“I don’t know whether you’re right about all that or not, but to be honest, I don’t care. What I want to know is what’s going on with you.”
Shun was silent.
At that moment I noticed something come waddling toward us from a corner of the room. I screamed.
“It’s okay. It’s just Subaru.”
Shun went over and rubbed Subaru under the chin.
“What happened to him?”
“Nothing…really, I never meant to do anything.”
The wasp balls began streaking chaotically around the room, but settled down when Shun looked up at them.
“You understand, don’t you? All this is the result of what’s happening to me.”
Subaru’s back was covered with a hard, spiky shell like some sort of monstrous armadillo.
“My cantus won’t stop leaking out. It’s growing in intensity and I’m becoming less able to control it. My unconscious is running wild, causing extreme leakage of my cantus, which wreaks havoc on everything around me. This is what Hashimoto-Appelbaum syndrome is. I’ve turned into a karma demon.”
“That can’t be…you’re lying!” I shouted.
“Unfortunately, it’s true.”
Shun picked up Subaru, being careful not to touch the spikes on his back.
“All the books here are class four. Knowledge that was supposed to have been consigned to oblivion. Usually, they’re stored in a secret room in the basement of the library. Your mother went out of her way to lend them to me.”
“Reading these books is the only way to learn what it’s like to turn into a karma demon. This is all we know.”
The dusty books all had the class four seal burned into the covers. Class four was divided into three subcategories, the first was “bewitching”, short for “bewitching words”, the second read “disastrous”, and the most dangerous third category read “catastrophic”, meaning “divine catastrophe, transgression, worse than death”.