When Miyoko Cries #22

Miyoko no Naku Koro ni
A Higurashi / Umineko Fanfiction
Miracles Chapter (final arc)
Episode 1: World Ten

This time, when Lambda appeared chained to the wall Witches’ tearoom, she was half-smiling. Giving a short laugh, she looked at Frederica with flames of excitement in her reddish-brown eyes.

“That game had quite a twist at the end,” she said. “Well-played, Frederica-sama. But just wait. In the next world, I’ll wipe the floor with you.”

“You seem to have had a change in attitude,” observed the purple-haired Witch. “I expected you to break down in tears and try to give up again.”

“That won’t happen anymore,” Lambda assured her. “I cried for my own self because she died. But now I’m past the grief. And I’m happy to be my new self.”

“I can’t tell,” said Kashima the black cat, “if she’s lost her mind or if she’s truly adapted.”

Kaneko chuckled as Frederica made the tea for them. “I believe the child is every bit genuine,” she stated. “And you’ve gone awfully quiet, my dear Bernkastel. Are you sulking? Did you not expect this happen?”

“That’s not it,” Frederica replied. She poured a cup of tea for Kaneko and passed it to her. “Here. It’s ginseng with lemon and honey. At any rate, I’m not displeased, but simply impatient. Shall we start the next world?”

“Please,” said Lambda with a smile.

Despite Miyo’s eagerness and decided shift in personality, the tenth world didn’t go well for her, either, in the end. Things started off well enough, though. Miyo felt confident and excited to unleash her new self on the world. Frederica Bernkastel appeared before her, but before she could ask the usual question, Miyo said,

“Let me take a minute to thank you, you goddamn Witch.”

“Pardon me?” asked Frederica. Her blank expression and empty eyes remained the same, but her voice gave away the slightest bit of surprise. “What do possibly have to thank me for?”

“It’s a little complicated,” answered Miyo, moving closer to the Witch to admire her splendid long hair and gothic dress, complete with the tail of a cat. “I felt so empty in the last world, even with my magic to reassure me. I’ve been fighting these feelings for a while now — maybe since the very first world — but you see, I’m infatuated with you, Frederica Bernkastel. Thinking of you, and how to beat you in this game, gives me purpose. It keeps me interested. Someday, these games will end. I hope to be a real Devil by then, though one with better tastes than Kashi. I do hope I’ll be allowed to stay by your side.”

“I’m not entirely sure what to say to all that,” Frederica said honestly. “I wish to focus only on the current game, for now.”

“Hey, you goddamn Witch,” Miyo said with a playful smile.

“Let’s shake hands as opponents, to signal the game to start.”

“Very well,” Frederica agreed.

When they shook hands, Miyo pulled Frederica closer to her with all the strength her little body could muster. She stood on her tip-toes and kissed the Witch lightly on the lips. Frederica reacted instinctively by breaking away and slapping the young girl with force, right in the face.

“Oh my,” said Miyo casually, as her cheek reddened. “I got burned by Bernkastel.”

“You are a strange being,” said Frederica, and she disappeared without another word.

The first thing Miyo did after that was hurry into her house. She secured a small jade pendant from her mother’s jewelry collection. Without sparing a thought for her parents, Miyo began the long process of filling the jade stone with magic. For the spell she had planned for this world, she needed stronger magic. A magic stone filled with stored power, to use at just the right time, would be ideal. Miyo didn’t even answer the phone when it rang. She didn’t move until the police came to her door to inform her that her parents were dead and she was being sent to Sky House.

At that hellish place, Miyo took turns imbuing the jade stone with magic, and using heavy-handed means to deal with Eriko and the girls. She teased Eriko about anything she could think of, stealthily attacking her confidence and cheerfulness. That was so everyone would think of Miyo — not Eriko — as the ringleader. She demanded right away for Sayuri to write her a song or a poem, to the point of bullying the younger, timid girl. Fumie stepped in to stop it, but Miyo just calmly psycho-analyzed her “love” for Sayuri, mocking it. She kept on until Fumie started crying and stormed away.

Since Sayuri wouldn’t write a poem, Miyo looked through the younger girl’s things and stole one that had already been written. Using its power to defend herself from being seen or caught, Miyo released the birds in the cage, and stole the key. That was the night of day two, her first full day at Sky House. In the morning, she told Eriko and the others about the escape plan, but with the way she had been acting, they didn’t trust her. Miyo would have to go alone. But that was fine with her. Fumie tattled to Ebina, who took the key from Miyo and dragged gave her over to Kashima for a punishment.

That was part of Miyo’s plan. She didn’t even need the key. The chapel was out behind the main building of Sky House, close to the edge of the property. She could wait and hide in the chapel until nightfall, and then escape. Of course, she’d have to suffer some serious pain first, since Kashima was tasked with “punishing” her. The Demon gave her a painful beating with a wooden rod and caused a few small fractures on her shins and arms. The rest of her body was covered with welts, bruises, and split skin that leaked blood. But that was all.

“Hosoda has beaten me harder than that,” Miyo said, wincing, but enduring the pain without crying. “What, no torture today? Are you in your right mind, Kashi?”

The thin man in black replied, “After a certain point, and depending on the personality, torturing the same victim over and over loses its fun. Besides, I can only go so far without gravely injuring you. If you’re planning to escape tonight, I’m not supposed to do anything bad enough to prevent you from the act of running.”

“Well,” Miyo told him sarcastically, “thank you for being so considerate. I’m awfully sorry that I’ve become a boring victim. Now, if you don’t mind, I’d like to hide here in the chapel until nightfall. Ebina might come looking for me, so I’ll hide in one of the coffins.”

Kashima turned and stared down at the bruised, bloodied child with curiosity. “You’re terribly bold in this world, Miyo-chan,” he said. “It borders on stupidity. If Ebina-sama comes here, don’t you think I’ll tell her where you’re hiding? And as for tonight, don’t you think I myself might be the element that M’Lady Bernkastel uses to kill you? And if you just hop into a coffin, I’ll be ever so tempted to seal it closed.”

“You aren’t the element because you’re already her Piece,” Miyo said with a clever smile. “You can’t be the one to kill me unless certain conditions are met. I’ve gathered that much. The first condition is that I’m brought back to you after an escape attempt to be punished. Then you may kill me. The second condition is that I gravely insult or try to harm Meisa Ebina. You’re allowed to kill me in that case, too. But I haven’t made an escape attempt yet, and just earlier, I was perfectly respectful and submissive in handing the key over to Ebina. See? You won’t kill me.”

“I could still give away your hiding place to Ebina-sama,” Kashima pointed out.

“I’ve got just the thing for that.” Miyo actually grinned. “You can have this in exchange for holding your tongue and letting me hide here.” She handed over a monochrome photograph of Meisa Ebina from about ten years ago. She’d stolen it from Fumie’s belongings.

The Demon grinned back at Miyo as he accepted the photo. “You’ve learned how to negotiate well. Feel free to hide here until it’s fully dark outside.”

The spell Miyo made was one that protected her from strong physical force as well as strengthening her entire body (but especially her legs and lungs). With this, she could jump up into a tree to avoid a mudslide or flash flood, and even if that didn’t work, she wouldn’t be crushed by the force of the water and mud. Her powerful legs and lungs would help her swim and survive.

If Hosoda caught her as she ran, he wouldn’t be able to kill her nearly as easily as before. The spell protected her from physical force, so bashing her head or strangling her wouldn’t work. With the help of the jade stone, Sayuri’s stolen song, and the magic words, Miyo’s spell could last until morning. Frederica had promised that in every world, the phone would work. So there was no need to worry about it being broken or washed away by a flood.

Everything was ready once night came. Kashima let Miyo go without a struggle, and as the rain began to pour down, the girl felt thrilled. She clutched the pendant under her shirt and shouted, “Strength, Defense, my gifts from Heaven; Power of Jade, Four, and Eleven!”

The spell activated and Miyo immediately felt it. She felt absurdly strong and fast as she ran. Nothing could stop her. She was invincible. That’s how it felt, anyway. After only half an hour, Miyo reached the dirt-road leading to the telephone. Though the rain fell in torrents, and thunder seemed to shake the very world, there was minimal flooding this time. The road did turn into a stream, but one that only rose to Miyo’s ankles. Walking with the southward flow was easy enough, though it took extra strength to push through the mud and sand beneath the water. Up ahead, Miyo could just barely see the outline of the payphone.

Without warning, lightning struck. The powerful electric current damaged Miyo’s heart and made her drop to ground, unconscious. Her heart still beat, but with a severe arrhythmia. Miyo died a few hours later from acute heart failure.

To Be Continued


Previous Installments
Punishment Chapter
Episode 1: Sudden Tragedy
Episode 2: Sky House
Episode 3: Mistake
Episode 4: Witches’ Tea Party

Betrayal Chapter
Episode 1: Companions
Episode 2: Their Plan
Episode 3: Eriko
Episode 4: Fumie
Episode 5: A Nameless Penalty

Desperation Chapter
Episode 1: Hope
Episode 2: Memories
Episode 3: Lambda

Escape Chapter
Episode 1: Sky House Staff
Episode 2: Let’s Talk
Episode 3: The Spy
Episode 4: Magic
Episode 5: So Close
Episode 6: New Rules

Enchantments Chapter
Episode 1: Passing Worlds
Episode 2: Fairy Dust
Episode 3: Force of Nature

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