OmaeGotoki: Volume 3 Interlude 1 - Because Girl 𝛽 Rejects Contradiction
As soon as she falls asleep, the nightmare comes again.
It feels uncomfortably, overpoweringly real, recreating even the air of that horrible time.
The eyes are chasing Sara.
Her beloved brothers Ed and Johnny sacrifice themselves to save her, and before her very eyes they’re warped into those horrible masses of flesh.
The eyes still chase her, refusing her escape.
In front of her is that mass of things, behind her is a wall.
Touching them means death.
They’ll crawl inside her, multiply her body parts, and finally she’ll become a mass of countless heads and limbs just like everyone else.
“Hahh… gaha… ah… ahh… Ed, Johnny… I’m so sorry, su… Even after all you did for me, I’ll be joinin’ you soon, su…”
Sara gives up.
The eyes show no mercy, not even to a helpless ten-year-old girl.
They roll forth en masse, brushing up against her skin and slipping inside her body.
“No… no… Ahhh… I don’t… wanna die, su…!”
Nothing changes, though, as the eyes continue to flood inside her. She frantically claws at the wall behind her, but the cold stone doesn’t give.
“Aughh… uah… hugh… g-gross… n-no, I don’t, want… I don’t wanna be a monster…!”
Her nails split, fresh blood glistening at her fingertips.
Her legs multiply.
Her body bloats.
Just as she thinks she’s about to vomit, ripe somethings all too similar to internal organs spill out of her mouth.
Unable to change anything, unable to save even herself, she turns into the same horrifying mass as her brothers.
“St-stop… ugh, ogh, guh… gwegh, fgh, gh, gugh… ogh, ngheeeeeh…!!”
She bolts upright in bed, screaming.
“Hahh… hahh… hahh…”
Her shoulders heave with every breath, drenched in sweat, golden hair clinging to her cheeks.
“Uu… ahh… uaahh... !”
She saw a nightmare that was more than a nightmare. Most of it she’d experienced herself --- not a dream but a memory. Every time she thinks of it she’s unable to do anything but put her face in her hands, shoulders trembling, and weep.
---The people closest to her died, and she alone was left alive.
The grief and guilt fill her chest, proving more than she can bear.
Seeing that, the blue-skinned woman at her side pulls Sara into her chest.
Neigass of the Three Demon Generals.
She was looking into the Church’s secret plans and the Origin Cores, but unable to find anything at any of the Kingdom’s scattered research labs she entered the Capital itself. Halfway through her investigation she stumbled across Sara being chased by those eyes and saved the girl’s life. Cutting off her search, she fled the Capital with Sara, and running into Gadio on the way out she entrusted him with a message for Flum. Already several days have passed since then.
Currently, the two of them are hiding out in an abandoned cottage in the mountains some distance away.
“There there, don’t worry. They can’t get to you here.”
The eyes stopped their pursuit the second they left the Capital.
“Even if someone tries to hurt you, I promise I’ll protect you.”
When they first met Sara wasn’t even willing to listen to Neigass, but now she wraps her arms around Neigass’ back and buries her face in her chest.
She still doesn’t trust her yet --- but after being betrayed by the Church and separated from Flum and her friends, Neigass is the only person she can rely on.
“Uu… uuuuuu… Why did everyone… why’d things hafta turn out this way, su…!?”
“It’s not your fault, Sara-chan.”
Neigass wordlessly strokes Sara’s hair. She could say that it’s the Church’s fault, but Sara, Ed, and Johnny are all members of the Church.
The organization itself isn’t to blame --- it’s their leaders and the leaders’ puppeteer, Origin.
“I was… I was excommunicated, wasn’t I, su?”
After crying for a little while longer, Sara asks Neigass in an even more depressed tone than before.
“From what I’ve heard, I think so.”
The Church branded her as a heretic, making it so that she could never return to the Capital. They’ve probably made her out to be a real monster by now. If they ever find her she’ll probably be publicly executed without even being given a chance to defend herself.
“I listened to their voices on the wind, though, and it sounds like there are a lot of people even in the Church who’re very worried about you.”
“It sounds like there are a lot of people who can’t accept the Church’s judgement… no, it’s because there’s no reason for you to be punished like this that people are starting to distrust the Church. Don’t worry, I’m sure they’ll clear your name and you’ll be able to go back soon.”
Relaxed by Neigass’ relaxing words and comforting warmth, Sara blissfully narrows her eyes and starts to doze off again.
Suddenly remembering something, Sara’s eyes flit open and she looks up at Neigass from within her cleavage.
“Hm? What’s wrong?”
Neigass smiles down at her.
“Why’re you bein’ so nice to me, su? I’m with the Church an’ I kinda hate demons, su...”
“Isn’t it only natural to help a cute little damsel in distress?”
“Whenever I wake up from a bad dream you give me a hug like this, su… Whenever I remember back then an’ start cryin’ and flailin’ you always comfort me with a smile, su. I don’t think just anyone would do that, su.”
Neigass would be lying if she said she didn’t have another reason. She doesn’t want to admit it, but there’s a second pertinent reason why she came to the Capital.
“Are you hidin’ somethin’, Neigass, su?”
Sara looks straight up at Neigass with her big, pure eyes. Since she’s really just curious, Neigass feels as though it’d be dishonest of her to not tell her.
“I’m about to say something a little strange, but don’t hate me, okay?”
“Is it somethin’ that bad, su?”
She can’t just say ‘yes’ if asked so frankly, but at the same time she’d feel guilty if she said ‘no’.
“...When we first met in that cave outside Enchide, I called you cute, didn’t I?”
“Come to think of it, you did, su.”
“W-Well, I was thinking that if I came to the Capital I might just get to see you again, so…”
“...Eh? Y-You wanted to see me, su?”
“T-That’s only half of it! I really did want to expose the Church’s secrets… wait, why’re you running away? Come back!”
Sara starts rapidly edging away from Neigass.
“So that’s why you saved me, su!?”
“Of course not! I really would’ve saved anyone in that same situation, I swear!”
“Well… I guess I can trust you there, su…”
Neigass’ kindness towards her isn’t fuelled by fishy ulterior motives alone --- Sara knows that better than anyone else. If her kindness was just a front Sara would’ve surely been suspicious.
“Now do you understand why I didn’t know what to tell you?”
“Uu… I don’t know how to reply, su. But that’s it, right, su? You’re not hidin’ anythin’ else, are you, su?”
“Why aren’t you answerin’, su!?”
“Well… Sara-chan, you call Flum ‘oneesan’, right?”
“Yeah, su… But you’re a demon, an’... I dunno what to think about you, su…”
“Since you seem to be opening up to me a little more, though, w-why don’t you call me ‘Neigass-oneesan’...?”
Neigass’ breathing grows a little rough, a faint blush appearing on her cheeks. Her expression strikes Sara as somehow perverted.
“It feels kinda wrong, su! I’m stickin’ with just Neigass, su!”
“Aww…! But that’s so boring! C’mon, just try it, pleeease!”
Neigass starts whining like a child throwing a tantrum.
Sara can feel her mental image of the ‘horrifying, murderous’ demons crumble away.
After a moment Neigass resorts to simply pouting, but with a small “Ah!” her face turns grim and she starts muttering something to herself.
“...No, wait a second. If she’s using just my name, doesn’t that mean she thinks we’re really close…? ‘Oneesan’ feels a little idolizing, but if she’s just calling me ‘Neigass’ then it’s like we’re really close… like she’s giving me a chance… I can live with that…!”
Utterly disgusted, Sara quickly puts some more distance between them, heading for the cabin’s door.
“I think I’ll go it alone, su.”
Neigass quickly gets up off the bed, frantically glomping onto Sara from behind.
“Lemme go, su! I don’t wanna go anywhere alone with a pervert, su!”
“I’m sorry! I went maybe a little too far and I’m sorry, just don’t leave me~!”
“The fact that you think that’s just ‘a little’ too far is really worryin’, su!!”
“Okay, I get it! Just ‘Neigass’ is fine, and I promise I won’t have any more weird fantasies about what you call me!”
“That’s not really encouragin’, but… I guess I can trust you for now, su.”
Having succeeded in stopping Sara, Neigass lets out a sigh of relief.
The two of them return to the bed, and this time Sara sits in Neigass’s lap, using her breasts as a headrest.
“After all that, I completely forgot about that dream, su…”
“See? Just as planned.”
“It’s not good to lie, su!”
Sara pinches Neigass’ thigh.
“...I guess if I can talk to you this casually, though, that means I trust you, su. I really am simple, huh, su… I hated you demons up until just a little while ago, su…”
Sara doesn’t trust Neigass just because she’s nice, though.
Demons --- including, of course, Neigass --- can fly. If they wanted to, they could effortlessly pass right over the border and go anywhere in the Kingdom they pleased.
If they felt like it they could level the Capital anytime, su…
The demons haven’t done so, however. That alone is enough to debase the Kingdom’s cultivated image of the demons as human-slaughtering fiends.
“I hope everyone in the Kingdom could become like you, Sara-chan.”
“Since there’re people like you who abduct little girls with weird ulterior motives, I can’t really see that happenin’, su.”
“Ouch… You’re surprisingly sharp-tongued.”
“Only to some people, su.”
“Does this mean you think I’m special?”
“Not in a good way, su.”
Neigass is clearly elated. If not even verbal abuse can stop her, she’s truly invincible.
A moment later, however, her expression clouds.
“I suppose I can’t say that all demons are good, though… It’s not like I know them all personally. Maybe there are even some demons out there who do kill humans…”
“Y’mean there’re some suspicious people out there, su?”
“I hope not, but… The fact that Origin’s power is leaking out is enough reason to be worried.”
“...I’m planning on continuing looking into the Church’s research after this, Sara-chan. I can’t just return to the Demon Lord’s Castle empty-handed, after all.”
“Really, su? I…”
“I can take you someplace safe if you’d like --- though given your situation it’d have to be somewhere outside the Church of Origin’s reach.”
“The Church’s got eyes all over the Kingdom, though, su.”
“Yes, and that’s why it’d have to be somewhere in the Demon Realm.”
“So I’d be all alone an’ surrounded by demons, su…?”
“I can’t guarantee they’ll be happy to see you, but they certainly won’t treat you badly. We don’t hate humans, and we’re quite a warm and friendly people overall.”
Neigass’ words are the truth. They wouldn’t fear her or regard her as an enemy, and especially since she’s only a child they’d probably treat her quite well.
Even if Sara is fine with Neigass, however, it’s not as though all her deep-rooted resentment of the demons is gone.
“If you don’t want to do that, you could always come along with me. I’ll probably end up butting heads with the Church and maybe even run into more of those monstrosities, and it’d be a lot more dangerous than waiting in the Demon Realm, but---”
“I… All I can do is cast healin’ magic, su. I’m not all that strong, su. I’d probably just slow you down if I went with you, su…”
“Oh, don’t worry about that, just seeing your cute little face is enough to inspire me! Cuteness is justice, after all!”
“...An’ that’s what I’m worried ‘bout most, su.”
Neigass had intended that as a joke, just a little something to help ease Sara’s doubts… mostly. She was maybe half serious.
“It would be a great relief to have a healer with me, though. If you did decide to come with me, I’d welcome you from the bottom of my heart.”
Those are Neigass’ true feelings --- and if she’s been invited, there’s no reason for Sara to turn her down.
“I guess… I guess I can tag along with you, su. It’s not like I don’t wanna know what the Church’s really up to, su.”
“YESS!! A journey with just the two of us…! Yay!!”
“But! No sayin’ weird stuff, okay, su? If you try anythin’ weird I’ll seriously punch you, su!!”
“Oh, that might be difficult. When it comes to cute things I can’t show any self-restraint. I am a demon, after all.”
“Bein’ a demon’s got nothin’ to do with it, su! As long as you don’t do anythin’ like that, though, I guess it’ll be… mgh!?”
Pulling Sara close, Neigass buries Sara’s face in her ample bosom.
“I know it’s a bit of a bad habit of mine, but it’s your fault for being so cute…!”
Sara flails around for a moment, but demons are stronger than humans both magically and physically.
After a moment Sara gives up, entrusting her body to Neigass. Her skin might be blue but she’s incredibly soft and warm, and above all she smells almost too good.
Sara doesn’t want to admit it herself, but even if only when enveloped by Neigass’ warmth she can forget the tragedy in the Capital. She can only barely remember the destruction of her home eight years ago, and as such nearly all her pain, her suffering, all the scars on her heart were left by none other than the Church when they killed Ed and Johnny.
Maybe Neigass saved not only Sara’s body but her heart and soul as well.
Maybe she really doesn’t hate demons as much anymore.
Finally coming up from Neigass’ cleavage for air, Sara looks Neigass straight in the eyes.
“Hahh… What’d I just say about stuff like this, su? I can’t even imagine what you’ll try next, su…”
“Don’t worry, I’ll do my best to get you used to it little by little.”
“Don’t even try it, su! But, I-I guess… I’ll be countin’ on you, Neigass, su.”
Even as Sara puffs out her cheeks in protest, she properly thanks Neigass. The Church --- no, her ‘mother’ Ellen taught her to always mind her manners, after all.
“Hmhm, and I’ll be counting on you, Sara-chan.”
The places they were born, the colour of their eyes, even their skin is different.
That doesn’t change the warmth that they feel from each other’s bodies, however.
I guess humans an’ demons aren’t that different, are they, su…?
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