Durarara!!SH×3: Chapter 3 (+Interlude)


Durarara!!SH×3

CHAPTER 3
Our Ikebukuro Must Be Protected

image

Why doesn’t anyone understand.

Even after this many victims, still there are those who defend that despicable comic. Even the mass media has no initiative.
Is it the movie? Is it because there’s a movie?
When it’s comics and cartoons they flame all they like, but not the movie. Is it because of the stars acting? Because it has the support of the TV station and major sponsors?
Such things should be no deterrent in this situation. Don’t they understand?

Is this not enough?
How much will it take for them to understand?
Understand how dangerous that demon is?
But I cannot stop.
I cannot.
I sold my soul for this.
To warn of the demon’s danger, I sold my soul to the demon itself.
I sold my soul.

♂♀

Shinra’s apartment.

“Ah owowow, this sucks, seriously.”
Rubbing at his bandaged head, Tanaka Tom sighed quietly.
“Just in case, you should get an X-ray or a CT scan at the hospital in the morning.”
Shinra said, and Tom, putting on his glasses, bowed his head.
“Thanks, Doctor. Sorry for coming this late at night.”
“Are you all right, Tom-san?”
Shizuo hovered nervously, looking at the bandage, and Tom waved his hand.
“Yeah, I’m fine. That was a close call.”

According to them, Tom had been walking nearby when he was attacked.
They had been collecting debts as always, but when they had finally wrapped up late at night, it happened.
While Shizuo was in the convenience store deciding between the cartoned caramel and vanilla au lait—Tom, who had finished buying his things and was waiting outside, drinking his canned coffee in the small parking lot next doors, was assaulted.
Tom had noticed the Slugger almost immediately, and dodged the hammer by inches—but in doing so he had lost his balance, knocked down a bicycle and hit his forehead on the corner of the phonebook shelf of a payphone, where it started bleeding.
By the time Shizuo had heard the noise and come out, Tom saw that the assaulter had climbed over the fence and was running away behind the store—but despite that, Shizuo had run towards Tom’s injured form first, and so the culprit had just only managed to escape.

“I saw the attacker’s back too… He escaped when I saw Tom bleeding and thought, shit… I thought it would be faster to come here than the hospital, so I called. Sorry for the trouble.”
Shizuo bowed his head dolefully, and Celty typed in reply,
‘You said he was attacked, so I thought he’d been hit by a hammer or something.’
“Nah~, if it were that serious I could’ve died. But there was a weapon wrapped in bandages; maybe it was a small hammer…”
“In that case it must be that Slugger all over the news lately.”
As he said so, Shinra showed them a video from the internet.
It was an anime clip of the Owl of the Peeping Dead character Dark Owl.
“The one who attacked you was this, right?”
“Y, yeah.”
For some reason Tom looked at the video uncomfortably, and was glancing back at Shizuo.
Shizuo, who was clearly furrowing his brow under his sunglasses, and asking Shinra,
“Oi, what do you mean, Slugger…”

At his reaction, Celty tilted her helmet.
—Huh?
—Shizuo doesn’t know about the Slugger?
—Even if he’s not the type to check the news or internet, his senior… Did Tom-san not bring it up at all?
For some reason, Shinra wore an ‘oh, crap’ expression at Shizuo’s reaction.
As Celty puzzled over this on the sidelines, Shinra went quiet for a few seconds, before slowly, he explained the case in as roundabout a way as possible.

“I see… So that’s how it is.”
Shizuo, having heard Shinra’s full explanation a few minutes later, said this under his breath seemingly to himself, and thanked Shinra,
“Anyway, you were a great help, Shinra. Thanks for today.”
“Ah, no problem, I guess. You’ve helped me a lot before, too.”
Shizuo turned back casually to Shinra, who was slowly becoming drenched in cold sweat.
“I’ll be going out a bit, then. Take care of Tom-san.”
“Going? Where?”
“Huh? Isn’t it obvious?”
Haha, Shizuo chuckled, before his smile faded, and he said,
“That Slugger bastard who hurt Tom-san, I’m gonna ground him into dust.”
—Into dust?!
Shinra and Celty felt shivers run down their spines.
That Shizuo’s voice was so unbelievably calm indicated that he was holding back.
He was containing his anger.
It was the calmness he showed when there was no target he could vent his anger out on; the atmosphere right now was similar to once in the past, when, in this same room, he had discovered that Orihara Izaya had framed him, and had given Awakusu Akane a shockingly sweet smile.
‘O, oi Shinra, was Shizuo angry because his senior at work got attacked?’
Celty sneaked Shinra a look at her smartphone, to which he whispered back,
(Yeah, that’s half of it.)
‘? And the other half?’
(Err… That is… It seems you didn’t know, Celty…)
Shinra glanced away, and, shrugging, said,
(That character, Dark Owl?)
‘That character, yeah?’
(Yūhei-kun played him in the live action.)
‘…What?’
Celty’s thought process froze temporarily at the mention of Yūhei.
(We didn’t see the movie since we were on our onsen tour, and you probably didn’t check on movie information or his fanclub site, right? It was an Easter egg they didn’t advertise, a surprise. It’s not like he could show his face, plus it’s not the kind of thing that would bring in revenue; it’s just that his boss thought it would be funny.)
‘Yūhei as in… Hanejima Yūhei?’
(Yeah, him. As you know, he’s Shizuo’s brother.)
Hanejima Yūhei. Real name: Heiwajima Kasuka.
He was Heiwajima Shizuo’s younger brother, and a popular young actor.
With that, her previous doubts were answered.
Tom had avoided mentioning the Slugger in front of Shizuo.
If there was a serial assaulter rampaging through the city disguised as a character from a film of his brother Yūhei, the very character Yūhei was playing no less, it was obvious what would happen. Tom had probably anticipated it would not bode well, and refrained from mentioning the case to Shizuo.
That foreboding had escalated with Tom being attacked.
The rage against the culprit that fuelled Shizuo’s violent impulses had escalated.
—Oh no, someone will die.
—It’s true the Slugger deserves it, but at this rate they’ll really be ground to dust…!
Beside Celty, who was still dazed at the situation, Shinra said to Shizuo,
“W, wait Shizuo-kun, how are you planning to find the Slugger?”
“Huh…? I just have to mash anyone I see wearing that into the ground, right…?”
“I didn’t ask how you’re going to go about your pulverising! And that won’t make dust, it’ll be mince!”
Shinra argued against this completely unimportant detail. From behind him, Tom scolded Shizuo,
“Oi, Shizuo. There’s no point. There are plenty of people with that set of pajamas.”
“…? What do you mean?”
Shizuo tilted his head, to which Shinra replied,
“Ah, right, it’s like this. Since this whole thing some people have been buying lots of the same mascot suit as the criminal. I don’t know if it’s a stand against the police, but now and then you see them walking along the street wearing that. Right, Celty?”
‘Yeah… It’s not everywhere, but… I’ve seen a number.’
“…Now you mention it, I might have seen some too…”
Shizuo rested his hand on the wall, and began to mutter, perhaps to himself,
“But… If you think about it, well I don’t know if it’s for fun or whatever but wearing some weird costume around in public counts as threatening people, right…? Someone could get shocked and have a heart attack and die, right…? So if taking all that into consideration those people must be prepared to be ground to dust too, right…?”
‘Wait wait wait! Calm down, Shizuo!’
Celty hurried to placate Shizuo, the direction of whose thoughts would clearly end in catastrophe.
—What’s going on. He finally toned down recently, too!
—And that Slugger! Of all things, doing something like this…!
The possibility that the culprit could be suicidal crossed her mind. She continued to coax Shizuo.
‘The police are searching high and low for the culprit, and I’m looking too, so let us do our jobs, okay?’
In this manner, Celty, alongside Tom and Shinra, were able to convince Shizuo—with Tom delivering the decisive statement, ‘I wouldn’t want you to go thrashing Ikebukuro because of me; wouldn’t your brother think the same way?’ And so Shizuo barely managed to contain his anger.
“…I got it. I’ll back down since you’re so against it, Celty, Tom-san…”
“Huh? What about me? Ugomomomo…”
Gagging Shinra’s mouth as he spoke up unnecessarily, Celty relaxed for the time being.
‘All right, anyway, you should just make sure Tom gets home safely today.’
“Yeah, thanks, Celty.”
After saying this, Shizuo stared straight at Celty—and stated a request of his own.

“But if you find the Slugger, make sure I’m first to know, okay…? Yeah?”

‘What?’
“You’re looking for the culprit, right? The Slugger?”
—Crap.
‘Ah, I guess.’
“If you find the culprit before the police, I just want to have a talk with that person.”
‘That’s…’
“Don’t worry, I just want to talk. Maybe there’s a much deeper reason why they did something like that…”
He had only pushed his anger down inside. It appeared it was still roiling beneath the surface.
‘Ah, I’ll try.’
Despite sensing an endless amount of killing intent towards the perpetrator in Shizuo’s voice, Celty answered ambiguously and sent him and Tom to the door.
On the way out Tom had whispered, ‘Sorry, I’ll take some time to calm him down too,’ but even with the mental support of those words, after the two had left, Celty slid down bonelessly to sit in the corridor.
“Are you okay, Celty?”
‘Yeah… Thanks, Shinra. I’m fine.’
Despite typing this, Celty’s heart swirled with anxiety and confusion.
‘I can’t see things ending well for us if he finds out I passed the Slugger to Yumasaki before him.’

‘So what do I do if I catch the Slugger now…?’

♂♀

The next day. Midmorning. Raira Academy Library.

On the day that began the second half of the long holiday, Yahiro, who had volunteered as a library committee member to help organise the bookshelves, made his way to school.
Perhaps many people had free schedules; a third of the members were able to participate, and they went to and fro between the library and the librarian’s office, tidying the library.
There was less work to be done than expected, and at this pace they would likely be done before the morning was over.
A thought occurred to Yahiro, and he approached the club president during their break time.
“Um, President?”
“Hey, Mizuchi-kun. What’s up?”
“Do you… know about the Slasher case?”
“…More or less, I guess? Since it happened awhile after I started here.”
The club president wore a friendly smile as he said this. Yahiro asked further,
“There’s the Slugger going around now, right? Do you think it could be… the same person?”
“Hmmm, why do you think that?”
“I’ve been scared that the Slugger will attack me, so I’ve been running through all these things in my head…”
After a moment of hesitation, Yahiro told the club president directly,
“I… think the Slugger isn’t just one person.”
“And why do you think that?”
“…You might think I’m weird saying this, but I’ve been thinking about strategies if the Slugger attacks, all this time, and I looked up about all the different attacks… I couldn’t think of one succinct solution. Like there was a detail missing…”
Perhaps he was curious about what his junior was saying, lacking in confidence as it sounded; the club president replied while opening the window,
“Strategies… as in what to do if you’re attacked?”
“Ah, yeah. …You might think I’m weird.”
“No way. It’s never bad to be prepared. Though I suppose the best strategy would be not to go out at night.”
It was airtight logic. Yahiro went silent.
He felt slightly guilty that he was initiating involvement with the Slugger.
“So, how do you think the Slasher is related to this?”
“Ah, right. I heard there were rumours that the Slasher was a coordinated group of people… And there were people saying it was a gang war, too. Something called the Dollars, and the Yellow Scarves… Do you know about that?”
“Yeah, a little.”
The club president smiled faintly. Yahiro elaborated on his theory.
“I thought maybe a mixed group like the Dollars could be working together for a common objective. That might account for the different methods used in the attacks…”
“They might not even have a common objective.”
“Huh?”
Yahiro tilted his head at the sudden statement.
The library committee president brushed the accumulated dust from the books out of the window, and said, evenly,
“What if there are multiple Sluggers with completely different goals? It doesn’t matter which is the original and which is the copycat. In this case, if you only look at the resulting crimes, then it’s natural to be unable to come up with a distinct profile for the culprit.”
“I see… That is a possibility.”
“I think the police must have long realised this already, though. Even just looking at the victims, there’s an inordinate number of gangsters.”
“Ah, my friend said that too.”
Yahiro remembered the conversation with Himeka, and in his mind things slowly became clear.
“Mm. I think you can think of the Slugger targeting gangsters as a separate person for the time being. If you assume that, do you still feel weird when you think about your strategies?”
“…”
After being told this, Yahiro relooked information with his smartphone, and re-simulated his strategies to deal with a Slugger attack.
As a result—the criminal’s behavioral patterns synchronised for at least the attacks on gangsters, and he was able to develop acceptable counter-strategies.
“…Thanks so much, President. I’ll think about it.”
“Thinking is fine, but don’t put yourself in danger, yeah?”
The club president said this as he smiled and closed the window, almost as though he had seen through Yahiro.
Yahiro bowed his head again, and just then the school bell chimed, signalling the end of their recess.
“Oh, is it time? It’s weird to hear the school bell ringing during the holidays.”
The club president smiled, and as he returned to his work, he looked at Yahiro and said,
“There’s one thing you don’t need to worry about. I don’t think it’s related to the Slasher.”
“? Okay.”
Was there anything to be relieved about if it wasn’t the Slasher?
Despite thinking this, Yahiro decided that perhaps knowing the criminal was not armed with a knife was indeed a relieving prospect.
While Yahiro rationalised this in his own mind, the club president smiled wryly and added,
“Well, it’s just a gut feeling, though.”
After Yahiro had gone, the library committee president looked back at the window, and exhaled.
He touched the multiple stab wounds in his abdomen under his uniform, and he—Ryugamine Mikado—murmured softly,
“The Voices are mostly gone… But it still affect my eyes, huh.”
Looking at his own reflection in the windowpane, a small smile came onto his face.
At first, bitter. But then his smile grew reassured.
By giving himself over to the Curse of Saika temporarily, he had ascertained one thing—that the same curse was not active elsewhere in Ikebukuro.
The curse had entered him when in the past, a man possessed by Saika had stabbed him repeatedly.
By now little of it remained, but he was able to use it at least to detect other traces of the curse.
Finding those traces faint in the district, and hence confirming that his loved one was not involved in the Slugger incidents, reassured him like nothing else.
It was as if, just by knowing that, he saw no need to step into the underworld of Ikebukuro.

Meanwhile, Yahiro returned to his own workstation, thinking about the club president.
—Ryugamine-sempai’s eyes looked really red just now…
—Maybe he’s been working since before the rest of us came in.
—I have to work hard, too…
With this, Yahiro went back to his own work. Not only his work as a library committee member, but as Snake Hands.
Oblivious to the echoes of the extraordinary beside him.

♂♀

Raira General Hospital. Private ward.

“Are you okay, Horada-sempai?”
Aoba said with a friendly smile. Horada’s face twitched as he answered,
“Y, yeah. Thanks for the help.”
“I was surprised, when you suddenly told us to look for the Slugger. You’ve given your testimony, so I thought you would’ve just entrusted it to the police.”
Horada felt a strange pressure from his Blue Square junior that had come to visit, but assuming it was his own imagined afterimage of the boy’s brother Izumii Ran, he shook his head to clear away the fear.
“Ow!”
The pain came back when he shook his head, and Horada fell back onto the bed.
“What’s wrong?”
“N, nothing.”
As if to hide what had happened, he answered Aoba’s previous question with unnecessary vigour:
“Yeah! I’m the man who was the face of Blue Square! What pride do I have if I back down now? Right?”
“You have your point, but…”
“Don’t worry; I kept some information from the police.”
“?! Really?”
Seeing the surprise on Aoba’s face, Horada felt assured in his own advantage.
The information he had withheld was that there had been two Sluggers.
He had told the police there had only been one Slugger.
No one had testified that there had been two anyway, and even if he was questioned afterwards for any inconsistency,  he could probably excuse himself saying he had lost the memory after being hit in the head.
Izumii had said to get to the culprit before the police. It was better to hide the truth from the police and confuse them.
—Ahhh… But… What do I say?
—Saying two people ganged up and beat me up still sounds kinda lame…
After some thought, Horada’s born pettiness had its time to shine, and he gave an immensely exaggerated answer.
“Well… I knocked down the first two or three just fine, but…”
“Huh?”
“Even I can’t hold up against more than five people…”
“…”
Aoba fell into thought at Horada’s account.
At Aoba’s expression, Horada swore in his mind.
—Oh shit. Shit, did I overdo it?!
—I should have kept it to three… What kind of assaulter goes around in fives! That’s just gang violence!
Forgetting that this was exactly what he and his juniors went around doing, Horada waited, in cold sweat, for Aoba’s reply.
He was prepared to be exposed—
But surprisingly, Aoba reconfirmed it with a serious expression:
“In other words… you’re saying it was a group?”
“Huh? O, oh. Isn’t that what I said? If it weren’t, you know there’s no way I’d have gone down! …I haven’t told the police about this part, so be careful.”
“Understood. We won’t alert the police.”
“H, huh?”
It was weird that the boy acquiesced so readily, but Horada accepted it quickly.
—Yosh, he’s actually quite obedient, isn’t he? He believed it just like that.
—Is this because of my track record too?
He optimistically chose to credit his natural charisma.
Unwitting of the thoughts turning in Aoba’s mind.

♂♀

A few minutes later. Outside the hospital.

“Yo, Aoba, how was he?”
To his gang members, who had been waiting outside the hospital, Aoba replied quietly,
“Mm… Things might be more troublesome than expected.”
“What does that mean?”
“There’s more than one Slugger… I more or less expected that, but it seems they also coordinate their attacks.”
“Huh?”
With that, Aoba recounted what Horada had told him.

“…And that’s how it is.”
“You’re serious? You’re sure he didn’t just make it up? That guy’s all about his image.”
Aoba, though he half-agreed with his friend’s obvious suspicion, shook his head.
“If he’s telling us to catch the culprit for him, there’s no reason for him to lie. Anyway my brother seems to have threatened him, so I don’t think he’s just throwing his weight around for the sake of it.”
Aoba had grasped Horada’s character completely without even being told that he was acting on instruction of his brother—Izumii Ran.
“Mmm, I don’t get him. He’s small fry no matter how I see it, but he continually exceeds expectations. And how did he locate the kidnapper’s base during the false kidnapping incident…?”
Aoba, unable to reach the true conclusion of ‘pure coincidence’, felt increasingly disturbed by Horada.
Everything about the way he talked and his appearance indicated that he was only a smalltime gangster, and indeed he had been no more than another Blue Square member in the palm of Aoba’s hand during the Yellow Scarves takeover, yet—.
—Did something happen in jail after all?
—There might be something going on that I’m not aware of.
The two-faced personality of Aoba himself led him to be suspicious of Horada.
He was trapped by the idea that possibly Horada had a darker side to him, or something was happening without his knowledge.
“That insignificant vibe he has could be a camouflage. A weapon, in a sense.”
“What’s camouflage?”
“Look it up, won’t you?”
After this conversation, Aoba headed for the front gate of the hospital, contemplating the current case.
He had grasped the culprit’s agenda to some degree.
Yet Horada being attacked by multiple people complicated things.
Multiple Sluggers, each with their own objective.
Or in the worst scenario, multiple of them with the same objective, as a coordinated group?
It was possible as well that a delinquent group was carrying out copycat offences to get rid of multiple eyesores at one go.
“Damn, things aren’t quite going as expected.”
Aoba took out his phone, and began to type a message.
“Who’re you texting?”
“The Headless Rider.”
“What?”
The other gang members frowned in confusion, and Aoba grinned.
“I have to collect on that favour, from when I sent her Tatsugami Himeka’s picture.”
Saying this, Aoba pressed the send button.
The content of the message was simple in itself—
But it exaggerated the situation just enough to fan the flames of its recipient’s unease.

[Celty-san.
Hello, this is Aoba.
This is sudden, but could you assist us in looking for the Slugger?
If you find the perpetrators, please bring them to us if possible.
It’s likely that the Sluggers number in the tens.
In the worst case scenario, this could become a replay of Ripper Night.]

♂♀

Shinra’s apartment.

‘What’s this?!’
After receiving Aoba’s message Celty complained thusly at Shinra, before keeling over onto the sofa.
“Which one? Let me see?”
Shinra borrowed Celty’s phone, and selected the message that appeared most recent.
His eyes grew blatantly irritated when he saw that the sender was Kuronuma Aoba.
“Ah…”
‘I was surprised Aoba too would be asking me about the Slugger in the first place, but here he’s saying it might turn into Ripper Night, what do I do now! Why are there tens of Sluggers?!’
“It can’t be there really is a demon sword or something mystical involved…?”
‘Are you saying now we have a demon hammer on our hands?!’
Celty cried out in a panic, but Shinra said, solemnly,
“I’ve heard about it… The demonic hammer ‘Bannanjin’, that possesses humans and amplifies their desires… Could it be…”
‘Wait! Stop! Don’t make it more complicated than it is already!’
“Well, that aside, isn’t that actually a good thing, Celty? If there are multiple Sluggers, we can pass one to Shizuo, and the rest to Yumasaki-kun and friends. Aoba-kun can get the leftovers.”
‘Don’t say it like you’re distributing souvenirs!’
Regaining her calm through her exasperation at Shinra, Celty stood from the sofa.
‘But what does it mean if there really are multiple? Could it really be related to bōsōzoku?’
“I dunno. The media has been making a huge fuss over it, so some people might have been inspired to imitate.”
‘Copycat offenders, you mean…?’
The theory made sense, and so Celty began to imagine the profile of a copycat offender.
—It has to be the type of person who’d see the Slugger on the news and decide to do the same thing.
—I doubt it could be anyone upstanding… At the very least, I don’t expect it to be an adult.

‘Well, in any case, it should be one of those young gangsters or delinquent students who don’t think before acting…’

♂♀

Shirobishi Yōko was a serial assaulter.

She had full awareness of this.
She was also aware that her actions were wrong.
But she believed it was wrongdoing in the name of justice.
She believed that therefore her crimes were forgivable, pushing all of the blame onto others, continued to assault complete strangers.

Yōko, 38 years old this year, was a self-proclaimed online writer, but in truth she earned only a few thousand yen through advertising, and was living off the inheritance from her parents.
The Buddhist altar in the house was bereft of offerings, and it felt as though the dusty portraits of her parents were looked down on the room with disapproval.
However, she was hardly bothered by this.
Because she believed she was living for a higher purpose.
Harmony.
Harmony of the world.
Harmony of the times.
Her own life was the payment for a beautiful world that could achieve harmony of all things.
She could not be distracted by tending to such private affairs as maintaining the altar of her deceased parents.
This was what she truly thought; and deeming everything from her ceremonial duties to her parents to even the cleaning of her own home trivial and thus acceptable to ignore, she continued her fight against the unfair world with words as her weapon.

Even the few-thousand yen annual income she earned was due to the bombardment of comments on her site.
It was natural that when attacking a source of disharmony one would end up targeted by those seduced by the perversion of the world.
This was what she wrote on her site, but to put it simply, she was only picking fights with all of these parties.
A fraction of the people who came to check out the drama would click on the advertisements, giving her income.
What ‘disruption of harmony’ meant to her was, simply put, the stirring of people’s hearts.
‘Stirring’ could refer to anything that evoked excitement, fear, anger, laziness, lust, or other similar emotions.
Comics with explicit sexual content were naturally her enemy, as were all horror films depicting cruelty, police dramas with gunfights, and even art pieces portraying nudity.
The most controversial incident was probably when she had tried to have the Venus de Milo removed from textbooks, citing that it was a violent, misogynistic work that promoted the concept that a woman was more beautiful with her arms amputated.
It was debated whether the sculpture had had arms originally, or if it had been made armless from the start, but to Yōko how it became that way was irrelevant; the mere existence of it, acknowledged as a work of art, was enough to irk her, and she claimed it was a defilement of human society.
Being that she was so violently objected to a mere historical artwork, of course her stand against drama serials, comics and such was outright antagonistic.
She was especially opposed to a media series titled Owl of the Peeping Dead.
It was about the last survivors in an Ikebukuro overrun by zombies—what Yōko felt towards this setting went beyond dislike; it was a primal terror.
She could not wrap her mind around the idea of ‘zombies’; of the dead returning to life and attacking humans.
How would the creators take responsibility if children who saw that thought that people would continue walking around even after being killed? It was with that same thinking that Yōko had once been a member of a community group advocating the ban of zombie films, though they had been forcibly disbanded after employing extreme methods with their campaigns.
To make it worse, these zombies were supposed to be all over the district of Ikebukuro.
—Our streets are being debauched.
To her, the launchings of the film and anime were equivalent to flooding Ikebukuro with gasoline and sewage at the same time.
From the moment there were residents desiring the presence of this horror, the ‘harmonious world’ she visualised had begun to crumble. At the very least, she herself believed this.

On a side note, she did not know the exact plot of Owl of the Peeping Dead.

She had never seen the manga or anime, much less the movie.
To her, the synopsis and the images brought up just by searching were sufficient reason.
The setting of zombies appearing in Ikebukuro.
The posters with blood-spattered images.
That was more than enough for her to despise it.
It was unforgivable that violent elements were being introduced into a pre-existing city.
There were those who questioned her: ‘How do you know the content if you haven’t even seen it?’
Yōko replied straightaway to these people,
‘I don’t have to see it.’
‘The fact that people like you who are attacking my character support it is the greatest proof of how damaging this work is.’
Of course the forum on her website and her social media accounts attracted drama; all ranging from those who tried logical persuasion to anonymous flamers flocked to her site.
Then she would pick out only the flamers and post those messages on her site, saying, ‘The supporters of that vulgar film consist of people who use speech in this manner.’
She ignored the logical ones.
It was not because she was speechless; her thoughts on this were, ‘On first sight they seem calm, but to be calm and still support this series already means they must have been completely brainwashed. It’s unlikely they can be persuaded otherwise. How pitiful.’ It was not an excuse; she believed this from the bottom of her heart and pitied them.
For Yōko, her vision of the world was itself justice, and she could only see any who supported alternative views as evil demons, or pitiful victims of brainwashing.
What was frightening was that there were some people who approved of her.
Because she presented herself as doing this ‘to ensure a beautiful future of our children’, often those who supported that cause would gradually be influenced by her. Her unshakable faith acted as charisma, in a sense.
Furthermore, for those who aimed to censor films and drama serials, or comics and games, Yōko was a convenient tool.
Certainly they understood that her thinking was extreme. But being in a position to manage the illegal actions of her flamers, such as verbal abuse and death threats, was a clear advantage.
If Yōko received a death threat, all they had to do was dramatise it as, ‘This is how those who read overexplicit manga behave,’ and they could control the public’s perspective. Naturally this would be ineffective if the public realised Yōko herself was problematic, so they were careful not to cast her as too much of a victim.
Despite all of this plotting going on around her, Yōko remained completely oblivious as she continued her activities.
She founded Peoples for the Calm Treatment of IKEBUKURO with her like-minded peers, and launched a relentless attack on Owl of the Peeping Dead.
The battle continued for a few years.
On the other side of the story, both anime and film adaptions became enormous hits, with zombies overtaking the district.
During Halloween the previous year, the companies producing and publishing OPD respectively had held an event to promote dressing as zombies.
Her allies who tried to stop the event had been arrested for attempting to disrupt the event.
‘But we only trashed the venue of that disgusting zombie event as a form of cleansing.’
This was what she and her comrades thought, unapologetic—but when the popularity of OPD did not falter, and they began to grow weary and impatient.
But just then—a miracle occurred.
To her, it was a godsend.
Someone dressed as an OPD character had committed assault.
Through the internet, she had learnt that the perpetrator was dressed as the character Dark Owl even before it had been reported.
Everything will end with this.
Victory is ours.
With this, the public would understand the horror of people whose hearts had been tainted by evil fiction.
The victim of the Slugger was a sacrifice for the sake of harmony, surely.
They were both sincerely regretful and sincerely happy for the assault.

However—
The media did not make public that it was Dark Owl, and reports on the crime faded within the day.
What is this?
Had OPD bought the mass media with money?
Hope became despair.
Society did not seek harmony.
Confronted with this fact, she flew into her rage, as if her entire life had been rejected.
After destroying several objects in her home, bitterly, she wept into her pillow, weeping, weeping—
When suddenly, the thought struck.
Was the sacrifice not yet enough?
Was it necessary for more precious sacrifices in the name of harmony?
Realising this—she spoke to her confidantes.
Not the members of political groups that were trying to use her, but the small number that truly shared her views.
With a long, long process of persuasion—the ‘Missionaries of Harmony’, with Yōko at their fore, arrived at one solution.
To sell their souls to the demon, so as to slay the demon itself.

“This is the only way, I’m sorry, I’m sorry.”

Apologising, she would continue to assault the pedestrians even after they had fallen.
Each time she heard the cries of her victims.
Each time she saw the blood flowing, she felt it keenly.
The unsalvagable ‘taint’ wrapped around herself.
From the shell consisting purely of the filth that was Dark Owl.
But this as well was one step towards Ikebukuro’s harmony.
When the day came that Ikebukuro was fully cleansed, this shell would shatter, and she would be reborn in the truest sense.
Believing this, she continued to accumulate crimes as Dark Owl.
It was likely that until people realised the evil within Dark Owl, and the series OPD that contained the character, her steps would not falter.

But one day she noticed.
That besides herself—another person, likely a genuine assaulter, had begun to target the delinquent scum of the city.
“Ahh, it’s come…”
She murmured.
She did not know if this Slugger was the original criminal.
Nevertheless, Yōko was certain this person was a vile ally of OPD who sought to obstruct the harmonious activities of herself and her comrades.
She was convinced that through cleaning the streets of scum and creating a false harmony, this person was attempting to appeal to the public that OPD was safe.
“More… More must be sacrificed…”
There was only one way to fight back.
To take the blood of even more sacrifices, and wash the streets of Ikebukuro.
Yōko was enveloped with anticipation for the difficult battle ahead; her gaze did not falter.

Because all of this was for the sake of Ikebukuro’s future.
With that ideal in her chest, this very evening, she sought another sacrifice.
For the sake of Ikebukuro. To defend Ikebukuro from these evil usurpers.
On this day, once again, Yōko gripped the bandage-bound hammer that was the symbol of evil itself.

On a side note, this woman lived in Saitama, not Ikebukuro.

****CHAPTER END****


Interlude: Rumours on the Internet ③

Ikebukuro Information Site, IkeNEW! Version I・KEBU・KUR・O

Latest article, Admin’s Prediction! Two Sluggers in Ikebukuro?!

IkeNEW! Administrator’s Comment

“Looking closer I noticed something about the Slugger case-moja.
The attacks don’t seem to be all by the same person-moja.
If you look at the cases on a map, the area where normal people get assaulted and the area where gangsters like bosozoku or colour gang members get assaulted are separate-moja.
One might be a colour gang war-moja.
At this point anyone can put on a Dark Owl costume and do anything, and blame it on the Slugger-moja.
This means the couple who were attacked first are either regular civilians or the delinquent type-moja.
Well, it’s started already, so it’s not important-moja.
Will the city fall into Dark Owl’s hands-moja?

Even so it’s strange-moja.
The police should be tracking CCTV footage-moja.
This is still going on even when everyone’s getting vigilant, so does that mean both sides have methods to escape the police?
Or is there another reason-moja?
If there really are two culprits, I want a round of applause-moja.”

Administrator Lila Tailtooth Zaiya

Excerpts from the site’s comments.

  • I already knew.
  • More importantly admin what the hell’s that weird Snake Hands ad *(Comment was deleted a few minutes later)
  • It took so long?! I knew before the holidays even started.
  • Where’s the source? The news never reported the exact crime scenes or whether they were delinquents or not.
  • Ahowowowowow
  • Wait, isn’t it insensitive to ask for applause when people are getting hurt here?
  • The admin is the culprit.
  • Always with the moja, shut the fuck up.
  • The culprit is a hostess.
  • Is there really a Slugger? Are you sure it’s not just a ruse by the media?
  • Oi, why do comments get deleted if we talk about Snake Hands? *(Comment was deleted a few minutes later)
  • Snake Hands Snake Hands Snake Hands Snake Hands Snake Hands Snake Hands Snake Hands *(Comment was deleted and the commenter was banned)

♂♀

Twittia.

Excerpts of typical tweets from microblogging site Twittia.

  • The IkeNEW admin’s finally resorted to spreading paranoia?
    • Not paranoia, looks like they just copy-pasted what people were arguing about on Twitter.
      • Seriously? What an ass…
  • Is the Slugger linked to the Headless Rider too?
    • Must we blame everything on the Headless Rider?
      • If we don’t think of suspects it might be hard to catch the real culprit…
        • It was a joke, why so serious…
  • Regardless, it’s probably Owl of the Peeping Dead that’s suffering the most.
    • Protect the peace of Ikebukuro! #OperationEradicateOwlOfThePeepingDead
    • The future of our children is being tainted. #OperationEradicateOwlOfThePeepingDead
    • Protect Ikebukuro from these evil fictions. #OperationEradicateOwlOfThePeepingDead
      • What…
        • Yeah, if you don’t shorten OPD you’ll get spammed with these. Think it’s a PCChibukuro publicity stunt.
          • It looks like there are tens of people in PCChibukuro.
            • Are you serious. Do they not realise it’s counterproductive.
              • I doubt they can differentiate reality from delusion.
  • Dragon Zombie will be next, won’t they?
    • Huh? That gang’s still around?
      • The boss came back or something, they’ve been running about a lot recently.
        • I wish the Slugger would just hunt down those bike gangs. Seriously.
          • Dollars is gone, too.
            • It’s really gone?
              • What are you talking about?
                • Isn’t it possible Dollars and Yellow Scarves are behind the scenes of this?
                  • Didn’t Dollars have a natural death already?
                    • Yep, natural death. They never announced they were disbanded.
                      • So it wouldn’t be surprising if they rise from the dead like zombies, right?

****CHAPTER END****


⇒CHAPTER 4


Advertisements

3 thoughts on “Durarara!!SH×3: Chapter 3 (+Interlude)”

  1. Everybody wants the Slugger.

    “It was debated whether the sculpture had had arms originally, or if it had been made armless from the start, “<-AFAIK it was found with arms, but they fell mid-transport and should now be stored somewhere in the Louvre's basement. Not totally sure if that's truly the case, but it certainly looks plausible.

    Also, you've been repeatedly mistyping "Twittia" as "Twitter" for this volume.

    Like

      1. Also, since I’m at it, in chapter 4:
        “She targeted the silt-eyed man.” <- the "i" and "l" are swapped; it's always a bother when it happens to me, specially when I don't notice until it's too late ;.;

        Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s