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Chapter 153 – Future of the Two as One -First Part-

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Author: Hidsuki Shihou Original Source: Syosetu Word Count: 3411 characters
Translator: PunishedLyly English Source: Re:Library Word Count: 1613 words
Editor(s): Fire

When I closed my eyes to sleep, I was immediately transported to that white place. Isn’t this a bit too quick? I thought, but at the same time I felt Kotone calling me. Couldn’t she have given me more time to prepare?

Seeing the small Kotone looking like a manifestation of anger in front of me, I don’t think I really can ask for more time.

“Mister.”
“Yep.”

Kotone has her arms crossed, looking as angry as she can be, meanwhile I’m just standing like normal. I have no idea what exactly she’s angry about. After all, I’ve done so many things that could’ve angered her. Which one is it?

“Do you know why I’m angry?”
“Nope.”

Hearing my honest reply, I feel her getting even angrier. I can’t look her in the eye. Is this what a frog being stared at by a snake feels like? While diving into a bit of escapism, I wait for her next words. I might just make things worse if I carelessly open my mouth, after all.

“First, you punched… no, knee-ed father.”

I knew it, I guess what I did to the person she loved was bad. I even made him bleed from his nose, after all. Personally, it felt really good, but it might have been an unforgivable act for Kotone. She even went as far as stopping me, something she rarely does at all.

“What are you going to do if you become a criminal!”
“Oh, that.”
“I don’t really care whatever happens to father at this point. He got his just desserts.”
“Then there shouldn’t be a problem with what I did.”
“Who told you to go for the kill when your initial plan was only to punch him!”

She’s absolutely right. I have nothing to refute. Kotone probably expected it to end with just one punch. That was my original intention too. However, because he blocked my first hit, I lost my rationality.

“Mister, are you really thinking about my future?”
“I’m mulling over it seriously, you know?”
“Then please don’t add being a murderer into my possible future paths!”
“You’re absolutely right.”

It’s a major mistake. I didn’t intend that to be on the list of possible futures, too. It’s the body’s fault for acting on its own. Though I can already imagine Kotone angrily saying, “So it’s also my fault?” so I’m not saying that out loud. I was undoubtedly the one on the driving wheel.

“To begin with, a singer? Of course, that shouldn’t be an option!”
“I don’t think that’s my fault.”
“No matter how you look at it, it is your fault! No normal person would think of a disastrous plan like that!”
“But the memories of the field trip…”
“Don’t but me. There were other things that could be done, weren’t there!?”

It’s all on me for thinking of that stupid plan while having not enough sleep. Since an old friend of mine was in trouble, I wanted to help out. Still, I probably shouldn’t have joined the event myself. Thanks to that, I got Sherry’s attention.

“Me, becoming a singer? There’s no way I can do that!”
“Don’t worry. You can get used to it with practice. I don’t want to do that either, though.”
“If it’s you, then I can see you just riding with the flow. That’s impossible for me. Singing in front of people is too embarrassing, I can’t do it.”

Due to Kotone’s influence, I also feel the same. The old me probably wouldn’t have been so affected by it. After all, I even went as far as to perform to a live audience with Isami and the gang. Still, Kotone’s sensibilities are different from mine. She’s the shy introvert type.

“Grandfather is even considering me as the next head of the house.”
“Isn’t that impossible now? With the stupid things I just did?”
“It’s true that the things you did were stupid. However, it’s the family who chooses their head. Public reputation is secondary, so the possibility still remains.”

C’mon, take your public reputation seriously. Someone like me who’d attack people on a whim should be completely unfit to be a family head. That would also disqualify Kotone as an extension, but I don’t think she really wants it.

“It’s the result of you fixing our family’s relationships. They might even be planning ways to bring you back to the house.”
“I don’t want to be a lady of high status.”
“In that case, do whatever you can to stop it. Stop considering the possibility of you disappearing.”
“That’s probably impossible. After all, the real Kotone is here right before me now.”
“I knew it, that did cause lasting negative effects.”

The first time I came to this place, I learned that the real Kotone was still alive. So isn’t it only natural for me to entertain the possibility of me vanishing?

“The thing I’m angriest about is how you’ve gained the resolve to disappear.”
“I’m just borrowing your body. Is it bad to want to return things to how it should be?”

It’s different from dying. I’m just going to show my thanks, give everything back to Kotone, and vanish. My future will be completely cut off, but I’m really grateful for Kotone for having extended my life.

“You might not have noticed, but the power balance between us has been slowly tilting to my favor.”
“So that’s why you can call out to me now.”

I’ve always thought that I had to live Kotone’s life in her place. That premise being destroyed must have caused our current power balance to shift. I’m not Kotone. So it’s only natural that the scales would tip towards the owner of the body, the real Kotone.

“That’s not all. While it was only temporary, there was a time when my consciousness was given priority over yours.”
“When?”
“That time singing at the Shimotsuki residence.”

Ah, was it that time when I immediately tried to run away after having to sing my original song as a consequence for forcing Kana to sing on stage? That really was uncharacteristic of me. I should have thrown the mic to someone else, sacrificing another person to take my place.

“Mister, do you plan on invalidating my resolve?”

From her angry look, her face turned into one of sadness. Even if you show me that kind of face, I don’t know what to do about it. Kotone doesn’t want me to disappear, but I want to give her life back to her. We’re like two parallel lines that will never intersect.

“I don’t intend to invalidate your feelings. Still, I’m already dead.”
“The same case applies to me. I’ve already died once.”
“But Kotone is still alive. Unlike me, you have a body. That’s why you should take priority, not me.”

Instead of someone who doesn’t even have his original body left, it would be better to return everything to the original Kotone. After passing everything on to Kotone, it wouldn’t be bad for me to be the observer this time to see how she grows. Seeing her interact with the twelve families and the rogues’ den would be fun.

“Mister, even if you pass everything to me like that’s some sort of good ending, that’s absolutely not the case. At the very least, I’m having you take full responsibility.”
“What, is there anything wrong about that?”
“Have some self-awareness of just how much chaos you’ve introduced to my social life and future!”

The social life part must be about the twelve families and the rogues den. The future, about being the next head and a singer, right? True, from the original Kotone’s perspective, these are people who she wouldn’t have associated with and career paths that she wouldn’t have even thought of. I’d have a headache if I was in her shoes.

“Besides. I have no plans on letting you vanish at all!”
“But isn’t the power balance in your favor now?”
“That’s true, but you won’t disappear so easily. After all, you’ve already started adapting to my body.”
“Really?”
“You’ve already developed a self-consciousness to live as a girl. And while it still hasn’t been a year since you’ve become me, it’s no exaggeration to say that Kotone’s body is already yours.”

I wasn’t really consciously thinking about how to live more like a girl, though. But I do take care to behave in a way that won’t sully Kotone’s reputation. I guess that still resulted in behaving more like a girl. Yeah, that doesn’t sound convincing to me.

“Hey, isn’t there any way for both of us to survive together? I mean, like split personalities?”
“It’s completely different in our case. With split personalities, both of those personalities still stem from a single consciousness. However, we are two actually different people. Our current situation is a result of our miraculous equilibrium and my own sheer force of will.”
“That’s amazing stuff you’re doing, honestly.”
“Fu, fu, fu! I can do anything when I put my mind into it!”

The small Kotone proudly puff’s out her small chest. Smiling at how adorable that was, she got mad at me. Sorry, my bad. A small apology did manage to pacify her, though.

“We can’t be together forever. It’s either one or the other. One of us disappearing cannot be changed.”

And so, we’re back to the main topic. Will it be me or Kotone who disappears? I feel like it’ll take some time for us to draw a final conclusion.



 

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