"Do you need something, Nii-san?"
Akiha comes out with a sullen expression.
Well, this is troubling.
Kohaku-san told me to apologize, but after hearing her story, it's a little troubling.
"Arihiko and I are getting married! ... ...shit, that was the wrong thing-that's-difficult-to-say."
"I'm... I'm sorry about this morning...!"
"Eh? ---Ni, nii-san...?"
"I came to say that this morning was my fault, and that from tomorrow on I'll be good, so please forgive me, Akiha...!"
"It's... there's not much to forgive, it didn't really bother me..."
"That's fine, I just wanted to apologize. I'll see you later, sorry for taking your time!"
"---Ah, wait, Nii-san!"
Akiha calls after me.
But right now I'm too embarrassed to even look back, so I run straight back to my own classroom.
"Oh god I can't believe I told her about Arihiko and I. She looked so surprised... she really didn't know, oh god, what have I done?"
Music: play track 3
If Arihiko's going, then Shiki has to go!
"I'm here. Hey, Akiha-san isn't here yet?"
Since it's not too obvious without a picture, that's Ciel.
"Yeah, she should be here any minute now----hey, Tohno, did something happen between you and Akiha-chan?"
Arihiko asks, elbowing me in the side.
...... Why is he so perceptive all of a sudden?
"I'm the perceptive one, he's supposed to be rough and manly..."
"Ah, there she is. Akiha-chan, over here!"
Arihiko waves his hands around.
Akiha comes onto the grass looking a bit puzzled.
"I'm sorry I'm late. I received an invitation to have lunch with my classmates, and it took some time to decline their invitations."
"Don't worry, we just got here too. Here, sit here."
Arihiko pats the grass.
After hesitating for a moment, Akiha sits down next to me.
Akiha says nothing.
Not knowing what to say, I remain silent.
"What is it, you two? It's weird to eat lunch like this in silence."
I know that, I just don't know what to say.
"It's just so awkward since I accidentally came out of the closet."
Akiha stares at me intently.
"...... It's lunchtime, isn't it, Nii-san?"
She says something terribly normal.
"That's right, it's lunchtime. It'd be bad not to eat anything at lunchtime."
I pull the bread I bought out of a plastic bag.
"It's the same bread as yesterday; is that okay?"
"Yes, thank you."
Adolescence is full of awkward erections. ...but they usually aren't related to sisters
"Oh, you're livin' in luxury today, Senpai! You got something to celebrate?"
"No, nothing like that. Since everything's coming to the peak, I have to eat a lot and get a lot of energy."
"Ahh, I see, autumn eating. I guess in your case, the food goes straight to your chest, huh?"
...... In contrast to the unpleasant meal me and Akiha are having, Arihiko and Senpai seem to be enjoying a very cheerful meal.
Munch munch munch munch munch.
"Hm? What is it, Akiha?"
"Well... is there no drink today? I'm a little thirsty..."
I forgot about it.
The strawberry milk I bought is still sitting in the plastic bag.
It's just that, but my fingertips get hot.
Even though I should take my hand away immediately, it stays there.
Looking at Akiha, she seems to be paralyzed as well.
"Huh? Tohno-kun, what are you doing?"
Quickly, I pull my hand away from Akiha's.
"Ah, no, I was just passing Akiha her drink."
"Is that so? Since you had both stopped moving, I thought you were fighting over the drink."
"Oh, you thought so too, Senpai? It looked to me like Tohno was battling to the death not to hand over the juice.
Since Akiha-chan was thirsty it would've been good to give it to her, and I was thinking he was being a jerk."
...... Well, I guess it did look like that.
"Hmm... hey, Tohno, I've been thinking for a while, but, you and Akiha-chan..."
"---What is it? I'll get mad if you say something stupid."
"Nah, you just don't seem all that alike."
"...... That's natural, right? We may be siblings, but we're man and woman, so we won't be that similar."
"Oh, I don't mean that. How to say it... you seem like different types."
"That's true. Akiha-san is quite unapproachable, Tohno-kun is the opposite. It's like Tohno-kun is water and Akiha-san is oil, right?"
"...... Well, certainly Akiha is hard to grapple with. I'd have no complaints if she was nicer."
And Shiki admits he's tried to grapple with his sister. The maids are gonna be pissed.
"What? Akiha-chan's kind enough, right?"
"Ah, she's nice on the surface. But underneath there's another person entirely, the coldest of the cold. You should see how she scolds me when I make mistakes at dinner---"
"Something more interesting, huh. Thinking about it, Tohno, did you see the news about your place this morning?"
"Eh---? This morning's news?"
"Yes, the serial killer's latest victim was found near Tohno-kun's house, wasn't he? That blank prison-like wall is the wall of Akiha-san's mansion, isn't it?"
"--I don't really know. I didn't look at the news this morning, so I can't say."
Akiha neatly dismisses the affairs like it had nothing to do with her.
But I can't dismiss it like Akiha.
Because there shouldn't be any more killings.
Yumizuka isn't drinking people's blood to live any longer.
So, there shouldn't be any more victims.
If that dream of mine is just a dream...
Music: play track 1
"The body's hands and feet were missing, but they say it was like they were bitten off with a human mouth. But that's strange, isn't it? A person's mouth?"
"It's impossible to bite off human body parts. The human jaw is not strong enough to bite off someone's hand or foot, and the teeth wouldn't bear it either.
...... Well, you could grind on the cartilage with your teeth, but that's about it."
"Precisely. But the marks on the body can only belong to a human, so maybe it is something inhuman yet shaped like a human. Quite similar to a vampire, don't you think?"
----I feel sick.
Senpai, since she doesn't know, can say all this with a smile---
I think she knows you're gay. Oh... you meant about vampires.
"Akiha-san. Have I said something funny?"
"Yes. Since it was so funny, I laughed in spite of myself."
"Geez, it's no laughing matter! Last night's victim was found near your house!"
"I'm sorry if I was impolite, Senpai. But, I didn't think you were a person given to such flights of fancy.
Well, Senpai, perhaps you could tell us what you think of the vampire?"
"Uh, you mean, the vampires in legends?"
"No, I mean your image of the vampire as the serial killer."
Ciel-senpai is lost in thought.
I---while I don't really want to hear Senpai's answer, I'm terribly interested in spite of myself.
"Yes. You don't have to use the term 'vampire', but anyone outside the customs of society is disowned by those within the society, as society cannot understand the person's character.
That's the defense function of ordinary common sense, isn't it, Akiha-san?"
"You've thought about this a lot, Senpai. But it's difficult, isn't it? By your thinking, the 'vampire' cannot be said to have committed a crime.
After all, the 'vampire' has no qualms about his own conduct, does he? If there has been no crime, how can he be punished?"
"Yes. The first principle that it is better for one's own kind to prosper than for others' to. For a species, that which obstructs this principle is a crime by itself.
Even if Vampire-san does not view murder as a crime, for the human species, it is not the murder but the existence of the vampire itself that is the crime."
------The existence itself is a crime.
...... What is this?
Akiha asking those strange things, and Senpai giving those answers.
for some reason, it seems like they're talking about no one else but me.
"BEING GAY ISN'T A CRIME! YOU'LL NEVER PUNISH ME!!"
The chime that marks the end of lunch sounds.
"--I'm sorry for talking about such unappealing things."
"Ah, it's fine, it's fine. I'm happy just listening to Akiha's voice."
"Well then, shall we go? You'll all be late if you don't hurry."
Senpai heads for the cafeteria.
It's quicker for her to go through there to get to her classroom.