Rio’s heart is jet black as usual.
But she’s not the ink that dye others black, it felt like her darkness was a result of mixing too many colors from other people, a distorted mess.
――I see…… the person I was fighting against was the usual Rio.
Bound by her harsh past, not able to forget her guilt more than anyone, Rio who has no one to rely on and therefore always blaming herself.
Rio really is weak.
Even though she’s so high spec that there’s nothing she can’t do, just because someone precious was sad because of her, she put shackles on herself. Not putting effort nor doing anything, only left to rot, a person with the entire world’s worth of pitifulness.
Then, confessing that her someone precious is now me, and her affection for me was greater than any before, it was surprising, but above all I’m really happy.
How can I misunderstand Rio even though she’s the person I like the most, the moment my consciousness returned to my avatar, I couldn’t stop the tears trickling.
I’m such a bad girl.
Overlooking a person that’s seeking help yet unable to yell, I feel like an idiot.
It was never Rio’s fault, it was my fault.
Friends are important to me too, perhaps if I put more effort into saving them rather than turning into a demon to stop them from making mistakes, maybe we could’ve gotten a better end result…….
When I was about to give up, Eriko finally returned.
「WAAAAAAAAH…… UWWAAAAAAAAAAN! Sorry! I caused so much trouble!! 」
But, as soon as she returned, she hugged onto me, who was already completely exhausted, and started crying.
My choice of letting go my weapon and even the desire to win to reach out to her paid off.
「I’m happy Eriko is back to normal, so don’t cry already, If you cry, I feel sad too……」
「Unn, unn! 」
Nodding so strong that her tears flew everywhere, what an honest person.
Even my roughened heart was rejuvenated.
Especially when staying close with you makes me feel reassured and nostalgic for some reason.
「Hawaa……this smell and this kindness, I like it……」
I realized after being embraced.
The warmth emanating from Eriko’s skin is so captivating that it makes me want to enjoy it forever.
Being able to enjoy the same sensation that I always feel when you’re beside me even in this virtual world, this must be a reward from the heavens.
As for me, the urge to cling closer to her started to rise, regardless of our races and the occasion, I hugged her back tightly.
「Eriko-onee-san’s, scary smell is gone…… waapuuh! 」
Elma-san warily approached but, soon she grasped onto Eriko’s hand and leaned on us.
「Sorry Elma-chan! Because I’m an idiot, I made you go through something so scary! I won’t try to take you away, so please forgive me! 」
Eriko’s thinking changed.
I understood that she set the penalty the way she did was because of her beliefs, but it looks like she understands what true happiness is for Elma-san, I’m falling for her once again.
「A kind smell! 」
Elma-san too was a participant in the hugs.
Regardless of how it happened, Eriko tried to take her life, but it looks like she’s over it now.
「I hated it! I could only watch, it was so scary! I never wanted to fight like this! Fueeeeeen! 」
「Erikoo…… didn’t I say not to cry…… uugu……」
Even though she just wiped her tears away, now she’s crying, what a handful, I’m feeling warm around my eyes too now.
It was because the happiness I felt was greater that I could feel at ease.
With Eriko returning to normal, a usual Eriko again, the case is finally closed.
『Elma-chan in the picture, Eririoel』
『Happy ending for Eririo…… I’m so glad……』
『And RIO-sama’s bombastic speech…… it’s official』
『Far from quarrels or hates, they really liked each other』
『Ahhaha. What are they doing in front of this many people 』
Eventually, the teasing comments died down and the rough waves settled down.
Having said so, we haven’t decided what would happen next.
Fighting a second round until the outcome is decided would be the obvious route.
Or maybe, the after scenario of my reckless confession will unfold. I’m not mentally prepared at all.
「Haaaa, the buffs that kept me going are gone, and my party members have disappeared somewhere. Even if we continue, hands down RIO’s winning. 」
「Eriko? What’s so sudden? 」
Her voice was almost like acting out a scene.
Even though being happy when an enemy surrenders would be the norm, when Eriko said it while shrugging, I felt more worrying.
「It’s my loss this time. But it’s alright, I won’t cause anymore troubles for RIO. 」
「Trouble? Mu, gun……」
She put her shield back into her inventory, in place of that, she was staring at the Sun Gun.
Naturally, a gun is to shoot. Even though it’s a gun made to kill vampires, I couldn’t feel any hostility or aggression, it’s unthinkable that she’ll aim for me.
Although it’s not uncommon for you to do inexplicable things, I’m scratching my head now.
「After all, you’re the most precious person for me. And it’s natural to not kill someone like that right? 」
「That makes sense but……, no that’s not the point, everything is solved if I die, so you should point the gun to me, Eriko. 」
What I’m seeing is not something I want to see.
Eriko had the gunpoint on herself.
Since it’s loaded with live rounds, if she pulls the trigger, her head will surely explode.
In other words, she’s going for a suicide.
「W-wait! It’s too early for you to surrender! 」
「Don’t stop me! My own loss, I can admit it! 」
While saying so firmly, a loud gunshot reverberated in the silent room.
「Guhehe, see you later! 」
Even though one shot didn’t kill her, she didn’t scream from the pain, but pulled the trigger again, without any changes in her expression.
Her arms were steady, and her smile till she pulled the trigger didn’t change.
Even after shooting, she didn’t scream, but just her expression froze, as her grip on the gun came loose and her arm lost strength.
「The smell, is gone……」
Leaning on the wall, she stopped moving.
Eriko, while keeping her image as an adventurer, for someone so worthless like me, without any hesitation, she maintained being my ideal person and took her own life.
「So Eriko-san is who Onee-san like……」
「Fufu, let’s talk more about her when there’s more time……, Eriko is a really good person, even sacrificing herself for someone dear, I’m feeling proud for her……」
As I started listing out what defined Eriko, my words gradually got stuck.
You’re always like that.
Even though you never hesitate to molest me, when it matters, you always take care of others, what kind of education or environment does one need to grow up to become like that?
I won’t take blood from an adventurer of this caliber like Eriko.
It’s my farewell present.
As the proof that you fought with all your will, become the soil of this arena.
「Eriko-chi! Urk, it was too late……」
Suddenly, a person’s voice from the edge of the spectator area.
Certainly, that’s one of the three party members with Eriko.
I never heard her naming herself but, either way, she disappeared when Eriko started rampaging, and that’s definitely something fishy.
……This adventurer is one that deceived Eriko.
Taking advantage of Eriko’s kindness, a scheming bastard that wants to take other people’s credit.
「Elma-san, as well as everyone else, I still have something to do. Destroying the remaining of Eriko’s party that is. 」
Carrying Elma-san who was loitering around Eriko’s body on my shoulder, I dashed to close the distance.
「It’s all my fault…… guhek! 」
Mu, I grabbed her by the face and slammed her into a wall with my charging momentum, but did she just admit her fault?
「The center of your party, Eriko is already at her respawn point. To still return here recklessly, your loyal roleplay to being faithful or justice-minded is really commendable. 」
The disillusionment was so intense that a stabbing sarcastic remark came out.
It won’t be long before my urge of tearing that face off just from seeing it explodes.
「Where is the other two? Answer briefly. 」
「The other……to the surface…… they…… went there …… corridor …… emergency exit …… headquarters yet……」
From the suffocating pain, her explanation was choppy but, it’s fine as long as I got the main points.
「That’s fine. You still have some use, I won’t kill you yet. 」
「T-That’s thankful…… please punish them……」
I got some room to breathe for the time being.
If the other two went to the surface without knowing anything, there’s no worry of them escaping.
Rather, I should worry if they’re already dead or not.
Although I want them dead, I must sprint to the surface before the kin army and Boss-san kill them.
What Eriko had suffered, even if it’s just one percent, I want them to taste it.
A/N: I will fulfill my responsibility!