Thank you for the wait, everyone! Here is Ep 11! Enjoy~
Kiriko Epawsode 11: Fleeting Faces
“Nee nee, Cross-nii~” (TL: Hey hey, Cross-nii~)
“Doushita, Kiriko?” (TL: What’s wrong, Kiriko?)
“What do you think of capital punishment?’
“PFFFF-!? Where the hell’d that come from?!”
“Iya……just that today I read an article on it…un. Chotto kininaru.” (TL: Naw……just that today I read an article on it…yeah. I was a little interested.)
“………chotto ayashikune, sore? You’re not planning on committing a crime, are you?” (TL: Isn’t that a bit suspicious? You’re not planning on committing a crime, are you?)
“Kiriko the Kriminal. Where did I go wrong raising you, Kiriko imouto yo? *monotone*”
“TTE OI!!! Don’t go making me out to be a criminal! Rather, don’t avoid the question!”
“Maa, even if you ask me that………what part of it were you curious about?”
“Etto……like……if there’s a really bad criminal, who does really bad things——”
“You wanna know if I think it’s ok for them to die?”
“Un. Would they be better off dead?”
“Well, it depends really.”
“Maa, a lot of legal systems are kinda broken. Most of the criminals are usually not guilty of the crime they’re charged with, so killing them is essentially murdering innocents.”
“Hmm……maa, assuming that the legal system could catch all the right criminals, do you think it’d be better for them to die?”
“? Daijoubu, Kiriko?”
“Iya……somehow……that was an extremely underwhelming answer.”
“Well, what kind of answer were you expecting?”
“Um……well, you know. An answer with actual ‘substance’.”
“Eh~, but it’s such a pain~?”
“Don’t play cute with me – that’s my job.”
“If it is, I want better service!”
“*whacks* Ussai!!!” (TL: Shaddup!!)
“Anyway, do I have to give you a better answer?”
“Just how lazy are you going to get about this?!”
“Well, honestly, I wanted to get even lazier, but—”
“……I’m gonna hit you. I’m realllly gonna hit you.”
“Over the phone?”
“—ow?! How the heck did you do that?!—is what I would say if you actually hit me.”
“Violent tendencies aside, what did you want again?”
“I wanted to know if criminals should die or not.”
“-tch. Mendokusa.” (TL: What a pain.)
“Oi. Did you just go ‘tch’? You did, didn’t you?!”
“As I was saying…”
“MUSHI KA YO?!!!!” (TL: YOU’RE JUST GONNA IGNORE ME?!!!)
“What, you want me to answer your question or not?”
“……tch. Fine. Go ahead.”
“Oi. Did you just go ‘tch’?”
“Anyway, I don’t really think death is an adequate punishment for those who may have potentially ruined lives. Besides, while someone might be held accountable, nobody really wins in the end.”
“Hm hm, nyaruhodo nyaruhodo.” (TL: I see, I see.)
“Putting the matter of guilt to the side, ending criminal lives sort of gives them a way out. An escape away from their responsibility to atone for their crimes.”
“Hmm…but I’m sure that some people would just be happier seeing them die. Some novels do that right? To get the ‘bad guys’ out of their hair. Permanently.”
“…………what kind of novels have you been reading, Kiriko?”
“………nyaaaa~? *tilts head*”
“*sigh* Well, back to the point, even if some people want criminals dead, that’s not to say that they should die, right? I mean, if a soldier gets captured while serving their country, should they die just because their enemies want them to?”
“Nnn……I don’t think so.”
“Darou?” (TL: Right?)
“But……say there’s a serial rapist and murderer——”
“Doushita, Cross-nii?” (TL: What’s wrong, Cross-nii?)
“*cough* Observe the spectacle of the innocent imouto’s image crumbling into a pile of dust.”
“Oh? What seems to be the matter, ex-innocent imouto-san?”
“DON’T SAY ‘EX’!!! KONO BAKA ANIKI!!!”(TL: You stupid brother!!!)
“Fine then. Former Innocent Imouto-san.”
“THAT’S NOT ANY BETTER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”
“Fine then. What should I call you?”
“Just ‘Kiriko’!! Kiriko de ii yo! I don’t need your snarky remarks! Baka!!!!!!” (TL: Just Kiriko is fine! I don’t need your snarky remarks! You idiot!!!!)
“You just went ‘tch’ again, didn’t you!?!?!?!”
“*ahem* Anyway, ‘Just Kiriko’, I suggest that you get back to your point before you utterly lose it.”
“………I think I broke her.”
“Haa haa haa……*ahem* Well, I’m sure that not many people would think that someone who rapes and kills others deserves to live. A lot of people would probably just say that the world would be better off with them dead.”
“Perhaps. Though, on the other hand, when someone dies, they can never come back. Any chance for them to reform, to change their ways, to become a good person is crushed underneath the animosity of the masses.”
“Sou da na……” (TL: That’s true……)
“Maa, I’m not saying that I disagree with the sentiment of ridding evil-doers in the world. That said, I don’t think that death is the right answer.”
“Put it this way. LoliQ is a per—*cough* lolicon, and Yandere Anri may as well be a murderer. Do you think they deserve death?”
“I don’t! Loli-nee’s just a bit……off at times, and Anri…………well, Anri’s just completely off. But they’re not bad people!”
“……I imagine Anri and LoliQ will have something to say about that, but you get my point, right?”
“Un.” (TL: Yeah.)
“Tte iu ka, that’s just my interpretation. What do you think, Kiriko?” (TL: Rather, that’s just my interpretation)
A bright light pierced through the darkness which gently cradled my mind.
There, the figures of 4 other people emerged.
A narcissistic orange. My not-so-cute, yet somehow completely adorable kouhai.
A perverse purple. The strange being who was both my sister, yet not quite a ‘sister’ at the same time.
A composed black. My friend who wavered on the border of reality and imagination, one who sought more, yet less of life.
An overbearing blue. My teasing, yet endearing elder brother.
They were my friends.
They were my family.
They were the important people in my life, who were lost in this world with me.
I had to find them.
The dream shattered as quickly as it started. Fleeting as dreams were, the nostalgic figures of my friends faded from my mind, leaving a lingering loneliness that stabbed deep into my soul.
As my eyes opened, the figure of one who I had pretty much all but forgotten about appeared before me.
Groggy with sleep, I blindly attempted to mouth the name of the one before me, making a wild guess based on the brilliant silver hair she possessed.
However, the name which emerged from my lips simply reminded me of a certain perverted butler character from a certain web novel I had read in the past. Needless to say, it was not the name I had been searching for.
“You…insolent fool!! How could you possibly forget the name of a great goddess like me?! It’s Silvia!!! SIL-VI-A!!”
Carefully enunciating her name for me, the silver-haired loli made an angry expression as she waved a finger in my face.
“Ah, right. Silvia. And? What brings you here today, Miss “Great Goddess”?”
Replying rather sarcastically, I combed my fingers through my long hair while glancing at the self-important goddess.
“Muu!!! Why are each and every one of them so……”
“If you’re here for small talk, I’ve got better things to do, so you’ll have to excuse me.”
Getting up, I was surprised to discover that the pain from my injuries had utterly disappeared. Curious, I began to remove my armour to check, and found my skin completely spotless, not a bruise in sight.
“? Silvia, did you heal me?”
“Haaah? Why would a Great Goddess like myself have to spend her great powers on something as poi—”
“Yeah, okay, I get it. It wasn’t you.”
Interrupting the tiny goddess’s condescending speech, I pondered upon the identity of my mystery healer.
Well, I’ll find out eventually, I suppose.
Putting my armour back on, I did a few stretches to loosen up my body while simultaneously checking for any abnormalities in it. After finding that everything was working perfectly, I turned back to the chittering goddess, who had been continuing her incessant chattering as I did my self check-up.
“All of you are so rude, and so ungrateful! I should smite you all for displaying such disrespect towards me!!!! I—”
“Are you done yet?”
Rather unamused, I once again cut the silver-haired girl’s speech short.
Honestly speaking, I was hardly in the mood to handle her.
Remnants of my shattered dream stifled my heart with sadness, and waking up to a noisy little girl like her wasn’t making it any better.
“Tsk……fine! I’m here to give you a warning!”
“Stop caring about the lives of others so much. You’re going to get yourself killed.”
Confusion ran rampant in my mind upon hearing Silvia’s words. While I didn’t want to see people die in front of me, it wasn’t like I had been going around trying to sacrifice myself for others. In the first place, I had little intention of doing something like that.
“You really are a slow one, aren’t you? Didn’t you almost die the other day? Trying to save some guy that you just met two days ago?”
Now that she mentioned it……
“Ah. True. I guess I did almost die.”
A loud smacking sound resounded throughout the room as the silver-haired girl slapped her hand against her face in a gesture also known as a ‘facepalm’.
That’s the first time I’ve ever seen someone do it that hard……is her face okay?
A thread of concern surfaced within my mind as I gazed at the young girl. After all, with how pompous she acted, her face was one of her few good points. Without that……there might not be any “good” parts about her left……
“I HEARD THAT!!”
Suddenly enraged, a violent aura blasted out from Silvia’s small frame. An invisible pressure pushed down on my shoulders, attempting to force me down on my knees.
Refusing to prostrate myself so easily before the egotistical goddess, I immediately used all my strength to resist the intimidation.
As the crushing sensation threatened to stop my breathing, I could feel Death’s scythe creeping ever closer to my neck.
Oi oi oi, I already saw you yesterday – won’t you just leave me alone already?!
Tsukkomiing the image of death surfacing within my mind, I glared at the silver-haired girl.
“Since you came all this way to warn me, you clearly don’t want me dead. On the other hand, it’ll cause you troubles if I die, won’t it? I can’t help you conquer the world if I’m dead after all.”
My words clearly striking point-on, the pressure quickly dissipated as a startled expression emerged upon the tiny goddess’s face.
“It’s the truth, isn’t it?”
Managing to gain the upperhand, a faintly triumphant feeling rose within my heart.
A feeling that was destroyed just as quickly as it had emerged.
It was likely that she hadn’t meant for me to hear it, as she had muttered it ever so quietly.
A muttering that was almost subconscious, brought forth by the words I had spoken.
However, with my keen hearing that had been enhanced by the [Neko Transformation] which I had still yet to undo, I heard it.
A truth that I had never wanted to hear.
“It’ll be troublesome if another one of them died…”
Her red eyes turned away from my own as she spoke, guilt swimming in their crimson depths. However, at that moment, nothing seemed to enter my eyes.
‘Another’ one of them.
In other words, ‘one’ of them was dead.
Someone had died. But who?
Who amongst my friends – amongst the people who had been summoned to this world with me – had died during the time I was being transferred here?
Anri, LoliQ, XCrossJ, and Schatten.
Those were the names of the four who had come to this world of 【Paletia】 with me.
Each and every one of them, were precious friends that I had met and gotten to know online, though we had yet to meet face-to-face.
But even so…
They were undoubtedly irreplaceable existences in my life.
Just as my lips began to form the word questioning which of them had died, I realized.
It didn’t matter which one of them died.
Because no matter which one had disappeared, the hole torn in my heart would be unchanged.
A loud noise rang out into the compact room as my knees crashed against the ground.
Shivering, I could feel my mind cracking as an unimaginable pain gnawed at my heart.
It was a agony even greater than that which I had felt when the wounds had riddled my exhausted body.
A fear exponentially stronger than the terror I had felt when Death’s scythe loomed over me.
Gone were the times where I could frolic together with my friends from the Chaos, perpetuating nonsense within that disorderly realm we resided within.
Because now, one of them was dead.
At that moment, it was as if something within me had fractured.
What exactly had fractured, I wasn’t sure.
But something had.
And, as if confirming my thoughts, a cool voice, unlike that which was usually used by my [Nyanko Guide], resounded within my mind.
“Conditions for acquisition of [Yoriko] have been met.”
[Yoriko]? What is—
“Activating effects of [Convenient Amnesiac] title to protect main psyche.”
……huh? Why am I on the ground?
Glancing around, I tilted my head in confusion. Just when did I fall? Did Silvia trip me? Iya, this position isn’t the right one if she did something like that……
“H-Hmph! It seems that I did something bad, but no matter.”
Suddenly interrupting my thoughts with a snort, the arrogant goddess looked down at me with narrowed eyes.
“? What’re you talking about?”
Failing to understand the meaning behind the silver girl’s words, questions ran rampant within my mind, seeking an answer.
“It’s not something you need to know right now. Leave it.”
But alas, it seemed that they were not fated to find one.
“……well, fine then. Is that all you came here for? To warn me and make fun of me?”
My brow furrowing in discontent, I inquired about the purpose behind the elusive loli’s visit.
“Hmph. Is there a problem with that?”
“……*sigh* Not particularly. I don’t really see why you’d bother coming all this way instead of just calling me, but thanks either way.”
Apparently caught off-guard at my sudden thanks, the tiny goddess let out a surprised shriek.
“I mean, you were worrying about me, right? So thanks.”
“I-I-It’s not like I was worried about you or anything! It’s just that it’d be annoying for me if you died! That’s all!”
……somehow she seems a little cute right now…
Stammering, Silvia’s cheeks flushed a bright pink, reminding me of the ‘tsundere’ characters frequently found in Japanese media. Put together with her already adorable appearance, I had no doubts that, should she be seen by a certain purple-haired sister of mine, she would instantly be devoured whole.
……actually, knowing Loli-nee, she probably already has been ‘eaten’ by her…
Sighing mentally at the perverted tendencies of my missing sister, I gazed at the girl before me with pitying eyes.
“Alright, alright. I get it. You just don’t want me to die. I’ll be careful. That better?”
“Hmph! What’s with that tone of voice?! But fine, as long as you’re careful! I have better things to do, so I’m leaving!”
Whirling around in a huff, the tsundere goddess’s silver figure instantly disappeared.
As silence reigned within the compact room, I shook my head and exited, heading towards the reception to receive the rewards from yesterday’s hunt.