37. Megane-kun, Genuinely Thinks it’s Messed up
Afternoon on the sixth day.
The atmosphere inside the carriage isn’t as bad anymore, perhaps since it’s been six days since we practically lived together. Both Chace, the hoodlum, and Florentine, the boss’ daughter, understand that they’re only digging their grave if they don’t cooperate with each other, no matter how much they hate one another.
Well, I’m the one who usually gets burned from all the sparks they scatter around though.
As for Cherry, the assassin wannabe, she has been tortured by the carriage sickness that she doesn’t have time to mind the atmosphere. In a way, she’s the one who weighs the mood the most. She’s completely limp, just like a walking dead.
That’s why, the one most affected by this bad atmosphere is me, alone.
Things would’ve been a lot worse if I were the type that meddles with other’s business. It’s good that I’m someone who doesn’t mind this kind of thing.
As for the trip, there are two more days ahead of today. If all goes well, we will reach the Assassination Training School the day after tomorrow. Still, I don’t know which direction we’re heading to, and we’re not told about it either. I want to think it’s northeast from the Royal Capital of Nastiara, but since I’ve been packed inside the carriage all the time, there’s a chance that it’s not the case. The carriage stops during meal breaks, but we’ve just finished today’s lunch. The carriage won’t stop from now on… not until the night arrives.
At this time, the hoodlum made a ruckus.
「Aah! I’m bored to death!」
I get you.
That makes all of us, except Cherry who’s struggling with her own problem. Even if we have breaks, we’re essentially in the carriage all day long. My body aches all over. What’s more, the mood here doesn’t help to alleviate it. It’s so constrained and boring that impulses like wanting to just run around for no reason at all show up.
「EIl! Tell us some funny stories you got!」
Eh, what’s with that impossible request. We couldn’t even hold a small talk just a while ago, this was too sudden.
「Hmm. I do have a story about a hoodlum who meets the daughter of a mafia boss.」
「Ah? …What’s that, a romance?」
「I wonder. I think it’s up to how you interpret it.」
「Hmph. Don’t make that weird face, shithead. Fine, go tell us that.」
I see. Then, let’s talk about it.
「Their meeting was just around a few days ago. The hoodlum who usually hung out in the back alley, making troubles right and left, annoying, badmouthed, bad-mannered, doesn’t have a dream, and pretty much the scum of society, one day he met a girl.」
「The girl was younger than he was. She was born with an oddity, also known as a taboo child. The girl’s name is Flo——」
「Ain’t that me and this shit!?」
「But I think it’s quite funny.」
「Funny your ass!」
Next to the lashed out Chace, Florentine also made her comment with an astonished look.
「Annoying, badmouthed, bad-mannered, has no dream, and overall a scum of society, that part I do agree, since they’re on point. But don’t spell my name along with his. It’s unpleasant.」
「Fuck you said!?」
「They are all true. So what?」
「You two, don’t fight.」
「It’s your fault to begin with!」 「Yer the one to blame!」
I don’t think so.
「I was told to tell a funny story out of a sudden. I tried to tell one that I personally like. Result? I’m being criticized. And now I’m being blamed for you two’s fight. I wonder if I’m really the bad one here.」
I tried to refute by twisting the words. In addition, I’m already finding this whole thing bothersome. The cause of their fight? Why, it’s me of course.
「This hoodlum’s at fault. That ain’t something you can just ask someone out of the blue.」
「You could’ve stopped me if you don’t like it! You sure say much for someone with a tight lip!」
「I’m hella bored here!」
「Well, me too!」
「Ah, me too.」
「Uugg… Me too, you know…」
In short, everyone is bored. Even Cherry who’s dead limp feels the same.
The dead limp Cherry, then, called me out.
「Once again, just, tell us something… I just wanna divert my mind…」
Eeh… Even this girl says something like that to me.
「She’s right, Eil. Really, anything’s fine. I care not even if it’s not interesting, just tell us. I’m so bored I’d rather die.」
And now Florentine. Why me? …Ah, since there’s nobody else other than me who can talk, huh. The hoodlum has a bad mouth, the boss’ princess is bad with words, Cherry is pretty much dead. Between the suffocating atmosphere and this pressure to talk, why am I the one who kept pulling the short end here… Well, fine. Let’s not put my mind there.
In the first place, I’m just as bored. Even if I wanted to sleep, I’ve slept so much that I can’t even close my eyes. Perhaps I can get some distraction if I talk about something.
Well, let’s see.
…Ah, there’s always that to talk about.
「Rather than me talking about it, I have things I want to ask you, Florentine. It’s something I always have in mind.」
「To me? What is it?」
「Before that, let me tell you this. I have no idea about taboo children like you. That’s why I’m asking you this. I absolutely have no intention to make fun of you or look down on you. While at it, let me also say that I’m not a believer and I hold no prejudices against taboo children. With that in mind, will you answer my questions?」
When told her to anticipate my sensitive questions, Florentine furrowed her brows uncomfortably, and yet——
「Well, it’s fine.」
She didn’t refuse me.
「You never give me any weird looks all this time, after all. I know you hold no bad intentions. Hate it or not, we’ll spend a year together from now on anyway. Ask away, I’ll answer.」
Okay, then, let’s ask. …Ah, one more thing.
「Don’t comment, Chace. You’ll just fight and tire all of us out. Also, I won’t stop her next time.」
「I’m pretty sure Florentine is stronger than you are. You see her strength. You’ll die if she hit you. Where do you want to escape, in this small carriage? I won’t stop her, I tell you.」
「…Tch. I got that. I’ll zip my mouth.」
「I also won’t give you meat.」
「I told you I got that! …Give me meats. Dinner is the only thing I can look forward to in this shit hole of a carriage.」
Not only he shows his exhaustion, he even lets out a whine.
Well, fine. Either way, Chace’s mouth is now sealed.
「What’s the difference between a taboo child and us? It’s my first time seeing one.」
White hair and red eyes. That is the characteristic of a taboo child, the so-called Devil’s incarnate. Well, Florentine’s hair is more ash-colored than white, if anything.
When normal kids inherited the color of their eyes and hair from their parents, it is told that taboo children are the only exception, as they born with different colors as if they’re babies not belonging to their parents… for that reason, they are told to be the symbol of bad luck, the offspring of the devil. Or so I heard. However, looking at Florentine, while I do think she’s unique, I find nothing out of the ordinary. It’s not like her presence isn’t of a human either.
「I don’t think there’s any real difference. I have been labeled as evil and antagonized by your people, abused and gossiped and beaten around. What wrong did I do? That question haunted my childhood.」
「Then, you only look different?」
「I guess. Though I think everyone is different from one another. Things like your favorite food and color.」
I see, I see.
「Do you eat raw meat?」
「You asked me that before. I do not. Normally, you don’t.」
「Do you think a meat tree will grow if you plant a bone?」
「What’s that, a fairy tale? No way that’s true. …That’s quite the creepy fairy tail, though.」
「Do you take a gamble and eat a poisonous mushroom, even if you know it’s poisonous?」
「You take me for a fool? Why would anyone eat it when they know it’s poison. You’ll die.」
「Your first time defeating a demon beast is when you’re 8 year old?」
「Impossible. I haven’t even hit a demon beast in my life.」
「Have you ever stole a vegetable while making a forceful strained interpretation, like that the vegetable is fallen on the ground?」
「…That, I have. However, I did no interpretation. I was simply a vegetable thief.」
「Are you really strong in fights?」
「Well, I am strong. I was always being treated unreasonably, but one day I flipped out and whack ‘em back. I hold nothing back now. You get on my nerve, you get my punch.」
…….I see. I see. Ah, is that so.
「It’s been on my mind, you see.」
「Ah? That it? That’s some weirdly specific questions. Is there even someone like that? Sounds so idiotic.」
「That, all of it, was about my sister.」
「Everything. Was about. My sister.」
——That’s right. I don’t know since when, but I’ve been suspecting that my sister is actually a taboo child.
After all, she’s an entity that can’t be measured with common sense. Everything about her is out of spec, or should I say, she’s just out of norm..
It’s hard for me to say this, but I can’t think of her as a normal human, or even someone related to me. That’s why, I assumed her to be some kind of mutation——something like a taboo child. Only her look was normal, she might be a taboo child inside.
I thought taboo children eat raw meat, or even obsessed with meat, they eat poisonous mushrooms again and again no matter how much you explain that it is poisonous, telling you back bullshits like “you could gain poison resistance if you eat it” then continue to devour the poison with a calm face. So I was wrong.
If I put myself in Florentine’s shoe and heard my own story, I’m pretty sure it sounds like this.
「My sister is more of a taboo child than a taboo child」
「What do you think about this?」
Chace averted his eyes from mine.
Florentine, too, averted her eyes from mine.
Cherry is dead.
She’s my big sister you know. ……My big sister.
The inside of the carriage is now filled with an even heavier atmosphere, more than ever before.
The carriage sways with the hooves of the horse.
Next week is exam week for me and I’m thoroughly underprepared….. But Stone Ocean’s adaptation is confirmed! Yayy! Also, Ramadhan’s up ahead!
Today is April 4th. 4/4 events are everywhere. Remember, don’t spend too much money on those online shops! Reconsider your purchase twice, then consider it again, do you really need it or are you just buying it on whim? Be wise with your money and don’t be like me!