The Making Of A Broken Character Part 3
Let’s say we’re scrambling for the side dishes at dinner.
Let’s say that there’s only a slice of cake left during afternoon refreshments.
During those times―my older sister would say this,
“Ruri? No hard feelings, okay? Let’s decide this by the draw.”
My sister would hide two sticks to draw from in the palm of her hand, and if I draw the one with a red line, then I would win.
If I draw a blank one, then my sister wins.
I was always the one who won in these scenarios.
I became aware of the trick behind it during my upper elementary school years.
From the beginning, my sister never added a losing drawing stick in the first place.
In the end, that was the kind of person my sister was.
Now back to the main subject.
Well, even though you could say we were bloodthirsty, we weren’t people who would particularly kill others day in and day out.
It was a decisive time, a decisive moment.
If it were not, then we wouldn’t be able to replenish our fading souls by retrieving and crushing the other’s heart.
―The environment at least guaranteed the bare basics for life.
Food as well, it was generally offered once entering the cafeteria, and you’d be able to get treated with recovery magic and the infirmary. As for reviving, such a thing is impossible.
According to Higure, to keep the purity of the soul, such things are necessary.
For an extended period of one month, in order to survive we suffered, we experienced hopelessness, and in the midst of it all we fought each other for a silver lining―all so that our souls would return bonus points with as much efficiency as possible.
The conversion to bonus points with as much efficiency as possible.
Yes, our lives were just mere numerical values for Higure.
When thinking about it, even in Japan, the lives of livestock were viewed lightly, perceived in terms of monetary gain. Meat yields calories and souls yield bonus points, the circumstances certainly don’t change here, but…to do this to those of the same kind…is too much.
No, there’s no use preaching morals or good-and-evil here, since in the first place my sister and I are participating in this shitty game.
At any rate.
It’s been two weeks since the game began. Three of our fellowmen have already perished, and there are still three more matches to go.
Getting close to the end of it, my sister had changed.
She was always agitated, and began to venting her anger on me.
But what hasn’t changed is that us two were still always fighting as a pair…
Even though I find it unpleasant, I’m forced to go with if it if I want to make it to the final round.
Sister…what do you intend do if it becomes just us two left?
At the very least, if it came to that, I wouldn’t know what action to make.
The ponytail-sisters were running among the mountains outside.
Ruri and Saori were armed for the first time since they came to this world.
They wore a long sword at their waist and chose a hakama for their war outfit.
During their journey to the Demon Lord, their statuses were overwhelming, and they would just revive if they died, so they carried a mood like they were having a picnic, all while having no armaments―but right now, even a few mistakes can be a matter of life or death.
The facility had an armaments section and using anything from there was fair game.
For that, their weapon of choice were Japanese swords, first-rate swords called Bizen Osafune swords.
They had on ancient martial arts attire that were closest to the training wear they were accustomed to from their dojo. Alszard seemed to have countries in the East with a Japan-esque culture, and so they selected outfits from there.
The top was white and the bottom was red.
It gave off the feeling of a shrine maiden’s attire.
Saori began speaking while running next to Ruri,
“Ruri? Are you fine with this? Our next opponent is a two-man group as well. Even if you make a naive blunder…I won’t be able to take care of it, okay?”
“Seriously, after being here, I’ve become aware of your weakness. This time, if you make another disgrace, I’ll sever our connection as sisters.”
“I said I know…”
“No, you don’t understand anything. I could tolerate it up to this point because we’re sisters, but…I don’t have time anymore to look after some trash.”
―My sister really has changed.
Fundamentally, Saori was both a strict and kind person.
She was not the kind of person that would…cast people away for her interest…especially not her own supposedly useless sister…
―But, my sister now moves according her own self-interest.
During their first battle, in front of her opponents who were at death’s door, Saori crushed their hearts without hesitation while glancing at her sister, who was wavering.
Creeping up on the backs of an enemy, she sometimes brings them down with her sword like an assassin would.
―Cast away the leeway that the strong could have
Her sister had told her that so many times.
Indeed, she’s shown sympathy to the enemy many times before and got into a pinch because of it.
However, in regards to her hesitation in battle, even if she casts away the leeway the strong have, she would still have her dignity as a human being.
That’s not something easy to throw away. Or rather, that’s not something one should ever throw away.
―However, it seems that my older sister can easily toss away a variety of things.
To survive this game, she would throw away her kindness, humanity, and in the end even her younger sister.
Grasping the Japanese sword tightly, Ruri checked to ascertain that it was there.
―In the end, I can only rely on myself and my weapon now.
At that time, Ruri’s foot was caught onto something akin to a wire.
A wire was strung up between two trees.
It was a wire made of steel, but didn’t hurt her body which had its defense stat maxed out.
Instead, about 20 grenades fell from the sky.
While clicking her tongue, Saori carried Ruri, who had lost her balance, while leaping sideways.
After a moment’s breath, there was the sound of an explosion.
They were the type of grenades called shrapnel grenades, which scatter fragments at the time of explosion and deal damage.
While covering for Ruri, fragments burst into Saori’s right arm, instantly smearing her arm with blood.
They could not use recovery magic. Until they returned to the laboratory, Saori’s arm was not usable.
“Oh, Ruri? It’s been a long time, don’t you think? We shared the same classes back in Japan, right? Don’t you remember?”
From behind, the voice of a girl who was randomly firing a sub-machine gun continued,
“―It’s me, Koumyouin Satoko.”
She was an extreme master of the material summoning ability, and now that girl was confronting Ruri.
As long as it’s of a portable size, she can summon items that would be found in an American military base.
Originally the daughter of a major corporation―her special ability came from her line of thinking that money is power.
Ruri stood in the front of her sister who was unable to use one arm, repelling the approaching bullets with her sword.
“Ruri! Back away! I feel no killing intent from that barrage―perhaps her aim―is on the floor!”
Right as she said that, the ground collapsed.
With Saori’s words, the two of them leaped upwards as to not fall into the pit, and as they looked below to confirm their suspicions, they saw the bottom of the abyss was densely packed with landmines.
“How splendid, Takane sisters! You’ve avoided that well―but even so―”
As Koumyouin said those words, someone had faced Saori and leapt towards her.
“If I can’t win with a trap―then let’s throw down like this!”
The girl had hand grenades wrapped around her entire body.
She latched onto Saori’s body and pulled a safety pin.
With her face engulfed in a explosive flame, the scent of gunpowder and burnt flesh appeared.
Koumyouin was a former classmate of Ruri.
―Well, the one who did the kamikaze was probably the other person who was nearby, Sachiko was it?
That was Ruri’s thought process at that moment.
Ultimately, it seems that their two-man formation had more of a master-servant aspect to it…One was able to compel the other to do a suicide bombing…
With just a glance, Ruri was able to see the extent of the damage done to her sister.
Her whole body had burns, the deep cuts were terrible. There was nothing stopping anyone from saying that she was at the brink of death.
However, as long as one wasn’t dead, they could go the laboratory’s infirmary to receive recovery magic.
“Losing Sachiko at this point before the final battle was unexpected…but, since I was able to incapacitate Takane Saori, the stronger one, I suppose it’s all good.”
Koumyouin said so while humming a tune.
“You’ve terribly underestimated me, haven’t you? Without your sister…do you think you’ll be able to do anything about me?”
“No matter how strong you are, you’ll never be able to knock me down by acting like a spoiled child.”
Against that remark, Koumyouin opened fire with her sub-machine gun.
The barrage scattered towards Ruri, but with only this many bullets at this speed, it was possible to use her blade to divert them.
While repelling the bullets, Ruri made a beeline towards Koumyouin.
She had laid out many traps laid in this battlefield. Understanding this, Ruri doesn’t neglect to proceed with utmost caution.
She approached one meter away in front of Koumyouin. She kicked away the sub-machine gun using her right leg. With this, the enemy was now unarmed.
She brandished her sword over Koumyouin’s head.
“Wa, wa, wait, Takane?”
“Sorry, Koumyouin. I would have believed in your pleas had this been in the past…but my sister would scold me severely, okay? Your death is final.”
“Then, lastly…even just one word…There’s one word which I’d like to leave behind.”
Ruri tried to swing the sword as there was no point in listening―but a minute twitch appeared near her right eye.
She then shook her head to the left and asked,
“…Words that you want to leave behind to the family you’ve left behind…is that it? Alright, if I make it back, I’ll relay your words to them―so why don’t you continue?”
Ruri felt a presence behind her. She couldn’t react to it in time, perhaps a concealing skill was used.
When she realized it, there was a cold sensation on the back of her head.
It was likely―a muzzle being thrust towards her at gunpoint.
“Substitution (Shadow Servant). It’s one of the skills given by this laboratory. The other party you’re raising a sword to is my shadow clone.”
“…You, you’re truly an outrageous tactician. So let me guess, these modern weapons are able to deal damage to us…and the circuit of your magical ability was tampered with as well, right?”
“How perceptive of you. Well, physical attacks would otherwise be blocked by the defenses of you two sisters.”
“So…were those your final words?”
“Just what are you insinuating?”
“Hmph, thanks to your inattentiveness―I was able to buy some time. Sister?”
A single flash.
Koumyouin was bisected from the top of her head with a sword like she was a piece of bamboo being sliced.
Saori stood there, operating the sword with one arm, and with numerous wounds causing blood to pour onto her entire body.
“Skill: Auto Recovery Level 7…Us being the only ones not given any abilities at this facility…is that what you thought?”
Ruri and Saori were assigned to a room.
About 4 tatami mats big with a bunk bed, that was the kind of room it was. (TLN: 4 tatami mats is about 6.6 square meters)
While sitting on the bed and drinking coffee from a wooden bowl, Ruri just kept staring at her older sister.
“Ruri? I don’t blame you for tripping on that wire. That was different from before. Don’t you understand that after I’ve said it multiple times?”
“It was…really dangerous today. Yeah, dangerous. Your have overwhelming power. Why…did you lend an ear to the enemy?…Were you not going to cut them up immediately?”
“If you just cut her right away, you would have been able to discover that it wasn’t her actual body. If you did, things wouldn’t fall into a crisis. Am I wrong?”
“Really, it can’t be helped if you’re just trash.”
Saori grasped Ruri’s collar.
“Don’t you have a functioning brain as well? Although I managed to recover, if that had taken just a couple more seconds, then you would have been imprudently killed and things would go downhill for me.”
“If you weren’t powerful, you wouldn’t have been able to kill her. But―you do have power.”
“But, sister…that’s not how it work, I mean…aren’t we human? If I was told to leave someones words behind for their family…”
“So, how many times were you close to death and how many times did I have to help you out? That’s enough already. I don’t expect anything from you.”
Saori sends a body blow to her abdomen.
The blow causes her to throw up stomach acid, spitting out green mucus.
“…Really, it’s pathetic that there’s no salvation for a trash heap like you.”
“In the end…my older sister is also like that, it seems. Only thinking about her own survival.”
Ruri shoved Saori aside, it was obvious that there was fury mixed into her eyes.
“Koumyouin from today, Motoko from yesterday, they weren’t bad people. Motoko was very much…a friend. They really were a really good people.”
“Everyone’s…gone insane. No, actually, everyone’s just plain frightened. Everyone’s scared of being killed, so they become the ones that kill…”
Saori let out a deep sigh.
She replied to Ruri in spine-chilling tone of voice,
“Those kinds of things―just what are you saying? It’s kill or be killed, there is no room for your naive logic to interfere with that dogma.”
“…You can’t just ignore what’s going on as simply as that.”
“I’m telling you to ignore it.”
There was silence for a while.
Ruri could not bear silence at that time―so she asked her sister a question she didn’t let ask before, and let out the words she was scared of saying.
“…What is it?”
“Sister…if it’s just us two left―what will you do?”
Ruri already had an idea of what she was going to say.
But even so, she received the answer she didn’t want to hear without any hesitation.
“Then the only thing left to do is kill each other.”
With tears accumulating in her eyes, Ruri trembled.
“…Sister…you really have changed…”
“It’s already too late for us. No exception, no helping it, no hope, it’s too late for us. Ah, by the way―at any moment, I could cut off your head during your sleep, you know. From this point forwards, you won’t be able to survive just by depending on me.”
Ruri could not say anything. She only clenched her fists.
“You knew it yourself, didn’t you? Until that final confrontation, work hard to be useful for me. You might just live for a little longer.”
My sister really has changed.
Depending on the situation, human beings can turn into bad or good people.
That’s just what someone said though.
In these circumstances, it can’t be helped but for me to blame my sister who had changed, but I have to recognize the strength of my sister, who had shut away her empathy.
The older sister was strong.
I am weak.
What I’m saying is just naive…I know that.
In this death game, showing some sympathy to our opponents…can be called naive, more naive than the sweetness of having ten tablespoons of sugar in strawberry jam. (TLN: Calling someone ‘sweet’ in Japanese means that you’re calling them naive. It’s not a compliment like it is in English)
And, since I’m still killing people in the end, perhaps you can call me hypocritical.
I know that myself too.
People don’t want to kill.
My sister doesn’t want to kill.
However, I don’t want to die.
―In the end, if my sister and I are the only ones left, if all the other heroes have been killed, both of us will want to reach out our hands to grab the ticket to freedom that can lead us to survival.
That is to say―it will be the final stage in this game. And the only players in it will be my sister and myself.
For a while, my sister didn’t say anything.
For days and days, we spent time silently inside the facility when our enemies were gone.
In this current situation, there was no reason to start a conversation. There was nothing to do. In order to survive, in order to be released from this game…one of us would have to kill the other.
And then, the time limit until when our souls would run out progressed to 3 hours.
For both of us…it was 3 hours.
In the backyard of the laboratory, there stood two girls wearing shrine maiden costumes.
“Ruri? No hard feelings, okay? Let’s decide this by the strike.”
They were both wearing Japanese swords.
“Sister…you’re going to do it, after all?”
“This is something we both agreed on. Questions on this matter are pointless.”
The process proposed by Saori was a simple one.
In order to decide the winner, they will engage in a match where they will draw out their swords.
At the start of a signal, the one who draws their sword out faster is the one that will be able to quickly cut down the other.
“Well then, Ruri? No hard feelings, right?”
Saori tossed a coin. According to their rules, the moment the coin drops to the floor will be the signal, and that’s when they’ll be able to draw out their swords.
The coin rises and falls, moving along its trajectory. In just a few moments, they’ll have to take action.
Suddenly, something felt uneasy in Ruri’s heart.
―Kill or be killed. I remember my sister’s words.
While her sister was sleeping, she had the chance to potentially cut her at the base of her throat.
For the past few days, the thought had crossed Ruri’s mind several times.
However, she could not do that.
She could not do it because she was naive.
However―her sister would not be so naive.
When it was only the two of them in the facility, Saori had the chance to kill Ruri…for so many times.
The game had already reached its final stage, there was no need for a two-man team.
In truth―it was not necessary to wait for the time limit where their souls would worn out.
If one kills the other, then the game is set.
She changed her uneasy heart to one of alertness. And in her alertness, she was trying to find the correct path to take―there’s not much time left.
The coins descent doesn’t stop.
With the sound of a *plop*, in Ruri’s line of sight was the figure of Saori reaching for her hilt.
She had seen it herself. In her month here, she had fostered a weariness towards death―Ruri’s arm moved reflexively.
―Stop, stop! Something is…strange…!
Her desire was empty, Ruri’s arm had swiftly reached for her hilt. Her body did not stop this familiar movement she had cultivated since childhood.
Thought is seemed that Saori pulled her sword out of its sheath slightly faster, the result was that-
―Saori fell onto the ground, her organs flowing onto the floor from her body that had been sliced diagonally from the shoulder.
With tears in her eyes, Ruri rushed over to Saori.
What happened was―Saori’s used her sword to slice her own body.
Before the moment Ruri’s sword could reach her―she used her own sword to cut herself.
Ruri was uninjured.
With this premonition, Ruri grasped Saori’s sword in her hand.
―Ruri? No hard feelings, okay? Let’s decide this by the draw.
Those words from her sister crossed her mind.
It was like that back then, and even now. Verifying her own blade, Ruri, with a vacant expression, squeezed out a voice,
“Sister…this…is a fake sword…isn’t it?”
An item that was merely a piece of sharpened bamboo which feigned the likeness of a sword and had little killing ability.
―Right, from the beginning, my sister…never added a losing drawing stick in the first place.
Ruri lifted Saori’s body into her arms. Using her maxed out attack, Saori had struck herself with her utmost power.
Since the sisters didn’t want to drag on the battle, they had mutually agreed that in the duel would be carried out in such a manner that means of recovery would not be possible.
“Ruri…? I’m sorry. You’re going to have to shoulder…many things.”
“Sister? Were you planning on doing this…from the very beginning?”
“You fool―there’s no way I could kill my younger sister, now is there? That’s despite me telling you that I could attack you during your sleep…”
It had been several days since they were the only two remaining.
Ruri remembered that Saori had carried out her days in silence.
“…No way…sister…you did this all…on purpose…?”
“Ruri…? I’m sorry. I knew I was going to burden you…so I made a villain out of myself…but even then you didn’t seek to attack me…It seems like you wouldn’t settle for a method that goes against your moral code, huh? So, how about we chat a little?”
“I’m sorry for all the cruel things I did. I said a lot of unpleasant things, didn’t I? You were too gentle to be able to survive.”
Saori was laughing. Ruri was crying. Her shoulders were quivering…and there were hiccups mixed in.
In many, many instances, had her older sister not been there, Ruri would have died.
Saori as well had exposed herself to many dangerous because of Ruri.
Perhaps, if Ruri wasn’t there―then Saori might have been able to…take control of the game by herself.
“But you don’t have to overdo it anymore, okay? Now you’re free. As always, you’re a gentle soul, aren’t you Ruri?”
“Is it okay if I ask you one thing?”
“…What is it?”
With her organs scattered, Saori’s figure could only be described as grotesque. Still, even so―she smiled softly like a saint.
“Can you promise me that you’ll continue to smile?”
“I can’t, I can’t smile.”
In a gentle tone, as if speaking to a disobedient child, Saori spoke,
“You’re being set free. Isn’t it okay to smile? You should find happiness. You’ll encounter many sweet things, both around you and in yourself. Isn’t that nice?”
With blood spouting out of her mouth, Saori continued,
“I only wanted to die like a villain…but, nothing can be done about that anymore, can it? So, I’ll have to burden you with this. You’ll have to shoulder it. So, if you can at least―for our sake, make an effort to be happy. No wait, actually be happy.”
Saori’s body temperature was getting colder, caused by her losing too much blood. Knowing that the end was near, Ruri painfully embraced her.
“Ruri? I beg of you. Please…be…happy…! It’s not…good…for you…to keep on…crying…”
While sobbing―and mixed with tears and snot, Ruri forced a stiff smile”
“My sister, Ruri…Ruri! With this, you’re smiling. So…even when I’m in the afterlife…you need to…keep smiling…okay?”
With a faint nod and the feeling of satisfaction, Ruri closed her eyes.
For some time, Ruri was trembling.
Emotions were pouring out from the bottom of her heart, emotions that she had to come to face with. She was trembling.
She had to carry out her sister’s wish.
Saori had protected her younger sister in this war, and made herself a villain to ease the load of her sister even just a little.
In order to follow through with the final thing she must do, she reached into Saori’s heart and crushed it.
“Please forgive me…sister.”
Her tears wouldn’t stop.
Dark emotions began to creep out from the inner crevices of her heat.
There were feelings of fury that she couldn’t stop.
For herself and her sister―and for the circumstances that drove everyone remaining into a corner―her fury was directed at Higure.
Then, there was the sound of a dry clap.
“When thinking about who the victor would be…I suspected that this much would happen.”
The mastermind behind this tragedy muttered so while letting out a faint smile.
“Hey, Higure? I have some questions for you.”
“Why did my sister die?”
Higure gave a carefree reply, as if he was asked about tonight’s supper,
“To become bonus points for me.”
“For what reason are you organizing this game? Was it because of being tormented by Noranouk king?
Higure let forth a dry laugh.
“Certainly, I’ve been deprived of by the likes of him. However―”
“Unbreakable, absolute defense. An ability that surpasses even the Demon Lord. It’s not something that one would easily let go of. So fundamentally, if you are a subordinate to that kingdom, even if only a guise, you will given freedom.”
“In short, you could have all the gold and women you want. I’ve been very much happier than I have during my dwelling in Japan.”
Without hiding her overflowing rage, Ruri glares at Higure.
“I’ll ask you again. For what reason…are you organizing this game?”
“Huh?” answers Higure with a foolish face.
“This is just something I’ve done on my own accord…”
“My sister…and everyone else who died…what’s the meaning of this?”
As if suddenly realizing something, Higure hit his fist into the palm of his other hand and replied,
“Ah, come to think of it, I didn’t actually say it this time. You two sisters were quite the beauty, so you didn’t actually have to kill others. It was quite a waste to have one of you beauties be killed. After all, you two could also have just entered my harem. How unbefitting of me for not being able to properly relay this.”
Ruri seemed like she was about to collapse from dizziness.
Entering his harem―becoming a plaything for that bastard…would mean that her sister could live.
The fighting to the death and the suffering she and her older sister had gone through―there was a still hideous alternative to that.
It seems that―to her sister, to everybody else…this bastard did not care a single bit about them.
In Ruri’s head, there was the sound of a snap.
Falling into a half-crazed state, she brandished her Bizen Osafune sword.
However, the blade does not cut through him―Far from anything, the blade snaps off from the hilt.
Ruri, who now switched to her bare hands, continues by striking Higure with all of her force.
In a disorder, she continues hitting Higure. There’s no rhyme or reason to it as she vents out her anger.
After three minutes of this passed, Higure let out a yawn.
“Are you done yet? It’ll be a bother for you to keep this up. I have no time to spare…I’ve got women waiting for me in my room, you know?”
Higure says so while scratching his ears.
There was no damage at all.
Ruri, who kept on punching with all her might without pacing herself, collapsed as she was short of breath.
“So…in the midst of that tearjerker drama, there was something the Boss Gorilla said.
“She said you were a gentle person.”
While covering his mouth, Higure couldn’t hold in his laughter.
“Sorry but…I’m not buying it. Anyways, you’ve got some work ahead of you from this point forward.”
“Recently, battle royals have gotten popular. And so, having just heroes isn’t enough anymore.”
“The kingdom sends the heroes to start assaults on the Demon Lord’s castle, right? However, there are people other than the heroes. Since they were useless, they were stripped of their possessions after being transported to this world and cast away.”
“Don’t tell me…”
With a sneer, Higure laughed.
“Indeed. I want you to do some ‘rabbit’ hunting for me. Since they’re just small fries, they won’t yield many bonus points, but we’ll still gather them up to have them kill each other.”
Ruri collapsed on the spot.
From now, on no matter what she does, what awaits her is only a terrible fate.
At the very least, she didn’t want to subject other people to what she and the others had to go through.
“Enough, enough already. Just kill me. Even if I have to die…I absolutely will not abide by your orders.”
“Oh my, oh my, is that your response? Did you not make a promise with your sister? Everyone’s got to live out their life’s worth.”
After he had said that…she at a loss for what to do.
No, she had no choice but to abide by him.
―My sister gave up her own life so that I could keep mine.
Ruri could not go against those feelings.
“Ah, that reminds me, your sword appears to have been broken. Perfect timing, let’s go to the armory.”
Following Higure’s induction, she walked towards the facility’s armory.
He points to a giant battleaxe, which gives off a sinister aura, that has been enshrined.
“That’s a berserker axe. It’ll give you Confusion Magic. If you unleash it upon a group of enemies…”
Holding his sides, Higure burst into laughter.
“You can get them to kill each other in friendly-fire. A weapon that suits you quite well, does it not? Well, I find it interesting myself.”
She grasped the axe. She got enraged a second time at the thought of being entrusted to assault somebody, but quickly did away with those thoughts.
She was put into thought.
From now on, she would be dragging innocent people into this facility.
It’s as if she was like a god of death.
She couldn’t end her own life…that very much went against her sister’s words.
Possibly, since she now had mana, she may be able to seize Higure, kill him, and release herself from her obligation to him.
His absolute defense probably can’t be penetrated.
She’s been completely checkmated.
She can only think of the despair filling her field of view.
―I’m sorry, sister…you told me to keep smiling, but…from now on…I…won’t be able to smile.
Since we’re on this subject, he is also a ‘rabbit’ since he’s been excluded from the Demon Lord assault, isn’t he.
That being said, by finally getting weapons, he’ll manage to start upping himself.
After all, an axe suits a masked mantle quite well.
Well, this chapter has exceeded 10,000 characters. (TLN: Yeah, and thanks to that, it took a really long time to translate it)
Since I went crazy and caught up with my free-writing draft…there won’t be a chapter update tomorrow (TLN: He actually posted one the next day anyways)