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Gin no Juujika to Draculea - Volume 4 - Chapter 2


Published at 1st of February 2016 09:15:33 PM
Chapter 2

Chapter 2 - Witch's Mansion



In the darkness, only a pale hand could be seen vaguely.

Beside the street light, a dark figure was clad in a black cape.

Engulfed in the shadows, even the figure's outline was difficult to discern.

Only the pale and delicate hand, extending out from the cape, was visible under the dim lighting, as though showing off its dazzling existence amidst the darkness.

The slender fingers were holding a small jar.


"Ah, I've obtained something interesting."


The quiet whispers echoed in the darkness.

A woman's voice. It sounded bewitching yet chilling to the bone.

Were it whispered by the listener's ear, surely one would break out in goosebumps with terror traveling throughout the body.

"Perhaps, this thing could be used to confirm if the plan would succeed or not. However, it seems a bit early for the main event to start immediately."

Her voice sounded slightly lost.

After a moment of silence, a person's presence appeared.

Turning around the corner was a high school student on her way home.

Dressed in her school uniform, the girl was walking with her head bowed.

Seeing her appearance, the figure in the dark smiled, her red lips forming the shape of a crescent.

"An excellent opportunity."

Who just arrived did not matter at all.

She simply wanted to take the opportunity to test things out.

This was neither fate nor preordained inevitability.

Simply because this girl happened to pass by.

The girl did not notice the threat hiding by the street light and was about to walk past there.

The girl's slender arm was grabbed by a pale hand.

"...?"

As a hint of wariness flashed across the girl's eyes, she looked in the figure's direction.

...Only to see a open jar presented before her eyes.

No liquid was being poured out. Instead, a red gas entered her nostrils.

"...!?"

The hand under the cape held onto the girl without letting go, ignoring her incessant coughing.

A moment later, a white mist-like gas was exhaled from the girl's mouth.

The gas expanded in the darkness and gradually gained self-awareness.

Then it took on a distinct and humanoid outline, down to the very details.

"Very well."

Having confirmed the effects, the dark figure left the girl.

Then melding into the darkness, she vanished without trace.

Left behind alone, the girl covered her mouth as she checked out her surroundings.

Perhaps due to inhaling the gas, her consciousness was a little hazy.

Although she was unable to figure out what had happened, in the end, she still continued on her way home.

Random passersby showed a surprised gaze upon seeing the girl.

A bizarre scene.

Like a mirror image, a figure was walking in the opposite direction away from the girl's back.

Clothing, hairstyle, physique—Everything was identical.

Regarding this clone that had departed behind her...

The girl was completely unaware.

 

On Saturday afternoon, Hisui arrived at Kirika's home as agreed.

Fortunately, he did not get lost and arrived on time.

A western mansion that stood out even in this high-class residential neighborhood—On first impressions, it was already obvious that it was Kirika's home.

A vast and majestic western style garden was fully visible even from outside.

With some nervousness, Hisui adjusted his loosened casual tie and pressed the intercom next to the gate.

The inhabitant had apparently been waiting for a long time—


"The door will be opened immediately."


Kirika answered then directed Hisui through the garden to a spacious entryway.

Everything was fine up until this point.

But when Kirika opened the door to welcome him, clear displeasure appeared on her face instantly.

"...Welcome."

"Thank you for your hospitality."

"Yes, we're here to enjoy your hospitality!"

Rushella smiled while speaking from beside Hisui.

Even worse, she had her arm entwined around Hisui's.

Although fearful of getting lost could be considered a reason, recently, whenever they went out, Rushella always insisted in walking arm in arm.

"Umm... Senpai..."

"...Never mind. This sort of development could be described as inevitable. It's my fault for not specifying clearly beforehand. I should have expected that you could not possibly leave her alone at home unattended on a holiday. It is my oversight. However... Why are the rest of you here!?"

Next to Rushella... were Mei and Eruru as well.

"Oh dear~ Senpai, stealing a march isn't a very nice thing to do, is it? Even I've never invited Hi-kun to my home, are you getting ahead of yourself?"

Dressed in a low-cut autumn camisole, Mei was smiling seductively.

Similarly dressed in decisive attire, Kirika was wearing a high-class blouse and miniskirt.

"...Oh well, I should have expected you to arrive uninvited as well. But Kariya-san, I never would have thought that even you would come..."

Kirika glared resentfully, but Eruru was unfazed by her gaze.

"I simply wish to know the results of the analysis. Well, if Hisui-san were coming alone, I had no intention of visiting originally, after all, I have no wish of being glared at by you like this... But since Rushella followed along, in order to prevent her from causing trouble, I should be present to supervise her. Rather, I am here in consideration for you, right?"

"Indeed, since those two are here, it is better that you came too. Anyway, that's enough for now, hurry and come inside."

"Okay... Ah, I've brought a little something."

Saying that, Hisui handed over the tea and western confectionery he had brought.

Kirika accepted them expressionlessly and had the maid beside her lead Hisui's group into the house.

"Hmm, this house is so spacious... I want to live in a place like this! Rather, I'm supposed to live here! This kind of house is more fitting for me!"

"A vampire living in this kind of house would attract too much attention. By the way, I never knew what a spoiled rich girl you are. Upon comparison, my gifts seem a bit too cheap. Is Senpai angry because of that?"

"Clearly not."

"Obviously not."

Two of the culprits incurring Kirika's displeasure—Mei and Eruru—refuted Hisui's speculation simultaneously.

"Really... Yesterday when I sent the text message to confirm the time and place, she used a whole ton of emoticons in her reply and looked quite happy."



"I would expect that."

"Poor child."

"What exactly do you two know...?"

Hisui remained uneasy. The group went through the house and arrived in a garden.

"Wow..."

Although Hisui had no artistic sense for flowers, the countless blooming flowers, centered around roses, still caused him to gasp in amazement.

Using the traits of different flowers in a perfect combination, this space produced a sense of harmony.

Compared to an ordinary reception hall, this place was undoubtedly more suited for entertaining guests.

Beneath the warm sunlight, the weather was currently perfect for an outdoor chat.

Passing through a small path that was filled with floral fragrance, they reached a set of white tables and chairs.

A lady seated in a wheelchair was already waiting for them. Noticing the arriving group, she smiled warmly.

"Welcome, welcome. Come, please have a seat here."

Hence, Hisui's group took their seats.

The first moment he laid eyes on the woman, Hisui understood that she must be Kirika's grandmother.

Just as Kirika mentioned, she was a true native of England. Friendly and gentle, she shared a certain resemblance with Kirika. In her youth, she must have had no lack of romantic pursuers.

Despite her advanced age, she was the kind of elder whose outstanding poise and presence was something that probably everyone aspired to achieve when they reached old age.

Since she was Kirika's teacher, naturally, she must also be a "witch." Nevertheless, her predominantly white attire and shawl gave off an impression quite removed from that identity. Knitting while sitting by a warm hearth and telling stories of her youth to grandchildren would probably match her current look better.

"Umm, a pleasure to meet you. My name is Kujou Hisui. Your granddaughter has helped me so much all this time..."

"Hello, you are too kind. Nice to meet you too, my name is Welfica. You are Miraluka's... Son? Putting it that way might sound a bit strange. Perhaps it might be more fitting if I call you her younger brother... Would it not?"

"You knew... her...?"

Hisui stared in surprise at the elderly lady before him.

Hearing the unexpected name, Rushella's face turned grim.

Even that "Pure of the Pure" vampire last time had not seen Miraluka in person before.

In the end, Miraluka only existed in Hisui's memories alone.

A sanctuary where none may trespass, a set of memories that none may share.

Nevertheless, today they finally met a human who knew her.

"You are... When did you meet her...?"

"A very long time ago... Back then, I was about your age. I only saw her once. Speaking of which, it's unexpectedly ironic that she would pass away earlier than a human like me."

Welfica reminisced.

For this elder who had experienced all manners of the world's harsh realities and separations brought about by death, her encounter with Miraluka the 'True Ancestor' was still a special memory.

"Is the tea ready?"

While Hisui was still immersed in his memories, Kirika returned with a tray of tea ware.

"Oh... Thanks."

"Please have some tea first. There is no need to rush the conversation."

Like the times in the club classroom, Kirika set out the tea ware and started a small-scale tea party.

The tea she brewed was delicious as usual. On the plates were also various exquisite snacks that were meticulously prepared.

"Kirika-chan, your skills are becoming better and better. Is it because you've found someone you like?"

"S-Seriously, please don't talk about that..."

The grandmother's joke caused Kirika to blush.

Despite the flawless image of perfection she presented at school, in front of her grandmother, Kirika was just a girl at the prime of youth.

Seeing the model student showing a new side to her, Hisui could not help but smile while drinking the tea.

Seeing the conversation drifting further and further away, Eruru spoke up to return to the main topic.

"By the way, Welfica-san, did you come to any conclusion regarding the fragments I handed to you earlier? I am certain that you must have heard the entire story from your granddaughter already..."

"Yes... I've seen them already. Both fragments seem to come from finely-crafted coffins. Even back when I was young, that type of top-class craftsmanship would still have been rare. However..."

"However...?"

"Actually, one of the fragments is recent... Even though I say recent, it must have been twenty or thirty years probably. For a vampire's coffin, it is far too new."

"Vampire coffins are usually antiques. That goes all the more for high-ranking vampires. The longer a coffin's age, the more powerful the magical power infused in it and serves to augment the owner's prestige. The coffin that you mentioned as recent, which one is it?"

"Not the one belonging to the 'Pure of the Pure' but the other one. I think... It probably belongs to the little lady here?"

Welfica calmly pointed out the key person.

Judging from the tone of her voice, Kirika probably had not revealed everything to her. Rather, she saw through Rushella's identity on her own.

At this moment, Rushella nodded, currently sitting in the shade that Kirika had prepared for her.

"...Exactly. So, what's similar between that Fergus guy's coffin and mine?"

"Made by the same craftsman... As much as I'd like to gloss over it like that, the fact of the matter is not so simple. These two coffins were created at least a hundred years apart. Probably not by the same person. Or perhaps... They were created in similar locations through similar methods... Or rather..."

"Rather?"

Eruru leaned forward and asked.

She was quite intrigued by this matter.

"Her coffin was based on that 'Pure of the Pure' vampire's... Or least, an imitation created by referencing that type of high-class coffin in order to reproduce the same craftsmanship... That is the impression given."

"What is going on here?"

Hisui muttered, quite interested.

However, at the center of the conversation topic, Rushella remarked with displeasure:

"Why is my coffin an imitation when I'm a 'True Ancestor' myself!? Isn't the order completely wrong? This is very displeasing!"

"'True Ancestor'...? You are...? How is that possible, apart from Miraluka, all of them already..."

Welfica's face was filled with surprise.

Could it be that she, like Hisui, knew a little about the truth of the 'True Ancestors'?

"That person again..."

Hearing Miraluka's name, Rushella complained resentfully with her fist clenched.

Indeed, no matter where, that name always popped up to cause trouble.

"Please calm down. Whether your coffin is new or not, it does not diminish your existence. Besides, it could very well be possible that the coffin was damaged and repaired for some reason. A mere coffin is not going to affect your prestige and position, right?"

Eruru interjected to relieve the tension and avert catastrophe.

Rushella found her explanation reasonable and cooled down her temper.

"Well... That's true too."

"Welfica-san, anything else?"

"Nothing special... Most likely, simply comparing coffins would not yield any further clues. At the very least, her coffin, as a vampire's belonging, it really is in the latest style. However, its creator must also have researched coffins that were passed down since antiquity, distilling their very essence to craft this coffin. I am absolutely certain of that."

"In other words, we need to find a different angle huh. Say, who the heck are you, anyway?"

"No idea..."

Rushella turned her face away and sulked.

Precisely because she did not know, that was why they came here to investigate.

But right now, her origins had become even more mysterious. Even worse, the name of Hisui's parent, whom no one else had met, came up again without warning.

The more Rushella thought about it, the angrier she got. All she could do is wolf down the snacks without saying another word.

Seeing the mood cooling down suddenly, Kirika stood up.

"Oh, Kujou-kun... The light-blocking agent is ready, let me get it for you first in case I forget later."

"Oh thanks..."



"Come with me to get it. Oh, also regarding the sports festival, may I discuss something with you? Last time, you said you were willing to help, is that right?"

"Yeah, that's what I said..."

"The materials are in my room. Let us talk there."

Saying that, Kirika left the table.

Although Hisui was a little perplexed, he felt that refusing would not be right.

After taking a glance at Rushella, in the end, he still stood up and followed Kirika to enter the house.

Rushella was about to get up and call to him but Mei and Eruru stopped her.

"What are you two doing!?"

"Let's just turn a blind eye this once. Once in a while should be fine."

"If you try to follow, you could very well end up suffering a witch's curse. Take this opportunity with Kujou-san not around. Now you can boldly ask all you want—about his family."

Hearing Eruru's advice, Rushella reluctantly sat down in her spot.

The old lady before her continued to smile affectionately.

"May I... ask you? About... Miraluka..."

"I shall tell you everything I know."

Welfica agreed immediately and chuckled amiably.

 

"Please sit anywhere you like."

"Okay..."

Despite answering affirmatively, Hisui was still standing in one spot at a loss.

Kirika had taken him to her bedroom.

Although the furniture was not as luxurious as Rushella's room, the stuff was still quite high-class. Both the room and the bed were quite large.

No, the main point was... This was a girl's room.

Apart from Miraluka and Rushella's room, Hisui had never stepped foot into any other female's room.

Probably due to this new feeling, Hisui could not help but look around.

Completely devoid of casual entertainment like celebrity posters or fashion magazines, the prim and proper room matched Kirika's style perfectly.

Textbooks and reference books were arranged neatly on her desk, the perfect testament to her excellent grades.

Turning his gaze, Hisui found her bed filled with cute, giant plushies. Beside her pillow was a fuzzy teddy bear.

Was that bear a body pillow...? As this thought crossed his mind, her adorability was skyrocketing.

It suited her quite well, how unexpected.

To be honest, Hisui really wanted to swap places with that bear.

"What is the matter, why are you spacing out while standing there?"

"Oh, nothing..."

Trembling, Hisui had no choice but to sit down where he stood.

"Why are you sitting there? True, although the only chair here is the one in front of my desk... Why don't you sit on the bed?"

"...May I?"

"You may."

Hisui cautiously approached the bed side and sat on the edge near the foot of the bed.

His body instantly sank into the mattress. It looked like it must be quite comfortable to sleep on.

"...Hey, what kind of rubbish am I thinking?"

Hisui quietly reprimanded himself and shook his head to dispel indecent thoughts.

Kirika immediately leaned over and sat down beside Hisui.

A fragrance instantly occupied his sense of smell.

"Why are you leaning so close?"

"This is my room. It is my freedom to sit anywhere I want, right?"

"...True."

"Here you go, the light-blocking agent. I made more than usual, so it should be enough for both the sports festival and during practice."

"Oh thanks."

Hisui received from Kirika's hands a sealed, wide-mouthed jar, just large enough to hold on one's palm. Quite sufficient in quantity.

"I don't know why but that girl is so fired up for the relay race... She even talked about going to practice. I guess she likes sports but PE class happens to be the one class that she can only watch. Must be a lot of pent up frustration she's been suppressing inside, right?"

"Your wording is quite lewd. What do you mean by pent up frustration?"

"Oh I don't mean it in that way."

Before he knew it, Kirika's face was up close, right in front of his face.

Very close.

Too close.

"Umm, Senpai... Didn't you say you had something to talk about for the sports festival?"

"Those issues don't matter. Right now, we are not lacking in manpower. If you're needed... I will message you to let you know."

"Then... Why did we come to your room? You could have given me the stuff on your way back..."

"You don't get it?"

Kirika leaned in even closer.

Almost close enough for their lips to touch any second.

A sweet fragrance filled his nostrils at the same time.

Unlike the scent of shampoo, it seemed to be perfume.

Nevertheless, even though it was currently a holiday, using perfume did not seem to be Kirika's style since she adhered rigorously to school rules.

Besides, that was something that was supposed to be used on a date with someone you like, but right now, she's simply inviting me to her home as a guest—There's no reason for her to be using perfume, right?

"U-Ummm..."

Crap.

If this continues, I'm in big trouble.

But... I can't muster any strength.

As Kirika leaned closer, Hisui was pushed down beneath her body and lying face up on the bed.

Due to being pushed down by Rushella and Mei regularly, Hisui realized that his current situation was quite precarious.

Yes, she's serious this time for real.

"S-Senpai...?"

Kirika's soft bosom was pressing against his chest. Although not to the Rushella or Mei's level, hers was quite sufficiently voluptuous already.

Faint glimpses of high-class, light purple lingerie could be seen from her neckline. It suited her quite well.

Her long and slender legs were entangling him.

Next, Kirika released her long and carefully tied hair.

Her wavy and gorgeous hair exuded the scent of shampoo.

But some sort of fragrance, even more concentrated, was filling the room.

Sweet, bewitching—A fragrance that banished one's rationality.

Hisui focused his eyes and found Kirika's expression a little strange.

Her face was bright red from excitement and her gaze was unsteady.

Hisui surmised that he probably looked the same.

How strange, his heart was racing like mad.

His body felt boiling hot and exhausted, probably not simply because Kirika was pressed up close against him.

Furthermore... Blood was currently flowing towards his lower body.

"What is... going on...?"

Hisui turned his head with difficulty and looked around, searching for answers.

He soon found the cause.

In a corner of the room, a scented candle was lit.

Amidst colored glass, the flickering flame exuded a bewitching beauty, full of fantasy.

The fragrance rising from there was filled with a seductive sweetness.

"Senpai, what's with that candle?"

"Grandma... gave that to me. Specially prepared by witches... made from an aphrodisiac indispensable for nights of passion. She said... when the fragrance fills the entire room... it'd help me..."

"H-Hey...! How could your grandmother recklessly give something so outrageous to her granddaughter... Thanks to her, each of us' virginity is in danger here!"

"Grandma said... Back in the day, she relied on this to conquer Grandpa too..."

"Woah, that's some dark history there. Hey Senpai, can you calm down a bit? Let's get up first..."

"You don't like me?"

Kirika asked with worry while her finger traced circles on Hisui's chest.

"No, it's not like I dislike you..."

"You spend all your time with Rushella-san, you are in the same class as Sudou-san, and you are always partnering with Kariya-san... Only me, you leave out?"

"No, it's not like that..."

Crap.

Seriously, crap.

Most importantly, Hisui was feeling his own consciousness getting hazy.

Before he knew it, Kirika had already unbuttoned Hisui's shirt. Her blouse was also open, revealing a light purple bra.

Her other hand was reaching towards Hisui's belt. Her lips were approaching.

The fragrance's effects were causing Hisui to lose strength throughout his body.

Even evading a kiss was beyond him.

 

"So... I'll listen a bit. The story about that Miraluka."

Rushella crossed her arms, scowling as she spoke.

Welfica closed her eyes momentarily then returned her teacup to the tray.

"Please forgive me for answering your query with a question. In actual fact, you need not ask me... Why not ask Hisui-kun directly? Most likely, he would know better than me. After all, compared to me, he spent far more time together with her."

"...No."

Rushella looked displeased. Just as Welfica pointed out, she had plenty of opportunities to ask Hisui about Miraluka.

Although Hisui was always tight-lipped about this matter, had Rushella insisted forcefully, he would probably compromise.

However, for some reason, Rushella did not want to listen to him talk about this subject.

She did not want to hear him talk about other vampires.

"Kujou-san was raised by the vampire Miraluka, hence it is inevitable that his perspective of his benefactor would be biased... In actual fact, he definitely views things with rose-tinted glasses. From a neutral point of view, in search of her true nature as a vampire, we also wish to clear up the matter."

Eruru ignored the conflict in Rushella's heart and supplemented in a calm tone of voice.

Like Rushella, she had plenty of opportunities to ask Hisui about Miraluka. She had not, out of consideration for Hisui's feelings... as well as the reasons she outlined just now.

"A boy raised by a 'True Ancestor'... Indeed, my perspective should be different from yours."

"You must have heard about the earlier commotion caused by the 'Pure of the Pure' vampire on the streets. Although the incident was resolved, it is possible that there still exist more hard-liner vampires who insist on maintaining vampire bloodlines. And the key lies in the 'True Ancestors'—If what you and Kujou-san say is true, then there should not be any 'True Ancestors' existing in this world anymore. What is going on?"

Eruru approached the core of the matter.

Ignoring Rushella who was sitting on the side, head hung in dejection, Eruru leaned forward, eager to seek answers.

"...I don't know either. More accurately, the secret of the 'True Ancestors' is only known to Miraluka herself as well as direct descendants of the bloodline. When I met her in the past, I only heard a few words. It was a very long time ago, as it so happened, I was similar in age as you are now—"

Welfica began to recount tirelessly.

In past days, she must have been as young and beautiful as Kirika. During that time in the springtime of her youth, she encountered a vampire.

"She was truly a beauty, to the point that it makes me reluctant to apply the description 'beautiful' on anyone else. From appearance, she only looked two or three years older than I was back then, yet her words leaked heaviness, profundity and darkness between the lines."

"What did she say to you?"

"It was simply small talk. Nothing beyond the realm of casual conversation. Perhaps to her, the entire world did not matter at all. Lonely... No, solitary would fit her best as a description. Vampires generally have a strong sense of kin and would devote their utmost efforts to strengthen bonds of kinship, but she was the complete opposite. She said she had neither family nor subordinates. Supposedly, she had never given birth to children nor take anyone as her servant."

"In other words, she killed every human she drank blood from?"

Eruru asked sharply.

Although she was compelled to drink blood in order to survive as well, she had no intention of viewing this cursed fate with calm indifference.

"Probably. In actual fact, she did it before my eyes. However, everyone whose blood was sucked was smiling, dying in joy and ecstasy. Considering they were homeless people on death's door, to them perhaps it might have been salvation instead."

"...What a weirdo. If I were her, I wouldn't suck blood from that kind of people. The taste must be absolutely terrible."

Rushella grumbled.

Precisely as a member of the same race, she found it all the more inexplicable.

On the other hand, Eruru frowned in a frightening manner.

"That was probably hypocrisy. Granting euthanasia to the dying, thinking it is fine to kill those who no longer wished to live... Can this constitute justification?"

"Impossible. She understood this clearer than anything. In order to survive, blood must be drunk. And she wanted to live on. Despite losing everything, she had to live on in solitude, living in the world that He saved—That was what she said. To her, perhaps drinking human blood was more like a kind of mental torture."

Welfica sighed in forlorn and sipped some tea. Having traveled far along her journey in life, almost reaching its end, perhaps precisely because of that, she could understand the feelings of a vampire whose life was endless.

"I was young back then, finding adults ugly and hating this world that was rife with war and conflict. So I begged her to drink my blood. I told her that I wished to be eternally beautiful just like her."

"...!"

Eruru stared wide-eyed in shock.

Humans who voluntarily offered their necks to vampires were definitely no small number.

And precisely because such people existed, that was how dhampirs came to be born.

"Please forgive my rudeness but that was truly foolish. To voluntarily give up on being human, that cannot be dismissed as mere youthful impulsiveness, right?"

"...Indeed. In the end, she refused me. She said she would continue to live on without needing anyone. Not too long earlier, the last of her peers had been destroyed. She was the only one remaining from among the ones who drank His blood on that day. In order to preserve His existence forever, she had to live on. Without giving birth to children, without taking in servants, for that would only cause her to become weak... After saying that, she vanished before my eyes. To this day, I am still very grateful to her. Without her rejecting me, I would not have such a cute granddaughter right now, neither would I be able to enjoy tea with you all under the sun."

Welfica smiled affectionately and placed her empty teacup onto the tray.

After a moment's silence, Rushella stood up and urged Eruru and Mei to get going.

"Let's go home. We should call Hisui too."

"This is enough? In the end, we didn't really learn anything about Miraluka? If I were you, in preparation for future strategies, it'd be better to continue digging for more info, right?"

Mei rested her face on one hand while she asked but Rushella did not heed her advice.

"Everything that needs to be asked has already been asked. That Miraluka was always alone. She definitely has no idea of that Fergus guy's movements. Even if she met him, she wouldn't have helped him."

"...Perhaps you are right. I have asked about everything I wanted to find out. But what about you? Why would a solitary 'True Ancestor' save a human boy, adopt him and finally..."

At this point, Eruru paused in her words.

She did not hold any respect for vampires. However, through the fragmentary descriptions of Miraluka's last moments that Hisui had given, Eruru could not help but feel respect.

"...Finally, why did she save Kujou-san and dying herself? Do you not care to know?"

Eruru deliberately used the word "dying."

This was the minimum level of respect she offered to Miraluka.

Rather than directed towards a vampire, it was directed towards Hisui's deceased family, directed towards her as a woman.

"I know without needing to ask. Besides, I've already heard roughly what happened from Hisui. That woman saved him, took him in, raised him... Everything on a whim. That's what Hisui said. Supposedly, that's what Miraluka said herself."

"Then why would she do all that for his sake?"

Welfica asked quietly.

She was the only person present who had met Miraluka once in person and could not help but feel perplexed by the change that had occurred to the one in her memory.

"She gained feelings. That's all there is to it. She fell for an insignificant human. That's all. To think she rambled so many lies, what an inane woman."

Rushella's words were filled with barbs but was not meant as an intentional insult.

Rather, her heart was filled with sadness and empathy.

"Gaining feelings... That wasn't one-sided, right? Hi-kun... Didn't he feel the same?"

Especially sharp regarding matters between genders, Mei spoke up expressionlessly.

Her rival was not Rushella. Miraluka was truly the most formidable enemy—She had already sensed that vaguely before but it turned out that her fears were not unfounded.

"Perhaps. What a useless guy, always thinking of someone dead. What do you call that, lingering feelings, right!?"

Rushella loudly ended the conversation and walked into the house.

Mei and Eruru bowed toward Welfica and followed.

"You're welcome to visit again any time. Although I have no idea how many days I have left, so long as I continue to live, let me help as much as I can."

"Yes, I will visit again."

Rushella smiled and the trio left.

 

"Safe, finally..."

Hisui's virginity crisis was over.

More accurately, the crisis had stopped for now.

The attacking Kirika was currently lying peacefully on Hisui's chest, fallen asleep.

Of course, this was not the aftermath. Kirika had suddenly fainted before she could make contact with Hisui's lips.

The reason was unknown.

Probably because the perfume's effects were too strong... As well as fatigue.

Academics, the student council's activities, Hisui's request, everything combined with her uncompromising personality probably resulted in Kirika's sleep deprivation.

"Really... I'm very sorry."

Hisui took care not to rouse Kirika and quietly escaped. He opened the window for ventilation.

The fresh air rushing into the room finally brought Hisui's body back to normal. The unbearable pain in his lower body finally subsided.

Although he wanted to escape the scene before the sleeping beauty woke up, Hisui felt that he could not leave her disheveled clothing alone.

If he left without doing anything, he would suffer divine retribution.

"...This isn't sexual harassment. Please forgive me."

Muttering to himself in search of excuses, Hisui helped Kirika arrange her mussed hair and gently covered her in a blanket.

Upon further examination, Hisui could not help but admit that she was actually the most feminine out of this bunch of girls.

Her slightly older age probably factored in, Kirika possessed a certain charm that Rushella and Mei lacked.

To be honest, Hisui was that close to crossing the line just now.

"...I guess I'm really wasting a precious opportunity."

Just as Hisui sighed, someone barged into the room without knocking.

"Say, it's about time to go home... Hey, what are you doing!?"

Crashing through the door, Rushella suddenly pointed in his direction.

Mei and Eruru followed behind her.

"Hey hey... Hi-kun... What's going on!? I reluctantly allowed you two to have some alone time in a room, why is your shirt wide open...?"

Mei's eyes burned with hostility... Rather, it was murderous intent.

When her murderous intent reached a maximum, lasers would shoot out of her eyes. This was not a metaphor. Hisui knew.

"Could it be... This was what you intended from the start?"

Kaclick. Eruru's dainty hand was holding a heavy handgun.

Although Hisui was always baffled by where she pulled the gun out every time, he knew quite well the accuracy and power of her gunshots.

"Wait up, calm down, all of you... I-It's not what you think!"

"The two of you alone for roughly half an hour... Well, that's totally enough for one round, right?"

"Why is Uno-senpai asleep on the bed...?"

The three girls approached in a highly intimidating manner.

Probably woken up by the surrounding horrifying atmosphere, Kirika rubbed her eyes and sat up.

"Hmm, what happened...?"

"Oh, what perfect timing for you to wake up! H-Hurry and explain! Tell them this was just a prank you played, Senpai!"

While pleading to the witness, Hisui accidentally stared at Kirika's chest.

Indeed, her chest exactly.

Before putting Plan C into motion, Kirika had unbuttoned her blouse to reveal the light purple bra, which was a daring choice of color for her.

If only that was all.

However, even though that was not totally fine, it was not like Hisui had not seen bras many times already.

But because the bra was pushed slightly out of position when she sat up, it could no longer cover her breasts properly and almost revealed them completely.

Feeling Hisui's gaze, Kirika also looked down at her chest.

Fortunately, the most critical spots were not exposed, but certain light pink and circular outlines were already on the verge of entering into view.

Tottering on the thin line between exposure and non-exposure, the view was even more provocative.

Without exception, any male would focus his gaze in this kind of situation, desperately trying to catch a glimpse of what lay beneath.

Yes, Hisui was staring intently.

Then their gazes met.

Kirika's face turned increasingly red.

Next, the female trio behind Hisui also went red for a different reason.

With a witch in front and monsters behind, Hisui was caught in the middle. Confronted with the sight of Kirika's chest that he could not tear his eyes off from, Hisui offered his honest opinion in a hollow voice.


"Beautiful breasts, perfectly sized."


Those became his last words.

"Kyaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!!"

Kirika screamed shrilly.

Tearfully, she burrowed beneath her blanket while another scream sounded from beside her.

"No, wait! This is a misunderstanding..."

"You're noisy, so shut up!"

"Hi-kun... Would you mind dying once?"

"You need to be shot between the legs."

Several minutes later, Rushella and the girls started on their way home.

Kirika remained shut in her room, so Welfica had to see their guests off in her granddaughter's place.

"...He's still young. Why not show him some mercy this once?"

The old lady advised affectionately. On the other hand, Rushella and the girls bowed and bid their farewells expressionlessly.

Four visitors had arrived but only three took their leave.

In Rushella's hands were the remains of a completely pummeled youth... Rather, it was a body resembling a certain someone, being dragged gruffly behind her. Who could it be? No passerby could tell.


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