Hidan no Aria:Volume9 Chapter2

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2nd Ammo: Magnificient Riko -Fii Bucuros Riko-[edit]

"Ki-kun, back down~"

Stepping forward, Riko threw away a one-time use bottle roughly the size of a pill.

After shouting my name, she gradually stopped her shaking.

Then, she started clapping her hands loudly and yelling.

"Ah, that's right! Riko forgot! She actually forgot! Ki-kun and Aria are both Riko's prey! But, who's that girl? How could she be so ignorant and attempt to start a NTR path[1] on her own! Hohohoho~!"

Taking random little steps, Riko spun around in a circle.

Now she's behaving just like her usual self, block-headed but brimming with the will to fight.

Although looking at her now, it seems a bit like she's encouraging herself.

"--That coffin is a transformer right?"

Coming to a stop with her feet smacking down, Riko's eyes were serene as she faced Hilda.

From what I can tell... Her expression seems to indicate she has made a important decision about something.

"You can use electricity. However, this ability is copied from the genes of the African Knifefish. It's unable to discharge large amounts of electricity for long periods of time, at most--once or twice each time, then it will need some time to rest."

"Fourth... How did you know..."

"What's there to be surprised about? You can simply search the net for this basic knowledge--"

Riko smiled brazenly at Hilda, who was furrowing her eyebrows.

"This is why you normally restrain yourself from releasing electricity...and tap it from external sources instead. However, since the voltage of the electrical supply from external sources are very low, and your body can only process high voltage electricity, you'll need a large transformer."

(....So that's how it is....)

Just like how electronic products from other countries cannot directly use Japan's electrical power due to incompatible voltage ratings, and require a suitable transformer.

And Hilda is no exception.

That huge coffin, is a transformer used by Hilda to convert the city's electrical power supply for her attacks.

Now, with the loss of that coffin, she's...

"Hilda, there's no longer any electrical power supply you can use. Your body can no longer discharge electricity as well, because you have already used your own electricity on Aria and me. This also means that you have lost your ability to manipulate atoms, and you're no longer capable of converting yourself into a shadow to move freely around."

Pulling on Aria's arms, who is still unable to move, Riko dragged her away from the mahogany coffin.

Then she patted on her ears, and took out another mini-sized perfume bottle.

Pressing on the nozzle--

Small bubbles floated in between my coffin and Aria's coffin, and boom. The explosion blew apart the cables connecting the two coffins.

Sparks could be seen from arcing the severed cables, creating snapping sounds.

"As expected, this is a battery bank. Hilda, after hearing what I said, you gave a 'I still have an ace up my sleeve' look at this coffin. You should know better--Riko is a thief whose expertise is finding what others want to hide."

"I was too careless. To think... you still have more of such explosives with you..."

Baring her fangs, Hilda gritted her teeth.

Riko threw away the empty explosives bottle, and continued talking.

"As everyone knows, 'The Butei Killer uses bombs'."

These were the exact words she said to me on when she hijacked the ANA600--

Riko lifted her skirt up slightly, and made a curtsey at Hilda after displaying her superiority.

(...Riko...)

--Crack--

A bright red flower seemed to have bloomed on Riko's right ear--

That's fresh blood.

The earring, which Hilda mentioned "will explode on my command", has cracked.

Even though there were no injuries to other parts of the body besides the ear--I'm afraid that the snake venom has entered her body through the wound.

A venom with enough poison to kill ten people...!

"......."

Riko remained in her slightly bowing position, the pain on her ear causing her to eyelids to twitch lightly.

Her cute face, still tranquil as though nothing had happened.

"Ki-kun, we'll have to say goodbye now. If I had known, the two of us should have had a farewell dinner."

Riko's strong voice appeared to be abnormally serene.

"Although there is only 10 minutes, but Riko has escaped from the control of those people and obtained her freedom. All thanks to Ki-kun's encouragement, Riko can go back to becoming the real Riko. So, even if it's only for 10 minutes... Ki-kun can see the real Riko, and that's enough."

Before she finished her sentence...

Large rain drops started falling from the gloomy sky.

Patter, patter... Riko shook her head, as if trying to cut off the falling rain drops, drawing the swords on her back.

Aria's twin Kodachi, which she took when disguising herself as Aria.

"Hilda, I'm now going to finish something I've always wanted to do... I'm taking my revenge on you!"

With blood still flowing on her right ear--

Riko loosened her hair down, like the Medusa from Greek mythology.

"Fine by me, there's no harm in fighting you. For someone of your calibre, you're no match for me even if I'm unable to use electricity. You should feel honoured, because you're the first human to have fought twice with members of the Dracula family in a single lifetime."

As if to counter Riko's hair, Hilda unfolded both her wings, and brought 1 leg forward.

Using her toes, she hooked up--a golden trident.

With three prongs as its front, the trident boasts a higher kill-rate than a normal spear.

"However, Fourth, have you forgotten? Vampires have four Demon Entrails which can heal any wound in an instant, and the location of the Demon Entrails differ for each vampire--you don't know where mine are, and the ones you do know, are only the two on my leg?"

"Riko...."

Still unable to move due to the influence of the Suggestive Arts, I twisted my head to look--

Only to see Riko pulling the bolt of a gun, saying.

"Don't worry, Riko still has Ki-kun."

Raising my Beretta, she kissed it.

Looks like she stole it from me even before she got up on her feet.

"Purified Silver Bullets--you won't be able to heal from wounds caused by these right, Hilda?"

".... It just won't be instantaneous, and there's nothing to fear as long as it doesn't hit. Come, enemies of my father--pray for yourselves. Tonight, the three of you will die."

Hilda got down from the coffin, raising the trident--

Riko drew the Saxon hunting knife from my back, and displayed the twin kodachi in her hair, as well as the gun and knife in her hands.

--Double Knife Double Gun Riko--

Although the version in front of me is slightly different, but that form which caused untold suffering even for Aria gloomily surfaced in my mind.

"Tonight only two people will die--and that includes you!"

Riko suppressed the pain from the poison, and roared as she charged forward.

At lightning speed, she got close to Hilda, swinging the twin Kodachi at her opponent using her hair--

Clang clang!

Hilda blocked the attack using her trident.

Following that, Riko started to spin her Kodachi like a windmill, an action physically impossible for human arms, hoping to use the technique to disarm Hilda of her trident.

Clang!

Also using a move which humans are unable to perform--Hilda used her wings to launch the trident into the air.

Her corset now almost twisted to the opposite direction, bang!

Just as one of Hilda feet (which was in heels) touched the ground--

"Hilda! You--have survived till now relying on your Demon Entrails!"

Clang!

The Beretta in Riko's hand spat fire, a Purifed Silver Bullet flying towards Hilda's right wing--hitting the base of the wing.

With a loud bang, the wing membrane which was hit exhibited an unusually large, spreading wound.

It was like being splashed with acid.

"Guh...!"

Hilda started to moan. her wounds not healing instantly like Vlad.

"Just because you think nothing of being wounded, your movements are too slow! You're too conceited!"

In the midst of Riko bellowing, Hilda managed to stablilise her body--

"You.. Fourth! You are nothing but my pet...! How dare you speak such nonsense!"

Aiming for Riko's neck this time, Hilda swung her trident trident across horizontally...

"Ahhaha!"

Laughing, Riko spread open her legs back and forth, gracefully lowering her body and dodging the trident.

Following that, spinning both her legs like a compass, whirling closer and closer to Hilda.

This--taught to her by Koko, feet techniques from Chinese Kenpo.

"--Hilda! Your skills at close combat sucks!"

Edging closer and constraining Hilda with the twin Kodachi, and at the same time--

Having switched my Beretta to 3-round burst mode, continued firing at her right wing.

The bullets seems to have caused serious wounds to the muscles, the battle-scarred right wing started to--hang downwards limply.

Seeing this, Riko swung the Saxon hunting knife--

The severed right wing hanging in mid-air--

".....!"

Left with only one wing, Hilda retreated backwards unwillingly.

But the silver bullets from the Beretta showed her no mercy, and upon hearing the impact sounds, the bullets have already pierced her left wing.

"Ahhaha! Hilda! Hilda! What's the matter with you!?"

Engaging in Aru=Kata has slowly forced Hilda into a dead end.

Riko, using Aria's twin Kodachi, my gun and knife, was using all the skills she has learnt in E.U. and Butei High.

Yes--this was a battle which Riko has staked her own life on.

On one side was the "Butei Killer" who was holding nothing back, and on the other side was Hilda who was slowly running out of space to retreat--

Riko again swung the Saxon hunting knife out in front of her.

The blade following the trajectory of the bullets, cutting off Hilda's left wing.

Showing no hesitation in sacrificing her remaining wing--

Hilda stabbed out viciously with the trident, successfully snatching the Saxon hunting knife out of Riko's hand.

"....You...filthy rat!"

Hilda flung the hunting knife to a corner of the Second Observation Deck, however--

"Rat? Are you referring to yourself? A wing-less bat, aiyaya, how unimaginable, it's the same as a rat! Ah haha!"

Not caring about the fact she was now left holding the twin Kodachi and a gun, Riko resumed her attack against Hilda who has lost her wings.

Her Japanese sword tearing Hilda's skirt--stab! The tip of the blade entering the flank of Hilda.

"Kuh....!"

Something like red mist appeared from the wound, quickly healing it, but....

Fearing the bullets from the Beretta, Hilda started using the trident to defend against Riko's attack.

Riko doesn't have much bullets left--if my guess is correct, there is still 1 round left--she was actively using the Kodachi now.

"Ah hahahaha! Come on Hilda! Trample on me and kick me! Come on, it'll just be like old times!"

She was searching whether there was any Eyeball tattoos on the skin where the clothes had been torn off, or where the wounds healed more slowly than usual--

Riko was looking for the positions of the Demon Entrails.

"S... stop.. Stop it... Stop!"

"Back then! I begged you as well! But you continued to kick me viciously like you didn't hear anything!"

Riko continued to stubbornly use the twin Kodachi, slicing at Hilda who was finally losing her grip on the trident.

Hilda curled into a ball, waving in the air desperately both hands with bright red fingernails, but still unable the fate of having her hands stabbed.

I understand, there's no other way to find the positions of the Demon Entrails...

But Riko's method of attacking, was cruel to the point it was unbearable to watch on.

And she was laughing.

(....Battle-crazed...)

--The thought came to me, having not seen Riko's true nature for some time.

Riko--she may seem easy-going, but in actual fact she is a young girl with an extremely large amount of pride.

Viewing her figure from behind, it seems to me that she harbours an insane vengeance towards enemies who have wounded her pride.

"....In--insolent girl! Get lost!"

With injuries from stab wounds all all over her body, there was barely any clothes on Hilda except her underwear--

Squeezing out her last remaining strength--'zzzz'--'zzzz'....

She discharged electricity from her body, but it was so much weaker than before.

"--whoa."

Riko jumped back a step--and continued backing to our side.

The rain was getting heavier, the raindrops slowing washing Hilda's blood off Riko's blades.

"....Fourth... I'm absolutely not going to let you off..."

Cursing Riko, Hilda hugged her own body tightly and stared viciously at her.

That electricity--she's probably using her own life energy as a price to release it.

Although the other party can no longer release lightning orbs, but now we can't get near her as well.

Even though the wounds on Hilda's body were slowly healing, but it looks like healing will need more time when electricity is being released at the same time--all of a sudden, there was no activity from Hilda, who was holding the trident in her embrace.

Perhaps she has only herself to blame for messing around with Aria's underwear earlier... Now her retribution has come, Hilda's exquisite underwear and tight pants has turned into pieces of cloth, a stocking suspender on one side has been severed, hanging loosely at the side of her leg.

From the looks of it...Although Hilda's clothes are electricity-proof and fire-proof, it's not the cut-proof nor bullet-proof.

"Ummm.. Kuh kuh..."

Hilda was trying very hard to meld herself with the shadows on the ground--perhaps to hide, but was ultimately unsuccessful.

This is great, seeing that this is a golden opportunity where she did not have enough electrical power, we have to act now if we want to defeat her...!

"The eyeball tattoos, I've found all of them--but her skin was too white, so it took me alot of time."

Riko said as she walked to my side.

Her footsteps... there was some staggering.

A very light stagger.

It has been... 3 minutes since she started fighting.

The poison from the earring that has entered her body--has started circulating.

"Are you fine... Riko?"

".... Left and right thighs, just below the right breast, and below the belly button. The eyeball tattoos are concentrated around the thighs and stomach."

The unlimited regenerative capabilities of a vampire, comes from something known as "Demon Entrails", an organ that humans do not possess.

The most problematic thing about the Demon Entrails is that there are four of them, if one or two were destroyed, the other Demon Entrails can restore them swiftly.

So, if you want to kill a vampire, all four Demon Entrails must be destroyed at the same time.

The eyeball diagrams which looks like tattoos on Hilda's body, mark the position of the Demon Entrails, but--

"While I know the positions.... But what should we do, the Beretta only has 1 bullet left."

A voice came out behind me suddenly.

"Th.. there's still... two shots..."

Aria, who had been unconscious after being electrocuted was finally awake, she walked to my side as she spoke.

Then she hid under my shadow--

Removing 2 hair clips which looked like fingernails.

"She conducted a body search on me, but didn't manage to find these."

Following that, she broke open the hair-clips.

Removing the bottom part of the hair-clip, a hole could be seen in it.

And inside the hole, there was one .45 ACP bullet.

"In the past, this was used to hide drugs... But after encountering several situations where I didn't have enough ammo, I have started hiding bullets within. Riko, pass me back my guns."

Aria drew both of her guns from the side of Riko's thighs, and with one hand acting as a shield from the rain, her other hand loaded one bullet into the chamber of each gun.

The silver and black M1911 pistols gleamed coldly as if brought back to life.

"--Ki-kun, Aria, thank you both. But no need to worry, Riko has another way."

"Another way...? Are you trying to say you still have other ways to kill Hilda...?"

Hearing this, Riko's eyes became sharp as she nodded her head.

"I had intended to use that method to perish together with her if I were at my wits end. But to use that method, her wings must be dealt with first, so she can't fly around rampantly."

....I see.

That was why she went trigger-happy with the silver bullets.

"But... how will you be able to do it by yourself? The Beretta should have only one round left?"

Listening to Aria, Riko shook her head and answered.

"The reason I kept this bullet, is meant to kill Hilda once she loses her Demon Entrails."

The word "kill' made me crease my brow--

".....?"

At this time, I noticed the unusual reactions from Hilda from the corner of my eye.

She has stripped off her torn and tattered Lolita-gothic clothes, leaving only her purple underwear on her body.

Traces of electricity still covered her body, protecting her as she recovers her strength.

But still... I have a bad feeling about this.

--Her appearance--

Although her snow white skin made it difficult for people to see clearly, but there were definitely eyeball diagrams on her skin.

One on each leg, one under the navel, and one below the right breast.

I can see it, right now all her weak points are exposed. But, this instead--

Gave me a weird feeling that I can't really put into words.

"--Wait, Riko."

"If you are trying to persuade me to follow the Butei Law... I'm sorry, Ki-kun."

"No, I feel... something amiss with Hilda's body. If you have some sort of plan, then--don't use it now no matter what, we'll think of another way to hit those four points to take her out."

I held Riko by her shoulders, staring at her without looking away as I told her--

Seeing this, Riko blinked her eyes in confusion.

"....All right, since you put it that way, I'll listen to you... But what do we do now? We have three guns, and just three bullets as well, if we intend to hit all four weak points... From the point of physics, it's impossible."

"Sorry, my physics is terrible."

My voice became drowned out by the sound of thunder which was getting closer than before.

Aria seemed to have noticed this as well, she lifted her camellia eyes, scanning the skies around us like a small animal.

If the sound of thunder really roars, Aria, who fears thunder, will become severely hampered, just like during our battle with Vlad.

Attacking the four points at the same time--if we want to do it, we have to do it now.

"Aria, I'll need your help when we attack. Use your guns to attack Hilda's right chest and lower abdomen. I know Assault's training involves not going for the vitals, so, can you do it?"

"Yes, Yes."

Speaking in a slightly more serious tone, I saw Aria nodding her head like a child.

Because as long as I am in Hysteria mode, she normally listens to me.

"Riko, you attack Hilda's right leg. The fourth point--I'll deal with it, although Riko, you feel this is impossble--but ever since ancient times, humans have achieved many seemingly impossible dreams. So let us perform for her, she looks down on humans, and it's time to pay the price."

As I was saying this, I stood beside Riko.

"Tonight, for Riko--I shall turn the impossible into possible."

".....for, Riko..."

Riko raised her eyes to look at me, her gaze seemingly touched.

She used the soft curls of her hair to raise the Beretta.

"Understood, let's go, Ki-kun."

"Good girl."

I patted Riko lightly on the head, focusing the rest of my attention on Hilda.

Having healed all her wounds except than her wings, Hilda was now holding her trident and advancing towards us.

The electric current surrounding her wasn't large, but coming into contact will still cause a nasty shock.

Suffice to say, using swords or knives were out of the question.

We'll just have take to the fight relying on the insufficient number of bullets we have.

"Shoot...the right, leg--"

Riko suddenly reeled forward, but Aria caught her in time.

"Riko, can you stand?! If not, you can lean on me for support when you open fire."

"Haha.. Great grandfather must be cursing me in heaven.... Leaning on a lady from the Holmes family for support while fighting side by side..."

"I'm not willing either, I don't want to fight side by side with a lady from the Lupin family."

"Aria..."

"What is it. All right, steady yourself."

"The one I hate the most is still you, heheh..."

"Oh, looks like we have very similar dispositions, me too, I hate you the most, haha."

The two of them started talking to each other light-heartedly like two normal girls, following which--

Ka-chik, Ka-chik.

Three guns pointed at Hilda at the same time.

".........!?"

A nervous expression showed on Hilda's face for a brief moment, but--

"Oh... You've fallen short, with just three guns, what do you intend to do with me?"

She started laughing as if a weight has been lifted off her shoulders.

(I guess this what there mean by every cloud has a silver lining.)

--If there are four guns now, Hilda might have fled long ago.

If she escapes, we will come under attack again.

By then, the Riko who's willing to perish together with Hilda... will no longer be around.

"Let's go...! Wait for my signal--then shoot!"

Yelling to the other two, I charged straight at Hilda--

Even though I boasted to the two girls beforehand... But in fact up till now, I still haven't thought of a way to hit all four vitals at the same time using three bullets.

But charging out, that is enough for now.

I'm now completely unarmed, without as much as a nail clipper on me.

But I can succeed.

I will succeed. No, I must succeed.

People always tend to declare something as impossible at first glance. I will make it possible. In order to do this, I must first charge out with an unshakeable faith, a courage that is required from the very start.

(--I'll just make things up on the go!)

The instant Hilda aimed the trident at me, my brain under the influence of Hysteria mode gave me an excellent idea immediately--

I recalled how Hilda had wrapped her whip around the Holy Cross Sword before, and flung the sword away like a catapult from the Middle Ages.

At this very moment, I see it.

Like shining brightly--a way out.

--This will be it!

Side-stepping to the left in the rain, I avoided the pointed end of Hilda's trident.

Then I swiftly circled 5 meters behind Hilda's back.

Splashing the water on the surface of the ground, I twisted my body like a drifting racing car--

Focusing on the lower half of Hilda's body which was more toned then I imagined.

"Riko! Aria! --Shoot!"

Borrowing the momentum from my body twisting, I intend to use the single-handed version of 'Slash'--spiraling my entire body.

Now, it's time for OFG to take center stage--I raised my right hand, which was fitted with the 'Python'[2] glove over my head.

--Bang Bang! Bang!--

--Aria, and Riko--

At the instant both of them fired the three bullets.

Everything around me turned into slow motion--as if taken from a highly sensitive video camera.

The Purified Silver Bullet is a bullet made of pure silver.

Silver carries less weight than lead of the same size, it would be unable to fully withstand the explosive pressure from the gunpowder when fired from the gun.

As such, the silver bullet fired from Riko's Beretta should travel slower than the speed of sound--

--Shick... Shick.... Shick--

Her bullet, almost matching the sonic speed of the .45 ACP bullets fired by Aria, hit Hilda at the same time.

"--!"

The flashes from the 3 shots turning Hilda into a silhouette--

Although the bullets penetrated below her right chest, lower abdomen and right leg, she was still standing at the same spot.

It looks like she intends to rely on the Demonic Entrail in her left leg to salvage the situation.

--At this time, the firing sounds from the three guns reached my ear at the speed of sound--

I can see Riko's silver bullet which has penetrated Hilda's right leg flying in my direction.

Good, now it's my turn.

Shifting my body to dodge the two bullets from Aria at the very last moment--

--zzzzzz--!

Using two fingers on my right hand, clipping on to the silver bullet fired by Riko.

The TNK fibre on 'Python' was generating massive amount of sparks.

The sparks, made it seems as if I was holding a dazzling ball of fire in my hand.

(--'Slingshot'--!)

I didn't allow the bullet to pass through my fingers.

Instead, with the premise of maintaining the speed of the bullet as much as possible, I changed its vector.

In my fight with Watson, I changed it by 30 degrees.

If 30 degrees is achievable--

Then 60 degrees, 90 degrees--

(--Even if it's 180 degrees, it can be done!)

The bullet followed suit as I twisted my body 180 degrees--then, I released my fingers--

--Bam--!!

Following a perfect trajectory, the bullet struck the left leg of Hilda from behind.

--Not even 0.1 seconds has passed since the shots were first fired.

The time it took the three bullets to hit the four vitals was faster than Hilda's speed of regeneration....

"....."

Hit by four shots, Hilda's steps came to a abrupt stop.

Then she turned her head to look behind, to see me still in the action of releasing the bullet.

--Her face was filled with disbelief.

Yes, you can't believe it.

You actually lost to humans whom you've stepped on--not even in your dreams have you imagined such a thing happening.

But now, this has become a fact.

How does it feel, vampire of realism?

"Des teapta-te roma ne..... din somnul cel de moarte...."

Is this, a poem....? Hilda was speaking in Romanian...

Maybe a curse... it's like reading a poem.

"In care te-ada ncira..... barbari...dc....ti...ra...ni"

Following that, Hilda knelt on the ground... her body leaning forward slightly.

Finally, she lowered her head in the rain--

And no longer made any sound.

Darkness of Grenada. Dracula Hilda--

Is no more.

Father and daughter, died in the hands of the same 3-man team.

".....Riko...."

Brought back to reality by the nervous tone of Aria's voice, I saw Riko leaning on Aria's shoulder with her head lowered.

I rushed to their side, and dragged Riko over to where she had pointed... Near the flowers beside Hilda's coffin.

Then I let her sit on the ground with her back resting on the coffin--

"....This is great, we succeeded....! Really, the both of you, should be happy..."

Seeing the worry on our faces, she forced out a smile.

But the smile couldn't hide the fact her body condition was spent.

Hilda mentioned--the earring contained enough poison to kill 10 people.

7 minutes has passed since the earring blew up.

(Gotta get her to a Hospital quickly...!)

But getting down the Sky Tree, would take at least 5 minutes.

Maybe Aria also realised... this, she just quietly kept herself at Riko's side.

"Ki-kun, Aria, don't be sad. Riko... feels very good inside now."

.....Riko....

"Riko... Riko has given everything for the fight... Giving everything... such matters, I have.... been through so many times... Since when, I began to fear death... Heheh..."

Riko....!

"Actually, I understood quite some time ago... why I didn't want to die... it's because... Ki-kun...I've met Ki-kun..."

With tears brimming in her eyes, Riko forced an expression of happiness and reached out with her trembling hand...

As for me, except for holding her hand, I couldn't do anything else--

And att this moment. --Flash--!

The lightning was coming nearer and nearer, causing Aria to show increasing alarm.

Riko eyes widened into circles, as she stared in astonishment.

Not because of the thunder, but something behind me--

She was staring right at the place where Hilda had fallen.

".....?"

I turned my head to take a look....

....'sssssssss'....

As the roar of the thunder faded, a silhouette of a person stood up, holding the trident--

"Hohoho--how are you feeling, Fourth?"

--Hilda....!

Wh... what the hell is going on?

The penetration wounds on her lower right chest and lower abdomen were completely healed.

The penetration wounds on both legs caused by the silver bullet were healing very slowly, but... they were without a doubt gradually closing.

"Why....?! We definitely hit all 4 Demon Entrails...!"

Aria straightened her body, gnashing her teeth at the immortal Dracula Hilda.

"Ah, not bad, you have such delightful expressions on your faces, especially--Riko. It's such a pity, since you were even prepared to give up your life for this fight.... Well, as you can see, I'm as good as new. So, what are your feelings now? Hohoho, it's too late for regrets, I'm going to skewer all of you together, that'll definitely be interesting."

Hilda covered her mouth with the back of her hand as she laughed.

Then she raised the trident, waving it in the direction of the storm clouds.

"Originally the places where my Demon Entrails were located did not have any weird appearance, but unexpectedly, these digusting eyeball diagrams were marked onto them sometime after. So--not even letting my father know--I underwent surgery to change the positions of my Demon Entrails, hohoho, wo--hohohohoho!"

In the midst of the ear-splitting laughter that was approaching ultrasound, the bats that had gathered at the floor below us swarmed up.

Behind Hilda, was a mad scene of torrential rain and criss-crossing lightning.

"--Take a guess, where are my Demon Entrails?"

In the roar of thunder, Hilda puffed out her chest while wearing only her purple underwear.

"Actually, I don't even know myself, it was intentional. Because if I knew, I might divulge the information to another person. Since the scars of the operation have completely vanished, and I--have silenced the surgeon. The answer is forever buried in the dark, and no one knows."

.....!

No wonder... she had the guts to brazenly show off her thighs from the very beginning.


I finally understood--

The weird feeling I had earlier, was due to the fact she "didn't hide her eyeball diagrams".

When Riko shredded her clothes, and she used her electricity to force Riko to back off--even with all 4 of the weak points revealed, she didn't show the slightest trace of worry.

She wasn't afraid if anyone saw.

Because under the eyeball diagrams, there were no Demon Entrails at all--

"Ahhh, the weather is simply too pleasant."

Kaboom...

Hilda appeared to be enjoying the sound of thunder which was very close.

Aria began to cringe--and Riko, was simply staring contemptuously at Hilda.

"Fourth, 121 years ago, at the incomplete Eiffel Tower--my father fought with your great grandfather--Arsene Lupin. It's such a coincidence that right now, the progenies of both sides are fighting on this incomplete tower..... Come to think of it, this tower isn't too bad, it's tall enough, so I like it very much, It's just that I never thought that the builders of the tallest tower in the world today will be the Oriental monkies."

Hilda gazed lovingly at a cluster of storm clouds.

"I have constantly been waiting for such fine weather, which is why, I even called Watson out tonight. Now, allow me to tell you... why the Dracula clan prefers to fight on the top of towers during nights with thunderstorm...."

Finished speaking, Hilda lifted her head to look at the clouds--

As lightning drew a path across the sky,she raised the trident high above her head.

"--!"

The metal spear became a lightning rod, shining white rays of light from thick dark clouds focusing on its body--

KAKA--BOOM....!

With the violent explosion of thunder, everything was enveloped in a flash of light.

"Kyaaaaaaaa!"

Aria screamed out in total panic.

"--!"

I hurriedly raised both arms to shield my face. After a while, I tried to open my eyes....

In front of me, the rain drops had been evaporated into steam by high temperature, creating a white mist.

As the steam dissipated into the darkness, it enhanced a supernatural scene from another world.

"--This is the third time throughout my life, that I have transformed into the Third stage,

On the other side of the white fog--

Hilda was standing there, looking pleased.

The electricity covering her body was not golden in colour like before.

The electricity was bluish-white in colour, and appeared to be extremely strong, it's as though if you go anywhere near her, you will be reduced to nothing more than black coals.

All that's left on her body were her underwear, heels, and torn and tattered tights which does not conduct electricity. The ribbons on her hair has long been reduced to ashes--her long golden hair waving savagely in the violent wind

This is practically...a demon.

It sure as hell doesn't look like it belongs to this world....!

"My father was cursed by the Witch of the Sand-- and couldn't transform into his third form, he could only fight all of you in his second form. I hate the second form which causes the body to hideously expand, so I skipped it and directly entered the third form. All right, enough chatter, let's start playing."

The bluish-white lightning was jumping non-stop all over the trident and Hilda's body.

With a bang, she rested the trident on the ground--

The lightning skimmed across the concrete surface, causing spiderweb-like cracks.

"If we say the first form takes after a human, and the second form takes after a demon--then the third form, takes after God. This is a miracle made into a reality by the Dracula Clan who are able to manipulate electricity and possesses unlimited regeneration. Yes, lightning itself is a miracle, and I was born with the ability to conduct electricity with ease. This is a sign of a God who can create lightning, and proof that I am destined to become close to God."

Clack-'zzzzz'.... Clack-'zzzzz'.... Hilda slowly got nearer walking on her heels.

As she pointed her trident, it generated a loud booming sound like a mortar being fired, damaging a corner of the coffin.

Inside the coffin--thick plates of copper were twisted into a heap.

Such... such terrifying power, it's even more extreme as compared to her father.

"--So, I no longer require electricity from humans! Wohohohoho! Come, take a good look! Show me your fear and your tears! Beg for my forgiveness!"

With her sadistic nature surging forth, Hilda, in order to make us experience terror--

Clang! Clang!

She bent a steel support column at the edge of the Second Observation Deck by striking it with the trident.

--Making use of this opportunity, I confirmed the condition of Aria and Riko.

Aria--not good.

Although from her eyes I could see she hasn't lost the will to fight, but the thunderclap just now has caused her to completely cower in fear.

Riko.... can no longer fight.

Besides leaning limply against the coffin on her back and staring at Hilda, she couldn't do anything else.

"--Riko, no, Aria, lend me your sword."

As the only one who could still fight, I drew one of the twin Kodachi from Riko's back.

As there was no way to approach Hilda, whose body is surrounded by electricity--

"Hilda!"

I could only throw out the sword like a dart, aiming for her foot which was on the edge of the Second Observation Deck.

Swoosh--!

The spinning blade cut into Hilda's Achilles.

".....!"

But it was ineffective, as the wound vanished without a trace.

I had hoped she would have fallen off the tower.... but there was no reaction at all.

A bolt of lightning flashed by--Hilda lifted her face--

Showing her fangs, she started to smile.

"I had initially planned to turn Aria into a specimen--sorry, it isn't possible now."

Crackle... Crackle....

As Hilda raised the trident high up, bluish-white lightning started to surge at the tip.

"In my third form--anything i touch, will be reduced to ashes--"

Ball lightning....!

A spherical ball of lightning started to form at the tip of the trident.

No.... not right, the colour isn't right.

This mass of ball lightning was emitting a dazzling deep blue light, and it seems the voltage is extremely high.

Even the form is different.

Overflowing with energy, it was emitting light in an unsteady manner, rather than calling it a ball, it's more like a group of stars.

Even though we didn't come into direct contact with it, but the various types of metals on our bodies--watches, buttons, and the cellphones in our pockets all started to release very weak electrical currents.

"This will be a reward to all of you for lasting so long against me. The secret art of the Dracula clan--'Lightning Star', I'll be using it to reduce all of you into coals, then I'll skewer it into a stick and present it to my father as a gift."

....What a tasteless gift.

Holding back my tongue, I saw that Hilda was increasing the size of the ball lightning with each passing second.

Since this is the case--

The only thing I can do now...is kamikaze.

With my body in Hysteria mode, I will charge into Hilda at full strength, and in exchange for being reduced to coal by her lightning--push her off the tower. Really hot-blooded stuff.

This is...the only way. What a pity.

--No matter what, I must protect Aria and Riko.

This is the Hysteria mode...no, this is my duty as a man.

I silently drew out the last kodachi as a show of force.

Just when I was about to step onto the coffin Hilda was standing on, shielding the two girls behind me--

"The persistence of human life, should be beautified with flowers... That was what my mother, said..."

Riko's voice came behind me.

(....?)

I tilted the katana to its side, so that the shiny reflective surface of the blade showed Riko's reflection.

Riko was hugging a large bouquet of flowers which was originally placed around the coffin.

They were sunflowers, most suited for the cheerful and bubbly Riko.

"So... Hilda, let me give you, this bouquet of flowers as a farewell..."

Hilda turned her gaze onto Riko behind me.

"Hoho.. to think Fourth still has such elegance, but please permit me to refuse. I hate sunflowers... it has such a disgusting appearance. I think you know as well, I like dark places the best."

"Hoho.... Then for you who likes the dark, let me give you a Japanese idiom--'The shadow under the lamp'[3]..... No matter what may appear beside one's feet... normally, one would not be aware of it."

The blade reflected the pleased smile on Riko.

She slowly began removing sunflowers from the bouquet.

"This thing can't be used too near and not too far, it requires the optimum distance..."

Peeking out from the bouquet of flowers, was part of a gun's body--

--Winchester M1887.

"Shotgun...."

Beside Riko, Aria's eyes widened into circles.

....So that's it....!

"Riko, you're--a genius!"

I threw myself to the side of the coffin and flattened my body on the ground. With my 'disappearance', Hilda found herself staring down the business end of the gun--

Immediately drawing in a breath of cold air.

"Hoho, this is a really suitable angle, Hilda, you're done for..."

Aria supported Riko's trembling arm--

--BAM!!!

The ear-splitting sound of the gunshot reverberated throughout the Second Observation Deck.

Different from a normal gun or sniper rifle which shoots out only 1 round, the shotgun shell--

--'Pa'!

Spread outwards into countless little pellets.

Using my eyes in Hysteria mode I captured their numbers---more than a hundred, all micro-sized soft metal pellets.

--'Pa pa pa pa'--!!!

"--Waahhhh!"

Covering a huge area of effect, none of the pellets missed their mark, hitting all parts of Hilda's body.

That's right, using the shotgun--

We can attack her entire body, not needing to care where the Demon Entrails are!

"Ahhhh... Guuhhh... Guhhhh...!"

Struck by numerous pellets, Hilda stumbled and staggered onto one knee.

At the same time, the blue-coloured 'Lightning Star' melted back into the spear--'sssssssss'!

The electric currents flowed through Hilda's body, right to below her feet.

"---Kyaaaaaaa---"

In an instant, flames consumed Hilda's entire body.

Normally, even if the skin was burnt, the wounds would have healed instantly, but now...

Hilda was being incinerated by the high voltage electricity she was controlling.

(...The unlimited regeneration has vanished...)

So were all four Demon Entrails pierced by the shotgun pellets?!

--Arghhhh....!

Hilda screamed in extreme agony, then she fell off the black coffin.

"Argh....! This.... this is a nightmare... a nightmare.... Im.. impossible...! I am a true vampire, to be defeated by these people.... impossible...!"

Hilda has lost her wings, and couldn't turn into a shadow as well--

She was wriggling on the ground constantly, trying to get away from our side.

But the flames have obscured her ability to tell direction, so in the end she was simply stuck in the same spot.

Aria had taken out handcuffs in order to arrest Hilda... But soon, she realised she was unable to do anything to her.

It's the same for me as well.

The on-going scene was becoming too gruesome. I tried to help Hilda, but the huge flames prevented me for getting any closer.

"Hilda... Not there, don't go over!"

I yelled loudly at Hilda, as she moved towards the edge of the observation deck--

I don't know if she heard me while being burnt.

Struggling in pain, Hilda's palm finally slipped carelessly from the edge--

"Ahhh..."

From the flames, came the final cry--

".....!"

Not bearing to watch, I averted my gaze, Hilda's distancing cries were like a stabbing pain in my eardrums.

The sound fell below 450m, and then below... Impact...

...Then...

Everything was quiet.

The only sound carried to our ears, was the pitter patter of rain hitting our bodies.

(Hilda....)

Although a wicked woman, she did live her life to the fullest, a proud and beautiful adversary....

Just that her ending was too tragic.

Return to silence. Return to the darkness--where the bats rest.

"Ki-kun...."

It was Riko mumbling softly.

"It was fortunate you told me not to use the shotgun just now... If it was used, Riko.... would have only aimed for Hilda's body and legs--and we would have lost. Then, she would have taken the shotgun, and everything would be finished..."

Cradling the gun in the rain, Riko looked upwards at the sky.

"....This time, Riko... has turned back, to the real Riko..."

Her hollow pupils have lost focus.

"Defeating Vlad and Hilda, regaining my... freedom. But in the end, I still couldn't defeat Ki-kun and Aria... heheh... not only that, we even fought side by side..."

Riko's face was still full of delight...

I knelt on one knee at her side, hugging her by the shoulders.

"Okay.... that's enough Riko. The 'real you' changes as time changes. Right now, you are not alone. The Riko with companions to fight side by side with--that is the real Riko right now."

"Ki-kun..."

"Yes, Riko. Helping others is much more difficult than defeating others."

In the midst of a thunderclap receding, Aria started to help Riko up.

"This is why--I must save you."

She threw a look at me, and we both helped Riko to her feet.

"--Let's go Riko, hold on!"

We started walking down the stairs.

More than 10 minutes has passed since the earring exploded, and Riko was no longer responding to our voices--

But even so, we still continued calling out her name.


Translator's Notes and References[edit]

  1. NTR stands for Netorare. It's not a family-oriented word so I won't go into details. Simply put, it's a scenario where your lover is taken by another person. Riko uses the term here probably because of all the Galgames/Erogames she plays.
  2. The 'Python' glove is made by Hiraga Aya at the request of Kinji in Vol 8. It's basically made up of TNK (Tactile Nano Kevlar). He doesn't have enough money to pay for both gloves, so he's using only 1 glove for now.
  3. This basically means that a person is unaware of something happening very close to him/her. Anyone who knows the exact Japanese Idiom is welcome to contribute.