The enemy came. She swung the self-moving blade. Vibrations. Sound of churning entrails. The enemy came. She thrusted the self-moving blade. Vibrations. Sound of the enemy being severed. The enemy jumped. She stabbed the self-moving blade. Vibrations.
How many of them had it been already.
Rosé continually exterminated the fake Yuukis that came up to her with the chainsaw, and had become covered in fresh blackish-red blood and flesh. Her sense of time had paralyzed. She couldn’t even tell anymore whether she had been dancing here for ten minutes or an hour.
Her breathing was rough.
Her thoughts dulled by the stench of blood, the sacrilegious massacre, and the oscillations of the chainsaw.
‘The Princess doesn’t understand how we are living’
— What are you trying to say!
‘Your Highness, are you saying you would allot tax funds for that work alone?’
— You just wanted to get out of the extra work didn’t you!?
‘You don’t understand, Rosé!’
— At least listen to what I have to say!!
‘It must’ve been tough. You’ve worked hard’
“Damn you fakes!!”
Rosé ended up venting her anger about all that had happened to her on the enemies.
The enemy came. She swung the self-moving blade. Vibrations.
“This is all!!”
Sound of entrails being churned.
The enemy came. She thrusted the self-moving blade. Vibrations.
“Your fault that!!”
Sound of the enemy being severed.
The enemy jumped. She stabbed the self-moving blade. Vibrations.
“I can’t even die together with Yuuki-san!! Die — all of you! Just fucking die already!!”
Whether her ‘all of you’ meant the enemies or the society that surrounded her.
The princess in her macabre dance did not have the energy to tell them apart.
“Huff … huff …”
When finally the enemies were annihilated, her wild dance partner ceased its movements and returned to being a sword.
Rosé who had been dragged about fell down hard on the swamp of blood and flesh bits on the floor.
“This is the worst dance ever, never before and never again”
She steadied her breathing and looked over her surroundings.
It was horrible. The once neatly arranged pews were scattered about and the walls were painted with blood splatters. The holy vessels and the statues of saints were covered in blood and flesh, severed heads, arms and legs, torsos and entrails. Most of all, a sickening stench of death dominated the air.
Like a heretical ritual, muttered Rosé.
The princess who was supposed to be loved as the leader of the nation had, right at the feet of the heavens, made a mess of the cathedral who should rightly be the healing of the people, sitting atop a corpse with her whole body covered in blood. And she laughed.
“AH HA HA HA HA. Look at this! This is your beloved holy maiden, Princess Rosé!”
She picked up her blood drenched clothes by the hem and smiled maliciously.
“I suppose I should wear a red dress the next time I sit on the throne”
Then she sighed. … what am I doing.
She tried giving it her all but it only came to ruin.
Even when she lost her senses and decided to die she ended up being laughed at by her rival.
Was realizing my powerlessness and being stained in blood like this the culmination of my life?
Or did I live to for Glenn to manipulate as the demon queen and be abhorred for all eternity?
“Yuuki-san. What am I supposed to do?”
She daubed her fingertip in blood and wrote on the floor.
They were cryptic letters, unknown to Rosé.
But she would never forget the letters he taught her.
“I wanted to try my best before seeing you, but I’m already hopeless. Can I even go see you now? … will you hate a blood coated girl like this?”
She turned and talked to the letters, the words not reaching him.
And she wasn’t confident that she could hide her defilement like Arina.
— Surely he would start avoiding Rosé now …
“But I want to see you. I want to hear your voice. Otherwise, I …”
A strange sound rang.
It sounded like a chime, like a musical instrument. A sound she had never heard before.
Something vibrated. It was the E:ID phone she received from Arina.
Did it break, no, that witch probably did something again.
It was gratingly high pitched … will it please stop.
Trying to somehow stop it, Rosé touched the item.
[Ah, it connected! How long are you planning to go look for Mist!!]
“—— … eh”
It was Yuuki’s voice.
There was Yuuki’s voice coming from the magic item.
[I told you to go back if you couldn’t find her!]
It’s Yuuki’s voice–!!
[You’re not lost are you? I’ll take over already, you come back and watch the house, Arina!]
So this device talks to Yuuki?
Not a fake. She knew. This voice can’t be fake.
[… eh? Princess Rosé?]
“Yuuki-san … Yuuki-san!! Yuuki-san Yuuki-san Yuuki-san!!”
Unable to understand, Rosé frenetically called out Yuuki’s name. Misereable, sobbing and crying like a child, but it showed how desperate she was for him.
[Whoa, um, what’s wrong?]
“I, I did everything I could! I’m the princess after all! I promised Yuuki-san too! But, in the end, I cant …!”
“Nobody will listen to me! The consul acted like it’s not his problem, father scolded me, Maar, she said it was my fault! My fault that her mother died!!”
Rosé rambled and rambled at Yuuki.
She couldn’t stop it coming out anymore.
“I, what am I doing this for, who am I doing this for …! Yuuki-san … Yuuki-san … I”
Yuuki listened in silence, but after a while, he suddenly interrupted her.
[You worked hard. Good girl]
He said to her with a gentle, understanding voice.
The same gentle voice like the fake used.
[Princess Rosé. If you ever felt like running away, tell me any time. I’ll be on your side — if need be, come to my world]
“Yes, I, with you …”
[Are you sure you’ll be alright with that?]
The fake Yuuki tempted her with sweet words.
Giving her peace, no matter what shape it took.
But the real Yuuki didn’t.
He asked a question she was hard pressed to answer.
[If you turn your back now, I’m sure you’re going to regret it. I did, and have regretted it ever since]
As Rosé began to be at a loss for words, Yuuki started to tell his story.
[A long time ago, I, almost left Arina to die]
How could that invincible woman be pushed to the point of death?
[Because of how she was, when we were kids, she was bullied at school. When I transfe … moved to live nearby, when I met her, she had completely become the perfect image of a ‘bullied child’. It got on my nerves, you know, and when I realized it I was already covering for her. It was a brat’s childish sense of justice]
[But honestly, it was tiring. See, because I protected her, I also got the cold shoulder at school. It was suffocating … or rather, I honestly thought Arina was in the way]
[So what I did, I took my distance from her, a little bit at a time. That was what I did wrong]
[Arina was drenched in pharmaceuticals and left for several days. When I found her she was already on her dying breaths]
[It was one bad luck on another. Arina’s mom was away for work, the school was on summer vacation. Her classmates wanted to prank her a little and shut her inside a storehouse, but the adults who don’t know anything padlocked the storehouse. Covered in drugs in the hot room without anything to eat or drink, suffering. She spent about three days in that state. Now that I think back to it, she probably survived because she had the hero’s power. Normally, she should’ve died a long time before that]
[I noticed something was wrong and asked her classmates, then climbed into the storehouse. When I found her, she saw me, and said this:
— ‘I believed you’ll come for me’]
So Yuuki and Arina had that kind of trauma in their childhood.
It was an unexpected history, but Rosé said.
“There’s no reason Yuuki-san should feel responsible”
[No. Arina’s mom clearly said to me, ‘I’m counting on you’. I shirked it, so it was my responsibility]
“But even if that’s true. Didn’t you end up saving Arina?”
[No, I didn’t. I didn’t make it in time. The pharmaceuticals they drenched Arina with, solvents they said, they were a strong hallucinogenic. It turned Arina loopy. She would suddenly clutch her belly and laugh out loud while in class, she started praying to me like a god, and she made up an imaginary friend she called ‘Kaoru’. Her weirdness was sorted out one way or another after a month, but the brain damage was so severe nobody was sure when she would relapse]
— She’s totally not sorted out.
That might be the moment the phenomenon that would rock the world was born.
There’s still some question about Arina’s hero heritage, but she experienced something that horrid while having the power equal to one, eating into her body and mind. Was that where her divinely strong power and devilishly tenacious heart received its power from?
Having turned crazy, she made up an outer shell of a childhood friend Yuuki wanted, and hid inside of it. Therefore, all Yuuki knew was the ‘normal’ her.
Cheesy as it sounds, the only thing left that held her back was ‘love’.
If it weren’t for her beloved Yuuki, the world would’ve perished long ago.
[I turned my back on Arina. I went halfhearted on something I started and ran away from it. I’ve regretted it ever since. That’s why I can’t betray Arina]
[Princess Rosé. I’ve only known you for a little while, but I know how hard you must be working. So I’m sure that you’ll regret it if you ran away now]
Telling the story of his past, Yuuki gently chided Rosé.
… but Rosé’s feelings were somewhere else.
This is frustrating.
Arina and Yuuki were linked by a chain of madness.
It joined them together tightly, and could not be easily rent apart.
Rosé did not have that, she bit her lip.
Even though Rosé was willing to die if he wanted it.
Even though she always thought of him even when drowning in blood.
But he didn’t know any of that, and only loved the maddened Arina.
Loving her because she had gone mad, because she had been driven to madness.
— Like hell I would ignore something so frustrating …!
Rosé picked up a piece of dead flesh by her feet and asked
“If things keep going on like this, I’m going to go crazy too you know. It’s painful and heartbreaking you know. … why, things get so bad for me I can’t even tell you about it, you know?”
She then smiled and said this.
Almost as a joke, she easily, lightly said.
“If I do, will you take responsibility for me, too?”
[Yeah, alright. I’m used to weird girls]
A lynchpin clicked into place within Rosé, the sound of two points being tightly bound together.
Her heart leapt in joy.
Ah, now he will never betray me.
Even if she saw Rosé stained in blood, he will surely say,
[Let me take care of this]
Rosé understood the bewitching power of that line.
That’s just the kind of person he was.
Therefore, I will also live for his sake
I will live so that he will love me
[I’m wondering, aren’t you being too serious, Princess Rosé? Remember when we were walking in town today, you said, ‘I’ll put you in jail’? That made me surprised, even for a joke … can’t you be more like that?]
“Huhu♪ Alright, I can do that. Thank you very much. I’ll try doing my best. — by the way, Yuuki-san”
“Do you like red dresses?”
Red flames were rising. A conflagration.
A scorching hot wind wrapped Rosé and Arina.
“… Are you sure you’re okay with this?”
Arina asked Rosé.
After Rosé had finished talking with Yuuki, she came back right away.
She seemed to be having quite a difficulty this time, her face looked a little worn out.
“I really don’t care about it at all, but there’s something wrong with a Princess burning down a facility of the state religion”
After considering what to do with that mountain of corpses, Rosé proposed this to Arina.
[Let’s burn this down, all of it]
“‘Something wrong’ …?”
“That’s good then. It’s really touching to hear that from you”
“Is that sarcasm? The guards are going to come soon, what are you going to do?”
“Well, whatever. Let’s just say that a heretic trying to pull a martyr act started it, and I just happened to witness it. It’s a bit high-handed, but it’ll be alright, I’m the princess after all. People have great faith in me”
“Then there’s really no need to burn it down, is there?”
Rosé then turned her eyes on the rising flames.
“I’m drawing a line here. I’m thinking of converting to a new god”
“… ah, I see”
Arina had a guess about it.
She saw through Rosé’s intention right away and nodded.
“He’s a wonderful god, right”
“You can say that again”
Watching the flames rise, Arina and Rosé — the girls who were fated to become the Hero and the Demon Queen smiled the same smile.