Psychedelica of the Black Butterfly ~ Hikage Interlude ~

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(I’m pretty sure I messed up the order of my posts because these interludes are just going to stab me in the heart over and over again after what I went through in Hikage’s route.)

BEWARE the spoilers in these interludes. Hikage unlocks another important story interlude.

*** TWIN BROTHER (双子の兄) ***

In her room at night Beniyuri wonders whether the others have brothers or sisters. There are people who she thinks seem like an older brother or only child, but she doesn’t know their actual circumstances. At night, the rain descends onto the mansion. They’ve finished their exploration and everyone has returned to their own rooms. Even after returning to her room, and after having defeated a monster, she can’t seem to get rid of her fatigue. Beniyuri collapses onto her bed.

She scolds herself for being pathetic and not being able to move from here. After the black butterflies become sucked into her accessory, her body becomes heavy and it feels like there’s mud settling in her. She doesn’t know if everyone feels this or if she’s the only one but… she thinks the best reason is her lack of physical endurance. She’s embarrassed of having the others always worry about her, and she’s also worried about collapsing like this and causing trouble.

Beniyuri ponders on doing some weight training. Suddenly, someone knocks on her door and she raises her voice to ask who it is, while sitting up slightly. Hikage tells her that it’s him and asks if he can come in. She’s surprised and hesitantly tells him that he can but… Hikage states that he wants to talk to her. This makes her even more confused, but she hurriedly gets up from her bed and tells him to wait as she opens the door right now.

When she opens the door, Hikage is standing there in the hall with his tidy posture as usual. She asks if anything happened, since it’s unusual for him to come to her room. Hikage answers bluntly that he’s concerned about how she was during the afternoon. Beniyuri blinks in surprise and asks if he’s worried for her. He explains to her that they’re companions who are living together, right? It’s natural for him to show concern over the people he’s working with.

Hikage’s words are always indifferent, but she can see his concern in all his words and her heart warms. She reassures him that she’s fine and only a bit tired. If she rests then she’ll be good to go tomorrow. Hikage nods and then reveals that brought refreshments just in case… so saying that, he hands out a small wrapped object to her. She thanks him and asks if these are sweets. Hikage’s lips tilt up as he tells her that it’s chocolate and they’ll make her feel less tired, apparently. He took some from Kagiha.

Beniyuri asks if he went out of his way to ask Kagiha for some. She tries to imagine Hikage asking Kagiha for chocolates and almost bursts out laughing. Hikage frowns and asks her why she’s grinning like that. It feels gross. Beniyuri shakes her head and tells him that it’s nothing. Anyway, since he’s here already she suggests that he eats some with her. Hikage tells her that those chocolates are hers already and he doesn’t need them.

She replies that Hikage must be just as tired and won’t he eat just one? Hikage relents and decides to take one. Beniyuri is pleased and tells him that she’ll pour some tea too, so he can take a seat and wait. Hikage hesitates and tries to tell her that she doesn’t need to go so far as to prepare drinks too… but Beniyuri interrupts and tells him that it’s fine. Is coffee okay with him? Hikage nods distractedly before realizing what he did and tells her that he didn’t agree to wait in her room!

But Beniyuri ignores him and tells him that she’ll brew some immediately so he just needs to wait. She forces him to sit on her bed and then heads to the kitchen. A few minutes later, both Beniyuri and Hikage are sitting beside each other on her bed. Hikage warily points out that she has an unexpected forceful side. Beniyuri laughs sheepishly and tells him that she just wanted to be able to talk to him leisurely.

As she smiles at him wryly, she places the brewed tea and coffee cups on the side table. Hikage averts his eyes and tells her that she’s a bit careless to invite a man into her room though. He doesn’t think she can say that she doesn’t know what a man would be thinking at this time, right? Beniyuri tilts her head and tells him that she invited him in because he doesn’t seem the type to think that though… OUCH HIS PRIDE AS A MAN!!

Hikage sighs and asks 「もし、僕が今、欲望に駆られてなにかしたらどうするつもりなんだ。」(What if, right now, I was spurred on by my desires to do something then what would you do?). Even though she trusts him, he’d like her to have more caution. He also advises her not to tempt people with her clothing and to be careful about not having her clothes be worn out of shape.

Beniyuri unintentionally laughs when she sees Hikage saying this with a serious look. Hikage frowns and asks her what she finds funny. He’s saying these things seriously and she has too many openings. She apologizes, knowing that he’s worried, but he seems like a father. The moment the word father leaves her mouth she suddenly remembers her own family. Her father must be worried about her since she’s gone.

Hikage notices that she suddenly fell quiet and asks her if something is wrong. She shakes her head and then asks if he’s remembered anything from before this mansion. When they placed one of the fragments into the kaleidoscope, it looked like everyone had a memory returned. Hikage, who had been talkative, suddenly closes his mouth. Could it be that he remembered something he didn’t want to?

Beniyuri quickly tells him that he doesn’t need to talk about it, if he doesn’t want to. But Hikage confesses haltingly that he remembered his twin brother. Beniyuri is surprised to hear that Hikage has a twin. Hikage tells her that they don’t look similar and his brother is cheery, loves arguing, and has a lot of friends. When he was a child, he didn’t speak much and was bad at showing his emotions. He was defended a lot by his brother. MMM WHY YOU GOTTA BE LYING.

Hikage, as he talks, has a distant look and a nostalgic smile on his face. She thinks he might be seeing his brother in the distant. She remarks on how they seem to have been close. Hikage nods and tells her that they fought but they were very close; he respected his twin, no, he still does. He thinks that right now his brother might be searching for him, and when he thinks that it makes him unable to stay still. Hikage bites his lip in irritation and the clenched fist on his knees trembles slightly.

Beniyuri realizes that Hikage’s twin must be very important to him for him to be so emotional when he’s usually cool-headed. She thinks to her own family with her father, Haruka, and Koro. The family picture that was sent to her phone resurfaces in her mind. It’s her only clue and memory. She doesn’t know what Hikage remembered but she knows that he has strong feelings for his twin, just like she has towards her family.

And so she tells him that she can understand his feelings a little since she wants to meet her little sister as soon as possible. Hikage is surprised to hear that she has a younger sibling. Beniyuri nods and tells him that her name is Haruka; she’s bright, a bit demanding, but ultimately kind. She’s sure her sister is worrying now that she’s gone. Hikage realizes that she and he share similar circumstances.

She nods and then laughs at how strange it sounds, but she feels a familiarity towards him because of this. Hikage crosses his arms and tells her that it’s a bother for her to feel that on her own. She laughs sheepishly and apologizes. But Hikage admits that his heart does feel lighter though. At her look of confusion, he explains that he feels like he’s not the only one in pain now.

He looks straight at her as he speaks and those eyes that are usually cold have a light burning within that makes her feel warm. She feels like she’s being drawn into his eyes. But the moment she realizes that she somehow feels embarrassed and so she feverishly looks down. Beniyuri tells him in a stutter that she’s glad then. Hikage blinks in surprise and asks her if something is wrong since she suddenly fell quiet. Beniyuri hurriedly tells him that it’s nothing.

Hikage accepts that and notes that he’s been here too long and he should return to his room. He stands up from her bed. She doesn’t know what the time is, but she does feel like they’ve talked for a long time. She nods and then comments on how she’s detained him here for a while, huh. Hikage shakes his head and admits that he’s glad they talked, and then thanks her.

Beniyuri is also glad they talked and she’d like to hear about his twin again some time. Hikage’s eyes soften before he wishes her good night. She returns the farewell and he gives her a small smile before leaving. In his absence, she thinks once again on how he has a twin, huh. Among everyone, Hikage is the one that is the most mysterious and has an atmosphere of being hard to get close to but knowing that he has a sibling like her makes her feel like the distance between them has shrunk. Though she admits it might just be her thinking that.

She hopes that Hikage is able to return to his twin’s side as soon as possible. And not just Hikage, but she also wants to hurry and return to her previous place. Karasuba, Kagiha, and Yamato too… everyone must feel the same. At any rate, right now they need to collect the fragments because they have no other clues but that. Her feelings are heavy when she thinks about fighting the monsters but she has no choice but to face them.

As Beniyuri gets up to clean the cups, she notices a small wrapped object in the place where Hikage had been sitting. Ah, they became so involved in talking that she forgot to eat the chocolates! She opens the wrapper and puts a piece of chocolate in her mouth; the gentle and sweet taste spreads in her mouth. It’s delicious and it really feels like it takes her exhaustion away.

The sweet chocolate eases her heart, making her exhaustion from before disappear somewhere. Her eyelids gradually grow heavy as she listens to the sound of falling rain. It looks like she’ll be able to sleep peacefully tonight, which she hasn’t done in a long time.

*** TRANSPORTATION METHOD (運搬方法) ***

As usual they search for monsters, defeat them, and collect the fragments that remain behind. Then they place these fragments onto the lid of the kaleidoscope, the fragment becomes absorbed, and then a projecting light comes out. They repeat this. They don’t know when the kaleidoscope will be completed and she feels like it’s a job without an end. Especially so, during an instance when she was chasing black butterflies.

On the second floor, Hikage notes that butterflies went ahead and he suggests looping around them. Can she keep up? Beniyuri nods hesitantly. No matter how many times they do this, there’s always fear. No matter that they’re holding weapons, their opponents are monsters which words can’t reach. Beniyuri finds her breath becoming ragged. Suddenly, Hikage shouts out a warning at something behind her. Beniyuri startles.

In the next instant, her ears are left with the resounding noise of gun shots and her noise is filled with smell of smoke. During the battle with the monster, she could hear Hikage’s angry voice. Somehow she manages to fight back and she remembers the monster disappearing, but the next thing she knows she is sitting in the hallway. She wonders why she feels this sense of fatigue; her body is heavy and she can’t stand up.

Hikage notes that they’ve eradicated the monster before he turns on her and tells her in exasperation that it’s enough she shakes from adrenaline, but he won’t forgive her for being inattentive and letting a monster get behind her. Beniyuri apologizes and thanks him for saving her. He tells her lightly that she owes him, but then pauses as he notices her heavy breathing. She seems quite exhausted.

Beniyuri apologizes again and tells him that she’ll stand up right now. She tries her best to pick herself up but her legs have no strength. Hikage points out that she doesn’t look like she can stand. She denies it and tries to stand again but Hikage tells her to be quiet and loops an arm around her back before–

She screams when she’s lifted up by Hikage. He frowns and reminds her that he told her to be quiet so as to not waste anymore strength. She splutters and tries to protest but he cuts in and tells her not to struggle and not to get overly emotional. What does she think he’s doing this for? She parrots his words but realizes in her mind that he’s doing this for her sake because she can’t move.

Hikage tells her curtly that he’s just carrying luggage around and they can’t stay here; since there’s no other way and it’s going to become night soon. Beniyuri can’t believe she’s being treated as luggage. Hikage retorts that she’s more troublesome than luggage because she talks, moves, and complains. L O L. She winces before defending herself by saying that she didn’t complain! He tells her to be quiet and obey him then, since he has to use more strength if she moves.

Beniyuri obediently nods. Hikage is pleased and then notes that she’s lighter than he expected. She flares up and asks him what he means by that! Hikage reminds her of what he just said a few minutes ago. She winces and falls quiet again.

But in her mind she points out that normally someone would be concerned about this, such as whether or not she’s heavy and how close they’re pressed against each other. His arms are holding her back and legs firmly and he’s holding her close so as to not drop her. It can’t be helped that she’s curious about his chest! YOU GO GURL! He doesn’t have the image of being strong, but in the end it looks like he is a man. Her heartbeat is racing and she can only timidly pray that he doesn’t feel it and that they arrive at the refuge soon!

Back at the refuge, Hikage notes that they arrived before it was night and it doesn’t look like the others have returned home yet. Beniyuri nods shakily. Hikage is concerned as he notes that she seems even more tired from before. Beniyuri blurts out that it’s just his imagination and she’s fine! He asks if he should carry her to the sofa. She tells him that she’s fine and she can walk on her own!

Hikage decides to bring her a drink then. Beniyuri also refuses that and then points out that he’s being really kind today. Hikage is silent before he turns away and murmurs that he feels a sense of responsibility. At her look of confusion, he explains that if anything happens to her then everyone will get angry at him. She tells him in a troubled voice that she doesn’t think that would happen, but he just looks at her and snorts.

He tells her that her presence as a girl is larger than she thinks. In addition, she was the last to master her weapon too and so everyone is worried. She acknowledges that he has a point there. It makes her feel terrible for being like a piece of luggage. Hikage gives her an exasperated look as he says that, lastly, her personality is like that. Beniyuri startles at that. Even her personality!?

Hikage points out that she was feeling apologetic right now about being luggage, didn’t she? It was written on her face. She winces at being found out. He states that her honesty is a value but she’s also too honest to the point of her actions being insecure. Beniyuri apologizes formally. She thought that, since she came here and met Hikage first, her actions and personality had become more firm. He’s satisfied as long as she knows these points.

As Hikage leaves, Beniyuri thinks on her problems with being exhausted after a battle but now also being too honest… there’s too many issues. She looks at her hand but there’s no gun in there anymore. From the start, it doesn’t feel real for her to hold a gun and wield it. Fighting monsters is so far from what she normally does that she doesn’t know what to do. She smiles to herself when she thinks that because she doesn’t have any memories of what she normally does anyway.

Suddenly, Hikage returns and places something down, startling Beniyuri. He looks up at her exclamation and asks if something is wrong. She tells him that she thought he returned to his room, but he actually went to go get water? Hikage tells her that he’s not that cold and then hands her the cup. Beniyuri thanks him and then admits that she feels calmer now. He’s pleased by that since she seemed unnerved.

Beniyuri doesn’t think she’s go so far as to say she was unnerved… but Hikage points out that her heart was racing. Honestly. Beniyuri blurts out that it was because she was being carried princess-style so she couldn’t remain calm! Hikage parrots her words. Princess-style? It was just one way of transporting something. She tells him that she knows that but…! In her mind she thinks on how unfair it is that his expression hasn’t changed at all.

And then she asks him to teach her how to remain calm like he does all the time. Hikage responds promptly that he doesn’t know. She sulks and asks for one piece of advice, at the least. Hikage has a small smirk as he tells her that it’s his personality to start with but… she can just get used to it, right?

She echoes his words and wonders if he means fighting the monsters and holding the gun. But Hikage is talking about being carried princess-style. Beniyuri becomes flustered and admits that she could become calm there but that’s not the point! Hikage smiles and she starts to get the feeling that she’s being teased.

It wasn’t a very important conversation but, before she knew it, she regained her calm and forgot about the incident with the monsters. In these unnatural days, she’s healed by these casual conversations. If possible, she’d like for these calm times to continue like this… although she knew that this was a wish that couldn’t be granted.

*** IN THE MIDDLE OF A HUNT (探索中に) ***

She doesn’t know whether she grew accustomed or if she became numb, but she soon didn’t feel any resistance to pairing up with someone and heading out every day in the same way to hunt through the mansion. Of course it was due to the others acting alongside her that helped her understand this, but she also gained self-confidence. That’s why she was probably careless at that time and, correspondingly–

Hikage notes that this hall today is quite quiet and they haven’t seen any masked people around or monsters. Beniyuri agrees and then admits that she’d like to go around the mansion calmly if it was always like this. Hikage tells her that if she has the time to think about wishes that can’t be granted then it’s more realistic to continue their hunt. Beniyuri gives him that point exasperatedly and then goes to check the next room, which seems to be lock–

Beniyuri screams and Hikage leaps after her. She had thought the door was locked and so had put her whole weight against the door, and so when the door opened at the same time she tumbled right into the room. And then Hikage, who had come to save her…

She groans in pain and then hears Hikage complain about her. Beniyuri apologizes reflexively before she realizes what position they’re in and squeaks. Hikage tells her impatiently that he didn’t do this on purpose and it’s because she fell into the room suddenly. She tells him she understands but… Hikage, who had slid in to save her, ended up falling to the ground with her. And then at the same time when she fell down she grabbed at a shelf, which crumbled, and toppled a whole bunch of items down, burying them in front of the door.

Beniyuri doesn’t know what to say. Hikage grumbles some more about how, at most, she just entered a room and so how did they get into this situation?! She’s quite talented. Beniyuri apologizes because she didn’t think this would happen either! Hikage thinks that’s a given but… he also didn’t think they’d end up in this position. She understands that too!

Being this close together, even if he’s trying to hide it she can see that his face is as red as hers. But of course he would be like that in this position. Due to the collapsed shelf, he’s ended up embracing her tightly. Hikage tells her to wait a moment as he untangles them but when he moves, she feels something pull on her head. She winces in pain, making Hikage immediately ask her in concern if something is wrong.

She tells him that her hair seems to be caught on something and when he moves he pulls it. He asks where. She tells him somewhere behind her. Because they’re pressed so close, he can only rummage around the area. But he can’t move around well in this situation and her hair becomes even more tangled. She winces in pain again. Hikage asks where it is and he can’t seem to find anything… he also points out that her face is close!

Beniyuri points out that it can’t be helped! Hikage curses and rhetorically asks why they ended up like this. Beniyuri can feel his breaths against her cheek. She tells him that she’ll untangle herself and tries to do it. He tells her that she’s clumsy and he’ll do it instead! But when he tries, she yelps in pain. They both fall silent and still. In her mind, Beniyuri wonders on what to do because this place is too small, they’re too close… she doesn’t know what to even do!?

Suddenly, she asks him if he has a sharp object. He echoes her words in confusion. She tells him that they should just cut the part of her hair that is tangled; it can’t be helped since they can’t untangle it. Hikage mouths her words before refusing firmly. At her look of confusion, he points out that the hair of a woman is her life, right? There’s no need to cut the beautiful hair that she’s grown out so long.

Beniyuri is stunned at his use of the word beautiful, but she won’t bring that to attention. At any rate, she points out that if they don’t then they’ll be stuck like this. Hikage nods and tells her to be calm as they try one more time to find the tangle. He’ll do it. Her breath catches as he says this and gently starts to pull her hair in. Having her hair and body be touched is making her extremely nervous though.

After some time, Hikage declares that it’s untangled! Beniyuri is surprised and relieved. Hikage thinks they can move with this and gets up, but that just makes more things fall down. She points that out and he grits his teeth, wondering why there’s so many things in the way. In her mind, she knows he’s not doing it on purpose but his chest and weight is…!

Hikage realizes out loud that it’s no good and if they move carelessly then they’ll get pinned under the shelf. Beniyuri wonders what to do. Hikage thinks it’d be nice if someone noticed te loud noise from the things that fell down. She wonders if anyone will come. In her mind, she panics on how if no one comes soon then she might die from embarrassment! Hikage mutters on how it’ll be troubling if no one does because at this rate– he snaps at her not to move.

Beniyuri moves out of embarrassment but a heavy dictionary lands above her head and she feels a chill at the thought of that hitting her head. Hikage tells her that this is why he isn’t moving. She blurts out that she knows but this situation is… embarrassing… He asks her if she doesn’t think he’s embarrassed too. She realizes that he has a point. In the middle of their conversation their eyes meet and their faces become even more red. They won’t be able to last long in this situation.

In her mind, she thinks on how she thought he was a realistic person who was rarely embarrassed but she can’t see any of that here. Hikage tells her lowly that she has to take responsibility for this and she better be prepared later. She exclaims at that, making Hikage hurriedly remind her not to move! The next thing that falls isn’t a book but a glass bottle. Fortunately, the glass was thick and the shards didn’t scatter far but she feels ice down her spine.

Beniyuri weakly apologizes. Hikage growls at her to do some serious reflection. She can feel his arms tightening and realizes he must be telling her not to move. Beniyuri calls out for someone to come. Hikage hurriedly snaps 「変な声色を出すな・・・!僕が悪いみたいじゃないか。」(Don’t call out in such a weird tone…! Doesn’t it make me seem like the bad guy?!).

She amends her call and yells out that Hikage isn’t at fault here, but someone needs to come and save them. Hikage is pleased with that. ARE YOU SERIOUS LMAO. As they continue their miserable conversation in their extreme situation, they can hear footsteps down the hall. It’s Kagiha who asks if someone is here. Hikage recognizes Kagiha’s voice and tells him that they’re over here. In her mind, Beniyuri is relieved to be saved.

Perhaps their fervent wish reached someone, because Kagiha had run over to them at the first noise. Thanks to that Beniyuri and Hikage were saved, though they were able to leave the room only after they returned everything to its place.

Kagiha is awkwardly silent. Beniyuri knows their position was due to the situation but it looks like it still calls for an improper misunderstanding. Hikage’s face is red as he tells Kagiha not to look at him like that; it wasn’t his intention. Beniyuri adds quickly that it was an accident; she fell into the room due to her carelessness, caused a shelf to collapse, and Hikage came to save her. Kagiha nods hesitantly and then says that he’s glad she’s not injured.

She nods and then asks Hikage whether or not he was hit in the back by the shelf. Hikage tells her that it isn’t serious and she needn’t worry. She tries to protest and approaches him, but he only repeats his earlier words more firmly.

Kagiha, who is watching them argue, narrows his eyes and murmurs lightly that Hikage’s a reliable knight, huh. Hikage looks over and asks him what he means. Kagiha replies that it means exactly what it means and he’d like to become a knight too. Hikage crosses his arms and tells him to go and become one then, if he wants. Kagiha replies 「・・・そう?じゃあ僕がお姫様を抱きかかえて、助けてあげてもいいかな。さっきみたいに。」(… Oh? I guess it’s fine if I hold the princess and save her then. Just like what you did right now).

Beniyuri hurriedly tells him that it’s not such a nice story and she’s not a princess! Hikage agrees since she got her hair caught and caused things to fall. Kagiha realizes that this is the pinch they were rescued from. Beniyuri nods at that but is also hesitant to have it described like that.

As she tried to come up with excuses, she could feel that her ears were red. In the end, she’s conscious of the fact that she was embraced at such a close distance and protected from any injury. Even though Hikage complained, he was kind and even after they escaped from the shelf he showed concern over her body. And that’s why she feels like her gratitude isn’t enough… though she doesn’t know what to say.

*** THE MASTER AND THE MASKED GIRL (主と仮面の少女) ***

Ah… It was past midnight by the time he noticed it. Looking up at the ceiling, sometimes a light, without any source, would flicker like a sign. A boy starts to laugh. Looking up at the solemn sky, the edge of his mouth curls up.

He whispers 「落ちてくる。・・・落ちてくる。永遠に手に入らないはずの、けれど、願って止まなかった――最後の欠片が。ああ・・・、今まさに、この世界に落ちてくる・・・!」(Fall… Fall… What I should never have been able to obtain but couldn’t stop wishing for– the last fragment. Ah… right now it is about to fall into this world…!). As if receiving something that couldn’t be seen, he stretches out both arms. BY THE WAY THIS SCENE WAS DRAWN AS A COMIC ON THEIR SITE HERE.

The kaleidoscope that grants any wish. It was broken long ago and the fragments inside were scattered all across the mansion. He doesn’t know why the kaleidoscope was broken or why he’s so obsessed over it. Could it be that his memories have become foggy over the long time that he’s been living? But he knows he has a wish he wants granted.

He murmurs that he’s been waiting a long time; the other fragments can be collected slowly but he couldn’t reach the outside world. He had worried over how he could collect it but to think it would fall down by itself. He exhales softly. No, it didn’t do it by itself. It looks like those people brought it. That is–

Someone knocks on the door and apologizes for disturbing him this late at night. He lowers his stretched hand and moves only his eyes towards the entrance. It is a very young girl in a rabbit mask who steps into the room. She tells him hesitantly that someone fell into this interspace right now. The boy snorts and remarks on how she’s noticed it too then? She takes his words as confirmation.

The boy states 「・・・男ふたりに、女ひとり。神田拓也、姫野明、それから・・・湊戸アイ。」(… Two boys and one girl. Kanda Takuya, Himeno Akari, and then… Minato Ai). The girl asks if those are the names of the people with the fragment? The boy turns away though and murmurs that they’ll forget about that the moment they arrive though and so he’ll need to give them another name.

The girl asks if the next “cooperators” are them then? The boy nods and mentions that they can consider it his mere thanks. The kaleidoscope will soon be complete and they, who brought the last fragment, will be witnesses to the moment of a miracle. The young girl is silent. The boy laughs and then decides that “Beniyuri” should be that girl, huh. All the women seem to choose that name.

She asks him if he will once again choose the name “Hikage”? He crosses his arms and states that anything is fine, but he’s taken that name up to now. Natsuki also seems to like the name “Kagiha”. Oh well, he’ll let whatever comes to pass come to pass. Once again, he looks out past the window and narrows his eyes.

Countless souls have arrived to this interspace after losing their lives in the real world. In the middle of those, he reads the memories of the three people who are colored differently. In his mind, he notes that they seem to be childhood friends who have lived apart from each other but have recently reunited. This unique power that he has, after spending time in this mansion, is particularly helpful at times like these.

He continues on to read how there’s discord between them… and… he frowns. The young girl with the rabbit mask asks him if something is the matter? The boy smirks and shakes his head before telling her that the newcomers are acquaintances of Natsuki and “that person” who ran away from him. She blinks in surprise. He recalls how when those two fell, fragments came with them too.

The boy wonders why they all seem to have matching fragments. The young girl wonders as well. But the boy doesn’t care. It looks like they’re all acquaintances though, in which case…

The rabbit-masked girl stiffens; that form is… Kazuya!? The boy smirks and notes that, from her reaction, it seems like it went well. She asks him why he took on that form, and made it older too. He replies flatly that it’s necessary for the completion of the kaleidoscope. He’s going to act as one of their companions, take the place of Kazuya, and guide them to collecting the fragments.

He’ll quarrel with them sometimes, he’ll cheer them on, and he’ll even defend them. Once again he will act as a “companion”. And then… when he gains their trust, he’ll break it. The young girl trembles. The boy laughs gleefully; he can’t resist tampering with the relationships between siblings and childhood friends. He notes that it looks like Kazuya has been hospitalized for a long time without any conscious, and the other one… well, he doesn’t need to say anything for her to know, right?

She doesn’t answer. The boy continues on to declare that this is the interval between life and death. Those two have been confined forever down here due to “someone”. He goes on to say 「それを知った時、生まれる感情はどんなものだろうね?憤怒?憐憫?後悔?それとも・・・はは・・・。ああ・・・楽しみだ。」(When they know, what kind of feelings will be born? Resentment? Mercy? Regret? Or… haha… Ah… I look forward to it).

He notes that two fragments have already fallen into the mansion. Only one more remains… he’ll obtain the last fragment by smashing the hopes of that “girl” and return the kaleidoscope to its former radiance; the last fragment will become a suitable fragment of despair for this world. He laughs maniacally. HOLY SHIT GIVE THIS GUY AN AWARD FOR HOW CRAZY HE LAUGHS.

The rabbit-masked girl, who had been staring at him, suddenly looks down and clasps her hands tightly together. The boy narrows his eyes and notes that she looks like she wants to say something. She shakes her head. He glares at her and remarks on how she doesn’t talk much at all. He doesn’t know what she thinks or why she obeys him. She doesn’t respond. The boy takes another step closer and adds that, in addition, she is the only existence in this world whose memory he can’t read.

Just what exactly is she? She’s by his side for some kind of reason, right? The girl replies haltingly that her goal is… but she can’t complete her sentence and just apologizes. He looks away and sighs angrily. She only drops her head and apologizes. He finishes their inconvenient talk quickly because they’ve known each other for a long time. He remarks on how, even if he asked, she wouldn’t answer him anyway.

He doesn’t care if she doesn’t talk because she doesn’t want to talk about it. But, in exchange, she is not to have any opinion and she is not to cast an unhappy gaze at him. He growls out that if she is by his side because she is terrified of being alone then she should be silent and obey him. Okay? The girl is frozen before she answers softly that she understands.

The boy informs her that he is going to greet the people who fell now and she should, as always, act as the messenger for the master of the mansion and “guide” them. She acknowledges his order. He leaves behind the young girl, who bows deeply at him, and walks onto the stone floor.

At last… he can finally see an end to that eternally continuing road. At last, the last fragment is brought to him. He can complete the kaleidoscope. When he thinks about how ahead of him is the thing he seeks, his pace naturally speeds up. He sneers at how much he’s like a child with his heart beating faster, but his pace doesn’t stop.

The kaleidoscope. The mirror that reflects thousands of flowers. He is a butterfly drawn to that beautiful flower– No, he might be a moth seduced by a light trap. His one heart’s desire–

The boy pauses. Hm? No, it must be his imagination. He felt a sudden sense of discomfort in his heart, but nothing changes. He will end everything, break it all, and stain the world in despair. He’s lived for that sake up to now.

Quickly. Ah, quickly. As he steps closer to destruction, his chest fills with a joy that almost makes him want to dance.

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