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Re:Romeo & Juliet’s New Millennium Gospel 10zwei

tags: Shakespeare – Romeo & Juliet, Teen and Up, romeo x juliet, isekai, gender bender, consanguinity

The star-crossed lovers had died. However, it wasn’t that they disappeared into nothing. Neglecting the question of what nothingness even was, the souls of the two made their way to another world. The former lovers seized new vessels, of flesh and parts that could sense and degrade.

Would it be weak, would it be willing, no one knew for sure. Not even the new parents knew their twin babies were infiltrators from another world. However, it was different for the former lovers, for they knew very well that they were given a second chance.

“Alas, what hath befallen mine soul?” one of the twins fumed, and yet she (or was it he?) couldn’t produce anything but cries of an innocent baby.

The sensation of coming to realize what had happened to one’s past life burdened the newborn daughter. The inexperienced brain could crumble anytime. The planet could explode and the star might as well freeze, and still, the parents grinned at the daughter.

Something else did explode, however, and it was no other than the newborn son. It was that he (or was it she?) cried louder after failing to come to terms with the new reality.

“Irredeemable! Wherefore am I? This stimulation I feel. This perception is not of a girl’s!” the son burst internally.

It was futile, not only crying but everything else. How could it not? What could the former Romeo and Juliet do? Even prodigies and heroes had it hard to change their sexes in another world. There was a need for a cheat item bestowed by the god and a blessing from the goddess, which was impossible to fulfil in the first place. Nevertheless, they had to accept it—and they really did over the course of a decade and a half or so.

Fortunately or not, the twins didn’t know of each other’s predicament, the rather difficult situation that they were reborn together. For the then-Romeo, she was alone in a whole new world, a completely different one with distinct common sense. For the then-Juliet, he was secluded from the logic of the world, the new world’s. Unbeknownst to them, they were so close.

Indeed, adjusting required a tremendous effort, but by the time they could communicate properly, they had forgotten how to speak like their former selves. They might remember, not that well, but at least they still had a faint recollection of how embarrassing it was. From their new standpoint, the way they talked in the past life was more of a pretentious eight-grade schooler-occultist-talk.

It didn’t really matter anymore at the time. The tempest could engulf the world, fairies could devour humanity, but mid-term examination had to go on.

For some reason, the twins overslept on the first day and thus, they had to hurry: no prolonged shower, no proper breakfast, no stupid morning incest jokes. They both grabbed a slice of toast and marched to the school.

Was it surprising? Presumably not, for deep down, they wanted to experience it at least once during their lifetime because there was no electric toaster back in Verona.

“Broski!” Ciero yelped as she ran behind her beloved Rontano, trying to overtake him, while the toast occupied half of her mouth. “It’s your fault, it’s your fault, it’s your fault!”

“Why me? And why did you state it three times?! You’re the one who forced me to play that game all night together!”

“It couldn’t be helped, could it?! Consider it as a rite of passage or something! Do you want to dwell in sorrow forever?!”

“There is no way in the world!” Rontano chided, gritting his teeth too hard that the toast almost fell.

Their trivial argument was a spectacle. Other pedestrians and commuters looked at the two high school students in a rather bewildered manner. For the twins, however, the fight was just another addition to their routine.

Still, that morning’s stupid quarrel did exceed the threshold. Both Ciero and Rontano couldn’t focus on crossing the field, the road, and such. Not long after, they were at the brink of being hit by a passing truck somehow. Fortunately, Ciero who was at the back reacted quickly and so, she charged forward.

The twins were safe thanks to Ciero’s haste tackle removing them from the truck’s trajectory. Yet, as a consequence, they crashed into a utility pole. It hurt, indeed, but that wasn’t the craziest thing. The violent collision brought another nightmarish revelation to the twins, a kind of sublimity they hadn’t had to experience in more than a decade. The short circuit of fate once again burdened the twins, who succumbed to their own mental anguish as if they drank from a chalice full of cumulonimbus or perhaps even the universe.

Their brains were more developed than when they were babies, indisputably. In other words, the flesh was for sure willing. However, the same didn’t apply to the spirit. They couldn’t handle a greater revelation, a revelation that they weren’t alone in that strange world. The twins had finally come to know each other’s true identity.

Soon after, Ciero and Rontano passed out on the sidewalk, once more becoming a spectacle in the eyes of fellow commuters.

The examination period passed. The semester passed and most importantly, seasons passed, bringing spring back. The twins had stopped coming to school since that accident.

Their parents had given up on them, even long before it, not that they lacked a form of parental love, but it was just their love was too strong that they gave their children so much space in that world. The teachers and classmates, however, still worried about the twins, not because they all were on the same page as the twins but at least they understood a little. From time to time, they would visit the twins to convince them to attend the school again. Most of the time, Rontano was nowhere to be seen. It had unofficially become Ciero’s room instead of a slightly functioning household.

Rontano didn’t really know what to do. The soul of Juliet inside him greatly disordered his mind. Yet, it didn’t mean that he abandoned his sister completely. His Rontano-part of the soul autonomously pledged to protect her. He hopped from one part-time job to another to fulfill their needs.

Then, it was during generic spring dusk when Rontano encountered two of his classmates after he had just finished his shift. The three boys did nothing but froze, for that was all they could do.

“Ron,” one of the boys finally uttered, thawing the ice. “It’s been a while.”

The other boy joined. “How are you? Man, why do people with exotic names have extraordinary lives?”

“Cut it out, Joko,” the first boy said.

There was no response from Rontano’s end.

“Sorry. I thought I could cheer you up, Rontano,” the second boy clarified.

“Anyhow, we’re still here. We’ll help you, and also Cie. Aren’t we your family as well?”

Rontano, at long last, responded, yet it wasn’t the response two boys had hoped. The part-time waiter walked ahead, ignoring the two eager boys who misunderstood his situation altogether.

What did it mean to be a family? Could people whose names were barely remembered be part of the said family? Could it apply to people who only appeared once? All in all, it came back to the first question: what did it mean to be a family? It was the question Rontano had been asking, to whoever it was. Perhaps, it was the only question Rontano could raise.

Ciero did the same, in actuality. However, such a simple question bugged Ciero more. How could it not? Ciero constantly doubted herself to the point that she never left home, holed in her room, since the day of revelation. Was she the sister, or was she the brother? Were they even siblings? Ciero couldn’t help but endlessly think.

Ciero couldn’t search for salvation from the homeroom teacher that occasionally visited her. Would the teacher, who at the time sat with her across the table, understand? No, Ciero thought, for the situation she was in had broken the world’s law. No one would understand, and no one could.

However, Ciero didn’t know that she wanted something very simple. She didn’t want to further break the logic of the world. Her unrealized wish wasn’t like those of hominids that outrageously wanted to start walking upright. She just wanted to be Romeo once again, or to be something like Romeo at the very least, and to look at Juliet’s teal-fluorite-colored iris.

Well, middle school science hit quite hard.

Still, all that sparkled weren’t always fluorite. Could it sparkle in the first place? Was it even a prized mineral? Regardless, there was no Juliet in that world. There was only Rontaro, who at that specific time went home to check his sister. Rontano thought he could give Ciero dinner after a while. Little did he know, the homeroom teacher was there.

It already took an incredible amount of courage to face Ciero directly. Adding the teacher to the list didn’t make it any easier. Just as Rontano entered the main room and spotted the guest, he immediately put the dinner on the floor and attempted to double back.

Without any unnecessary delay, the teacher rose from her seat and walked toward Rontano. “Hey, don’t just leaveee!”

“O-oh, um, hello, Suss,” Rontano responded awkwardly, decorated with a forced smile, as he turned to both the teacher and Ciero. “What a good evening, isn’t it?”

“Is that how you pay respect to your teacher?”

“M-Miss Suss. Miss Susisanti.”

During the dumb exchange, the two didn’t realize that Ciero had abandoned her seat and began to make an exit from the stage. Just as Susisanti came to notice of the escape attempt, Ciero made a run for it, leaving Rontano and the warm dinner behind.

Both Rontano and Susisanti, however, didn’t show any sign of trying to chase Ciero. Instead, they were trembling, not just vaguely but quite immensely, especially Susisanti. The homeroom teacher who was supposed to be an outsider grabbed Rontano’s shoulders firmly.

“I, no, we are sorry, but we just don’t get it,” Susisanti lamented. “We will never understand if you two don’t tell us.”

That was a clear flag, an obvious chance for Rontano, and perhaps Ciero, to finally have an ally in that world. They could no longer be secluded from that world’s logic. But it was only if Rontano told Susisanti their true predicament unknown to the classmates, teachers, and the rest of the world. In reality, he didn’t and thus, the twins remained lonely.

“Suss,” Rontano muttered as he broke free from the Susisanti’s grip.

Despite everything, Rontano started to pursue Ciero. He hadn’t lost sight of his sister and begged his Rontano-part of the body to hasten. It was like the other day, the twins ran on the sidewalk. However, this time Ciero took the lead, there was no half-burnt toast, and luckily or not, it wasn’t that much of a spectacle.

Ciero wasn’t that oblivious. She knew very well that Rontano was chasing her. Yet, she couldn’t make sense of one thing at the time. She didn’t know why she ran from Rontano and Susisanti. She just had happened to feel that way and so, that ungovernable feeling led her to the town’s church.

Well, it wasn’t that Ciero fully acted without consideration at all. In fact, she at least knew that the church was one of the most desolate places in the town regardless of the time, making it a perfect shelter.

All the same, Rontano kept chasing his sister all the way to the dark aisle. Meanwhile, Ciero tried to maintain a distance by climbing the unlit chancel. It was when Ciero had nowhere to run that she had no choice but to face her brother.

“W-who are you?” Ciero asked with a trembling voice. Her limbs were weak, her sight was obstructed by an imminent burst of tears, and foremost, her stomach growled thanks to the lack of dinner. The girl added, “Just who are we?”

Rontano couldn’t provide an answer.

The sister clenched her fists as she fixed her posture and voice. “I stopped calling you ‘broski’ since that day. I’ve never called you ‘Juliet’ too. I’m afraid. My mind is filled with nothing but fear. I’m frightened that if I used either, there would be no answer, that there would only be silence.”

Rontano began to put an end to their distance.

Ciero continued, “A man can die but once, and yet why do we live in this world? Why do we still live? What is this suffering if not a spectacle in the eyes of the-others-out-there? If this world is a stage and all men and women merely are players, what kind of idiotic entrances and exits do we have? I already accepted the fact that I was alone in this world, t-to re—to restart from zero, to redo everything, to heal my own wound. I already found a place where I belong. Yet, yet! And yet it came to me, that thing interpellated me, implanting unnecessary memory of the past to me, reminding me of an unfinished business from a distant life! I already accepted the reality that I really am Ciero, to believe that Romeo was no more. Yet, it made that part of the soul wake up once again!”

There was still no answer from Rontano despite he had already in front of Ciero.

“You feel it too, don’t you?!” Ciero raged. Even though her hands be but little, they were fierce. She grabbed her brother’s collar violently. “Every night since that day, I couldn’t sleep in peace. It’s just natural, isn’t it?! I started to play games more and more frequently since that accident, all in order to forget everything. However, I couldn’t roll any die without losing control of my stupid hands. The memories kept coming from the trembles! These are but crazy hands that keep quavering now. Whose hands are these? Ciero’s or Romeo’s? Whose voice is this?? Ciero’s or Romeo’s?! Those aren’t just names, are those?! The two aren’t just one rose by different names. What is in each name is the soul, the identity that I have to bear.”

At long last, Rontano responded by trying to loosen Ciero’s grips. However, it was just a failed attempt. His hands were weaker than Ciero’s and consequently lost to gravity. Still, Rontano consoled, “What if—what if we just choose one?”

“Implying we can choose,” Ciero answered, burdened by her oozing nose. She let go of Rontano’s collar. “We are past Session Zero already. They won’t let us roll a brand new die if we’re in these vessels.” “Then, let us kill Ro—”

Rontano’s proposal was cut short. The twins heard a creak and as they glanced at the aisle, they found Susisanti watching from the seats accompanied by someone dressed in priest clothing. It was clearly the stubborn homeroom teacher, but her face wasn’t clearly visible because of the absence of proper lighting. Moonlight couldn’t pass through the stained glasses. Heck, even it couldn’t creep out of the night’s clouds. Still, the twins ignored the two bystanders.

“Rontano is dead, and so is Juliet, O my dearest sister,” the brother continued and took his sister’s hand. “Some people drink blood, so it might be as thick as water.”

“B-brosh-broski,” said the sister in sniffles just as she tried to nod. “But what does that mean?”

“I don’t, I don’t know. I just want to speak your language.”

“Stupid broski.” The sister smirked but immediately surrendered to his brother’s lead.

Seconds later, the twins found themselves kissing. They weren’t really sure how it happened, but it just came into happening. The twins, then, walked down the aisle together, passing Susisanti and the supposed priest.

“I don’t understand those children,” Susisanti muttered indifferently. “It’s just a simple self-indulgence that they wanted but I don’t understand.”

The teacher’s indistinct remark didn’t reach the twins. The supposed priest couldn’t make sense of the comment as well despite being so close, physically at the very least.

Despite everything that happened behind them, the twins walked and kept walking to find a new future once again. Soon, however, their bodies betrayed them, it tired them out. The twins felt as if the air of premature spring night froze their legs. To keep going, they had to rely on a taxi before it nearly exhausted their wallet. For not long, buses assisted them until they found a source of relief inside a train car. No one could trouble them again. Nothing could make them worry anymore. Not a single soul could know if their brain functioned properly or if their minds broke. So eventually, they stopped thinking.

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