scream, without it even realizing it has died.
----I'm seeing this nightmare again.
----The same scene as last night.
Getting bored with just blood, I take the hand of the dead body and bite off the fingers one by one.
----The same scene as last night.
Getting bored with just the fingers, I take the limbs of the dead body, and bite them off one by one.
----The same scene as last night.
an obstruction appears.
I throw the dead body aside and jump.
Someone. Someone is watching me.
----Is it different from last night...?
----The figure in black chases the vampire.
From rooftop to rooftop.
From shadow to shadow.
The figure follows.
----It can't be helped.
It can't be helped, it murmurs.
And tonight's meal ended.
I awaken from the nightmare.
"...... My own room."
I am definitely in my own room.
Just lying in bed, and morning has come.
...... I saw that dream again.
The dream of sucking someone's blood.
Though I know it's just a dream, it still feels terribly real.
My hands retain the feel of ripping meat; my nose, the smell of fresh blood...
"---What's happening to me?"
I touch my neck gently.
...... Yumizuka's bite marks are long gone.
I'm still a normal human being.
I don't want to drink people's blood, and I don't have a problem with the sun.
No. Yesterday, I...
What did I think when I saw Hisui's neck?
---Her white neck.
"You know what really gets my motor running? Necks."
From the bottom of my heart, I wanted to drink the blood flowing in there----
Music: play track 1
"---What am I thinking?"
No, I'm just tired.
I still haven't forgotten what happened with Yumizuka.
I'm not a vampire. I'm still a normal human being.
But, there's a part of me that wanders in search of blood every night.
It's that I don't notice, but I'm already at a point where I can't go back----
Hisui enters with an urgent expression.
"...... Excuse me. You are awake, are you not, Shiki-sama?"
Hisui bows quietly.
...... Her pure figure is so much the opposite of my earlier dream, it makes the uneasiness in my chest go away.
"......? What is it, Hisui? You've never come with medicine before."
Shiki doesn't want your vile candy!
"...... Shiki-sama, are you feeling alright? As you seemed to be caught up in a terrible nightmare and your face appeared pale, I brought you some medicine."
"----I seemed to be having a nightmare?"
"Yes. It also seemed that your body was very hot, so I had Nee-san prescribe something for a fever. Perhaps there was no need?"
"Of course not, thank you for worrying."
I swallow the medicine and water she offers.
Ignoring the medicine, I'm grateful for the water.
As Hisui says, my body is very hot, and my throat is terribly dry.
Even though it's only pure water, it tastes great.
"If you are feeling better, please go to the dining room. If you are not, please take today off."
"No, I won't skip school. I can't take a day off just because of this."
"...... But, your face still appears pale, Shiki-sama."
"I'll be fine. Anyway, our school has tomorrow off. Since I'll have tomorrow off, I can push it a little today, can't I?"
Hisui glances down, looking like she wants to say something.
Do I really look that bad today?
"---Hisui. What did you just say?"
"That you were in poor condition since this morning."
"No, before that! I came back? Where from!?"
"---I do not know. Nee-san told me she saw you leave while she was patrolling the mansion."
"...... I, left...?"
"Yes. Nee-san and I patrol the mansion every three hours. While Nee-san was doing the rounds at midnight last night, she saw you leaving the mansion."
"Since it seems you were able to return before morning, Nee-san has not told Akiha-sama of this.
...... As Nee-san is indulgent of you, Shiki-sama, it will surely remain that way."
Wha---what is, this?
I went outside?
That can't be. I was sound asleep this whole time, having a dream.
Having such a... lively... drea... m.
But, this is weird.
Dreams are forgotten the moment you wake up, so why do I still remember all the details of the dream so perfectly...
"Shiki-sama...? Your face still appears pale. How are you feeling?"
"Ah, yeah, I'm fine. I'm fine, so go ahead, Hisui... It's okay, I'll go right away."
"I understand. I shall wait for you in the dining room."
Closing the door behind her, Hisui leaves the room.
"...... Yeah, I'm fine. No problems at all. I'm just, fine..."
I say it over and over again, trying to persuade myself.
"I certainly didn't escape the mansion lastnight to murder, mutilate, and drink the blood of some innocent victim! No, no, that would just be ridiculous, hahaha.... ha... ha."