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I Reincarnated Into a Vending Machine is a web novel completed by 昼クマ. This webnovel is presently Ongoing.
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Chapter 74Love, therefore
“Why… why did you do it … why-“
No matter how many times I hear it, my soul s.h.i.+vers, that resentful wail mixed with anger and grief.
The man who came again is letting loose an aura even darker than last night. With the information from Princ.i.p.al-sensei, right now I can see grief through that terrible face.
Princ.i.p.al-sensei stepped up to meet that Chikina, who had become a vengeful-ghost demon, without any hesitation.
“Chikinsan, why are you so vengeful?”
She simply addresses him, without criticism or blame.
I can see hesitation, not just vengeance, in the face of Chikina, who reacted to Princ.i.p.al-sensei’s voice and turned around.
“Who… that woman’s … accomplice-?”
“No, I’m just one who wishes to hear your words. If you have anything you wish to tell her, I will take the responsibility of conveying it. Chikinsan, do you not have anything you want to tell her?”
“What I want to tell her … h, I just … that woman, the people who sneered and deceived me around her … I just want to kill them-!”
Even though he’s just spitting out his feelings of anger, a strong wind gushed out of his entire body, kicking up a cloud of dust. The power of his grudge is to the degree that the other monsters coming near distanced themselves, as if afraid.
“Won’t you tell me about it? At any rate, I think making her aware of your feelings will strike more fear and misery into her than killing people to satisfy your grudge.”
What are you saying with a smiley expression? I understand this is for negotiating, but she said it without hesitating at all.
“I see… that is interesting… then I’ll tell you … why I hate that woman so much -!”
So he’s on board, huh? It’s just like what Princ.i.p.al-sensei said earlier.
“A soul with grudges left wants anyone who wishes to hear of it to know about it. The person who suffers and dies wants his suffering to be known, and therefore a person who becomes a vengeful-ghost demon with torment and kill. His true feelings should be for someone to know about his suffering, as well.”
Things turned out how Princ.i.p.al-sensei expected. Now is just to have him tell us his true feelings.
“I was an painter who didn’t sell well. But it was when I was recognized, and with just a little bit more I’d reach my glory. Until then, I had suffered through hards.h.i.+ps with her, but finally I was going to reach happiness with her. From then on, we were going to build up a happy family.”
The hate in the face of Chikina, telling the story, left a little. Yearning for the past, the
corners of his mouth had a bitter smile.
“That’s what I thought. The expectations of a happy future blossoming in my chest, I worked myself to the bone painting pictures in the face of the up-coming exhibition. I was finally going to bring her happiness. I believed that there was definitely a magnificent world waiting for me… I painted my last painting. Completing all my preparations, I returned from my studio to the house where she was waiting.”
Up until now it was a heart-warming story. A success story where a poor artist who seized happiness. You might say it’s a common theme talked about so far, but there’s no grudge component so far.
“The woman who was waiting for me said only, ‘There’s someone I like, so I want to break up.’”
Chikina, who murmured it with a voice that seemed like it would disappear, looked like he was about to burst into tears any moment; just by looking at him, it was obvious how bitter he was.
“The words that floated in my head was, why. Why, with this timing, why. Certainly, up until then I wasn’t worthy of her, I had burdened her. If she got tired and threw me away because of that, I’d understand. But, why, right when we probably were about to reach happiness, why, like you were trying to wipe out this happiest moment, would you throw me out into despair-!? I, I, I don’t understand-!”
Chikina, who threw his head back and howled at the sky, looked full of pain, and even I tasted the pain that seemed to clench the innermost part of your chest.
“From joy to despair. Confusion and hatred and the desire to beg. It felt like each and every one of those emotions threatened to a.s.sault me, but somehow I managed to push it down… because I had been at fault up until then, after all. But when I heard her explanation, my logic was blown off somewhere. That man had been acquainted to her before, but what triggered them going out, wasn’t it the party that she hosted in our own home-!? I was busy and couldn’t partic.i.p.ate, but I agreed to it when she asked if it was alright if she opened up our home and invited her friends to have some fun. She is beautiful, and a lot of the partic.i.p.ating friends were men, so I was honestly jealous, but just because I wanted to make her happy, I agreed-!”
Aa, I see. I can now see why he was in despair. This isn’t something you can interrupt, na. He’s vomiting out all of his emotions.
“All those b.a.s.t.a.r.ds invited to the party had heard her complaints
complaints about me, and they had been tempting her all this while, saying she should toss that kind of man away, so how about that other man! She would be happier that way. Without knowing about that, I had cleaned and decorated, happily invited them to our house, and ended up aiding our separation. Hilarious, right… … I personally prepared the stage for our break up……”
I’m speechless. Frankly, this is just this man’s one-sided story, so it’s possible that it might not match reality. Even so, I’m certain that his bitterness is real.
“I stifled my feelings. I didn’t want to think that, just a few days prior, that woman I knew, who was acting normally without any such signs, was all a lie. I didn’t want to end up hating a person I treasured. I, who would only curse at her if I opened my mouth, withdrew and left the house … after spending a sleepless night, I only went to retrieve something I had forgotten, no longer wanting to speak words of hatred, and I, who returned to her house in the evening saw … the form of her pa.s.sing the time happily with her new man.”
Chikina, who had told us this much, looked at the sky. Up there was only dark blackness spread out; not one star can be seen.
“Why, why did she do it-! We picked out all those furniture and tableware and goods together, and in that room that held all those things and precious memories from these several years, she’s delighting in that man the night after we separated-! Why did that man crush my memories with his shoes, whispering words of love to her with a smile on his face -! They have no humanity-!
Explain it, someone, anyone, explain it-!
Why could they do such a cruel thing so calmly-! I can’t understand it-! Because they had to take it that far to do me wrong-!?
Explain it, I’m beg you … … I beg of you-“
I don’t have any way of responding to his tearful scream. Even if I had a mouth to speak with, there’s nothing I can say when I’ve never had such an experience.
“Even though I’m not the person himself, I understand it while thinking it’s a shame. Is this grudge what you wish to inform her of?”
Hearing Princ.i.p.al-sensei’s calm voice saying so, the man’s face warped in anger and he opened his mouth widely.
“Of course-! I died in this cursed way to give that woman this suffering-!”
“I wonder is that’s so. What was it you wanted to do? Did you really appear to curse her?”
Facing Chikina making his declaration, Princ.i.p.al-sensei thrust out
thrust out a single painting. Painted there was a single woman, gently smiling.
“This is a portrait placed in front of her house on the day that you died.”
So this is the person in the center of all this trouble, Sheemi. She has a somewhat plain impression, but she’s honestly beautiful. That’s what I thought about the portrait. This painting was overflowing with the love of the painter, Chikina; it’s a work full of happiness that makes the people looking at it smile unconsciously.
“That painting is … … aa … I see … that day, when I realized my own faults … I only wanted her to accept the painting that was filled with all my grat.i.tude up until then, so I dropped by her house … and then I witnessed that scene … aa, I see … that time, when I dropped the picture… I held a grudge towards her. But more than that, I lamented my worthlessness and I died. That foolishness of mine that couldn’t protect that warmth.”
“Vengeful-ghost demons cling to the souls of people who have embraced strong feelings, amplifying their hatred and making them commit suicide, and they are reborn as vengeful-ghost demons. However, even though you possess that hatred, it was unable to wipe out your true feelings.”
I see… it was like that. I, who did not have a wealth of life experiences, to the degree where I have to hold my tongue regarding love affairs, understood it to be because of Chikina’s regrets, as well as hatred, jealousy, and desire to kill. However, it wasn’t like that, huh?
“Chikinsan. I will ask you again. What was it you wanted to do?”
“h.e.l.lo, who might you be?”
“I am the one who accepted Sheemi-sama’s request and came from the Hunters a.s.sociation.”
Greeting the morning, Princ.i.p.al-sensei visited the private residence directly in front of the inn. To properly watch over it until the end, I’m lined up next to Princ.i.p.al-sensei.
The woman who opened the door – – Sheemi stared at me, wide-eyed. Opening your entryway to find a vending machine there would be surprising even in modern day j.a.pan.
“U,um, this box is magic tool that’s placed in front of the inn, correct?”
“Yes. It’s the magic tool with a consciousness, Hakkon-san. Setting that aside, I’m reporting that the matter of your request has been accomplished safely.”
Upon hearing those words, Sheemi patted her chest.
“Is that so? Thank you very much. I probably have no right to say this, but I didn’t want to see him like that anymore.”
“He has properly left this world without losing his way. And I will return this portrait to you.”
“A, no. I don’t have the right to accept it, so…”
When I saw her saying that and about to
and about to push the portrait back, I projected him, who was losing his form, on the .
“Sheemi, I’m sorry. I really caused you so much trouble. When you abandoned me to live a life you should have lived, I was overwhelmed with the sudden good fortune, and at that time I was unable to see clearly. What your friends said was right, it was natural to be worried about me who has basically no income. Over and over you told me, if I continued as I was, I would become no good in the future. That I should steadily work hard while chasing my dreams. That it won’t go well just because I held a one-man exhibition. You said all of that, but I didn’t want to hear it. Now, I will obediently accept your words. Truly, I’m sorry. That day I wanted to tell you those words, along with this portrait. And so, although it’s too late, I want you to accept it. Thank you, and be happy.”
With tears on her face, she hugged the portrait and fell to her knees.
Directly after the recording, he had bowed his head deeply towards us and disappeared. When I last saw his face, I had the impression that he had an unburdened and satisfied look.
It’s weird for a vending machine to talk about love, but I think that neither of them were in the wrong in this time’s situation. He had burdened her all that time, and she had advised him time and again. Before they knew it, a gear had come loose and both of them spun as they pleased, and it led to the worst conclusion.
“No one can completely understand another’s heart, if you don’t even know your own heart. But what if you put yourself in his place and consider his position? I think that’s just what this story is.”
Princ.i.p.al-sensei seeped into my body of iron. Even though she said it casually, it feels like it has a persuasive power that works unconsciously. She must have had various experiences that I can’t even imagine. The words of the elderly, who have climbed over sweet and sour experiences, have a different weight to them, na.
“Hakkon-san’s form is different from ours, but the most important part of a person is his heart. Never forget the kindness that you showed the orphans.”
“Thank you very much.”
Within the vending machine body is the consciousness of a human. Parting with my flesh, only my heart is human. I can’t forget that.
Something I’d want to see until the end is … I purely want to see Ramis. Her innocently smiling face appeared in my head.
I will protect that smile, even at the cost of this body.
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