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Volume 2 - Extra 2: Her Choice / Fukami Maria - Part 1


This is Maria's point of view from chapter 37 to 51 (without H).

 She thought everything was going well.
 But Izumi Chihiro.
 Maria discovers that her Master――a boy her own age with the weakest mind-reading ability――is more than she expected.
 
 ...Although he was still far too inexperienced to handle a slave.
 
 He was pure and impressionable, and had a propensity for getting carried away, both with herself and others, which she found favorable.
 Even though he could read Maria's mind through his mind-reading ability, he did not simply understand her as a stranger, but accepted her as if he sympathized with her, and yet he did not avoid her.
 But from now on, Maria can learn his behavior.
 After all, she has been living with him.
 She also got a junior slave named Nishizaki Riko.
 
 It was smooth sailing.
 Peace was at hand. Maria wouldn't have to live in fear of being killed by her own mind.
 Or so she thought.
 
 That is, until Chihiro came home one day, mentally devastated, and told her that he had lost his [Mind-reading] to a person with [Looting] ability. 
 
**a
 
 ☆   ☆   ☆
 
 
「.....」
 
 Maria wondered if she mustn’t have let her agitation show on her face.
 That was the first thing she thought when she finished listening to Chihiro's story.
 Anyway, she should calm down.
 No matter what happens, if there is no one who is calm, the conversation will not proceed. Then that should be her role.
 
 ――That's when she thought.
 
 What exactly does he mean by "no matter what we do"?
 Assault her like they did with Riko? Or does he want to talk to her and ask her to give him back his ability?
 Is that really possible?
 
 The first-year student who took Chihiro's ability is apparently named Mishuku Hana.
 Her name and appearance sounded familiar.
 Her last name has changed, but she's almost certainly the girl who used to follow Maria around when they were in elementary school.
 She's dangerous.
 From what she had been told, her personality has worsened to the point where she will use any means necessary to achieve her goal. The target, Maria herself, won't be harmed much, but Chihiro and Riko will be.
 
(What should I do? How do I act to protect Chihiro?)
 
 Maria's mind raced impatiently, and suddenly a thought occurred to her.
 
 ――No. Why do I need to protect them in the first place?
 
 Having lost his mind-reading ability, Chihiro is no different from a normal person.
 Of course, that doesn't mean that his mind will change. But if he doesn't regain his mind-reading ability, there's no way she'll be able to share her desires with him again.
 Perhaps he'll still treat Maria the same way he did before.
 But people's memories fade.
 Will they still be able to maintain their relationship as the years go by?
 Wouldn't Chihiro get bothered one day and throw herself away?
 
 ――Some bad thoughts even crossed her mind.
 
 Things she shouldn't think about.
 The worst sin of all, a "slave" betraying their "master".
 But Maria's insecurity with such a formless thing as trust is the reason why she relied on the contract and sought the most suitable mind reader for her needs.
 
「Hey, Izumi-kun, what do you want me to do?」
 
 But first, Maria wanted to know what he thought.
 Hana seems to be saying that she'll give him his ability back if he gives her Maria.
 If he had to choose between the mind-reading ability and Maria, he'd say.
 
「I hadn't thought about what to do with Maria」
 
 ...an answer she didn't expect.
 
「「Maria’s a human being. I don’t expect her to obey everything I tell her to do, seriously. If she doesn’t like it, she can refuse, she can terminate the relationship」
 
 Shortly, she won't have to worry about that.
 Maria is Chihiro's property, but she can do as she pleases.
 ...There is no need for her who a slave must obedient to him.
 But what is this feeling in her heart?
 
 Confused, Maria followed Chihiro's words.
 
「And one more thing」
 
 Even if she was left to make a decision, Maria had no choice from the start.
 Since the object at stake was Maria's own body, there was only one way to ensure her master's safety.
 Just give in to Hana's demands.
 
「Now that your mind-reading is gone, our relationship is fundamentally broken. You are not the [Master] I want now」
「What’s that?」
 
 It was inevitable that Riko would protest.
 She doesn't know how the relationship between Chihiro and Maria is structured.
 So she'll tell her.
 She said that with cold words, so that they could have a clean break.
 
「I chose Izumi-kun to be my Master because his mind-reading ability was what I wanted. So I made a contract and I became Izumi-kun’s slave」
 
 It's not a lie. It's the truth. At least, at the time it started.
 And yet, the reason my heart aches now are probably because of my attachment to and fondness for Chihiro after spending nearly two months with him. 
 
**b
 
「What’s that? Isn’t it too late for that...!」
「Riko」
「But… Izu... Master」
「It's okay」
 
 Riko's anger is understandable. She can say whatever she wants.
 She can be angry with Maria all she wants.
 But she must take Chihiro's side and not leave him alone.
 
「Don’t worry, Nishizaki-san, you don’t have to change even if my relationship with Izumi-kun changes. It’s none of your business if he’s a mind reader or not, is it?」
「Of course. I don't care about Izumi's ability now」
「...Well then」
 
 Hearing that, Maria was dazzled and envious of her.
 Although it was impossible, she wished she could have been in Riko's position.
 
「Izumi-kun, I have another question for you. ...What do you want me to do?」
 
 Maria didn't want this to be the end, so she said those words.
 She shouldn't have asked, but she couldn't help it.
 
「...I want Maria to stay by my side. If it’s possible, I want our relationship to continue as before」
 
 *thump*
 The warm answer made her heart throb.
 Is there really anyone else in the world who can look into her eyes and still say that from the bottom of their heart?
 
「That’s true. I’d like to keep it that way, too」
 
 Maria doesn't want to lose him. She wants more out of this life.
 She doesn't want to just follow Hana.
 But once Chihiro has Maria, Hana may try to harm him again.
 
 How does she prevent that from happening―― how do she keep Chihiro out of this as much as possible, and get rid of Hana?
 There is a way.
 A very simple way.
 
 If she's going to do that, she should throw him out of the room.
 And Hana needs to be misled into believing that things are going well according to her.
 That way, she herself can help prevent the spread of information and destroy evidence.
 
 ...Fortunately, Maria also has a trump card that no one knows about.
 
 It's the perfect power for situations where she's being attacked by someone other than Chihiro.
 She can use it against Hana at the last minute.
 
 Until then, have Chihiro and the others stay away from her.
 
 She can tell them what's going on, but that will increase the number of people who will act unnaturally. In particular, Chihiro, who is likely to be wary of Hana, should not know Maria's true intentions.
 ...It would probably result in Chihiro's safety.
 With that thought in mind, Maria deliberately hit Chihiro and Riko with terrible words. She woke up Chihiro, who was exhausted, and forced him to leave the apartment. 
 
**c
 
「I’ll kill you for real!」
「You can’t. You can’t kill me」
 
(…Nishizaki-san, I'm really glad that you said that)
 
「...let's go. "Fukami-san" is right」
 
(Izumi-kun may never call me "Maria" again)
 
 But she still has to do it.
 The circumstances of this case are too intertwined. Hana needs to be dealt with quickly and surely.
 The longer she waits, the lower the success rate will be.
 Besides, this way, even if she fails, it won't be too bad. Because
 
 ...surely Chihiro would only lose Maria.
 
 With that, Chihiro and Riko are gone from the apartment, and all their belongings have been moved out.
 All that remained are their duplicate keys, a card with Hana's contact information, and a duplicate key to Chihiro's dorm.
 
「...I didn't know this room was so big」
 
 Now, in Maria's hand, is the first key that Chihiro originally had.
 And the key, which she gave back to Chihiro, is a new copy of the first key. But because of that she forgot to return it.
 ...and realized it. Even though she realized it, she deliberately kept the original key.
 Now that even the collar had been returned, she wanted to have at least one connection with him.
 
 Is it too sentimental?
 But Maria is that kind of person to begin with.
 She can't control her overly violent impulses. In order to control them, she seeks the illusory existence of "Master".
 That's why.
 That's why it was so hard for her to stay in the room where she was alone.
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