The difference? The difference between us… you say that, but aren’t we completely different?”
Phantom (bound ghost → wandering ghost).
* * *
“We do have a point in common. We are all former humans.”
“Oh… I see. But if you tie us all together like that, now it’s the difference between us that’s gone. Me and Hachikuji and Ononoki-chan, all three of us are former humans, and we all died once — ”
“I’m saying that the method of death is different. In your case, Demon Onii-chan, you’re immortal. You died, and at the same time, you became immortal. Strictly speaking, you’re not dead.”
So, you can’t die.
“Basically, in your case, Demon Onii-chan, and in the case of that vampire, you’re not dying then being brought back to life; it’s more correct to say that you continue to live without dying.”
I think there’s a problem with the way she said it, but I guess that’s how it is.
“On the other hand, I’m dead. I really am dead. And I was brought back to life after I died. But there’s a big difference between this and the original life, the original way of living. It’s probably more correct to think that I was reborn rather than brought back.”
“Right. I wasn’t even given my original memories — meaning I had become a completely different existence.”
And in the case of that phantom girl.
Ononoki-chan continued, looking at Hachikuji’s backpack.
“She wasn’t brought back to life — she died, wasn’t brought back, and remained dead. That’s what being a phantom means. She’s not continuing to live, she’s not being reborn — if anything, she’s continuing to be dead.”
“Hey, Demon Onii-chan. Looking at it this way, who do you think is the most fortunate? Well, all three of us have had good luck in our own different ways… I do think that we’re lucky. If we had just died normally, that would’ve been it. You can probably say it’s fortunate that we can maintain our consciousness even after our deaths.”
“…That’s not something you can really set a rule for, is it?”
The question from Ononoki-chan.
I — can’t answer it.
The question of who is the most fortunate, that too — but in the first place.
Can you really call that being fortunate?
I don’t know.
After all, wasn’t it because of that that I had that hellish experience during spring break? — and Hachikuji, didn’t she end up experiencing a wandering that has continued for over ten years?
And even Ononoki-chan.
From the point when she asked me something like that, no matter how I thought about it, there was no way she could have thought of herself as being fortunate.
* * *
“I wonder why — Onee-chan brought me back to life.”
“…I can’t answer that, but I’m sure that, no matter what the meaning was, no matter what the reason was, it can’t be comprehended.”
Against a question of unknown correctness, at the least, I — gave a sincere response.
I spoke sincerely.
“Against the question of life, there is no valid answer. Because life is full of unreasonable things.”
You don’t even have to be an abnormality.
It’s irrational even if you just live normally.
Incomprehensible, that’s what the world is.
“That might be so. It’s true that the world might be unreasonable and irrational. But, if that’s so, then the inevitability of continuing to live in a world like that, to the point of dying, to the point of being reborn — what could that be, if not regret?”
* * *
“It’s like a series that should have already ended but keeps dragging on, like there’s a second season even though you’ve already seen the ending, that’s the impression I get.”
“Just what is that referring to…?”
Why did you need to attack yourself like that?
Isn’t a Season 2 fine?
“I can’t bear watching a drama go on after it’s been cleanly settled. Don’t you feel the same way, Demon Onii-chan?”
“Even if you ask me that…”
* * *
“If you ask me whether something should be adorned with the beauty of conclusion or have its latter years smeared, then the former’s probably better, but I get the feeling that that’s just a convenient opinion. At the very least, speaking for myself, it’s not like there hasn’t been any good things since I became a vampire.”
In fact, there were many good things.
Just the thought of not having had life after spring break is terrifying — how lonely a life that would have been.
It was after I became a vampire that I became friends with Senjougahara and Kanbaru — and I wouldn’t have met Sengoku again if I hadn’t died during spring break.
Even getting to know Hachikuji —
“So basically, that girl, Hachikuji, became a phantom so she can get to know you, Demon Onii-chan.”
“That’s completely different, I think — why would it end up that way? She has her own reasons, for being lost on her path, lost in the present world — though that reason, or objective, was already fulfilled over three months ago…”
“Is that so? Then why is she still a phantom now, even though she doesn’t have a reason, or even any regret?”
That, I don’t know.
It feels like the person herself doesn’t know.
Or maybe she’s just playing dumb.
“My loveable Class Rep said something about that. What was it, how did it happen…? All lives, not simply humans, are born for a reason – because it was the result of a sincere wish by someone, something.”
“A — wished-for result.”
“Everything, in the beginning, was born with the emotion of ‘wanting to be here’ — that’s why wishing you hadn’t been born, or not wanting to be ‘like that’, is illogical. Even if it wasn’t the result of your own wish, the way you are here ‘like this’, is granting the wish of someone.”
Was it spring break?
Or Golden Week?
Maybe it was the Culture Festival.
Hanekawa Tsubasa — said that.