Chapter 2: Part 3
Room number 305. Orito entered the room with a huge “Heya!” and dispersed the reserved atmosphere caused by the particular scent and stillness that hung around hospitals. I timidly followed after him. There were a few grannies in the room, but in the middle of them there was just one girl, obviously young, who stood out. Or perhaps it would be better to say that she felt out of place. Her left arm seemed to have been wounded and was wrapped in a cast.
Now that I thought about it, shouldn’t I have brought a get-well present? I didn’t come with anything.
“Ah, Orito-sensei! … Eh? A-Aikawa-san?”
Her hair was a bit longer than shoulder length, and although she looked to be around the same age, she was taller than both Yuu and Haruna. The minute she looked in my direction, she began to get flustered. Orito casually approached her.
“Hey, Kyouko! Didn’t I tell you to make your hair into twin tails? Geez, Aikawa is really moe for twin tails!”
Since when? Well, it’s not like I don’t like them.
“Ah, yes! I didn’t think he would really come… I’ll do that right away! Ah, but I can’t use one of my hands! Sensei, help me!”
She mumbled something with a sulky expression, and began to style her hair into a twin tails with Orito’s help.
Kyouko-chan kept her eyes on the floor, her face as red as an apple. As I watched this pleasant scenery, I sat myself down in a round chair and pulled myself up to where Orito and the bed were.
To the other people in room 305: I’m really sorry for bringing such a noisy fellow with me.
I looked around, and, well… nobody was paying us any heed. I thought there would be some chatter in the room, but in the end, I guess older folks didn’t have much to say to junior high school students.
“Umm… Aikawa… san. Do you remember me?”
Kyouko spoke timidly while continuing to stare at the ground. I didn’t know whether I should lie and tell her I did remember her, but I ultimately decided to tell the truth.
“… Sorry, I don’t. I’m really sorry.”
When I apologetically lowered my head, Kyouko-chan frantically waved her hands.
“No, it’s completely fine! In fact, it’s… it’s good that you don’t remember!”
Did I do something weird to this girl in the past or something?
“Hey hey Aikawa, you went to the same junior high school, right? Alright, done! How is it, Aikawa?! Cute, isn’t she?”
“Ahh yeah, outrageously cute.”
Those were my honest feelings. She really was exceedingly cute, sitting there looking shyly down at the floor.
The petite Kyouko-chan looked up at me with upturned eyes, and I nodded. And then she gave me a shy smile.
Orito then took the initiative in the conversation, and began to talk about how fun high school life was.
Kyouko-chan would also be coming to our high school, right? Orito seemed to want that to happen, but ultimately that would be Kyouko-chan’s choice, wouldn’t it? Also, even though she listened to him talk with a smile, every once in a while she appeared lonely.
Orito had gone to the bathroom, so I asked.
“Did something happen? You seem a bit lonely.”
“Yes. The truth is… I’ll be going to live with my grandfather in Kyoto. And I don’t want to disappoint Orito-sensei…”
I see. Orito had been chatting under the assumption that she was coming to our high school… and she couldn’t bring herself to tell him the truth. So she sometimes looks like that…
Alright, while Orito isn’t here, let’s get to the topic at hand.
“This might be a bit sudden, Kyouko-chan, but did you happen to see the face of the person who attacked you? Even the smallest bit of information is fine.”
“… Honestly… yes, I saw.”
Yes, as expected. The murderer wouldn’t let his or her face be seen that easily.
…. Wait, what?
“Y-You saw? Seriously?”
Kyouko-chan nodded vigorously… would I seriously be able to get useful information this easily?
“W-What kind of person was it?”
I was somewhat excited while I asked that question. Yes, excited by this twin-tailed girl.
“She had these really beautiful blue eyes… I think she was around the same age as I am.”
I began to doubt my ears. Those particular traits brought one person to mind.
“Did she have these strange gauntlets on, and straight, flowing silver hair?”
“Y-Yes, that’s it! She definitely was like that!”
Having been able to get what she wanted to communicate through to me, Kyouko-chan was very excited.
… What the hell? What the hell… it was Yuu?
There’s nobody else who would wear that kind of outfit, right? Dammit, what the hell was going on?
“Do you know the person who did this?”
“Ah, I might know something, but I think I’m mistaking someone for someone else.”
“Please tell me! Tell me who it was!”
It never crossed my mind that I would be the one getting asked questions about these happenings. Her eyes widened with enthusiasm, and I was greatly perplexed as to how I should answer her.
“The person I know is silent and emotionless, and I don’t think she’s the kind of person who would do something so reckless. So I think I’m mistaking her for someone else.”
Her twin-tails swished back and forth, and she shook her head.
“I think it’s probably her. The criminal was also someone who had an emotionless face. She really didn’t look like she was going to try to kill me.”
Seriously…? Was it really Yuu?
And if that were the case, then the person I was looking for was also Yuu?
Or maybe what happened to Kyouko-chan was not a part of the serial murders?
And that’s why she survived?
Or maybe, on the contrary, my murder had nothing to do with the serial murders and Yuu was the serial murderer?
“Kyouko-chan, when were you attacked?”
“I was attacked late at night on May 26th.”
Wasn’t that the day I met Yuu? And I’m sure there were no survivors in the house where I was killed. The news had verified that.
So, on that day, there was another murder case? If there were, it wasn’t shown on the news at all. Could it be that the survivor was afraid the killer would come back and finish the job, so she didn’t speak publically about it? Or could it really have been a different incident?
My thoughts were in chaos. I looked around the room for something to help me change the subject. There was a lot of get-well fruit lying around, along with bags of clothing, and when I moved my body to look around a bit more I felt my foot kick something. Peeking under the bed, I found an object that seemed quite out of place in a hospital.
It was a huge wooden sword. I had never closely examined a wooden sword before, but I was really impressed by how big it was. It was to the point that I thought there might have been another small wooden sword in this one. Was this a memento left over from some of her deceased family members or something?
Kyouko-chan flushed a brilliant red and desperately tried to hide the sword from me.
“Why is there a wooden sword here?”
I suppressed a smile and asked.
“It’s a family heirloom… just kidding.”
As if to say “Hah, how’s that?” she raised both her arms in a victory pose (1) and gave a little laugh. Pretty charming.
I broke out into a grin, and Kyouko-chan showed me a puzzled expression.
“What’s wrong? Your face is red… don’t tell me you have a fever…”
That lovely face approached mine. On her body there was a captivating pair of hills with in between that I would never think a junior high school student would have. Perhaps I was sensitive to cold, but when she put her hand to my forehead, the cool sensation ended up making my head heat up instead.
“Hm, you don’t feel feverish.”
Even for someone who preferred small breasts, I couldn’t take my eyes away from them. When she removed her hand from my forehead, Kyouko-chan licked her bottom lip.
“So, please tell me about that person.”
“Hm? Are we still on that? It’s hard to explain.”
“Hm? What?” Seeming flustered, Kyouko-chan leaned her neck to the side.
“No… what? Hmm? U-Umm… were we done talking about this?”
“What does Kyouko-chan want to do to the criminal if she meets her?”
“… Well… umm… I would ask her to please stop doing things like this.”
Ahh… in my mind, I realized how much of a good girl she really was.
“So, that arm… does it hurt?”
With a somewhat sad expression, Kyouko-chan nodded.
… At any rate, it appeared that she wasn’t a zombie.
Right then, the spiky-haired Orito returned from the bathroom.
“Ahh, what a nice atmosphere~. Seeing a young boy talking to a young girl at her bedside like this…”
Moving his eyeglass frames back and forth while grinning, he was the spitting image of a master of sexual harassment.
After Orito came back, the conversation once again turned to school, and to repair the atmosphere I put on my best zombie smile and joined in on the conversation.
And after the lively conversation, Kyouko-chan and I exchanged mailing addresses.
“Alright, Aikawa, shall we head back?”
Did you run out of things to talk about? Orito suddenly stood up while making that suggestion. It seemed that he wasn’t making a suggestion, but had already decided to head back. Following him, I also stood up.
“Umm… thank you very much. I’m really glad that I was able to talk to you.”
My heart jumped in the face of that last angelic smile.
Girls’ smiles are just the best.
If only that necromancer and that vampire ninja would follow her example.
(1) The actual word here is “guts pose.” Feel free to look it up.