Here's the next one ~~
Few things to the readers:
1. There were mistakes with the translation of the town/city names in the previous volumes, below are the corrections.
Tatsuoka City => Ouka City
Ieetsu City => Hashiba City
Houzawa Town => Housawa Town
I have went through all of the chapters and corrected them, let me know if you spot any that hasn't been corrected.
2. The PDF for the 2nd volume is up and running, hence I'll be taking down the volume 2 link from the home tab.
Translated : Wing
Edited : Akios, Skat
Yuu Part 1
After walking out from the entrance of the cram school, the sky had already turned dark.
Even worse, it was also raining very heavily.
Next to the cram school, there were many signboards, covered with large light bulbs, on the ground. Because the switches were activated, the neon lights suddenly turned on.
I've been thinking about it for a long time now; but why is it that the store next to the cram school is one of those from the..P-perverted... industry?... Wouldn't it have a negative influence on the moral education of the students here?...
A man, standing still in front of the store holding his umbrella, squinted his eyes because of the flashing neon lights. He lightly knocked the edge of the signboard with his fingertip, before shifting his gaze to the teenage girl. She hurriedly averted her gaze, and put up an indifferent expression.
One by one, students holding their umbrellas walked past the teenage girl who was standing dazedly.
The sound of the rain, the sound of students bidding farewell to each other, and the sound of puddles being stepped on by the passersby; those sounds rang in front of the teenage girl who was displaying an indifferent attitude.
She took out a foldable phone from her pocket and turned its power on. Displayed on the LCD screen were the time, 8:54 P.M., as well as the icon for a good signal. Below the LCD screen was a group photo that she took with her friends at the theme park.
The teenage girl is Ebina Yuu; a fourteen-year-old sophomore from junior high that is set to advance to her junior year in two months’ time. Because of her plain outfit and her dull glasses, it made her appearance seem rather ordinary. Yuu remembered how her classmate Chie often nagged her, and said things such as "Want me to lend you some clothes?" or "Want me to introduce you to a good beauty salon?"
“Yuu, wait up! Didn’t we promise to go home together?”
Yuu turned around, facing the direction where the sound came from. Two teenage girls were closing in on her with slightly angry expressions.
“The direction is obviously different, why must we go home together?”
Yuu slightly sighed. This caused her two friends to exchange gazes with each other before saying:
“Didn’t we say that we’re going to buy the materials together, for the event the day after tomorrow?”
“That’s right; it will be too late if we go tomorrow!”
“The day after tomorrow?”
Upon hearing their remarks, Yuu then recalled.
The day after tomorrow was February 14, which was Valentine’s Day. They seemed to be planning on making some home-made chocolates. However, this kind of activity was pretty much meaningless to Yuu, who didn't have anyone on her mind.
“I’m not interested in that kind of --- Uuu…”
The instant when her two friends walked closer, Yuu frowned.
Even though they were all the same age, and Yuu was even older than them by at least three months, she was shorter than both of them.
“D-Don’t get so close to me! Both of you immediately take a step back!”
“Seriously Yuu, are you still concerned about your height? It’s no use, you should give up already!”
“My growth stage has yet to come, that’s all! W-Wait… Why are you guys always surrounding me like this?!”
“Aha, amazing! So this is what those ‘alien captured’ scenes look like!”
“I am an earthling with a Japanese nationality okay?!”
Yuu, who was held up by both of them, was struggling with her hands and feet in panic.
“That pride of yours and stubbornness to never give up, are seriously national-class huh?”
“Don’t pat someone’s head while saying such things!”
“Ah, sorry… we will help you do tomorrow’s homework, so forgive us okay?”
“It’s okay, I’ll do it myself.”
Right after she spoke, Yuu realized something was wrong. “Do it myself”; this kind of phrase would probably make one sound childish. Just as she expected, she heard the giggling of her friends behind her. Her already unhappy face became even worse. [T/N: The Raw for “Do it myself” part is自分でやるもん (Jibun de yaru mon). It is indeed in fact kind of childish, probably only kids or “dere” type say it like that.]
“Ahaha… Oh right, what were you staring at your phone before for? Not planning on going home?”
“I forgot to bring an umbrella…”
“I see, so that’s why you were planning on calling home so they can come and pick you up?”
Yuu lowered her head and took a glance at her cell phone, and said with a humming sound.
“But I feel there is no need to call my family to pick me up just because of this… and so I’m thinking about other methods…”
“Why not think of borrowing an umbrella from us, or having us walk you home?”
“Our directions are different; it would be too troublesome …”
“That “Don’t want to rely on others” habit of yours is also one of your characteristics!”
“Hey… Aren't we worthy of even the slightest amount of trust?”
“T-That’s not it…!”
After seeing Yuu who was in a panic trying to deny the idea, the teenage girls smirked.
“Becoming cheerful so quickly is also one of Yuu’s good points. Weren’t you very angry just a second ago?”
Yuu suddenly realized what had just happened, and turned around, facing them with her back. Her friends’ giggling came from behind her once again.
“Sorry… Sorry… We apologize for the teasing, don’t be angry, okay?”
“Also, let us copy tomorrow’s homework from you as well!”
“So in the end, I’m the one who’s gonna do it anyway… Well, that’s fine…”
“Because Yuu, you’re the only one that writes the most perfect homework in our whole class! Say, which high school are you planning to go to after working this hard?”
“Uhm… that… East…”
“Eh? Which one?”
Her friends were surprised by her respond.
“Isn’t Ouka East High School that super average of the average --- high school? Although it’s a college focused high school…”
“I remember Yuu’s score was much better than that school’s requirement? For what reason did you study that desperately for then?”
Facing their questioning, Yuu’s voice was getting lighter and lighter……
“If I didn't study, I'd have felt uneasy…”
“There’s no way you would fail those requirements though.”
“I just don’t like that feeling of uneasiness!”
Yuu replied with a serious tone.
The two of them completely didn’t understand how hard it was to live an ordinary life in this era. If one were to make one careless mistake and picked the wrong direction to walk in life, they would easily become failures. What should she do, if she were to fail her Junior High graduating exams or if she were to pick the wrong aspiration to follow and lose her education because of it? Even if she made it the next year, there wouldn’t been any same age students in her class. That means she would have to go through three years without making any friends. And even worse, what if she failed her college exams as well? She probably couldn’t bring herself to see her family anymore.
After bidding their farewells, her two friends went home. And before they left, they asked again:
“You really don’t want us to send you home?”
However, Yuu still rejected their offer. Before they finally left, the two of them were showing lonely expressions.
“Well now ---“
Gazing at the rain that was getting heavier and heavier, Yuu began to ponder.
This rain was preventing her from going home. If there were an umbrella, or a car that came to pick her up, then the problem would be solved. However, Yuu rejected both methods.
Now then, there were only two options left… The first option was to wait there until the rain stopped... or the second option— to rush home in the middle of this heavy rain.
Yuu filled herself with vigor as she hugged the book bag that was on her shoulder just a second ago. As for her body and clothes, it would be fine if she just let them dry later on, but it would be bad if her textbooks were to get wet from the rain.
The instant she charged into the streets, cold droplets of rain splashed against her cheeks. The lens on her glasses instantly became wet as well.
Her goal was the next corner, a building that was near the intersection. As long as she could get there, there would be an eave for her to shelter herself from the rain.
When I get home, mom is definitely gonna scold me... isn't she?
Yuu ran while thinking about that.
After she got home, her mom would probably be angry about seeing Yuu soaking wet from head to toe and yell: “Why didn’t you call me to pick you up?!”
Even her friends from earlier would laugh at her for being a dummy, wouldn't they? The fact that she ended up like a drowned rat... they would probably laugh at her for being so stubborn, and tell her to rely on them more often— or perhaps they'd just show those lonely expressions once again.
Ah whatever, I fulfilled my goal of “getting back home” so who cares!
Actually, Yuu had felt extremely irritated from the beginning. This was because she got a much lower score than she expected on her practice exams today. In addition, she had mistaken the payment date of the cram school tuition fee, hence she had to carry money on her— and then, the sudden torrential downpour occurred as well.
To think— Yuu, who was someone who always meticulously prepared everything ahead of time, and who even worried that she might have over done things; was making these kinds of mistakes... Her luck today was seriously awful. Today's Yuu totally didn't behave like her usual self. During days like these; it would be best for her to get home early and study for the next day's lecture.
She was almost there, at her designated building. As long as she got there, she would be able to see the bus stop. And before the bus came, she could stay at that spot and take shelter from the rain.
Just when Yuu was done thinking about that, and planned to make her final charge.
With a splash, Yuu suddenly came to halt in the puddles.
Her whole figure stood at the spot quietly.
She could feel her heart beating violently against her chest from within.
Supposedly, because of the lack of oxygen from running at full speed, it caused her breathing to stop at that instant. She could also hear the stepping sounds of passersby around her rather clearly…
No, I didn’t see it… I didn’t see anything at all ---!
Yuu tried desperately to make herself believe that.
But it was no use.
The more she thought about it, the clearer the scene that she caught a glimpse of became in her mind.
It was located in the dark alley between the two high-rising buildings where the streetlights barely reached.
It was there that Yuu saw something similar to human foot.
Her heartbeat began to beat even faster.
B-But, that’s just something that seems like a foot… It’s not clear… whether or not it’s actually a foot… And besides, it wasn’t moving at all...
The sudden conclusion that came to mind sent chills down her spine.
She withdrew her former statement. Just because it was simply not moving doesn’t exclude the possibility of it being human foot. Perhaps, there might be some reason that caused it to not move…
For example, death ---
The conclusion that she finally arrived at, was immediately rejected by herself once again.
No, I still haven’t confirmed whether it was human foot or not…… in case of a mistake, it will cause others troubles. They might even publish it on the newspaper, saying stuffs like a riot caused by a junior high student’s report… I-If it really became like that, I would never be able to bring myself to go to school anymore!
Aside from Yuu, the passersby didn’t seem to have noticed this.
Within her head --- an option of asking someone to confirm the situation with her appeared. However, Yuu immediately dispelled this idea as well; there was a possibility that she was just seeing things. She then thought about it for a bit, she herself who was acting indecisive like a fool, couldn’t possibly find anyone to help her.
There was a chance that it might be human, but it might not be as well.
Bad feelings filled Yuu’s heart.
And this was the feeling Yuu disliked the most --- Uneasiness. Once she entered this condition, she would feel restless, and would want to break free from this uneasy condition as soon as possible to return to her normal self.
“It was not human, it was not human. Mhm, that thing definitely wasn’t a human ……”
And so the best course of action she concluded— pretend that she was just seeing things.
B-But… what if that was really a human ---
And what if it’s someone who’s sick or injured, and is in urgent need of help? Is it a he or a she? And there might be a chance that they possibly could die because of this. Even if I go home like this, there’s no way I can get rid of this uneasiness. Not only that, but this uneasiness might become more severe.
To the current Yuu, in order to erase her uneasiness, there was only one option left.
Yuu turned her body, and began to walk into the dark alley.
In order to perform the last method ---“Confirm through bare eyes”
“It was not human, it was not human……”
She lowered her head to carefully follow the road, step by step walking into the pitch-black alley while hugging her book bag tightly. The only thing she could see were her feet, and gravel road one meter ahead.
The light of the street lamps and footsteps of passersby were gradually fading away.
B-because it was only a little glimpse of it, and it was just an instant! How am I supposed to tell whether that was a human’s foot or not!? It could be some kind of cloth or something similar right? And then I can be rest assured and go home that way… Oh right, I have to email Chie when I get home. And then do those preview and practice homework, as well as the homework that I’m gonna turn in tomorrow ---
Yuu suddenly stopped walking.
The heartbeat that was just rioting a second ago had become quiet. From the mouth that was half opened, words seemed to have stuck and couldn’t come out.
In front of Yuu’s feet, were two feet lying on the ground.
Her body began to tremble as her eyes betrayed her will of not wanting to look, and swayed straight toward the direction of the owner of those feet.
An unfamiliar teenage boy was lying in front of her. His back was leaning against a stone stairway that had only five steps, and his pale face was exposed to the heavy rain.
The teenage boy’s eyes were slightly opened, but he was not moving at all. The thin layer of white clothes that he was wearing seemed very similar to those that hospital patients wear.
Yuu instantly thought that the teenage boy was already dead. And just when she was about to scream out loud, a sudden sound of something dropping onto the ground interrupted her.
Next to the bare-footed teenage boy, a case-like object dropped onto the ground. It was a transparent thin case that was the same size as Yuu’s palm, and there was a round CD disk within.
Just then, Yuu sounded a weak grasp.
She noticed that there was a tiny centipede crawling on the teenage boy’s abdomen. And that centipede was spewing green bodily fluids as it twitched in pain. It was probably injured right? However, in the next instant, the figure of the centipede suddenly blurred in front of Yuu, and then ---
The centipede vanished as if it had dissolved into the air. Yuu then realized, the centipede was sort of strange in certain aspects…… Things like its legs being especially long, and its mouth opening being rather big……
The teenage boy suddenly opened his mouth and spoke:
Yuu almost thought her heart stopped beating because of this.
Although she thought that the other party had died already, that didn’t seem to be the case. The teenage boy’s slightly opened eyes blinked, and even his chest moved up and down regularly.
Even though he wasn’t dead, it didn’t seem like he was sleeping. His pair of eyes that were as lifeless as artificial objects were not moving in the slightest, and his facial expression was as pale as candle wax.
Yuu was so afraid that she could feel cold sweat coming out of her.
“P-Police… No, I need to call the ambulance ---“
Yuu came back to her senses, and planned on taking out her cell phone.
Just at that instant, a loud buzzing noise came from the teenage boy’s hands.
A white object could be seen lying on the teenage boy’s hand.
It seemed sort of similar to glasses, but were much bigger compared to the average glasses; they're probably goggles right?
Its heavy lens had become something similar to an LCD screen. There were many little text light dots appearing on its surface, and also buttons and dials on its side. It would probably cover one’s ears if worn right? Just from taking a quick look, one could also tell it was of a considerable degree of weight. The noise seemed to be coming from within the goggles.
Yuu was scared by the sudden sound and dropped her cell phone immediately; the phone fell next to the goggles.
Even though she wanted to pick it up right away and reached her hand forward, because her body instinctively resisted getting closer to the teenage boy, her lower half was kept at a distance as she reached her hand.
“[Over exceeding recording… capacity limit… stop… over exceeding recording… capacity limit]”
A machine-like voice could be heard mixing along with the buzzing noise; it was saying those lines repeatedly.
Yuu turned her face to her cell phone, and reached her hand closer.
“Geez, Why am I so unlucky today…!”
After her fingertip confirmed the metal’s sensation, she hurriedly pulled it back to her.
However, she immediately realized that the object she was holding onto in her hand was not her cell phone, but rather the white colored goggles. The freezing cold sensation and heavy weight caused her to instinctively want to throw it away.
Yuu’s hand stopped moving. The voice that she just heard --- was exactly the same voice as the teenage boy that was lying on the ground.
“Want to… fight together with you...again.”
Yuu gazed straight at the goggles.
It was a heavy and strong, yet sorrow-filled voice.
Yuu froze right on the spot.
The teenage boy’s short sentence deeply moved Yuu’s heart. His voice was more touching than any voice that she had ever heard, more so than any of the scenes from movies and dramas she’d ever watched up to now.
“What are you doing right now…? No… That must be a meaningless question. You must still be fighting. You’re that kind of person after all.”
Perhaps because he was running while speaking, the teenage boy’s voice was echoed up and down; there was also the sound of water puddles being stepped in.
Yuu 's expression twitched as a sense of uneasiness enveloped her.
That feeling of uneasiness was the strongest one that she had ever felt in her life.
“You’re always fighting… Hiding your pain, shouldering other people’s pain, that’s why we entrusted everything to you. Although I don’t know how the soldiers felt when they were sent off to the battlefield, but it should be no different from what we felt right? Each and every one of us is just an ordinary soldier. Whenever we defeat an enemy, one of us will fall as well. But…B-But, whenever we turn our heads around, you are there. You are always there… Just knowing this alone, we can risk our lives for you… I really wanted to fight side by side with you again… Lady…”
His running sound came to a halt as his voice became weaker and weaker.
Don’t say it anymore…!
Yuu realized one thing.
This teenage boy was using the last of his last strength to speak, and was on the edge of collapsing any second. This person, who Yuu had never seen before, was in the midst of a crisis of his life.
And now, Yuu was listening to the teenage boy’s voice with all her heart, even though it was not because of her own will.
A premonition suddenly emerged in her mind.
If she were to continue listening to this voice, then she herself would definitely ---
“My (Mushi) is already… I’ll probably become a Fallen once again… Even though these goggles were something that I took from an enemy, it seems to have a recording function. I hope that it is one of the (Mushibane) that picked this up. As for the CD that I left behind, I only hope that (Ladybird), you, see the content inside; no one else can see it. Lady, only you…”
A sudden slight laughter was mixing along with his heavy panting.
“Ah… No, aside from you, there’s someone else that I want to see this. Our biggest enemy… (Kakkou)… It would probably be amusing for that guy to see the contents of this thing wouldn't it? What reaction would he give while watching it? Knowing that what “they” were actually doing all this time…”
Yuu could clearly hear the teenage boy’s heavy panting. Under what kind of situation would someone make that kind of heavy panting? She wondered.
His voice was filled with his feelings.
“Want to fight by your side once again…… As Hibino Kazufusa, no, as a member of the army protecting you, as (Centi)…”
The teenage boy’s voice ended there; there was only silence following after that.
Yuu lowered her head to gaze at the goggles that she was holding tightly onto in her hands, and noticed there was liquid dripping down onto it.
She originally thought those were raindrops, but they weren’t.
She finally noticed that she was crying.
She herself didn’t even know when she started crying.
I really shouldn’t have listened to ---
That calm part of her mind was confirming the hunch that she had.
She had heard this person’s “Last words” ---
Yuu gazed at the teenage boy.
He was staring at the sky, not moving in the slightest. He probably could never move under his own will anymore right? Yuu believed so.
Yuu didn’t know who he was.
Yuu also didn’t know who he was saying those words to.
However, Yuu could clearly feel his powerful feelings.
He was fighting for someone’s sake… for that person called (Ladybird). Although Yuu didn’t know what kind of battle he went through, she was sure that he had fought with all his might, for the sake of that one person, (Ladybird). And all of his feelings and thoughts were recorded in those remarks.
Yuu picked up the CD disk that was next to the teenage boy --- (Centi)’s foot.
Is this the CD that he mentioned…?
“I should… h-hand it to the police…”
Yuu turned around facing the streets.
Yuu didn’t understand what had exactly happened to the teenage boy. The only thing that she was sure of was that this matter was not a simple thing; it might not just be an incident.
Suddenly, a voice filled with wrath came from the goggles.
“(Centi)… you fucking bastard!”
Yuu was so startled that she dropped the goggles.
“You fucking (Mushibane)’s survivor! Did you think you can escape from me, (Kasuou)-sama, by robbing me of those goggles? I have already found out your whereabouts, I will be right there to slay you!”
Even though the goggles were on the ground, the raging voice could still be heard very clearly. Although that person was using a male’s tone, her pitch was high. The owner of the voice seemed to be a female.
“I’ll tell you just this; it’d be useless even if you go to the police for help! I had already notified them about you being a Mushitsuki! The head director has already issued the order to kill anyone that has the CD right on the spot!”
Yuu was dumbfounded.
She looked at the teenage boy that was lying on the ground --- His appearance was just like an ordinary teenager.
It was probably around a decade ago or so, that rumor regarding such existences had begun to spread.
It was said that these creatures would infest teenage boys and girls, and grow by devouring its host’s dreams and wishes. Although the size and characteristics varied, due to them sharing similar appearances as insects, they were called the (Mushi). One could never escape from the shackles of the (Mushi) once infested. And in order to use the (Mushi)’s power, they must pay a cost --- which was to sacrifice their “Dreams”. And if a Mushitsuki’s dreams were fully devoured, only death awaits them ---
(Mushi)’s existence was never officially acknowledged, but rumors regarding them from those who had witnessed could be heard just about anywhere. Right now, (Mushi) and Mushitsuki had become synonymous for terror, and suffer from discrimination.
Yuu suddenly realized.
“D-Did she just say… kill…?”
The person holding the CD right now, doesn’t that mean Yuu?
Her heart began to beat violently again.
Run away ---
The strongest uneasiness she ever felt in her life was enveloping her completely.
Throw the CD away, and run away! I didn’t see anything, and didn’t hear anything!
The teenage boy that was on the ground --- (Centi), was gazing at her.
Thank you for reading~
Feel free to leave comments for any questions or feedback~
A late shout out to the editor Skat, Happy Birthday man~ xD