(Okay, so a bunch of routes are locked until you complete some general endings which is what I’m doing right now, SO THIS IS ALL A PART OF THE PLAN, but I should reveal that I wanted to get the BEST END first… instead I got the BAD END, oops. Let me just admit that I have no talent at otome games without a guide. Also, it may seem like it took me forever to write this short post but I actually had to read a ton of side episodes so… there’s gonna be an explosion of posts once I’m ready.)
This route starts after Beniyuri finds Yamato and returns him partially back to a human. She is escorted back to the refuge by Mr. Fox Mask and, instead of deciding not to pry into his affairs, she wants to know what kind of connection he has with Yamato. So, everything is the same in the previous post up to before the Yamato End starts.
*** CHAPTER FOUR ***
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
Beniyuri wonders about the connection between the man in the fox mask and Yamato. If he went out of his way to have them meet then he must be expecting something. Beniyuri returns back to the refuge while feeling a vague connection between the two.
The next night. She slips out of the refuge while everyone is sleeping and, just like he said, the man in the fox mask is waiting. He takes her to where Yamato was and then escorts her back to the refuge. This becomes her schedule for a while. It hurts her heart being unable to tell Hikage, Yamato’s younger brother, about Yamato’s safety. Sometimes, she nearly tells Yamato that telling the truth would be the best. But each time she hurriedly stops herself before she can.
If Yamato wishes for her to be silent then she thinks she should abide by that. She doesn’t want to break this new bond of trust between them. And, maybe because there is no one else to talk to, Yamato has become more open than he used to be when living at the refuge.
Beniyuri greets Yamato in the garden. She came today too! She looks around and comments on how this place always feels so nice and warm, before yawning. Yamato huffs in amusement at her large yawn and asks her if she’s been getting enough sleep lately. He can take afternoon naps but she can’t. He tells her not to come here if she’s straining herself. She reassures him that she’s fine and she’s not forcing herself to come here. She comes because she wants to see him!
Yamato only shakes his head and calls her strange before sitting cross-legged on the lawn and starts to fumble with a leaf. She takes a seat beside him before starting to remove things from the basket that she brought. He tilts his head and asks her what that is. She tells him that it’s what it looks like; a lunch box that she made. She pops open the lid to show him the sandwiches, coleslaw, and fruit desserts stuffed inside.
His eyebrows raise as he points out that it’s night right now and besides, ever since he changed into this, he doesn’t get very hungry. She points out that he can still eat though, right? An existence without food must be tiring. She offers to eat it together later. In her mind, she doesn’t want him to forget the life he had back in the refuge even if he changed forms. She may be forcing this onto him but that’s what she thinks.
Yamato decides to eat some right now then. He also compliments her on creating this without anyone noticing. Beniyuri explains that she does it while making meals for everyone; it looks like, ever since she came here, her cooking has improved. She changes the subject to say that the dessert is strawberries. Usagi brought them over and they’re deliciously sweet. He repeats Usagi’s name suspiciously.
Beniyuri admits that she came to them with her face covered and this basket. And then she explains what Usagi told them about this place after Yamato disappeared; the fact that this place was an interval between life and death, that souls who lose themselves to despair would turn into monsters, and that to return to life they needed the kaleidoscope. After her explanations, she saw that Yamato didn’t even look disturbed. He was more calm than they were when they received this news. It might be because his own body is abnormal and so he is able to accept the news of this world’s inconsistencies.
He suddenly tells her with a grin that, related to Usagi and her mask, the man who Beniyuri calls “Fox” appeared in front of him. Beniyuri is surprised because just a little while ago he wouldn’t even enter this room. Did he say anything? Yamato shakes his head. He didn’t say anything and just appeared in front of Yamato and, even though Yamato tried to talk to him, he didn’t respond. Beniyuri hums and comments on how he’s a person with few words.
Yamato shrugs and admits that, since he didn’t cause any arm, he’s content to let Fox do whatever. But wherever Yamato moved, the man followed behind him silently. She repeats his words and is unable to stop the mental image of a puppy following after its owner. Unintentionally, a smile appears on her face at that peaceful image. She laughs before commenting on how cute that is. It looks like the man has developed an attachment to Yamato. THAT’S CAUSE YAMATO IS LIKE A NICE OLDER BROTHER!
He shakes his head at her words and reminds her that even though this guy is known as “Fox”, he’s not a wild fox and is instead an adult man. It’s creepy how he suddenly appears and stands there blankly. L O L BENIYURI IS LIKE “OH” AND THEN FOX MAN APPEARS LMFAO. Beniyuri makes a soundless noise when she realizes that… in the background, the man in the fox mask has appeared. Yamato also pauses.
It is almost audible how the atmosphere around them freezes. Close to them, on the opposite side of the bushes, the man in the fox mask is staring straight at them. Yamato hurriedly says that he went too far in saying that it was creepy. The man doesn’t respond. Yamato continues on to stutter out that he just becomes overly aware when he’s being stared at and he’d like the man to be more polite.
Beniyuri can’t believe that Yamato is talking about being polite to other people! But the man in the mask doesn’t respond at all and continues to stare fixedly at a point. She notices that he’s staring at the lunch box. She hesitantly asks him if he’s hungry. The moment she asks there is the sound of a stomach grumbling. She realizes that she was right; he is hungry! The man in the fox mask gives a quiet nod.
Yamato asks him if he wants to eat with them as well then and offers him a sandwich. The man cautiously approaches them. Beniyuri is taken aback by this gap in how he seems like a small wild animal, even though their first meeting was when he killed a monster. At any rate, the man accepts the sandwich and takes a seat near them. He goes to lift his mask but when he notices them looking at him, he turns around to take it off before eating quickly.
Beniyuri is a bit disappointed that he didn’t show them his face. Yamato asks if it was delicious and then also warns him to be careful as to not choke. But the man just continues to wolf down his food, causing Yamato to grumble and ask if he even heard him. He eats like a child! But there’s softness somewhere in his grumbles. Anyway, the three of them have a gentle lunch, reaching into the lunch box with no concern.
Later, after they finish their dessert, Yamato asks the man in the mask if he has a name. The man just tilts his head. Yamato repeats himself and points out that it’s inconvenient not to know his name. But the man only looks at them without a response. Yamato asks him if he can’t remember. There’s no response, making Yamato frown and tell him to respond with something instead of silence.
Beniyuri notes how he doesn’t deny or confirm it. But it really is inconvenient not to have a name. When she catches eyes with Yamato, he lifts his shoulders in a shrug. Yamato asks him if they can call him by a name of the rooms they stayed in. The man tilts his head again. Beniyuri explains that they don’t remember themselves and so they used the name of the room that they’re staying in; it’s like a nickname of sorts.
Yamato tries to recall the empty room right now… but Beniyuri finishes his sentence by remembering that it was Monshiro! Yamato asks him how that sounds. It’s better than being called Kitsune. KITSUNE MEANS FOX IN JAPANESE. The man in the fox mask repeats the name quietly. Beniyuri nods and greets him as Monshiro. He murmurs the name again and she can hear pleasure infused in his voice. She realizes that he’s pleased and, even though he says few words, he’s pretty easy to understand!
Beniyuri re-introduces herself as Beniyuri and thanks him for always taking her to this greenhouse. She looks forward to working together with him. Monshiro repeats her name. Yamato re-introduces himself as well and comments on how they have some kind of bond too it seems. He also looks forward to getting to know Monshiro better. Monshiro repeats Yamato’s name and then goes over both their names a few times.
But this makes Yamato tell him not to do it in such a suspicious way and he doesn’t need to say it that many times! Beniyuri pacifies him and tells Yamato not to be so harsh; Monshiro is just trying to remember their names. Right, Monshiro? His only reply is to say her name. It’s like he’s a child repeating their names to remember it. She can’t help but smile at the cute sight and her heart feels warm.
At any rate, Beniyuri is escorted back to the refuge as she always is and she tells Monshiro that today was fun and she was glad to be able to talk to him. He nods. She then asks him where he usually is and if there were any other places to life in apart from this refuge? He doesn’t respond. She points out that there aren’t any companions, right? Isn’t he lonely being alone? He repeats the word “companions” and, in the quiet, his voice seems reflective.
After looking at the ground in front of him for a while, Monshiro raises his head and says 「ベニユリ。・・・俺を仲間にしてくれ。」(Beniyuri… let me be a companion). She blinks in surprise and asks him if he’s saying he wants to live with them here. He nods. She tells him immediately that she’d be overjoyed about that but… in her mind, she wonders if Hikage and the others would agree.
Suddenly, Monshiro takes off the ribbon around his neck and holds it out to her. He tells her that she’s his companion and so he’ll give her this. Beniyuri is puzzled and asks if it’s okay for her to take this? And why is he doing this abruptly? He only says 「・・・これ、俺の大事なもの。だからーーー。」(… this is important to me. That’s why–). But he doesn’t say anything more than that.
Beniyuri doesn’t understand why he’s giving her something so precious. Is it thanks for the lunch box? It can’t be that, right? Is it really okay to receive this? The ribbon, hanging in the air, looks lonely and so, while hesitating, she takes it with both hands. As she takes it, the sensation is like silk, and it fits very well into her hands as if it were already hers. Monshiro tells her that he was saved many times by this and it’ll protect her. UM… THANKS FOR THE MAGICAL RIBBON?? She looks at his ribbon that acted like a protective charm. And then Monshiro tells her that he’s returning home today and he’ll come tomorrow, before turning around and walking off to somewhere.
The next day, Beniyuri wakes up in her bed and gives a large yawn while she grabs her covers. She slept well. It might be because she heads out every night and the exhaustion piled up. She gets out of bed and starts to fix her hair as she usually does, but then she remembers the ribbon Monshiro gave her and decides to use it. Oh, but since it’s precious it’d be bad if she lost it. It might be best to just leave it in her pocket. She bundles up the ribbon and hides it in her pocket.
And then she wonders if everyone is already awake. But, just as she is about to head to the living room, she hears that it’s noisy outside. Did something happen? The source of the clamor seems to be in the living room and she sees a ring of people around someone. Eh!? It’s…
Kagiha is finding it hard to agree to this. Karasuba agrees because this person just suddenly said he wanted to be their companion. Monshiro is quiet. Beniyuri blurts out his name and rushes down, only for everyone to turn to her. Kagiha repeats the name and asks if she’s referring to this man. Beniyuri starts to stutter but then Hikage asks commandingly if she led this man here and what kind of relationship they have.
Beniyuri continues to stutter and searches for words. Her interaction with Monshiro is because of Yamato. But her meetings with Yamato are a secret to everyone else. If she talks about Monshiro then she’ll break her promise. On the other hand, as the silence continues to grow the suspicion in everyone’s eyes increases. W-What should she do? If it could be helped, she doesn’t want to lie. But it doesn’t look like Hikage will let her escape this either.
Monshiro suddenly says slowly that Beniyuri isn’t at fault and he came here on his own. She murmurs his name as she realizes that he’s protecting her. He draws closer to her, much to Hikage’s objection. Beniyuri is glad for his feelings but feels that he’s a bit too close! Their shoulders are touching! Hikage tells him that he wasn’t asking him and then orders him to step away from Beniyuri slightly. PROTECTIVE HIKAGE REARS HIS HEAD!!
But Monshiro refuses, causing Hikage to growl. Karasuba jokes on how, if there was a chance, he can understand a male’s instinct to be close to her. Kagiha can only gape at Karasuba. Hikage tells them curtly that they’re diverting from the point and if they’re going to intrude then he doesn’t want them to add to the conversation, and they should stand elsewhere. Karasuba calls Hikage mean.
In the moment that everyone’s attention is diverted to Hikage’s warning, she asks Monshiro in a quiet voice why he suddenly came here. He reminds her that he said it yesterday. She recalls that he said he’d see her tomorrow… but she thought he meant picking her up at night! Monshiro’s reply is that tomorrow is tomorrow. ┐(ﾟ～ﾟ)┌ HE HAS A POINT. She can’t fault his logic but then wonders if he took her acceptance of the ribbon as consent to come here?
She’d like to live together with Monshiro if they could, but she wonders how she can get everyone to understand. Beniyuri blurts out that she and Monshiro… met while she was exploring the mansion! They spoke about how they didn’t have names because of their lack of memories and so she gave him one from one of the empty rooms. And then she reminds Hikage that Monshiro saved them when they had woken up in this mansion and were in trouble.
Hikage doesn’t respond. She continues on to say that Monshiro isn’t a bad person and so can’t he be one of their companions? She looks around at everyone’s face and then focuses on Kagiha. She thinks Kagiha might be able to understand… and so she stares at him. But her hopes are dashed. Kagiha tells her that, even if it’s her wish, it’s difficult to just suddenly trust him. He thinks there may have been a reason that Monshiro made contact with her and so he’s distrustful.
Beniyuri gapes at him. Hikage agrees with Kagiha and points out that no one knows about Monshiro’s background. For example, he could be the master of the mansion and came here to observe them. Both Beniyuri and Monshiro startle in surprise. It was an unexpected question. The master of the mansion. That distant existence suddenly became real when she looks over at Monshiro. NO GURL ;w; BELIEVE IN HIM! ACTUALLY I’M WONDERING THAT AS WELL BUT WHO CARES IF HE IS.
She hadn’t thought at all about Monshiro being the master of the mansion. It’s true that his appearance doesn’t seem like it but… WHO CARES IF HE WAS? USAGI EXPLAINED THAT THEY’RE ALL HERE BECAUSE THEY DIED. IT’S NOT THE MASTER’S FAULT THEY’RE HERE. HE JUST GOVERNS PURGATORY. She looks at Monshiro again.
An appearance that is as ephemeral as the moon. A hooded overcoat that seems to faintly repel light. Silver hair that seemed to proudly glimmer. An atmosphere that seems to draw in people’s eyes. He is different from other people somewhere but…
Beniyuri declares that Monshiro isn’t the master of this mansion. Hikage asks how she can state that. In her mind, she thinks on how it’s because she’s seen him for a while now and… She tells Hikage that, when they first met Monshiro, he walked away without even looking at the fallen kaleidoscope fragment. And that’s how she picked it up. If he was the master of the mansion then he wouldn’t have overlooked that, right?
Hikage can see her reasoning. He doesn’t seriously think Monshiro is the master of the mansion either but he just wants to know why she’s defending him like that. DON’T SCARE ME LIKE THAT HIKAGE. Beniyuri blinks in confusion. Hikage continues on to point out that she said she met Monshiro while exploring the mansion, right? But he had told everyone fundamentally not to act alone. And so, who was she with when she met Monshiro?
Beniyuri hesitates and wonders what to do. She has no choice but to say she was together with Yamato but it feels like a lie. She slowly says that, at the time, the person was– Karasuba says that it was him. He was paired up with Beniyuri at the time they met this guy. Her eyes widen at the unexpected backing. Karasuba hasn’t met Monshiro at all, so why…? Kagiha is startled and points out that Karasuba didn’t seem like he knew Monshiro just a while ago.
Karasuba lightly shrugs and points out that an acquaintance is an acquaintance. But at that time he didn’t hear about how Monshiro wanted to be their companion and so was surprised. Isn’t that right, Monshiro? Monshiro, who has been quiet, nods. Karasuba points out that all of them were originally strangers and so they don’t need to hate on him that much, right? And isn’t there value in having another person’s insight in living here? Monshiro might know some things and so they don’t need to chase him out yet, right?
Kagiha can see the point in his words but… Karasuba smirks and asks them if it’s inconvenient for Monshiro to be here? Hikage has had a look of refusal all this time. Hikage crosses his arms and states that he just doesn’t want to increase their amount of things to keep an eye on. Karasuba points out that he and Beniyuri can take care of Monshiro then, right? Beniyuri, who is still taken aback, nods quickly. Karasuba cheerily declares that it’s decided then. Right? Hikage sighs loudly before telling them to do what they want and then turns his back on them. Beniyuri takes a second to realize that this means… Monshiro is accepted, right?
Later, on the second floor, Beniyuri calls out to Karasuba, who is returning to his room, and thanks him for saving her just now. Karasuba turns around and looks at both Beniyuri and Monshiro, who is behind her, before giving a light smile. He tells her that it’s fine and she doesn’t need to worry about it. It’s good that Monshiro is their companion, right? Monshiro nods quietly. Karasuba’s grin widens before he points out Monshiro’s room and tells him to use it freely.
Monshiro echoes his words. Karasuba nods and also explains that there’s a lot of dust and so it’s best that he cleans it first. Beniyuri watches as Karasuba opens the door and Monshiro looks inside. It’s a strange sight and she’s still stuck on Karasuba saving her… Karasuba suddenly turns around and asks her what the matter is. She shakes her head but reveals that she’s surprised he’s accepting Monshiro.
He was the one who most opposed strangers being taken here and so she’s wondering why he defended Monshiro. He hums before admitting that he doesn’t really have a reason and if he’s going to say anything then it’s because he raised his points, maybe? He grins 「困ってる紅百合ちゃんを助けたら、好感度アップ！・・・みたいな。」(Because I helped out Beniyuri-chan when she was in trouble, her impression towards me went up!… that kind of thing).
She stares at him blankly and he pouts before asking what that expression is. He tells her that he was just joking and he thought it’d be best to make more companions. It was just an intuition. Beniyuri can understand that because she has the feeling that Monshiro is “safe”. Karasuba shakes his head because he doesn’t trust Monshiro but, when thinking of the pros and cons, he thinks Monshiro is a pro.
At her look of confusion, he admits that he feels like they’ll need Monshiro. Karasuba does think he’s strange though. Both of them look over at the room. Monshiro, who had entered the room, is staring intently at a lamp. Karasuba then narrows his eyes and points out that she’s hiding something. Monshiro seems to be as well. Lately, he’s noticed strange things about Beniyuri. She winces inwardly at being seen through.
Beniyuri tries to deny that but before she can say anything Karasuba tells her that knows about this because he’s the same, so he’s sensitive to it. He thinks she should have just lied with any excuse but, because she reacted to them seriously, she needed to come up with a lie in the end. He knows that her meeting Monshiro during an exploration is just an excuse. She starts to panic, but he shrugs and reassures her that he won’t inquire any more. He doesn’t want to stick his neck into anything dangerous.
She realizes that he’s actually quite sharp and, even though he looks like he’s joking around, he’s actually observing everything. She apologizes quietly. He asks her what that apology is for? For not saying anything? She’s apologizing for making him responsible for a lie. He just looks at her. If Karasuba hadn’t created that story to defend them then she would have had to lie about Monshiro, and the more she is questioned the more the lies would pile up. She thinks she would have been tormented with the guilt of tricking her companions.
But in exchange, the one who took that on was– Karasuba averts his eyes and comments on how she’s so serious about that; it makes him want to tease her. She starts to become flustered but then Monshiro appears and quietly tells Karasuba not to bully her. Karasuba’s eyes widen as Monshiro comes out of the room and plasters himself right beside Beniyuri before repeating 「イジメ、だめ。」(Bullying, is no good). HE TALKS WITH LOTS OF PAUSES AND ALMOST CHILD-LIKE. Their shoulders are brushing and she can feel his warmth.
Beniyuri stutters out to him that, she thought this back there too, he’s a bit… close. He tilts his head and asks if this isn’t allowed. She tells him that it’s not not allowed but… in her mind, she realizes that he must not be aware of how close he is. Karasuba yells out that Monshiro is being unfair and he also wants to be close to her! Beniyuri yelps and asks him why he’s hugging her! He tells her that he also wants to spend lovey-dovey time with her! No?
She tells him that it’s not allowed and to let her go! Karasuba pouts and points out that it’s unfair for only Monshiro to be able to do it though! He’s opposed to favoritism! She points out flustered that she’s not playing favorites… Monshiro slowly tells Karasuba not to bully and that he won’t forgive him if he bullies Beniyuri. Karasuba retorts that he’s the one being bullied because she’s only cold towards him!
Monshiro’s voice becomes harder as he repeats again to Karasuba not to bully. Karasuba tells him that, while he’s saying that, can he not cling to him and Beniyuri? Monshiro doesn’t respond. Meanwhile, Beniyuri is stuck between them and watching them glare at each other. Their warmth is tickling her and she starts to smile unintentionally.
At any rate, the bond between them gained a new support in the form of Monshiro after Yamato’s disappearance. And everything slowly returned back to normal. The strained atmosphere softened and they became more positive. They returned all their efforts into collecting the fragments. Despite Monshiro’s usual calm appearance, he takes down monsters with an unthinkable ability. He became one of their strong allies, as if he had spent a long time in this mansion. Hikage and Kagiha were still vigilant towards Monshiro, who is unknown to them; however, Karasuba served as a mediator and the time they all spent together increased.
It’s night and Beniyuri comments on how they walked around a lot today and so she’s tired. It looks like they can sleep well. Monshiro asks her why she’s tired. She explains that they walked around a lot and then asks if that isn’t the case for him? He doesn’t look tired though. He answers that he’s fine and not tired at all. They had returned from an exploration and were standing on the second floor of the rooms, facing each other. Compared to her who is tired, Monshiro is standing upright.
Beniyuri is amazed by Monshiro since he never breathes hard no matter how much they walk and he isn’t scared of the monsters. He notices her look and asks her what the matter is. She reassures him that it’s nothing and she was just thinking on how amazing he is in her mind. He echoes her words in confusion. She points out that he’s very reliable and she wonders if she can be as strong as him one day. He is silent.
But then she realizes that she’s not intending to remain in this mansion forever; they’re going to complete the kaleidoscope and return to their original lives. Monshiro continues to remain silent and stares at the ground. She wonders what’s wrong and if she said something weird. She starts to say his name but he cuts her off and says that it’s best if she didn’t.
At her look of confusion, he elaborates 「強く・・・ならなくていい。俺はずっとひとりだった。・・・だから、強くなった。ベニユリは・・・ひとりぼっち、似合わない。ベニユリは・・・強くならなくていい。・・・俺が、守る。」(It’s fine… if you aren’t strong. I was always alone… and so I became strong. Beniyuri… isn’t suited to being alone. Beniyuri… doesn’t need to become strong… I’ll protect you).
His stuttering words strike at her heart. How long has he been alone here in this interval? He probably wouldn’t tell her even if she asked but he must have been lonely. However… Beniyuri points out that he’s no longer alone. He startles but she continues on to say that he’s no longer alone because they’re here. He’s slowly become one of their precious companions. And that’s why she wants to be strong. She wants to be reliable and protect him too.
Monshiro murmurs her name and she tells him soothingly that he doesn’t need to be lonely anymore and she’ll be with him always. She squeezes both of his hands encouragingly. She doesn’t know if the warmth of her hands will reach the deep loneliness in him but Monshiro accepts her touch and doesn’t separate their hands.
Anyway, they separate and Beniyuri enters her room preparing to sleep. She finishes her preparations and heads to her bed only to realize that the ribbon Monshiro gave her has been in her pocket all this time and it’s probably wrinkled. She decides to take it out and then looks at it again, though she’s filled with a strange nostalgia when she does. She feels like she’s seen this ribbon somewhere before and it settles in her hand strangely.
But her eyes are drawn to her door when she hears a small noise. Is someone there? She places the ribbon on the side table and goes to open it, only to see Monshiro standing there the moment she turns the handle and opens the door. Beniyuri expresses her surprise and then asks him what he’s doing here at this time. Is there something he needs? She’s startled when he doesn’t say anything and instead slips through the opening of the door and walks directly to her bed.
Upon arriving, he slips under the covers. Beniyuri hesitantly calls out his name and points out that this is her bed. He doesn’t respond. She asks him if he’s only half-awake but he shakes his head and stares up at her before asking if he can’t. She repeats his words faintly and then asks if he wants to sleep together because that’s a bit… Monshiro tells her that being alone is cold and it’s always cold. But she’s warm and so he wants to be together with her. No?
She doesn’t know what to say. He tells her that if she won’t allow it then he’ll return. THE WAY HE ASKS IS SO CUTE WAH. His tiny response makes him look like a puppy that has been abandoned. She’s filled with trouble and unable to coldly reject him. Beniyuri wonders what to do and why he suddenly wants to be spoiled. Ah! Is it because she said that they’d be together always just a while ago? She hadn’t meant it literally and only meant their feelings…
But she can almost see the uneasiness in his eyes under the mask. She recalls that he’s always very close in terms of distance. Whenever they talk, he’s always stuck beside her and it must be because he’s longing for others. She had thought about wanting to be as strong as him so that she can support him, but this may be the only thing that she can give him. And so she breathes in deeply and tells him that she understands and it’s fine, but only for today.
He perks up. She reminds him again that they’ll sleep together only for today. He says her name happily. In her mind, she thinks it’ll be fine so long as the other person is Monshiro. She asks him to create some space, to which he slides over immediately. She settles down beside him and giggles out that the bed is warm thanks to him; he’s warm enough by himself. He seems surprised to hear this. She asks him if he didn’t know.
Monshiro tells her that he doesn’t but she’s warmer. When he’s together with her, his heart feels warm. He shuffles closer to her, as if seeking warmth, and she can’t help but smile at his cute action. He inquires as to why she’s smiling. She shakes her head and says it’s nothing. More importantly, does he not take off his mask when he sleeps? It isn’t hard to breathe? He answers that it doesn’t hurt and it’s fine.
Beniyuri wonders what is underneath his mask and what he’s hiding. She comments out loud on how he’s a puzzle; how long has he been here? How has he lived here? What does he look like? He won’t tell her any of these. He asks her if she hates it. She makes a noise of confusion. He elaborates and asks if she hates him for that. Beniyuri’s voice is amused as she says that she doesn’t and it’s because they’re companions. She won’t hate him for something like that so he doesn’t need to worry.
She tells him to talk whenever he wants to talk and she’ll wait patiently for that. He nods. She points out that she might ask things out of curiosity though so he’ll have to forgive her for that. He nods. They whisper to each other in the quiet and this pleasant sound lures her into sleep. Or more like she’s just grown sleepy. Monshiro quietly asks if she’s sleeping. She nods and apologizes because she’s sleepy now.
He tells her that he will too then and asks her not to leave him alone. She reassures him and says that they’ll always be together. Her eyelids have become heavy and sleep gently pulls her under. In the darkness, Monshiro murmurs that he wants to be together with her forever. She replies sleepily that they’ll always be together and they’ll collect the fragments and then they’ll all return home together.
Monshiro murmurs her name. She makes a questioning noise. He repeats again that he wants to be together forever but his voice seems shaky. She nods faintly. He continues on to say 「俺、ずっと一緒にいられない・・・けど、今だけは・・・、・・・、・・・。」(I can’t be together with you forever… but only for now…). In the moment that she falls asleep she feels like something important was being told to her. But at that moment, she who had fallen unconscious, isn’t able to grasp the fundamental meaning.
Several days later, Beniyuri is in the greenhouse and telling Yamato about how Monshiro gradually got everyone to open up to him. Yamato’s mouth drops open and asks how he did it when he has no sense of cooperation? She thinks it’s Karasuba who watched over him a lot and, when they’re free, they tend to play boardgames. He’s surprisingly strong at them. Yamato isn’t too surprised at these unexpected things. But the most important thing is that he’s happy, right Monshiro?
Monshiro, who is chasing the butterflies, turns around and nods. And then he returns back to chasing them. Yamato narrows his eyes and asks if that person is even listening to them, or just nodding randomly. Beniyuri giggles and points out that Monshiro has been having a lot of fun lately and that he seems to like Yamato. Yamato gives her a surprised look and so she explains that Monshiro is more carefree here than he is at the refuge and it must be because it’s comfortable being by Yamato.
Yamato retorts that he doesn’t understand her meaning and he doesn’t think they’re familiar with each other at all. But Beniyuri can see that the atmosphere around Monshiro is completely different from how it is in the refuge and he must be happy since it’s been a while since they last came here. This reminds her to apologize to Yamato for not coming here lately. He asks her if something happened.
She explains that everyone has been sleeping late recently and it’s hard for her to slip out of her room. She cautiously asks if he still doesn’t want to return to the refuge. If he returns then they’d be able to meet every day and Monshiro would be happy too. Most of all, Hikage would be… Yamato narrows his eyes. Beniyuri continues on to say that Hikage is waiting. He won’t show it but she’s sure that he’s worried not knowing about the safety of his brother.
Yamato knows she has a point and he understands but he still can’t right now. She murmurs his name and wonders what kind of circumstances he’s under so that he won’t show the rest of them his appearance. She wants to be able to tell Hikage about where Yamato is at the very least but… Monshiro quietly approaches Yamato who was mumbling and then in the next moment.
Monshiro touches Yamato’s head and roughly moves his hands around. Yamato yelps and asks him what he’s suddenly doing. It hurts! And if he’s looking for a fight then there are plenty of better ways to do it. Monshiro only says his name. Beniyuri is struck by understanding and explains to Yamato that he’s probably being comforted right now? Yamato angrily asks what kind of world has someone grabbing another person’s head and shaking it around as a form of comfort!?
She points out that there’s one right now in front of Yamato and in this world. She explains that Monshiro doesn’t seem to understand distances between people. He’s very close to Karasuba whenever they talk but, in contrast, he’s tens of meters away when Hikage talks. He doesn’t seem to understand how to interact with people. Yamato snaps out to Monshiro that he gets it and he knows his feelings! It’s more than enough! Monshiro nods.
Yamato sighs loudly as he fixes his mussed hair. And then he asks Monshiro if this is true and he doesn’t have a sense of distance between people. Monshiro informs them that he’s always been alone and so he doesn’t know. What is distance? Is he strange? Yamato isn’t surprised that he’d forget how to interact with people if he’s been alone all this time. Monshiro nods, which makes Yamato smile wryly, as if he were grouping himself in that group too.
Beniyuri realizes that Yamato must also feel lonely being here alone… and yet he won’t return. And then Yamato tells Monshiro sternly to remember this. This is what to do when comforting someone. He places a large hand on Monshiro’s head and then gently pets him. Monshiro holds completely still and looks pleased.
Yamato muses out loud on how Hikage and Kagiha seem to be wary still but it’d be nice if they became friends. Beniyuri thinks everything will be fine, right Monshiro? Monshiro doesn’t reply and only leans into Yamato’s hand.
At any rate, just as Beniyuri and Monshiro are about to leave, Yamato asks them if they’ve been to that room. She echoes his words questioningly; that room? Yamato tells her that there’s a room surrounded by bookshelves, although papers are everywhere and it looks a mess. YEAH WHERE YOU WENT CRAZY IN AN ALTERNATE WORLD. Beniyuri wonders if he means a library or study. He shrugs. Monshiro seems to startle in the background.
Yamato admits that he sometimes walks around the mansion, although he doesn’t do it during the day. But there’s a different quality which makes that room different from others, like there are traces of someone using it. Beniyuri asks if he’s implying that someone else other than them is living here too? Maybe Usagi or… the thought of the master of the mansion comes to her mind unbidden and her eyebrows furrow.
He goes on to say that the door was open and so he thought to investigate inside but there were black butterflies passing by and so he gave up that day. She tells him that they haven’t gone there yet, and then asks Monshiro if he knows this place. Monshiro shakes his head quickly. VERY SUSPICIOUS. Beniyuri is surprised that even Monshiro doesn’t know of this room despite being here for a long time. Anyway, Yamato thinks there might be something there so he suggests for them to check it out next time. Beniyuri nods and promises to remember it.
The exploration teams change every day. The next day, Beniyuri is paired up with Hikage. When he first came here, Monshiro would miss her like he was being parted from a parent bird. He would keep turning back to look at her many times as he was being led away deep into the mansion by Kagiha and Karasuba. Compared to the first floor that they’ve investigated thoroughly, the second floor is a large and unknown place. They used the central staircase in the main hall to ascend to the next level.
Maybe they could find the study that Yamato spoke about? She was wrapped by that hope; caught by the idea of there being traces of another presence. Just what exactly would be there? Just what exactly is being done there? She thought this as she entered the corridor and her vision was filled by the view of many masks lined up on the walls. They continued to walk through the massive mansion.
Beniyuri notes that they haven’t found the place Yamato told her about at all. She thought it’d be close to the hidden door to the garden that Yamato is in. But she’s tested all the handles of the doors lining the walls and they were all locked. The unpleasant sound of locks clicking makes her sigh. She should have asked for more details but, in the end, searching for something yesterday is hard today.
Hikage comments out loud on how proactive she is today and asks if she’s searching for something. She startles and turns around at the voice from behind her. Hikage is looking at her with searching eyes and crossed arms. He elaborates and says that she usually feels unreliable and walks around hunched, but today she’s moving around with a straight spine. It makes him wonder what her goal is.
She laughs awkwardly and defends herself by saying that her activeness isn’t just limited to today and she’s always working hard to collect the fragments! He looks skeptical and she feels herself sweating. If she tells him that she’s looking for a study then he’ll surely ask her about where she received this information, right? She doesn’t have the confidence in being able to keep Yamato’s secret in that case. She needs to mislead him!
Beniyuri points out that she feels a bit cold and it’s going to be night soon, right? She just wants to have something to bring back. He narrows his eyes and she flinches at the piercing look. She suggests they continue on and forcibly ends the conversation to move forward. They continue down the hall and no matter whether she looks left or right, it all looks the same. She’d like some change. But at the same time she also wishes for nothing to happen.
And then at the moment that she smiles wryly in self-awareness of her feelings, she spies a door ahead that is cracked open. She can see a pile of books through that crack. Could this be the room? Beniyuri calls out to Hikage to come over here and then enters the room, her eyes widening. Everywhere she looks it’s books, books, and books. There are bookshelves all around the room and that extend to the ceiling. All the books are packed tightly to the point of bursting.
Looking up and down, Beniyuri is amazed by the amount and it feels like she’s sinking in a sea of books. After looking around stunned at the sight, Hikage starts to inspect the room with a serious expression. Beniyuri muses out loud on how this looks to be a study. Hikage agrees. She decides that this must be the room Yamato had mentioned. She starts to discreetly move to the middle of the room.
On the way, she avoid stepping on the papers for some reason and arrives at the desk, and then takes a look at what is on it. Once again, she realizes that Yamato was right in how it does feel like there’s a presence here. As if said person in the study just left and is going to come back. An open pencil box. Fountain pens lying around. A quickly written note. And then, as if she could feel the breathing of the owner, one book that is left open.
Beniyuri wonders what this book is and notes that it seems to have pictures. The front cover is strange looking. And so, while feeling that she:
- Takes it in hand
- Averts her eyes
She takes it while feeling terrified. W-What is this? In the instant she touches it she feels an unexpected sensation. It feels like the binding is made out of thin skin; it’s a disgusting feeling like she just touched a dead person’s skin. Σ Σ Σ (´д`ｌｌｌ). Beniyuri gasps and draws away her hand immediately. At least, that was her intention but instead her fingers start to unconsciously turn the pages. There is only the sound of a page turning and its faint wind resistance.
Because it’s written in a foreign language, she can’t understand any of it but the magic circles and diagrams of human bodies is enough for her to understand that it’s something terrifying. Beniyuri thinks that this is something dangerous and wonders what is going to happen if she continues to read it. And yet, even though she knows this she can’t look away.
Suddenly, she feels like she’s looking into an illusion of a water well. In the darkness, a wind is blowing. Before long her body feels as if it is being sucked forward into its depths. What is this place? Where is this place? Before she knows it, she is standing still in darkness. And then, as if she were the only person left in the world, she feels the pressure of loneliness. She calls out to the person who was just beside her. Hikage? Where is he?
But there is no answer like she hoped. Her voice only echoes in the empty space. She calls out to him again and asks where he is. There is no answer still. She laughs nervously and talks out loud about how he must be hiding, right? She’d like him to stop teasing her and come out. She moves forward searching for someone other than her. It’s strange because he should be close by.
Her outstretched hands don’t reach Hikage though. On the contrary… Beniyuri is puzzled because the room shouldn’t be this large. Yet, why…? No matter how she continues to walk forward she doesn’t reach the end. Her breathing starts to become rough and she breaks out into a run. Anything is fine. She just wants to hit something. She desperately wishes for that but it isn’t granted.
Beniyuri only continues to run through the darkness surrounding her. She yells out for Hikage or anyone and asks where they are. She begs for a response. Don’t leave her alone! She runs and runs and runs. Recklessly.
How many hours pass like that? Before long, she loses sight of her goal and only becomes someone who is running. A faint thought lingers. Where is she heading? Is she ascending to the heavens? Is she falling down to hell? Or has she not even moved one step from her spot? She should be in a large mansion. But did that mansion ever exist? Were the people she met illusions? Everything has dissolved to darkness and even she herself becomes vague. And then she… who is facing nothing but darkness continues to move her feet in the never ending darkness.