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Rina Part 6
Why are they here?
In front of Rina who came to Skypia for a certain “reason”, three Mushitsuki appeared.
“Rina! I came here to tell you something—but, what in the world is going on here?!”
The boy who was standing on a giant centipede, Hibino Kazufusa, shouted out to her. A Mushitsuki boy who was once cowardly trembling in a corner from fear and despair, but after a short journey of escape with Rina, had regained the confidence and the courage to survive.
“Thank you, young lady. Because of your help, I really seemed to have escaped from SEPB’s control.”
The elegant young man said as he threw a piece of concrete that was infested with black-colored nematodes.
A former member of the Special Environmental Preservation Bureau, (Mr. Hat House).
A teenage boy who desired to have fun by himself and wished to be alone, he wanted a world where he doesn’t need to interfere with others or have others interfering with him. The plan that Rina came up with really helped him, he was so happy that he was even trembling in joy right now.
“--- as long as I can kill you all, I will be able to obtain eternal solitude!”
The area Rina stood on was blown away by a huge explosion.
In the nick of time, a teenage girl, with a stick-like (Mushi) hanging above her head, swung by and grabbed Rina, avoiding the explosion.
“That guy is an enemy --- Children’s enemy ---“
A traveling busker, Rokko ---
A puppet doll who had been dancing nonstop in the park, constantly starving herself, she, however, accompanied by the melody of the music box, was saved from Rina’s smile just a moment ago. Those eyes that had almost lost its luster began to light up once again.
“Kill Rina? Why does the SEPB wants to kill her---?!”
“You there, centipede boy. I purposely let you go, why did you have to come back… What a foolish child…”
“Enemy --- Enemy ---“
In front of Rina, the three Mushitsuki broke into a free-for-all.
These three people had all been lost, seeking for salvation.
After noticing their pain, Rina saved them.
--- That was what she thought.
But, it was not enough.
“(Mr. Hat House)-san!”
Rina called out to the teenage boy who wore a hat ornament on his head.
“You still ---“
“Yes, although you have helped me, it’s still not enough. I’m a very selfish person you see…”
While guarding against Rokko and Kazufusa, (Mr. Hat House) took a glimpse at Rina. His eyes were dyed black by selfish ambition, so dark that it sent chills down people’s spines.
“Just obtaining freedom and loneliness could no longer satisfy me anymore. In order to achieve perfect solitude, I --- will make others enveloped in solitude as well---“
“Remember this, smart and beautiful young lady, even if you can’t remember, you have to carve this fear you’re feeling right now deep into your heart!”
(Mr. Hat House) narrowed his pair of dark eyes, and grinned. The hat he was wearing suddenly swelled up until it covered down to the corner of his lips.
“Your kindness is a light which illuminates the darkness, many who have lost their ways will come to you, and you probably will not hesitate to rescue them. But ---“
The concrete the teenage boy threw approached Rina.
Rina quickly stepped aside, barely dodging it if it weren’t for Rokko. Right before he threw that piece of concrete, Rokko leaped at him and kicked his arm, causing the path of the flying concrete to change, exploding at a distance a bit further away.
“One day --- those people that you saved will eventually devour those beautiful pairs of wing of yours and make you fall; deep into the abyss.”
(Mr. Hat House)’s dark prophetic statement rode with the wind, echoing throughout Skypia.
“But you no longer have to wait for them to devour you, I’ll devour you alive here myself!”
(Mr. Hat House) leaped over the raising smoke, and jumped in front of Rina.
But then, in that instant, a giant centipede came from the side.
“Do you think I will let you kill Rina just like that?!!”
“It seems like the cowardly centipede has become stronger huh. Do you think you can become her knight?”
(Mr. Hat House) grabbed the floor and pulled it forcefully. In an instant, the concrete floor stretched up like rubber, forming a blockade against the giant centipede’s fangs.
“Kill --- Kill ---!”
Meanwhile, Rokko leaped down from above with a kick. (Mr. Hat House) easily tilted his head and dodged the attack.
“Too slow, Puppet-san. Where’s that terrifying fast speed of yours from before?!”
The concrete sheet he pulled covered Rokko entirely. (Mr. Hat House) then grabbed and pulled it again, causing the elastic concrete sheet to cave in and send Rokko flying from its recoil. Rokko was blasted against the wall, crashing through numerous walls before dropping to the ground.
(Mr. Hat House) then once again threw a piece of concrete infused with nematodes at the dumbfounded Rina.
I won’t make it ---
In the view of Rina who was rooted to the ground, a giant centipede’s shadow arose.
Perhaps it might be because of his judgment that a normal defensive approach wouldn’t be able to save her in time, Kazufusa’s centipede roared out loud along with him as it slammed its giant body against the floor.
A huge quake shook the entire Skypia, and the floor Rina and the others were standing on began to crumble.
Above Rina who was dazedly falling down along with the floor, a piece of concrete narrowly flew by, exploding a short distance away.
The body which had lost the support of the floor instantly succumbed to gravity and fell downward.
Just like that time when she was jumping off from the school’s rooftop along with her childhood acquaintance, Shirotani Reiji –
As well as the time when she fell down with (Mr. Hat House) from the sluice ---
That instant feeling of release and fresh breeze enveloped her completely.
This comfort which she felt, gave her an illusion of freedom and liberation.
But, what she was feeling right now, those were definitely no illusions.
While still falling downward, Rina clenched her lips.
The present now was different from the past.
In this present, she no longer had a place to go back to.
Within the current Rina, there was a new “power” slumbering.
She could only use this power, to move forward, towards a new paradise.
That’s right, not just her, but every one of those who sought salvation ---
I have to find a place where everyone can live at ease ---
Kazufusa’s voice which came out of nowhere brought Rina back to her senses.
At the same time, the centipede’s body wrapped around Rina’s body, shielding her from the fall and impact. It also used its body to protect Rina from the falling debris.
The huge explosion and the blast caused her to go deaf for a moment, whilst the sudden free fall caused her to lose her sense of balance.
Rina, after being released from the centipede’s grip, shakily took a step onto the floor.
Meanwhile, Kazufusa landed onto a pile of debris nearby, moaning in pain. It seemed like he used the centipede to protect Rina rather than himself.
“Young lady, why won’t you save me again?”
On the other side of the floor, the puppet covered in blood was fighting against the undamaged (Mr. Hat House).
As the concrete debris fell from the sky like raindrops, Rokko’s fists and kicking continued to strike forwards like a roaring gust. (Mr. Hat House) carefully observed and dodged every single attack she made, before leisurely turning to his side to look at Rina.
“You’re the only one who can help me achieve true solitude.”
Thump --- (Mr. Hat House)’s legs suddenly stomped hard against the floor. His feet sank into the ground, causing Rokko’s furious fist to narrowly miss. He then took advantage of the reaction force from the ground and leaped upward, using his knee to strike right into Rokko’s chin.
The puppet was sent flying right through the hole in the ceiling, crashing into the ceiling of the higher floor. The pale-faced teenage girl couldn’t even put on a protective posture as she fell directly down to the ground.
Rina stared dazedly at the two beaten Mushitsuki --- before glaring at (Mr. Hat House).
“I…I’m not as kind as you think I am. If beaten I will fight back.”
“Your courage, I will keep that in mind.”
(Mr. Hat House) slowly approached Rina.
The centipede charged over, but was instantly repelled back by the explosion caused by the infused concrete.
Rokko leaped and jumped in from behind, kicking right into (Mr. Hat House)’s back, but the teenage boy’s body suddenly softened like rubber, using elasticity to bounce the pale-faced puppet girl back.
“Come, save me one more time ---“
The teenage boy raised his hat, showing his face.
Not just his eyes --- but (Mr. Hat House) himself, his entire being was dyed chaotic from dark ambition. Throughout his body, black-colored nematodes could be seen wriggling.
Looking at the eyes of this Mushitsuki approaching her, Rina finally realized something.
He was still looking for salvation.
He was afraid of everything, and couldn’t find an escape, that’s why he was pleading at his only hope, which was Rina.
And there was only one thing that Rina could do for him,
Using the “power” that she had just obtained, to save him ---
She silently raised her hand at (Mr. Hat House).
On her slender fingertip, a tiny crawling shadow appeared.
That shadow spread its wings, softly flapping --- and then suddenly swelled up.
In that instant, that floor’s air pressure dramatically dropped.
A shockwave then shook the entire building.
(Mr. Hat House) who was widening his eyes from shock was blasted away from the impact against his abdomen. After making a flip through the air, he crashed through the walls separating the halls and slammed hard into the tempered glass reflecting the view of the Akamaki city’s streets.
Rokko and Kazufusa, who fell to the ground, were covering their faces from the overwhelming gust. Everything surrounding Rina was blasted away radially.
After a moment, a decoration hat slammed against the glass next to (Mr. Hat House).
Ruptured into pieces by the impact, the hat spattered against the glass wall and began to leak an appalling amount of fluid.
“Ahh, I see ---“
(Mr. Hat House) lay paralyzed on the floor while smiling:
“So that “distortion” I felt at that time… It was from you…”
Not only just (Mr. Hat House), both Rokko and Kazufusa who raised their heads were gazing dumbfounded at Rina.
In front of Rina, an abnormal monster suddenly appeared.
Akin to the lower part of a giant sphere that was cut in half, with a size that could easily cover a human being and with seven protruding black-colored dots on its surface --- a half-sphere sized ladybug.
“Rina… you became a Mushitsuki too…?”
Kazufusa’s stunned voice began to echo throughout the floor.
Just as he said,
That red-colored ladybug was no doubt --- Rina’s (Mushi).
“Yeah, just then…”
Rina smiled as she replied.
She had also become a Mushitsuki.
Why did it turn out this way --- even if she were to explain to them, it would be meaningless anyway. That’s why Rina only smiled without saying anything else.
Rina had obtained a new power.
Even if she wanted to escape, she couldn’t.
No matter how she desperately she longed for salvation, no one ever came to save her.
This new power was so strong that it was enough to save others.
“(Mr. Hat House)-san… Despite saying all that, you already knew didn’t you? The one, who became a Mushitsuki from before, was me.”
Under Rina’s gaze, (Mr. Hat House) slightly creased his brows.
The teenage boy who was on his knees did not answer Rina’s question, just merely showing a shallow smile. Rina watched his eyes that had been tainted by corrupted ambition lose their luster.
“Your eyes, till the end, still say that you want someone to save you …”
(Mr. Hat House) raised his face, and smirked.
“… I was a little afraid, to be honest… For the sake of making myself alone, I had to make the whole world alone… If such thing were to really come true, I seriously wouldn’t know what to do…”
Next to the bright smiling face, the bleeding (Mushi) slowly disappeared into the air ---
“But, thank goodness… the dream of become alone, only belongs to me now…”
As if he was carrying something really precious, the Mushitsuki teenage boy lifted one of his hands in front of his chest.
“Thank you… With this…I will be able to monopolize this solitude all by myself now…”
The eyes of (Mr. Hat House) who was showing a calm smile, quietly gazed straight at Rina.
After losing his (Mushi), the teenage boy who had lost his memories and emotions became silent. His eyes no longer had any luster in them, his focus pinned to one point. Comparing his figure to Rokko’s performance; he was closer to being a real puppet.
Rina also looked back at the eyes of this teenage boy who had become a Fallen.
In front of her, was an end of a Mushitsuki who was crushed by his dream.
--- “One day --- those people that you saved will eventually devour those beautiful pairs of wing of yours and make you fall; deep into the abyss.”
He wanted her to forever remember that line, and even said that, if she couldn’t, she had to carve this fear deep into her heart.
Rina had already carved it deep down her heart.
Rather than the fear she felt was she was being attacked, the fear she’s looking straight at right now, this fear, she had already deeply carved it into her heart.
After becoming a Mushitsuki, she herself who had committed a “sin”, who could no longer return to who she was --- other than moving forwards, there’s no other way.
In the view of Rina who stood in silence, the busker teenage girl slowly stood up.
“… Well, looks like we’re done here.”
A voice filled with relief, came from none other, than Rokko herself.
Both Rina and Kazufusa couldn’t help but widen their eyes to look at her. Meanwhile, Rokko casually looked back at them and shrugged her shoulders.
“Heh, sorry about that. I’ve decided that I will be performing until I could see the smile of the child I’m interested in from this city. Rokko, I, am still in the middle of training you see?”
“It was a really beautiful smile you have there, thank you for the meal. If someday we were to meet at some other city, you must definitely come to watch Rokko’s performance again okay?~”
After speaking those lines with a mischievous tone, Rokko winked at them. That figure walking rhythmically down the emergency stairway was no different than any human being.
Seeing the teenage girl who walked away like a gust of wind, Rina and Kazufusa exchanged looks with each other for quite a while.
Unknown to which side, someone suddenly burst out laughing.
It was only a matter of time before the commotion that had happened here at Skypia one hundred and eighty meters above the ground was found out by the people below.
They must escape before they were noticed then.
“Why did you come back, Kazufusa?”
After laughing for quite a while, Rina asked. The Mushitsuki boy replied with a little embarrassment.
“I…didn’t want to just run, but rather help other Mushitsuki if I can. Before leaving, I wanted to come tell Rina that, so…”
“Help other Mushitsuki?”
“I think there must be many Mushitsuki out there that were feeling afraid from SEPB’s pursuits --- just like me from before. I wanted to help those people as well.”
“Is that so?”
Rina shook her slender shoulder-length hair, while overlooking Akamaki city’s streets.
“I will come with you then.”
“I also wished to help other Mushitsuki. As long as it’s within my reach --- I wanted to help as many of them as possible …”
For the sake of those Mushitsuki seeking salvation --
And also, for herself --
Maybe perhaps, it was also for the sake of “atonement” --- Even so Rina still hoped that there was a meaning behind this power that she obtained.
“… Is that… Rina’s dream?”
Upon hearing Kazufusa’s question, Rina narrowed her eyes for a moment.
And then, she nodded.
“Yeah, it was because of this that I became a Mushitsuki.”
After speaking with a firm stone, her expression eased.
“--- But, before we go, I have to bid farewell to many people.”
Rina’s smile, under the glittering sunset, shined faintly.
Thank you for reading~
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