Serra – Interlude 3

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Recollection: Riko Akasaki’s Past ①

As if pulled from the bottom of the water. Suddenly, the world spread around it. Sound, light, feel, and all kinds of stimuli strike it from all directions.

Blinking, cloudiness, awakening. Its consciousness became clear, it became aware of its ego and its thought circuit gradually began to turn.

“Yoo-hoo. How about waking up, you?”

A girl with fiery red hair and blood red-black eyes peered into its face.

Who was she, who was the girl in front of it?

As soon as it heard the girl’s voice, it was moving its mouth sooner than it recognized.

“……’Mother’?”

And one more, it was alone.

Appearing young with red eyes and indigo colored hair.

A Doll(Homunculus) without a name was born into this world.

※※※※

It was just after it woke up that the ‘doll’ had been transformed.

“Mother” standing in front of it ―――― Sakura went round and round it and spoke in a talkative manner.

“Well, then, I’ll “test” as usual. You, homunculus, unlike ordinary humans, possess some knowledge and skills which have been Overwritten(Installed) immediately after being born. It was originally developed as a soldier.”

“Hah…”

The ‘doll’ without the name was in a state that the Sakura’s words couldn’t quite sink in.

Sakura stopped right in front of the girl and spread her hand in front of her.

“So, the test we’re going to do this is to see if that Override(Install) is properly done. It’s quite difficult to make a human soul for one person. Just having a very few mistakes will make a useless doll.”

Click, saying that much, Sakura snaps her fingers.

Suddenly, a little girl appeared in front of her.

Her whole body was restrained with a rope, the mouth was gagged, and the eyes were blindfolded.

The girl was wriggling her body with a cry of ‘Hum!’ and desperately resisted.

The ‘doll’ was bewildered because their understanding could not catch up with the abnormal situation that suddenly occurred.

Suddenly, there was a noise from its feet.

As it looked, it saw a handgun, a kitchen knife, a big rope, an axe, a knife, a club… various weapons were lying at the feet of the doll.

And, Sakura put together the palm of both hands and said with a smile when she approached the front of the ‘doll’.

“Now, use whatever article you like to kill this child

“…… Huh?”

It didn’t understand what she meant.

Why can she say such an insane thing with a smile?

The girl, who heard the note of Sakura, resisted harder due to fear, and the ‘doll’ also backs down to the strange atmosphere of this scene.

After seeing the situation, Sakura frowned and stared back at the girl with a suspicious face.

“What’s wrong? Here, use whatever you want from what’s here. You know how to do it, right?”

“…… no.”

“Yes? What was that?”

“No, I don’t like it…”

The ‘doll’ rejected in a thin voice.

The expression disappeared from Sakura’s face when she heard the words.

In an empty emotionless voice, Sakura asked the ‘doll’.

“…… What don’t you like? Can’t you easily kill this girl?”

“Yes, yes… I can’t.”

“Why? Don’t tell me you feel guilty?”

“Well, because killing is wrong…”

Sakura sighed, “Hah~” at the ‘doll’ as it mumbled.

Then put her foot on the girl’s head.

She crushed it mercilessly.

“Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhh, Uuh, ouueeeigh!!”

“Aaah, are you going to vomit at this level? You’re kidding me, I’ve made a blunder.”

The doll, who was confronted with the sight of bones breaking, splattered brain matter and blood splashes, couldn’t hold back the vomiting sensation that came up and threw up gastric juice.

Seeing the situation, Sakura looked terribly disappointed and made a gesture of holding her head.

“You have a wonderfully moral personality. I failed, damn it.”

“Haa…… haa……. ah, ‘mother’, what!?”

“Unfortunately, the test is canceled. Apparently, only your criminal consciousness is all but forgotten. Is there such a miraculous bug? (LOL)”

Then, scratching her head, Sakura simply told the doll.

“I’m sorry, you were born as a perfectly moral person. Such a person is unnecessary in Sakura’s ‘plan’.”

“In the end, what do you mean…”

“Thank you for your hard work. Unfortunately, you are a failure.”

“Fa, ai………”

“Dud”.

It’s not difficult(surplus) for ‘doll’ to imagine what it means.

Will it be “disposed” of and easily lose its life as it is, or will it be left as “interior” until it decays?

Either way, there was no doubt that it would meet a terrible end.

“I, I’m not…. ‘Mother’, please forgive me!”

“Ahaha, you don’t have to be so scared. I’ve already decided what to do with you.”

Sakura laughed at the doll, that trembles in fear, imagining his own future.

And without giving the ‘doll’ a name, Sakura simply told her the end of the story.

“From today you are a slave here. I have someone for you to take care of.”

※※※※

―――― Sakura was walking in the dimly lit prison with the ‘doll’.

In each room, girls of the same or similar age as the ‘doll’ were confined. However, there is no one who can sense vitality like the ‘doll’.

Some lay collapsed as if they were dead, some continued to hurt themselves while giving a distorted smile, some roared with unpleasant loud laughter, and some of them….

“Oh!? Hiyaaaaaahh!!??”

There was the figure of a girl who was devoured by the insects crawling around on its corpse, her head was crumpled, her brain was dripping down, her belly was slit open, her pink intestines were swollen.

Not just one. There were at least ten similar corpses.

“What are you scared of? Such a scene is only natural here, isn’t it?”

“Wh-why… Why is this happening!?”

“Remnants and Materials of Former Research”

Without breaking her smile, Sakura proudly spoke to the ‘doll’.

―――― The expression on her face, as if she was reminiscing about her former lover.

“Life is truly a mystery. The ‘soul’ born of sex has the most beautiful and perfect structure. It’s a miracle that science can’t even begin to observe.”

“…………”

The ‘doll’, puzzled by the sudden and unrealistic story, tilted its head.

And Sakura looked back towards the ‘doll’ and told the cruel truth.

“And you, homunculus, are artificially in a state of life. In other words, I researched the ‘soul’ from scratch and created it, but here’s the problem. What was the laboratory necessary to be able to artificially manufacture this ‘soul’?”

“………… no way

The face of the doll, which I guessed without hearing the answer, turned pale.

If Sakura’s words were true, she is…

“The answer is simple. They’re about the same age as you. Well, Sakura had to do some rather nasty things, right?”

“Ah, aaah…”

“And the material that makes up the ‘soul’ is also a natural product, that is, it’s much faster to ‘get’ from humans. You can’t make anything from nothing.”

“Aaaaaaaaahh!!”

The breathing is disturbed, the tears couldn’t stop, and the ‘doll’ despairs over its true identity.

And, as if to put a stop to it, Sakura mercilessly confronted at the fact that the ‘doll’ was unconsciously looking away.

“I mean, you too. You’re a being born with the sacrifice of dozens or more, weren’t you?”

“Uoaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahh!!!!”

The truth was too cruel for the ‘doll’ who acquired the age-appropriate spirit and ethics.

It was born after taking the lives of dozens of girls.

Overwhelmed by that fact, the ‘doll’ fell to its knees.

“It’s such a hopeless “dud” that it can’t help breaking my heart ✩ Look, get up quickly.”

There was no gesture in particular, and the body of ‘doll’ was pulled up by Sakura’s words.

After being forced to stand up, the ‘doll’ began to walk behind Sakura again.

“Look, your purpose is to take care of that one, so get on with it and don’t hesitate.”

“Higu… u….”

Sakura just spoke properly without a care.

The ‘doll’ couldn’t recover and kept leaking sobs.

After walking on for a while, Sakura and company arrived in front of a certain room.

Slowly opening the iron bars, Sakura let the doll in.

“Well, from today on, you’ll be the caretaker of the child, so please give my best regards.”

Sakura said so, and the ‘doll’, shedding tears that have not stopped yet, stared at the girl in front of her.

Black unkempt hair and long slit black eyes. She looked like an Oriental from her face, she wore tattered rags, and there were scars and bruises all over her skin.

However, even though she looked so hurt, the ‘doll’ was still attracted to the girl.

Clearly different from the other girls who were trapped, she had a strong life in her eyes.

Despite being desperately captured by Sakura, the girl didn’t show any signs of breaking, and she even felt the will to resist.

“Now then, Sakura will be leaving. The child is called Rika Akasaki. First of all, let’s get along well ✩”

“Ah! Wait!”

The girl who is called Rinka, who twitched at Sakura’s words, reacted and shouted.

However, Sakura ignored her voice and closed the iron bar and left.

The ‘doll’ and Rinka were alone in a closed room.

In an awkward atmosphere, the ‘doll’ panicked in sobs, but Rinka spoke out and asked it.

“…… What’s your name?”

“Heh!? Name!? What, I don’t…”

“— I see. You look like you’ve been forced here by that woman.”

“Well, that’s the sort…”

Strictly speaking, she made it, judged it to be a ‘failure’, and brought it here as a slave.

For a while Rinka growled “Hmm,” and then, with a sigh or two, smiled and put her hands together as if she had a flash of something.

“I’ve decided! Then I’ll give you a name!”

“Eh!? No, is that okay…!?”

“Yes, yes. I like it because it’s like you’re a sister.”

“Sister!?”

The ‘doll’ gave a surprised voice at the unexpected evaluation.

And after thinking for a few minutes, Rinka uttered her name.

As if to give a blessing to the nameless ‘doll’.

“…… Well then, Rinkokoro(Riko). That’s your name. Nice to meet you, Rinkokoro.

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