T/N: Sorry for the wait! This is the plan. I am uploading this with the Akane episode today. I also have Masaomi’s, the twins’ and Kadota’s (2, 4 and 5) on the agenda. If anyone provides the remaining scans, I will translate.
The other matter is with the Izaya to, Yuuyake wo novel, which seems to have been dropped by the previous translator. I’ve been playing around with the idea of translating it, but SH4 will definitely take priority. I also have a major exam this year, so please be understanding! Any other translators are welcome to step in.
(P.S. Even after taking it down I’ve been getting emails requesting access to Volume 13 every day. help)
*Carmilla Saizō has themes of gender that may be sensitive to some.
Epitome of Eighteen Histories 3
Hanejima Yūhei & Hijiribe Ruri Episode
This is a story of the future.
A story of a twisted future.
Strange! Bizarre! The darkness of a world woven from illusion and madness, cleaved and purified by a heretic shinobi!
Camilla Saizō is a vampire ninja!
As a child despite being male he lived a peaceful life as the vampire girl ‘Carmilla’ due to family circumstances, but upon the awakening of his ninja master blood he began on his path to fight evil and defend the peace of New Tokyo!
Five years past the first arc, the story’s setting goes abroad!
A formidable foe sudden appears: Dracula Momiji!
Contrary to Carmilla Saizō who was raised as a girl, the Knight Earl Momiji, who was raised as a boy… turns out to be his younger sister…?!
The secret vow between the ninja and the knight from 666 years ago!
And what could be the true identity of Sin Organisation, moving behind the scenes…!
A small hit in Japan! The suspenseful launch of this 4th episode of Super Ninja-ring Action!
—Extracted from Vampire Ninja Carmilla Saizō IV ~ BLOOD REVOLUTION pamphlet
Somewhere in the city. Press Conference.
It was an event hall with an ambience of luxury, usually for weddings and anniversary celebrations.
“Alright, please look this way!”
“Here too please.”
The subject to these camera flashes was a number of film actors lined up for a press conference.
It was an event premiering the latest Vampire Ninja Carmilla Saizō film.
While assumed to be a short-lived production at first, Carmilla Saizō had been able to acquire sequel after sequel due to the breakthrough of the leading actor Hanejima Yūhei amongst other factors, and its financial success had risen accordingly.
Given this background, Hanejima Yūhei’s acceptance of his role in this supposedly minor series even after he had gone big was another point of interest. Although his managing company Jack O’Lantern attempted to stop him, the director of the firm Max Sandshield welcomed the idea, and so instead the company wound up making its topselling talent star in one low-paying movie after another.
In any case, these elements combined such that Carmilla Saizō produced several movies featuring Hanejima Yūhei, and continued its progress to gain a place amongst the representative works of the generation.
With the closure of the initial photo-taking session, they moved onto the question-and-answer segment.
“It was mentioned that most of the filming took place in India. How was it?”
“It was a good place.”
“What are the highlights of this latest movie?”
“The fully ad-libbed fight scene.”
“It seems Hijiribe-san was responsible for the movie’s SFX makeup; how were your interactions?”
“It’s a private matter, but personally I would like to think we get along well.”
The lead actor Hanejima Yūhei was barraged with questions that varied in relevance to the movie itself.
Yūhei was answering these questions evenly when a reporter from LAST WEEK Weekly, a magazine known for third-rate gossip, pitched a completely random question.
“It seems that you’ve done some investments again and expanded your assets—do you have a secret to making money?”
“I think that in your case you should stop gambling and clear your debts, Kozaki-san.”
“Ah… um, thanks.”
The reporter he addressed by name reddened and sat down awkwardly, while another journalist asked, jokingly,
“Could it be you remember the faces of reporters and such?”
“If it’s someone who’s interviewed me before.”
Yūhei nodded promptly. Several of the reporters shuddered as they realised it was most likely true. Not only that; it was bizarre how he knew of the debt issues of a mere reporter, and the mentality he had to have to announce such things so publicly without hesitation was scary.
Hanejima Yūhei was abnormal.
That was the true opinion of these reporters.
But they were also aware that it was his unorthodox air that drew the interest of the public.
Even the late-night rendezvous that was the closest thing to a scandal in his history had been with an idol somewhat uncanny herself, Hijiribe Ruri; despite the disappointment of the fans of both parties, there were supporters who felt that the two were too compatible for there to be any real complaints.
“Hijiribe Ruri-san was involved this time not only as for SFX makeup but also as a guest star… What are your thoughts on acting in the same film as a couple?”
In response to that question, after a brief pause, Yūhei replied as though choosing his words carefully,
“I did my best to separate my personal feelings from my work.”
With an expression that, to any outsider, showed no trace of any personal feelings that could have existed in the first place.
Meanwhile. Conference Room, Jack O’Lantern Japan.
“…It’s hard to tell from his expression, but he was embarrassed back there, wasn’t he?”
A woman said this as she watched the variety show on the screen.
“Is it fine for you not to attend? Everyone knows Hijiribe Ruri’s one of the major contributors that got Carmilla Saizō where it is today.”
The other woman she spoke to—Hijiribe Ruri—looked away awkwardly, answering,
“Sorry, I’m bad at things like press conferences… Besides, I didn’t do anything impressive.”
“That’s not true. Your SFX makeup has been praised since the work first came out, right?”
“The credit goes to Zakuroya-sensei.”
Ruri attributed it to her SFX makeup instructor, but she was not being modest; she honestly felt that her teacher had had played a major part in Carmilla Saizō’s production.
At the same time, Ruri felt once more that fate was a strange thing.
That a film she had done SFX makeup for she would find herself acting in now.
And presently she, who had become an idol, was being interviewed by a journalist, while—
Unexpectedly, she had wound up watching the press conference of Hanejima Yūhei, who was now her lover.
She was currently being interviewed by a freelance writer, Kinomiya Kazane, under the theme ‘Celebrities in Ikebukuro’.
She did not normally accept interviews from freelance writers, but a writer Ruri had some history with, Tsukumoya Shinichi, had introduced the woman, and so both the company and Ruri had lowered their guard.
“Kinomiya-san, are you Tsukumoya-san’s apprentice?”
Ruri asked conversationally. Kinomiya Kazane replied, blandly,
“No no, I don’t think I could call myself his apprentice per se. I’ve never even seen his face, it’s just that I picked up from him things like how to do internet columns, or article-writing skills…”
The young writer had at some point in the interview slipped into a tone more suited for friends.
Ruri herself was not strict about such formalities and in fact had a good impression of the woman, but that did not mean she opened up completely.
For it was only Hanejima Yūhei alongside a small handful of others that could truly open her heart.
But, whether aware of her thoughts or not, the writer Kazane closed her notebook and switched off the voice recorder, saying,
“Um, this isn’t part of the interview, but… there’s something I want to ask out of personal interest.”
Ruri tilted her head, and Kazane asked with a serious expression,
“…Ruri-san… Do you have any really huge secret?”
“Um, this might sound weird, but… Anything most people wouldn’t believe… Like, if you’ve been abducted by aliens before or something…”
“Why… do you ask?”
There, the writer herself wavered, and said, slowly,
“Since I was young I met a lot of strange people… I mean, people departed from social norms… And so knowing that there’s a slightly different world beyond what I can see, I joined this job so as to see that world clearly… You give off that same air, Ruri-san. As the unusual people I’ve met up till now.”
Strangely, Ruri understood that Kazane was telling the truth.
Nevertheless, it would be ludicrous to disclose any of her own secrets; to expose the most delicate parts of her sinful heart.
Ruri, awkward, tried to reject her in a roundabout way by redirecting the conversation.
“…Then, Kinomiya-san… it won’t be a fair trade unless you tell me a huge secret of your own, right?”
She joked, smiling lightly.
But Kazane, after some deliberation, replied just as jokingly,
“A secret, a secret… Mmm… Our fathers are different, but I have an older brother who works as an underground doctor… and lives with the Headless Rider… does that count?”
Ruri froze unthinkingly at those words.
Seeing this reaction, Kazane waved her hands.
“Ahaha! Y, you wouldn’t believe something like that, right? I’m sorry! Please forget that!”
But the words that Ruri uttered right after— were beyond Kazane’s expectations.
“….You’re Kishitani-sensei’s… sister?”
“Huh?! Um… You know my brother?”
There Ruri went quiet for a moment, and then she smiled; not an evasive smile like earlier, but one from her heart, as she murmured,
“Maybe… there really is such thing as fate.”
Kazane tilted her head. Ruri looked up slowly, and said,
“You are right that I have a secret. I can’t talk about it, but… instead, why don’t I talk about the important person who shares my secret?”
And so Ruri began to tell.
A tiny episode of the countless, countless times she, a monster, had been saved by a human.
Hijiribe Ruri possessed power unlike any human.
And in the past, using that power, she had committed terrible crimes.
While it was revenge for a family member, those crimes were against the laws of this country, and likely unforgiveable by societal standards.
That was why she had decided to accept the fate coming for her.
Even the fate that befell her days after she became the fake lover of Hanejima Yūhei—when she was embroiled in a certain conspiracy and trapped under the rubble of a collapsed building.
She could feel the fire surrounding the debris burn ever-higher.
For all she was superhuman, she would probably die if those flames consumed her.
—Maybe this is my punishment.
If she actually used her monstrous strength she could probably break free of the debris, but a thought had come to her.
It was that perhaps, if she disappeared here, she would no longer be a burden to others.
As she thought this, the face of a man appeared in her mind.
The face of the man who had told a monster like her that he did not want her to die.
—I’m sorry, Kasuka-san.
—If I die here, my crimes won’t inconvenience you anymore…
As her thoughts reached that point, something odd occurred in her surroundings.
The pressure of the rubble weighing down on her had suddenly eased.
When she opened her eyes, there was the face of a man currently levering the slab above her up with a steel pipe.
“…It’s not a question; I don’t need a reason to help you.”
Something must have happened on his way here; his body was already littered with injuries.
“Please stop! Over someone like me… You should know what I’ve done… You can’t get hurt over someone like me!”
Ruri cried out, close to tears, and the injured Yūhei replied,
“I think there are people who would deny your right to happiness. That is true.”
With his usual lack of expression, he narrowed his eyes slightly, and continued.
“But even if your crimes are unforgiveable, I do not deny your right to be happy. I hope that you will never forget that, at the very least, you have one person who thinks this way.”
With this even voice, Kasuka gave his reply.
“On the contrary, without you, I will not be happy.”
“All that I have are lackings. I don’t have the strength of my brother, or the Director’s ability to get along in the world. I have always been empty.”
Even as Yūhei tried to remove the rubble with all of his strength, he continued to speak to Ruri, who had been giving up on her life just earlier.
“You… are the important person who accepted me in spite of my lackings as a person… so if you will not fight your fate, then I will fight in your place.”
Yūhei heaved the pipe as he said this.
But following that—part of a yet-intact wall near to them began to collapse, falling towards him.
It was a millisecond before it would crush them both—
When Ruri escaped through the gaps in the rubble, and easily deflected it despite it being multiple times her weight.
“All that I have are lackings, too.”
Even as Ruri faltered as to whether living on was the right thing to do—she had no doubt when it came to walking alongside this man.
“I will compensate where you are lacking, Kasuka-san.”
So as to escape the surrounding fire, Ruri lifted Yūhei in a princess carry, and began to leap.
Under the bask of moonlight, she simply smiled, quietly, towards him.
“So please… let me dream on a little longer.”
After listening to her story, Kazane was silent for a while—before slowly, she tilted her head and asked,
“…That’s a scene from Carmilla Saizō IV, isn’t it?”
“I watched the premiere only just now! Ugh, the words are slightly different, but it’s straight from the last scene between you and Yūhei-san isn’t it! To think before I realised I was listening so seriously, too! Hey!”
Kazane said, laughing, to which Ruri smiled gently—
And slid the movie pamphlet on the table over, pointing to one section.
‘Script Contributor: Hanejima Yūhei’
“Although he said just now that he tried to avoid involving his personal feelings…”
Ruri looked up at Yūhei’s face on the screen, where the press conference was still ongoing, and said, half to herself,
“He truly is bad when it comes to these kinds of things…”
“Um… Do you mean to say, he used a real life conversation as a model for the script?”
Kazane’s voice was uncertain—but in truth she was working hard to conceal a curious anticipation wishing it to be so.
To Kazane, the ‘monster’ replied, with a very human smile:
As if the smile on her face were Yūhei’s share as well, inasmuch as he never smiled at others,
“That’s up to you to interpret, Kazane-san.”
(*The reporter Yūhei addresses by name, Kozaki, is from Otsuberu to Warau Suiyōbi. ‘Ko’ is written as ‘fox’.)