Beyond Another Darkness V1C1 Part 10

*Snap

Following the light sound I opened my eyes.
A white ceiling appeared within my vision. The bitter smell of medicine permeated throughout the room along with the slight aromatic scent of chocolate.It seems even if I fell into the very depths of hell I wouldn’t be able to escape that scent.

“Yamashita Kazue is dead.”

Upon hearing a voice, I looked to my side and saw Mayuzumi sitting beside me. She was wearing a pitch black dress akin to a mourning attire while eating a bar of chocolate.

“She ended up losing both her arms and quite a bit of blood but Yamashita Kazue actually managed to survive, but then someone threw her down from the roof of the hospital while she was still in a comatose state. Just like what happened to her sister. Want to see the headlines?”

She handed over a newspaper the moment she said this.
It depicted a photo of a man, who had apparently snuck into the hospital and murdered the patient. A face that looked far younger than when I had met him was staring back at me.

Tomoyuki Sugita.

“What you do to others will also come back around to you. The outcome of those who seek vengeance, how pitiful.”

Mayuzumi spoke in a soft voice as she continued eating the chocolate bar. I clenched the newspaper tightly in my hand.

“……Did you set this up?”

“Hm?”

I began thinking back on Sugita’s figure from that day.
Although his behavior was borderline to the point of being stalker-like, in the end he never did have the courage to step beyond that fine line. Or at least it was suppose to be so, but if he did cross over that line.

Someone would have to give him that push.

“You told him what actually happened didn’t you?”

*Sn-ap

A piece of the chocolate bar broke off with a crisp sound. As Mayuzumi ate the piece of chocolate she then said.

“If you ask me, I will answer. No matter how foolish the question is.”

The dried bits of chocolate in truth looked like nothing more than mere chocolate. The stuff I said about how the dried chocolate looked like blood was just an over-exaggeration. But the disgustingness of the matter was no lie.

“I didn’t tell him, whether someone commits murder or not is completely up to them. Just like whether someone chooses to commit suicide or not.”

I slowly began to sit up, the pain had already disappeared.
I opened my shirt and the area where I was stabbed had only left a strangely small scar.

“So you can sit up already, that’s good.”

“……Mayuzumi-sama, can I ask you another question?”

“Yes, you can, but if you make me repeat something over and over again I will get angry. But I will not get angry or feel annoyed over the actual question.”

I bit down upon my lip, I hesitated for a second about whether to even ask, but in the end decided to ask anyways.

“You said before that there was nothing wrong with accepting the case of a murderer. But then the outcome turned out like this. Although it’s unethical, we could’ve just done what was asked of us and yet…”

“Understand this, it doesn’t matter what the actual requesters themselves are like.”

Mayuzumi replied in a casual manner. She then continued on with her unrelenting words that held no conscience.

“As long as it’s interesting, I will even accept the case of a murderer. Although this time was a bit special. I didn’t really care for the actual case itself, but I was interested to see what would happen if I gave Yamashita Yukiko the hundred yen.”

So it wasn’t an act of kindness to save Yamashita Yukiko.
Or an act of pity for Yamashita Yukiko.
And instead, just a mere childlike curiosity.

“I just wanted to see someone commit suicide right in front of me.”

I thought back to the moment.
The sight of her body plummeting towards us, the sound of her flesh smashing heavily into the ground.
I’ve also heard something similar to that before in the past.

My thoughts shifted over into a scene of a roof under the blue and white skies. A person was standing there. The dress whirled about in the wind and suddenly the person began running forth as if upon signal. For a moment the body hung motionlessly in mid-air, then with the force of gravity plummeted straight down heavily onto the ground.

Upon hearing the sound of crushing flesh, I immediately brushed away my thoughts.

I couldn’t think back to that moment.
I couldn’t recall those memories.

A pain began surfacing in my stomach and beads of sweat began pouring forth.
It would be best if the terrible memories could just be sealed away like this.
If they weren’t, my stomach would burst open once again.

“Mayuzumi-sama, one more question.”

“Hm?”

I ignored the anguishing pain within my stomach and continued on. A gentle smile appeared on Mayuzumi’s face as she urged me on.
It’s likely she more or less knew what I was going to ask.
When I thought that I began pondering whether it would perhaps be better to just not ask instead. But once again I decided to ask anyways.

“Did you also knew that I would be attacked?”

“Yes, I did expect that. Since I haven’t seen you get hurt in quite a long while, I wanted to see if your body could still hold up.”

The instant I heard that, my vision began to blur from an immense rage.
I wanted to lash out at the little girl who was sitting right in front of me. But there was no point in carrying out such actions. Even if I ended up breaking all the bones in Mayuzumi’s body, she would likely just continue eating her chocolate bar as if nothing had happened. I clenched my hands tightly.

“Ah, one more thing.”

Mayuzumi continued on as if she were oblivious of the inner turmoils within my heart.

“The “thing” within your stomach is also safe and sound.”

At this point my rage peaked and I couldn’t hold back my anger any longer. My fist flew towards Mayuzumi’s face.
Though with whatever bit of rationality I had left, my punch was instead diverted towards the wall beside her. A deafening sound erupted accompanied with a splintering cracking noise.

Judging from the tremendous pain it was likely broken, but the pain also allowed me to recover from my boiling rage in that critical moment. Mayuzumi continued eating her chocolate bar nonchalantly. I managed to utter forth a voice behind my tightly clenched teeth.

“Mayuzumi-sama.”

“Yes?”

“Please try dying once.”

At that time I will even deliver the coup de grâce.

In response, Mayuzumi merely said.

“Do you want some?”

And held out her chocolate bar.

“No.”

I immediately retorted and turned away from her.
A clear blue sky could be seen from the window of the ward room.
It was the same color as the sky on that day at the bottom of the building.

I didn’t know why, but I had an urge to smoke.

 

※ ※ ※

 

……What was happening?

I had suddenly came back to and realized that their was a new one hundred yen coin in my hand.

This wasn’t the one I was previously holding, just who gave this to me?

I was clutching a coin without any scratches or marks. Although I didn’t know who gave this to me, it should be fine if I used it. My throat was far too parched, I couldn’t stand it any longer. I shoved the hundred yen coin into the vending machine. The coin dropped in with a clear metallic noise followed by the illumination of the red vending machine lights.

It was a simple occurrence.

That was what I should’ve thought, but because of the situation up till now the emotional feeling was greatly overwhelming.

After a moment’s hesitation, I chose a diet coke. There wasn’t any need to worry about calories anymore, but compared to a regular coke the slight reduction in sweetness was very appealing to me. I opened the can and a wonderful fizzing noise accompanied by bubbling emerged.

I just couldn’t resist it any longer. Bringing the can to my mouth, a cool and tingling sweetness assaulted my tongue. Draining the entire can in a single gulp, a refreshing sensation filled my entire throat. At that moment, the view of the sky greeted me.

And there was a person standing among the light blue background of the sky.

That figure had been unconsciously looking towards the sky for all this time now. But the figure which had been hazy up to now then suddenly began merging together and becoming clearer. That person was wearing the same white dress as my younger sister.

The white dress that whipped around with the wind also appeared like a whirl of clouds. White was my favorite color. But I had always felt disgruntled over my younger sister copying me and also wearing white. Looking from here it would seem that the color indeed suited me better.

———Ahh, that person….was me…

The moment I realized that the world flipped over. A fierce wind was blowing against my cheeks. I was staring at the vending machine from on top of the roof. But no one was there. Although there was a can of soda rolling on the ground.

Standing from the top of the building everything underneath looked so minuscule. And along with the glowing horizon and clear endless blue… In that forever timeless moment, I looked towards the stretching blue skies and took a step forth.

And felt the long awaited sensation of falling.

And just like this…I…for the first time in my life died.

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