Nononono... HATE... we said HATE. Augh.
...... Both Yumizuka's voice and body tremble.
...... I can't think of anything else to say.
Maybe this makes me a horrible person, but those are my true feelings.
I never had any special feelings for my classmate Yumizuka Satsuki.
I'm only here because what happened on the way home two days ago left such an impression on me, I couldn't just forget about it---
Why does that scare me?
Yumizuka's body trembles.
Breathing painfully, she falls to her knees.
Music: play track 6
A choking sound.
Squatting on the ground, Yumizuka coughs heavily, and she spits out a lump of blood.
This time, I do rush near her.
"Yumizuka, are you okay? Yumizuka...!"
I put my hand on her heaving shoulder.
I feel a chill.
Even through her clothes, I can feel the coldness of her body.
"It's okay if you don't like me, Shiki-kun. Because, I really didn't understand you at all until now, either."
Yumizuka speaks as she coughs.
"It's alright, don't talk...! I'll take you to a hospital...!"
"But, I understand now. Who you are, and what you want to do. I really understand now.
"You want to cut people into ribbons and masturbate to the aftermath... I'm so stupid for not seeing it sooner."
Yumizuka's arm tenses.
With amazing strength, she digs into my shoulder.
"Because, I became like you, Shiki-kun---!"
Saying that, Yumizuka sinks her teeth into my neck.
If she became like him, does that mean all this wanton violence is turning her on?
I'm being drained.
As if all the life in my body is liquified and sucked out.
Without strength, there are no thoughts.
So, my consciousness is not fading.
It is simply being destroyed.
There are no thoughts.
I know I'll die if I stay like this, but I can't even----
All the same.
From somewhere beyond my mind, my blood begins to boil.
Both my arms push her back out of pure reflex.
I can't see her face clearly.
Everything dims as my consciousness fades.
I can't control my body either.
All that exists is the pain in my neck.
Blood gurgles forth.
Yumizuka's teeth marks remain in my neck.
And through those two deep holes, something black is being poured into my body---
A pain, a pain as if my spine is about to be ripped out.
In pain, I claw at the ground.
But there is no relief.
I cannot move since Yumizuka has drained everything out of me, and the pain pours into me like a black snake.
I cannot move, so the black thing crawls and twists as it pleases inside me.
"Yumi... zuka... what have you...!"
"It's okay, it only hurts at first. First it hurts, but when the blood mixes, it should die down."
"Don't worry, I won't kill you. I poured my blood in properly, so you won't collapse and crumble away like those failures last night. You will only look at me from now on."
Yumizuka whispers joyfully.
That's fucking creepy right there.
"What are---you talking about... Yumizu... ka---"
"I'm saying that I'm making both of us the same, Shiki-kun. Sucking people's blood instead of eating normal food, nocturnal, unable to walk under the sun. You're going to be a different creature."
...... What is, that.
Ridiculous, that's just like--
"Yeah, like a vampire. I didn't really understand how I became this way either.
Two nights ago, I went out to check the rumor that you were walking around in the shopping district every night, and then when I came to I was lying down in that back alley.
Back then, I thought it was just cold, dark, and painful."
"But it's strange, after a while, after my body has changed completely, I understood a lot of things.
My body hurts because it's being destroyed very fast, and the sunlight acts like a catalyst for that. And if I want to stop the destruction, I need the genetic information of the same type of living organism as myself."
"Yeah, I didn't understand the logic that well, but it was plain enough what I had to do.
I was cold, and it was lonely by myself. I didn't want to disappear, so I just grabbed a random person and sucked his blood.
And you know what? It was really delicious! The pain went away and I thought I could do anything.
"But, it was so nice that before I realized it, it was all gone.
The man was all shriveled up, like a mummy, and I felt really bad. I thought to myself that I was turning into a monster, both in mind and body.
---But, I had to do it in order to live.
Like I said, I didn't kill them because I hated them. I suck blood the same way you people eat animals. So I decided not to think about it too deeply."
"But, it seems I've become a proper vampire.
Tonight's meal was quite fun. Until now, I've been sucking blood since I was cold and in pain, but now that I'm getting the hang of sucking blood, it's becoming more interesting.
You understand, don't you Shiki-kun? You are a much better killer than I am."
Nanaya: All of the killer, none of the instinct.
What are you talking about, Yumizuka.
"Didn't I say it before? I was always watching you, so I know your gentle side and your scary side.
I never talked to you because I didn't understand your scary side."
"I'm not being ridiculous! I never understood the fragile air about you, but now my body has changed, and I can understand......!
Shiki-kun, just you being there is flirting with death. That's the kind of person you are. Like me, someone who has to kill people.
Your need to kill others is the same as the need to breathe, right?"
"You know, I was really happy yesterday. It was the first time I was happy after becoming this way. Because I finally understood you, Shiki-kun. I never really knew you before.
Shiki-kun, you're the same, right? You see someone, and for no reason, your heart throbs, and your throat goes dry.
Seeing red blood, you enter a stupor like you were drunk from alcohol, right?
Stealing the life of others, extinguishing the life of others, isn't it so exciting? So fun!"
"That's--a lie, that feeling----I've never."
Nanaya: Because anything short of complete dismemberment just isn't enough.
"I forgot to say one more thing. A vampire is someone whose blood has been sucked by a vampire, right?
That's true, you know.
To be precise, the person whose blood has just been sucked dies.
Vampires pour their own blood into their victim as they drink to turn them into their own. So what's in you right now is my blood."
Standing up, Yumizuka speaks with satisfaction.
"...... I see. This is, Yumizuka-san's--blood, then."
...... The black thing that still defiles my body.
It's not even a mouthful, but it still causes unbelievable pain, enough to drive me to madness.
This blood. This blood. This blood. This blood. This blood. This blood.
This foreign pollutant swimming in my body.
This foreign pollutant swimming in my body. This foreign pollutant swimming in my body. This foreign pollutant swimming in my body. This foreign pollutant swimming in my body. This foreign pollutant swimming in my body. This foreign pollutant swimming in my body.
I can't see it.
But, with my "eyes", that would--
Because of my crawling on the ground, my glasses have fallen off.
The lines. I can see the point of that... foreign substance.
"Now, it's been long enough. Stand up, Shiki-kun."
...... I hear Yumizuka's command.
The pain fades.
I can control my arms and legs again, and I can finally stand up.
"---Good. From now on, we'll always be together, Shiki-kun."
"Now, come here. Come by my side, hold my hand, and make me feel better."
She holds out her hand.
My heart pounds, and my legs begin to move.
But they don't move forward. They move backward.
Music: play track 4
Yumizuka's bewildered voice.
My heart begins to scream.
My throat becomes dry.
Every nerve in my body recognizes the person in front of me as an enemy.
Nanaya: The impulse flowing out within you.
------My mind/is growing/hazy.
"Why......? Hey, why aren't you doing what I tell you to......?"
Thump, Thump. My heart beats loudly,
as if repeatedly ordering me to kill... to kill.
"...... Please disappear, Yumizuka...... I don't understand why, but...... if you remain here, I--"
"I don't--want to kill anyone----"
This Sacchin. This Sacchin. This Sacchin. This Sacchin. This Sacchin. This Sacchin. ( Canuck-Errant)
"Oh, you're serious now, Shiki-kun."
I can't speak.
Nothing. The thought of responding doesn't even occur.
My field of vision shrinks to nothing.
"Liar. You said... you'd help me."
I don't know anything about that.
"...... Fine. If you won't cooperate, I'll kill you first. There'll be plenty of time to give you my blood after that......!"
Well said, for a miserable failure.
...... I can only hear the voice.
There are no thoughts.
My body kills the body of Yumizuka in return, who is trying to kill my body.
Nanaya: Hey, it beats turning into vampire.
A sensation of spurting.
My right arm holding my knife is heavy and my left arm is burning.
The burning on my left arm is from the flowing blood.
Yumizuka's nails tore through my clothes and made the blood flow.
Maybe thanks to the bleeding, my burning blood cools down.
My ferociously pounding heart starts to calm.
But, I start to realize,
I pierced Yumizuka's heart with my knife, and am now holding her as if I am embracing her.
Music: play track 8
Nanaya: Because you wouldn't have killed her on your own anyway.
"......... Yumi... zuka."
My fingers holding the knife shake uncontrollably.
Shallow breathing fills the air.
Mine, and hers.
"What------have I done?"
I didn't want to kill her.
I didn't even have a single thought of hurting her, so why----!?
I hear Yumizuka's voice right next to my ear.
She's probably going to voice her grudge.
She asked me to help her. But all I did in response was to kill her without even thinking.
Nanaya: Without even a first thought.
"............ I'm... so happy."
Yumizuka, with a gentleness like she were having a dream, said those words.
"...... Because... this was the first time you ever seriously looked at me. That's why I'm so happy. That makes me... your first time, Shiki-kun."
"...... I'm so sorry. They say only death can cure a fool; but in my case, it seems even death couldn't cure me---"
"...... Yumi...... zuka?"
There's no reply.
With a dry sound,
her body crumbles to ashes as if it was never there to begin with.
...... I breathe harder.
Knife still in hand, the contents of my stomach rise to my throat.
...... How come?
There is regret over killing her. There's also guilt.
Nanaya: Guilt is for later.
But, above all else---I can't rid myself of this feeling.
What a shock.
If you call this pain pleasure, then this has to be the greatest pleasure in the world.
That's what I think as I feel this blood pulsing throughout my body.
That isn't even close to your whole body, no matter how important it seems.
...... That's the kind of person you are. Like me, someone who has to kill people to live.
...... Your need to kill others is the same as your need to breathe.
-----She said killing others was fun, she proudly said that to me.
Trying to stifle the sharp pain in my head, I start to walk away.
...... My left arm hurts where Yumizuka wounded me.
The bleeding has stopped, and the gradual lessening of the pain tells me it couldn't have been too deep.
I reach the stairs.
I don't even care about treating my wounds.
Right now, I just want to stumble back to my room and sleep like a rock----
Music: play track 2
I wake from a long sleep.
The sunshine from the window looks closer to mid-day than morning.
It must be because of how late I got back last night.
It seems I've overslept.
Dragging myself up from bed, I look down at my hand.
----The sensation of how I stabbed Yumizuka remains.
Two nights ago.
When I met Yumizuka and saw that hideous dream.
"...... If only yesterday...... was just a dream."
But wishing it won't make it so.
I've no clue why or how Yumizuka became a vampire, and I couldn't do anything to help her.
Whoa, she went from 'unfamiliar' to 'accustomed to' in one day. Maybe Shiki finally realized that Hisui also counts as 'Somebody Else's Sister'.
"Good morning, Shiki-sama. How are you feeling today?"
"Hm...... ah, I slept well, so I don't feel bad at all."
"Is that so? Hearing that makes me feel very relieved."
...... Even though she says that, I don't see her even relax her shoulders, or give any other indication of it.
But, I feel relieved as well.
Because of what happened last night, the long night is over. Because I don't have to enter that unnatural world any longer, my heart can relax.
Hahahaha... hah... that's cute.
"...... Thanks, Hisui. You've always come to check up on me from early in the morning, right? Your concern means a lot to me."
"----Not at all. It is my duty to be concerned with your welfare."
There is a hint of happiness in Hisui's expression.
Yep, that confirms it. He's realized that, while Kohaku is Hisui's sister, that means Hisui is Kohaku's sister.
"Um...... Shiki-sama, this is somewhat difficult for me to say, but... can I?"
"......? Difficult to say? If it's about me sleeping in till noon, I really can't do anything but apologize."
"No, that is not what I meant, but it is perhaps related to when you went to sleep."
Hisui fidgets with her fingers as she struggles to come up with the right words.
"...... Um, I did not say anything, but Akiha-sama found out about last night."
"Eh...... about last night...... what?"
"I mean when you left late last night, Shiki-sama."
I unconsciously turn my eyes away from her.
I thought I'd managed to slip away undetected, but I should have known Hisui would still find out.
She may just be somebody else's sister to you, but to her you mean the world
Yes, actually, you could complain. It might sound something like "back off, I'm not nine years old anymore." Try it!
"About that, will it be occurring again? I cannot stop you, but if you continue doing such things, I must tell Akiha-sama."
"----No, nothing like last night will happen again. Everything...... has ended last night...... There won't be any phone calls anymore."
---Yes. It really has ended.
With these words, it truly is over.
Yumizuka Satsuki is no more.
The vampire skulking the streets has vanished. I, with my own hands, sent away a classmate who said she liked me, for all eternity.
That's certainly a guilt-ridden way to think about it, yes.
Hisui looks at me with a painful expression on her face.
...... Geez, if Hisui is making that sort of face, then I must look terrible right now.
"---Well, I should get up sooner or later. Hisui, is Akiha still here? She's an awfully busy person, so does she have a routine on her day off?"
"Yes, she does have plans during her day off, but today she is still in the mansion."
She has plans, but she's still here......?
Her plans involve giving you several nasty glares and making empty threats.
"Yes? What is it, Shiki-sama?"
"Yeah, I forgot to say something. Thanks for coming to wake me up. It's a little late, but good morning, Hisui."
"---Yes. Please have a nice day, Shiki-sama."
I should hurry up and change, and head to the sitting room.
In the sitting room, Akiha is on the sofa, Kohaku-san is keeping her company, and Hisui is standing by the wall.
"Good morning, Shiki-san."
"Morning, Kohaku-san. Sorry to be a bother, but could you fix me something to eat? I'm a little hungry from all that sleeping."
"Yes, right away. I will get it ready, so please wait a little bit."
Kohaku-san quickly patters away towards the dining room.
"Akiha. Last night, was---"
"Nii-san. Sleeping in this late... just what were you thinking?"
"Eh---um, well, I... Sorry."
"...... Geez, I'm not mad about that. It's your day off, and you've chosen to sleep in until now. It's your laziness that angers me!"
Now would be a good time to punch her in the face. Go on, it's expected.
With a "hmph", Akiha angrily turns her face away.
...... Well, it may just be my imagination, but "peevishly" is a better word than "angrily".
"Well, I couldn't help it. I got in late last night, and my body was just tired."
"That is entirely your fault. Staying out until way past midnight... Just what kind of lifestyle did you have when you lived with the Arimas, Nii-san!?"
"Uh...... I had a strict curfew there, too. I wasn't allowed to leave at night, and......"
"Oh, so that's it. At the Arimas' house, you followed the rules, but you come here and break them?
...... In other words, you won't even follow my simplest request? In that case, I may have to resort to corporal punishment."
The fury of her intent also flows through her eyes.
...... How do I say this? She has to be joking, only she doesn't sound like she's kidding, and it's pretty frightening.
I'd say something like "I'd like to see her try and punish him", but I think we already saw that on the Arcueid path.
Er, what? She is? Boy, if staying up late when you've got the next day off and then sleeping in on your day off is wrong, then I'm a terrible human being.
"Besides, Nii-san. Shouldn't you let Hisui wake you up in the morning?
Ohh, I get it now. Akiha must have paid Hisui a little extra this week to give Shiki a 'special' wake-up.
It is a good thing today is Sunday, but you always, always laze around in bed too long, Nii-san."
"...... Um, Akiha. Maybe it's not my place to say, but it's not like I'm sleeping in because I want to."
"What? So how come you always sleep in until the last minute every morning? You don't know how I feel when I wait for you until the last minute, and----"
"I woke him up like you asked. The time was not an issue."
"Hey, Akiha. I said so before, but waking up past seven o'clock in the morning isn't intentional.
Even I would like to get up earlier, but my body doesn't listen to what I tell it.
If you want to help me wake up earlier, please buy me a really powerful alarm clock. I'm sure that'd get me up."
"...... Uh, Nii-san? This may be a stupid question, but did you ever tell Hisui what time you wanted her to wake you up?"
That's right, I forgot such a simple thing as that.
"Oh yeah. Hisui comes every morning to wake me, so it's alright for her to do that.
So... Hisui, could you please wake me up at six-thirty each morning? It would really help me out......"
I swing around to face Hisui.
She stares right back at me.
"Forgive me, but I refuse to wake you up, Shiki-sama."
"...and the next time you start stabbing me in the middle of sex, I'm quitting this job for good."
I don't know what to say. The shock put my brain on hold.
Looking at the situation, Akiha is also gaping at Hisui in surprise.
"Hisui, why can't you wake up Nii-san?"
"I am unable to undertake things I cannot do.
I do not think I am able to wake up Shiki-sama with my own power."
"----Unable? Why not?"
I unthinkingly enter their conversation.
Hisui continues staring at me.
"No, I don't remember----I woke up from your voice? I thought I woke up by myself......"
"That means there is no memory of me even calling out.----Akiha-sama, that is the situation."
"Oh, I see," Akiha says and looks over at me teasingly.
...... How do I say this...... it would seem my standing here has just been lowered quite a bit.
"In short, you have tried repeatedly to wake up Nii-san, but there isn't even the slightest reaction on his part---that's how it is, Hisui?"
Hisui nods silently.
I nod silently as well.
...... I see. The truth is, Hisui has already been trying to wake me up early in the morning.
I don't want to say it myself, but I must be really good at sleeping in.
"......... Nii-san. Why are you looking so proud of yourself?"
"Nothing. I was just surprised by how daunting it is to wake me."
"...... Hmm. I understand. Hisui, just like before, please try and wake up Nii-san as much as you can."
Hisui nods in assent.
It seems like the conversation is finished.
In the end, it may be just me waking up whenever I feel like it again.
I fail to see how this is a dire problem in need of correcting.
"Oh? Nii-san has a great sleeping posture, huh?"
"No, that is not it---how do I say it... um, Shiki-sama is like a completely different person when he sleeps.
I have never seen such a peaceful sleeping face, so when I first saw him, I thought that he had passed away, I---"
"...and I try not to let him know I was watching him while he slept, but I just can't help it, he's just so enthralling and manly and..."
...... I can't help but feel embarrassed.
Come to think of it, a sleeping person is completely defenseless, and after listening to that explanation, I flush as red as if she said she saw me naked.
She's not missing much.
Hisui descends into silence, and Akiha is obviously trying not to look in my direction.
The air has become a little, heavy.
After I eat lunch, Akiha and Hisui are still in the sitting room.
It wouldn't be good to ignore them and go back to my room, so I sit on the sofa across from Akiha.
"Here, Shiki-san. You prefer green tea, right?"
Kohaku-san places an after meal cup of tea on the table beside me.
"Yeah, thanks. If you don't mind, then."
"No, not at all. This is your home, so please relax a little more."
Kohaku-san must be trying to make me feel more comfortable here because she takes good care of me.
"Kohaku, you shouldn't spoil Nii-san.
He's been living like a sloth at the Arimas' house so long, it's probably good for him to be a little tense just at first."
"I'm not trying to be a bitch, it just comes naturally and I choose not to hold it in."
I'm a little surprised.
When Akiha talks to Kohaku-san, there isn't any hint of her usual coldness.
Maybe it's because they're so close in age, but they seem to be really good friends.
I glance over at Hisui.
Since Akiha dismissed all of the other servants except for Hisui and Kohaku-san, I think Hisui must be trusted by Akiha as well.
But, since Kohaku-san is her complete opposite in personality, I have a feeling that there isn't much talk between Hisui and Akiha.
"May I be of service, Shiki-sama?"
Hisui realizes I was looking at her and asks me if there is anything she can do.
"Yes, finally, he's noticed me! I've asked him at least a dozen times before, but maybe if I ask again..."
"No, it's nothing. I was just thinking that you're really calm."
"DAMMIT, WHO DO I HAVE TO STAB TO GET SOME COCK AROUND HERE?!" (answer: anybody... even Shiki.)
"---Yes. It is something that Makihisa-sama taught to me."
She answers very distinctly.
...... The answer is so distinct, I can't continue the conversation.
An uncomfortable silence ensues.
"Shiki-san. Is it okay if I ask a question?"
"Eh---ah, yeah. What is it?"
"It seems like you left last night again, so I was wondering if you had some usual, scheduled routine to take care of every night."
"Well, since you asked... first I prowl the alleyways for lonely victims. When I find one, I dismember him as quickly as possible. Then, I unzip my pants, and--" "Enough!"
"Ah---no, I don't have anything like that. The past two days were just something special."
"Very special... I'll keep the memories with me for months, stored up for those lonely nights in bed when I just can't be bothered to go out stabbing..."
I look over at Hisui.
She just quietly watches the two of us.
"It's alright, Kohaku-san. I won't go out late at night anymore. Besides, I'm not a kid anymore, so it's not like there's any danger or anything."
"Oh! Are you still saying that sort of thing, Shiki-san!? Hisui-chan, don't you feel the same way?"
"It is as Nee-san says. Shiki-sama, you are the eldest son of the Tohno family, so please refrain from doing anything careless."
"See, even Hisui-chan is angry. You are anemic, so you shouldn't strain yourself, you know?
I was told this by your personal physician too, Shiki-san."
"...... Well, that's true, but it has nothing to do with going out late at night. If I can't walk by myself, I shouldn't go to school either, right?"
"It does have something to do with it. During the day it is bright outside and someone could help you, right? But at night it's different. There's been all these vampire murders recently, so if you go outside and collapse, what do you think will happen?"
"...... No, it's okay, Kohaku-san. There isn't a vampire out there anymore. ...... Those incidents, they won't happen ever again."
Because Yumizuka Satsuki... is no longer in this world.
"Oh? Is that true, Akiha-sama?"
"I haven't heard anything about it. The one to ask is Nii-san, since he seems to know something about it.
Oh yeah, there was a victim from your high school, Nii-san. Year 2 Class 3 is your class, right?"
"Eh......? There wasn't a victim from my class."
"Ah, Shiki-san, you didn't see the news this morning. Last night, they found a large quantity of blood from someone named Yumizuka Satsuki in an alley off the main street.
Actually, they were in the park this time
The blood seems to have been there for a while, but from the amount of blood there, they say she is more than likely dead."
...... My heart starts to throb violently.
The fact that Yumizuka Satsuki is dead, I know that better than anyone else.
But when they say that she's dead, it sounds like, "you killed her, didn't you?" to me----
You did. And it turned you on.
"---Nii-san? What's wrong, you're really pale."
"---No, it's, nothing---"
"I was just thinking about violence, and all my blood went to my--" "Enough!"
My mood starts to sink.
Thanks to Hisui, my heart was able to be calm, but with just this conversation, I almost collapse. Is my heart really this weak?
Because they wub you!
Note: the party is slightly different for each character, so neither choice is the same one as we made last time (though if we let them have a party, it'll have some overlap).