[Who is it?]
Haruka asked through the narrow gap. I put my finger in the gap and applied force so it didn’t close.
Hearing my voice, Haruka panicked and tried to close the door. But I put all my strength into my hand to stop it.
[No! If this gets found out, it won’t end well.]
[I know. So hurry up and let me in. It’ll be bad if someone sees me.]
Perhaps he judged that it’s dangerous to have a dispute outside, Haruka grabbed my arm and swiftly pulled me inside.
[Do you get it!? Doing something this reckless!]
Haruka was angry. Haruka, who always smiled even when he was having a hard time, was really angry.
Seeing Haruka’s appearance made me gasp.
[Ha…… Haruka!? What happened to you! That!?]
There is a kitchen as soon as you entered Haruka’s house. Just like Saine’s house, the windows are unfilled. The bright afternoon sun entered the room, exposing Haruka’s appearance without concealing anything. Haruka was, his arms and face were covered in countless dark red bruises.
[It’s horrible, that……Why, did he hit you until you got to this state?]
I was extremely frustrated that my tears overflowed. Why does he do this? Why is he hurting my best friend?
And, why was I hugging Saine when Haruka is suffering to this extent? The me who was very happy while being held by Saine is a big idiot. Before you get s*xually aroused, isn’t there something you have to do first? I want to beat myself up.
[You don’t have to cry. This…… is my punishment, after all.]
[What punishment? What the hell is that? Saying that there’s nothing else you can do but be hit, that’s not true, right?]
[Of course it is. Well, it’s connected to my previous life. In my past life, I did something that I shouldn’t have ever done. Rather, I didn’t do something that I should have done. I believe that I’m now receiving the punishment for that.]
Haruka let out a self-deprecating laugh and sat down on a chair. There may be worse injuries hidden underneath his clothes. Haruka tightly closed his eyes when he was going to sit on the chair.
[When I came here, I didn’t get along with any of my husbands. Regardless of the first one, from the 2nd onwards, I got beaten more than I was held. It doesn’t matter even if I love them, care for them, keep quiet, talk lightly, whatever I did was useless. My very existence is useless. Eventually, I realized. This is my punishment for my previous life. Since I didn’t do what I should have done and did what I shouldn’t have over there, I’m undergoing its punishment now.]
I take out a small bottle with trembling hands and apply the dour herb on Haruka’s hands. His fingers are broken, many of them, my vision is blurred by tears.
[I can endure it as long as I believe that I’m receiving punishment. If there’s something good about coming to this world, it’s that I’m being hit.]
[What do you mean by that……]
I also apply it on Haruka’s arms with lingering tears. Oh omnipotent dour herb. Dour herb which Olphynn made. Quickly, heal Haruka’s injuries.
[I was never hit in my previous life. Although my parents could never understand about love between men, still, they never hit me in their rage. Luckily or unluckily, the men I dated were all rational and they never hit me whenever we fought.]
[Isn’t that a good thing?]
[It’s not. That’s why I never understood how it felt to be hit. Even if I knew it in my head, I didn’t understand it in my heart. That’s why…… I have only now found out just how painful it is.]
I raise my head and apply some on Haruka’s face, too. Olphynn’s dour herb is truly amazing that, right after application, Haruka’s eyes opened. His swollen eyelids returned to normal in no time.
[Haruka, are you okay? Does it hurt?]
[I’m fine. That dour herb is amazing. Look, my fingers are all healed.]
Haruka raised his right hand and waved it. His broken fingers had healed.
[This is something that Olphynn made.]
[That sparkling hottie?]
Haruka laughs. There’s no way someone who’s been injured this much can recover in half a day. There is no way to deceive what happened while his husband was away. Both Haruka and I know that, but I couldn’t stop myself from applying the dour herb to him. And Haruka didn’t stop me, letting me do as I please.
We didn’t even want to think what will happen after this.
[What grandma said was true.]
Haruka stared and me and smiled. It was a smile that seemed to melt into the light.
[In my past life, she told me this. My grandma, that is……]
I can tell that Haruka must have loved his grandma. Haruka’s eyes looks like that of a cat basking under the warm sunlight when talking about her.
But when the door suddenly opened, the cat’s eyes opened wide.
Depiction of violence below, reader discretion is advised.
Why is Haruka’s husband here? It’s still afternoon, isn’t it still his working hours? A thick arm mowed down the shocked me and silently hit Haruka.
It made a really loud noise and Haruka was slammed to the floor with his chair. But without any hesitation, his husband kicked Haruka, who was cowering on the ground. Haruka curled himself into a ball to try and protect his stomach but his husband’s kicks hit Haruka’s back, legs, and stomach, regardless of his defense.
At the sudden event, I blankly stood frozen. Just what on earth is going on? My head can’t get around it. But an alarm started ringing inside me. The alarm loudly rings persistently. Move, hurry, move. Haruka will get killed. I trampled on my fear and roared as I tackled the giant husband.
I hit him head-first and got dizzy for a moment. But I don’t let go of his leg that I grabbed. The middle-aged man took my all-out tackle and rolled on the floor.
I hug his thick leg with both arms. It seems that my body weight is completely useless, he kicked me upwards while he was still on the ground. Even while receiving a knee kick on my stomach, I will never release my arms. Even if it’s only the uncle’s right leg, I bite it, intent on never letting go. Even only one of his leg is sealed, that’s enough. While being kicked, I was anxious for him to run away.
Whenever the uncle kicks me, my body floats in the air as if it will be flipped off. The uncle continues to hit me with his fat hands. With his club-like fists hitting me from above, I’m close to fainting.
I remember that when I just reincarnated, Saine often hit me. But I now realize that he was straining himself a lot. After all, Haruka’s husband’s punches hurt like hell. Even though he’s all fat, it hurts a lot. Haruka has been enduring it. He’s been enduring all this the entire time.
I cried while being beaten. I wish I had helped him sooner. There should have been something that I could do sooner. I’ve always lived without seeing the important things. I always looked away from the things that I needed to face directly. What ‘friend’? What ‘bestfriend’? Such a cowardly guy doesn’t deserve it.
But, but you know. Now, I will protect Haruka. I always wanted to be accepted by someone. To prove that it’s okay for me to be here. If I risk my life and fight for someone, won’t that someone treat me as his absolute? You see, I wanted to be someone’s absolute.
[HARUKA!! RUN AWAY!!!]
I shout as loud as I can. ‘As if I’ll let you’, the man said and tried to stand up. But I hold on to him with my entire body. I will never let go, I’m absolutely never letting him go. He keeps on hitting me in the head and my vision is turning dark. He keeps on kicking my stomach that I’m having trouble breathing. The uncle slammed his crossed hands on my back. A familiar and unpleasant sound reverberates in my body. I can hear the man’s jeers and Haruka’s cries in the distance.
You’re so silly, Haruka. Hurry up and run away. I’ll be fine. I’m already used to this.
It’s weirdly calm inside my head, and I began to think what I’m used to. Then, like a fog getting lifted up, I remembered.
Oh, I see. That’s how it is. What the heck.
This is my second time. Of course I’m used to it.
I quipped to myself.
I got used to being beaten and kicked.
In the summer of my 15th year.
I was beaten to death by my mom and dad.
I can hear Haruka’s screams from afar, and then, it disappeared.