Chapter 1: Part 5
One corner away from my house, I stopped in my tracks. I looked up at the eerie, starless night sky, when suddenly something came into view.
A dark second-story window. Something was clinging to it.
What’s that? As I cocked my neck to one side, I squinted. I felt an unpleasant sensation, as if all my hairs had stood up on end.
Hey hey… isn’t that blood?
There were red marks stuck to the window, almost as if someone had thrown a tomato at it.
The series of scattered murders. Those words passed through my head.
A chill suddenly ran down my spine. Pushing down the inner voice that was telling me to run away, I took out my cell phone. For now, I should call an ambulance… or maybe the police?
My fingers shook, my heart thumped, and my throat was painfully dry.
Just as I was on the verge of pushing the call button, I heard it.
… That was definitely a human scream.
Right now, someone was being attacked in this house. Even if I called the police, it would take them a few minutes to get here. Looking around, I saw that there was nobody around here but me.
So… should I run the hell away? Or, should I try to help?
In times of hesitation like this, it’s better to make the courageous decision.
Nervously, I approached the entranceway of this unknown house, my back stiffening and my breath catching in my throat.
The door was not locked, so I opened it and softly entered. If this weren’t actually related to the serial murders, I would just be a normal criminal here. As I worried about the possibility of having made a mistake, I briskly walked through the dark, unlit hallway. Having come this far, I was finally able to return to my right mind.
What the hell am I doing here…?
It’s not like I can save anyone, right? What did I plan to do if I came face to face with the criminal? Am I an idiot?
It’s not like I’m going to make it in time. I was really asking for trouble.
As these thoughts ran through my head, my fear multiplied many times over.
Not good… this really is not good.
Desperately trying to gain control of my throbbing heart, my numbed legs began to move.
Without making a single sound, I began to run out of the house.
I paid careful attention to my hand on the wall, making sure I was silent.
Alright, if I can make it out the front door, I’ll start yelling outside, and the criminal won’t be able to do anything about that.
I softly turned the doorknob… huh?
I couldn’t move. It wasn’t like I was playing “Daruma-san ga Koronda” (1) or something. It also wasn’t as if I was trembling in fear and couldn’t move. It was as if time had stopped, and my body couldn’t make the slightest movement anymore.
Gatan. I heard a sound, and my heart leapt into my throat. But I had been flawless. I can’t recall having made any sound at all. At any rate, I can’t move.
Kin. I heard the sound of metal. Of course, I wasn’t the one who had made that sound.
… Well, who exactly made that sound then?
I could feel the atmosphere behind me growing ominously cold.
… Please forgive me. I felt like my body was shrinking. And then, a sharp pain.
I had been impaled by something sharp. When I looked down, I saw that it was some kind of sword.
… It hurts. Breathing, my body, my head… it all hurts.
I felt a sharp pressure pushing on my back, and then the sword that had pierced me was withdrawn. Blood gushed out.
I lost all power in my body and slumped onto the ground. As my consciousness dimmed, the last thing I remember seeing was a long haired person who was carrying something long and thin in both hands.
The minute those words sounded in my head, I woke up in a graveyard. That place I was fond of. And right in front of me was that strangely dressed girl… yes, Yuu.
“You… am I alive?”
Putting a hand on my chest, I felt a gaping wound. But, I felt no pain from it. All I could feel was a sensation as if something was being zipped up inside my body.
She wrote that cruel response on the memo pad.
“Did you do this?”
Were you the one who killed me? That’s what I was trying to ask, but…
Yes. I made you not die.
At any rate, it seems that she wasn’t the criminal, but rather had saved me. Certainly, if she were the criminal, she wouldn’t have a reason to keep me alive.
“Well, what? Did you turn me into a zombie or something? You a necromancer or something?”
Panicking in the face of these extremely preposterous events, my breath became ragged.
Yuu did not avoid my gaze at all, and gave me a strong, firm nod.
“Hold on… hold on hold on… has the criminal realized that I’m alive? Could it be that the criminal is still looking for me? Give me a break… don’t tell me my life is still in danger…”
Completely panicking, my words became jumbled as I rambled on and on. At that sight, Yuu handed me a single memo sheet. On that sheet were written these words:
Don’t worry. I’m here with you.
Those deep sky blue eyes made me feel like I could rely on this person.
My life is also being targeted. So it’s best to not be alone.
So, that means, she doesn’t want to be together like this?
That thought went through my head, but I don’t think my savior would go so far as to say something that brutish. It’s obvious that it’s better to be together than to go home in fear.
There was still a lot I didn’t understand and couldn’t consent to, but I didn’t have enough strength right now to pursue those topics.
After all, I was still suffering from the aftershocks of the fear I had when I was killed.
But, along with that fear, there was a feeling of uncertainty left in my heart.
Who was it? Who had killed me? I hadn’t cared about this when I heard about it on the news, but now that these misfortunes had fallen onto me, I couldn’t help thinking about it… I’ll definitely find the killer. (2)
And like that, I had become a zombie.
After that day, my everyday life took a turn for the supernatural.
On the negative side, I had to battle a bunch of bizarre things I had never seen before that came to my house aiming for Yuu’s life.
On the positive side, girls more beautiful than I had ever seen began to show up at my doorstep, one after the other. Things that I had thought were “impossible” now were happening right here.
If something has any possibility of happening, then it will eventually happen.
I guess that the probability of this phenomenon occurring might have been greater than zero. And if the probability is greater than zero, then sometime, somewhere, it would happen. The probability of it happening was just low.
It was just that sometimes, the probability of these things happening around me became high… quite high.
(1) A Japanese variation of tag. I’m not too keen on the details, but presumably there are freeze tag elements in this game (or else this reference would make no sense).
(2) A lot of times, it is probably more fluid to write a gender pronoun like “him” or “her,” but these pronouns do not exist in Japanese, and because Ayumu doesn’t really know the gender of the killer yet I will try hard to keep this gender ambiguous even at the cost of fluidity.