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A Strange Tale of the Pylorus is the second chapter of Black Paradox. It introduces the main plot device of the manga, the Paradoxical Night.

PlotEdit

The four meet up for another suicide attempt. Although they claim to be all agreed that these are their real selves, Marusou still has hidden doubts. This time, Taburou suggests they take an overdose as it is quicker than the car exhaust fumes. They gulp down sleeping pills and soon pass out. However, Marusou soon gets up and confronts the others. She could not trust them to be the real people, so she faked taking the pills. It turns out Taburou and Baracchi had the same idea, but Piitan is dead, proving he was really Piitan.

However, Piitan vomits violently and a beautiful, dazzling stone comes out of his mouth. He claims that he saw a beautiful, shining world. The others don't know what the stone is, and wondered if he swallowed it. Baracchi asks to keep it since she has worked with jewellery and wants to have the stone identified. She thinks the stone came from the mysterious world Piitan talked about. Once again the suicide is postponed until Baracchi can have the stone identified. When she takes it home, the stone glows with a light that fills the whole room; and the image of a person appears in its aura.

Piitan, whose real name is revealed to be Houdou, goes to hospital complaining that he is vomiting strange things. The nurse treating him is Marusou (real name Kikuchi) but he doesn't recognize her in her uniform. She wonders why he would come to hospital, and thinks that maybe he doesn't really want to die. The doctor examines Piitan's stomach with a camera but runs screaming from the room at the sight of Piitan's pylorus. He is driven insane by what he saw and can't talk about what it was.

Baracchi tells the group that the stone has been identified as a new type of mineral. It's extremely valuable and could make them a fortune if they don't tell anyone that it came from Piitan's stomach. Piitan reveals that he has since thrown up many more of the stones. Marusou makes the connection to the Japanese name of the pylorus, which is made up of the words for "spirit" and "door". Baracchi says that when Piitan took his overdose, he entered the afterlife and now his stomach has become a real door to that world. She says that each jewel (the word they use for the mysterious stones) contains a soul, which she saw. These jewels fill the spirit world and are what Piitan saw when he died.

Piitan rapidly vomits up more of the stones. His whole body begins to fill with them and he is about to burst. Taburou wants to drive him to hospital but his stomach explodes. The stones spill out and the spirits of the people contained inside them appear in the air. We are told that the stones are thereafter sold and marketed as jewels.

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