CH 27

 From an adult's perspective, what do they think when they see two 9-year-old children dining together at a family restaurant during the day?

They feed each other, laugh together, and show affection toward each other.

Close siblings.

Childhood love.

Popular game.

And so on.

Adults would not take it seriously.
They would just wonder where their parents are or why they were left alone at the family restaurant.

Unfortunately, such concerns were unnecessary.
The restaurant owner allowed them to be and turned their behavior into an interesting spectacle.

Meanwhile, what do they think about their own actions?

“Chi-chan, are you full?”

Kuro asked while wiping a stain from Chiaki's mouth with a tissue.

They had both finished a large serving of their favorite food, so it was reasonable to assume they were full.
But considering Chiaki's appetite, she probably needed more than one serving.

“Thank you, Ku-chan.
I'm full.”

That was a lie.
Kuro quickly realized it because Chiaki had only eaten half of her favorite dish.

“So that's how it is.
What do you want to do next?”


With an innocent gesture, Chiaki placed her finger on her mouth and glanced at the sky.
It was her habit when she was seriously thinking about something.

“Actually, I really want to go to the amusement park.
It's usually less crowded on regular days.
I want to play to my heart's content there.

Kuro understood what Chiaki wanted to say.

To go to the amusement park, they needed to be accompanied by adults.
If they went anyway, they might be caught by the police and sent back home.
That would be the end for them.

Kuro smiled gently.
He took Chiaki's hand and led her out of the restaurant.


“Let's go to the amusement park as you wish.”

Chiaki's eyes widened in surprise.
She glanced at her hand firmly held by Kuro.


Kuro's large hand tightly gripped hers.

For a moment, Chiaki felt like Kuro was holding her hand too tightly as if it could break her bones.
Yet, for some reason, Chiaki felt as if the grip would soon loosen.

“That's not the issue.
Who will pay for our meal?”


Kuro immediately stopped, but then he resumed walking.
This time, he walked slower than before.

“…never mind.
Today, I decided to have fun with you.
You don't need to worry about such small things.”

“Of course, I'm worried, you stupid Ku-chan!!”

Kuro knew his family had a significant influence on the Japanese government.
They could be considered a mafia controlling the country from the shadows.
His family must have done something with their connections.

Kuro and Chiaki headed to the nearest bus stop that would take them to the amusement park.

It didn't take long for the bus that would take them to arrive.
They got on it and disappeared from sight.

Not far behind the corner of the fence, a figure observed their departure.
The figure had a gaze that didn't match their age, making adults afraid to approach or even greet them.


Ruko walked calmly and looked at the bus route sign that Chiaki and Kuro had taken.
That's how she knew their destination.

(An amusement park…
I've never been there.)

Since Ruko was never an ordinary human from the beginning, her interactions were limited.
She also had the power to read other people's auras.
That made her extremely cautious in choosing a friend.
It's no wonder that there were hardly any people she could call friends.

Ruko slowly sat in the waiting area.
She waited for the bus that would take her to the amusement park.
After the bus arrived, she boarded it alone.

Pori Pori Land.
An amusement park with a cute lion mascot.
All the rides in the amusement park were decorated with lion pictures.

In one of the rides, Tower Fall, Kuro, and Chiaki were seen together, enjoying it.
Unfortunately, it wasn't a ride suitable for children their age.


Kuro screamed with tears streaming down his face.
He turned pale and his face turned blue.
He looked like he could vomit at any moment.

In contrast to Kuro, Chiaki seemed to be enjoying it.
She even looked bored.
She resembled a fearless witch for a moment, unafraid of anything.

And in the end…


let it all out, Ku-chan.”

After holding it in for a long time, everything finally came out.
It was quite a pitiful sight.

“Oh my, I didn't know you didn't like rides like that, Ku-chan.
But I'm more surprised why you still wanted to come to this place.”


Chiaki looked at her left hand, specifically the black bracelet that was now on her wrist.

but I'm happy.
Somehow you managed to get this special ID.”

The black bracelet was a special ID that allowed them to play freely in the amusement park.
Not only that, but they could also enjoy all the restaurants and shops in the park without using money.
It was a stroke of great luck.

“But don't worry, I'll make the most of it.
Besides, this ID is only valid for one day.” Chiaki continued happily.

A little girl showed a creepy smile that made adults fearful.
For Kuro, it was a bad sign.

“Chi-chan, your bad habit is showing again.” Kuro sighed.
“Honestly, it often makes me wonder if you're really a kid like me.”

Compared to typical children, Chiaki was truly different.
She had a keen attention to detail and things that usually went unnoticed by children her age.

It was these habits that made her seem like a strict and annoying student council president.
But it didn't mean that her habits made other children find her annoying or unlikeable.
In fact, it was because of these habits that she became like an older sister to the other young children.

“I don't know, and I don't care what others think.
What matters now is, what ride are we going on next?”


From now on, Kuro finally understood what hell on Earth meant.

But it didn't mean he hated it all.
He enjoyed it too, even though he had to constantly hold onto his heart to keep it from jumping out of his chest.

In the restaurant, Ruko continued to stir the spoon in her glass of water.
She also had a black bracelet, and a special ID prepared for her.


With the influence of the Kanata family, it was as easy as breathing.
Yet, even though she had an ID to play freely, Ruko only showed a cold gaze that made people afraid to approach her.

She could sense everyone's aura.
She could know where Chiaki and Kuro were at the moment, even without seeing them.
Not only that, she could feel their auras filled with happiness.
Happiness that they had never shown when she was near them.

She was just a nuisance.
Now she knew that.

Ruko continued to wait alone for hours.
She had consumed several glasses of drinks and snacks.

Suddenly, the sun began to set.
The sky started turning red, accompanied by colorful lights that began to illuminate.


(…Is Kuro-Nii-chan moving away?)

Ruko started to leave her spot.
She followed the aura that was moving away.

Slowly, she began to leave the playground.
After that, she continued to follow them, who were quite far away from her.
She walked for hours until late at night.
Despite being tired, she endured it because she was sure that both of them must be feeling the same way, but they never stopped once.

She couldn't give up.
She didn't want to lose to both of them.
If she lost, for some reason, she would regret it.


Then she arrived at a narrow path that led up the hill.

(Why are they going to a place like this?)

It didn't make sense.
That was the first thought that came to Ruko's mind.

But to find the answer, she only had one choice.


Once again, she gathered her determination and strength to climb the high hill.

Pitch darkness and various eerie sounds could be heard from different directions.
For a child, her age, the place was very frightening.
But even though she was scared, even though her body screamed to leave that place quickly, she couldn't do it.

Finally, she started running out of energy, but she got the result of her hard work.

“Kuro-niichan, Chiaki-chan…?”

In her eyes, she could now see both of them sitting in a simple wooden hut.
They looked tired like her, but they both had satisfied smiles.

Ruko didn't understand why they came to this place, but if they knew about it, then this was a place known only to the two of them.
It was a secret place for them.

In the end, Ruko could only watch from behind the trees without daring to show herself.

The silence continued to envelop her.
The darkness of the night seemed meaningless compared to what she felt.


Unconsciously, she gripped the tree trunk with her hand.
When she realized it, she was shocked because the tree trunk she gripped felt like paper in her hand.

As a God Slayer who wielded demonic powers, hatred, and resentment were the sources of their strength.
But she was always taught that the power derived from hatred and resentment would never become their true strength.

They might become strong, but at the same time, their souls would be taken more quickly by the demons residing in their bodies.

This was the dark side of a God Slayer.

Slowly, tears welled up in her eyes.
She felt regret and sadness for hating both of them.

“….I'm sorry-“

“Ku-chan, what do you mean!! Quickly repeat what you just said!!!”

Before she could regret it, she heard Chiaki's loud shout.

She turned towards both of them.
She could sense that their auras had suddenly changed.
Chiaki was now filled with great anger, while Kuro…


(What kind of aura is that?)

For the first time, Ruko understood why Kuro couldn't unleash his power.
He was different.
From herself, and from both of his parents.


On that full moon night, for the first time, she learned the truth about Kuro.
It was a night she would never forget in her life.



Ruko opened her eyes.
She immediately got up from her bed and stood up.
But at that moment, she felt her energy draining from her body.


She fell back onto the bed.
Then someone held her.


Not only Chiaki, but Flamia, Mea, and Chiyo were also by her side.
They all looked worried about her.

“It's okay, Ruko-chan.
You should rest first!”

Ruko suddenly gripped Chiaki's clothes.


“…it's nothing.
Where is Onii-chan?”

“He disappeared somewhere,” Flamia answered.
“Now is not the time to think about Kuro.
You should rest and recover first, and then we'll search for him together.”

Ruko fell silent for a moment before nodding slowly.

She could feel various unpleasant auras from everyone, but only one person emitted a different aura.
An aura of calmness and resilience.

I knew you already knew what really happened…)

On that day, it wasn't just her who knew the truth about Kuro, but the person present there also knew.


“Ku-chan, what do you mean by separation?”

Not far from him, Kuro gazed at the cityscape from the edge of the cliff.
He seemed to ignore all of Chiaki's questions.

Chiaki approached, but that's when Kuro turned around.

“Chi-chan, as I said, this is a separation.
You're a smart girl, so I shouldn't have to explain the meaning of separation.”


Chiaki was frustrated.
She bit her lip, and her hand was ready to slap Kuro, but she held back.

“So because we're going to separate, you decided to spend time with me.
You want to create beautiful memories to remember in your new place, right? Is that true, Ku-chan?”

Chiaki regretted asking why Kuro invited her to have fun and ended up in their hiding place to see the stars.
She should have guessed all of Kuro's strange actions today.

Kuro shook his head.

“If I can remember, then maybe today will truly be the most beautiful memory of my life, Chi-chan.”


For ordinary children, they wouldn't understand the meaning behind Kuro's words.
They might just think Kuro would go far away and never come back.

But their separation was more than that.


Kuro smiled gently as if he understood what Chiaki was thinking right now.
Chiaki's body and expression said it all.
Everything trembled as if scared and angry at the same time.

Kuro gazed at the star-filled night sky.

“Chi-chan, have you ever thought, 'If the world ends tomorrow, then in that short time, who would you want to spend your life with?'”


Tears slowly flowed from Chiaki's eyes.
She knew Kuro's words were not a joke.
They were going to part ways.
Part ways forever.

“And this is my answer to your question, Chiaki.
Why I want to spend time with you is not because I want to gain beautiful memories, but because it's you, I spend time with you.
And even if you might not understand, someday you will understand why I did all this.”


“Now, stop crying.
You can consider everything I said earlier just a joke as usual.
Hm? Chi-chan?”

Kuro then acted casually as if nothing had happened, but on the contrary, Chiaki remained silent even though her tears had stopped flowing.


Chiaki lowered her head, and her face was shadowed.
Kuro sensed his hair standing on end for some reason.


Chiaki approached like a zombie.
She extended her hands as if to catch Kuro.

Kuro had already conveyed everything, so he didn't care anymore about what would happen to him.

But it didn't mean he wasn't afraid.
He surrendered and closed his eyes because he didn't want to see what Chiaki would do to his body.


He could feel Chiaki getting closer.

And as he prepared for what would happen to him, he somehow felt something soft on his lips.
He felt sweetness, but also a softness like a marshmallow.

Then, after he opened his eyes, what he saw was Chiaki's face so close, and the fact that their lips were touching.

This was their second kiss.


Chiaki remained silent and held onto Kuro's shoulder.
Afterward, she hugged Kuro tightly as if she didn't want to let go.

On this cold night, they could feel each other's warmth.
But it wasn't just that, both of them could feel their hearts beating loudly.

“Ku-chan, is it true that this is a separation? If it is, I don't want to part with you for any reason.”

“…even if you want to know, I think it's better if you never know.
Our separation was meant to happen from the beginning.”

“So you knew from the beginning? I didn't expect you to be so cruel.”

Kuro chuckled softly and then hugged Chiaki tightly.

“I'm sorry, if only I were just an ordinary person, maybe we would never have to part, Chi-chan.”

“Now you're saying you're a superhuman.
I can't believe your words anymore.”


Kuro just smiled softly.
He hugged Chiaki even tighter because he didn't want to let go.
If time could stop, he wanted to stay in Chiaki's embrace forever.


“Sorry, was that too much?”

“…no, just don't let go of me, don't leave me, Ku-chan…
you know, I've liked you all this time.
Could this be what they call falling in love?”

“I don't know.
We're still kids, I think we're too young to know…
but I feel the same way, Chi-chan.”

Kuro bit his lower lip.
He showed anger and sadness that would make anyone cry upon seeing it.

(If only I weren't a God Slayer, I would never have experienced all of this.)

He vented all his anger.
At the same time, Kuro's eyes turned into demon eyes filled with anger and revenge.

Kuro hugged Chiaki tighter with a force that could almost crush his body.

“Ku-chan, stop.
It hurts.”


Realizing that he had hurt Chiaki, Kuro released his embrace.
He slowly stepped back and turned away, hiding his face.
He clenched his fists with all his strength as if holding back something enormous.

“…Chi-chan, I'm sorry.
This is a separation.
It's best if you forget about me.
Consider that you never had a friend named Kuro Kanata.

After saying that, Kuro jumped from the edge of the cliff and disappeared from sight.

Chiaki was shocked and remained silent for a moment, but she was even more shocked when she realized that Kuro had just jumped off the cliff right in front of her eyes.

“Eh, Ku-chan?”

Chiaki panicked and immediately burst into tears.
She quickly looked down at the almost invisible bottom of the cliff.
It was then that she understood what was meant by separation.


She screamed with all her might, but her screams would never reach Kuro.

Kuro had made the decision to part ways.
Pretending to commit suicide may not have been the right or cool way to die, but it was better than Chiaki finding out the truth.

“Sorry, Chi-chan.
If I were to be reborn, I hope to become a normal human and not a demon.”

The next day, there was a commotion at Kuro's house.
Kuro's parents, who were usually absent, returned home along with several luxurious black cars.

It attracted the attention of their neighbors, but everyone could only watch from a distance, too afraid to approach.

Including Chiaki.

She was still saddened by Kuro jumping off the cliff, but the commotion at Kuro's house still caught her attention.


Not long after, someone came out of Kuro's house.
It was Ruko.

Unlike usual, Ruko was dressed in a traditional shrine maiden outfit (Miko) that suited her well.
She looked like a goddess descending from heaven.

But it wasn't just Ruko, Kuro's mother and father were also dressed in the same attire as Ruko.
They seemed to be preparing for a religious ceremony.

In this technologically advanced era, such a thing was rare and respected, but this was the first time Chiaki had witnessed it firsthand.

(So the rumors about them being descendants of a spiritual medium are true?)

It all made sense in Chiaki's eyes.

Although Kuro jumped off the cliff, she knew Kuro would be fine.
Superpowers truly existed, and he was one of the friends of a future hero.

But Chiaki realized it was just the innocent thoughts of a child.
She knew that if Kuro truly was a potential superhero, he wouldn't have mentioned a separation.

But one thing was certain, she knew Kuro was still alive, and this might be her last chance to meet him.


The awaited figure finally emerged.
Just like Ruko and Kuro's parents, Kuro was dressed as a priest, but in black.

Without hesitation, Chiaki rushed out of the house to meet Kuro, but as she approached, the people in black clothing blocked her path.


She called his name.
She struggled and wanted to bid farewell properly.

“KU-CHAAAANNN!! Where are you going? Is it true that you're leaving forever? Answer me, Ku-chan!!”

She didn't hear a response or even an answer.
Kuro seemed to not hear the voice calling him.


Their eyes met, but all Chiaki saw was emptiness.
It was then that she realized that it was too late.

This was a farewell.

Tears streamed down her face.
She struggled and wanted to slap Kuro hard to make him realize.
But she was just a helpless 9-year-old girl.
She couldn't even free herself from the man holding her.

Chiaki had only one hope.


Ruko turned around, but she only gave a cold gaze.

“What did you do to Ku-chan, really?”

Once again, she was disappointed.
The only thing she hoped for was a cold gaze, not an answer.

Slowly, Kuro got into the car.
His parents got into a different car.
And finally, it was Ruko's turn.
She got into the same car as Kuro.

At the same time, the men in black let her go and allowed her parents to take her away.
After that, all the people in black clothing followed the car carrying Kuro.


This was the day she parted ways with Kuro.
And at the same time, this was the day she realized what love really meant.

Meanwhile, in the car, Ruko rested her head on Kuro's lap, displaying an empty gaze like a doll.

“Sorry, Onii-chan.
It was you who forced us to do this to you.”

The driver in front of them could only peek through the rearview mirror and dare not comment on the heartbreaking sight.

Currently, Kuro was under the influence of magic, causing him to lose consciousness.
He was now just a lifeless body moving without purpose.

To an ordinary person, this might be a cruel sight, but it was necessary.


Tears dripped from Kuro's eyes onto Ruko's cheeks.

Ruko smiled faintly.

“Onii-chan, do you love Chiaki-chan that much? It's a pity, after this, you may never see her again, and we will live happily ever after.”

She hugged Kuro tightly.
Although she knew Kuro didn't choose her, she knew that eventually, Kuro would be hers.

“Onii-chan, this is just a small obstacle for us to be together.
Soon, you will be the same as me.
Someone destined to kill a god.
A God Slayer.”

The vehicle carrying them continued to move.
From the window, she could catch a glimpse of their destination.
It was the place that served as the largest gathering point of supernatural energy in Japan—Mount Fuji.

Ruko smiled with joy.
She had been waiting for Kuro to have the same opportunity as her.
To possess the power to kill the Fallen God that brought destruction to humanity.

“Onii-chan, I will do anything as long as you're happy, no, we're happy.”

(Even if it means sacrificing others for that goal.)


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