Chapter 21 – Monochrome
A small inn built in a corner of ‘Saul’.
So I woke up.
Right next to me is a warm body temperature, a pleasant touch, a faint sweet fragrant smell, and a breath that tickles my neck. Riko was fast asleep.
I got up and gently stroked Riko’s hair.
Her beautiful indigo hair had turned completely black and discolored. ――――No, it’s actually the same indigo hair. It’s just the way I see it.
It’s the same with this room itself. No matter where I look, it’s all white, black, and gray. Every color had disappeared from my world.
―――― And I had no feelings to lament it now.
Sorrow, grief, disappointment… I can’t remember those feelings of ‘sadness’.
Of course, I know that there are such feelings. Rather, until recently I was sad that Hazel had became Undying, and I must have been very sad when my parents died.
…… But now I can’t remember it. Don’t understand. Even if I can remember ever showing that in my memory, I couldn’t even imagine what kind of feeling it was.
Will I lose all my emotions if I keep fighting?
Riko moaned and moved her head a little.
The neck becomes apparent.
Smoothly, my hand slid from the hair I was stroking toward the nape of her neck.
Comfortable body temperature and smooth touch peculiar to a girl’s skin.
―――― Would you die if you strangle this neck now?
Suddenly, the idea occurred to me.
If I think about it, I’ve only killed with a sword and a gun. Because the sword makes me actually feel it as I take a life, it is currently my favorite weapon.
But directly. Yes, by means of strangulation this hand would take a life directly. A blasphemous act that defiles lives with one’s own hands. Forbidden thoughts of trying it with a dear lover.
I gripped Riko’s neck with all my might ――――.
I let go of my hand
―――― What was I thinking now?
Sweat gushed out of my face. But, in inverse proportion to it, blood is drained from my face. My body temperature dropped as if cold water had been poured over me.
Riko opened her eyes and stared at me.
“I, I’m sorry! I didn’t mean to….”
“…… What’s wrong?”
Even though I desperately tried to smooth things over and apologize, Riko’s words made me involuntarily utter a stupid voice.
When I saw it, Riko was rubbing her sleepy eyes. Come to think of it, she was weak in the morning.
I hope you didn’t notice my previous action
However, I tried to get out of bed because of the anxiety and fear that if we were together like this, I would kill her.
I heard Riko’s calm voice from behind, and my left arm was grasped.
Looking back, Riko grabbed my hand with both arms. My left hand was bandaged up and that’s the only thing keeping it attached.
“…… Serra. I won’t ask what happened, so stay with me.”
Roki held my sleeve and buried her face.
“I was so scared. I thought I was going to die.”
“Please, Serra. Just once, listen to my selfishness. I want you to be with me.”
I could feel Riko’s body temperature on my back.
The hand holding my sleeve was trembling slightly.
…… What on earth are you really worried about?
My lover’s life was exposed to peril, and she is frightened by the memory. I’m a real fool to ignore it and abandon her.
Turning around, I hugged Riko from the front. Gently reached out to her hair and gently stroked it to give relief.
“No, I’m sorry.”
Riko told me before, ‘no matter what, I’m on my side. Wherever you go’.
Then, if you’re going to walk along a dangerous road with me. No matter what happens, I have to protect Riko.
Yes, I made up my mind again.
In my chest, Riko whispered.
“…… this boob demon”
I hit Riko on the head.
And, we arrived at the city of Saul.
“No, why did you end up talking about it?”
It’s been an hour since I got up.
Gillian said, “Let’s go outside for a moment, senior!” while strongly pulling my arm, and incidentally, Riko and Olivia tagged along for some reason.
“What about Karen and Iris?”
“Seems they have something to do. In the meantime, we can stretch out our wings.”
“That’s a very easy-going thing to say when the country is in a lot of trouble and potentially being watched by the Undying.”
Olivia has the most to say about it.
So far the urban areas are still thriving, it seems the confusion hasn’t spread outside of Warden, but it’s only a matter of time. And there’s no telling when we’ll be attacked by Sakura and the others.
To be honest, I don’t think it’s time to take things so easy.
“Well, don’t say that. Even Senior Serra hasn’t gone on a date with Riko recently, right? Isn’t this a good opportunity!”
“Ah!? What are you going to say all of a sudden!?”
“Eh!? That’s the relationship between you two….!?”
Olivia and I were surprised by Gillian who suddenly dropped bombs.
…… I mean, she’s really looking. You’re looking at me so much, Olivia!
I was blushing under that gaze as Riko grabbed me by the arm.
“Thank you, Gillian. That’s why Serra, let’s go on a date.”
“Yes, eh, eeeerrrrrrr!?”
Riko’s bold action raised my body temperature even more.
Ms. Olivia’s face, which was looking at us like that, blushed…. Oh, Ms. Olivia is actually pretty pure!?
Her open mouth splendidly wouldn’t close.
While Gillian pulled Olivia’s arm, who was completely frozen, she disappeared into the crowd, saying, “Well, this person might get in your way”. I feel like she had thrown a meaningful wink at the end, but I guess it’s just my imagination.
“Hey, Serra. Let’s go, too.”
I’m a little unsettled, but I head to the city side by side with Riko.
Saying “un”……, Riko extended her right hand to me.
Understanding her intention made me feel embarrassed, but I held Riko’s hand.
It is embarrassing to openly walk in public while holding hands. However, I felt that I had been poisoned to the extent that I thought it wasn’t bad and I got a sense of security.
…… When I think about it, I felt like it’s been a long time since I walked hand in hand with Riko.
“Oh, Serra. You’re finally smiling.”
I look back involuntarily at Riko’s words.
She pointed to me with a dazzling smile.
“After all, Serra looks the best with a smile.”
Riko’s black eyes shined brightly.
Indeed, it reflected my face with a bashful smiling expression.
The Military post located on the other side from the Sera and others.
There stood Karen and Iris in front of it.
Karen, why are we here?
“Well, it’s weapon procurement. I’m about to run out of ammo, also Serra and Riko don’t even have guns for self-defense.”
“…… That’s right. The Undying, in addition to being monstrously strong as, they are elusive and unpredictable, and you don’t know when you will be attacked, so it was unbearable, wasn’t it.”
The two immediately go inside.
According to Karen’s intention, the information that the Commander was assassinated does not seem to have spread much in the country yet. Perhaps Sakura and others are killing and turning them before the information is transmitted.
At any rate, at least Karen’s authority as a Major General, still passes in this city. She will guide them to the arsenal easily and find a gun that Serra and Riko can handle.
Suddenly, Karen held down her temples as if she had a headache.
“…… No, it’s nothing. Iris, can I leave it to you for a moment? I just remembered something urgent.”
“Sorry, I’m going ahead.”
Karen left without waiting for Iris’ still voice.
Suddenly, Karen’s condition has changed, so she’s not sure what to do, she received the gun like she was told.
When she was about to pick it up, Iris realized that she had forgotten an important item, so she turned around and asked.
“Excuse me, but do you have a medical kit?”
…… she must have a kit as a medic.
I held hands with Riko and walked through the city, which is dyed in black and white while having a friendly conversation.
I’m not shopping in particular, but that alone has given me a sense of happiness. That’s more than enough.
I take it back. I’m grateful to Karen for giving me this opportunity.
However, after 30 minutes of walking, she seemed to be getting tired and I’m now in a coffee shop with Riko, drinking coffee.
“Now that I think about it, what time should we go back?”
“Well, Gillian said she’ll be fine until about 2 p.m. So a little more than an hour?”
The conversation was calm, and I took a sip of the bitter coffee.
I start talking to a meek Riko.
“You know. If I can’t control my impulses, erm…. Riko, wh-what if I was about to kill…”
“………… What does Serra want to do?”
My question was answered with another question, and I looked up at Riko’s face.
Her expression was not angry, and it was not sad.
She was just looking back at me seriously.
“Does Serra want to kill me?”
” No, I don’t! Riko is my precious partner, so… there’s no way you can kill you.”
“Well, that’s fine.”
Riko smiles as she breaks her serious expression.
“Serra doesn’t mean to kill me. That’s fine. That’s enough. if I know that much, I can trust Serra and not hate her.”
“Besides, if Serra is about to take the wrong path, I’ll correct it.”
With a confident smile, Riko said so.
After I was a little stunned, I understood Riko’s words and almost cried with joy.
At the very least, I was not seen by Riko as a loose cannon, and I promptly cast my eyes down.
“…… Even though she was much smaller than me, she scolded me.”
“Small… !? Shut up, you tit monster!”
“That has nothing to do with it!”
At Riko’s angry words, I unconsciously looked up to refute them.
Then we stared at each other for a while, and at the same time we smiled.
After laughing for a moment, Riko stood up.
“Sorry, Serra. Can you wait here for a while? I have something I want to buy.”
“…? Would you like us to go together?”
“No, it’s okay. This is just a secret.”
Well, is it a present for me?
Then, I’ll take your advice, and wait a little.
I saw Riko off as she quickly left and drank my cool coffee.
That’s the signal.
Suddenly the happy time collapsed.
Sakura was sitting right before my eyes.