Previous chapter’s synopsis:
Lily: “Uuu, Ahh-… …, aa… … Uuh, uuuh?”
Hero: “It wasn’t healed, it wasn’t healed.”
I’ve sunk in deep.
Sunk in such depths, that I was unable to rise, the darkness is stifling.
And so, I have been plunged into it again and again.
The things you do not even want to see, touch, smell, nor hear.
Yes, many times.
Even if I cried or yelled out, help will not come for me.
Because there is no one else here.
I am… alone.
Because I am sinking deeper, by myself.
It was at that point of time.
I heard something.
This is… the voice of someone shouting from afar?
If I listened hard, it sounded like it was calling out for someone.
Calling out… …
… … For whom?
“…….! …… Ah!”
The darkness surrounding me wavered.
The voice continues to call out.
Each time, my existence feels like it is being shaken.
My consciousness sways… … My body is being shaken.
That voice that has been calling out for someone, I finally noticed that it was calling for me.
My consciousness had been swimming through mud. I became aware that I was in a dream.
Once you realize that, it is not that difficult to pull yourself from the depths of the darkness after all.
I woke up with a shock.
“Ha-, ha-, ha- … …”
Breathing is tough.
My breath tinged with unpleasant warmth.
Fighting back the dizziness, I blink rapidly, behind my eyelids, a bonfire of a burning forest flashes.
It seems that I have been asleep.
Wasn’t there an incident involving Kaga… …
Yes, immediately after that, we returned to the cave.
I was only going to get a little rest for my body until it was time to eat, but I accidentally fallen asleep.
While coughing occasionally, I focused on trying to adjust my breathing for a while, finally taking a deep breath.
It was like… … seeing a very horrific dream.
I did not remember the contents.
I did not even want to remember.
“Are you okay, Master? Was it perhaps a nightmare?”
From the edge of my field of vision, a towel was held out.
It seems that it has been there waiting for me to calm down the entire while.
“Oh, oh… My bad.”
I took the proffered towel with both hands and pressed it to my face.
Most of the sweat from the nightmare had already dried.
My head feels heavy. Perhaps it was because I was awakened in the middle of my sleep, there seemed to be an illusion that I had left behind a part of my brain in the nightmare.
Swimming in the depths of darkness.
My whole body started trembling.
Perhaps it was the cold, or some other factors, that caused it.
“You were sweating a lot. Leaving you in that state would probably cause you discomfort. Shall I wipe down your body?”
It seemed that my trembling was interpreted as a reaction from the cold, a voice that was full of concern came from beside me.
“Please take off all of your clothes. I will wash it.”
Almost like a child, I nodded obediently.
I wonder if it was because I had a nightmare.
The fact that there are people who were willing to worry about me, seemed to be terribly reassuring.
If this is what being a child is like, I would even laugh at myself.
Even so, if there was a possibility of regaining the carefreeness to laugh…
That’s why… … that’s why.
I, who is finally comfortable around people, suddenly remembered my discomfort while covered in a thick towel cloth.
In other words, ‘From a little while ago, who the hell was I talking to?!’ was an overdue thought that came to me.
“What seems to be the problem? Master?”
It was an unfamiliar voice.
It had a polite tone that was unfamiliar as well.
If it was Lily, it would be more straightforward, if it was Kato, she would not call me ‘Master’.
In the first place, Lily has to go out for hunting for our interrupted food supply, Kato, who has no physical strength and tires out easily in the day, often dozes in the cave.
So, there should not be anyone who can talk to me.
No, there is another person in this cave who is my comrade.
But, she should not be able to speak.
That should be the case.
Though that should be the case… …
I raised my face that had been covered by the towel.
“What seems to be the problem, Master?”
Rose is, somehow, talking.
“Yes. I am Rose. Master is the one who bestowed this name upon me.”
I took approximately ten seconds to accept the reality of this situation.
Because whether or not I was upset, it was necessary.
“Rose? Really? Are you the one who is talking?”
“Yes. My wish to talk to Master has been granted at last. I am honored to do so.”
It doesn’t seem to be a mistake.
For a moment, I suspected if it was a type of ventriloquism.
But, no matter how I see it, it doesn’t seem to be a prank. In the first place, based on Rose’s personality, it is unlikely that she would help someone to play a trick on me.
“I never thought you would be able to speak.”
Even when it has been accepted as reality, it is still hard to believe.
Although there was certainly a memory when that subject was discussed in the past.
“To become able to speak so easily… …”
Even though it should be considerably difficult.
… … No, it shouldn’t be the case?
If you think about it, even Lily, who took on the shape of a human, was able to talk immediately.
Through my link with Rose, I know that she has corresponding intelligence. In addition, from the fact that she is able to completely follow my instructions, I also know that she is able to understand my language.
In other words, the initial reason why the girls in my family couldn’t speak; rather than having insufficient intelligence to converse, was because they did not have the vocal functions to do so.
Grasping the abilities of being a monster, if they were able to cause vibrations in the air, they can converse with me. It has always been possible that way.
And Rose’s ability, without a doubt, is none other than the ability to create the magic tools.
In addition, I have previously even seen her manufacture her own arm.
If you know that as well, the answer will appear naturally.
“Did you rebuild your body?”
“A wise discernment.”
Indeed, recently, I had thought that she seemed to be building something.
I thought that it was definitely the mass-produced spare parts of her limbs, but she seems to have created her own vocal organs.
Even if you inserted vocal tracts, the vocal organs that of a human should be completely different of others. Rose’s face was originally featureless and egg-shaped, not having appropriate organs such as the mouth.
If you look closely, the area around Rose’s throat appears to be thicker. The vocal organs should be embedded there.
“I didn’t think you could actually speak. How do I say this, I’m bad at praise but… … Amazing.”
“It is not that big of an accomplishment.”
Perhaps she wanted to match the name that I gave to her, her voice was feminine.
It was a slightly lower tone of voice than normal women, but perfect for Rose’s image.
It’s very comforting to listen to.
“Just the rebuilding of a body, it is something not just anyone can easily do compared to Lily. Rather, it would be embarrassing to do so.”
“I would not think so.”
My words are from my true feelings, but Rose shook her head.
Anyhow, she seems to have low self-evaluation.
Later, I discreetly discovered that Rose thought of and adored Lily like an elder sister.
Certainly, she became my family before Lily did, it is not a mistake but…
There was an indescribable feeling.
Well, I’ll get used to it after some time.
While I was thinking about useless things, Rose continued calling me.
“Please change your clothing. Would you like me to cleanse the body as well? I have asked elder sister Lily, and preparation of water has been completed.”
“Oh. Is that so.”
Due to the shock I received from Rose speaking to me, I had forgotten about that completely.
I took off the wet clothes soaked with sweat as prompted.
“The change of clothes are also available.”
“Prepared before as usual, great.”
“Please excuse me.”
“It’s refreshing to receive a reply here.”
The water-filled bathtub, was something that Rose was made herself from wood and vines.
I am really indebted to Rose for taking care of me, yet there is nothing I can do in return, this feeling is really terrible.
I wet the towel with water and scrubbed the dirt off my body, slowly pouring the remaining water over my head to wash my hair.
I was pretty clean now.
Regrettably, it was not as refreshing as I would have felt after a bath in the previous world, though I had not expected it in this world either, I still hoped.
Sometimes I miss soap and shampoo as well.
Since I do not know how we can make it, it is a shame that I could not ask Rose to manufacture it.
Even if it was Rose, without knowing the raw materials nor the manufacturing process, it would be impossible to recreate it.
…… It’s impossible right?
It would be scary if Rose was able to though.
Next time, let’s request for more things.
While thinking of such things, I wiped my body with large towel that was passed to me and pushed my hand through the sleeve of the jersey that had been prepared.
Almost at the same time, Rose finished washing the school uniforms that I wore.
She went to hang it at the same area the washed clothes were placed near the entrance.
As I was warming my body by the bonfire, Rose knelt down on a knee beside me.
It seems that she had something on her mind.
I divulged a wry smile.
“Looks like you want to say something.”
After directing water to flow away from this direction, Rose placed her hand on the chest stiffly.
“Master is insightful indeed.”
“What, just say it out.”
“Do you have to be something that you are worrying about?”
“That straightforward, huh.”
My wry smile deepened.
Rose bowed her head again.
“I am deeply sorry.“
“No. I wasn’t really unhappy.”
Rather because of her honest personality that was much like herself, I felt like smiling even more.
“I’ll ask just to be sure, why did you think so?”
“When Master had a nightmare, it was the first time it has happened as far as I know. Also, that incident occurred with someone who was once your schoolmate, with such a timing of events, the relationship of those factors would lead to… ”
“Yeah, that’s true.”
Looks like I’m also a simpleton.
I can’t laugh at Kaga anymore.
“May I have permission to further my question?”
“Ah. I don’t have any intentions to keep any secrets from you guys, you know.”
Rose cordially returned her lips to their original positions while waiting to receive permission.
She asked in a terribly serious voice.
“Master, do you regret terminating your schoolmate with your own hands?”
“That’s not true.”
Towards the question that Rose raised directly, I answered directly in a flat tone of voice.
I do not regret it.
There is still Lily and Rose for me.
Even Kato, whom I had promised to protect, is here with me.
A person like him that was weak against temptations, could not be afforded to be let into the inner circle.
“To begin with, the other side had been trying to kill me first. I’m not such a good-natured man to let that slide.”
I am not a saint.
Just a seventeen-year-old student who can be found anywhere.
It’s not possible to do such a good deed in the first place, if more can be said about it, it is only be thought of as mere foolishness.
Rather, if that man had survived this predicament, the fool would only produce more victims such as Miho and Mizushima Kato.
In that sense, it might even be considered that I did a rather good deed.
… …That’s said, it would be counted as something like excessive self-defense.
However, it is a fact that there is actually such a side of reasoning.
“In that case, what has troubled Master’s thoughts so?”
Rose seems to be convinced that I had regrets over the fact that I had killed Kaga.
“Troubling worries… … I’m not having such serious thoughts.”
Rose exaggerates too much.
Because she was willing to consider such matters seriously for my sake, I felt moved by the huge magnitude of her emotions.
“Do you want to know?”
“If Master is comfortable with disclosing it.”
“Listen up then.”
She, who is seriously thinking about me, I want her to know.
Those were my honest thoughts.
“I can not believe in humans. It doesn’t matter who the other party is. I can think both are. I am aware of my distorted view of humanity. I think that it’s a good thing. At least, there will not be a possibility that I would be fooled by others. The fact that I will not be fooled means that I would not be subjected to untowards intentions of others or drawn into inadvertently dangerous situations.
“Master, you are a respectable man.”
“I wonder about that. In this regard, I can only say that I have become timid.”
I am aware of that, at least.
I’m being hard-pressed, but I’m not as strong as someone who can still believe in others or laugh in this situation.
“I, in accordance with my beliefs, doubted Kaga and eliminated the assumed risk that was associated with being with him. It might be a wild guess but it is not possible that Kaga had been working with cheat ability users… … But from the information we gathered on the Colony, we also obtained information about dangers we have never imagined until now.”
“Just like that previous case of dismembered bodies.”
Already, I have told Rose and the others about the information that I know of.
Rose gave a good guess and understood what I wanted to say.
“Kaga was a simple man. We can’t help that his behavior was within the scope of our expectations. The thought of, ‘we should have came up with a countermeasure no matter what’, cannot be guaranteed.”
“That’s to say?”
“I am quite convinced that that guy would have betrayed us.”
That’s why the events that occurred today, from the beginning, everything was within expectations.
There was nothing uncertain about it.
However……. No, exactly because of that. I was reminded of it yet again.
“I’ve done what I had to do. That’s why I’m not regretting anything…… However, if it’s whether I felt nothing about it, well, it isn’t exactly like that either.”
I hate humans.
――However, I’ll at least feel relieved if someone who studied together with me, is still breathing and alive.
I don’t trust humans.
――However, for example, even if I was betrayed by it’s betrayal by someone I don’t trust, I will still feel hurt by it to a certain degree.
I will not hesitate in order to protect the well being of myself and my comrades.
――However, it just means that I’m resolved to ignore my own hesitation.
I have resolved myself to do it, without any hesitation, without feeling anything, would be the ideal way to go. For instance, even if it is the forbidden act of murdering another person.
I was barely able to accomplish doing it without any hesitation, but it was impossible to avoid murder.
Even if the other party was filth, that tried to kill me in order to get a girl, even though he tried to harm his former classmate, I still felt something, even when I didn’t want to.
The only ones who would probably feel nothing from that are, a 『hero』and a 『monster』.
As the ‘Master’ of ‘Monsters’ such as Lily and Rose, I should be one of those in the first place.
However, I am neither a hero, nor a monster.
For a kid like me, who’s only seventeen years old, no matter what, I can’t become that strong.
“……..I don’t understand.”
Rose who listened to my story, suddenly expressed that she didn’t understand.
I did not become discouraged.
However, I thought that it couldn’t be helped.
“Master is not mistaken.”
Within Rose’s tone, a little bit of stubbornness could be recognized.
“At least, master should know, that there were no other options available.”
“I guess. I think I don’t have to feel ashamed about anything.”
“………… Even so, is it still no good?”
I quietly shook my head.
As long as I don’t discard my human heart, I can never stop feeling.
“This is not just a ‘What if’ situation, but the me who can’t trust any humans, maybe it is only natural that I lose trust in the hearts of men.
Perhaps I was meant to be a monster.
If that was the case, I wouldn’t have had it this easy.
The reason I didn’t end up like that is, ironically, because I met Lily who is a monster.
Because I met her, I was saved.
But if you look at it from another point of view…..
Because I was saved by Lily, I may have lost the opportunity to discard my human heart.
……I wonder what Rose thinks about this appearance of mine.
As her master, as my kin, I wonder how she feels about my plight as her master.
She may end up getting tired of it.
I don’t think she’ll abandon me but…… Actually, I don’t even want to think about it, but it may be bad to continue without asking any advice.
Well, by thinking like that, I might have made light of the determination of these girls.
“I apologize, master.”
It was something that happened suddenly.
It was so sudden, that I was blankly staring for a moment.
Together with her apology, Rose put both of her hands on the ground and lowered her head.
“……. Rose why are you apologising?”
I really didn’t know the reason.
This scene is, the place where I show my pathetic side.
I, as the master who couldn’t live up to the expectations of his kin, should be the one apologizing, and Rose should be the one to forgive me.
Yet, the fact is, that Rose is the one lowering her head right now.
“I cannot understand master’s thing, which is called the subtleness of human emotion. The me from right now cannot give salvation to master’s heart.”
Rose’s tone of voice was kept calm, but there was a slight feeling of helplessness around it.
“I exist in order to protect master, for that purpose, I do not mind if this body has to turn into chips of wood.”
The things that Rose wanted to say, even if the true meaning from her words aren’t transmitted one by one, the sincerity of her serious words were still passed on.
Having monsters for family.
Responding to my orders, existences with the sole purpose to fulfill orders.
Her loyalty is the real thing.
Because of that, she might get a sense of helplessness from time to time from that loyalty.
“The thing I can do is, just protecting master’s body from harm and nothing more. I, am not able to protect master’s heart. Furthermore, even though that’s Lily-sama’s role, I find myself pathetic. If the one standing here was Lily-sama, she could’ve comforted master…….”
“Hey, just what are you saying. As if that’s true! It isn’t like that at all!”
Because Rose made a huge misunderstanding.
“For Rose to think that she did not save my heart, as if I’d allow such a misunderstanding!”
After I was saved by Lily, I had already decided to throw away my humanity.
Certainly, if I had really thrown away the human heart, I would not feel anything regarding the incidents involving Kaga’s betrayal and subsequent events.
I might not have gotten that nightmare either.
However, because of that, I have never regretted what I have become.
From now on, I might not be able to hesitate with making decisions anymore.
Even if the opponent is someone I was once friends with, if they’ve turned into enemy even once, I’ll have the determination to fight.
The reason I can stay like this, is truly because Lily and Rose devote themselves to me.
It doesn’t matter if she can’t comfort me with words.
She has, with her actions, always supported me in a different way.
The misunderstanding Rose is having, is something that has to be resolved right now.
I clenched the hand Rose had dropped to the ground.
“Come this way, Rose”
I tightly hold her hand.
For a slight moment I really thought she was against it, but Rose obediently entrusted her body to me and followed.
I hugged Rose’s simple spherical head.
It’s hard but it had a nice warm feeling within my arms.
More than anything I felt Rose’s presence the closest.
From her chest, I could feel her sudden confusion pass through the connection.
Just for once, I want to transmit this strong sense of relief that I am feeling right now, just as strongly, to her.
“Rose, you have pledged yourself to me.”
“That is so, however I am…..”
“It’s fine if you can’t comfort me. However, just staying near me is more than enough.”
I like to believe, that my true feelings without any lies are being transmitted.
Even when those girls think, that no matter how grateful they are, it’s still not enough.
……In the end, I can only smile wryly with the actions I’m taking.
“I’m sorry, but can you let me stay like this for a while?”
At this rate, whether I’m here in order to convince her, or whether I’m here in order to feel safe, I don’t know which one.
Even when I’m thinking like that, I’m not planning to let go of her hand.
“Only if, you don’t dislike it.”
“Impossible. Something like disliking it. Something like that, is absolutely impossible.”
Slowly her wooden arm reaches for my back.
It’s just a shy way to return my hug.
“…….Rather, I’m so happy I’m getting scared.”
As I lean closer to Rose I close my eyes.
As we stay like that for a while, suddenly my consciousness began to fade.
Sleepiness rapidly consumed my tired body and mind.
Getting sleepy because I’m relieved may seem childish but…… At this point, falling asleep in front of Rose.. I guess I don’t have another choice.
I let go of my consciousness.
It looks like I won’t see a nightmare this time.
◆ Happy New Year. I place myself in your care again this year.
The first one-shot of the New Year was the the story of hugging a doll.
◆ With respects to the situation between Kaga and the hero.
… Or so you thought, it was actually Rose’s turn this time.
◆ Rose is actually hiding her strength!
She would finally show her true powers from the second chapter onwards.
For now, she’ll remain cute. Because she is still a wooden doll… …
◆ By the way, just after writing the first volume, it turned out to be a little over one hundred and twenty thousand words long (about twice than what’s up here).
Before submitting it, revision and modification is needed, there should be some changes.
◆ The next update will be on 1 / 4 (Saturday)
First part of this chapter was done by Blesser, we finished the latter part.
Thank Ishman for the editing,