4. Predator and Prey

I don’t have to worry about food and water for the time being…… probably.
When it comes to it, 【Gluttony】could take care of my hunger. That being said, I don’t particularly to feel that sensation again.

……being hungry to my limits was harsh.
Harsh enough to make me want to die.

「…… then for now, should I continue exploring……again today」

I had completely no idea what I should be doing right now.
All I knew was that I needed to have food and water.
Food is important for sustaining life after all.
……leaving that aside, I crawled out of the wrecked carriage and basked in the outside air and sunlight.

「nー」

I stretched my arms and looked up at the sky.
……the sky, was it always this beautiful.
I didn’t know. I lived a life of looking up at nothing but the ceiling after all.
I didn’t have a lot of opportunities to look out the windows either.

ーーbut that has nothing to do with “now” anymore.

For the time being, I washed with my body and face with water, and after cleaning up―― I left to go exploring.

***

……The forest changed completely overnight, I could feel the presence of a lot of animals in its stillness.
After all, I ate that much, so there was bound to be some kind of impact.
――I don’t think I’ll be able to eat wolves anymore.

「Then I’ll need to look for something else……」

It seems like I get hungry very easily―― and if I didn’t have something to satisfy my hunger then I’d get to weak to move.

If I look up at the tree branches, I could see squirrels and birds.
They might be of some help.
But I was worried……an entire wolf couldn’t even sate my hunger, so these small animals might not be enough.

――at least for now, I still wasn’t hungry.
I think I was almost full.
Which meant that I can keep going.

「……let’s go」

Rather than going for the food in front of me, I decided to keep going and look for bigger prey―― I went deeper in to the forest.

 ――but, I couldn’t find any prey at all.

Even something small than a wolf would be fine…… but even after making that compromise, I still couldn’t find anything.

「Why……?」

Could it be, did I really eat too much yesterday? Half a day has passed and I still wasn’t hungry but……
It felt like f I let myself get carried away then I’d still become hungry in an instant.

「……」

I heard the rustling sound of sway grass and quickly turned to look at where it came from.

「…………」
「Kyuuー」
「A rabbit?」

Standing there was a lovely rabbit ―― that had a horn.
A horned rabbit.

「――Kyuuー!」
「Eh……!?」

But contrary to it’s lovely looking appearance, It hopped at me, aiming at my throat.
I quickly grabbed it and …… pinned it down to the ground.
And while it was pinned down, I put some force on its neck―― and broke it with a snap.

「……umm……now what?」

I unintentionally got some food.
But I didn’t have a fire, and I didn’t even know how to butcher it…… I’d like to think that I could eat it if【Gluttony】activated but, that power didn’t respond to plants and water so I wonder how it would turn out.
If it’s dead then it’s no different from plants―― and it would be a waste to let it rot.

「……ei」

I should try eating it for now at least.
I forcefully tore off the rabbit’s leg and ate it raw.
It reeked of blood and made and unpleasant squelching sound while I chewed it but―― it was delicious. Or rather, I couldn’t tell what it tasted like.
But, it should be delicious.
If it’s edible, then it’s delicious.
Deliciousness meant being able to eat after all.

……Inedible things are not food.
Yep. A flawless theory.

「……(mogu mogu)」

I was still too wary to eat the internal organs so I decided to bury the organs in the ground the same way I did yesterday.
I was completely used to it by now, I buried it quickly while dirtying my hands with blood and dirt and continued eating.
Even if it didn’t taste like anything it’s still delicious.
As it went down to my stomach, I felt a strange and pleasant satisfaction.
【Gluttony】 might be efficient but, it didn’t give me this same feeling of satisfaction.
……well, if I get an upset stomach because of this then would’ve been all for nothing.

For now, now having confirmed that I could eat something even if it was raw, I continued moving forward.

***

I went deeper in to the forest…… the sun was beginning to set, and it was around the time I thought about going back.

「――」

That’s when I was struck by a mysterious sensation.
It was as if I was being drawn in and……blocked out.
Just what exactly was it?

I was taken in by my curiosity and went deeper inside the now extremely dense forest.
Squeezing through the greenery and breaking off branches, I finally found it.

「a ruins?……」

Vines had grown and wrapped around the building.
It looked like it was man-made, but there was mysterious designs in several places.
A ruined temple―― it gave off that impression.

「……what’s inside……」

My body froze up.
My instincts screamed at me, telling me that I shouldn’t go in.
But I’ve gotten hungry after coming this far, an intense hunger that was hard to endure.
And my sharpened senses told me that there was a living creature inside here.

There was prey right in front of me.

「haa haa……」

My chest hurt.
It was a sign that【Gluttony】was about to activate.
And then came a feeling of weakness…… The feeling of satisfaction that I had a while ago has completely vanished, I couldn’t think of anything other than food now.
……If I keep going then there was going to be prey. If I turn back, then it’s possible that I wouldn’t find anything and then I would starve.

――it was one or the other.

「…………」

I frantically tried to think butーー I was too hungry and couldn’t focus.

I’m hungry…… that was no good. I’ll leave the difficult decisions after I’ve dealt with my hunger.
That’s why―― I kept moving forward.

The inside of the ruins wasn’t as worn down as I thought it would be.
I couldn’t hear anything from outside and only silence filled the space inside. ―― more importantly than that, I was hungry.
So what if it was silent. So what if I couldn’t hear anything from outside.
What I needed right now was a prey that could sate my hunger.
I dragged my feet in the direction where the presence was the strongest.

There were different rooms along the way but I had no interest in them.
The deepest room in the ruins…… I wasn’t interested in anything other than the prey inside that.

「…………」

My stomach protested my hunger with pain and I hit it to shut it up.
【Gluttony】 had already activated, black particles were floating all around me. the particles, which looked harmless at a glance, still hadn’t caught any prey.

……it looks like there wasn’t going to be anything other than the big prey in the back after all.

It seems like I become hungrier easily in front of prey―― particularly, when in front of one that could become a substantial meal.
……There was no longer any wonder, nervousness, or anxiety.
The only thing left was my feeling of “wanting to eat”.

「……wait for me」

Step by step, I moved closer.
The ruins wasn’t particularly big.
And the layout wasn’t particularly complex either…… I keep moving forward, if I can open the large door that was in front of me then I would have reached my prey ……
I put my hand on the door, and tried to push and pull as hard as I could but…… it didn’t even budge.

「……?」

Even though I was tired because I was hungry…… it wasn’t to the point where I couldn’t move.
My body felt heavy but, my physical ability shouldn’t have changed――much. That’s why I thought I’d be able to open a door like this but……it didn’t respond to my arms at all.

It wasn’t enough so I pushed all my weight on to the door and did my best to try and open it.
And when I did, the door immediately fell over.
……
I wanted to think that it wasn’t because I was heavy.

「now thenー」
「…… Why Have You Come Here. Human」
「A talking…Lizard?」

Inside was a large lizard clad in red scales, sitting imposingly……
Sparks flew out as it took a long breath, it looks like it used fire.

What have I come here for……huh

「Of course, it’s in order to satisfy my hunger」
「…………」
「I would be happy if you could stay quiet and let me eat you without resisting」
「……fu,. fufufu, HAHAHA! You Would Eat Me? Very Well! I Accept Your Challenge! !」
「……?even if you accept or something……it’s already over 」
「What !? ――!?」

I had already filled the room with the black particles.
After that, 【Gluttony】 just had to activate on its own and I could eat.
……that was supposed to be what would happen at least.

「This Is ーーI See, So You Are This Era’s 【Gluttony】 」
「――eh?」

I clearly had the intention to eat it. But the lizard didn’t looked as if it was suffering…… and was talking excitedly instead.
On the contrary, the lizard seemed glad to see me.
Why?

I became flustered, knowing that 【Gluttony】 didn’t work on the lizard.
…… to think that my sole means of attacking wouldn’t work.……what do I-

「――!?」
「Hmm, Is That All You Have…… What’s Wrong? You Still Have A Hand To Play Don’t You?」

I was slammed to a wall with a tail.
There was a sickening sound, as if a bone hand been broken. ……I threw up blood and started coughing.

「*cough、cough*」
「……Weak. Too Weak」
「――this damn-」

I sunk my teeth down in to the tail that was right in front of me.
……however, it didn’t get hurt with that attack ――

「Kahaaーー」

I was slammed down violently.
Cracks appeared on the floor, and my bones were broken.

……I thought I wasn’t sensitive to pain but it looks like that wasn’t really the case.

――ah, I’m  hungry

「Hahhh…… Given That You Are The User Of 【Gluttony】……Amounting To Merely This…… Is Disappointing 」

A clear gesture of disappointment.
It took a long breath and spewed out hot embers, it looked like it was sighing.
……why isn’t 【Gluttony】working?
Was it because he was too big? Or was it simply because he wasn’t something that could be eaten? …… I don’t know. I couldn’t think because of my hunger and blood loss.

ーI’m hungry

「Fumu……Well I Do Not Intend To Make You Suffer」
「……it over」
「Hm? Did You Say Something?」
「……hand it over」

I’m at my limits. I’m so hungry, I want to eat. I want to eat…… I want to eat, I want to taste, I want to be satiated.
I don’t want to be hungry.
I don’t want to die even more.
That’s why, I eat

《System Message: Starvation Rate has exceeded 120% 【Gluttony】 is switching over to 『Predation Mode』 》

「hand over your body……Lizard 」
「――h」

At that moment, the black particles became inactive……Instead, mysterious markings appeared on my body.
My body felt heavy, and my sense felt dull―― but right now I can keep going.

「I won’t let myself starve, I will eat, live. I will survive」
「W, What Is This!? What Are Youーー」
「Shut Up. I’m Hungry」
「W-Wait! If I Were To Die Then―― !?」

In order to shut him up, I grabbed his tail, and began eating.
The taste was the same as always. It didn’t taste like anything but…… I wonder if it was spicy, I felt my tongue burning.
……whatever, if my mind told me that it was delicious then I’m okay with that.

Which part should I eat next?

***

ーーI still wasn’t satisfied.

「gah――guh, GEAaaaaa!!」

ーー not enough. not at all enough

「――――」

but there’s no more prey left.

How will I get rid of my hunger?

「…………」

I’m tired.
In this state, even if I manage to sate my hunger, I start getting hungry again right away.
I don’t want any more.
I hate being hungry.
Why did hunger have to exist?
Eating, Excreting, Getting hungry again…… that eternal cycle. I can’t get out of that hell no matter what I do.
……lying down on ground, in this ruins which no longer had anyone else, I looked up to the ceiling.

「……am I going to die……?」

I was undoubtedly going to.
This was the second time I’ve felt this sinking sensation…… and even if I find something to eat now, it would already be too late.

「Ara? It’s rare to see a child in this place」
「…………」

I thought I saw something with my blurred vision…… something that looked like a human figure.
But, I couldn’t keep holding on to my sinking consciousness anymore―― lying on the floor, I gave up on enduring…… and surrendered myself to my sinking consciousness……

……There’s no way I would do that.

「oh, that was dangerous」
「――aaAAAA!!」

I unleashed the power of【Gluttony】at the person that came and tried to eat her.
I didn’t feel any guilt. I did it with the full intent to eat.
……if it’s to survive, then I would eat anything.
Even if it was another person.
I will still eat.

「 【Gluttony】 ? That means, you’re someone that has transmigrated……I’ll have to treat you more politely then」
「Fill, Hunger, I will survive――」
「I see…… so you’re hungry huh. Very well then. Please eat me.」
「――!」

The girl didn’t resist.
She spread her arms out and held me……
…… and like that, I sunk my teeth into her soft body――

「Ah~n ……fu、fufu……getting eaten huh, that’s a first」

Finally, I was free from that unending pain.


<< Previous Chapter | TOC | Next Chapter >> |

2. Name

ーーI crawled out of the wrecked carriage, I realized that I was starting to get thirsty…… so I went to the nearby lake to drink water.
My body wasn’t really that thirstyーー but for me, it’s been forever since I’ve had any water……

「u, uu……」

It was delicious enough to make me cry.
This was exactly what I need. While wiping my tears, I kept on gulping down water.

「-puhaa!」

I raised my face and looked up to the sky.
A vast clear blue sky…… the freedom that I’ve wanted and longed for so much was now in my hands.
I didn’t have to be controlled by anyone anymore.
As that realization finally set in―― I started crying once again.

*****

After I regaining my composure, I earnestly set out to resume my exploration with renewed vigor.

I didn’t know what time it was and had no way of telling but…… there should still be some time before the sun began to set.

「I have to find something before that……」

Cautiously, I started to advance, making sure that there wasn’t anything around me.
I pushed my way through greenery that grew as high as a person. Even when I would almost stumble over tree roots, I made sure to keep going in a straight line so that I would be able to find my way back without getting lost……

「…………」

With a nervous gulp, I started to break in to an anxious sweat..
From time to time I could hear rustling that sent shivers down my body, but when I turned to look at the direction of the sound there was nothing. It was probably just the wind……right?

and thenーー

「ーーh」

I saw them.

A pack of wolves were wandering around the area.
They haven’t found me but they were nearby…… and if I made even the slightest sound they would immediately know that I was there.
I held my breath, and ,in total silence, I continued waiting for them to go away.

「…………」

…………
For a while now, I’ve been thinking that that looked delicious.
And while I was keeping an eye on that, I was hit by a kind of hunger that I’ve never felt before…… in an instant my body started to feel heavy.
I need to eat something soon……

「u,uu……」

The hunger was terrible.
“It hurts. No more…… I don’t want to remember that anymore ……I don’t want it.”

The hunger transformed into an uncontrollable urge.

“In order to get rid of this hunger, I have to……”

Something hot welled up inside my chest.

That heat was getting on my nerves.
I wanted to cool it down right away

“ーーwhat did I have to do?”

It was simple.
There is only way to stave off this kind of hunger.

“ーーI have to eat, that’s the only way”

「――!!」

I let myself get swept away by that uncontrollable urge and unleashed something from my body.
A black particle made out of some unknown material…… in a flash, the particles flickered away towards the direction of a wolves.

And then…… the wolves began to writhe in agony.
And my hunger became satiated.

What exactly was that “power”
Even without words I could understand what it was.…… it was my desires, my earnest wishes, …… the crystallization of all my prayers.

The power that will let me satisfy all my cravings, my “power”,

「ー【Gluttony】」

Ahh, how filling.
The wolves’ life force became mine and flowed to me.
That life force was processed even further. dissolved, absorbed, becoming sustenance. It wasn’t anything special.
It was the very act called “living”

Like that, I continued on greedily devouring everything
”There were no flavors to savor”
But my mind told me that it was ”delicious”.
If it could sate my hunger then wasn’t that enough?

「……Aha」

I laughed.

「Ahaha……」

I was allowed to indulge in laughter.

「Ahahahaーー」

To laugh, to cry, to eat, and to be happy…… I’ve been allowed to indulge in all those trivial things.

I was reborn
That’s right
In the real sense, I was reborn

My circumstances, my environment, even my parents, even my strength, even my body …… everything. I was reborn in everything.

「A name……」

Right, a name.
I was “I”, but
That isn’t very “human-like” at all. That’s why I have to think of a new name.

I wonder what would be good, No matter what I name I go with, I have to be sure that I don’t regret it.
Then, a name that I’d like, a name that’s solely for me, would be good.

Something I like…… Now that I think about it, I wonder what those flowers that I could see from our house was called.

They were beautiful flowers…… I shouldn’t have know, but for some reason I could remember the name clearly.

「 …… “Iris”」

They were Irises.
Weren’t they also called …… Ayame? How did I know these things, I wonder? I don’t know..
But, that’s enough for now.
If I know what they were called, then I’m fine with leaving it at that.

「From now on, I amーーIris」

I am an Iris.
This day, I’ve been born again as a little flower bud.


| << Previous Chapter | TOC | Next Chapter >> |

1. Waking Up and Hunger

 ――ahh, I’m hungry.

My last thoughts were for something that trivial..

【Starvation】 ―― that unbearable sensation, more agonizing than any other kind of suffering.

「ーーAh」

My voice was hoarse.
My throat was dry.
And I was  hungry.

When was the last time I ate food? I couldn’t even remember anymore……
In an empty room, I was enduring my hunger alone,

waiting for my parents that were never going to come.

I wonder what …… I am still living for?
Shunned by my own parents, never allowed to go to school …… Every day I would get yelled at,

Everyday I would be forced to do things.

ーーas if bubbling out, something began to well up inside me..

Whatever it was, I couldn’t really understand.
I’ve never had a proper upbringing, I’ve only ever known about things from seeing them on TV, it was only natural that I would be ignorant about a lot of things
That’s why I couldn’t understand what I was feeling in my heart right now.

「Ahーー」

I’m getting sleepy.
My eyelids are getting heavy.
……If I go to sleep like this then I’d surely won’t be able to get back up again,
then I’d definitely get hit and kicked for「 being lazy」.

――but, the people who’d do that to me are already gone.

Then, what should I do about my hunger?

I didn’t know what to do.
I who knew nothing and received nothing, couldn’t understand.

I wonder, just what exactly, am I still living for.?

“I” who was …… “I”? Who? Am I “I”? But everyone else had names.

I only knew to refer to myself as “I”.
I’ve only ever been referred to with words like「Oi」 and 「You」.

……I wonder why I was living for the sake of those people.
Only being exploited and even suffering through scary experiences…… I wonder if that could that be even called living?
I think that was, how do I say it? …… a very, rough thing.

I couldn’t find the words to describe so the realization wasn’t sinking in

「……n、o……no」

Using my parched throat, frantically, I cried out.

Surrendering myself to that urge, I cried out.

……but, I was too late to notice it.

ーーand just like that I-

「ーーagh」

-I  opened my eyes.

***

「where is ーー」

When I came to, I was inside a forest.
My outfit and even the height of my perspective had changed……

「ehーーwhy is thisー?」

Just a short while ago my body was always sluggish and heavy…… but now it felt as if it was as light as a feather.
My body responded as I pictured, I could move as I wanted.
On top of that, my hair, which went down to my shoulders ーー was now silver, a clearly different color from what it used to be.
I wonder why I felt some happiness about being the opposite from how I was before.

and also

「what is  thisーー?」

There’s the curious jingling chains that lead to shackles.
A collar?…would it be alright to call it that? and around me was a single rag that could only barely cover everything.

and there’s also that unpleasant smell that’s been hanging in the air for a while now…… what could it be?

「HIIーー! ?」

When I looked around, there was a bloody hell scape.

There was dead people everywhere, their eyes wide-open, their mouths frothing, regardless if they were women, children…… even large men were down.
They all died as if they had consumed poison.

……and with them, having seemingly died in the same way, were a number of ferocious-looking wolves and bears.

Those were animals that I’ve only ever seen on TV …… but the ones I saw were a little different.

「……?」

For now, I broke out of my chains, I didn’t want my movement being constricted.
I stood up and skipped around lightly.

「――fu, fufu-」

Ahhh, when was the last time I’ve had this much energy?
I was always hungry and sluggish……but now I can move so light-heartedly.
How fun. How fun.……How fun. I want to keep dong this forever.

「…………」

Suddenly, I came back to my senses…… I need to confirm my current situation.
In the first place, even my appearance changed and is as if I had……

「”reincarnated”ーー」

It was that event that was so well know that even I knew about even though I wasn’t educated.
……but then this means that, I died…… doesn’t it.
No, it probably couldn’t have been helped. I was starving that much and suffering ―― I couldn’t even drink water anymore. Considering that, I actually held out quite well

No, that stuff doesn’t matter anymore. What matters is right now I’m still alive.
Even if my appearance has changed, I’m still alive.
And that’s the only thing that matters.

「……that aside, where am I?」

From what I could see, it looks like I’m in forest…… it was beautiful to the point that it seemed mysterious.
The water was crystal clear, there wasn’t any trash around. It was a beautiful forest scenery.
I would even go as far to say that the dead people and animals were being obstructions in the scenery.
but enough of that――

「I have to look for food……」

That’s right, food. Nourishment.
Starving was the most difficult experience I had. It was unbearable, and I had to put up with it until I died…… That’s why I don’t want to experience that ever again.
……that unbearable pain……I don’t ever want to go through that again.

「but……」

I was scared.
I was in an unknown location, and a situation that I couldn’t understand.
Even though everyone around me is dead, but I have no idea why I’m the only one that’s okay …… I couldn’t make sense of anything.
I could move, but if I happen to come across a wild animal then I probably wouldn’t be able to put up any resistance.

Still……the thought of doing nothing and just waiting till I starve is even scarier.

「…………」

I started walking.
First I should check around near me to see if there is anything I could eat
Near me there was a dead person and the wreck of a carriage. They were probably in the middle of travelling.

「Yoi, sho」

Using my small body, I quickly inspected the contents of the carriage through an opening.
There was nothing but stuff like bags with holes, ropes, and chains…… everything that seemed edible had already been eaten.

「No……no way」

I became a bit sad.
Then, I’ll change my mindset, if there’s nothing left then all I have to do is look for more. it’s that simple …… the animals are no good though.
Then the grass!…… but I don’t know which ones are edible.

「muu……」

While thinking about what to eat I became a little hungry.
I have to hurry and find something I can eat while I can still move……


| << Previous Chapter | TOC | Next Chapter >> |

0. Starvation

……for as long as I could remember, the way that I would live my life had been decided for me .

It seems like I was someone who should never have been born.
My parents made me to do the all the menial housework. They had led me to believe that I was mentally ill and they didn’t let me go to any schools.
It was only from a drama that was playing on the TV that we used to have that I realized that my life wasn’t normal.
My circumstances were not normal, It was abnormal and ―― unhappy.

「do it」
「……yes. but, I’m still not done doing the dishes ……」
「Haa? You’re still not done? I told you not take so long doing every little thing! 」
「――h, gu……」

The existence called mother took a freshly washed knifed in her hand, grabbed my left arm and then slashed at it.
It was hot.
and then, there was a steady pain.

……my body was so cold that the wound felt like a source of warmth.

I was forbidden from using warm water when doing the dishes.
It was apparently too much of an extravagance and a waste for me to use it.

「Come on then, stop cowering and get up. I have to get ready to go soon」
「………yes」

I’m not allowed to refuse.
If I were to do so then she wouldn’t stop with just a cut from a knife.

「…………」

I continued doing the dishes without paying attention to my dripping blood, soaking my hands in freezing water.
It was fortunate that the cut was near the elbow so the blood didn’t get in the water.

After doing the dishes, I tore a strip of fabric from the clothes I was wearing to use as a makeshift bandage.
I was told not to use the bandages or the band-aid, it was apparently wasted on me.
Because of this, the clothes I wear get more and more tattered every time I get injured.
Only one big T-shirt is given to me per month. It’s baggy and goes below my knees, but it’s only been half a month now and my knees are already showing.

「……next is……」

Should I do what I was told to do or should I clean up the floor that’s been dirtied with my blood?

The next task that I was supposed to do was …… cleaning the toilet, so, I should go clean the floor first which could be finished quickly.
I took a rag out and dipped my hands with the rag in the freezing water. I started to wipe the blood on the floor before it became a stain.
As blood got on the floor, I’d wash the rag in the water and wipe the floor again. I did this over and over.

Is mother still busy preparing? It’s fortunate that she hasn’t noticed that I haven’t started cleaning the toilet yet.
If she had seen me crawling on the floor then she would’ve kicked me up without a question.
She would’ve scolded me and said something like, 「Stop slacking, get back to work」

That’s why I have to finish cleaning the floor quickly.

After that is the toilet.
Needless to say, I also have to do the cleaning with my hands, so……

「……uuu」

An incredibly hard to describe stench permeated the air, and I pinched my nose without thinking.
If I recall correctly then I’ve cleaned the toilet only just a few days ago ……meaning that it got this bad in only a few days. Was it because it was used for different things?
Whether it was day or night, that other parent would always be doing that thing that I couldn’t understand.
Sometimes he’d even be doing it with different people ……
With no regard for if I was even there, he’d be doing it with no reserve all around the house.
 …… The smell, the atmosphere, the expressions that he had during that time, are things that I have trouble with.

That one day he could turn his actions towards me, is something that I’m very afraid of.

「――Hah? tch, being cleaned huh……hurry up and finish! 」
「guu……」

The stench of alcohol and a peculiar stuffy smell that could only come from an adult man came up behind me while I was still cleaning, I grimaced.
Right now, an unpleasant stench was getting mixed up with a stench that I hated …… it felt like my nose was being twisted.

He pinned my head down and started clamping down on it.

「What the fuck is up with that face huh!?」
「――Gah」

He didn’t seem to like the disgust in my face. He slammed me to the wall then brought his face closer …… and with a mixture of alcohol and tobacco in his breath, he started to talk to me.

「You’re helpless so isn’t it just common sense that you have to grovel to us, your parents, and humbly serve us!? huh!?!”」
「Hiih, I’m s-sorr――!?」

The thing that could be said as the thing that I hate the most in the entire world.
Is the smell of that after it’s been used. It seems like he had had some fun last night.

It looks like he was at the end of his limits so he went to relieve himself even though I was right next to him.
――as I was sitting on the floor, that thing was right in front of me, I didn’t want to see it, I looked away.

「Fooー…… tch, it stinks 」
「…………」

The source of that stench said something.

「Oi, lick it up until it’s clea――haa, nevermind, you reek too 」
「…………」

I couldn’t understand what he started saying but …… it was, with no doubt, going to have been something worthless.
Thinking that, I went back to cleaning.

「I’ll be going off now~ de~a~ry!」
「Ohh! See you later then!」

As I finished cleaning the toilet, my mother jumped in to my father’s arm and ,with a mushy, disgusting voice, started talking to him.
Mother smelled like perfume…… she’s probably about to go to work.
As for Father……he’s probably going to start drinking alcohol now like he always does.

「And you, make sure to do your chores properly okay?」
「……yes」


What kindness she’d show to my father, she would never show me.
It’s disgusting, and even if she started to treat me like that after all this time……even if it’s like that, I realize that I still wasn’t being loved.
A hindrance. An eyesore. If you were never born then it would’ve been better.
I’d be something like that instead.

「……I wonder if there’s any  food for me」

I was hungry because I haven’t eating anything since the morning.
While my stomach was gurgling loudly, I looked around in the refrigerator for today’s food.

「It’s the same  today too huh」

In there would be things like half-eaten bread, hardened rice …… and kind of strange, smelly bentou.
That is what I’d have to eat for the entire day.
Sometimes it would make my stomach hurt but if I don’t eat then I wouldn’t be able to move.

「……(mogu mogu)」

I held the bread with both hands and chewed slowly.
Then I drank as much water as I could, my belly swelled slightly.

「glug, glug ……puhaaー!」

And near me is my father who just downed an entire can of beer dry.
Eating stuff like fish and nuts as he wanted, and then chasing it down with even more alcohol. Next to him was also some fried foods. He had delicious looking food all lined up..

「Hah? The hell are you looking at!?」
「S-sorry……」

I got glared at for looking at his food with envy.
I didn’t want to get hit so I quickly ran away to do my next task.

The next task was, cleaning the bedroom.
It was an easy task.
But because I had no stamina, it still took me a lot of time.

「Uuu……」

It seems like, they’ve been going at it till late at night …… First, I have to open the windows and let fresh air in.
What I’m smelling right now, is the stench that I hate the most in the entire world, and the stench of cosmetics and alcohol that had mixed with it.
Is it the smell of mother’s cosmetics? If it was then I hate it even more.

「…… I wonder if I’m going to need to wash this and this」

I took the blanket and the sheets off the futon. Then I slipped on some spare ones.
I took the trash and crammed it in to a garbage bag. Little by little, I tidied up the room.
……but then my very drunk father came over and then,

「Hmmm!」
「agh」
「Tch, no matter how old you get you don’t grow up, I can’t have any fun like this …… *hic*」

Even though I worked hard to clean the place up, its going to get all messy again.
Empty beer cans and crumbs of snacks is going to get scattered all over the room. I’m going to have to vacuum the room again.

Those thoughts ran through my head faintly ……I was having difficulty breathing after having been kicked in the stomach.

「Haaaahー…… oh, my phone」

Father’s upset attitude turned around instantly.
He quickly went to his ringing phone and answered the call.
His expression was no longer the irritated one he had just a few moments ago …… he was now making a sick lovestruck and sweet faced expression.

「――Yea, right now should be okay. No problem. ……The brat? You don’t need to mind the brat…… Yea, okay. Then, see you soon」

While stepping on me, father answered the phone.

***

……Right now, I am cleaning up the cigarette butts and empty beer cans outside the bedroom.
The room which I had just finished cleaning up, was immediately used by my father and a woman that had came over.
I could hear voices …… that seemed to be in pain, and seemed to be in pleasure.
Voices that I had long gotten used to.

At night with my mother, In the day with strangers like this. Women who I didn’t know.

My father didn’t work…… and just like right now, he only drank alcohol, and enjoyed himself……
Our family was supported solely by my mother.

But that isn’t to say that our family didn’t have much ―― that wouldn’t actually be the case.
At the very least our family had enough to let two people indulge themselves.
…… it’s just that there’s nothing for me.

「……haa」

That aside, I’ve gotten hungry.
I thought about eating what I still had left in the fridge now, but if I did that then I wouldn’t have anything left for lunch and for dinner.
For now, I decided to drink more water to help me endure my hunger.

At least, it still wasn’t to the point where I could no longer move.

***

The woman left to go home after she was done with what she came here for.
She looked bothered when she saw me, but it was still better than being hit or kicked around.

「Clean up. Don’t let her find out.」
「……okay」

Even though father one was the one who made it dirty,
Forget about it, if I don’t clean up then I’ll get beaten by mother …… she might even take my food away this time.
I didn’t want that to happens so I hurriedly got rid of all the traces of anything that had happened in the bedroom

However, it seems like this time I wasn’t so fortunate.

「’I’m home~ deary~」
「……h!?」

Mother came back home.
And it was while I was in the middle of tidying up all the traces that the woman had left behind.
……It looks like today was a day where she could come home early.

With cold sweat, father went to greet her.
But then, mother squinted her eyes …… and sniffed father.

「……Deary」
「W-, wh-, what is it?」
「You’ve been drinking haven’t you! Let me have some too!」
「Ye, yea…… okay. Then why don’t we start drinking now」


Mother entrusted her body to father, who, compared to before she had left for work, now smelled of various new scents mixing together, she went to the fridge in order to get more alcohol and then,

 ……her mood immediately plummeted after noticing that I hadn’t finished cleaning the bedroom.
She rushed over to where I was and screamed at me with a voice filled with anger.
I don’t want to hear it. But I’m not allowed to cover my ears. I have to quietly hang my head …… and continue listening to her yell at me.

Suddenly, the shouting stopped.

「Ah ,sorry. I think I might’ve left my bag he……re」

The woman from earlier had came back inside he house.

―― Father’s relationship with that woman was exposed, and our house now looked as if it’s been desolated by a disaster.
Plates and glasses were broken and scattered. Blood had also been splattered around.
Blood which turned out to be from my father..
Mother had hit and injured him.
…… and of course, I was also a victim of her rampage. but nobody’s really paying attention to that.

「……this stings」

Mother had left the house in grief.

「damn it, damn it, DAMN IT!!」

Father was wildly hitting the walls and the floor.
I held my breath and hid in a corner.
 …… but it was useless, I was dragged out by the arm and then beaten.

It didn’t end with just a beating.
He poured alcohol on me and ,after taking a quick drag off his cigarette, started pressing his lit cigarette to my skin.

No matter how much I cried, he wouldn’t hold back.

 It hurt, and then there was nothing, and then there was pain again.
He kept doing it again and again.

 …… before I knew it, I had been taken to the bedroom.
He had pushed me down to the futon, and was on top of me wringing my neck.

「ack, hyuh……
「This fucker…… you damn bitch, this is all your fault!!」

I haven’t done anything wrong.
I’ve only ever done what I’ve been told to do.
So why does this have to happen to me.

「Haa…… Haa……」

 Father kept choking me until I was about to lose consciousness ―― he kept on going until I was about to faint. He stopped and made to leave the bedroom.

but while I was still down, he kicked me in the stomach, and I finally lost consciousness.

***

When I eventually woke up I could hear the voices of father and another woman echoing around the house again.
I was no longer in the bedroom, it looks like I’ve been put away inside the bathroom. Because I was only wearing a shirt, it felt freezing inside even though it was still day.

 ……why?  why?

It’s cold, It hurts, They look so comfortable, It’s so unfair.
Why am I the only one who has to experience something like th–

「……ahh」

I’m so hungry.

I was too scared to go outside, so I stayed still and endured the cold inside the bathroom.
The voices kept on going. A day passed, I thought that maybe that woman had finally gone back, but when I checked another woman had come in to our house.
maybe father has already lost interest in me and won’t do anything to me anymore …… he hasn’t gone in to take a bath and he’s just been playing around with those women all this time.

I’m hungry, I’m cold, I couldn’t take it anymore.

But I was too scared to be around father while he’s like that.
So I kept on hiding myself away in the bathroom.
Enduring the cold and my hunger the entire time.

「……」

With a gulp, I drank my saliva and tried to keep my hunger under control.
I’ve always been this hungry, I’ve just never been able to realize it, that I was always hungry.
Up till now I’ve been paralyzed with pain and fear.
And now that I’ve had the chance to stay still for such a long time like this, I finally realized …… just how hungry I was all this time.

「…………」

The house went quiet..
The front door opened, and someone went out.

I’m already, at my limit.

「Hah? what is …… it?」
「Aha……」

My ,now alone, father was about to invite someone else over and with one hand on his phone looked over at me irritatedly.
However, that soon turned into a look of astonishment …… and then into a look of terror.

「A, AAAAaaaAAAaaA! ? ! ?」
「……aha」

I used a kitchen knife that I had stealthily taken from the kitchen, and stabbed him in the stomach.
Father squirmed in pain.
I couldn’t hold myself back, I swung the knife around as I wanted, sticking my knife in him over and over.

For everything that he’d had done to me until now, for all the times that I’ve been beaten …… this is my payback. I kept going and going.

「ah, gah……guha」

and just like that, he’s lost all liveliness and stopped moving. Finally, he can’t say anything anymore.
But even after that I still kept on stabbing him with the knife. Again and again.

「I’m hungry……」

The pain from my hunger was intense.
But, even after going through the fridge, and looking around the entire house I couldn’t find anything.
There was nothing but empty cans and empty bottles, nothing but empty snack wrappers.
……even though I should still have had some food left, it was nowhere to be found.

「w  why……」

After finding out that there was nothing to eat, my hunger became even more intense.
I can still bear it. I will endure.

***

Mother came back home,
But this time she brought along several men.

「――hey missy, what’s this about? You said that you be giving us one kid and one man? 」
「Eh? kyaAAAA! ?」

The man in black took a look at my father and at me, who was covered in blood, and then frowned.
And my mother, after seeing me like that, let out a shriek.

「Oh come on, his organs probably can’t even be used anymore …… the kid’s a girl but, she’s way too thin」
「Missy. This is rather troublesome. I got these people together because you said that we’d be able to make some money here」
「…… hey now, do I really have to go and make our pretty boys give you another lesson~? 」
「「GYAHAHA! !」」

I couldn’t understand what they were saying.
But my mother was looking at me……

「I don’t care about any of that! Take this brat away! Right this instant!」
「……eh?」
「No. That’s too much, there’s no merit in taking her with us when she’s like this……I’ll forget about the conversation we had earlier, so- 」
「N, no way…… You, useless brat! !」

The men left.
And I got hit.

W why? even though that one is gone now, why do I have to keep getting beaten?
why do I have to keep getting beaten……?

「――!」
「Kyaa ! ?」

I took an empty bottle that was near me, and bashed her with all my strength.
But that didn’t kill mother.

I didn’t have the knife.
but having been shattered, the bottle now looks like it could really hurt someone, as I was about to thrust it into mother ――

「This brat……」

Mother snatched the bottle from me, and stabbed me in the chest instead.

「Hah, hahaha! This is what’ll happen if you go against me――」
「――h」

I ignored the pain …… and with all my might, pushed my mother down.
If I don’t have anything at hand then I’ll use my nails, I used my nails and clawed at her.
But it wasn’t very effective.
Then I’ll use my teeth.

…… I sink my teeth down in her throat, and I ripped and devoured as hard as I can.

「――――」

I couldn’t hear what mother was saying anymore.

 …… my consciousness was fading.
with blood dripping out my mouth, I walked around the house with unsteady steps.
Maybe I just didn’t see it and there was actually still something left to eat……

「so h……ungry……」

In the end, I remained hungry up until the very end.


| TOC | Next Chapter >> |