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Interlude 3 – Rose Recollection

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Author: Sasaki Ichiro Original Source: Syosetu
Translator: Mado English Source: MadoSpicy TL
Editor(s): Liomad

Unknown stranger’s perspective

I met that boy during my part-time job at a local supermarket. I wonder if he’s a middle school student? Chestnut hair, pure white skin, and a neutral look with a slender body.

A pretty boy huh? That was my impression of him in my eyes.

Later on, I was informed that he already graduated from middle school long ago and he is currently aiming to get into a university for telecommunication. I couldn’t believe it.

“Things like my hair and height were caused by malnutrition.”

I was thinking that what he said in self-mockery was a joke at first. In these modern times, something like malnutrition should be impossible, but in some way or another I realized that it was the truth and was surprised later on.

Because that child had such a unique appearance, all the other co-workers got interested and talked to him. Though he replied to them warmly, he drew a cold line somewhere and vaguely gave off an unapproachable atmosphere. Gradually, the assertive co-workers who wanted to talk to him left, but he on the contrary wasn’t bothered to be alone, instead, he was whistling.

Well, except for me, I became interested in him all of a sudden. After lunch break, when it was time to return, I quickly went to address him.

“You really are a strange person.”

‘It’s just a waste of money.’ he said unwillingly as I persuaded him to eat at a fast food restaurant before he left. Then, he ordered the cheapest meal, he doesn’t have a lot of money. So, as we met face to face he said those words, and I tilted my head in puzzlement.

“…Is that so?”
“Yes. Almost everybody reads the atmosphere that I don’t want to be approached.”
“Hmmm, perhaps that’s true if you say it like that, it’s just that I’m kinda interested in you. There aren’t any young people who have a philosophic view like you around me.”
“You know the term ‘curiosity kills the cat’? Well, that term has its own merit, so I’ll give you my respect.”

And then, we continued the conversation without stopping. (Or perhaps I should say, it was in a pattern where I was asking him questions one-sidedly and he answered tiresomely.)

He lost both of his parents and was living alone. He worked 2 years ago in the supermarket through his guarantor. On holidays he studies for the university exam in the library. His hobby is playing net games.

“Heee, what a splendid otaku lifestyle~”
“Leave me alone. People on the net mutually remain anonymous, so there is no troublesome socializing, and it’s comfortable.”

The one who unreasonably invited him before he left and asked him to tell such a story is me so I am going to pay for the both of us, but as I was about to do so, he stubbornly refused to accept it even though it was only a small amount.

“I hate lending and borrowing. Let’s pay for our own shares.”
“But I don’t think this amount should warrant that. In the first place, I was the one who invited you here, and you must have borrowed like this before right?”
“You’re wrong.” He declared it with a cold tone. “In all cases, the one who is lending the money will dominate the other person mentally.”

And then at every opportunity, when we were returning from work, we enjoyed ourselves with idle chat and tea time (Well, perhaps the only one who enjoyed themselves was me, but it doesn’t mean he disliked the company).

Although considering his situation, he’s pretty poor. Each time I saw him it was coffee from a convenience store or sitting in a park while drinking canned juice.

After chatting like this several times, his private life was gradually revealed to me.

“Well, my family was very prosperous when I was born. My parents had a high social standing and they both loved me, but before I turned 10, they got into a fatal accident.

After that, it was like a blur. My kind grandparents and relatives whom I considered my own family joined forces, and together they took all my parents’ assets, using all kinds of reasons why they snatched away everything.

Then finally, one of them declared themselves my guardian. I was taken to my uncle’s family house where my eldest cousin lived. Well, when it comes to this, there are lots of these kinds of stories already, I was physically and mentally abused. When I turned 13 years old, my body suddenly stopped growing.

As you would expect I couldn’t endure it anymore, so I called the police and the school. But well… comparing a kid complaining to my uncle who had a high social standing, was renowned in his neighborhood, and was a government administrator, it was clear that they didn’t believe anything I said. And then their treatment towards me became way crueler.

The one who harmed me the most was my eldest cousin. When someone gets around the age of a teenager, they become interested in sex right? Well, because he took notice of my outward appearance, in addition to my mental and physical abuse, it reached a point where I was getting sexually abused.

Well, in a way I deserved to have my property and stuff taken away from me because of my ignorance, but I had to protect my remaining possessions and my life at least.

As I escaped from home and wandered aimlessly, I was picked up by a caseworker. Nowadays, these sorts of things like violence and abuse have become a big social problem, so I was taken to a shelter. Even now I still feel the scars.

Aah…it’s not like I’m thinking my own life is sorrowful or miserable, there are lots of people who’re born with incurable diseases, and there are still 7% of people in this world who have trouble finding water to drink.

Yes, I don’t particularly think my relatives and uncle are bad people either. In this world, there is no such thing as benevolence or selfless love. Humans only consider what brings convenience to themselves. Although that’s how humans act, I’m still hoping for some selflessness. Good grief, what a soft person I am.

Or more precisely… I wonder if there really are bad people and good people? The day until my parents died, I considered them to be good people. Even now if we take the perspective of other people, they’re good people.

That’s why you missed the mark when saying that I have a philosophic view. I am simply a coward.”

Shortly thereafter, he died in an unfortunate accident.

Not long afterward, the net game that he often played was also closed down. The company originally intended to operate it for 5 years, but it was losing popularity to a more recent net game, therefore they decided to shut it down, or so I read about it in a blog.

I don’t know where his funeral is being held nor do I know where he is buried.

That’s why, today, 1 year after the accident, I placed a bouquet of red roses, the flower which he said he liked, at the place of the accident. Then I joined my hands together and prayed.

“Seems you love flowers eh, especially rose flowers. Did you know? On a grape field to produce wine in France, people planted rose flowers. It was said that long ago, rose flowers made up the alarm warning that diseases were coming. Even though they are such frail things, they defend themselves with thorny scrubs, isn’t that lovable?”

He was a person like a rose flower.

I wonder if you know it. The meaning of the red rose in the language of flowers is ‘Passion’ and ‘Love’.

You had once said with your own words that you don’t believe in such a thing as love, but the truth is you wanted to believe in it right?

Although I won’t hear a reply anymore, I like these things about you.

Author Notes:

Did Hiyuki have an inconsistency in her behavior? There were many if I’m pointing all out, so I just display her base of thought just a bit: ‘I won’t steal other people’s lives,‘ I won’t steal other people’s fortune’, ‘I won’t snatch other people’s place’, these things are what Hiyuki considers her bottom line for humankind. Then again, humans are beings who carry out their actions based on what they consider beneficial for themselves; therefore she had no choice but to believe in them and conduct her own self-defense. However, the truth is she wants to believe in them, that contradiction itself was revealed in her train of thought when arguing against Collard.

So, the first time she played the game was when she was taken into the shelter. She disregards the tutorial and distributes her stat points by her own judgment.


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