Part 75Yay! Waffleimages! This update is very so commentary will be minimal.
Tohno Shiki, murderer and rapist for hire... or just for the fun of it.
I turn the dial.
After three rings, I hear the receiver pick up and Ciel-senpai's voice.
"Hello? Who is it?"
Her voice seems... so warm.
"Hello? Hey, can you hear me?"
Her questioning voice.
I've only been there once, but I can imagine her holding the phone in her room.
I can't speak.
I don't know what to say.
I knew I shouldn't have called. I can't get this person involved.
I should--just hang up without saying anything.
I tell myself to stop.
I tell myself to make up some excuse, tell her I'll see her tomorrow and hang up.
But, I can't seem to do that.
"Senpai, I, I think I'm not going to make it."
I speak in a fading voice.
It sounds like her voice froze.
"Tohno-kun, what do you mean? What's wrong?"
"----I mean, I can't make it.
I tried to resist it. But, it was useless. Like he said, it seems like, I'm just a killer."
And a really bad one, too.
Even now, if I let my guard down, I want to slice my knife through Akiha's or Hisui's throat.
Not just someone off the street, but people close to me--My sanity is about to crumble away, I'm at the point of thinking such things.
"...... What should I do? I can't kill myself. I've never been taught how to kill myself."
That single line justifies every emo joke I have ever made.
"...... And, where are you right now?"
"In the park. I wanted to go where there aren't any people, but there's too many houses nearby. I'm, going crazy."
"...... I understand. I'll head to the school so let's meet there. There's no houses nearby, so won't it be quiet?"
"---That's right---at school, there won't be anyone there."
"Alright? Please wait at the school grounds."
The line cuts off.
...... I can't believe it.
Even without thinking about it, I seemed to have put my knife in my pocket.
so that at any time, I can kill someone.
My whole body is hot.
But, I don't feel like I am not me anymore.
by violating Kohaku-san,
the impulse momentarily subsided.
"Now that I got that RAPE out of the way, I'm really starting to feel like myself again!"
Gorge rises in my throat.
My mouth tastes bitter.
I haven't eaten anything today, so all I can vomit is my stomach acid.
It isn't something forgiven with a mere apology.
So, I can't apologize.
How can I offer my atonement to her from now on?
That conversation so many days ago.
When Ciel-senpai helped me while I was in the depths of despair after I killed Arcueid.
That person---she told me that there weren't people who sinned and people who did not sin, but there are only people who can and who cannot atone for their sins.
But, what should I do?
My committed sin, the wounded mind, can it be atoned for----
"Are you trying to repent, Tohno-kun?"
Ciel-senpai asks in a cold voice.
...... She, really came.
I want to see her face, so I lift my head like I'm looking up at the night sky.
the Ciel that I know.
Her bare arms have the tattoo of a cross on them.
Her cold eyes, as if watching someone she doesn't even know.
...... Senpai bears an uncouthly weapon with an aura of coldness that doesn't suit her.
...... I know this.
Inside my brain, I know what weapon this is. That has to be---what's called the Seventh Holy Scripture, one of the apocrypha that must never be removed from its resting place.
"As I expected, you were Roa after all, Tohno-kun."
With her frigid eyes,
Senpai speaks with a voice that is equally cold.
I start to feel a shiver up my spine.
For no reason. No, my instincts and my brain work full force to tell me the danger, and I jump back.
Still with her mouth shut, she takes a step towards me with that ominous weapon.
...... She has no openings whatsoever.
"---Why? I just---"
I just... wanted to see Senpai again.
"I understand. Roa is already surfacing, right? Then it is too late already."
she takes another effortless step forward.
That figure looks like----
"---What are you doing, Senpai?
You look like---you're, going to kill me."
She doesn't answer.
She just stares at me like she's trying to find out where she can aim to kill me quickly.
She seriously, plans to kill me.
My nerves feel the imminent death before me.
My spine is screaming and the back of my neck is numbing.
But---more than this fear of death,
I can't believe why this person is saying such things.
"Your goodness really is a rare treasure. It is a good thing to trust people, but if you were a little more composed and thought about it clearly, you could have maybe got away."
"First of all, didn't you ever think about why I came to this school in the first place?
I didn't do it just because I wanted to, you know."
"You knew my goal was to destroy 'The Serpent'---Roa.
Coming here to this school was because I knew Roa's reincarnated host was here. But since I didn't know for sure, I needed to check things out for a while."
"Wait a minute, what in the world are you---"
What is she babbling about?
I don't know.
I really can't understand what she's talking about.
She ignores my bewilderment and keeps talking.
Music: play track 9
"...... I told you before, Tohno-kun. Roa has requirements for the family he decides to reincarnate into.
If you think the other way around, you just have to look for families with those traits. When you know that, finding him is very simple.
It's easy to find families that have special abilities passed down through their blood once you do a bit of research. In this city, there is only one family that fits Roa's requirements.
So---I knew from the beginning who Roa was."
"Yes. Look, don't you realize it now?
You know, Tohno-kun. I came to this school to catch you from the beginning."
I just want, her to, wait.
"But, a little mistake happened.
...... I was watching you from afar so as not to stimulate Roa inside you, but I concluded that you might not be Roa's new reincarnated host.
But, the eldest son of the Tohno family had to be what Roa reincarnates into. There is no mistake in that, so what had to be a mistake was you, Tohno-kun."
Ciel-senpai speaks matter-of-factly.
I---can't say anything.
"Looking into it, you were fatally wounded eight years ago and adopted by your relatives.
What happened afterwards was exactly as Tohno SHIKI said two nights ago.
I don't know what happened in the Tohno family eight years ago, but you were killed by that kid called SHIKI. No, it's more like your life was stolen.
As a result, you became connected to SHIKI who was Roa's host."
A direct voice, without emotion.
I don't know this Ciel-senpai.
Or is this...
Is this the true Ciel, and the kind person I knew up until now was all just----
"That's why---when SHIKI's body was destroyed, Roa didn't need to reincarnate. He still had a place to run to: you."
As if hating her enemy, she detests me.
"But, it's all over now. I wasn't prepared to finish it so suddenly that one night, but tonight is different.
I really am fortunate in a way. If Arcueid had destroyed Roa, he probably would have reincarnated again."
...... I can't. Believe this.
"----That's not, true."
"Go ahead, please keep on denying it and play dumb. That makes my job easier. Still---"
A metallic rattle sounds from the weapon.
"It doesn't change the fact that I can finish you off easily no matter what you do, Roa."
Her laughing voice causes me to finally understand.
...... She isn't lying.
...... Her eyes aren't looking at "me".
"...... What is this?
Then, then from the very beginning, you always thought of me as Roa?
Senpai. Being friends with me was all just...............!"
---I can't say it.
I can't finish the sentence.
If I do that, I feel like everything will turn into a lie in that instant.
"Of course. After SHIKI was destroyed, the only reason why I stayed in school was because Roa had not disappeared. Since Roa is a student here, it's more convenient for me to stay."
I would never go back while leaving you here.
That's what she told me once with a smile.
That wasn't, for my sake.
She stayed here just to search for the still-living Roa. That is the only reason why she gave me her phone number.
Then, that too.
And those times, too.
And when she saved me that one night, too.
"Ah......... ha, ha."
And, those sad eyes, too.
...... That's right, Shiki, this is nothing at all. These memories---they are nothing at all.
I just thought I loved her.
And that she loved me back.
...... What a joke.
They were all just an illusion made from a play.
----All of it.
All of it was a fairy tale made up of lies---
"What am I saying? It's an old story.
It's a story from eight years ago, but there was a girl like you who didn't know anything.
She was sixteen years old when that impulse began to stain her.
...... But before that, there was nothing. She didn't have any special power like you did, Tohno-kun. She really did live a normal life without knowing anything.
"But, her dream wasn't fulfilled. With her own hands, she destroyed the happiness that was there naturally.
Because she was Roa's reincarnated host."
"Her body had great ability and Roa was pleased.
She tried so hard to resist it just like you, but it was useless. In the end, she drank the blood of her father and mother and slowly killed the townspeople.
That child, maybe she went crazy then."
"You understand, right, Tohno-kun?
You can't stop it. "Stop" or "You shouldn't" doesn't even enter your thoughts.
Isn't it strange? ---Even though you still have your conscious awareness."
"Se---n, pai. Don't tell me, that story is,"
"But that nightmare came to an end soon. That woman in white came and pierced her heart."
"But, that girl, she couldn't stay dead."
Almost laughingly, she says this.
"Her dead body was taken to the Church and preserved as a sample of a vampire returning to human form.
...... But, though I don't know what kind of fate it was, her body was a special body, and had an abnormal reviving ability.
One day three years later, even though she shouldn't have, she came back from the dead.
...... It's strange, isn't it? Even though it was just a discarded shell of Roa's soul, it still came back to life.
A body that can't die.
Flesh that will return to its original state no matter what happens.
Roa, the vampire reincarnated as Tohno SHIKI, said that about this person.
...... It seemed so painful.
Senpai healed no matter what wound she received, but every wound she got caused her face to contort in pain.
Every day of that?
Every day, all day without a single pause, living to be killed and coming back again......?
All the problems that no one can deal with or solve are handed to the place called the Burial Agency.
There, she was taught what happened to her.
"...... In short, she was a contradiction.
She was a human born as Roa. Even though the personality of her first fifteen years was hers, the name of her soul was Roa.
While she was herself, she was also Roa.
So, it is a contradiction if the girl called Roa is dead when Roa is alive.
The progeny of the existence Roa...... this daughter of Roa cannot die before him.
"Whenever this world has even a slight error, this world corrects it to preserve itself.
So--that child, as long as Roa's soul still exists, will exist for all eternity. No one else but the world itself "fixes" the error automatically.
"Such a monster... it usually would have been sealed away forever, but she happened to inherit the magical knowledge of Roa.
The clergy of the Burial Agency said she would be useful and brought her into the Church.
"Five years since then. She chose to discard her name and live as one who hunted vampires.
---More than Roa's master Arcueid, I can tell where Roa's soul exists.
The reason... I don't even have to tell you, right?"
Right, it doesn't need to be said.
But, I don't want to admit such a thing.
"I said it before, Tohno-kun. Ciel's goal is one thing and one thing only."
--I want to die as a human--
I didn't understand what those words meant then.
Now---can I understand at least a bit of it?
It's almost regretful, but I can't.
I can't understand that feeling of wanting to die. As long as I'm alive---I'll think about wanting to die, but I would never truly mean it.
But, that's all Senpai wishes for.
A way of thinking which was transformed into that.
A life that makes you wish only that.
"That's...... that's wrong."
"It's not. I simply want to die as a human."
Her voice sounds cold.
...... I can only nod.
Both her wish,
and her pain, I understand.
"............ I don't want it."
I don't like my treatment or Ciel's wish. I don't want to think this is reality.
But, time waits for no one.
With a metallic rattle,
the agent called Ciel steps forward to kill me.
The Seventh Holy Scripture.
The weapon that the reincarnation-denying Church created. A scriptural canon inscribed with every possible impeachment of reincarnation criticism.
It's an item that is scripture yet an apocrypha. A weapon, yet a scripture at the same time.
If I'm hit by that, my soul itself will disperse into nothingness.
The bayonet rises up.
The tip comes towards me.
If it is Ciel---she should be able to pierce me without me even noticing it ever happened.