The Day A Certain Individual’s World Was Turned On Its Heel — 2
「…Is this my new home?」
Yumis brought me to a building in a quiet, remote area in the city’s outskirts. It was really tall, and I couldn’t really see the whole thing without moving my head around, but my Scarlet Eyes allowed me to realize that it was just like Yumis’ house. There was a huge spell cast over the entire property. I only knew how to use magic instinctively, so I couldn’t figure out what the spell did, but I guess it was probably a Barrier of Defense, the same type of magic that my elder sister had cast on her own home.
「I’ve labeled this place as one of my “secret laboratories.” You can rest assured that not even Mom or Dad will be able to enter it without my permission.」
（That means we won’t have to worry about the Fuedal Lord or his wife! We won’t have to see him so long as we just stay at home while he’s in town!）
My father and his wife scornfully drove my mother and I from their home, so I was sure that neither of us wanted to see each other.
「The door’s open, Shuria.」
The inside of the house was really plain looking. It went without saying that it couldn’t hold a candle to the private mansion I’d been living in for the past three years. Still, it was much better than the single story bungalow that I lived in back at the village.
「We’ve been awaiting your arrival, Yumis, Shuria.」
Sori, who was still wearing her usual maid uniform, bowed as she greeted the two of us in her ever so dignified manner.
I began looking around in hopes of finding either Shellmy or my mother, but to no avail.
「…I don’t see Mother or Shellmy anywhere.」
「That’s just because they’re a bit further inside.」
Yumis seemed to know exactly where they were, as she confidently began to walk through the building. I ended up following Sori, who’d already started tracing my elder sister’s steps. Yumis opened a door to reveal a set of stairs and began descending into the building’s basement. I started to feel a bit worried because there was some sort of revulsive magical energy drifting around within.
「Um… Are you sure this the right place, Yumis…?」
「Trust me. It’s right over here.」
「Wait for me!」
A bit of doubt started to form within me, but I decided not to let it bother me as I continued to follow my elder sister.
My unease started to fade as I advanced. It was overpowered by the nervousness and happiness that struck me as I realized that each step I took was one that brought me closer to seeing my mother and little sister again. We’d been exchanging letters for years and we used to live together, so I found my nervousness to be a bit weird.
A simple, iron door lay at the bottom of the staircase.
「Everyone’s waiting for you just beyond this door.」
Yumis smiled as she moved out of the way and let me go on ahead of her. I moved my hand towards the door and tried to open it, but stopped before I did.
I couldn’t help but hesitate.
（Uuu…. I’m feeling really nervous.）
I didn’t really know what to say. I wasn’t sure how I was supposed to greet the family members I’d been away from for a whole three years. I knew my voice was really quiet, and that I was bad at projecting it, but I really wanted to give them a nice, warm, loud greeting nonetheless. That was why I took a deep break before finally twisting the creaky, iron door’s handle and pushing it open.
「Mother, Shellmy! I’m so glad to see you aga…in…?」
My voice started out loud, but it quickly died down as I looked into the room.
The sight I was greeted with was nothing like the one I’d been expecting. The door I opened had led to a dim, prison-like cave. I wasn’t welcomed by Shellmy or my mother, but rather, the disgusting magical energy I felt earlier and a swarm of groaning things.
All the things were locked behind the prison’s iron bars and wrapped in magical energy from head to toe. They seemed to be made out of some sort of gross, raw flesh. Many even had their internals exposed. They moved around by dragging their half inside-out bodies along the cold, stone floor. The groans I’d heard earlier clearly came from their gaping, hollowed out mouths.
「Y-Yumis, I think those might be undead!」
The creatures’ bodies were distorted and different far too greatly from any living thing I knew for me to identify them, but I still recognized them as undead nonetheless. My Scarlet Eyes allowed me to see their mana as it radiated off of their bodies. The magical energy they gave off was clearly one that belonged only to the undead, as it was the type that was fueled by some sort of negative emotion.
「I’ve never seen those before, but I’m sure they’re undead!」
「You’re right. That’s exactly what they are. They weren’t able to maintain their original forms. I tried using magic to prevent them from rotting and distorting further. It kind of worked. They stopped decaying, but they still ended up getting discoloured over time.」
I turned towards my elder sister the moment I heard her response. She was still smiling the same way she always was, but, for some odd reason, I couldn’t help but momentarily fail to recognize her.
「They probably wouldn’t have turned out this poorly if I let them keep their hearts, but I decided to take them since beating hearts are one of the best catalysts for purifying magic stones for use in magic items. The undead can still move around even without their hearts, but heartless undead tend to have a harder time storing up magical energy. Their bodies start to rot if you just leave them be.」
Yumis placed a hand on her cheeks and sighed after stating a series of facts in an uncaring manner. It was almost like the only thing the scene before her caused her to feel was the embarrassment of her own failure.
「W-What are you saying?」
The person that resembled my kind elder sister smiled. Her voice, her face, and the gestures she made all perfectly matched Yumis’. but the air she gave off was completely different. That sudden change in her tone and overall atmosphere made her seem like a whole new person.
「Techniques that involve the use of the spirits of the dead sure are difficult. Very few people know how to use them, and those that do don’t really tend to leave behind much data or research. That’s why so many of these turned out this terribly. Still, they’re really quite valuable as lab rats. I can do whatever I want to them. It’s a real shame that the only thing I’ve managed to do so far is give them the ability to speak by throwing a few monster parts into the mix. Next, I think I’m going to see if I can make it so they can think again.」
Just who is that?
The question ran through my mind as I gazed upon the woman standing beside me. My eyes told me that she was Yumis, my kind older sister, but my mind simply refused to believe that to be true.
Yumis would never make that sort of expression. Nor would she ever say anything that horrible.
「Oh come on, chin up. Why are you looking all scared? Isn’t today the day you finally get to see your mother and little sister again? Come on, they’re right over here.」
Yumis grabbed me by the hand as I stood dumbfounded. I tried to resist purely out of reflex, but she overpowered me and forced me to follow her.
「Now why don’t you enjoy that emotional reunion of yours?」
「Kyah! W-What are you saying, Yumis? Yumis!?」
Yumis threw me into the cell all the way at the end of the prison. I hurriedly used my hands to break my fall, and because of that, ended up dropping the stuffed animal I’d been holding onto. I turned around, only to see the prison door shut behind me. Inside the cell with me were two of the undead whose species I had still yet to discern.
Like the others, the two right beside me had their darkened skin covered in a layer of slime. I had no idea what they were at first, but getting a closer look allowed me to finally realize that they somewhat resembled people with all four of their limbs chopped off. Their chests had slight bulges to them, and the part that seemed to be their heads bore a slight resemblance to a face. They had two holes roughly where a human’s nose would’ve been, and, though they had no lips, they had teeth exactly where people would’ve had them.
The two I was caged with differed slightly from the rest. They didn’t groan in the same hellish manner that all the others did. Still, they were undead. They didn’t have eyes, but they somehow seemed to have sensed me, as they soon began to approach.
A sense of dread assaulted me. This wasn’t the first time I’d faced the undead, but I’d since lost the power I would’ve used to defend myself.
「N-No! Stay away! Let me out of here! Yumis! Yumis! Let me out!」
I grabbed the rusted iron bars and desperately screamed in terror, but Yumis refused to help me. Instead, she simply stood there and smiled in her usual manner.
「Hey Shuria, you said you wanted to see a spirit stone, right?」
Yumis pulled out an item from within her pouch, one tightly wrapped in a sealing cloth. She unwrapped it to reveal a purplish-black jewel.
「T-That thing’s… giving off… the same magical energy that was always in my room…」
「Oh, you can tell? Having the Scarlet Eyes sure does seem convenient.」
Her smile warped, and in doing so, became much colder than the one I was used to seeing.
「Aren’t you glad you can finally see a spirit? This one’s a bit discoloured, but it’s still a spirit nonetheless.」
「『Wow, you’re terrible. Does that really have to be the first thing you say after not talking to me for so long?』」
A voice came out of what seemed to be nowhere as the same type of magical energy that my room was filled with began billowing out of the stone in Yumis’ hand. There was so much of it that it could even be seen with the naked eye.
The magical energy, whose colour not even I could discern, swirled about before finally taking form.
「That’s… a… demon…」
It had a giant gaping mouth and sharp, fanged teeth. Its horns were curved inwards like those of a goat, and the wings that sprouted from its waist were covered in a reddish-black membrane. Its skin was black and grey, and bore a sort of rugged, rock-like texture. The creature was both a fairy, but also not one at the same time. Its function caused it to serve as what was effectively the very antithesis of an angel. Its species name is widespread, and had been recorded in many a piece of literature. In short, it was a Greed Demon.
「Ah… uh… ah….」
I didn’t understand what’d just happened.
I failed to comprehend the scenario that’d developed before my very eyes.
「Weren’t you the one that got all pissy when I started calling you a spirit?」
「『Kekeke, that’d be because we demons can’t stand being lumped in with your everyday ordinary spirits.』」
The creature’s voice was unpleasant, it almost sounded like it was speaking in both a low and high pitched voice at the same time.
「『So is she supposed to be the last sacrifice? Oh, wow, she’s even got a bit of elf mixed into that soul of hers. Hot damn, that’s some first rate produce right there.』」
The demon licked its lips with its purple-saliva covered tongue as its cross shaped pupils moved around in its eye sockets.
「I’m sorry! I don’t know what I did, but I’m sorry! Please, don’t do this to me! Please just help me!」
「Oh don’t you worry. You haven’t done anything bad enough to warrant an apology.」
Yumis extended her hands through the iron bars and stroked my cheeks in her usual, gentle manner.
「But it can’t be helped. Your fate had been decided from the very start.」
「Your life and soul were both a part of the price I paid to activate our little contract spell to begin with. And would you believe it? The demon specifically wanted a soul that lived everything up to its last moments in bliss. What a selfish request, right?」
「『No no no, you have it all wrong. I’m not selfish, I’m just a gourmet.』」
Yumis smiled as she always did, but the flickering candle flame that lit our surroundings caused it to appear extremely distorted.
「You demons sure love to say whatever comes to mind. Wasn’t it you that started off by saying “quantity over all else?” Sheesh, you even made me wipe out her entire village.」
「『That’s just because times change. Back then, I just really wanted to stuff myself. I wanted to eat as much as possible. You see, happy souls are something like a delicacy, but the cheap, distorted, miserable kind is pretty good in its own right. It’s kinda like how you humans like junk food.』」
「What… are you saying…?」
I didn’t understand what was going on.
I didn’t understand what I was seeing.
I didn’t understand what I was hearing.
「Oh come on, don’t you know that demons are notorious for how much they demand in exchange for granting a wish, right? This one wanted 50 different living people, so I decided to make use of that village of yours. The population was a bit too big, but I couldn’t just leave the survivors, so I brought them here. Come on, can’t you hear how they’re welcoming you? They’re much more lively than usual today.」
「What!? That can’t… be true…」
I turned towards some of the undead and observed them more closely the moment I came to understand the implications of what my elder sister had just said.
They no longer looked like humans, or anything like any sort of naturally occuring creature for that matter, but there was still a tad bit of magical energy within that belonged to something other than the undead. It was only barely clinging on, but it was there nonetheless. And as I looked at it, I came to realize that I recognized it.
「That’s… that’s Grandpa Jas’ mana, and that over there’s Grandma Ymir’s! That must mean you really did…」
My world began to blur.
Tears started cluttering my eyes. An odd buzzing sound started to fill my ears. Everything I heard, I heard twice. It was like the world as a whole had began to echo.
「Wow, you can tell that much? Those Scarlet Eyes of yours will make for some good materials. Anyway, I’m done here, do as you like, but make sure you don’t forget about our contract. You can only have her soul, not her body. I’m going to want to make use of her corpse.」
My world distorted even further.
I stuck my hand through the cage in an attempt to get my sister’s attention, but I failed to reach her.
「Wait! Wait! Yumis! Yumissss!!!」
I shouted and shouted, but Yumis didn’t care. She never once looked back after turning heel and walked towards the dungeon’s exit.
Her footsteps slowly vanished; she left me all alone with the demon.
「『Kakakaka! You’re still asking her for help despite all that she’s done to you? Man, that Yumis woman has got some great taste in how she treats people. She wouldn’t even bat an eyelid if I ate someone right in front of her. Her being a human sure makes for a waste of potential kekekeke.』」
「You’re lying! Yumis would never do anything like that…! And I even have proof! Mother and Shellmy sent me lots of letters, and they never mentioned anything bad happening to the village!」
「『Huh? Oh, yeah, that’s cause that’s what I ordered them to say.』」
What… did he just say?
「『Why don’t you try looking at those two undead if you don’t believe me? Your eyes should tell you exactly who they are.』」
That’s not possible.
There’s no way Yumis would’ve ever done anything that horrible. There was no reason for her to. I was being such a good girl…
「Ahh… Aahhhhh… Aaahhhhhhhhhh!」
「『Come on, weren’t you always going on and on about how much you wanted to see them? Well? Aren’t you just soooo happy?』」
Haven’t you always wanted to see your beloved family again?
Everything broke. The whole world seemed to start to crumble as the demon’s words entered my ears.
「『Ukakakakaakakakakaka! Great. This is perfect. Your soul is looking so delectable and filled with despair that I can already taste it!!』」
The undead creatures I turned my gaze upon were undoubtedly the family members I’d been with my whole life, the mother and little sister I’d always lived with and loved.
「『You know what, I’ll even be nice enough to let you hear their voices one last time.』」
The demon waved his hand and moved some of his mana into both Shellmy and my Mother.
The area around the mouths started to move awkwardly. They gnashed their teeth a few times before finally speaking the lines I’d heard just a few days ago.
「How have you been doing lately, Shuria?」
「You always say you’re doing fine, but I still can’t help but worry.」
「Please… just… stop…」
The demon’s hearty, obnoxiously loud laughter took my world’s few unbroken fragments and crushed them.
「『You know, the reason you can still recognize them even after all they’ve gone through must be love, huh? Oh man, that’s rich. You know what? I’m glad we met.』」
「You’re lying… You have to be lying… What did I do wrong? What did I do to deserve this…? 」
「『Hehe, I’m not lying at alllll. You yourself didn’t do anything bad, but that sister of yours sure did. Just look at what she did your precious family. I bet this gets her off. Hahahaha, she’s even more demonic than most actual demons.』」
My body went limp as my sensations began to leave me. I lost even the ability to feel my tears as they rolled down my cheek.
I’d always seen the world as a warm, kind place. I’d thought of it as a soft blanket made out of silk.
But now, it’d changed. The whole world had been turned inside out.
All my warm memories had transformed from silken threads to sharp needles. They began piercing right through me and causing me pain.
（It was all a lie. It’d all been a lie from the very start. Her smile, her kindness, and the time we spent together were all just parts of a web of lies. The only reason she gave me books, the only reason she took me out today was so she could keep lying to me, so she could reinforce the idea that she was my kind older sister.）
「Haha…hahahaha. How ridiculous. The whole thing was just a ruse.」
I was such an idiot. I not only trusted the bitch that murdered everyone in my village, but also treated her like a beloved member of my family. I let her shut me in a room and steal my talent for magic even though she’d turned both the mother and sister I loved into a pair of disfigured messes.
「『Is it happening? Have you finally fallen into the depths of despair?』」
「Shut up! Blaze, oh orb of flame, Fireball…!」
I tried to create a projectile and fire it at the demon out of rage, but the magical energy I poured into the attack ended up just dispersing throughout the air without taking form.
「I… I can’t even cast that anymore…?」
I’d lost every last bit of the magical talent I once had. I couldn’t even retaliate against the demon that was about to consume my soul.
「Fufufu… Hahahahaha… Haahahahahahahahahahahaaahhh!」
The situation I was in was so ridiculous it caused me to chuckle. A dry laughter filled my surroundings as tears continued to pour from my eyes.
「『Uhihihi, it looks like your soul’s really going to end up being quite the tasty one.』」
My vision was blurred, but I could still see the demon as it spread its wings.
Why did this have to happen?
How did things turn out this way?
I’d always thought that the world was a wonderful place. But I was no longer capable of believing in it. Even my most pleasant memory had long just become another thorn in my side..
「『Good, good. I do love me a soul full of bitterness.』」
「I’ve had enough already… I don’t want to see or hear anything anymore.」
「『It looks so good that I can’t help but want to eat it right now. Actually, you know what, that’s it. It’s time for me to dig in.』」
Colour had started to drain from the world around me, but the demon, sneer and all, remained ever so clear nonetheless. He was slowly extending his arm towards me. I knew that the moment it finally reached me, my life would be forfeit. The moment he reached me, it would finally all end. And so, I, Shuria, awaited it. I simply sat there and did nothing as my last breath drew closer and closer.
But then I realized something.
「『Oh? You’re still planning on resisting?』」
「…I can’t let myself die. I won’t let this be over just yet.」
Though I wanted to give up, I ended up moving my body backwards in an attempt to avoid the demon’s touch.
Because I realized that I wasn’t satisfied.
「…I won’t forgive her. I won’t forgive that stupid bitch! I’m swear I’m going to get my revenge and pay her back for all she’s done to me!」
「『Ohhhh, not bad at all. The ones that resist all the way through end up being even more delicious than the ones that don’t.』」
I don’t want to die.
I don’t want to let it all end.
Not like this.
A thirst for retribution welled up within me and filled every last fibre of my being.
I hated her. I wanted to kill her so badly that I couldn’t contain my own emotions.
I decided that I wasn’t giving up, that I would get my vengeance no matter what.
And so, I swore an oath, an oath of vengeance.
「…I swear I’ll kill everyone that involves themselves with her. I swear I’ll murder everyone that’s ever done anything to her benefit.」
「『Oh my. I’m sure she’ll feel real hurt if you tell her that. Hehehehehe.』」
I felt nothing but hatred for the demon that lay before my eyes. It had conspired with her and helped her bring her plans to fruition. I wanted to tear it apart, burn it alive, bite through its flesh, drown it, and strangle it with my bare hands.
I wanted to make it suffer, to force it into a cage of despair that no light could invade. And I wanted it to die in there.
That wasn’t right.
I didn’t want to just let it die.
I wanted to do the honours.
I wanted to kill it with my own two hands.
I knew that resisting was pointless, but I started throwing stones at the demon. When I ran out, I instead resorted to sand.
My thoughts were filled with naught but hatred, hatred for everyone and everything that’d forced my current fate upon me.
But it didn’t matter.
It didn’t matter how frustrated I was. Nor did it matter how much I struggled.
Nothing was going to change.
The demon grabbed me by the hair as it licked its lips.
I tried to shake it off, but it was too strong. I couldn’t get away.
「『Don’t worry. She told me she was going to use your body, so I won’t rough you up too much. I’m just going to be sucking out your soul and stopping your heart with my demonic poison.』」
「Let… go of me… you monster. I’m going to kill you!」
I desperately scratched at his arms in an attempt to get him to drop me. I used as much force as I could. I didn’t even mind having my nails torn off as long as it meant hurting him.
「『Kuhahaha. It’s been a long time since I’ve had a soul as high class as yours. Don’t worry, I’ll make sure you don’t get lonely. I’ll even mix your magical energy together with what’s left in those failed undead over there.』」
The demon let go of me and extended its hand towards my mother and sister.
「Ugh!? Stop it…!」
I wasn’t capable of understanding what it was muttering, but the results were self evident. I didn’t need any sort of explanation.
He caused them to explode. Red blood splattered all over as their bodies were destroyed. What remained of them was just a bit of black mist, a substance the demon sucked up and absorbed.
「You fucking asshole! How dare you! How dare you!?」
「『Well well well, whatever happened to you? Weren’t you just trying to get as far from me as you could? Now look at you. I guess that must’ve been quite shocking to see.』」
The demon grinned.
「『Don’t worry your little head too much. You’ll soon be joining them in my stomach.』」
Tears of anger and frustration once again caused my vision to blur as I screamed at him and repeated the same questions over and over again.
Why, how did it end up like this?
I didn’t do anything wrong, so why did this have to happen?
「It can’t end, not like this…」
That bitch was going to keep using me even after I died. She was going to do to me what she did to my family members.
She was going to turn me into an ingredient and use my eyes to create some sort of magic item. She was going to use me for her experiments before finally turning me into an undead.
I was much more frustrated by what she was going to do to me after I died than the fact that I was going to die.
Where did I go wrong?
How did I end here of all places?
Just when did she first decide she was going to betray me?
「『Anyway, anyway, enough of that. It’s time for me to eat you, and for real this time.』」
The way the demon smiled made me recall Yumis’ own.
『So you’re Shuria? It’s nice to meet you. I’m Yumis, your older sister.』
Specifically, it looked exactly like the one she had when we first met. The resemblance was so striking that her voice had even began echoing through my head.
（That… was probably when it all started…）
「I swear… I swear… I’m going to kill her.」
「God damn it. I can’t believe your circumstances are really this similar to my own. This has to be a god damn joke, and a terrible one, at that.」
I saw something flash as the prison bars were cut open. The metal poles fell over and began rolling around. The demon’s arms, which’d been right before my eyes, fell to the ground as they were severed from its body.
The person that’d caused the sudden change was a black eyed, black haired swordsman.
His face was a familiar one, but yet not at the same time. His body, which I’d known to be spiritual, had become one with physical form.
「’Sup. It’s been a while. I’m here to see you again, just as promised.」
He answered the question that I couldn’t stop myself from asking in a casual tone.
「『Who the hell are you? Don’t you know it’s rude to interrupt, human?』」
Kaito turned around to face the demon as it posed its question.
「I’d love to open with “It may be rather presumptuous for me to say,” or something like that, but I’m actually here to run a bit of a recruitment drive today, so I’ll refrain.」 
In his hand was a single, blue-silver blade with two orange coloured fluffy balls hanging from the bottom of its guard.
「I’m someone that’s come a long way for the sole sake of torturing the bitch that summoned you to death.」
He raised his blade and pointed it towards the demon as his lips began curving upwards. The dark smile on his face was so full of his burning passion that I almost wanted to call it heroic.
「I’m none other than the fool they call the The Avenger’s Second Coming.」
 Really famous line, especially in Kabuki.
 Subject to change. Sounds horrible in English. JP: Nidome no Fukushuusha