○I Didn’t Pick Up a Kitten, but a—
It’s afternoon, exactly at six. Sadly, it’s raining hard.
The sun should still be up around this time, but due to the clouds that are covering the sky there’s no sunlight.
During my way home, I head towards the riverbed that I always pass by.
If it isn’t raining, it won’t be weird for kids to be playing baseball around the foot of this slope, but like expected, there are no kids playing here under this rain.
No one likes to get wet after all.
It seems like the people I occasionally pass by are rushing towards their home.
“In my case, it’s pointless to run now.”
The plastic umbrella I brought to school today has been taken by some random student. It’s something that happens quite often.
“Geez, at least check the damn weather before coming, damn it.”
There were several other plastic umbrellas, but I couldn’t be bothered stealing it.
When I listen to the sound of the rain which killed off all of the other sounds around me, I felt as though I am the only one in this world.
I can hide the annoying appearance of mine and the disturbing sights others gives me with this veil of rains. That’s why it isn’t so bad to go home while being wet. That’s what I thought.
I may have sounded cocky, but I don’t look down on the society nor do I look at them with negative perspective. However, I also don’t feel like working hard for this world either. I will safely graduate from the school, I will then get employed by a company while working hard, I will then marry a co-worker who is neither pretty nor ugly, I will then have two or three kid, and then, and then I will die due to old age while having my grandchildren nurse me. That will be enough for me. If I have a close friend, will he say, “You sure don’t have any dreams”? I never had a friend, so I won’t know.
The only thing I can always do is to have a brawl.
“Did those guys I bashed today go home? ……I might have overdone it.”
It happened when I was irritated about having my umbrella stolen, so I couldn’t hold back.
“Oh well, who cares.”
Then I got a glimpse of kids crouching down at under the bridge. What are they doing? Since it’s raining this hard, they possibly can’t be playing baseball.
I just look towards them without any meaning, but the brats’ turns around exactly at the same time, and our eyes meets.
A moment of silent. Then the brats put on an expression which says, “Oh crap”, and sprints away after putting up their umbrella. They left while splashing and walking atop of the puddle.
Judging from how they have their umbrellas with them, it seems like they weren’t taking shelters.
After seeing the brats running off, my legs naturally move towards under the bridge.
“Maybe there was an abandoned kitten?”. That’s the simple thought I have.
I can’t stand the grasses drained with water that are wetting my trousers, but that’s not much of a problem right now.
It’s already wet enough. Even inside my bag.
I can’t help myself but to gasp when I went under the bridge.
“……You must be kidding me.”
Like I imagined, there certainly is an “abandoned” thing at the location where the kids where crouching.
Except, how do I put it? It isn’t a kitten.
Yeah, what’s abandoned is……a person. One little girl.
Certainly, using the word abandoned will give a false impression.
It may be more accurate to say that she got unconscious after encountering some kind of accident.
She looks a bit younger than me, and she looks like a junior high student. Her skirt is lifted up in a unnatural way, so her thighs are exposed.
Perhaps those brats did inappropriate things to her.
It’s not like I can’t understand them since they are in that age where they start to take interest in opposite sex…… However, that’s simply a minor issue.
“What’s with her appearance……is it a cosplay?”
Yeah, the girl who’s on the ground has an appearance where her clothes are a bit……no, quite different from normal clothes. On top of that, she has pink hair.
If someone tells me to wear such clothing and walk around the town, I will have punched the guy who said that, and then punish him by giving him a penalty where I will drag him around the town after bashing him to pulp.
“Oi. You will catch a cold if you sleep in a place like this.”
I kick her gently, but she doesn’t respond. It looks like she’s completely out. I kick her again, but she doesn’t respond after all.
“Don’t tell me she’s dead? ……Oi!”
I crouch down, and shake her shoulders, but she shows no sign of waking up.
It will be fine since I found out that she isn’t dead since her body is warm.
I want to leave this situation to someone else, but sadly I’m the only one here.
Oi, anyone there……? I look around while thinking like that, but on top of having a bad view due to this heavy rain, this place is originally a location where not much people comes by, so there’s no way of finding someone.
“It can’t be helped. I’m leaving.”
It won’t be a problem if I leave and act as though I haven’t seen anything. That way, I won’t be dragged into a mess.
But abandoning her doesn’t seem right. I don’t feel like leaving her here like this. It’s not like I want to act as a hero.
……I just don’t like the action to abandon someone.
Her clothes which are soaked with water make the body shape of this girl, more visible, but since she has a body of a child, it doesn’t excite me at all.
If she was a blonde chick with massive tits, then I will have been bewildered a little.
Does she have a weight of a grade school student? Well, it’s not like I lifted them up. It just seems like she’s about that weight.
After lifting her up, I realise that carrying her with my arms like this is a bit of a problem.
I will stand out if another person sees me this. In order to avoid that, I drop the girl, and fixed the posture by putting her on my back.
“Well……this should do it.”
Her clothes that are glued onto my back are cold, but at the same time it makes me feel the heat from this girl.
“I wonder how long it has been since I touched someone like this.”
No, I don’t mean that in a perverted way, alright? I will kill you if you take it the wrong way.
I talk back to myself, and increase my walking pace.
Yeah……that’s right, I will tell you beforehand. The reason why I decided to help her and the reason why I don’t feel good about abandoning someone.
I have this philosophy because of what I had experienced.
You kinda know what I’m getting at, right? I was abandoned in the past.
By my only family. By my mum.
While carrying the girl who has lost her consciousness, I arrive at my 3LDK home which was built17 years ago that is located at the centre of the town.
I open my bag which is soaked with water, and took out the key. I unlocked the lock, and then open the door while not giving much impact to my back as possible.
The entrance of the house is obviously dark and quiet.
I muttered, but it’s not like someone will answer back so my words are taken over by the sound of the rain.
I randomly grabbed two towels which is in the dressing room, and lightly wiped my uniform which has water drained in them.
However, I end up leaving traces of water from the entrance to the corridor.
I place one of the towels on the sofa, and rested the girl on top of it.
“Now then……what now?”
I wipe her arms, legs, and hair. I hope she will wake up immediately, but she hasn’t even moved a bit.
It seems like she’s simply sleeping where she isn’t breathing violently, but no matter how many times I call out to her, this girl who is unconsciousness shows no sign of waking up.
“Man……what the heck is this……”
I notice it when I thought I should wipe her wet hair with a towel. The towel which is supposed to be white turns red by the time I realise it.
If I look carefully, there are traces of blood on the girl’s clothes, and there’s quite the amount of them.
Looks like I didn’t notice it since it was dark when I first picked this girl up from the riverbed.
I have to call the ambulance right away───. I hold my mobile phone with one hand, and then search for the girl’s wound.
But───no matter how hard I search, I can’t find the girl’s wound.
“So she’s wounded in the area which isn’t visible……huh.”
That means the blood came from under her clothes. I stop my hand when I was about to search for it.
“An unconscious girl who is laying down”. “There’s only the two of us”. “Stripping her clothes off”. No matter how I think about it, those things come to my mind so this isn’t a good situation.
But……it will be more dangerous to discard the chance of her being wounded.
I will have to make up my mind, and strip her clothes off.
I come up with all sorts of hypothesis and ideas, however, the unconscious girl responds. I stop my hand, and I spoke to her.
“Hey! Wake up. Are you okay?”
She doesn’t seem like she’s in pain, and she turns her body around as if she is simply sleeping. Her voice which slips from her lips sounds a bit erotic.
“Ugh……This is bad.”
I’m ashamed at finding myself sensing a bit of sex appeal from a childish girl like this.
It’s just that, it’s my first time seeing a girl to roll over in her sleep like this. Yeah, this isn’t good.
What’s wrong, you ask? That will be her, how shall I put it? Her seductive lips, her thighs that are exposed, and her breasts which can almost be seen.
This situation where she is defenceless and exposed is something hard to endure for a guy.
I didn’t pay attention to it until now, but the girl has a really well structured face. Her smooth hair looks soft by the looks of it. She will definitely be categorised under the “Cute” category from the perspective of everyone. It’s one of those common phrases: she looks like a well-made exquisite doll.
If it’s now where she is unconscious, she won’t realise it even if I do a bit of something naughty to her───.
“Wait, what am I, an idiot? Doesn’t that make me no different from those perverted brats from before……?”
I’m having conflicts with a certain something within me, and then I realise there is something weird on the girl’s back. The reason why I notice it is because it’s something that normal humans don’t have.
A black thing which is growing out from her back.
Something you will simply call it as a “wing” is right there.
“Is accessory like this popular now days……?”
The reason why my words carried a doubtful tone is due to the fact that it is really well-made.
If it’s something made, most of them will be something you can tell is man-made, but this was definitely not it.
It’s not like I seen it before, but isn’t this similar to a bat’s wing? It looks abnormally real.
“Maybe it’s real? ……It can’t be, right?”
I can’t help myself but to become really curious, so I touch it with my hand.
───That moment, strong impact which is similar to that of electricity runs through my body.
“!? W-What was that just now……!?”
It’s not something so weak that you would call it a static electricity. A buzz passes from my fingers to around my shoulders. It’s a pain where I feel as if I had a thunder strike down on me.
I look at her wing and my hand at the same time. It doesn’t feel like there are any changes to my hand and her wing; however my hand is slightly shaking.
“What was that just now……? And also this wing……?”
The sensation and the warmth from it. I can’t possibly think that this is fake. It feels as though my brain is turning into a mess due to this unbelievable reality.
Even though I know that I shouldn’t, I decided to check the girl’s back to see whether this wing is real.
I don’t know how to strip her clothes off, so I decide to look at it by lifting up her clothes normally. Her white bare skin is exposed front of me.
Though, the sex appeal I felt before has been erased away by the existence of this wing.
Are you serious……? There’s no doubt that there is a wing growing out from her back. It’s exactly growing out from around her shoulder-blade. It really is growing out from her skin……
Is this even possible? I haven’t heard of a human who has black wing growing out from their back. This is basically like a Devil.
“First……I should try and pull it off.”
Thinking like that, I try to reach out and grab her wing. However, it seems like the girl opened her eyes a bit.
This time I heard her voice clearly. She opens her big eyes slowly. Obviously, her eyes meet with my eyes naturally since I’m standing in front of her.
She has strong eyes which make me feel like it will suck me in just by staring at her. She doesn’t look Japanese at all. I’m in a situation where I want to look at her forever.
Her eyes are so beautiful that it makes me feel a sense of mysterious danger looking at it.
“Ah……umm……where is this place?”
It seems like she can’t talk properly yet, possibly due to not having her head clear yet.
“Are you okay?”
“Eh, wh……why am I……in a place like this……?”
“I found you unconscious at the riverbed. What happened?”
“Riverbed…..where is that? I don’t know……and my head feels a bit dizzy……”
“I don’t think you should push yourself to get up.”
The girl says she’s okay quietly, and she lifts her upper body up by putting her hand on the top of the sofa. I should forget about the sofa being soaked with water for now.
“Are you hurt somewhere?”
“Hurt somewhere? ……Not really……”
Then what’s with this thick blood which is on this towel? So it has nothing to do with her?
She just aimlessly looks ahead. After a moment of silence, sanity returns to the girl’s eyes. Then her eyes meet with mine.
“Where is this place?”
“Even if you ask me why, this is my house ───”
“Why am I in a place like this? Don’t tell me you were trying to do something bad to me while I was unconscious……”
“Like Hell I would! I would rather have you thank me instead.”
I stand up without thinking after yelling at her. The girl starts to glare at me from beneath me.
“Are you telling the truth……? Huh? What do you mean by thanking you?”
“Calm down and listen to me. Alright? This is my house. MY HOUSE.”
“So you were trying to do something bad to me by taking me in here. Hmph, that’s quite a devilish thing you came with.”
“I’m keeping on telling you that isn’t it…… You were unconscious at the riverbed, so I picked you up since I couldn’t help it.”
“I don’t know what you are saying……”
She may still be confused. It seems like she doesn’t know the situation she is in.
Maybe she realised that her clothes are disarranged, so the girl hides her body part that are visible.
Next moment, she glares at me as if she wants to curse me to death.
“……So what did you do to me while I was unconscious?”
“You have a big mistake and misunderstanding. To begin with, your clothes were in a mess because those brats……ah actually, it was mostly done by me. ……My bad.”
“It isn’t “My bad”! I will let you choose either between getting killed or getting erased.”
“Both choices would end up killing me……”
“The Devils expertise isn’t salvation but giving despairs.”
Devil my ass. ……Well, it’s not like I can’t understand her for panicking, but I need her to calm down under this situation.
“First of all, remember why you were at the riverbed.”
“Even if you ask me why…… Huh?”
The girl stretches out her thin arm, and then starts to touch my ear. She won’t try and pull my ears, will she……? When I thought like that,
“Why are your ears curved?”
She starts saying some weird crap.
“My ears are curved? ……You on other hand have a pointed one. There sure are unique people.”
The girl also seems like she has something else in her mind, so there is a moment of silence once again.
Only the sound of rain which starts to get worse outside this house can vaguely be heard.
“It’s my first time seeing someone with such ears.”
“That’s my line. Your ears are too pointy.”
This time, there is a longer silence between us.
“Are you perhaps a……human?”
“Obviously. Do I look like a gorilla or a chimp to you?”
“You do look like an idiot. There is some idiotic vibe coming from you.”
She finally wakes up, but she ends up being a girl with sharp tongue.
“It can’t be. Why is a human here? W-Why?”
Maybe she’s still confused, so she starts to panic at some weird things and is saying weird crap. Eventually she got her head straight, and the word which comes out from her mouth sounds calm.
“I’m a Devil. Teeri the Devil.”
Devil? What kind of nonsense is she saying since the beginning?
I shake my head since I can’t keep up with her, and then I look at the clock which is on top of the table.
It’s almost 7 o’clock. Having a girl who I don’t even know stay here any longer will ethically be dangerous.
“I’m telling you the truth. It can’t be helped that you can’t believe me since you are a human.”
She starts saying it desperately, possibly sensing that I’m not believing her.
The girl realises that it’s useless to explain it to me verbally, so she turns around, and then starts to show the thing which has been in my mind this whole time.
The black wing which was growing out from her shoulder-blade.
“This is a Devil’s wing. It’s quite cute, isn’t it? Though I only have one.”
I realise it after she said that to me. There’s only one wing on the girl’s back.
Aren’t there supposed to be two wings normally?
And if she’s acting as a Devil, there will be no reason for her to have only one wing.
“……Is this really real?”
“Can’t you tell by looking at it? Or is your intelligence so low that you can’t tell even if you see it with your own eyes?”
“You sure do say whatever you like….. A wing, huh. I can kind of understand it, but kind of can’t…… Can you move it?”
“Of course I can.”
She laughs with her nose, and then starts to flap the thing on her back.
“Disgusting! It’s really disgusting!”
“What!? Which part of my wing is disgusting!?”
“Ah, sorry, forget about it. I ended up saying the truth.”
“It’s even worse if that’s how you really feel!”
I don’t think there is any trick behind her wing moving. What I feel isn’t an unnatural disgustingness. There clearly is a real wing right in front of me.
“How’s that? Do you believe me now?”
It seems like she is a bit happy at my reaction. She starts to flap her wing quietly.
“……So you are saying that you are a real Devil?”
“Is that right?”
“Looks like you believe me.”
“……Like hell that’s real. Reveal yourself right now.”
“H-Hey, what are you doing!?”
I went behind her so fast that people will totally have the wrong idea if they see me, and then I grab onto her wing.
This sensation I’m feeling with my hand feels real, but that’s not important right now.
“I will believe you if you start bleeding when I pull this out, kuku.”
“What!? Don’t mess around, you Devil! Ouch! It hurts!”
No matter how hard I pull, it doesn’t seem like it will come off that easily.
“Ouch! You are tearing it!”
Instead, it seems like this girl is actually in pain, and her expression changes due to the pain. If I keep on pulling it like this, it really will get ripped off from her body—.
“Ouch, it hu……it hurts……I’m keeping on telling you that it hurts—!!”
I dodged her knee kick right away which carried lots of force. If I had been hit by it, I will definitely have rolled down on the floor and fainted in agony.
“You sure have amazing reflex for such a slim body……”
“I will show you just how scary a Devil can be……!”
The girl stands up, and then put her hands towards me. That instant, an abnormal and blackish presence surrounds her. ……That’s how I feel.
I make a stance under this situation where I can’t help myself but to get nervous, ──.
The sound of having strength lost from your body which I have heard many times throughout my life echoes within the room.
The girl holds onto her stomach lifelessly, probably because her anger from before disappeared.
“I’m hungry because I got angry.”
She then glares at me lightly. It seems like she’s trying to tell me to take responsibility and bring me something.
So regardless of whether you are a human or Devil, you do starve huh. ……Looks like I do believe in the existence of Devils now.
There’s no way I can believe it. I can’t believe it, but it’s necessary for me to believe it to some degree.
“Can we both calm ourselves down and try to understand the situation we are in?”
“That sounds good, but haven’t I been telling you that I’m hungry?”
“……Oh, is that right……”
It looks like it will be a bit later until we can solve this situation. The abnormal presence I sensed before disappears like a mist.
Right now, the only thing present is a Devil-like girl who is demanding to hand over something to eat to her.
“I do like meats.”
She says that even though I didn’t ask her. So is she demanding that she wants to eat meats? ……She probably is.
I started to think that it will be too much of a trouble to have her talk, so I went towards the dining table. If I think about it, there are some nikujaga(meat and potato) leftovers from yesterday.
I heat the nikujaga lightly which is on the plate with a microwave. I then take the wrap off, and then put it in front of the girl.
When I handed it to her, she takes it from me with eyes filled with wonder, and then starts to look at the food. I then handed her the chopstick.
“So do I have to use this to eat it?”
“That’s how it is.”
I went to the fridge to get some drinks. I take out the jar filled with barley tea, and then pour it into a cup. I also poured it for the self-proclaiming Devil just in case. I went back to the living room with the barely teas.
The Devil girl is stuffing the nikujaga into her mouth desperately while sitting on top of the sofa. At least, she isn’t saying “Yuck!”.
If I think about it, this is my first time having someone eat my homemade cooking. Seeing her eat it deliciously kind of makes me happy.
“Eat it properly by using a chopstick……wait, you aren’t……hey……”
She grabs the nikujaga with her bare hand and eats it. She doesn’t care whether her hand got sticky.
“This is quite good……”
“Why are you eating with your hand!? I gave you a chopstick! Clean your hands!”
“Shut up, that’s really hard to use. Wipe-wipe.”
“That’s right. Clean your hands and……wait, don’t wipe it with my clothes! Use your own clothes!”
“I’m obviously using yours because my clothes would get dirty if I use mine.”
There’s a sticky brown sauce on my shirt’s sleeve.
“Shit! My uniform smells like nikujaga!”
“It’s okay since your clothes look delicious now. But if this smell is left on my clothes, then I would hate that. Rather, I would snap.”
“So you do things that will piss you off to others? Huh!?”
“Since I’m a Devil, that’s natural.”
She nods her head without a second thought. I wiped it desperately with the tissue which is right next to me, but it seems like it won’t completely come off unless I wash it.
“Shit, talking to a Devil sure doe’s make me tired……”
“Oh, so you finally accepted the fact that I’m a Devil?”
“Rather than being a Devil as in specie, I do feel that your actions and attitudes are that of a Devil.”
When she puts down the empty plate on the table, she nods her head once with a satisfied look, and then drinks the barley tea I gave her with one sip.
“But still, the way you ate it sure was really grand. Was it good?”
She shows a gesture where she is thinking a bit at my question.
“Was it perhaps bad? Even so, I would hit you if you were to complain. But I also won’t forgive flattery that it tasted good either.”
“For a human, you sure do ask for quite an unfair choice…… Pretty impressive.”
She starts to admire me at such strange things.
“Anyway, give me other food. I’m still hungry. It looks like it wasn’t enough.”
“Don’t have any. Just give up.”
“There’s no way that there aren’t any. Bring them out.”
“You sure are noisy. Alright, stay here for a bit. I will go and put deadly poison in them.”
“Sure, I don’t mind. Poison doesn’t work on Devils anyway.”
“……So you will continue to keep on calling yourself a Devil huh.”
I gradually start to not care whether or not she’s telling the truth.
I start to wish for her to leave here instantly. However, this girl is already relaxing as if she lives here and she looks at me after she crosses her legs.
“Hey, what is your name?”
“Who cares about my name, so just go home right now……”
“Just tell me. It’s weird to keep on calling you, “you”.”
I wonder why I answered her so modestly, but I may have predicted that I will be wasting my energy arguing back at her.
Even if I talk to her directly, she will just change or avoid the topic.
“So it’s Souichirou…… Hmm, it’s a weird name. I already told you before, but I’m Teeri. You were telling me to go home, but the truth is I don’t remember how I came to the human-world.”
“Enough already. Devil this, and Devil that. I don’t want any troubles.”
“It’s the truth. The fact that I’m a Devil and that I don’t know the way to get back home.”
I really want to pull her arms and throw her out of the house, but this girl……Teeri, I started to feel that her story is the truth.
Teeri then looks out the window slowly. The heavy raindrops are hitting violently against the window.
“I don’t know the way to get back to Hell……”
“So Hell……is the world where you live and it’s also the world of Devils is it?”
Teeri nods her head, and then she points at the two cups which are on the table.
“I don’t know much about how the world is organised, but normally it’s constructed in a way where you can’t go between Hell and the human world that easily. I will make this Hell……and this one the human world.”
So the two cups represents the Hell and the human-world huh.
“There seems to be a gate between these two worlds, and you can’t pass through it normally.”
She puts the plate that she had finished before between the two cups.
“If it wasn’t, then the human world will be filled with Devils, right?”
“Yeah……if Hell does indeed exist, then it won’t be weird for the Devils to keep on appearing in the human world.”
Today was my first time seeing someone claiming to be a Devil.
She’s really cocky, but it seems like she’s really in trouble. She then stares at the cups and the plate.
“So you’re a Devil. And you don’t know how you came to the human world. On top of that, you don’t know how to get back home. All of these are the truth, right? Can you swear that it definitely isn’t a lie?”
“Yes, it’s definitely isn’t a lie.”
Her eyes that are looking at me are saying that she isn’t lying. No, even if they are lies, I started not to care about it.
It isn’t just because I thought I have myself caught in a mess or because I have gotten tired of talking to her. I just feel that it’s a cruel reality that she can’t go home even if she wants to.
“I’ll believe you.”
The girl……Teeri, becomes shock at my response. She must have thought that I wouldn’t believe her. I realise that she is crunching her fist hard.
“To tell you the truth, I still find it incredulous. Except, I do know that your wing isn’t fake. If that’s the case, then I have to believe in you.”
“I see……yes, thank you……”
Maybe she is happy that I believe her, so she breathes out as if she is relieved.
“Souichirou, you are noisy, but do you happen to be a nice guy?”
“Huh? There’s no way I’m a nice guy. Dream on, idiot.”
“Huh? Are you brushing?”
She giggles, and starts to look at my face who am looking away.
“Get out. Get out right now!”
“I don’t want to.”
Teeri sits on a chair roughly again. Water drops splashes on the floor.
“Ah, geez, stop that! You are wet so the room will get messy!”
“Now that you mention it, why am I wet?”
“Go and take a shower first. You will catch a cold if you stay like that.”
I went to the corridor while bringing a wet Devil with me. She must feel unpleasant being wet, so she follows me without saying anything.
I want to open the entrance door and say goodbye to her, but she probably won’t leave my house simply like that. So I gave up and lead her to the dressing room located at the end of the corridor.
“This is the dressing room. Undress your clothes here and then get into the bath.”
“Is this the place where you wash your body?”
“Yeah. And when you turn this around, the water comes out.”
“Wow. What is this? The water came out. Amazing……”
“It will get warmer shortly.”
“It will? ……Oh, it’s getting warm.”
She becomes shocked when she turns the tap around, and then she starts nodding her head as if she found this really impressive.
“And this is the place where you fill the hot water.”
The bathtub is obviously empty right now. It’s fortunate that it isn’t in a state where it isn’t embarrassing to show it to other people since I have been cleaning it occasionally.
“So humans can create these sorts of things. ……It’s quite impressive.”
“Hmph. You are right.”
“Though it doesn’t mean that you are the amazing one.”
“……You are right.”
“I might take a bath then. But I don’t have any spare clothing……”
“Stay still for a bit.”
I left Teeri on the spot, and open the door to the spare room. I then randomly take out a single clothes from the drawer and brought it with me.
When I give it to her, she tilts her head in wonder.
“Is this clothing that……humans wear?”
“Since they are women’s clothing, you should be able to wear it.”
“……Don’t tell me you have that sort of hobby—.”
“Hell no! This is something my mum wore a long time ago.”
Yeah, this is clothing that my mum wore when she was young. Maybe she had a habit of taking care of her things, so she even left behind her uniform that she wore when she was still a student.
“Put your underwear……in this drying machine. It should be able to dry it right away if it’s only that wet. ”
When I explained how to use it, she nods her head as if she understood it right away.
“I will tell you just in case, but if you were to peek; I will pull your eyes out, stab it through a skewer, grill it, and then eat it.”
“That’s scary……but don’t worry. I won’t peek even if you asked me.”
“I was told that men are beasts.”
“Like hell I would know about that. Get in already.”
“I will absolutely not forgive you if you peek.”
“Don’t raise some weird flag, now, go already.”
She closes the door to kick me out, and then I make a big sigh.
I think my teacher said this when I was in grade school…… Picking up an abandoned cat is a moment of false virtue, and it will become a long lasting regret.
He was trying to say that if you were to pick up an animal light heartedly, you will regret it a lot afterwards, and that happened to be the exact thing here. I have my head full with regrets.
“How did I pick up a Devil out of all things? So my life won’t turn out to be normal huh……
I should go back to the living room and clean the sofa first.
I did leave the wet towel and puddle of water there on the floor.
I pick up the used towel, and then started to clean the sofa carefully.
I then remembered after seeing the red stain on the towel.
“Now that I remember, what was this blood?”
I know that Teeri didn’t act as if she had any major wounds, and she didn’t even act like she was injured to begin with.
Perhaps, this blood doesn’t belong to Teeri──?
When I was thinking about this and that, a sudden scream echoes from the bathroom. My body moves on its own, and I went rushing towards the dressing room.
“Hey, what happened!? You will disturb the neighbours! What will you do if someone comes here!?”
That’s right. If you suddenly hear a scream from a house where there’s only supposed to be one guy living there, then you will obviously sense danger.
The police will be involved while you are in panic. Wait, that’s not it. That isn’t the only problem.
I started knocking on the door to the dressing room without thinking about it, but there’s no response. Perhaps she hit her head when she slipped since she isn’t familiar with having a bath.
I don’t want to be in the morning newspaper tomorrow written as a criminal.
In order to confirm her safety, I paused for a moment right before opening the door.
Obviously there’s a chance that an accident I just said happened in there, but isn’t this one of those scenes?
A naked girl will be standing there when you open the door, and she will scream out, “You pervert!”, and then you will get slapped by her.
Sorry to disappoint all of you, but I’m not a character who will encounter such things. It can’t be helped if you are to say, “Are you trying to turn down the flag?”.
Alright, if she really did get into an accident, I will think about it then.
The moment I turned around, the door I was hesitant to open, opens by itself.
No, to be precise, it got opened from the other side. I turn around without thinking.
“What is this? ……This is the worst!”
At the same time as that voice, the naked Teeri appears in this worst situation……
We both look at each other, eye to eye, and a moment of silence which feels both long and short passes.
I didn’t even think about that for a second, but my gaze moves lower and lower.
Her breast, which was a bit, but definitely popping out, and her lower body that is……
“So you really were a girl……”
No, I know she is a girl, but her attitude and her poor body shape made me think otherwise, you know?
Those words slips out from my mouth without thinking, and it’s too late by the time I thought I said the wrong thing.
“You perverted bastard﹏﹏﹏﹏﹏﹏﹏﹏!!!!!!”
I grab onto her arm which she swings as a reflex. As a result, her naked body ends up leaning against my body.
“Noooooo!! I’m going to get raaaaaaaaaaaaped!!”
“Like hell I’m going to rape you! More importantly, why did you jump out while being naked!?”
For a moment, the situation we are currently in is reflected onto the mirror inside the dressing room. It only looks like a rapist who is eager to rape her.
“Let go of me!! You pervert! Don’t touch me!! Also don’t looooook!!!”
“Ah, shit! Just shut up and get back inside the dressing room!”
I push her back into the dressing room from behind her, and then I close the door immediately.
“That’s what I want to ask! Geez, what on earth is this!? I’m talking about this blood glued onto me!”
I heard her say that from the dressing room.
Blood……? She’s obviously talking about the same blood that was on the towel.
“Anyone would normally be shocked at this!”
“Are you hurt anywhere?”
“……Huh? No……I don’t think I’m wounded…..It doesn’t hurt anywhere.”
“Then wash yourself in the shower first. I will hear your story after that.”
I heard Teeri taking a deep breathe to calm herself down from inside the dressing room.
“Then I will be at the living room.”
“Umm, Souichirou. There’s something I want to ask you afterwards.”
……I have a bad feeling at her bland voice that didn’t carry any emotion in it.
Around the time when I finished cleaning and wiping the living room, I turn around after hearing footsteps that is coming from the bathroom.
Teeri who is wearing the clothes I gave her is standing there.
It seems like it’s the right size for her, and it looks good on her since she looks cute in it (Only if she keeps her mouth shut).
“I’m going to use a Devil’s spell to erase you memory so lay down over there.”
But when she spseak, her cuteness disappears to somewhere else, and she changes into a cocky brat.
She glares at me with terrifying eyes, and then points her finger at me.
“You saw something you shouldn’t have seen. Get the drift?”
“What do you mean by something I shouldn’t have seen? Your small ass? Or small tits?”
She is acting calm, but the truth is that her anger is already at her limit where she is about to come and bite me.
Well, even if it was an accident, I do feel bad about seeing her naked.
However, due to her attitude, I don’t feel like apologising to her so modestly.
“More importantly, you weren’t injured, right?”
I decided to change the topic since she’s acting like this.
It seems like she isn’t convinced, however she nods her head a bit. She shows a gesture as if she wanted to say, “See? There aren’t any wounds on my arm and legs, right?”.
“Then, what was that blood……?”
The towel that’s inside the washing machine definitely had lots of blood on it.
I also remember that there were bloods on Teeri’s clothing as well.
“Devils wounds heal faster than humans. So it may have healed while I was unconsciousness.”
A Devil huh…… If that’s the truth, then that’s amazing.
I can’t tell her to hurt herself right now and show me the moment where she gets healed.
“Even though I said that, the wounds that heal quickly are only minor wounds and such. That’s why I was shocked. Ah, geez, I feel so sick…..”
“I also feel like crap.”
“Even though you said that, aren’t you planning to do something bad when you remember about my naked body afterwards?”
“Like hell I would……”
“You were staring at my body as if you wanted to get the whole image.”
I didn’t even think about looking at her like that. To begin with, I’m the victim. I didn’t do anything wrong.
Even if I am planning to do something bad, remembering about her poor body will be useless.
“If you do that again, I will definitely not forgive you. You should prepare yourself if that happens.”
“Just how long are you planning to stay…..”
“Obviously, until I find the clue to get back. I will go back, soon as I find out how. More like, I want to go home.”
She starts complaining arrogantly and starts to whine while drying her hair with a towel.
I wish someone does something with this arrogant pest.
“In other words……you are saying that you’ll be staying in my house, until you find a way to go back to Hell?”
“Yes, that’s it.”
“No……just leave. Yeah, just use that. You can use the door way to get back to Hell. It might be opened.”
“You’re in the way, move.”
She curses me by calling me an idiot, and then asks me if I want to die. She then chases me off the sofa and sits on it.
Maybe she took a liking to it, so she’s acting like a queen.
“The reason is, I don’t know where the gate connecting the human’s world and Hell is located in.”
“……You don’t know?”
“If I did, I would have left this place already. Anyway, that’s how it is.”
Is it even possible for her to not know how she came to the human’s world?”
I don’t think common sense works on someone who would say Devil this and Hell that……
“Ah, I’m so misfortunate.”
“That’s my line!”
Damn, then this means she might stay here forever…..
Until a moment ago, it was an ordinary day, but now that feels like something of a past.
“Humans sure do create lots of weird things.”
She looks around the living room.
“What is this?”
Maybe she took an interest at the moving needle, so she grabs it and starts hitting it with her fist.
“That’s a clock. It’s an object that tells you the current time.”
“Oh, it is? And this one?”
The next thing she grabs is a necessary thing during your snack time.
“That’s a remote. It’s something you use to changes the channel for the television over there.”
Teeri pushes the button several times, and she starts smiling like a little kid every time the channel changes. The channel keeps on being changed.
“Humans are weak, but they can even create these sorts of things huh.”
I have an insight. That……she will get used to the human’s world right away.
“Then how about this one?”
She starts pointing at me with her index finger.
“Samejima Souichirou. A plain guy who lives alone. Hey, that’s none of your business!”
“Haha, Souichirou, you are quite funny.”
I don’t find this even a bit funny…… While ignoring me who is feeling shocked, she starts to watch the television as if she is attached to it.
Seems like she is already fond of it.
“So it’s decided that you will be living in my house huh.”
“Yeah, it has been decided. Just think that you ran out of your luck when you helped me, so just give up already.”
The truth is, since I don’t know what to do with her, the only thing I can have her do is to have her stay the night here quietly.
Tomorrow……I probably should go and ask for exorcism.
When I went downstairs after finishing my school homework in my room, I found Teeri who has herself already addicted to the television.
She has the remote in one of her hand, and she has been watching television while leisurely sleeping on the sofa. She’s already behaving like a human.
I sit on the floor, and I also started watching the television.
There are funny moments in the television program, but Teeri didn’t laugh, and she is watching it emotionlessly.
I wonder what Devils will think by watching them? Sadly, I can’t imagine it.
Because of this quiet situation we are in, I decided to ask Teeri a question regarding this world.
“Hey, what kind of place is Hell?”
“You want to know?”
“If I were to choose between knowing and not knowing, then I would want to know.”
“Then give me food. You want to know what kind of place Hell is, right? You can only know about Hell, depending on whether you give me food.”
“Such arrogant attitude……then forget it. It’s not like I’m desperate to know about it.”
“That’s a boring response. It was obviously a light-hearted joke.”
She gets up from the sofa. It seems like she’s going to tell me about it.
“Hell is, how should I put it? It’s dark and brutal……and everyone likes to be isolated.”
“So they don’t cause havoc like the ones shown on the television?”
“That’s out of the question. Everyone thinks others are their enemies. We would only find it mysterious if we see humans talk between each other while laughing.”
So that’s why she didn’t laugh at the part where you would normally be laughing at.
“Were you also alone? You do have a family, right?”
That instant, even I realise that there is a dark shade in Teeri’s expression.
Was it perhaps something I shouldn’t have asked? It’s already late by the time I thought that.
“She was killed. By another Devil.”
Those words which slipped from her mouth didn’t have any sadness in it. Instead, it sounded dry. You can say that she has gotten used to being alone, just like me. I at least know that it wasn’t a sad incident that happened recently.
Time can be violent, yet gentle. If time flows, even the tears you shed during that time becomes something of the long past.
“I was also about to be killed many times. That’s the kind of the world it is.”
“Then isn’t this a good timing?”
“Even if you returned to Hell, there isn’t anyone waiting for your return, right? Then……you wouldn’t be troubled if you stayed here.”
She looks at me with a shocked expression. She might have thought that no one would ever say that to her.
I start to feel embarrassed, so I look away.
“Hmph, though I would obviously find the way to send you back to Hell starting from tomorrow. Don’t think you would be able to stay here forever.”
I got a bit relieved when Teeri smiled.
“Now then……I should get sleeping now.”
It’s around 11 o’clock, and I’m getting tired.
“Where should I sleep?”
“I have extra mattress, so I will lay it down in an empty room.”
Why did she suddenly become dissatisfied……?
“You should sleep and be thankful that you are at least getting a mattress. You are a freeloader after all.”
“Where will you be sleeping, Souichirou?”
I drop my gaze at her question. I don’t want to show it to her if possible. More like, rather than not wanting to show her if possible, I don’t want to show it to her at all cost. You don’t even have to think twice to guess which of the room between my room and the empty room is better. If I show her my room, she will go and sleep in the room on the second floor (In other words my room)! I’m sure that she will say that.
“I’m predicting that you are sleeping in a better room, Souichirou.”
“I’m the owner of this house, you know? It’s obvious that I’m sleeping in a better room.”
“Hmph, I knew it. Don’t be stingy and show me. We will discuss about it after that. Okay?”
She went towards the corridor after slapping my shoulder with a fearless smile.
“Hey, listen to me…..”
It isn’t something I can hide from her, so it seems like I will have to take her there before she gets noisy about it.
“……I will say this first, but there’s nothing inside.”
I went to my room located on the second floor while bringing Teeri with me.
I don’t like the fact that I have to show my room to another person. My hand froze because of this experience I am experiencing for the first time. After taking a deep breath, I hold onto the doorknob and open the door slowly.
What appears in front of my eyes is obviously my room that I always see.
“This is Souichirou’s room? ……There really isn’t anything inside……”
“I like simply structured room.”
“In other words you are a man with no hobbies, who also doesn’t look forward to anything in his life.”
I want to slap the head of this Devil who is nodding her head.
“But having a room on the second floor seems good. Alright, I’ve decided. I will be sleeping here.”
Teeri’s suggestion is something I predicted. She doesn’t care about the fact I’m the owner of this house, and she doesn’t even have a bit of gratitude to me who will be allowing her to stay here for free.
Maybe she knows that I’m dissatisfied at her claim, so she spoke once again to back up her statement.
“This should be okay. You have to take care of your important guest. Right?”
“When on earth did you become my important guest?”
She isn’t important, and I also don’t remember taking her in as my guest.
“Once I make a decision, then that’s final.”
She then dives on top of my bed.
“Wow, amazing, it’s so soft……So soft……”
“……The spare room on the first floor is no different, so shouldn’t that be fine as well?”
“No. I prefer the second floor.”
She then goes underneath my blanket.
“I won’t be able to get out now.”
“Do you want me to rip off that wing of yours, deep fry it, put some lemon juice, and give it to you right this instant?”
It seems like my provocation hasn’t reached her ears and she hasn’t showed any sign of getting out from the blanket.
“Somehow it smells like Souichirou inside here. It really makes me feel unpleasant.”
“Alright, leave this house immediately while diving out from the window. If you like, I can help you with it.”
“I’m just kidding. I don’t mind it. I will endure this smell.”
So I have to hand over my place where I sleep usually, and also go to the extent to have her endure things, huh.
“Hey, what’s this book?”
She didn’t listen to my threat. She then grabs on the manga that is next to the pillow.
She starts flicking through it, and she may possibly have realised that it’s quite interesting. So she starts to read it from the beginning.
“Do as you like. I’m tired of dealing with you.”
“That means we have both agreed to this, so you will be giving me this room, right?”
“Take it how you like. I will be sleeping downstairs.”
I decide to leave immediately since I gave up talking to her.
“Okay. Good night.”
I hate those who are cocky. Why? That’s because they remind me of myself. I’m cocky as well.
I tried to leave the room, however I can feel intense pain on my back.
My legs lose its balance, so I put my hand on the wall. It starts giving me constant pain, and it feels like if something is planted on my back.
It’s my first time experiencing a pain like this……
I endured the pain, and the pain starts to disappear. Then I realise from which part of my body the pain is coming from.
It’s coming exactly from the area around my shoulder blade. I put my hand around my back and touched that part with my hand, however there’s nothing out of the ordinary.
Did I hit it hard somewhere……? I’m having a bad feeling about this. Except, I don’t want to think more about it. There’s still some pain left, so I went downstairs slowly.
“Damn. It sure did become a mess.”
Living together with someone? Even living with someone is out of the question, but living with a girl?
“This is a nightmare.”
When I was taking my clothes off at the dressing room while spitting out my complaints,
“What was that feeling I had before……?”
I then remember the pain and the unnatural sensation I am feeling on my back. Did I perhaps injure myself from the fight earlier?
I don’t remember taking any hits…… I checked just in case even though I thought like that. A shocking view is reflected on the mirror that I can’t believe my own eyes.
“W-What is this……”
It seems like it’s swelled up, exactly around the part of my shoulder blade.
It’s so swelled up that it seems like something will be ripping through my skin at any moment.
This is more like…… It seems like the same wing that is on Teeri will be growing out from it.
“Maybe a Devil’s wing will grow out from my back as well. Ha, as if……”
I laugh at myself even though I said that myself.
But the reason why I can’t laugh really loud is because the existence of Devils has been proven to be real.
Is this the human’s emotion of fear that is making me think, “Maybe it is”?
I put my hand around it and started touching it. I don’t feel any pain.
“There’s something hard inside……”
There is this mysterious sensation that I have never felt before. There is something planted inside.
“You are kidding me, right……?”
I stop looking at my back. I feel that I will get sick if I continue to look any longer.
I just ended up having a swollen area on my body by a chance. That is merely it. I take a shower while telling myself that.
“Please make it that there was no such thing as Devils by the time……I wake up tomorrow.”
I made a wish like that.
It may be weird for me to say it, but I was a really quiet kid when I was small.
I had more of an introverted attitude, and I was more of a kid who walked behind other kids.
Back when I was in grade 4. I tried to get home after school, but I was forced to tag along with the upperclassmen, Tanaka and Yokoshima, in their sumo practice.
I didn’t go through a serious bullying by them, but there was no doubt that I was a victim of their taunts.
The differences in our body sizes. The differences in our age. And also because of my weak personality, I ended up being thrown around consecutively.
Since it was raining the day before that, the ground was sluggish and muddy, so I ended up getting dirty.
They didn’t stop even if I was to cry, and the sumo ended on that day after both of them got tired of it.
But I wasn’t feeling that bad on my way home. My mum was worried about me since I didn’t have any friends.
She kept on putting on a sad face when she sees me returning home every day.
If I return home late sometimes, she would ask me, “Who were you playing with?”. If I return home with dirty clothes, she would laugh and say, “You sure look like you had some fun”.
That’s why I thought she would show me her smile again. That way, the unpleasant feeling that I was carrying would go away.
My family was a fatherless family, and my dad died in a traffic accident. My mum raised me all by herself, but even till now, I didn’t know how she earned to make a living.
It couldn’t be easy. I wiped my muddy hands on my clothes, but there was no point since those clothes were also muddy. When I opened the door, I got rid of my dark expression and forcefully put on a smile.
“I’m home”. I said it loud as I could. However, no matter how many times passed, I didn’t receive her reply where she would say, “Welcome back”.
There were no shoes at the entrance, so I felt down when I realised she wasn’t here. But I couldn’t just remain standing there.
I walked inside with my muddy legs and took a bath. I forgot to clean the floor that got dirty, and went to sleep right away.
When I woke up, it was already dark. I went downstairs because I got hungry, but there were no lights.
It was the first time where my mum wasn’t home during night. For the first time, I felt uneasy.
The floor that hasn’t been cleaned was a proof that my mum hasn’t returned home.
I put on the shoes that were on the floor without putting on socks, and left the house. I went to various places like the super market we often go together, the bookstore, and even the barber shop.
I also went around various places after that, but I wasn’t able to find my mum in the end. From the conclusion, my mum disappeared.
I then heard rumours even though I didn’t want to. It seemed like my mum had been saying it since quite some time ago. That our living was hard and that having a child had too much pressure on her.
I cried out till my eyes were red, however that didn’t stop me from crying. I kept on crying even during the time when my relatives were discussing who would take care of me.
Obviously, my relative wasn’t that eager to take custody of me. Of course. Raising a kid that isn’t even your child wasn’t an easy task.
At the end, my relative who lived in my neighbour had to step in. However I objected to leave my house.
Of course, my relatives said they can’t allow a child to live by himself, but I kept on leaving my relatives house and returned back to my house.
She might return one day out of nowhere. I waited for my mum to open the door and say, “I’m sorry for being late” while putting on a smile.
Eventually my relatives got quiet about it. They gave me a mobile phone for just in case, and left me certain amounts of cash. I wasn’t sad about it.
The upperclassmen didn’t tease me for a while after my mum’s disappearance. They were most likely warned by the teachers and their parents to leave me alone.
But they were merely kids. They didn’t bother the warning after a short time had passed. Instead, they started directing their evil intention which they didn’t realise themselves at me.
Just like how I described it, during my way home one certain day, I was forced to tag along Tanaka and Yokoshima in their sumo practice besides the riverbed.
I was pushed down on the ground many times, and my body was sore all over. However, I was being pushed around since I was timid.
“You mum went somewhere right?” Which one between Tanaka and Yokoshima said that? I couldn’t remember it now.
The reason I couldn’t remember it clearly was because with that one bashing, both of them started talking crap about my mum.
“Maybe she died?”. “She must have ran away to somewhere with a man”. “When will you disappear?”. I’m sure they said all sorts of bashing a kid their age could come up with.
I couldn’t talk back at them, and maybe they started enjoying it after seeing me breaking down in tears, so they started bashing even more.
I was really pissed at them. I wanted to tell them to stop the crap because they didn’t even know my mum. I couldn’t endure it, so for the first time in my life, I hit another person.
It would sound cool if you heard me say that I hit someone, but it would be more accurate to say that I pushed him away. I remember clearly how Yokoshima who was in a sumo posture flew back.
He probably didn’t stand strong on his leg since he never thought I would retaliate. He got so pissed that he grabbed me.
After that it wasn’t sumo anymore, and it was more off a brawl between little kids. I had my hair pulled, and I had my hand bitten by him. Anyway, I was beaten down to a pulp.
I ended up getting beaten instead, but I was happy that I kept on standing up even though I was crying. I realised that there weren’t things you couldn’t do if you were to try.
After that, I kept on fighting anyone who would come at me no matter who they were. I mostly lost but I never gave up.
My body had grown by the time I got into junior high, and also because of my many experiences in fighting, I didn’t lose at all. By the time I realised it, I was the representative of all delinquents and was feared by many.
Though for not even a single time had I picked a fight on my own. While things like that happened, I advanced to high school and the time skips to the current time. My relatives thought of me is their burden, but even till now they had been sending me money.
If possible, I didn’t want to put my hand on that money, but I was merely a high school student. The world wasn’t so kind that I could make my living from doing part-time job during summer and winter holidays.
Once I get a job after graduating, I would give the money I used back to them immediately, and I will cut my ties with my relatives. That’s what I decided to do. ……Ah, it’s about time that I would wake up.
It had been a while since I saw a dream of myself when I was a kid. While waking up, I laughed a bit.