Chapter 43 – Gentle Madness
The high-pitched sound of sword-fighting echoed.
Serra and Karen. Both their swords collided as they glared at each other while they battled.
Serra opened her mouth with a crazy smile that could freeze anyone who sees it.
“I’ve always admired you. You are the strongest and most respectable person I have ever met, and you have always been there for us. I’ve been chasing after your back.”
Was she trying to incite agitation in her?
However, Karen was aware that Serra’s words made her heart waver slightly.
Originally, Serra’s heart was weaker than anyone else’s. Karen also assumed that she would lose a loved one and shut down. And above all, Karen understood Serra’s pain very well.
──── When she lost Iris, Karen also threw everything away and tried to die.
But just because she could sympathize doesn’t mean she can tolerate her madness.
Serra’s sword, which had been interlocked with hers, was withdrawn, and she jumped backward to move away from Serra.
Serra opened her mouth and spoke to Karen without giving chase.
“But, Ms. Karen.”
Just for a moment.
For only a moment, Serra had her usual gentle smile on her face.
Immediately, she was consumed by madness and it disappeared.
“I’ve always wanted to kill you. I wonder how pleasant it would be to kill someone so strong.”
“…… Stop it. I don’t want to hear those words from your mouth.”
Karen, with a sad expression, tried to deny Serra’s crazy words.
“Hey, Sera. I like you. I thought of you as a real family.”
“Please. I don’t want to fight you. Wake up.”
The voice came from her immediate side.
Before she knew it, Serra was standing to Karen’s right and swinging her sword.
“The feeling of not wanting to kill you, it’s already long gone.”
Immediately Karen swung the sword in her right hand and collided with Serra’s sword to parry the attack.
Even though they locked swords once again, Serra drew her face near Karen’s, without changing a single expression.
“I love you too, Ms. Karen.”
“But I’m shocked. To think Karen was Undying.”
Karen was so upset by Serra’s words that she gasped.
Serra didn’t miss that opening.
Zaku, without hesitation, Serra stabbed Karen’s left chest.
“Because, you see, I’m stabbing your heart, but I don’t feel the sensation of taking your life. You’re moving. Still alive. Isn’t that proof of immortality?”
“Guh, ugh …!”
While grunting in pain, Karen gripped the blade with both hands and tried to pull it out without caring about her palms tearing apart.
However, Serra did not allow it, and pushed it back into Karen’s chest with all her strength. Due to the blood flowing from Karen’s palm becoming a lubricant, the flesh of the chest was torn again as it slipped and the palm got cut up.
“Oh, gi, ah !!!!?”
“If you are Undying, there’s no reason to save you anymore. It is my desire to kill the Undying. So, I will kill you here.”
While she cursed with a frustrated look on her face, Karen put the center of gravity behind her and forced her body away from the sword.
As soon as Karen fell on her backside, she stood up and set up the swords in her hands and faced Serra.
However, Serra was already approaching in front of her.
“Oh, no way, this is your ‘Dominion’!?”
“Yes, have you noticed it now? ‘Black Shadow’, that’s my ‘Dominion’. It’s the ability to hide your body in the shadows and close the distance in an instant.”
“Hey, such a nasty power!”
Dodging Serra’s pursuit, Karen pierced Serra’s left shoulder with her left-handed sword.
At that moment, Karen looked as if she swallowed a bitter worm.
It was unbearable for Karen to hurt her, even if Serra was hostile.
Far from groaning in pain, Serra was stabbed yet didn’t even react.
Despite the continuous flow of blood, she approached Karen.
“Why… doesn’t it hurt !?”
“Hurt… What is that?“
At Serra’s words, Karen fell to her knees.
Why did she have to be driven to this point? Why should she be deprived of everything?
Her vision was fading. Her heart dyed with despair.
Then, Serra smiled gently with her sword pointed at the devastated Karen.
“Ms. Karen. As I remembered from a little while ago, what is the most effective means to deal with the Undying?”
“It seems to be‘pain’, right?”
She stabbed Karen’s left eye.
Her vision was gone.
“It hurts, doesn’t it? It’s painful, isn’t it? It’s distressing, isn’t it? It’s unbearable, isn’t it? It’s okay. I’ll free you.”
Serra continued to whisper gentle, crazy words to Karen as blood dripped into her throbbing ears.
As she whispered, she strangled Karen with both hands.
Karen, who was mentally burned by the pain, the suffocation, the darkness, and Serra’s gentle madness, was screaming and chewing dirt in an unintelligible manner.
Karen, who was hurt and in despair, was driven to the edge.
Inside Karen. Elena, a piece of the soul that was fused together.
She is a Homunculus who was made in Sakura as a “pleasurer”. Therefore, the stimulation that she receives is converted into “pleasure”, but the stimulation which struck the soul directly does not correspond.
And because Elena’s soul was shared with Karen, she literally suffered mental agony.
For the first time, she received unbearable pain. For Elena, who was still mentally young, the stimulation was too harsh. Elena cried in a torrent of pain. And unfortunately Karen who shared the stimulus was swallowed by the pain, and the pain of Elena flowing in was amplified by the gentle madness spun by Serra. The amplified pain was doubled and reduced to Elena. Karen added the reduced pain to create new pain, and the pain that was born was added to Elena, and the pain that she had felt so far was accumulated and added up to return further pain to Karen. I was struck by the pain of Karen who had received it, and I was sick of the pain that I couldn’t help but to destroy my heart. I’m whispering I want to stay forever I can’t see anything I can’t see anything I can’t blame my eyes I can’t move I’m choking I could smell it, but I couldn’t understand anything, but I wanted to stay for a long time. I wanted to stay. I want to be able to stay to be able to be able to be able to be able to be able to be able to be able to be able to be able to be able to be able to be able to be able to be able to be able to be able to be able to be able to be able to be Ah, ah—
Even the thoughts in Karen’s mind died.
The image of her friend came to mind.
“I…… ri, ……s”
At the end of the whisper.
Putsu, and Karen’s consciousness was lost.
“Wow…that was it…”
Sakura, who was watching the whole thing, mutters with a pale face.
Karen’s spirit was pretty strong. On the other hand, it also had the fragility to collapse in an instant if a loved one is hurt.
But that alone wouldn’t break her heart. It was necessary to use the mentally immature Elena to kill her completely. “Pain” was a convenient stimulus for her who knew nothing but “pleasure”.
But, she didn’t tell Serra any of the measures she had taken up to this point. However, she lost feelings other than joy and pleasure and found sadism in the killing.
Thinking so far, Sakura trembled in spite of himself.
“Huh, really… you’ve finally awoken a sadist…”
There was no expression of fear on Sakura’s trembling face. She had a smile on her face.
Joy. She was trembling with joy.
“Amazing, Serra always exceeds my expectations. Fufu, ahhahahaha!! Thanks to that, I can move the “plan” forward!!”
Sakura laughed with tears in her eyes.
She set fire to the cards with a female soldier and pleasurer.
Sakura mutters with an ecstatic face while gazing as smoke rises and the ashes fly in the wind.
“Karen and Elena are eliminated. Then, I’ll continue to count on your help, Serra ✩”
“Goodbye, Ms. Karen.”
Serra whispered gently while softly stroking Karen’s cheeks.
There was no sorrow in her expression. Quite the opposite. She had a smile on her face.
“One~ down, I’m going to kill you now. Olivia, you will be welcoming her to your side soon.”
Serra smiled as she spun words of pure madness.
“You don’t have to worry about me, I’ll be fine. Because I have Riko.”
Saying that, Serra looked back.
Her cloudy, sky-colored eyes showed a small girl with blue hair and red eyes.
When Serra saw the girl, she said with a full smile.
“Well, let’s go kill her, ‘Riko.'”
──── And Serra finally rejected reality.