So, this is a bit different from what I usually post. There is a booklet that comes with the limited edition Collar x Malice Unlimited. This is a short story based off of the ‘tragic ending’ in the original game. So of course, spoilers if you have not finished the first game. Last but not least, is Shiraishi. Holy shit translating this was as heart wrenching as reading it. ACTUAL TRAGEDY. BE WARNED.
The marbles lightly roll on the floor. They sparkle due to the reflecting light and make a sound as they collide with each other. In this room with little color, the small marbles give off a brilliant shade.
“That one is my favorite. Next time I’ll ask for other colors.”
A gentle hand strokes my head as I play with the marbles. But her hand was red with a wet warm liquid. As she gently combs my hair, the red color is mixed in to the point where the color can’t be distinguished anymore.
With a bloodied hand, she hugs my head tightly. Since I came here, I couldn’t help but cry. I’ll probably do so forever. I knew my tears would never run dry.
“I’m going now. Be good, okay?”
I couldn’t stop her from leaving. Now that I don’t stop her, my voice doesn’t come out. Because I knew it’d only trouble her.
(Who are you going to kill today?)
With my heart broken like hers, I mutter so. She kills someone every day. In this miniature garden called Adonis, she obligated to fulfill her role as an enforcer.
–How long as it been? I don’t know how many years have passed or if it’s even been less than a few months when she was still herself.
I brought her to Adonis by Zero’s order with the intent of being killed by her. If all went well, my trust would go unsuspected. But she wanted to save me. And with her own sense of justice, she tried to shoot Zero for my future–ending in the worst result.
(She’s now broken, and I can’t fix her anymore.)
Like a machine for Adonis, every day she is sent to kill obstructive humans. This is the cornerstone for Zero’s ideal world to come true. It has been engraved in her mind that this is correct. Some day, I will be the same as her.
(I’m not brainwashed like I was before.)
But I can’t do anything for her. Like a doll that has lost all freedom and my own voice — I am allowed to stay here. Even if she turns into something that feels no pain, if I can relieve her heart just a bit, I would like to stay by her side.
(I don’t know what ordinary happiness is like so I don’t need it.)
In truth, I think it would be best to kill her. That is the true way to save her. Rather than be stained by someone else’s malice, it could be only means of regaining her color.
–When she first became an enforcer, her sanity sometimes returned several times a day.
“Please kill me.”
Over and over she would beg me like a broken record. Even so, I could not kill her. Maybe it was easy for other people. At the time she no longer reached out to me, I could no longer do anything.
“Why won’t you kill me?”
She reflected the disappointment in her eyes on me. There’s no way I could kill her. It’s my fault. It’s because she tried to save me she’s now broken. No matter how much pain she’s in, even if I know she’s living a hell worse than death, I can’t kill her with my own hands.
(It would’ve been better if we had never met.)
I truly thought so. If we had never met, no such sadness would have been born. If I hadn’t, the kindness, the warmth, the suffering… I wouldn’t have known any of it.
“I don’t know anyone named no. 14”
–To live as a symbol, a gear.
“Shiraishi, there’s still time before Christmas.”
“If that’s what you truly wish, that lie with become reality.”
Keep your eyes away from the foolish hopes of a future.
“Please come outside with me, Shiraishi-san.”
–In a colored world, I couldn’t help my longing for it.
“I have something I want to tell you on Christmas.”
“So no matter what happens, I’ll save you.”
The love we shared with each other on Christmas–
I wish I had not known it.
“I’m home. Guess what? You know an investor who drove a lot of people to ruin with fraud? I killed him today.”
(…I see. Good job.)
Wishing I could say so, I rubbed my nose against her neck like a cat and we share the smell of blood.
“…Hehe, that tickles.”
I felt relieved to hear her small laugh. Even if she loses her feelings, her physiological responses remain. It fills my heart more than anything.
I wanted more, so I dropped a kiss on the white skin in front of me and let my tongue crawl. Every time I gave her stimulation, her white skin would turn red. Not the color of blood, but proof of the heat I gave her.
The feeling of tasting with my mouth wasn’t enough, so I put my finger on her white clothes this time. The strap of her shoulder fell without resistance with everything becoming exposed. No matter how much blood there was, no matter how much hatred was aimed towards her, her body was always clean.
(Is this okay?)
Even though she acts with a tactic understanding, I always want to make sure she is willing. While sinking our bodies into the bed, I separated my lips from her trembling skin and looked into her eyes. As if she read my mind, she softly put her arms around my back.
That’s right. Our daily routine after she would kill someone was to lick each other’s wounds. When we first met, she was embarrassed just to hold hands. And yet now, we laid on top of each other, exchanging heat. This was not heart-to-heart contact. I was relieved just feeling her heat, as her conscious becomes cloudy and her thoughts just melt away.
“…H-Hah… Hey, are you still crying?”
She asks the question between mingled breaths. I couldn’t afford to answer. Sweat, tears, and the smell of blood. Only her voice violated my mind.
The night continues on, another time will come where there is nothing in this room. While afraid of it becoming empty, we fell asleep holding each other to retrieve each other’s lingering heat.
“…Are you asleep?”
(No, I’m still awake. What are you looking at?)
“Look its the first star. A lot of stars are out today.”
(She’s right. That there is… Sirius, right?
“Even there there’s nothing in this room, you can see the sky well.”
There was a big window up high.
“Ah, I told you I didn’t want anything but, there is one thing. I’m grateful to Zero for what you gave me. I’m glad you’re here.”
The fact she has to ask for my presence must mean she still has anxiety and fear about being alone. I wonder if she still has any regrets? Although it may just be proof she’s still in pain, I’m relieved to see her show a human emotion. Our relationship in this world is a contradiction. What is right and what is wrong? I convinced myself there was no correct answer.
It’s fine if we stay this way forever. I couldn’t protect her heart, but if we continue to repeat these sins from now on, we can fall from grace together without a single thought about it.
“I received an order from Zero. The next person to kill is… Hoshino Kazuki.”
It was difficult for me to understand what she had just said. Next thing I know, my whole body trembled. Supported by the lost of strength in my arm, I desperately wake my body.
“What’s wrong? Why are you so surprised?”
I put my hands on her shoulder and roughly shook her. I continued to shake my head and convey my will.
(You can’t. There’s no way you can–)
Her colorless eyes gaze into my own. There’s no emotion. Even though she was ordered to kill her younger brother, rather than show skepticism about the orders of Zero, it was as if she was embracing them.
(Why? Her brother was just a student. Why does she have to kill him?)
The emotions that were supposed to be gone were slowly returning. My brain was completely confused. What is Zero thinking giving such an order? Does he want to break her? Does he want to get inside her mind?
“Calm down. I’m fine so… I’ll make sure to do it properly.”
(It’s not fine.)
“At this point, I don’t choose who I kill.”
(No. Please, don’t say that. With that voice and face…)
I finally realized. This was her and it was also not her. According to her words, she may not feel anything when killing her beloved brother. And yet…
“I have hopes for people like you. Don’t forget that.”
That time I told her those words. The her I know only lived to tarnish that proof.
(—I can’t allow it.)
To keep the one I love in tact, I have to break the last piece.
(—I have to kill her.)
I slowly reach for her. When my fingers hit her cold neck, she did not move but instead–she smiled.
I then pressed both hands against her thin neck. Even though my skin was cold, when I put in more strength little by little, they became slightly warm.
I feel feel the pulse of her carotid artery between my hands. She is alive. She’s not a doll, nor is she a machine. That’s why, she must be suffering. She can’t lose her emotions.
(Forgive me, Ichika-chan.)
Although it would have been easier to just apply stronger force in the moment, I slowly deprived her of air. After all, she smiled like she used to before. I wanted to continue to look at that smile. There was a snap, and it sounded unpleasant. Was it unpleasant? Who knows? It may have been.
Amid the blurred vision, she smiled more vividly than before. And what reached my ears was the most pleasing voice I’ve heard up until now. Her final smile was so sad yet so beautiful.
—What I heard during the moment of silence, was it her lovely voice or the sound of a doll’s neck breaking? I didn’t know. Because at that same moment my world had ended.