Date A Live - Volume 13 - Chapter 3
Chapter 3: Very Well, Then 2D is What You Need
’’.................It can't be true. For such a thing to.............?’’
Sitting on the chair inside the basement control room of <Ratatoskr>, Kotori mumbled desperately.
However that was natural. At any rate, the targeted Spirit herself had already declared that she will never fall in love with anything but 2D.
’’2D.............In short, something like manga or anime characters?’’
’’I-I think so..................’’
Sitting on the lower spot of the control room, <President>Migimoto said that with sweat coming down his forehead. Shidou's voice echoed from the speaker installed in the control room.
’’W-What should I do..............?’’
Right now, on the large monitor of the control room, Shidou's figure could be seen reflected inside a lavatory. In order to discuss with the control room, he used going to the bathroom as an excuse to temporarily separate from Nia, who is still in the hamburger shop.
.............Well, although Nia could know about their conversation if she really wanted to, there's no sign that she will take out <Rasiel>for now.
Though, that's why they should think up something to change the situation. Kotori placed her hand on her chin.
’’Well, even if you asked me.........Although Miku's hatred towards men was quite troublesome too, this time I really can't think of anything.......’’
In response to Kotori's words, Nakatsugawa raised his voice.
’’But, nowadays there are numerous youths who also have the same situation. Those people like anime and manga characters. Well, those characters are made in order to be loved by readers and viewers, which mean that they have ideal personalities. Moreover, they're all handsome and beautiful. With that standard, of course there'll be a huge gap in comparison with a real human being.’’
’’You sure know a lot about that...........’’
Kotori commented with her eyes half-opened. That reminds her of Nakatsugawa's second title as <Dimension Breaker>. In fact, he's a romance master who has 100 waifus.
However, Nakatsugawa went *Tch, Tch* while shaking his finger.
’’Commander, I'm also okay with Seiyuu.’’
Kotori shrugged her shoulders while letting out a sigh.
But, there's some truth in the opinion itself. Creating a difficult face, Kotori continued.
’’The gap between reality, huh..............But, in that's the case, doesn't that mean anyone would be alright as long as they're 2D?’’
’’Of course! All of my beloved brides are also chosen from my more than 20 years of Otaku Life, and they're all beautiful girls!’’
’’Alright, alright. Let's leave that behind. Nia also has a liking towards a character, right? Certainly, she did say something about liking a certain character, didn't she?’’
’’I'm sure its Tokiya from [Chronicle]. He has a cool personality and is the type of character popular amongst women.’’
’’Fuun...........I see. In short, Nia could love that character, couldn't she?’’
After saying that, Kotori made a * Nii* sound after creating a wicked smile.
On the other hand, Shidou can be seen over the screen, he's sweating from his forehead because he can somehow feel something unpleasant there.
Nia sat down on the chair inside the hamburger shop;she pulled the straw of the empty juice up and down.
She already finished eating the hamburger as well as the potatoes, and since her stomach is already full, they should be leaving from the shop now but................It has been twenty minutes since Shidou went to toilet. Nia feels truly tired of waiting for him even for a while.
’’Nn~, It's not like I'm interested on commenting other's people physiological phenomenon, but this is a bit too long~. Is he currently adjusting his makeup or something~?’’
Speaking to herself, Nia stirred the straw on her hand like before, -------Then she remembers something right away.
’’No...........I see. Perhaps he's discussing with control room right now?
Well, if that's the case, then it can't be helped. Anyhow, it's Nia who already threw a fatal bomb to Shidou and the others earlier.
’’................No good, it seems I already did something bad-----’’
Since the beginning, she already understood that she couldn't love a real human being at all. Seeing that, Nia felt guilty about her behavior to Shidou.
Although, what she said earlier to Shidou wasn't a lie.
Actually, Nia doesn't mind losing her Spirit power. If possible, she really wished for her power to be sealed away.
That's why;she plotted her meeting with the boy who could seal a Spirit's power by making them Dere and kiss them------Shidou.
Perhaps if it was Shidou, she expects herself to be able to open her heart to him.
However, the result didn't cause a change.
It's not like she disliked Shidou or such. Rather, she's really grateful to him for helping her escape from the DEM transport aircraft by shooting it down back then, and the date today has also been enjoyable
But...........It's still useless. Nia cannot open herself to another person.
’’No matter how good the person is, as long as they're 3D human being.......... I can't take it.’’
Nia gave a sigh and she shakes her head. As expected, there's no other way.
Then, over there, a signal of someone appearing came from Nia's back. Seemingly, Shidou had already back from the toilet.
’’Aah, you're back, boy. Well, let's go---------’’
When Nia turned her head, for a moment, her body's movement paused.
Over there isn't the person that she expected. Instead, that person was wearing a worn-out mantle over his body, and his forehead and arms are also covered with bandages. In addition, there's a sword hanging on his hips. He's a man whose style looks like a wild traveler. He has long hair and dirty looks. ----------There's no doubt. He is..........
Being dumbfounded, she gave out a surprised voice.
That's right. The one who was standing there is Nia's first love. That man is Tokiya from [Chronicle].
Shidou stood in front of Nia, as if trying to restrain his nervousness. He struggled to create an extremely calm facial expression.
Though in fact, Shidou's heart was beating violently as if it was going to explode.
That's right. Shidou's outfit right now appeared to be something you won't see outside of some anime convention. Even if it was in Akihabara, this kind of thing still looks unusual. All of the store's customers started at Shidou out of interest.
Shidou faced Nia's direction;she is looking at him with a dumbfounded expression.
’’----------Don't hinder me, woman.’’
With a lower voice, Shidou tried to mimic Tokiya from [Chronicle] by talking like him based on his memories about that character.
After that, Shidou moved toward Nia and sat next to her.
Nia's shoulder was shaking;she corrected the position of her glasses and stared at Shidou's face.
Then, Nia widened her eyes as if finally realizing something.
’’What are you talking about? You don't have any right to call me a boy.’’
Shidou gave a cold glance toward Nia while saying that, Nia choked a little. Her cheeks turned slightly red.
Moments later, a voice rang from the intercom in Shidou's ear.
’’What! Nia-chan's excitement rate is rising!’’
’’The affection level is rising, even if it's only a little bit!’’
Somehow, the plan was working pretty well. Shidou felt relieved without showing it on his face.
Nia was looking at Shidou carefully from the top of his head to his tiptoes. She nodded to herself and made a pose as if she's an art critic who was gazing at a painting.
’’Amazing.............Isn't the quality very good? It's totally different from a poor quality costume. Up until now, I already seen various kinds of Tokiya's costumes, but I've never seen anyone that had a quality like this.’’
Then, she took his mantle's cuff and she blushed out of excitement. .............Honestly, Shidou isn't sure whether she was interested on him or was only admiring his costume.
Though, since her affection level had already risen, he should continue with the plan now. Shidou turned aside and brushed off Nia's hand from his mantle.
’’You're annoying, woman.’’
Shidou said that with a blunt tone, Nia bended her body while her face blushed furiously.
’’Her affection level is rising again.............!’’
’’At this level.............He can do it!’’
From the intercom, he heard a large roar from the crew members' voices.
Shidou tried his best to speak as similar as possible to Tokiya's................Somehow, that thing has touched Nia's heartstring. For some reason, Nia couldn't calm down. She began to fix her messy hair.
At the moment, from Shidou's intercom, a fanfare sound rang.
’’Shidou, it's the time! Her affection level has already reached safe zone for sealing! Don't lose this chance!’’
Shidou's body stiffened upon hearing Kotori's words.
Don't lose this chance-------This means, right now is the right timing for kiss her.
Although they're currently in a public location...........If he lost this good opportunity, he doesn't know when the chance will come again.
Shidou made up his mind. His heart is beating fast but he cannot show it on his face. Slowly, he changed his body position while looking at Nia intensely.
’’Eh...? What's wrong?’’
Hearing Shidou's command, Nia closed her mouth obediently.
Shidou placed his hand on Nia's shoulder, while the other hand is lifting up Nia's chin.
After that, he slowly brought his lips closer to hers.
Even though it's not a proper way to do it, but this is something he needed to do in order to seal a Spirit's Reiryoku.
His lips stopped right in front of hers.
Nia let out a cold voice that feels different from the enthusiastic tone she had up until now.
Then, an alarm indicating a dangerous mental state rang *Bii! Bii!*.
’’Shidou, the affection level is falling down rapidly!’’
Shidou unintentionally let out his natural voice, and then Nia pushed herself away from Shidou's shoulders.
After that, *------Haa* Nia gave out a heavy breath as she scratched her hair.
’’Hey............What are you doing?’’
’’Huh? What the...............’’
’’Tokiya would never lay his hand on a woman, you know! Think with common sense! Tokiya is currently traveling aimlessly in order to chase after enemy who murdered his little sister who also became his lover, Hibari!? In the middle of lonely travel, he encounters Ryougo, Kotetsu and the others. Through fighting with them, he started understanding the feeling of friendship!’’
Nia is shouting as if she's a different person. Shidou felt overpowered by her and got pushed back onto the chair.
’’Basically it's Toki x Ryou! But Toki x Ko also works! If with woman, it's only alright with Hibari if it's inside the dream world or reflection of the past! There's no room for me to get into that kind of beautiful world! I'm fine with only being a watcher! I'm a lonesome observer! Rather, I'm fine with being a wall!’’
’’O-Oi, calm down, Nia............’’
Shidou tried to calm her down, but Nia pointed a sharp gaze at him.
’’Tokiya would never say such thing!’’
’’-------------In order to make me dere at you, then you should become 2D first!’’
Shidou got kicked by Nia on his butt, driving him out from the hamburger shop.
’’...................In short, it was no good at all.’’
Shidou had already returned from Akihabara.
Shidou said that while breathing heavily, his face and body were covered with plaster all over.
By the way, after that Nia, who couldn't accept her beloved character being blasphemed, left the store in anger and went back to her house alone. --------Of course, she brought along the luggage filled with goodies and books that she had bought.
Right now, Shidou was inside the control room of <Ratatoskr>'s underground facility. In front of the large monitor, he was being started at by Kotori and from below there's <Fraxinus>crew who were sitting down.
’’Arara...........You got pretty beaten up, didn't you?’’
’’And whose fault do you think it is!? Whose!?’’
Shidou said that with half opened eyes, Kotori shrugged while saying *Yare-Yare*.
’’It can't be helped? Since she declared that she only likes 2D, what we can do is limited. Besides----------Even though the result ended up in failure, at least her affection level had risen for a moment. This is important data.’’
’’Even if you say so, that affection level came from facing Tokiya, right? We can't use the same method again, so it's kind of useless........’’
Objecting to Shidou's words, Reine let out a reply as she was sitting in the below seat of control room.
’’...............That's not quite true. From this result, it's indicating that even if her beloved character turns into 3D, the affection level she has for that character will remain the same.’’
’’I-I see........But, wouldn't the result would be the same? No matter how much I tried to keep calm, I don't have confident that I could be able to act well enough as her beloved character to the level that it could convince Nia. Even if I could seal her that way, what could be coming next might be frightening............’’
Shidou's face turned pale. That was what concerned Shidou.
Naturally speaking, Shidou isn't Tokiya. Anyhow there must be a gap appearing in some parts that made Shidou unable to keep up to Nia's ideal standard. If that's happen, then Nia's mental state will become unstable and break the seal right away, and her Reiryoku will come back to her.
However, Reine seemed to understand what Shidou was worried about, and then she continued.
’’..................Anyway, I have an idea.’’
Kotori answered Shidou's question. She pointed towards the monitor in front of them.
Over there, Nia's figure can be seen from an autonomic camera reflected on the monitor.
’’Maybe what Shidou said is true. There's no way you can keep continuous acting as a character. ---------But, if there's a character who Shidou can play perfectly as and he can continue to do so, then it will be a different case, right?’’
’’Huh...........? Well, even if that's right.........There's no way such character exists.’’
’’We'll just see. It'll arrive soon.’’
Shidou asked, as Kotori made a *Nii* face while smiling.
Nia is in her mansion's room. She was covered by books all around her. She closed the manga she just finished read moments ago, then she embraced it to her chest to calm herself down.
Even though she purchased a mountain of books as if she was in some kind of festival event, there's another thing that keeps bugging her. She can't even feel the enjoyment of reading her new books.
Though, it's not like she doesn't know what is bugging her.
That's right. That boy......... Itsuka Shidou.
Nia placed the manga on the mountain of books beside her bed, and then she hugged her pillow.
’’..................As expected, it isn't right to go home alone.’’
After she remembered about that, she shook her body.
Nia, upon looking at Shidou dressed up like Tokiya, yet behaving unlike Tokiya, made her angry ...........Thinking carefully, she even said lots of cruel things. As someone who is older, she should've showed a more mature response. Anyway, it's not like Shidou was doing that merely to make fun of Nia.
Nia gave out a small sigh;she touched her lips with her index finger.
’’.................Perhaps I should've let him kiss me. --------But, if I couldn't open my heart to him, then he wouldn't be able to seal my Reiryoku and it would have been meaningless..........’’
And then, Nia tightened her hug on the pillow.
Even though Nia hasn't tried to find out how <Ratatoskr>was calculating her affection level, but Nia's rate must not have reached the level where the seal could be done.
Right. Nia cannot open her heart to 3D humans.
’’Ah~ My~ What should I do~? Tell me, Rasielmon~!’’
She kicked her feet and kept asking. But of course, no one was around to answer her.
<Rasiel>is an omniscient Angel. However, it can't tell Nia what she should do.
Nia looked up to the ceiling and slowly raised her left hand.
Nia gave a command inside her mind for <Rasiel>to manifest right away from an empty space. After that she opened the front cover, then Nia will be able to obtain any information she wished to know.
For example-------Right. What is Shidou doing right now?
For a moment, Nia gave out another sigh and drew back her hand.
The reason is simply. *Ding-Dong*, the room's intercom rang.
’’................Who would it be?’’
Nia slowly lifted up her body, and began walking to the intercom's screen.
Then she pushed the call button and began to speak.
’’Yes-yes~, who's that?’’
’’Excuse me, I'm a postman. I'm delivering package addressed for Honjou Nia.’’
Nia tilted her head and thought. But, she doesn't know what it is.
’’I wonder what it is...........Well, fine, please bring it inside.’’
Nia pressed the button on the interphone and she opened the auto-lock.
Not so long after, the chime before the door gave a clicking sound.
When the door opened, the postman, who is wearing a hat covering his eyes, came in with a little package on his hands.
’’Please put the stamp and sign over here.’’
’’Well then, the signature............Alright.’’
’’Thank you very much. Please excuse me.’’
The postman bowed to Nia and left the room.
Nia closed the opened door. Nia unpacked the package's wrapping. Then, inside the package appeared a game package with some handsome boy drawn on it. A message was written on a thin paper.
’’Nn............? What's this-what's this? With full of gratitude, we present a special personal edition of our new PC game.............?’’
Nia scratched her head. Come to think of it, in the past she had sent several surveys from game companies many times. Perhaps this is related to that.
’’............Well, its fine. If they send me something, then I'll accept this. Since my mood now is all gloomy, perhaps I should give it a try?’’
Nia walked along the corridor to the work room, she turned on her PC and inserted the disk. Then the installation began right away, finally the game's interface appeared on the screen.
’’[Fall In Love My Little Seed ~Girl's Side~]? Fuun........... Perhaps this is a high school Otome game?’’
Nia operated the mouse and clicked [START] button.
Then, the screen to input the protagonist's name appeared.
’’Nn~, there's no default name at all? Well then, it's Nia.’’
Nia imputed her real name, and the game began.
The protagonist is a second year high school student who just transferred. Starting from here, Nia will meets with other characters, and she will fall in love with someone here.
Although Nia's home ground is manga, she also loves playing games. Especially, Ren-ai simulation game made for girls like this one. For Nia who couldn't love a 3D human being, she felt very thankful for the game's existence. Anyhow, just by clicking, a cool guy will come and fall in love with her. Nia is also a girl. It's not like Nia doesn't want to fall in love. Rather, she also wanted to feel *Kyuun-Kyuun*.
’’Funfun, from the construction it seems like this is orthodox simulation game. I guess it's up to the character.’’
She kept clicking and continued the conversation.
Then, the protagonist Nia was talking with her classmate. A gentle, broad-mindedness atmosphere and a neutral looking boy appeared. His name is---------Shidou Itsuki.
Nia tilted her head. Somehow this character resembled with the boy who had been together with her earlier.
’’...................Well, maybe it's only my imagination.’’
Then, Nia continued clicking to interact with Itsuki-kun.
’’Haha............Nia is an interesting girl.’’
Upon hearing his voice, Nia widened her eyes.
That's right. Right now, this character just called out ’’Nia’’ in a very natural way.
Of course, moment ago, she indeed imputed Nia as the name of the protagonist. Although in the case of such a game which could called out the protagonist's name, there are so many games that use a combination of pre-recorded lines for pronunciation...........Besides, the feeling of a game's pronunciation usually sounds painfully bad.
’’Heh~! Amazing~! I didn't follow it for a while and technology had already advance this much!’’
Only with that, Nia's interest towards the game's characters increased. She continued the conversation with Itsuki-kun.
Thereupon the musical went *Don-Don*, the last order was to decide on a date. Itsuki-kun then asked ’’Where do you wanted to go?’’
Normally at this time there will be some choices appearing, but..........There's none in this game.
Displayed on the screen, there's a line written on it saying ’’Please input your desired date plan.’’
’’How stupid.............Does it mean that I have to input it using my keyboard!? That's impossible..........’’
Though she half doubts it, Nia slowly started entering the keyboard buttons.
’’[I wanted to go to buy the latest doujin in Akiba].’’
And then, Nia pressed the enter button as if saying it could respond.
Then, Itsuki-kun smiled gently.
’’So, buying doujin in Akiba, huh? Haha, that seems like very Nia. Of course it's fine. ----Ah, but since we're high school students, no prohibited books allowed, alright?’’
Upon looking at the reaction, Nia stands up from her chair instantly.
Who would guess that by such a little order, Itsuki-kun could interact with Nia as natural like this? Just what kind of innovation had been created?
Nia went ’’The power of technology really is amazing--------!’’, and she continued the story by clicking.
’’-------Hee, I see. Nia likes this kind of book, huh? ............No? It's not like I mind it. If you could absorbed yourself into something, isn't it such a beautiful thing?’’
Inside <Ratatoskr>ground facility, Shidou was reading the lines appearing on the screen while wearing a headphone.
The gameplay has been recorded into the monitor. Whenever, the input sentence will come to their place and Shidou will give a real time answer.
’’..................Hey, this is really alright, isn't it?’’
When the lines had ended for a while, Shidou switched off the microphone and looked to Kotori who was sitting behind.
’’Yes. Her affection level is rising quite well. After Nia feels satisfy enough with the game, it'll be OK for Shidou to appear before her as [Itsuki-kun]. This time, there's no need to act anymore. That's because this character is Shidou himself.’’
Saying that, Kotori went *Nii* and lifted the tip of her lips.
Right. This was <Ratatoskr>'s plan.
Nia was playing the game made by <Ratatoskr>. Shidou will do the voice over for the character, so Shidou will be loved by her. .............That is no complex conversation.
’’Anyway, how did you make this game? You couldn't have made such a thing in a short time, huh?’’
After Shidou said that, then Reine replied back with a sleepy voice.
’’.................Well, just to make sure. Be prepared and have no regrets, isn't that so?’’
’’I wonder just what kind of thing you intended to do by using this game in the first place......’’
Shidou made a wry smile while sweating. Then, Kotori's voice can be heard coming from behind.
’’Look Shidou, don't just stand there. The next line is coming.’’
Shidou turned to the monitor's direction;he took the microphone and continued acting as <Itsuki-kun>.
On the other side of the monitor screen, they are showing Nia who was currently playing the game. While on the other side, there's Nia's mental state graph. I see, like Kotori said, everything is going smoothly.
However, Shidou said that while knitting his eyebrow. ...........Somehow, he felt like they are forgetting something important.
’’Waah~............ This latest game sure is amazing. Since this is only the personal edition, I think I should buy the full version once it is released.’’
Then, while Shidou was thinking about that, Nia on the screen looks so satisfy and keeps smiling.
’’That's? When is the full version release date? Anyway, the company who create this game is...............’’
While saying that, Nia raised up her left hand and a book appeared from nowhere.
Nia touched the page of <Rasiel>..........Her facial expression became cloudy in an instant.
Slowly, Nia gave out a voice filled with anger.
’’.................What, so this is your doing!’’
’’Nia gave out a sigh. She stands up from the chair and moved exactly to the direction of the automatic camera. She threw a stare full of anger to the control room.
’’............You know, I understand your goal for doing this. But don't you think that this has already crossed the line? Not only have you blasphemed my Tokiya, now you're also playing around with my Otome heart.’’
’’N-Nia, no, this is....’’
’’Itsuki-kun better shut up!’’
’’Anyhow, if you do this kind of thing again from now, I'll never forgive you anymore. -------Next, I also need some privacy. Can you please take the automatic camera out from my room? Moreover, you know what will happen if you violate it again.’’
Nia said that while turning away.
’’...........Everyone has already gathered, right? I think I've already told you the story............Seems like we got into some trouble.’’
Kotori placed her elbow on the large round table. She spoke with a difficult face.
But that was only natural. Anyway, this wasn't the first time that a girl with a unique preference appeared. However, they already failed twice with their tactics.
’’2D..........That's means she'll only love something like manga characters?’’
The girl standing next to Kotori has short, boyish hair, and a face like a doll. She spoke with a doubtful tone. She is the Spirit whose Reiryoku had last been sealed by Shidou: Tobiichi Origami.
It's not only her. Right now in <Ratatoskr>ground facility, along with the other <Fraxinus>members and Shidou, all the Spirits who have been sealed by Shidou had gathered here: Tohka, Yoshino, Natsumi, and Yamai sisters.
Although Kotori actually didn't want to include the girls in capturing a new Spirit, but...........Upon facing a new spirit whose type had never been handled before, she had to ask everyone's advice in turn.
Kotori was also the same as all the other spirits here. Her Reiryoku had also been sealed by Shidou. She thought they could think up something based on their shared experiences.
Kotori replied back to Origami with a pale face, and then a tall girl sitting on the right side shared a comment.
’’Ah~, I see~. I also have an idol friend who is the same as her.’’
Miku, the girl who has long, indigo hair moved her index finger while saying that.
This girl is also the same, a spirit. She's a national idol who is currently growing in popularity: Izayoi Miku. Although she has no spare time even after her work is finished, she still came right away after getting a call from Kotori.
’’My first love is Sieg-sama~, that's what she said. Ah, Sieg-sama is an anime character by the way. But that's only a created image. In order to get closer to her fans, she chooses to have the same hobby as her fans. Well, that girl has a boyfriend, actually~’’
After saying that, Miku made an ’’Ahaha’’ sound as she started laughing.
’’.................It's alright if Nia is the same as that idol..........But looking at her values, I don't think she's lying.’’
Kotori said that with a sullen face, then Miku went ’’Ara’’ while widening her eyes.
On the other side, Kaguya went *Muu*.
’’Fun, so Honjou Souji was a woman............She has already succeeded in fooling my eyes.’’
’’Ah, so Kaguya also knows her?’’
In response to Shidou, Kaguya nodded.
’’Obviously. Even we hurricane children have an interest in these things.’’
’’Information. Kaguya mainly chooses to read Shōnen manga, but she also buys Ecchi manga by inserting it between battle manga and sport manga.’’
’’Wait a minute Yuzuru!’’
Yuzuru spoke in a whispering manner as Kaguya covered her mouth with her hand. Kaguya's face went red as she shouted.
’’Don't say inappropriate things!? By the way, you're also the same! Doesn't the Shoujo manga that Yuzuru always reads have even more explicit scenes!?’’
’’Question. Can you please explain what kind of explicit scene? Please explain everything with a detailed example.’’
’’T-That's............A man and woman on the bed.........’’
’’Repetition. I can't hear very well. Please say it once more.’’
Kaguya's face went even redder as she created a frustrated-looking face.
Upon watching those two's actions, Kotori clapped her hands.
’’Well-well. Although it's good for you to be on good terms, let's do this afterwards. ---------Right now, what's important is how to capture Nia.’’
Once Kotori said that, everyone started at the round table and thought deeply.
A moment later, Yoshino raised her hand slowly.
’’Uhm........Is it alright?’’
’’Yes, of course.’’
’’That's..........Perhaps, the way to befriend Nia-san is to give her more time, I think. If we face her precisely, I think she will be able to understand Shidou-san's natural goodness.’’
After Shidou said that, Yoshino's face turned red.
Kotori went ’’Muu’’, groaning while placing her hand on her chin.
’’Maybe.........That's the more proper method. Even if she only loves 2D beings, if we continuously approach her sincerely, the potential of her opening her heart isn't zero.’’
’’Then, the plan shifts to a long term approach?’’
Shidou asked in response to Kotori.
’’The worst is that there's no other way to do so........... In the very end that will be the last resort method. While we must do the method carefully, if DEM smells her whereabouts, then there's no guarantee she will be safe. We can't do it too slowly either.’’
After Kotori said that, Yoshino shrugged her shoulder while apologizing. Kotori shook her head right and left.
’’There's no need to apologize. Truthfully, I also want to pick that method.............If she takes a look carefully, I think she will realize that Shidou can beat those manga characters.’’
Kotori said that while averting her gaze away a little, she stirred the chupa-cups stick. Somehow after hearing that, Shidou's face went a bit red.
Then, accordingly, Tohka, who had previously inclined her head while folding her arms, turned to look at Shidou.
’’Hey Shido. Why does Nia can only love 2D?’’
Although Tohka only threw a simple question, but Shidou couldn't answer that.
Surely, that's the root of this problem. Why can't Nia love anything but 2D..............On the other side, she can't love a 3D human being.
Kotori also thought about that question. While placing her hand on her chin, she said.
’’I'm also a bit curious..........I'll do some investigation.’’
’’Somehow, ten years ago Nia must have already become a manga artist. Then, whether she was a real human or a pure Spirit, she must have left some traces of her existence in this world. That will be our clue.’’
Shidou folded his arms while saying that. There's a point in Kotori's words for sure.
’’Although..........It's not like there's always something we can find. Anyway, we should think up a special plan.’’
After that, someone responded to Kotori's words;Natsumi who is sitting next to Yoshino let out a small voice.
’’.......If that's the case, isn't it better to just follow the person's preference? Isn't that the problem in the first place?’’
’’Even if that's true............Both the cosplay and game tactics ended up in failure, you know? Even though crossdressing as a female worked on a certain someone back then........’’
While saying this, Kotori turned to look at Miku. After Miku noticed her gaze, she threw a kiss to Kotori. Kotori let a sigh out of shock and returned her glance.
’’...........Although with Shidou, he can't cross the dimensional barrier. Or perhaps, we should use a road roller or something else to flatten him?’’
While Shidou was sweating, Natsumi raised her finger in response to Kotori's words.
’’............Uhm, what if I use my <Haniel>to transform Shidou's shape into a manga book.............’’
’’Hasn't the approach to become 2D been somewhat ridiculous since the very beginning!?’’
Shidou said that while sweating, as Natsumi puffed her cheeks.
’’..............I-Isn't it obvious that it's merely a joke. Sorry then. Though I'm not a character who could do a joke...............I get it. I'll keep silent. I won't say anything anymore..............’’
Natsumi slowly fell down from the chair out of depression. Shidou gave out a voice in confusion.
’’N-No, that's not what I meant.........Sorry.’’
But, Yoshino, who is sitting next to Natsumi, stretched her hand and pulled Natsumi back to her chair.
Origami, who had been in deep thought, suddenly raised her voice.
’’? What's wrong Origami? Did something come up?’’
Kotori asked, as Origami nodded.
And then, Origami said something unexpected.
’’Natsumi's plan probably will work out. About Shidou becoming a book.’’
Shidou widened his eyes upon hearing Origami's words.
’’Eh? W-Wait a minute. Although Nia said that she cannot love anything but 2D, but she means the character in the manga, not the manga book itself you know? Even if I become a book...........’’
Shidou said that with a bothered face, on the other side, Natsumi kept staring at him.
’’............Ah, you listen carefully to Origami's words..............Of course you would. That's because my brain quality is different from Origami's. The persuasive power of her words is also obviously different too. No wonder. Because that's obvious already............’’
’’T-That's not it................’’
Looking at Natsumi, who got depressed again instantly, Shidou struggled to explain himself to her.
But, as if she doesn't mind it, Origami continued.
’’That's not what I meant. I'm not saying to turn Shidou into a book. Instead, I'm saying to create a manga that has [Shidou] as a character in it.’’
Upon hearing Origami's proposal, everyone who is sitting in the meeting room raised their voices at the same time. Only Tohka, who didn't react for a moment, then she said ’’Wha......!?’’ as if to match with everyone else's reaction.
Kotori placed her hand on her mouth while making a serious face.
’’A manga where Shidou becomes the protagonist............Huh? Certainly it can be called a 2D character as well.’’
’’H-Hey, hey. Wait a minute. Even if it can work out for a while, the me inside the manga won't be the same as me in real life, isn't it? Won't it end up with the same result............?’’
Shidou responded with a sullen face.
Right. Just by looking at today's example already made them understand that Nia is fairly strict in regards to her favorite character's appearance.
If Nia says that ’’Shidou won't do such thing!’’ or something like that, it would cause an identity crisis for Shidou.
But, as if to object that opinion, the Yamai sisters raised up their opinion.
’’Fufufu, if that's the case, in order not to detach from reality, isn't it better to just draw something real? ----Thankfully, there's a mountain of material around Shidou that can be used for a manga.’’
’’Consent. If we portrayed Shidou like that, then it won't be the same as tricking Nia with the game back then. As expected from Master Origami. It's a nice idea.’’
’’N-No, even so, Nia has her own personal preference too in the first place, right? More importantly is whether Nia will read it or not, and will she like the character on the book or not...........’’
Replying to Shidou, the girl who has the same height as Natsumi and a tender look, Yoshino spoke.
Shidou widened his eyes upon hearing Yoshino's strong tone, which was different from usual. But Yoshino face turns red out of embarrassment. She gripped her right hand tightly and continued.
’’Shidou-san already helped us..........If we draw what Shidou-san did up until now straightly, Nia-san will likes Shidou-san too............I'm sure............!’’
Upon hearing Yoshino, who would normally never speak with such strong tone, somehow made him feels embarrassed. Shidou hesitantly mumbled with an awkward tone.
After that, both the crew and Spirits gave their agreement towards the plan.
’’Shidou-kun's documentary, isn't it? If that's the case, it will probably work....’’
’’But, that's also mean that we should draw about the spirits too, right? Is it really alright?’’
’’What? It's only Nia who's going to read, even if leaked outside, nobody will think it's anything but fiction.’’
’’Ooh.......So Shido will become a manga? That's amazing! I wanted to help too!’’
’’Kukuku.........Somehow it seems like us Yamai should lend our power.’’
’’Consent. On the 39th match, submission illustration showdown, our work got printed together under the title [Rare illustrations from twins!], and we ended up with a tie again.’’
’’..............You two really do everything..............’’
Shidou raised his voice nervously, but everyone doesn't seem to hear that at all.
Kotori grasped her fist and hits the table to calm everyone's down.
’’--------Well then, let's do a vote. Who approves this project to create a manga about Shidou?’’
In response to Kotori's words, everyone raised up their hands except for Shidou.
Everyone looked towards Shidou.
Shidou gave out a sigh, he slowly raised his hand up as well. Everyone went *Waah* out of excitement.
’’Alright! Everyone has already agreed! Let's work on the plot right away-----’’
At the moment after Kotori almost finished her sentence, the console installed inside the conference room started ringing a *Pipipipipi* sound.
’’Eh...........? What sound is that, Kotori?’’
Once Shidou asked, Kotori knitted her eyebrows and turned her glance to the console.
’’It's a call. Moreover, it's from the external line............? I don't recognize the number though........’’
Kotori pushed the call button while saying these words.
After that, a familiar voice of a girl can be heard coming from the conference room's speaker.
’’--------Hey. You're quite the schemer, boy.’’
Upon hearing that voice, everyone's face went pale from shock, starting first with Shidou.
Right. The voice heard from the speaker is surely the Spirit who has become the main topic of discussion in the conference room.
’’Unbelievable! This underground facility's circuit is encrypted, how come she's easily-----’’
Migimoto shouted, however his voice stops halfway.
It seems like he realized something in the middle of his sentence. With the omniscient Angel <Rasiel>that Nia holds, whatever encryption or any other security won't matter for her.
’’I see. You've heard everything...........Haven't you?’’
’’Well yes~. Basically I dislike spoilers, although I don't want to use <Rasiel>this way, I just don't want you to playing around with Tokiya or my Otome heart anymore.
With a dry laugh, Nia said that. Upon hearing that tone, Shidou and the others started sweating.
The others also noticed that. Then they started whispering to each other.
’’.............S-She's angry, isn't she..........?’’
’’...........Uhm..........It's feels like she's really angry.’’
’’She really likes that Tokiya-san character, doesn't she~?’’
Perhaps Nia didn't take notice towards those whispering comments.......Then Nia continued her words as if to reply to them.
’’..........Well, though it's fine since you've seemingly change your plan somehow, but that plan, don't you think there's a big hole in it?’’
’’Yes. For example, once the manga is finished, why are you talking with assumption that I'm going to read the book?’’
Shidou widened his eyes.......Certainly there's that kind of possibility.
In the case of a manga lover like Nia, probably Nia will read it unconditionally, but.......Perhaps it can be said that they are only relying on the other party's kindness.
’’Isn't it right? My work is super busy, I have a limited number of books I can read, you know? Actually, I haven't even read ten percent of those manga books I've bought today. There's a lot of my favorite series that came out while I was in confinement. Why would I waste my limited free time by reading a manga book drawn by an amateur with ulterior motive like that! Well........If it was until then I might be willing to read it, but I'm in angry mode right now. I can even defeat the existence named Ashura. As if I would read a book from you all, who've disgraced my Tokiya!’’
Upon hearing Nia's words, Yoshino created a face that looks like she is almost crying.
’’Well, bye! That's it! Stop doing something useless!’’
’’-------Wait a minute.’’
But as Nia was going to cut off the call, Kotori placed her elbow on the table and stopped her.
’’Uun.........? Aah, you're Kotori-chan? I guess this is the first time we've talk to each other like this. Hi, nice to meet you.’’
’’Nice to meet you too.’’
Kotori replied to her, and continued her words.
’’----------Well, I'll go straight to the main problem. From the way you spoke, I think it's......... If it's a book worth reading, then you'll spare some times to read that book, right?’’
’’...............Um? What are you talking about?’’
’’Please answer. If the manga we create can be better than your own manga at one thing, then it'll be worth reading, right?’’
Upon hearing Kotori's words, Nia laughed loudly.
’’Ahaha! Well, I think it is. But, even if there's something amusing in it or not is according to the person themselves. Even though you said that, it's really amusing. Do you really thing that I will think the same way as you?’’
’’Certainly you're right about that....... But if that's the case, isn't there one absolute standard that we can use to judge it?’’
When Nia asked back, Kotori replied back to her with an extremely serious tone.
’’Yes. -------It's the sales amount.’’
It's not only Nia who raised her voice in response to Kotori's words. Everyone else who is present inside the conference room also pointed their gaze towards Kotori at the same time.
’’Fuun.........How interesting. Are you serious when you said that you can win against me, Honjou Souji, by the sales amount?’’
’’Yes. If we win, you should obediently read the book.’’
Nia kept silent for a few seconds, then she went *Ahaha* as she laughed very loudly.
’’It's fine. Let's see whether you can really win.’’
After Nia said that, she cut off the call.
For a while, the conference room fell into a deep silence.
’’H-Hey, Kotori. What did you say..........? Our opponent is a pro manga artist you know?’’
’’It can't be helped, right? That's all because she clearly declared that she won't read the manga.’’
’’Even if that's the case..........!’’
After Shidou said that in a high pitch, Kotori extended her palm to stop him.
’’Calm down. It's not like I'm not thinking of anything.’’
When Kotori said that, she raised up the chupa-chups stick.
Nia gave out a sigh while lying down on her bed.
On the side of the bed, there's a mountain of manga and light novels piled up on the stack. However right now she doesn't feel like she wanted to read them. She isn't working on the new manga ideas either. She just kept staring at the ceiling.
She thought about the reason for her current problem. -------Because of the previous information she gained from <Rasiel>and the direct call she did with Shidou, Kotori, and the others.
Whatever they are, drawing a manga with Shidou as the protagonist in order to make Nia read it and make her hold affection towards Shidou himself.
’’................They are underestimating me.’’
Nia pouted her cheeks out of displeasure.
Right. Nia certainly is fond of manga and anime. And her declaration about her never loving anything but 2D wasn't a lie either.
But that doesn't mean that she will love everything as long as they're 2D.
That topic has also become a common misunderstanding amongst Otaku. Creating a popular anime stage in a certain place that is fun to visit, the so-called pilgrimage tactic in order to grow the town's local government, with the thought process that Otaku like these kinds of things, don't they? As long as there is an easy-going moe character present, generally everything will go smoothly. ------Naturally, what an Otaku really likes is an [Interesting Anime]. It doesn't mean they'll like everything as long as its anime. The backbone is also important for a moe character.
The case this time is also the same. Even though Nia has Tokiya as one of her waifu characters (Even though he's a man, he's still called a waifu). In the very end, those characters have an excellent personality that made her hold a high feeling towards them. It's not like that she can go *Kyun* at every manga character.
Besides, even if they draw a manga based on a real person as the model, it's not like Nia will be able to open her heart.
’’....................’’ Nia fell into silence;she stroked her left hand gently to the air.
Following that action, a book appeared from the empty space.
<Rasiel>. An Angel that knows everything that has happened in this world and Nia's best and worst Angel.
Nia started at <Rasiel>'s front cover without opening it, then she remembered the old memories from the not so distant past.
Although Nia holds an omniscient Angel that could know everything in this world, she doesn't have any particular desire or ambition, nor does she ever think to use this power for something bad. She doesn't mind living a peaceful life at all.
Actually, with the help of her personality that allowed her to talk with anyone, Nia felt that it was comparatively easy to interact around in human society..........Well, even though certainly using <Rasiel>'s power was a big help.
However, on a certain time, a curiosity bothered Nia's mind.
’’----------How was I born, anyway?’’
Thinking again, that was the beginning of all her mistakes.
Back then, if she could have kept her big curiosity and didn't open <Rasiel>, the Nia right now probably would have been a more sensible Spirit.
However, Nia already understood. The reason behind how she became her current self.
...And herself from long ago.
Once she understands that.........No, perhaps it'll be more accurate to say that when Nia remembered it, at that moment, she felt like she wanted to take out all of her stomach contents.
Furthermore, in Nia's mind, she kept producing the feeling of distrust like a poison.
And to make it worst, in Nia's hand exists an Angel which could know everything in this world.
Nia began to do some investigation about the human who live around her inside society. From friends, acquaintances, to even the store keeper that she had visited.
Then, Nia ended up being alone.
The more she investigated, the more she knows, and the more she cannot stand the creature called human beings.
Somehow even if they have a kind face, there's always a cruel true character hidden inside them. No matter how much love exists, there's always a pitch-black hole inside their heart. Then, Nia became disgusted by creatures called human being.
Though inside human society, it's impossible for her to live without interact with anyone.
That's why Nia masked herself skillfully.
She tried her best not to use <Rasiel>on someone she just met, and interacted with people as if they're a game's NPC.
But inside her heart, there's only one existence which she opened her heart to.
They're those who live in the different world than hers, those who live in a 2D world.
Those manga and anime characters don't have any hidden side of themselves other than the one Nia that can see from them. They will never betray Nia.
And then, Nia sank herself into that world. Until the point she decided on a job where she could create that kind of world herself.
That's why, it's not accurate to say that Nia cannot love anything but 2D.
Nia just cannot open her heart to a real human being.
’’That's why............It's useless.’’
Nia stared at the ceiling above her while touching <Rasiel>'s cover with her left hand.
For example-------That's it. Like whether Shidou's words are lies or not.
Nia let out a small sigh;she tried to brush away her curiosity. Before that, she should wait for a while;Nia's desire will bring an undesired result.
Nia already experienced this kind of thing several times. Whenever she became curious, Nia always ended up filling her heart with suspicion.
’’.............No, I shouldn't.’’
Talking to herself, Nia returned her hand to its original place.
Then-----Nia gave another sigh and she hates herself for that.
At that moment.....
’’-----Ara, ara. In the end, you're not using that Angel?’’
From the room where there's nobody but Nia, an unfamiliar voice could be heard.
Nia jumped from her bed out of confusion. The books piled up like a mountain around her collapse just like a sliding snow.
Nia looked at her surroundings with her face that looks really cautious. A shadow begins to spread from an ink stain pasted on one side of the wall. -------From there, a figure of a girl began to be seen.
That girl has black hair tied up in an unbalanced twin-tail. Besides, she has white skin contrary to her black hair. She wears a crimson and black colored dress on her body.
However, looking at the appearance of the girl in front of her made both her consciousness and memories all hazy as if they were torn apart into pieces. With an appearance that looks neither like a God nor a Devil. In the middle of her face enshrined a pair of different colored eyes. On her left eye, there are the hands of time engraved on it, *Kara-Kara*, the surface of her eye looked entirely like a clock's dial.
This doesn't seem to be reality, looking at this scene is entirely like seeing a dream------or more likely a beautiful nightmare. For this girl to appear so suddenly a normal human will surely scream or stand dumfounded.
However, Nia doesn't choose any of them. She lowered her body posture, with full of caution, Nia pointed her hand towards the girl.
’’-----------Who are you, anyway? Isn't barging in without knocking on the door impolite?’’
When Nia said this, the girl placed her hand on her mouth while giggling suspiciously.
’’Ufufu, please excuse me for my impoliteness. -----But, there's no need to be so cautious like that, I only want to be your ally. At least for now.’’
Nia narrowed her eyelid and twisted her left hand. Following that movement, a large book appeared like usual. Somehow upon looking that, the girl's eyes sparkled out of interest.
In order to confront the girl, she touched gently <Rasiel>'s cover. The pages began flipping automatically, and then a faint light shined from the pages.
After that, she touched the page with her fingertip and gave out a small sigh.
’’..............Fuun, I see. The reason why nobody was guarding the transportation I was in back then was because of you, Tokisaki Kurumi.’’
Nia called out her name with a strong accent as if she was trying to threaten the girl.
However the girl-----Kurumi, she doesn't seemed to be scared of Nia's actions. Instead, she shows a fierce grin.
’’How splendid. So that is the omniscient Angel <Rasiel>?’’
Upon hearing Kurumi's words, Nia moved her body out of shock.
’’..................Hee. So you've already investigated about me beforehand?’’
’’Yes. Of course, although I have to rely on [Numbers] to get everything since I don't have the same level of investigation ability like you.’’
Kurumi laughed in amusement.
[Numbers]. Because Nia was curious about what she had just said, Nia touched <Rasiel>for a second time. At the moment, the meaning behind Kurumi's words echoed inside her head.
’’..............I see, clones, huh? Again, there's another troublesome power that exists.’’
While saying this, Nia let out a drop of sweat from her forehead.
Nia claimed this according to <Rasiel>'s written information about Kurumi's Angel Zafkiel<Emperor of Time>. She never knew that this kind of powerful ability existed before.
Nia gazed at Kurumi, she's screaming inside her mind. ------What's with an Angel that could manipulate time? Isn't that cheating...........!?
Although <Rasiel>could be used for dangerous situations, if Nia should fight one by one with Kurumi, perhaps Nia will have no chance at winning.
However, feeling insecure is surely a bad move. Though Kurumi's ability to collect information through creating clones is terrifying, there's no way that she could grasp information about all of <Rasiel>'s abilities.
And in turn, Nia already knew all about Kurumi's abilities, and Kurumi should also understand about that as well. Opposing a mysterious Spirit, she's surely is not ordinary one.
But Nia still had the advantage due to information she has for a battle. Nia thought she's a step ahead and is confident of that. After judging, Nia gave out a sigh and relaxed her stiffened body a little bit.
’’Then, what kind of business does the worst Spirit-sama have with me?’’
After Nia asked, Kurumi giggles again.
’’---------I have a very simple request, I want you to investigate something.’’
And then Nia raised her hand slowly and touched <Rasiel>.
’’There's something I want you to investigate with your <Rasiel>.’’
’’.............Something you want me to investigate, huh?’’
Nia placed her hand on her chin.
’’Well, to show my gratitude for helping me, I want to listen to your request, but that depends on the degree............I think. Unlike you, I'm a pacifist. I won't leak out any important information that will become dangerous later.’’
Upon hearing Nia's words, Kurumi gave out a small laugh.
’’Please be assured. This is truly only for my own personal desires. I promise that the information won't be the cause for any war or become the reason for any person's unhappiness.’’
Nia pointed her gaze to Kurumi.
As if to trying to respond, Kurumi move her lips.
’’That's why, please tell me. ---30 years ago, [The First Spirit] that appeared in this world. The cause and reason for its appearance, the accurate coordinates and time of when it appeared, its powers, as well as-----a way to kill it.’’
Upon hearing Kurumi, Nia knitted her eyebrow.
’’--------Then, this room. Please come in.’’
After saying this, Kotori opened the door using a key and urged Shidou and the others to come in.
It's a room inside the first floor of the high mansion next to Itsuka residence where all spirits reside. Shidou looked back at all the spirits who are behind him, and then he held the door's knob and turned it.
Then they take off their shoes as they enter the room, they their eyes glimmer with shock upon looking at the room's appearance.
Some large working desks are lined up inside the 20 tatami space. On the top of them, various painting tools have been prepared.
This room looks like a larger version of Nia's work room. But at the same time, the room has some differences with Nia's. All the desk and painting tools are all new brand, seemingly as if they had never been used before.
The previous meeting happened about an hour ago. At that time, <Ratatoskr>had been preparing the working room..............As usual, they're an amazing organization.
’’Ooh~! This is.............Amazing~’’
’’Looks like a pro's..........’’
’’Kaka! Hou, isn't this an appropriate place for us Yamai to show off our skill?’’
The Spirits came into the room after Shidou. They raise their admiration towards the room's interior and equipment.
Upon looking at everyone's reaction, Shidou turns his glance towards Kotori.
’’................You even created this kind of room.........So you're really serious.’’
’’Really-really, totally serious. -----Or frankly speaking, there's no other way, right?’’
’’Well, that might be true though........’’
Shidou scratched his cheeks while saying this. Kotori folded her arms while walking towards the center of the room. She turned her body to everyone's direction.
And then, she raised her voice loudly.
’’Alright, everyone. The target is two days from now. On December 31st, during Comic Colosseum's last day, Nia's circle will participate on that day.’’
Kotori spread both of her hands, and then she lets out a voice with a tone that is similar to an opera performance.
’’-------On that day, we will create our booth next to Nia's space. We will create our doujin with the same number of copies as Nia's, and then we will sell them faster than Nia.’’
Upon hearing Kotori's words, all spirits raised their voices ’’Ooh..........!’’
Right. This is what Kotori said earlier when she said ’’Thinking’’. From Shidou's information, Kotori knew that Nia is going to participate with her doujin at end of the month. If they focus on that point together, then the plan is to knock Nia down with one blow with everyone's help.
’’The problem is that we don't have much time. Though the background and finishing touches will be down by our support from <Ratatoskr>, the rest are all our responsibility, [The book's we created] won't be a lie then. The story and main character's drawings should be done by us. I've already prepared the printing equipment;the worst case is that we have to finish the manuscript on the 31st at 3:00 a.m.’’
’’But...........Are you sure this will work? The opponent is a pro manga artist, you know?’’
’’Well, it's not like I'm thinking that it'll be simple too. But, if we aren't able to match her on a commercial basis, then we wouldn't be able to win right? Because its doujin, the number of books we could take to the event assembly is limited, that's the only way we can fight her. ------Besides, because its doujin, it'll be alright even if the pages number isn't that much.’’
’’That's true.........Then, let's say we can sell the books faster than Nia, but how can we make her admit her defeat................?’’
’’That's, probably depends on how we negotiate with her during the progress and her own self-pride. But, since our goal is to [Make her read our created book], then I think we still have plenty of hope.’’
’’..............Then, the problem is-’’
Shidou asked with a serious facial expression, and Kotori replied back to him by nodding.
’’Yes. How can we create a doujin that will be able to strike Nia's heart? ------Also, how can we sell faster than her?’’
After Kotori said that, she started walking to the white board inside the room while fluttering the jacket hanging on her shoulders. She stood up in front of the board.
’’----------Then that's it, first let's decide on the role. The story will be create together by everyone.......The problem is the drawing. I want to ask a question. Is there anyone here who has ever drawn a manga or illustration among us?’’
Kotori asks while looking at all the Spirits, and then several people raise their hands. They're Kaguya, Yuzuru, and the ex-humans Origami and Miku.
’’Well, that's what I guess..........Well, from the start, let's see everyone's drawing skill. Everyone, please sit on any desk you like. Let's start by drawing a picture of Shidou.’’
’’Ooh~! Drawing Shido. Leave it to me!’’
’’Fufun, well fine. You better watch my art skill!’’
’’Consent. Shidou, please sit down over there.’’
’’Darling, please look here, look here~!’’
After all of the spirits sat down on their chosen chairs, they begin to move their pencils on the paper available on the desk. And then, Kotori knitted her eyebrow as if she remembered something.
’’Ah, right. Shidou, please draw something too.’’
’’Yes. Back then, you drew various characters on your note book, right? If I remember correctly ’’
Shidou screamed as if trying to cover Kotori's voice. The Spirits are all surprised and turn to look at Shidou.
’’W-What's wrong, Shidou? Suddenly screaming like that?’’
’’I-I was so..........surprised.’’
’’.............Well, that's it, let's leave him alone.’’
Somehow Natsumi seemingly understands his state and placed her hand on Yoshino's shoulder. Yoshino turns to her while wondering a little.
’’Then, let's hurry;let's hurry, because I will be drawing as well.’’
Kotori moved the chupa-chups stick to urge him to hurry. If he continues opposing her, probably she will mention too much unnecessary things. Shidou swallowed his regret;he took an identical-looking note book with Tohka and the others and started drawing a picture on the paper.
And then, 30 minutes have passed. Everyone had already finished their pictures.
’’Well, let's see everyone's picture one by one.’’
’’Ooh! Please see!’’
’’I........Already finish too.’’
Responding to Kotori's words, both Tohka and Yoshino showed their pictures to everyone.
Their pictures are all really cute............However, these look like an elementary kid's drawing.
’’I see.......Uh, they're cute.’’
’’Yes. But, we cannot use it for the doujin this time.’’
Yoshino shrugged her shoulders in apologetic manner. Shidou made a wry smile and pats her head gently.
’’Well, next. By the way, this is mine.’’
’’Ah~, then I'll show mine too~! Here!’’
Kotori and Miku showed their pictures.
Their picture level is above Tohka and Yoshino in term of age-range. However, rather than looking like a manga drawing, they look more like pictures drawn by middle or high school girls on their notebooks. However, the characters' appearance still looks quite lovely.
However, there's one thing pulling Shidou's attention. Everyone should be drawing a picture of Shidou, then why does Miku's illustration show Shidou with long hair and wearing skirt.
’’Yes~, what is it, darling?’’
’’......................No, it's nothing. Anyway, let's go to the next one.’’
When Miku turned to him with sparkling eyes, Shidou can sense something dangerous in her mind and averted his gaze away from her. If he were to continue commenting on it, he has feeling that the person in reality will be forced to match with her illustration.
’’Kukuku............Then next one will be us!’’
’’Presentation. Please look.’’
Yamai sisters said that with a tone full of confidence as they showed their pictures.
As Shidou looked at their pictures, he widened his eyes. As expected from those two who had an illustration contest. Kaguya and Yuzuru's drawing quality is on different level from the previous four people.
Of course, there are some points still poorly drawn, but these pictures can still be used for a manga.
By the way, Kaguya's drawing of Shidou is a hot-blooded Shidou in a Shōnen manga style, while Yuzuru's drawing of Shidou is a handsome Shidou in a Shōjo manga style.
’’Aren't those amazing, you two?’’
’’Consent. There's nothing we, Yamai cannot do.’’
Those two beam their chests full of confidence. Kotori looked at the pictures while saying ’’Fumu’’ and places her hand on her chin. She then turned towards Shidou and Origami.
’’For now the main artist candidate will be Yamai sisters. -----Well then, next, let's see the next one.’’
In response to Kotori, Shidou and Origami show their pictures. Everyone is looking at them.
’’Fumu-fumu, though still incomparable with Kaguya's and Yuzuru's, Shidou's drawing isn't really bad too. Then Origami is............Eh? Hyaa!?’’
Kotori screamed upon looking at Origami's picture. However, that's was only natural. Origami's picture was drawn realistically and with dexterity, however............Shidou's figure looks completely naked and there's Origami who is also naked, while entangling him passionately.
All spirits also choked following Kotori's reaction. However only Yuzuru and Miku loosen their cheeks and stared at the picture with shining eyes.
’’W-What did you draw, Origami!?’’
’’Shidou becoming one with me.’’
’’What kind of unnecessary things did you add!?’’
Kotori screamed and turned down Origami's picture.
’’Geez...........Since your drawing looks very good, I'll put you into the main artist candidate too, but please don't do such thing again, alright...............?’’
’’I can't understand. If you wanted to sell the doujin very well, then putting an adult-only element is inevitable.’’
’’Our booth is under the [All-Ages Work] category you know!?’’
After shouting, Kotori lets out a sigh out of exhaustion.
’’Anyway........I guess that's all? Then......’’
Then, before Kotori finish her words, Yoshino raised up her voice nervously.
’’We still haven't taken a look at Natsumi-san's picture.............’’
’’.............! Ah, no, I.............’’
Upon Yoshino's words, Natsumi shrugged her shoulders and is hiding the paper behind her back.
’’Aah, that's right. I'm sorry, Natsumi. Can you please show it?’’
’’...............T-That's alright. This isn't a good picture anyway. Isn't it better to just continue with Kaguya, Yuzuru, Shidou or Origami?’’
’’Since you already drew it, we want to see too, come on.’’
’’............U-Uu. Anyway, actually, since it's not very good, don't expect anything, alright?’’
’’It's alright. My picture isn't very good as well.’’
’’In fact, my body condition is bad because I had a lack of sleep today. It's also been a long time since I gripped a pen.............’’
’’In truth, I need ten minutes to draw because I was hesitating with the pose, it's also been a very long time since the last time I had drawn in the first place, and lastly my condition is bad due to lack of sleep ’’ ’’Aah, I understand already, so hurry up and show it!’’
Kotori raised her voice to urge Natsumi, and she snatched the paper from Natsumi's hand.
When Kotori looked at the paper---------She widened her eyes in surprised.
’’What........did you say?’’
The Spirits expressed their amazement one by one.
However, that was only natural. The level of Natsumi's drawing isn't inferior in comparison with a pro manga artist's drawing.
’’Isn't this amazing, Natsumi? So you have this kind of special skill?’’
’’.........No, rather than special skill........Back then I was interested.......I had [Mimicked] a manga artist.......’’
Upon hearing Natsumi's words, Shidou remembered.
Right. Natsumi has her Angel <Haniel>. In the first place, she's a forgery spirit. She can transform into anything and change her own appearance into any form she likes.
And she is also able to disguise herself into another person to the extent that even their close friend wouldn't be able to find out easily. She's also shown to trace her target object's actions. She's a genius in observing and imitating.
’’----------Well, it's decided.’’
After saying that, Kotori let out her voice.
’’The main artist is Natsumi, and the support is the Yamai sisters, Shidou, and Origami.’’
All the Spirits nodded together in agreement.
’’Umu, I agree!’’
’’Fufufu... Well fine. This time I'll let you take the lead.’’
’’Agreement. I will let you be in the limelight.’’
’’Kya~! Natsumi-san, can you please draw a love story between me and darling after this~?’’
Natsumi blinked at everyone's voices.
Then Shidou held Natsumi's hand.
’’Please, Natsumi. Please lend your power to save Nia!’’
Shidou said that with a serious look, Natsumi went silent for a while.
’’.................D-Don't complaint later, alright?’’
Natsumi said that in embarrassment.
As if celebrating her, the sound of everyone's clapping their hands resounded inside the room. After that, Natsumi's face started to get red.
At that time, Tohka noticed something.
’’By the way Kotori, what should we do?’’
’’Now that you mention it~. Ah! Are we going to give everyone a massage when they are tired, and sing a lullaby while sleeping together~!?’’
Miku twisted her body and her eyes start to sparkle. Natsumi shuddered and made a ’’Hii’’ sound before hiding behind Shidou.
’’That's not it. I have another task for everyone. ----Perhaps this mission is more important than creating the manga.’’
Kotori went ’’Yare-Yare’’ and shrugged her shoulders during her reply to Tohka. After that, Miku, Tohka and Yoshino exchanged glances at each other, while inclining their heads in wonder.
’’An important mission..........That's it?’’
’’I wonder what we're going to do~?’’
’’That's something to look forward to. -----More importantly, everyone, let's start thinking of a story for the doujin.’’
’’Nu? Aren't we going to draw Shido?’’
’’That's true but, right now there's a limitation to the pages number we should work on. Although we can get some support from <Ratatoskr>, at best, there's a total 64 pages minus 4 pages for the front cover and the 1 page imprint. So in total, we need around 59 pages. We should fit the story within that limit in order to make Nia become fond of [Shidou]'s character.’’
’’Muu..............I see. It's pretty difficult.’’
Tohka folded her arms with a difficult face. Kotori walked to the white board in the middle of the room and stood up in front of it.
’’That's why, let's us discuss about it first. We will create the Name within today, and finish the drawing within tomorrow.’’
’’.............Thinking about it again, that's a totally jumbled schedule......... Do you think we'll really finish it?’’
’’There's no other choice than to finish it.’’
Kotori then made a *Kyubon* sound, as the sound of her magic pen's cap began to resound. She wrote [Project Doujin Shidou] on the white board.
And then, Kotori turned towards everyone's direction and loudly declared.
’’-----Well, let's start our Datemanuscript.’’
Translation and Reference Notes
- ↑ Ren'ai (恋愛, Japanese for falling in love) refers to dating sim visual novels
- ↑ Ashura is a god of war that lives for fighting.
- ↑ Tatami (畳) is a type of mat used as a flooring material in traditional Japanese-style rooms. Traditionally made using rice straw to form the core.