Sorry for the wait!
(owl) The Last
… I’m so tired of this…
(owl), who was sleeping on the bed, slowly awakened.
Although the weather had cleared up, the air in the morning was still cold as usual.
After getting out of bed, (owl) went straight for the chair next to the window. It was a classical-styled chair made out of bent wood.
A worn-out bed.
The chair next to the window.
And an antique fourteen-inch TV.
These were all the furniture in (owl)’s room. It didn’t request for any other appliances, nor did it feel they were necessary.
--- Today… is the same as usual huh…
(owl) gazed throughout the window absently, confirming that there was no abnormality; a task that it had never slacked off from in the past five years.
The scenery out of the window was the same, just like any other day.
The neatly arranged residential houses, the elongated road, and the walking passersby, the only thing that could be called a change were just the colors of the leaves on the trees next to the road. And as of right now, all the leaves had fully grown; their lush colors a sign of spring.
(owl) slightly opened its eyes, gazing at a family’s house directly across from it.
That was the house where the target that it was monitoring --- Ayukawa Chiharu lives.
It sat straight on the chair, before leaning forward while staring intently at the Ayukawa Chiharu’s residence.
(owl) had never doubted its mission.
Because of a “girl”, the (owl) who was once nameless and lingering in the dirty alleys of the city, was given new power and a name. That “girl” --- (Owl) gave it the same name as her. That fact alone was the only thing that it was proud of; other than that, it had nothing.
--- (Owl)-sama, today is calm as usual.
It silently reported to its master who had disappeared for a long time already. Of course, there was no reply to its murmur.
If (owl) could not complete its mission, it would be abandoned by (Owl). And then its master (Owl) would be erased by her organization.
(Owl) had once mentioned of this organization called The Special Environmental Preservation Bureau.
Although it didn’t understand her explanation that well, it could still make out that it was a very powerful organization.
The purpose of the Special Environmental Preservation Bureau was to capture and isolate anyone who was infested by these abnormal existences, known as (Mushi), whose existence were not released to the public.
(Mushi) would infest teenager boys and girls, consuming their dream and desires while in return lend them their supernatural ability to use as they wish. When their dreams were fully consumed, the host, also known as Mushitsuki, would die. In addition, if (Mushi) were killed before it could mature, the host would lose all of their memories and emotions, becoming lifeless puppets --- (owl) didn’t really go deep into this matter, but it seemed to be the case. And its master, (Owl), was one of those Mushitsuki.
Although its master (Owl) had explained the above matter in detail once, it couldn’t understand half of what she was saying despite having remembered every word she said. This made it feel that its brain was much clumsier compared to its master. But even so, compared to itself five years ago who didn’t have any cognitive ability at all, it was a big improvement.
After shifting its half-opened eyes away from the window, it used its feet to press the power switch on the TV remote control.
With a sound of *Psst*, the morning news was displayed on the TV screen.
The news reporter was broadcasting news in a voice full of spirit.
(owl) once again looked out of the window.
It huddled its body on the chair, quietly monitoring Ayukawa Chiharu’s house.
Inside the motionless (owl)’s room, only the news reporter’s voice was echoing.
This past five years…
(owl) had been repeating this pattern over and over.
It was not told the reason for Ayukawa Chiharu’s surveillance---
Shortly after, (owl) slowly moved from the chair to somewhere else.
It walked towards the kitchen, and stood in front of the refrigerator.
It then opened the refrigerator’s door, and reached towards the milk carton hung on the inside of the door, tilting the milk carton and drank a few mouthfuls of milk --- that was its breakfast.
After closing the refrigerator’s door and taking a small break, (owl) walked out of the entrance of its apartment. The apartment room that it had obtained was on the second floor of a worn-out building. There was no one living next door, it could tell since it hadn’t felt any presence living in there for a long time.
Of course, there was no elevator. (owl) rhythmically walked down the stairs without making any noise at all. Compared to the time when it was living in the alleyways, it had certainly improved its ability to conceal its presence.
Before walking onto the streets, it hid itself behind a wall to observe the Ayukawa’s residence once again.
--- So slow…
Just when (owl) narrowed its eyes, the door suddenly burst open --- it felt as if someone had kicked it open from within.
“Oh—My--God! Why didn’t you tell me you turned off the alarm?!”
A teenage girl rushed out of the door in a panic.
Her usual neatly combed long hair looked a little messy this morning, the blue hairpin clipped on her front hair seemed to be her favorite; she had been regularly wearing it for the past five years. The corner of her eyes, which would always rise up when she was angry, dropped even more than usual today. She was wearing the uniform of Nishito Sousei High school on her.
Ayukawa Chiharu, a seventeenth years old teenage girl.
Her mother remarried to her current stepfather five years ago, and have been living happily together ever since then. The family’s relationship was going very well; when they were occasionally seen chatting in front of the entrance, they always had smiles on their faces.
As for Chiharu, she was an honor student herself. Although sometimes she would come home late, she mostly leaves and comes home at a fixed time.
The (owl), who had been monitoring her until now, came to a conclusion that Chiharu was different from its master (Owl), she --- is not a Mushitsuki.
She’s just an ordinary young teenage girl that could be seen anywhere.
Just then, as Chiharu reached out to open the gate, she suddenly tripped before she could do that. Because of her panic from being late and the accident, her hand completely missed the target, causing her knee to strike against the iron gate brutally.
From the corner of (owl)’s mouth came the sound of it laughing --- it had once been told by its master (Owl) that it’s way of laughing was disgusting, but it’s a matter of habit, it couldn’t change it even if it wanted to.
--- How clumsy…
Tears squeezed from the corner of Chiharu’s eyes as she finally stepped out of the gate, hurrying her way towards the school.
(owl) walked out from behind the wall onto the streets, and concealed its presence and footsteps as it kept a certain distance following Chiharu.
However, the (owl) that was slipping through the crowd still caught some junior high girl students’ attentions.
“Hey, look over there! So cute…”
“It’s so pretty!~”
(owl) unhappily looked away as the teenager girls gaze fell upon it.
(owl) dislike its appearance. No matter how much it conceals its presence, its appearance would always grab others’ attention. If its target were to have such keen sense, this would no doubt be its fatal point.
Right in the middle of this train of thought, (owl) once again showed a mocking smile.
But even so, there’s no way THAT Chiharu could’ve noticed me!
To put it into simpler words, Ayukawa Chiharu was duller than an average person. Judging from the fact that (owl) had never been once noticed by Chiharu in the past five years, the chance of her finding out (owl) now couldn’t even consider as a probability.
In a distance, Chiharu was jogging, preparing to cross the street.
At the same moment, a large truck came charging at the crossroad appeared in (owl)’s view. The driver sitting at the driver’s seat looked as if he was about to pass out soon from fatigue. Aside from (owl), it seemed like no one else had noticed this. If it were to ignore this, Chiharu and other pedestrians would mostly get run over by this truck.
--- What should I do…?
In that instant, (owl) started to reflect.
-- Since when… did I start feeling like this toward Chiharu?...
This feeling of disgusted ---
The (owl), who always calmly monitored Chiharu, suddenly felt a burst of aversion and hatred rising from within.
Five years --- it was such a long period.
Watching Ayukawa Chiharu cry, laugh, grow, and live her youthful life.
In contrast, (owl) has always been --- living in that girl’s shadow. Even after coming back to its apartment, after each one hour interval of a short nap, it would have climbed from its bed to its chair and watched through the window, again and again.
Over the years, it had countlessly repeated this action over and over again.
For its sole mission of monitoring this teenage girl, Ayukawa Chiharu --- (owl) had to live this kind of life of nothingness.
More importantly, as long as this mission stands, it could not return to its master’s side.
--- I’ve had enough of this…!
At last, (owl)’s aversion had won.
If Chiharu were to die, it would then be released from this cycle of apathetic life, and return to its master, (Owl), who had given it power and name.
In front of the motionless (owl), the truck was about to charge into the crossroad. Those who had finally noticed of this all screamed together.
It seemed like Chiharu had also noticed the seriousness of the situation, yet she remain rooted to the ground while gazing dazedly at the out of control truck in shock.
--- Damn it…!
(owl) cursed loudly within as it forcefully leaped forward. It quickly ran towards the edge of the street and kicked a stone with its feet.
The kicked stone flew into the truck’s driver seat through the opened window and accurately struck the dozing driver’s temple.
The driver, who woke up in a shock, was dumbstruck as he instantly turned the steering wheel and charged towards the trees on the sidewalk instead. A loud crash then echoed throughout the site.
(owl) gave a “Hmph” with its nose as it hid behind one of those trees.
From Chiharu’s perspective, the crashed truck had formed a wall between her and (owl), hence she couldn’t see (owl)’s figure at all.
Surrounding the accident site, uproar broke out.
Although Chiharu was dazed for a moment, she immediately came back to her senses after remembering something and stepped forward again. Even though she turned around to look many times, she was advancing her way to school.
As for (owl) it continued its mission to monitor Chiharu casually.
--- I can’t let her die off from a simple accident.
(owl) gazed sharply at the teenage girl’s back.
Aside from the mission of monitoring Ayukawa Chiharu, (Owl) had also issued another mission.
If Chiharu shows any suspicious acts, (owl) must report at once. And if there is any abnormal situation, there’s a chance that (Owl) might have to handle it herself.
Those were the orders that (owl) had received.
Remembering these orders that were issued to it, (owl) restrained the sense of disgust from overtaking it by clenching its teeth.
Protecting Chiharu from unexpected danger was also a part of its mission.
If (owl) really wanted to put an end to its boring life, the only way out was to confirm that Chiharu herself was doing something “dangerous”. That’s right, dangerous enough to make its master (Owl) and the organization she works for, the Special Environmental Preservation Bureau, think that the only option was to obliterate her.
In other words, instead of monitoring Chiharu, it had been looking for “excuses” to kill Chiharu.
After arriving at school, (owl) watched Chiharu passed through the entrance gate.
While it on other hand, it avoided the front gate and moved towards back of the campus.
Passing through the steel fence that had a hole in it, it infiltrated into the school campus with ease. After the morning bell had rang and it confirmed that all the students had went to their classrooms, it then jumped into the empty corridor through the window.
(owl) stayed alert of its surroundings as it concealed its footsteps and dashed up the stairs at once. Although the door to the rooftop was closed, it still managed to get to the rooftop by jumping out of the opposite window, latching onto the rain shelter and using the wall as a springboard to launch itself upward.
It walked towards the fence with well-trained footwork, before sitting down at a spot where others couldn’t see it from within the opposite school building.
--- There she is.
On the opposite school building, it found Chiharu in her morning homeroom. Although the teacher was giving a speech on the stage, Chiharu was chitchatting with another student behind her quietly instead --- they were most likely talking about the accident this morning.
(owl) shrank its body as it quietly observed the situation.
This daily routine of monitoring task would numb its cognitive ability, making it think of nothing else but the target in its eyes, focusing entirely on the mission. If not, it felt like it would go berserk from the slow passing of time.
Until the school ended, today was (unfortunately) the same as usual, there was no abnormality. After finishing her student council affairs, Chiharu bid farewell to her friends before leaving school.
(owl)’s brows raised up.
It originally thought Chiharu would go home directly, however, today she turned in a different direction.
“Kufu”, (owl) chuckled lightly, revealing a smirk that doesn’t fit its beautiful appearance.
--- Very good… When you show any dangerous actions, I will be able to report to (Owl)-sama at once!
However, it’s “expectation” was soon proven wrong.
Ayukawa Chiharu arrived at the Nishito City’s downtown area. While still wearing her school uniform, she went through a couple of fashion stores one after another.
There was nothing to make a fuss about, she was just shopping.
(owl) could not help but feel frustrated.
Chiharu went pass through the plaza in front of the station, before stopping in front of a large department store, seeming to be hesitating whether she should go in or not.
On the department store’s wall a large LED billboard could be seen.
(owl) subconsciously stopped in its tracks, raising up its head to gaze at the billboard. Movie trailers were being displayed on the billboard one after another.
(owl) selflessly focused its attention on the flashing images.
It saw a scene of an intense car racing battle, and another scene of an adventure in a world of fantasy, many dazzling fantasy-like scenes were interspersing in that big rectangle box… within (owl)’s heart, many feelings began to condense into one emotion.
If it remembered correctly, many called this emotion --- “Admiration”.
The worlds that would never cross into its life continued to dance beautifully within the quadrangular panel.
Come to think of it… This was also the place where (Owl) and (owl) met for the first time.
On that day, (owl) had a dream ---
The young (owl), who was sitting on a bench chair on the plaza in front of the station, focused its empty eyes at a point above,
It stared directly at that large panel that was displaying incredibly beautiful sights, on the wall of a department store that had just been completed.
The dirty bench chair it was sitting on had become its VIP seat. Other than itself, other clean and neatly dressed pedestrians wouldn’t even dare to come close, which made it think that this was its sanctuary.
At that time, (owl)’s dirtiness was parallel to that of the dirty bench chair itself. Even when someone noticed it lurking in the dark alley, they would immediately show a disgusted expression as they turned away from seeing its dirty appearance.
In fact, even (owl) itself couldn’t clearly remember its past. Ever since it could make sense out of things, it came to realize that it had no parents or siblings, and the fact that it had to make a living out of the garbage in the dark alley. It, who relied on its instinct, did not doubt this situation even once and also clearly understood the fact that the pedestrians on the streets were a different species than itself.
The reasons why it chose to sit on this bench was simply because there was nothing else that could threaten it, everyone else would purposely take a detour to avoid it. In addition, some hobos would share their food with it occasionally.
But one day, that spot became an irreplaceable treasure to it.
Brilliant sceneries expanded above, within that panel above its head.
An endless blue known as ‘sea’ that it had never seen before, the spaceship traveling in the space which came immediately after, and then the scenery of a couple dressed in gorgeous outfits embracing before kissing ---
Until now, all it had been seeing were the dirty floors of the dark alley, this was the first time it raised its head. Whenever the screen changed, it felt its heart racing along with it.
Although this description was pretty trite… it could only say it was really touched by this.
Even during the time it had lost the energy to search for good, it still dragged its body reluctantly back to here --- Simply because, it felt like this should be where it ends.
Unknowingly, a stream of tear strolled down (owl)’s cheek.
For the first time in its life, it laughed.
It was a small miracle.
The (owl), who only knew how to crawl and was supposedly going to die right here, shouldn’t be able to laugh, simply because it had never lived in an environment that could make it have such a feeling.
But--- If… there’s something like destiny which was tightly connected together like gears, and if one of the gears were to change its rotation, would there be a possibility that it will appear in one of those sceneries ---
And just then, next to the smirking (owl), a girl sat down.
Even though it was just a strange girl who it met for the first time, (owl) still remembered the color of the ribbon tied on her hair on that day even now.
“What are you laughing about? So creepy!”
(owl) stared dazedly at the girl who was showing a face of displeasure.
Yet suddenly, the girl reached her hand and petted (owl)’s head --- the sensation of someone else touching it for the first time ever made (owl) trembled.
“Are you scared?...”
Behind the giggling girl’s back, it could see something was forming from a cloud of red mist. The mist was changing its form like a living being, slowly showing a big insect abdomen, a pair of bright wings and a stinger.
It looked just like a bee --- No, something that’s more noble and dignified… more like a queen bee.
“People like me… are called “Mushitsuki” by others… What do you think? Am I creepy too?”
(owl) suddenly lowered its head.
Although it was just an after-effect of it losing its strength to support its head, the girl was surprised when she saw this and immediately showed a joyful smile.
“Ahaha, wow. Can you really understand what I’m saying? Ahaha, this is too funny… okay, I’ll let you become my slave number one! Having someone to help me with SEPB’s missions doesn’t sound too bad.”
After having spoken those lines, the girl then revealed a faint smile, a fresh and adorable smile that doesn’t fit her way of speech and content of the conversation.
“Let’s walk through this god damn life together!”
Giving an attitude as if she was the king standing at the peek --- No, at that moment, they were indeed the dominator of this narrow bench.
From that day on, (owl) became the girl’s slave, underling, and comrade.
And that, was what happened five years ago.
(owl) shifted its gaze away from the large panel and continued to tail Ayukawa Chiharu.
If only this girl would die --- if only (Owl)-sama kills her, I’ll be able to return to (Owl)-sama…
Chiharu was completely not aware of the (owl), who exuded a murderous aura as it kept a certain distance following after her, as she happily enjoyed herself shopping.
As (owl) stared at Chibaru’s back, a familiar feeling raised from within it.
---She’s just like… a protagonist of a movie…
Chiharu’s figure, who started humbling under the bright sun, began to overlap with the scenery (owl) admired from within the large billboard. If Chiharu were a protagonist, then the tailing (owl) must be an assassin right? -- Sounds like a straight B-rank detective movie.
But, if only… there’s something like reincarnation, I might have a chance of becoming a protagonist just like Chiharu ---
The overboard delusion caused (owl) to burst out laughing for a moment.
And yet, it couldn’t stop this delusion from continuing.
If this were a movie, what would become of it? Would the protagonist girl become stronger as she narrowly escaped the assassin’s fangs? Or would she get easily killed and the story ended in a tragedy? Or maybe, the assassin fell in love with the protagonist and they joined hands ---
Even while immersing itself in its delusional world, (owl) could never forget the reality its living in.
The dream it’s harboring, was not something that was birthed in a heat of moment. There was no way (owl) could live as a protagonist, or getting out of this endless cycle of emptiness.
But, what about Chiharu?...
If Chiharu were to be a protagonist of a story, does that mean (owl) gets to become one of the characters portrayed in her story? Would (owl) get to see the end of this story?
Just when (owl) was pondering this far-fetched imagination, Chiharu’s movement suddenly changed.
Chiharu suddenly looked at a strange direction and stood where she was quietly for a while. Although (owl) tried to follow the direction of her gaze, it wasn’t able to see anything because of the crowd blocking its view.
And then, Chiharu changed her direction and started jogging.
--- What happened?... Did she see someone she knew…?
(owl) carefully and quietly maintained its distance as it followed after her.
Like a child chasing after a butterfly, Chiharu gazed straightforward at a certain object as she crossed the streets, making restless steps as she walked in a direction different from her school or home.
And finally she arrived at a place located in between the train station and county government buildings, which was the center of Nishito City.
After surveying her surroundings, Chiharu went pass through a fence comprised of ropes.
(owl) slowly raised its head to obverse the giant buildings in front of it.
A tower, which was reflecting the sunlight, glistened in transparent white, or maybe silver light, was standing there. Next to this tower, there was a dome-shaped building next to it, and many more buildings surrounding it. They were all enveloped in bright slivery glow like a huge treasure box. The walls of the tower itself were trimmed with crystal, while the tips of other buildings were made with silver or other precious metal.
Nishito’s giant city project --- “Urban”.
A government project designed to incorporate entertainment, resident areas, food services, fashion, and industry businesses altogether in one area; the center tower would be used for entertainment and business purposes, the dome was for art and education purposes, while the other buildings were for residential purpose. Right when this project was close to finishing, the close-relationship between the project manager and construction employee was found out, causing the whole project to go into hiatus --- Aya Sugitsu, who’s an underling of (Owl) just like (owl), had once said this before.
Chiharu walked towards the dome-shaped building --- also known as “Urban Dome”. Of course , it was a place that non-personnel were prohibited from entering, but it seemed like she did not care the slightest.
(owl)’s heartbeat began to race faster.
It showed a stiff smile, and then subconsciously made a sound of it swallowing its saliva.
--- Is this…f-finally the moment?...
In the past, Chiharu had never done anything suspicious like this before. But right now, (owl) could faintly feel that aura of tension from doing something “bad” coming from Chiharu.
--- Is today the day…? Is the reason why I have kept surveillance over her for the past five years finally going to be revealed today…?!
(owl) then marched closer with joyful steps, following closely behind Chiharu. It was very well aware of its emotion rising higher than before.
--- (Owl)-sama! This girl is planning on doing something “bad”! When the situation gets dangerous enough, I will immediately report to you…!
If it were (owl)’s master, she should have no problem killing this kind of ordinary girl in an instant, and get rid of the hatred piled within (owl) altogether. Just from imagining this could make (owl)’s mood suddenly brighter already.
In the meanwhile, Chiharu was crossing over the plywood that was left on the ground, then bypassing a heavy-lifting machine to get into the Urban Dome.
--- Very good…! Today will be the last day of your live! And also, your story will be ending ---
Thinking up to here, (owl)’s train of thoughts suddenly braked.
Chiharu’s story will be ending soon, right here…
Five years, such a long period of time that (owl) had suffered and endured.
Chiharu underwent this period of time along with it, slowly growing in the process.
When her mother and her step father had just married, she was just a girl who rarely showed any smile. But during junior high and high school, maybe it was because of the friends she made, she became livelier and more joyful. Up to now, she always had a smile on her face while humming a song. Although she doesn’t have anyone particular on mind right now, it was just a matter of time before she finds one. More importantly, with that kind of carefree attitude and lifestyle, she really does look like a heroine from a youth movie ---
(owl) grinded its teeth, and threw away the flashing memories of the past.
--- Those don’t matter anymore…! What’s there to hesitate about now?!
Chiharu stepped into the Urban Dome, walking towards the motionless escalator.
The second floor lounge of Urban Dome was a wide-open space. Mostly likely it was originally planned to become an open-view garden lounge for visitors to rest and enjoy being surrounded by plants. The trees and flowers that were left behind since the hiatus of the project had all grown haphazardly under the showering of sunlight from the transparent ceiling mirror above. It looked as if a corner of a jungle was captured and then released right here, expanding magically in front like a fairytale.
This scenery in front caused (owl) to start trembling.
The trembling continued nonstop, to a point where its knees were also shaking. The mouth that slowly turned into a smirk was portraying the relief of emotions stored within it from the past five years.
In front of Chiharu who stood amidst the jungle, lied an unfamiliar teenage girl. With her eyes closed and back lying against the grass, she looked just like a fairy descending.
Wait, that’s not right, she was not unfamiliar. (owl) just remembered who she was. On the list of “Ranked S capture targets” that Aya Sugitu brought over a few days ago, she was listed on there. Although the details were unclear, it seemed like she was a dangerous enemy.
(owl) suddenly burst out laughing, before immediately turned around in the direction where it came from.
---T-This is u-unbelievable…! Chiharu has come in contact with the dangerous target that the “organization” is after! There’s no doubt! There’s nothing more dangerous than this!
(owl) couldn’t hold in any longer and started running at its full speed. Of course, it was for the sake of returning to its master (Owl) to report this incident at once.
Because of its forceful jump down the escalator, it slipped and fell down on the floor as a result. But to the current (owl), such pain felt rather comfortable. It immediately stood up while maintaining a pleasant smile.
--- (Owl)-sama! Chiharu is dangerous! Please come here immediately, and kill ---
For that instant, the smile disappeared from (owl)’s expression.
Chiharu will die here ---
The story of a girl, who it protected for five years, will come to an end here.
Even though this was an end that it had desired many times, perhaps… there might be some other possible endings. For example, what if (owl) choose to “not report” this incident, everything will be the same as it was in the past ---
Because of this overly foolish idea, (owl) could not help but laugh even more.
Impossible, there’s no other ending. The girl called Ayukawa Chiharu will, without a doubt, die here ---
On the spot right before it could step out of Urban Dome, (owl) suddenly braked.
While it was following Chiharu here, (owl) had never notice anyone else besides Chiharu, that’s why the moment when it saw someone standing at the entrance it was stunned dumbfounded.
And it seemed like the opposite party had noticed it as well, gazing dazedly at itself.
--- Who the fuck are ---!
(owl) almost did not shout out loud.
Standing in front of it was a tall man wearing a black-colored long coat. Although his body looked slender, judging from the muscles on his both arms revealed because of torn sleeves he must be very fit. His eyes were half covered by his messy long hair, underneath the mask covering his mouth and nose, the sound of heavy panting could be heard.
Next to the man’s feet there was a puddle of blood, it seemed like he was injured. But more importantly ---
(owl), who had experienced a life close to the wild before, could clearly feel the tension surrounding this man. That --- murderous tension was the strongest it had ever felt in its life before.
“Hua…Hu…Ha… Where is she… she should be right around here…”
The man was panting heavily as he walked closer towards (owl).
--- This man will kill everyone-!
(owl)’s intuition was telling itself that after having concluded that this man in front of it had completely lost his cool. This man, who was releasing such an overwhelming murderous aura, would most likely slaughter anyone he sees in his path, even if that opposite party is a completely harmless girl --- like Chiharu.
(owl) instantly felt goose bumps all over its body. Before this, the emotions of joy and confusion that were running wild in itself were all pushed aside, swallowed by an even stronger and intense emotion.
--- Are you fucking kidding me?!
Within its heart, (owl) --- roared loudly.
--- Five years! I’ve been waiting for five fucking years! Why… Why must someone like you, who came out of nowhere, steal our prey?! Chiharu is my and (Owl)-sama’s prey! How dare you… come and snatch her away?! No fucking way!
Instinct took over (owl)’s rationality, causing it to accelerate and leaped towards this man.
(owl)’s nail narrowly grazed by the man’s face, who instinctively dodged the attack yet still got a scar drawn on his neck, causing blood to slowly drip onto the floor.
“What the heck is wrong ---“
(owl) once again launched an attack, but was completely dodged this time. The man countered with his fist, punching right into the side of (owl) abdomen.
(owl)’s tiny body was easily sent flying, crashing into the wall. Despite having its mouth filled with blood, the (owl) who was overtaken by anger immediately stood up.
(owl) then charged forward with small steps. The man tried to use his feet to kick it away, but (owl)’s feint easily dodged the man’s kick, and then it launched itself onto the man from above.
The man’s scream echoed. From his cheek down to his throat there was a deep red line caused by owl’s nails.
However, (owl) still furiously sucked its tongue. To someone as weak as it, the only weapons it could use were its nimble speed and claws. It was originally aiming for his eyes, but the man dodged in a nick of time. As a result, (owl)’s nails were forcefully peeled off by that impact, transmitting intense pain from its fingertips.
The man’s face smeared with blood, with a face like a demon he glared at (owl).
And then, behind him suddenly appeared cyan-colored and crimson-colored rope-like objects, they instantly swelled up and became a twin-headed monster.
A monster with multiple pairs of legs which made it looks like an insect belonging to the Chilopoda category. The top of its body was split into two heads, with each having sharp fangs and strong jaws. That appearance of hundreds of feet wriggling disgustingly at once would remind one of a house centipede. (House centipede: centipede-like appearance, but antennae and legs are particularly long, toxic.)
(owl) instantly felt a chill running down its spine from the stares of the four compound eyes on both of their heads.
--- T-This guy… is also a Mushitsuki just like (Owl)-sama?!
(owl) was abruptly knocked away, falling onto the ground. The crimson-colored head opened its giant jaws before launching towards (owl).
However, (owl) hurriedly jumped to the side as the giant house centipede’s jaw dug up a portion of the ground where it was standing, like an excavator.
Crushing the cement like a bulldozer, the head penetrated all the way through the wall of the tower --- Urban Tower.
Such overwhelming destructive power left (owl) speechless. If it were to take an attack like that with its fragile body, it would be all over in one second right? And that should be the same to Chiharu as well.
(owl) then shifted its gaze at Urban Dome. The sound of wall crumpling just now, Chiharu should’ve heard it from where she was. Perhaps she might come running out to check out what’s going on, if that’s the case then ---
-- I will not it happen!
After dodging the cyan-colored head’s continued attack, (owl) ran from the broken wall of Urban Dome into Urban Tower. While evading, it forcefully scratched the house centipede’s eyes. Although the shell looked hard, its eyes part was quite fragile. It could feel the uncomfortable sensation of slicing something bio coming from its fingertip.
“I’m going to fucking kill you…!”
The nails on its left hand had peeled off as well; in return came the man’s low roar. The man was chasing after (owl) into the Tower.
Waves of pain came spreading from its fingertips, but even so, (owl) still laughed happily.
--- That’s right… follow after me…! I know it very well. If Mushitsuki were to continually use their Mushi, they would become very tired. I’ll drain all of your energy right here, and you won’t be able to go near Chiharu!
Silence embraced the interior of the tower. Pillars were standing side by side next to each other in the surrounding walls, on the first floor a lot of construction materials could be seen lying all over the place. In addition there were monuments and pipes used for lightings --- presumably if this place were to be completed; it would create a very magnificent sight.
(owl) had also noticed some uncovered and exposed metal pipes. (owl) knew those were water pipes, and it connected all the way down to basement.
Similar to Urban Dome, there was an escalator in the center of each floor. (owl) ran upwards with light footsteps.
The battle against the unknown man continued for many floors. Every time when it dodged the house centipede’s attack, (owl) would kick the construction materials down at the man and use its nail-less fingertips to attack the (Mushi)’s eyes.
Due to continuous intense exercise, (owl)’s lungs were crying in pain, but that was also the same for the man. Although it was impressive that he still have the stamina to catch up despite being injured, (owl) was still much better than him.
Suddenly, it felt the movement of wind ---
(owl) did not expect that the escalator had connected all the way up to the rooftop, it hurried surveyed its surrounding as it arrived. On the four corners of the floor there was a steel pillar standing tall, and there was a crane left abandoned.
Shortly after a while, the man had also arrived onto the rooftop.
(owl)’s expression darkened --- Just a bit more then I can completely drain that man’s stamina and energy…! If only this tower had more floors, damn it!...
(owl) cursed its destiny from within.
Even so, (owl) still desperately tried to look for other ways of attack. In its view, it saw a couple of barrels lying side by side, (owl)’s nose immediately smelled the pungent odor coming from those barrels. Once it had realized what were inside of those barrels, a plan flashed through its mind.
A smile naturally emerged from the corner of its lips.
Perhaps, it was gifted by the wisdom that it obtained by (Owl), its master (Owl) would definitely comment this plan of (owl) as:
--- What a Shitty idea!
Indeed, this idea was just too overboard.
And yet, (owl)’s body did not hesitate even the slightest and started to move, charging towards the barrels.
“Don’t you dare run away!”
The man manipulated the house centipede to charge towards (owl), sending (owl) who managed to curl into a ball in defense flying as it crushed the barrels nearby to pieces with its jaws.
However, it seemed like the house centipede’s sharp fangs grazed by its flank, causing blood to ooze from its abdomen.
But in the next moment, a strong pungent odor filled the surrounding space.
“This is… gasoline? The fuel left for the crane? Did you purposely… No, that’s not possible ---!“
The man seemed to be shaken.
(owl) stood up with its trembling legs, and then jumped to a pillar far away. It swung its injured claws, trying to scratch the surface of the pillar.
Perhaps this had inflicted fear upon the man, he instinctively manipulated the cyan-colored head to attack (owl). Right before (owl)’s broken claws could even scratch the pillar, a huge jaw appeared from the side and bit onto (owl)’s body.
(owl) opened its mouth, groaning painfully as the sound of crushing came from its ribs. It was then tossed onto the side like a piece of trash.
“W-What the heck… are you trying to do?! Are you trying to make spark from the scratching to make the gasoline go on fire?! Not even caring if you would get involved or not?!”
(owl) laughed wryly as it lied on the ground, soaked in gasoline. The attack just then was a fatal one, there was no way it could survive this.
“Y-You’re… laughing….? W-What… in the world… are you? Just what the fuck are you?!”
--- That’s my line you basterd!
(owl) remained smiling as it barely stood up.
--- You’re not the one… who will end Chiharu’s story… It’s gotta be (Owl)-sama!
(owl) then made a forceful leap, charging towards a small concrete hut far away in the corner. (owl)’s instinct was telling itself that there should be water pump machinery in there. There was a similar hut in Chiharu’s school; that’s why it knew, and with this kind of water pump machinery it should connect with all of the water pipes within both Urban Tower and Urban Dome.
The following plan that (owl) had come up with, had no meaning to (owl) itself, but ---
--- (Owl)-sama… as long as this man stays in this city, he would definitely get in your way. If it were you, surely you could easily understand my thoughts… Please, (Owl)-sama ---
“Why can you still move even after such injuries..! Wooahhh!!”
The (Mushi) of the man who was completely dominated by fear, crushed (owl) along with the hut.
The sound of destruction echoed throughout the whole “Urban” ---
After confirming that there was no movement in his surroundings, the man then turned around with his back facing where he was looking a moment ago.
“W-What the hell is going on… Am I seeing illusions…? Damn it… I need to take a rest somewhere ---“
The man murmured to himself as his footsteps drifted away.
In the hut that was destroyed, a smile surfaced on (owl)’s expression.
Its abdomen was crushed within, and the bones in its ribs and legs were all broken; its vision was slowly becoming blurred as well.
--- The one… who will end Chiharu’s story… is not you…
In its hazy view, (owl) suddenly saw a cloud of red mist formed from its blood slowly rising into the air. The mist condensed into a shape in midair, slowly transforming into a queen bee.
--- (Owl)-sama… I’ll be right with you…
(owl) lifted its broken body, struggling forward with its broken legs.
The broken ribs were stabbing into its lungs, making large amounts of blood spew out from its mouth.
The red mist --- after slowly losing this power that was given by (Owl), the cognitive ability it had in the past was slowly dissipating.
--- But, (Owl)-sama… It looks like I may not be able to report you now, I…---
And that, was the last drop of (owl)’s consciousness.
The (owl) that was unable to think of anything else, it’s laughter began to dissipate within the Urban Tower.
Thank you for reading~
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