I didn’t want her to notice my tearful voice, so I couldn’t speak for a while.
Mother probably won’t be speaking with me. She is simply silent while stirring her glass.
After a few minutes of silence, a turururu sound rang.
It is the phone in mom’s room.
“Aah, so noisy. Even though I went through the trouble of leaving my smartphone behind. They even call me all the way here? What’s with this?”
Saying this, mother picked up the phone and just left it hanging.
She is originally a person that finds calls to be a pain, but it has gotten worse.
…No, maybe it was always like this when she was drinking alcohol.
Couldn’t it have been something important?
When she said she left her smartphone, there’s no doubt she meant leaving it at home.
I can see a tablet at the corner of the screen, so she must have deemed it enough to just have that. Because of the influence of my little sisters, mother was on the tablet side at a pretty fast stage.
“Where’s father?” (Hikaru)
“Can you please not talk about that idiot? He has been staying the whole time in the casino just because there’s a dealer with a bit of bust there. I can’t deal with him.”
Looks like father is the same as always.
The call connecting to mother was the worst of the worst, and I am feeling terrible here, but I can’t go cutting off the call here.
“…Mother, there’s something I want to ask… Something I have to ask.” (Hikaru)
“What’s the matter? I don’t know anything complicated, okay? Ask Celica about that stuff.”
“It isn’t anything complicated… Nanami…died, right? Uncle and auntie too… That…do people think I am still the culprit of that…?” (Hikaru)
Thinking about my number of viewers, I think I am still suspected to be.
However, there’s obviously the chance I am not.
For me who doesn’t open the messages…no, even if I were to open the messages, I don’t know the truth.
It is not like I can read the newspapers of Earth or watch TV.
My only connection with Earth are those messages that I don’t even know who was the one who sent them.
“Aah, that. It was crazy with you being called the culprit. Even completely unknown people would come complain to me, and Celica-chan accompanied me in order to do the procedures to move overseas, so that was a relief, but no matter the place in Japan, TV crew members and all other places would be following us and it was the worst!”
“That’s…my bad. Sorry.” (Hikaru)
“Well, we arrived in America, and no one knows of us now. Celica-chan gave me pocket money to play around, so I am feeling like I have joined the celebrities though~. Right right, I have bought a new car. Aston Martin. I was having a drive on the west coast, and it was the best. The evenings of Santa Barbara, the sun would dye everything bright red…”
Mother talks up a storm in a good mood.
In the end, she just wants to talk about herself as much as she can, and she is not the type to listen to others.
Even if that’s towards her son that was suddenly transferred to another world and she won’t be able to meet directly anymore.
That’s why, if I were to speak in between, she would just be displeased, and there’s low chance of her giving me the answer I want. Right now, I must ask her no matter what.
“Mother, I don’t have time. Please tell me at least if the culprit has been caught.” (Hikaru)
Thinking about it normally, the chances are low that he hasn’t been caught yet.
He had blood on him, and his fingerprints must have been left as well.
Of course, I must have been listed as a suspect too, but not investigating because of that…is not possible…I think.
If they were to investigate, I think they would immediately find the culprit. Or maybe it would be hard to arrest them unless they have more incriminating evidence?
Of course, if I were to open the box that is the message inbox, that information might be there somewhere.
But I have no way to confirm the verity of it.
If the whole world hates me and there’s someone who sends messages with lies just for the amusement of it, I would just be played like a fiddle by them.
Anyways, if it is Mother, she wouldn’t go out of her way to lie about it.
But the answer of Mother was something unexpected.
“Who knows. I don’t watch the news. In the first place, I have been on this ship almost right after you went off. At the very least, they haven’t caught them in that time, I think? Maybe they haven’t caught them yet?”
“I see… Thanks.” (Hikaru)
As I thought.
That reality made my heart grow heavy to a mysterious extent.
It is a shame, but that’s something I had factored in already.
It means that I have to live my whole life being treated as the killer.
More importantly, there’s something that bothered me.
“…Mother, you believe that I am not the killer?” (Hikaru)
If the culprit had escaped smoothly from the crime scene, it would be a situation where I am the only possible person you could think of.
Or more like, there’s no basis for it not being me. Anyways, the situation and the evidence was saying: Kurose Hikaru is the culprit.
Mother loves gossip, and I can imagine her making noise for amusement in a TV program or whatever about me killing my childhood friend and leaving to a parallel world. It is weird that she doesn’t believe that.
“At first, I thought you did it. But—”
Just before mom was about to say the reason…
*Don! Don! Don!*
The sound of something rang at a slightly faraway location.
After that, a voice speaking in english or something.
“Aah, someone came. What could it be? Hmph.”
She stands up listlessly and walks unsteadily.
It seems like the video call sticks to the person I am talking to, so the screen follows just like that.
Mother confirms the outside from the peephole.
I can’t tell with just this room, but she said she is having a trip all around the world, so that means this is a passenger room.
Just from the looks of it, I can tell it is pretty extravagant.
She said Celica gifted it to her, but it might go as far as this being hundreds of millions worth with both of them.
“…Hey, a hotel man, or…a manager? An important-looking person is standing there though. Did that guy do something? Maybe cheating in the casino…?”
By ‘that guy’, she is referring to dad.
Our parents are a married couple that I can’t tell if they get along or not, but mother has forgiven all the cheating on her and money wasting of father, so even if we are very different from a normal household, you could say they get along.
“Wouldn’t it be better to speak to them?” (Hikaru)
“Don’t want to. They might try to make me take joint responsibility… Won’t the mafia step in? You know about it too, right? He is a true idiot after all…”
Father is the son of a yakuza, and the type of person that would get moved from doing too many stupid things.
I barely have any memories of him doing anything fatherlike, but he was somewhat better than mother.
I don’t think he would go cheating at a place like this, right…?
They are saying something in english from the other side of the door.
I know a bit of english, but…an urgent call from her daughter…?
“Mother, I think it is a call from Celica. Please take the call. I have things to ask her after all.” (Hikaru)
“Eeh~. Really? Can’t be helped then…”
Mother opens the door and it seems that calmed down the manager. They were worried something might have happened. They said something about ‘an urgent call from your daughter’ and passed a phone to mother.
I obviously can’t speak to her directly, so I have no choice but to speak to her with Mother as the intermediary.
But if it is Celica, she should have the answer I want…
“Ah, Celica-chan? What’s the matter? Yeah, that’s right. I am talking to Onii-chan. Ahahaha. Eh?”
She must have told her to tell me something on her part.
Mother looked over here and the moment she opened her mouth…
The connection between Earth was cut and it returned to just a status screen.
It must be because 20 minutes passed.
(Ran out of time…huh.) (Hikaru)
It felt like I was suddenly dragged back to reality.
I don’t know what Celica was about to say. Did she want to put one complaint in? Or something else?
I already don’t care anymore.
With just the fact that mother didn’t even know about the culprit having been apprehended, the answer had been given.
If she gets calls on the regular from Celica like that, there’s no way she wouldn’t know about the culprit having been arrested or not. Even if rotten, they are still family after all. They would definitely tell them if he has been arrested.
In other words…that’s how it is.
(…But if my family is all doing well, I am glad.) (Hikaru)
(…I am glad that Celica and Karen seem to be doing good too.) (Hikaru)
Even with me gone, the world still continues turning.
Everyone has their own lives, and even if I am in a parallel world…even if I were to die, it wouldn’t change.
As if collapsing into it, I jumped from the wharf to the sea almost instinctively.
Rather warm sea water wraps up my body.
I move my heavy body and swim to the open sea.
—I am truly glad that the one who was chosen was you.
—Just thinking about that being Celica-chan or Karen-chan, it brings me shivers.
The words of Mother resonate in me.
I don’t want to think about anything.
Me being hurt by the words of my mother must have been the best entertainment for the viewers.
I don’t want them to see me in that shape.
I continued swimming without knowing where I was heading to.
My body that was trained from the dungeon explorations didn’t get tired from something like swimming, and I felt as if I could swim all the way to anywhere.
That’s why I swam.
So that my tears and my despair are not seen.