Chapter 15: Friendship
Jerked awake by Lilian's voice, the girl raised her head up to listen.
"You've been looking kind of down, is something wrong?" She asked. Elrya had barely eaten any of her food, even ignoring the items she had picked and had kept her head down the entire time while Lilian and Caren talked. Miriana had to leave, most likely to continue helping Roy as her breaks would coincide with his own.
"…I'm fine, really." Elrya muttered half-heartedly, unable to look Lilian in the eyes. She could still here his demented voice inside of her head, his threat to her, her friends and ultimately to everyone in the educational facility. She could feel a shiver running down her spine, shaking her from the base of neck down to her toes.
"Tomorrow night, that's how long I'll give you. Think about it carefully dreamer because if you don't, I'll make sure to burn you world again and just like before, you'll only have yourself to blame."
She couldn't eat after that, she only poked at her food at chewed on small morsels despite getting a plate full. She had thought that she could get over this predicament by filling her stomach, but the only that happened was a bigger hole opening in her psyche. Vladimir Cents had done it again, just like he did in their final battle. In her desperate attempt to uphold her conviction in not killing people, for her and Miriana's sake, she ended up having Yin killed for her recklessness. Then when she again refused to kill him again, she had nearly lost Alya and ended up slaughtering hundreds of people when Vlad's influence took over her. In the end, she may have won the battle, but he had won the war and now she was paying for her mistakes. If she had only killed him before, didn't hesitate then none of this would have happened.
And now her one chance of getting him out of her meant putting a good friend in danger. Lilian didn't deserve to such a monster inside her head, there was no way she would ever wish for that to happen but again, Cents put her in a place where if she refused, he could and would ruin her life. The sadistic choice had been given to her again, allow his influence to fester inside Lilian, or rupture her world like he did before and was doing now.
She had no idea how he would do that, then again he could only imagine how his weapons that allowed him to transfer his mentality into her own worked either. What she did know was that, if there was ever time Cents was telling the truth, it would be now. It also made her worry about other things, such as how Alya might be affected by the change. If Cents could transfer his own mentality away, could he do it without forcing Alya to join as well? If only she could directly influence him herself, she'd have put him into a carrot if she could.
"You aren't fine, what's wrong?" Caren asked.
"I'm fine, I was…I don't know…" What could she tell them anyways? Even if she explained the entire ordeal to them, there wasn't anything they could do about it. Plus she feared that telling them would only entice Vladimir to act violently against them. She hated it, but even when her friends were willing to help her in her time of need and though she desperately wished to reach out to them, Cents had forced her into a position where she couldn't get help without the risk of hurting others. She couldn't even give a good reason for her behavior and so, she pushed chair up and rose from the table, quickly offering a half-baked apology then running off without giving another word despite the two's exclamations.
The two looked at her plate, still filled with food then at one another nervously. "Did I miss something; I mean I'm the one who got shot?" Lilian uttered, looking over the entrance of the dining hall where Elrya had just left. Caren before answering stared at the same area then shook her head.
"I think something's wrong with her."
"You mean like, her…" Not wanting to be overheard, Lilian pointed to her belly. Again Caren shook her head in denial of the response. "No, we already know about that and I doubt she'd hold something back on us if her pregnancy had anything to do with it. No, I think something else is wrong." She got up, her face set into a stern expression and her eyes narrowing suspiciously. "I think we should talk with her, if she's holding something back on us we need to talk. Besides it's my duty to look after the Diclonius and if Elrya's needs help, I'll be there."
Nodding affirmatively, Lilian was about to get up before Caren's outstretched hand stopped her. "I'll go Lilian, you need to head back to the hospital and let them re-wrap that wound you reopened."
"Huh? It's fine, trust me."
"Just do it, please."
Sighing, Lilian shrugged her shoulders indifferently. "You got some nerve giving orders from someone older than you, but if it makes you happy I'll go back. Make sure you find out what the problem is and tell her I hope she gets better." She stood back down, twiddling her utensils nonchalantly then continued to eat, her thoughts traveling to different points while Carentorzulan picked up her plate and disposed of it, leaving to find her friend.
Elrya closed the door behind her, threw herself face first onto her bed and put the pillow in her mouth to muffle the high pitched scream that escaped her lips. Stopping only to catch her breath, she felt the aggravation of being unable to anything fill her entire being, grinding her teeth and clenching her fist before screaming inside of her head. "What the hell do you want from me Cents!? What the fucking hell do you keep screwing with my life? Haven't you done enough already, haven't you screwed up my life enough as it is?"
"I already told you, you brought this on yourself."
"You bastard! I didn't do anything; you're the one who fucked my life up! You're the one who tortured Miriana, you're the one who killed Yin, You're the one who fucked everything that was good about my life and you keep doing it! You fucking bastard! Fuck you!"
"Heh! Is that what you think, dreamer? I'll take responsibility for anything that happened before our fight, but you only have yourself to blame afterwards. You tried to keep that foolish ideology of not killing despite knowing the consequences. Through our struggles you knew to the end what would happen but you stubbornly refused to accept it. I may have pulled the trigger to kill that man but you're ultimately the one who instigated it.
…And now you're pissed off as usual because you're unbelievable weak minded. This fucking conviction you spoke of before, is nothing more than pile of shit. You could've ended this long ago, if you had murdered me at the start, but no, you decided you wanted to follow some foolish thoughts that your friend told you."
"Lie?" Vladimir answered the girl's mental shriek. "Why don't you look over at the picture of your dead husband and tell yourself that again? I have lived my life in pursuit of my desires, have created, fought and stormed through my self-created war all for the point of sending this world into perfect suffering.
Scream all you want Diclonius, but this is the truth. In the end, it wasn't me, Miriana or anyone else that fucked your life up. I may have started it, but…in the very end; you're the one who finished it."
She wanted to scream back at him, but she couldn't do it. Not when he was speaking the truth to her.
"For the first time, I have found something that I desire almost as much as I desire to see people suffer. Lilian Cents is an enigma, she holds everything I am yet everything I hate, it is almost infuriating. Frankly, I'm surprised you don't jump on the occasion to get rid of me, but as usual you foolishly try to believe your dreams can overrule reality. There is no argument for this matter Elrya Alya Sandersas, tomorrow night; you will make your choice."
She was crying now, unable to hold it in, she felt defeated just like before when she thought she had murdered Alya. There really was nothing she could do about it; Vladimir Cents had her on a leash. Pushing herself so that she lay on her back, she rubbed the tears from her eyes on the end of her pillow and thought painfully. "…I get it, I'll…do it as you said tomorrow night she when she's asleep. Even if I didn't want to there's nothing I can do about it." Her bottom lipped trembled and she physically whispered the next words, full of malign hate. "I fucking hate you, Vladimir Cents. I fucking hate everything you did to me, my friends, my life, everything. I don't know what sort of person Lilian sees in you, but I know that you are nothing but bona fide monster. You're right, I should have killed you the first time and not been so stupid and now I'm paying the price for it.
"Elrya? Are you in there?" Caren's voice called in after she knocked.
"You can come in." Elrya answered, Caren entering at that point and sitting down on her own bed.
"Hey, about what happened back in the dining hall? I can tell something is wrong and I won't have you telling me it's nothing. Please talk to me Elrya, I'm your friend and I'm here to help you."
Elrya knew, or rather feared that she couldn't tell Carentorzulan the whole truth. Vladimir Cents might force his influence out if she said too much. "It's him; I want this bastard out of me. You have no idea what it's like knowing that the person who screwed your life up so badly, tortured your best friend and then killed the person you love, only to find that he's inside your head and there's nothing you can do about it." She wanted to scream the real truth at her, but for her own sake, she only said that much which in turn was the truth itself. In fact unable to help herself and needing some measure of comfort, Elrya stormed off of her bed and embraced Caren who despite being startled returned it tenderly.
"I'm scared…" Elrya moaned fervently, her fingers clutching the outer cloth of Caren's shirt. "I want him out of me, I really do."
"…I know how you feel Elrya, we'll always be here for you no matter what and you know that. Both Lilian and I were worried when you suddenly left like that but now I can see why. She'll probably want to know the same thing too and knowing her she might be a bit angry, you know how she is with her father but you should explain anyways. If you want you can stay here and miss your next classes, I'm sure if I you explain it to Roy he'll understand."
Elrya declined the offer. "There's no need for that, I'll head to the next classes. Though if someone starts being an idiot I might start throwing desks myself." Caren laughed at the remark and left the room leaving Elrya to silently ponder her delicate situation. There was no way she could tell her the truth and it inflicted such a great amount of pain on her heart to betray her friends. If only she could rip him out of her and cast him aside, forever ridding herself of him without the need of having to hurt others. Yet again and again her life was thrown into the mix of hell and abrasiveness, always one step forward and two steps back. Her life was unbearably harsh, only helped by the helpings and risks of those who had befriended her. Now she had a choice, betray her friends, or risk having Vladimir Cents ruin her life as he did those many months ago.
The worst part about it, the one that could only make her ire grow more for him, Vladimir Cents was right. She was the one who blindly tried to follow her ideals and keep the ideals of Miriana alive. Even her best friend couldn't stop herself from screaming for Cents death, a girl far more innocent than she could ever hope to become. If she had killed him the first time, Yin Sandersas would most likely still be alive. The picture beside her bed would not have just included him, but a picture of both of them, smiling, perhaps she would have placed her head against his shoulders, eyes closed and engulfed her senses in the clean warm touch of his clothes and body.
Life really was, terrible right now.
The next class, "Japanese History" was taught by a relatively young woman with waist length black hair named Anna K. When asked what the "K" stood for, she responded that it was "Kurotosi." She at least had no problems with changing the names on the list, though Elrya assumed Roy had made specific instructions to the rest of the staff in this regard. She had no idea, nor did anyone else that they were looking at the one and only daughter of the ex-Director Kakuzawa and Anna had wisely decided to keep her real surname a secret. Her job was to teach, something she was relatively good at as far as basic history would go, though her lack of partial omniscience made her forget many of the things she had learned, mostly that of mathematical constructs, but luckily her mind on history had remained sharp.
Nobody could tell she had horns either as her hair had would have obscured the mutations easily and as she wasn't a true Diclonius she didn't have the specific signature to give off. As far as Elrya was concerned, she was a nice enough woman, much better than the cynical jackass she had seen before and in turn had problems with her. Unfortunately unlike Roy who could make the class interesting, she found "history" to be a very boring and unneeded subject as Anna only seemed to teach by the book. It made class go by slowly, forcing her to lay her head on her desk and keep one eye open, yawning loudly and waiting for the bell to finally ring.
"Sandersas-san! Raise your head."
"Y-Yes…sensei…" Elrya muttered, not sure how she felt about being addressed by her last name like that. "Ah, this is so boring…." She thought heavily, yawning to keep herself a wake then resting her hand upon her cheek with her elbow on the table. Fingers tapping the desk impatiently, she gazed her eyes at the clock, signed upon knowing she couldn't read it then turned her head back to the teacher though seemingly focusing more on the board behind her. Something about Oda Nobunaga and something he did long ago. Really, it didn't matter too much to her.
The next class was her reading and writing assignment and probably the only class she was actually interested in. Luckily for her, it was being taught by a woman from Osaka who like Roy and Anna didn't teach behind some glass window, but was kind hearted to the rest of the Diclonius and taught in a more robust manner, at least keeping up the interest in the class and praising anyone despite how terrible their work might have been. It was good because it sharply contrasted with the actual classwork. She didn't expect it to be easy but this seemed overwhelmingly impossible.
They had each been given a pen and several sheets of parchment, much of which was wasted on senseless drawings by the other girls including Elrya who had proceeded to create simplistic artwork. For a girl who had once been about to marry and was even pregnant, she was deep down still a young girl, almost childish at times though she'd never fully admit it due to her pride. The sensei, Naomi Rei, was teaching them the basics of kanji, katakana and hiragana, insisting that they write them down and when they got the hang of it, write their meanings down as well. Constantly looking up at the board, then at her own parchment, the Diclonius sighed, attempting to match the writing as best as she could while simultaneously trying to take in their meaning. Throughout the entire thing she had learned a total of six phrases to write and recognize:
Kakuzawa is a fruit basket…
The others had greatly liked the sixth one as even the kind teacher was not beyond giving the old man his due comeuppance.
"What? I'm listening." Elrya exclaimed.
"No, it's not that. I would like you to come to the board and write out any of the phrases here." The teacher explained generously. Shrugging her shoulders though seemingly embarrassed at being called up, Elrya went up and took the marker, thinking for a brief moment then asking, "How do you write 'Vladimir is a self-serving murderous bastard?"
Naomi looked at her strangely.
"Sorry, sorry…ummmm…here." She didn't want to look like an idiot and picked the first one, writing out "Hello" in a very sloppy but at least agreeably correct manner. Sitting back in her seat, filled with a bit of pride at being told she was correct, the others too were called up to write out any phrase they wanted, unsurprisingly number six being the most common.
With the sound of the bell ringing in their ears to signal the end of class, Elrya found Miriana to take her to her next class, and surprised to find herself going to the same room as her first one that Roy had taught and also finding the same blue haired man in there as well. They walked through the unhinged wall, the door that Roy had kicked down now propped against the wall at an obscene angle. Deciding to take the same seat she had been in the first time, Roy who had been teaching before, was already sitting down in his seat, legs propped up against his desk with his eyes close, seemingly asleep if it wasn't for the fact that he kept licking his lips as if he had a bad taste on it. Since this was second to last class, many of the Diclonius Elrya had met in her other ones were also in here which included, much to her happiness, Lilian and Caren which meant all of her friends were part of this class as well. Her two friends greeted Miriana then sat down with their friend, Caren to the side and Lilian to the second, her arm still bandaged from the previous wound though how much it was needed was unknown.
"What class did you come out of Elrya?" Lilian asked.
"That writing and reading class, has a good teacher but it's kind of hard. What about you?" Elrya replied.
"History. Why do we have to know about something from so long ago? It's not like it's important or anything." Lilian answered back, raising her hand objectively. Caren upon hearing this shook he her head mundanely.
"You shouldn't say that, history is a very important thing for us to learn."
"How much Japanese history do you know?" Lilian questioned.
Caren frowned and looked away. "That's different, I'm Turkish so I know Turkish history." Carentorzulan explained as if that settled the matter. The friends continued to talk until one more person came in, would've been easy to miss had two things not happen. One, she was followed by a rowdy child, years younger than even the youngest Diclonius. Two, she was being ascertained by the other girls as a one of the greatest things in the world, much to Elrya's annoyance. Kaede, her face set in what might have been a perpetual scowl, kept her hands in the pockets of her long coat, her hair having been pulled back into a large pony tail behind her.
"Onee-tama, where should we sit?" Her little brother asked jovially, eyes travelling around the room then seeing Elrya, rushing up to her.
"Guh!" She moved back when he came up to her, curiously gazing into her eyes then saying, "I remember you."
"Yeah…so do I, you kind of bit me." She answered darkly.
He put his finger to his mouth and mumbled, "I'm sorry."
"Kaede-sama, you should sit by me!"
"No, sit here."
In the end, Kaede merely sat down in the middle of the class room, her little brother sitting next to her while the other girls came up to him, finding him an adorable sight. Elrya found him to be a pain in the ass as her fingers could well justify. A few minutes passed as the others came in then Roy yawned and pushed himself up, addressing the class as he had done before when Elrya had first had him and insisted that he be addressed as "Professor Synth" as long as they were in here. Miriana did the roll call as before and finally Roy started the class, getting up and leaning against the blackboard, his right foot lifting up to balance himself on the edge.
"Welcome to 'Understanding Voices' in which we'll be discussing that tiny little thing inside your head that seems to think human's like myself are bastards…and considering the situations that may be the case, and how to accept and control them. First things first, are there anyone who has not heard their own internal voice talking to them?"
"I thought so, but be truthful, this is a very serious class and a very serious question."
Again, nobody answered.
"Very well then, this means that at least one point you have heard your biological voice talking to you. Some of you have had more contact with your biological voice than others. Now to give a fine example, Elrya I'd like you to come up here."
"Eh, knew this was coming." Elrya thought, heading up to the head of the class.
"Elrya, I think you know what to do."
"Yeah…yeah I'm here." Alya had already begun.
One of the girls responded instantly, "What happened to you Elrya?"
"I'm not Elrya, I'm her voice, Alya."
The others looked at her, both amazed and surprised.
"Elrya…" Roy began. "…Has had a great amount of contact and understanding with her voice named Alya. She's able to willing change in and out of her voice and Alya herself by having more benign contact with humans is much less willing to slaughter them. Am I correct Alya?"
"That's right, I used to hate humans with a passion and there would've been nothing to change my mind. But certain people I knew, Vorono, Miriana and Yin, showed me that not every human is as cruel as I thought. Sometimes though I have to relax and calm myself and Elrya is able to pull me back in case I get out of hand."
"Alya's correct in this, your voices may be problematic but by no means should you try to force them down. It biological that they want to kill humans, it might be some evolutionary thing born out of some strange impacts of the Homo-Sapiens, Neanderthals and Cro-Magnons but I won't get into that because I know most of you have no idea what the fuck I just said."
Roy had that last one right.
"We can't change that but we can control it and that means you can control it. Alya, you are instrumental in this class and I hope that you will be able to help not only other Diclonius but their internal voices as well. Now there is some regards of when the voices emerge but we can mostly agree that it's between the ages of three to seven years old though for some it emerges much, much later. Circumstances usually arrive on this occasion as it seems you Diclonius who go through extreme stress earlier in your life are more probable of attaining the biological voice. This isn't always the case of course but it is at least prominent.
Am I boring you Kaede?"
Kaede, who had been resting her hand on her head, eyes closed with a clearly bored expression on her face, finally opened her eyes up and glared over at Roy. "Maybe you are…" She muttered, closing her eyes again.
"Really? Well why am I boring you?"
"…This class is pointless. It's bad enough I have to take care of this brat but now I have to listen to unnecessary information. The only reason I'm here is because I'm practically forced to, at the very least give me something that's important."
Roy nodded absentmindedly at the answer. "I see, that's kind of a strange answer coming from you Queen. I'd have though a woman who threw a bitch fit over her fucking dog and slaughtered an entire group of people at a festival over a hug would be more interesting in learning to control her psychotic personality."
Roy had definitely hit a nerve and had now gotten Kaede's full attention as well as the entire class. She arched her eyebrows and said, with the voice of venomous implication that she had once been so well known for. "That has nothing to do with it. It was a long time ago and there's no point in going over it."
"Can I ask you a question?" Elrya inquired looking over at Kaede. The woman didn't acknowledge it verbally but clearly looking at Elrya she knew the girl would ask anyways.
"Why are you such a kill joy?"
The question caught Kaede off guard who jerked her head back slightly. "What the hell is that supposed to mean?"
"I mean…" Elrya began angrily. "…That you are by far, the most self-centered, depressing, arrogant bitch I have ever met in my life." Now it had started, a stressful situation boiling in the classroom when Kaede picked herself up and stood by her desk. Her body posture now erect and ready, she gave off a much more serious air of menace. Elrya did not get up, but not to be outdone, she returned the glare with equal ferocity, her fingers rubbing her own desk ominously. The Diclonius looked between the two, Miriana put her hands together nervously and Roy waited for the next response, deciding that unless something serious happened, this was the best outcome.
"You've got some nerve talking to me, brat. What do you know about my life? You have no idea…"
"FUCKING SHIT WOMAN!" Elrya screamed, this time getting up and pushing her chair down. "Do you seriously even hear yourself talk? You know what your problem is Lucy, don't correct me either, you know what it is? You're so goddamn down all the time that even when things go your way, you constantly feel the need to bash other people and act like they don't know how you feel. I mean, aren't you the one who helped beat Kakuzawa? That's a pretty good thing to feel about especially if you're a Diclonius, but no, you're always self-centered and cold all the time. It pisses me off so much the way you act and treat other people even when they treat you with the kind of glory you don't deserve.
I hate it, how everyone looks at you like you're the most fucking special thing in the world. So what if you're a goddamn Queen, trust me you aren't as special as you think you are. People look up to you, praise you, but you're constantly putting them down and never looking at a way to support yourself or others. The only thing that comes out of you is negative emotions and it really pisses me off to no end.
You try to claim you went through a horrible past, well fucking hell a lot of us went through horrible pasts. From what I know you still have your family right? You still those people in that Maple Inn from what I heard right? You still have your admirers and praises even though you don't deserve them with the way you act. Don't act like you're something special Lucy, Kaede, whatever the hell you want to be called, I don't' care! I lost everything, my mother, my father, I lost the man I loved. I lived in the facilities as well except where you were at least treated with some amount of importance, I got sent off to my death because the damn Director I was with was too much of a coward to do it himself. I nearly lost my two best friends Alya and Miriana, I nearly lost everything and now things have gotten even worse for me.
And yes, I'll complain about it, but at least I make something of my life. You always act like your life was the most terrible thing in the world and you know what, maybe it was. Maybe you had a really shitty life but you know what, so did I, and so did many other of us."
"What's your point girl? Don't talk to me as if you know anything about me or my life. The difference between you and me is that that I started me is that I had to suffer not only the hardships of my life but the hardships of what I am too. Not only as a horned woman but a woman capable of being a Queen. You couldn't imagine what it's like at all girl, to go through what I had and then have this extra weight on you."
"Yeah…well you know what another difference between you and me is?" Elrya growled. "Unlike you, at least I have friends."
Out of everything Elrya had said, nothing had hit Kaede harder or had been more emotionally crippling than the last words she just said. Because out of all the things she had said, that one had been the most severe and truthful of it all. Maybe including her make shift family and really, it was Nyu was considered to be the real family member, she was entirely alone in the world. She didn't have a single friend who either hadn't betrayed her in some way or she hadn't ruined their lives in another way. Come to think of it, there were only two people she knew that had ever befriended her in some way.
Kouta, whose disgrace with her had become well apparent and only seemed to keep her in his family out of respect for Nyu and the girl she had met long ago who had been shot because of her.
Elrya moved away, walking to the door and saying over to Roy. "Sorry…Professor Synth…but I can't stay here right now." Before she could leave, someone asked in a rather quivering voice. "When you said as a Queen, she wasn't special, what did you mean?"
Filled with ire, Elrya Alya could no longer hold her secret in. It hadn't lasted long, actually she couldn't even hold her secret it for more than a day before people like Caren and Lilian and found out. "Guess what, Kaede isn't the only person in this school who's a Queen."
Their responses were understandable. Kaede had been the only known Queen Diclonius to everyone and even those who knew more, there had never been a long list of royals. Really, Garder, Vladimir, Vorono and perhaps Julius if Garder ever spoke to him about it, knew about the few other Queens that had lived before.
Ilya Vega, the daughter of Veronica Morotisan and Nicholas Vega. The girl who had been placed in the facility under the guise that much like Elrya, had always been a Sipilet but unlike Elrya, never found out the truth before being killed by her grandfather.
Veronica Morotisan, the daughter of Garder F. Morotisan, a soldier in the late war who never even knew what she was or how special until very late, at the end of your tragic life.
Then there was Kaede, the first Queen Diclonius who's royalty had been made publically known and thus, her praise by the other Diclonius made.
Now finally, in front of everyone, to the definite shock of her friends, Elrya said. "...Because I'm a Queen too."
"It's not hard, I didn't want to say anything because I knew if I did, you'd start treating me the same way you do Kaede. Like I was the best thing in the entire world and I knew it would get on my nerve. The only other people who knew it were Miriana, Zeruda and Lilian as well as Roy too. So there you go, I suck at keeping secrets and now you all know. Don't let it get to your heads because unlike Kaede, I'm not so weak minded and seriously, I could care less if I'm a Queen or not.
And if you get on my nerves about it, I'll throw you out of the window."
"Great, now everyone is going to know." Elrya thought, laying on her bed and keeping the door locked. She got about forty-five minutes of rest before the other Diclonius began badgering her with questions. Being the closest to the door, she decided to move a way and lay on Miriana's side which was further away, took the remote of the television, turned it on and increased the volume to its maximum setting, and then finally pulled Miriana's covers over her ears in an attempt to block out all the other sounds. Eventually they'd go away, though the questions and answers would inadvertently continue.
Outside, more commotion was being made before the door was finally opened. Thinking they had used their vectors to undo the lock, instead Caren and Lilian pushed their way through the crowd then closed the door back again. "Savages." Caren muttered. "Well Elrya I guess there's no point in trying to hide it anymore eh, everyone knows."
"Yeah…I thought I could hold it a bit longer but I suck at keeping secrets. Even without telling anyone you two already found out. I couldn't take it though, I hate how she always acts like the world is against her and never does anything to help herself. I don't regret saying what I did, but sorry if I made you uncomfortable by bringing your names up."
"Don't be Elrya." Lilian answered.
"I see, thanks. Damn they're persistent." Elrya said, looking over at the door where the other girls were, if the sounds of voices and hitting the door could justify, huddling around to talk to her. Maybe she shouldn't keep quiet but go out there and deal with the people already. Wasn't that the thing she had yelled to Kaede about, actually take a stand and make something of your life? "I'll deal with them, don't worry about me." Elrya said, massaging her shoulders as she was preparing for a huge fight. Opening the door, she was bombarded by a load of questions and statements, not one managing to get her understanding before she threw her hands up to stop them.
"Alright! Alright! Damn I swear you're all so persistent with this. Alright, I can already tell where this is going but, you…" She pointed to one of them. "You go first."
"You've been a Queen and yet you didn't tell anyone, why? I mean that's one of the most important things for our kind."
"…Because I don't care." Elrya stated sternly. "I was raised knowing I was a Sipilet like all the rest of you, I didn't even know I was a Queen until much later on. Don't treat me like I'm something I'm not, I'm a Queen yes and I'm…" She blushed, "…Also kind of…pregnant." Mentally slapping herself for saying it, the out roar of excitement might have shook the entire dorm.
"Just stop, please! This is why I didn't tell anyone else; because I knew you would overreact so badly about it. Trust me I'm glad you're happy for me but believe me, I'm not that special. You don't understand, the things I had to go through to get this far. I don't want to be remembered as some overly special girl praised by everyone else just because I'm a Queen, I just want to be remembered as Elrya Alya." She began to step back, with no sign of the other girls even beginning to turn to leave.
"What do you want from me!?" She finally cried out, raising her hands up hopelessly.
"…Can I hug you?"
"Can I hug you…" The girl repeated.
"Ummm…sure." Elrya came up, hesitantly put her arms around the girl who returned it with vigor. "So…I'm going to leave now and…" Elrya didn't bother to finish her sentence, she rushed inside and closed the door behind her, locking it quickly while turning to the others in hysterics. "I should've kept my stupid mouth shut, I knew this would happen."
Caren, probably getting annoyed by these antics herself finally got off the bed and went over to the door opening it up. "Look at the pretty watch." She said in a sarcastically jovial tone, waving her Clock Stopper in front of them whose eyes now traced it, mesmerized. Under its hypnotic suggestion the other Diclonius found themselves moving away from the door, finally leaving the other girl's in peace. "This thing sure comes in handy." Caren said proudly.
"Finally! Thanks Zeruda, I owe you one."
"Well in that case, how about this?" Caren started. "You remember that club I was talking about before.? Well after class I got permission from Roy to hold it in his classroom. I'll actually be holding the first meeting tomorrow after more people become aware of it. It's kind of early I guess but I want to get it started now. I expect more people to come afterwards, once word gets around you know.
I expect you to come too Lilian, if that's alright with you I mean?"
Four heavy hits on the door broke the moment of silence, Elrya rolling her eyes in the process. "Really, they don't know when to give up." She thought, walking up the door to open it and ready to give them a piece of her mind. Surprisingly it was not a long list of admirers ready to praise her, but only two people. Kaede and her younger brother, though giving them a piece of her mind wasn't out of the question either. Seeing her, Elrya lowered her head, now glaring strictly at her and mumbling in a low, deep voice. "What do you want, Kaede?" She didn't have time to speak with this woman, much less here her obvious attempts to justify her actions and claim that she knew better.
Kaede gazed away, opened her mouth and closed it several times then said.
"…Do you think…I could maybe…with all of you…
…be your friend?"
Well that was certainly the last thing she expected to come from Kaede's mouth. Giving only a fleeting glance at her two friends, she closed the door behind her and stepped outside with Kaede and her brother, the latter curiously looking up at her and she instinctively bringing her hands closer to her body in case he decided to bite her again. "Alright what are you playing at Kaede, this is kind of unexpected and truly, I'm having a hard time believing you came here just to tell me you want to be my friend." Still she doubted Kaede, who didn't even live on the same floor or even the same building as her, would come all the way here to say something like that and it be a lie.
Kaede looked away, nervous, upset, concerned, it was hard to tell what emotions were running through her head at that moment in time. She seemed to be unable to answer, a good part of it being her pride and having to admit that she was wrong. Elrya waited though, her arms crossed and leaning against the wall, waiting patiently for Kaede to answer back.
"I'm…not good at dealing with people." She finally admitted, swallowing the huge lump in her throat and finding it distasteful that she had to admit her problems to a girl even younger than she was, though it also took off the very heavy feeling on her heart. Closing her eyes, Kaede looked up without seeing and said solemnly, "I was…wrong to act the way I did. As I said I'm not good at dealing with people, I'm really not good at dealing with myself or my emotions. You can live with your inner voice, mine has been…a problem."
Kaede had lived her life hearing her internal voice ever since she was a little girl, first emerging when she was about eight to nine years old and tormented by the children in the orphanage. She always saw it as her younger self even as she grew older, everything exactly as she looked as a child except the eyes which were chaotic, menacing, without a trace of compassion inside of them. There was a sense of control that her voice had over her, almost to the point where she felt, maybe even knew she was being controlled by it. Living in that hell hole, surrounded by people who hated and despised her, maybe she purposely gave into just to escape the pain. She had nothing back then until she found the small little dog outside the orphanage and mistakably let her guard down.
It seemed to have died on the fifth hit and she was forced to watch the entire time as Tomoo and his gang blew the life away from the pup in act of pure sadism. The children were miserable, that she had already known, so they always found those even more miserable, and made their lives hell. The yelping from the dog, she envisioned as cries from help for to her friend and she only watched as it was bludgeoned to death. She could still see the girls smile, unsure even today if it had been real or a figment created by the stress on her mind in which she envisioned everyone to be sinners worthy of judgment. The only thing she knew after that point was that she wanted to let out all of her frustration, misery and despair out on every single person in the room regardless of whether or not they were part of the issue. Screaming incoherently, she had obliterated the first boy behind her, torn him apart from the midsection. The others died quickly, unable to realize, unable to tell and in the end unable to comprehend the furious storm rupturing their bodies.
Tomoo had one good look though of incomparable fear before she twisted his head off from that pitiless neck of his. That was the day she truly gave into her voice, deciding to follow it from day one up until she thought she had found a friend in Kouta. The truth was, she did, but she had overreacted on the situation and brought his world into a chaotic swirl. Maybe if she had stopped, just stopped and asked him why he was hugging his cousin. Maybe, if she had just stopped and resisted the voice, removed her hand away from the outstretched hand and thought, her life would be completely different.
Instead, just like Roy said, she had obliterated the festival.
Then she met that girl, didn't even know her name and in the end, if what Kurama had said was true and she felt no need to deny it, she had been killed. The people she hated, died, the people she loved either died or suffered horribly. Therefore beyond all the masks of unconcerned sternness, always glaring, unsmiling and acting tough, was a weak little girl, crying for attention and wanting to have at least one friend that didn't suffer either directly or indirectly because of her. That reason might have been why she had antagonized Dr. Kurama so viciously, she had found a person who was as miserable as her and by filling him with dread and pain; it made her feel in control and powerful.
It made her feel sick now.
Kurama, Kouta, Nana, all those people who she had hurt, sometimes even sadistically tore apart both physically and mentally, didn't deserve it at all. She had always been following her voice, whenever it told her to kill; she gave herself up and did it without thought of the consequences because deep down, she wanted some sort of gratification. Yet she realized how terribly wrong she had been before, and how far she had fallen listening to that corruptive voice inside her head. She would not deny her actions or the fact that some of the people she murdered deserved it. Her issue was that instead of focusing on those who truly needed to face her ire, she lashed out at everyone indiscriminately, even when they were trying to be her friend. Thus she wanted one, more if possible, friends she could talk to and find comfort in.
"…I don't…have any friends." The horned woman muttered under her breath. "The friends I did have, I ended up screwing their lives up somehow because of my own stupidity. Kouta, the first person to ever show me genuine kindness, will never look at me the way I wanted him to look. I already know that he and Yuka will be together, marry and have children. I'm sure of it and not only have I accepted it, but it would certainly be better. Unlike me, Yuka has never done a single thing to hurt Kouta, he deserves someone like her over me.
Mayu and Nazomi, they deserved much better. I can't even walk passed Nana without their being a sense of frustration between the two of us, I mean, considering what I did to her, I'm surprised she hasn't tried to throttle me again.
I don't…want to be alone anymore." There, she finally said it, the truth to her anxiousness and fully admitting to her what she wanted. If Kaede had a desire, one above all others, the kind of desire Cents always exclaimed, this would be it.
…Not to be alone in the world and have friends."
"You're a strange case Kaede. " Elrya groaned, hand against her forehead. "But, it seems you mean what you said. One of my friends, Caren, is having some sort of club after school, its being held in the same classroom that Roy was teaching. If you really want to be our friend, then you should come there."
"That's fine." Kaede agreed.
"Also meet us for dinner today; we'll meet you by the building."
Again, another pause and Kaede answered again, "That…sounds good."
"Well then, let's meet up later then, you can get properly introduced to the others and my best friend Miriana then as well." With nothing else to be said Elrya went back inside greeted by the first question from Lilian.
"…I think she was…really serious about what she said."
And outside, Kaede strolled over to the steps, her younger half-brother delicately holding her hand and gazing curiously up at her. "Onee-tama, did you make new friends?"
"…I think I did…"
"Onee-tama? Are you happy now?"
And for one of the first times since she could remember, Kaede smiled a true smile of warmth and compassion.
"…Yeah…I'm quite happy now. Hey Routa, we've got a few minutes before classes start again. Do you…want to go somewhere? The shopping area might have something you like and Kouta did at least give me some money for spending."
The smile on the Diclonius boy's face stretched from ear to ear as he gripped his sister's leg in pure enjoyment. Kaede, despite herself ruffled his hair and took him away, feeling happier than she had ever done so in her entire life.
Author's Notes: The next chapter finished and it seems we've got a new member joining our makeshift gang. I mean, Kaede/Lucy is the titular character of the original manga, its only fair she gets some notice right? So what will happen next time on "Pinpoint Conviction?"