When Kanade opened the iron door, a young man wearing a black denim and dangle shirt entered the room.
Looking around his twenties apparently, with light brown hair, unshaven face and an expression aloof from the world, his image overlapped with Haruhito in my mind.
[Eh, did I interrupt something here?]
While not seeming to feel bad about it at all, the man said as such.
[Yes, you’re in the way, every time. What do you need?]
[Greetings there, I just had a hard time bringing you some goods without borrowing any help from the Mogura ye’ know? How about ye’ thank me for that at least?]
The man was grasping a long case from its handle.
[I’m not interested in some junk like the one brought to me last time]
[Don’t be like that now. This time, I brought the real thing. Fresh quality goods]
By opening the case, a raw, sour, stinky smell struck my nose. Stored inside was a girl’s body split into pieces. Bloody traces were standing out from the cut sections and her long hair was hiding her face.
[She’s a runaway girl. Unfortunately, there was no information about her. I don’t know her name nor her age. But hey, I found a sanitary napkin along with her, so it’s fine right?]
[Oh my, you’re a brute wearing human skin aren’t you? Well, at least it’s better than a suicide corpse you could pick from an abandoned building. The insides seem to be safe this time it seems]
Erisa leaned over the corpse and took its slender white arm.
[Her condition appears to be fine. Although, I’d prefer the blood to be extracted more]
Like a restaurant chef who is checking the quality of the market vegetables, Erisa inspected every single piece of the dead girl and brings her nose closer to it. I was about to lose control of my legs by seeing this unusually cruel scene in front of my eyes.
[By the way, who’s that boy over there?]
The man pointed towards me who was standing still like a good-for-nothing pillar.
[The same as you, someone who’s looking for seeds. He’s a pretty brave boy who was searching for me at this time of night for the sake of his beloved girl]
My heart leaped up after she guessed my crush for Misaki.
[You thought I wouldn’t know? It was too obvious; a woman is very sensitive to a man’s glances, especially those that are holding a yearning towards them. Women who don’t recognize such a glance are even scarcer than a protected species you know]
Hearing Erisa’s unconcerned words, I started thinking of the possibility that Misaki had realized my feelings, and my brain suddenly got hotter.
[To top it off, he’s trying to revive her, knowing that she already has a boyfriend. Honestly, I was touched by his pure conduct and decided to give him the seed for free this time]
[‘ey c‘mon that’s not fair~ I turned my bath into a blood ocean trying to dismantle the corpse here. Aren’t ye’ gonna acknowledge my efforts at least?]
The man said that in a dissatisfied manner.
[I can see you getting all spoiled if I do that. And either way, you are seeking seeds too much. Rather than a service, I’m thinking about charging you additional fees this time]
[As always, a cute face and a harsh personality. Just like a rose with steel thorns]
[I will accept your words as a compliment. The fact of being a rose doesn’t change after all]
Erisa lightly parried the man’s sarcastic words, fetched a small box from the vault and passed it to him.
[I’m fine dealing with you like this, but these seeds are very rare, don’t go wasting them around]
[I know, I know…]
[You’re in a good mood as usual, aren’t you? I’m busy right now, if you don’t have anything else to say, I’d like you to leave then]
[How cold of you. Guess I’m done over here, well then!]
Holding the box in his hands, the man left the room with a satisfied face. The room is left with me, Erisa, Kanade, and the blood covered marionette without strings.
[Who was that?]
[An upstart acting all tough. He’s a nasty man. I feel sorry for the flowers raised by him]
Erisa said these words as if spitting out. However, her cold facial expression didn’t change the least.
Despite being in this shop for only a short time, I already understood that Erisa doesn’t show very much emotion or facial expressions, making me receive the impression as if she’s a bisque doll imitating a human’s behavior. Somehow, I can’t imagine her face getting all red from anger or see her clapping her hands while roaring with laughter.
Erisa closed the case and called for Kanade.
[Take care of this after planting the seed in Iruse Misaki’s head. retrieve the ovary, cut the meat and store it in the refrigerator]
[What should I do with the fingers? There are still many of them not used yet]
[Throw them away if there are too many]
While serving up the dish on a plate, Kanade answered with a broad smile. She wasn’t disturbed at all by seeing a corpse in front of her eyes. The same face she made when delivering up Misaki’s head, looking like a waitress serving us afternoon tea. It was evident that she was used to dealing with corpses in her daily life.
[What do you mean by taking care of it?]
[Peeling off the skin, removing the fat and separating the meat from the bones. That’s all]
[I didn’t ask you about your crafting skills. Why are you doing with that in the first place?]
[To make it edible of course… for me]
A plate of steak along with sauce was put in front of Erisa. The side options are asparagus and carrots. The slight smoke being raised from the plate reached my nose as a sweet smell.
[Excuse me now, I’m starving]
In an elegant manner, Erisa carried the meat to her mouth. While chewing, her lips were wiggling the steak and I was absent-mindedly gazing at her white neck where her faint throat swallowed the bite.
[I’d like you to stop staring at me when I’m eating. It’s embarrassing]
Erisa’s hands stopped moving because of my unreserved glance.
[What kind of meat….are you eating now?]
[The abdomen of a medium build man. A simple medium rare grilled steak with salt and pepper as a seasoning. Not grilling it too much gives it a uniquely delicious taste]
The pure-hearted girl was boldly explaining to me a human cooking recipe.
Behind her, the young maid was drilling a hole in Misaki’s head while smiling.
[I’m not sure why are you doing that, but eating human flesh is…you know…not]
[Are you going to tell me that it is wrong to do so?]
Erisa asked me after drinking the mineral water filled in a glass cup.
[Could you explain to me why is it wrong?]
[Well, that’s because…..yeah, the law…]
[There’s no act that prohibits the consuming of human flesh in this country]
Erisa crushed down my likely answer.
[It is indeed quite impossible to obtain human meat without violating the law of killing a person and damaging their body, however, eating human flesh itself is not prohibited by law. There are some other countries which banned the act of eating human flesh, but those kind of laws that were taken from their own morals are not enough to restrain the desire of some people who want to eat it]
[But instead of human flesh, there are plenty of other kinds of meat, like cows or pigs]
[There is a significance in eating human flesh]
Erisa wiped off the sauce left in her mouth with a napkin.
[It is true that eating human flesh is considered as the greatest taboo for humanity. However, no basic explanation of the reason could be found. You must not hurt a person, you must not steal things that don’t belong to you, you must not lie. People repeatedly learned about these sorts of taboos from their teachers and parents in their childhood, but no one taught them that eating human flesh is wrong. By getting rebuked for committing an error, the person understands that what they did was wrong and throughout their days, they discover the society’s norms and standards. By getting scolded for it, a strong negative impression is scorched in their hearts, and so, the next time, they behave without repeating the same mistake. However, there is no procedure used against the deed of eating human meat. In the end, you can’t find a book explaining how to deal with a child who ate his friend’s flesh]
That’s true, if a teacher found out a kindergarten kid eating his friend, he would just be stunned instead of scolding him.
[By following the question of why is it wrong to eat human flesh, we will just run into another problem like, “is it good or bad to eat the flesh of living beings despite being able to live by eating plants”. If we are going to consider it as a bad deed, then we can also just call those who eat bears or weasels as evil. To sum all of this up, it is adiaphora, a question without answer]
Erisa put down the knife and the fork.
[If killing people and eating their flesh wasn’t a taboo, everyone would probably start to kill in order to eat. After all, humans are an existence that prefers to take the easiest choices]
The empty tableware was removed, and Misaki’s head which was put into a small pot, was placed instead. Her face was slightly visible within the wood chips. A thirty centimeter hole was drilled in at the top of her head. I felt both sad and relieved by seeing her resting face.
[I’m going to have you carry back the pot with you. I wouldn’t mind raising it until it takes a human shape, but doing that by your own hands from the beginning will spring up attachment between you, wouldn’t it?]
[But wait, how am I supposed to do that? should I just give her water?]
[It grows by drinking blood. But not as much as you think. Just scratch a finger tip and dribble a few drops a day. When she develops a face, you can make her suck on your fingers. There are some people who’re addicted to this kind of stimulation you know]
[And how much should I give her?]
[Only a small amount is enough. An amount much lower than what you give in a blood donation]
[Is that the risk you told me about earlier?]
[Then what is this risk?]
[Slowly, but surely, you will realize it. Soon enough]
Kanade handed me a small army knife.
[I’m giving that to you. When you don’t feel like seeing her face anymore, don’t think about reclaiming. The roots will suck up the moisture and start growing everywhere]
I got chills just just by imagining a few roots growing out from her eyes and mouth. I’d do anything to avoid seeing Misaki in such a condition.
[I will be escorting him now. I’m leaving the rest to you]
[Understood. Farewell, Mr.Mamesaki]
By the time I got into the car again, the rain had already stopped falling. On our way back, the road was full of puddles and the tires were splashing water while moving. With the car pushing its way in the darkness, we leisurely aimed to the district where I live.
[A displeased deed by the Pygmalion]
Erisa’s sudden words broke the silence.
[A Greek myth about a sculptor. A miserable man who fell in love with his sculpture and wished for it to turn into a human. In his case, that wish was granted out of sympathy by Aphrodite. But you’d better understand that a goddess’s mood wouldn’t descend upon everyone who’s praying for it]
[What do you mean by that?]
[Realize your stature, and don’t desire too much. That’s the meaning]
While I was trying to understand Erisa’s strange words, the care halted in the entrance of the flower quarter. The light of the lined up night stores had already disappeared and the district had fallen into a peaceful silence. It didn’t take even ten minutes for us to arrive.
[Well then, we shall meet again]
Erisa went back, leaving a short salute behind.
Without having the composure to see her off, I ran towards a light pole by the roadside and started vomiting. By the time I finished disgorging everything in my stomach, I did not realize that she purposely obscured a very important bit of information from me.