This chapter is a bit on the heavy and dark side. Just so that you aren’t too unprepared.
If asked about a girl named Himejima Saki, several phrases would be commonly thrown around.
Those were the feelings of her classmates whenever they glanced upon her sitting quietly in the corner. The lone girl had a gloomy expression staring vacantly out the window like a doll that rested on a shelf somewhere. The black hair that fell messily over her eyes made her seem distant. The way she never looked at anyone directly made her unapproachable.
Though she had done nothing in particular to warrant such spiteful thoughts, her reclusiveness and lack of a talkative nature had immediately labeled her as the oddity of the class. It was not that she didn’t want to make friends, but that she didn’t know how to approach the subject.
If asked what her hobbies were, she would clam up and say nothing, leading to a mistaken perception that she ignored their attempts at engaging in conversation. Partially due to her lack of social aptitude, she would cycle through an assortment of odd accessories that hardly matched any trends. Her resulting manner of dress and aura made her an entity to avoid. Yet, she believed that it was preferable to them learning about her interests.
After all, what ‘normal’ girl would express an interest in fanservice anime and Yuri-Ai manga? How could she say that she possessed figurines of anime girls in provocative positions without earning glares of disgust from others?
That had been the case when her parents stumbled upon a small stash of them that had been carelessly left in her room in plain sight.
Not to mention that her interests had implanted an ‘unhealthy’ interest in schoolgirl uniforms and the like, leading her to stare creepily at others with a smile that invoked chills. That was evident by the visible shudders that resulted when others met her gaze.
Society didn’t treat those that behaved differently from the norm kindly. For that reason, Saki had been a loner all throughout middle school. People simply wanted nothing to do with her, and in turn, she continued as is, unwilling to stir up anything to change that.
Of course, life always seemed to throw a curveball when one least expected it.
“Hey, that’s cute. Aren’t those the headphones from that one show? You know, the one that Kumi wears in ‘Superlative Sextuplets’?”
Saki’s eyes popped open at that statement. She turned to the side to see an unfamiliar face. Nervously, she fidgeted with the headphones hanging around her neck.
“I’m right, aren’t I? You’re totally going for the ‘reserved otaku’ look! Hiding your cute face like that! I’m Rika, Saionji Rika. The new transfer student. What else do you watch?”
The kind words directed to her revolving around a common interest was like a breath of fresh air. For the first time in a long while, she fought for the right words to spill out.
“I-I like High School GxG, and, and Love Ruto, and Date a Li-” Saki spewed out before suddenly clamming up.
Perhaps, those weren’t the best options, now that Saki thought about it. But the words seemed to flow out of her mouth at that moment. Immediately, she started regretting it as she looked down with embarrassment.
Rika blinked a few times. “Those are… surprising choices.”
‘Yep,’ Saki thought, really hating herself now for screwing up her one chance.
“Especially, since I never expected another girl that has seen all of those.”
“Huh?” Saki’s self-loathing evaporated as she looked up in confusion. Rika smiled warmly at her like she had found a fellow kindred spirit. “You mean, you’ve seen those, too?”
“You betcha. And many others like OreAne and the Kotogatari series. I just can’t seem to get enough of the interesting girl characters in them!”
For the first time ever, Saki felt unashamed to have watched those in secret for she had found a person with similar tastes. In the last year of middle school, this encounter blossomed into Himejima Saki’s first love.
The two girls grew close over time, openly sharing in each other’s interests. Rika didn’t even seem to mind the strange collection that Saki had amassed in her room. And when they had both passed the entrance exams for the high school of their choice, it felt like it was fate for them to be together.
Yet, Saki continued to hold her feelings in check, satisfied merely with Rika’s company and the occasional wild fantasy that popped into her head. There were times that the impulses were so strong that she decided to convert those feelings into little stories kept in her diary. Perhaps, the strange faces she made while penning them didn’t help how others perceived her, but Rika just saw that as part of her personality.
However, just like how Rika had suddenly jumped into her life, things took another sudden change. Like one of those high school dramas that she often watched, Rika suddenly started dating, driving a wedge into her heart.
Her boyfriend was someone popular in her year named Suou, so she wished her the best of luck, despite being disappointed that her own chances had been dashed. However, a certain distance between the two of them suddenly developed out of nowhere. Rika began avoiding her invitations and stopped talking to her in class.
Saki had no idea what had happened. Her annoyance at Suou grew and grew as she had no other outlet to divert her frustrations toward for inability to spend time with her friend. Eventually, she found herself tailing the two after school one day, just to get a better idea of what was going on. Perhaps, she was unnecessarily meddling in her business, but her desire to know what had happened overwhelmed her.
“So, this is that girl that hangs around Suou’s chick, huh?”
A voice crept up behind her not long after she started following them. She turned around in surprise to see two male classmates, presumably acquaintances of Suou. She shrunk back as they looked at her with eyes of disgust and scorn.
“Yeah, yeah. According to Suou, this chick has the hots for other girls or something.”
“Hue Hue. How scandalous.”
The two guys came over and snatched Saki’s bag from her hands. Opening it up, they quickly dug through it until they held up the diary that she kept on her.
Saki looked on in horror as one of the guys flipped through its pages, revealing the secret desires she kept hidden.
“This is some perverted stuff. No wonder Suou’s chick no longer wants to be with ya. Who’d want to be friends with someone lusting over you? Especially since you’re both girls.”
Saki looked down, gritting her teeth. ‘So, I was the reason for the strange distance. My unnatural desires had scared off Rika and pushed her to seek a normal relationship,’ she instantly thought.
“Hey, now that I see you more closely, you don’t look half bad with your face uncovered.” One of the guys had reached over and parted her bangs to see her fearful expression more clearly. “How about you drop your strange fetish and hang out with us?”
Saki glared at them angrily. Why did they think that she would show any interest in them? However, as they waved her diary in front of her with a smug grin, she had the feeling that they weren’t giving her a choice.
“I wonder what the rest of our class would think about such a steamy relationship between girls? Poor, poor Rika-chan would be so ashamed. Suou might even break up with her over this.”
“Y-You wouldn’t dare!” roared Saki, despite backing into a wall.
One of the boys slammed his hand against the wall next to Saki. Slowly, he bent over and whispered in her ear.
“No one has to find out if you’re willing to fulfill a little request.”
Saki trembled as the devious words tickled her ear. She would do anything for her friend, the one girl who accepted her for what she was. She couldn’t drag Rika into her own twisted desires. Weakly, she nodded and allowed herself to be dragged away.
Saki was led a fair distance away, to an unfamiliar part of town. Looking up at a tall building, she noticed that it had been condemned.
“In here.” One of the guys pushed her forward.
Saki had a sinking feeling as to where this was heading, but it was too late to back out. She had no one else to turn to, no other pillar of support. She wondered if there was some way to reverse the situation, to gain the upper hand once again. Until then, she had no choice but to comply. Perhaps, she would find the opportunity to snatch her diary back and burn the evidence.
After being led to a secluded area, the two boys smiled as they converged on her. Their hands started feeling her up and loosening her clothing. A nauseating feeling overcame her as she tried to endure their assault. How much could she tolerate before she saw an opportunity to break free? Her eyes scoured the area for where they left her diary.
Before she could find that chance, another voice echoed from afar.
“Saki-chan?” The familiar sound of her friend unexpectedly shot through the area, making her blood turn to ice.
What was Rika doing here of all places? Her eyes looked at her in surprise until she saw Suou behind her.
“My my, that was rather simple. A perverted girl caving into her own lustful desires, and now, we have incriminating evidence.” Suou’s phone was held up, capturing video of Saki’s half-dressed state.
His form crept closer to Saki, invoking a seething rage within her. It had been a trap! They had taken advantage of her naivety and introverted nature. She wanted to drive her fist into his smug face. Rearing back, that was exactly what she was going to do as he approached.
“Uh uh uh. Getting violent isn’t going to solve things. After all, my father works for the police. If there happens to be any ‘accidents’, it’s pretty much certain that they’ll overlook it,” Suou boldly proclaimed. “For your sake, and for Rika-chan’s, giving in will be much easier on the both of you.”
Suou caressed Saki’s thighs as he pushed her to the ground. The closeness of his body against hers invoked tremors of fear. His lips brushed the side of her head as she tried to look away, a teasing breath puffing against her hair.
“There we go. I love submissive, obedient girls,” he whispered to her.
“Oi, Suou! Where’s our cut? We want in on the action!” One of his friends barked at him from the side, having been pushed aside.
Suou paused for a moment and tilted his head towards him.
“Go have fun with Rika-chan. She’s already broken in, so I’ve grown tired of her.”
As the other two boys cheered, an intense rage swept over Saki.
‘How dare he?!’ her mind blared.
It had been one thing for herself to suffer. But Suou had already laid a hand on Rika, and now, he had discarded her like she was nothing. How could he treat her dearest person like that?
Saki searched around. She didn’t care anymore about the consequences. In her mind, someone like Suou shouldn’t exist. Vile scum who treated others like toys and discarded them was the very definition of evil. If she didn’t do something now, then she wouldn’t be able to forgive herself.
“Yes, justice has to be served…,” Saki mouthed, which Suou merely mistook for her groans.
Her hand brushed across the jagged surface of a shard of metal. Without a single hint of hesitation, she grabbed it and swung it at the body that was riding on top of her.
A splash of warm liquid sprayed on her face. The body on top of her jerked as his hand reached up towards his neck, where the metal shard had been lodged. No words escaped from his mouth. Instead, red liquid bubbled out, dripping down the sides of his lips. With an agonizing expression, Suou rolled off to the side, clawing at the fatal wound that he had been given.
“Yo, Suou? What’s wrong?” The other two boys couldn’t see what had happened. Rather, they had merely seen Suou roll off of Saki with a thud as they were busy tending to their own struggling target.
Seeing Suou writhing on the ground, Saki’s thoughts took a complete turn. Something within her snapped as she had released her pent-up rage. It was a feeling of satisfaction, a feeling of glee. Her mind had quickly justified the gruesomeness of her actions.
‘There! That is what you get for committing such evil!’
‘I will crush them. I will crush them all! I will obliterate those who would prey upon the innocent!’
Quickly bouncing to her feet, she dashed towards the other two boys. Eyeing a loose pipe on the ground, she scooped it up and swung it at them while they were still trying to understand the situation. All she saw were looks of horror as their eyes finally faced her.
A sickening thud echoed throughout the room as the side of one boy’s head was smashed in. His body promptly fell over before he could let out a groan. By this time, Saki had a devious smirk on her face. Her eyes were wild with vengeance. The other boy turned to run away, teeth chattering in fear. Saki followed up with a downward strike, catching him in the back.
The numbingly sharp pain of metal cracking his shoulder blade caused him to stumble to the ground.
“No! Wait! I’m sorry! Please don’t- GAHH!!!”
Saki refused to listen to his pleas as she repeatedly brought down the pipe in her hand, the sound of bone crunching with each impact. Each of the sickening noises were like music to her ears. The body had already stopped responding after the first few strikes, but she wasn’t satisfied until he had been rendered into a bloody mess.
‘Ahh! I did it! I saved my friend from these wicked fiends.’ It had been easy enough to overpower them. For those who preyed on the innocent, there was nothing left in her mind but to crush the root of evil.
Tossing the pipe away, it made a clang as it bounced on the ground, the metallic sound disturbing the otherwise silent atmosphere.
Saki turned towards Rika, reaching out to her to check if she was okay. However, Rika’s face had grown pale, and her legs trembled as Saki approached.
In her eyes, Rika was not seeing the form of her savior, but rather, a half-naked girl splattered with the blood of her enemies. Fresh, crimson liquid trickled down Saki’s face and limbs as she stumbled towards her like a horror movie. Menacing eyes seemingly glowed at her as she mistakenly interpreted that as a sign that she was next.
After all, Rika felt guilty the whole time for leaving her alone. After Suou had discovered Saki’s diary, she tried to convince him to turn a blind eye to it, submitting to his requests. But her actions had unknowingly made things worse. The horrifying scene where Saki didn’t hesitate to kill others made her lose all reason. For that moment, the girl in front of her wasn’t Saki, but a demon of revenge.
Rika’s closeness to her friend had been all but forgotten. She doubted how deep Saki’s affection for her was. A part of her always suspected how she felt, but Rika’s denial of it had triggered an irreparable response.
Because of that, Rika slowly backed away. She refused Saki’s outreached hand as she continued to stare at the madness that had seemingly swept over her friend. She didn’t want to admit it, but she had been the cause for her to snap. The will to face her had completely caved in.
As Saki stared in disbelief at Rika’s horrified gaze directed at her, she felt betrayed. She felt unwanted and unneeded by the very person she loved. Surely, she just needed to push forward and convince her otherwise.
Saki took several steps forward. Rika similarly stepped back. Their gazes locked on to each other, trying to determine what the other would do next. Neither one of them noticed that the floor behind Rika had caved in.
Finally, Rika took one final step backwards before stumbling into the void.
“RIKA-CHAN!!!” Saki dashed forward to catch her hand, but it had already fallen out of her reach.
Not even considering her own safety, Saki leapt down after her. Their bodies collided onto a pile of rubble. She hardly acknowledged the pain as she frantically searched for Rika, who had fallen a distance from her.
She tried to get up, but a sharp pain from her legs told her that they were broken. She tried to crawl forward, but she had landed on something sharp, which pinned her in place. The feeling of blood oozing from her wound was making her lightheaded. She clawed at the ground as she futilely tried to inch closer to the unresponsive body in her sights.
‘If only I had strength, this would’ve never happened…’
‘If only I had the power to crush my enemies easily, then we would have never been taken advantage of. They wouldn’t dare to cross us…’
Saki regretted it all. She was filled with remorse. Her weak self couldn’t stand up to the injustice in this world, and even when she tried, this had been the result.
She cursed the world, one where the smallest bit of happiness could be rendered void from a single betrayal.
‘This world should just be crushed,’ she thought as her vision grew dark.
But not long afterward, a single light shone in her vision, approaching closer and closer, as if calling out to her.