Chapter 5: The affair between him and the man eater and the bullied child – the demon sword
That thing was awakening slowly………..no, it didn’t awaken. Because that thing always maintained its consciousness.
However, it emerged intensely now.
It only had one purpose—-
There would be prey no matter how many.
Yet it understood that killing casually was a no.
Therefore, it had to choose.
It had to choose its prey.
But, there wasn’t a standard for it to choose.
If had to say why, it’s because all the prey were the same to that thing.
Wanted to kill.
No need to change its target.
Then it only had one thing to worry about.
How it could make a better kill by concealing its presence.
It didn’t matter who was the prey as long as this could be achieved.
And so, time to pick a prey………and dispatched after be sure it could kill.
Then it found it.
After that, kill.
[The third victim has appeared.]
This was the first thing Akane told them when they met her outside the house as usual. Tooya’s mind stopped for a moment. Someone was dead. But he couldn’t response immediately, it must be something related to himself………after he noticed that, feelings of self-hatred spread out from his chest. What was the point of thinking that for now.
[Who’s the one died ne?]
Therefore, Kuroe was the one asked.
Never heard that name before.
[What about her origin?]
He voiced out at last.
[You had met her before.]
Tooya could imagine what’s her epilogue.
[One of the people in the group that bully Kuromine Mashiro.]
Tooya couldn’t depict the face of the five of them in his mind immediately. He didn’t know who was the one that died just by knowing her name. Tooya didn’t have any good impression on them…….but he still felt a feeling of emptiness in his chest.
[The murder happened around 11 at night, behind an alley of a crowded street. Looks like she went out after back home from school, then got attacked after separated from her friends.]
[No clues being left by the criminal?]
[Yeah, no matter witness or evidence also none………it’s the same as the previous two cases.]
Kuroe held her chin with her hand.
[What about Kuromine Mashiro at that time?]
[She didn’t went out from her house at all based on the surveillance report.]
That meant Mashiro was not related to this incident. She couldn’t commit murder if she was in her house when incident was happening.
[Let me ask this, she didn’t went out from her house was the only thing you confirmed?]
[That means you didn’t confirmed that she’s in the house,right?]
Akane nodded to Kuroe’s double confirmation. Even Tooya understood what Kuroe was trying to say.
[That means Mashiro went out the house by avoiding the surveillance?]
[There is a possibility that she used invinsible spell.]
Tooya heard that word before.
[That means that spell can remove presence?]
[They still have presence ne. But it’s not impossible for a caster who is excellent in using this spell to assassinate someone right in front of them without anyone knowing. Even for a normal caster, it’s a simple matter for them to hide themselves from normal human.]
Kuroe turned her gaze to Akane after said so.
[The officer that in charge of the surveillance was?]
[……..just a normal human.]
Akane answered with a weakening tone.
[Tanaka that bastard said the order of black magic lack of manpower for now. Officers that had learned magic spells were only a handful…….therefore this kind of job will be given to those without special abilities.]
A normal person can handle surveillance duty well as long as they learned the techniques. But not for some duties that required officers with special abilities to handle. That’s why duties such as surveillance will be in charged by officers without special ability for sure.
[In other words, she can avoid from the surveillance if she used invisible spell ne.]
Then she could return back to her house after the murder like nothing happened.
Akane agreed without any objection.
[Wait for a moment.]
Therefore Tooya interrupted.
[What’s wrong ne?]
[No, it sounds like Mashiro had been assumed as the criminal already?]
At least Tooya could understand what they were trying to say.
[Although what Kuroe said was make sense to an extend………but the possibility for Mashiro to stay in the house is higher right?]
Mashiro sneaked out the house by using invisible spell will be a weirder possible outcome if you considered it using general knowledge.
[It’s not confirmed that Mashiro owns the demon sword…….and her arm was hurt. Do you think she can kill someone under that condition?]
[Well, what master said makes sense too.]
Kuroe agreed frankly. But she continued talking.
[But master too agree with me that she still remain suspected right?]
[The second and the third victims in this case were related to Mashiro ne. She was present in the scene when the demon sword disappeared too…….there’s a lot of reasons to cause her being a suspect.]
[But, there’s no any evidence.]
[There’s no evidence to remove her from being a suspect too ne?]
There was the possible that Mashiro committed the crime as long as she used something beyond common sense………..and what was happening right now was something beyond common sense already.
[The situation right now is fifty-fifty, it hasn’t inclined to either side ne.]
No matter which side of possibility it also couldn’t be removed.
[And our job is to find out the evidence right?]
Tooya nodded slightly.
However, that evidence inclined to one of the sides.
Tooya felt the school was more noisy than usual after he reached there. From what Kuroe heard, it was the matter of Asaki Yuri being murdered as expected. Although this case it hadn’t reported in news yet, but rumors had been spread from somewhere. It would be different if it happened somewhere far away, this murder happened just around here after all.
The school was more noisy as usual, like being surrounded by a gloomy atmosphere.
Yet she showed a bright expression that in contrast to the atmosphere.
[Today’s weather is great too!]
Tooya and Kuroe didn’t go to Mashiro’s classroom to meet her. This was because they received a message to meet at the rooftop directly from Mashiro. Mashiro said that two person from the group that bullied her were absent, so no need to worry in the message. Therefore Tooya and Kuroe was waiting Mashiro at the rooftop……….it was just that Mashiro looked very energetic when she came.
[Eh, that arm…….]
Tooya pointed at her arm,the triangle bandage before there was gone. Mashiro moved her right arm like it’s nothing already.
[Ah,this? I felt that it’s not pain anymore when waking up this morning……looks like it was recovered!]
[It recover that fast……]
It was impossible to recover from strain in one day…….could it be that she just acted like she got hurted. But then there was no reason to bandage just for one day. That would just make her more suspicious.
[[She did received treatment from an orthopedic doctor based on the surveillance report. The strain was real.]]
Akane said so as like she noticed Tooya’s doubt. If that’s the case, then Mashiro’s strain was really recovered in one day only.
[Therefore I can have my lunch today normally.]
[I, I see……..that’s great.]
Mashiro nodded happily.
[But I feel a bit sad that Kamisaki-senpai doesn’t need to feed me anymore……..ah, Oogami-senpai will angry if I say things like that ne.]
Mashiro smiled while saying.
[That………is something good happened?]
[Why you asked that?]
She looked at Tooya.
[No, it’s just you look more energetic than usual.]
[Is that so?]
Mashiro played her hair without self-awareness like she was thinking hard of something.
[If I have say, I felt excited when waking up this morning……..maybe it’s because my arm was recovered?]
Seems like she herself also don’t know.
[Why don’t we have lunch first? The recess wasn’t that long ne.]
Mashiro accepted Kuroe’s proposal energetically and reached her hand to her lunchbox.
After Mashiro finished her lunch with full of energy, she went to sleep like she was disconnected from her consciousness…….she slept immediately like before, looked like she wouldn’t be wake up that easily.
Then she woke up only when the sun was set, she apologized to Tooya and Kuroe for waiting her and went back home.
[Kuroe…….what do you think?]
[Hmm,what do master think then?]
Kuroe returned the same question back to Tooya.
[I am the one asked first.]
[Then what I think will be the same as what master think.]
Kuroe’s lips bent slightly, showing a mischievous smile.
[Master has the hobby of wanting people to speak out their guess which is contrary to what you expected ne……..especially the obvious one.]
Tooya got hit right in the spot by Kuroe closed his mouth.
[Mashiro, she looks very suspicious.]
Tooya said it with difficulty.
[Yeah, to the extent of very obvious ne.]
No matter the recovery of her arm or the intriguing excitement, also the lack of sleep she had along the time.
[Master didn’t mention about the dead girl in front of Mashiro ne.]
Mashiro was talking non-stop during recess today…….but they didn’t mention anything about Asaki Yuri at all. It was impossible that Mashiro didn’t heard about it since it had been an uproar in school……..perhaps Mashiro had been the center of attention in school already.
Tooya can mention matters regarding Asaki Yuri whenever he wanted to……..yet in the end Tooya didn’t say it. He was not afraid of dampening Mashiro’s excitement……..he was afraid that it was possible her excitement won’t cease even if he mentioned that.
[Well, that means the possibility had inclined to one side already ne……]
Kuroe stared at somewhere beside her…….there was nothing over there. But Kuroe just stare at there and said something.
[What do you think ne?]
Akane appeared along with a voice of clicking tongue.
Tooya was surprised.
[It’s an invisibility spell.]
Kuroe said so.
[To actually demonstrate to master who doesn’t know about it, how kind of you ne.]
[…….I didn’t have that intention at all.]
[Then why did you do so?]
[Or you want to try whether your invisibility can hide from my eyes?]
Kuroe looked at her with a mocking smile.
Akane clicked her tongue.
[Then, what’s your opinion? Miss Advisor.]
Akane answered right away.
[The possibility is too high.]
Kuroe agreed with Akane.
[But it’s not a bad result to master ne.]
[If Mashiro used the sword by her own will then it’s hard to imagine that she will expose such obvious flaw.]
Because it’d been confirmed that she was suspicious.
[Then Mashiro was controlled by the demon sword?]
[It’s quite possible ne.]
Tooya felt assured to hear that confirmation……..but another question appeared.
[But if that’s the case……….then why it went for people who bullied Mashiro?]
It might be coincidence if there was only one person, but two were murdered at this moment. Of course the intention of the murder was taken into consideration. However, if what Kuroe said was true, that Mashiro was controlled by the demon sword, then the demon sword would be the one selecting who to kill.
[There are two possibles.]
Akane replied to Tooya’s question.
[The first possible is Kuromine Mashiro used the sword by her own will.]
[What that monster said was just a possibility, it’s not confirmed yet. There is the possible that Kuromine Mashiro is just a simple idiot. Human mind will be very simple once they got power.]
Tooya felt Akane’s gaze was implying [you brat is just the same.]
[Another possible is Kuromine Mashiro affected the demon sword unconsciously. The implication that the demon sword affected her can be in two ways, one is killing people randomly and another one is killing people secretly for the sake of killing more people. The former is that it just doing what it wants, while the latter is that it was murdering without exposing its presence. That means she had chosen her target without herself noticed that.]
[That means the targets were chosen by Mashiro unconsciously?]
[That’s right. The meaning of anyone is fine as long as they can be killed without being noticed—-that means it doesn’t matter who to kill as long as the conditions were fulfilled. If the demon sword met the targets that were decided unconsciously by Kuromine Mashiro at that time, then it’s not that strange for it to go for them.]
But, if that was the truth then Mashiro was guilty…….the truth of her being bullied cannot change no matter how cheerful she was showing before this. It was not surprising for her to hate the bullies, even if she had the thought of killing them……but that was how far she went. I guess she didn’t have the intention to carry out that feeling physically. Probably that Mashiro didn’t know anything at all.
Although the feelings that she had was nothing enjoyable, but it wasomething common to everyone.
The demon sword affected by these feelings and killed them using Mashiro’s body.
Is that considering Mashiro guilty too?
[………Don’t call me by my name.]
Akane glared at Kuroe.
[What you want huh.]
[The Kuromine Mashiro that we know is an incredibly cheerful girl………but was she always like that?]
[What do you mean?]
Tooya didn’t understand what was Kuroe trying to know.
[Nothing…….I was thinking that,maybe that girl became cheerful after the people bullying her were dead.]
[That girl said it before right? The bully became more intense recently. Although the reason can be that they are releasing the grief from the dead of their friend……..but don’t you think there is another more appropriate reason? For example, because a fellow that becomes more cheerful after their friend died, or something like that ne.]
It would be certain that they would want to beat that fellow up if it was true……..even if that was the product of their own negative behavior.
[Mashiro said that she don’t know why she was full of spirit. Why she was so excited after waking up……..perhaps she actually really don’t know why ne. She felt happy if she doesn’t know the reason. If she knows then at least the others can notice that she was hiding something.]
Even if they were the one bullying Mashiro, they would still angry if she was showing a happy expression after one of their friend died, it was a given.
[Although she didn’t have conscious, but her body did completed the crime ne. Even if her conscious didn’t know, but her subconscious can feel it—-the people that will harm her had disappeared. That is why she got affected by the demon sword even without consciousness.]
Actually Mashiro should be surrounded by the feeling of guilty. But her ownself didn’t know anything at all, about why she had that happy feeling. Without the feeling of guilty, then naturally there would be the feeling of happiness because the harm was disappeared……..even if she didn’t know the reasons for it.
[Then, what are you trying to say?]
[I am just analyzing the situation ne.]
Kuroe shrugged her shoulders.
[Wasn’t your job is to provide guidance? I really want to know how far can your intuition that you’re very proud of works ne?]
Akane didn’t say anything to Kuroe and looked at Tooya.
[Kuromine Mashiro owns the demon sword, that is for sure. What you have to think of is how to find out that demon sword. The monster over there will figure out something after you’ve done that.]
[Find out the demon sword…….]
Tooya repeatedly saying things that he actually didn’t want to. It was easy to just say it……..the problem was how he could find out the demon sword. Speaking of the place it hid. Did it hide itself in somewhere,o r did it hide inside Mashiro’s body………probably the latter. It was impossible for her to pass through the surveillance without being noticed if the demon sword was not with her. Moreover, if she left the demon sword in home then the order of black magic had found it long time ago.
It was not just bcause the person owning it wanting to cut people, it was also a demon sword with special abilities. A sword that didn’t exist in this modern era, but the era where Kuroe was there before.
Tooya can’t think of an effective method. No idea had came to his mind, and he was not an experienced person either.
Instead, he got some simple thoughts.
[Use bait, or something like that.]
About the details, Tooya didn’t think of it yet. The moment Mashiro actually took out the demon sword…….will be the moment when she carrys out the murder. If the will of the demon sword would be affected by Mashiro’s subconscious, then it will take the bait for sure as long as there was one based on the situation.
[Although simple, but not a bad idea.]
Kuroe’s impression looked more like not surprised instead of admiring Tooya’s idea.
[Then who will be the bait?]
Akane replied with a question.
Of course those would be targeted by Mashiro’s subconscious…….no, probably not. Although the idea of using them as bait appeared in Tooya’s mind, but his rationality denied the feeling of ‘just do it anyway’ immediately.
[Just use the girls that bullied Mashiro before. Since they have precedent already, she will take action as long as we have done enough preparations.]
But Kuroe doesn’t thought of what Tooya did.
Akane denied right away.
[It’s impossible to issue a consent that will cause harm to normal people.]
Even though the order of black magic was not an official existence but it was still an organization managed by the nation. Its primary purpose was to protect the citizens. They can’t involve people that was unrelated to the case no matter what.
[Even though it does not matter when comes to us.]
[Maybe Tanaka will permit ne.]
[I am not Tanaka.]
They didn’t have any similarities at all.
[Hmm, then we use master.]
Tooya was stunned because his name was mentioned.
[……Isn’t that too reckless?]
Objectively speaking, it seemed that Mashiro didn’t hate Tooya. The possibility for her to attack Tooya was quite low even if they created a convenient situation for her to take action.
[Not really, there will be a way to hide the appearance. As for the smell or something like that I can copy it perfectly ne.]
Although it was possible if Kuroe wanted to do it………Tooya can’t help but looking at Akane and asked for help.
She didn’t intend to help him at all.
[That’s all. It doesn’t matter even if you die. It would be better if you die. Just go and die.]
And she was saying something unreasonable.
[Should be no problem to use the school as the arena. About the details in fight we will discuss later………when will we carry it out?]
[The earlier the better. The exam is near, so the club activities after school will be restricted, it’s easy to get away from the crowd.]
[Alright. I will contact you guys before the final phase of the fight.]
They had planned it well already………..Tooya got no chance to dish out his objections at all.
Akane looked at Tooya.
[It’s not early now, we better go back first for today.]
The surrounding became dark already.
[Your bag was in the classroom?]
[Ah, that, yeah.]
He just brought his lunchbox like usual. Because he skipped the classes for the afternoon and waited for Mashiro until she woke up, of course the bag was left in the classroom.
[Then, take for that monster too.]
[I just have something to talk with her……..just for a moment. After you took the bags, straight away go to staircase. If it’s her she can catch up to you.]
Akane with Kuroe alone………Tooya was looking at Kuroe while thinking the meaning of that. Kuroe maintained her usual smiling face. Seems like Kuroe didn’t intend to oppose Akane’s proposal.
[……..Just talk a little bit right?]
[Just a little bit.]
Tooya nodded and look at Kuroe again.
[Don’t take any action, this is an order.]
[Not trusting me huh.]
Kuroe was pouting to show her unsatisfactory.
[You believe that woman but not me?]
[I know already.]
Kuroe still showing her unsatisfactory and nodded.
Tooya went down after he had Kuroe’s confirmation.
[So, what you want to talk about?]
The moment Tooya left, Kuroe showed her usual fearless smile again.
In contrast, Akane glared at Kuroe like she didn’t think of anything.
[So terrifying ne………ask me to stay here just to glare at me?]
Kuroe shrugged her shoulders.
[How much have you noticed already?]
Akane asked after ignored her provoke.
[What do you know in the end?]
Akane was very convinced.
[What do you mean ne?]
Kuroe tilted her head like pretending confused.
[……..You, know something that we don’t know.]
[Say it out, everything.]
Akane glared at Kuroe.
[The things that you talk about, is something like the identity of the demon sword?]
[You think that I am implying something?]
[Certainly you said your opinion and answered the questions properly………but, you didn’t say out everything.Actually you know the methods to resolve this case wasn’t it?]
[You are overestimating me.]
[It’s not overestimate……….it’s intuition.]
[And the other thing is that face of yours. It’s like you are laughing at those ignorant rivals even though we are in the position of knowing nothing.]
[I see, so that is how my face looks like ne.]
Kuroe was just smiling.
Akane clicked her tongue.
[Then, are you going to say it?]
[No—-actually I also know nothing ne.]
Kuroe laughed with the feeling of mocking.
[Want me to hit you until you want to say?]
Akane held her fist with another hand.
[I will be troubled ne. Since master told me not to take any action.]
Although Kuroe didn’t look troubled at all.
[Victims appeared right after the investigation started……..if we settled the case right before that then there will be no victims. If this result happened because of your silence, then I will never forgive you.]
[That is not in my common sense list ne.]
Kuroe said boringly.
[A human’s life or death doesn’t matter to me at all……did you forgot? I am a monster oh?]
Kuroe continued with another question.
[Besides, even if I say it, will you believe me?]
[I did made a contract with master so I must listen to his orders……..there’s no other restriction ne. I didn’t have the obligation to give advise to what master is thinking. If he asked then I will answer, if he doesn’t then it’s not necessary for me to say anything.]
Although Tooya did issued some orders as restrictions. But all of them were not related to the situation right now.
[This is all I can say. You can call my master, who you insulted the worst back here and earnestly request him to ask me oh?]
Kuroe laughed while looking at Akane.
[Ask him to order me to say out everything or something like that.]
Akane clicked her tongue, then glared at Kuroe.
[One day, I will kill you.]
[Hope you won’t be the one got killed ne.]
And so they parted ways.
[………So, in that day officers from the order of black magic will open up a barrier around the school to alienate the crowd. That way there won’t be interference from outside.]
[Hmm, after that will be my turn ne.]
Two days after the rooftop incident, Akane came to Tooya’s house. Akane brought the report to them after the preparations for the plan were done. Just inform us by phone call instead of coming here if you not going to conceal that unpleasant facial expression of yours, Tooya thought so………seems like she quite followed the rules in some subtle aspects.
[Then, when are we going to carry out?]
[Why so fast!]
[Wasn’t you guys are the one said the earlier the better.]
Actually only Kuroe said that.
[Don’t expect me to change the date.]
It was futile even if he tried to reject.
[Are you feeling uneasy?]
It was certain that he felt uneasy. Tooya took the most dangerous role, which was the bait. Even though he hadn’t adapted to the situation and didn’t know what to do yet, they had decided to carry out the plan on tomorrow already. It was normal for him to feel uneasy.
[It doesn’t matter.]
Akane said with a gentle voice.
[Just go and fail. And then go die. Even so I am fine with it.]
Akane just know how to hit a person when he was down as always.
[Won’t you wonder whether the plan will success or not?]
[Just use your intuition that you’re very proud of then you will know right?]
Intuition. Which was called the physic’s blessing by Tanaka. An intuition with 100% accuracy owned by Akane.
[It’s not something that convenient.]
[It’s not something that can use just when I want to. Sometimes, I will firmly believe in something without any reason………that’s all. I also don’t know why I have that feeling, of course I couldn’t explain the reason properly too. It’s just when I had that feeling, what I believed would realize for sure.]
[Such an inconvenient ability ne.]
[I guess so. That’s why sometimes I will understand something all of a sudden or something very important…………it’s not limited to good things only.]
Akane said the last sentence with gloomy tone.
[Like you will know when someone will die ne?]
Kuroe hit right on the spot without hesitation.
[It’s like what you said, bastard.]
For example, when a person suffers heavy injury, no one knew he will survive or not. But at that moment Akane will firmly believe that person will die for sure. What kind of feelings she had in that moment……..Tooya couldn’t imagine it.
[Then when that time you attacked Kuroe, did you convince that you can kill Kuroe for sure?]
Tooya asked that to turn off the topic.
[………Eh? But the situation delevope to another direction at that time.
Kuroe noticed it right away. From what Tanaka said, Akane did announced that she would win yet she couldn’t kill Kuroe. I wonder what would happen if we waged a war against the order of black magic.
[So what is your answer ne?]
[I did convinced that I won’t lose.]
[I did convinced that I won’t lose.]
Akane repeated her words. Not being convinced that she would win, but she wouldn’t lose.
[Since I won’t lose, then in the end I will kill you two for sure as long as I don’t give up.]
Seems like there was not a choice like a draw in her mind.
[I won’t give up.]
Akane looked at them.
[Try hard until you can then.]
Kuroe laughed with mockery.
Tooya just sighed.
Although tomorrow was very annoying, but right now was just the same.