Arifureta - Volume 7 - Chapter 3
Chapter 3 : Undesired Result
For Shimizu Yukitoshi, to be summoned to a different world was the dream he yearned for. Because he knew that was impossible, every day he was dreaming by a reading book in his hand or web novels. In his dream, he saved a lot of worlds, though he didn't know if he went towards the Happy End with the heroines. Inside Shimizu's room, the walls couldn't be seen as they were buried by posters of beautiful girls, and inside the glass rack at one of the walls were his favorite beautiful girl figures with improper poses lined up in such a cramped place. His bookshelf was filled with manga, light novels, thin books, and eroges, while the ones that couldn't be put there were all over the room as they made towers.
That's right, Shimizu Yukitoshi was a genuine otaku. However, there's no one among the classmates who knew that fact. That's because Shimizu himself thoroughly hid it. There was no need to talk about his reasons. He had seen the classmates' attitude towards Hajime, that's why there was no way he could become an open otaku.
Inside class, it could be said he was just a mob character by those who knew him well. There was no one he was especially close to, and he always quietly read a book in his seat. If he was talked to, he would give the minimum answer in a small mutter. To begin with, he kept the quiet attitude because he was bullied in junior high school. Maybe because it was the natural flow, he became a truant and stayed inside his own room every day, and he inevitable tried to create books and games to kill time. Even though his parents always worried about him, he brought otaku goods into his room every day which made his big and little brother annoyed. They even showed that in their attitudes and words, which made Shimizu feel that the comforting house became worse, the so-called losing his place to stay. With such a gloomy environment, Shimizu thought of doing devious things to others inside his mind without letting it out on the surface. Thus he became more and more devoted into delusions and book creation.
Because he was like that, when he understood the summoning to a different world was the truth, his mind's state was as if shouting, ’’Here it come-!!’’. Even at the time Aiko protested fiercely against Ishtar, or when Kouki passionately decided to help humanity win and return to their original world, inside Shimizu's head were only the delusions of the real him doing spectacular things in this different world. He was elated because the delusions he thought as impossible had become truth, and the pattern of being summoned to a different world where the protagonist was being unreasonably demanded was driven away from his mind.
Thus it actually became just as he expected, there was a conflict in this different world life for real. First, Shimizu certainly kept a certain cheat-like spec as a secret, but that was the same thing for the other classmates. Furthermore, Kouki was the ’’hero,’’ not him and maybe because of that the women only kept coming near Kouki, and it became the saying that ’’he was just one of the many additional people.’’ With this, nothing changed from the time he was in Japan. Though his wish was fulfilled, the reality that didn't become just like he hoped for made Shimizu increase his deviousness, and his dissatisfaction was increasing in his mind.
Just why am I not the hero? Just why do the women only surround and desire Kouki? Just why is it not I, but Kouki who always gets treated as special? Even though I can do better if I am the hero. Then, the girls will accept me if I approach them... this, this satisfying condition is everyone's fault, I am the only special one,that's the egoistic idea which gnawed on Shimizu's mind.
At that time. The combat practice held in the «Orcus Great Dungeon ». Shimizu thought of it as his chance. I won't mind about anyone else. It was the same even if they are here or not. Those classmates that treated me as background will surely notice my skill, Shimizu tried to use this opportunity... however, there was something he noticed.
He wasn't a special existence at all, there was no opportunity-like development, and he certainly would become a ’’dead’’ person in the next moment. As he was about to be killed by the Traum Soldier, he saw the ’’hero’’ who fought with a more brutal monster in the distance, and his fantasy about a different world crumbled as it made a rattling sound.
Then he witnessed the classmate who fell to ’’death’’ into the abyss, and his heart was broken. He only interpreted things on his own convenience and his mind always kept seeing others inferior than him, so naturally his heart was not strong.
When he returned to the royal palace, Shimizu once again shut himself in his own room. However, the literacies that could cheer him up just like in his room in Japan were not here. That's why Shimizu naturally spent his time reading books around the skills and magic concerning his class, ’’Dark Magic-user.’’
Dark magic system was a magic system which acted on the others' minds and senses, it was recognized as magic that basically give bad statuses to the target in battle. Shimizu's aptitude were such as altering the others' recognition, showing illusions, interfering with the image of the completed magic to disrupt the invocation, and with further mastering, he could make disorder in one's body control.
Thus the depression in his heart was completely blown away as he read the books, and Shimizu immediately recalled something. Can I brainwash someone if I master dark magic?, something like that. Shimizu was excited. If his assumption was correct, he could do whatever he wants to anyone. That's right, whatever he wants. The stagnating darkness spread in Shimizu's mind. Since that day, he zealously trained with undivided attention.
However, it didn't easily go his way. First, for something with strong ego like a human, he needed to continuously apply the spell for several hours or else he could not do the brainwashing. Naturally, that was if there was no resistance. As expected, there's no one who wouldn't react if he put the spell. It was necessary for him to put the target in a sleep-like state. If the target was a human, it would be too hard for him to hide and control brainwashing, circumstance-wise and time-wise. As he thought of what happened when he was found out, Shimizu couldn't help but abandoning this because of the high risk.
Shimizu drooped his shoulders, but he immediately recalled about the reason he was summoned, the demon race could control demonic beasts. He wondered if he could brainwash the demonic beasts who moved by instinct and have small egos compared to humans. To confirm it, Shimizu went outside the Imperial Capital and repeatedly experimented on small fry demonic beasts. As the result, he proved that it was far easier to brainwash them compared to humans. To begin with, he could only do it because Shimizu was one of the cheaters and had an extremely high talent in dark magic. Previously, Ishtar had said that even if the people of this spent much time, they could only control 1-2 things.
Shimizu who had finished the experiments in the Imperial Capital's outskirts thought it'd be good if he could control strong demonic beasts. However, he felt intimidated to go towards the dungeon frontline just like Kouki's party. Then at the time he was at lost of what to do, he heard the talk about Aiko's bodyguards. If he joined them, he'd be able to encountered a good demonic beast or so he thought.
In the end, Aiko's party came to Ul town, then he heard about the demonic beasts in the mountain ranges area in the north and he was lost in greed when he thought to make them his subordinates. In their next meeting, everyone would be in awe and respect towards his great achievement, and he'd be treated as special or so his delusion went.
Normally, for the short amount of time of around two weeks, no matter if Shimizu was a genius in dark magic, and he used the efficient method by only brainwashing the leader of the groups, 1,000 was the limit. Moreover, it would only be those in Brutal's level in the second mountain range.
However, he was helped by a certain existence, and he was able to control Tio, who gave her power to Shimizu to efficiently brainwash even the demonic beasts in the fourth mountain range by chance. And at the same time, that certain existence promised him to reinforce him with troops of demonic beasts every day, and Shimizu's bound of reasoning completely came off. Finally, as he was soaked in joy that he was indeed special, the large crowd in his full control was turned towards the town.
Thus as the result...
He was turned into such misery for those who saw him, and he was made to kneel in front of Aiko and the others. By the way, the reason why he looked like a defeated soldier was because Hajime dragged him using magic-driven two-wheeler on the ground which covered with demonic beasts' flesh and blood coupled with the fluttering cloud of dust. Shimizu was unconscious with the white of his eyes displayed, and when they saw he was brought to the town with his head repeatedly hitting the ground, Aiko and the others' expressions were cramped.
By the way, their current location was in the outskirts and in this location were only Aiko, the students, several people from the bodyguard Knights and town leaders, Will, and Hajime's party. As expected, if the mastermind behind the attack was brought to the town, the commotions would become bigger and it'd be difficult to hold a conversation or so their reason. The town leaders which remained inside the town were currently busy with post treatment.
Aiko had stepped up towards Shimizu who was collapsed with the white of his eyes shown. His appearance which wearing a black robe, following by the fact he was dragged back directly from the battlefield became unassailable proofs that he was the culprit behind the attack. It was a fact she didn't want to believe as Aiko's expression warped in sadness, and she shook Shimizu to woke him up.
David and the others told her to stop it because it was dangerous, but she shook her head to refuse them. The same thing happened with the restraint. It was released because she wouldn't be able to hold a good talk with Shimizu with that on. In the end, Aiko was only wanted to talk as a teacher and a student.
Before long, Shimizu's consciousness begin to return from Aiko's call. He looked at the surrounding with a blank look, and maybe because he understood his situation, Hah, he raised his upper body. He immediately tried to distance himself, but maybe because the damage on the back of his head, he staggered and fell on his butt, then backed away as is. With caution and abjection, he had a mixed expression with irritation excluded, and he looked around.
’’Shimizu-kun, please calm down. There is no one here that will harm you... sensei only want to talk with Shimizu-kun. Just why did you do that... I don't mind if we talk about something else. Will you, let sensei hear Shimizu-kun's feelings?’’
Because Aiko matched her gaze to Shimizu, he stopped looking around. Following that, he averted his eyes and looked down then spoke with voice that couldn't be heard easily... rather he started cursing.
’’Why? You still don't understand that. That's why this guys and that guys are so incompetent. Treating me like an idiot... the hero, that hero is annoying. Even though I could do better if it's me... unnoticed, and treated like a mob character... honestly, there are only idiots... that's why I thought of showing my worth...’’
’’You... know your place! You almost destroy the town!’’
’’That's right! If you are talking about idiot, it is you!’’
’’Think how much you made Ai-chan-sensei worried!’’
Far from reflecting, Shimizu was cursing out his dissatisfaction to the surrounding, so Tamai, Sonobe, and the other students were angry and said their objection one after another. Maybe because he was pressured by their momentum, Shimizu looked more and more down and assumed silence.
Because Aiko couldn't stand Shimizu looked like that, she tried to held down the further heating up students, and questioned Shimizu with a voice which carried as much warm as possible.
’’I see, you have a lot of dissatisfaction... however, Shimizu-kun. If it's about triumphing over everyone, that made sensei don't understand it even more. Why, did you tried to attack the town? If you attacked the town as is... a lot of people will be dead... aside on how you subdued a lot of demonic beasts, that cannot show your ’’worth.’’’’
Aiko's justifiable question made Shimizu slightly looked up and his dreary, dark eyes turned towards Aiko from the gaps of his dirtied forelock which hanged down, then he floated a faint smile.
’’... I can show it... if it's to the Demon race.’’
Those unexpected words which came out from Shimizu's mouth made not only Aiko, excluding Hajime and his party, everyone in that place were shocked. Shimizu raised a satisfied expression when he saw their appearances, and though it was the same as before, he began to talk with a voice that stronger than the previous pressure which made him shut up.
’’To capture the demonic beast, I went to the mountain range area in the north alone. At that time, I met a person from demon race. At the beginning, of course I was cautious... but that Demon race wanted to talk to me. Then, we came to an understanding. That guy know my true worth. That's why I came to that guy... demon race's side and made a contract.’’
’’A contract... you say? What do you mean?’’
Aiko was shaken by the fact he was connected to the Demon race, their enemy in war, but she was sure that the Demon race must have coaxed her student and she asked that while restraining her anger.
Looking at Aiko, Shimizu was grinning as if he saw something amusing, then he said the impactful words.
’’... Hatanaka-sensei... it is to kill you.’’
For a moment, Aiko didn't understand what he had said as she spontaneously let out that silly voice. The same thing happened to everyone there, they became stupefied for a moment, they understood the meaning earlier than Aiko, and stared at Shimizu with fury in their eyes.
Shimizu ducked for a moment from the piercing glares which filled with strong anger from the students and the guard Knights, but he stopped mid-way and continued his words as if to shake off their glares.
’’What's with that expression. Did you think I was used by the demon race? In certain ways, you're a more troublesome existence than the hero... ’’Goddess of Good Harvest’’... if I make it looked like you killed the townspeople, I will be welcomed to demon race's side as a ’’hero.’’ It's that kind of contract. My ability is amazing after all. They said it'd be too wasteful for me to be under that hero. As expected, the one who understands it will understand. Actually, they also lent me strong demonic beasts, and I was able to create an army that exceeded my imagination... that's why, that's why I thought can absolutely kill you! What's with that! What the heck was that! Why an army of 60,000 was defeated! Why those weapons existed in this different world! You, just what on earth are you!’’
Because of the ridicule at the beginning, Aiko could only stare blankly at Shimizu, her student when he said the word ’’kill,’’ and maybe because he was agitated as he spoke, he began to shout when he looked at Hajime. Inside his eyes were something more than melancholy and abjection, the irritation because nothing went according to his desire, the hatred towards Hajime who obstructed him, following that, the envy towards that power were mixed, mixed and created his madness.
Apparently, Shimizu didn't notice the gray-haired, eye-patched boy before him was Nagumo Hajime, his classmate. To begin with, it could be said it couldn't be helped because he never talk to him...
Shimizu kept glaring and cursing at Hajime as if he would attack him at any moment, and Hajime who suddenly became the target could hear Shimizu cursing as ’’Even though you're just a chuuni character,’’ and actually he got a considerably deep damage as he looked at the distance to escape the reality. His attitude could be seen as, ’’I don't think anything of you,’’ so it caused Shimizu to agitated further.
Having guessed Hajime's feeling, his back was patted by Yue and her kindness made him want to cry again.
Maybe thanks to Hajime ignoring the serious mood and entering his own world(?), Aiko was given the time to regain her sense from the impact, she took one deep breath and even without any courage to confront his rage, she didn't move from her spot then grasped Shimizu's hand, and talked quietly.
’’Shimizu-kun. Please calm down.’’
’’Wh-What's with you! Let go!’’
He was surprised by the sudden touch and Shimizu immediately tried to shake her off, but Aiko said she wouldn't let go and further increased the power of her grip. Maybe because Shimizu couldn't look back at Aiko's serious gaze, he gradually calmed down as he looked down again, and his expression was hidden by his forelock.
’’Shimizu-kun... I have understood your feelings. You want to be ’’special.’’ Your feelings aren't mistaken. It was a natural wish for a human. Following that, you surely can become ’’special.’’ After all, although your method was mistaken, it is the truth that you can do that much... however, don't go to the demon race's side. Having heard your story, that demon race was just trying to use your desire. Sensei, can't entrust her important student to that kind of person at all... Shimizu-kun. Let's do it over, okay? I don't want anyone to fight, but if Shimizu-kun wish for it, sensei will support you. If it is you, you definitely can fight as equal with Amanogawa-kun and the others. Then, some day, let's return together when we found the method to return to Japan, okay?’’
Shimizu heard Aiko speaking in silence, and before one knew it his shoulders trembled. Even the students and the guard Knights thought Shimizu was shaken by Aiko's words and began to cry. Actually, Sonobe Yuka, who famous to be easily moved to tears in the class, was already crying when she saw Aiko and Shimizu.
However, it wasn't something sweet as it wouldn't simply went her way. Aiko patted the trembling Shimizu's head with gentle expression, but Shimizu suddenly gripped the outstretched hand in return and pulled her, then he turned her over and coiled his arm around Aiko's neck. Aiko unintentionally groaned because her arm was bound behind her and he took out a 10 cm long needle from god-knows where, then he pointed it at back of her neck.
’’Don't move! Or I will pierce it!’’
Shimizu shouted hysterically. His expression was twitching in convulsion, in his eyes had the same madness when he was cursing Hajime. His previously trembling shoulders was apparently from laughter.
Aiko looked in pain because she was unable pull apart Shimizu's arm which coiled on her throat. The surrounding people desperately stopped their movement after they received Shimizu's warning. From Shimizu's appearance, they understood he would seriously do that for real. Everyone worriedly called Aiko's name with regretting tone, and Shimizu continued to ridicule them.
Incidentally, Hajime finally returned to reality at this time. Because he was on the trip to escape the reality up until now, his face said, ’’Oya? Since when...,’’ because of the sudden development.
’’Listen, this is a poisonous needle I got from a demonic beast in the northern mountain range! She'll only suffer for a few minute before she die if I pierce it! If you understand, then everyone must throw away their weapons and raise your hands!’’
With the words from the maddened Shimizu, the surrounding people turned pale. Shimizu was grinning at the students and guard Knights who completely couldn't move, and he turned his glance towards Hajime.
’’Oi, you, chuuni bastard, you! Not on your back! I am talking about you! Don't take me for a fool, you bastard! If you keep joking around, I'll really kill her! If you understand, give me your gun! The other arms too!’’
Because the way Shimizu called him was too cruel, he inadvertently looked back appealing, ’’It's not me,’’ which ended as futile, and Hajime face looked so unpleased. In spite of the tense situation, his attitude didn't change as he was calm, and Shimizu lost his temper because he thought he was taken for a fool again. Thus hysterically, he demanded Hajime to hand over his firearms.
Hajime returned to look at Shimizu with extremely cold eyes when he heard that.
’’Well, you, to say you won't kill her... to begin with, you can't go to the demon race's side if you don't kill sensei, so you're going to kill her anyway, right? That's why I won't hand them over.’’
’’Shut up, shut up, shut up! Just be quiet and hand them over! An idiot like you should just do what I said! Th-That's right, hehe, oi, give me your slave too. Let her carry the firearms!’’
With his calm returning, Shimizu shouted some more. Because he was too cornered, he couldn't do a normal judgement anymore. Shia, who marked down by Shimizu, was trembling and her expression displayed her disgust.
’’Even if I fired three times in succession to shut you up, you'll only become more creepy... rather, Shia, even if you're disgusted don't hide behind me. He isn't that dreadful.’’
’’But, he is really disgusting... it can be said my mind can't accept it... just look, those pimples. It's impossible to not feel disgust.’’
’’Well, though he wish to be a hero, his lines were the same as the thief that was killed easily by the protagonist in the very beginning after all.’’
Though the person in question couldn't hear because they lowered their volumes, everyone could hear them because as her disgusted eyes and their volumes were becoming louder. Shimizu could only flapped his mouth and his complexion gradually dyed in red, then it changed to blue, and in the end it turned white. It was an example of the change in complexion because of the anger which became too high.
Shimizu began to mutter, ’’I am a hero, I am special, this guys and that guys are just idiots, everything are those guys' fault, there's no problem, everything will go as I wished, I am a hero after all, I am special,’’ with hollow eyes, following that, he suddenly let out a high-pitched laugh as if he was shaken free of something.
’’... Shi-Shimizu-kun... let us talk... after all... everything is okay...’’
Even though Aiko was in pain as she was exposed to Shimizu's crazed antique, she let out those words, and at the moment he heard that, Shimizu completely stopped his laugh and strangled Aiko further.
’’... How annoying. Stop trying to be a good person, you hypocrite. Just shut up and become a tool for me to escape from here.’’
Shimizu muttered that with a dark tone and he looked at Hajime again. Without any agitation or other expressions, he looked at Hajime with eyes filled with negative feelings, next he saw the gun in the holster on his thigh. What he wanted was transmitted without the need for words. If he falter here, he could just disregard his life and death and, no, his good future would be only a dream if he didn't harm Aiko.
Hajime leaked a sigh, he thought to fire the wire when he passed the gun and used ’’Lightning-clad’’ even if Aiko got involved, but he slowly reached Donner-Schlag so as to not stimulated Shimizu. Because Aiko body was small, she couldn't become a shield, and it was possible for Hajime to hit Shimizu before he realize with his drawing speed, he thought it'd be okay to be looked by Aiko with slightly hurt eyes.
But, at the moment Hajime started to drop his hand, the situation suddenly changed.
’’Kh!? Don't! Avoid it!’’
As she shouted that, Shia strengthened her body to the best of her ability and momentarily achieved a high-speed movement on Ground Shrinker level, and she jumped towards Aiko.
Because of the abruptness, Shimizu immediately tried to pierce the needle into Aiko. Shia was doing the impossible by pulling Aiko and twisted her body to protect her from something, then a blue colored water current penetrated through Shimizu's chest and that laser-like thing passed over the place in which Aiko's head where a while ago almost simultaneously.
Hajime, who was inside the trajectory, used Donner to defend against the laser of water that probably the offensive magic called ’’Break’’ from water system. Then about Shia, she vigorously charged as she embraced Aiko closely, as is, she slipped and dived into the ground with her shoulder. She raised a dust storm, and Shia who finally stopped, ’’Uguh,’’ raised a pained groan and remained lying.
Among everyone who was stiffened by the sudden development, Yue ran with all of her might as she called Shia's name. Following that, she took a position to protect Shia and the woman she embraced, Aiko from another attack.
Hajime didn't say anything and only thanked and praised Yue in his mind because she moved just as he hoped for, then he held Donner with both hand while he used ’’Farsight’’ to trace the trajectory of that ’’Break.’’ Immediately, he saw a black clothed man with pointed ears and swept-back hair who rode on a huge bird-like demonic beast in the distance.
DOPANh! DOPANh! DOPANh! DOPANh! DOPANh! DOPANh!
In a flash, Hajime successively fired the railgun towards the flying demonic beast and the silhouette. The man with swept-back hair, as if he had anticipated the attack, made the bird-like demonic beast desperately evade by doing barrel roll as he confirmed Hajime's location. It was quite an agile demonic beasts, but it couldn't evaded everything and one of the bird-like demonic beast's leg was blown off, the swept-back man's shoulder was also blown off. Even so, rather than falling, its speed didn't slowed and it aimed to escape at full speed. It could only said the way it escape from the series of attacks as nothing but splendid.
Hajime guessed that the man probably the person from Demon race from Shimizu's talk. The man already detoured to the town in low altitude as if he was making the town as a shield, then vanished. From the method he used to escape from Hajime's bullets, it seemed the information about Hajime and his party were already known by the Demon race which made Hajime raised a bitter expression. Because he escaped towards Uldeia lake, it'd be too difficult to pursuit him using unmanned reconnaissance plane if he escaped through the forest. Above all, that's not his current priority.
Maybe because Yue had also guessed the enemy escaped, she called Hajime with a voice which contained impatience unlike the usual.
Hajime put Donner back into the holster, and ran up to Shia without even looking at the collapsed Shimizu. Shia was faced-up as she was rested on Yue's laps and her expression warped in pain. Aiko beside her also showed similar expression as she was embraced by Yue.
’’Ha-Hajime-san... ukh... I... am... okay... p-please, sensei-san was... grazed by the poisonous needle...’’
There was a hole with three centimeters in diameter in Shia's flank. Even though the bleeding was suppressed by body strengthening, it could be understood that she was in considerable pain from the amount of sweat flowed in her face. However, she floated a forced smile and told to give priority to Aiko with a shaking voice.
When he saw Aiko, her complexion was completely paled, and her limbs began to convulse. Maybe because she heard Shia and Hajime's conversation, Aiko desperately shook her neck, appealing to let Shia treated first. She couldn't let out any word because the poison had already spreaded. If Shimizu's words were correct, she only had several minutes, no, it'd be less than a minute looking from Aiko's appearance. She didn't want to make more trouble as it was already too late.
Hajime averted his gaze away from Aiko and unhesitatingly nodded at Shia, then he let out a vial from ’’Treasure Box.’’ At that time, the surrounding people finally ran up towards Hajime and the others with uneasy expressions as they let out cries from their mouths. The students, David, and the Knights were particularly shaken, they were half in panic. They were asking Hajime about her safety, stepped back when they saw her appearance, and tried to cast recovery magic which was ineffective... towards such people, Hajime's one word, ’’Silence,’’ with killing pressure made them stepped back and keep silent.
Even Hajime was slightly surprised by what he had said. His anger because Shia's injury was more than he expected. Apparently, without him noticing it, he had recognized her as an important companion deep in his heart. Therefore, he was unbearably angry towards the Demon race that came in contact with Shimizu and himself who had forgotten the possibility of him still nearby.
If he do something to Aiko and the others when Hajime's party went to the frontline, the possibility it become a chaos was high. However, because he actually didn't do anything, he was convinced that he didn't want to do it directly, without any basis to it.
As a matter of fact, that demon race person have thought to assassinate Aiko when Shimizu was on rampage, but he lost the chance because he was stupefied by Hajime's party which was out of the normal. Afterwards, as he was looking for a chance, the talk between Shimizu and Aiko started. Thus he thought to leave killing Aiko to Shimizu as he looked from the distance, but he guessed that Aiko would be recaptured in the last moment by the unstandard Hajime, so he cast a magic which specialized in penetration to pierce Shimizu and Aiko.
However, even though the Demon race was quick to see that opportunity, there was one miscalculation. That was, if thing went well the trajectory would make it hit Hajime and the others, erasing those risk factors at the same time, but Shia's peculiar magic was activated. That was ’’Foresight.’’ Shia who was behind Hajime naturally would be hit by the trajectory along with Shimizu, Aiko, and Hajime, so she dashed out to ’’break’’ the future she saw.
Thanks to that, the future where the attack went through Aiko's head and she immediately died was avoided. Shia had put her body in the line to change that future. Even though he was doubtful on why she put her life for Aiko who wasn't not intimate with her, Hajime would not treat an important companion who had worked her best coldly. Therefore, he unhesitatingly used the scarce ’’Holy Water’’ for Aiko. Because there was no time, it was the most certain thing to use.
Hajime held Aiko who was supported by Yue, put the vial in her mouth and poured the holy water little by little. Aiko looked at Hajime who didn't take Shia as the top priority with criticizing glare, but ignored by Hajime. Currently, he prioritized Shia's will than Aiko's or his own intention. That's why he just poured the holy water as discussion wasn't necessary. However, Aikos' whole body began to convulse and couldn't be moved as she desired, so she couldn't swallow the water. Rather, it was possible to enter the lungs and made her vomit.
Hajime judged it was impossible for Aiko to swallow the holy water by herself, he put the remaining holy water inside his mouth, and he unhesitatingly poured it directly into Aiko's mouth.
Aiko opened her eyes wide. Next, screams and angry voices raised by everyone in Hajime's surrounding. However, Hajime ignored all of those and he twined his tongue that invaded Aiko's mouth, then he forcefully poured the holy water. Hajime's expression didn't contain any shame or guilt, there was only seriousness about doing what had to be done.
Before long, Aiko's throat moved as to swallow and the holy water flowed inside her body. Following that, the pain which attacking her body and the cold feeling as her life was going to be washed away were blown away as if a fire was lighted in her core and started to spread around. Aiko remembered the feeling of being soaked inside the hot spring in the cold winter, and her body shook. It was just as expected of the holy water. It was a miraculous water that prevent his body broken from eating the flesh and blood of demonic beasts. The effect was preeminent.
Not long after, the mouth to mouth ended just in the blink of time, and Hajime separated his mouth from Aiko's. Silver colored string appeared between the two. Hajime observed Aiko. His purpose was to ascertain that she had escaped from the crisis. On the other side, Aiko was still looking at Hajime blankly as her eyes were unfocused.
Hajime called Aiko to ask her condition, but Aiko keep blankly looked at him and unmoving. Hajime was irritated, so he lightly slapped her cheek and raised his volume, then she raised an indescribably lovely voice and regained her senses.
’’How's your body? Are there any sense of incompatibility?’’
’’Heh? A, um, that's, I am o-o-o-okay. There is no abnormality, rather I feel good... wait, th-that's wrong! By no mean that, th-that thing feel good, what I mean was the medicine's effect-’’
’’I see. Then, that's good.’’
Hajime looked as if he'd lose his temper, and answered simply towards Aiko who said there was no abnormality in her physical condition, then he simply removed the hand which supported Aiko and moved towards Shia.
Although she was stupefied by Hajime's attitude, Aiko didn't stay in that spot and she had run towards Shia before she aware of it.
Hajime took out another holy water and poured half of it directly into Shia's wound, and the other half was brought close to Shia's mouth to let her drink it. The injured parts make a small shuu- sound and recovered rapidly, but somehow Shia didn't want to drink the holy water and shook her head.
’’Me too... it'll be better... guh... to do it mouth to mouth...’’
’’Y-you are always like this...’’
As she was drenched in sweat because of the pain, Shia leaked out her desire. Even if I am rolled around, I won't get up until you do that!, she said those kind of demand, and even Hajime was amazed by this. As expected, there's no need to purposely do mouth to mouth because it was unnecessary, so he ignored the silent complaint from Yue who was nice to Shia recently and thrust the vial into Shia's mouth.
’’Muguh!? ... gulp gulp... puhah... Uu~, Hajime-san is unfair... I am jealous of sensei-san...’’
’’Fue!? Sh-Shia-san, you're wrong! That's a lifesaving action! It is different from what Shia-san want! I am a teacher after all!’’
She received sulky gaze and words from Shia and scolding from Yue to read the mood, but Aiko whose face redden purposely made excuses, and Hajime could only let out, ’’Haa~’’, a profound sigh which contained both relief and amazement.
Following that, the outfielders who had guessed thing had settled began to make noise again because, everyone probably recalled the pitiful existence which had been forgotten. It was particularly important for Aiko. So Aiko probably didn't forget him and just didn't understand what had happened all of a sudden.
Hajime called out to a guard Knight who was nearest to Shimizu.
’’... You, is Shimizu still alive?’’
With those words, everyone went ’’Ah,’’ with expressions as if they just remembered about him and they looked at the collapsed Shimizu. Only Aiko displayed a perplexed look and said, ’’Eh? Eh?,’’ as she looked around, she might've recalled the situation when Shia snatched her. With mixed complexion, she panicky run towards Shimizu.
’’Shimizu-kun! Aa, this is... so cruel.’’
In Shimizu's chest was a hole similar to Shia's. The bleeding was intense, and there was a big pool of blood... he probably only had a few minutes left.
’’I-I don't want to die... h-help... if it's like this... no... I can't believe it...’’
Shimizu spoke to Aiko who held his hand by his side, it was just monologue of words which couldn't be understood in a muttering whisper. Aiko looked at the surrounding for help, but all of them averted their eyes. It was already hopeless. Moreover, the expressions of not wanting to help vividly appeared on them.
Aiko clinged to the last straw as she looked back and shouted to the Hajime who was there.
’’Nagumo-kun! That medicine from before! If it is now-! Please!’’
Hajime had expected Aiko's words and muttered, ’’It really came to this...,’’ along with a sigh, then he moved towards Aiko and Shimizu. Following that, he questioned Aiko even though he know what the answer would be.
’’Do you want to help him, sensei? He was going to kill you, you know? I think it had crossed the limit no matter how much a ’’teacher’’ you are.’’
He was someone who tried to kill her, but she protected him just because he was her student, just how many people could became a ’’teacher’’ like her in such desperation. She might already be at an abnormal level for a ’’teacher.’’ Aiko accurately read the meaning behind his question, her eyes shaken for a moment, then she answered in a firm expression.
’’Certainly, it might be as you had said. No, it is surely as you had said. However, I just want to be that (...) kind of teacher. I will be the students' ally no matter what happen, I have vowed to become that kind of teacher. Therefore, Nagumo-kun-...’’
Hajime became ill-humored as he scratched his head because the answer just as he expected, and he sighed in reluctance because that's just how Aiko-sensei was. Following that, he looked at the sky as he thought of something for a while, he took one deep breath and went towards Shimizu's side with a resolute expression.
’’Shimizu. Can you hear me? I have something that can save you.’’
’’However, there's something I want to ask first.’’
Hearing the words he could be saved, Shimizu responded by stopping his mutters and his wandering eyes were staring at Hajime. In a beat, Hajime asked a simple question.
’’... Are you... an enemy?’’
Shimizu immediately shook his head without any hesitation. Following that, he floated a smile of abjection and began to plead for his life.
’’I-I am not your enemy... I-I won't do... anything... I will do whatever you want... so help me, I-I'll even give you an army... and even... brainwash the women... I-I swear... I swear to be loyal... I'll do anything... so help me...’’
With those words, Hajime became expressionless. Following that, he could be seen looking into Shimizu's eyes quietly as if trying to confirm his real intention. Shimizu who thought he was seeing the depth of his heart immediately looked away. However, Hajime was able to confirm it. There's darkness and impurity more than before inside Shimizu's eyes. They were saturated by hatred, anger, envy, desire, and other negative feelings, they were just like the deep sea where the light did not reach.
Hajime was convinced. Aiko's words didn't even reach Shimizu's mind. Therefore Shimizu would surely become their enemy. He had determined that. For a moment, his gaze matched Aiko's. Aiko was also looking at Hajime and their gaze met. Following that, Aiko was immediately able to guess what Hajime was going to do. Her expression changed and she jumped out to stop Hajime.
However, Hajime was much faster.
The sound where a breath was taken away. It wasn't known who let that out. One in the head and one in the heart. The bullets which accurately shot made Shimizu's body jumped for a moment, and they awarded him with death.
Inside the lingering gunshot, no one let out a word, and they could only watch Hajime silently looking at the corpse with a gun in one hand that raised white smoke, in blank surprise. Silence ruled their vicinity, within those who could not move, a mutter was leaked.
It was Aiko. In a blank surprise, she watched the remains of Shimizu who had began his travel to the death, and she raised that question. Hajime looked away from Shimizu and he looked at Aiko. At the same time, Aiko matched Hajime's gaze again. Inside her eyes, anger, sadness, distrust and others feelings were raised and disappeared, then they raised and disappeared once again.
’’He is an enemy after all.’’
Hajime's answer towards Aiko's question was truly simple.
’’That! Shimizu-kun is-...’’
’’Reforming? Sorry to burst your bubble, I am not so good natured to believe that, above all my eyes aren't clouded at all.’’
When he asked the last question, Shimizu's eyes was telling him that he had ’’fall.’’ Before death, his mind still moved towards killing Aiko, Hajime thought Shimizu could slightly change his way of life because just like the time when Hajime almost fell, there's Yue's existence that was capable of holding and retaining him, so... he questioned Shimizu with that thought in mind. If that was so, he had consider to give Shimizu a chance by putting into him a collar and letting Aiko take custody of him. However, even before death, Shimizu's eyes didn't even show such sign.
Aiko should also feel that. However, Aiko was the ’’teacher,’’ by no means could she abandon him. She just couldn't do that.
’’Therefore, rather than killing him-! If he is kept inside the royal palace, and returned together with us to Japan, possibly... there's the possibility-!’’
’’... Even if I tried to give you a reason, I know sensei won't agree to it at all. I have killed sensei's important student. It's okay for sensei to decide whatever you want to do about me.’’
’’... Such a thing is-’’
’’'A lonely way of life.' I've thought of various things because of sensei's words. However, in this world where a person's life is cruelly light, I thought of not showing any mercy towards my enemy... and I won't change that. I don't think I want to change that. I have no time for that.’’
’’I'll do the same thing from now on. At the times I think it is necessary... I'll pull the trigger no matter how many times it'll be. If you thought I was mistaken... sensei only has to do what you want... however, I want you to remember one thing. Even if it's sensei or the other classmates... I'll pull the trigger if you become my enemy...’’
Aiko looked down as she bit her lip. It was no one but Aiko who said, ’’Having heard my talk, I won't refute whatever your decision is.’’ No more word coming out. Hajime looked at such Aiko and he turned his feet because the things needed to be done here had finished. Yue and Shia quietly nestled close to him. Accompanied with Pressure, Hajime looked at Will, Aiko, and the other's appearances, and because there's also the matter of post treatment, they silently followed Hajime in painful reluctance.
The town leaders and Knights' had a purpose to detain Hajime and his artifacts, but because of the overflowing ’’Pressure’’ and remembering the previous monster-like fight, they withdrew their hands and swords.
’’Nagumo-kun!... Sensei is... sensei is...’’
Even if her words weren't continued, he called out Hajime's name because of her pride as a ’’teacher.’’ Hajime stopped for a while and spoke to Aiko over his shoulder.
’’... Sensei's ideal is already a fantasy. However, we are glad that sensei remains as our teacher even if the world had changed... if possible, please don't give up.’’
Following that, this time he didn't stop and came off from the surrounding circle, he took out magic-driven four-wheeler and escaped from there when everyone had boarded it.
Afterwards, what remained was the clamor from the town that was joyed for their survival and the the indescribably subtle mood.