PMZ 118 – The real you
My tears managed to stop Hayato, slightly startled by my shameless cries, and my arm that gripped on him, I bent my body a little and tried to see his face.
“…please, don’t cry…”
“I know… but…”
I can’t stop my tears; even when I wipe them away, they just won’t stop. I drew attention from the few people on the street, and when he noticed this, he pulled my arm and started walking out of town.
I walked behind him as he pulls me. I feel like a lost child. It’s pathetic.
We quickly ran out to town outskirts and sat on a tree trunk in a grassy field.
He crouched down in front of it and looked up at me from below as I finished venting my emotions and the tears began to subside.
“…are you calm now?”
“Yes… I’m sorry, I don’t know why I’m crying.”
“No. you don’t need to apologize for anything. Still… I wanted you all to go back to Capital city, without me if possible.”
“Why are you like this? I don’t know if we can help or not, but you never tell us anything, so we don’t know a thing, and we can do nothing.”
“You’re right… I’m sorry. But I don’t know how to talk about it either.”
He looked down. It seems that the problem is more complicated than I thought. I looked at the sky. I couldn’t find the right words to say.
The black clouds above me were much bigger than yesterday, and they already very close to the town.
Oddly enough, there were gaps in the clouds, as if something had crossed them.
The morning sunlight shone through the gaps and illuminated the ground in many places, making it look like several pillars of light connecting the earth and the sky.
The contrast between the black clouds and the morning light, created by a powerful monster, is strange, beautiful, and even somewhat divine.
“The sky looks amazing, but why are there some holes in the dark cloud?”
I muttered casually to myself, but Hayato responded with something unexpected.
“–It’s because the goddess got in the way. I hate it. I hate light. I’m going to close it.”
When I looked down at him, he stares up at the sky, just as I had done, with his red eyes squinted and shined.
“But if you keep doing something like that for days on end, you’re going to weaken before you can try to take me in. It’s tough to have something to protect. I can’t believe you can’t use your powers just for yourself.”
–What are you talking about?
This guy is… who?
As he stared at the sky, the hole that the goddess had made began to close up, the pillar of light disappeared, and the world beneath the clouds closed in on a pitch-black shadow. Seeing this, Hayato smiles with satisfaction.
My mind goes blank with a sudden feeling of discomfort.
It’s not just that what he’s saying is strange; in front of me stand a person with the same voice and face as Hayato, but I somehow feel that it’s not him.
–What’s wrong with me?
I’ve had this feeling before… That’s right. It’s like that time with Maria.
Maria has undergone a drastic character change after being infused by magic from a malicious stranger. She becomes like a saint afterward, but this…
This can’t be true.
The monster like the Demon King that you have to go and defeat… was it you? Yourself?
My heart shrinks as I realized the situation.
A monster that entered a human body?
Normally, monsters, which are masses of magical power, do not go as far as to enter inside someone’s body even if they can inflict a negative status.
It’s not that they don’t, but they can’t. They are instinctual beings and are very animalistic. They don’t even speak.
But this is… a monster with the ability to think like a human appeared and taking advantage of Hayato? Is such a horrible thing even possible?
Maybe that’s why his eyes are red?
I think I understand why he couldn’t tell anyone and left the capital as if he was running away.
You said earlier that the goddess would take you in.
What does that mean …?
Without realizing it, the hand I had on my lap was shaking. He gently placed his own hand on top of it and squeezed it gently.
“I understand Alice, I’m happy to hear your feeling, and if you had said that much, then… from now on, let’s go together. I’ll be with you, forever.”
He then pulled my hand and urged me to stand. I still desired to go with you.
-But, Are you still… you?
I suddenly became scared and lost my footing.
“… what’s wrong?”
His figure that looking down at me are different from Hayato I knew, and it made me feel uncomfortable.
I don’t understand. I wondered how long he had been carrying it inside him. We never encountered such a troublesome monster. I knew this since I was with him all the time.
…No, his eyes turned from black to red since a long time ago.
If that’s the case–
From the beginning?
If so, does that mean I don’t know his true self?
I dismissed my horrible thought. “No, that’s not it.”
He couldn’t confide in George or me, so he ran away.
He had to get his business done before he goes away, so no one ever troubled with his disappearance.
He also made sure that people walking on the streets to the capital would not be attacked by monsters.
And that’s not all.
He shed tears over his sister’s pregnancy, thought of the children at the orphanage as his family, and put the insects caught in the middle of our hunt to sleep before returning them to their nest.
There was no way that such a person could have lost his ego.
The one I fell in love with is definitely his true self.
The realization comes, and I smiled at him.
“… there’s nothing to think about; I really glad I met you – that was my honest feeling.”
I know what it is that you valued so much. The precious thing that should not be destroyed by your own hand.
“Yeah? …Me too, Alice.”
His hair and eyes kept their color. It’s not turning back even though the morning had come. I’m not sure if that’s because of the monster’s influence.
–When all piece is gathered, it’s not hard to see that the Goddess’s solution was not something that will allow him to keep his life.
In order to ‘take in’ the monster, the host must be sacrificed.
I can’t allow that to happen.
I’m not giving up.
I’ll get him back, no matter what it takes.
And that’s… where the WN stopped…
I kind of wish the author will at least show us the conclusion, but it made sense not to give a spoiler to your physical merchandise (book).
But worry not, I will probably order it, this is my first original project after all? I want to cherish it.