Chapter 39 – Egos Fusing
I pulled out the sword stuck in Cecilia’s chest, and kicked her lightly to make sure she’s dead.
Then lightly shook off the blood stains on the blade.
Gillian timidly called out behind me.
Without looking back, I just said a few words as I replaced my sword in the scabbard.
“What’s the matter?”
“I’m sorry! Even though it was on the spur of the moment, I put a bullet through senior’s head…. and, I strangled senior’s neck.”
“Oh, that’s it. That’s all right.”
When Gillian strangled me, it seemed so sudden that I thought she had become an Undying at one point, but apparently she went crazy by Sakura’s hands. Actually I was also hallucinating. Therefore, it’s best to let things go.
And that Gillian shot at me.
Come to think of it, when I fought Meena, Gillian couldn’t shoot me in the head.
Originally, she was an apprentice soldier who had no combat experience, and her sensibilities were that of an ordinary girl’s. It’s not a surprise that she refused my request at that time, and I don’t blame her for it.
But even though not much time had passed, she shot at Cecilia without hesitation. Did she feel her life was in danger, was it an act of trying to protect me, or was it some other reason?
But the fact is that her actions helped me. Thanks to that, I came one step closer to my goal of killing all the Undying.
But this was not the time to be optimistic. Riko was still in Sakura’s custody, and she was in a very critical situation. I have to get to her as soon as possible and kill Sakura and Rinka.
“Gillian. I think it’s probably dangerous from here on out, and you should turn back and meet up with Karen and the others.”
“… Wait, senior!”
“You don’t have to worry. I won’t die.”
“No, no, no! That’s not what I mean, but it’s also a follow-up to what I just said…”
I thought that Gillian was concerned about me and tried to stop me, but it seemed to be different.
The expression she had as she was strongly pulling my arm as if to implore me was a sense of unease and fear.
“You shouldn’t fight anymore …or else, or else senior!”
“What’s the matter with you, Gillian? After all, you’d better head over to Karen and the others and settle down――――
“Haven’t you noticed the look on your own face?”
Gillian pointed out the issue, and involuntarily I put my hand on my cheek.
My cheeks were slightly loose and the corners of my mouth were raised.
“You’ve been smiling the whole time. Since I killed Cecilia. This isn’t senior, and if you go on, you won’t be able to go back to my old senior!”
Restraining Gillian, who was about to cry, I put my hand on her shoulder to calm her down, looked into her eyes, and answered quietly.
However, when Gillian saw my face, her expression was dyed with fear.
“Like I said, I’ll be fine. Just go.”
“Ah… uo, sen, ior, but――――”
Force was added to the hand gripping Gillian’s shoulder. I’m the one who said “Go”, but I grabbed her with all my strength, not letting her go.
An unconscious dark impulse was beginning to swirl within me. The impulse that I couldn’t satisfy even after Cecilia died.
―――― I want to kill this girl.
Ignoring the voice of Gillian, who was frozen in fear, I gradually shifted my hand from her shoulder to her neck. This girl is very very cute. Because, she’s my adorable junior.
“Senio, stop… tsu!?”
Slowly applying force to Gillian’s neck as she tried to resist with tears in her eyes, I began to strangle her.
I’m full of smiles. All I had to do was block her airways until she died. I can’t help but want to see her life fade away with my hands.
Yes, I’m a ‘killer’. That’s why here―
―――― Serra is not a murderer!
Suddenly, I heard Riko’s voice inside me.
Even if my hand seemed to loosen for a moment at that voice, I put my strength back into it.
―――― I’ll guide you when Serra is about to take the wrong path.
“Ah, ah ………”
“Gaha! Hah … Hah …”
Riko’s words brought me to my senses and took my hand off Gillian’s neck.
I’m not sure why, but my emotions are all messed up and I can’t understand why I’m crying.
―――― Yes, I’m not a ‘killer’! I’m Riko’s lover, and I’ve come this far to protect her!
“Uh, that’s right, Riko, Riko…”
“Senior, are you all right…”
“Gillian… I’m sorry, go quickly. It’s all right now.”
I almost sobbed, but at Gillian’s words, I remembered the situation I was in and managed to swallow it and stand up.
Perhaps because I had her life in my hands earlier, Gillian did not approach me, but she was still worried about me. I think she’s a really kind junior colleague.
“After all, I’ll go alone. I must save Riko.”
“But, I’ll also――――!”
“It’s really all right now.”
Interrupting Gillian’s words, I looked back.
I didn’t want her to see my face now, and I had to save Riko as soon as possible.
“I will definitely help Riko. And I will not be a killer. So go to Karen. I will definitely come back.”
“…… Oh, if you’re so sure. Just don’t be so reckless.”
“I’ll be fine.”
I heard footsteps behind me.
Perhaps Gillian looked back too. She is so precious. I’m sure she was regretting not being able to stop me.
But I couldn’t stop. I won’t allow any more sacrifices. I won’t lose sight of myself anymore.
I remembered that night’s resolution. The determination to “live”. Riko’s hope. I came here to make it happen.
So, I’ll reassure Gillian. And admonish myself.
“I have Riko.”
And at the same time, I and Gillian ran out.
Alone, I continued to run down a long passage.
I managed to run my thoughts while my emotions were not settled yet.
Earlier I was saved by Riko’s words. That’s why I should thank her. And I should save her.
However, the first thought that came out was ‘I want to meet Riko soon’.
Had the dam holding back my emotions finally been lifted by being alone?
I screamed and cried till my throat seemed to dry up.
I can’t help but want to see Riko as soon as possible.
I want to see her soon. I want to hear her voice soon. Such feelings overflowed and I couldn’t stop.
To that end, I kept running.
Olivia’s heartbreaking cry echoed.
Karen’s head was mercilessly crushed by Hildle’s hand. After Iris, Olivia’s heart was dyed with despair as she was easily shown the sight of her falling.
Soon, she will meet the same end. Olivia couldn’t be afraid, even as death was imminent. Her emotions were completely numbed.
“I was really hoping for a good match. It’s a pity that it turned out so trivial.”
Hildle muttered lightly. Then, without looking at Karen’s fallen figure, she stepped towards Olivia.
Quickly, Olivia held her gun up, but deep down in her heart she thought, “It doesn’t matter”. She was sure resistance would be useless. Without a moment’s retribution, she had given up thinking that she would die soon.
Twitch, Karen’s finger moved.
“Don’t joke arooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooouuuuuunddd!!!!!!”
The two raised a surprised voice at Karen’s angry roar.
Karen’s head, which should have been crushed, was back to normal, and she stood up with a heavy breath.
“Preposterous, surely you died on the spot…!? I never, you’re also Undying!?”
“Such a nuisance.”
Karen mercilessly punched away Hildle, who raised her voice in agitation.
No, not just Karen.
Olivia saw a familiar vestige overlapping.
She caught up with her as she was blown away, and Karen continued to beat her up.
“Hahaha, ahahaha, is this the ‘pleasure’ of violence? Oh, it feels so good, oh, that’s the best, die quickly, you, Iris died because of you, it’s so nice, so pleasant, huh, ahahahahaha!!”
Karen and Elena. The two souls that inhabit the same body were fusing together, causing the collapse of their ego. They don’t know which is which anymore, or which one was in the other.
Currently, Karen could only devour ‘pleasure’ in the form of violence. She was only able to maintain herself by destroying her opponent.
It was an effective move against Hildle, who had exceeded the critical point under Sakura’s orders, but Olivia could not face the situation. She didn’t want to see the person she respected be so broken.
“Give me more and more ‘pleasure’! Die quickly, break, crumble, crush, collapse, come on, come on!”
“Be quiet you!!”
Involuntarily, Olivia’s voice stopped trying to call out to Karen.
Looking at her expression, Olivia’s eyes were wide open.
The image of Elena had already disappeared from there.
Only Karen, who was weeping and weakened, was in the figure.
“I wanted to get to the top with Iris. I just wanted to get stronger, reach the top, and watch the view with Iris…”
“But that’s not the only thing I’m promised.”
However, Karen’s words, which had been weak up until then, began to fill with strength.
A strong light dwelled in her eyes.
“Thanks to Elena showing me the past, I was able to remember. Three years ago, when I picked up Serra, she said “Please Kill me”. From the moment she clung to me, I decided I would definitely help her.”
At once, with fists clenched, Karen stood up.
Looking at Hildle, who remained quietly lying down.
“Damn, I almost lost my body to you because of Iris’s shock. Oh yes, I certainly don’t deny that it’s a convenient reason to forget my grief for Iris. But, you know, if I don’t live up to Iris, that’s what she’s going to feel sorry for.”
Surely, Karen kept muttering to someone who wasn’t here.
Then she raised her fist high.
Suddenly, Karen noticed.
Hildle had disappeared from under her eyes.
On the contrary, she was nowhere to be found in this room.
Karen collapsed with a dry laugh.
Olivia rushed to Karen, holding her broken arm.
With one arm supporting her head, Karen muttered with a sad face.
“Can’t you at least forgive me for some mischief, ‘Mother’?”
“…… It’s your total loss, isn’t it, Hi-chan?”
“Keho, Goho, ‘Mother’…”
When she came to her senses, Sakura was standing in front of Hildle.
The gas mask was completely shattered, revealing red eyes and a proper face, but her expression was tinged with fear.
“Why… why was I defeated? I should be the perfect Homunculus…!?”
“Hmm, that’s right. You’re a ‘success story’, right? I guess it’s no good against the power of love after all.”
“Love… don’t understand. I do not know of such a thing!!”
That ‘love’ that she couldn’t understand made Hildle’s body tremble and her heart throb.
No matter who looked at it, it was clear that Hildle was afraid of that ‘love’.
But Hildle, who didn’t know any emotions, couldn’t be aware of it.
Sakura, who saw the scene, lovingly stroked Hildle’s hair.
“Well, I don’t understand. It’s a mystery that the strongest ‘doll’ is defeated by a person with a temporary emotion. But that emotion, it’s humanity’s strength. Hi-chan.”
“Even if you say so… I don’t understand!”
“You don’t have to.”
There was a sound of flesh tearing.
Hildle’s eyes were opened wide.
In Sakura’s hand was a pulsating red-black mass.
“If you understood such emotions, you would be like the Undying too.”
Without hesitation, Sakura crushed Hildle’s heart.
With that alone, Hildle’s life was abruptly destroyed.
―――― In fact, Hildle was not a complete immortal. She was only given superhuman strength and high regenerative ability.
So the heart or brain. If either one stopped functioning, her life would also cease at the same time, which was the only physical function that was no different from that of other humans.
“The perfect homunculus, you see, refers to a doll that has the same mental structure as a human being.”
Sakura murmured while staring at Hildle, who had stopped moving.
“Sakura was a girl whose whole life was about experimentation. For her, human beings are just lab animals. The only thing she found value for and loved was successful data.”
She turned her feverish gaze to Hildle.
Immediately after, she kicked the obsolete body away without hesitation.
“That’s why I’m the only one who can complete the finished product. It’s a realm that only I will be allowed in. I’m the only one who can be loved by Sakura. I’ll never allow any other perfection.”
Holding her hand tightly, she bit her lips so much that blood spilled and trembled with anger, and Sakura whispered with resentment.
“…… That’s why you will never be happy. I’ll make you regret stepping into my territory without permission, Riko.”