Broad Bridge is distorted like it has been squeezed by a giant hand. Arguing with the guard after coming here in the storm with Tohko-san’s buggy, Shiki shows up from under the bridge with a blood-soaked arm. The guard runs to Shiki but Shiki tackles him and gets him unconcious.
“Yo. For some reason, I thought you would be here.”
Shiki says so with a pale face. There were so many things I wanted to say but it all disappears once I see how weak she is. I run to her to help her, but Shiki refuses and would not even let me support her.
“So you managed with just one arm, huh, Shiki?”
Tohko-san seems surprized. Shiki glares in discontent.
“Tohko, She came up with Clairvoyance in the end. She’ll have a ridiculus power if you leave her be.”
“Clairvoyance, huh? Certainly, if you add that to her power, she’ll be invincible. She would be able to make a fulclum even if you are hiding… Huh? If you leave her be…?”
“She returned to pain insensitivity at the very end. That’s cheating. Asagami Fujino in that state can’t be my target. I couldn’t do anything else so I just killed the disease in her stomach. She might make it if you hurry.”
Shiki did not kill Asagami Fujino. Understanding that, I quickly call the hospital. I’m not sure if they would be willing to come in this storm, but if they won’t, I’ll just take her myself. Fortunately, her doctor agrees to come. The doctor was worried about the disappeared Fujino, and it seemed he was crying over the phone. There may not be many, but Fujino still has people on her side. I am moved. Behind me, the two is having a dangerous conversation.
“Did you stop the bleeding on that arm? It’s not bleeding it seems.”
“Yeah, I killed it cause it was useless. You can make an arm, right? You’re a puppet master after all.”
“All right. That will be your pay for this job. I always thought that your body is too normal in contrast to you eyes. I can make that left arm be able to grab spirits and such.”
… I don’t want them talking about such things.
“An ambulance is going to come here. It’ll be lots of trouble to stay here, so do you want to get away?”
Tohko-san nods but Shiki is silent. … She probably wants to make sure that Asagami Fujino does get taken away safely.
“Since I contacted them, I’ll stay here. I’ll tell you what happened, so you can go back.”
“In this strong rain? You sure are strange. All right, let’s go back, Shiki.”
Shiki refuses Tohko-san’s offer. Tohko-san makes a mean smile and gets on her off-road buggy that seems totally illegal.
“Shiki. Don’t kill Kokutoh just because you couldn’t kill Asagami Fujino.”
Tohko-san says so seriously and drives off. In the summer rain, Shiki and I end up finding shelter under the nearby warehouse.
The ambulance comes in no time and carries off Asagami Fujino. In this storm, I cannot see her face. I cannot make sure that she’s the girl from that one night, but I think that’s for the best. Shiki blankly stares into the night. Shiki stands there wet in the rain. She is glaring at Fujino all this time. I ask her heart within the sound of rain.
“Shiki, you still can’t forgive Asagami Fujino?”
“…… I don’t care about the one I already killed.”
Shiki declares so. There’s no hate or anything there. For Shiki, Fujino must be someone she does not know now. … It’s sad but that might be the best result for those two. Shiki casts a glace at me.
“How about you? You say murder is wrong no matter what the reason is.”
She seems like she’s asking herself the question.
“… Yeah, but I sympasize her. To be honest, I have no feeling about the guys who violated her getting killed.”
“That’s unexpected. I was hoping for your popular opinion.”
… Do you want to be blamed, Shiki? But you didn’t kill anyone. I close my eyes and listen to the rain.
“Really? But that is my opinion. Because, Shiki, even though she lost herself, Asagami Fujino is a normal girl. She will take in what she’s done without changing the facts to suit her. Even if she does give herself up to the police, no one can prove what she’s done and she won’t be socially responsible for her sins. That’s what makes it more difficult.”
“…… I think sins are things people burden themselves with their own will. A burden that one casts on themselves according to their views, that is what a sin is. The more compassion you have, the heavier the sin that you burden become. The more common sense you have, the heavier the sin that you burden become. Asagami Fujino’s sins become heavier and more painful as she gets happier.”
Shiki tells me I’m too good-natured.
“Then does that mean those without compassion have no sense of sins?”
“I don’t think no one will have no sense of sins. It means that their sins are light, but it is still there. A small sin within their small compassion. For us, it might seem trivial like tripping on a road, but for that person, it becomes a burden. Even the small pain for us becomes an unpleasant feeling for those with small compassion. No matter the weight, the meaning of a sin is the same.”
… Yes. For example, Minato Keita was frightened up to insanity probably because of his realization of his sins. He cannot atone for his regret, sense of guilt, fear, or impatience, but all he can do is try to atone for them.
“Certainly, it must be easier to not be responsible for your sins socially. But if no one punishes you for your sins, you have to carry your sins yourself. Guilty conscience is not something that goes away, right? You have memories of it. Since no one forgave you for it, you cannot forgive it yourself. The wound in your heart never heals and it will continue hurting. Like her sense of pain remaining, the wound would never heal. As you say, heart does not have shape…… so I think a wound on it cannot be treated.”
Shiki is listening silently. Maybe because I looked up Fujino’s past, I’m unusually poetic. Shiki sudddenly gets out of the cover of the warehouse and goes out into the rain.
“So you’re saying this. The more common sense you have, the more sense of sin you have. That’s why there’s no bad people in this world. But I have no such thing. Can you let such a person on the loose?”
Now that she says so, that is indeed true. Before you can call Shiki good or bad, she has a small sense of common sense.
“I see. Then I guess it can’t be helped. I’ll have to burden all your sins then.”
That is my true feeling. It seems to have caught Shiki off guard as she stands there dumbfolded. After getting hit by the rain for a while, Shiki murmurs uncomfortably.
“… I finally remember. You say those kinds of jokes with a straight face. To confess, Shiki found it hard to deal with such a thing.”
“…… *Sigh* I see. I do think I can at least carry one girl on me, you know.”
I argue timidly, and Shiki laughs.
“To confess one more thing, I think I burdened a sin with this thing today. But I found out one thing in return. What my life is, and what I want. It’s vague and fragile, but I will have to follow it for now. It turns out that what I’m following isn’t as ugly as I thought it was. I’m a bit happy. A bit… A killing impulse that is slightly leaning towards your view…”
… I can only frown at her last sentence, but Shiki is beautiful as she smiles saying so in the rain. The storm should go away by the morning. I keep staring at Shiki, who is in the summer rain. Come to think of it, that is her first true smile she showed me since she recovered from the coma…
Remaining Sense of Pain