Etsusa Bridge Volume 5 Epilogue
The fountain square.
“So there was a shitstorm of blood on the mainland, is that it? Good going, Kuzu.”
“I just patrolled the Western District like I always do. I didn’t do a thing this time around.”
“C’mon, cut the humility. You’ve got no idea how much influence your ‘like always’ has on the island. Heehahahahaha.” Kelly chortled, adjusting the TV from atop a stepladder. “Inui jumped in ‘case he thought Yua got kidnapped, didja hear? He’s more of a softie than he lets on! Heehahaha!”
“Who knows what goes through his mind?” Kuzuhara chuckled bitterly, holding the stepladder.
“But hey, now the boiled zombies are gone, right?”
“Probably because they’re out of material. They don’t see any profit in continuing operations on the island.” Kuzuhara replied coldly, masking his rage and his inkling about the incidents.
Kelly grinned and continued the conversation. It was hard to tell if she was trying to be considerate or rude.
“‘Champions of justice’ goin’ around butchering people. It’s funny and unfunny. When I was little, I used to think shit like how there was no good or evil in the world, but now I enjoy this island so much that good or evil doesn’t even matter anymore! Heehahahaha!” Kelly howled in laughter, her voice just as childish as the content of her claims. Kuzuhara played along.
“I won’t say that a true champion of justice—one that isn’t just self-righteous—doesn’t exist. But people like that aren’t commonplace. The best we can get are the superheroes we see in movies.” Kuzuhara said cooly. Kelly opened her mouth to respond—
—but a loud voice escaped the radio on Kuzuhara’s belt and put an end to their time alone.
<Where are you, Mr. Kuzuhara?!>
<Trouble, sir! The Rats got into a mess in the Western District again, and the Iizuka kids all got caught with them!>
“I’m on my way. Where exactly?”
When the subordinate gave him the location, Kuzuhara turned to Kelly with a serious look.
“Sorry to ditch you in the middle of work. I’ll be back.”
“The hell’re you apologizing for, Kuzu? Get your ass over there and go wild and die for the crazy kids who’re gonna run the island someday! Come back soon! Heehahahahahaha!”
With Kelly’s maniacal laughter at his back, Kuzuhara left the square.
Kelly did not even watch him depart. She climbed the stepladder and gazed into the screen she had just finished checking.
“You know, Sōji? I’m not asking for a champion of justice.”
Her voice was low, but there was a smile on her face.
“But I see the island’s—and my—protector right here.”
Reflected on the dark screen was Kuzuhara, running to the scene.
And the many islanders going to and fro at the center of the city.
Kelly watched the flow of people and began scanning for the next main character.
From the main characters of her next radio broadcast to the main characters who disappeared without their actions ever coming to the surface—they all circulated the island equally.
Convinced that the island itself was a hero of sorts, Kelly trembled in anticipation and reached for the power button.
The screen came to life, and—