Hidan no Aria:Volume6 Epilogue
Epilogue: Go For The NEXT! Reki
Running, running, exiting onto the highway, I--
-collapsed, my knees thudding into the ground, laying Reki down onto the asphalt.
"Haa, haa, haa...!"
My head was spinning, my breathing laboured.
--I'm at my limit. I cannot run any further.
From the beginning, my body had been weakening as I spent longer and longer in the woods. And, that body had continued carrying somebody, no matter how elfin they might be, as it ran. Furthermore, going through those pathless locations, my body had gone into completely and total exhaustion.
I pressed my hands to the road, breathing heavily.
The butterfly, which had been dancing in the field of cosmos earlier, had somehow, reached here first...and flitting around me as if it was worried, it flew to my left hand.
Having large, white wings, it, with a design just like a swallowtail--had a star-shaped pattern on them.
I felt that I had seen this design somewhere before, but...this isn't the time to investigate.
(--I'm fine with whatever, but will a car...come--?)
If one came, I'd use my Butei License to slow it, and then bring Reki to a hospital.
The hill-road that leads to the city has a very large curve, making it impossible to see it due to the trees and topography...and now, it didn't feel as if there was a car nearby.
Damn it...I have no other choice.
One minute. In just one minute, I forced my legs up again, waiting for a car.
If a car does not come, I will carry Reki once again, running down the road.
Deciding that, I--took off the Dragunov that was slung over my back, and I looked into the scope.
I cannot let even one minute go to waste. Just now, Reki's words...
"Hidden inside this is a camera. It has already been set to record the scene at the instant that I snipe."
Recalling them, I fumbled with the scope...and on the bottom, I pressed a slim button.
I peered into the scope, redundantly pushing the button. The telescope function disappeared from my sight, replaced by the image of a black remote-controlled helicopter.
This is...the video of the helicopter that Reki had shot when it attacked us at the hotel, right?
I pressed the same button repeatedly. Click Click
After the screen flickered through four helicopters, the image changed into that of the shot at the black dog's leg.
After that, the video that I saw, the video that replaced the image of the dog's right and left legs--
My heart skipped a beat.
Flash, Cannon, Russian--what was pictured inside the three photos of the time of release of the three bullets...was, as Reki had said, a girl.
And she too--seemed familiar.
She had black twin-tails, around the same length as Aria's. She was wearing the same extravagant Chinese clothing as when she had attacked me.
This is...the transfer student from Hong Kong Butei High.
This isn't a mistake.
It may be that the videos were rather dark, but in all three, her whole body was clearly captured.
That little girl who had ambushed me by the road on the day of the opening ceremony, Koko--charged out of the camouflage of leaves, quickly mounting the offroad-bike behind her, a CRM250AR.
(Koko...the person who put me in submission by grappling when I was in Hysteria Mode, the person who drew with Aria in Aru=Kata--)
--and in sniping, she was a match for Reki...wasn't she...?
That kind of girl exists in this world?
No, can they exist in this world?
Martial arts, guns, and sniping. All of these techniques take many years to reach their ultimate form. At our age...no, at an age below that, it's impossible for someone to be a master at two, or three things.
"The Warrior of Ten-Thousand Techniques--"Ten-Thousand Arms"...Koko..."
As I murmured the second name she had given--
From the left...coming from the mountain, I heard the sound of an engine.
Ha Raising my head, I stood up, thinking that a car was coming.
Afterward, hearing the sound of a siren...
...I whipped out my Beretta.
She's different from the one in legend. Well, I'm just talking to myself right now.
--That was the sound of a motorcycle.
It had a high pitch which even an amateur would understand from listening, the sound of a 2-stroke engine.
It was the sound of the bike in the video, the engine equipped by a CRM250AR.
It's impossible that the same bike would pass by coincidentally, because 2-stroke motorcycles exceed exhaust limits, and their gas, as well as the motorcycles themselves, are no longer in production.
As I deduced this, sitting on the bike that was banking furiously around the curve--was Koko.
I stood in a position where I could protect Reki, bringing my Beretta up to bear--
Damn it! Laughing while swerving in an S-shape, Koko could not be held within my sights.
The next instant, Koko slammed down on the brakes, brushing past me as if trying to sweep me over.
Twisting my head back, I...could not ready my gun.
Because, stopping the bike in a slanted position a few meters away, Koko was pointing a gun at me.
That was a suppressed UZI--a sub-machine gun.
Koko has the advantage in terms of magazine capacity, and moreover, she was a person that was able to match Aria in a gunfight. Facing her was me, not even in Hysteria Mode, and added to that, I had to protect Reki, who was heavily wounded, while fighting.
--I don't want to admit it, but I cannot act.
"Drop your pistol. The DE at your chest too."
Wave, Wave. The barrel of Koko's gun pointed at my ribs, I, compelled to do so, dropped the Beretta--as well as the Desert Eagle that I had not used yet, having no other choice.
"Reki--90 points. She's a good piece, so I'll take it. And as expected, Kinchi gets 0 points. But, he's a piece with a good military record. I like it. I'll bring him back."
"...Take...what are you saying?"
Keeping my body completely still, I directed those words at Koko, staring at her.
"From now on, all ability users have to be destroyed. It's good to keep people like you, "just humans, yet strong pieces," in my grasp."
"And, Reki is one of the northern barbarians, Kinchi is one of the eastern tribesmen. You're fitting as soldiers of the queen of the center of the world, Koko."
I...have no idea what she's talking about. What the hell is she saying?
Please go learn Japanese again.
I made a confused expression, and Koko, going Fufu, snickered, looking at me.
"Become part of my collection, alright? Do you know who Koko, or Meng De is? Koko is of his bloodline."
"...I have no idea."
"--I won't forgive you for that weak reaction!"
Quickly becoming angry, Koko fired a warning shot into the air--
Once again returning the barrel of the gun to my body, she seemed as if she was going to give some sort of order...at that moment.
Suddenly realizing something, she started the bike again, Vroom! Koko spun in place, turning around completely.
Brushing past Koko's twin-tails, in front of me--
-along with the sound of a bell, an arrow sped past.
Koko put the motorcycle into action, dodging the arrow.
From the direction that the arrow came from...I could see a wine-red car cut through the air, hurtling this way.
It was around 150 meters away.
On the engine bonnet of the convertible--there was someone kneeling on one knee.
Even from such a long distance, I realized it.
The gold forehead protector on her head, her body clothed with red and white Miko garments, its sleeves rolled up, a nocked bow in her hands--A Hotogi Armed Miko. However, it was not Shirayuki.
Kyoto has a Hotogi shrine as well. It seemed that they were reinforcements from there.
That butterfly just now...as if welcoming them, flew over, its wings fluttering.
Seeing this scene, I suddenly thought back to it.
That butterfly is a Hotogi Swallowtail.
When I was a child, I had seen them being raised at the Hotogi shrine in Aomori.
The intrepid Miko used a daikyu , over 2 meters long, to shoot two arrows.
Shhaang! That bell rang out again, as if exorcising something, the eagle-feathered arrow penetrating the motorcycle that Koko was using as her shield, making a hole in the fuel tank.
--Amazing. From that kind of distance, on top of a swaying car...without using any sights, she managed to hit the gasoline tank with an arrow from a daikyuu.
Counterattacking with a number of bullets from the Uzi, Koko immediately jumped onto the motorcycle--
"In every generation, Koko has always run when the time came to run. It's fine as long as I have the last laugh. Farewell."
Leaving a trail of gasoline behind and swerving off the road, she disappeared into the thick undergrowth.
I picked up Reki's Dragunov, trying to snipe her with my amateur skills...but it was impossible. I could no longer see Koko.
The engine noise continued to get further and further.
She--really knows how to adapt to the situation.
This kind of calm, collected, hit and run type...from my experience, is very strong.
I went "Tch", turning towards Reki--
The car just now--a high-grade Mitsuoka automatic car, a wine-red Himiko--had stopped. The Miko on the bonnet, a bow in her hands, was looking towards the mountain, still alert.
Sitting on the seat was the beautiful driver that had come to pick up Konayuki last month--
"...Kin-chan! What happened...!?"
Pointing at the Hotogi Swallowtail was Shirayuki.
"Shirayuki...you really saved us. I'm glad you noticed."
"Because we heard a noise like Cannon from the mountain, I had a bad feeling in my heart...so, I used Koujutsu to investigate. Also, because I couldn't connect with Kin-chan's cellphone...I-I, feh...."
Climbing out of the car, her eyes filled with tears, Shirayuki embraced me tightly, as if trying to confirm if I was alright.
Immediately noticing Reki, lying on the floor, Shirayuki said: "Oh no...!", kneeling by Reki's side.
"Reki--was beaten by that girl from earlier. We have to go to a hospital immediately--"
I said that, and next to Shirayuki, who had clasped her hands to her mouth, her eyes wide open,
The other Miko, getting off the car, said something in a small voice, kneeling down.
Already having become a beautiful woman, I didn't recognize her for a moment, but...this girl is...Kazayuki.
One of Shirayuki's sisters. One year younger.
Before, she was a very cool girl, able to match Reki. She hadn't changed at all.
Having just been fighting with arrows, even though she saw Reki, soaked in blood, before her...her expression did not change at all.
Expressionless, Kazayuki whispered something into Shirayuki's ear--
"...N-no way. Are you sure that isn't a mistake?"
Shirayuki turned towards her, stunned.
Nod. Nodding, Kazayuki...
...said something that I did not wish to hear, the true identity of my fiancé--coolly, she announced it.
Go For The Next!
Translator's Notes and References
- China means "Middle Kingdom." Koko uses an old name for it.
- The first mention of Koko is Cao Cao.
- Lit. Bug Techniques
- She says Reki's name in Kanji. Lit. Petal Princess.
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