Chapter 23 – Worst Date Day ①
Next to Saul is a small town called ‘Marni’. The two were separated by a large river, making it possible to go back and forth between the two towns by creating a huge bridge between them.
Around the middle of the bridge. Karen leaned out and stared at the surface of the water.
Eventually Karen murmured.
“…… Well, what do you want?”
『Oh. That’s quite a hostile attitude.』
The words were returned from the water surface.
The face on the surface of the water was not a woman with a familiar brown-haired semi-short and a single eye, but a little blind girl with eyes closed and white-haired short bob.
Karen glared at the face reflected on the surface of the water, and spoke.
“Don’t be silly. I’m not going to be friendly to someone who invades people without permission and tries to steal them away, now am I?”
『…… yes, very puzzling. I certainly got inside you. That said, your soul hasn’t disappeared, and it has successfully merged with mine. An unprecedented event.』
At that time.
When Elena stole Karen’s lips, Elena’s soul went in. Karen’s strong spirit persisted and her soul was spared from being lost. But Elena also had intense madness and her soul did not disappear. As a result, the two souls have somehow fused together and came to co-exist.
So to speak, Karen now has two personalities at the same time. Karen sees whatever Elena sees, and all of Elena’s thoughts reach Karen’s ear.
However, all of Karen’s memories have been replaced by Elena, and Karen reflected in the mirror and the surface of the water has changed to Elena, so it might only be a matter of time before she is taken over.
“…… So. You went out of your way to try to steal my consciousness away, what’s the purpose?”
『No, not at all, such troubling conduct, I just need to talk to you.』
“Talk to me? Like I’d care to talk to you any…”
『For example, we Undying have a weakness.』
Karen yelled frantically at Elena’s sudden words.
Wasn’t she trying to take Karen’s body to monitor the actions of Serra and the others? Why is she trying to convey such useful information?
『Oh. I certainly became a spy and reported Serra’s activities to Sakura. At first, I took your body with that intention.』
『I changed my mind.』
With a smile.
Elena’s smile was reflected on the surface of the water.
『I’m not particularly interested in Sakura’s goal. Nor am I interested in Serra’s journey to kill the Undying. I just thought that it was more interesting.』
『Yes, that’s right. What I want is pleasure. As long as I can get that pleasure, the means and the end don’t matter. If there is pleasure beyond my ruin or survival, I will enjoy it.』
“…… you’re crazy.”
Karen spits at Elena’s crazy words.
She doesn’t trust the ramblings of a madman, but right now she needs information. It was when Karen opened her mouth to get some useful information from her.
“――――Good Day to you”
『!? Karen, who is-?!』
Both were surprised by the young voice heard from behind, and Karen looked back.
Immediately after, a sword was set up on Karen’s neck.
The girl holding the sword was a child with black hair and red eyes in a red kimono.
She stared at Karen without expression and gripped the handle firmly.
“Where is Celestia Valentine?”
『Karen, be careful! This child is Kirino, an Undying!』
“!? Such a child…!”
“What are you rattling on about for a while? I’m asking where Celestia is!!”
The facial expression up to that point collapsed, and revealing her emotions, the little girl ―――― Kirino screamed.
Her sword trembling, she stared strongly at Karen, and with a desperate look on her face she screamed.
“Celestia, she killed Meena! I hate Celestia for killing her! I hate, but…… I want her blood!! Well, I’m dying for that sweet, euphoric blood!!”
Kirino remarks gradually became strange.
Gasping, she was breathing heavily, her bloodshot eyes restlessly fidgeting round and round. Even though she had the horrible look of an ogre, her smile was mixed in.
The accelerating madness. Karen was confused by the situation, but reached for the Marine sword on her hips.
Elena’s voice echoed in her head.
『This is bad, she’s getting pretty close to the Critical Point.』
“What is this Critical crap?”
『I’ll explain the details later, but it’s like the degree of the Undying’s insanity. The crazier you are, the closer you get to the critical point.』
“What do you mean?”
『Her behavior will be unpredictable.』
Karen then pulled out the Marine sword and placed the sword on her neck.
For a moment, the turmoil in Kirino’s eyes, which had been trembling, spread.
Her narrowed eyes twinkled.
“……blood, blood. I want blood. Come on, let me drink!”
Kirino readied her sword and jumped.
A frontal charge. At this level, it is easy to counterattack.
―――― or so I thought.
Side step to the right. The moment she stepped into it, Kirino, who was supposed to be approaching, disappeared.
“…… Ah. Karen Dashwood. I heard that she is one of the most powerful people in the Elmerado Army, but after all I do not think she is as fast as I am.”
Kirino’s voice came from right behind Karen.
With a cling, a blade touched Karen’s right cheek.
She immediately tried to roll to the left. However, Kirino was slightly faster.
The blade touching her cheek was pulled at a stroke. Fortunately, Karen’s immediate move resulted in a bleeding but shallow cut.
『What are you happy about! It’s dangerous to bleed in front of her! Stop right now!!』
Elena screamed in her head with a frustrated voice.
Suddenly, she got a headache due to the loud volume, and Karen cursed while holding her head down.
“Shut up! What do you mean to stop!?”
『Well, naturally, you can’t let her lick your blood!!』
Karen was even more confused by Elena’s words, which don’t make sense.
Looking back, Kirino stared at the bit of Karen’s blood attached to her blade and was holding her breath.
“Ha, ha…Heh. Hehe. Blood… it’s blood.”
“Wow…… that’s disgusting.”
『This is no situation to be fluent! I said it would be bad if she licks your blood!!』
“No, even if I was told that, she moves fast.”
Kirino had already stretched out her tongue and licked Karen’s blood.
As soon as she put it in her mouth, Kirino’s eyes opened wide.
“Oh, wha… Haha, what is this taste? It’s like Tuberose, like a sweet, blasphemous powerful drug that doesn’t intoxicate?”
“I don’t know what that means. Anyway, let’s have you sleep quietly!”
Again, holding out her Marine sword, Karen started running.
But her words never came true.
Kirino stared at Karen with a broken smile and licked her tongue.
“Eh, ehehehe. Those words are mine.”
Before they were done saying their words.
One word, Kirino whispered.
Shortly after, a red spear jumped out of Karen’s mouth.
She vomited blood while raising a strange voice, and even that blood hardened and penetrated Karen’s arm.
The blood that overflew from the penetrated point hardened again, it penetrated a different point, forming a reddish black spear.
Kirino approached Karen who was struggling with the spear in her body while taking light steps.
Then, she licked the spear and talked while writhing.
“Ahaha…… what is it, your blood… It is a different taste from Celestia. If Celestia is the finest wine, you are like a highly addictive drug… Fufu, haha, heheh. Could you give me more?”
“Well then, good night.”
Karen was about to talk.
The blood in her body condensed, and Karen’s heart and brain were pierced at the same time.
With her eyes wide open, Riko murmured, shaking her voice.
What does that mean? Does Rika know Sakura?
I am confused by the shocking words that came out of Rika’s mouth.
…… Now, perhaps I’m going to touch Riko’s secret. But I don’t want to know. Especially when it came to Sakura.
If I learn Riko’s Secret, how should I look at it? How will Riko look? I’m not sure, but that fear prevailed.
“Oh, what’s wrong, Riko?”
Sakura turned around and talked to Riko.
On the other hand, Riko has a fearful expression as she stared, and her body trembled greatly.
――――How do you know Riko’s name? Why does Riko look so frightened?
Riko, who I should have trusted so much, is becoming more and more of an unknown.
Riko certainly is a “lover” who puts me first, of that I’m not mistaken.
“Stay away from Serra right now!!”
Riko shouted, trembling with fear.
Riko’s cry echoed in the store.
Immediately after, the voices of the people in the shop suddenly went silent, surprised at Riko’s voice.
Sakura’s voice echoed in the quiet shop.
Finally, I realize what happened.
The people in the shop were surprised by Riko’s voice and went silent.
………… Everyone had stopped all at once.
As if time had stopped. As if everything around me had turned into a single photo.
Everyone had stopped while performing their previous motions.
And even me.
I couldn’t move my body. Not only that, I couldn’t move my eyes nor could I speak.
And Riko was the same.
She couldn’t move from the spot at all, with her face still drawn in fear.
Sakura stood up and looked back towards Riko.
What happens if Sakura touches Riko here now? As it is, I have no choice but to keep watching silently….
However, my voice was also empty, and Sakura placed her hand on Rika’s shoulder.
“Oh, I’m sorry. Just remembered I have urgent business. Well, I’ll be going ✩.”
Immediately after, the inside of the shop became noisy again.
At the same time, both me and Rika are released from physical restraint.
“Gah~, hah~ hah~………, Sakura!!”
I regained my breath, which had been stopped before, raised my face and glared at Sakura.
…… But before I knew it, Sakura had disappeared.
Riko ran up to me, her face seemed about to start crying.
There were many things I wanted to ask, but I hugged Riko to reassure her for the time being.
“Riko, are you all right?”
“Yes, I was really scared… I thought I was going to die….”
“………… Hey, Riko.”
What? And Riko stared anxiously.
I was at a loss for a moment whether to say it or not, but I decided to ask Riko.
“What did you mean by ‘Mother’?”
“……! that is…………”
Her eyes wide open, Riko held her mouth.
After all, this was a problem related to Riko’s “secret”. A problem that we were unconsciously avoiding. Now I’m trying to get to the heart of it.
However, this question might be cruel to Riko, who had tears in her eyes and a fearful expression. I fully understand that she’s been instilled with a strong trauma even without knowing the whole picture of Riko’s past.
“I’m sorry, if you don’t want to, I’ll—“
“I’ll tell you! So, can we go home first?”
Riko said so, tightly clenching my sleeve.
I’m glad to hear Riko say that. But.
I want to know her past, at the same time I also don’t want to know.
―――― Oh, I really am the worst.
Therefore, I had no choice but to answer so vaguely.
Both Rika and I, the happiness we felt just before vanished like a lie, leaving only anxiety to let dark clouds rise.
Thus, the happy date with Rika ends in the worst form.
―――― But wasn’t that the moment which spelled the end?
If I thought about it, I should have been wary when Sakura appeared before me.
I should have paid sufficient attention so that the “setup” would not end in this manner.
Therefore, I will know her malice.
We had already fallen into a hell full of madness and malice.