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BCT Chapter 004

Encounter

 The girl drops the black stick. She walks up to the corpse with unsteady steps, checks its left hand, and begins to cry out loudly on the spot.
  The fact that the girl first checked Shinya’s left hand also suggest that the difference between the Shinya the girl knows and the Shinya here and now is there.

 Pakiri

  In the city of rubble, where the girl’s cries echoed, a small but distinctly strange noise mixed in.
  Clutching the corpse to her chest, she wept loudly, and in Shinya’s eyes, she looked like her age.

 It’s hard to believe that she’s the same person as the girl who had confronted the monster, throwing a black stick as tall as she was at it.

 Pakiri

 Shinya decided to wait patiently until the girl’s urges subsided. He didn’t think he had the right to stop the tears overflowing from her clear blue eyes.
 A beautiful girl clinging to his corpse. The sight was both beautiful and complicated to him.
 Shinya, who was lonely, busy living day by day, and pessimistic for his age resulting in him not socialize much with others, was not sure if there was anyone who would grieve his death like this.
 He felt terribly, terribly envious.

 Paki, paki paki ……

“Go……you……”

 With the girl’s words, the corpse began to crumble. What had been ringing earlier was the sound of a corpse crushing.
 Shinya panicked at the sight, but the girl held the corpse back to her chest and waited patiently until it all collapsed.
 He was shocked at the sight of something that looks just like him about to shatter, and he takes a step forward.
 However, he doesn’t go any further because he couldn’t bring himself to step into the space between the two and the girl’s figure was saying that that’s the way it’s supposed to be.
 The corpse turns white, hardens, and crumbles. The crushed parts become finer, like sand, and slip through the girl’s arms.
 It was only a matter of minutes until it was completely reduced to sand.
 All that remained was its clothes and backpack.
 She lightly rubs the white sand left on her fingers against her cheek and picks up the jacket, backpack, and bracelet. Shinya did not notice it at all, but the dead man had been wearing a bracelet.
 The bracelet, which was pitch black and probably made of resin and metal, was something he didn’t have, even though he should be dressed exactly the same.
 On the girl’s arm was one of the exact same shape. It was a ruggedly shaped piece of matching jewelry, but to Shinya, who wasn’t wearing one, it looked like something of a bond between the two.
 The girl, with the backpack slung over her shoulder and a jacket exactly the same as Shinya’s draped over her arm, strokes the bracelet she had picked up and turns to face Shinya.

“I have a lot of questions I want to ask you,……, but first, I need to contact headquarters,…….okay?

 You are a non-combatant. Protection, top priority.”

 Shinya nodded.

 Her expression has changed from one appropriate for her age to that of a professional. The term “non-combatant” suggests that she’s a member of some kind of military.

 To Shinya’s hesitation, the girl tells him to wait a moment, then pulls out a small walkie-talkie from her jacket and begins to whisper into it.
 A sigh escapes from Shinya’s mouth.

  After all that had happened, I finally feel at ease.

 In the meantime, He took off his jacket halfway and rolled up the cuff of his T-shirt to inspect his left shoulder, which had the most burning pain and still has a tingling, itchy sensation.
  Then, there was a black tattoo on his left shoulder.
 A coffin tattoo, similar to the large one that had appeared earlier. Around it is a blurry object painted on. Shinya doesn’t remember having such a thing, so he decides that it must have been attached earlier.

“…… injury?”

 Before I knew it, I’m approached by the girl who had finished radioing someone.

“No, I was feeling some discomfort in my body, so I decided to check It …….”

  The girl looked at Shinya’s shoulder and seemed a little surprised.

“I understand the words, and there is also a design. Awakening. That design …… for the first time. Coffin?”

“It looks like one, doesn’t it? What do you mean by, uh, awakening?”

 The girl nods her head at his words.

“Don’t you know? To be, to be an Aubade.

 The …… coffin you used earlier? It is the power of the Aubade. You became an Aubade. So we can talk to each other. With common concepts.”

 The girl speaks in short sentences, and it’s hard to understand her, but that being said, Shinya certainly understood what she was saying.

 There was too much going on for me to think deeply about it, but the foreigner girl, suddenly speaking Japanese so fluently is indeed strange.

“Common concepts…?”
“Aubades understand each other’s language. I don’t know …… how.”
“Really ……? And this tattoo is proof of that ……”
“Not exactly a tattoo. It’s not ink, no.

 For Aubade, the oversized design floats on the body. In my case, a stake. I can’t show it to you because of its location.”

 The girl continues, saying that she can produce a stake like this, and a black stick of about 30 cm appears in her right hand. What Shinya thought was a stick was apparently a stake.

“That’s …… how on Earth did you do that?”

 The girl stops Shinya, who kept on asking questions, with the palm of her hand.

“I’m not good at explaining. The convoy will be here soon. Ask them. The battle,too, seems to be over. I’ll go with you.”

The words “ I’ll go with you” had a indescribable fire that made me wonder whether or not I’d go with her.

  Shinya answers with a nod of the head, and the girl exhales as if she, too, was at ease.
  There was a moment of silence, and the girl, after opening and closing her mouth several times, and then, as if finally having made up her mind, she speaks,

“…… just one thing.

 You are not Shinya. But are you the same …… kind of being as Shinya?”

 Her words were somewhat a plea for some kind of salvation.

 Shinya replied with a few words.

“I don’t …… understand.”

 For Shinya, the current situation could be summed up in one word.
 The same was true in regard to the dead Shinya.
 However, it wasn’t just the unreasonableness and mental fatigue that had befallen him that made his response unnecessarily blunt.
 The existence of a beautiful girl who cherished and cared so much about someone who looked exactly like him made him feel a little jealous of the other Shinya.
 But he smothers such thoughts, as befitting his age; he’s old enough to realize that it wasn’t the right attitude to take towards a dead person or toward those who are grieving for them.
 That’s why he decides to tell the girl about the episode between him and Shinya.

“He told me at……. No, I just felt like he told me.”

 At these words, the girl turns her attention to him.

“What?”

 His eyes were moist, but his will to not miss a single word was evident.

He said, “I know you want to protect them, too.”

 The girl unconsciously strokes the bracelet in her hand with her finger and questions back the meaning of his words.

“You …… too?”

 Shinya nods his head in agreement with her words.

“I felt like at that moment, we knew each other.
 It feels weird, talking to a corpse, and I may be mistaken,…… but I think …… he’s me. If you’re asking me if I’m him, I’m not sure.”

 Although vague, his words somewhat calmed and somewhat discouraged the girl.

“Yes.”

 Shinya answered shortly, and then turned to the girl, who was still stroking the bracelet in her hand.

“And …… he said I asked.”

 The girl’s shoulders bounce a little and their gazes cross once more.

“What?”
“ …… to protect.”

 He didn’t tell me who.

“….. yes.”

  She also didn’t ask who.

 Then they both kept quiet.
 After a while, a number of military personnel, probably the convoy, arrived, handcuffed Shinya because of the rules, and placed him in a car that looked like a bunch of steel plates attached together.
 Neither of them uttered a word during the trip to the safe zone. Shinya failed to ask the girl’s name, but it was not a very good situation to ask.

TL Note: “Aubade” in various translations is “overlord” but for the sake of this translation it’ll be kept as such.


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