Kill, murder, the voices say. Images flash intermittently.
Photos of Hiiro.
I love him.
My head hurts, and I can’t open my eyes. The war has ended, but the orders have started coming. I feel no compelling force, or am I okay because I’m broken?
Ah, the welcome from hell has come.
“Naruhito, are you okay? You need to eat soon to regain your strength.”
The voices in my head grow fainter.
Naruhito. Yes, if he calls me that, the voices in my head…
When I can’t open my eyes, something soft is pushed against my mouth, and water enters.
I gulp it down, and then another sip.
My lips feel good.
The headache subsides, and I open my eyes.
Hiiro’s worried face is right there.
He smiles a little, as if relieved.
“You looked like you were in a lot of pain. Can you drink a little more water? I have to go out soon.”
Hiiro holds water in his mouth and presses his lips against mine. The water flows in.
What’s this? Yummy. Feels good.
I have to say something. Is it delicious? Feels good? Don’t go? I want more?
What is it?
“Okay, I’ll be going. Ikumatsu, I’m leaving the rest to you.”
“Yes, please take care. Hitachimaru too.”
“Naruhito, I have some candy for you. You don’t look too good. When I come back, I’ll put it in your mouth.”
Hitachimaru held out a candy in his right hand.
Oh, candy. I want to eat it. Come back soon.
… No, that’s not it.
Hiiro and Hitachimaru left. There’s a lot of noise outside the window. Many people. From there. Around there. Something.
An unmistakable order.
My body jumps up. I rush at the window with force. On the third floor? Who’s giving the orders? Hiiro stood in front of a microphone, and next to him was a man in an Imperial Army uniform.
A small figure quickly jumped out of the crowd. In front of Hiiro. Two Combat Doll figures. Hitachimaru, who was standing behind Hiiro, shot both of them accurately.
Ikumatsu’s voice. I broke the window and fell as planned, kicking the Imperial soldier who was standing next to Hiiro.
“Hitachimaru, don’t shoot!”
Hiiro’s voice. Ah, the voice of the orders grows faint. I clenched my right hand and punch the Imperial soldier who was lying on the ground, bleeding. Violating orders. My head feel like it’s about to twist off. My stomach acid rose, and I vomitted copiously.
“Why, why… Why did the Combat Doll attack me?”
Yes, because I’m Naruthito. That’s why.
“Naruhito, Naruhito. Pull yourself together.”
“… Naruhito, was this guy doing something?”
I nodded at Hitachimaru’s words. Gunshots rang out quickly, and the headache disappeared.
I open my clenched right hand. Oh, it’s candy…
Hiiro called my name. I’m relieved that Hiiro is safe…