“Tsubaki… Soon it’ll be time to go to school, you know?”
After I, Nanohana, regained my consciousness, the first thing I saw was Tsubaki’s worried and teary face.
Apparently, I hadn’t woken up for two days. According to Fukami’s family doctor, she had no physical problems, but was weak, and had to rest for a while.
My last memory was of getting in a luxurious car, receiving a water bottle, and drinking from it.
It was slightly suspicious, so maybe the water was filled with some kind of medicine. After getting away from danger, I had let down my guard. This was supposed to be a peaceful country…
At any rate, I wonder what that situation was about…
We were suddenly chased by three guys, and no one in town tried to help. Well, it felt like they hadn’t been able to see us.
It was a relief that Tsubaki was safe after we split up, but since then, I wonder what happened. How was I saved? When I asked Tsubaki about it, she evades the point, and it felt like some distance had been built between us. I felt lonely.
Still, Tsubaki had stayed with me the entire time, nursing me.
Three days after I woke up, I had recovered enough to walk around the house by myself, so Tsubaki would return to school. But she had a worried expression and hesitated in going.
“It’s alright, Tsubaki. I’ve pretty much recovered now… See?”
Still wearing a worried expression, Tsubaki and Akino who had been waiting for her headed to school.
Somehow or another… Tsubaki might have figured it out.
I was thinking about leaving the Fukami family soon. The grandfather told me to not worry about the inconvenience, but for that to happen, was most likely my fault.
I wasn’t normal. It was doubtful if I was even human. To suddenly “appear” years ago, no matter how you think about it, it wasn’t normal.
I went out to travel to find out what kind of person I was, but if something suddenly happened to this peaceful home, the most suspicious one was me.
But to say nothing to Tsubaki and only leave was heartbreaking. It felt like Tsubaki who was so shy had gotten dependent on her.
It wasn’t good to rely on adults, they tell us to be independent, but I think it depended on the person.
Dependence and adherence were the magnitudes of love. Without it, humans couldn’t truly love. If that magnitude became a burden to another person, they should become strong enough to protect that existence.
Dependence and adherence were said to be bad because people were “weak”.
…Well, I didn’t really know much about love anyways.
“...Here goes nothing.”
I got up from the futon sluggishly. Either way, I would leave this house after recovering a bit more.
There was a certain [power] inside me. When we had gone into the city, I had regained a bit of the power, but after waking up, it was completely exhausted.
…Something had probably happened to make me use that [power].
And the regained portion hadn’t been enough, so I had used the [power] at the cost of something else.
Leaning on the wall, I left the room and went out to the corridor.
Today, the grandfather was out as well, so I was the only one left in this large house. Tsubaki and Akino had prepared food, and I had been told to eat whatever I’d like in the fridge. Though it didn’t seem edible.
“...If I don’t reduce some of what Tsubaki made for me, it would be crude.”
Since I was by myself today, I was saved. I could never show this part of me to the people in this home… I could never show it to Tsubaki.
I entered the bathroom, and,
The toilet bowl was dyed red by what I spit out.
I wiped my lips with paper and rinsed my mouth with water to get the blood out.
My body was only weak with no “abnormality”. But I knew that the condition I was in was nothing I could do anything about.
Probably…I used my [power] at the cost of my own [life force].
I had to leave as soon as possible…
Before I die.
“The road blook is completed. In 20 minutes, it will be released.”
Several indistinct men and women stepped out of an indistinct van that had been driving at a low speed and started to move without a sound.
There were hardly any people in luxurious residential areas in Tokyo during the day. For the most part, only home delivery express trucks happened to come by, but they were stopped, so they ran slongside the large wall of the Japanese-styled house.
“Lee, how was it?”
“There are a lot of interpersonal radars and security devices.”
“Can you do something about it?”
“See you later, Bob.”
An Asian woman put some kind of device on the wall, and within a few minutes, it had silenced the other security devices. They climbed the 4 meters tall wall.
Their appearance didn’t align with each other. A white person, a black person, and an Asian. Aged from 20 years old to middle age. They proceeded with their plan while speaking in Japanese.
It was decided that they would use the local language when “working”. The names they called each other were pseudonyms taken from common names, and they didn’t even know the real names of those in the group.
“Target: unknown nationality, 12-13 years old girl. Black hair, white skin, red eyes.”
They had come to Japan four months ago as a mercenary unit in Western Europe for a job requested by a certain politician through a messenger.
The content of the job was to be bodyguards for important people and protect the base, though it wasn’t like they didn’t do other work as well.
Even if the job was to abduct a young girl, none of them frowned upon it, though there were doubts about the instructions of the job this time.
According to an [oracle], the job would be executed today, between 8 to 10 in the morning, and there would be no one near the target.
This time’s employer was [Murasame]. The oldest mercenary knew him by the name [Squall]. He placed an order to kidnap the girl, and although harming her was permitted, they could, by no means, kill her.
Apparently, something would hinder them if they tried to kill her the normal way.
An unknown enemy. The outdated word [oracle]. A girl with no nationality nor family register.
Little information was disclosed and it involved the Western politicians. If the reward hadn’t been several times bigger than usual, they might have been more skeptical towards it.
“Target acquisition. In the kitchen.”
“Everyone, don’t let your guard down.”
There were 12 mercenary groups coming to Japan, but only half of them participated in the abduction. They thought that three people would be sufficient, but the client warned them that the target was abnormal. Nevertheless, since it was a young girl, some were still negligent.
“Dang, I was noticed. Kenny, Jim.”
Clicking their tongues, the three rushed into the fragile-looking paper sliding door1. Simultaneously, an opened salad oil was thrown at Jim who misstepped.
It could be explained that the target had panicked and thrown it, but the girl, dressed in sleepwear, continued to then throw a pepper-like flour at the remaining two people in the corridor.
Who was this girl? She didn’t do anything big, but she was obviously accustomed to this situation.
In reality, the one being flustered were them, and as they thought that the girl would escape just like this…
The girl’s knees buckled underneath her, and she threw up blood.
Seeing this, a female mercenary called Lin, kicked the girl in the stomach and silenced her.
“Lee, don’t hurt her more than necessary.”
“Isn’t it fine as long as I don’t kill her? Either way, wouldn’t it be better for her to lose consciousness?”
12 minutes and 15 seconds since the roadblocking. Five members of the mercenary group joined the members who were waiting in the van, and the abduction of the girl was a success.
“Good day, Tsubaki. Are you feeling better now?”
“Y-yes, I’m sorry for having worried you.”
A classmate sitting next to me called out to me gently, who had come back after a week of not attending school. Students from ordinary familes were also enrolled, but since it was a real daughter from a high-class family, I was troubled as I was just adopted into the prestigious Fukami Family.
“I’m glad you seem better again. The father of my friend in another class had an accident last week, I didn’t know whether it was related to that too.”
The homeroom teacher entered the classroom and my classmates stopped talking and took their seats.
I wasn’t good at talking with my classmates. And I was also more worried about Hana being alone at home anyways.
The mysterious power Hana had used… It had instantly restored my injuries and tattered clothing until it looked like nothing had even happened to them to begin with.
I had been trying to heal my broken body on my own, but if I hadn’t recovered at that time, I didn’t know what could have happened.
But even though Hana only had some scratches, she was still weak from that time, and it was scary because it felt like her shadow was slowly fading out.
Even more, it felt like she would disappear if I took my eyes off her, and I was afraid of losing her again.
It still felt like I had been in a dream and I couldn’t remember it well, but I, at the time, had definietly used some kind of supernatural power.
I had started to remember something faint. I didn’t know whether it was a memory that had disappeared three years ago, but at the same time as I wanted to, I didn’t want to remember.
I had once lost [something]. It had made me mad, scream until I tore my throat, and then lose my memory.
… It was scary.
Since that day, I started to see something.
Outside the window, a “blade” larger than a mountain was floating beyond the skyscrapers.
It was so huge it was hard to see. It was entwined with multiple chains which were fastened to the ground.
I felt like I knew what that was.
Still, no one other than me could see that. That existed solely in my eyes.
I felt like the chains of the unmovable sword in the distance made a slight movement.
No, the chains were changing their positions…
The homeroom teacher raised their voice after I had abruptly stood up, knocking down the chair in the process.
I suddenly understood the meaning of the chains. Where the chains were moving was in the direction of the house.
No way, could something have happened to Hana? As I was thinking that, the image of Hana throwing up blood and fainting entered my mind.
My surroundings became dyed in silver.
Looking at the direction of my house, I could tell that the classmates were gasping as if scared behind me,
But… I could no longer return to “here”.
Opening the window on the third floor, I jumped out. The screams of the students echoed behind me I started running.
I will not make you wait as much for the next part.
In the next part, the feelings of 1500 years.
- Also called Shoji. ↑