CV: Hosoya Yoshimasa (細谷 佳正)
Yamato is a very blunt and short-tempered man. He comes off as being rough-around-the-edges but of course he’s just hiding a heart of gold. He shows how much he cares about the people around him through his actions though he’d like to deny feeling any sort of softness and kindness for most of the people around him. Much like the others, he has no memories of his life before appearing in this mansion except for this impatience that drives him to want to escape as soon as possible because “someone” is waiting for him.
(Chapter 2 starts to give you choices so I didn’t have much of a choice but to merge it into a character post, kind of like how I usually blog, aha. So, this post is going to cover Yamato’s end too and uh… let’s say it’s not what you’re going to expect. Chapter 2 is also only unlocked after you see this side story attached to it so I’ll throw that in here first.)
Last time, our protagonists have discovered that there is a master in this house that wants them to collect these glass fragments and complete the kaleidoscope. They managed to complete the kaleidoscope and provide a fragment that showed a pattern on the wall. As a reward, they were given a bit of their memories back. Beniyuri now wishes to return to her family.
*** CONVERSATION WITH FAMILY ***
This is a memory of a happy gathering of the family.
She loves the morning air; the clear snap and tightening of the feelings. But, in the end, if she’s sleepy then she’s sleepy. She wants to stop the ringing alarm by her ear and go to sleep again. But she can’t do that either. She’ll be late for school and she’s decided to have breakfast with her family.
And that’s why she has to bring herself out of bed somehow. She puts on her uniform, arranges her hair, and puts on some lip gloss. Yep, now she’s motivated; she grabs the bag that is always prepared for her to take whenever, and descends the stairs. This is– one scene of her daily life as a high school student.
After waking up in the morning, she descends into the living room. Her father is preparing breakfast in the kitchen. The smell of bacon and eggs tickle her nose. Minato Ai (Beniyuri) greets her father and Haruka. They return her greeting. Her father informs them that breakfast is almost done and they can sit down at the table to wait. Ai volunteers to pour some coffee for them and milk for Haruka.
She opens the fridge and pulls out the milk but when she shows it to Haruka, her sister has a pout on her face. She wants to drink coffee too! Her father cheerily tells her that she’s too young for that still so she should listen to her sister and drink her milk. Haruka pouts and tells them not to treat her like a kid. It looks like Haruka’s mood turned bad and so Ai decides to try and lighten it up; she suggests making coffee milk so that Haruka can drink some.
Haruka is excited but she forces herself to sound nonchalant as she says that it can’t be helped and she’ll compromise with that. Ai giggles in her mind at her tone even though Haruka loves coffee milk. Haruka suspiciously asks why Ai is smiling and that this really is a compromise! Ai can’t help but let out a small laugh before she says that she understands. She asks Haruka to wait as she prepares it.
She pours some hot water into the pot and places enough instant coffee in there for everyone. Her father comes into the living room with bacon and eggs and salad in his hands. He thanks them for waiting and tells them to dig in before it gets cold. Haruka praises it for how delicious it looks and then starts to eat. Ai takes a bite and praises her father for making delicious bacon and eggs.
Her father laughs and says that all he did was fry bacon and eggs in a pan; western-style food is easy to make. He does want to try making miso soup from dashi and tamagoyaki though. Ai recalls that their mother was very good at cooking and she’d like to be able to reproduce her mother’s recipes. But she’s not good at cooking… though she wants to be a bit better.
Haruka teases her on how her shrimp fried rice, which was frozen food that was prepared, turned all black when she tried to fry it. Ai replies that she doesn’t want to hear anything from the person who didn’t help at all and just watched the television. Haruka pouts and then says that she’s watching a lot of different shows on television to make up for her sister and father who know nothing about the latest trends. She’s collecting information!
Their father tells them not to fight in the morning but then comments on how he has deep feelings seeing them beside each other like that. Ai looks over in confusion and so he reveals that they look more and more similar to their mother every day. Haruka could be either one though she resembles him more; however, Ai is exactly like their mother. Ai thinks their mother was more ladylike, but her father tells her that she is very similar to their mother when she was young.
Ai narrows her eyes at her father before turning to look at the wall because she’s a bit embarrassed to hear that she resembles their mother. Because her mother is her ideal woman. She won’t say that to her father though because it’s embarrassing.
And then her father notes that it’s almost the anniversary of their mother’s death. Ai realizes that it is and then wonders how many years it’s been since she died… she can’t remember any more. Her father informs them that they’ll need to go to her grave. Ai nods and adds that they’ll need to decorate it with some pretty flowers. Haruka makes a quiet noise and Ai looks over to see that she’s lowered her head and turning her salad to mush.
Ai and her father have already accepted her mother’s death as reality but… in the family, Haruka is the only one who doesn’t know their mother’s face. Their mother died soon after Haruka was born. And that’s why, whenever they spoke about their mother, Haruka falls completely silent. She doesn’t know anything about their mother and so she doesn’t know what kind of response to have. Ai asks Haruka if she wants to pass by a cake shop when they go to buy the flowers.
Haruka echoes the word “cake” and lifts her head up; her expression seems to soften a little bit. Ai nods and then recalls that Haruka likes the shortcakes from India. Haruka replies sullenly that she doesn’t dislike them. Ai continues on about how she heard their new product, which is raspberry, was delicious. Haruka points out that it sounds like she’s the one who wants to eat it.
Ai laughs and says that she’s been found out. In that case, Haruka should come help her choose one. Haruka sniffs and decides that it can’t be helped and it’s the younger sister’s painful job to deal with her older sister’s gluttony. It looks like Haruka’s feelings have been lightened with the talk of cake. Ai exchanges a look with her father and sees him smiling and giving a small nod. Suddenly, her phone beeps and she realizes that she’s received a message. Who could it be from?
She takes out her phone from inside her bag quickly. When she looks at the screen though she feels the urge to sigh. It’s this joke again… “His” mails are always filled with emoticons and kaomojis. Haruka asks slyly who it’s from. Ai replies hurriedly that it’s from a friend. Haruka eyes her speculatively but Ai just replaces her phone in her bag and shoves toast into her mouth. Ai knows that her sister is thinking a lot of things and is misunderstanding this entire thing.
Haruka is misunderstanding something that isn’t the case at all but she realizes that being misunderstood about this might be unavoidable. Her father tells her not to eat so fast. Ai tries to answer that she knows but she ends up coughing. She shoved too much toast and bacon and eggs into her mouth. Her father asks her in concern if she’s okay or if she needs some water but Ai waves her hand and reassures him that she’s fine. Haruka tells Ai that she won’t be popular if she shoves food into her mouth like that. Ai pouts and tells her not to be cheeky.
But the message she received said that “he’ll be arriving soon” and so she needs to hurry! Suddenly, the doorbell rings and Ai yelps before wondering if he’s here already. She just received the message… that’s too early! It did say that he’d arrive soon but she didn’t think he meant this soon. Ai blurts out that her friend came by to pick her up and so she’s heading out now! Her father smiles gently and tells her to be careful.
Haruka grins and says she’ll see her to the door before standing up from her chair. It looks like she wants to see who it is. Ai is flustered as she tells her sister that she doesn’t need to do that and then says her goodbyes.
She grabs her bag as she stands up and runs to the entry hall. He’s surely waiting for her with a friendly smile. And, in the instant that opens the door, the both of them will exchange the same greeting. It’s the sight of a normal morning. But, the moment she leaves the house, she can feel her heart pounding. What kind of day will it be today. It’d be nice if something fun happened. As she thinks this she opens the door.
*** CHAPTER TWO ***
It’s been several days and everyone has adjusted to living in the refuge. The rooms are nice and there are no problems with necessities. Every day there seems to be fresh ingredients for them to make ordinary food. But that’s why they put all their effort into training. Their training was, of course, creating their “weapon”. According to the rabbit girl’s words, their weapons are born from the strength of their thoughts, and they can use these weapons to acquire fragments from the monsters.
The strength of their thoughts… it’s something very similar to magic. It sounded like something nonsensical. But, previously, the gun that she formed in her hand had a startlingly realness to it. The fact is that they can use that power to overcome their difficult situation. She was skeptical when she concentrated on bringing out their weapons; and so of course she failed. No matter how many times she tried, she failed just as many times. It looks like the strength of her thoughts didn’t exist.
But, at the moment she wanted to give up, a miracle occurred. From people other than her.
Yamato asks impatiently from his sprawled position on the sofa when they’re going to go outside to defeat the monsters; at this rate their bodies will become dull. This is after they finished their daily training. Hikage calmly explains that it’ll happen when everyone can use their weapons but that’s not now. He should understand that much, right? Yamato clicks his tongue and mutters that she’s a hindrance, looking at Beniyuri. She lowers her head and apologizes.
On the day that she first woke up in this mansion, she was able to bring forth a gun and light between her hands. But, ever since then, no matter how hard she tries she can’t create the same thing. Before she knew it, everyone else surpassed her. Karasuba reminds Yamato that it was close for him too. He has only been able to bring out his gun recently and, amongst the men, he was last. Yamato snaps at him to shut up and there wasn’t a big difference between their speeds.
The two of them glare at each other, sparks flying from their eyes, before snorting and turning around. Kagiha sighs and reminds them not to fight like children. But then Karasuba suggests to Hikage that Beniyuri can remain in her room while the rest of them go to exterminate the monsters. He can also remain here as Beniyuri’s knight! Yamato snorts and thinks out loud that Karasuba just wants to skip out.
Hikage carefully looks at Karasuba to see if he’s making an excuse before soon shaking his head. He doesn’t think that this room is a guaranteed safe place. If anything does happen and Karasuba is alone when he has to protect her, it’ll be difficult to fight defensively. He thinks they need to be able to protect themselves. Karasuba winces at how Hikage is as serious as usual. Just when he had a chance to be alone together with Beniyuri. Hikage says without amusement that they can hear him.
Beniyuri, who has been silent, thinks Hikage has a point. At the very least, she needs to be able to protect herself first. But why is it that for some reason she can’t use the power everyone else has? They need to collect the fragments and then leave this mansion. Even though those should be one in her heart, her peace has been thrown into disorder and she can’t seem to endure it.
It starts to rain and Yamato mutters that it’s night again… how many days has it been since they came here? Kagiha tries to calm everyone down and forbids them from being impatient. He tells Beniyuri to try hard at her own pace. She thanks him shakily. Karasuba wonders out loud how their weapons are even constructed and, as if it were a toy, creates and vanishes his gun over and over again in a familiar action. Maybe it’s made out of crystals? Hikage reminds him that, at any rate, it disappears immediately and they shouldn’t use it excessively.
Anyway, after everyone goes to sleep, Beniyuri goes down to the living room again to train alone. The strength of her thoughts, huh… she thinks she might be able to create it if she is able to form a proper image. But she doesn’t really know what a real one looks like. And though she saw the fox masked person, she doesn’t really recall the shape of his gun. But she needs to try her best! She assumes a stance as if she were holding a gun and thinks strongly. She continues to think, almost like praying, but then she hears the floor creak.
Beniyuri is surprised to see Yamato, who she thought was resting. Is something the matter? He answers flatly that he was thirsty and so he came for a drink. What about her? She answers that she’s clearing her head. But he narrows his eyes and asks if she was training alone. Caught, she nods. After his cold response she was exposed to a rude stare. Beniyuri doesn’t know what to do because the conversation isn’t continuing and why is he looking at her like that…?
Yamato seems amused as he asks her if she’s scared of him. She blinks in surprise and asks him why he would ask her that, because she isn’t… He frowns and mutters that he gets the sense that she’s frightened. She thinks about that and how her fear seems to be able to be seen. She hasn’t thought about it much but the thing she is afraid of is… once again, she faces her own feelings.
Fear. It’s something that she has experienced countless of times ever since waking up in this mansion. Being trapped in this mansion, attacked by unknown monsters, things that she wouldn’t have thought about happening ordinarily happening every day– and each time, she can do nothing but shake in fear and feel like her breathing has stopped. Compared to that she definitely isn’t scared of Yamato.
He hasn’t abused her with words nor has he raised his hand against her either. She’s started to feel a familiarity with him as a companion. So, rather than the fear she has felt in the past several days, it’s a different fear wrapped around him… Beniyuri ends up saying that he is a bit scary. Yamato looks at her out of the corner of his eyes and grunts out that he thought so. But she continues on quickly to say that she’s not scared of him personally though! It’s more like he’s… sometimes rash.
Yamato narrows his eyes at her and she realizes that she’s not conveying herself well with these words. She murmurs that she’s scared of someone disappearing. She’s scared of losing one of the people who are currently living here. She points out that even though he’s found this refuge he’s frantic about searching for an exit and defeating the monsters. And so he’s not looking back on the dangers and that’s why she thinks he’s rash.
He tells her that it’s because he wants to hurry and go back. Beniyuri also shares the same feelings of wanting to get out quickly but she doesn’t want to lose anyone along the way. Her voice drops as she confesses that when she looks at him she’s scared of what might happen to him someday. He only exhales loudly. Meanwhile, Beniyuri has come to a realization after hearing her own words. What she’s most scared of is losing something. Losing a place to stay. Losing a precious person.
When she tries to think on why she feels this way, her heart clenches painfully tight. Yamato suddenly points out that she needs a weapon in the end then, right? In order to collect the fragments and in order to protect her companions. She agrees. He orders her to assume her stance. She blinks in confusion but he just moves behind her, grips her hands, and raises them to point them forward.
Beniyuri is panicking in her mind about this situation and how close Yamato is to her. But he only murmurs calmly to stay like this and imagine it. She repeats his word in confusion. He explains that she needs to imagine herself holding onto the gun. She nods in understanding but in her mind thinks on how she’s been doing that all along and nothing has happened. What should she do?
She suddenly hears him finishing saying something and so she makes a noise of confusion again. He repeats himself patiently and asks her what the color of the gun is. OHH MY GOD HOSOYAN IS WHISPERING REALLY LOWLY HERE AND CALMLY. She hesitantly replies silver. He moves onto the next question; how much does it weigh? The sensation? As she opens her mouth she also starts to slowly draw the picture in her mind. The color. The weight. The sensation. The size. The shape.
Every time she answers one of those a silhouette starts to darken in her mind. And then, at the moment she starts to feel as if she were holding onto the real thing, she startles when she hears a monster growl in the distance and feels the ground tremble. She tells him that this might be impossible for her but Yamato quietly tells her that it isn’t and scolds her for breaking her concentration. He reminds her that the thing she is scared of most isn’t using the gun but losing her companions, right?
At her nod, he tells her strongly to use this gun to protect them; her precious things. Protect her precious things? Protect her… Protect them! Beniyuri’s eyes widen when her gun appears in her hand, as if it had been there all along, from a collection of light gathered at her hands. Yamato notes that she can do it when she puts her mind to it, huh. Beniyuri is so ecstatic that she forgets about everyone else who was sleeping and shouts out that Yamato is amazing! She did it!
Yamato hurriedly tells her to be quiet. LMFAO THIS IS SO CUTE. Beniyuri continues on unabated though because she hasn’t been able to do it up to now and now she’s so happy… what should she do!? He huffs in amusement and points out that she just lacked imagination. She opens her hands a bit and looks inside them. Her hands are wrapped around a gun that is going to be used to protect the things important to her. There are patterns and crystals embedded in the grip and it’s more beautiful than she could have thought.
Up to now, she only had a scary image of it but now, looking at it, she can believe that this weapon is going to be a tool to open the path ahead of them. Yamato suddenly tells her to stop staring at her gun like that because it’s creepy. Beniyuri giggles and explains that she’s thinking about how she won’t slow everyone down with this and so that’s why her face is so relaxed. He can’t help but return her smile.
And then they both notice how close they are when their eyes meet. She suddenly recalls how he had basically been embracing her from behind earlier on. And now that she’s conscious of it, her heart starts to pound. Yamato quickly takes a step back and apologizes. Beniyuri shakes her head and apologizes as well. She can see a faint redness on his cheeks. In her mind, she tells herself firmly that he wasn’t hugging her or anything…
Beniyuri changes the subject and thanks him properly. It’s thanks to him that she’s able to manifest her gun like this. He tells her that it isn’t a big deal and, from the beginning, he was taught like this by Hikage. She repeats Hikage’s name in surprise. Yamato grudgingly admits that Hikage is pretty amazing; he’s always calm and has an eye on his surroundings. At the time they searched the mansion, he thought about how Hikage has everything that he’s lacking.
She’s surprised by how Hikage and Yamato are surprisingly getting along. But maybe it’s because the both of them are complete opposites? Yamato narrows his eyes and murmurs that Hikage seems to resemble someone… Beniyuri tilts her head in confusion, but Yamato just shakes his head and says it’s nothing. Anyway, he declares that they’re going to fight the monsters tomorrow and so she should get some sleep.
Beniyuri nods and then thanks him again for keeping her company this late at night. He grunts before giving her a small smile and then turning to continue up to the second floor. But then Beniyuri recalls that didn’t Yamato come to get something to drink? He left without holding anything though… will he be okay? Could it be that he went out of his way to check up on her? She’s not sure if that’s possible… and, while staring at where Yamato disappeared, she adjusts her grip on her newly formed gun.
At any rate, the next day, Karasuba praises Beniyuri for being amazing. Kagiha is also impressed by how perfect she is at it. Beniyuri grins and is also happy that she’s finally caught up to everyone. She had shown everyone her ability to manifest her gun and there were voices of admiration everywhere. Being praised like this must be the result of all her hard work! Hikage is also grinning as he notes that it makes her difficulties from yesterday seem like a lie. Did she make a breakthrough?
Beniyuri pauses because everything was thanks to Yamato but… she notices that he’s averted his eyes. Maybe it’s best to keep it a secret. Hikage prompts her by saying her name again and she hurriedly shakes her head before saying that she just somehow brought it out after practicing. Hikage hums thoughtfully but leaves it at that. Karasuba notes that this makes everyone being able to bring out their weapons. Yamato is grinning as he points out that they can finally go defeat the monsters.
Upon hearing those words, it’s like everything has become more real and nervousness runs through the room. Hikage reminds everyone that the dangers haven’t changed and they should move in groups. Kagiha agrees that it’d be the best. Karasuba asks how they’re going to form the groups, although he’s fine with how they were previously. Kagiha hums in thought before suggesting that they give priority to the girl here. What does Beniyuri want to do?
She pauses and then thinks on who she wants to move together with:
Beniyuri decides that, because he helped her practice yesterday, if she should choose anyone it should be Yamato. But she recalls that the last time they went exploring Yamato had a displeased face and turned away from her. She hesitates in her choice and planned to sneak a glance at Yamato to assess his expression but for some reason their eyes connect. He just blinks in surprise.
She panics on what to do because their eyes have met and it’d be weird to look away now! She realizes that she has nothing to lose and decides to ask him. She asks him if she is allowed to go with him. Yamato’s mouth drops open and she wonders why he looks so surprised. It’s not like she said anything strange, right? He can’t help his smile as he comments on how she’s a curious one; normally people wouldn’t choose someone like him, right?
Beniyuri just tilts her head and asks why. He huffs in exasperation and asks why she’s asking that… is she just being polite? And then he steps to the side and says he gets it and wants her to come over here. She smiles brightly and asks him if he’s really okay with it. He turns away but doesn’t hide his smile as he tells her that he is, but in exchange she can’t slow him down. HIS VOICE IS SO SOFT HERE GUYS OH MY GOD. Beniyuri promises to do her best!
And so, following after Yamato who went first, they step into the outside world. They went to the entrance hall and then up the stairs to the second floor and into the savage land. It wasn’t any different from the first floor. The corridor was as she predicted but the one difference was–
Beniyuri is awed by all the masks on the wall. What are they for? Yamato tells her not to ask him because he wouldn’t know. The walls were entirely decorated by showy animal-patterned masks. Beniyuri thinks on how the monsters are frightening but these masks have a eerie feeling too… is this the master of the mansion’s collection? As if taking no notice of her fear, Yamato continues forward quickly. If possible, she’d like to make idle talk to lighten up the air but she thinks he might get angry if she talked to him.
They both say nothing as they continue to search for the monsters. Time passes like that. Yamato finally looks back and orders her to say something. Beniyuri looks at him in confusion and so he elaborates and says that she’s even creepier than the masks when she’s quiet. Beniyuri gapes at him and then calls him mean because that’s going too far to say she’s scarier than the masks!
Even though she’s in the process of sulking, she’s happy to have found a conversation thread, and tries to think of a topic. She hasn’t talked a lot with Yamato and so there’s many things she wants to ask… Ah! She asks Yamato what kind of picture was sent to him when they all received emails from the master of the mansion. He pauses and looks at her. She asks him if he remembered his family?
She asked an innocent question but, in the blink of an eye, his expression closes off. Beniyuri is worried she asked something bad and then recalls that Yamato was also in a bad mood when some of their memories returned. She quickly blurts out that she received a picture of her family; it was of her home and the four of them. Yamato grunts. She continues on to say that there was her father, her, her little sister, and then Koro.
Her mother died immediately after giving birth to her younger sister but the four of them lived well. Yamato is smiling as he points out that it’s three people and one animal. Beniyuri tells him that he’s mistaken because Koro is family, and so it makes four! She still hasn’t remembered very much but… Beniyuri tells him that Koro was thrown away in a cardboard box on a rainy day in the park. His wet fur was plastered and his soaked body was trembling.
Beniyuri continues on to talk about how her little sister, Haruka, and her picked him up together. But probably because he had been abandoned he was extremely afraid of them and didn’t like them at all. He would bite them… As a child, she was scared of that. But her father taught her about conveying love and being patient. And then, one day, Koro approached them with his tail wagging.
Once, she became lost when she went on a long walk but Koro took her all the way back home even as she cried. Yamato compliments Koro on his cleverness. Beniyuri agrees and then says that Koro is very well-behaved. She wonders what is happening to Koro now. She had become immersed in her memories but Yamato had lent a ear and made occasional noises to indicate that he was listening.
Beniyuri recalls that she wanted to know more about him, but ended up talking about herself. But then, once the talk ended, she suddenly realized something. Yamato resembles Koro. He was cold when she first met him but, earlier, he extended a hand to help her when she was troubled. She starts to giggle which startles Yamato and he asks her why she’s laughing all of a sudden. She explains that she suddenly thought about how he and Koro resembled each other.
Yamato narrows his eyes and asks her if she’s saying he’s like a dog. She takes a moment to consider and says that it might be that Koro is human-like, but they do have similarities. He mutters that he doesn’t understand her but, even as he’s grumbling, because she keeps on snickering he starts to grin. Beniyuri’s voice softens as she says that she wants to see her father, Haruka, and Koro. Yamato points out that in order to do so they have to hurry and get out of here.
At any rate, they end up exploring rooms but Yamato notes that they’re not here. Beniyuri agrees. They’ve searched until their legs have become stiff but didn’t find any monsters. AREN’T YOU GUYS SUPPOSED TO WAIT UNTIL THE NIGHT? Much like the first floor, a lot of doors are locked but the ones that are open have piles of items inside. Beniyuri thinks on how they were attacked immediately when they had no guns but now that they’re looking for the monsters… none are around.
She wants to return back to their refuge without anything happening but also realizes that they need to collect the fragments. She scolds herself for feeling at ease and motivates herself again. In that moment, they can hear the far away sound of rain. Yamato clicks his tongue. Beniyuri notes that it’s become a bit chillier and night has come. Yamato expels a disgusted sigh at their lack of a harvest. He heads back to the entrance.
Beniyuri recalls that the monsters are more lively at night and suggests that they return for today. Yamato agrees. But then they’re both interrupted by a scream. Yamato asks what that noise was but Beniyuri doesn’t know either. Yamato suggests that they check it out and Beniyuri agrees before darting after him. Just what exactly happened!? They both clutch their guns and head towards the noise.
They move their legs quickly and try to find the origin of that strange noise. Beniyuri quickly points something out to Yamato. In the middle of the hall, they see a black shape. Facing them is a black shadow surrounding a young boy wearing a cat mask that is trembling. The boy begs them for help. Yamato stiffens before yelling at the boy to wait and that they’ll head over there immediately!
But, at the same moment the boy’s voice rose, the monster’s sharp claws slice the boy’s waist before they can even react. The boy gasps and Yamato is frozen. As if not knowing what had happened, the boy’s eyes only widen. And then the body is consumed by darkness. Beniyuri is terrified and unsure of what is happening. He disappeared? Did the boy… die? Were they… too slow?
As they stand there without doing anything due to shock, the monster in front of them slowly faces them. Beniyuri quickly calls out to Yamato, who grits his teeth and closes his eyes. But when he opens them again Beniyuri is surprised to notice that something is different about him. It’s as if his entire body is alight in blue flames and anger toward the monster. Yamato snarls out towards the monster that he’ll never forgive it. He yells back at Beniyuri that they’re going to fight. She quickly nods.
After the fight, Beniyuri is panting and asks if they did it. Yamato nods tiredly. She thinks on how they managed to somehow destroy it. The monster had changed into a flock of black butterflies and then, just like before, they were absorbed into their accessories. Beniyuri calls out Yamato’s name and starts to say something, but he walks forward to where the monster was and picks something up from the ground. It’s a fragment… probably for the kaleidoscope.
Beniyuri notes that it looks exactly like the one she had picked up. Yamato suddenly murmurs that once again he wasn’t able to protect them. She’s surprised to hear the word “again”. But Yamato continues on to say that even though they looked to him for protection… he couldn’t… he punches the floor with the hand that is gripping the fragment. Beniyuri doesn’t know what to say and only watches as Yamato repeatedly punches the ground.
Soon, something red starts to drip from inside his fist. It’s blood! Beniyuri realizes that the fragment has cut into his palm. But… the air surrounding Yamato is painful and she doesn’t know how to call out to him. Yamato may have remembered something painful… when their memories returned to them. The rain begins to fall down louder. They look around them as if trying to find an afterimage of the young boy.
The two of them return to the refuge and everyone gathers around the dining table as they report their findings from the day. Hikage notes that, after listening to everyone, it seems like the masked people can communicate with words. It also seems like they have personalities. After their exploration, they’ve made contact with people other than them and reached the conclusion that there are many in the house who can talk.
Karasuba points out that the problem is whether those are normal humans. Kagiha agrees that it’s strange for all of them to wear masks and that they have strange atmospheres. Yamato points out that the masked people are attacked by the monsters if they roam around the halls so where are they normally? Are they trapped just like them? And if so, are they living in another room somewhere? But Karasuba points out that, either way, they’re all suspicious right?
Hikage suggests that they try to avoid them to the best of their abilities and it’s not overly cautious of them to do so. Beniyuri is hesitant because while she’s concerned about the masks she also doesn’t distrust them. It might be because she was saved by the fox mask at the beginning. She’d like to meet him if he’s still in the mansion. Anyway, Yamato asks what they’re going to do with the fragments since they collected several. Beniyuri is brought back to the present by his voice.
Right, they’ve collected the fragments as per the master of the mansion’s orders. The glass fragments on the table, as if glad to be talked about, glitter brightly. Karasuba suggests that they do what they did last time with them and place them in the kaleidoscope. Yamato stiffens and yells at Karasuba not to do whatever he wants with them. Karasuba loudly says that he can’t hear what Yamato, the reckless one, is saying.
Karasuba walks towards the sofa table where the kaleidoscope is with a fragment in hand. Yamato snaps at him to stop but Kagiha asks Yamato to calm down and then also tells Karasuba not to do anything reckless. Beniyuri smiles at how everyone shares the same feeling in wanting to get out. Anyway, Hikage makes sure that everyone is gathered around the sofa table and leaves it up to Karasuba.
He confirms that everyone is here again before dropping the fragment in his hand onto the flat surface of the kaleidoscope. And then, just like before, the flat surface absorbs the fragment as if it were the surface of water. Beniyuri finds it beautiful and then the kaleidoscope projects the vivid lights of the world onto the wall. She notices that the pattern seems to be a bit different from before. Did something change when they placed in the fragment? Is this what the master of the mansion wants?
She speculates on this as she stares absently at the illusion. Will the master of the mansion let them out after they collect several of these? After a while the light disappear and Kagiha notes that it seems to be over. Hikage nods. Karasuba wonders if there’s any meaning to the patterns. Yamato shrugs. Beniyuri can still see the beautiful patterns under her eyelids. But something suddenly crosses her vision as she remains befuddled by the view.
White butterflies? They are usually in the corners of the room, so why are they flying around now? She follows them with her eyes and then, at the door, there’s a slender hand reaching in. Beniyuri startles and calls out to ask who it is. Kagiha also startles but Karasuba’s eyes show recognition. It’s Usagi who they had met in a room several days ago. Beniyuri greets her and asks what she’s doing here.
Yamato realizes that this is the person who they had been talking about and asks her angrily where she came from. Hikage snaps at him to calm down and grabs Yamato by the arm as he tries to lunge towards the entrance. Usagi apologizes because she intended to leave something here quietly and return home. She looks at the cart in the hallway with things inside and then searches for words.
Beniyuri can smell something delicious; she asks Usagi what she brought. Usagi replies, while shaking, that she brought food. She enters the room and carries 5 trays on top of each other toward the table while shaking back and forth. Beniyuri quickly offers her help since it looks dangerous to carry it like that. Usagi tells her shakily that she’s fine. Beniyuri points out that she isn’t because her arms are trembling.
She approaches Usagi to help her but everyone else comes to gather around the dining table as well. Usagi places the trays in front of each seat and then sighs in relief. She doesn’t know if it’ll suit their taste but she encourages them to dig in. Kagiha repeats her words faintly in confusion. Usagi explains that it’s a reward from the master for them having gathered more fragments. Usually, she just secretly brings then more ingredients but the schedule has changed to this now.
Yamato is astounded that they’ve received food. Karasuba doesn’t want it because there could be strange medicine inside. Usagi snaps back that the master wouldn’t do such a thing! They need everyone’s strength to complete the kaleidoscope. Hikage and Beniyuri are taken aback.
Fighting alone. That’s what Usagi’s words seemed to insinuate. Beniyuri wonders why Usagi listens to the master of the mansion’s words. What kind of relationship do the two have? IS THE MASTER THE FOX MASK? In the end, because no one wanted to take a bite out of such a timid and young girl no one said anything. A long silence continues. Until suddenly, Beniyuri hears someone pull out a chair and sit down. She turns to look.
Yamato notes that the master seems to be a one-plate meal person. It’s also the first time they’re eating a Japanese meal. Beniyuri calls out his name in concern and everyone watches as he starts to eat the food. Karasuba is shocked and comments on how they haven’t had dinner yet but… he can’t believe Yamato is eating something from someone they don’t know. Kagiha asks him if he’s okay. Yamato shrugs and says it’s nothing; it’s just normal Japanese food.
After he finishes his current bite of food, he sticks out his tongue. It’s like that kid said. If the master of the mansion wanted to do something to them then they would have done it a long time ago. He’s confident that the master wouldn’t go out of their way to get close to them and do roundabout things like this. Beniyuri has to give him that point. Karasuba murmurs faintly that a person as simple as Yamato said something decent… tomorrow is going to rain. Kagiha tilts his head and points out that the rain is always falling.
Hikage doesn’t have a complaint to Yamato’s words. Previously, under the name of a reward, the master sent them something connected to their memories. If they continue to follow the message and collect the fragments then they would continue to get suitable rewards. Isn’t that right, Usagi? She startles upon being addressed but then nods. Beniyuri wonders if this means that it’s okay for her to think about being able to leave this place once the kaleidoscope is finished?
Kagiha smiles at how they’ve settled that they can eat this food without reserve then. He asks for Beniyuri’s help with the tea, to which she quickly agrees. On the table, there are various foods that invite them with the gentle smell of family. There are various foods like cooked greens, miso soup, fish roasted in aluminum foil, boiled seasonal vegetables, vinegared food, etc. All of them are arranged prettily and just looking at it lightens up her heart.
There are carrots cut into flowers, which Kagiha points out. Beniyuri notices a radish that is sliced into a ribbon. It almost seems a shame to eat it. He understands completely. Meanwhile, as they have this peaceful conversation, there are the usual two with sparks flying from their eyes. Yamato criticizes Karasuba on his table manners. Did he not learn any when he was a kid? Karasuba points out that he doesn’t have memories of when he was a child, so he wouldn’t be able to answer that. Idiot!
He also points out that Yamato eats quickly as if he were in a competition and stuffs one thing after another into his mouth, like a dog! Maybe he should try tasting it? Yamato can’t believe Karasuba is trying to order him around. Karasuba retorts that he was the one who started it first! Kagiha interrupts the two of them and asks them to stop glaring at each other. He also asks Hikage to warn them.
But Hikage refuses. Beniyuri hesitantly calls out his name in question. He explains that it’s annoying to mediate their fights and if they leave them alone then they’ll resolve it. Beniyuri points out that it’s slowly getting dangerous though… Hikage shakes his head and tells them to look. Kagiha and Beniyuri turn to look in surprise. Yamato snaps out that he won’t do it and then turns away with a huff. Karasuba retorts that those are his words and then also turns away.
Hikage points out that they’ve reconciled; it’s best that they don’t do anything. Beniyuri thinks that, rather than reconcile, it’s more like they both completely broke down. Hikage continues to eat while using his chopsticks beautifully. And then, while watching him, she notices something. Beniyuri asks if Hikage dislikes shiitake mushrooms. He doesn’t respond. But she points out that he’s completely avoided them.
Beniyuri notices his face becoming red. She’s on the mark. He replies quickly that it isn’t that he’s bad with them… he just doesn’t approve of the taste. Beniyuri is amused and points out that this is what people normally call being bad with something. And then she scolds him for showing likes and dislikes because it’s rude to the person who made it. Hikage grumpily tells her that he understands and he’ll eat them.
Kagiha points out cheekily that this applies to Beniyuri who has left her green peas behind. She winces at having been found out. Kagiha continues to tease her by saying that she’s a good girl, right? So she’ll eat them properly, right? She lowers her head and says she’ll eat them. Ah, she can’t beat Kagiha! They continue on with their random conversations and enjoy a lively meal.
But then Beniyuri recalls Usagi and searches for the person who brought about their lively time. She finds Usagi by the entrance and wonders if Usagi had just been standing there this entire time…? She asks Usagi if she won’t join them. Upon hearing her voice Usagi, who had been standing there like a doll, startles and then says that she came here as a messenger and so she can’t possibly join them.
Beniyuri asks if she isn’t hungry from seeing such delicious food though. Usagi replies that she’s fine and that she doesn’t need to be worried about. But then her stomach growls loudly. Beniyuri hesitates before pointing out that her stomach just growled. Is Usagi actually… Usagi hurriedly apologizes over and over again and tells Beniyuri not to worry about her. Even with a mask Beniyuri can tell through her voice that she’s embarrassed.
But then Beniyuri recalls seeing something in the basket that Usagi had brought earlier. She tells Usagi to wait and heads to the kitchen to take something out of the basket. She washes it under water and then slices it into pieces before placing it on a small plate and returning. She presents the plate to Usagi, who asks what it is. Beniyuri explains that it’s the apples that Usagi brought earlier and they are full of juice and delicious. She encourages Usagi to try some.
Usagi is hesitant but thanks her and then lifts up her mask. She shoves the entire slice into her mouth. Beniyuri is surprised to see her actual face. It’s a young and delicate face with pale white skin; a small mouth and large eyes. She looked like a princess from a fairytale and there were no words to describe her but lovely. This is the first time Beniyuri has seen her actual face and she’s beautiful!
But then Hikage suddenly appears by Beniyuri’s side and snaps at her not to get close to Usagi. Usagi quickly hides her face under her mask. Hikage reminds Beniyuri that he had warned her previously about being cautious with strangers. She apologizes but points out that Usagi isn’t a stranger; she’s just a young girl who tried her hardest to bring them food. He recalls that she was tricked by that before and then chased by a monster; does she not have the ability to learn!?
Beniyuri yelps when he forcefully grabs her by the arm and takes her back to the table to make her sit. The sharpness in his eyes makes her stiffen as if she were a mouse under a snake’s gaze. She’s thankful for his concern but she also thinks he’s being too harsh right now. Usagi thanks her from behind but when Beniyuri turns around she can’t see the little girl anywhere. There is only an empty plate placed on the floor where she was standing.
At any rate, the meal not only filled their stomachs but also their hearts. Thanks to the food, they felt their liveliness return to them. They thought about the master of the mansion and the bright-haired young girl who carried trays of food to them. The master’s intentions are still unknown. All they know still is that the kaleidoscope needs to be completed. And that completing it is their duty ever since they woke up in this mansion.
There is uneasiness. There is fear. But to them, who are lost at sea, this far away wavering light is something that holds hope for them. When will that land come closer to them? When will she meet her family again? Dreaming about that, she finishes her day today.
*** CHAPTER THREE ***
The days of them eliminating the monsters roaming through the mansion continue. At the beginning, the strain on their bodies from fighting with their unfamiliar guns was great, but little by little their bodies have become lighter. The kaleidoscope fragments they obtain from the monsters slowly increase. Each time also seems to brighten and clear up their refuge and it feels like everyone has become more settled.
Companions. Each and every time they assemble she can feel that word becoming a bond. If not for that she wouldn’t have been able to endure the fear of being trapped in this mansion swirling with strangeness. But now everything feels natural. They are companions who are cooperating together with the same goal. They support each other and encourage each other. The cornerstone of this bond they have cultivated is aimed at the one goal of finding an exit.
The person who desires this the most is Yamato, who feels like he needs to hurry and return home. Every day he works himself to the bone continuing to collect the fragments if it will bring him home even one day earlier. And then… one day, Yamato returned with small wounds on his body as usual but–
Yamato is silent. Beniyuri notices that ever since he returned his health seems bad… he seems to be brooding. Beniyuri softly asks him if he’s alright because he seems really tired. He tells her that this is nothing. She points out that he seems sluggish. Did anything happen outside? He snaps out that she’s being annoying and it’s her meddling that tires him out. Yamato, who is lying on the couch sofa, turns his back on her. He has rejected her conversation bluntly.
She winces at being called irritating and then realizes that she can’t say anymore. Kagiha also looks worried and brings up that Yamato might have pushed himself too much. It’s best that he rest for a while. Yamato says nothing and Karasuba comments on how they’re being ignored; Yamato really doesn’t know how to be polite. Hikage also adds in that everyone is concerned for him so he could at least respond to them.
Yamato finally turns around and yells out that they’re all being annoying because of that. He doesn’t want them to care about him! Just leave him alone! Beniyuri calls out to him when he leaps up from the couch and then heads up to the second floor and to his own room. What happened? He wasn’t this irritable before… Karasuba comments on how Yamato seems to be a bit sick; whenever they find monsters he beats down on them.
Kagiha slowly agrees. It’s a bit different from an outburst of anger but one can see the roughness in it. He wonders why Yamato wants to hurry and leave the mansion that badly. Beniyuri thinks there’s a reason. She’s worried for Yamato. Hikage is silent.
At any rate, it’s night now and Beniyuri has returned to her room. She sits down on her bed and buries her face into the pillow she’s hugging. What is Yamato’s reason for wanting to quickly return? His family? His friends?… A lover? She remembered her family from the photo that was sent to her and now she wants to leave the mansion no matter what but does Yamato have the same feelings? But he’s almost desperate.
And then she suddenly remembers. The first night she spent in this room she thought about her family and cried. On the day her memories returned, she understood that there were people waiting for her and was happy to have a place to return home. But the situation of being separated from her family and trapped in a mansion of which she knows nothing about, and also nothing about herself, wouldn’t leave her mind and she became uneasy and was thrown into chaos.
When she was crying alone, Kagiha came and brought her hot chocolate, and then he stayed by her side like that. She was reassured by there being another person in her same situation. Understanding that there were people who felt for her made her tears stop naturally. Can she… be a comfort to Yamato like how Kagiha was to her? She replaces her pillow to its original place and then stands up.
Beniyuri goes out into the hall and knocks on the door many times until finally Yamato opens it and asks her what she wants with a displeased face. She stutters in surprise as she’s taken aback by his low voice which is lacking even more warmth than it had earlier. In her mind, Beniyuri scolds herself because it’ll be the same if she stops in fear now. She came here to cheer him up…!
She explains that she made hot chocolate and asks him to drink some, if he would like. It’s delicious. He sighs and then tells her flatly that he hates sweet things. She pauses and then realizes that he never ate many fruits and doesn’t put sugar into his coffee… How did she not notice that?! She laughs awkwardly and comments on how it’s a shame that he dislikes it. It looks like she’ll have to drink it then. Inwardly she winces at how her strategy failed from the very beginning.
Beniyuri takes her leave dejectedly but then hears a large sigh from behind her. He points out that she wants to talk, right? He invites her in. She says his name in surprise but he doesn’t say anything further and returns into his room. She wonders if it’s okay to just accept his words at face value and enter. She hesitates for a moment before following after that wide back. Beniyuri finds herself standing in the doorway and looks into the room. It’s illuminated by the soft light of an antique lamp.
His room isn’t much different from hers and she can recognize the furnishings. There are drawers decorated with butterfly patterns and a wooden desk. A bed with tightly drawn sheets. If there were to be a difference in this room compared to hers then… there’s no butterflies. Beniyuri is surprised because she can’t find any white butterflies here when they usually rest in the corner of her room dimly glowing. Maybe because of the lack of this light, she feels like his room is slightly darker.
She hesitates as she looks at him; his blue eyes, fearless features, and jewel-like choker he’s wearing. Yamato asks her what business she has, since the hot chocolate was an excuse, right? Did Hikage ask her to do something? She quickly shakes her head and says that this has nothing to do with Hikage. She came to him on her own because she wanted to talk to him. He gives a short hum before asking her what she wanted to talk about.
Beniyuri hesitates again and wonders how she should break the ice. It’s be nice if she could be as naturally encouraging as Kagiha is… He prompts her by saying her name. Beniyuri realizes that there’s nothing to do but say it directly! She blurts out that she’s concerned about him and doesn’t have any business. At his look of confusion, she barrels on to say that she had asked him before but she’s wondering if he is feeling unwell, or if there’s something troubling him, or just why he has such a sullen look.
Lately, she’s just been worried when she looks at him. He retorts that he was born with this face, and then sighs and calls her a meddlesome woman. She laughs awkwardly and then murmurs that it looks like she’s just being trouble, huh. As Yamato sighs again Beniyuri realizes that what she is thankful for doesn’t apply to other people. But then Yamato sits down heavily in a chair and admits lowly that he remembered about his younger brother, and that was the photo that was sent to him earlier before.
Beniyuri blinks in surprise and then asks if he has siblings. He grunts in confirmation. She encourages him with her eyes as she takes the opposite seat. As she stares at him straight on, he starts to look embarrassed and less moody. But he continues on to say that he has a younger brother whose name and face he doesn’t remember; they’re fraternal twins and his personality is the opposite of Yamato’s personality.
In the past, because of Yamato, his younger brother was caught in an accident and has been hospitalized for close to ten years. He has a delayed consciousness disorder… in other words, he’s in a vegetative state. Beniyuri repeats his words softly and then wonders if his twin has been like that for ten years. Yamato explains that someone in that state isn’t just sleeping, they’re able to understand and can hear things and feel things. People like that can’t talk but it’s said that they can still think.
Yamato reveals that in the past a doctor told him that if he continued to talk every day to his younger brother then, one day, he might wake up. On the other hand, if he’s left alone without care then his consciousness will gradually sink away. Yamato doesn’t know his brother’s actual state but he still went to the hospital without missing a day and cared for his brother in place of his parents, who are busy with work.
Beniyuri asks him if this is the reason that he feels like he needs to return home and has been impatient about…? He nods and smiles wryly that it’s become such a daily routine that, even without memories, the sense of caring for his younger brother is stuck in him. His voice starts to shake as he points out that he doesn’t know how many days have passed since he hasn’t gone to the hospital but, during this time, his younger brother’s consciousness is fading from the present. He needs to hurry and return.
She can only murmur his name in concern. He has these circumstances and yet none of them knew anything… He curtly tells her not to feel sympathy for him because he’s the one who did something to cause that state. It’s his fault so… he closes his mouth. With the lack of words, a heavy silence falls over them. But then Beniyuri suddenly realizes that, as she’s enduring this weight, her heart has started to ache.
“My fault”. For some reason those self-condemning words give her a strange sense of deja vu. Empathy? Beniyuri doesn’t think so because there’s something deeper that makes her know this feeling… Did she also hurt someone somewhere? Yamato suddenly wonders out loud why he’s telling her this; it’s uncool. She denies that completely and says that he’s kind for constantly thinking of his family like that.
If his brother can hear voices and feel touch then she’s sure that Yamato’s feelings are reaching him. She thanks him for talking to her about this. She smiles at him in thanks but he just looks back at her with a serious face. Beniyuri blinks and then asks him if something is the matter. He shakes his head slowly 「いや・・・・、お前にこの話したの初めてだよな？」(No… this is the first time I’ve talked to you about this, right?). OH GOD WHERE IS THIS HEADING. NO MORE REINCARNATION LOOPS PLEASE.
Beniyuri nods just as slowly. This is the first time she’s heard about his younger brother and how he goes to the hospital every day. Yamato thinks that she’s right but, even though he knows this, it feels like he’s had the same talk somewhere before… He leans closer to her. Beniyuri blinks in confusion. He murmurs her name questioningly and then he comes even closer and raises his hand.
She watches in what feels like slow motion as he extends his hand and just as his fingers touch her cheek… Beniyuri stands up, as if avoiding that hand, and creates some distance. Yamato calls out her name in concern and also stands up. She stands there in confusion. Why did she run away? It’s like she remembered something but… She hurriedly apologizes to him but doesn’t know what to say. Yamato also apologizes and says that it was nothing.
It felt like he was stuck in something but maybe… it was just his imagination. He apologizes for startling her. Beniyuri shakes her head and reassures him that she’s fine. She’s really sorry though… They both fall silent. Beniyuri wonders why she dodged his hand. He also seems to have remembered something. Once again silence sinks down; a heavy one with pressure.
Beniyuri suddenly tells him that she’ll return to her room now. She apologizes for suddenly imposing on him like this. She hurries to the exit while saying all of this in a bright voice as if nothing had happened. Yamato shakes his head because he allowed her to and he admits that he feels a bit more at ease after talking. He thanks her with a small smile that she sees for the first time. Even though she should be happy, why is it that it hurts deep in her heart?
After she exchanges a smile with him, she steps out into the hallway. The moment she closes the door behind her, the smile disappears and she sighs. And then, while standing in the hall, she repeats Yamato’s words and actions over and over again in her mind. The hand that almost touched her cheek. That hand was nothing dangerous to her and, obviously, it wasn’t any sign of flirting either. It was something almost searching and face to face. It was something she rejected clearly.
For some reason she had the feeling that the hand was going to pull out something deep inside of her that couldn’t be woken up. What is this feeling? It’s the feeling of a danger signal. She thinks the thing that will be brought out is a memory. That should be something she should want. She had wanted to be his support most of all. So why did she run? Why did she… Coward. That word floats up to her mind and stabs her in the heart. While feeling this sting in her chest that hurts similarly to pain, she returns to her own room.
That night. She finishes her preparations for going to sleep and slips under the covers. And then in the moment as she is about to nod off and fall into sleep. She is forcibly dragged back into conscious from the sound of her phone. She springs up from her bed and grabs her phone and turns on the lamp beside her bed. What is it this time? They are doing well in their collection of the fragments and so she hopes it’s not bad news…
She continues on and opens her mail box. These words are displayed 『山都ノコトヲ知りタイカ？』(Do you want to know about Yamato?). Beniyuri is puzzled because up until now they haven’t received any orders but the one to collect fragments. So, why did she get mail about Yamato? She tries to find the answer in her slowly clearing thoughts. She just had a talk with Yamato in his room a while ago… could it be that…?
Beniyuri feels her blood chill. Could it be that master of the mansion is somehow able to hear whatever they do? If this mail was sent to her because they had that conversation then… everything in their personal rooms is under surveillance. From the start, the mansion had a creepy atmosphere but once again she starts to tremble at the lack of safety. But she also realizes that this is the first time the message sent to her has been a question. Does that mean she needs to reply?
Does she want to know about him? Does she not want to know? She recalls her feelings of something close to rejection during that moment she was about to be touched. Of course she wants to know more about Yamato, but she’s also worried about this message.
- Is scared about knowing
- Wants to know about Yamato
Beniyuri decides that even so she wants to know about Yamato. She reasons out that the master may also know about Yamato’s younger brother, who he is worried about. In that case, there’s nothing to be scared about. Just as she decides to respond though, her phone sounds with another notification. She picks up the phone again, which she had dropped when she startled, and checks the new mail.
This time there’s an image attached? This… It’s a picture of two small boys; both of them are in a uniform. One of them has a soccer ball and gives off the impression of being lively. The other one has a sullen mood and is frowning. She notices that one of them looks like Yamato, which means the other is… She’s puzzled when she feels like she’s seen him before though. Those shoulders, the sharp eyes, and those thin lips drawn into a line.
She realizes that the sullen child… looks exactly like Hikage! For them both to be in the same picture means that they knew each other from before, huh… Could it be that they’re… brothers? HOLD UP. WHAT?? Upon saying those words, she starts to comprehend. Yes, these two look like siblings! Yamato had said that his younger twin didn’t resemble him in looks and personality. That younger brother is Hikage…?
But wait, he said his brother has been hospitalized for a long time. Hikage, no matter how one looks at him, is healthy. Suddenly, someone screams and the sound of glass breaking is heard. HOLY SHIT I SCREAMED HERE OKAY. IT’S SO LOUD AND UNEXPECTED. Immediately after that sound, she hears someone running past her door very quickly. Beniyuri realizes that the one who screamed was… Yamato, right? What happened!?
She opens the door hurriedly and steps out to see that everyone else has opened their doors too. Kagiha asks what happened just now. Karasuba recognized the voice as Yamato and it doesn’t seem like something small happened… They look around their surroundings cautiously but nothing abnormal seems to have happened. Beniyuri points out that it was a really loud scream and could he have been attacked?
Hikage notes that the footsteps have gone below them and they should follow it! They find the person they’re looking for immediately outside the refuge. In the middle of the cold night, there is a human shape leaning against a pillar. Karasuba chides him for making such a ruckus at this time when they had been sound asleep… Kagiha points out that it’s dangerous outside and they should return.
UM… IS HE TURNING INTO A MONSTER? REMEMBER THE LACK OF BUTTERFLIES!? Hikage asks Yamato if he heard them. He’s willing to listen to Yamato if anything happened but they need to return first. But Yamato just whimpers. Beniyuri carefully asks him what happened. His body is loose like a broken doll though and all he is doing is staring at the ground. She approaches him because its uncharacteristic of him.
Yamato whispers out that he did it. Beniyuri makes a noise of confusion. But Yamato continues on 「俺が・・・あいつ・・・を・・・、・・・うぅっ。」(I… did that… to him… ah…). He continues to repeat these words that make no sense. What is he saying? He’s acting strange… And then, at that moment, they hear the sound of something flapping. Black butterflies start to appear. NO. ABSOLUTELY NOT.
And then, as if they found sweet nectar, they stop in front of Yamato’s choker on his chest. He gasps out 「・・・俺が・・・殺した・・・。」(… I… killed him…). These words reach her ears, which had been preoccupied with the butterflies. By killing does he mean… Kagiha suddenly yells at Beniyuri to get away. She’s surprised and starts to ask him why but then Yamato screams loudly. Beniyuri yelps when Kagiha grabs her by the arm and pulls her back.
At the place where she was pulled away from her eyes land on– OH MY GOD. Yamato is screaming and changing at the same time. Black spots start to appear on his skin and spread across his entire body; they even invade his nails and turn them into claws. Beniyuri is terrified and wondering what the heck is happening. Yamato is starting to turn into a dark shadow and the butterflies continue to flock together from somewhere.
Karasuba stutters and asks what is happening now!? Why is Yamato turning into a monster!? Beniyuri gasps loudly but she can’t get close and can only stand and watch. Her mind refuses to accept this. The thing happening in front of her only feels as if it is happening from far away. She calls out his name but he only howls loudly. In front of her, he starts to twist and turn as if in pain.
And then it turns around and runs away to somewhere else. Kagiha tries to put into words what just happened but trails off. Even Hikage is speechless. They stand there without moving and can only watch Yamato’s form disappear down the corridor in disbelief. They stare without saying anything, as if their souls had flown out, until the sound of small footsteps comes from behind them.
Usagi asks them calmly if they are uninjured. Karasuba turns around and recognizes her. Beniyuri also mentions her name faintly before loudly asking her if she saw what just happened. What is the meaning of that? What happened to Yamato!? She approaches Usagi with only the thought of getting answers. Kagiha interrupts her and asks her to calm down though and she notices that Usagi’s shoulders are trembling. Usagi explains that Yamato’s soul is stained in despair. Beniyuri asks what that means and so Usagi says she will explain.
They return into the refuge and Usagi starts off by pointing out that this mansion is strange, right? Doesn’t it feel completely different from the place they used to live in…? As if they arrived in a far away world? Karasuba angrily points out that this is obvious since they were brought here against their will. Hikage also adds that if she wants to explain then she should just say things plainly.
Usagi tells them she understands and will say things directly. There is a place where the souls of the dead go between the real world and the world of the dead. It’s the interval of life and death. The place that everyone is in right now is in that interval world.
Beniyuri’s thoughts stop. There is an interval between life and death? It’s like she’s listening to a myth or fairytale. Kagiha tells her quietly that it’s not good to joke at this time. Karasuba agrees and also adds that if she is saying it seriously then it’s a bit dangerous. Although, from her clothes, he didn’t think she was normal to begin with. Usagi stops talking as if she’s waiting for them to understand.
Hikage doesn’t have an opinion either way and wants her to continue. He addresses her and says that, if her words are true, and this is the interval of life and death, that means they’ve all died, right? Usagi says that he is correct but there is a possibility for them to return to life. OH MY GOD THAT MEANS YAMATO’S BRO COULD BE HERE, RIGHT? HIKAGE?? OR FOX MASK?? Usagi goes on to say that there is a path for living beings to walk and a place where death hasn’t reached. All of them are only close to dying.
Beniyuri thinks on her words. Does that mean…? Karasuba snorts and asks Usagi if she thinks they’ll believe that. Usagi points out that even if he doesn’t believe in her words he should believe in what he sees, right? Kagiha realizes she means the monsters. Beniyuri asks what they are since they look like shadows… and monsters… Usagi reminds them that they saw Yamato transform, right? Those monsters used to be humans.
Usagi lowers her head and her voice trembles. Even though she’s wearing an expressionless mask, it’s obvious that she has a sad expression. Usagi continues on to say that, normally, when people die they arrive in the interval with no memories. And then, as time passes, they lose their faces and their bodies and become souls without a body to start their trip to the afterlife (or paradise).
But there are some people with strong attachments to the real world or, on the way, regain their memories due to some reason and then are unable to leave this place. And then, without seeing the end, they pass the time in this eternal and unchanging place feeling exhaustion, despair, and then transform into a hideous monster. And then they go in the opposite direction of the lively world and head to the place known as hell. WOW THAT’S SHITTY. YOU EITHER FORGET EVERYTHING AND GO TO THE AFTERLIFE. OR YOU ACCIDENTALLY REMEMBER AND THEN GET STUCK IN THIS PLACE FOREVER UNTIL YOU GIVE IN TO DESPAIR AND TURN INTO A MONSTER? NICE.
Beniyuri repeats the word “hell”. Usagi elaborates and says that hell is a place of eternally deep darkness where the souls who are lost to despair and become monsters go. Karasuba points out that those who have regained their memories and are unable to leave… means that they shouldn’t be regaining their memories then? Usagi can’t say anything on that. She does say that if they want to head to the afterlife though, they need to throw away their karma here, and become pure.
Usagi adds on that this place and space has the power to make people forget for the sake of rebirth. If they don’t do anything then their memories of the world will disappear quickly. But if they want to return to life then they need to be attached to the real world and they need their memories. Everyone can only remain silent and listen. None of them are able to think of this as a lie.
Beniyuri is still reeling as she points out that she hasn’t felt any souls or this trip thing… or staying in one place… for there to be a world like that… Usagi tells her quietly that there are a considerable amount of souls here to see. At Beniyuri’s look of confusion, Usagi explains that they must have seen butterfly-like things around. Those aren’t butterflies but particles of souls. The white ones are people who are being led to the afterlife. The black ones are being drawn to hell.
This makes Beniyuri realize that the many white butterflies in this room are… Usagi says 「貴方たちをあの世へ旅立たせようとしてるからです。」(Because they are trying to bring you all to the afterlife). Beniyuri goes on to say that the black butterflies near the monsters then are… Usagi says 「貴方たちを奈落へ連れていこうとしてるからです。」(Because they are trying to bring you all to hell).
At these clear conclusions, Beniyuri’s words are stuck. Her thoughts are filled with information that is too hard to digest. Karasuba asks what the master of the mansion is then? In the end, what does the master want to do to them? Usagi hesitates before telling them that the master of the mansion made this world. They want the kaleidoscope completed for reasons unspecified.
She goes on to say that the kaleidoscope seems to be able to grant the wish of the owner. It was broken a long time ago, and the fragments inside were scattered everywhere. It’s taken a very long time for it to be repaired. And now it’s very close to being repaired. At the time when the master’s personal wish is granted, using the kaleidoscope’s powers, the master plans to grant their wishes too.
Kagiha realizes that this means they weren’t imprisoned here by the master of the mansion… Usagi explains that they just washed ashore. No one trapped them. There is only nothingness outside this mansion and if they wish to go against the flow and return to reality then there is no other way but to collect the fragments of the kaleidoscope. But Beniyuri points out that to collect the fragments they need to kill the monsters but the monsters were… originally human.
Usagi confirms this but says they’ve technically vanished. Beniyuri haltingly asks if they need to… kill Yamato too… Usagi calmly says that they need to do so only if he has a fragment. Beniyuri’s hands start to tremble at the terrifying thing she just said. It’s not that she didn’t have hesitations up until now but to kill someone she had just been laughing together with just yesterday–!? There’s no way she can do that!
Hikage comments on how, putting aside Yamato, it might be for the better that everyone else is wearing a mask. It would hurt to kill someone with a face. Beniyuri snaps out that this isn’t the problem! Usagi tells them that, just like she explained, those people lost their faces at the same time they lost their memories. They might be hiding their faces with the masks decorating the mansion because they don’t accept that fact but… in any event, they are heading towards hell. There is no saving them.
Beniyuri tries to protest but doesn’t know what to say. Usagi has a face and memories, right? Where is she different from the others…? Karasuba frowns and summarizes that, in order to return to life, they need to defeat the monsters and collect the fragments. At any rate, nothing has changed about what they need to do; although he is suspicious about being able to return to his previous life.
Usagi is silent for a moment before continuing to talk; this world is one that transcends the common knowledge of the real world. Their wills, memories, and thoughts can take shape. If they wish to return to life then she hopes they will use that feeling to fight with their weapons. She also wants them to collect the fragments that have been scattered and to complete the kaleidoscope. This is the only path that she has been taught. CAN WE SHOOT YAMATO WITH A WISH TO RETURN HIM TO NORMAL? LMAO. After she finishes speaking, she gives a small bow as if having completed her duty, and then disappears off somewhere. They’re left with an extraordinary sense of despondency.
They had thought that if they questioned the girl, who calls herself a messenger of the master, that they’d be able to clear the fog in their field of vision. But the road which had been covered in fog is now connected to a hole without an end. A deep darkness, much like an open mouth, awaits them. They are left perplexed after hearing the explanation that is like a cruel fairytale. Even as time passes, they have a hard time drinking in the girl’s words.
It’s not that they couldn’t understand it. They had guns that could suddenly appear in their hands. Monsters without bodies. A mansion they couldn’t escape. If they thought about the strangeness of the underworld then they could understand it. More like, if there didn’t exist the logic that this place transcended the real world then everything else that happened wouldn’t be able to be explained.
Karasuba sighs loudly and points out that, if they are to believe Usagi’s words, then they all died once. Kagiha nods and knows that it’s difficult to believe, but there is a part of him that does accept it. Beniyuri wonders how they died. An accident? An illness? Hikage shrugs because they haven’t recovered their memories to that extent. Beniyuri thinks on his words and then on Usagi’s words about how if they remember facts then they won’t be able to travel to the afterlife. But if they want to return to the real world then they need their memories.
Beniyuri starts to wonder if it would be better for her not to remember anything more and to just wait to disappear. But she wants to return to reality… if she hasn’t actually died yet then she can return home, right? She’ll be able to meet her father and the others again, right? She wonders if everyone else feels the same. She suddenly gasps quietly when she recalls something after sitting on the couch and staring at her hands in her lap.
Hikage asks her what’s wrong. Beniyuri explains that she received mail from the master earlier… it was a picture about Yamato. Kagiha asks why Beniyuri was sent a picture with Yamato. AWKWARD. Karasuba pipes in to say that the master has a terrible personality to think of nothing better to do than tamper with people’s heads. Hikage wonders if it has any connection to what happened with Yamato and he’d like to see it.
Beniyuri starts to nod but then hesitates and wonders if it’s okay to pass it around when the person in the photo with Yamato looks like Hikage. Hikage notices her pause and asks her why she’s hesitating. Is she hiding something? She hurriedly denies that and then asks him if he wants to regain his memories and return to the real world. He answers firmly that he does and that’s why he’s been devoting all his efforts to this up until now.
She thinks that it should be fine to show him the photo then; if he wishes it then there’s no need to keep it a secret. She explains that it’s this picture and then brings it up on her phone to display to everyone. Kagiha immediately notices that it looks like Hikage and Yamato, and back when they were both very young. Karasuba wonders if this means they were acquaintances since they have a picture together, but then he notices that they’re wearing the same clothes.
Beniyuri quietly asks Hikage if he has any recollection. Hikage echoes her words but then grunts in pain. Hikage collapses onto his knees while gripping his forehead. Under his lowered hair, his face has turned deathly pale. Beniyuri quickly asks him what happened and if he’s alright. Hikage summons up a smile and reassures her that it’s nothing. He just has a headache. He climbs back to his feet and staggers over to lean his back against a nearby sofa. He then closes his eyes, which had seemed to be distantly viewing something.
Hikage murmurs that he does remember that picture. Beniyuri blinks. He continues on to say that it was taken in a nearby playground when they were young. He is Yamato’s younger twin brother. WHAAAAAT. Beniyuri gasps and also realizes that she was right; there is a strong bond between the two! Karasuba can’t believe it because they don’t look similar at all and their faces and personalities are completely different. Kagiha also can’t believe that they had such a close connection.
Beniyuri also remembers that Yamato had mentioned something earlier about Hikage having everything that he doesn’t have. Is it because they were brought up as twins and so they supplemented each other? Karasuba suddenly realizes that, if both brothers are here, then that means they died together at the same time? Hikage can’t answer that. Beniyuri reveals that Yamato told her his younger brother was hospitalized. Maybe something happened at the hospital?
Hikage repeats the word “hospitalized” faintly. She notices that he seems disordered and decides that it might be better if she doesn’t reveal that he’s in a vegetative state. She also doesn’t know the details so… Hikage furrows his brows and bites his lip as if he’s trying to drag the thread of memory closer with all his might. It’s to the point where those watching him feel painful.
Kagiha finally tells him not to force himself to remember and that they have a lot of time, so he doesn’t need to rush. He places a hand on Hikage’s shoulder. Hikage tries to protest but Kagiha tells him that the important things will naturally return and he should just let them come slowly. Hikage averts his eyes but ends up agreeing; he’ll stop from going any farther. Hikage presses his fingers to his temple and then regains his normal expression. The color of worry lightens and he regains his normal color.
Karasuba sighs and then comments on how he’s tired. In the end, they were dragged all around by Usagi’s words, and Yamato became a monster who ran off somewhere. Beniyuri recalls out loud that Usagi said there was no way to save people after they became monsters but… she doesn’t want to believe it. There’s no way they can kill Yamato with their hands. Kagiha points out that there are a lot of things they want to think about but they should rest for today. Their feelings will calm once they have a night’s sleep. Karasuba thinks that’s best.
Hikage excuses himself first with some short words and then leaves quickly for his own room. She can see a terrible desolation in his back for just having remembered his relationship to his brother, who changed shapes and became lost. Beniyuri suddenly calls out to him. He turns around calmly and asks her if something is the matter. Beniyuri doesn’t actually have anything to say and accidentally called out to him, but she just feels like they’re losing Hikage too somehow…
She searches for something to say and then asks if he wants her to send the photo of Hikage and Yamato to his phone? Then he can look at it whenever he wants. He frowns and asks her if she hadn’t noticed but Kagiha had tested it before and they can’t use their phones between them. Kagiha wonders if this is an example of the power of their thoughts and it has transformed into the shape of a phone. It doesn’t seem to be able to receive anything.
Karasuba adds that there’s no reception. Beniyuri had forgotten that. There are a lot of things that aren’t normal here. Hikage tells her not to worry and that he’s fine in his usual tone and then continues to head up to the second floor. And thus, with that, the day has adjourned.
Beniyuri, who returned to her room, crumbles down with her back to the door. Did the photo that was taken at the playground get sent to Yamato as well? And then did a memory of dark action, submerged in the sea of oblivion, change into something repulsive? Over everything else though, she is concerned about the words that spilled out of him before he lost his sanity. What happened with Yamato? The last person to see him was her. If she had looked closer, maybe she could have noticed his transformation.
Is it true that once they are a monster they can’t return? It becomes painful for her to breath as if there is no air in her lungs. Uneasiness. Shaken. Sadness. Regret. Is it… her fault? These various feelings start to attack her heart. She…
In her anguish, a thought starts to rise. And it is:
- She wants to talk to someone
- Can they return Yamato to normal?
- She wants to solve the mysteries of this mansion
- It’d be nice if everything was a dream
Beniyuri wonders if there is a way to return Yamato to his original form. But first they need to determine where he went. She can only think about Yamato, who had changed in front of her. She also thinks that Usagi must surely have seen people transform into monsters. Next time she sees Usagi she wants to ask for a solution. Thinking these things, she heads toward her bed.
She can hear the rain. It strikes loudly against the ground. Every day she hears this and has noticed some things. And it is that this rain has the same rhythm day after day. After a small rain, a harsh storm seems to follow. It violently rages and the sound of water is almost cheerful. Every night it repeats. But tonight it’s different than usual and the rain is quiet. She, who had sunk into drowsiness, opens her eyes at this sense of discomfort. And then she senses someone beside her. UH…
Beniyuri wants to ask who it is but the only sound that escapes her throat is air. Her blurry eyes land on a figure that seems to be appealing to her persistently for something. He murmurs 「・・・けて・・・。・・・を助けて・・・。」(… elp… help him…). She can’t hear his words clearly. But those low words seem to be familiar from somewhere. She closes her eyes again but then her awareness focuses on her ears and, once again, the violent rain has returned. Ah, did she have a dream?
She has the feeling that someone was standing there though… everything must have been a dream. She relaxes her body again and is called into the darkness. And then, before she knew it, she fell into sleep.
*** CHAPTER FOUR ***
The following morning that welcomed her was gray. It was as if there was a faint filter over both her eyes that leeched the color from the world. Nothing changed no matter how many times she blinked and there were heavy sighs.
Beniyuri had thought that after spending a night she would be able to be optimistic but it’s more like her feelings became heavier. It’s hard to think that Usagi lied to them and so this place really is the interval of life and death and their lives in the real world are close to death. But more importantly, over the distant talk of Usagi, there was an immediate worry. What happened to Yamato after he transformed into a terrifying shape in front of them. Where did he go?
She gives the room a sweep and sees everyone else standing there with pale faces and dejection. She realizes that they need to overcome this and be encouraged somehow. And so she injects as much brightness into her voice as she can to ask them what they want for breakfast. Is there anything they’d like to eat? She’ll make anything. They stare at her with flat expressions. She presses on and asks them if they would like pancakes. She made some jam earlier!
But there was only a silence that could hear a pin drop. Despite her trying to engage them, they all just stand there like statues. Karasuba finally apologizes and says he’ll pass because he has no appetite. She tries to carry on the conversation and reasons out that they just woke up, so some people are like that. What about Hikage? He replies flatly that he doesn’t need it and isn’t in the mood for swallowing anything. He has some things to think about and so he’ll return to his room.
She can only watch as he leaves without giving them another glance. It can’t be helped though and even she doesn’t feel hungry or any want to eat. Kagiha tries to smile at her and explains that they had a late dinner and he’ll eat some fruits later. There are some delicious oranges in the basket that was brought. Beniyuri nods and thinks that something light would be nice. They give each other vague smiles.
Yamato’s disappearance. It wasn’t just a blank space. It was like a stack of wood delicately balanced but when one is removed then the entire thing crumbles. The unity and feelings of the rest of them have collapsed. That is… more scary than anything else. The loss started a chain reaction. Yamato was gone, their willpower was broken, and their unity became weak. What will they lose next? If another cruel reality was going to stab them, then maybe next time their base was going to crumble. Her uneasiness continues to increase.
And then the next following days. They continued their lives unchanged as they did previously. They explored the mansion and defeated any monsters they found. They retrieved the fragments and placed them in the kaleidoscope and then, once again, went on a trip outside the refuge. This repeats and repeats. Because the kaleidoscope was close to being complete, it started to emit vivid lights.
But, opposite to that, her heart started to weigh more and more heavily. The reason was obvious. It was–.
Kagiha yells at Beniyuri that it’s dangerous. She yelps as she’s pulled backwards and claws slash through the place that she had been in. She quickly steadies herself as Kagiha asks her over his shoulder if she’s okay and if she’s unhurt. She reassures him that she’s fine. Kagiha scolds her and says that it’s dangerous not to concentrate; their opponents are betting their lives on this. She apologizes and then thanks him for saving her.
But then the monster roars loud enough to shake their bodies, redirects its aim, and then attacks them fiercely. Kagiha tells Beniyuri that they’re going in.
The monster, having taken many shots, collapses to the ground after one last scream. The body soon stops moving and then disappears like smoke into a flock of black butterflies. In the next moment, the butterflies are sucked into her hair accessory and Kagiha’s ring. As she watches the black butterflies turn into two streams and get sucked in, she feels exhausted. Her breathing becomes rough and she feels like her entire body is aflame but she’s not sweating. However, the sensation is painful.
Beniyuri realizes that she can’t breathe well. He asks her if she’s alright, to which she replies breathlessly that she is and then asks about him. He tells her that he isn’t that exhausted and notes that she always seems to be in pain after a fight. Beniyuri nods and then explains that she doesn’t feel it when fighting the monsters but it hits her when the butterflies are absorbed into her accessory; she becomes extremely tired.
She wonders out loud what those butterflies are and why they’re being absorbed into their accessories. He doesn’t know since they still don’t know anything. Beniyuri recalls in her mind how Usagi told them that these aren’t butterflies but particles of souls and the black ones are trying to lead them to hell. Could it be that it’s not a good thing to store too much? She takes off her pin and notices that it seems to be darker than normal.
Kagiha suddenly points out that she’s been pretty absentminded lately and he’s a bit scared that she’ll disappear if he takes his eyes off her. She apologizes for making him worry. He asks what the matter is. She replies that the monsters are people who have lost themselves to despair and changed. When she thinks about how they used to be humans she just… hesitates. He understands her pain but points out that they need to collect the fragments or they won’t be able to return to being alive.
Beniyuri tells him that she can’t do that so easily because amongst the monsters is… she doesn’t finish her sentence and only breathes in deeply. In her mind, she thinks on how Yamato might be there. She’s scared that once the words leave her mouth they’ll become reality. Kagiha notes that it’s almost night and suggests that they return. She agrees and follows beside him as he gives a calm smile and heads back the way they came.
But the moment she is about to follow that back she sees something at the edge of her vision; something white. Her eyes reflexively move to it on the second floor, but it dodges her gaze and disappears somewhere. A human? Maybe it’s Usagi? IT WAS MONSHIRO ACTUALLY. THE FOX MASK. Even as her attention was caught by the white thing she continues after Kagiha.
At night, as she looks at the kaleidoscope, she is lost in thought. In the end, she’s still concerned about Yamato; what is he doing and how is he spending his time? Would Usagi know where he was? The image of what happened a few days ago is still burned into her mind. Yamato, who had been twisting madly, screaming and transforming at the same time. She has no way to describe his shape and how it was covered by a black haze.
Even if she met Yamato, she wouldn’t know what to do. She doesn’t even know if he would understand words… She sighs but then when she lifts her head she notices white butterflies gathering near the door. What are they doing there? She gets up from her seat and goes to the door and opens it without thinking. Ah, they left. She watches as the white butterflies flap their wings and float down the hall.
This has never happened before and maybe there’s something outside? Beniyuri recalls that the white butterflies are trying to guide them and that monsters won’t go near them. In that case… it should be okay to follow them for a little bit, right? Drawn by something she can’t see, she follows the light of the butterflies. Just where exactly are they going? If they went too far then it would be bad for her.
The white butterflies sway up and down and left and right but, even as they seem to move insecurely, they continue forward without straying. In no time, Beniyuri finds herself back at the entrance hall and watches as they float up to the high ceiling. But she can’t follow them if they fly up there. Her eyes follow the butterflies as they slowly float up higher and higher up above the central staircase.
And then her eyes, which had been following them, stop immediately. She draws in a breath. It’s him! There is man standing there and the white butterflies dance around him; a slender figure in a cloak that dances despite there being no wind. His silver hair flows down his back casually and it glimmers beautifully like a star in the night sky. Beniyuri points out that he was the one she met earlier…! He doesn’t respond. Her eyes were captivated by his uncommon appearance.
But, due to his fox mask, she couldn’t see his facial features. He tells her to come here. She blinks in surprise because his words are muttered. But then he tells her that “that person” is waiting. He gestures with his chin to indicate a corridor on the second floor. Is she supposed to follow him? Beniyuri instead asks who he is and if he remembers saving her before during danger.
The fox mask only continues to breathe without saying anything, until finally he tells her to come because Yamato. She repeats his words in confusion but he doesn’t answer and only walks up to the second floor. Beniyuri wonders what to do. She doesn’t know where he is going and it wouldn’t be a good idea to follow him, right? If she’s found by Hikage then she’ll be scolded again for not having any vigilance. But… Yamato may be there.
Beniyuri makes her decision and climbs the stairs while calling out to the man who had disappeared to wait and that she’ll follow! She asks him where he is leading her as they walk through the corridor but he doesn’t respond. She recalls that he said “that person” was waiting. Does he mean Yamato? He doesn’t answer. He just continues to move at a brisk pace without replying to any of her questions.
They continue to turn corners and she is guided only by his familiar appearance. But Beniyuri is worried that she might not remember this complicated path. They took a left twice, then a right once, and then a left again… Can she return home without getting lost? Just as she started to become uneasy, the man in front of her stops. He glances at her before knocking many times on the wall.
Beniyuri gasps when, what she thought was the wall, opens up and exposes a small staircase. A hidden door? For there to be such a thing… Then man in the fox mask turns to her and says that “that person” is here. He’s here… alone. She doesn’t know what to say and thinks he’s telling her to go alone, which is fine with her but… she asks to make sure if he won’t come with her and if she has to go alone.
He answers that he… he pauses before continuing. He can’t go and so he’ll wait here. She repeats his words in astonishment and he reassures her that he’ll escort her back, so she doesn’t need to worry. He tells her 「お前は・・・、アイツの本当の姿を思い出して。」(You… remember that person’s real form). After saying that, he turns his back to the door and stands there without saying anything further.
Beniyuri wonders what to do… it seems like she’ll be able to return home safely since he said he’ll wait and escort her but… Moreover, what does he mean by that person’s real form? She resolves her will and then steps into the hidden door and looks up. At the very top of the long and continuing staircase is a dim light. She thinks it may be an attic and that it has a different atmosphere than all the other rooms in the mansion. What is beyond this place?
Uneasiness, curiosity, and hope are mixed together. In the end, she went up the stairs. She continued up the stairs with both hope and fear in her chest. Soon, what she sees is a garden with beautiful blooming flowers. The faint sounds of water create an illusion and, in this mansion sunken in darkness, it is extremely different. She feels like she arrived in some far away illusion.
Is this a greenhouse? It’s beautiful and she wouldn’t have thought a place like this existed here. There are young and fresh plants and lively flowers. Between them, white butterflies are floating. Beniyuri notices that it’s quite large and wonders what there is deeper inside. She steps onto the provided stone path and brushes aside the hanging plants in her way. She continues like that for a while until…
A roar echoes through the garden and Beniyuri freezes. Was that…? She looks in the direction of that roar and sees a twitching black shape. That’s a monster! She covers her mouth with her hands to prevent her scream and stops breathing. She though the monsters wouldn’t be near where the white butterflies are! The thing that the man with the fox mask wanted her to meet was… this monster!?
She stops all her movements while feelings goosebumps rise. It would be reckless to face it alone and she has to seize the chance to run away when it hasn’t seen her yet. But then she pauses because she sees something familiar around the monster’s neck. That choker is Yamato’s… Could it be!? She stands up and wants to confirm her guess. It’s different from the rest of the monsters and almost seems to have human-like actions.
That is surely… Beniyuri calls out his name and asks if he is Yamato. Before she could think about it, her feet start to move. She approaches him to confirm and his shoulders tremble before he turns to face her. She asks him if he understands. It’s Beniyuri! As she gets closer, he backs away and roars at her. Beniyuri reassures him that she won’t do anything and she understands, so he has nothing to fear.
Beniyuri gasps though and freezes when, after she takes a step, he swings his arm. His large hands and claws slice through the surrounding vegetation and just thinking about that being her body makes her blood turn cold. She yells inwardly at herself to stop and orders her legs to stop trembling. It’s not that she isn’t afraid but Yamato must be even more afraid. It’ll be okay.
As she extends her hand, he turns his back and lowers his head. He roars at her not to look at him. Beniyuri freezes in shock. He continues on in a strained voice 「コンナ姿・・・見ナイデクレ・・・！」(This form… don’t look at it!…). OH… OH MY GOD. THEY DID PROCESSING TO HIS VOICE TOO TO MAKE IT SOUND MONSTER-ISH. She murmurs his name, but he tells her that he’s not human right now and he might attack her.
That hoarse voice rejecting her is Yamato. It hurts her heart to see him curled up like a child. Beniyuri reassures him that it’s okay and he’s talking to her properly right now. His bluntness, which is actually kindness, hasn’t changed at all. Nothing has changed. He murmurs her name. She jokes about how if he wants to attack her then he’s already attacked. It’ll be okay and Yamato is still Yamato.
She gently embraces him. Soothingly. Lovingly. And she remembers, one by one, all the time that she’s spent with him up until now. His face, his hands, his laughing voice. Even his lack of memories, she brings it all to the front of her mind. She strokes his back over and over again. All of a sudden, the accessory around his neck starts to release light. In that moment, she was grasped tightly.
Beniyuri gasps and points out that his body is…! Slowly, the claws seem to disappear. The abnormal bulges on his body also shrink. Almost like he was being purified, the black spots that invaded his skin return to his original color. In her mind she realizes that he’s returned! Beniyuri tells him excitedly that he’s not a monster any more! He has eyes, a nose, and a mouth. It’s all the Yamato that she knows very well.
He only chokes back a sob and wraps his arms around her, holding her so tightly that her bones can feel it. He asks her shakily 「・・・もう少し・・・このままでいてくれ・・・。今お前を手放したら、また元に戻っちまうような・・・そんな気がする・・・。」(… let me stay like this… a little bit more… If I let you go right now, I feel like… I might return back to being that thing). She murmurs his name but he just begs her and his heartrending words strike at her heart.
She recalls how, the last time they saw each other, he had avoided the hand she stretched out. If she had faced him without running at that time, would he have been spared from going through this? Beniyuri softly apologizes for not talking to him at that time. She won’t run away next time. She’ll stay by his side.
Beniyuri has lost track of the time that has passed since they continued to hold each other closely. After they regain their mind, they separate and look directly at each other. She’s glad that it looks like he returned to normal. He doesn’t look perfectly back to normal but her feelings have been conveyed. She asks him if he is doing okay and if he hurts anywhere. Does his chest hurt or does he feel bad?
Yamato replies that there’s no problem right now… although he feels disgusted at his own body for becoming strange. He manages a small laugh though at how this is completely better from before though. It looks like he’s smiling to stop her from worrying. Even though she knows it’s forced, she feels relieved somewhere at seeing that familiar smile. Beniyuri suddenly asks him how he came here and that it’s impressive he found a hidden door.
He frowns and tells her that, on that day, he didn’t want anyone else to see him turn into a monster and so he kept running. It was by coincidence that he saw the white butterflies gathered around the wall. He touched it to test it and discovered this hidden door. Beniyuri wonders if the white butterflies guided him. This makes him ask her how she knows about this place. And to come here alone in the middle of the night… did something happened to the refuge?
Beniyuri quickly reassures him that nothing happened. She went into the hall because she was curious about the white butterflies… and then she was guided her by the man in the fox mask. He repeats her words with a frown. She explains that, before she met Yamato and Karasuba, he saved her and Hikage once. He also seems to know Yamato. Yamato tells her that he hasn’t met the man in the fox mask before. He has no acquaintances apart from those in the refuge.
She’s surprised to hear that and wonders if he knows about Yamato only on his side, or if there is some kind of reason. He scolds her and tells her not to follow such a strange person. She protests and says that she can’t see him as a bad person. For some reason she has the feeling that he’s “safe”. He thinks an abductor wouldn’t have an open face and wouldn’t look like an abductor. She pouts and tells him that she knows; he sounds like Hikage when he says things like that. Yamato only snorts.
But this reminds her about Yamato and Hikage… She notes that they’re siblings, right? He and Hikage. She tells him that Hikage has been worrying ever since he disappeared. Yamato mutters Hikage’s name as if reflecting on it. He asks her to what extent her memories have returned. She gives him a look of confusion but answers that she still doesn’t remember anything apart from her family.
He asks about her school or friends. She shakes her head. He has a thoughtful look on his face as he nods before falling silent after saying 「・・・そうか。まだ・・・なんだな。」(… I see. Nothing yet… huh). She wonders if he is thinking about Hikage. She can’t blame him for being disheveled when seeing someone who had been in a vegetative state for ten years appears.
At any rate, Beniyuri suggests that they return to the refuge. The man in the fox mask that she had mentioned will escort them. Even though she stood up and is inviting him outside, he doesn’t look like he’ll move. When she says his name in confusion, he looks away and apologizes but asks her to return alone. He explains that he wants to think about things and he hasn’t organized his mind yet. He would also like her to keep silent about having met him.
She asks him why, because he can think back at his room, or is that not allowed? He nods. But she protests because he’ll be alone here. He smiles wide enough for her to see his teeth as he points out that the mansion is much more unhealthy than this place. There are flowers blooming and butterflies floating around here. It even has a water fountain. He feels much more comfortable here.
Beniyuri is silent and wonders if he’s concerned about not having returned to a human body yet. When she thinks about that, she is unable to invite him strongly to return together. She ends up nodding though she says she’ll come again. If he wants anything she can bring it. Yamato tells her that he doesn’t need anything right now and she doesn’t need to worry. He is also glad that he met her and thanks her. He leads her out of the greenhouse. Up until the very end, he watches over her as she turns around, reluctant to part.
When she descends the stairs she sees the man waiting, as he said he would. He asks her quietly if everything is fine. She nods and then says that it is for today, but she’d like to come back again soon. He nods and tells her that he’ll guide her here again and then starts to walk. As she follows behind him she feels a strange set of strong emotions while staring at his back. This person… even though she knows nothing about him she isn’t scared at all. Somehow he makes her guard drop.
Is it because he led her to where Yamato was? In the end, she can’t think of him as a bad person. Who is he? How did he know where Yamato was? She didn’t voice her questions but no doubt he wouldn’t answer any of them. And so…
Beniyuri thanks him for letting her meet Yamato. She conveys her thanks and, although he gives no response as usual, she feels like his presence has softened somehow. They continue to walk without exchanging any words and soon they arrive at the refuge. She thinks on how the journey felt long but the return was short, although she hasn’t memorized the path yet. He tells her that he’ll see her tomorrow, which surprises her, but then she remembers that she had told him she wanted to see Yamato soon. He’ll come for her then, huh.
He only repeats the word “tomorrow”. She nods and thanks him again before saying that she’ll see him tomorrow. He gives her a small nod after she thanks him and then heads off somewhere. But then she realizes that she forgot a fundamental thing to ask. She should have at least asked for a name. He really is a strange person.
And, while staring in the direction that he disappeared, she thinks:
- What kind of connection does he have with Yamato?
- It’s best if she didn’t pry too much
She thinks it’s best not to pry too much. Since he didn’t answer anything that much mean that he doesn’t want to talk. She’ll wait until he opens up more. She opens the door slowly and the hinges creak. As she steps into the room quietly, she is relieved at how it seems that no one has woken up yet. It’s almost morning. She had thought that someone would be awake with how long she stayed out but she’s glad that no one found out.
Yamato had wanted her to keep their meeting a secret. He must not have wanted anyone to see his abnormal body. Or there was possibly another reason. At any rate, for the sake of considering his feelings, it is best that she doesn’t run across anyone. She should also come up with an excuse to use if she’s ever found out by someone and asked. Although, if possible, she doesn’t want to lie. Lies will lead to suspicion and suspicion is connected to breakdowns. She doesn’t want her relationship with everyone to get worse.
Beniyuri thinks on how the man in the fox mask is coming to pick her up tomorrow but will she be able to sneak out? Karasuba tends to stay up late. As she manages this in her mind, she returns to her room. I DON’T LIKE KEEPING SECRETS ;;;; IT’S GOING TO BE DUMB IF SOMEONE ELSE GOES CRAZY LIKE HIKAGE BECAUSE OF YAMATO WHEN HE’S OKAY NOW.
*** YAMATO END ***
The next day, she went to see Yamato secretly from everyone else. She let everyone go to their rooms, then waited until she couldn’t hear anything, before sneaking out. In the hallway, the mysterious young man stood there as he said he would and escorted her to the greenhouse without a word.
Along the way, she tried to broach several topics but he never gave much of a response. And so she has no idea what the meaning or goal is behind him leading her to Yamato. And since, her guide never spoke much beyond muttering, she stopped hounding him any more than necessary. If he decided to stop guiding her then she wouldn’t be able to meet Yamato. She didn’t want to do anything that would cut off this last ray of hope.
Beniyuri is visiting Yamato in the greenhouse tonight and he asks her exasperatedly what she brought this time. She blinks at him in surprise and then looks at the food, books, and toys that are in her cloth bag. She had brought various necessities to the greenhouse so as to not let Yamato feel troubled. She points out that he needs a few things, doesn’t he? It’s cheery here and easy to spend his day here but there’s nothing to eat or pass the time.
Yamato reminds her that he already told her that after becoming like this he came here without needing to eat anything. And if he’s bored then he can figure out his own way to pass the time. He suddenly narrows his eyes and asks what this thing is. Beniyuri tells him that it’s a pack of cards, just like it looks like, and then a plush which Karasuba had found in a storage room earlier before.
He glares at her and says it’s stupid to imply that he needs a plush because he’s alone. She tilts her head and then tries to imagine Yamato playing with the plush by himself. She grins and reveals out loud that it might be kind of cute… He pauses and then snaps at her not to have strange delusions! She laughs and tells him that he caught her in the act. But she agrees that it might be hard for him to play with these alone.
She looks around at the items again and confirms that there’s nothing important that he needs, right? He rummages through the bag and then his eyes widen as his hands touch something. A soccer ball? Beniyuri explains that she entered his room and saw it there and figured he might want to play with it. He’s still staring at it with wide eyes and so she apologizes for entering his room without permission, and maybe she should return it?
Beniyuri holds out her hand to receive it but Yamato moves it behind his back. He tells her to lend it to him for a bit and then stands up, bouncing the ball in his hand as if to test it. And then he drops it to his thighs and starts to skillfully bounce it, using his knees and his feet. She praises him for being skilled and watches as the ball bounces toward the ceiling and returns to its original place, as if being drawn there. She is impressed by how it isn’t falling to the ground at all.
He explains that this is the point of lifting a soccer ball and it’s normal. Beniyuri tells him that it may be normal for him but not for her! The ball looks as if it’s being drawn to his feet! Yamato tells her that it’s just going straight up and so it returns to its original place. The ball, which looked like it was going to fall, is stopped by the side of his foot. And then he throws it up again and starts to bounce it rhythmically again.
She makes a comment on how nostalgic this is and Yamato absently asks her what is. She tells him that Koro, her pet dog, would frolic like this whenever he found a ball. He’d run to pick up a ball that was thrown and return with his tail wagging. Yamato reminds her not to lump him together with a dog. She laughingly apologizes and then admits that he reminds her of familiar times, to the point of remembering things about Koro.
Yamato hums thoughtfully before suddenly calling out her name and passing the ball to her. She yelps and tries to receive it but it flies past her and into the distance. He laughs before commenting on her slow reflexes for not being able to return that easy move. She retorts that he’s being unfair and passing it to her when she was inattentive. He waves his hand at her excuses.
Beniyuri pouts and then tells him that the next one will be coming from her then! She retrieves the ball and kicks it towards him, to which he dodges, and points out loudly that she has no control and sent it flying at such an angle that it was beside him. She blinks in surprise and tells him that she thought it was aimed at his foot. He tells her that it wasn’t even close and that’s what happens if she doesn’t grasp the angle of the ball.
He retrieves the ball and passes it back to her. She returns it directly back to him. He grins and praises her to keep doing that. In the middle of the night and in the greenhouse, they pass the ball back and forth. From Yamato to her. From her to Yamato. It bounces back and forth energetically, almost like the new bond that formed between them. This moment felt like a treasure to her.
After some time, Yamato heaves a contented sigh and comments on how it’s been a while since he moved his body like this. Beniyuri is out of breath as she agrees and wonders what to say to everyone if her muscles ache tomorrow. They both take a seat on a bench and sigh after they finished playing. Because the ceiling of the greenhouse it high, naturally her feelings are open and at ease.
Beniyuri comments on how helpful the ball was. Everything she had brought up to now had been received with a strange expression, so she’s happy that he likes the ball. He repeats her words in an offended tone before saying that, compared to the strange toys or books in unknown languages, this was much better. She pouts at his uncooperative words. Yamato tells her that he’s warning her to be careful and if she brings too many things then the others will find out.
He averts his eyes as he says that he doesn’t need the toys but he’ll be troubled if she doesn’t come. Beniyuri is speechless but he just quickly blurts out that he didn’t say anything and turns around, his cheeks a faint red. In her mind though she realizes that he means… out loud, Beniyuri says that she’s glad she’s not intruding. She was a bit worried that she was just troubling him. Yamato tells her firmly that she isn’t a bother and is the opposite instead. He was saved because she came.
She repeats his words in surprise and so he tells her that, when he’s alone, his spirits sink no matter what and so he’s thankful that she comes. His unexpected words make her heart race. For Yamato to say such a thing, could it be… She asks him quietly if he doesn’t feel lonely being alone? He doesn’t answer. She takes it as confirmation though and also realizes that he must be uneasy with his body not having returned to normal yet.
Beniyuri asks if he still has no intention of returning to the refuge? He looks away and confirms that he won’t return yet; he doesn’t have the confidence. She murmurs his name and wonders what is causing him to hesitate. Even while feeling loneliness, he refuses to return into their circle. Even she doesn’t know the reason. Beniyuri tells him brightly that she’ll keep on coming then. If he won’t return then she’ll come here to share what they have. She’ll come the next day, and the day after that, and the days after that. She’ll come until he finds her irritating. If she does that… he won’t be lonely, right?
Yamato murmurs her name and then, after looking straight into her eyes, he smiles wryly and comments on how she’s really strange. She’ll meddle with someone even if it cuts into her own sleeping time. She replies that he’s a precious… companion and so she can’t leave him. OH WOW IT SOUNDED LIKE SHE WAS GOING TO SAY SOMETHING ELSE. She reminds him to let her know if he wants anything or if he wants anything done. She wants to be his strength.
He stares at her widely before giving her a gentle smile. It’s more than enough for him to receive her concern. He adds 「だから、お前だけでいい。ほかになんも要らねぇから、たまに顔を見せてくれ。」(That’s why, just you is fine. I don’t need anything else, so just let me see every now and then). She nods softly.
And so, she increased the frequency of her visits to Yamato. At first, it was just once every few days but lately she heads to the greenhouse every day. The bond between them has become more intimate than it had when they were both living together. Yamato had no one to talk to except her. She was needed. That feeling, almost like a secret connection, bound them more tightly than ever. THIS IS A WORRYING DESCRIPTION.
Beniyuri notes that what she made is complete and it looks delicious, if she can say so herself. She gives a sigh of satisfaction upon seeing the mountain of sandwiches she made for everyone’s lunch in the kitchen. Yamato seems fine without eating but she thinks a life without food is tiring. She’ll pack some away and take it to him later. As she opens the cabinets and searches for a container, Karasuba comes in from the living room.
He expresses how hungry he is and then asks her if she’s still cooking. She tells him that she just finished and she’s searching for plates, so he just needs to wait a bit more. He looks at the sandwiches she made and his eyebrows raise. Isn’t this a bit too much? At her look of confusion, he points out that no matter how one looks at it there’s too much for them. What is she going to do with it all?
Beniyuri laughs awkwardly and says that she was hungry and she eats a lot so! Karasuba eyes her and she is inwardly nervous at her lie, but she doesn’t think the situation with Yamato will be found out. As he stares straight at her, she unintentionally winces. Karasuba’s voice turns serious as he asks her if she is… Beniyuri inhales deeply. But then Karasuba asks if she unexpectedly eats a lot? If she eats that much she’ll get fat!
She stares at him in confusion but he just continues on to say that, in her case, it might be nice if the part of her that sticks out is larger and if her thighs are more prominent. She glares at him and tells him not to say anything strange before calling him an idiot. He laughs before pointing out that she’s cute when embarrassed. After he teases her, he returns to the living room. In her mind she thinks on how dangerous that was and she needs to be more aware of her surroundings…
But then Hikage suddenly calls out her name. Her heart skips a beat at hearing that voice beside her just as she relaxed and she jumps up. He tells her that her cooking is slow and if she can stand around in the kitchen then she should think on her cooking methods. The ingredients are losing freshness. She apologizes. He glances at her and then continues to walk past. In her mind she wonders why everyone is suddenly checking in on her today. It’s bad for her heart…
Anyway, at night, she leaves her room without a sound and with the packed lunch. Good, no one is here and she’ll leave with this chance. She sneaks across the living room and then grasps the handle for the door outside. At that moment. Hikage calls out to her and asks where she is going at this time? She spins around and sees Hikage leaning against the wall. OH SHIT OH SHIT. She can’t believe it. Just a while ago there was no one here!?
Hikage comments on how lately she’s been going out somewhere at night. Beniyuri stutters. He presses on and asks her what she is doing outside without looking at the dangers? What’s her reason for avoiding their eyes and going out? She searches for something to say but is pierced by his sharp eyes. She can’t move from her spot and is only pinned by his cold expression. She tries to think on what to do because she got caught, even though she took as much precautions as she could.
He crosses his arms and says her name lowly. For a second she thinks about confessing Yamato’s condition. DO IT. JUST DO IT. Hikage is Yamato’s younger brother. No doubt it’s best that he know the truth. But… she recalls how Yamato asked her to keep silent about meeting him to the others, and Hikage. She closes her open mouth when she remembers his words. In the end, she can’t tell the truth because there seems to be circumstances.
Beniyuri tells Hikage that she actually dropped something and so she’s searching for it every night. He repeats her words skeptically. She goes on to say that it was her own mistake and so she thought to resolve it herself. She doesn’t want to trouble anyone else. Hikage hums thoughtfully. She laughs awkwardly and criticizes herself for being so careless, even she can’t stand it. She hides the packed lunch behind her back and smiles amiably at him.
After staring at her with suspicious eyes, Hikage finally sighs loudly. He asks her if she is an idiot and does she not understand the dangers of the mansion at night? She lowers her head. He also orders her not to ever move alone next time and to search for her lost thing in the afternoon. Okay? She nods and apologizes sincerely. Under his eyes, she returns to her room. It looks like she won’t be able to go to Yamato today, although it’s a small mercy not to have been found out. As she goes up the stairs, she feels Hikage’s glare on her back.
Meanwhile, Yamato calls out Beniyuri’s name hopefully. But then he realizes that it’s just butterflies and reprimands himself. Is he some kind of dog wagging its tail and waiting? He wants to hurry and see her. But then an unknown voice calls down 「罪を犯したくせに、赦されるとでも思ってるのか？」(Even though you committed a crime, do you think you’ll be forgiven?). Yamato startles but there’s only rain. Was he just hearing things?
Ever since that day, Hikage has been keeping Beniyuri under strict observation. He’s up earlier than everyone else and keeping watch on the sofa closest to the door. Night after night, until she returns to her room, she isn’t able to leave the refuge. Because of this silent restraint, she’s thwarted from going to Yamato’s place. She’s worried in her sleeping and waking moments about Yamato being alone at the greenhouse. But she also doesn’t want to cause the others unnecessary worry. Several days pass with her not being picked up by the man in the fox mask and without meeting Yamato.
At the greenhouse, Yamato sighs. He talks out loud on how Beniyuri didn’t come today either. How many days has it been since he hasn’t seen her face? He suddenly snarls out that it’s noisy. The rain is annoying and it makes his head strange. Stop it! It’s his fault that… that person… He wants to hear Beniyuri’s voice. He suddenly freezes and then looks to the side. Was there a voice just now? Is that voice Beniyuri? Did she come? He laughingly tells her that she’s late and he’s been waiting for so long. OH MY GOD THIS IS NOT GOOD. I’M SCREAMING. He tells her to let him hear her voice for a while now, to the point where he won’t be able to hear the rain. He smiles softly and says 「なあ・・・ーーーー紅百合？」(Hey… Beniyuri?).
Meanwhile, Beniyuri pauses in the entrance hall, feeling as if someone had called out her name. She looks around her but can’t see anyone. Kagiha calls out her name and asks her if something happened? He was startled when she suddenly stopped. Beniyuri apologizes and explains that she felt like someone called out her name. He blinks and says that he didn’t say anything, and there’s no one else around. Maybe she is hearing things?
She thinks that may be the case but there’s some kind of presence… She closes her eyes to recall the voice she had just heard. It didn’t actually reach her ears but more like it echoed through her mind; it was a strange sensation. Kagiha thinks that this mansion always has this odd presence and, just a moment ago, he thought he saw someone. She blinks and asks him where he saw it.
Kagiha tells her that he saw it on the stairs landing but when he turned his head, it disappeared onto the second floor. He wonders what it was… a monster? Or a masked person? Beniyuri is silent and the first thing that comes to her mind is Yamato. There’s no way that human shape was Yamato. It might be the man in the fox mask but it may also be a masked stranger with no relation to them.
But… for some reason she can’t help but think that it was Yamato searching for people and looking down from above. This makes her recall the words he had said about not needing any toys but being troubled if she didn’t come. In her mind’s eye, she sees how he turns away with a blush and blurts out that he didn’t say anything. He also told her that her concern was more than enough for him. And that’s why he only needs her. He doesn’t need anything else so long as he can see her face from time to time.
At that time, Yamato had tried not to let her see his lonely face but… she didn’t keep her promise of seeing him every day. He had given up on coming home to the refuge because he didn’t want anyone to see his changed shape. And she had accepted that because it was his wish. But there’s no way someone wouldn’t be lonely spending their days in solitude without seeing anyone.
He returned to his original form because she exchanged words with him. But underneath his smile is a sadness that she isn’t sure if she properly stopped. She is pushed by a sense of uneasiness. She feels like she’s being called by Yamato. Kagiha interrupts her thoughts and suggests that they keep moving. She nods distractedly and looks up once more, searching for Yamato’s presence. She looks at the dim corridors of the second floor but only a quiet silence returns.
Once it becomes night, and after she confirmed that everyone else returned to their rooms, she began to talk with Hikage and told him that she had something important to talk about. He asks her curtly what it is. Hikage, who was reading a book, marks his page and then looks at her shrewdly with both eyes. His eyes seem to be telling her to hurry up and say it. Beniyuri tells him that the talk is about Yamato. He repeats her words with a furrow in his brows.
She tells him that she knows where Yamato is. He reels back in shock. Meanwhile, her heart trembles and alongside her confession is regret; right now she is breaking Yamato’s wish. Is this really okay? With that doubt, she spits everything out. Beniyuri tells Hikage that there is a greenhouse in this mansion and its entrance is a hidden door, which she doesn’t know how it came to be, and she found it earlier and then–
Beniyuri tells him about how, when she met him again, Yamato was a monster. She tells him about how, after she spoke to Yamato, he regained a bit of his original form. She talks about how every night she snuck out to meet him. And she talks about how he wanted her to keep it a secret. As she gives this summary, Hikage listens to her while making small noises of comprehension. Some time passes.
She finishes her summary and then apologizes for keeping this a secret from everyone. She had wanted to tell them but… She stops speaking after her apology and then looks at Hikage for his reaction. He has a troubled look and doesn’t say anything. She prompts him by saying his name, and he apologizes since they’re in the middle of a conversation. But it’s just so surprising that he can’t find any words.
Hikage murmurs that Yamato is safe, huh. Beniyuri is puzzled because, even though Hikage knows that he and Yamato are siblings, there is no joy on his face. Why is that? Maybe he is at a loss…? At any rate, she continues on to point out that she hasn’t seen Yamato since then. And now she’s worried about what he’s doing and if he isn’t uneasy being alone. She brings up the possibility that he may have returned to being a monster. The moment the words leave her mouth, her uneasiness becomes greater.
And then she tells Hikage that she wants to see Yamato no matter what, which is why she is consulting with Hikage. Please, won’t he let her see Yamato? He is silent and so she frantically appeals directly to him. As they’re talking, Yamato is spending one more moment in solitude. What would she do if something happened? When had her small anxiety grown out of bounds? Hikage opens his mouth and the words come out slowly. If she wishes to go then… he’ll go with her.
Beniyuri looks surprised and so Hikage tells her that he shares her same feelings towards the welfare of Yamato, and is it strange that he wants to confirm it? She shakes her head because she had wanted him to come with her too, but she doesn’t know how Yamato would feel about that when he wanted her to be silent about this to the others. Will it be okay for her to lead Hikage there?
Hikage seems to understand her worry and recalls that she was forbidden from talking to them about this and, in that case, he has a way. He’ll watch from afar so that he won’t be seen and thus they won’t have a problem, right? She nods hesitantly at that and so Hikage stands up from the sofa and walks to the entrance.
And so Beniyuri leads him to the hidden door and Hikage is impressed at how this mansion has these devices. She nods and admits that she was surprised at first too. The man in the fox mask didn’t appear as they went down the halls. But he had appeared immediately for her and she wonders if there is a reason there. At any rate, she had become the guide and while she had gotten lost a few times she managed to take them straight to the door to the greenhouse.
Hikage confirms again that above this place in the greenhouse is Yamato… it’d be nice if nothing has happened. Beniyuri agrees and reveals that she’s a bit nervous since it’s been some time. She trails off as she tells him that she’s going to go, but he nods and informs her that he’ll wait here. He wants her to call if anything happens and he’ll dash over to her. She thanks him and then begins the long walk up the stairs towards the light.
When she steps into the green house, it’s like time has stopped, and it looks the same. Flowers and plants are blooming with freshness. A fragment smell permeates the area. Beniyuri calls out and asks Yamato if he’s here. It’s Beniyuri and she apologizes for not coming. She’s puzzled at the lack of a response and then calls out his name many times, but there’s no answer. She continues forward, brushing aside the vegetation, and arrives at the spot that he usually rests.
She asks him where he is and if he’s hiding. She’d like him not to tease her like this and to come out. She turns her head in multiple directions but there’s no sign of anyone here. It’s strange since he usually appears whenever she calls out his name. Suddenly, she senses something out of place. She takes a step back and looks closely at the garden. Something is different even though it shouldn’t have changed. But it’s like something important is missing…?
Her gaze moves around the place as she slowly compares it to the one she had in her memories. Soon, she realizes what it is and receives a shock. There are no white butterflies! There should be countless flying around but now there are none…! As her heart pounds crazily in her chest, she runs down the stairs. At the same time that she reaches the door and slams it open with great force, she raises her voice.
Beniyuri asks Hikage what to do because Yamato is gone! He’s nowhere to be found! But then she realizes that… he’s not here. Not only is Yamato gone but also Hikage, when he had said that he was going to be waiting here. Not once has Hikage left her behind to go somewhere else though. She looks both left and right but she can’t see anyone at all. Why did Hikage…? She has a bad feeling about this.
Her instincts are telling her that something strange is happening and an alarm is ringing in her mind. She has to find the two of them! But where and how should she search? She chooses a direction and starts to run, searching for any of the two missing people. She runs and runs. She continues to run even as her breaths shorten. Gripped by the feeling that if she didn’t then she’d never find them again, she continues to search the mansion.
And then she discovers something that she was searching for in front of a door. The beautiful butterflies that had been missing from the greenhouse. Except their wings are painted black. Why are those black butterflies gathered around that door? And in that large amount… is something there? Normally, she would run at that ominous sign but she is gripped by an extreme curiosity and approaches the slightly open door to peek inside.
Peeking inside the room, the smell of old books and delicate things flows into her lungs. Her eyes water from the urge to choke. Is this place a library? There are old books stuffed into the bookshelves. And, as if to say that those weren’t enough, there were piles of disordered papers too. In the center of the room is a expensive looking desk. In front of that desk, Yamato is standing there vacantly.
Beniyuri calls out and asks him why he’s here. She pushes open the door and enters into the room. As she approaches him with small steps, Yamato slowly lifts his chin. Yamato is smiling as he softly greets her and notes that she came today too, huh. She blinks in confusion. He laughs weakly and comments on how she really is meddlesome, coming every single day without tiring. She says his name hesitantly, noticing the unnatural tilt to his lips and his light laugh.
In her mind, she notices that he said “today too” and “every single day” when she hadn’t seen him for a long time. She takes a long hard look at his face. His eyes are reminiscent of a bog with no bottom and she unconsciously takes a step back. She carefully asks him if something happened to him and what the problem is. He repeats her words haltingly. She quickly explains that he’s a bit strange and different from usual although she can’t say where. There is only an unnatural pressure.
Yamato repeats the word “strange” and then looks away before choking out that it is strange. The rain won’t stop. The night won’t end. She repeats his words in confusion, but then he seems to come to a realization and asks if this is his fault as well. It’s his fault that the rain won’t stop. It’s his fault that they can’t leave the mansion. It’s his fault that Kazuya won’t open his eyes. It’s his fault that everyone is in pieces. His voice is shaking with tears as he shouts out that everything is his fault. If he didn’t exist then it wouldn’t have become like this.
Beniyuri calls out his name hesitantly and asks him to get a grip. What really happened? Yamato only gasps roughly and walks unsteadily over to her, reaching out his hand as if searching for help. Yamato sobs out that no matter how long he waits… that person will never wake up. He can’t escape the night. He tells her that the sound of rain is blaming him and he’s sure that he’s going to continue hearing it from now and forever.
He goes on 「けど、誰も俺を裁いてくれねぇ・・・いつまで、雨に打たれ続ければいいんだ・・・？」(But no one will judge me… just how long do I have to continue to be beaten by the rain…?). I… I CAN’T WRITE ANY JUSTICE FOR HOSOYAN’S VOICE ACTING HERE. IT’S SO GOOD HOLY CRAP. Beniyuri echoes his words in confusion. But then he calms down and notes that this way of talking is unfair, huh.
It’s him who didn’t say anything about what actually happened to anyone. In the end he… might have been born a coward. Beniyuri tells him that she doesn’t understand. But these mismatched words only continue. Should she consider them or should she dismiss them? She doesn’t know. Just as she calls out his name again, he tells her flatly that he killed his younger brother. During that time, he loosened a string, thinking some boring things, and because of that “that person”…
Beniyuri repeats the word “string” and then confirms that he’s talking about Hikage, his younger brother, right? He tilts his head in confusion. Hikage? His younger brother is Kazuya and… his voice breaks down as he chokes out that it was his fault that Kazuya… Yamato continues to mutter the name of an unknown male. He goes on to say 「お前にだけは知られたくなかった。みっともなくて、不様な俺を見られたくなかった。」(You’re the only one who I didn’t want knowing. I didn’t want you to see this pathetic and disgusting side of me).
She nods quietly. He continues 「けど、お前にだけは知ってほしかった。俺の全部を知って、受け入れてほしかった・・・。じゃなけりゃ、俺はいつまでも赦されねぇっ。救いを求めるのはずりぃってわかってても、もう・・・駄目なんだ・・・。限界だったんだ・・・！」(But you’re the only one I wanted to know this. I wanted you to know everything about me and accept it… if that didn’t happen, then I’d never be able to be forgiven. I know it’s unfair to want to be saved but… it’s no good… I’m at my limit…!).
Beniyuri nods again. The tears are flowing down his cheeks and staining the ground. It slowly spreads and the sight of it hurts her heart. She murmurs his name. Right now, she doesn’t know what he’s thinking. And it’s not possible for her to know what happened in the real world. But she does know one thing. The self-blame that is driving him into a wall is the self-blame that she has. She left him alone. Even though she had thought on how she needed to be close to him. This is surely her fault…
Yamato continues to murmur that it’s his fault “that person” is… Beniyuri echoes him in her mind because it’s her fault that Yamato is… Their hearts are strangely connected. The two of them are bound by their awareness of their crimes. I REALLY LOVE THIS PARALLEL BUT AT THE SAME TIME UH. IT’S NOT HER FAULT YAMATO IS AN EMOTIONAL WRECK?? Yamato sobs out that he can’t endure any more but she just whispers his name and then embraces him.
He tells her brokenly that she’s going to get dirtied. She tells him that, so long as it’s him, she doesn’t care what is done to her. He begs her to hold him tightly, to the point where it feels like he’ll be crushed into pieces. He wants her to make him disappear. He wraps his arms around her back and the ten claws on his fingers dig into her, but she continues to press into him despite the blood dripping.
Yamato continues to sob out that he wants to be at peace and he can’t handle any more. Beniyuri softly agrees and tells him that she wants to forget everything. At this rate, she might be sliced into pieces from his claws. But even that is fine. She is feeling the ecstasy of accepting Yamato over the unpleasant feeling of something eating into her body. Like this they will become one.
In her mind she wonders why she feels like Yamato is the same as he was in the past. Ah, that’s right, he and her were… Yamato suddenly murmurs 「アイ・・・俺を置いていかないでくれ。」(Ai… don’t leave me behind). She tells him that she won’t leave him behind and they’ll be together forever… Takuya-kun. His voice softens as he realizes that yes, they’ll be together forever. Beniyuri continues to say that like this… the two of them…
Their awakening memories. Their dirtied bodies. What will happen to them like this? Where will they fall? She doesn’t know the destination. She only knows one thing. They wanted forgiveness. Just now…Together with him, who is going, she’ll fall to any place. She entrusts her body to the flow.
I…. I DIDN’T REALIZE THIS WAS A BAD END. LMFAO. OR WELL “A” END. THIS IS THE YAMATO END. OH MY GOD. WELL PLAYED GAME WELL PLAYED. WE’LL BE GOING ONTO WHAT IS HOPEFULLY THE HAPPIER END IN THE NEXT POST.