Wait a minute.
I think I saw a flash of white behind the rest area.
...... Besides, it moves back as soon as I saw it.
Music: play track 3
Not exactly the greeting you'd expect after an attempted rape.
"---You really came?"
I blurt that out because I still can't believe it.
"Of course, we promised. I came about ten minutes before you did."
Sometimes I wish that my dirty mind had an off switch.
She looks the other way.
"...... Ten minutes before, but, I---"
I came before ten o'clock, and she came earlier?
"Why......? If you were here before me, why didn't you tell me you were waiting there?"
"I wanted to watch you while I was hiding."
...... I see.
Even though she doesn't act any different, she must be bothered by what happened last night.
That's why----she couldn't face me directly and was hiding.
"Arcueid---you weren't hiding because you felt awkward......?"
"Why? I was a little bored so I wanted to play around."
She says it lightly, not even knowing an inkling of the frustration I felt.
"...... Play around with me, you---"
The joy I felt from meeting her fades away instantly.
It's not a mood where I have to think about what I should do after seeing her.
...... As usual, she's acting at her own pace without even understanding how I feel.
I fill my lungs with a deep breath of night air.
I'm less angry than surprised.
Maybe I'm just relieved she is acting normally. Well, normal for her.
As proof, it feels like my heart laden with impurities has just been cleaned anew.
Music: play track 5
"...... That won't do, Shiki. I said to just forget about it."
Arcueid says this weakly.
Way to remind her, asshole.
I am such an idiot.
I selfishly thought she was acting completely normal.
But, I was wrong.
She was acting that way so I wouldn't feel bad.
"...... Sorry. I was an idiot. I don't have any right to yell at you anymore."
"I said it's okay. If anyone is to blame, it's me. So just forget about it. Isn't that better for the both of us?"
She tries to fool us both by speaking cheerfully.
Fool us about last night, fool us about how bothered she is.
Telling me to forget with that expression, how can I forget?
"---No. I wasn't apologizing for last night. I'm an idiot because I can't forget about something I should forget."
"Since this morning, all I thought about was you. All I could think about was how I should apologize to you and what to say after I saw you.
So, I can't---just forget about it now."
She doesn't respond.
I can't either, and a long silence begins.
---I don't know how long the two of us stood there.
Arcueid nods slightly.
"...... Yeah, to tell the truth.
I couldn't forget about it either, Shiki."
Arcueid blushes as she says this with some difficulty.
She looks so cute doing that.
As soon as I think that---Arcueid looks around her.
I don't know when this happened, but we're surrounded by human shapes.
Music: play track 6
Well, there goes THAT touching scene. THIS GAME
Like she says,
The five people surrounding us are just scribbled lines making a human shape.
"Then were they only pretending to be dead......!?"
"Of course not. I'm not weakened enough to be fooled by such tricks. ...... But, the fact that I made a mistake can't be excused. I didn't make sure they dissolved into ashes at the end."
That whole 'almost got raped' thing probably had something to do with it.
They close the circle around us.
My fingers grasping my knife tremble a bit.
To be blunt, there's no pressure coming from these Dead.
Compared to a monster like Nrvnqsr, they're practically nothing.
---But, five of them.
Can I fight this many Dead---this many things who were once human?
"--Shiki, if you hesitate you'll die. They are no longer alive. Once they have their blood sucked by a vampire and become The Dead, they can no longer return--they are just dolls used by the vampire. There's no sin in killing them."
I hear her voice from behind me.
It seems she moved to protect my vulnerable back.
"Wait. What do you mean?"
"...... I mean there are many ways to magically control a dead body. It's easier to infuse a human corpse with mana than animals or intangible objects, so it's very convenient---unfortunately, I don't have time to go over the details.
I sense her moving away.
At the same time, they attack.
The Dead charge me.
I can kill them with ease.
Yet somehow, this is still considered an h-game.
Evading the swinging arm, I aim for the first one's unprotected lower left abdomen.
In the "line" of blood vessels there.
I stare at the heart called its "point"----
The knife doesn't reach it's target, only slicing through its upraised arm.
The one-armed Dead doesn't even pause its attack.
The other Dead also comes in showing no fear.
The one-armed Dead attacks.
Right when I evade that Dead, the other Dead jumps on me from behind.
Is a neck able to be bitten off by human mouth?
The Dead's mouth is shallow. It bites with its front teeth rather than its back.
As a result, The Dead's teeth actually break off.
Even still---it tries to bite through my neck with its flat mouth.
It doesn't really hurt.
It's just disgusting.
That's like if your great grandpa started gumming your neck.
"Ah...... ah, ah---"
The one-armed dead walks toward me.
I have to kill The Dead behind me or I'll die.
The method is simple.
As it tries to continue biting my neck, I can just slice my knife through its face.
..and then you... stab him... in the face. Ok, that analogy fell flat real fast.
But---that means I am going to kill.
They aren't human, they aren't even living---but I still feel it's wrong.
I hear Arcueid's voice as she deals with the other three Dead.
Without thinking, despite the one in front of me, I look over at her.
I see something terribly unbelievable.
Arcueid is wounded.
Even though they move so sluggishly and would only take her a second to kill, Arcueid is being pushed by those Dead.
She breathes heavily.
Her footwork is also unsteady---and she's having difficulty evading those attacks even I can evade.
The Dead rips into her arm.
She tears the body in two from the head to its waist.
Both halves crumble to the ground.
At the same time---the other waiting shades of death pounce on her.
There---the two Dead attack.
They kick her kneeling figure in the face and makes her collapse on the ground.
they carry a dull, expressionless smile as they get on top of her.
...... She lies there arms outspread like a cross.
Like when I did those disgraceful things to her last night.
"Stop it, you fucking bastards---!"
The ones around her realize I'm coming and get up and attack.
I slice through their "points" of death as they attack me.
Killed. Without hesitating, I stopped them completely.
I can't think clearly. Probably because regret and self-admonition are screaming at me.
My panting fills the air.
But, it's still good.
It's better than her getting hurt.
For the first time,
With my own free will, with the mind of Tohno Shiki---I used this power for someone else's sake.
Aww, our little Shiki is growing up so fast!
I keep panting.
I can't seem to fully catch my breath.
I can hear slight wheezing mixed in with the wild breathing.
Turning around, I see her full of pain and on her knees.
"Are you okay, Arcueid......!?"
I dash towards her.
She's curled up as she breathes like something who can do nothing else.
Her suffering isn't normal.
The way she's breathing intermittently isn't natural.
A hungry breath.
Her waving hair.
This is where you die if you raped her, following the text above. We did not, however, so stay tuned for the follow-up.