Author: Inaida Sou
Translator: Kei of ChocoCats
○ 346 days ago
On the road where the cicadas never stop ringing, I walk next to my brother cheerfully. A kid running around while playing energetically despite the scorching sun.
I can’t be like that kid; I left all my childhood spirit at elementary school. After having my brain filled with study from cram school in the summer, all I want to do now is to go home as soon as possible. When I looked up at the sky tiredly, I saw a lush sky spreading through the gaps between the trees.
Even though the blue sky looks so peaceful, recently there have been killing crimes happening around this area. The criminal hasn’t been caught yet, and the public is still talking about it, enough to reach the ears of a grandpa living in the countryside with only a few channels.
I looked back at the security buzzer that Grandpa sent me the other day, which had been remodelled with a roaring sound, in my hand.
“Today, mom might be late. What will you do for dinner? Onii-chan, is there anything you want to eat?”
“Hmm, what to eat? Should we buy something in the convenience store?” He asked back with a smile. My proud older brother, who is in the third year of middle school this year and is aiming to enter the number one elite school in the prefecture, is always cool. His straight black hair is silky, his eyes are beautiful, and he looks like a prince in a picture book.
I want to marry my brother in the future. Rather, I only want to marry my brother. That’s how much I love my brother. That’s why I want to study hard from now on and enter the same high school as my brother next year!
“Then, let’s cook! Let’s eat curry!”
I pulled my brother’s arm and walk along the paved road that surrounds a large pond. It’s almost our house.
“Wanna drink water? You are sweating, you will get heatstroke, Mai.”
“I’m fine~ I’m fine~!”
My brother offered me a towel as I looked at the pond. Back when I’m still in elementary school, he will wipe my face, but now I received the towel with a “thank you” and wiped my forehead myself.
“It’s still hot, isn’t it?”
“Ah, are you going to buy ice cream? Are we going to take a detour? Do you want to eat ice cream, Onii-chan?”
I pointed towards the city. Trees that are about to reach the sky come into view. This is a great spot for catching insects, and when I was in elementary school, I caught insects here and gave them as gifts to my brother.
My brother loves living creatures and was very happy to collect them. As I reminisced the old days, I noticed something reflected in the light.
“Oh, it’s a spider.”
There was a spider web a little higher than me. It seems that it was the spider’s thread that was shining. A large spider in the centre of the nest spits out threads while turning its body. The nest swayed by the wind reflects the glittering light and it is very beautiful. When I was looking at it, a beautiful butterfly flew from somewhere.
Butterflies with red, yellow, and black colours spot, as thin as origami, approaches the nest and try to fly away.
When the wings hit the nest, the movement became faster. Every time the butterfly’s wings blink, the thread gets entangled and slows it down. Eventually, the butterflies were completely stuck.
“Ah, the butterfly…”
The spider came close to the butterfly. It moves its slender legs up and down to hold the wings of the butterfly. At this rate, the butterfly will be eaten by the spider.
When I turned my face to my brother, I couldn’t let out my voice. My heart is beating loudly, and I feel like time has stopped. I couldn’t even hear any of the annoying cicada sounds.
My brother is just looking up at the nest. He didn’t seem to be interested in anything. When I stare at his eyes, he seems to want to say, ‘isn’t it good?’.
A pitch-black, like dark night eyes that seem to have given up everything. As I look closer, for a moment, my brother’s face was replaced by the face of a manga character, bright red with blood.
I took a step back. The sounds of cicadas were gone, instead, I heard a lot of people screaming, and images flowed into my head.
A bright red school corridor, a kitchen knife that shines sharply in the light of the moon, and my older brother who laughs quietly in the centre. His eyes are terribly hollow and there is no light.
A girl in pyjama turning over pages of manga depicting such a scene. She continued reading the manga with awe. On the next page, my brother talks about killing with excitement. When the girl turned the page again, my brother drawn on the double-page spread was about to run straight.
In the next frame, a lot of blood spouts from his chest like a fountain. Eventually, he closed his eyes quietly in the pitch-black corridor. The girl in pyjama who reads such manga mutters “ehhh…” and drops her shoulders.
Those images spun around inside my head.
My brother shook my shoulders and my mind snapped. The older brother standing in front of me isn’t covered in blood at all, and this is a park, not a school. Just now, a dream…? What was that?
“Nothing. It’s okay…”
I must calm myself. I looked up to see my brother’s face and―― I became speechless.
This is bad.
My beloved older brother is that Kurobe-kun… no…. the super psychopath murderer, Kurobe Makoto.
“Mai, have you woken up?”
When I opened my eyes in surprise, my brother entered my field of vision. I wonder why I’m sleeping in my room… I’m sure I was in the park before…
“I was worried. You suddenly collapsed in the park. I will contact mom.”
My brother stood up. He looked at my face and told me to “rest well” while smiling. As we always get along, I smiled back and saw him off.
After waiting for the door to close properly and the footsteps of my brother gradually went silent, my mouth opened in reflex. Before I knew it, my hands trembled, and my breathing became rough. It’s not a symptom of heatstroke. It’s a complete horror-derived feeling. A pure horror.
“He is really that Kurobe Makoto…”
To put it in words, I couldn’t stand the reality in front of me and rubbed my arms. The scene I saw earlier… That was me in my previous life. Because I remember dying when I was a high school girl.
Since I was a child, I was weak and prone to illness. The only fun I could get in the hospital was manga.
‘Goodbye Heaven, Good Morning Hell’ was the manga that gave me emotional support. I told myself I will not die until I read the final chapter.
Commonly known as ‘Sayo Jigoku/GoodHell’* (It’s just shortened from the long title). The story is about first-year high school students in a certain class being trapped in a school where the internet was cut off from July 29th to 31st and being involved in a death game held by a mysterious organizer.
They must complete tasks, one after another, such as solving quizzes and treasure hunting mysteries. If they cannot complete the task, they will die…
Furthermore, to balance the variety of individual abilities such as academic and athletic ability, there was a recommended task to defeat each other. If you clear the task, you will get a kitchen knife and a modified plastic gun, so you can voluntarily reduce the number of participants.
The strategy they use was to ‘get everyone together in one classroom peacefully and wait for help’. Originally, they all were gathered in high school to hold a test of courage, with a hidden motive to maintain good relations with each other.
But the situation turned into an unexpected way. As if to crush such a pure-intention strategy, the corpse of Kurobe-kun, the class president who did not appear even at the meeting time on the day despite being the organizer of the test, was found.
The corpse looks like a doll that has been torn with scissors, like a rag cloth that has been tattered and put in the washing machine and spun continuously for 20 hours. When the students were in a panic, the mysterious organizer said in a broadcast, “It was someone in this class who killed the class president. There is a murderer in this class who is dying to kill people.”
A corpse that suddenly appeared in a confined space. Moreover, it is a corpse of an acquaintance. The game starts with all the students falling into suspicion. Naturally, in every chapter, someone dies. In that terrible situation, readers cheer for their favourite characters and are delighted with the weekly serialization.
As far as it goes, there was a protagonist, Tanaka Hiroshi, and the heroine, Himegasaki. But even they were worried about their survival until the final episode.
A death game that is the core of such a miserable story. The mastermind behind it is my brother――Kurobe Makoto.
He was excellent from an early age but was attracted to killing creatures. He whimsically pushed his stepsister who is one year younger than him, into a pond and killed small animals and insects. It has become more noticeable since he saw a cat run over by a car and died in the winter of his third year of middle school.
Gradually, the murder urge grew bigger, and he murdered people. Because of the uncontrollable desire to kill the human who desperately struggled to live, a cruel death game was held in the summer of his first-year high school.
Disguising his own death, as the game progressed, he whimsically kills his classmates as the mysterious organizer, creating an atmosphere of suspicion. In the end, he killed the survivors and even himself.
He was a genuine psychopath who masked his crazy cruelty with a perfect appearance, perfect brain, and perfect physical strength, pretending as a person loved by all. In addition, because of his bizarre hobby and murderous urge, it became out of control.
And it seems that I reincarnated as that person’s sister.
Suddenly I was called out and I accidentally screamed. Looking back in a hurry, my brother stood with a sports drink bottle and a glass on a tray.
“Geez, how many times do you want to be surprised by me today?”
My brother looks surprised by my voice, but it is just the shell. In the final episode of the manga, one of the classmate survivors said “Aren’t we friends who enjoyed high school life together? You had fun too with us!” And my brother uninterestedly responded, “Ah, I suppose my acting was pretty good.”
“Here. Do you need a straw?”
My brother smiled at my reply and poured the sports drink into the glass. Maybe because he’s that Kurobe-kun, even the appearance of him pouring drinks felt creepy.
Now, I am 14 years old, and my brother is 15 years old. Kurobe-kun in the manga was in the first year of high school, so there is one year left. But his face is completely the same. The feeling and the atmosphere are also the same as Kurobe-kun in the manga.
“From now on, when we go to the cram school, I’ll bring another water bottle and a parasol. Now that Mai is already in middle school, you need to rehydrate yourself before someone told you.”
“Good reply. Mai is a good girl.”
I felt that the act of stroking my head, which I was so happy about before, now is threatening to reach my neck next time. As I continued to force smiling, my brother stood up, saying, “I’ll call mother for the time being.”
“I’ve told her that Mai collapsed from heatstroke. I promised to call if anything happens.”
After saying that, my brother left the room. Maybe he will call from the home phone. The sound of the footsteps on stairs going down to the first floor can be heard.
What should I do…? What should I do from now on? His face and surname match and the family structure are also completely the same, so the possibility that they are different people is none…?
As I was trying to find a strand of hope, I suddenly remembered something.
When Kurobe confessed his crime in the final chapter, he attached a door and a key to the second row of the bookshelf in the room, where he kept a diary about his murder urge, a kitchen knife, a knife, and an air gun with improved killing performance in a box.
He also said that when he was little, he used to collect dead insects and animals. It was also depicted in a flashback scene, that he created a morgue under the porch of the garden.
If I check that, I should know if my brother is really that Kurobe-kun. I just fainted with heat stroke, so maybe I’m just hallucinating. The corridor leading from the living room to the garden on the first floor is a blind spot. Now is my chance.
I left the room while trying to not make any noise and entered my brother’s room first. When I checked the bookshelf, I found difficult reference books such as statistics along with textbooks of mathematics, science, and tests. My brother often took proficiency tests by father’s recommendation, and that’s probably the case. It’s safe.
With relief, I descended to the first floor silently and went out to the garden through the back door. Mom’s hobby is gardening, so there are many herbs and seasonal flowers swaying with the breeze in the garden. There is also 4 chairs nearby which four people can sit. When dad and mom have a day off, we have a barbecue here.
No one can guess if there is a morgue at the edge of the garden where we can spend some family time.
Looking at the usual scene, I looked under the porch just like in the manga described for a styrofoam box and stretch out my hand behind the box.
My middle finger touched something cold, like metal.
Although I have a bad feeling, I peeked at it. I found a can of rice crackers, the one that dad often eats. It was heavy when I took out the box.
I really have a bad feeling. I tried to think otherwise, it can be soil, or maybe water, or maybe mom put her fertilizers inside. Even if it’s a breeding nest for mosquitoes, it will be much better than a morgue.
I resolved myself and opened the box. The first thing that came into view was the countless needles on pincushions.
“Why are there needles… huh?”
When I took a closer look, it was not needles on pin cushions but insects’ feet. The insects were lying on their backs and laid out, with their feet facing up.
Killing insects and lining up their corpses. Deliberately lay it on its back.
Cicadas sleep in the soil, maybe my brother protects them during their hibernation because he loves insects. I keep denying it because I don’t want to believe it. I tried shaking the box, but the insects didn’t move. I touch it for a moment, and it’s strangely stiff freezing like ice.
I took out my hand. It makes me feel sick. When I look closely, I can see some torture evidence here and there.
I closed the lid to block the intense sight, put it back neatly as if I haven’t seen it at all, and let out a sigh.
No way. My brother…
Is really that ‘Makoto Kurobe’.
T/N: Hi, this is Kei of ChocoCats, this is my first translation and I hope you enjoy it. Do tell me if you found any mistakes in grammar or typography, any suggestions are welcome. Thank you!
I’m posting this first to see if there will be anyone interested in this series. if there is enough, I will continue translating.
PS: I’m bad in tech and I don’t know how to post to novelupdates, so if anyone kind enough tell me how to do so, it will be much appreciated! solved, thanks!