Disclaimer：I cannot guarantee the complete accuracy of this translation
Encounter with Enki
I’ve encountered the woman of my destiny. Whether it’s a one-way street or not, either way to me it’s fate, and so I continue to pursue. There’s no one who could escape from fate and disregard it right? After all, it’s destiny.
……To be constructing a stupid poem, I must’ve gone nuts.
In any case, the reason my brain’s melting isn’t because of the annoyingly hot sun.
The reason I’m acting oddly is because of the being that is before my eyes right now. Ignoring my stubborn gaze, it is that surly woman who’s reading a book under the shade of a tree.
I sat down cross-legged on a spot one step away from her then questioned her directly.
“Hey, why are you outside in the middle of noon? Us vampires cannot bring out the full extent of our powers during the daytime.”
“If I were to sleep during the day, I’d inevitably be attacked by you.”
As she addressed her reply to me, her face continued to point downwards.
My, my, this is troubling. The woman of my destiny is obsessed with a book.
…Though in saying that, it wasn’t an exaggeration, she really did seem to enjoy books. Despite me staring at her for over an hour, our eyes haven’t even met once. I guess she must be pretty studious. It must be that she’s so engrossed in her studies that even after following her around for over a year, she still hadn’t told me her name. Aah, I’ve decided.
(Rather, would it not be okay to just tell me your name? It isn’t gonna kill you to tell me, right?)
Eyeing the timing of the woman’s page turns, I whispered out to her.
“I’ve heard that a total of 945 times, so I know.”
“……That is all.”
“You shy little fellow.”
“I got goosebumps to the point that I can’t feel the heat. Thanks.”
“My cheeks are about to be frozen by tears too.”
“Though you say that, you’re not crying.”
(You might not know this, but I truly do feel like crying)
I have never been forced to wait this long before. The sweet fragrant smell is almost overwhelming.
(Ahー, I gotta do it. I definitely have the confidence to make you like me if I try but……)
And so the motive tainted with desire was replaced with a different intent.
“Allow me to say it again. I’m heads over heels for you. Please become my partner.”
“I shall refuse.”
“An immediate response. Heartless woman, could you not at least consider it?”
“I wonder who’s the actual unreasonable one here. You’re the one who turned down the proposal when I said ‘If it’s as friends, I’ll consider it.'”
“I don’t want to be friends. But if it’s as lovers, I’ll allow it.”
“For what reason do I need permission from you?”
“The great me has compromised to this extent for you, y’know!? By merely seeing me, any other woman would――”
“I don’t wish to hear about how other women were like with you up until now. I am me. I am not some doll who’d simply fall for you.”
A sharp glare was directed towards me. It was a look so cold that it alone might be enough to kill a man.
In spite of that, to be overjoyed at the fact “Our eyes finally met!”, I might just be some sort of pervert. And before I met this woman I thought of myself as closer to a sadist, but recently, I’ve awakened to a new talent.
(Damn it me, this is wrong. I’m in the middle of talking right now)
As joy was about to appear on my face, I cleared my throat and put on a stern expression.
The sentiment directed toward me might be disgust, but since she went through great lengths to look my way, it’s best if I take this chance and appeal to her.
Calming my nerves, I flipped the bag that was hanging off my waist.
With the sound of multiple falling objects, jewelry was spread on top of the lawn.
In truth, I wanted to personally hand them over, but right now I’m not allowed to touch even a single finger on her. Because I forcibly pushed her down a few days ago, I was banned from physical contact. And since she said that she’d “run if the promise is broken”, I have no choice except to use such means.
“A proof of apology. A tribute.”
“Are you self-proclaiming these to be tributes? Besides, did you not steal these……”
“How rude. Everything here, I earned myself.”
“Aah. I don’t hate business. It’s enjoyable since the humans’ method of earning has been particularly efficient lately.”
For a split moment, the woman made an expression as though to admire my tale and then shook her head.
“……I don’t need any of them.”
“What!? If neither money nor jewels are suitable, then what should I supply you with!?”
“I dislike being supplied with anything in the first place!”
“Then tell me what you like!”
“That’s enough, please just shut up. It’s getting in the way of reading.”
“I got it. Tomorrow, I will bring you 100 books that you might enjoy.”
“I won’t be able to move like that so stop.”
“Then pick one of the things I’ve brought over and then I’ll withdraw for today.”
Whether it’s because she was close to being violated against her will a couple of days ago, nevertheless, it appears that her heart swayed at my suggestion. It pains me a little that she wishes for me to disappear to that extent, but if she’d accept, I’m happy with just that.
(Come to think of it, at that time, she has never said, “I hate you.” If I remember correctly, what she said was “Stop”, “You’re the worst”, “Please just die” and…..)
On the contrary, if it’s from her, I enjoy it――is what I arbitrarily believe――but as I numbered through them mentally, I remembered the last line she told me and I plummeted.
(“Go any further and I will despise you”……I think)
I hate you. I don’t need you. ――Even though I’d falter a little if she openly said any of these things, the woman would by no means say it. And that’s why I get carried away in the spur of the moment.
Earlier, when I asked her about the reason for it, she quietly whispered, “Whilst being told that, I was abandoned.”
I’ve heard that she was kept as an ornament by a certain aristocrat and it is said that she loved them like a parent. And for daring to seek out that love, she was verbally abused, discarded, and had reluctantly set off on an aimless journey……it seems.
Despite tagging along for a period of a year already, it’s frustrating that my knowledge of her is still a bunch of hearsay.
Suddenly surfacing from the ocean of memories; as I rose my eyes, I noticed that the woman was staring at a single point.
A one-of-a-kind ruby ring glistened in her field of view. It was a vivid red that shined brilliantly amidst the lush grass.
“Did you take a liking to that?”
“It’s not that I took a liking to the jewel. I simply thought that it had resembled the color of your eyes, that’s all”
“Yes. Transparent and more vibrant than any ruby.”
A surprise attack. It’s all too surprising. As though a knife was plunged into my chest, I couldn’t breathe.
(To think I’d be praised here! …No, wait. Was I being praised? ……Ah! Damn it, I don’t understand. What did you intend by that?)
Whether she was aware of my turmoil or not, the woman stared at the ground and said.
“In this spot, the only thing I like might just be your eyes. And so, I will not accept any of them”
The woman slowly lifted her face and looked towards me. When a beauty becomes expressionless, it’s frightening, and surely that was the feeling I got.
I was so panicked that I could not think.
(Could this be a roundabout way of expressing refusal?)
When I reached my own conclusion, I was disappointed and fretful at the same time. There was premature joy when she opened her mouth.
“I’m serious. Although I cannot accept your sentiments, I do think your eyes are beautiful.”
She said this while giving me an unwavering gaze.
(……You are a kind and cruel woman)
The woman does not care for me. Honest to a fault, she was merely saying the truth.
Despite comprehending everything, my heart still beats loudly.
(What is beautiful, are your eyes)
I want to say it. I want to say how happy I am to be reflected in those eyes.
However, if I were to confess it, the woman would surely avert her gaze. What has sunk in on me over the past year, was that loving words fall on deaf ears.
Then, what should I do……
Distressed from my worries, I will repay her in the most utmost way I can right now.
――I griped my eyeball without hesitation and yanked it out firmly. Horribly intense pain attacked me, but seeing her watch me startledly with my other eye; it was canceled out with joy.
If she’d look at me longer, I’d like to present the other side as well. But I give up on that idea since I wouldn’t be able to see and so it would become meaningless.
“Come on. Accept it”
“What!? W-what are you…!?”
I effortlessly turned over the eyeball to the hand of the unusually bewildered woman.
“The transparent red” she was referring to, shined brightly when held up against the light of the sun.
“You’d accept it if it’s this right? Don’t mind it, it’ll heal soon enough.”
“D-does it not hurt……?
“It really fucking hurts, but if you’d accept it, even pain would become pleasure. So how about it? Are you happy?”
“Your love’s too grim, it’s unpleasant”
She responded exactly as I predicted but when said this blatantly, as expected, it’s depressing.
Sighing whilst the blood continued to drip downwards, the woman suddenly smiled.
The color of red spread in a flash without warning. Then something lukewarm hit my cheeks.
What occurred before me was all too shocking, and before I could comprehend anything, I felt a scent.
Sweet and fragrant――the smell of the woman’s blood.
The woman smiled gently as she grasped her own eyeball.
“Here you go”
“W-What are you……!?
I never thought she’d say those prior words as is.
As the woman rolled the eye that glistened with colors of both black and purple onto the palm of my hand. This time around, it was me who was astonished.
“If I were to accept your eye now, you’d be left with a gouge would you not? Therefore, I did this. It is unfair to only receive and so I will offer it to you as well.”
I thought that I wouldn’t be surprised by most things after living several hundred years, but regardless……it startled a nerve all the same.
With my mouth wide open, the woman spoke bluntly as though to take revenge.
“Don’t worry. It’ll heal itself soon enough.”
(What should I say, as it is, it’s retribution, is it not?)
Both my actions and my words have been returned to me.
Me being unable to recover from the shock, the woman let a giggle. A bit malicious but it was……incredibly cute.
Whether it’s because I was bleeding badly or because I overdid myself, despite having various things I wanted to say; the inside of my head was filled with nothing but the words “I love you.”
“……I want to fuck you right now, but can I?”
“If you can endure until both our eyes decay, I’ll think about it”
“Guh…I get it. Until they both decay, eh. That’s definitely a promise.”
“I’ll keep a constant eye on it and the moment it rots, I’ll come to ravage you.”
“Then I shall estimate the time of decomposition and prepare a counterattack.”
“Weren’t you gonna consider it?”
“I am indeed considering it. However, I do not know what will become of the results of my consideration. Now then, please allow me to excuse myself.”
As the woman closed the book on her lap, her gallant form disappeared. And like always, there wasn’t the slightest ounce of hesitation.
Loosening my shoulders, I could easily roll around the eye that was inside my palm.
A light purple under the sun, its surface reflected my pathetic face.
“……There’s no meaning in just an eye. What I want is the heart that is inside.”
Unlike its cold and indifferent owner, the eye that was left behind was still warm.
And this realization tightened my chest even further.