Shinya, who had been blown away, faced himself.
Or, to be more precise, his corpse.
His own corpse, wide-eyed and tight-lipped, stared at him with its eyes.
I felt like that’s what it told me. Under normal circumstances, such thoughts would have never occurred to me. After all, I’m dealing with a dead body.
However, in the midst of pain and labored breathing, I thought I heard a voice.
Shinya, who was still barely alive, replies.
“How, how do I ……do that? Protect you,…… If I could,…… I would!”
Raising my voice, of course, did not elicit a response.
“You wanted to protect them, too, didn’t you?”
It spoke eloquently to him with its eyes, even though there was no way it actually gave a response.
The memories of the past came to Shinya’s mind.
Trembling in the closet, helpless to do anything. Five minutes of hell.
“That’s right,…… I don’t want to lose anyone anymore,……”
He touches the corpse’s face as if clinging to it. The coldness that returns to his hand, the sticky black blood, the hardened cheeks. It’s this, when he thought about it calmly that acted as a sober remainder that this was a dead body.
However, despite that, to him it looked like the corpse had laughed.
“If so, then ask….”
Shinya’s ears definitely heard it.
His own voice, clear and distinct from the one that asked the question earlier.
The next moment, limply, the world became distorted.
The pain disappeared from my body, and in its place, a great amount of heat surged through me.
My left shoulder, in particular, was hot. It was as if a hot frying pan was being pressed against me.
Shinya screams as he endures the heat.
This time, my head hurts like it’s swollen. My mouth continues to emit screams as if that will help expel the unbearable pain.
Unable to resist, I hold my head down. The arm that holds it down hurts. I hit my head against the ground. I can’t override it, the pain is so intense that it makes the pain I just felt seem gentle.
I meditate hard from the pain, and the only thing that dominates my pitch-black vision is the heat turned suffering.
It hurts, it hurts, it hurts, it hurts, it hurts, it hurts, it hurts, it hurts, it hurts, it hurts, it hurts, it hurts, it hurts, it hurts, it hurts, it hurts, it hurts, it hurts, it hurts, it hurts, it hurts, it hurts, it hurts, it hurts, it hurts, it hurts, it hurts, it hurts, it hurts, it hurts, it hurts, it hurts, it hurts, it hurts, it hurts, it hurts, it hurts, it hurts, it hurts, it hurts, it hurts. Ouch, ouch, ouch, ouch, ouch, ouch, ouch, ouch, ouch, ouch, ouch, ouch, ouch, ouch, ouch, ouch, ouch, ouch, ouch, ouch, ouch, ouch, ouch, ouch, ouch, ouch, ouch, ouch, ouch.
And then, suddenly, it all disappears.
The pain, the heat, everything fits into itself and disappears.
A huge amount of new sensations and information flows into my body.
When I opened my eyes, my corpse was still there.
Only, without a doubt, the corners of its mouth, which had been tied in a single line, were slightly turned up at the edges.
Shinya tells “him” this and stands up.
It was a strange feeling. I know what I can do.
Normally, no one would believe me. But I do know.
“Hey! What was that screaming! Are you okay! Shinya! Shinyaaaa!”
I can hear the girl’s voice. She’s surrounded by insect monsters, so I can’t see her, but for some reason she’s speaking Japanese, and not the language of some other country like earlier.
Along with her cry, a black stick strikes the insect’s shell. Bang! Bang! I can hear the sounds. It’s a sign that the girl is still fighting.
“I’m okay! I really am!”
I reply, stand up, and stretch my arms. I spread my hands, open my fingers, and reach forward. Not only the pain in my body from earlier, but also the one from when I was blown away by the insect monster and rolled on the ground, was gone.
“Stay down for a minute!”
He blurted out in reply to the frantic girl’s voice.
“Go, come out.”
At the same time as he muttered this, a number of walls rose up from the ground. Each wall was about two meters high, and as they left the ground, they floated up around him one after another.
The pitch-black walls, when viewed from the front, were shaped like a Western coffin. However, its thinness was more like the lid of the coffin than the coffin itself.
More than a dozen coffin lids float around Shinya as they emerge. It looked like a great shield protecting its master.
The great coffin shields protecting Shinya synchronise with his consciousness and attack the insect monsters around him at the same time as he thinks “go”.
Rather than severing them with a single sharp blade, the great shield thrusts their body with a spiked machete, as if forcibly breaking a branch, and shreds the arthropods, shells, and heads of the insect monsters, shattering them and cutting them into small pieces.
The area is splattered with sour-smelling green bodily fluids, and the sound of the insects’ jaws grinding together like a decimation rings out.
Overwhelming violence dominates the scene.
The great number of large shields accurately understood Shinya’s brief thought, “Go,” and carefully laid waste to the insect monsters so that not a single one was left behind. Shinya’s consciousness does not intervene here.
Therefore, Shinya himself shifts his focus from the insect monsters and turns to the person who saved his life who would be there.
The girl had obeyed Shinya’s words, and although she was lying down, she kept looking around, confused by the great shield dance taking place in front of her.
“What in the world is this? Who are you? Why do you have the same face as Shinya? Why couldn’t you talk to me earlier?”
She rises from her prone position, keeping low, and points the tip of the black stick she was holding at Shinya.
She seems less hostile than when she had first pointed it at him, but rather, her calm demeanor suggests that she recognizes him as a threat.
Probably because the great coffin shields summoned by Shinya were flying around, shattering the monsters into pieces.
At the moment, Shinya was the strongest person around, so the threat to her had become him.
He lowers his outstretched arm and turns to the girl.
“Oh these, I’m …… sorry, I’m not sure, but …… um, well, thank you for saving me.”
The girl’s face contorts at these words.
“I was saved, you saved me. I’ve never seen such power before. …… Answer.
Who are you, ……?”
Shinya answers the girl’s question as she tries to discern what’s going on.
“Well, my name is Shinya Mamiya.”
Shinya understood that his words probably confused the girl, but that was all he could say.
“Don’t be silly. Shinya doesn’t have this kind of ability…!”
The girl thrusts the stick in her hand further towards him. He opens his mouth in a panic at the swarthy atmosphere.
“Oh, um, maybe the Shinya you know is a different person with the same name and surname?”
“No way. That face, that voice, that expression. All …… everything, the same as Shinya’s!”
The tip of the stick held by the girl who was raising her voice trembled finely.
Another person with the same surname and first name. I came up with such excuses, but in the truest sense, I had arrived at a single answer.
“Then surely, it must be ……”
Shinya looks at the corpse as if to say, “That’s the answer”.
The girl who followed his gaze sank into a heap with a scream.
Shinya felt somewhat chilled to the core as he told the girl.
“Perhaps your acquaintance, your Shinya, is him.”
Before long, the sound of the insect monsters and the great shields colliding with each other died down, and the shields, having done their job, disappeared, leaving silence to reign over the place.