One here in the past, one there in the future.
The left eye and right eye are different, gazing at the same world from different points of view.
The self seeing far away through the telescope,
and the self seeing through the rearview mirror.
Either way, the weight of the sins will not change.
I, the one who knows the result, am an irresponsible God.
Unable to change anything, simply waiting for the future.
No anticipation or hope for the future, not even a particular opinion.
A tedious day-by-day.
A tedious future.
A tedious life.
…But I’m sure; it’s boring to always be first and best.
Mingling with melancholy and rolling around the bed is my daily routine.
Three days later’s me will laugh at my own appearance.
As for which is the shadow of the other, I can honestly say I’ve forgotten how to check…
August 3rd, 1998. Eleven thirty-two A.M. The heat wave reached its peak.
On the riverside a short distance from the heart of the city of Fumine, there is a large department store that was established close to ten years ago.
Separated from the station entrance are shops maintaining the vast plots of land – isolated from the city centre, like a misplaced fortress.
A four-storey high, wide, stereotypical store front.
A food court with family staples, and a shop with none of the latest electronics, not even old-fashioned electrical appliances.
Shoes, Western clothing, libertine medicines, lightbulbs, and assorted unorganised goods were arranged like cordial neighbours. A seemingly modern, balanced trading fair. While it doesn’t reach their high hopes, it is the lifeline of the people around it, providing their necessities.
However, compared to that abundance of the product line, the interior of the shop has little liveliness. Before noon, there are almost no customers; the station workers, the visitors, before they realise it’s already past twelve o’clock.
Summer vacation is no different. The everyday morning at the department store is shrouded by the slow passage of time.
Relaxing air from the outside fills every floor.
Even with some customers and visitors sitting by, this place still feels like it doesn’t correspond with outside time. The ominous call of ambulances, and the piercing echoes of patrol car sirens fill the air.
If I want to live I have to get moving.
The fortress city-like department store, being built so securely, was not made to cope with abnormalities coming from the inside. Surely, no one has noticed the presence of the outsider.
The third floor of the multi-storey parking lot extending from the department store. That’s where I was, pursued by the knife-wielding girl in a kimono, who appeared now outside the angle of view of the surveillance camera.
“…Hey, I’ve caught up, mad bomber.”
The girl talked into the cell phone, then opened her hand. The cellphone dropped to the concrete floor.
From the sash on her back, the girl drew a knife.
The two eyes carefully took in the surroundings.
The parking lot was quiet.
The summer sunlight cast shadows dark as night.
Something was coming up on the elevator.
The ceiling was low, and the line of sight poor, filled with columns, cars, and other obstacles.
The girl had no idea… couldn’t guess that I was here twenty metres away, in the shadows of the wagon.
Between me and the girl are three explosives.
On the roof of the parked cars were metal pipes. The gunpowder inside was each packed with about five hundred corundums, each a few millimetres in diameter. Due to the concentration of gunpowder, both ends of the pipe were sealed. These are not like the firebombs from before, meant for pure destruction; these were made specifically to kill this girl.
From the previous failures, I have successfully concluded the most efficient method of caging her.
Once they explode, the corundums will travel in all directions for ten metres. There are absolutely no route of escape in the three-point trap; there will be no one-in-a-million chances. I have already made sure that the corundums can reach the target. As for damage, there will only be the girl whose bones will be ripped from her flesh, the surrounding cars which will be scrapped, and the family who will appear from the elevator in ten seconds.
The girl walked in a straight line in my direction, unable to see me.
The elevator door opened.
The child carrying bags of grocery and the happily-laughing parents walked into the parking lot.
The family had barely entered her vision when I pressed the button on the remote control.
In an instant, the unassuming, simple fuse was activated, and the gunpowder lit.
A few seconds’ confusion was enough to dull the girl’s movements.
One second later.
Ryougi Shiki, her body taking the full force of the 2mm corundum shrapnel, yet still retaining her human form, was, at her wit’s end, instantly killed.