Translated : Sveroz
Edited : Nooby2, Wing, Akios
“Just drop me off here.”
(Kakkou) said to Haji who was in the driver’s seat.
The high-class car that two of them were sitting in was parked at an abandoned factory on the outskirts of Ouka City. Wild vines could be seen growing rampantly on top of the exposed steel.
From under a street lamp, (Kakkou) looked up at the night sky.
It was already late in the night. And since the rain from earlier had stopped, the night sky of Ouka City was filled with stars.
“(Kakkou), you got something on your mind?”
The light-hearted voice came from the driver’s seat behind the unopened window. A young adult wearing a pair of broken spectacles showed his usual smile.
“Right now, this kind hearted big brother is free to chat with you.”
Judging from the actions of this person now, it was hard to believe that he was the same guy who had fainted on the ground earlier. Although fainting was already a normal issue to him, it was still kind of hard to understand that.
“We’ve already come this far, what’s there to be worried about?”
Haji did not seem to mind the words of (Kakkou) that was filled sarcasm, and continued:
“No, you must be worrying about something. Let me guess, it must be about (Fuyuhotaru), right?”
In an instant, (Kakkou) remained silent as he stared at Haji.
“What exactly is being researched at (GARDEN)? It must be something you cooked up, right?”
“Who knows? But by letting (Mushibane) listen to that, they’ll probably believe in it right? They will probably think that (GARDEN) must have some secret that could return Mushitsuki back into ordinary humans.”
Haji’s tone was rather cheerful. Every time when he had a devious plan going on in his mind, he would speak in this manner, whilst (Kakkou) would always end up manipulated by him unknowingly.
“… Exactly which part is your plan? Just like before, why did you tell me to let (Ladybird) go ------“
“(Fuyuhotaru) was in the park earlier.”
Upon listening to Haji’s straightforward answer, (Kakkou) could not help but be shocked.
“That girl who was the reason behind our battle, it was my intention to let her flee into the park and bait (Mushibane) into rescuing her. Once (Ladybird) escaped, she would end up meeting (Fuyuhotaru). However, (Ladybird) wouldn’t have realized that the one she encountered was indeed (Fuyuhotaru). Up till this point, everything was all going according to my script--- Oh, that’s right; (Fuyuhotaru) is still a Mushitsuki. Not only did she recover from the Fallen status, even her Mushi has revived.”
(Kakkou) couldn’t figure out the intentions behind Haji’s actions, and felt rather annoyed. He had already expected (Fuyuhotaru) to be unable to return to being a normal human, so he was not too shocked from that. But regarding the meeting between the leader of (Mushibane), (Ladybird), and (Fuyuhotaru) being a part of Haji’s plan, he was unable to accept it. If two level one ranked Mushitsuki joined together, there would be no hope of winning for the Special Environmental Preservation Bureau.
“Judging from your expression, I guess you’re afraid of the fact that both (Ladybird) and (Fuyuhotaru) met up right, (Kakkou)?”
Haji gave a smile and talked as if he just seen through what (Kakkou) was thinking:
“I already said it in the park, (Namie) has been keeping watch over (Fuyuhotaru), she can mobilize at any time. Although this does not mean that we can detain (Fuyuhotaru) at this moment, that Ishu level one –Ah that’s right, this time her rank has been changed to Hishu level one. Anyway, she’s just too powerful. Even if we had mobilized you; you might not be able to win. If we let her move on her own, she would definitely be more cautious of her surroundings, making it even harder for us to find a loophole.”
After (Kakkou) listened till this point, he was finally able to understand the Haji’s intentions.
“… So by letting her become friendly with (Mushibane), and after she lets down her guard, we then come up with a way to separate her from the flock, is that right?”
“That is correct! Once somebody has friends, they will unconsciously rely on them, and show their weakness afterward. As long as we exploit this weakness, I think we will be able to win even without you. Afterward, by losing (Fuyuhotaru), the disorder in (Mushibane) will grow bigger, giving us the chance to attack while they are lost. Isn’t this a brilliant plan that kills two birds with one stone?”
“Will it be this successful?”
Haji replied bluntly, despite his happy smile not changing one bit.
“There will always be miscalculations in any matter, but how will that affect us? As long as you and I are both there, we can overcome any difficulty. I always think of plans that will allow us to win without losing either one of us, and we are progressing through one now. As long as you can carry out your job and come up with results, it will suffice. I really hope that you could bring me the results of being the inspector for (Ladybird) a little faster. Say, have you located (Mushibane)’s stronghold yet?”
“I told you I’m still not used to the job of an inspector!”
“Since you can still argue, that means you have yet to put more effort into it!”
Haji let out a bored laugh, and took a glance at (Kakkou) who was leaning against the car.
“However, regarding the matter of tearing up (Fuyuhotaru)’s Intel, you sure did lose out! The girl in question has changed so much over these four years; she’s now so cute that you could barely tell it’s her. If we put it in terms of education level, you could say it’s the change from a grade schooler to a high school student! Of course, since there’s so much change, I felt that it should be given a look!”
Upon hearing the young adult saying that, (Kakkou) asked,
“…Why was (Fuyuhotaru) able to awaken from the Fallen status?”
“That is of course, the result of the research being done at (GARDEN)!”
“Okay, okay, I apologize; don’t stare at me like that!”
Haji raised both hands in the air as if he was admitting defeat, and laughed in response:
“Based on the current situation, it is hard to come to a conclusion. Since she is a Mushitsuki that has a lot of irrational factors in her, and in this case, there was indeed someone that helped her. We still have not found out who the culprit is, but there is a possibility that there is a connection between that person and (Fuyuhotaru). However, if we look at it this way, it is easier to understand that this case is the result of many irrational factors. That includes the method of recovering from the Fallen status; so far there have not been any methods of bringing a Mushitsuki out of it. But as long as we get our hands on (Fuyuhotaru)… and push it to the limit, there is a chance that we might be able to obtain some information.”
The car rang with a loud bang as Haji pushed his seat backwards.
“(Fuyuhotaru)… She was indeed a very difficult first mission for both of us.”
During the first meeting between him and (Fuyuhotaru)…for some reason, (Kakkou) was just unable to pull the trigger.
Only till recently…he began to have this feeling of enlightenment.
Maybe their (Mushi) was able to sense that the both of them shared the same dream…
(Kakkou) did bring up this issue with Haji once. After hearing the “Promise” that was made between the two, he laughed sarcastically.
--- No wonder she was just as strong as you.
“Nevertheless, because of that mission, I was able to obtain my current status. Whilst you fulfilled your dream of finding a place of belonging where you would be needed, right?”
(Kakkou) smiled wryly and replied:
“Being needed and being used are two different things….”
“They are the same, but, if you really want to differentiate between the two….”
Haji stopped halfway, and coughed violently all of a sudden. (Kakkou) tried to look back at the interior of the car, but because of their surroundings being too dim, he was unable to see Haji’s expression. The young adult’s profile under the street light seemed to be weaker than usual, and judging by the way he was coughing, it showed clearly that this was not the result of the battle earlier.
“….Oh, I forgot to pass this to you.”
(Kakkou) stretched out to press a button on his goggles, and after a quick “sliding” sound, a small card popped up from it. Haji smiled after he caught the disc.
“Did you really forget to? I guess you never intended on handing it over right from the start?... Right, I shall give you something as a return gift.”
“What is this?”
“It is the Christmas present that I intended to give to my most cherished person, but because of her body condition worsening, naturally I was not able to put this into good use… However, she seemed to have been looking forward to it.”
(Kakkou) looked at the object in his hand. It was a letter about the size of a postcard. In one corner of the letter, there was a ribbon attached.
(Kakkou) thought about it for a while, and placed the letter into his coat.
“Is her condition really that bad?”
“The same as always. She’s still bedridden like how it always been. She thinks that her symptoms are due to some simple illness whilst consuming my dreams to live. I’m grateful to God for allowing her to be born blind. Or should I say that I am grateful towards the beautiful (Oogui) for giving her the ability to survive by letting her (Mushi) consumes the dreams of others.” [TL note: the translation was not wrong, it was author’s miscalculation. Because in volume 2, it explained/redirected that it was not (Oogui) who turned his most “cherished” person into Mushitsuki but rather (Shinpu)]
Haji’s words were filled with even more sarcasm than before. The emotions that he was trying to hide in those words were probably even deeper than what (Kakkou) had thought.
“……If the Intel of her (Mushi) was spread, it would be a big issue indeed… Even if she is a Mushitsuki that does not give birth to others despite eating their dreams, her Mushi is still the same as (The Original Three) in the sense that it is able to consume the dreams of others.”
“That’s not a problem; she only eats my dream anyway.”
“And you make use of the videos we get to increase your own dream, am I right…?”
“That is correct, it is “Resentment”.”
The reflection of the young adult from the rear mirror showed there was a change of his gaze in an instant. He raised the disc given to him by (Kakkou) and stared at it.
“Every time, when I see the dreams of others that contain their bright futures shatter to pieces…… A feeling would rise within me; it felt as if I was rebirthed.”
“I will make use of this “Resentment” and feed her; she has become the sole purpose of why I continue to live. Do you think that there is any other relationship that could be this close? The reason why I never reported her issue to the higher-ups was also because of this. Nobody can stop us.”
“…You are crazy.”
Haji laughed at (Kakkou)’s response.
“You’re not any better! For the sake of finding a place where you belong, you have sacrificed countless Mushitsuki. You can’t possibly think you’re normal, right?”
“…I do feel at times that I want to die.”
“To me, that is an everyday routine.”
(Kakkou) who was leaning against the car, and Haji who was sitting in the driver’s seat. The two of them stayed where they were silently for a while without moving an inch.
“Sometimes I do think about it….”
Haji then whispered.
“If only I was god…that way, I can grant everyone’s dreams in the universe. Maybe you’ll laugh at me, but I really do believe, and hope that everyone in this world can achieve the same happiness.”
“But we are not gods!”
“Yes, we are just a bunch of weak and hollow human beings. For the sake of protecting our most precious things, we can only struggle endlessly.”
“Or linger on as best as we can…that is our only strong point.”
(Kakkou) said as he breathed out all the air that was stored up inside his lungs. He walked away from the car while looking at the white clouds shrouded in the darkness of the night.
“(Kakkou), we must win, we cannot lose, both of us have dreams that we cannot lose. For the sake of fulfilling those dreams, we must make full use of what can be used, just like how we used (Fuyuhotaru).”
Upon hearing Haji’s words, (Kakkou) stopped in his tracks. He looked back at the black high-class car, and replied half-jokingly:
“Hey, what exactly are the (Mushi)?”
Facing the mirror in the front, Haji returned to his normal talking manner and shrugged his shoulder.
“No idea, a person as ordinary as me is incapable of comprehending it. However …”
“From the Intel that I had obtained from taking a sneak peak at the Central Headquarters’ database, (Mushi) seemed to be a failure resulted from an unknown experiment that was done by unnamed researcher. That’s to say, although there is no evidence to base it upon, it’s just like how people’s lives flicker about quickly; like travellers coming and going from an inn. If we were able to capture (The Original Three), then we might be able to find out the truth.”
(Kakkou) was dumbfounded by his unexpected response.
“Even though it’s like that, I think that most of this is just false Intel. Since the Central Headquarters is the head of a coward organization, if we do not gather something for them to hear, they will probably be restless. And even if this piece of Intel is true, there is no meaning to it.”
Haji leisurely smiled and said,
“Even though I really do wish that the truth was like this. But, to living creatures that are as hard to kill as humans, there probably won’t be any opponent that cannot be beaten right? The (Mushi) are nothing more than that, only an unusual opponent.”
Thank you for reading~
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