Yūgure didn’t know where she was, exactly. After dinner, she had left Alicia and Jacob to wander around the hotel. She liked being with them, but she wanted some time to herself.
She never could have imagined that she would meet Kuriyama again. It shouldn’t even be possible. She’d seen him! She remembered staring at his corpse in their house as it had been burning down around her ears. He should have been dead! He was dead!
'How is he still alive?'
Yūgure felt bad for thinking this way. Her brother was alive. Surely that was a cause for celebration, but all she felt about seeing her brother alive and well was apprehension. Her stomach twisted itself into knots and her breathing grew harsh and ragged just thinking about it.
'Should I tell Jacob and Alicia?'
That was another thing on her mind. Jacob and Alicia had been very kind to her—jacob more so than Alicia. What’s more, Jacob was her hero, even if he didn’t remember it.
It didn’t surprise her that Jacob didn’t remember her. He’d been so busy trying to save so many people at the time that he probably didn’t remember the little cat girl he saved from certain death. To him, she was just one of many, but to her, he was her only savior.
Minutes passed by. Yūgure looked around, realizing with a start that she had no idea where she was. It was nighttime now. The hotel building was located quite a ways away, meaning she’d walked further than she thought.
'I need to get back.'
Yūgure turned around and began making her way back toward the hotel.
Someone had walked out in front of her.
It was Kuriyama!
He was standing under the light of a lamp, his body bathed in contrasts of illumination and shadow. It was somehow ominous. The shadows played off his face, distorting his features, or maybe it was merely her perception of him. It didn’t matter. Either way, Yūgure felt her heart rate skyrocket as she realized that they were all alone.
“I knew it was you, Kuro,” Kuriyama said. Yūgure took a step back. “Why are you going away from me? We’re siblings, aren’t we? Brother and sister?” He took a step forward. She took another step back. “Stop moving away from me! You’re my sister! Sisters should listen to their brothers!”
This person was not her brother. She couldn’t put how she felt into words, but while this was his body, his face, and even his smell, Yūgure knew the truth.
Her brother was dead.
This was not him.
Yūgure turned around and ran.
“Where are you going?! Don’t run away from me!!!”
She didn’t need to turn around to know that Kuriyama was chasing after her. The pounding of his footsteps echoed in her ears, and his scent was following her.
Yūgure took a turn at the next bend. She pushed her legs harder than she ever had before. Her heart was hammering in her chest, trying to beat its way out of her. She was terrified. Something with her brothers face, body, and smell was chasing her, and she was all alone. Nobody knew where she was. No one would come to save her.
Because she wasn’t watching where she was going, Yūgure was caught off guard when her foot hit something that was sticking out of the ground. With a scream, she pitched forward.
The bone-jarring impact of her shoulder hitting concrete lit her body on fire. It hurt! The world around her spun as she tumbled along the ground, concrete changing to dirt and grass as she rolled off the path. Twigs and rocks scraped her skin. Warm liquid dripped along her arms.
Her tumble came to an abrupt end. She landed on her back, gasping for a breath that would not come. The starry night sky seemed to mock her with its beauty.
A vision swam in front of her face.
It was Kuriyama!
“There, there, Kuro,” Kuriyama said, his lips splitting into a grin. “Don’t you worry about a thing. Everything will be better now that I’m here. You and I will never be apart again.”
Yūgure wanted to cry, wanted to scream, and she had even opened her mouth to break her long standing silence.
That was when Kuriyama’s hand grabbed her face.
That was when her world went black.
All right! Here is the next part, and it looks like this one is quite the cliff hanger. What will happen to Yūgure? Tune in next time to find out!