A/N: The perspectives will switch several times.
“Don’t get involved with that girl anymore. She is the woman who went against the gods and was cursed by the world.”
What was this person saying…That woman? Who did he mean by that? She was cursed by the world? An answer came to mind, but I shook my head to disperse the thought.
He gave me a sad gaze and looked like he wanted to say something, but…
The man jumped a few meters in an instant, glaring in another direction.
A white butterfly was fluttering where he looked. It wasn’t an ordinary butterfly… A seemingly pure white light was emitted from it, and then it disappeared in the blink of an eye.
…What was that about? But… I felt like I had seen it before somewhere.
I felt like I had heard the man saying something, and when I turned to him, the man gave me a sad look with his ultramarine eyes from a distance and left.
In the end, I couldn’t thank him… And somehow, his words remained in my heart.
He had said [Camellia].
“That’s right! I have to find Hana.”
Remembering the grave situation, I stood up from the ground and ran to the downtown main street.
It was the same unchanged city. A man working passed by me briskly. Overseas tourists flocked to the products on storefronts. Women smiling and talking about this and that.
But, even though nothing should be different, there was a creepy feeling. I ran from it while searching for Hana, and saw black shimmering hair appearing in the distance.
I had never raised my voice before, making it weak and unable to reach her.
Hana turned a corner on the street, and I ran after her. Reaching the corner, I saw her entering a black luxurious car.
From the top of the pedestrian bridge, I swung my arms high - as if to urge Tsubaki who was hesitating.
But I wasn’t gesturing big only for Tsubaki. Even after she had started running, I tried to jump from the bridge and draw attention to me.
The three college students that suddenly chased after us, I was already wary of people normally, but from the first moment I saw them, I knew they were [possessed].
Because they had “black insects” in their ears and on their collars…
The black insects were everywhere, but ordinary people couldn’t find them. Even if they saw them, they’d lose interest as if they were ordinary insects, and they couldn’t find them even if they looked for them.
They were hidden black wriggling beings - an assembly of fragments spilled from people’s minds. That was why they were always in cities which were full of people’s desires.
But they were basically harmless. Even if they assembled, they could only strengthen the “atmosphere of the place” like awakening feelings of fear in graveyards at night or making people get absorbed in gambling places. They were such fleeting existences.
But those three had a lot of them stuck on them. A bizarre amount…
I was planning on luring them all out, but they were already following me, huh. I hoped Tsubaki was alright. Hopefully, she wasn’t crying.
I wanted to draw in them all to the last minute before going after Tsubaki, but I couldn’t do anything with my [power] hardly recovered. I was really like an ordinary child now.
“Still, I’m planning on moving more than what a Japanese child can do.”
On the way down from the bridge, I took a shortcut and jumped over the railing.
The moment I tried jumping, someone pushed me again. But why? I confirmed that no one was around!? Moreover, a branch broke into a sharp tip underneath me right now!?
As I fell head first, I kicked the railing of the bridge, jumped over the shrub, and landed on a fire hydrant on the road.
“…That was dangerous.”
Making it in the last moment was really bad for my heart. When I looked back, there wasn’t anyone standing on the bridge, and no passerby was showing any interest in taking action against me.
I was being targeted by someone. Wasn’t it a single person? How many enemies were hidden among the crowd? A chill ran down my spine as if malice was directed to me downtown, but two of them had caught up, so I had to resume my escape.
Pushing my way through the crowd to escape, my heart calmed down. It seemed like my [power] was recovering piece by piece, and my body felt lighter.
Inside the crowd, I crouched and avoided the hand pushing me of the unknown person.
I didn’t confirm who it was, because between a conflict zone and a dangerous area, there wasn’t anything like an ally.
To be honest, I had told Tsubaki that I would catch a taxi on the way, but how would I even do it in this situation? I didn’t think that everyone here had turned crazy… but there was a possibility that they couldn’t see me.
I could suddenly feel the presence of the “black insects’” again.
Those were everywhere, but they were welling out of the shadows of vending machines and trees to the point it was strange.
What was ahead of me? Or was something approaching me? For example…
I got a bad feeling even by saying the word myself.
Even though I thought “it wouldn’t be here” in the middle of the city, I better get away from this place first. Without caring about the two coming after me, I turned the street and ran with all my power.
A man who was walking past me suddenly swung his bag downward.
Instantaneously increasing my speed, I dodged several hands reaching for me in the crowd
I was startled, but I didn’t freeze up. While avoiding the hands at the last minute and hesitatingly glancing, the “black insects” were, of course, sticking to their collars.
As I thought it was crude…
I turned to look at the sound of tires creaking, seeing the door of a jet-black luxury car opening, and a seemingly rich old man gestured to me to come impatiently.
“You over there! Hurry and get on!”
“That cheeky youngster…”
In the backseat of his car that neither shook nor made a sound as it drove, the man, Jinbei, stamped his feet hard on the floor in resentment.
The chauffeur, Midou, let out a sigh at his employer’s circumstances.
Midou wasn’t an exclusive chauffeur. He was previously only Jinbei’s secretary, but after starting to serve as his escort, he knew they putting him to his utmost use.
He excelled even as a child, even though he came from an ordinary family, he was sent to a good university, he was born with a good physique, he was the most outstanding among his friends, and he was able to be employed at a famous company.
He would eventually climb to the top in the economic world. Midou’s conceited hope had been shattered a few years ago.
People’s ranks had been decided from the point of their birth. After being employed as a subordinate and having no choice but to be put to good use, the foolish man was forced to realize the severity of society.
He thought he could keep silent about it, but the smoldering emotions inside of him made the foolish man speak to the man above him.
“It would be fine if you just went to grab her.”
“You shut up! Midou! Don’t just open your mouth when you feel like it!”
“This will be the last time I’m using this car! Prepare another one for next time!”
In this country, there are secrets only the small fraction of higher-ups in the politics and business circles would know about.
In the underground of Tokyo, there was a huge cave where something was enshrined, believing it would bring prosperity to the country. The elderly dominating the economic and political world were waiting for it to benefit them someday.
Jinbei’s father, who passed away a few years ago, had been one of those who believed in it and was one of the regulars at the meetings only for the top executives.
He had learned the fact as a heritage when his father had been on the verge of death, and Jinbei followed his father and went to the meetings, but the elderly looked down on him because he was a youngster, and refused to let him enter the underground.
Apart from that, a few years later, he regularly gave offerings1 as his father had done, but nothing happened.
Midou hadn’t been told what this “benefit” would bestow them.
However, when he heard it from his family predecessor, Jinbei gave offerings as if he had become possessed, and even today, he had taken the risk of going down to the underground even though he had been rejected when he had requested for it.
A young man with ultramarine eyes called Murasame.
He looked younger than Midou who even looked younger than Murasame Jin, and seemed to have a strong voice in the meetings, he agreed to meet Murasame Jin, but he only accepted the offerings and nothing else.
“Midou, what’s going on with the next offering!”
“The goods will arrive in a few weeks, sir. It will take some time.”
“Too slow. Do something about it.”
“However, they will suspect something if the time is too short. Doing such dangerous things as last time would be…”
“It’s your job to do something about it, Midou!”
It was difficult to find something suitable for an offering in Kanto2. Recently, the police had begun to increase their vigilance and were investigating “a case of a series of young girls going missing”.
He had put one of those offerings into the trunk of the car. He had found it by chance in the nightlife districts, and to take care of it, he had put it there as baggage, but even if Jinbei wasn’t there, he wouldn’t want to be in the car with that either.
However, even if Midou said that, he knew that his foolish employer would turn a deaf ear to it.
Earlier, there had been a girl in a school uniform from a renowned school. It was certainly from the same school Murasame Jin’s daughter went to, he thought that, for an offering, a daughter from a good lineage would be good, but after kidnapping her, the aftermath would be troublesome. In that case-
In Midou’s field of vision, there was a young girl, seemingly a foreign tourist, running away from someone.
“Wouldn’t it be suitableif it was someone like that foreign tourist?”
The car Hana stepped into drove off as if it was floating.
Don’t get on that car! I saw it. That black car… those “black wriggling things” were spilling out from the gap of the trunk of it.
And I could sense a strong “malice” and despair”...
I didn’t know why, but… I felt the smell of death from it too.
My hair was suddenly pulled, and when I turned around, one of the three was holding my hair, laughing with hollow eyes.
I shivered after noticing “black wriggling beings” were overflowing from inside of his ears and mouth.
This person… was possessed. When I tried to pull my hair from his hand, someone grabbed my arm from behind.
It was the two from the three men. One of them twisted my arm, and the obese man, who had been knocked down by the young man, drew a knife, laughing.
The three university students surrounded me on the street, and even though one even held a knife, every passerby walked past as if they couldn’t see it.
I felt a faint pain in my neck. The knife of the obese man grazed the base of my throat, cutting off the section of my hair near my jaw, and held it in his hand.
I headbutted the man holding my arm behind me and escaped his hold, and ran away.
It was a shock to have my hair cut off, but because of that, I somehow got the opportunity to move.
Touching my neck where the knife had grazed it, I felt blood, and because my hair had been cut, I teared up.
But it wasn’t a good situation to cry right now. If I didn’t run after Hana… If I didn’t save her!
Suddenly, someone pushed me and my shoulder crashed into the wall of a building. I didn’t know who had done it. Because I had stopped walking for a moment, someone had kicked my back.
Because I had hit my knees, they had started bleeding. But I shouldn’t stop. Seeing the three men coming after me, I ran into a back alley.
There were many clothing stores in the alley. At the end of the road, it turned into an L shape, and thinking that I’d come further away from Hana if I went that way, I burst into a store in the corner of the turn, and dashed up to the second floor, went out of a window, and planned to jump to the back of the building.
From the balcony on the second floor, I reached out to the railing of the emergency stairs of the other building. Only a little more… with only a little more, it seemed like my hands would reach it.
The corner of a coffee can hit my forehead, and I lost my balance, falling to the window on the other side.
I fell to the ground from the second floor and landed on my back, and couldn’t catch my breath for a moment.
I stand up, wanting to cry. Something dropped into my right eye, and when I wiped it roughly, my hand was stained in blood.
My head was swirling. But I shouldn’t sit down. I shouldn’t cry. If I stop, I won’t be able to save Hana.
I ran in the empty town, lightheaded and bloodstained, when…
I was sent flying again and when I fell to the ground, several hands grabbed my hair and arms and dragged me to a nearby garage.
Those three university students… It was more than them, rather around ten people of the same age approached me with deranged smiles on their faces.
Several people pinned me down, my uniform was torn at my chest, and several hands squeezed my neck.
Will I die here? Did I do something?
I’m sorry, Hana. Please… don’t die.
I hated this.
This was wrong. This world was rotten! Even though Hana and I just wanted to live.
Someone… Someone, save Hana!
Oh… I couldn’t help her again… I couldn’t save her.
I hated this world.
Unforgivable. I would never forgive this. I wouldn’t ever forgive anyone hurting “that person”.
I heard an [voice] echoing deep inside me.
[Your strength is the blade - It’s inside that rage]
The world in front of me was dyed in silver, and close by, I heard a grinding sound… I felt like it was the sound of the teeth of a saw.
“It’s coming, it’s coming!”
In a basement in a Western-styled building in Tokyo, the Shrine Maiden was crying violently, frightened by “something”.
What was coming? What was to be feared? It was above the level of having a nightmare. It was too violent and fierce, and all the confused surrounding maids could do to comfort her was hug her.
The next chapter will be part two.
Please note that there will be a massacre scene.
The next title will be [The sound of the saw Part two]
There will be blood.
- There are two different offerings mentioned here, Ofuse, which usually means offering money to a priest for reading Sutras, etc., and Kumotsu, meaning offering objects like a lit candle. ↑
- Kanto is a region in Japan consisting of seven prefectures, including Tokyo. ↑