Part 47: Jessica and Kanon II
"*cackle*cackle*cackle*cackle*hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!! That's why you hurt Jessica. That's why you cannot become human!!"
"Then there should be no problem, if you won't admit that you have feelings for Jessica, I can accept that. But I'll kill Jessica!!"
"You idiot!! Isn't it obvious?!!
"Following the rules of the ceremony, I will make 13 people into sacrifices on a whim. However, there's no rule saying that I can't kill any more."
"...If I think it's fun, I can kill any number of people!! So I will kill!! Make me laugh as hard as I can, alright furnituuuuuuure, Kanonnnnnnnn?!?!"
BGM: Life's End
In the instant he looked down the corridor, the witch, who had been making a perfectly ordinary face until a second ago, had disappeared. Right now, it was just him, standing alone in the corridor. And the person he wanted to protect was asking for help, and was right over there.
It was obvious what he should do. It wasn't logical. It was an electric reaction. Without a trace of hesitation or idle thoughts. The person he wanted to protect was there, and asking for help. Therefore, in that moment, he genuinely felt that he wanted to be the person who was there with her.
Video: Strike at the Moon
The room was a fantastical world, where a blizzard of gold-colored specks danced, almost as though gold leaf had been scattered inside a snow globe...
No, that's not it. I've seen this spectacle before. This isn't gold leaf. Countless gold butterflies, Beatrice's family!! Jessica was surrounded by countless butterflies, and was waving her hands around, trying frantically to swat them.
"K, Kanon-kun..., h, help... ...*cough*cough*cough*cough*!!"
Kanon rushed towards Jessica, and violently brushed the group of butterflies away. The butterflies, which were both beautiful and filthy, surrounded Jessica's face, trying to crawl in through her mouth and nose. Jessica gagged violently. Almost as though the butterflies were triggering her asthma attack, sneering at her.
But when Kanon ran towards Jessica as she choked, the butterflies stopped attacking her, and this time, they began to elegantly dance a rondo around the two.
"...Show yourself, Beatrice! Are you satisfied now?!"
As he guarded Jessica, who was in pain and using her inhaler, Kanon yelled into the empty air. When he did, the empty air definitely laughed back, satisfied. Then, she showed herself.
It wasn't in response to Kanon's demand. It was obviously because appearing and sneering humiliated them even more, and was more fun!
"No, since the two of you are together, should I call it duck with green onions? Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!!"
"Y, ...you... B, Beatrice...!!"
"Please, stand back. I'll protect you, Milady...!"
"It's essential that when the princess and the knight are together, the witch appears. Come now, won't you show me how much power Kinzo's furniture holds?"
She snapped her fingers and there was a piercing sound. When she did, a blizzard of gold butterflies started up, and they began to form a small mountain as they whirled around in a circle.
...Just like how a cold, wintry wind swirls and creates a mountain of leaves.
"W... what is this...? What's going on...?!"
Jessica couldn't comprehend what she was seeing right now, and her mouth kept flapping open and closed... It was the bite of wisdom, which came from trying to understand something incomprehensible.
It appeared to be wearing a uniform following the pattern of those who serve. But its face was different. It was, strange-looking... It was covered with pitch-black hair, breathed rotten breath, and its eyes were filled with the same strange subterranean glow as lava. And, as a symbol that is was not human, it had two horns... It was the figure of a goat-faced attendant who served the witch...
Jessica could no longer decide what to say. All this happening in front of her couldn't be explained with common sense, and she couldn't do anything except open and close her mouth.
Jessica hadn't noticed. This island had already been cut off from the rules of this world. But even so, she could understand. This goat attendant was the witch's familiar, and it was after her life. And it seemed that the witch had already ordered that.
She faced Kanon with an expectant gaze. She faced him with a provocative gaze filled with expectation, as though asking him how he planned to protect this maiden!
And you could tell that it was overflowing with the joy of furniture wanting to meet its master's expectations.
"...Why don't you show me? Show me the power of Kinzo's furniture! Don't mess up this time, alright? Don't forget that you're furniture, alright? If you continue acting like a human even now, this won't be settled by your death alone. Kukikikikikikikikikikikikiki!"
The goat attendant made a gesture as though bowing silently. Was that in response to its master, or was it offered to Kanon, who opposed it?
Then, on the attendant's hand, ...a blade of wicked malice appeared...
"...Wh, what is... that..."
Jessica had been unable to understand what was happening before her eyes for a while now. All she understood was that this thing was being waved around to threaten her own life. And right now, that was enough.
Kanon spoke quietly to Jessica, who was hiding behind his back.
"...Milady. Please stay back, against the wall. Never let your back leave the wall."
"...*cackle*cackle*cackle*! The maiden should obediently hide behind the great knight's back. Enjoy having a man protect your own life to the fullest. So! Kanon, try showing me your blade!!"
"...Beautiful. At least when it comes to giving birth to furniture, Kinzo might reach up to my feet."
"...Something like this... can't even be used to trim the roses."
"...K, Kanon-kun... what is, ..."
"...I didn't want... to show you."
"So, you've taken it out. How does it feel to have the fact that you are a subhuman being exposed in front of the girl you have feelings for?"
"...Hmph. So you act composed even though you're really burning with wrath? I see, they say that truly hot flames burn a cool blue. Is that how you are now?"
"There's no way I can kill you with my powers... You are the moon. There's no way I can smash the moon by throwing a rock. However, in order to manifest yourself, you had to reflect your image on the surface of the water."
If you throw a rock at the surface of the water, you might be able to disturb the moon for some time. But that doesn't mean the moon has been smashed.
"...Hoh. A beautiful trail."
The witch's words of admiration broke the silence, and for just an instant, broke Jessica's paralysis.
"...A... am I... dreaming...?"
"...Come, furniture of the witch. I'll beat you down to the hell you came from."
"*cackle*cackle*cackle*cackle*cackle*. Is it alright to mutter excuses for how your senses don't return?"
"...It's alright. I... won't die yet."
...Kanon, wasn't there.
He was behind it.
If this battle of drawing sparkling trails was chess... Then Kanon coming from behind was check. And press, and press, and press, and press. Use seven moves, and make it mate...!
...Had the goat attendant even been given the ability to go into death throes? As its knees buckled and it fell over, it broke into a bunch of gold butterflies with a pop... So there was no sound of it hitting the ground. Even the person who couldn't understand this battle... definitely at least realized that Kanon had been magnificent.
"...Hmph. So it couldn't win against one handmade object. It seems that you aren't so pathetic."
In the instant that Kanon's blade sliced diagonally through the witch's form like a knife through butter, she turned gold and burst. She scattered into several thousand gold butterflies, and for just an instant, the room was filled with the color of twilight.
...It was just as Kanon himself had said. Even slicing Beatrice was just the same as slicing the surface of the water where the moon was reflected. The witch's form was there, with an ordinary expression on her face, as though she had been there the whole time... behind Kanon.
"Hahahahahahaha...!! It was quite an interesting show. I was going to overlook that, and let you get away, but now your rudeness has caused me to change my mind..."
"Don't lie! I won't let you kill Milady!! Even if that's impossible... I won't let you kill her before me!"
"You can't even do that much. Do not speak, furniture. Be silent, furniture. Know your place, furniture!!"
"...Hoh. Why can you say that?"
"I don't need a reason. Kanon-kun is Kanon-kun. No, his real name is different... but a name doesn't make him furniture! Kanon-kun has his own way of living. That's a very noble thing, and it's up to him to decide."
"...There's no such thing as not being able to have an opinion because he's furniture, or not being able to have his own life because he's furniture!!"
"Milady... you mustn't provoke her."
"No, let me say this clearly. Kanon-kun isn't furniture. He's human. Why? Kanon-kun rushed to save me of his own will. And he stood in the path of a fearsome witch, you. Even though he had many chances to just let me go, he didn't."
"Hmph. *cackle*cackle*cackle*cackle*. ...Kuhahahahahahahahahahahahaha. Wahahahahahahahaha!!"
"Don't speak, human!! Let's end this quickly, after all, this is only the second twilight. Now, I will offer up as sacrifices 'the two who are close', who accept each other's dignity."
BGM: Organ Short #600 Million in C Minor
The witch summoned her own furniture with a mixture of laughter and anger on her face.
"...Asmodeus the Lustful. Right here."
"I've had enough of this farce. Quickly, execute the second twilight. Don't keep me waiting, alright?"
"...As you command."
"A... another weirdo's shown up..."
It took Kanon less than an instant to understand. That goat-face from a second ago had been nothing more than a pawn to the witch. However, there was a remarkable difference in the value of this piece, of this furniture that had been newly summoned.
"...Come, furniture of the witch... I won't be killed by you...!"
"*giggle*giggle*! You're acting pretty smart for a dunce who can't even chase me."
"...Here I go, alright? Hey hey, where do you want it? Where do you want me to pierce you? Answer me, cutie boy. Wherever you want it, I'll run you through hard...!! *giggle*giggle*giggle*giggle*, come on, answer me, cutie boy...!"
"D... don't call me cute!!!"
"Kyahahahahaha!! Here I go, you dunce!! Come on, try to chase me, you blind idiot!! Kya-hahahahahahahahahaha!!"
Kanon's back had been the target... But Jessica had predicted it. She had predicted that the witch's target would be the complete opposite of fair and honest... his back. But she had no way to block it.
...She had no intention of sacrificing herself. She thought that there was no way other than this to protect Kanon's back. So, she could do nothing but block it with her own back.
The furniture of the witch, which had changed its form into a demon's stake, was stuck deep into Jessica's back. It was an obviously fatal wound that reached as far as her lungs.
When she saw this, the witch let out a loud, evil laugh. Because it had hit 'where the witch had predicted'. ...Everything, everything, was as the witch had predicted!
"Kukikikikiki, yes, yes, that's it, that's it, that face, that look on your face is what I wanted to see!! Kikikikikikikikikikikikikikiki!! How truly enjoyable!! That's enough, die, die, make me laugh!!"
"Come, arise, forgive the sin, one of the seven stakes of Purgatory, wrath!!"
"...Satan of Wrath. Right here."
"The prey is yours. Eat him right now, close the curtain on his stage."
"...If you were a human, I'd say it's time for you to step down, but since you're furniture, maybe I should say it's time for the stage manager to carry you behind the stage!"
"...I am not... furniture anymore. I won't... doubt that again!"
"Your chest... it's so warm, and it feels so good to pierce it, okay...? Come on, let me have another taste, alright...? Won't you make me feel really good with that hot, hot, fresh blood in that warm chest of yours...?"
There was no way to block it. The sound of a woodpecker filled the entire room, and before he could blink, it was already right in the center of his chest...
When you take a piece in chess, according to the rules, it's impossible for your opponent's piece to defend. So this was an obvious result, following the rules.
Kanon landed on his knees... And, he apologized. Not to the witch. And not to 'Milady'... He apologized, to Jessica.
"...Don't worry about it... You were really... cool..."
Kanon finally fell over. He landed next to Jessica, and the two lay there like the constellation Gemini.
"...You know, Kanon-kun, ...you aren't, furniture anymore..."
"...Yes... I was... too late... in realizing that..."
"I wanted to ask you... what your real name was..."
In his last moments, Kanon wanted to tell her his real name. But, Jessica had already fallen into a sleep from which she would never wake... So, Kanon's real name, which he had protected until today... in the end, he couldn't... tell it to Jessica...
Those were, ...the last words Kanon left behind.
"Even after a hundred years, furniture is furniture! Have you ever heard of an idiot who'll dig a grave for furniture when they throw it away? You smash furniture to pieces and make firewood, so all that's left is ashes!!"
"*cackle*cackle*cackle, that's how it is, no tombstone can be carved for furniture! It seems you believe that when you die, you cannot receive any more humiliation, but that's naive, you see...? I'll tell you what it really means to disgrace the dead. *cackle*cackle*cackle*!!!"
After taking a puff from her pipe, the witch breathed the smoke at Kanon's corpse...
The witch played dirty until the very end. The corpses of the two who had been able to understand each other in the end, were not even permitted to be close to each other... If someone had been watching, they would probably mourn that this was indeed a disgrace to the dead.