Date A Live - Volume 6 - Chapter 1
Chapter 1: Incomprehensible Spirit
Summer break has ended and it became the 8th of September. There was an event happening in the afternoon, which had still not escaped from the summer heat.
There was a bizarre atmosphere around the gymnasium of the Raizen high school.
’’One year ago ...............we learned many things.’’
Itsuka Shidou's classmate, Yamabuki Ai, stood on stage while clenching her fist, and squeezed her voice out to the mike.
Ai's best friends, Hazakura Mai and Fujibakama Mii were standing at both of her sides, holding the Raizen high school flag up on her left and right. They had, incidentally, took up an ’’At ease’’ posture of a bodyguard or an imperial guard from somewhere... Together, with the bizarre vigor Ai put into her state, it was like looking at a country's ruler about to declare war.
’’The meaning of a bitter experience, the humiliation of a defeat............the cold feeling of the ground when made to grovel on the floor.’’
Ai said that with detest, swinging her fist, and nimbly raised her face.
’’Well then, gentlemen. This pitiful army of defeated gentlemen. I want to ask all of you. Are we still experiencing the feeling of bitterness? Are we still groveling on the ground? Are we still stuck sunk in defeat..........!?’’
*Dan!* Ai slammed her fist on the podium. The microphone's audio feedback echoed around nearby.
’’No! No way! Those guys have committed a grave mistake;they have given us time to sharpen out fangs of revenge! Our dearest time of fulfillment has come! Let there be glory to Raizen! Let there be honor to Raizen! With a strike with all our strength, we will bite their throats to a thousand pieces!!’’
At the same time Ai swung her fist upwards, as if responding to that-----
The students crowded in the gymnasium raised their voices all at once.
The gymnasium's glass windows shook slightly and the tremendous voices echoing on top of each other shook his eardrums until they hurt.
’’Haha............ They are so full of energy.’’
Itsuka Shidou cracked a wet smile while gazing at his classmate giving a speech up on stage.
Nonetheless, it was not like he didn't understand the reason why they were so wildly enthusiastic about it. That's becauseーーー
’’Shidou, what on earth is Ai saying? Is she trying to start a war somewhere..........?’’
A doubtful voice echoed from his right side.
When Shidou turned to look where the voice had come from, he found Yatogami Tohka standing beside him directing her attention at him.
She had night colored hair reaching her waist, and a pair of crystal eyes that stared back at Shidou. She was a beautiful girl, beautiful enough to think it was not something she was naturally born with.
Nonetheless, right now, her face was perplexed with a very bewildered expression.
Well, that's probably normal. If a person with no prior knowledge about the situation saw that speech just now, then without a doubt the person would be confused. No matter how much one looks at her, the current Ai looks like a war hero or a lecturer giving her own seminar.
’’It's because this month is the Tenou festival.’’
’’Tenou festival? What's that?’’
’’Hnnーーー Well, an easy way to say it is that it's a super big school festival.’’
When Shidou said that, Tohka's eyes sparkled.
’’School festival................... Ooh! I've seen that before in the television. It's a dream-like festival with food vendors lined up in the school!’’
’’Hnn. That's not wrong but...........’’
’’Ooh......... I see. We're going to do a school festival! That's, unn, I think it's good!’’
She said that, and after making an ecstatic expression for a while, she once again twisted her head.
’’Nu..................? So, why do we need this kind of meeting for the school festival?’’
’’Aah, the Tenou festival is a little different from other school festivals. ーーーIt's a combination school festival with the ten high schools inside Tenguu city.’’
’’Ten schools............. Combination?’’
Tohka opened her eyes in surprised. Shidou [ahh] nodded.
Tenguu city, the place Shidou and the other are living in, was a reconstructed area of the northern part of Kantou region, from the Tokyo metropolitan area which suffered devastating damage by a south-east grand disaster 30 years ago.
Right now for sure, using it as a test city with state of the art technology, they planned to make it suitable for humans to live in, but during the time they started the reconstruction, probably thanks to the threat of a spacequake having not faded, there was an unbalanced time where the number of citizens was very small, compared to the completion of areas or institutions in the region.
It was at that time when the union festival, called the 'Tenou Festival', came in to practice.
’’Well to put it simply, since the number of schools and students was small at that time, it would seem they planned to do it together to make it more exciting. That continued even after the number of citizens increased.’’
Shidou made a wry smile while shrugging his shoulders.
At first it was a festival planned together by the schools in the underpopulated area, but right now it's a great event held in the Tenguu square's giant exhibition hall, with it being reserved for three whole days.
For Tenguu city, which presently seemed to have approved the festival that had grown to such a big event;it couldn't just let the Tenou festival end.
In addition to the sensational nature of the event, and as a natural consequence of it being covered by television, there are some economical reasons for this much fanfare;It attracts tourists from outside the city and a considerable number of middle school students, from both locally and among the many visiting tourists, will be determining their High School of choice by the results of the Tenou Festival.
Even so, the event that was at first an idea beginning with famous schools joining together and making the school festival livelier, started to gain a different meaning because of the many schools joining in.
’’This time! This year! This year for sure, our Raizen will obtain the Laurels of Kings!’’
Ai shouted from the stage. And the other students responded.
Yes. The Tenou festival has voting categories such as the stage division, exhibition division, and refreshment booth division to pick the best school, and the school that is deemed to be the best, will be crowned king for the year after this.
When the school is decorated with such a beautiful ideology, other than the existing antagonism towards famous schools, it was obvious that the normally dormant fighting spirit and school love inside everyone would be stirred up. The people that normally show not even a speck of interest in soccer are now probably doing something similar to swinging the Japan flag with the dream of going to the world cup.
While Shidou was explaining the details to Tohka, he heard a voice coming from behind him.
’’Kuku..............I see. I now know the reason why Ai and the others were so excited!’’
’’Convinced. If that is the reason, then we can't lose.’’
When he looked over, there were two near identical girls standing there.
One of them had long braided hair and was a girl with unyielding spirit. She had a characteristically delicate body that looked like it would break if hugged too tightly and a proud expression befitting her.
The other was a girl with her hair braided into three strands. Having beautiful facial features, decorated powerless half-opened eyes and model-like proportions made her all the more alluring to Shidou's eyes.
’’Kaguya, Yuzuru................why are you here?’’
Yes, the ones over there were the Spirits that had their Reiryoku sealed by Shidou during the month before the last---------they were the sisters Yamai Kaguya and Yamai Yuzuru, who had transferred to 2nd Year class 3 located beside Shidou's class since the beginning of the semester.
At first they had planned to be transferred to Group 4, which was the same as Shidou's, but since unlike Tohka, who's mental state would become unstable if she were to be separated from Shidou, both of their mental states were stable as long as they were together. They therefore decided to be transferred to the neighboring class.
Naturally since it was assembly time now, they were supposed to be lining up following their own class separately. The Yamai sisters were also supposed to be forming a line with Group 3 separately.
However, the reason was immediately discovered. The excited students repeatedly chanting ’’Raizen’’ had made the line that formed to separate the classes completely pointless.
’’Fuu, nonetheless, as long as the Yamai sisters are here, Raizen's victory will not be shaken.’’
’’Agreed. Yuzuru and Kaguya's combination is the strongest. We are invincible to any opponent that comes.’’
’’Kuku, so that's the case? That's because, anything can be perfectly accomplished if Yuzuru goes.’’
’’Affirmative. And Kaguya who is more perfect than Yuzuru is there too. There is no reason to lose.’’
’’Iyaafufu...........Why you~, what~, it's itchy Yuzuru. Tsun Tsun.’’
’’Smile. Kaguya too. Tsun Tsun.’’
Saying such things, they cracked a happy smile while poking each other's second arm.
Looking at both of them like that, Shidou cracked a powerless smile. After displaying the happy relationship of a sweet couple that has been dating for about one week, who on earth would believe that just around two months ago, these two sisters dragged an entire region into their big fight?
After appearing and quickly starting to make a world of their own, Shidou shifted his sights from the Yamai sisters back to Tohka.
When he did that, Tohka made a difficult moan before, *fumu* nodding.
’’I see...........which means there will be a lot of food shops right?’’
’’...........aah, un, well, that's right.’’
When Shidou said that while smiling powerlessly, Tohka pat her chin while *fun**fun* the breath coming out her nose becomes rough.
’’Is that so, fumu, is that so..........fufu, I'm looking forward to it Shidou. How many shops are there?’’
’’Let me explain!’’
Faster than Shidou replying back, this time a voice echoed from the front. Looking over, his classmate Tonomachi Hiroto was, standing there while taking a tokusatsu[6A 1]hero-like pose.
’’Tonomachi, what's with the hurry?’’
’’I will appear before the voices of damsels in distress. You wanted to know what kind of food stands there will be in the Tenou festival, right?’’ When Tonomachi said that, Tohka's eyes opened wide in surprise.
’’Ooh, do you know about it?’’
’’Of course! I investigated for Tohka-chan!’’
After saying that, Tonomachi took out a memo book out from his pocket and flipped through it.
’’Inside this, the information of all the 10 schools participating in the Tenou festival refreshment booth's is listed. All of the approximately 90 booths are in it!’’
’’Do you want me to tell you, Tohka-chan?’’
’’Umu, please tell me!’’
’’Then try begging for it!’’
’’I beg of you, Shidou's friend!’’
She said that with a face that showed no care. There was not a speck of bad intention coming from that expression.
Tonomachi probably anticipated that. After making a complicated face, *Kiii* he shot a glance in Shidou's direction.
Shidou sighed, then whispered the name ’’Tonomachi Hiroto’’ into Tohka's ear.
’’Oooh...............I see. I beg you, Tonomachi!’’
Upon hearing Tohka say his name with such energy, Tonomachi's facial expression lightened up.
’’O, one more time!’’
’’I beg you, Tonomachi!’’
’’Using the last name!’’
’’I beg you, Hiroto!’’
’’Using a pet name filled with affection!’’
’’I beg you, Hiropon!’’
It turned into a name that sounded like a dangerous medicine but Tonomachi seemed to be satisfied by it. He twisted his body, as if overcome with emotion, and lowered his sight towards the memo book.
’’I can't refuse after being told like that! Let's see........speaking of refreshment booths, Eibunishi leaves excellent results every year. That's because their home economics are strong. It's a whole different level compared to the cooking club. Last year, the doner kebab stall was something thought of not as a school festival level.............’’
’’Aah..............I think something like that happened now that I think about it.’’
’’It seems this year's main force is, [Meat War! The fastidiousness black minced cutlet]. Using luxurious ingredients such as Hokkaido's Japanese black cattle or Kago Island's black pig, and making it into a gem that doesn't need sauce.’’
Tohka said that while shaking both her hands. Her eyes were glittering, and drool was flowing out from her mouth.
’’The next thing is..........well probably it's associated with Senjou university. Those guys can use the escalator directly to university level because they are affiliated with the school, and have only until 3rd year to stand out.’’
’’Fuun............so the favorites are probably around that area.’’
When he said that, Tonomachi *Tsk**Tsk wagged his finger.
’’What are you saying. Did you forget? The king, The Rindouji Academy for Girls.’’
Shidou scratched his cheeks. Now that he thought about it, he really had forgotten about it.--------Last year's winning school.
’’This year too, they are getting everything done perfectly..................Their self-awareness as the city's most beautiful girls is nasty. The taste and ingredients are first-class, but more than that, they get votes by courteously serving the customers. The refreshment booth they had last year was seriously just handing them money in a contact level similar to a handshake event level. I can't remember how many times I lined up there.’’
’’Don't just go lining up seriously.’’
When Shidou glared at Tonomachi, he then *cough* cleared his throat.
’’We,well anyways, they are extremely scary Ojou-samas. Also, what's more-------- one more thing happened in Rindouji this year, a suspicious rumor.’’
When Shidou tilted his head, Tonomachi [aah] replied.
’’Remember, didn't it make news at the beginning of April? That a student transferred to Rindouji.’’
Shidou furrowed his eyebrows as if to search his memories once more but..........he couldn't remember anything. Rather, speaking of April, his head was filled with the matter with Tohka. He didn't have the pleasure to care about anything else.
’’You're serious? Don't you remember? It's Miku-tan you know, Miku-tan?’’
Shidou honestly said that, not remembering anything.
Still, it seems that reply was something completely unbelievable to Tonomachi. After making a shocked face, he then changed his expression and suddenly. *PAChiiin!* Tonomachi pulled Shidou's cheeks.
’’Wha,what was that for, all of a sudden?!’’
’’That's my line! You bastard, I won't let you say you don't know the mysterious Izayoi Miku-tan!? Aah? Is it that? Is it that, ’’I have no interest in the idol everyone is *kya**kya* talking about?’’ Is it the typical cool character appeal?’’
’’It can't be helped even if you say that right! It's normal for someone to not know who---------------’’
’’Doesn't exist! Doesn't~~ Exist~~!! At the very least, the people inside our generation, there's no one other than stupid Itsuka-kun that doesn't know about the super national idol Miku-tan!’’
’’You said it!? Then what are you going to do if someone in our generation didn't know about Miku-tan?!’’
’’Hah, the day that happens, I'll kneel down on the ground and eat spaghetti with my ass!!’’
’’Are you serious!?’’
’’Hey Tohka, do you know who Izayoi Miku is?’’
’’That's cheating;Itsuka you bastard!?’’
The moment Shidou tried asking Tohka, Tonomachi clung onto Shidou's shoulders.
But, it seemed like that was unnecessary. Not only was Tohka completely unaware of their quarreling--------
While making a dazed out face, she was holding out both her hands as if she was holding onto something. Then after opening her mouth wide and *pakun* eating empty space, she then *chew**chew* start chewing before making an ecstatic expression.
It was an impossible air minced cutlet. Because she made such a realistic posture, even Shidou and the others could see the shadow of the delicious looking minced cutlet.
When he poked her shoulders while saying that, Tohka immediately twitched her body and wiped off her drool.
’’Nu, What's wrong Shidou?’’
When he was told that with those carefree eyes, he somehow didn't feel like finishing his sentence. At the edge of his view, he saw Tonomachi *Houu* patting on his chest.
’’But................I see. That's very nice. Hey Shidou, let's go eating on that day!’’
A smile floated on Tohka's whole face while she stuck her right hand's pinky finger up.
’’Reine taught me this! It seems it's called pinky swear’’
After Shidou scratched his head, he stood his pinky up like her. For the first time, starting with Tonomachi, Shidou's whole body was getting pierced by stares coming from the few guys around them.
In that moment Tohka, moved her right hand closer to Shidou's.
When he thought a fast human shadow flew out from the crowd, she gently entangled her pinky finger with Shidou's, and at the same time, someone had grabbed Tohka's pinky finger and twisted her finger joints.
Tohka jumped up, and pulled her right hand back in panic.
Shidou opened his eyes in surprise, and called the name of the intruder that appeared in between them.
Having silky hair that tickled the tip of her shoulders, and a shape like a doll------her face also held no expression like a doll. That was unmistakably Shidou's classmate and Tohka's natural enemy;Tobiichi Origami.
’’Pinky swear, if you lie then you will have to drink sleeping medicine in my room.’’
Origami spoke with a rhythm-less voice, then swung the hand that was connected to her pinky finger.
’’Why is it sleeping medicine instead of 1000 needles!? What on earth are you planning to do!?’’
’’If it's a boy then Takashi, if it's a girl then Chiyogami.’’
’’What were you seriously planning to do!?’’
While Shidou continued shouting, Tohka lifted her face and glared at Origami sharply.
’’Yo, you bastard! What were you trying to do!’’
’’This has nothing to do with you. On the day of Tenou festival, Shidou and I promised that we would go around the booths together.’’
’’Wha,what did you say!? Don't screw with me! That promise is mine!’’
When Tohka shouted, Origami *Fusu* made a breath out of her nose like she won and jerked her chin to show her pinky finger wrapped around Shidou's. Incidentally, his finger was being held by Origami's pinky with monstrous strength, and it looked like it wouldn't be easy to unfasten.
’’Guh, le,let go you bastard!’’
Tohka frowned her face and grabbed Shidou and Origami's wrist to pull them apart. But,
’’When these fingers separate, it would mean [A pinky swear]-------signifying the completion of the promise.’’
’’Wha...........! Don't let go! You can't let go!’’
After Origami said that while remaining emotionless, she made a small nod.
’’U,umu. If you do that then the promise will not complete. So with this..............’’
Tohka made a relief sigh and patted herself on her chest-------and immediately [Hnn?] wrinkles formed between her eyebrows.
’’Wait a second! If that's the case, then it means you can't let go of Shidou!’’
’’That is inevitable. It's something that can't be helped.’’
’’!? Yo, you bastard, you tricked me!?’’
Shocked, Tohka said that with full detest.
’’Oi, you two................’’
Shidou twitched his cheeks while slowly losing feeling in his pinky finger wrist.
And at that moment, there was a slight change in the gymnasium that was covered with wild enthusiasm.
’’’’Silence, gentleman. I have properly received all of your feelings.--------so with that, I have one wish’’’’
After saying that, Ai took the mike and continued.
’’’’My beloved brethren, a small number of friends under Student Council President Kirisaki have fallen half-way in good-will. So, I want to invite comrades that are willing to succeed the President's and the gang's ideals. If there is such a person, name yourself!’’’’
The students started getting noisy. Probably no one even understood the meaning of what they were just told.
Not long after, a student standing in front raised up her hand.
’’Errr, what do you mean by that?’’
After Ai scratched her head, she continued as if she forgotten the act she was going on until now.
’’’’Unnnn.........well put in simply, since Prez and the gang collapsed because of the stress and work load, we have no choice but to choose a substitute. Is there anyone willing to be in the executive committee for the Tenou festival?’’’’
In that instant------
The students who were making voices loud enough to cause an earthquake were now completely quiet.
They were probably thinking this is bad, Ai made a gesture while a fellow entered and help.
’’’’No well, even if we said this, most of the work has been done you know? It's true, it's true. All you have to do is sit down during the meeting! It's seriously a super cozy committee meeting! It's connected to the skill up so!’’’’
For some reason, the phrases in the second half turned into an invitation for a part-time recruitment for a black organization.
The spirits of the students that were going wild just now, suddenly turned cold. In order not to make eye contact with Ai, everyone started averting their sights.
But Shidou didn't have the pleasure to notice the change of atmosphere in the gymnasium.
’’I get it!’’
After Tohka opened her mouth after she thought of something, the opposite side of Origami------she intertwined her pinky finger with Shidou's left hand's pinky finger.
’’How about this!? With this, it's a tie!’’
’’A pinky swear done with the left hand signifies the end of a relationship;it shows that you don't want to be associated with that person anymore.’’
Tohka let out a horrified voice, and after alternately looking at Shidou's face and their connected fingers, she made a face as if she was going to cry any moment.
’’Shi,Shidou! I-it's wrong, I didn't mean to...........!’’
’’..............No, I've never heard that before.’’
When Shidou said that, Tohka immediately opened her eyes in wonder and-----------
’’Da, damn you, you bastard! Not once but twice!’’
She shouted like that and pulled Shidou's pinky finger. Origami not wanting to lose, pulled Shidou towards herself by only using the fulcrum of her pinky finger.
If this was the child fight of Ouka Echizen, then it should be about time when one of them let go of their hands but in reality, it wasn't that kind of fight. Both of them put more energy into it.---
’’Kuku................ You people, what are you doing on your own accord after leaving us out? In such a pleasant festival like this, wasn't it already decided Shidou was going to indulge in such a pleasure with us?’’
’’Warning. Shidou is Yuzuru and Kaguya's shared property. It is not exempted even to Master Origami. In case one wants to borrow him, please apply and compile the documents at the very least one week before the date.’’
The Yamai sisters who were flirting around joined in the commotion and barged into the conversation. Since Shidou couldn't move, both of them snuggled in from the front and back.
’’Un, unu! Kaguya and Yuzuru, even you two as well!’’
’’............., If you two don't want to die, you should go away.’’
Putting more strength into it, both his hands were pulled.
’’Why you...........! Isn't Shidou getting hurt?! Let go already!’’
’’That is my line. You should release him as fast as possible.’’
’’Kuku, you two can continue your unproductive fighting.’’
’’Consent. In that time, Yuzuru and Kaguya will have him.’’
What's more, the worst thing happened, since their surroundings turned unusually quiet just now, there was a lot of attention accumulating. Starting with Tonomachi, the male students were *grind**grind* grinding their teeth while shooting sharp stares, while the female students started *chatter**chatter* talking.
And, when Shidou thought Tonomachi turned his body around after glaring at him enviously, he raised his hands high up while shouting out in an unexpectedly loud voice.
’’I nominate Itsuka Shidou-kun as the Tenou festival executive member!’’
Shidou opened his eyes wide at his friend's sudden betrayal.
’’Ton, Tonomachi you bastard! What are you sayi..........oucoucoucouch!?’’
He voiced his objection but he was interrupted because of the strong winch coming from his left and right hands.
At the same time, the guys who were approved by Tonomachi started raising their voices one after another.
’’Agreed! I'm counting on you, Itsuka-kun!’’
’’Agreed! Itsuka is the only one we can entrust our will with!’’
’’Agreed! Get worked to death and sent to the hospital, damn it!’’
’’Oi the last guy, your real motive came out!?’’
Even when he shouted, the male student who showed no sympathy to Shidou didn't take back the last part. Incidentally, as if riding on, the girls send an Itsuka call together.
And as if to stop all of that, Ai's voice echoed from the stage.
In an instant, he thought Ai was just calming everyone down, but...........as expected, that kind of thoughts was too naïve.
’’’’I have properly obtained everyone's voices! 2nd Year Group 4 Itsuka Shidou-kun, due to the large number of people who have agreed with the nomination, you will be appointed as the Tenou festival executive committee!’’’’
Shidou's voice was swallowed by the large cheer that shook the gymnasium.
In the suite room of the top floor in the Imperial hotel located at the west side of Tenguu city, Isaac Westcott sat down while sighing. He raised his chin while slightly flicking the tip of his dark ash blonde hair, and further narrowed his eyes which looked like sharpened blades.
Right now, the thing that Westcott was looking at was a bundle of documents bound together with a clip. He distorted the side of his lips while shifting his sights to his left.
’’-------I see. Not only the AAA rank Spirit <Princess>but also a boy who can use the Spirit's power. Those two going to the same school, is certainly quite interesting.’’
The one that was on hold there was, the girl that created those documents.
Ellen M Mathers: DEM industries prided, humanity's strongest Wizard.
’’What's more, <Ratatoskr>'s airship appeared at that spot.’’
<Ratatoskr>. That name had a deep connection with Westcott and Ellen.
Using peaceful means to contain the spacequake outbreak, and providing protection to the main cause;the Spirits. It was an organization that held the ideal that spat out random words that could only be spat out while drinking sake[6A 2].
Westcott couldn't hold back his smile and placed his hands on his mouth.
’’Kuku, I wonder why, I am a little happy. --------Those greenhorns, to think they outwitted me.’’
’’I wonder if that is so. I can only feel discomfort.’’
Ellen replied without leaving any gap in between. Finding Ellen quite weird, Westcott used the hand that was placed on his mouth, and covered his face before laughing.
Probably not satisfied with Westcott's reaction, Ellen did not change her expression, and looked at Westcott with a slightly stern expression. After Westcott swung his hand around as if to apologize, he talked.
’’So, how is that side going?’’
’’Smoothly. Ten personnel under Adeptus 3 have been assigned to the executive team starting today.’’
He nodded, satisfied. In order for this to be forced through, several bribes would be needed, but-------------well that was probably trivial.
It's true, establishing a new system or organization was the better and efficient way to move his Wizards around. But it required a large sum of funds as well as time. In order to use military weapons in public, this was the most reliable and quickest way to do it.
He lowered his sights at the documents once more and read out the name written on it.
At that moment, Westcott exaggeratedly shrugged his shoulders.
’’But so, the most important photo is not here. This is unlike you.’’
Yes. There were several pictures of Yatogami Tohka taken from a distance attached on the documents, but there was none for this boy.
’’I didn't think any other document other than the Spirit was needed. I will get it ready immediately.’’
’’No, it's okay.------instead, I want to meet the real him soon.’’
When he said that, Ellen made a small sigh.
’’Understood. Without fail.’’
’’Aah, I'm expecting it.’’
After Westcott said that, he threw the documents onto the table and stood up from the sofa.
’’------Oh yeah, one more thing.’’
He then slowly walked over to Ellen, and placed his hands on her shoulders.
’’If <Ratatoskr>is involved with them..............then don't you think we should give them a grand welcome?’’
’’Aah, that's correct. A big welcome grand enough to give those arrogant pacifists a good punch in the head and a wake up call.’’
After saying that, Westcott leaked out a chuckle.
It was 17:30 and the sun had completely set. Shidou was walking on the dim road completely exhausted.
In the end after that Shidou, unable to oppose some of the mayhem, was officially appointed as the Tenou Festival's executive committee and halfway through was forced to take over the work.
Starting from choosing the set-up for the booths, because after dividing and distributing the budget to each matters, he also had to cram all types of other information together in one go. Thanks to all that, his mental exhaustion was much more serious than his physical fatigue. I see, if someone were to deal with this amount of information, it's no wonder their stomach would hurt. It's quite amazing Ai Mai Mii were still going on filled with energy.
While swinging his grocery bag on his left and his school bag on his right hand, he walked normally on the road.
Today rather than the super market, he finished his shopping in the nearby south shopping district. At first he didn't want to go to the super market because he was tired but, putting it in words..............
(’’It's almost the Tenou Festival season, I am counting on you this year too you know---? Here, take these green peppers with you.’’)
(’’The ground meat is off by a few grams too much? Haha, just eat a lot and refill your energy completely.’’)
(’’This? Take it. It's okay, it's okay. Here, give it to the girl that you always come with.’’)
Just like that, he was given stuff from people he knew from all directions.
Since people start to accumulate inside the city when it's the Tenou Festival, the nearby shopping districts started getting lively. In reality, it seems it was the time to earn profit after the New Years.
While looking at the colorful posters of the Tenou Festival pasted lined up on the walls of the street, he cracked a small smile. Just having this profitable week, the Tenou Festival contributed greatly to the Itsuka family's finance.
And, at that point Shidou stopped his legs.
In front of Shidou-------------on top of the street being shine at by a streetlight, he saw a small human shape there.
Putting on a straw hat with wide visors, and wrapped in a lightly colored one piece, there was a petite girl. Having beautiful blue eyes and the rabbit puppet worn on her left hand left an impression. It would seem she was looking at the poster pasted on the wall. With complete interest, she opened her big eyes even wider.
When he called her name, the girl----------Yoshino twitched her shoulders in surprise and turned her sights towards Shidou.
’’Oooh, Found ya~’’
After Yoshino said that with a soft voice, the puppet on her hand [Yoshinon] spoke in a high-pitched voice.
’’What's wrong? Why are you in a place like this? It's already this dark............’’
’’Ah,err..............I, went to Shidou-san's house just now, but................Shidou-san was late and Kotori-san was getting worried..........so..............’’
It seemed she had came to check up on his condition. Shidou scratched his head.
’’I see. But it's already this dark. The two of you coming out alone isn't a good idea.’’
When Shidou said that, Yoshino shrugged her shoulders apologetically.
’’Don't get angry please~. Yoshino didn't have any bad intentions~. She was worried about Shidou-kun you know~~.’’
’’I get it. Thank you, Yoshino.’’
After saying that, Yoshino made a big nod. Probably because of the big straw hat, Shidou could not see her face from the position he was at.
’’You haven't had dinner yet right? It's going to be quite late so, come over and eat.’’
’’Yes............thank you very much. And, err, there is one thing I want to ask but.............’’
Yoshino then slowly used her right hand's index finger, and pointed it towards the poster she was looking at just now.
’’Hnn? It's the Tenou Festival.’’
After Shidou made a small nod, he then gave a simple explanation of the Tenou festival similar to the one he talked with Tohka.
When he did that, Yoshino groaned in a somewhat interested manner.
’’Is there...............something like that..........’’
’’Haa~ It looks fun~’’
’’Aah, it's fun. If it's alright, why don't Yoshino and Yoshinon come too?’’
When he said that, Yoshino opened her eyes wide as if she was surprised.
’’!, I-is that.........okay...........?’’
’’Of course. Since my school is also displaying a lot of things, come over and play.’’
’’AaRaa~~ Good for you, Yoshino.’’
[Yoshinon] poked Yoshino's cheek. And Yoshino consented happily.
He doesn't feel bad after being shown such happiness. Shidou somehow in a bright feeling, headed on home with Yoshino together.
Since both of his hands were occupied, he had Yoshino open the door and raised his voice towards the deep part of the hallway.
He then placed the luggage on the doorway and after taking off his shoes, *BATAN!* the living room was burst opened and a young girl with a black ribbons tying her hair flew towards him. And then,
At the same time with her raising a shout, she magnificently gave a flying kick towards Shidou's stomach.
From the sudden attack, he fell right on to his butt. After he stood up while rubbing his stomach which held a dull pain, his sister was standing there making a daunting pose while holding an unhappy expression.
’’Fuun.......... Ugaah you say. Why don't you go do karaoke?’’
’’Wha,what's with you, suddenly.............’’
’’.............That's my line. Why are you so late? Not even one phone call back.’’
Shidou scratched his cheeks. It's true he was late, but it was still after 8pm.
’’I'm sorry. I was suddenly made the executive committee for the festival.’’
When Kotori heard what Shidou said, for some reason, she made a sigh.
’’....................It's not like your health turned bad, or something like that right?’’
’’............Nothing. ---------More importantly, what's the idea calling Yoshino to bring yourself back. It's already this dark’’
He tried to object but...............he stopped his words.
’’Hnn, I guess so, sorry. I'll be careful from now on’’
’’Ah............er,err, Kotori-san, Shidou-san is.................’’
Shidou stopped Yoshino who was trying to defend him. For some reason, after looking at that, Kotori distorted her face unhappily further more.
*Fun*She then rang her nose and walked towards the living room.
Until they were unable to see her back, Yoshino lowered her head apologetically.
’’I'm very sorry...............because of me..........’’
’’Don't mind it.’’
After muttering that, Shidou made a nod. Taking today as a good example, speaking of which, last month around the time Shidou came back from the school trip, Kotori was kind of strange.
It was not like she was different from usual but, when Shidou turns sluggish, for some reason she gets oddly un-calm.
After Shidou scratched his head and stood up from that spot, he grabbed the groceries and walked to the living room. Yoshino followed after him.
At that moment, he noticed the door of the living room was slightly opened. Coming from that gap, there was an eye peeping out releasing a stare. ------It was Kotori who was supposed to have left after going deep inside the room.
’’Wha, what. Is there something more?’’
When Shidou said that, coming from the door *korokorokoro*.................he heard the cute sound of a stomach growling.
Kotori's cheeks blushed. After Shidou lowered his bag, *sigh* he exhaled before loosening his expression.
’’Is there something particular you want to eat?’’
It was a menu that requires quite some time. Shidou confirmed the current time on his phone clock.
When he did that, on the screen, he found Kotori's missed calls being displayed on it. ...................it would seem, she was quite worried about him.
After Shidou put away his phone, he swung his shoulders around while walking towards the living room.
’’It's going to take some time alright?’’
With a stern expression, Kotori went inside the living room and dived onto the sofa.
When he brought his eyes towards there, he found out there was someone else inside the living room other than Kotori. Tohka who finished changing her clothes at the mansion next door was holding a game controller in front of the television.
Shidou did not hear her say she would wait for him until the executive meeting ended, but as expected since it had become late, she went on ahead and returned home before him.
’’Ooh Shidou, welcome home! Rather, Kotori! Hurry up and help me!’’
Tohka shouted while moving her body left and right matching the screen. But Kotori buried her face on the cushion and let out a mumbling voice.
Yoshino who was suddenly appointed as her successor, ran towards Tohka's side in panic.
’’Eh, errr...........this, what should I...........’’
’’If you go ZUGAAT then PIIT then it will BAAN! Over there!’’
’’Well, getting used to it is better than learning. Yoshinon will be in charge of the left while I leave the right to Yoshino okay~~’’
Yoshino and [Yoshinon] grabbed the controller at the same time and joined the game.
After looking at that, Shidou randomly just threw his bag and then finished off washing his hands and rinsing his mouth before reaching towards the apron being hanged on the back chair.
And, by the time he started peeling the skin of the onion off, Kotori who was lying on the sofa suddenly raised her face and talked to him.
’’..................nee, Shidou. Is there really nothing?’’
’’Hnn? What, are you worried about me?’’
’’Y,you're wrong! Yeah..............it's Tohka, Tohka! It will be big trouble if Tohka's mental state collapses if anything happens to Shidou! That's why I am saying you have to properly maintain your health!’’
When Shidou said that while laughing, Kotori raised her body and set her sights to him with a sullen angered expression.
Tohka who noticed her name being called, [What!?] raised her voice, but it would seems that the boss character appeared at that moment. She then immediately returned back to the game.
Kotori made a sigh and laid her body on the back of the sofa. She then continued talking in a volume where Tohka and Yoshino could not hear.
’’...................but, seriously be careful. It has become quite a troublesome situation.’’
’’A troublesome situation?’’
When he asked that, Kotori [eh] nodded.
’’There is quite many but............well for the time being it's <Phantom>.’’
’’<Phantom>..............? What's that. A spirit's code-name?’’
’’Five years ago, it's the [something] that appeared in front of us. It's quite inconvenient using [something] every time. We gave it a convenient code-name in the last meeting.’’
5 years ago. Giving Kotori spirit powers and sealing Shidou and Kotori's memories. Even not knowing if it's a spirit or not------ an unknown existence.
It's true that existence is a problem. Furthermore even now, its image or motive is completely shrouded in mystery.
’’And one more thing--------it's that company.’’
When Shidou said that, he saw Kotori lowering her head to the front.
It was a matter that happened last month. Shidou who was having his school trip on a certain island encountered the two-team spirits Yamai Kaguya and Yamai Yuzuru. During that occasion, he also met the wizard Ellen M Mathers, robotic dolls that can use CR-units, and, what's more, they were also attacked by a giant Airship.
The culprit was DEM------DEUS EX MACHINA industries.
It was a company that advances in various fields but, following its roots, it seems it rapidly grew from a defense industry. It was not open to the public, but it would seem the one's manufacturing the Realizer for the JSDF's AST to use was also the DEM Company.
’’But..................somehow I don't feel the reality of it even now. For that DEM company to do something like................’’
’’Don't sleep talk. If those fellows have such ethics then Mana wouldn't be-----------’’
Hearing Kotori words, Shidou twitched his eyebrows.
’’Mana...............? Did something happen to Mana?’’
That name. Someone that appeared in front of them before. It was the girl that announced herself as Shidou's real sister, but she was injured and suffered terrible wounds from a fight with a spirit and was supposed to be receiving treatment in the hospital.
After Kotori made a [Oh no] face, she shut her lips tightly and looked away.
’’O, Oi, what do you mean. What happened to Mana............’’
As expected, he couldn't just ignore that. He placed the onion that was on his hands on the table and removed the apron while walking towards the living room after walking around the dining table.
But, the moment Shidou stood in front of Kotori--------
The living room's big window slightly shook and the spacequake alarm inside the city rang.
In an instant, Kotori stood up straight, turned her skirt around and slipped through under Shidou's armpit.
’’O-o-oi! I haven't finished talking yet------’’
’’Will you do that later? Shidou get ready. ---------it's time for work.’’
After saying it like that, Kotori took one Chupa chaps from the candy holder equipped inside her skirt that looks like a leg holster, unwrapped it and shove it into her mouth.
Going a little back in time, inside the Tenguu JSDF garrison.
’’------Master sergeant Tobiichi Origami. You are hereby released from the imposed house arrest. We will have you return to AST common tasks as well as training.’’
Hearing those words given by a superior in a room of the base, Origami replied back with a salute.
Yes. Since Origami committed a grave deplorable act back in April, during this whole time she was banned from using the Realizer as well as joining activities inside the JSDF.
Naturally she would be lacking basic training but, since she can't use the Realizer, there is no way she can join the Spirit countering trainings. Origami had been going through around 2 months while grinding her teeth filled with the feeling of being powerless and impatient.
Nonetheless, if she thought about the original situation where receiving a criminal punishment rather than a disciplinary discharge was not strange, just to be able to once again join the team was something like a miracle.
’’There won't be a next time. If there is a repeat case like this, then bear in mind the fact that you will never return back onto the team.’’
And, when Origami replied with those short words, the room door opened without getting knocked on.
Origami turned her head around, and confirmed the culprit before doubtfully raising her eyebrows.
Yes. The person that entered the room excessively excited was the AST captain that keeps talking about courtesy and budget, Kusakabe Ryouko.
But completely opposite to what Origami's thoughts were, after Ryouko walked heavily further inside while pissed, she then slammed the bundle of documents that was in her hands onto the superior officer's table.
’’What do you mean by this!’’
’’Wha,what on earth, is it.................’’
Tsukamoto Sansa was also pressured by Ryouko's threatening attitude, and his body reacted without asking her to watch her manners.
When she asked that, Ryouko finally noticed Origami's existence.
’’Aah...........Origami. Speaking of which, today was your team reestablishment. -------Good timing. What do you think about this?’’
After saying that, she gave her the bundle of documents that was slammed onto the table to her. Origami lowered her sights towards the page.
Towards the unbelievable content written on it, she slightly brought her eyebrow roots together.
’’This organizing is too much! 10 members from foreign countries...............and what's more that independent team is granted special discretion during unusual circumstances..........!? What on earth is the higher ups thinking!’’
After saying that, Ryouko once again *BAM* slammed the table. Tsukamoto Sansa *twitch* shook his shoulder in shock.
The thing written on that document was information regarding the new AST members.
That itself isn't much of a problem.
But, the number of new AST members added was more than 10------what's more all of them are members transferred from DEM industries. Adding to the fact that all of the members were foreigners, then it's a different case.
On top of that, they have the authority to free themselves from Ryouko's direct commands when deemed necessary. This is the equivalent of buying stocks and then subsequently losing control of them due to the company's actions.
’’The AST isn't a baseball team right!? There shouldn't be any foreigners able to join the team right!? On top of that, I think there is some problem with giving them these authorities!’’
Sakamoto faltered. After Ryouko scratched her head in irritation, and [I don't want to talk with you anymore] turned around.
But, at that moment, the room door once again opened, albeit slowly this time.
And then--------- around 10 foreigners entered the room one after another.
And thus, probably after looking at Ryouko and Origami, the redhead female leading them distorted her lips. She was probably around Ryouko's age.
Maybe due to her eyes having an angled feature, she was a woman that would make someone somehow think of a fox.
’’Those faces look like you've seen the documents. AST's miss captain and------yes, was it Tobiichi Origami?’’
After saying it in a unique international way, the woman thickens her smile.
Ryouko asked back. When she did that, the woman nodded exaggeratedly before bringing forth her right hand.
’’I am Jessica Bayley and I have been assigned into the AST as of today. Please take care of me from now on.’’
After Ryouko distorted her face unpleasantly, she then flipped her hands and pressed Jessica's right hand, before exchanging a handshake.
’’I don't know the reason that you came here for, but I won't let you do things as you please here. As long as you are affiliated with the AST, you will have to follow my orders.’’
When she said that, Jessica opened her eyes in surprise and turned her eyes towards her subordinate her before shrugging her shoulders.
’’If we follow your orders, will we be able to defeat the Spirit?’’
’’...........What did you say?’’
’’We have heard a lot of the you peopleAST. These past few years, while being a team that counters Spirit's in the area where the world's most Spacequake occurrence areas happen, you people are the Omamagoto[6A 3] team that has not even once hunted down a single Spirit.’’
Jessica distorted her eyebrows and moved her sights from Ryouko to Origami.
’’I have also heard about you, you know? You seem to have went to kill a Spirit on your own accord and had received a house arrest as a result. Ahaha, you might be the one a little close to us.’’
When Origami remained silent, Jessica closed in to her face.
’’But, it's not good. You're not worth the talk. For unreasonably trying to use the defective unit <White licorice>, in the end, there were no results brought out, right? Fufu, unsightly.’’
When Jessica said that while grinning, the members behind her started to leak giggles out.
’’Captain, don't you think that is too much?’’
’’You can't compare our standards with this far-east worthless team.’’
’’Isn't that right.? It's not like they want to be this weak.’’
The woman with freckles, the woman with a thick lip and the woman with narrow eyes-----following in that order, made fun of the people before them. Origami gritted her teeth while not changing her expression.
’’Ara, are you angry? Kyahaha, what are you going to do after getting angry? You people who have not even defeated a Spirit, did you actually think you could match us who are the DEM Adeptus numbers?’’
’’.................Hey, all of you enou-------’’
And, when Ryouko was about to stop Jessica...
Coming from nearby, a high-pitched alarm rang and echoed.
’’...............! Get ready to dispatch! Your skills haven't dulled yet right!?’’
When Origami replied and started to run, once again Jessica and the group made a smile.
’’Whether or not your skills gotten dull or not, isn't it the same if you can't kill the Spirit?’’
’’Stop, Origami. Now is not the time for that.’’
When Origami glared at Jessica, Ryouko entered between them to stop them.
’’We will also dispatch. No matter what you say, we have to protect this city no matter what.............what will all of you do?’’
’’Ahh, us? Let's see...........alright, it's a nice timing anyways so, we will also sortie. We will teach you people the way to fight. However-------’’
Jessica made one finger stand up before, continuing her words.
’’We have a special mission wrapped around us. Depending on the situation, we will have you let us prioritize that first.’’
Origami said that while distorting her eyebrows.
Wondering why, coming from those words, she felt an uneasy echo coming out from it.
Shidou unintentionally frown his face. The same time with a weird levitating feeling like riding a high speed elevator wrapping his body, the scenery being shown in his view has changed from a gloomy building interior to the streets at night.
Due to an equipment installed inside <Fraxinus>, within a second, he was transported with a speed that is half of an instant. While pushing his forehead to stay conscious in his drunk-like distorted conscious, Shidou stepped on the ground with his foot.
After the haziness disappeared from his view, he fixed himself and looked at his surroundings.
The place Shidou went down to was a plaza placed in front of the Tatsunami station located at the west side of Tenguu city.
Since it was a station closest to the multipurpose event hall the Tenguu arena, during the days where live concerts or events take place, it was a spot that will be filled with people. Last time, when Shidou passed by the area not knowing there was a live concert of a popular band taking place, he was shocked by the huge number of people.
But, right now in front of the station, he could not see even a single shadow of a person.
That was also a normal thing. The scenery that unfolded inside Shidou's view was of a huge portion of the area that was gouged out, resulting in a crater. A large section of the plaza in front of the station was lost and only a part of the fence was left intact.
Spacequake. The outbreak type calamity that ruins the humans and the world.
It is a wide area tremor phenomenon that makes [Things over there] disappear in an instant.
’’Looks like you reached the spot safely.’’
Coming from the small incam equipped into his right ear, he heard Kotori's voice.
Right now the Commander of <Ratatoskr>Kotori was monitoring Shidou's condition from the airship <Fraxinus>from its position in the sky, 15000 meters above him.
’’The Spirit's readings have been heading south ever since the Spacequake occurred. Please Hurry.’’
After replying, he started running.
---Spirit. Being called as the worst thing that destroys the world, they are special calamity designated creatures.
Spacequake is an aftereffect that occurs when the Spirit appears here from the dimension called the [Other world].
While almost slipping down, he somehow managed to continue running. There was probably a live concert or an event taken place recently because the illuminated street was scattered with colorful leaflets and fans with pictures printed on it. In an instant, he thought it was the bad manners of the audiences but, if the Spacequake alarm suddenly rings, they would probably have no choice but to throw the leaflets they were holding and start running.
’’Kotori, where's the Spirit's readings!?’’
’’Please wait for a second. We are trying to get a precise coordinate right-------’’
And, during that instant when Kotori was saying that, Shidou twitched his eyebrows in surprise.
In front-------coming from the Tenguu arena, he could hear something coming from there.
’’This is.........a song.........?’’
Yes. He could only hear a little because the walls were blocking the noise, but that is unmistakably a [song].
There's no way. After the Spacequake alarm rang, even after all the audiences evacuated, there was a singer that stayed behind and continued singing alone on stage. For an instant that thought floated in his mind---------he immediately shook his head.
Shidou pushed open the door half dumbfounded, and stepped into the arena.
And then, he walked forward until he could see the whole view of the stage.
That moment--------Shidou's body was assaulted by an overwhelming feeling.
In the middle of the arena. Most likely the actors or staff members evacuated the area after leaving the stage's equipment on. Inside the dark hall, only a risen stage that looked like a watchtower was being showered with light coming from several stage lights located from the bottom.
Right in the middle of it-------
There was a girl standing there wearing a dazzling dress that was sewn with light particles, her voice echoing inside the arena. Though the song was composed with words he had not heard before, it was a like a quiet tone similar to a lullaby and it shook Shidou's eardrums.
Unintentionally, a voice of admiration leaked out from Shidou's throat.
The performance was not done with a music instrument. And it was not done with a loudspeaker or a mike. It was a vocal solo completely with nothing else involved.
But the melody made by only her voice made a hallucinating feeling that penetrated into his mind through his ears, and it possessed an overwhelming power in it.
’’Don't tell me that's-------<diva>......!?’’
Suddenly hearing Kotori's voice echoing through his right ear, he got back his consciousness. Shidou looked downwards and swung his head softly. Incidentally, he lightly pulled his cheeks and made himself become filled with energy.
---Yeah. It's not time to fall in love hearing the song.
That's because right now Shidou has a very important task which is extremely hard to achieve.
’’<diva>............is it that girl's codename?’’
’’Yes..................it's a Spirit that has only been confirmed appearing once around half a year ago. Although her existence has been tentatively recorded in the database, almost all of the detailed information regarding her character and nature to her abilities and Angel is equivalent to zero. Please try to be careful enough while approaching her.’’
’’I-I get it.’’
After Shidou made a nod, he once again faced towards the girl, and made a step forward.
And, at that moment, *KAN*, a dry sound echoed throughout the arena.
The moment he moved his legs, it would seem he kicked away an empty can that was left on the floor.
The girl probably noticed the sound. She suddenly stopped singing.
And then, completely different to the voice used to sing just now, she spilled out a slow-like voice.
’’Idiot, what are you doing!?’’
’’Sorry...............it was dark so my foot............’’
But Shidou did not let out the last sentence of his apology.
After the girl crept her sights as if to look around the arena from above the stage, it was only then she talked.
’’Was there an audience here~? I thought there was no one here just now--’’
She let out a kind and carefree voice. It would seem since the audience seats was shrouded in darkness, Shidou's figure was not found by her.
’’Where are you-----? I am also starting to get tired of being alone. Would you like to have a talk if it is okay with you?’’
’’Hn------it looks like she's a Spirit that won't attack you mercilessly. We will provide support in the conversation, so would you try going to a spot where you can exchange a conversation directly?’’
’’I get it, I'll try going.’’
After Shidou made a nod while gripping his fist tightly, and went up the stairs made to go up to the stage.
But, just before he was about to reach up to stage, he heard Kotori's voice stopping him from his right ear.
’’Stop. The choices came out. ------Fumu, it looks like the talking pattern at the same time with the entry.’’
Inside a dim half elliptical space, there were lights floating on the many displays.
The place Kotori was in right now, with a longitudinal distance of 15000 meters away from the Tenguu Arena where Shidou and the Spirit is located, was in the bridge of the airship <Fraxinus>floating in the night sky.
Right in the middle of it, while eating Chupa Chups and sitting arrogantly on the commander's seat, Kotori swung the cuff of her crimson jacket and skirt. After standing up, she then made her voice resound inside the bridge.
’’All members, your choices!’’
Obeying Kotori's orders, the crew members sitting in a row in the bridge started operating the console in front of them.
Right now, on the bridge's main monitor, a window with 3 choices lined up was displayed on it.
①’’I was charmed by you, because you are so beautiful.’’
②’’Your song------it's very beautiful.’’
③’’The view from below is the best.’’
That was the <Fraxinus>'s Spirit mental state monitoring AI's derived method to conquer the Spirit.
At the same time with Kotori sticking her tongue out and licking her lips, everyone's answer was displayed on the small display.
The most picked one was--------②
’’I see.......it's not bad.’’
The same time with Kotori saying that, the crew members in the lower deck started raising their voices.
’’① would be good, but it's kind of blunt so ② is the best choice here.’’
’’She was singing in such a place. It wouldn't feel bad to compliment her.’’
It is true as that is the case here. Kotori made a small groan.
’’I guess so.................Reine what do you think?’’
When she said that, the woman with a pair of eyes painted with thick eye bags sitting on Kotori's left side faced towards Kotori's direction.
’’...........hnn, let's see. It should be the appropriate one. That's because <diva>is a spirit that we have extremely little information about. After showing her response to this question, it's not bad to look for the trend after that.’’
’’I see. Alright, let's go with ② -----by the way Kannazuki.’’
Before giving Shidou the instruction, she slightly brought her eyes to the screen. Though most of the votes selected ②, inside the remaining that flown into ①, there was only one crew member that chose ③.
Behind Kotori, there was a tall man with mannequin-like facial features in a stand-by posture. Acting as the vice commander of this ship and Kotori's assistant, it was Kannazuki Kyouhei.
’’Which of these do you prefer, the mountain or sea?’’
’’Eh? Is it about the vacation with commander? Then as expected, to a sea with high exposure rate............’’
’’Okay. Then I will let you become the bait course for the fishes.’’
When Kotori snapped her fingers, 2 strong men appeared from the door behind and grabbed both Kannazuki's arms and legs.
’’I-its false accusations! It's a wet close! I chose number ② this time!’’
’’..............what did you say?’’
Kotori operated the console and made the selection voters appear.
When she did that, she found out it was true that Kannazuki's vote was put into ②.
’’Then who on earth...............’’
When she looked at the 3rd selection with dubious thoughts, the name [Nakatsugawa] was written in it.
’’It was you Nakatsugawa!’’
When Kotori made an angry shout, <Dimension breaker>Nakatsugawa twitched his shoulders.
’’Eh.................... I-is there something you need, commander..............’’
’’Don't ’’is there something you need’’ me. It's not like I said you can't choose ③. I want to have many types of opinions. --------but, at the very least I will have you explain the reason why you chose that.’’
After Nakatsugawa twisted his head not understanding what was told to him, he then brought his eyes to the panel display and [UWAH!?] released a surprised voice.
’’I-I am very sorry, I pressed the key after completely not looking at the choices................!’’
Kotori unpleasantly distorted her eyebrows.
’’Nakatsugawa, do you know what are you doing? There is a possibility your choice might cause danger to Shidou you know?’’
’’So,sorry! I am prepared to receive any punishment! Bu,but............’’
When Kotori said that, Nakatsugawa took a glance at the main monitor before continuing his words.
’’This Spirit.............<diva>'s voice, I feel like I heard it somewhere before.............’’
’’....................what did you say? What do you mean by that?’’
And, the moment Kotori brought her eyebrow roots together doubtfully;she heard Shidou's voice coming from the speaker.
’’O,oi............, is the selection done yet?’’
’’! Aah,sorry sorry. It's ②. Praise her for her singing voice.’’
When Kotori said that, Shidou in the screen nodded before climbing the stairs, and went up to the stage.
Kotori made a sigh to regain herself, and sat back down on the commander seat.
’’-------well, it's okay. For now, the capture is more important. Nakatsugawa. Tell me what you have to say later.’’
Nakatsugawa made a salute and returned facing back at the console.
At the same time with him doing that, a weak voice could be heard coming from behind. It was Kannazuki still having both his arms being secured by the men with muscles.
’’Fuu...............I'm saved thanks to the misunderstanding being solved.’’
’’I'm sorry about that. It's because your normal conducts are bad.’’
’’No, everyone makes mistakes no matter who it is. The important thing is to reflect on it. Let me see. For now, I'll come to agreement with Commanders stripped stockings.’’
When Kotori snapped her fingers, the men still holding onto Kannazuki took him out of the bridge.
’’Commander! I-I understand! Only the insole! I am satisfied with the shoe's insole!’’
The door closed with an electronic sound, and then his voice could no longer be heard anymore.
’’..............it's kind of noisy but, did something happen?’’
’’It's nothing. Shidou, you should only focus on the Spirit that is in front of you.’’
Kotori told him that in a state were nothing really happened. ............actually he felt that he heard Kannazuki's scream but,..............well, he didn't really mind it. Shidou let sweat ooze on his forehead while scratching his cheeks.
Now was not the situation to have his intentions spared away. After Shidou made a deep breathe, he climb up the stairs and danced on top the stage.
On top of the stage that was being poured upon with a large amount of spotlights, it was so bright that it could be mistaken with daytime, and it was filled with hot air. But, he couldn't let himself close his eyes. He properly opened his eyes wide and looked at the girl's back standing on the stage.
It would seems the girl also noticed the sound echoing behind her. She slowing looked over to him.
’’Aah, you would go through the trouble to come up here? Good evening. I am----------’’
And thus. The moment the Spirit who turned her body while making a smile looked at Shidou, she perfectly stopped her body movement and words.
’’Shidou. What are you doing?’’
He was taken back for an instant, but he couldn't let the silence prolong any further. Shidou made a cough before opening his mouth.
’’Hey, good evening. I didn't plan on eavesdropping, but the singing was so beautiful so--------’’
But, midway in Shidou's sentence-----
Coming from the incam.
*PII!* *PII!* a loud alarm sounded.
’’Th,this is...............the affection level, at [bad mood], the mental state-----------all types of parameters are quickly dropping! What is the meaning of this...................!? Shidou, you didn't unzip your lower half right!?’’
’’Wha, I didn't!’’
While saying that, he looked downwards just in case. It was not like his crotch was exposed after being pulled by his clothes, or things like that.-----however, then what on earth..............!?
’’We have no choice, let's try another choice. Use ①! Praise her for her appearance!’’
’’The affection level fell even more!’’
’’She's in the area where she can't feel any unpleasant feeling from Shidou-kun!’’
’’Wha,What did you say!?’’
Next after the emergency alarm buzzer, he could hear Kotori and the crew's panicking voices.
’’The,then use the last method! ③, [The view from below is the best!]’’
’’The view from below-’’
’’I-I have never seen such a low value before!’’
’’It's an affection level below a cockroach!’’
’’He couldn't even say it to the end!’’
The screaming voices of the crew members hit his right ear's eardrums until it hurt.
And, when he was occupied with that, a change appeared on the girl who was frozen solid.
*GI**GI*.............when he thought she turned her head like a rusty machine, *suu*.......she started to curve her body while sucking a large amount of air.
Even after Shidou tried talking to her, she showed no response at all. His right ear right now was still having a high-pitched buzzer echoing into it.
The girl then finished sucking in the air and made a glare towards Shidou. When she did that, the next moment--------
The girl released a loud voice.
And at the same time, his chest, stomach, both his limbs and his face was, attacked by a shockwave all at the same time. The invisible pressure that can be described as a [Sound wall], hit Shidou's whole body. Shidou spit out his breath as if he was coughing blood, and his body was easily blown away. ’’Shidou!’’
He extended his hands while Kotori's voice was like being repelled away, and clung onto the edge of stage just before falling off. He resisted the pressure of sound while letting it pass through his body-------and he successfully left only his upper half of his body on the stage.
After he took a glimpse downwards, he found out the stage was placed quite high on contrary to his expectations. If he were to fall like this, he would probably not escape from some compound fractures. Even if he has Kotori's protection, things that hurt still hurt.
After Shidou somehow managed to get back on stage, he desperately wriggled his legs.
But, in front of Shidou's eyes, walking in a wobbly pace, <diva>came closer to him.
And when she reached right just in front of him, she made a gentle smile like a goddess.
’’Eh, why did you cling on? Why didn't you fall off? Why didn't you die? Please disappear from this stage, this world, this probability space-time as soon as possible.’’
On her expression and word's cap, Shidou reflexively opened his eyes in shock.
’’Err,errr..........what did you say just now?’’
’’Why are you talking to me? Would you stop? It's disgusting. Please don't let out your voice. Please don't let your spit come out. Please don't breathe. Don't you know you're polluting the surrounding atmosphere by just being here? Don't you understand that?’’
It would be so great if this was a silent movie. It was a girl that produces an incredible amount of discomfort, enough to make him think of such a stupid thing even in such a dangerous situation.
’’Eerrr, yo,you were..............’’
’’You're someone that listens to someone's words. Would you hurry up and disappear? Your existence is discomforting. Why must I step on your hand just to make you fall of the stage? Even if it's my shoe's sole, I really don't want to touch you, you know?’’
A kind expression. A beautiful voice. A song that has a tone. Only the content of her words was a morning star.
And----at that moment.
When he thought the arena's ceiling made a crack for an instant, an explosion occurred together with a strong impact and sound. The giant lighting equipment's installed on the ceiling broke and caved in.
A slight tremor was transmitted. Shidou cling onto the stage to avoid being thrown off the stage.
When he looked up. Over there was already something that could no longer be called a ceiling. On the contrary, the faces of the clouds painted with moonlight peep into the night sky.
No---------that was not the only thing there. Slipped inside the darkness, he confirmed several people covered with machine armors.
Shidou put fear on his voice and shouted. It looks like the time limit has been reached.
The AST members easily danced around the sky and entered the Arena. He heard normally the CR-units will not proceed into building interior battles, but because of this wide area, that limit was probably taken off. Immediately, they surrounded the stage Shidou and <diva>was on and several of the wizards made a stance with their weapons while activating it.
But, Shidou felt something was a little out of place. It's true that there is nothing different in the AST. However, for some reason there were a lot of unseen before westerners included inside of the group.
’’Shidou! There is no choice, retreat for now!’’
He nodded at Kotori's voice echoing from the Incom--------and raised his eyebrows because of an unpleasant feeling again.
The emergency alarm that was ringing continuously just now, stopped just on time.
Feeling suspicious, he looked towards <diva>. When he did that, over there -------
Completely changed from just now, <diva>was there joining her hands together while her eyes was sparkling.
’’Isn't this nice~----. Isn't this wonderful----. Yes it is, speaking of audiences, this is the way! Aah, let me see----, especially------’’
And, leaving a buzz in the ears, <diva>disappeared from that spot.
The next moment, behind one member of the AST-------<diva>appeared behind Origami without a sound.
She placed her hands over Origami's shoulder over-familiarly, and brought her mouth close to Origami's ear like a close and affectionate lover.
’’Aah........nice, it's nice~~. Nee~ you, don't you want to hear my singing--?’’
Origami immediately shakes her shoulders and swings her laser blade.
’’Ahhn, so mean.’’
<diva>avoided Origami's attack while letting out a sweet voice.
Origami looks very injured from that reaction. In attempt to pursuit, she made several slashes with the laser blade towards <diva>. Unfortunately, all of the attacks were obstructed by an invisible wall just before they reached <diva>.
’’This won't end. Step aside-------’’
And when he thought the redhead girl floating far away in the opposite side of the stage said that, she stopped her words after her eyes looked towards Shidou.
And after she showed a posture of exchanging a few words with her comrade through the transmitter, she activated her thruster and moved towards Shidou for some reason instead of the Spirit.
Shidou let out a hysteric voice. For an instant he thought she entered the battlefield to protect the citizen but, something was off. She pulled out a giant stun rod off her waist and head towards Shidou. It was like she was trying to make Shidou faint and capture him------
And, just right before the red hair girl closed in to Shidou, Origami appeared in front of Shidou.
Sensing that something was off, it would seem she threw <diva>aside and flew over. Origami's laser blade clashed with that woman's weapon, and scattered sparks violently.
’’Arara? What are you doing?’’
’’That is my line. He is not a Spirit. What were you planning to do?’’
’’You don't have the right to know. It's from the higher-ups. Get away from there.’’
’’...............I can't agree with that. Give an explanation until I understand.’’
’’What a hard headed person.’’
Once again, the woman swings her weapon. Origami also swings her laser blade in order to retaliate.
An impact that could not be compared to just now was spread around the surroundings.
The next moment, Shidou's view went black and------
By the time he fainted, he was returned to the gloomy ship's interior.