"Nezumi―what have I done?"
"You protected me. You saved me with your life―"
"No!" Shion’s scream resounded in the confined space. "You’re wrong! You’re wrong! You’re wrong!"
"I’m not wrong!" Nezumi shot back. "I would’ve been killed if it weren’t for you. He wouldn’t have been sitting there bleeding. It would’ve been me."
He pointed at Rashi.
"I would’ve looked like that."
He grabbed Shion’s arms. He shook the boy with all his might. Shion’s head jerked back and forth. He was like a marionette dangling on broken strings.
"Listen. Listen to what I say. You protected me, do you understand? You saved me. Shion."
Listen, Shion. Grasp my words. Believe them.
"If I were you, I would have done the same. I would definitely have done it. This is a battlefield. If we don’t kill, we get killed. What you did was justified."
Nezumi chewed his lip. The words crumbled and rotted as soon as they slipped out of his mouth. This isn’t what I really want to say.
Then, what did he want to say? What do I really want to tell Shion right now?
"Nezumi…" Shion murmured hoarsely. "I… killed him."