CV: Kakihara Tetsuya (柿原 徹也)
Karasuba is an incorrigible flirt and often appears not to take anything seriously. However, he’s also the type to hide things behind a smile and has a surprisingly cunning and perceptive mind. He appeared in the mansion around the same time that Yamato did, but the two of them get along like cats and dogs. On the other hand, he develops an instant liking for the heroine and is constantly trying to get closer to her.
Like the others, I’ll do a quick summary of the main events, and then include their character scenes between the main events. If you want more details about each chapter, then please read the first few Psychedelica posts up to and including the Real World.
*** PROLOGUE ***
Beniyuri wakes up in a strange mansion with no memories. She meets up with Hikage and they are both saved from the monsters by Monshiro. Kagiha appears and leads them to a refuge. But then they hear a scream and so Beniyuri runs out to save Karasuba and Yamato. The team gives themselves names from the plates on the door and also find out that they are all amnesiac and that the master of the mansion wants them to complete this item called the “kaleidoscope”. They can also manifest guns through the power of their thoughts to fight the monsters.
*** CHAPTER ONE ***
The team explores the mansion and finds the pieces of the kaleidoscope to complete it. They are then told by a messenger, called Usagi, that they need to collect fragments to complete the kaleidoscope. The fragments are held by monsters and so they need to exterminate them. As a reward for completing the kaleidoscope, everyone is also given back their childhood memories. Beniyuri has a small scene where she breaks down due to the stress of this terrifying environment but she’s comforted by Kagiha.
*** CHAPTER TWO ***
Everyone trains themselves to manifest and use their guns. Beniyuri is taught personally by Yamato, and is the last to pick this skill up. Anyway, they go on their monster hunting expedition with Beniyuri choosing who she wants to explore the mansion with:
Beniyuri wonders on whether Karasuba is a good choice or not. If she’s with a cheerful person then she’ll feel optimistic… Karasuba suddenly opens his mouth to confirm if she wants to go with him. Of course, he’ll welcome her greatly! She blinks, taken aback, and points out that she hasn’t said anything yet. He winks at her and says that he heard her heart’s desires and so, in other words, they should ditch these foul men and go. L O L OFF TO A GREAT START.
She stares at him blankly but slowly decides that since she was planning on asking him anyway it should be fine…? She tells him that she looks forward to working with him to collect the fragments. He replies with the same before cheerily saying that he’ll leave her behind when it gets dangerous though. She gapes at him. He immediately tells her that he was lying. He gives her a teasing smile and then walks with light steps to the exit. Beniyuri wonders if they’re really going to be okay; touched by a tinge of anxiety, she follows after his back.
One step out of the refuge is the devil’s nest. It wouldn’t be strange for them to hear the breathing of a monster or to be attacked at any point. But Karasuba, looking as if he has no concerns, talks about how he took some playing cards to Hikage’s room to invite him but was chased out by an irritated expression. It’s hard to get along with Hikage. Beniyuri giggles but thinks that Hikage was just grumpy from having his sleep interrupted. Karasuba continues bringing up topic after topic with his usual attitude.
Beniyuri, whose steps hesitated at the unknown, is thankful for his my-pace attitude. Karasuba suddenly comments on how she’s done well in manifesting her gun, especially when she couldn’t at the beginning. She nods and admits that it was hard at the beginning but now she has the hang of it. He asks if someone taught her? She pauses and then asks where that question came from. Karasuba points out that her stance resembles someone… but maybe that’s his imagination?
She stops walking as he peers at her face; she doesn’t have a reason to hide anything, and honestly she’s a bit worried about Yamato’s reaction. On the other hand, there’s no need to keep it a secret either. Besides, it might also help Karasuba and Yamato become friends. Beniyuri slowly explains that Yamato helped her; she was practicing alone at night when he woke up and– Karasuba interrupts to gape at her and ask to confirm if that unsociable man really helped her out!?
Beniyuri nods and agrees that it’s surprising, right? But he stuck with her patiently despite her inability to do it well. Karasuba hums in thought and she notices that he looks a bit displeased. He finally states that he doesn’t like Yamato. She echoes his words and then asks why. He shrugs and tries to explain that it’s like his whole body refuses to like Yamato and he wants to stay away from him at even a cellular level. She recalls that the two of them fight often.
She ends up telling him that even though Yamato looks scary, he’s actually a nice person. Karasuba repeats her words about Yamato being a good person and then asks for evidence. She echoes his words blankly. He repeats that he wants evidence about Yamato being a good person, apart from him teaching her how to manifest her gun too. She opens her mouth but nothing comes out because she can’t think of anything.
Evidence. She’s never thought about that sort of thing. Everyone here was accepted under the basis of being a companion and companions were “good people”; this was an unconditional thing that she believed in. Beniyuri stutters out that it’s her… intuition, maybe. Scary people tend to have kind hearts, kind of thing. Karasuba bursts out laughing 「あはは、見事に根拠ゼロだね。逆に考えると、優しそうに見える人は全員、悪人なワケ？」(Ahaha, you don’t have any good evidence, huh. On the opposite side, are you saying that everyone who looks kind is actually bad?).
Beniyuri hurriedly denies that, but Karasuba continues on to muse out loud on how Kagiha is a really kind person. Does that mean she thinks he’s a bad person? She retorts that no one said such a thing! He points out that no one is able to tell a “good person” from a “bad person”, right? She bites her lip in frustration at losing this battle. Seeing her expression, Karasuba’s smile that is always pasted on his face deepens. He apologizes for teasing her because she was so cute and innocent.
He steps closer and tells her that she’s a nice girl. Believing in the illusion that there are “good people” makes her a nice girl, but… she can’t survive with that. She’s startled to see his smile disappear instantly into a cold look. She feels a chill down her spine at his change. Surviving… Only monsters are after their lives in this mansion, right? Beniyuri realizes that Karasuba is talking as if there’s something else… OH THIS WOULD HAVE BEEN A NICE ROUTE TO START DOWN ON.
Just as she freezes in her confusion, Karasuba suddenly gives a small smile. He tells her that he was just kidding and this was a joke! She stares at him blankly. A joke? He shrugs and admits that he always wants to tease her when he sees her! And then he turns around and walks further ahead; the sound of his casual footsteps echo in the hall. He suggests they go to the second floor because he’s tired of the first floor already! Beniyuri is still taken aback but she nods since they might find something new there.
Karasuba notes that they’re decided then and so they should head to the staircase. Let’s go! Beniyuri stares at his back as he moves on and places a hand on her chest, as if touching the lingering unease in her heart. Right now… just what did he mean by those words?
At any rate, just as they step foot on the second floor, she hears Karasuba’s voice since he is in front of her. He comments on what a terrible hobby the master of the mansion has. Beniyuri asks him what happened only to shriek in shock. W-What is this!? Standing in the hall, her breath catches when she sees what is on one wall. As she looks around all she can see are masks, masks, and masks. The masks are arranged with jewels, gold, and silver, and they’re very detailed to the point of exceeding the mansion’s decorations.
Karasuba winces and wonders if this is the master of the mansion’s collection? It looks like it continues down the hall until the end too. She’s shocked at the number of them and wonders how long it took for the master to collect so many. As if to protect her body from countless gazes, she pulls her shoulders inwards and rubs at them as she and Karasuba continue.
Soon they hear a delicate voice crying from somewhere. Beniyuri sees a young girl in the distance! She searches for the girl and then finds her back curled into a crevice behind a pillar. It’s not Usagi… what’s going on? She takes a step in that direction but she’s grabbed by a hand from behind her. Karasuba tells her flatly to stop it and not to carelessly get too close. She tries to protest but he just raises an eyebrow and asks where her evidence is that the person isn’t a “bad person”? She doesn’t have any, right?
Beniyuri has no response to that and turns her eyes to the girl again. She remains curled and continues to cry alone; her appearance weighs heavily on Beniyuri like her own little sister. She can’t see a child crying like that to have any bad intentions… and blurts out that she won’t get too close before shaking Karasuba off. He snaps out that she’s an idiot, but she’s already dashed to the little girl and crouches down so they can meet eyes.
She asks the little girl what’s going on and why she’s crying. The masked young girl asks her who she is? Beniyuri gasps lightly upon seeing a cat mask look back at her. For a second, she flinched away but she soon relaxes at the innocent voice and lack of animosity. Beniyuri introduces herself and says that she arrived at this mansion not too long ago, what about her? The masked girl tries to introduce herself but suddenly grunts in pain as if trying to remember something.
The young girl explains haltingly that she was in a hospital… with a serious illness… and she underwent a large operation. Everyone told her that she was a good girl and so God would save her but… but…!! Beniyuri tries to get her to calm down but the masked girl suddenly yells out that everyone’s a liar! Liar! LIAR! Beniyuri screams and Karasuba calls out to her when the masked girl’s body becomes tainted in black at the same time she screams as if being torn apart.
And then, as if drawn there from somewhere, black butterflies gather and settle on the young girl’s body before transforming into a larger shape. Beniyuri stutters out that they have to save her! Karasuba snaps back that it’s too late and she’s become a monster! She tries to protest but he manifests his gun and points it at the young girl who transformed into a monster. He glances at her and tells her that they have to do this.
Karasuba shoots her a look after they defeat the monster and points out how she won’t be able to survive, like he said. Beniyuri stares up at him in confusion, having collapsed to her knees out of fatigue, when he comes up to her. He reminds her that she was in this dangerous situation because she easily believed in someone and approached them; oh well, it’s good that she can learn from this incident! She doesn’t have anything to say.
He suddenly notices that there’s a fragment in the place where the monster fell and picks it up before throwing it playfully into the air. She asks him how he’s able to smile at a time like this? Just a while ago, the child turned into a monster and they shot and killed her… He doesn’t think anything about that? He catches the fragment and closes his hand around it as he hums in thought.
And then the smile disappears on his face as he points out that, right now, she was attacked because she was deceived by the outward appearance of a crying girl, no? From the start he suspected the girl of being a monster and so he’s not shaken at all. He asks 「人を信じて傷心中のキミと、疑って無傷のオレ。ねえ・・・どっちが賢いかな？」(Between you, who is heartbroken from believing in someone, and me, who is unhurt from suspecting it… hey, which one of us is more clever?).
He makes her open a hand and drops the fragment into it with a grin. In her mind, Beniyuri admits that she may be foolish and hold no cleverness but… she’s sure that the world isn’t just full of people who can’t be believed in. She argues that she doesn’t believe the young girl had any intentions of deceiving them at the beginning. Karasuba lightly replies that the result is everything and, in the end, they were attacked.
Beniyuri doesn’t have a response to that. Why is he saying these things? It’s as if he’s telling himself that… She asks him if this means that he doesn’t believe in anyone? He admits that instantly. She asks if this includes everyone… and her? He nods again and then apologizes with a grin. She quietly tells him that he might not get hurt like that but not trusting in anyone… is lonely.
An awkward silence visits them. In the middle of this, the rain begins to fall and she can feel a cold air on her skin. Karasuba finally says that they’ve acquired something and so they should return. She agrees quietly. She squeezes the fragment in her hand and then starts the journey home.
Everyone returns to the refuge with the fragments they collected and then they are given another reward by the master of the mansion in the form of Usagi delivering food to them. Everyone has dinner around a table and Beniyuri feels that everyone is getting closer together. She also manages to see Usagi’s face.
*** CHAPTER THREE ***
Yamato has been irritable lately and so Beniyuri visits him with hot chocolate. They have a talk about their families and lives before Yamato reveals that he has a younger twin brother who has been in a coma for ten years. Yamato is impatient to get out of this mansion because he’s the only one who’s been talking constantly to his brother, and the doctors say that this gives his brother the best chance to wake up.
Beniyuri comforts Yamato but runs out of his room when he tries to touch her, for some reason. In her room, the master of the mansion suddenly asks if she wants to know more about Yamato or not:
- She is scared to know
- She wants to know more about Yamato
But Beniyuri is scared to know. Besides, this message wasn’t sent to Yamato, right? She doesn’t like the thought of learning something about someone without asking said person personally. She startles when her phone beeps again with another message notification. She opens it to see a picture of two children, one who looks like Hikage and one who looks like Yamato. Could it be that they’re twins?!
Just then everyone is woken up by Yamato screaming and rushes out of the refuge to see him transform into a monster in their face. Yamato runs off before they can do anything. After this event, Usagi visits them and reveals to them that this world is the interval between life and death. Meaning, everyone here is almost dead and the only way for them to return to life is to complete kaleidoscope, since it’ll grant the user a wish. And then Beniyuri reveals to everyone the photo of the twins that the master of the mansion sent to her. Hikage realizes that he’s Yamato’s little brother and staggers off to be alone in his room. Everyone is shocked and a bit broken from the sudden loss of one of their members.
In her room at night, Beniyuri thinks on the events that have happened:
- 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
- Why did they arrive here?
Beniyuri thinks it’d be nice if everything was a dream… She’d go to sleep right now, wake up in the morning in her own house and room, go to the living room, and wait for her father to make breakfast. It’d be pure happiness to return to that kind of everyday life. Her feelings have escaped to a place of nostalgia. Her eyes burn with tears as she thinks about trying to endure and face these past few days and the information that they’ve learned. If everything were a dream then…
Suddenly, she hears a knock on the door behind her. She raises her voice and calls out to ask who it is while impatiently pressing at the bottom of her eyes. But no matter how long she waits she doesn’t get any answer. It… wasn’t her imagination, right? She’s sure she heard a knock right now. Just as she doubts herself, another light knock sounds. She asks who it is again and grabs the handle to open the door, looking outside.
Beniyuri, who had been innocently checking to see who the visitor was, widens her eyes in surprise. There’s… no one? Basically, in a place where there is supposed to be a person there is no one, and she doesn’t see any person despite looking left and right. What is this? A person was here right now… right? Yet now there’s no presence. She stands in the hall in a daze. By the time her consciousness returns to her, her instinct makes her body tremble in terror starting from her feet and she hurries back into her room.
She’s scared! She doesn’t want anything more to happen! At that moment, she feels something cold on the back of her neck and she shrieks. Just as she yells for someone to help her though, Karasuba tells her that he’s caught her! She stares at him blankly. He chuckles and says that she had a nice reaction. It’s him though, Karasuba!
He then scolds her for opening her door when it was so suspicious. She’s too negligent! He has a joking voice though while he points a finger at her and lectures. Beniyuri realizes that the cold thing she felt earlier was his finger. She asks him if he was hiding just now. He explains that he was hiding behind the door and thought he’d be spotted instantly, but looks like that wasn’t the case! She calls him mean and tells him that she wouldn’t notice something like that! She also doesn’t want him to startle her at this time of night.
Karasuba winks and replies that they need to treasure light moments like this because it’s such a dark time. He doesn’t look shy at all. She wonders if he didn’t receive any kind of shock from Usagi’s explanation. At any rate, she asks if he has something to talk to her about? He answers ambivalently on that but then says that it’s cold out here, and can he come inside? She calls out for him to wait but he already apologizes for intruding and thanks her before entering. She hasn’t even said anything yet!
Inside her room, he notes that her room is clean and she’s tidy in her use. He takes a step away from her side and looks around her room. She hesitantly asks him not to look around like that because it’s kind of embarrassing. He startles and comments on what a nice line she used. It made his heart skip a beat because it makes it seem like they have a serious relationship. She’s not surprised at all that he immediately cracked a joke.
He stops looking around after a moment and then suddenly turns to look at her in silence. Beniyuri is taken aback because, in his amber eyes and usual curved mouth, she feels like something is different despite his lightly smiling expression not having changed. He suddenly asks her if she had thought about how nice it’d be if everything in this world was a dream. SOMETIMES THIS GUY ASKS THE CREEPIEST OF THINGS BECAUSE IT’S SO PERCEPTIVE.
Beniyuri stares at him in shock. But then he amends his previous sentence; not just this world, but it’d be nice if everything bad that happened ended up being a dream. Hasn’t she ever thought about how nice it’d be to have nothing but happiness? She opens her mouth silently, because she had been thinking those things before he came. She stiffens at the sensation of being seen through. Karasuba’s smile deepens as he prompts her for a response.
She hesitates on answering and thinks about how she had thought similar things but… why is he suddenly asking her this? She can’t agree with him. Somewhere, inside her heart, an alarm rings. Beniyuri tells him that he’s right in how a world with nothing but happiness would be nice but if all bad things disappeared then they wouldn’t be able to grow and mature. She thinks they need to be able to face things and not run away from everything.
If one doesn’t have a strong heart then nothing can start… Karasuba hums derisively. Her words are words to encourage her cowardly self and to cheer herself up. She realizes that she needs to become more positive and, right now, she had been running away from things that she needed to do. Speaking these words makes her feel the courage to live through this unreasonable world. But…
Karasuba suddenly asks her in a slow drawl if she’s properly faced what happened to Yamato then? She stiffens. He continues on to remind her that Yamato became a strange monster, right? And right before then the master of the mansion sent her a photo about Yamato. Why was it sent to her? Could it be that she was the one who made Yamato become that? She tries to say something but Karasuba cuts her off and says that she’s quite shameless in wanting to be positive then.
Choked by his words that seem to have been chosen to purposefully hurt her, she finds her small amount of courage withering. The edge of Karasuba’s mouth lifts upon seeing her expression, and then he comes closer. In the next instant, she’s pushed against the wall by his arm. Even though his mouth is smiling, under his tempestuous eyes she is unable to stir even an inch. His voice drops as he calls her a liar.
He calmly states that she’s really not that positive and forward facing, is she? Her legs tremble just from stepping out into the hall and even now she wants to run away from here, right? He tells her that it irritates him to see her acting as a good girl and spouting off these pretty words. She chokes out his name and tries to ask him to stop, but he interrupts and mockingly recalls that she said she’d face anything without running, right? In that case, she should be able to recover from him forcibly doing this to her, right? Isn’t she strong?
Both of her hands are pinned and she stiffens her body as Karasuba lowers his head, face full of irritation. Once again, she tells him to stop. He is silent. As if to cause her pain… his lips continue to slowly lower. In that moment, when her tears were about to spill from facing his animosity–
Karasuba cheerily says he was kidding! As if he’d do something like that! She stares at him in shock. He asks her teasingly if she thought he was really going to do it? Ah, she’s so serious! He apologizes for teasing her. He releases her immediately and grins widely. As she continues to stare at him, he uses a finger to wipe away her teardrops. Beniyuri finally manages to ask him why he’d do such a thing… Her voice is strangled in pain and wavers pathetically.
And, as if becoming even more satisfied, his grin deepens in front of her face. Why did he do it… He explains that it’s because she was being such a good girl that he wanted to hurt her? He explains that it’s like teasing a girl that one likes, that kind of feeling. I’M GOING TO KICK YOU KARASUBA. She doesn’t know what to say to that. Karasuba admits that, for a second, he was going to eat her but instead she’ll just have to allow him this.
Beniyuri’s eyes widen when he licks the tear on his finger and calls it delicious. Under his challenging gaze, her cheeks become warm. She finally snaps at him not to do strange things and if he’s done talking then he can get out! Karasuba pouts and says that they haven’t talked yet! His main topic is this! He purposefully coughs before opening his mouth.
Karasuba reveals that he feels like everyone here knew each other in the real world. She echoes his words in surprise. Acquaintances? He hasn’t regained all his memories yet but he feels like they’re familiar. He also thinks his intuition is correct. She’s still stuck on the fact that everyone here could be acquaintances. It’s true that she feels at ease amongst everyone and so it wouldn’t be strange if they knew each other in the past.
But then Karasuba narrows his eyes and says that, on top of this, he also thinks that there’s a stranger mixed in among them. She repeats his words in alarm. He muses out loud on how it’s like a dissonance. He has the uncomfortable feeling that the balance between everyone is crumbling because of someone. Beniyuri wonders what he means exactly. He’s saying that, by coincidence, there’s an outsider mixed in with them. In other words, someone who has intentions.
Beniyuri doesn’t have anything to say to this because she can’t even remember her family yet. He tells her lightly that she doesn’t have to take it seriously and he only thought to tell her because she’s the one who can most safely be ignored. But… as he opens the door he turns back around to face her, eyes narrowing. Like he said before, she’s too negligent and next time the person who appears from behind the door may be someone more dangerous than him. The things that she should have seen and the things that she doesn’t see… she’s the only one who will regret it.
She murmurs his name but he exits without another word, leaving her with nothing but these words full of meaning. Companions. This is how she thought of everyone, but now the a seed of doubt has been planted. It hasn’t sprouted yet but it’s enough to make her uneasy.
*** CHAPTER FOUR ***
Everyone is depressed by Yamato’s disappearance but realize that they have no choice but to continue on hunting for the fragments to complete the kaleidoscope. They have collected quite a few fragments but Beniyuri only continues to feel uneasy. She partners up with Kagiha this time and they defeat a monster, which leaves her breathless and exhausted. She also has the feeling that someone is watching them.
At night, she is led outside by white butterflies and to Monshiro who leads her to the hidden greenhouse where Yamato has been hiding. She manages to turn him partially back to normal but he refuses to return to the refuge. She promises to visit him and keep this a secret from others and is led back to the refuge by Monshiro, where she wonders:
- What kind of connection does he have with Yamato?
- It’s best if she didn’t pry too much
Beniyuri wonders what kind of connection he has with Yamato. He went out of his way to introduce her and Yamato, and so he might be expecting something.
She visits Yamato every night with Monshiro and then, one day, Monshiro gives her the ribbon that he always has and tells her that it’s a protective charm. He also wants to be one of her companions and ends up popping into the room. Everyone is suspicious but Karasuba lies to help Beniyuri and so Monshiro joins the group. He ends up cuddling with her at night and whispers that he can’t stay with her forever, even though he wants to.
Yamato tells Beniyuri about a study and so she visits it with Hikage during one of their exploration and monster-hunting expeditions only to find a strange book.
- Takes it in hand
- Averts her eyes
Unintentionally, Beniyuri averts her eyes away from it. She has the feeling that this is something she shouldn’t be seeing.
In the end, she finds a photo before she and Hikage are attacked by a monster. They retreat back to the refuge and show the photo to everyone which unlocks their memories about being childhood friends, except for Monshiro. Hikage is very suspicious about this and since Monshiro is the odd man out, no one is able to defend him even though Beniyuri tries her best. In the end, Monshiro separates from everyone to hide in his room since he doesn’t want them to fight.
At night, Beniyuri realizes that everyone seems to be hiding a painful memory from her and she’s the only one who can’t remember it.
- It’s okay even if she doesn’t remember it
- She wants to remember it by any means possible
Beniyuri decides that she shouldn’t try to force herself to remember something that she can’t; though she’s a bit irritated at her own cowardice.
At any rate, she’s unable to sleep and so she heads down to the living room only to see Karasuba there too and he’s looking at the kaleidoscope. He reveals that he’s entertained the thought of breaking it because he doesn’t want to go back to the real world. But he’s only half-serious. He actually wishes he still didn’t have his memories because unhappy things happened in his childhood. Beniyuri points out that everyone has started to act strangely after regaining their memories and it feels like they’re keeping something from her.
Karasuba jokes about being her lover in the past and dodges around the issue until he finally tells her that she’ll be the one hurt by regaining her memories. Beniyuri disagrees. He also proposes that she doesn’t use his real name in this world because he’s not the same person that he was in the past. He’s not weak and unreliable anymore, he’s someone who can protect her.
And then he goes on to say 「ねえ・・・この世界で全部やり直そーよ。つらい現実じゃなくて、幸せな夢を見よう？・・・ね？」(Hey… let’s redo this entire world. And instead of looking at a painful reality, let’s see a happy dream, okay?). It’s a coaxing and sweet-like invitation. She… just what did she forget? If she takes this hand, she might be able to save something inside of him. But is there something else that she can do? On the edge of hesitance she:
- Takes his hand
- Doesn’t take his hand
*** KARASUBA END ***
Beniyuri places her hand on top of Karasuba’s extended hand. He murmurs her name. She tells him that she doesn’t know what he remembers or what he doesn’t want her to remember but… she thinks that she needed to take his hand. If she didn’t then she feels like he might have gone alone to some place far away.
He laughs lowly and comments on how she’s as kind as usual… Will she stay with him? She nods. Forever? She nods. Will she only look at him? She nods. Every time she nods, his smile deepens. It’s kind but somehow it’s also a twisted smile. He murmurs 「じゃあ、ずっとふたりっきりでいよう。朝も昼も夜も、お互いのことだけを考えて。」(Then, let’s always be together alone. In the morning, in the afternoon, and at night… we’ll only think about each other). She nods.
In the middle of this continuous repetition, her eyelids slowly grow heavy. Karasuba notes that she looks sleepy and her eyes are all dazed. She apologizes quietly but she’s suddenly so sleepy… He smiles and points out that it’s late at night and she must be tired from remembering things. She nods. He tells her to go ahead and sleep. She tries to protest but he whispers that he’ll be by her side… he’ll always be by her side. He won’t hand her to anyone else. His whispers are like a lullaby and soon she–
She is lead into a world of dreams. Beniyuri wakes up and notices that it’s morning. How long did she sleep? The morning that greets her is as bright as usual. She feels filled from her sleep and happy despite not doing anything. How long has it been since she’s had such a great morning? Beniyuri decides that she should get up soon and slips out of her bed. And then she yelps when she sees something unexpected.
Karasuba greets her and calls her a sleepyhead since she slept so soundly. Beniyuri is stunned and wondering why they’re in this situation. Karasuba is beside her in the bed, with one of his arms extended as a pillow. She quickly asks him why he’s here!? Was he beside her all this time!? He chuckles and grins widely without a single word, and only continues to stare at her intently as if enjoying the situation.
Beniyuri demands an answer from him but he suddenly says the word “apple”. She blinks at him in confusion. He explains that she looks like one since her cheeks are red. He tells her that they’ve spent a night together and so she doesn’t need to be so embarrassed. She repeats his words stunned before hurriedly touching her chest to confirm her clothes. Fortunately, her clothes weren’t very disordered. Her shirt was only faintly wrinkled.
She’s relieved that she’s properly wearing clothes… her shirt ribbon is also tied firmly. At the same time that she exhales in relief, she hears his voice closely asking if she was just thinking about how glad she is that nothing happened. In which case, it’s possible to do things without taking off their clothes… a lot of things. He notes that she’s turned from a red apple to a pale apple and she’s so cute he wants to eat her up.
Beniyuri starts to splutter violently, causing Karasuba to note how flustered she is becoming and asking what she just imagined. He doesn’t even need to look at her to know that it was something lewd. She loudly calls him an idiot and pushes him off the bed with a hand, making him scramble out of the sheets. She wraps the blanket around her body as she sits up before she glares at his smiling face.
He tells her that he was just kidding and they didn’t do anything. Really. She asks him why he was in her bed? He explains that she fell asleep in the living room and so he carried her to her room, but started to feel sleepy himself after seeing her sleeping face. The bed was so warm that he thought he could just stay there for a little bit longer… and then he fell asleep the moment he thought that. His bad!
She frowns and points out that even though he’s saying that he’s not reflecting on his actions at all! He laughs and admits that she’s right before sticking out his tongue without looking ashamed. Looking up at him, she feels her heart start to pound wildly. He said it in an unconcerned manner, but he actually carried her here… she didn’t notice it at all. Was she sleeping that deeply? Was it also thanks to him that she remained sound asleep today…? It’s not because of that, right?
Karasuba apologizes for interrupting her while she has a complicated look on her face, but… Beniyuri startles at his voice. He suggests that they have breakfast since he’s been awake for a while and he’s starving. He’ll cook something for her as compensation for angering her. At her noise of surprise, he explains that he can do simple things like toast with bacon and eggs. Does she like tea? Or does she like coffee? Still a bit taken aback, she replies absently that she prefers tea. He acknowledges that with a wink before saying that he’ll head down first then. She watches him go in a state of surprise.
Beniyuri heads down to the living room after tidying up her appearance, and Karasuba pulls out her chair like a butler while calling her a princess. She thanks him with a stutter. He responds politely and then goes to sit in the seat across from her. Between them, on top of the table, are mugs and a large plate. On the plate is toast with half-cooked eggs and bacon on top. She gasps in surprise at how superb his frying was and even the tea has a nice color!
His cooking might be better than hers… He grins and says that he can be her wife then. He’d like to be the husband but, so long as he’s with her, he could be either one. THAT’S… REALLY SWEET. She tries to complain about how he’s joking as usual again but he interrupts and tells her that the food will get cold. She can get angry at him later! He urges her to dig in and so she can only nod and start to eat.
As she bites into the hot toast, her mouth is filled with softness and the crispiness of the bacon. It’s flavored with a simple salt and pepper but the ingredients are used perfectly. She can’t help but exclaim how delicious it is and Karasuba grins in response. His gaze is gentle to the point where she feels a bit perplexed and warm. She hesitantly points out that he’s stopped eating and is something wrong?
Karasuba tells her that he was just thinking about how this is nice. She asks him to explain. He tells her that he longed for this when he was young; being able to wake up with the girl he likes, eating with her, and watching over her smile. He’s happy to have his dreams granted. Living together with just the two of them is like a dream… and he’s so happy. She repeats his words about it just being the two of them. He nods.
For some reason those words cause Beniyuri to remember something strange. Just the two of them. Do the two of them live here? No… “something” feels wrong. She looks around unintentionally but there’s no presence of other people. DID HE MURDER THEM? THAT’S WHAT I THOUGHT WAS GOING TO HAPPEN TBH. “What” is wrong… she’s not sure. Huh, what was she doing yesterday? She can’t remember the day before that… or the day before that one either.
No matter how hard she tries, she isn’t allowed to bypass the lake of fog around her memories. Karasuba returns her previous question on her and asks what she’s doing, since she’s stopped eating too. Beniyuri hesitates before asking him slowly if it’s really just the two of them here? He laughs and tells her not to say strange things; it’s always been just the two of them. She asks him if he’s telling the truth. He tells her that it’s true and he’s always been together with her… Beniyuri.
Beniyuri stares at him silently before nodding. Once again, she’s assaulted by a strange discomfort but she swallows it down without saying anything. Oh well… More than anything, she doesn’t want to throw cold water on this pleasant time.
The next day. Karasuba tells her that he found some cards deep inside the shelves and asks if she wants to play? She becomes excited since that sounds fun. What will they play? He suggests poker and the loser has to listen to whatever the winner says. She gapes at him. Anything!? He tells her that she has to promise!
The day after that. Karasuba asks her to clean his ears. She starts to tell him to do that himself but he says loudly that he can’t hear very well because his ears are blocked. Beniyuri sighs and decides that it can’t be helped. He cheers because he gets to use her lap as a pillow! She points out that he CAN hear her! He laughs and notes that he gave himself away.
And the next day. Karasuba tells her that he’s found an interesting book and suggests that they read it together before sleeping. She tells him that she’s washing things and he can head to the room first. He agrees cheerily.
And the next day after that. Karasuba calls out her name again. She responds with just as much enthusiasm.
Day after day after day. From the morning to until they slept, they were always together. Karasuba was always playing around like a child. She went along with that innocent Karasuba. Every day. Their everyday life was peaceful and there was no change. The days were lukewarm but there was no greater happiness.
At night, Karasuba finishes a story about how the child of the stars, Apollo, traveled across the night sky. The end. Beniyuri is silent. The two of them are reading this book together with their shoulders beside one another and on the bed. At some point, this had become their custom before sleeping. Karasuba suddenly frowns and points out that this book reads like a picture book, doesn’t she think so? It feels a bit like child’s play…
She thinks he’s joking and points out that picture books can be quite deep. Illustrations can have many fine details drawn… He retorts that picture books are picture books though and he wants something more like an adventure novel or legend. Isn’t that more exciting? She suggests they look for that type of book next then. She points out that this house has a lot of books and so they might find something that’ll interest him. He nods and decides to choose one at his discretion.
Saying that, he closes the book with a snap and places it beside the pillow. She unintentionally looks at the cover and then, honestly, asks a question without any meaning. She notes that there are a lot of books here, to the point where they won’t be able to read them all. He agrees. She wonders why there’s so many books here. He didn’t collect them all, right? He evades the question and answers ambiguously. He’s responding as if he really doesn’t know the answer.
Beniyuri brings up something that she was curious about earlier too. Even though it’s just the two of them, there are an excessive amount of rooms in this house… there are also other rooms with names beside them like theirs. Karasuba agrees that it’s strange but he doesn’t care about anything so long as she’s beside him. She repeats his words faintly. He tells her that she’s thinking too much about things and she should be more relaxed.
She remains quiet and so he stretches out a hand and combs her hair. And, as if that were a sign, Karasuba’s eyes become captivating and he closes the distance between them. His voice is low as he asks her, more importantly, if they should play an adult game this time? She blinks in confusion. He repeats that he doesn’t want to play a child’s game but an adult one. Yes? He asks her if he can kiss her.
Beniyuri completely freezes. He goes on to say that he doesn’t mean a goodnight kiss. He wants to kiss her with the meaning that he likes her. She blurts out his name, but her heart is pounding wildly as she feels his breath on her neck. The hand holding her is sweet, gentle, like a bond. She could have easily brushed him off but for some reason she can’t bring herself to move a muscle. She only says quietly that he can’t. He can’t kiss her.
Karasuba calmly asks her why? She doesn’t know why but she just feels like he can’t. He tells her that’s a reason he doesn’t understand. In her heart, there’s a small glass fragment. It stabs into her heart like a sharp thorn yet glimmers beautifully like a jewel. Even though all her days were pleasant, she thinks that she can’t bring herself to accept it when this fragment is unable to be removed. She feels like, if she were to respond to Karasuba’s feelings, this fragment would never be able to be removed.
But he argues that it’s fine. They should kiss. She doesn’t respond. He reassures her that she’ll surely feel good. THIS REMINDS ME OF THAT ONE PENGUIN DRUM EPISODE. He reminds her that she doesn’t want to think about anything difficult, right? She wants to forget everything bad, right? That’s why she’s here, right? That’s why she chose him, right? She tries to say his name but he interrupts her with a kiss.
Their lips touch before immediately separating. For an instant, his warmth ran through her entire body; the tips of her toes and fingers are tingling. He asks her quietly if she disliked that just now? She stutters and tries to search for an answer. He presses her and points out that she didn’t dislike it, right? She tells him quietly that she said he couldn’t. He points out that she hasn’t answered him yet… can he do it one more time?
Beniyuri doesn’t answer and so he murmurs that she’s being cruel. He kisses her again. This time her heart runs wild. It was a kiss that felt like it was forcibly opening something. Even as she retreats a small distance, it is closed in an instant. “Something” is wrong and even though she knows she can’t stay like this she… Her reasoning is dissolving. The fragment spreads out and wounds her heart, entering deeper. She spreads her hands out as if to hide that wound and, before she knows it, her body is sinking down into the sheets.
Karasuba’s voice is soft 「紅百合。逃げたいなら逃げていいよ。怖いこと、悲しいこと、つらいこと・・・。嫌のことから、好きなだけ逃げればいい。でも、オレからは逃げないで。逃げる時はオレを連れてって。そうしてくれたら、キミはなにも見なくていい。－－全部、隠してあげる。」(Beniyuri, if you want to run then run. Scary things, sad things, painful things, bad things… run from them all you want. But don’t run away from me. If you run, take me along. That way you don’t have to look at anything– I’ll hide everything).
Pressed against the bed, she stares at the person in front of her with a bated breath. He has a wicked smile on his face as he lowers his head. He asks her to close her eyes and just feel him. Both of them will run away into a world of dreams. He’ll make her forget everything. He’ll make her cleanly forget everything but him and her. She tells him that she doesn’t understand his meaning. He shakes his head and tells her that, if it’s her, she should understand.
Beniyuri inhales sharply. She understands. She’s realized the “something” that was strange in this world. Their fun and happy daily days had a certain discomforting feeling. But even then she refused to face it and continued to run. The end of her escape led to this moment. She confirms that this isn’t the real world, is it? Are they inside a dream? Or are there in some place completely different?
Karasuba tells her that it doesn’t matter and she shouldn’t think about unnecessary things. She should just look at him. Once again he steals her lips and her thoughts become vague. She can’t see anything. Her body is only wrapped in a lukewarm sensation. She came to this place only because she continued to run. She doesn’t know where she is and she doesn’t know where she’s going to go. But she has the feeling that she lost something important on the way.
She has no intentions of returning to pick it up though. She wants to leave her body in this pleasant place. That’s all that she wishes. Karasuba quietly tells her that they’ll be together forever, right? Beniyuri nods and promises to be together forever. Both their hands meet and they drown themselves in kisses, covering their eyes. She will turn her eyes away from everything and fall into an unclear world, deeper and deeper into the dream.