Part 91I really tried to make horrible comments on this one, but honestly I like this section too much so much of it came off as forced. I've just gotten rid of the stuff that was more annoying than funny, so this update and the next are pretty commentary light.
Yumizuka looks at me, aghast.
I stare back at her.
She shakes her head.
She seems about to burst into tears.
"---I don't want that..."
"...... Yumizuka... san?"
"...... Because that, that just makes me look---stupid..."
Still aghast, Yumizuka looks down as she murmurs.
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.
"Stupid, you're freezing! What are you doing out in the open on a night like this!"
Her voice is hollow as she says my name.
Yumizuka collapses against me.
As she pants, her warm breath brushes my skin.
"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.
"Because, I became like you, Shiki-kun---!"
Saying that, Yumizuka sinks her teeth into my neck.
"Aw, man, why do I always get the crazy ones?"
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---
In my veins.
Somewhere beyond my reach, the black thing violates my whole body.
As a small piece of the black thing goes through my veins, my body burns inside.
I clutch at the ground.
With glazed eyes, Yumizuka... looks at... 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.
"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."
What are you talking about, Yumizuka.
"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."
"But, I understand now. You're the same as me.
It doesn't matter if you like or hate people. You could kill anyone, right?"
I've never even once had that thought.
"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.
There are natural-born killers in this world, but even among them, you are the best."
"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."
"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 was in your blood back then was my blood."
Standing up, Yumizuka says this with satisfaction.
"Well, I guess that's long enough. Stand up, Shiki-kun."
I hear Yumizuka's command.
The pain fades.
Feeling returns to my limbs, and I can finally stand up.
This entire scene is truly an amazing juxtaposition of touching and CREEPY AS FUCKING HELL.
Yumizuka's voice is perplexed.
My heart throbs.
My throat becomes dry.
Every nerve in my body recognizes the person in front of me as an enemy.
Why does she have to make that crazy face?!
"Why...? Hey, why aren't you doing what I tell you to do...?"
Thump. My heart beats.
Is this the impulse Yumizuka was talking about just a while ago?
Thump, Thump. My heart beats loudly,
as if it was repeatedly ordering me to kill... to kill.
"Think straight, Yumizuka."
Yumizuka looks at me as I breathe painfully.
"...... Let's stop, Yumizuka-san. It doesn't help you to do this. You're sick. We have to get you to a hospital, and return your body to the way it was."
...... I don't want the girl who cares for me to be suffering anymore.
But she glares at me with eyes filled with hate.
"---My blood is definitely mixed with your blood! So you should already be part of my body...! Could it be, someone else has control over you already...!?"
"Like I said, I don't understand, Yumizuka.
All I understand is---you saying that it's dark, cold, and lonely.
All I remember is your smiling face two days ago, telling me to help you whenever you're in a pinch."
...... To be honest, I don't know what kind of creature a vampire is.
But you have to kill and suck blood to live, and if you're still in pain, then I have to try to get you back the way you were.
"You said, it's painful."
"Yes. My heart is in pain. I have to take people's blood in order to live. I don't feel like it's a crime but it hurts. I'm painfully afraid that the person I was is going to disappear. But, I wouldn't be so scared if I'm not alone."
"You said, it's cold."
"Yeah. I'm so cold, I feel like my fingers will freeze off. But I don't think it's bad. I just can't feel warmth anymore."
"You asked for help, desperately."
"I want help, but it's already too late. I can't go back to who I used to be."
Yumizuka says, smiling just as she did back then.
"Why---why did you end up that way..."
"Why? That's what I want to know. When I woke up, I had this body and just had this thirst for human blood I needed to fulfill. It would have been so much easier if I just died instead."
"But, I guess it can't be helped. Like people eat animals to live, I have to eat people too."
"Wha---what is that...! What are you talking about...! Why are you saying such things, Yumizuka---"
Unable to accept the facts, I just shout.
Yumizuka is silent, and only shakes her head.
"---Help me, Shiki-kun."
A faint voice escapes her throat.
"I'm scared. It's really cold, and I'm alone no matter where I go. So please, help me."
...... I understand.
I remember the trifling promise I made on the way home from school two days ago.
"---Yeah. I'll do whatever I can."
To change you back into the old Yumizuka Satsuki, I'll do anything.
Her answer is very different than mine.
"...... Ahaha. Oh, Shiki-kun, you're still thinking about turning me back?
...... Honestly, you're so kind. It's a great contradiction for someone who loves to kill to be so gentle about everything else."
Yumizuka chuckles happily.
"I told you, it's impossible. You can't help me like that, Shiki-kun."
"Wha---then, then what should I do...! There's nothing else I can do. I want to help you, there's nothing I can do...!"
"That's not true. There is something you can do to help me, Shiki-kun."
Saying so, Yumizuka steps forward.
A chill runs through my back, sensing the danger.
Goddammit, stop it, stop going back and forth like this!
"Then I won't be alone, and I won't be cold or scared.
No, if you will be mine, I'll be much happier than I ever was as a human---!"
My heart beats even faster.
Yumizuka reaches out with her arm, straight for my neck.
Her speed is like a bullet.
But somehow, I see it perfectly---or I felt like I saw it perfectly and I drop to the ground.
I twist my head desperately, and throw myself to the ground.
With a whoosh,
Yumizuka's arms pass over my head.
The target and the attacker.
We gaze at each other in amazement.
Yumizuka doesn't move.
Only her eyes change, from surprise to delight.
"...... I get it. I thought it would be simple to get you into my possession, but---"
"Tonight will be quite entertaining, won't it, Tohno-kun?"
Her red, piercing eyes are hungry for blood.
Her arms extend brutishly, mercilessly.
Yumizuka screams shrilly.
---I look in shock at my arm.
There is the bloody knife that sliced open her leg.
My senses return.
My body moves.
---Before I realize it,
I am fleeing from Yumizuka as I tremble.
Music: play track 4
*pant* *pant* *pant* *pant*---!
Yumizuka's blood flows over the knife.
The feeling of tearing flesh remains in my arm.
Really, why did I do such a thing?
I only---I only wanted to help Yumizuka Satsuki.
Somehow, remembering her face makes my heart beat louder.
Fear and excitement.
Yumizuka is trying to kill me.
My heart pounds in response to the danger.
I, Tohno Shiki, cannot compete with that creature.
It's like apples and humans. How can the ones getting eaten oppose that which eats them?
I don't quite think that's how that analogy goes...
It's already like that.
Just as Tohno Shiki eats a tomato with no opposition... for Yumizuka Satsuki, I am no different from a tomato.
If she finds me...
If she catches me, she'll kill me.
So, I am running away.
I run, and feel that I'm still alive.
Suddenly something hits my back, and I'm knocked to the ground.
Since I fell over running, my body is covered with scrapes.
But my back hurts far more right now.
With the impact on my back like that from a weapon, breathing becomes impossible.
I start to say it, but the words vanish.
Something falls onto the ground next to me.
The thing that just smashed into me is rolling.
It was some guy, arms and legs twisted.
Blood flows from the man's body.
Red blood flows over the asphalt, staining my body red.
a human body without a head.
"Ohh, I didn't mean to hit you. My reflexes have improved, but I guess it's a problem if my aim is too accurate."
A delighted voice comes from behind me.
Still on the ground, I look behind me.
What I see there,
is Yumizuka Satsuki walking, with a human head in one hand.
"Yumizuka, what was that---"
"Hm? Oh, this? I ran into him while I was running after you.
He was being a little noisy so I ripped off his mouth. I tasted a little of his blood, but drunk people's blood tastes so nasty. Shiki-kun, you should only choose young and healthy bodies too."
Speaking pleasantly, she approaches with a smile.
It's nothing like the smile from back then.
Bye-bye, she said.
There are no similarities with the person who waved and departed back then.
"I didn't think so at first. Last night, I really hated myself too.
But, I had to drink blood, to ease the pain. So I killed a lot of people. Each time I killed someone, my body stopped hurting and my heart hurt more."
She stops for just a moment.
For a moment, Yumizuka Satsuki looks down sadly.
"But, I came to understand. Right now it will still hurt a bit, but even that will fade. Because----beyond the guilt of killing people, the wonderful feeling of taking their lives away was many times stronger.
I told you, didn't I? That I will be like you, Shiki-kun. Don't worry, I'll become a splendid vampire who enjoys killing, just like you."
Yumizuka approaches with a smile.
"-----That's a lie."
I say so, only to realize that even that is a lie.
It's such a poor lie that even I can't be deceived.
Yumizuka Satsuki cannot be saved.
Even my remaining reasoning lost to that sole conclusion.
"---Yumizuka, I... can't save you."
"That's not true. If you just cooperate, we'll be happy together."
No. That's a twisted happiness, Yumizuka.
"But. I made a promise. ---so I have to help you in some other way."
Saying so, I take off my glasses.
"---I see. Well, I'm glad you're motivated, Shiki-kun. But it's too late. This race is already over."
---What, what just happened...?
In an instant, Yumizuka disappears, I see her face beside me---and at that moment, something slams into my side.
...... My back hurts.
Such a simple attack and I am slammed into the wall of a building?
Grasping my knife tightly, I somehow manage to stand.
"Oh, you can still move? You're relatively strong, aren't you, Shiki-kun? Since you were always troubled by anemia, I thought you were weak."
Yumizuka's voice draws nearer.
"It's useless to expect anything from that knife. To me, you look as if you're stopped. Even if you had a gun, it would be useless."
Her laughing voice is full of amusement.
That's, the mistake.
I can see the lines along which things break, but I'm just a human who can see that.
If my opponent is many times faster than me, like Yumizuka, I can't even touch those lines.
In other words,
against her, it's useless even if I can see these lines.
"---Ohh. Well, it can't be helped. I'm going to be a little rough. Don't worry, if your head and heart are intact, I can do something."
Shiki likes it rough
With a crash, everything becomes black.
Yumizuka's hand grabbed my arm.
And threw me like that...
Like a soccer ball, I was thrown and I fall to the ground on my back.
I force my numb body to move.
My vision is still pitch-black.
All I can feel is Yumizuka's presence.
Standing up and facing her presence, I raise my knife.
"I said it was useless. Why can't you just accept it calmly, Shiki-kun!?"
Her presence nears.
Thump, the sound of my heartbeat.
It might be because I can't see anything, this time I easily slip through her grasp.
Yumizuka's surprised voice.
I know her back is facing me.
But since I can't see her, I can't do anything.
From there----a hostile, killing presence growing stronger.
"Cra----Yumizuka, are you okay......!?"
Saying so, I hate how stupid I am.
Why am I worrying over someone trying to kill me----?
My body... floats.
I am hit from the front and fly through the air.
Her voice full of hate, she swings her arm towards me.
I can't move.
Since I can't move, all I can do is be killed.
The wall shakes.
Yumizuka's arm only pounded the wall next to me.
Music: play track 8
"Why? Am I not good enough because I became like this? But I couldn't help it......! I didn't become like this because I wanted to......!"
Like a child throwing a tantrum, she keeps screaming.
"...... It hurts so much, it is so painful, but why won't you help me, Shiki-kun!? You promised to help me, so why--"
Her forlorn, anguished voice.
In this situation where she could kill me any time...
For some reason, my fear of impending death starts to fade away.
"Shiki-kun----if you could be by my side, I could even bear this pain. Why, why can't you accept me......!?"
...... How, foolish.
Her words weren't ones of hate directed at me.
Yumizuka Satsuki was only crying this whole time because she can't help it----
"----Shiki-kun, I...... never, meant to----"
I... I love this scene ...
Her voice is trembling.
...... I guess she's calmed down, but her voice still sounds like she is about to cry.
"......... It's......... okay."
----You don't need to blame yourself like that.
Even if your mind and body turned into a vampire.
In the end, you're still just a pitiful victim.
In any case, I can't move.
Yumizuka, if you say you are so alone, in so much pain, and so cold,
then there is only one thing that I can do.
"...... It's okay, Yumizuka-san."
"You can suck my blood if you want.
It's a promise...... I'll be with you, okay?"
I think my voice was kinder then I ever was.
After hesitating, she quietly kneels by me and holds me.
...... How ironic.
Certainly she has become a vampire. Yet in her most important part, a human heart remains.
Because her heart remains, Yumizuka Satsuki still feels pain over being a vampire.
As long as that part remains human, she will be in pain.
"----It hurts, doesn't it? So it's okay. I can't help you. So shouldn't we just do things your way?"
"......... Shiki......... kun."
Then, she brings her lips to my neck.
----With this, it is over.
Tohno Shiki will soon disappear, and everything will end.
Music: play track 7
End...... end... is that, okay?
...... You will come back, right......?
Akiha said that.
My sister I left alone for eight years.
The black-haired girl I have done nothing for as a brother.
Tohno Akiha was alone in that mansion.
Before, I faced Yumizuka with my knife to bring her salvation from death.
And now, I am giving up my life to save her with my life.
Doing that, who would be saved?
At least for Tohno Shiki, it's not helping someone he cares the most about----
...... I can't die.
Even if I'm wrong, I can't die now.
My knife moves.
...... The "line" on her chest.
The line on the heart of the girl who believed in herself, hoping for some last salvation----
"----And, it's a little warm right now.
Ehehe, this must be your warmth, Tohno-kun."
She speaks happily.
------This pure regret,
it's so much, I want to die.
----I prepared myself.
I prepared myself when I betrayed her, for whatever hateful words she might say.
Why this peaceful, happy voice?
She doesn't even blame me at all.
Her proud voice, and the sensation of something drifting away on the wind.
Her lower body doesn't exist anymore.
"...... I, wanted to talk more with you, Tohno-kun. Normally, just as classmates, to talk more. That's why I really don't want to die now."
I can't say anything.
I don't have any words for her.
...... Her figure disappeared like it was just a mirage.
All that remains is this dizziness.
Thank you. Sorry.
She didn't have to thank me. There was no reason to apologize.
...... But still, she thanked me.
I really did want to save her.