Chapter 33 – Steeped in Madness, Drowning in Madness, Sinking into Madness
“―――― ior, …en, or………, senior!”
I woke up to Gillian’s call.
What was going on….
As I recall, I arrived at ‘Rogen’ and was attacked by Rinka, and then I fainted —! ?
“Uugh, Senior, Ms. Iris, Ms. Iris…”
Yes, Iris is dead.
Unceremoniously, her head exploded from the inside.
As if remembering the scene, Gillian’s face turned pale, but she shed tears as she hugged me.
“…… I couldn’t do anything, nothing! She was so easily killed, such an awful sight, I could only watch!!”
“Senior, I’m scared. I’m really scared to be killed easily like that! You want me to deal with someone like that?”
“Gillian, calm down.”
I gently hugged Gillian, who was distraught with fear and shedding tears, and rubbed her back.
No matter how determined she was, she’s a 15-year-old girl. Even if she was a soldier, she has not even been organized into a unit yet, and she had no experience of getting through the battlefield like me.
It was only natural that such a young girl, still mentally immature, would be overcome by the power of Rinka, which could easily slaughter her companions in front of her.
――――On the other hand, I was terribly calm at the sight of Iris’ death.
Just before losing consciousness, I heard Karen mourn for the first time. And Gillian was also weeping at the shock of losing her companion.
―――― However, I don’t have that feeling right now. Of course, Iris was an important companion. Her death has a great sense of loss.
But that’s all. I wasn’t any more shaken than that. I’m sorry for Karen and Gillian, but thanks to that, I was able to take in the current situation.
Now we were in a wide, dimly lit corridor. Only the small light above my head was reliable, and the darkness was spreading both in front and behind.
And now, only me and Gillian were here.
…… Me and Gillian alone?
“Oh!? Riko!? Where is Riko?”
“Hey, Gillian! Riko’s not here! What happened before I fainted!? Where did Riko go?”
“Oh, you don’t understand what you’re saying! Senior calm down—“
『Hiya, that’s enough the both of you ✩』
Sakura’s voice echoed out of nowhere.
I looked up and looked around as if strummed by her voice, but Sakura was nowhere to be seen.
『Oh, it took 15 seconds for everyone to be quiet. How’s that? This is a special surprise for you prepared by Sakura』
“Don’t be ridiculous! Riko! Where did you take Riko!?”
『Is that it? Iris is dead, but surprisingly no damage (LOL)? I don’t know if you’re human.』
“I’ve had enough of that!”
『Sorry sorry, just kidding. If it’s Riko, she’s under Sakura’s care now. I’ll take my time hurting her.』
Riko is with Sakura?
I can’t understand Sakura’s words. No, I couldn’t accept them.
The ‘voice’ echoed as if ridiculing me.
“Riko!? Sakura, stop it!”
『If Serra and the others get here. But to prevent them from coming easily, I left Cessy on the way. Do come here somehow before Riko dies ✩』
『Hi!? Don’t, no, Serra, Serra!! Help me, I don’t want to do this anymore!!!!???』
I couldn’t stand Riko’s heartbreaking scream, and I just couldn’t help but cover my ears.
I should have blocked the sound, but Sakura’s voice echoed in my head.
『So, do come soon. Otherwise, Rikorin will die, right?』
“You are ———————–“
My anger boiled over as Sakura mocked and played with her life to no end.
I shouldn’t let Sakura’s mouth piece completely rile me up, but the only way to help Riko as soon as possible is to move on.
“Let’s go, Gillian.”
“Eh? Um, Senior.”
“We don’t have time!”
I pulled Gillian’s hand and we started walking.
Cecilia and Sakura will be waiting for us ahead.
I’ll kill them as soon as possible and mount a rescue.
With anger and murderous urge, I dived deep into the darkness that spreads a little ahead of me.
“Ahahahahaha! Serra simply got fooled by it ✩ Rikorin is totally full of life!”
While sitting in a chair, Sakura burst into laughter as she watched the video unfolding in front of her.
Next to her was Riko, who was restrained in a chair with a chain.
As Sakura said, Riko couldn’t move, but there wasn’t a scratch on her body.
Riko’s earlier screams were only reproduced using Sakura’s “Dominion”.
“What are you going to do with Serra?”
“I’m going to stir her up. I was like, ‘If I do that, I’ll be able to see something interesting’.”
“Stir her up…”
Sakura answered ambiguously, and Riko felt puzzled and uneasy.
The words ‘stir up’ suggested that she had planted something in Serra. But this is Sakura, it’s definitely nothing good.
“That. Was it Rachel Seaton? The mob who was in love with that Elena. It would be interesting to attach that child’s body to dear Rinka.”
“Attach… also, sister’s body!”
Riko, who was given Rinka’s name, showed her anger toward Sakura while she was upset.
Riko felt strong anger and hatred for her ruthless act of further remodeling Rinka’s body, who had lost all memories of the past and even forgotten who she was.
Why would she go to such lengths to torment her so relentlessly?
“Fufu, nice face. Rinka’s ‘Dominion’ is ‘Acquisition’, and when you attach another child’s body to hers, you get a new power.”
Said Sakura, while gently patting Riko’s cheek.
Riko, on the other hand, was glaring at Sakura with disgust.
“So far, I have only gained the power to deprive other people of consciousness and the power to explode the heads of all the people I set up. But the former can only be used once, and the latter doesn’t work for ‘peculiar people’, like you.”
Is that why only Iris died at that time?
And when she attacked before, all the people around her, other than Riko and Serra, lost their head and died in the same, but at that time, Rinka answered, ‘It didn’t work because I’m not a human being’. In a word, they likely escaped from Rinka’s ‘Dominion’ because Serra was Undying, and Riko had the ‘peculiarity’ of being an artificially created human.
However, it was a power that Rinka had newly acquired. Sakura’s self-confidence while talking about it meant it had the potential to work on Serra and the others.
“What … what is that power…”
“Ah, you’re so anxious? Well, once you’ve overcome it, you won’t be affected anymore, right? I’m looking forward to seeing it for the first time. Well, see for yourself.”
The word ‘overcome’ made her feel uncomfortable.
At the same time, Sakura waved her hand and a video appeared in front of Riko.
It showed Serra and Gillian walking hand-in-hand.
“I can only connect the video, so no matter how much you call out, she can’t hear it. Watch closely because something interesting is about to happen.”
Riko stared at the video in front of her, even as she has a sense of unease due to Sakura’s disturbing words.
And then, things happened.
It was when I was walking in silence with Gillian’s hand.
Subdued, and her quiet voice could be heard.
“………… I see.”
“Why is Senior so calm?”
I stopped involuntarily at Gillian’s words and looked back.
And when I saw her expression, I froze.
“Hey, how can you be so calm when Iris is dead?”
She was staring at me with strong hatred in her eyes.
The first time I saw that expression on her face, and the fact that the target was me.
I could only be puzzled by the feelings directed at me when she was supposed to adore me.
“How can you be so unconcerned about being separated from Karen and Olivia? Aren’t you worried!?”
“Of course, I’m worried! But above all, Riko—”
“That’s it! As soon as you heard Riko’s voice, you panicked, didn’t you? Is Riko so important!? Are you saying her life is worth more than ours!? Hey, hey!”
“Oh, that’s –!”
Gillian’s words pierce my heart deeply and my mouth snarled.
Riko, of course, is more important to me than anything else. That doesn’t mean I’m going to look down on Iris and the others. No, it doesn’t.
So, it’s not the time to be upset by Gillian’s words. I don’t know why she started saying such crazy things, but as you can see from the madness in her eyes, something might have been blown into her by Sakura.
Madness in Gillian’s eyes?
“Gillian, what have you done—”
A dry gunshot echoed.
The shot went through the left chest, about halfway through the heart, and the black liquid spouted with severe pain.
I lost my strength to the pain and the sensation of something flowing down from me, and I fell on my back.
Immediately, Gillian mounted me and tightly strangled me.
“Gu, ah…. op, don’t, kill, n…”
“It’s Senior’s fault. Because of Senior, they’re all dead! I’ll kill you, murderer! If you don’t die, I’ll kill you to death!”
「That’s right, Serra. More and more people are dying because of you.」
Following Gillian’s words, Riko whispered in my ear.
As she walked around me, with a smile, Riko spoke to me.
「Hey, Serra. Be aware of your half-heartedness. How many people died because you kept turning a blind eye to the fact that you are a ‘killer’?」
“Don’t play around, kill… please die now, Senior!”
“Ah… do, nt.”
Riko’s words overlapped with Gillian’s words.
At the last minute, as my neck was squeezed and my breathing became labored, something screamed in me.
「Hey, let’s relax already. Let’s not hold it in and let it go. Let’s put out all of Serra’s desire to kill. Otherwise, Serra and Gillian will still be suffering.」
“Why don’t you say anything? You really want to kill me, don’t you?”
“Uh, ah, don, uh ……… I dont ….”
「You don’t what?」 “What do you mean you don’t?”
Gillian and Riko asked at the same time.
「Serra is a killer. A hopeless killer. She really wants to kill me.」
“Actually, I know you wanted to kill me too! You were trying to kill me at that time, weren’t you?”
“Stop, d … I dont, I , no …!”
Shaking my head hard, I rejected Riko and Gillian’s words.
Stop it and don’t say any more.
I don’t think I’ll be able to bear it if I’m told any more. It was more painful being blamed by Riko and Gillian, two people who had absolute trust in me.
Yet, their words easily slipped into my ears.
I, the words I didn’t want to hear the most were easily spat out towards me.
「”If it hadn’t been for Senior, everyone would have been happy.” 」
I heard the sound of something breaking in me.