The attack had come from Celty who had been waiting in the wings. With the handle of her scythe, she struck Seiji’s left hand hard, trying to get him to drop the scalpel. Although he had received such a fierce hit on his hand, he did not let go of the scalpel. Not only that, he was still intending to make for Mikado with the knife in the stance after being hit.
“An attack like that won’t be able to shatter my love!”
He was still thinking about advancing with the head girl in tow as he said those words that were clearly out of place in the situation.
As if he wanted to intimidate all the opponents before him, Seiji tightly gripped the knife in his hand and sharply swung it down to one side. Celty on seeing that, panicked and lashed out a second time, but—
“It won’t work!”
“Oi, just what’s this guy on?”
Kadota looked at Seiji with utter disbelief, but Seiji’s eyes kept their steadiness, and the pain hadn’t even caused him to so much as a quiver.
“It won’t work! It hurts, but I can ignore it! Celty and I…we don’t need any pain or sadness in or lives! So that’s why I don’t think the pain I feel now is really pain at all!”
“What are you talking about?!”
On hearing Mikado’s outburst, Celty raised her scythe, deciding to ‘sever’ the opponent’s wrist tendons.
—What’s wrong with this guy? I have to stop him quickly, or it’d be dangerous…is this his so-called display of love? What’s wrong with his values? Or should I say—the values humans have are actually different from mine? I don’t understand, I don’t understand I don’t understand I don’t understand—
As if she was trying to dissipate her fears, Celty raised her scythe slightly. And without her noticing, the two sides of the scythe had become very sharp, as though they’d been painstakingly filed. On seeing that, Mikado and the rest who had been surrounding them took a big step back.
So, in the moment Celty lowered her scythe in the direction of Seiji’s wrist; —
“Hold it aaaaaaaaahhhhhh!”
A sharp shriek had caused everyone around to stop moving.
Besides two people, who were Seiji and ‘her’.
The moment before the girl with scars on her neck could block Celty’s scythe—Seiji had already sensed her movements and had instead come forth to protect her. The scythe had stopped right in front of Seiji’s body, and hadn’t hurt anyone in the end.
Then, everyone turned to look in the direction of the girl, curiosity and surprise on their faces.
When Celty had raised her scythe and struck down towards Seiji, the one who had risked death to protect him—was the girl who looked like the ‘head’ and who called herself Celty. The way she’d screamed and defended Seiji like that was totally different from the docile appearance she’d kept before.
“Please stop! Seiji-san, Seiji-san is just a little strict, a little violent, and he’s different from other people, but he saved me! He saved me, saved me and Anri, and, besides…he has someone he likes. So…so you can’t…kill…him”
Her voice slowly began to quiver, and tears started streaming down her face, and she fell back into Seiji’s embrace.
—Could it be…could it be could it be…
So, the Dullahan realised.
—That’s not right. This isn’t ‘my head’—
Practically at the same time, Mikado had realised who she really was.
—This girl isn’t the Dullahan’s head—! She’s—
To Mikado’s question, which sounded more like something he was saying to himself, she began to shiver uncontrollably and averted her gaze.
“Am I right? You’re the person whom we thought Yagiri-kun killed—Harima Mika, right?”
That last phrase left Yagiri Seiji’s mouth. In the span of time that he’d heard her voice and her name, a lot of memories came to mind. It was the stalker girl who looked so much like her. And also the person…whose head he’d smashed against the wall, and assumed to have died.
“Oi, he’s lying right?”
“…I’m sorry! I’m sorry! I’m…so sorry…”
“Actually…I didn’t really die! I was still alive…and then Seiji-san’s siser asked me…asked me if I wanted Seiji-san to like me…! I…although I was almost killed by Seiji-san, but I still really like Seiji-san…! Then…then they got a doctor…and he said with a some plastic surgery, and some make-up…then I’d look just like that head…the head that Seiji-san’s in love with!”
On hearing that, Celty’s body suddenly jolted.
“But…then, the doctor said: ‘Your name is Celty, it’s that head’s name’…so I wanted to become Celty for Seiji-san…but, Namie-san said it wasn’t enough…she said I’d be exposed immediately…so I had to undergo surgery to remove my emotions and memories…! But I…I didn’t want to forget my feelings for Seiji-san…I wanted to tell him how much I loved him! So I…I escaped from the research facility!”
Seiji’s sister, had apparently wanted to use a live person to impersonate the ‘head’, in order to break up her brother and the ‘head’. All this had been so that her brother could return to being a normal person, but her jealousy towards the head—and unfortunately, even Namie herself was unable to notice that clearly.
On hearing that confession, the numerous shards in Celty’s heart had began to piece themselves together, to give a final, complete picture.
There were only a few people who knew Celty’s name, and of them, the only one who knew she was a Dullahan was—Kishitani Shinra. He was the person Celty was living with, the ‘underground doctor’ who knew her secret.
Celty began to think back to the beginning, and suddenly remembered when she had wanted to investigate the pharmaceutical and university research facilities to find out the whereabouts of her head, Shinra had suggested on his own accord:
(I know some people working at Yagiri Pharmaceuticals, so I’ll investigate there for you. It’s not wise for you to owe Orihara Izaya anything when you can use me to do this kind of thing.)
So he’d gone to investigate, and finally reported that there hadn’t been anything dubious there. But perhaps he’d know that the ‘head’ was at Yagiri Pharmaceuticals from the beginning. He’d even hid that fact from her, and had offered to help investigate of his own accord—
Celty clenched her fist tightly, without a second glance at Mika and Seiji, she merely bowed towards Mikado and leapt onto her motorcycle.
Then, under the cover of night, the engine of the motorbike let out a deafening roar.
As if declaring that the night’s banquet had ended, it was the most passionate call that had sounded that night.
“You’re…lying. How could it…: Then I…I…”
With the intention of delivering the final blow to the dazed Seiji, the bad guy sidled quietly to his side:
“In the end, you couldn’t even tell which was the real one. To put it bluntly, the love you have for that ‘head’ is only at this level. Tough.”
Orihara Izaya’s words, had caused Seiji to snap completely, and he fell to his knees.
The person who had rushed over the moment she’d seen that, was the girl with the ring of scars around her neck, his classmate—Harima Mika.
To Mikado, it seemed very much like a rather hilarious comedy, but he couldn’t exactly laugh at it.
After thinking for a while, Mikado walked towards them, and sheepishly began to speak:
“Uh…although you couldn’t tell she was a fake, but you still risked your life to protect her. I think that’s really admirable.”
After comforting Seiji a little like that, he proceeded to tell them:
“When I heard about what happened to Harima-san before, I think I must have misunderstood. There are some problems with her personality, but she’s definitely not a stalker.”
The words that followed, were said as if he was talking to himself:
“Eh… in the end she still ended up troubling you like this. And, as far as stalkers go, all she’s done so far is just show possessiveness of you. But, she willingly risked her life for Yagiri-kun. I don’t think she’d do just a thing if it really was just selfish possessiveness. And from another angle, it’s really admirable how she can still like the person who almost killed her…”
After leaving one last unnecessary phrase behind, he left the street in the night.
“I think, Harima-san…is a lot like Yagiri-kun.”
Beside Kawagoe Highway A Condominium Late at night
At the same time she’d unlocked the door, Celty kicked open the door to Shinra’s house.
“Oh, you’re back.”
Shinra who was typing something on the computer in the living room, welcomed her with his usual smile.
Celty had absolutely no intention of removing her boots made out of ‘shadow’, and stormed over to the youth clad in white. Then, without any explanation, she grabbed his collar.
She was in no mood at all to type on the computer, and she didn’t think she’d be able to resolve her anger by beating him up. Just as Celty was thinking about how she should deal with him—
“You probably want to say: ‘What the hell are you doing?’ Right?”
In the calmest tone possible, Shinra revealed exactly what Celty had been thinking.
“And then you would say: ‘You knew all along did not you? You probably knew twenty years ago that my head was in that research facility? And your father, and you, have been in cahoots with Yagiri Pharmaceuticals since the beginning! No, now that I think about it, the first them you met me, both of you were strangely calm! Perhaps even, the person who stole my head from my body was your father?! And you knew all that and you still hid it from me, and you even took that job as an underground doctor, and just performed surgery on that dying girl! I may be a monster, but someone like you who just devours people like that without a single qualm, is the real monster’…something like that right?”
“That’s right, let me clarify this, lest you misunderstand…I don’t know my father was the thief who stole your head, nor am I interested in knowing. And, she went through that minor surgery because she wanted too. Perhaps the people at Yagiri Pharmaceuticals coaxed her into making that decision, but I don’t really care that much.”
After hearing what Shinra had to say, Celty relaxed the grip she had on his collar.
And even her quivering fist, had become still as if time had stopped.
—If I could talk, I’d…probably say exactly the same thing.
In the face of such a pensive Celty, Shinra showed a relatively masochistic smile and said:
“—You want to ask: ‘How did you know what I wanted to say?’ Right? But there’s nothing good to ask about that.”
Shinra was sure this was what Celty was thinking, so he didn’t wait for an answer and went on:
“Hm, I know. After all, I’ve loved you for twenty years, so of course I’d know this much.”
“If we were to talk about how I know…well I would say that it’s because when humans are judging how the other party is feelings, they depend too much on facial expressions. Subtler things like the sound of footsteps, and changes in muscle tension can also tell you what someone is feeling. Especially me, since I’ve been watching you for so long after all…”
—What’s the use of saying all this? Even so, why wouldn’t you ever tell me where my head was?
Eh...I felt bad about no updates so I rushed through this today because my exams are almost ending (around this week). It's pretty short so to speak, and I obviously didn't proofread but yeah...and I'm taking the opportunity to flaunt mah various Sengoku Basara icons heh. One more part before the chapter wraps up and then it's on to epilogues, author's note and finally VOLUME TWO.