Date A Live - Volume 7 - Chapter 1
Chapter 6: Nightmare, Reappear
’’You seem to be in some sort of trouble - ne, Shidou-san, would you like, to negotiate with me?’’ From within a dark room in the abandoned building.
The girl who had appeared from the dark shadows, said so while smiling in an odd manner.
The sight in front of him, caused Shidou to be shocked and surprised, to the point where he could not even scream, where he could only watch. It was a girl, so beautiful, that it caused people to shudder in fear.
Then again, to use such a phrase, ’’shuddering in fear’’ ...... which did not describe beauty at all, to describe the girl in front of him, the reason for that can be understood by the words that she said. What was on her smiling face was not a face of kindness or joy, but rather, a face of a predator, one that caused people to have goose bumps as a result of nervousness.
Black, uneven hair on both sides, shaking while accompanied by a giggle, with a blood red dress wrapping her frail body. However, what truly made this girl unique was her eyes. On her face was a pair of differently-coloured eyes. If one looked closely, they could see her left eye showing a clock, with the fingers ticking away in a regular manner.
Shidou only managed to squeeze the name of the girl from his throat. Kurumi. Shidou's former classmate - the worst Spirit who murdered on her own volition.
As Kurumi listened to Shidou, her eyebrows twitched slightly as she relaxed her shoulders.
’’Ara, did I mistake things. -I saw a Spirit abducting Yoshino-san and the Yamai sisters, Tohka-san captured by DEM Industries... and your helpless expression.’’
Shidou began to tense up.
It was exactly as Kurumi said.
A few hours ago, Shidou had been in the Tengu Square where the Tenou Festival is held, against the Spirit that controls music and sound - Miku Izayoi.
However, Yoshino, Kaguya, Yuzuru and the audience were all controlled by Miku, as a result of her Angel ’’Gabriel<Army-Breaker diva>’’
In addition, Kotori, who had heard the ’’music’’ through the speaker, had also became an enemy... coupled with the sudden appearance of Ellen, a Wizard of DEM Industries, who had abducted Tohka.
Shidou, who had barely escaped with his life, had managed to successfully hide in an abandoned building away from the streets, but he could do nothing other than hit the floor weakly with his fists.
Indeed, she was correct. No, it was because of this, that he couldn't understand what she meant.
’’...Why do you know all of these?’’
’’Ufufu, please don't ask such boring questions. As long as it concerns Shidou-san, doesn't it mean that I have a right to know?’’
As she said, Kurumi revealed a cute smile. For some reason, the shadow at Kurumi's feet moved at the same time, as if one could almost hear a giggle from the other side of the shadow.
Shidou gulped down his saliva as he recounted the events of several months ago. Indeed, Kurumi possessed many ’’eyes’’ and ’’ears’’. Having a few ’’Kurumis’’ in the crowd isn't surprising.
As for Kurumi, she knew that right now, there is nothing else that can protect Shidou. There is nobody to save Shidou: anybody who would prevent Kurumi from eating him are all absent.
Shidou curled up his body, withdrawing a leg in the process. As if seeming very happy at the sight of a helpless Shidou, Kurumi twisted her lips.
’’Fufu, please calm down. -At least, right now, I don't have any plans for Shidou-san’’
Shidou frowned at Kurumi's words.
’’What do you mean? Didn't you intend to ’’eat’’ me?’’
’’Mm, I don't disagree -But, as I have mentioned earlier. Right now, I wish to negotiate with Shidou-san.’’
’’Do you really want me to believe what you say?’’
’’Do I have a reason to lie now?’’
Shidou was silenced by her words.
Indeed, as long as Kurumi wished, killing or eating Shidou would not be a problem for her. There was no reason for her, who had the say of whether he lived, to lie right now. However, when it came to the girl in front of him, it was one who had plans to watch an expression of peace turn into horror: there was also a possibility that Kurumi had orchestrated all of this.
As Shidou thought hopelessly while keeping up his guard, he looked back at her and asked:
’’What was it that you wanted to negotiate with me?’’
’’Mm it's about what happens after.’’
As Kurumi listened to Shidou's shocked words, she rhythmically stepped on the floor as she approached Shidou.
Then, as she stood close to Shidou, she placed her lips next to his ear and whispered:
’’Ne, Shidou-san. Weren't you going to help Tohka-san?’’
As Shidou listened to Kurumi, he couldn't help but let out a shocked voice.
’’What do... you mean’’
’’Exactly as it says. Shidou-san, don't you want to rescue Tohka-san from DEM Industries?’’
’’Is, isn't that obvious...! Isn't the enemy an organization that kills Spirits? How could I leave Tohka in the clutches of those people!’’
’’Ehehe, well said, well said. Now this is our Shidou-san.’’
Kurumi laughed much more happily. However, Shidou frowned, due to an unknown uneasiness
’’But, why... do you want to know about these things?’’
As Kurumi maintained the strange smile on her face, she reached out her tongue to lick Shidou's ear.
’’So you want to save Tohka-san... but no matter how much you want to save her, it's impossible with just Shidou-san, isn't it? After all, you don't even know where Tohka has been taken to. And even if you do find the location, you have to prepare against DEM, who are focused on capturing the Spirits.
Besides, you do know the Wizard who captured Tohka-san, didn't you? She's a troublesome woman. An opponent that is unmatched for humanity’’
’’Tsk! You don't have to tell me! But, because of that, I-’’
’’Eh, eh. As expected of Shidou-san to say something like this. However, this is an act for a brave fool. You won't be able to accomplish anything with just your emotions alone. If Shidou-san is to go alone, he'll definitely either be killed or captured.’’
’’Ku... what exactly are you trying to say’’
’’Ufufu... do you not understand? I've already said it I'm helping you.’’
Shidou widened his eyes upon listening to the unbelievable words coming out from Kurumi.
’’Help...? Kurumi? Me?’’
’’Mm. I'm going to help you save Tohka-san.’’
As Kurumi said so, she smiled again.
Unable to understand Kurumi's motives, Shidou held his forehead with his hands in order to calm his confused mental state.
Kurumi is a Spirit hence, possessing an Angel of incomparable strength. Indeed, if her assistance is obtained, then there is some hope in this nearly impossible goal of saving Tohka.
Even if he understood this, Shidou didn't raise his hands and celebrate in delight.
’’...what are your intentions?’’
’’My intentions... I simply wanted, to help out Shidou-san.’’
Considering Shidou will never believe her, Kurumi decided not to mince her words.
’’Ara ara ara’’
Listening to the words of Shidou with his eyes half-open, Kurumi intentionally placed her hands at her eyes, acting as though she was crying.
’’This is sad. After all, I'm just doing this in the interests of Shidou-san’’
’’Distrust. Hm, this can't be helped either.’’
As Shidou continued to stare at Kurumi with suspicious eyes, he shrugged his shoulders, as though he was getting tired of her actions.
’’Truthfully speaking, I have my own reasons in searching for DEM Industries. As a reward for helping, I would also like to use Shidou-san as bait. It's give and take.’’
’’Mm. I wish to find someone.’’
’’Someone? Who could that be?’’
’’It's a secret.’’
Kurumi placed a finger on her lips and blinked at Shidou. In return, Shidou casted eyes of suspicion upon her.
’’Please relax. I am not lying - of course, I won't force you to believe what I say.’’
Listening up to now, Shidou unhappily closed his mouth.
Truthfully speaking, it was still impossible to fully trust Kurumi.
However, her existence was indeed Shidou's remaining final chance.
It was a question as to whether the medicine within the bottle was a deadly poison or an antidote. If a decision wasn't reached - if nothing was done, one would collapse from the illness.
Hence... despite the risk, Shidou had no choice but to accept.
Even if it were poison, in order to save Tohka, he'd accept it.
’’...I understand. I trust you. Please, assist me, Kurumi...!’’
Shidou said so as he clenched his fists. Kurumi elegantly lifted the hems of her dress and curtsied.
’’Mm - it'd be my pleasure.’’
Kurumi did a whimsical action, which resembled that of a rich spoilt girl bowing, as she giggled.
Afterwards, as though to let her dress flutter, she spun and rhythmically stepped towards Shidou.
’’Then, then, let's take action. We don't have spare time to waste. Let's hurry, so we can settle this, before it's too late.’’
’’Yes, what can I do? I've to sacrifice in order to save Tohka.’’
As she listened to Shidou's words, Kurumi laughed even more wildly.
’’Aha, aha, amazing, Tohka-san. She's able to capture Shidou-san's attention so whole-heartedly. Ufufu, it makes people jealous.’’
’’Don't joke with me.’’
’’It's not a joke - though unfortunately, it's still not yet possible. Right now, 'we'are confirming Tohka-san's location. Can you wait a little while longer?’’
’’You sure prepared for this.’’
’’Ufufu. Because, there's no way Shidou-san would reject my request.’’
Shidou revealed a face of unhappiness at that point, as though he had been played with. Seeing that, Kurumi became even more cheerful.
’’Bu, but, we don't have anything to do in this case, don't we?’’
’’Not so. Before rescuing Tohka, we still have to address another issue, don't we?’’
Kurumi said so, as though she intended to interrupt Shidou's words.
Immediately, Shidou realized what Kurumi was driving at. He sighed deeply, and said that name.
’’Miku... is it?’’
’’Mm. That lady who specializes in singing, indeed goes by that name.’’
That's correct. Right now, the reason that Shidou was hidden in this abandoned building away from the streets. It was due to the Spirit: Miku Izayoi.
Miku used her music and voice to control people, using her terrifying advantage to increase her range of control, going all-out to search for Shidou. That was most likely - to punish Shidou, who had betrayed her trust.
Seeing Shidou recount so intently, Kurumi giggled, as though she thought of something.
’’...what is it?’’
’’Ah, it's just, I was thinking about what happened today on the stage. Ufufu, how suitable, Shidou-san. Or should I say, Shiori-san?’’
Shidou frowned and moved his line of sight away.
In order to conquer the men-hating Miku, cross-dressing under desperation, all of it, had been observed by Kurumi.
’’Even so, regardless, Miku is desperately trying to capture Shidou-san. And thousands of people as well as three Spirits have joined her... is that correct?’’
’’...yes, that's correct.’’
’’Mm, in that case let's try to solve the issue from there. She's currently increasing her range of support and if she is to continue, it may get in the way of us rescuing Tohka. If Shidou-san were to be captured by her, it'd be worrying for me too.’’
’’Solving... that's easy to say’’
’’In reality, it isn't really that difficult of a question. If we were to look at it, she isn't one suitable for prolonged battle.’’
’’Even so, Miku has an Angel which can control people with 'sound'.’’
’’That's not an issue. I'm not that naïve to the point of being swayed by such a performance. If I had full say in the matter, I'd be capable of killing her elegantly, wouldn't I?’’
As if jokingly saying, Kurumi stretched out her index finger and thumb, and did a ’’PA!’’ action similar to shooting a gun. Shidou quickly shook his head.
’’No, we can't do that.’’
’’Ufufu, I was joking. I understand the kind Shidou-san wouldn't want to resort to such means to settle matters. -Because Shidou-san is one who is crazy enough to want to save a person like me.’’
As she said so, Kurumi laughed again. But for some reason, this laughter felt slightly different from the cheerful laughter earlier.
Before Shidou pointed this out, she continued.
’’But, if we can't kill her, there are some slight problems. Even if we aren't able to convince her in the shortest time, at the very least we will need to make an agreement with her, that while we're saving Tohka-san she is not to disrupt us in any way.’’
Shidou muttered in a low voice. Indeed, they couldn't let the victim pool increase further, they had to do something about that. ’’But, how are we going to negotiate with her?’’
Indeed, the major problem was the large crowd of people. There was a human wall of unknown thickness protecting Miku. Even approaching her would be difficult.
Realising what Shidou was thinking of, Kurumi used her hand to lift Shidou's chin.
’’If we could let Miku-san and Shidou-san have some time to themselves... how does that sound?’’
’’What? If, we could pull that off...’’
Shidou stopped immediately, and shook his head.
’’No, it'd be too difficult. And you saw it for yourself, she's not a good target for negotiation, especially when I'm extremely hated by her now... and more importantly, that Spirit, who possesses the natural ability to manipulate people with her 'voice', she has innately different values of humanity from others.’’
Listening to Shidou's words, Kurumi twitched her eyebrows.
’’What is it, Kurumi?’’
’’...that, how is that so’’
His chin currently being held, Shidou was having difficulty understanding Kurumi's words. As such, Kurumi partially opened her eyes, and replied.
’’I can't exactly express it well, but regarding her values, is it really natural?’’
’’What do you mean?’’
’’How do I put it, that lady, she gives off a strange feeling...’’
Then, Kurumi began to hum quietly. After a few seconds, she lifted her head, as though she thought of something.
’’Shidou-san. Do you have any of Miku-san's possessions?’’
’’Miku's... possessions? Why are we talking about that?’’
’’If my hypothesis is accurate, we may indeed be able to find her weak point.’’
’’What did you say...?’’
Shidou raised his eyebrows as he spoke.
It didn't seem like a lie. Although he didn't know of what to do, the idea seemed like a plausible one. Although it wasn't substantiated, without any other alternative means, they would have to make do with this as their clue.
Even if so, the enemy is a Spirit. Such items shouldn't be easily obtained
Shidou's cheek twitched as he touched his chin.
Accompanied by small moaning sounds, Tohka opened her eyes, and yawned.
It was a usual action, like always. When Tohka slept, she would unconsciously think of what she was going to do next. Firstly, she needed to wake up. Next, wash her face. Followed by eating her breakfast, dressing up... yes, and go to school with Shidou.
Today's lunch would also be Shidou's specialty lunches. What would be inside the lunch? It made her excited just by thinking about it.
While still in a state of semi-consciousness, when she was about to get up from her bed.
That was when Tohka realized she couldn't move her body as she wished.
Trying to rub her wet eyes in order to confirm her surroundings, she realized that her hands were likewise immobilized.
Feeling strange, she lowered her head, and realized that she was sitting on a metallic chair - her limbs were handcuffed by strong handcuff-like objects. There were also small bits on her hands, and electrode-like objects on her head and legs.
’’What is... this...?’’
Looking closely, she noticed she wasn't wearing her nightgown. Unknown to her when she had changed her clothes, she was instead wearing the school uniform of Raizen High School.
Tohka turned her neck and looked at her surroundings.
This wasn't Tohka's room, and neither was it Shidou's home, but rather, a completely unknown location. It was as big as a high school classroom. However, there were only empty floors and walls. And, as far as she can see, there were no visible windows or doors.
It was an odd room. To make a comparison... it was similar to what was shown on television earlier, a prison used to hold repeat offenders.
’’This... where is this...?’’
Repeatedly blinking her eyes to awaken herself, to continuously remember what happened.
After a while, Tohka finally remembered what happened before she lost consciousness.
’’That's right, I was on the stage of the Tenou Festival...!’’
Yes. While fighting with the Spirit Miku, who had summoned her Angel, as well as the controlled Yoshino and the Yamai sisters, a Wizard clad in white armor appeared - while she managed to let Shidou escape, Tohka was defeated by her and lost consciousness.
’’So that means, this is...’’
A sudden noise interrupted her while she was in the middle of her sentence, and Tohka raised her head immediately.
A rectangular crack had grown in the wall which had been completely empty a moment ago, moving horizontally like a door. Rays of light shot into the dark room, allowing for the scenery outside to be seen.
Following that, a person walked into the room through that door.
Light gold-coloured long hair that was combed upwards, as well as white skin. Contrasting that was the black suit that she wore. Ellen Mathers. The Wizard who fought with Tohka at that time.
The moment she recognized that face, Tohka tucked in her body, preparing to charge at Ellen. However, the metallic cuffs restraining her limbs were too strong, and did not budge.
’’Please calm down, Tohka-san. You cannot break those cuffs with your current power.’’
Ellen said that as though she was consoling Tohka. But her collected attitude of doing things, only served to provoke Tohka further.
’’What kind of joke is this! You, what do you want! Release me!’’
’’After releasing you, what do you plan to do?’’
’’Isn't it obvious! I'm going to help Shidou!’’
Tohka screamed loudly. Indeed. For a long while, Shidou was being chased by Miku's army of people.
But Ellen sighed slightly when she heard Tohka's words.
’’Shidou... you mean, Itsuka Shidou? Please relax. We are currently looking into his whereabouts. He will be brought here within a few days’’
’’Also, the troops to attack the Tenguu square are in place. We will launch our attack at daybreak, and capture <diva>, <Hermit>and <Berserk>all at once. You will be able to see your friends soon.’’
’’You, you bitch! What do you want to do with Shidou?’’
’’Please relax. We don't intend on using violence - However, if you resist, it is possible that you may lose a limb or two.’’
Listening to Ellen's words, a feeling of familiarity flashed within Tohka's mind in that instant. It was similar to boundless anger and rage. At that moment, the handcuffs that had held tightly up to that point, made a ’’mshhhh...’’ sound, - however.
Tohka suddenly felt breathless. With a twitch of Ellen's eyebrows, Tohka's body was crushed by an unbelievable pressure.
’’This, this is -’’
The crushing sensation on her body was increased. Tohka let out a pained wail.
There was indeed an impression. It was... when she was sandwiched between AST members, including Origami, a feeling similar to that. However, the severity of both, or more accurately the concentration was of a world's difference. Her body felt heavy. It was difficult to breathe. Her consciousness became fuzzy.
’’Do you understand?’’
Ellen said so as she let out a sigh. Instantly, the pressure, as though they were false clouds, vanished. As the air flowed into her almost-deoxygenated lungs, Tohka coughed slightly.
’’My Personal Territory's level is the strongest among all the Wizards. Please remember that resistance is futile.’’
Tohka stared at Ellen with narrowed eyelids, and tried to use her strength. But at the same time, Ellen's sharp eyes caught her action, and she bit her teeth.
With her powers sealed, Tohka had no way of dealing with Ellen's Personal Territory. Tohka spitefully clenched her fists, as her sole sign of resistance, as she stared at Ellen with narrowed eyelids.
’’ alright, let me ask you a few questions.’’
Ellen pulled out a portion of the wall as a makeshift chair, and sat down as she said so.
What initially projected into Origami's eyes, was a sea of white.
After her muddled consciousness was cleared, Origami realized that she was in some sort of building. Next, she realized she was lying down.
Opening her throat, she made a sound a few seconds later. She slowly raised her hand - white again. It was a bandage that nearly covered her skin.
Hearing the familiar voice, Origami turned her head back.
Beside the bed that Origami was lying on, was a braided, short girl.
It was her kouhai in the Anti-Spirit Team - AST, Okamine Mikie. Her face was full of tears and mucus, making her look like a wreck.
’’Thank, thank goodness... I was wondering what I should do if you were to never wake up...’’
Origami said so, as she looked at Mikie. Mikie, who had cried her nose red, took the handkerchief by the side of the bed and blew her nose.
’’The, the hospital! Origami-san was injured everywhere... and her eyes, ears and nose were all bleeding... I thought you'd never wake up...’’
The last sound descended into a sob. Mikie took out the handkerchief again and blew her nose.
’’I'm sorry... I'm sorry..., I knew Origami-san was in danger, yet I didn't do anything... if only then I had left the captain and rushed to your side, this wouldn't have happened...!’’
Mikie said so as she remorsefully tilted her head. However, Origami shook her head, as if disagreeing.
’’There is no need to apologise.’’
Mikie widened her eyes in an instant.
’’Regardless of the reason, my actions were in violation of our orders. It must be treated as the selfish actions of one individual, and not the intention of the AST as a whole. Where's Captain Kusakabe?’’
’’She, she... she's at the base. Negotiating with the superiors about Origami-san...’’
Origami silently nodded her head. But Mikie twitched her eyebrows, as if she was unable to accept it.
’’But, but... if so, then Origami-san would...’’
’’Captain Kusakabe was correct. If everyone had helped me then, then the entire AST could have been under disciplinary action.’’
’’How... how could it be!’’
’’That is not impossible. As such, this entire incident is my responsibility, using the <White Licorice>without permission, and the attack on the Third Squadron. They are all my -’’
At this moment, Origami's memories cleared as a result of her words.
Origami immediately widened her eyes, and sat up.
No - more accurately, she tried to sit up. At the moment when she applied strength, a pain similar to the cracking of bones and the splitting of muscles spread through Origami's entire body.
’’No, you can't, Origami-san! If you don't rest...!’’
’’Shidou, is he alright?’’
Listening to Origami, Mikie stopped for a while, and kept quiet for a while.
After considering whether to tell Origami, she opened her mouth.
’’...we're still in the midst of investigating. We don't know the details yet.’’
’’What is it?’’
Listening to Mikie's words, Origami felt mystified.
Mikie looked at Origami worriedly, as she carefully reached out for the remote, and switched on the television. The images on the television, were accompanied by sound coming from the speakers.
It was broadcasting a news program. The chaos on the streets, and the frantic voice of the reporter, compounded the sense of nervousness that the viewers felt.
’’The mass rioting that suddenly happened in Tenguu City has no signs of calming down! The riot police sent out to control the situation has joined in on the unnatural phenomenon! What exactly is happening in Tenguu Ci ’’
’’It's exactly what you have seen... There's some sort of mass rioting in Tenguu City now. This area's far from the city, and hence is considered safe...’’
’’What, exactly happened?’’
’’Although it wasn't publicly announced... it's a Spirit. A large Spirit reading was measured within Tenguu square. All of these people were probably controlled by the Spirit.’’
’’Spirit... if it's a Spirit, why are none of you deployed?’’
’’Because there isn't a precedent for this, and even the higher-ups were confused... our orders were to standby. I was supposed to be waiting at the base, but I was only allowed to come out after special permission from the Captain...’’
Origami slightly twitched her eyebrows, there didn't seem to be a solution.
Regardless, simply by observation there were at least hundreds... maybe thousands that were under the control of the Spirit. Even if DEM were their superiors, and were turning a blind eye to what's happening, the AST had a responsibility, and they couldn't possibly attack without accounting for the civilians.
But what about Shidou. Was he controlled by the Spirit, like the people on-screen? Or...
That was when Origami remembered the face she saw before losing consciousness.
That's right, a former Wizard of DEM, the estranged younger sister of Shidou. Takamiya Mana, who saved Origami when she was in danger. If it was her, she might have saved Shidou from the mob.
’’Mana, where is she?’’
’’Mana-san...? Ah, right, I was shocked! Although the word was that she was missing... but the one who sent Origami-san to us was Mana-san! But, she was wearing an unknown CR-Unit, and said things like 'we will be enemies the next time we meet', and she just vanished afterwards...’’
Mikie said so as her face showed confusion.
As Origami tried to recall, she thought about what she had heard. Mana had indeed mentioned something similar to that. Although the reasons were unknown, she had indeed severed connections to DEM Industries.
’’About Shidou, does she not know?’’
Origami sadly squeezed the voice out of her throat, and in order to avoid excess strain on her body, she sat up slowly. However, because of using the powerful armour and enduring a massive attack, her body was weakened and the action simply caused the pain to return.
Origami clenched her fist, and punched the bed. The bed let out a soft sound, and dust flew from within. She felt helpless. In the end Origami wasn't capable of protecting Shidou. Even if she used <White Licorice>without permission, she still could not achieve her intended effect.
’’Shi, dou...’’ As she called out to the man she loved whose safety was unknown - Origami continued to clench her fist.
’’It's... here, right?’’
’’Mm, that's right.’’
It was nine at night. Shidou and Kurumi stood in a residential area lighted up by the lampposts and the apartments there.
In front of them was a tall, well-crafted metal gate, and a carefully kept garden. And a Western building that would only appear in fairy tales.
This was where Shidou had been once before - Miku Izayoi's home.
There should not be anyone at home, the windows were shut, and the lights were off.
To investigate a Spirit that suddenly appeared, and disappeared as quickly was extremely difficult.
However, the Spirit Miku was an exception.
That was because not only had Miku attended a few months of school in this world, she also had an active profile as a singer. The point was - she was different from other Spirits, and had left many traces of herself in this world.
’’Then, let's hurry and begin the investigation.’’
As she said so, Kurumi raised her right hand.
Accompanying her actions, an old-styled gun flew out from the shadows, and Kurumi held it in her hand. Then she clicked the trigger without hesitation, and with a sharp sound, the lock was shot open.
’’What? Do you mean to say that I shouldn't be this rough?’’
’’No... even if you have a point, but for a gunshot to suddenly sound in such a quiet district, what would happen if the police were to come!’’
’’The police, aren't they having their hands tied over the whole rioting?’’
Kurumi giggled, and after opening the gate, she ignored Shidou's warning and like before used the gun to shoot open the lock on the door.
’’Ah... forget it.’’
Shidou looked around, and ensuring that nobody was within the surroundings, followed Kurumi into the room.
’’Mm, it should be around here somewhere...’’
Opening the switch, the chandelier in the room began to glow with a warm brightness.
Within his eyesight, the room was filled with what looked like expensive furniture and materials. Although he had been here once, Shidou was still amazed by the sight before him.
But, now was not the time to daydream. Shidou lightly patted his cheeks, brought himself together, removed his shoes, and entered the house.
’’Alright, now, where should we start looking?’’
To be honest, there were no apparent leads. The intention was to search thoroughly, but there wasn't that much time now. Shidou tried to recall what happened the last time he was invited in.
’’There probably isn't much to look for in the waiting room on the first floor. What's important is probably Miku's bedroom...’’
’’Is that so, then let's go.’’
Shidou said so as he followed Kurumi up the stairs.
Miku's bedroom was found rather quickly. After going up the stairs, just as they were going to pass through the corridor, a door with the metal plate ’’BEDROOM’’ was right in sight.
Committing such an immoral act like entering a girl's bedroom without the owner's presence, Shidou initially felt nervous, but realized that he was an idiot for thinking wildly at a time like this. He then turned the handle of the door.
The room was roughly the size of 20 tatamis[7A 1]. Inside the room was a king-sized bed with blankets, and beside the wall was a wooden cabinet and closet. Opposite the bed was an 80-inch television. It was similar to a room in a luxury hotel.
’’This really is... incredible’’
Shidou couldn't help but smile awkwardly, though he can't simply be amazed. Saying an ’’excuse me’’, Shidou walked into the room.
Shidou opened the ancient cupboards one-by-one, searching. Inside laid jewelry and various small cute objects. -While this was what Kurumi described as ’’Miku's belongings’’, but were they even useful?
’’Shidou-san, Shidou-san. Please look over here.’’
Just as Shidou was silently thinking, Kurumi's voice came from behind him.
’’What is it? Did you find something?’’
’’Mm. I found something incredible.’’
As she said so, Kurumi pointed to one of the cabinet's closets.
Shidou walked over, and followed the direction which Kurumi pointed in. After seeing the object, Shidou froze.
Because inside of the closet was full of cute bras and underwear.
’’Have a look. The size is so big. I could even put my face in.’’
As she said so Kurumi took out a light-colored bra, and stretched it with her hands. It did look like it was extremely big. One could probably fit a small watermelon into it.
Shidou was a boy, hence there was no way he would not be interested in the charming object right in front of him, but it was also important to know the circumstances.
Shidou's face reddened and he coughed.
’’You, what are you doing...... now's not the time for such antics.’’
’’Ufufu, Shidou-san is so honest. You need to relax your shoulders.’’
Kurumi smiled as if she was joking, and placed the bra in front of her breasts to try it. While there were clothes covering the outside, there was still a large gap revealed.
...How should it be expressed, against such a wonderful combination, Shidou unwittingly blushed, and hurriedly turned around. But this reaction was apparently observed by Kurumi, and feeling interested, she passed the bra to Shidou.
’’Here, why don't Shidou try it now?’’
’’Ha... what?! Why, why am I...’’
’’Ara, my apologies. Shiori-san, please try it.’’
Against the ridiculous insult, Shidou sighed. Kurumi smiled widely and continued.
’’While I saw you on the stage, but I haven't had the chance to see Shiori-san in person. I was thinking I should have a look.’’ ’’Don't, don't joke around. I don't want to be like that again...’’
Shidou unwittingly retreated. However Kurumi closed in as if to fill the gap.
’’Why are you so against it. You won't get affected by it.’’
’’Yes! Yes it would! My time and my dignity!’’
’’Please don't say such unpleasant words. It'll just be for a while? I just want to see Shiori-san's cute face, that look of embarrassment and shame as she trembles...’’
’’What are you trying to do!? Don't do anything strange to Shiori-chan!’’
’’What wrong is there in doing so? What wrong is there in doing so?’’
Kurumi said so, as she approached Shidou step by step. But she tripped on the carpet, and lost her balance, falling forward.
As though it was a set up, Shido fell down as well. And unluckily for him, so did the cupboard behind him.
There was a clattering sound, and the back of his brain and his back went through intense pain. Shido laid down as he twitched his eyebrows.
’’Ouch ...... Kurumi, are you alright?’’
’’Mm, I'm alright. Because Shido-san saved me.’’
That said, as though entrusting herself to Shido, Kurumi laughed wildly as she unnecessarily increased her weight on Shido. Crushed by Kurumi's lean but soft body, Shido's shoulders trembled.
’’Oi, oi, Kurumi......’’
Kurumi suddenly raised her eyebrows, and looked at Shido's face.
’’Eh? Ah. I am.’’
Shido touched his cheek, and there was a sensation of pain. His fingernail was stained with some blood. It seemed like he hit something when he fell down.
’’Ah, this isn't a problem. I'll just lick the wound.’’
’’Hm, I see’’
’’Ah, on that note, can you move away?’’
Shidou said so as he tried to get up, but was prevented by Kurumi pinning him to the ground with greater force.
’’Please, don't move.’’
Kurumi spread her legs, riding on Shido's body, placing her hand on Shido's shoulders, and slowly approached his face.
’’Wha, what are you doing, Kurumi!?’’
Against Shido's cries, Kurumi smiled softly. Her breathing caused Shido's ears and nostrils to itch, and his heartbeat to race.
Shido's body was thus trapped, as Kurumi slowly opened her soft lips, showing her moist tongue inside.
And then she proceeded to lick on the wound on Shido's face. An indescribable feeling spread throughout Shido's body, causing Shido's consciousness to snap.
’’! Wha, whawhawhawha, what are you doing?’’
’’Ufufu, didn't you say it'd be fine if there's saliva on it?’’
’’No, no, that was worded wrongly...’’
Even if Shido said so, Kurumi smiled softly, and licked at Shido's face again, before finally moving her face away.
The saliva connecting Kurumi's tongue to Shido's face was shining brightly. Looking at this seductive sight in front of him, Shido felt his cheeks burning.
Kurumi smiled as she removed herself from on top of Shido's body. Shido stood up after he managed to calm down his rapid breaths.
Looking back, there was a beautiful hole in the cupboard. This would need to be compensated for.
’’How troublesome. I was trying to leave no prints...’’
It had probably dropped due to the impact earlier, and as he looked at the unfamiliar rectangular tin, Shido twitched his eyebrows.
It was a tin meant to contain desserts or cakes. While it was true that people do store objects inside. But this didn't match up with the extravagant space within the tin.
Shido opened the box in a curious manner - he then widened his eyes.
Inside, were plastic boxes meant to contain CDs. Each of them had Miku's picture imprinted onto it. From the looks of it, they were Miku's music albums.
’’She had that many songs... eh?’’
Shido felt confused upon looking at the CD.
The name written underneath the song was not Miku's.
’’ 'Yoimachi Tsukino'? Whose name is this?’’
In an instant, it was assumed that this was Miku's stage name, yet Tonomachi and the others address Miku as Izayoi Miku. It wouldn't be wrong to have a musical career under Miku's name.
Besides, Miku was a mysterious idol who only presented herself to secret concerts limited to female fans. But the name that was so boldly written on the CD album was completely unheard of.
’’What is this...’’
’’What's the matter?’’
’’Um, this is...’’
Shido vaguely replied, as he removed the CD from the plastic case, and inserted it into the VCR that was beside him.
What followed was a melody of a song with a rapid tempo, followed by Miku's voice.
’’Ara ara, this is a really good song.’’
As she said so, Kurumi followed the beat with her fingers.
However, Shido felt uncomfortable with the voice.
’’This is... Miku's voice?’’
Of course, there would be the difference between a live performance and a playback from a CD... but before that, to say Miku's voice was younger, or not similar to the current Miku, it possessed a mysterious quality that could sway people.
In contrast, this song had a feeling that was one of truly singing, charming enough to invigorate an audience.
Shido felt suspicious though he couldn't tell what it is. He looked through the CD album in sequence.
’’Ah? This is...’’
At the end, there was an object.
Indeed, in the beautiful frame, was a photograph.
There was nothing peculiar with the photograph, but,
Shido's heart had a strange feeling, as he widened his eyes.
Strange - he kept feeling a sense of unease.
Shido took the photograph in his hand again and stared at it intently.
It wasn't to memorise important information within the photograph, neither was it because the photograph was edited. There was nothing peculiar with the photograph. But, this. This was a photograph that normally should not have existed.
’’In that case... this...’’
Shido raised his eyebrows and lowered his voice.
He placed his hand on his forehead, and continued to think - he managed to come up with a theory.
A theory that was disproved by Kotori. But, if this theory was correct, the reason for this photo's existence - and that of the CD earlier would be explained.
’’But, if so, then why...’’
While Shido was busy staring intently at the photo, a white arm reached out from beneath his armpit, and snatched the photo away with a sound. Needless to say, the offender was Kurumi.
’’This seems extremely interesting;please let me borrow it for a while.’’
Kurumi then took the photograph and the remaining CD in one hand, and raised her other hand. Then, an old-fashioned gun flew out from the shadows, as Kurumi held it in her hand.
’’Zafkiel<Emperor of Time>- YutzudoTenth Bullet!’’
As Kurumi said so, a portion of the shadow shone with a glamour with the shape of an ’’X’’ sign, and seemingly from within the shadows, it was absorbed by the barrel of the gun.
Then Kurumi, for some reason, placed the photograph and CD next to her head, and placed the gun on top of it. It was as though using a bullet to keep the photograph and CD in place.
Just as Shido became confused at Kurumi's strange actions, she unflinchingly activated the trigger. The ’’YutzudoTenth Bullet’’ that was shot from the barrel pierced the CD, the photograph, and Kurumi's head.
Just as he finished, Shido felt something was amiss. Not mentioning Kurumi's head, the photograph and CD that were supposedly pierced by the bullet were all intact.
’’Ufufu, it's alright. The ability of the ’’YutzudoTenth Bullet’’ is to recall. The targets that were hit will have its past memories sent to my brain.’’
Kurumi confirmed in a low tone as she looked at the CD and the photograph.
’’I see so that was it. Though it wasn't continuous, but this can allow us to understand what the feeling of discomfort that she gave off was.’’
’’Wha, what do we understand!?’’
’’Mm, from the looks of it Miku ’’
Kurumi was going to continue.
The glass panels vibrated slightly, followed by a large sound outside.
’’What, an alarm...!?’’
Shido widened his eyes, but immediately realized this was not the sharp sound of the alarms that he had heard.
it was music.
The regal music that was played with a giant organ, and the beautiful voice that could enslave audiences, the music that was played was circulating around the streets. At the instant he heard the music, Shido felt a familiar feeling of dizziness. He pressed his ears in an attempt to stay conscious.
’’This is Miku's...!’’
Indeed. It was the unrivalled performance by the spirit - Izayoi Miku, and her angel Gabriel<Army-Breaker diva>.
But, looking out of the window, there wasn't the sign of the giant Angel. It was most likely that the button for the emergency public announcement system had been pressed... or a campaign vehicle was making its rounds. But it was already proven that Miku's performance was effective, even when transmitted through mechanical objects.
If so, the nearby residents would become Miku's devoted fans, and begin to capture Shido.
Shido turned around to look at Kurumi. But like Shido, Miku's music had no effect on Kurumi's consciousness.
Even so, the situation was worsening. Because Miku, frustrated from trying to find Shido, was busy increasing her range of support.
’’Ara ara, this is really too much’’
Kurumi felt amused by the situation, but as though feeling annoyed by it somehow, held her chin with her hand.
’’There isn't a choice now, I will explain to you on the way.’’
Then Kurumi continued.
’’Even now, I'm just assisting you. Regardless, I will help you to prepare the stage. But, the one to deal the decisive blow, has to be Shido-san.’’
Shido widened his eyes - but quickly understood Kurumi's intentions, and clenched his fist.
’’Please help me, Kurumi - let's have a talk with that disobedient girl’’
’’It will be my pleasure’’
As Kurumi said so, she curtsied like before.
In the central stage of the Tengu square, spread a wave of excitement.
That was because a giant glowing organ was standing upright in the middle of the stage - Gabriel<Army-Breaker diva>. In front of it stood Miku in her Astral Dress, playing the glowing keys of the organ, while singing loudly.
The audience who had became Miku's loyal fans, watched as though she was a goddess. There were also occasions where people fainted from the moving music.
Because the men were all moved out of the square, and were serving as bouncers, the audience within Miku's line of sight were all women. They were all waving purple glowsticks, squealing at Miku's every movement.
On that note, the current performance was currently being broadcasted live throughout the town through the public announcement speakers that were set up throughout the town. With this, the people who have heard the music would become Miku's new underlings, searching for that terrible man.
The terrible memories of a few hours ago glimpsed through her mind, Miku unknowingly twitched.
The performance coincidentally ended at that point, and the square was instantly filled with a thundering applause.
If it was like usual, this would be the moment when she felt a great sense of accomplishment. But right now she was feeling annoyed because that man's face constantly appeared in her mind. Miku held a look of unhappiness, as she neared the unused microphone.
’’...I'm tired, I'll like to rest. You're free to move about until the next performance.’’
The square was then filled with voices of disappointment. But Miku didn't seem to be slightly bothered, as she returned backstage.
Letting her Angel play non-stop in order to expand her area of control, it is indeed extremely tiring. Lightly sighing, she combed her sweat-stained hair upwards.
’’You look tired...onee-sama, please, use... this...’’
A timid voice said towards Miku. Looking there, it was a short girl wearing a maid outfit, holding out a towel towards Miku. It was a girl who had been enslaved by Miku's concert today - Yoshino.
With wave-like hair, irises as beautiful as sapphire. A girl whom people can't resist to tightly hug like a doll. Due to the extra uniforms in the exhibition division's maid café, she was ordered to try on one of them... it was a perfect fit. Miku hugged her irresistibly.
’’Ah, it's so cute! I can't resist! I can't resist!’’
’’Ah, ah...! Onee-sama...!?’’
[’’Wow! Miku-chan's unexpectedly bold~’’]
Yoshino hurriedly confirmed her surroundings, as squeals came from the puppet on her right hand, [Yoshinon].
She initially wondered why there was a puppet...after listening to their conversation she understood that it was Yoshino's irreplaceable friend, and Yoshino's ventriloquism was too cute to pass up.
After enjoying the sensation of hugging the irresistible Yoshino, Miku kissed her on the cheek, and released Yoshino. Hence Yoshino's face flushed up instantly.
’’Thank you Yoshino-san. Thank you for getting it for me specially.’’
’’Th, that... ye, yes'
Yoshino lowered her face that was as red as a lantern, and held out her right arm that had the towel.
Miku thanked her as she accepted it, wiping away her perspiration. Then again, a portion of it had already been wiped when she hugged Yoshino.
Miku looked at Yoshino again, as a satisfied smile appeared on her face.
Yoshino, was more than a simple, cute girl.
The Spirit of water and coldness - <Hermit>. That was Yoshino's codename.
A Spirit. That's right. Similar to Miku, an existence that possesses power beyond human comprehension.
’’Ufu... I'm really lucky. Who would have thought there was a Spirit in the square’’
Yes, it was a coincidence that Yoshino heard Miku's song.
To think that in such a short time, a Spirit would become one of her possessions. Besides -
’’Kuku, you've worked hard, aneue-sama[7A 2]. Please rest up.’’
’’Incitement. Please come here, onee-sama.’’
Miku turned around, as there stood two girls similarly dressed in maid outfits.
They were two girls with identical looks, instantly making others wonder if they were standing in front of a mirror. But looking closely, both still possessed their own individual characteristics.
With speech as eloquent as acting and a determined face, as well as a lean figure - Kaguya. With a vague tone and expression, as well as a figure with similar proportions to that of Miku's - Yuzuru.
The two of them were similar to Miku, and Yoshino. They were existences known as Spirits.
They were also in the status of devotion to Miku. In order to treat the hardworking Miku, they have prepared a chair and refreshments in the restroom.
’’Fufu, thank you very much’’
Miku gracefully smiled, as she was persuaded to sit on the chair by the duo. At the same time Kaguya gently massaged Miku's shoulders, while Yuzuru knelt beside Miku, holding out a glass filled with a drink.
Miku tilted her head and used the straw to drink the beverage. The taste of the fruit spread in her mouth.
’’Mm, this drink is delicious’’
’’Elation. It is my pleasure’’
’’Hold, hold it! Why are you only talking to Yuzuru. Are you not satisfied by my skills!?’’
Kaguya who had been massaging Miku's shoulders complained loudly. Feeling that Kaguya was simply too cute, Miku couldn't help but giggle.
’’My apologies, it wasn't like that. Kaguya's massages are very comfortable, as though I'm in heaven’’
’’Kuku... then, that'd be great’’
Listening to Miku, Kaguya kept quiet with a ’’ku nong’’ sound. That was cute too, as Miku giggled again.
Then, as though she was worried Miku would be snatched away by the Yamai sisters, Yoshino hurriedly looked around, and took a large fan by the side to slowly fan Miku with.
’’Thank you very much Yoshino-chan. It's comfortable’’
’’Ah, that... this, thank, thank you...!’’
Yoshino nodded her head in both embarrassment and happiness.
Miku let out an enchanting voice.
--This is a place of immeasurable happiness.
On Miku's stage, the fans waiting for her to sing. And, the extremely beautiful girls wholeheartedly attending to Miku.
It was simply amazing, to the point of making Miku wonder if she was dreaming. In actuality Miku had already pulled her cheeks several times. Needless to say, it hurt.
Her dream, was hence fulfilled. There was nobody to stop Miku.
As the bad memories went through her mind again, Miku's face became one of anger.
--Itsuka Shiori. It was due to remembering that name and face.
’’I won't forgive you... Shiori-san...’’
Miku said in a low tone due to the hate stirring in her heart. The tone was frightening enough, for Yoshino and the Yamai sisters to hold their breaths.
A few weeks ago before the Tenryu Festival, Miku met that girl who was the committee member of Raizen High School - Shiori.
Saying she was part of the netball club, a tall girl with strong, muscular arms. Even using speech that would be considered unrefined for a girl... that's right. A girl that gave Miku a different feeling compared to the other girls around her.
In actuality, truthfully speaking, Miku was very interested in her. It could even be said as infatuation.
--yet, the ending that Miku was hoping for, was a complete betrayal.
Thinking about that scene that was still fresh in her mind, a nauseating feeling washed over Miku. She immediately used her hand to cover her mouth.
’’Are you alright, aneue-sama...!’’
’’Terror, someone quickly go and get a bag’’
The trio said so hurriedly. Miku stopped them with an ’’I'm fine...’’, and clenched her teeth.
At that moment, that strange feeling when she touched Shiori's crotch.
And seeing for herself that horrible thing between Shiori's legs.
That's right... Itsuka Shiori, she is the one thing Miku hated most in this world - a man.
’’I won't forgive you... I won't forgive you...! How dare you play with my feelings...!’’
Miku put her hands together as though she was pressing her shaking shoulders, with her wrists making squeezing sounds.
The things done while under the impression that Shiori was a girl, flashed before her eyes like a soumatou[7A 3]. At this point, Miku began to have goosebumps over her whole body.
The Miku who had achieved her ideal world, had one last regret. To get that man, the person who is not Itsuka Shiori but Itsuka Shido to be right in front of her, and torture him to the point, that he would regret ever being born, would be the only way of releasing that anger.
’’That man... has he been found yet?’’
Listening to Miku's enraged voice, Yoshino trembled slightly.
’’Ye, yes, ...that, we... we're still looking...’’
’’Is that so... then hurry and find ’’
At that instant when Miku gave her orders, the door of the restroom opened with a ’’pong’’, and three girls in maid outfits similar to Yoshino walked in.
’’Sorry for interrupting! Onee-sama!’’
’’There's an emergency! Onee-sama!’’
’’We have a problem! Onee-sama!’’
The girls spoke in order of height.
They were the Raizen students who had originally formed a team with Shido for the performance. From the right, they are Ai, Mai, Mii.
’’You seem pretty hurried , what is it’’
After being questioned by Miku, the trio confirmed with each other before speaking together.
’’We, we have a problem! We found Itsuka-kun!’’
’’...what did you say?’’
After listening to the report, Miku's line of sight narrowed momentarily
Before an unstoppable laughter came out from her mouth.
’’Fufu... fufufufufufufufufu... so, we've finally got him’’
As she said so, she stood up from her chair.
’’It was much harder than I expected. Fufufu, but that's useless. You can't escape from my lovely subordinates. -by the way, who found him? If it's a girl, I'm going to spoil her for a while. Bring her here in a while. If it's a man... mm, just give him a konbeito[7A 4] to encourage him.’’
But, after listening to Miku. The troubled Ai Mai Mii trio looked at each other.
’’? What is it? Ha, was it a demon who found him...?’’
’’No, no, that's not what it is...’’
’’How do I put this, it's that there're too many people who found him...’’
’’Or to put it that he doesn't have anywhere to hide...’’
Because of their vague speech, Miku frowned.
’’What exactly are you all saying? Didn't you say that the target was found?’’
’’There's no mistake!’’
The three of them nodded their heads together.
’’Then there isn't a problem then, isn't there? Where is he?’’
’’He's... in a place that's near here’’
’’To be precise, right in front of Tenguu square’’
’’What, what do we do...’’
Miku widened her eyes, and let out a surprised sound.
Translation Notes and References
- Jump up↑ Room sizes in traditional Japanese-style rooms are measured in tatamis, A.K.A. straw mats. Common room sizes in Japan range from 4.5 to 8 tatamis, so Miku's 20-tatami room is extremely big compared to normal standards. More info here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tatami
- Jump up↑ 姉上様, the proper form for 'elder sister'. Notable contrast to Yoshino and Yuzuru, who use the more commonplace (and informal) お姉様 onee-sama instead.
- Jump up↑ A type of Japanese lanterns. See this picture.
- Jump up↑ A type of Japanese sweet. Refer to this picture.