Weakest Skeleton! Episode 37 — Part 2

Episode 37 — For the Sake of Looking Forward

~ Part 2 ~

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Kyousuke wouldn’t come out from his room after that. Rin dejectedly hung her head, she spread out flatly all over the floor.

“It’s no good after all, Himemizu.”

∗Fuyo fuyo∗, a fireball flared up weakly and flew up to Rin’s place. It was Akira.
Akira, who was still completely weakened due to seasickness, was blaming himself for the big wound Kyousuke’s heart had received. While he had already noticed it 7 years ago, he could do nothing but watch as the hole in Utsurogi Kyousuke’s heart was becoming bigger, and finally, the day had come when Kyousuke was hurt by it. The regret that he felt wasn’t something small.
In addition, Akira received as much shock because of Washio’s death. Rin had told Akira of Washio’s last moment. He rescued Kyousuke and Rin, apologized many times for the apathetic apology, left his last will to Kogane and finally died.
This story seemed to have gouged out Akira’s heart deeply as he didn’t trust Washio’s speech and conduct and decidedly said that 『his apology is merely for form’s sake』.

“Sorry, Himemizu. If only I was more dependable…”
“No, let’s not say such things to each other.”

This matter was no one’s fault. This problem was something that Kyousuke had to face someday.
However, Rin just didn’t know how to cure his heart. That part was what that was frustrating to her.

Kyousuke at the moment had gone into a state of complete rejection of others. If they were to call out to him, he would more or less response, if they said they wanted him to come out, he would come out. But that attitude was strangely awkward as once the conversation stopped, he would immediately returned to his room.

“Perhaps Kyousuke cannot believe in himself.”
“Yeah. I think so too.”

Akira said. Rin also nodded.

Until then, Kyousuke had thoroughly averted his eyes from his own problem. Yes, he had averted his yes, that is to say, there were many chances to notice. Or possibly, he had already noticed his true feelings. But he didn’t want to think that was his own desire and continued living while firmly believed it was for the sake’s of others.
And then, Kyousuke was in a situation where that was especially displayed right in front of him.

“Hino-kun, as expected, is there any relationship between Utsurogi-kun’s current character and the fire that you told me before?”

While leaving from in front of Kyousuke’s room, Rin asked.

“Maybe. The origin of that fire was in Kyousuke’s room. Was it a disposable lighter?”

Rin couldn’t quite understand those words immediately, and she was thinking a little.

“That, you mean Utsurogi-kun started the fire?”
“There’s no positive proof since the person himself wouldn’t say anything. It was when he was still a child. The result was that Kyousuke lost both his parents and he alone survived, but then what kind of influence that has on Kyousuke, I can only guess.”

Certainly, that’s right. They could only guess.
Kyousuke had a strong feeling of rejection against others losing their lives. They could link that with the fire, but they could also think of it as an emotion originated from his own kindness and the fire wasn’t related at all.
Just that behind the fact that he was averting his eyes, he might be thinking that a common emotion such as 『I want to be thanked』 that people prone to have was something grotesque.

“Well, what will we do about it even if we know…”

Rin muttered a little.

“Probably, even if it helps us understand Kyousuke, it won’t be a clue on what to do about Kyousuke now.”

Akira also nodded.

“In order to get Kyousuke’s back on his feet, I feel that it is necessary to used a more different approach than up until now.”
“A more different approach?”
“Ahh. It’s vexing but I…”

As he was about to say something, 『nuu』, a shadow showed up from the corner of the corridor. Rin and Akira lost their words for a moment.

“Oh, ohhh…. Goubayashi-kun, it’s been a long time!”

Rin greeted that shadow before anything else.

It was Goubayashi Genshuu the Ogre, the one who suddenly returned in the middle of the battle with the Hydra some time ago, bringing along a new wind of relief to the class. Rin had also watched that battle in full from the cabin. She thought that he possessed enough power to fight evenly against the Pawn.
Goubayashi, while crossing his arms and paying attention not to damage the low ceiling with his horn, nodded 『umu』.

“How is Utsurogi doing?”
“Ahh, yeah…. He’s depressed.”

When Rin answered him, Goubayashi simply responded with 『is that so』. Look like he heard the story from Ryuzaki.

“Nee, Goubayashi-kun.”

Suddenly recalling something, Rin asked Goubayashi.

“Goubayashi-kun, how did you settle your own problem in the end?”

From what she had heard, Goubayashi should have left the class in order to confront the existence of the «demon» living within himself. Within the class, he was probably the student who started confronting the problem within himself the earliest and most earnestly. And then he was able to awaken to Phase 2 ability in the middle of questioning himself and fully displayed that power.
It doesn’t mean that Rin had any conclusive evidence on whether or not the ability awakening really has any cause-and-effect relationship with the problem within themselves. But Kyousuke, who confronted his own problem and had his heart withered before it, became unable to combine with Rin. So she wanted to get a hint on how to get Kyousuke back on his feet from Goubayashi’s words.

Goubayashi’s answer however, was outside of her expectation.

“I haven’t settled it or anything.”
“Almost everyday, I questioned myself, thinking of what I should do in order to erase the «demon» within my mind. But in the end, answer won’t come no matter how much I think about it. If I must say, the conclusion I got is only one.”

Both Rin and Akira didn’t speak a single word and just waited for Goubayashi’s next words.

“I have to accept it. No matter how much I cleanse my body, no matter how much I sharpen my mind, the «demon» still exists within myself, so I got no choice other than getting along with it.”

Well yes, Goubayashi, who wandered for a month, said that this was the conclusion he got.

“Of course, there maybe other ways. But I have chosen this path.”
“Was it helpful?”
“I wonder about that?”

Earlier than Rin, Akira answered Goubayashi’s question.

“It is difficult for Kyousuke to accept his own heart now. But it was a method that I haven’t tried up until now, so possibly, it maybe a correct answer.”

That said, Akira added one thing in the end, 『this is vexing though』.
Have Kyousuke accept it. His own heart. His true intention. I wonder if something like that is really possible? Even if Kyousuke accepts it, can he really change? At the end of the day, Kyousuke facing his inner self is no more than mending the cracks in the cup.
Even if the cracks are fixed, the empty container remains empty.

“If it’s you, you can do it, Himemizu. This is impossible for me.”

Next to Rin who was troubled, Akira said.

“While changing shape flexibly according to the container, its essence never changes. The only thing that can fill an empty container is water.”

The next day, Washio Kouta’s funeral was held. Just as Ryuzaki had said, various things were prepared for outward appearance.
An impromptu Buddhist altar as well as a portrait of the deceased Washio when he was alive, which was painted by who had reincarnated as a garei (famed Japanese youkai that possesses paintings), were prepared. The portrait painted by Kahara wasn’t realistic at all, if anything, it was something that should be called an «illustration» instead, but still, when the classmates looked at the portrait that captured well Washio’s characteristics, it reminded them of him from old times. Harao even said that he would offer his coffin but it was politely declined.

When Goubayashi was chanting sutra, students who could sit in seiza sat in seiza, students who couldn’t do that also closed their eyes and offered a silent prayer.
Putting everything together and it became a surreal sight. However, everyone present attended Washio’s funeral with a serious expression. Even those who were completely uncooperative in normal circumstances such as Akai, Inugami and Harao also attended, they closed their eyes and prayed for the deceased’s happiness in his next life. It was regretful that only his remains wasn’t here.

After the process of the funeral service ended, Goubayashi stood up, turning around to look at everyone in the class. He moved only slightly as if he didn’t want to turn his back to the deceased.

“Washio’s soul will go to sleep with this. He will rise to heaven over the long years and join the ranks of buddhas. We too will eventually die and follow the same journey as Washio to the afterlife. At that time, he will be our senpai. We must live wisely to our best effort so that we won’t be ashamed of ourselves.”

This was a so-called preaching. Many students didn’t understand immediately because some semi-religious story was mixed in.
Goubayashi was reluctant to preach and said that 『I’m not a monk and I’m still in training』, even so, he eventually agreed to it. Form is important, he could understand well those words said by Ryuzaki, and he certainly felt that it was something necessary in order to softly come to terms with the shocking event called 『death of a classmate』.
I should take care so that it doesn’t stink of religious as much as possible.

“From time immemorial, death is a very close and natural thing. We civilized people have been living by keeping away from it. But death is by no means anything special. It is next to everyone.”

Some students trembled slightly when hearing those words.

“It is natural, but this ceremony called funeral is to clearly recognize that dreadful death and sending out the deceased. It is important to mourn the death, it is important to grieve. But we should send out Washio. Holding on to his life more than necessary will just tie his soul to this world, and that isn’t good for Washio.”

With these words, Goubayashi once again recognized that the thing called 『funeral』 is a ceremony made for the sake of the living instead of the dead.
Washio is dead. The dead doesn’t speak. Precisely because they don’t speak that those who are left behind think about various things. They will forget Washio’s death, they will joke and laugh, to the point that it could be considered as insincere. But that is necessary for those who are still alive to move on.
The dead doesn’t speak. They don’t think anything. They don’t resent the living, they don’t blame insincerity. Wrapping that kind of rational thought with human emotions and think that 『forget』 is surely for the dead. This ceremony is for that.

“Washio was a frivolous person. Well, seeing as we will gradually stop talking about him, he may think something along the lines 『don’t do that』. However, as humans continue living, we will gradually stop talking about him. Even so, we shouldn’t forget. We won’t bother talking about a friend we haven’t met in ten years. Even so, we will occasionally remember him, and we will also talk if we ever meet again. That’s fine. The day when we reunite with Washio will eventually come. It maybe 60 years later, 70 years later, or possibly far far ahead in the future, but it is no more than that.”

The deck that was turned into the funeral hall fell silent.

“I’m done. Ryuzaki.”

When Goubayashi called out to him, Ryuzaki bowed to Washio’s altar, stood in the same place as Goubayashi and turned toward his classmates.

“We’re going to have lunch in the dining room after this. Before that, I have one thing to say. It’s about Kogane.”

A slight tension ran between his classmates.
It was because the name of Kogane Yoshiki was treated as another taboo after Washio’s death. It was plainly clear from the enemy’s words that Kogane had gone to the enemy side. Granted that there was some unavoidable circumstances, but then Washio had already died, so suddenly an atmosphere was brewing where it was difficult to accept that guy.

“I heard Washio’s last words from Rin. It seems that he wants to tell Kogane that . I think everyone will have complicated thoughts and it will take time to accept, but I want to consider Washio’s last wish.”

No words came up from the class on that matter. Ryuzaki breathed a sigh.

“Well, that’s all. Then, let’s move to the dining room after this…”

Interrupting his words, one student inside the class tensely raise her hand. And as that student was way too unexpected, Ryuzaki stared in wonder.


The Queen of the class, Akai Asuka the Vampire. The usual lazy appearance had completely disappeared from her expression.

“I also have something to say to everyone, but, is it okay?”

Next Episode: Surarin, Do Your Best