The sound of water echoed in the darkness.
My consciousness gradually took shape, as if emerging from the depths of the sea. The pain also returned as my body began to creak.
（Where am I......?）
Something warm surrounds my wounded body.
（It feels...... comfortable）
Someone was holding my body. I felt relief spreading from the warmth of our skin touching each other and where we were touching.
I tried to move my body, but the pain was instantaneous. I was so exhausted that I could not even speak properly.
If I twist slightly, I feel a rippling sensation on my skin. It seems that I am soaking my body in warm water. My body feels so sleepy.
「Have you awoken?」
I heard a voice in my ear. A calm and gentle...... boy's voice.
When I opened my eyes, I thought I could see the outline of a boy's face in the darkness.
It seems that the boy is holding me in his arms and I'm soaking in the hot water.
「Confinement King...... that's what people call me」
A shiver ran down my spine.
The Confinement King - isn't that the name of the villain who threw us into that hell?
What was most frightening was the fact that this man replied to the voice in my mind.
（W-What will he do to me?）
「I'm here to help you, Hatsu Tashiro」
I was confused. What is he talking about, this idiot? Isn't he who got us into this mess in the first place? I’m to sleepy you know.
「I'm glad I got here in time. It seems that you were treated very badly by the members of the club. It must have been hard for you. But you'll be okay now」
（......it's your fault that I'm in such a bad situation!）
As I barked in my mind, I heard the sound of a sigh escape my ear.
I knew this guy could hear my mind.
「It can't be helped if you feel that way....... But think about it again. Are you dying because you were whipped? Or are you dying because I did something to you?」
（It's not because of the...... whipping. It is true that I was...... beaten up by my friend...... club members, but ....... it's because you confined us!）
「If I confine them, why they kill each other? Is that what you call a friend?」
I almost shouted. However, the only thing that came out of my mouth was a moan.
（Because you cornered them! People are weak creatures!）
「You're right. Yes, we are weak creatures. That's why I have to protect the people I care about. I confined them because some of you humiliated my loved ones. They stripped her naked, took pictures of her, and gave them to low-life men who demanded their bodies. And the pictures are still in the hands of those four girls. Now, what would you do?」
（Uuuu...... that's..... I apologize. But that doesn't mean you have to involve everyone who isn't...... involved. I could help you identify the culprits, and talk ......to them）
「While you're doing that, if those photos get out, someone I care about could get hurt badly, right?」
「I've been watching you. I've seen you try to be right and to be strong. But right now, are you protecting the sinner and allowing them to hurt the people I care about?」
（That's not what I meant!）
I shouted in my mind.
But the way he said he had been watching me for a long time bothered me.
Does that mean that this man has known me for a long time?
「What do you mean then?」
（I told you, people are weak. We will make mistakes. We hate our sins, but we do not hate others. I was just trying to protect the members of the club, just like you protect your loved ones. And I did not approve of hurting your loved ones!）
「I see, people are weak. You put yourself on the line to protect the weak. But what are the consequences? You almost got yourself killed by those weak people. Why is that? Was it because the people you were trying to protect were evil?」
（No! Because they are weak!）
「Then let me ask you this. Isn't it arrogant for you to think that others are weak and you have to protect them?」
（No, it's not......）
「No, it's arrogance. And before that, it's an illusion. You are weak. You were almost killed because you are weak」
（B-but I think I did the right thing. And I'm even proud of the fact that I risked my life to do what I believe is right）
「Let me ask you if it is right....... What do you think about the fact that you tried to do what you believed was right and ended up on the verge of death, and now your friend is also on the verge of death because of your self-satisfaction?」
（W-what do you mean?!）
Suddenly, in the darkness, white noise runs across the shape of the screen.
The screen switched to reveal an image that seemed to be peering through a doorway into the room.
「This is the scene that one of my favorite princesses is actually seeing right now」
In the image, Shima was lying limp on the floor. On there, the club members were seen kicking her legs. Tiny**trans*lation.xyz
（Shima!! S-stop it! Let me stop it!）
「This is the result of your righteousness. Your friend threw herself down in order to save you. The negative cycle of the weak intoxicated by the rightness of the wrong. And you, the weak one, can only watch your friend dying. She's going to die because of you」
「Can you still be right about this?」
（But, I...... don't mean to ......）
As I stammered, I heard him sigh again.
「Why do you have to be strong? How did you come to have such an illusion that you have to be strong, that you have to be right?」
「Let me put it this way. Hatsu Tashiro is a strong girl, Hatsu Tashiro is a righteous girl. How did you come to have such a misunderstanding?」
（It's not a mistake......）
「Humans are weak. That's what you said. You are also weak. But there are people who force you to play a role that requires you to be strong and right. Hatsu Tashiro, a good girl, tried desperately to be strong and right in order to live up to expectations. Isn't that right?」
（............I don't get it）
「I am sure they all admired you. Hatsu-chan is strong, Hatsu-chan is serious, Hatsu-chan is right. Well, you are indeed convenient people」
（No! I was born...... with this personality myself......）
「On the contrary, the inconvenient people would have been repulsed. That's why you were almost killed this time. You're annoying, uptight, troublesome, and pretend to be a good person...... You're supposed to be right, but you can't be accepted」
（B-but he...... Hiratsuka-kun likes me for being strong and right...... and if he admits that he likes me...... then I will ......）
「Realize it. You're not strong, you're not right, and you don't like the real Hatsu Tashiro. Also, you've been playing with the labels that people have put on you」
「Yes. The false image ...... of a weak, ignorant girl who was tricked into thinking that she had to be this way and labeled as “right and strong” is now Hatsu Tashiro...... you」
A false image. I was shocked. I had never thought of it that way. But it made sense to me. I was convinced. I’m sad and strong.
I didn't know what to do, and tears began to flow. What the hell am I? What should I do?
（Uuu...... now that you mention it ......）
My sobs were the only sound in the silence. I was frightened by the anxiety of being left alone in a dark world. Ka*naa-senpai.
At that moment...
「Hatsu Tashiro, I love you」
I couldn't help but open my eyes at the words. My vision was still pitch black, though.
（Hey, s-suddenly, what are you saying?）
「It's not sudden. I told you I've been watching you」
「I have the power now. I can save your friends, and I can save you」
（Are you trying to take advantage of my weakness and confuse me......!）
「If you want to think that, you can. But I know how weak you are. It doesn't matter if you are weak or helpless. I love you, Hatsu Tashiro. Even if you're not right, it's okay to say you're in pain when you're in pain. You can be who you are...... I can receive you whole」
His words sunk into my cracked heart.
I can't resist it.
（Is it...... okay to be weak......?）
「I'll save you first to prove it」
The moment he replied that, I felt my lips being sealed.
I writhed in panic at the sudden kiss.
However, my weakened body could not resist.
The taste of the liquid poured slightly into my mouth. It was sweet. As soon as I thought that, I felt my body temperature returning to my body.
「Be mine, Hatsu Tashiro」
「Be your...... thing......?」
As soon as I muttered this to myself, a light like a hexagram began to flicker around me.
（W-what is it?）
「This hexagram is a sign that you are mine. This hexagram is a sign that you love me, Hatsu Tashiro」
In the flickering light, I caught a glimpse of a man's face.
It was a familiar face.
I can't remember who it is, but...... I'm sure I've seen him before.
He was not a handsome man, but for some reason I found it endearing.
（H-have I become this guy's thing......?）
A devilish man who gave us a terrible time.
But my body and mind were trembling, not with anger, but with pleasure.
This can't be happening.
Maybe it was the liquid that poured from my lips to my throat, or maybe it was the voice that acknowledged me as the trash that I was.
No, I must have been subjected to some kind of weird trick.
That's right. It must have been.
It's not my fault. It’s bug fault.
But in the hands of this man, I am nothing but a weak and helpless being. I am weak, I am really weak. I'm a pathetic woman who can't even protect herself without the protection of this man. I'm just a woman without power who can't even save her friends.
But I feel comfortable with that.
Right now, my heart is irresistibly longing for this man.
And my thoughts are filled with the thought, “I have finally met him”
「Can I be ...... weak? Can I be pathetic? In front of you.......」
He nodded his head in response to my question.