The crimson flames danced as the black smoke coiled around like a massive snake.
Standing amidst his family’s corpses and broken puppets,
“Ten… Did you do this?”
There was a slight quiver in Raishin’s voice as he faced his brother’s back.
“Did you… kill our father..?”
Tenzen didn’t turn to face him, but continued to look down upon their sister’s dead body and answered curtly.
“I did it.”
“They were hindering me.”
“I dissected her.”
“Why… Why would you…!?”
“It was necessary.”
He felt his head burning up.
Anger and grief. The two emotions were raging wildly inside him, churning inside and overtaking him like a ship lost in a storm.
On the other hand, perhaps this was a nightmare. He was screaming inside his head for all of this to not be real.
Still unclear over what was really happening, Raishin continued to holler out question after question.
“Why… What do you mean it was necessary!? Why would do that to Nadeshiko…!?”
He breathed in and spat out. His elder brother though, was completely devoid of emotion as he answered.
“To create god.”
The empty and vacant answer resounded inside Raishin’s heart.
To create god—
What was that?
What the hell was that…!?
Who was this person? This isn’t the brother I know.
I don’t get it. Nothing is making sense. I don’t understand, I don’t—!
His world was slowly tearing apart, and his vision was growing blur. Just as his heart sounded like it was about to rupture,
Within the harsh roar of the surging flames, there was a small groan.
Raishin came back to his sense, turning around.
Even now with his head split open, his father was still drawing breath, calling out to him.
Raishin ran over to his father without thinking, who was making gestures with his hands.
At his brother’s feet, what he had thought were remains of an automaton suddenly sprang to life, swinging a sword.
As his brother dodged, the puppet used the opening to fling the sword away and charge towards Raishin.
It was a female automaton that resembled his mother. The automaton took Raishin into an embrace, flying up into the sky.
“You must… live on!”
Was that something his father had really said, or did he hallucinate those words?
Holding on with a strength that a half-naked Raishin couldn’t struggle out of, the automaton brought Raishin outside of the estate.
Just as it set him down in the garden, it suddenly crumpled onto the ground like the string holding it up had been cut, where it crumbled to pieces.
With a whoosh, the flames shot up even higher as it completely consumed the estate.
As the fires burned on, Raishin wailed in despair in front of his house, which was falling apart in front of his eyes.
For the first time in his life, Raishin cursed his elder brother—
And cursed his own helplessness.