Hellping

[Hikaru V9] Chapter 2

It was the next morning.

Koremitsu scowled as he walked down the riverbank leading to school, and Hikaru spoke to him,

“What do you think, Koremitsu? Did you get an answer after meeting Yū?”

“Um…”

Koremitsu’s lips sank as he groaned.

He was brooding in his futon the previous night, but he still could not understand. He was happy to be reunited with Yū again, and his heart was pounding like crazy when they held hands at the park. When Hikaru mentioned about this however, the feelings he had for Aoi and Honoka did not seem to be much different from how it was towards Yū.

(Am I being a Casanova here…?)

“What do you think?”

Koremitsu hissed a question.

“What do I think?”

“From the perspective of a harem prince, who do you think I like best?”

Hikaru however gave a matured smile.

“Only you know the answer, but well, if I have to decide, I do wish that you pick Asa.”

And nonchalantly stated something earth-shattering.

“Ack! You’re asking me to choose Saiga?”

“Miss Shikibu, Miss Aoi and Yū are all wonderful girls, and even if they are dumped by you, the people around them surely will not allow them to remain single, and one day, they should be able to get their best suited partner in life. It is a miracle in itself that Asa was able to fall in love, and I assume that it may never happen again. I suppose it is a rarity to have an eccentric—no, a brave man who can understand Asa’s charms, so open-minded in accepting her. I do get the feeling Asa will continue to remain dateless and search for Tsuchinokos, or set up some nursery for them or something like that.”

Koremitsu’s temples were popping as he listened to Hikaru’s words. Soon after, he raised his eyebrows, yelling,

“That girl isn’t someone who likes to laugh out loud at all, is it!?”

“Of course not. Asa will give a hearty laugh when she does find something really amusing.”

“You’re kidding me.”

“It is true. When she was younger, she kept laughing when she saw a dog with eyebrows, until she went limp…”

Hikaru continued to promote (?) Asai, but Koremitsu ignored him as he walked through the door, only to be called up by Tōjō.

Tōjō glared at Koremitsu, and the latter assumed the former was about to begrudge him for what happened the prior day, only for him to say.

“I wish to give Aoi my support, and I do not want to make her cry. However, I hope that you can grant Asai her promise. I suppose Aoi will have lots of opportunities in the future, but as for Asai, despite her good looks and beauty, given her condescending attitude towards men…it will be troublesome if she is to remain single and became the aloof, obstinate advisor of the Mikados.”

During the break, Hiina too cheerfully chimed in,

“I do hope that you choose the Matriarch Asa amongst those girls. It seems that it will be ‘her first love and her last love’, no? I will recommend a nice person for Miss Shikibu.”

During the following break,

“Come along, Mr. Akagi.”

Koremitsu was dragged by Tsuyako into the Japanese Dance Club room.

“You are incapable of being like Hikaru. Hikaru was able to love so many girls equally and make them happy because he is special, and also because he was unable to be united with his most beloved. You can only go along with your usual honest self and do what you can do.”

After imparting some advise, Tsuyako then gave a cheeky expression, saying,

“Personally, I do wish you will be together with Miss Asai.”

 

“Why is everyone pairing me up with Asa!?”

It was lunch break, and Koremitsu was walking down the corridor with his back arched, grumbling away. No matter who he met since this particular morning, every single person had been recommending that he get together with Asai.

“Because you are the only one who can change Asa into a cute, smiling girl.”

“Am I a tamer now!?”

Thanks to all that, while Koremitsu himself never thought of Asai as a love interest, the piercing stare and frosty expression just appeared in his mind.

(Well, she’s a lot more relaxed now as compared to how she was at first…and I do find her personality rather interesting…but it’s impossible for me! I can’t imagine Asa laughing here!”

While Koremitsu was hollering in his heart.

Appearing in front of his eyes was a stoic-looking Asai.

“Ugh.”

While Koremitsu readied himself,

“Do not be mistaken.”

A blizzard-like voice rang as she coldly noted,

“Do you think I will fall in love with you? I declared that in front of everyone else so that we will not be suspected whenever I am with you.”

Hikaru, floating above, “Ah~” could only cover his face as he groaned for some reason.

(Why yeah, it’s impossible for Asa to be associated with love or falling in love. She’s someone condescending, always talking to others with that annoyingly haughty tone.)

Koremitsu himself found the reason plausible, and was quietly relieved.

“Goodness, I went to visit your classroom after the culture festival ended, and even Mr. Tōjō was there. It was a ruckus…”

(Huh? She was there at that time?)

Before Koremitsu could retort, Asai’s eyes grew rigid as she muttered.

“Also, it seems that something grievous centered around you is going to happen.”

“What do you mean?”

Was it about the confessions he suddenly received? However, Tsuyako and Hiina were just adding on to the fire, and the only ones he never actually responded to were Honoka and Aoi…

But even so, Koremitsu had a rough idea of what it was, and was left dumbfounded. Asai’s face got increasingly heinous as she pulled her cellphone out, showing it to Koremitsu.

“I received this message on the night before yesterday.”

Koremitsu looked at the screen, and gasped.

Hikaru’s too froze as he peered from the side.

 

“Koremitsu Akagi shall judge the women of Lord Hikaru under the name of the Poppy.”

 

(What is this…?)

The voice was stuck in his throat.

The chain of messages that were themed ‘The women of Lord Hikaru’ appeared in his mind as grimy, black words.

It was too much even as a joke, and this anonymous message was nauseating. This time, it mentioned his name!

Koremitsu felt enraged terrified, a chill running down his spine.

“Saiga, did anything bad happen to you after this message came?”

Koremitsu angrily asked, and Asai calmly answered,

“No, nothing has changed. This message themed ‘Lord Hikaru’s women’ was simply sent to me, just as before. However, this time, it contained the active verb ‘judge’, and actually mentioned that you of all people are to do this.”

The words got tangled into a black mist, spreading in Koremitsu’s heart.

Hikaru’s expression too gloomed.

“…”

Till this point, the women mentioned in the messages were Yū, Tsuyako, Asai and Sora. Since they were Hikaru’s women, there was a chance Aoi herself could be in danger.

“I feel we should go about pretending to date and agitate the culprit. Of course, it is just a pretense.”

“I’ll go over to Aoi! I’ll go check on Upperclassman Tsuyako to see if she got any strange messages.”

Koremitsu cut off Asai’s words as he sprinted out.

Tsuyako never mentioned anything about the message when the duo chatted in the clubroom in the morning. However, she and the other girls all gathered at Koremitsu’s house; perhaps they were going to discuss the mysterious message with him?”

“Mr. Akagi, I am yet to be done—”

Asai hollered at Koremitsu, trying to get him to stay, but the latter never stopped.

 

“I had not finished what I wanted to say. He really is a simpleton of a wild dog.”

Asai anxiously watched the messy red hair leave the scene.

“Yes…we were not to be real lovers, just false ones. That should have been the most efficient…”

Once she sensed her face blushing, she muttered to herself, ostensibly searching for an excuse. At this moment, her cellphone vibrated.

With a scowl, she opened the message. “!” And with a heinous glare, she stared at the screen.

♢ ♢ ♢

Koremitsu panted furiously as he reached Aoi’s classroom. Once he got there, he glared around with his sharp eyes, and spotted Aoi fiddling with her phone, her face frozen.

Koremitsu felt a frost air scale his spine.

Hikaru too looked on grimly.

“Aoi.”

Once Koremitsu called for Aoi, the latter’s petite shoulders shivered. She looked over at Koremitsu tensely, her face looking very uneasy, perturbed as she approached him.

“Is something the matter, Mr. Akagi?”

“Did you just see the mail? Was there something strange sent to you?”

Aoi’s shoulders shivered again.

She turned her eyes away from Koremitsu, stammering.

Affirming that Aoi received a message, Koremitsu sounded agitated.

“You received it, right? You came to my house yesterday to discuss about this, didn’t you?”

“E-erm…but! I received such a message two days ago. While I am used to receiving such scathing messages….I would immediately delete them and forget about it whenever I have them.”

“Can I see that message?”

“Sorry. I deleted it.”

After inquiring about the message, it seemed it was the exact same content as what Asai received, stating the infuriating words that Koremitsu was to deal judgement on all the girls surrounding Hikaru.

“Of course, I do not believe that you will do such a thing, Mr. Akagi.”

Aoi pleaded.

“Thanks.”

But while Koremitsu thanked her, when he inquired if there was any further matter, she merely tried to pass it off by repeating over and over again, “Well, I am fine.”

And when he went to ask Tsuyako,

“Oh? It reached you?”

Tsuyako simply admitted that she received the message.

“But there are people who enjoy seeing others suffer. Besides, this is not uncommon in this school filled with children from many traditional families. You do not have to mind, Mr. Akagi. It is pointless to be befuddled, intimidated or infuriated by those things. All you will accomplish is to delight that sender.”

But Koremitsu, himself, was the one encouraged.

Lunch break was about to end, and Koremitsu still felt something was amiss as he prepared to return to the classroom.

And while he was clicking his tongue agitatedly, Hikaru spoke with a grim look above him,

“I did think those messages were just being sent, and nothing will actually happen…”

“I won’t be judging Saiga and the rest. No way you want such things to happen, right?”

“Of course. But—”

“What? That you actually have a wish for me to help you take revenge?”

“No. That is not what I want to talk about.”

Hikaru frowned.

“All I am thinking is, are the messages all that is to come?”

Such words caused Koremitsu’s temples to twitch.

“It does feel like this is different from before…I am worried. Miss Aoi does look like she has something she could not say…”

“Something she could not say?”

“Or maybe it is something she does not wish to talk about…”

In any case, they should head back to the classroom first. First off, he had to give Yū a call just in case, even though he did not think she would be involved after staying in Australia for so long.

(Let’s try asking Oumi…and Shikibu.)

Koremitsu did not say anything to Honoka in the morning, besides the usual greetings. She beamed, saying,

“Good morning…Akagi! It’s great to see Miss Kanai back. But I won’t lose to her!”

Her energetic voice sounded a little forced, and one had to wonder if she was concerned about the reply to the confession and the matter about Yū.

She kept peeking at Koremitsu during the lessons, but she never did talk to him.

(I got to give a proper reply. To both Shikibu…and Aoi…)

Would he be able to get an answer while Yū stayed in Japan?

With such matters happening at this point, it was not a time when he could simply ponder over the relationship between boy and girls…

Feeling utterly vexed, his back was slouched more than ever.

And just when he arrived in front of his classroom, the cellphone in his pocket vibrated.

Having an ominous vibe, he opened it.

 

“Koremitsu Akagi shall torch Yū Kanai alive under the name of the Poppy.”

 

Feeling a jolt inside his heart, he hurriedly grabbed the phone sliding out of his hand.

“Koremitsu! This!”

Hikaru too sounded tense.

The bell indicating the beginning of the 5th period chimed, but Koremitsu ignored it as he gave Yū a call.

His gut was griped, wincing, and sweat trickled down his body.

“Mr…Akagi?”

Yū’s skeptical voice came from the other end of the receiver.

Anxiety pressed down on Koremitsu as he exhaled, caressing his skin.

“Yū! Are you hurt in any way?”

He asked agitatedly.

“Eh?”

“Are you hurt?”

“Erm…just a little scalded.”

Koremitsu felt hammered. The words ‘torch Yū Kanai alive’ was magnified greatly in front of his eyes.

Yū was actually physically hurt, and not just as how the message stated. Being scalded was as close as it was to being torched, and Koremitsu felt a chill down his spine.

“Yū, where are you right now?”

“At…the hospital.”

“The hospital? I’ll be there right away.”

Koremitsu hung up without hearing Yū’s reply, and sprinted off.

♢ ♢ ♢

Upon seeing Koremitsu sprinting down the corridor like a man possessed, Honoka’s chest ached as she stood at the classroom entrance.

“Yū!” She did hear Koremitsu yell at the phone, the conviction and turmoil of emotions he showed, and her body felt scorched as she clenched her fist to endure.

(Akagi, were you talking to Miss Kanai just now?)

Koremitsu called out to her with such a voice, such an expression, and one had to wonder that surely, he was only thinking about her. Was his desire to meet her so great that he skipped classes and ran away from school?

“Koremitsu Akagi shall judge the women of Lord Hikaru under the name of the Poppy.”

Two nights ago, she received this strange message, and was feeling very worried. At this moment, Michiru gave Honoka and call, and after discussing about this,

“Let’s visit Mr. Akagi.”

Michiru suggested, and so they visited Koremitsu’s house.

They spotted a hesitant looking Aoi at the entrance, following by a grim looking Asai, and even Hiina appeared.

“Wow. Is everyone here to meet Mr. Akagi? He’s becoming quite the popular item recently. Come on, let’s go.”

And with Hiina dragging them along, the predicament was that every single one of them visited his house.

Koremitsu was not at home, so everyone else was waiting in his room. Shioriko had her cheeks puffed as she served them tea. Asai remained silent with a frosty look on her face. Aoi had her head lowered, looking frustrated about something. Honoka herself was feeling awkward.

And when Koremitsu finally returned home, there was a dreamy, slender girl standing beside him, Yū Kanai.

 

—Have you fallen for Kanai?

 

Honoka could never forget the stunned look Koremitsu gave when she asked.

It was a defenseless, feeble look.

A flustered look of one who noticed he was in love.

At that moment, Koremitsu was really in love with Yū Kanai.

And Honoka herself too realized that she fell for Koremitsu, who in turn had fallen for Yū Kanai.

 

—I think, I like you.

 

Once

Once Yū flew off to Australia, Honoka confessed at the school rooftop with a blushing face and a trembling voice.

Ever since then, she had been hoping for Koremitsu to devote his attention to her.

She was heartbroken to realize from up close that his feelings were veering towards Aoi, and she felt all hope was lost when a teary-faced Koremitsu held hands with Aoi.

However, she finally decided to confront Koremitsu with her true feelings.

She had no hope of beating Aoi, and with Yū of all people returning to Japan, it was too much for her. She started thinking whether there was no God in this world, and when she accidentally spotted Koremitsu being so attentively, running towards Yū, her heart was ripped apart.

(No. I can’t continue to like Akagi if I admit defeat because of this.)

She understood when she saw the girls gathered at Koremitsu’s house.

Many girls liked Koremitsu. She had assumed she was the only one who liked such a crude, eccentric boy, and got careless. Clearly, this was completely wrong.

Koremitsu Akagi was popular.

(Everyone now knows that Akagi’s scary looking, but he’s really a nice guy inside. Even so, I’ve decided not to give up, and I won’t be dejected because of it. I’ll do my best.)

The teacher entered the classroom, spotted Koremitsu’s empty seat, and asked “What happened to Akagi?”

Honoka immediately stood up.

“Akagi’s feeling unwell. He’s off to the hospital.”

And returned to her seat.

The teacher never did pursue the matter, perhaps because Honoka was a studious student.

But under the table, she was slowly answering the inquiries of girls, frustrated with their love live, under the guise of the love expert Purple Princess.

“Purple Princess, please listen to me (:△:). I had a crush on F for 5 years, and it seems like he knows that I like him~~~~~(。>O<。)Now he’s trying to avoid me. What do I do know?”

“I really like T, but he’s going to transfer to another school next month. (TωT) I want to convey my feelings to him.”

“Purple Princess, I want to give the one I like a really shocking birthday present, but I’m troubled as to what I should give. Please let me hear your suggestion. m(__)m.”

(Everyone’s working hard. I got to do my best too.)

Honoka’s lips curled, her eyebrows frowning as she tapped her fingers.

Suddenly, a message reached her.

Once she opened the message, Honoka gasped. The words were written in large red font.

 

“Yū Kanai is the culprit.”

♢ ♢ ♢

Mother would harass father’s mistress, insisting that she was the wretch who bewitched him, an ugly woman, and told her to die.

The child born with that woman’s blood is also wretched, filthy.

A child that should not be born.

 

My brother…

 

Mother told me never to talk to him, so I could only watch that child from afar, unable to approach him.

Mother said he was a filthy child, but that child was truly beautiful, smiling blissfully with everyone surrounding him.

He never did notice me, never gave me a glance, and continued to smile under the spring sun and the cooling breeze.

♢ ♢ ♢

Koremitsu indicated his name at the hospital counter, and was taken to the ward

He ascended the glass elevator, advanced down the wide corridor, and knocked on the door.

The knob could be heard turning inside, and Yū tentatively poked her head through the gap between the door.

It was a direct echo to when Koremitsu first went to find Yū when she locked herself inside her apartment. Yū stared at Koremitsu tentatively, unwilling to open the door.

“Mr Akagi…don’t you have classes?”

“I played truant.”

Once he said that with a grim look, she lowered her shoulders.

Yū looked rather forlorn, causing Koremitsu’s head to cool, and in turn, flustered.

“Did I cause you trouble by suddenly coming here…?”

Yū lowered her head, tentative as she answered.

“Sorry. I was worried when I heard you got scalded. Are you bandaged already? Is it alright for you not to recuperate?”

Yū opened the door.

“Please come in…”

“O-okay.”

Koremitsu stepped inside tensely.

Unlike the cramped, dim apartment back then that was filled with rubbish, the ward room behind the door was wide and spacious, the bright sunlight shining through the large windows.

As Hikaru had mentioned, it was a room similar to a hotel room, not simply a commercialized one, but a luxurious suite.

“I got scalded…but it’s really nothing much.”

Yū reached her hand out, looking a little embarrassed, her speckless, tender fingers giving the OK sign.

“I wanted to brew some tea…but I got careless…so…I scalded my hand…a little.”

Her white cheeks was increasingly crimson.

“Is that it?”

Koremitsu held Yū by the hand as he lowered his head, his tone relaxed.

“…Yes.”

Yū nodded as she whispered.

“I-is that so?’

“Thank goodness, Yū.”

Hikaru, right beside Koremitsu, heaved a sigh of relief, and Koremitsu himself too was relieved. Upon recalling the impulsive actions of his, the fiery embarrassment caused his face to sizzle.

He let go of Yū’s hand, his body fidgeting.

“So-sorry for yelling into the phone. I received a strange message, so I was really worried about you.”

“Strange…message?”

“Erm, that’s…”

Koremitsu did not want to talk about the message stating that he was going to torch her. Yū herself was once bullied by other girls, and shut herself in. Perhaps she would be horrified if he was to mention this to her.

“Just some usual harassing message. Did you receive any spam message yourself?”

“Like I can get a high income staying at home…Mika of the Pink Club or something…my husband was eaten by a Polar Bear…something like that?”

“Yeah. There’s a lot of them. There’s no need to really think too much into it.”

Koremitsu bluffed his way too.

And he told himself, “it’s a coincidence that Yū scalded herself.”

But Yū kept looking at Koremitsu worriedly.

And Koremitsu too found the situation awkward.

“Argh, I’m really unbecoming of myself. My face is hot, I’m sweaty, and I’m upset. Don’t mind if I use the washroom. Which room is it?”

He wanted to wash his head to cool down, and walked forward.

“N-no!”

Yū grabbed Koremitsu by the sleeve of his uniform.

“Eh?”

“So-sorry, but you can’t go there…the washroom, that is…I’m cleaning it at the moment, and I’m not done yet…i-it’s dirty now…and…I’m sorry.”

Yū kept looking at the door, her voice squeaky.

“Ah, I-I see…”

Yū did not seem to mind how messy her apartment was back then though? Koremitsu was perplexed.

Hikaru too looked bewildered by this.

However, Yū showed no intention of wanting to allow Koremitsu into the room, and her slender fingers were tugging firmly at his sleeve.

“E-erm, I’ll go get a wet towel…please…wait here, Mr Akagi…do-don’t move. And…no peeping.”

She gave him a feeble look, ran towards the washroom, and cautiously opened the door.

She peered inside carefully, wary of a spirit popping out as she opened the door just wide enough to squeeze through, and when she entered, she locked the door.

“Koremitsu.”

Hikaru suddenly noted grimly,

“Look over at the sofa.”

Koremitsu did as he was told, turning towards the sofa.

There was a laptop at the side table, and it was opposite the sofa, covered by a white cover that would be conspicuous with any stains on it. He spotted a red flower on top of that.

That flower had a few thin, near translucent petals, the iris was red, and it looked salacious.

(What’s that…Gerbera? Tulips…doesn’t look like it.)

Koremitsu did remember seeing a flower similar in appearance, as he was not as interested in flowers as Hikaru was, and he could not remember the name.

(What’s with this flower? Why’s Hikaru looking so grim?)

Hikaru gave Koremitsu a grim look, stating,

 

“It is the Poppy plant.”

 

(!)

Koremitsu’s heart jolted.

(A Poppy?)

He leaned forward towards the alluring, feminine flower in the red veil, resting on the white sofa. At this moment, Yū returned with a wet cloth.

The door opened, startling Koremitsu, and he turned around.

Her cheeks reddened, Yū’s face was slightly lowered as she tentatively brought the towel to him.

“Please…use this to wipe your sweat.”

“Ah, thanks.”

The towel was a little cold. Yū was surrounded with a fragrance unbefitting of her.

While Koremitsu wiped his sweat, Yū lowered her head worriedly, her eyes turning towards the washroom from time to time.

While she was feeling worried,

“Hey, what’s with that flower?”

Koremitsu hissed, and Yū’s slender shoulders jolted timidly.

“F-flower…?”

“On the sofa.”

“I-it’s a flower…someone gave as a get well gift. I found it pretty…so I had him give me one…”

Yū whispered, her eyes not meeting Koremitsu’s.

“Isn’t it better to put it in a cup or something? Make sure not to let it wilt. You did ask that person to share it with you.”

“You’re…right.”

Yū again peered towards the door, and cringed, answering,

“I’ll put it in.”

She was acting like a bullied child.

Koremitsu was getting angsty.

“Yū, do you know the name of the flower?”

Yū was silent as she hesitated, and soon after, she continued with her faint, fleeting voice,

“…The Poppy…”

While it was not strange for Yū to know the name of the flower, her tentative voice and the feeble expression that was peeping at the washroom caused Koremitsu to feel incessantly anxious.

There was probably something beyond that door. What would happen if he was to ignore Yū and open the door?

Such an impulse grew within Koremitsu, and he glared at the washroom door.

At this moment, Yū’s voice grew increasingly softer.

“Sorry…Mr Akagi…I do have plans later…so, please return for today.”

♢ ♢ ♢

(Miss Kanai is the culprit…what’s with that?)

It was night.

Honoka had her elbows resting on the desk in her bedroom, staring worriedly at the message she received at noon.

 

“Yū Kanai is the culprit.”

 

The large red words formed this line.

 

089

Who was the sender? Who knew about Yū, and knew that she met Honoka…?

There were only a few choices.

She thought of the girls gathered at Koremitsu’s house, and immediately shook her head.

She was not willing to think of the possibility that there was a wretched person who would send such a despicable message.

But if the person was really amongst them.

Would the aim be to eliminate Yū, the focus of Koremitsu’s attention?

(In that case, I guess I better convey the message to Akagi…and I’m not sure what’s the objective of the “Koremitsu Akagi shall judge” part…is the sender this time…the same as the ones before…)

In that case, it would be all the more confusing as to why the person sent such a message.

Was it just to provoke others?

Honoka wanted to delete the message, and moved her finger towards the delete button, only to stop.

“What if…it’s real?”

What if Yū Kanai really did so something criminal?

Honoka could not ignore the slender, shy Yū, prone to hiding in the room and not coming out, would dare to do something so audacious. Something was amiss.

(But, what if she’s fooled…or something.)

Yū herself seemed quite innocent, and in her case, it was possible. Upon thinking about this, Honoka felt stifled, her head turbulent.

(Maybe that had something to do with Akagi skipping class…)

Koremitsu, who was contacting Yū on the phone, was looking grim. It seemed he was worried for her.

(Do I discuss the message with Akagi? No, can’t do this. I don’t know whether this is real here, and if it’s just a prank, he’ll just be worried for no reason.)

“I’ll be there.”

Honoka recalled Koremitsu looking so agitated as he sprinted off, and did not want him to look so hideous again.

“Argh, what do I do know? I’ll leave a message on a forum…I can’t possibly do that now! There’s no way I can say ‘my love rival may be a criminal. What do I do?'”

Honoka threw her phone onto the table, cupping her head as she thought hard, swiveling around on her chair.

At this moment, the phone chimed, indicating a message.

“!”

The sender was anonymous.

Honoka nervously opened the message.

This time, it was a line crammed with words.

 

“Yū Kanai has betrayed Koremitsu Akagi, having an illicit affair with other men.”

 

“She returned back to sell off the drugs imported from overseas.”

 

“The codename is the Poppy.”

 

“Yū Kanai’s fragile sight is merely a facade.”

 

“Her heart is of complete darkness.”

 

The words shot into Honoka’s eyes as arrows, stabbing through her heart.

(Illicit relationship with other men—selling drugs—Poppy? Isn’t that the same message the sender gave—?)

There was also a website indicating a forum where Yū was said to be involved drug trafficking.

What if—

If this message was the truth.

Or if not all, that there was at least some truth in it.

(How am I supposed to say this to Akagi!?)

Honoka stared at the website so intently, her eyes got numb, and clicked on it.

♢ ♢ ♢

Your personality has to be fitting of a prestigious family.

 

You cannot be a wretched person.

 

You cannot be a despicable person.

 

You cannot fall into treachery.

 

Mother kept repeating these words at me.

Mother was strict in my upbringing.

She would yell. Why can you not do this? It is embarrassing that the child of a prestigious family cannot understand such a simple matter. If others are to feel that my child is useless, I, along with my family, will not be as highly regarded.

Mother’s family had lasted since the Heian era, and is one filled with a long history. She mentioned that she too was raised in such a harsh manner.

My hands would be hit whenever I played the piano, when I wrote words, when I made calculation mistakes. My body would freeze whenever I wondered when I would be hit.

At this moment, I would imagine my brother would give that blissful smile in the tender, dazzling light.

And then, the red flowers swayed at the bottom of my head.

Alluring me with a sweet, tender voice.

 

Pluck me.

I shall grant you the power of the spider.

 

I shall devour all that you despise.

 

Come, first, fixate on your enemies using my ‘eyes’.

Reveal the secrets of the filthy women, who, so akin to the white flowers with their feeble, slender vines, lean upon men and latch onto them as a parasite.