Date A Live - Volume 8 - Chapter 2
Chapter 2: Twelve Photos
Monday, October, 16.
At school, Tobiichi Origami was sitting on her assigned seat made a soft sigh.
She had hair that tickled the tip of her shoulders, a slender body, and an unperceivable doll-like face.
But if one was close to her, they might notice the slightly gloomy face Origami was making right now. The reason was simple.
Yesterday evening. A spacequake omen was observed in the outskirts of Tenguu city and the evacuation announcement was proclaimed nearby.
Which means------------the appearance of a Spirit. The AST members moved out promptly and attacked the Spirit.
However, without being added into the AST member operation team, Origami obeyed the alarm and went to the shelter with everyone and could only wait for the Spirit's threat to disperse.
Impatient. Irritated. In spite having the power to pull a trigger, she was not permitted to do so.
That was the reason of the slight discord on Origami's usually flat expression.
Nonetheless, it was something inevitable.
Last month, she used the annihilation armor <White Licorice>enshrined in the hangar without permission and attacked friendly troops. In the end, she pointed her fangs towards the DEM wizards that were wearing irregular equipment.
As a result, during the time before her punishment, Origami was put into a light house arrest state and was prohibited from using any AST related equipment.
Naturally, on top of the original unarguable punishment, she was in a state where she was sentenced with several criminal penalties. But, because it was an irrational action in relation to DEM this time from the other side, there were many voices protecting Origami inside the JGSDF so the discussion regarding the decision of her punishment were dragged on. Considering this, it could be said Origami was once again blessed with fortune.
However, if that was the only thing needed to dispel Origami's disposition, then that might not be the case. Different from the previous reason, there was one more. There was an event occurrence that made Origami's feelings discomposed.
Origami mumbled in a soft voice where no one could hear it, and looked right.
Yes. Origami's right seat was still empty.
Origami's most beloved person, Itsuka Shidou's seat.
There was still time for morning homeroom. It was not like Shidou's absence was fixed.
But...................Origami has one pending matter.
She quietly left her seat, and stood in front of----------the seat further right of Shidou's seat
Like that, the girl that sat over there probably noticed Origami's existence and while releasing a doubtful voice, she looked over with unpleasant eyes.
’’...............What is with you, something you want?’’
The girl--------Yatogami Tohka sent a glare toward Origami while saying that.
Origami's pending matter was this girl's existence. In a somewhat unpleasant way, since this girl's house was nearby Shidou's, they happened to come to school together a lot.
’’Shidou hasn't come yet?’’
When Origami asked, Tohka [Muu] distorted her expression [Tsuun!] before turning the other way.
’’Fuun! I won't tell you that Shidou had something to do right now and is going to be a little late!’’
Looks like, Shidou has something to do right now and is going to be late a little.
If that is the case, overstaying is useless. Origami silently returned to her seat. Originally, there was no reason to have a conversation with Yatogami Tohka unless it was needed to.
Probably getting angry from Origami's attitude, Tohka [Beeh] brought out her tongue. In every direction of the classroom, everyone else looked at the sequence with tired familiarity.
Then the classroom door opened and a young man entered.
And, at that moment.
With handsome facial features and kind eyes. Yes. It was Origami's lover, Itsuka Shidou.
’’! Oooh shidou!’’
Origami looked at Tohka with annoyance, while Tohka's expression completely changed as she stood up from her seat after raising her bouncy voice.
When she did that, Shidou twitched his eyebrows as if he noticed, and Tohka walked over to him.
’’You were fast! Is your things to do done?’’
’’Aah, thanks to you. More importantly, may I have a moment?’’
’’Nu? What is it?’’
Tohka tilted her head. When she did that, Shidou made a gentle smile, threw the bag he was holding to the ground, and used his freed hands and *mukyuu* grabbed Tohka's breast.
Tohka was blank for a while because she did not understand what happened and...
’’Wha-wha-wha-wha-wha-wha-wha-wha-wha............What are you doing!?’’
Her face was flushed red in one beat and Tohka released her fist towards Shidou's face.
However, after Shidou dodged Tohka's attack with magnificent body handling, he alternately closed and opened his fist as if to think over the feeling the breast he was enjoying just now.
’’Iyaa--, that was some splendid breasts! The feeling of fondling a natural airhead is different.’’
’’This time, for one round, is it okay if I fondle directly? I will be gentle too.’’
’’Wha-what are you saying! Are you joking!?’’
Tohka said in bewilderment as she held down her chest with both her hands, her cheeks as red as a tomato.
Seemingly, as if they happened to hear the commotion, the team of three girls that were chatting in the nearby desk surrounded Tohka and glared at Shidou.
Yamabuki Ai, Hazakura Mai, Fujibakama Mii. They were Tohka's good friends and the famous female trio of 2nd year class 4.
’’Wait a second Itsuka-kun, what are you thinking suddenly!?’’
’’That's a normal crime though!’’
’’Should I pluck your darn fruits off you basstaarrdd!’’
Coming from each mouth, they lined criticisms against him.
But, after Shidou shrug his shoulders as if he wasn't really bothered by them, he took Ai's hands that was near him with elegant movements and pushed her back to the wall. Then, he used his other hand and lifted Ai's chin up.
’’I understand you want to be looked after. But, don't shout so much. Should I seal those lips of yours?’’
From Shidou's sudden counter-attack, Ai opened her eyes wide and her body stiffened. Mai and Mii were also shocked at the unexpected events and were dumbfounded, forgetting to stop Shidou.
Shidou *fufu* distorted his mouth into a fearless look and, while lifting Ai's face up, brought his lips closer.
’’Ya-yaaa.............! I have Kishiwada-kun..........!’’
Even though Ai attempted to stop him, Shidou didn't stop. He slowly filled in both of their gaps and---------Ai was stiffening her body while closing her eyes tightly.
Shidou made a mischievous smile, brought his lips closer to Ai's ears, and *fuu* blew softly.
Her knees were *Gaku**gaku* swinging and Ai collapsed on the spot.
And as if they finally coming back to their senses, Mai and Mii twitched their shoulders.
’’Damn you, how dare you do that to Ai!?’’
They said that, and faced toward Shidou with stern expressions.
However, at that moment, after Shidou lowered his posture and grabbed both Mai and Mii skirts with his right and left hands respectively, he then flip it up just like that. The guys in the class [Ooooooooooooooooooooooohhhhh!] became lively and Mai and Mii pressed down their skirts in panic.
’’Wha-What are you doing!’’
’’Hahaha, both of you sure are wearing some cute underwear! By all means, let me appreciate them next time in bed.’’
Mai's and Mii's faces blushed red.
After Shidou said [Adieu] with two fingers standing up in a snobby gesture, he passed through the gap between Mai and the rest with light body movements and exited the classroom.
Within the disconcerted classroom, Origami slightly raised her eyebrows.
While spilling out loud yawn, Shidou walked in the Raizen high school's corridor.
It seemed the chime signaling the end of 4th period had already rang;female students moving with their bentos and guys dashing towards the school canteen could be seen. Shidou scratched his cheeks while grumbling to himself.
’’It's already lunch break ...............I came here quite late huh?’’
Yes, an emergency countermeasure meeting was opened yesterday in <Fraxinus>and Shidou was required to attend. Originally, it was not a type of meeting that would end deep into the night. But this time, since Natsumi's ability and intentions could not be grasped at all and because of the remark she left behind could cause some kind of danger to Shidou when he headed back, the time taken was longer than usual.
Although he did take a nap just in case, it didn't take all the drowsiness away completely. He scratched his eye with the back of his hand while sighing once more.
But-----------the moment he climbed up the stairs and opened his classroom door, Shidou's drowsiness completely disappeared.
That was because all the students directed their sights towards Shidou all at once when he entered the classroom.
Shidou twitched his shoulders and looked around in discomfort.
’’Eh............? Wha-what? What happened, everyone............?’’
Having no idea what was going on, sweat flowed down Shidou's cheeks. Gathered in the corner of the classroom, Ai, Mai, and Mii's eyes glittered and approached Shidou's direction with quick movements.
’’How dare you come back here shamelessly, Itsuka Shidooooouuuu!?’’
’’You should know what you have done!’’
’’Through the sense of pain, we will make sure you regret you were born!’’
Each one of them said that and surrounded Shidou, and [Guruuuuuu............] growled like wolves.
Shidou's body froze on reflex. It was not the first time he was yelled at by these three girls but there was nothing that came to mind today that could have set them off. Rather, judging from the way these girls spoke, it was like they were saying Shidou came to class a little while ago and had done a terrible deed.
’’Wai-wai-wait a second! Why on earth are you all that angry!?’’
While Shidou spread out his hands to calm Ai, Mai, and Mii who suddenly stood up against him, wondering what they were unhappy about, the girls raised their voices and approached Shidou.
’’It's useless even if you play innocent!’’
’’That's right! We have many eyewitnesses!’’
’’This sakura blizzard, I won't let you say you had forgotten about it!’’
Ai used her right hand and made an unlady-like hand sign, Mai spreads her hands to show everyone in the classroom, and Mii made a gesture to expose her shoulders, but in the end she stopped.
However, even though they said that, he had nothing that came to mind. He made his eyebrows into a 八 kanji shape[8B 1]. while looking around to seek help.
As if to respond to that, he heard a familiar voice coming behind Ai, Mai, and Mii.
’’You three, may I have a moment?’’
Shidou's expression brightened and called out the owner of that voice.
Tohka made a へkanji[8B 2] with her mouth while passing through the gap between Ai and Mai, and walked until she was in front of Shidou. After Shidou made a relieved sigh, he faced Tohka and asked:
’’You saved me Tohka. What happened to these girls? Even though I just got to school-----------’’
Tohka's cheeks blushed *posu*, and she hit Shidou's stomach.
’’.....................Why did you suddenly do something like that? Err, how should I put this............that scared me!’’
’’Heh.........? wha-what are you saying, Tohka......? I didn't--------’’
When Shidou answered honestly, Tohka brought her eyebrows closer and made a stern expression before tears accumulated in her eyes while she continuously hit Shidou's chest.
’’Wah, wha-what is with you Tohka? That hurts...............’’
’’Shut up! I misjudged you shidou! Even though I would forgive you, it was unwilling for me. Why are you not accepting the things you had done!?’’
’’No, what do you mean by that!?’’
’’...............! Tha-that is..................er, that, m-my..................’’
When Tohka was hesitating to say, her red face turned even redder and she looked downwards.
Seeing Tohka like that, Ai, Mai, and Mii hugged her.
’’It's okay! It's okay Tohka-chan!’’
’’Not only did he deny his crimes, to think he would make the victim experience a flashback!’’
’’There isn't even a hell for you to fall into!’’
’’No, that's why! What are you all talking about!?’’
Unable to stand it, Shidou raised a shout.
And at that moment, Shidou's right wrist was grabbed.
Over there, appearing out of nowhere, Miss-Tobiichi Origami was standing there. With calm gaze but a light of intention could be felt deep inside, she stared at Shidou.
’’O-Origami? Don't tell me I did something to you too............?’’
As Shidou asked her fearfully, Origami cast her eyes down and shook her head.
From Origami's reply, Shidou released the strength in his right hand made by the nervousness and made a sigh.
But, after Origami silently pulled her hands, she plunged Shidou's hands into her blouse she unbuttoned beforehand, pushing it to her breast.
From the sudden sensation, Shidou made a sound that had never come out before exit from his throat.
Even though he hurried and tried to pull his hand, she held his wrist tightly, I can't move! Rather, each time he tried to resist, the warm and soft feeling transmitted to his sensitive palms and fingers made Shidou's mind go crazy.
’’Wha-what are you doing--!?’’
At that moment, Tohka's downcast face looked up and she removed Origami's hold from Shidou.
After Shidou pulled his finally freed hands in panic, he made a big inhale to calm his heart down which was carved with violent beating.............................but, during that occasion, a slightly good smell was coming from his right hands which has the feeling and Origami's warmth left behind, and his face turned even redder.
’’O-Origami............? Didn't you say I did nothing to you.........?’’
When Shidou asked her in embarrassment, Origami nodded.
’’Yes. That's why I'll have you do it now.’’
’’Go ahead, do the things you did to everyone to me. Push me to the wall and lift my chin, blow a sweet breath to my ears and flip my skirt up.’’
Shidou opened his eyes wide from the extremely detailed instructions as Ai, Mai, and Mii blushed from embarrassment.
Origami didn't care and continued talking.
’’And then after exchanging a deeply passionate kiss, tear off my shirt, steal purity as a maiden then leave a Shidou mark on my body that will never disappear in a life time’’
’’Tobiichi Origami! Shidou will not do something like that!’’
When Shidou raised his voice, Tohka raised an unbearable shout.
However, Origami was not bothered about it and gradually came closer to Shidou.
’’Go ahead, Shidou. Go ahead.’’
Shidou apologized for some reason and ran away from the spot.
Naturally, Origami responded quickly to prevent Shidou from running away, but she was blocked by Tohka and a quarrel ensued.
Shidou took the chance to run to the corridor and escaped to a safe place where Origami couldn't find him immediately.
While wiping off the sweat oozing down, he arranged his rough breathing.
’’What is everyone saying? I just came to school...............’’
After saying that, he raised his eyebrows. It was as if everyone was talking about how Shidou did something bad just recently.
While Shidou placed his hands on his chin to think about it, two girls he knew walked towards him.
’’Ou, Kaguya, Yuzuru............wait------’’
When he called out to them, Shidou noticed something weird. For some reason, both of them were not wearing their Raizen uniforms but were wearing the school's designated swimsuit.
’’Spotted. It's Shidou.’’
Kaguya and Yuzuru noticed Shidou and twitched their eyebrows simultaneously.
When they recognized him, both of them *Ba*! spread their hands at the same time as if to intimidate Shidou.
’’We finally found you Shidou.........! You haven't ran away yet huh!? Fuun, I'll praise that courage of yours!’’
’’Alert. We won't lower our guard anymore. We'll have this settled properly.’’
From both of their responses, Shidou stiffened his body and stepped back. Thinking it might be possible, this is................
’’Do-don't tell me you aren't going to say............... I did something to you two right?’’
Shidou asked with a shaking voice as Kaguya and Yuzuru raised their eyebrows in doubt.
’’Damn you Shidou, don't play a fool! Anyways, just give back my underwear you stole from me just now!’’
’’Resent. Who was it that said [Actually, I have a bra fetish], and poured water all over Yuzuru I wonder?’’
Being informed again about another crime that he did not remember, Shidou opened his eyes wide.
’’I don't understand what you were thinking but we can't lower our guard even for a little around you.’’
’’Consent. Yuzuru panicked since there wasn't a change of gym uniform but luckily there was one placed inside the pool bag.’’
’’I-I didn't do anything like-------’’
’’Are you trying to play dumb!? That's useless! I'm sure that was Shidou! There was no way I would mistake Shidou's face!’’
’’Consent. That is true. There is no way Kaguya the lover of Shidou would make a mistake.’’
’’What are you saying Yuzuru!? You're the same as me since you said that..........!’’
’’Ignore. No idea what Kaguya is talking about.’’
The Yamai sisters argued with each for a while but they swung their heads immediately to think back and once again looked back at Shidou.
’’Anyway! I won't let it end while I am still beaten! The crime of looking down on Yamai, we will have you compensate with that body! In other words... Shidou! Take off your pants!’’
’’Agree. On top of that, Yuzuru will dampen Shidou's whole body with a spray.’’
After saying that, the Yamai sisters gradually closed the gap between them and Shidou.
’’Do-don't joke with me...............!’’
He couldn't stand receiving the revenge of the crimes that he did not remember. Shidou turned his heels and was about to run away.
However, at that moment, he could hear a familiar voice again coming away from his escape route which was behind him.
She was a woman wearing glasses and a petite body. Although she looked young, he knew she was not a student since she was not wearing a school uniform. Shidou's homeroom teacher Okamine Tamae, nicknamed Tama-chan.
’’Ta-Tama-chan............ uhh, Okamine-sensei!’’
Shidou corrected the pet name he accidentally said out of habit and as he called her name, Tama-chan-Sensei walked heavily towards Shidou and immediately grabbed Shidou's shirttail.
’’Wha-what's wrong, Sensei......?’’
As Shidou asked while having a bad feeling, Tama-chan-sensei made a face as if she was going to cry any second and released a voice as if she was complaining.
’’Af-after doing something like that to me, what are you saying now............? I-I can no longer get married..................... I will have you properly take responsibility okay!?’’
He was prepared to a certain extent. But, as expected, it was one step too far. He twitched his shoulders and took one step back.
When he did that, a young man appeared from the corner of the corridor and when he saw Shidou, he [Hii] made a frightened voice.
It was Shidou's friend, Tonomachi Hiroto. His hair hardened with wax, and he had a fearless look. His body physique was also blessed more than Shidou. But even so, for some reason, he hugged his shoulders in a girlish gesture and *Kata**Kata* his teeth was chattered.
When Shidou called out to him with a dubious voice, Tonomachi's whole body trembled like a Chihuahua.
’’Itsuka..........Kun, errr, errm, hey...............I often joke around and sometimes cause some misunderstandings but.....................I don't have that interest so............’’
’’What on earth happened to you!?’’
After shouting out that he couldn't bear it anymore, possibly surprised from the loud voice, Tonomachi pulled his head back like a turtle.
He had no idea what was going on, but it looked like they wouldn't listen to any apologies. Overall, staying in the school was bad. Shidou shifted his eyes left and right to find an escape route.
The instant he moved his eyes further up the corridor. Shidou felt goosebumps flowing up his whole body.
In the T-junction with light shining in from the window, a young man stood.
He had a slim body physique and somewhat neutral face. For an instant, Shidou felt as if he may had seen him before, and a strange feeling came over Shidou.
He noticed the person he saw in the mirror every morning.
Yes. It was something very unbelievable but...........................Itsuka Shidou, was standing over there.
The [Other Shidou] glanced at Shidou's direction while swinging his hands lightly and distorting the side of his lips to form a smile, and walked through the corridor.
It was like he was mocking Shidou.
’’Wai-wait...............! What are you.........!?’’
After Shidou raised a shout, he inserted strength into his legs to chase after the [Other Shidou].
But he could not compare against the Yamai sisters'agility. His right hand was grabbed by Kaguya while his left was grabbed by Yuzuru and his legs came to a halt.
’’Kuku, did you think we will let you run away? Give up Shidou! You will regret your crimes!’’
’’Capture. Not letting you get away. Well, we will carefully dampen you.’’
’’Wai...............! Wait a second! Just now in the other side of the corridor I was...............!’’
If he stays like this, he would lose sight of the [Other Shidou]. Shidou strengthened his resolve *Guu*, and inserted strength in both his arms.
’’Ah-----! I get it! I'll stay quiet!’’
As he shouted in despair, the Yamai sisters who were restraining both of Shidou's arms made a satisfied nod.
’’Kuku, yes, that is good. You gave an insult like this to us Yamai's. We will have you receive an appropriate punishment.’’
’’Consent. Shidou should have done that from the start.’’
Kaguya and Yuzuru released Shidou's arms. They might honestly believe in Shidou's words;but by any chance if he tried to run away, they probably thought it would be easy to capture him again.
In reality, that was correct. Even though their powers were sealed, the Yamai sisters were originally the Spirits that could control wind. Shidou's speed could not compare to theirs. It would be extremely hard to run away from these girls.
Yes............he had to make good of a chance.
’’Aah, I give up. My pants right!? All I have to do is take it off right!?’’
As Shidou said that, he used his freed hands and *Kacha**Kacha* started fiddling with his belt.
Due to Shidou's sudden actions, Kaguya, Yuzuru and Tama-chan-sensei twitched their bodies and covered their eyes with their hands in reflex. Incidentally, Tonomachi's face turned pale and ran away along the wall.
No matter, this was a good opportunity. When everyone were covering their faces, he ran after the [Other Shidou].
He ran to the end of the corridor and made a turn towards the direction the [Other Shidou] disappeared to. When he did that, he caught sight of the back of the [Other Shidou] further up.
Shidou clenched his teeth and increased his speed to chase after that back.
And, after running for so long...
Shidou ran around the school as if he was guided by the [Other Shidou] and in the end, they reached the door leading to the roof.
’’Haa... haa... There should be no......... more place......... for you to run...............’’
He placed his hands on his chest to control his rough breathing.
Then, Shidou placed his hands on the knob and threw open the door. His dim view was eroded by the sense of freedom of the blue sky in an instant.
But now was not the time to be thinking about that. He took a step out to the roof and shifted his sights to every nook and cranny of the area surrounded by fences.
’’Yo, that was fast.’’
Shidou stiffened up when he heard the voice coming from behind him.
He turned around in panic and looked towards the direction of the voice. A boy that looked exactly like Shidou leisurely sat and gazed at him on the rooftop structure that Shidou just came out from.
’’You...... as expected, are me......!?’’
Shidou raised his eyebrows, and made a sullen face while glaring at the [Other Shidou].
At close distance, it could not have been a mistake in appearance. As if passing through the mirror world, a person that looked like Shidou was right in front of him.
The [Other Shidou] giggled, jumped down from the rooftop structure, and landed in front of Shidou.
Yes. From the testimonies gathered from the mouths of Tohka, the three girls, Yamai sisters, Tama-chan-sensei, Tonomachi, and several other people, all the bad deeds that Shidou could not recall.
Most likely, every one of those deeds were done by the [Other Shidou] who stood in front of him right now.
’’Just as you guessed. I had a lot of fun when you weren't around.’’
As if he guessed Shidou's thoughts from his expression, the [Other Shidou] distorted his lips. He was exactly like Shidou, from his voice to his gestures. Each time he made a remark, a nasty feeling came over Shidou.
’’Who...... are you? Why are you making the same face as me. And also, what kind of goal do you have to do something like that.........!?’’
Shidou asked this without lowering his guard, the [Other Shidou] *Kusu**kusu* laughed in his throat in a manner where it was so strange he could not bear it.
’’Wha-what's so strange!?’’
’’Fufu......... well that's strange. That's because, you haven't noticed yet, Oh Shidou-kun!’’
Shidou gasped and opened his eyes wide.
From the voice the [Other Shidou] made, the last part turned into a girl's voice completely different from Shidou's.
A voice he heard from somewhere before............
’’That voice just now......... Don't tell me... Natsumi.........?’’
Yes. This voice unmistakably belonged to the Spirit Shidou encountered yesterday.
The [Other Shidou] made a suspicious smile before making a circle with his other hand.
’’Pin Pon! Correct. Good job! Good boy, good boy!’’
’’Wha-what is with that form.........?’’
Even while asking, the scenery he saw yesterday clearly floated inside Shidou's mind.
The Angel <Haniel>Natsumi manifested caused everyone in the AST and every missile bathed in the light released to transform.
The ability to transform objects into something else. Thinking that it could be used on her own body, then her current form could be understood.
However, he still didn't get it. Shidou made a grim face while continuing his words.
’’What is your goal!? Disguising like me and doing mischief to others.........!?’’
As Shidou said that, Natsumi immediately lost her smug expression and glared back at Shidou.
’’............You don't know? Seriously?’’
Pierced by Natsumi's sharp glint in her eyes, Shidou felt a hallucination as if his heart was being tightened.
At the same time, the words Natsumi left came back to him.
(Now that you had seen it, I cannot afford it to end it like this...............! Remember this. I will end your life.........!)
Shidou twitched his shoulders and gulped.
’’Do-don't tell me, when you meant ending my life..................’’
As Shidou said that in fear, Natsumi half-opened her eyes while replying.
’’Didn't I say it before? I will not let the person who knows my secret go that easily. Did you think I would forgive you in these bouts of harassment? Don't screw with me... I will beat you into a broken pulp even more..................!’’
’’Wai-wait a second. From the beginning, I didn't know Natsumi had a secret-----’’
As Shidou said that, Natsumi *Dan!* stopped him mid-sentence by slamming her heel on the roof.
’’----------------Houra, nee. That's why it's dangerous. The person that knows my secret must not exist in this world!’’
Overpowered by the intensity of Natusmi's odd bloodcurdling expression, Shidou took a step back in reflex.
However, Natsumi didn't bother about it and made a violent smile while pointing at Shidou.
’’But rest assured. There are two Shidou-kun's now. Nee? Something like having two identical people is strange right? We have to make it one person, or else it's a no-go right?’’
’’One person............... wait, don't tell me............’’
Shidou's face scrunched up in fear as Natsumi continued smiling and nodded calmly.
’’From today onwards, I will become Shidou-kun. I will be acting as Shidou-kun from now on. Do not worry about a thing. My observing eye is perfect. I have made a thorough investigation of you and the people who are related to you. I won't have fun like before anymore. Even if you are not here, no one will notice. Even if you are not here, the world will continue moving without change.’’
While making motions as if performing in a opera, Natsumi continued.
’’-----------Fufu, rest assured. It's not like I will kill Shidou-kun. But, I'll only have you go to a place different from here so that you won't be able to disturb me.’’
’’D-don't screw with me! That kind of thing------------’’
Right when Shidou raised his voice from being unable to bear it any longer...
*Batan*! The roof door swung open and the two girls came out.
---It was Tohka and Origami.
’’Why you, go somewhere else you bastard! I will find Shidou!’’
’’That is my line. I can't leave it to someone like you. You should quickly go back to the classroom.’’
It would seem both of them were looking for Shidou. They glared at each other and pushed at each other while walking out to the roof.
But, both of them probably noticed the current occupants on the roof as they stopped their movements exactly simultaneously and widened their eyes in disbelief.
’’Th-there are......... two Shidou?’’
’’............What does this mean?’’
Tohka and Origami asked with their eyes raised in suspicion and looked alternately at Shidou and Natsumi's faces. It was only natural, for there were two people with identical appearances.
However, this was a chance. Now that both of them had definitely seen two Shidous, they would probably understand the one doing bad deeds to everyone was not the real Shidou.
’’Tohka, Origami! Listen to me, this guy is------’’
’’This guy is the fake! He is disguised as me and playing mischief on everyone!’’
But, Natsumi made a louder voice as if to interrupt Shidou's words.
Naturally, different from just now, it was perfectly back to Shidou's voice.
’’Wha............? D-don't get tricked both of you! I am the real one!’’
’’What are you saying!? I am the real one!’’
With Shidou and Natsumi using the same voice and the same way of speaking, Tohka and Origami slightly raised their eyebrows. It would seem they were bewildered on which Shidou is the real one.
But, the only thing Shidou could do was desperately appeal to them. Towards both of them, he raised his voice even further.
’’Tohka, Origami, believe me............! I am the real Itsuka Shidou!’’
’’Don't get fooled! I beg of you two------believe me!’’
Natsumi also made a desperate voice. Looking at that state, she seemed to be the real Shidou as well.
’’Muu...............this,means one of them is the real one. Then-------’’
’’An incomprehensible situation. However-------’’
After Tohka and Origami compared the Shidous for a while, they pointed their fingers at one person.
’’You're the fake.’’
’’You are the fake.’’
They thrusted their fingers towards the direction of the fake Shidou at the same time.
Natsumi's face was filled with surprise. She didn't think that they could confirm the genuineness without any doubt.
’’Wha-what are you saying, both of you. I am-------’’
Even though Natsumi did not give up and continued her words, it looked like Tohka and Origami weren't planning to change their minds. They swung their hands and approached Shidou.
At that moment, it seemed Natsumi finally gave up. She glared at Shidou, Tohka and Origami in detest.
’’............How did you figure it out? My transformation was perfect. Even guessing would be a 50/50 chance. How can you two be so confident as to point your fingers at me?’’
In response to Natsumi's question, Tohka and Origami looked at each other for an instant and opened their mouths in turn.
’’Even if you ask why............... I just somehow knew. It's true that you look exactly like Shidou but, when you stood next to the real one, I felt your smell is different. Just that.’’
’’I might be fooled if you were alone. Actually, I thought you were Shidou until just now. However, it was a different story if it was under the condition of the question in regarding which one is the real one if there were two Shidous. Your blinking was 0.05 faster and your body center was slanted 0.2 degrees to the left compared to Shidou. That was no mistake.’’
While Tohka was being vague and Origami continued talking on and on, Natsumi looked at them and made a face in disbelief.
’’Wha-what......... What is with these girls? They're crazy...............!’’
’’..................No, that's... well..................’’
As Natsumi exclaimed while shuddering, Shidou replied vaguely.
The fake was pointed out quickly. Normally, he would be thanking them properly but............... it was not like he didn't understand the feeling why Natsumi was shocked.
Natsumi ground her teeth in disgust and then raised her hands high.
A broom type angel appeared out of empty space and she grabbed it as the tip of the broom opened radially and released a sparkling reflective light as bright as the sun.
In the next moment, Natsumi's body glowed and she transformed back into the slender beautiful girl Shidou saw yesterday.
Tohka and Origami opened their eyes wide in surprise and lowered their bodies defensively to protect Shidou.
However, Natsumi was not bothered about their responses and ground her teeth while scratching her head.
’’Not only was my secret exposed, are you saying that even my perfect transformation had been seen through? It's a lie..................... something like this is a lie! I will definitely............ I will definitely not accept this...............!’’
Natsumi angrily shouted and *Pi*! pointed her fingers towards Shidou and the girls.
’’I won't let it end like this.........! I will definitely scare the hell out of you all............!’’
With a final look of hostility at Shidou and the girls, she sat upon the handle and *Ton* kicked the ground which sent her into the sky.
Even though he hurried and raised his voice, it was too late. Natsumi did not look back at Shidou and her silhouette grew smaller as she flew away.
Even though he had to raise Natsumi's affection level to seal her Reiryoku[8B 3], no progress was made in the end.
Nonetheless, it was an unexpected event. Natsumi appeared in front of Shidou and tried to replace him. It might be called strange. Taking this into account, he had to report to Kotori about this event.
However, before he did that, there was something that he had to do no matter what.
Tohka and Origami watched without lowering their guards until Natsumi's figure completely disappeared, and then called out Shidou's name and turned to him.
’’Wha-what is it?’’
Shidou replied nervously, guessing what they were going to say next.
’’Who was that!?’’
’’Who was that girl and what relations do you have with her?’’
Both of them asked the questions that he had roughly predicted.
Shidou's face stiffened, and he thought of a possible way to somehow explain the situation without revealing too much information about Natsumi.
DEM industries, Great Britain company building.
Inside the conference room on the 20th floor right now, there were several men lined-up.
All of them were board members of this DEM Company. Everyone was sitting at a giant elliptical table and were flipping through the documents on their hands while making the same difficult face.
Nonetheless, it was also something not impossible.
Everyone one of them should have already received reports from here and there. And even the documents on their hands had the situation written in details.
---Not only did the DEM company managing director Isaac Westcott swung his authority unreasonably, he also drove the DEM Japan branch and also the famous facilities established there into a partial destruction state.
What's more, on top of causing several deaths and injuries to valuable Wizards, he also added a bonus of freely exposing the secret technology which is the Realizer to the public eye. If there was no one that would move their expression even by an inch from looking at these chains of report documents, they should immediately quit the company and switch to being a gambler.
Nonetheless naturally, it's not like everyone who was there was making that face.
On the chair placed furthest back of the room. Over there one man sitting calmly.
He had a jet-black suit covering his body. A young man around the age of his mid thirties. As if looking over the meeting, his unpleasant eyes that expressed darkness were peeking from the gap of his dark grey bangs.
Sir Isaac Ray Peram Westcott. He was the DEM company's Managing DirectorMD which was exactly the topic of discussion right now.
’’What.........were you thinking! Mister Westcott!’’
A member of the board with his hands trembling slammed the documents on his hands to the table and raised his voice. It was a middle-aged man wearing glasses. Although he was young inside the board members but, even so he still looked older than Westcott.
People that were warned not to act rude towards the MD were not in the spot right now. Only when there was a difference in standard could it be effective, everyone was thinking the same thing.
However, while looking at the matter, the topic of conversation Westcott, sitting on the chair placed right at the back of the room wasn't particularly flustered and only shrugged his shoulders.
’’I don't understand the intentions of your question, Murdoch.’’
’’Please do not act innocent!’’
After Westcott said that, Murdoch violently grabbed the documents he threw on the table just now and carried it in front of him.
’’Unreasonably meddling with the JSDF, personal utilization of equipment and Wizards, instructing a raid plan causing harm to the public, in addition of turning every corners of the office district into a war zone..............!? Even if the damage was lightly estimated, it was more than 1 billion pounds...................! We also have a big weakness grabbed by the Japanese government! How on Earth are you going to fix all of this!?’’
’’No problems. There was a harvest corresponding to that.’’
’’Harvest...............? What is that?’’
When Murdich said that, Westcott lifted the side of his lips.
’’----------Rejoice. We have successfully inversed <Princess>.’’
From Westcott's satisfied words, Murdoch and everyone from the board opened their eyes wide in surprise.
’’Don't screw with me................!! Please understand the situation! If it was strike poorly, it might advance the situation concerning the continuation of DEM Company you know!? Spirit, what about it!? How are the Spirits going to save our company's dilemma!? We don't have time to accompany you for your fun and self-satisfaction!’’
Murdoch's face was filled with anger and he raised a shout. When he did that, Westcott who was making a robotic smile until now, twitched just a little bit.
But Murdoch did not notice that and looked towards the board members lined up in the conference room.
’’I want to ask all of you! Is it okay to let him do as he pleases any more than this!? If he continues any more than this, DEM industries will collapse not far in the future! Before that happens, shouldn't we take appropriate measures!?’’
’’Appropriate measures............which is?’’
From Murdoch words, the man in the opposite side of his seat raised his voice. Murdoch spread both his hands and said that in a drama-like manner, while announcing it loudly.
’’I! Right here, demand the dismissal of Westcott MD!’’
The moment Murdoch said that, everyone from the board twitched their eyebrows. There were some who made a shocked expression from the very obvious dismissal demand but----------------more than half of them were in a manner as if they knew about the outline of this case beforehand.
After Murdoch looked at that state while nodding in satisfaction, he looked towards the old man sitting beside Westcott.
’’Well then, Chairman Russel. Your decision.’’
He said that, and tilted his head in front to urge him.
Inside the Great Britain's company, the board members of the management corporate affairs did not accept holding two posts concurrently for the chairman of board of directors. This meant under pretext, the board of directors required representative other than Westcott. And that was this chairman, old Russell.
’’...............Is it okay, Mister?’’
Russell sent his sights towards Westcott with a difficult face.
However, Westcott did not mind and calmly nodded.
’’Of course. That is the legitimate privilege given to the board members.’’
After Russell cast his eyes downwards from Westcott's words, he made a sigh as if he figured out something and raised his voice.
’’Well then, I will make a decision--------Those who approves Westcott's dismissal, raise your hand.’’
When Russell said that, Murdoch raised his right hand high up.
And as if to continue, the board of directors lined-up raised their hands one after another.
With the young official as the center, it was over half.
This was clearly an odd situation.
It was true right now, Westcott's action had called forth an unusually large ripple and there were quite a number of them keeping their dissatisfaction to his arrogant behavior from normal days. But, it was hard to think the number of people crossing the majority with quick decisions would agree with Murdoch.
Westcott looked over to Murdoch. When he did that, Murdoch *fuun* exhaled while making a scornful smile. Most probably--------right before Westcott came back to Great Britain, he had already made preparations.
While looking at that manner, Russell swept his sight around the conference room as if to count the number of officials raising their hands, and softly let out his voice.
’’-----because the number of raised hands is zero, Westcott MD's request for dismissal will be rejected.’’
’’What did you say?’’
Murdoch raised his eyebrows from Russel's words.
’’Please don't joke at a time like this, Mister Russel. You should have a pride as a chairman. Or what is it, did your eyes finally turned bad until you can't see the number of hands raised?’’
’’No. I only answered the results as I have seen.’’
Murdoch said that in doubt and sent his sights upwards then------[Hii] he gasped.
And as if to follow that, the officials raising their hands also distorted their face into pain similarly to Murdoch's.
But that was probably only natural.
That's because, the hand they raised high up was missing starting from their elbows.
Feeling pain the first time he saw it, Murdoch raised a shout and sink down on the spot. And as if to match up with that, a large amount of fresh blood spurted out from the clean sliced section.
---The conference room, turned into a painting of the hell of Pandemonium in an instant.
However inside there, a cool voice echoed from behind Westcott.
’’-----Fun? Self-satisfaction? For someone that rode on the DEM name after it was build up by Isaac, you sure know how to talk like you know it.’’
The one who said that and took a step forward, was a girl with her Nordic blonde hair tied up that did not fit in this place. In one hand-------she was holding a laser blade the size of a petit knife.
Even though preserving the laser blade's blade without a wiring suit was very weird by itself, she even made the blade long and string thin, if she cleaned off the officials arm in an instant then---------it would make her capability easily known.
Ellen Mira Mathers. The chief of the 2nd executives that got the work done from the shadow of DEM and the world's strongest Wizard.
’’Well, don't say that Ellen. They used the circumstances placed on them very properly, and used the authority given to them.’’
When Ellen denied stubbornly, Westcott stopped that and slowly stood up from the chair.
’’There are Medical Realizers prepared in the medical office. If you join it back immediately then it would probably go back to normal after a few days.------ Go now. You all are splendid talents shouldering DEM's future. Don't you think it is ridiculous to lose one hand from something like this?’’
’’..............., you bastard..............!’’
No longer using honorifics, Murdoch glared at Westcott.
But, Westcott did not worry about his sight, and made a small shrug with his shoulders.
’’Rest assured, after I finish my fun and self-satisfaction, I will give this company to all of you.-------oh, it's going to be soon. Compared to the time we continuously waited until now.’’
Saying it like that, Wescott silently smiled.
Shidou shook his throat as if to grumble, and threw his leg to the sofa's armrest.
Saturday, October, 21st--------5 days passed quickly from that time when Natsumi disguised as Shidou and appeared in his school.
However, Natsumi had not even once appeared in front of Shidou after that time. If a space quake occured then it would be tracked by the <Fraxinus>observation device.
’’.............Nothing happening like this makes it more unpleasant instead.’’
While lying down on the sofa in his house living room, Shidou placed his hands on his forehead and sighed.
And, when Shidou was staring at the ceiling while thinking about that, unexpectedly around his stomach, *Kyumu*! He felt something was placed hanging on it.
’’Uguh...................wha-what is it.............?’’
He frowned his face from the sudden load and lowered his sights to his stomach.
When he did that, he saw his sister Kotori sitting there with an unconcerned face.
When he said that, Kotori *Piko**Piko*moved the Chupa chups she was holding in her mouth while making a fearless smile, and sent her sights towards Shidou's direction.
’’Oh my, there was really a lot of life in it, so I thought it was a rare human leather-bound sofa.’’
’’We don't have furniture similar to Ed Gein's[8B 4] preference’’
After Shidou said that with half his eyes opened, Kotori placed a recoil on Shidou's stomach by putting her whole body weight on it before standing up on the spot.
’’Oh my, did I just hit a gold angel.’’
Kotori smiled while shrugging her shoulders.
Shidou rubbed around his stomach while slowly raising his body.
’’Fuun, that's because even though you are in a situation of being targeted by a Spirit, you are recklessly so relaxed. We have no idea what she is going to do. Please brace yourself a little more.’’
If he was told like that, he had nothing he could reply back. He bit his lips and kept silent.
’’We have no idea what that Spirit-----------Natsumi is thinking but, it is hard to think of a fade-out without her doing anything. She will probably get in contact with Shidou in some kind of method.-----And, as long as we have no ways to contact her from our side, we have to precisely raise Natsumi's affection level at that timing. You understand that properly right?’’
’’I-I get it.’’
’’I wonder about that.’’
When Shidou replied, Kotori shrugged her shoulders in a given up manner.
But, Kotori's words were right on the point.
Shidou, Kotori and everyone from <Ratatoskr>'s goal, was not to kill the spirit but rather to seal the Spirit's powers peacefully and let her live a peaceful life.
That's why;originally they absolutely wanted to avoid the Spirit to hold hostility for any sorts of reasons like right now.
What's more in Natsumi's case, they had no idea why for some reason she was thinking Shidou as an enemy. The first thing he had to do was to take the underhand and get in contact with Natsumi, and then find out the reason for that enemity. Problems were piled up as tall as a mountain.
Maybe she saw Shidou's expression, Kotori *Fuun* exhaled and showed him the envelope she was holding.
’’You finally have some tension coming out from your face.------here, take this. It was inside the morning post’’
He twisted his head in wonder and received it. After he took it into his hands, he found out there was something inside from the outer thickness and weight.
It was a white side-opening envelope with only the word [Itsuka Shidou] written on it. There was no address, postal code and even a stamp was not pasted on it. Most likely, it was posted into the Itsuka house post directly.
’’This is.........a letter?’’
’’Yes. A love letter.------------from Natsumi’’
Shidou opened his eyes wide from that name Kotori said out from her mouth, and quickly turned to the other side of the envelope.
It was sealed with wax in a polite way, and right below there, it was certain the name [Natsumi] was written on it.
After Shidou gulped, he placed the envelope on the table and sat back down on the sofa.
’’I-is it alright to open it.............?’’
’’Yes. The moment you open it *Don*! Such a possibility exist so, I had the <Fraxinus>investigate the outer part of it. There is nothing dangerous put into it.-------Of course, as long as the opponent is a Spirit, it's not like I can give you a definite guarantee’’
Kotori said that while shrugging her shoulders. Shidou let sweat ooze down his cheeks while frowning his face.
But even so, just because of that reason, he cannot just leave the envelope un-opened and forget about it. He made his decision and pulled his cheeks, and after putting in some spirit, he pulled off the wax seal pushed with an imperial seal and took out its contents.
’’..........looks like, photographs’’
Kotori peeking into Shidou's hands said that suspiciously.
Yes. Inside the envelope was several numbers of photos.
Shidou felt a somewhat out of place feeling from a Spirit sending photos but, thinking back again, if Natsumi repeatedly came over to this world silently like she did few days ago, it was not weird for her to learn a lot of things about this world.
And, whatever the reason was, the problem right now was the subjects taken as photo.
’’................ This, is it perhaps me?’’
Kotori frowned her eyebrows while picking up a single photo.
It was true that photo was taken with Kotori wearing her middle-school uniform and hair tied up with white ribbons.
But, the line of sight was not matched and the distance was far away. It was like...............rather, looking at Kotori's reaction, it is no mistake a peeping photo.
No, Kotori was not the only one. There were a total of 12 photos contained inside the envelope but, and all of it, were people close to Shidou and were photographed in full-body.
Tohka. Origami. Kotori. Yoshino. Kaguya. Yuzuru. Miku. Ai. Mai. Mii. Tama-chan-sensei. And also-----Tonomachi.
All of it were peeping photos taken when the person did not notice (Only one person, Origami was the only one noticing the camera and was looking this way)
’’Wha-what is with these photos........’’
It somehow felt unpleasant and Shidou raised his eyebrows. Why on earth would she send these, what was Natsumi trying to tell Shidou?
’’Are the photos only inside? Any others?’’
After searching the envelope, there was another paper inside, and he found out it was some sort of card inside it.
He took it out, and placed it on the table. On it, a short article was written.
[I am inside one of these.
Can you guess which one am I?
Before everyone disappears.
Translation Notes and References
- Jump up↑ 八= eight. Basically, he frowned his eyebrows
- Jump up↑ へ. Basically she was unhappy
- Jump up↑ Spirit Mana
- Jump up↑ Edward Theodore Gein(1906-1984)- A killer that took corpses and used them as human decorations. Further details: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ed_Gein