Prologue

Color Illustrations

Hole 1

Prologue

The stars had already disappeared.

Far off in the distance, the eastern sky was brightening and the trees, concealed by the black of night, were finally regaining their color.

He was out of time.

On the ground a boy was fighting against a strange-looking monster. The creature stood on one side, shaped like a long, giant serpent, although its body was composed entirely of blades. And the boy stood on the other side, his whole body drenched with his blood.

But the snake-like creature was the only one on the verge of death.

The boy carelessly stepped forward and the monster, barely able to move and dying, pierced one of its blades through his chest. That was its final act of resistance.

To the side of the creature’s still corpse, the boy heaved a ragged breath as an excruciating pain raged through his body. Fighting that monster couldn’t really be called a fight. He had only done it in her place, to make himself feel better.

But this was no time for rest.

Once he put on the coat he had hidden under the ground, he grabbed his shovel.  The familiar grip filled him with courage, like an old partner offering reassurance.

Leaving red footprints on the ground, he hurried towards the grave. His feet felt heavy, as if they were being dragged down to the earth. He cursed his sluggishness.

Struggling against the pain, he finally managed to reach the side of the grave. He came to a stop and thrust the shovel into the ground. But after only a few scoops, he threw down the shovel, dropped to his knees, and like a mole, used his hands to remove the earth.

Underneath the dirt, his fingers eventually coiled around some strands of reddish-brown hair. In the grave he saw his beloved, sleeping so silently as if she were dead, with streaks of tears on her cheeks.

It was only natural. After all, what he had done to her was terribly cruel. Yet now he was going to do something even worse.

Selfishly, the boy prayed, “I hope she’ll forgive me.”

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6 thoughts on “Prologue

  1. ” And on the other side stood a boy, his whole body covered in the blood of this creature.

    But the snake was the only one on the verge of death.”

    Was he covered in his own blood instead? It’d make more sense. ‘fraid I can’t check this myself though.

    • Thanks for your comment. The Japanese reads ”片や全身をくまなく己が血で染め上げた、一人の少年” I took the が here as の, but I may be mistaken.

      • Yeah you’re right to take the ga as no, but I do believe it should be the boy’s blood, since 己 would be referring to “himself.” The next line also would make more sense in context that way.

        • Okay, I’m sold. I guess I was a little confused because the word means “self” but the kanji means “snake”. I thought maybe the author was trying something…”literary”.

          • I think in the context of light novels, it’s always better to err on the side of nonliterary. Even if it’s a rather serious LN like Sugar Dark.

            BTW I enabled comment nesting up to 10 comments, so now the reply buttons are actually visible for longer comment threads. Sorry about that.

  2. == Agujero uno – Prólogo ==

    Las estrellas ya habían desaparecido.

    Lejos en la distancia el cielo oriental brillaba a la vez que los árboles recuperaban sus colores tras la negrura nocturna.

    El tiempo se le escapaba de las manos.

    En el suelo un chico luchaba contra un ser monstruosamente extraño. A un lado se apoyaba la criatura, su elongado y serpentino cuerpo conformado enteramente de cuchillas. Al otro estaba el chico, teñido en su propia sangre.

    Pero la elongada criatura era la única herida de muerte.

    El chico dio un paso desenfadado, y el monstruo moribundo, apenas capaz de moverse, perforó con una de sus gujas su pecho. Fue su último acto de resistencia.

    Junto a la hierática figura de la criatura el chico respiraba con dificultad, notando como una ráfaga de dolor recorría su cuerpo. Combatir al monstruo no había resultado un gran reto. Solo lo había hecho por ella, él era su sustituto, y le hacía sentirse mejor.

    Pero no era hora de descansar.

    Con el abrigo puesto cogió su pala. El tacto familiar de su mango le devolvió el temple, reconfortándolo como un viejo amigo.

    Dejando tras de sí un sendero de manchas rojas, se acercó presto a la tumba. Notaba sus pies pesados, como si los llamara la tierra. Maldijo su torpeza.

    Luchando contra el dolor consiguió llegar junto a la tumba. Se detuvo y empezó a arremeter la pala contra el suelo. Aunque tras unos pocos palazos se puso de rodillas, deshaciéndose de la herramienta, y empezó a cavar la tierra con sus propias manos, como un topo.

    Bajo el polvo sus dedos terminaron enredándose en unos mechones de color castaño rojizo. En la tumba vio a su amada, durmiendo silenciosa como una muerta, lágrimas secas en sus mejillas.

    Después de todo, era natural, lo que le había hecho a ella era terriblemente cruel. Aunque sabía que lo peor todavía estaba por llegar.

    —Espero que me perdones— murmuró, egoísta.

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