Chapter 29 – Madness Accelerated, Secrets Revealed
“…… I’m done with the tentative treatment. Fortunately, only the surface was burned, so it will heal in a week.”
With a bandage wrapped around Gillian’s neck, Iris told her.
Olivia was the most relieved to hear those words.
The tension was relieved, and she suddenly fell down on the sofa.
―――― One hour after the encounter with Rinka Akasaki. We returned to the hotel in Saul and reported each other’s situation.
After coming into contact with Sakura, I encountered Rinka Akasaki. And in the end, Riko had a “bomb” planted in her.
Olivia and Gillian encounter Hazel. When asked where Cecilia was, the two replied that they did not know of course. But immediately after being convinced that she was my companion, she attacked and Gillian was burned.
Karen went with Iris to procure weapons, and when Karen stepped away, she ran across Kirino. However, Sakura appeared there, too, and took Kirino away.
“Whatever the circumstances, aren’t they acting too quickly?”
Karen, sitting on the sofa, whispered.
She took a small box out of her pocket, put a cigarette in her mouth, and began to light it.
Iris looked at Karen’s with a sense of disgust.
Since Iris was a military doctor, it might be unavoidable to hate things that are detrimental to her health.
But I too was surprised at Karen’s smoking, and asked.
“Huh, did Karen smoke?”
“No, just a little…”
Karen looked awkward.
She looked away and shrugged her shoulders.
It was as if she was desperately holding back something.
“I made her quit three years ago.”
Iris approached Karen as she answered.
“You know, I’m not good with smoking. Why are you smoking again?”
“I’ve had a lot of stress over here. I want something that can relax me even a little.”
“I’m telling you to stop because it’s bad for you!”
“Well, now now. Calm down, both of you.”
I broke in between to pacify them.
Iris had an imperturbable expression, but she seemed to calm down for the time being.
“But Karen is right. I think it’s too early to attack, it’s just three days since the coup d’état. It’s like she’s in a hurry to execute her plan.”
“Ah. In fact, the Undying called Kirino seemed to be quite impatient when she attacked me……. she acted rashly as if she had suddenly gone crazy.”
Meena was also making incoherent remarks just before she died.
Even I could get lost in the swell of madness, and be ruined.
That is the end of an immortal.
With this thought, I felt appalled at the sense that my fate is being defined.
” But either way, if we don’t move, Riko will die, right?”
“…… Yes. That’s why I’m heading to Rogen. I’m sorry to have got you involved, but……”
“Don’t worry about it. They’re the ones who shouldn’t live anyway. And I owe it to you.”
“…… It’s the same with me.”
Karen’s words followed Ms. Olivia.
Even though we had just met her, I’m surprised that she gave her approval, so I looked up involuntarily and stared at her.
“Originally, that woman called Sakura caused a coup d’état, and even Jillian got hurt.”
“You were so close with Gillian…?”
“Oh!? No, I mean, we’re friends….”
When asked about Jillian, Olivia blushed and looked away.
The subject of the topic, Jillian laughed weakly.
“Ehehe…… I’m glad you’re worried. I’ll follow my seniors, too.”
“I’m sorry, everyone…”
Originally, this battle was half caused by me.
But even so, they’ll all come along with me, so I’m really proud of the fact.
“Iris. How fast can we get to Rogen from here?”
“It’s about three hours by train.”
“Then we’ll leave tomorrow. Riko has no time left.”
There is only one thing to do. Kill the Sakura and the others, then we all come back alive.
If that’s the case, I’ll kill anyone who stands in the way. I’m going to kill anyone who poses a threat to Riko.
Plop, there was a clatter of noise.
What were they afraid of in the first place? If you kill one person, what does it matter how many you kill?
I’m not a ‘killer’. However, I’ll kill anyone for Riko’s sake.
Plop, Plop, Plop.
There was a sudden sense of discomfort.
Finally, I realize the true nature of the noise.
The sound was echoing from within me.
Just as I had forgotten ‘sorrow’, it was the sound of something important in me falling out.
I feel like I’m forgetting something, a feeling that I shouldn’t forget.
At last, I never remembered that feeling.
―――― And I have lost my guilt and repulsion for murder.
“Riko? What’s wrong?”
As each of them had returned to their rooms.
In the lonely lobby, Riko looked awkwardly at Karen, however, looking straight ahead she asked.
“I want you to tell me. The real reason Serra fights.”
“The Undying can’t be forgiven, but that’s not all, is it?”
The secret Serra is hiding from Riko.
And the past she doesn’t talk about.
Riko thought that Karen, who had picked up Serra, might know something.
She felt it was cowardly, but if she didn’t use a little aggressive hand, Serra wouldn’t tell her.
“…… Serra told me never to reveal it.”
“By all means, can’t you do it?” 」
“Well, it’s the most sensitive topic for Serra. I don’t feel like talking about this either.”
Karen made a troubled voice while scratching his head.
After all, it was when Riko had half give up on the idea that it would be so easy.
“…… But if it’s you, as Serra’s lover, I’ll make an exception.”
“You’re the one Serra trusts the most, and it’s weird that there’s so much to hide. But it’s just this once, right?”
After giving her warning, Karen sat back on the sofa.
Then, making sure there was no one around, Karen began to talk quietly.
“…… First of all, it happened three years ago. It all started when we got information that a murder occurred in the small country village of Freil in the south, and I headed there to investigate it.”
Riko also knew that Serra had a strong murder impulse. She’s never actually seen it happen.
Riko nodded, swallowing raw saliva and urging her to go ahead.
Karen also took in Riko’s thought and opened up the conversation.
“When I arrived, the village was wiped out. Every single person was fallen and bleeding. There was no doubt that there was such a violent criminal who could cause such a disaster, and it was when I passed a certain private house with caution. I saw a figure in the room reflected through the window.”
“Was it a survivor, a hostage, or the criminal? At first I slowly walked into the house, wary, then saw the identity of the figure inside. It was Serra.”
Perhaps the memory from here onward was painful, Karen’s face darkened as she continued to speak.
“But it was terrible. Her hair, face and clothes are covered with blood. At first, I rushed to see if she had been injured, but when I approached her and looked closely, it all blood splatter. In the corner of the room, there was an axe stained with blood.”
“…… No way.”
“That’s right. The identity of the serial killer who murdered all the villagers was Serra. Serra, who was 14 years old at the time.”
“That’s… But Serra wouldn’t do that.”
“No she wouldn’t. I didn’t believe that at the time, and even now I don’t see Serra as a killer. But when I asked her if she killed them, she answered in a thin voice, ‘Yes…'”
“At first, she was so dismissive that she didn’t even respond to my call. Then I met her eyes and spoke to her little by little, waiting for Serra to open her mouth. As I did that, Serra finally started telling me little by little once she finally understood the reality of the situation.”
Once Karen stopped her words, put up a cigarette, and lit it.
She inhaled a lot of smoke, slowly exhaled then took a deep breath.
Karen began to talk again.
“It began with a childhood friend named Alice.”
Riko took a breath when she heard the name.
The name of the girl who had taken her hostage and tortured her during the coup d’état incident.
After all, was she the reason Serra began to go insane?
“At the beginning, Alice killed Serra’s parents and attacked Serra. Then, Serra seemed to have lost consciousness, and when she came to, she was surrounded by corpses.”
“You mean that Alice had killed so many people indiscriminately…?”
“No, no. The one who killed those people was Serra.”
Unable to believe Karen’s words, Riko could only speak in a dazed voice.
“By the time she realized it, her hands had turned black and blood-stained, and the villagers who survived were calling her a ‘murderer’ and ‘killer’ one after another. Then, despite Serra’s defense and resistance, she was hung.”
Riko was in awe of the magnificent story from Karen’s mouth.
However, this was not the end of the story.
“It seems Serra had become immortal at that point. Within minutes of being hung, Serra woke up. The villagers never imagined that the person who had been strangled would come back to life. They probably planned to bury her body in the ground as it is, and untied the rope after confirming that Serra had lost consciousness.”
“What happened after that…?”
Riko asked with a terrifying quiver.
She doesn’t even know why she was afraid.
No, perhaps the answer had already been imagined.
“When Serra woke up, she quickly got consumed by the urge to murder and started killing the survivors of her crime. Serra said she remembered laughing while killing, one after another.”
“After talking about it, Serra burst into tears and clung to me, and repeatedly begged me, ‘Kill me’. That she was a person who should not exist. Eventually she would kill someone. She attempted suicide many times. She hung herself, cracked her own head with an axe, stabbed her heart with a kitchen knife, jumped from great heights….
When she found out, Riko was in tears.
The sobs escaped even as she held down her mouth.
With such a tragic past, Serra had come into contact with her?
The murderous impulse enough to overwhelm one’s will, and the fear that one day you might kill others just by being there. Is it possible that Serra has lived up to now, sandwiched between these two feelings?
Thinking that far, Riko suddenly realized.
“Wait, please… Then, the reason why Serra fights the Undying……”
“Yeah. To find a way to kill an immortal and use it on herself. In other words, Serra has been fighting to find a way to kill herself.”
The truth told by Karen, Riko was at a loss for words.
A sad and cruel side that she had never showed up until now. Riko found out about it.
After some hesitation, Riko opened her mouth.
“………… Even if it was.”
“I want to help Serra.”
With tears in her eyes.
Riko smiled with all her might.
“It doesn’t matter if Serra is a ‘killer’ who shouldn’t exist. Still, I love her so much and I really want to help her. I might get angry when Serra asks me this, but I hope Serra will live forever.”
“…… I mean, you guys”
Annoyed, but happy, Karen heard Riko’s words.
…… Surely Riko can’t spend a lifetime healing Serra’s wounds. Still, she should be able to fill her loneliness.
After hearing Sera’s past, Riko made up her mind even more.
“Ms. Karen. Can I get everyone together again this evening?”
Riko stared straight at Karen’s face and asked her.
―――― This time it’s my turn.
“I have an important story for everyone to listen to.”