Miyoko no Naku Koro ni
Episode 3: Lambda
“Stop right there, you little bitch!” Hosoda shouted.
But Miyo was already running out out the door at that point. As she sprinted, her mind calculated quickly that the tall and long-legged man would probably be able to catch her. Miyo had never been athletic. She remembered her death in the previous world.
“Curse you, Bernkastel!” the child screamed. If you’re just going to have me killed again, she thought, I won’t play along. I’ve got n idea. I’ll do it just to spite you, goddamn Witch!
Miyo swerved to her left and then ran back toward the Sky House! She passed Hosoda, who couldn’t yet stop himself going forward with all the momentum he’d built up. Instead of going for the door, Miyo grabbed hold of the gutter drainage pipe on the side of the large house. She scampered up the pipe all the way to the roof of the second floor. Hosoda was still on the ground, meanwhile, cursing, because he couldn’t follow. He would need to fetch the ladder from behind the chapel.
Paying no more attention to the brute, Miyo walked to the edge of the roof and looked down at the small front yard now below her. A concrete sidewalk led up to the entrance, and it was quite wide. On either side of the walk there were gardens interspersed with the lawn grass. Miyo took a deep breath. She was shaking and feeling sick all over again.
“Do you see me, you goddamn Witch?!” she cried, raising her fist to the sky. “Watch! This bird will be set free!”
As planned, she collided with the sidewalk below. She hit her head with the fall as well as breaking a leg and some ribs. Immediately, she went into a coma. Ebina convinced the headmistress to send to the child to the hospital, and Miyo died there half a day later. She remained unconscious and pain-free during those hours.
When she woke up, Miyo had no form and could see nothing but black in all directions. She had all her memories, but was confused about where she was now.
Frederica Bernkastel appeared before her in the dark. She asked, “Did you really think you escape these games by killing yourself?”
“Not really,” Miyo replied self-assuredly. “I just knew that it would throw a wrench in your plans and ruin your entertainment. Making you irritated for even one moment is worth it. But obviously the same thing can’t keep working forever. Anyway, where am I? For that matter, what am I? I don’t have a body.”
“You are a collection of the memories of Miyoko Tanashi from the past three worlds,” Frederica answered. “I was about to send you to merge with the consciousness of the Miyoko in the next world. I only paused because I noticed something unexpected. You appear to be more formidable than I imagined after that suicide stunt. Your existence is now much different than it was after the first and second worlds.”
“Different how?” Miyo questioned. “I don’t understand what you mean.”
“Hmm,” Frederica said as she considered. “I suppose the best way to describe it would be to say you’re forming a personality of your own. That’s why you can talk to me like this in the first place. There’s the personality of plain little Miyoko, who knows nothing. Then there’s you, the personality formed by Miyo’s experiences and memories across three worlds.”
“How about that. I’m Miyo #2 then.” The shapeless existence didn’t seem interested in the topic anymore. “Hey, you damn Witch,” she said after a pause. “So long as I’m here, I want to set a few things straight. These are supposed to be games we play against each other, right? I play to live, and you play to make sure I die. But until now, I haven’t been conscious. That’s not fair — and more importantly, it can’t be very fun for you. So the very least you can do is make sure the next Miyo can access me and my memories easily.”
“Suddenly, the new existence is making demands of me,” Frederica observed. She smiled. She even gave a soft, low laugh. “You said you were called Miyo #2? Well, certainly, I need to keep things entertaining, and it will surely be more fun to have you self-aware in the worlds to come. Your request shall be granted, Miyo #2.”
“Then again,” said Miyo #2, “that’s a lame name. Let’s think of another one.”
“What’s your favorite number?” asked Frederica.
“Probably three or four,” replied the formless existence. “Because mi and yo mean three and four. But as my own existence, I like the number eleven. It’s Miyo’s age. I want to survive past being eleven, but I also want to keep a childlike, fun-loving mindset forever.”
“Then, take as your name ‘Lambda.’ It’s the eleventh letter of the Greek Alphabet.”
“Lambda, lambda.” The strange being repeated this aloud several times. Then she declared, “I like it. Thank you for the inspiration, you goddamn Witch.”
“Oh, it was my pleasure.” The Witch looked down at Lambda, which from her point of view looked like a translucent, 2D outline of Miyo, floating in the darkness. As she considered the new turn of events, Frederica’s expression was one of distinct satisfaction and eagerness for more. “Incidentally, I want you to watch something with me, little Lambda. As I’m setting up the next gameboard for us, I’d like to show you the backgrounds of the staff members — especially Meisa Ebina and Muneshige Kashima. This information might just give you an edge in the next world.”
“Why would you do that?” Lambda asked, wary but not overly suspicious.
“I’m simply feeling generous,” answered Frederica. “It’s rare that I’m in such a good mood.”
“Alright, I’ll take it, then.” Lambda gave a bold laugh. “Show me the lives of these humans. After that, the game will begin. I find myself oddly excited.”
End of Desperation Chapter (3rd Arc)
Next Time: Beginning of Escape Chapter (4th Arc)
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Episode 1: Sudden Tragedy
Episode 2: Sky House
Episode 3: Mistake
Episode 4: Witches’ Tea Party
Episode 1: Companions
Episode 2: Their Plan
Episode 3: Eriko
Episode 4: Fumie
Episode 5: A Nameless Penalty
Episode 1: Hope
Episode 2: Memories