The Let's Play Archive


by Seorin

Part 31

Chiiirp. Chirp Chirp.
Chiiirp. Chirp Chirp.
Chiiirp. Chirp Chirp.

----So loud I want to die.

Cicada shells are lying in the clearing.
As if the sun is right by my side,
the clearing is roasting.

A hot midsummer's day.
As if the entire world became a frying pan.

waa, u, uwaaa.
waa, u, uwaaa.
waa, u, uwaaa.

Akiha is crying.
Akiha, who would always obediently stay close behind me, is brimming forth with tears.


The adults are coming.
After seeing this sight, their expressions change rapidly.

"What in the-----"

The adults take Akiha away.
The child lies there, dead.
In the distant sky, the white, white clouds.

I'm left alone, staring at the sky aimlessly.

"Did you kill him----"

The adults are yelling at me.
They shout my name, the one who killed the child.
Those two syllables, shouting as if they went crazy.

Just those two syllables.
Those adults call me SHIKI, as my hands are stained in red.

Music: play track 2

Last chapter on Tsukihime...

That man wrapped entirely in bandages.
And how he could see "lines" just like me.
After he was impaled by those swords, his body burst aflame, and with a voice that sounded like his dying curse, he ran off.

After that, I can only remember things vaguely.
The figure on top of the streetlight.
That figure that saved me, that seemed to resemble Ciel-senpai---

...and now for the exciting follow-up!

"...... Yeah right. That, can't be true."
I finally wake up.
Putting on my glasses, I get up in bed.
The clock says it's past eight.
Normally I would've long since eaten breakfast by now, but today's a school holiday.
"Hisui...... isn't here?"
The figure of Hisui standing before the door like a shadow is nowhere to be seen.
I'm sure she came here many times to wake me up, but I never did, so she probably went off to do other duties.

............ *sigh*
I let out a deep breath.

---After I parted with Arcueid last night, the events afterwards were beyond my comprehension.

That bandaged man, and that figure that helped me... they're just not things I can understand no matter how much I try.

"--Alright. First thing's first. Time for breakfast."
People can't do anything on an empty stomach, after all.
Shaking the sleep from my body, I go to the sitting room.

How dare you not let your cute maid wake you up after you almost died and passed out in the street <>

"There's no need to apologize. I didn't wake up at the usual time, so it's my fault. It's okay if you want to voice your complaints."
"...... Voice, my complaints......?"
"Yeah. My friend always says I'm always a lazy bum, and he always tells me an occasional whack to my back is good to set me straight."

Hisui stands there thinking silently as she stares at me.
It's like that for about a minute.
She doesn't even blink, but just stares at me.
...... I knew forcing Hisui to do such an ordinary thing would be impossible.

Being stared at for a minute straight with no pause for even a blink would CREEP ME THE FUCK OUT... but that emotion is far from new in this game.

"Don't worry about... just forget it. More importantly, I'm kinda hungry. Is breakfast ready?"
"...... Nee-san went outside. Your breakfast is ready in the dining room."
"Oh. In that case, I'll go have some food. Sorry to bother you while you were working."

After saying a quick goodbye, I head downstairs.

Her words are so off topic it's... troubling.
Does she think I was saying I wanted her to make breakfast because the breakfast tasted so bad?

"That's not it. Even cold, Kohaku-san's cooking is delicious.
...... But, I like it when it's warm. And, it'd make me really happy if I got to taste your cooking, Hisui."

"---I cannot do that. Shiki-sama, I refuse to cook for you."
Hey eyes suddenly take on a challenging look.
"Oh, I, see. Yeah, I don't want to force you to do anything you don't want to do. You already do so much for me already."

"...... Then, I'll go back to my room. If you need me, please call for me."

"Later," I say as I start to walk out of the room.
But---before that, Hisui walks towards the lobby.

"This may be impolite, but I wanted to fulfill your request to the best of my ability."
"...... Huh?"
She looks directly at me.

"This morning, I came to realize how powerless I am."
"Seven times. I called out seven times, but there was no response. Is this acceptable?"

"I also don't like the way you look at your sister, or go out late at night, or refuse to tell us about the vampire floozy we all know you're pining for. You have a small penis, too. Would you like me to continue?"

"Seven times? What, do you mean?"
I'm totally lost as to what she wants to say.

"............ Huh?"
Left by myself, I blurt out stupidly.
After thinking to myself for a while, I finally realize she was complaining to me.

---It's okay if you want to voice your complaints.

I said that earlier.

"---That was... my request?"
Yeah, there's no mistake.
Hisui was thinking about it the whole time, and was waiting for me in the sitting room just to tell me.

"............... Well, that is a complaint, but..."
She said it, but saying "dense" is a little too blunt, right?
...... I don't really want to think it,
but does Hisui really hate me?

"It's okay to complain, you know! ... Hey, what's with all the complaining?! Give a guy a break!"

...and so we begin the search for the ever-elusive Convenient Plot Device. Let's hope Shiki finds it!

"Oh, here. Still here."
On the handrail by the stairs is carved the name SHIKI.
It was probably because of these games that my old man forbade us from playing inside the mansion.
Anyway, if I look closely, I can see both my name and Akiha's all over the place.

The spacious mansion.
While I used to think it was like a giant castle, now it almost seems like an abandoned, haunted house.
Because, I've grown up since then.
Akiha and I, we're not the Tohno Akiha and Tohno Shiki that we were then.

She stayed behind 'us'?

But she would energetically run out with us and compete with us in whatever games we would play.

"...... Perhaps her personality stems from those times?"
She might have suppressed herself in front of that old man.
But still, Akiha's changed too much since then. Maybe these eight years were a longer time than I thought.

"Geez. It would've been better if I held back a bit."
Cursing myself from that time doesn't change the number of my scribbles.
If this was the case, I probably made Akiha pretty angry, considering how much she hates losing.
"I see. Maybe she's taking it out on me now."
...... I'm sure she's not the kind to do that, but if she did, that's a little cute.

I get the feeling she could light him on fire and he would still think it's cute as long as it's Akiha doing it.

"I'm an older brother stupid for his little sister."
Yeah, I really am.
"----Well then."
With a nostalgic, peaceful feeling, I stroll through the courtyard.

Music: stop

---No, "can see" is not quite right.
If you walk by normally, you probably would never notice it.
If Hisui didn't walk there, hidden enough by the surrounding trees as it is, I would never have noticed even if I lived here all my life.

"...... ? Was that always there? If it was, we probably played there as kids."
To say the least, I don't remember ever playing with Akiha in the clearing.

----I feel like I've never, been there, before.

After thinking for a bit, I decide to go into the clearing.

The voice of the cicadas.
And the strong, summer sunshine that feels like it could dissolve------

Summer, sunshine---?

The wound on my chest starts to hurt.
It's like / stabbing
This pain / that feels like / a kitchen knife stabbing my chest.

Columns of summer clouds in the far sky.
I can practically see the voices.
At my feet, discarded shells of cicadas.
Discarded shell. Someone's--discarded shell.


My wound opens.
My chest becomes painted a dark crimson; black vermillion soaks both my hands.

Chiiirp. Chirp Chirp.
Chiiirp. Chirp Chirp.

---Ah. Voices which try to pierce my eardrums,
voices of the cicadas.

---What is this?
My wound, it hasn't healed at all.

It hurts.
I'm scared.
This is,

The impulse called Death.

My body collapses to the earth with a large thud.


Music: play track 8

"Akiha-sama, are you not going to call for a doctor?"
"Don't be stupid, Hisui.
There's no way I could do that, since Nii-san's wound isn't normal...!"

...... Akiha and Hisui are talking.
This is SHIKI's room.
It looks like I am sleeping in the bed.

I planned to say "Yo!" and get out of bed, but I can't move at all.
My chest doesn't hurt anymore, but my body feels as heavy as lead.
All I can move are my eyes and mouth.

Akiha looks scary when she's angry

Completely different from her usual manner, Akiha gives full vent to her anger.
In comparison, Hisui is accepting the scolding, looking down silently.

...... I'm not sure how this all came about.
But I can at least tell that Hisui is being yelled at because of me.

"Answer me, Hisui. What were you doing and where were you all day long?"
Hisui doesn't respond.
The air grows tenser between them.
Biting her lip, Akiha takes a step towards Hisui.

...... Even I can understand that Akiha intends to hit her.
Hisui seems to know this as well, but she just stands with her head hung in shame, ready to receive it.

"You know, you shouldn't let it out on Hisui. I don't know the circumstances, but this has to do with me collapsing, right? It's not her fault, I just collapsed on my own."

I strain hard and somehow manage to lift the upper half of my body off the bed.
But that's all I can manage, and I don't think I can even move an inch more.
But since Hisui is depressed, I have to force myself to act as fine as possible.

"If you died, then who could I treat with contempt as a thin veil for my indecent lust?"