July 24th. It has been a day since Kokutoh Mikiya went to investigate on Asagami Fujino. Not much happened in this time. Only such thing as a big hurricane coming later tonight upto tomorrow morning and a 17year old driving without a licence dying in a corrision. At least publically. Ryohgi Shiki is just staring outside in Aozaki Tohko’s office. The summer sky is so huge that one gets bored of looking at it in an instant. In the cloudless sky is the shining sun. It seems like a bad dream that this clear sky is going to be covered by storm clouds later tonight. *Clang* *Clang* The noise echoes. A metal factory is beside this office. Since Shiki is beside the window, the noise hits her ears without rest. Shiki looks at Tohko. Tohko is making a phone call wearing her glasses.
“Yes, that is right. About that accident. … I see, so he was indeed dead before the collision. Is his cause of death strangulation? That is not wrong. If the neck is twisted off, that is strangulation. It does not matter how strongly it was done. How have you people treated this accident? A collision, I see… That would seem right. There was only the victim in the car. No detective can solve the mystery of a moving sealed room. No, that’s all the information I wanted. Thank you very much. I will repay you for this somehow, Officer Akimi.”
Tohko sounds very formal and kind. It is so different from her usual tone, whoever knows her normal tone should shiver from hearing it. After hanging up the phone, Tohko shifts her glasses. Emotionless eyes are underneath.
“Shiki, the 7th victim appeared. This is more than the killer two years ago.”
Shiki walks away from the window a bit upset. She wanted to see the sky be taken over by dark clouds.
“I told you. It has to be a meaningless murder this time.”
“It seems so. Minato Keita doesn’t know this Takagi Shouichi guy who died in the accident. This murder has nothing to do with her revenge.”
Shiki, who is wearing a white kimono grits her teeth. What’s there is anger. She puts on a red leather jacket.
“I see. Then I can’t wait any longer. Tohko, do you know where she is?”
“Nope. I can guess a few places where she might be hiding. If you’re going to look for her, you’ll just have to go look at all those places.”
Tohko takes out a few cards from her desk and throws it at Shiki. Shiki grabs the cards.
“… These are… Asagami group’s personal identification cards? Who is this Araya Souren guy?”
All three cards are entrance cards to the construction areas which the Asagami construction is involved in. It must be a magnetic lock as it has a stripe of magnetic sensor on each card.
“That fake name is of my acquaintance. I couldn’t think of a random name. I used it when I made someone make these identification cards. Well, that doesn’t matter though. It should be in one of those places that Asagami Fujino is hiding. It’ll be troublesome, so finish this off before Kokutoh gets back.”
Shiki glares at Tohko. Her usually hollow eyes become sharp. She directs a silent complaint to Tohko but turns around without saying anything. It is because she has the same opinion as Tohko. Shiki does not hurry out but leaves with her usual graceful steps. Being alone, Tohko looks outside the window.
“Looks like Kokutoh didn’t make it. Well, would the storm come first or would a storm occur first? Shiki by herself might not make it out alive, Ryohgi.”
The magus murmurs to no one.
Right after noon, the weather starts to change. The blue sky is now already covered with gray clouds. The wind is getting stronger too. Everyone walking around is saying that a storm is near.
I keep walking holding the burning stomach. I didn’t know about the storm. Probably because I was so caught up with looking for a person. The town is rowdy but there are fewer and fewer people out on the streets. It looks like I won’t be able to do it tonight. I think I should go back for today.
Taking many hours, I finally reach the port on foot. The sky is already dark even though its still seven in the summertime. A storm can even mess up the usual times of seasons. Moving the body that lags more in reaction as time goes on, I reach the entrance of the bridge. This bridge is the bridge my father is working the hardest on. A big bridge that connects this port and the port on the other side. The bridge is a four-laned road and many pathways are beneath the bridge. The underground is like a shopping mall. Even though it is floating on the ocean, I call it so because it’s under the bridge. The upper part of the bridge has guards so I cannot get in. But the entrance to the underground mall is unmanned and I can go inside if I have a card. I take one of the cards out which I took from my house and open the entrance.
… It’s dark inside. It is because even though most of the interior design is finished, electricity isn’t running. The empty mall seems like a station about to close up for the day. The corridors stretch on forever. Many different stores are on either side of the corridor. I walk for about 500 meters and end up in a parking lot. This place is still under construction and is really messy. The walls are unfinished and the bags on there to keep the rain out is making noises from the wind. …… It’s almost eight o’clock. The wind is strong. I want to plug my ears at the sound of the wind and the sound of the waves. The sound of rain hitting the walls are more fierce than the machine gun I saw in movies.
It was raining on that day too. After my first murder, I washed myself off in the rain. After that, I was able to meet that person. That person whom I met only once in middle school and whom I only talked to for a bit to.
… Yes, I remember. It was a time when the sun was setting. After an event at out school, a Senpai from a different school talked to me, who was still on the field. I could not move because I have sprained my ankle. Since I am pain insensitive, I could actually move, and even if I did move, it has no effect on me mentally. But my swelled ankle tells me that it will get worse if I move anymore. All I could do was watch the sunset without feeling anything. At that time, I did not call for help. I did not want to call for help. If I did, everyone would tell me…
“You beared quite a pain. “
“Does it hurt?”
“Doesn’t it hurt?”
“Don’t you think it hurts?”
I do not want that. That is why I was sitting down with a normal expression. I was being a bit stubborn not to let anyone notice. My mother, father, teacher, friends… nobody noticed. I had to let everyone think that Fujino is normal. At that time, somebody tapped me on my shoulder. I did not feel it but I heard a sound by my ear. When I turned around, that person was standing there. He looked kind without knowing what I was thinking. I think my first impression of him was that I did not like him.
“Does it hurt?”
That person greeted me with unbelievable words. How did he know about the wound nobody should know about? I shook my head. I was being stubborn not to admit it. He looked at the nametag on my gym uniform and said my name. He then felt my sore ankle and made a sour face. I knew he was going to say something I did not like, so I closed my eyes. I did not want to hear insensitive words from people with normal senses such as “does it hurt” or “is the pain bad”. But he said something completely different.
“You’re stupid. Look, a pain is not something you bear. Pain is something you have to appeal, Fujino-chan.”
… That is what Senpai told me when I was in middle school. After that, Senpai carried me to the nurse’s office and that was that. It was like a vague dream. Come to think of it, Asagami Fujino might have fallen in love with him since that time. That smile that worried about my suffering that nobody noticed……
*Throb* My stomach aches. That pushes me out of my dream. There is no way I can be dreaming when I’m covered in people’s blood. But… rain might wash off my impurity. I want to go up to the bridge. The storm is already here. On the bridge, it should be like a tipped bucket out there. I start to get excited. I drag my body that feel pain all the time now and go up the slope in the parking lot.
Asagami Fujino goes up onto the bridge.
To be soaked in the familiar summer rain.
The big bridge has turned into a shallow lake. The four-lanes of asphalt is covered with rain water and it goes up to one’s ankles. The smashing rain comes down at an angle and the wind is raging as if to knock the streetlamps down. The sky is dark. The light of the port is far away and unreachable like watching the moon from the ground. Asagami Fujino comes out into this storm. The black uniform blends into the night. She walks soaked in rain, breathing out from her purple lips. When she reaches a streetlamp, she meets Death.
“I finally found you, Asagami.”
In the sea of the storm, Ryohgi Shiki stands dressed in a white kimono. The red leather jacket reflects off rain. She is also soaked in rain and it makes her look like a ghost.
Shiki and Fujino both stand under the streetlamp. There is about 10 meters of ground between them. She finds it strange that they can see each other and hear each other in this heavy rain and the raging wind.
“You should have just gone back home like I told you. You’re a beast that knows the taste of blood. You’re enjoying murder.”
“…… That is you. I am not enjoying murder.”
Fujino, still breathing hard, stares at Shiki. What is there are enemity and a will to kill. Fujino quietly covers her face with her left hand. …… From in between her fingers, her glaring eyes show. As if to answer them, Shiki holds up a knife in her right hand. This is the third time they have met. Shiki laughs thinking that there does exist a line that goes “third time’s the charm” in this country. This Asagami Fujino is more than sufficient as her killing target.
“… I feel it. Yes, we are alike.
Yeah…… I can kill you as you are now.”
With those words, the two’s restraints are completely removed.