Date A Live Volume 2 Chapter 3
Chapter 3: Excessively Distorted Compassion
While letting out a perplexed voice, Shidou *knock* *knock*, knocked on the door.
But…there was no response.
“Tohka……I’m begging you, hear me out on what I have to say.”
Once more, he said that while knocking on the door.
When he did that— *Don!* A loud sound occurred and the whole house shook.
Due to the sudden noise, he twitched his shoulders in reflex.
And, from the door that Shidou had been knocking on, a mumbling voice echoed.
“……Fuun. Don’t bother me……Hurry up and go to that side Idiot –Idiot.”
And with that response the matter ended like that. Tohka was completely sulking.
“Haaaah…What am I supposed to do…?”
Shidou was completely at a loss, he sighed gloomily while rubbing his brows with his fingers.
Shidou was currently in front of a door located in the deepest part of the 2nd floor in the Itsuka residence, there was the word [Tohka] scribbled on paper and pasted to the door.
It had been 5 hours since [Yoshinon] went back to the other world.
After that, he was retrieved by
“—Shidou. Got a moment? There is something I want to confirm.”
From the intercam that was on his right ear came Kotori’s voice.
“Ah……? What now, this isn’t the right time for that—”
“Shidou, you really did kiss Yoshinon properly, right?”
“……Uh, huh? What’s this all of a sudden……?”
From the sudden question, Shidou made a shrill voice.
“Just answer, at that time Shidou and Yoshinon’s lips met together. That isn’t a mistake, correct?”
“S-So what’s wrong with that? I’m saying this first, that was completely an accident—”
“I know that. Instead of that, I would even praise you for achieving the goal we were aiming for.”
“…Then what is it?”
When Shidou asked, Kotori after groaning [umu] replied:
“—It would seem that even though you kissed, you couldn’t seal any of the Spirit’s power at all.”
After being told that Shidou’s eyes widened.
That’s right. Even after kissing [Yoshinon], she was still using her Spirit powers.
“Well, the affection level wasn’t raised as high as that time with Tohka and of course sealing all of the power is impossible, but even so— it is a little concerning that not even a little bit of it could be sealed. In numerical values, I thought that even at that stage it would be divided by 2 or even 3.”
After saying that, she once again returned to talking to herself.
“…Somehow either Yoshinon has a hidden special ability, or—”
“Hey, HHeeeeyyyy, Kotori. I think Yoshinon is also a big problem but……err.”
While saying that, Shidou had his eyes turned towards Tohka’s door.
Kotori probably guessed what Shidou was thinking and replied immediately.
“—Ahh, it’s about Tohka, huh? How is her condition now?”
“Just like what you can see……I was trying to talk to her just now, but it was no good.”
“I see. From seeing the numerical values it would seem that her powers temporarily resurfaced, though then they flowed back into the Pass and are once again sealed. But…it would be better if you hurried up and fixed her mood.”
“Her mood……but how?”
“……Shin. If it’s okay with you, would you leave this problem to me?”
After Shidou asked, he heard a strangely sleepy voice from the intercam— It was Reine.
“……As expected, she is getting worked up about that. If I am not mistaken, tomorrow is a Saturday. Would you mind leaving Tohka to me in the afternoon? Let’s see……How about you let us go out and buy the groceries?”
“I don’t mind but what is this about all of a sudden?”
A few moments after Shidou asked, Reine let out a sigh.
“………With things like this, it is better if the Shinperson concerned is not there. These are delicate traits of a woman’s heart. Please remember that.”
Shidou, scratched his cheek with a confused feeling.
“……And so, that’s about it, Tohka. I am thinking of going out shopping, would you mind accompanying me?”
The next day, 13th of May (Saturday) 10 A.M.
Just like what she said yesterday, Reine visited the Itsuka house and said those words in front of Tohka’s room.
Her current attire wasn’t the usual white robe or the army uniform. From her chest pocket a stuffed bear covered in scars was peeping out from the jersey like clothing with dark colored bottom. There was also a bag on her shoulder, showing that she was planning to go out and buy something.
But Tohka was the same as yesterday, and from beyond the door echoed an irritated voice.
“Shut up, leave me alone………!”
She still sounded angry. Shidou, who was standing right beside Reine let out a sigh.
“She has been like this since yesterday.”
Reine put her hand on her chin to show that she was thinking.
And then from the bag, she brought out a terminal like computer, and started fiddling around with it using her other hand.
After looking at the terminal screen, she closed it and stepped forward towards the door.
“I told you to leave me alone………! I wa—”
“………I am thinking of eating something outside while shopping. How about it?”
When Reine said that, Tohka was unexpectedly silent.
And then, after 10 seconds.
The bedroom door opened, and from inside Tohka’s angry face popped out.
She probably hadn’t changed her clothes since yesterday; she was still dressed in her high school uniform. What’s more her clothes were still wet. Speaking of which, maybe she hadn’t slept, there were dark circles under her eyes. If she were to walk beside Reine, others would say they were sisters.
Shidou opened his eyes wide in surprise.
“Re-Reine-san……? What on earth did you do………?”
“…………Nothing. It’s because her hunger value is rising. I thought it is probably about time that she is reaching her limits now.”
“I see………eh, yesterday night I tried calling her out for supper but she didn’t come out…”
“……That is well; she probably doesn’t want to see your face.”
And he was told such harsh words directly and plainly.
But, it was the truth. Tohka, who had finally come outside, upon seeing Shidou *pui* she turned her face away, and walked away with heavy steps.
“Hurry up and let’s go!”
“………Un, let’s do that. Rain has also been falling since this morning. Please do not forget to bring an umbrella.”
While saying that, Reine made eye contact with Shidou that seemed to say [Leave this to me].
“………I-I’m counting on you.”
The only thing Shidou could do was to send both of them off.
And just like that he was standing there dazed for a few minutes.
But, he immediately realized he was wasting his time. He lightly pulled his cheek to regain his composure and then descended the stairs.
“It’s a day off from school after all………I guess I’ll go shopping in the afternoon too.”
He planned to go shopping yesterday right after school, but because of various things he couldn’t go.
Shidou hurriedly finished dressing, and left the house taking an umbrella with him.
“Umbrella— well, I’ll hang on to it just in case, since Kotori is still sleeping.”
After opening the umbrella and saying that, Shidou made footprints on the road of rain.
—And then, wondering how long he spent walking.
In the middle of walking to the shopping street, he noticed the back of someone he recognized. Shidou then stopped his legs.
That was, because he found someone with rabbit like ears attached to a green colored hood.
Shidou, raised his eyebrows as that name came out of his mouth.
Yes, due to the area being destroyed by yesterday’s spacequake, from over the other side of the prohibit entry sign that was placed up, the Spirit [Yoshinon]’s figure was there.
Shidou hid his body behind the wall, observing [Yoshinon].
“The alarm……didn’t ring……Eh, the same pattern with Tohka at that time, huh.”
Speaking of that, when he encountered [Yoshinon] the first time, the alarm wasn’t ringing. Maybe because, she was a Spirit that frequently comes and goes to this dimension from the other world.
“………But, what is the best thing to do now…?”
Now that he found her, there was no way he could ignore her now— he did not know what kind of action he should take.
After Shidou took some time pondering over his thoughts— he pushed the buttons on his cell phone.
After hearing the calling tone going on for a while, he heard a sleepy voice from his cell phone receiver.
It was clearly the sound of her just waking up. And of course, it was Shidou’s sister, Kotori.
“Hey. Good morning Kotori.”
“Unn-……Gud morning. What’s wrong…………?”
“…It’s an emergency. I found Yoshinon.”
The moment Shidou said that, on the other side of his cell phone, *Pachin!* *Pachin!*, he heard the sound of cheeks being hit with all her might.
And right after that a dignified voice, that he knew and at the same time doesn’t, echoed.
“—Tell me about the whole situation in detail.”
While being a little overpowered by the sudden change, Shidou explained the current situation in a simple manner.
“………I see. Another quiet appearance huh? This is troubling— So, Shidou’s existence hasn’t been discovered by the Spirit yet, right?”
“Aahhh……I think so. What should I do?”
“Do you have the intercam?”
“Eh? Aah— yeah just in case.”
Shidou, lightly felt his pocket to confirm the feeling of the small device was there.
Since the affair with Tohka, he was told to carry one just in case there was a problem.
“That is good. Wear that. Don’t lose sight of the Spirit and standby for orders.”
—— *snap* *toot*,*toot*,*toot*. The call disconnected.
From the careless instructions, he raised his eyebrows.
Since, there was nothing else he could do. He quietly put the intercam onto his ear, and peeked at [Yoshinon]’s condition.
After 5 minutes had past, from the intercam he heard his precious little sister’s voice.
Apparently she had finished her preparation in a short time, and then moved towards
“—Can you hear me? Shidou.”
“……Yeah, I can hear you.”
“We can’t leave her alone if this continues. For now let’s make contact first.”
After taking a good breathes, he steadily walked towards [Yoshinon].
Even now [Yoshinon] was not in the state to realize Shidou was there, she was desperately looking at the ground.
“………Well then, talk to her.”
“Eeh…Pl-Please wait a second.”
Because of Shidou approaching the Spirit, a window was displayed on the bridges main monitor.
①The same time when trying to talk to her, face upwards after rolling over then show your stomach, to show that you have no hostility towards her.
②Immediately hug her tightly, to tell her the love from this side.
③To show that you are unarmed, talk to her after getting stark-naked.
The method to avoid provoking the Spirit, were shown in 3 patterns.
“*Tsk* Although it hurts to not have Reine here, it can’t be helped.”
Kotori, after taking a glimpse at the vacant seat on the lower bridge, she clicked her tongue.
Currently, Reine should be taking Tohka shopping right now. They also couldn’t take the chance of abandoning Tohka and lowering her mood even further.
“—All members, choose!”
Together with that order, from the display on Kotori’s hand, the crew’s choices appeared on it.
—①,②,③. All together, almost all the votes of that amount were gathered.
“*Tsk* It’s a little broken.”
While Kotori was murmuring frustrated, voices from the lower bridge echoed.
“It should be ①! To animals, exposing the stomach is the pose for surrender! The other party would feel safer!”
“Ridiculous! Obviously ② is the decided one! Rabbits die when they are lonely!”
“That is just a girl wearing a rabbit hood— it’s not even a real rabbit anyway! Leaving that aside commander, it’s choice number ③!, to show that there is no ulterior motive from this side— it is to go naked, there are no other choices than being naked!”
“Shut up old hag! You only just wanted to see a naked high school boy!”
“Wha……? Uh, what a rude remark! Don’t you know!? When persuading a primitive man that has been brought back to modern times, to be fully naked is the most effective way to go!”
“What kind of talk is that! Anyways it’s ② pick ②!”
“No, it must be ①!”
*Bam*!, the console got hit, and the crew that were getting heated, got yelled at.
And inside the quiet downed bridge, she slowly took the mike and—
“——Shidou, before talking to her, take off your shirt.”
She calmly, said that.
Then from the lower bridge, a few numbers of female crew members, and for some weird reason one male crew member, did a Guts pose ..
Shidou’s shout echoed at the same time as it being delivered via the speaker.
The [Yoshinon] in the screen, *piku* twitched her shoulders in surprise.
“………! This is bad.”
The moment Shidou let out his shout, [Yoshinon], turned towards him with a trembling motion.
Her face turning pale and her teeth made clattering sounds, her whole body started to tremble.
And thus, she was making a face showing that she would cry at any moment now and immediately raised her right hand high up.
Shidou’s heart constricted as if were being squeezed by an illusionary hand.
He had memories about that movement. Yesterday, [Yoshinon] was behaving like this when the giant doll manifested.
“Wai…, Wait! Calm down!”
But, even if as he said, that there was no way they could communicate.
When Kotori also realized what [Yoshinon] was trying to do, she too shouted out.
“Shidou! For now if you still have time ——pick ①! Show her your stomach and roll over!”
There was no other way.
After Shidou threw his umbrella on the ground, on the road wet with the rain, *Roll*, he threw himself down and rolled.
“I give up, I surrender.”
At that instant, when [Yoshinon] was going to swing her hands down, she made a dumbfounded face.
And then, timidly, she slowly lowered her hand to its original position, and started examining Shidou’s current state.
“—Probably, try talking to her while you avoid provoking her.”
Being told that, Shidou who was still rolled over, slowly raised his neck.
Even when he tried talking to her, [Yoshinon] continued staring at him in full alert mode.
“Wha-What is wrong with today……………?”
“T-This is some amazing rain………………”
Nothing, there were no replies coming back.
“……………What am I going to do about this?”
Shidou tried tilting his head to the side.
It might be a mistake but— right now, he thought that he could see [Yoshinon]’s left hand.
Meaning, she was not wearing her puppet.
At the same time Shidou was raising his eyebrows in doubt, once again a restraining voice echoed from Kotori.
And again choices appeared on the
①Walk and approach her while talking in a tenacious way, and fill in the gap of the distance.
②To regain normal composure, temporarily retreat.
③Ask her why she is not wearing her puppet.
After looking at the total results from the crew members, that were being shown in the small display on her hand, Kotori made a small hum.
The most common one was, ③. As expected everyone, realized that she was not wearing her puppet.
And certainly it was also a matter that even Kotori wanted to find out.
“Shidou, pick ③. She might have lost her puppet, and is probably now looking for it. It was about time to get a reaction anyway, try asking her about the puppet.”
With Shidou in agreement, he opened his mouth.
“Hey…………you, are you perhaps, looking for your puppet…………?”
The moment Shidou said that, [Yoshinon] immediately opened her eyes wide.
And when he thought that, she ran towards him and she immediately grabbed his head, as if to ask a question she shook his head hard.
“Ah, ouchouchouchouch……………! Wait, please stop that.”
When he said that, [Yoshinon] steadily removed her hands from Shidou’s head.
Shidou got up while looking at the girl, and he then tried asking again.
“As expected……………you were looking for it.”
And [Yoshinon] kept nodding her head hard.
After that, she looked at Shidou with very worried eyes. It was as if, she was asking for the whereabouts of the puppet.
“………………Uh, so-sorry. I don’t know where it is too…………”
When Shidou said that, [Yoshinon] made a face as if the world is about to end, and losing her strength she sank down on the floor.
And just like that she hung her head low, [ue…………, e…………] and the sounds of weeping started to leak out.
If she were to go on a rampage it would be troubling, but this was also troubling in its own way. Shidou quickly fell into a panic with his sights wandering around.
“——Calm down, Shidou.”
And, the honest voice of Kotori got delivered into his eardrums.
Receiving [Yoshinon]’s reaction, the window was deployed on the screen for the 3rd time.
① “That kind of guy, I will make you forget about him”
appeal to her as a reliable man.
② “Together with me, let’s go find the puppet”
appeal to her as a kind man.
③ “Actually I am the puppet all along!”
appeal to her as a man filled with a humorous sense.
“All members, your choices!”
When Kotori sent out that order, the total results were shown on her small-scaled display.
The most votes were on ②, the next was ①. And only one vote was on ③.
“Well, ② is the safest choice. ………but who was the person that picked something like number ③.”
“…………Is it a bad choice then?”
From behind, Kannazuki’s dispirited voice mumbled.
Kotori ignored him and pulled the mike towards her.
“Shidou, accompany her to look for that puppet.”
And from behind, [aah, an ignoring play is also not that bad too…………!] was heard but, she ignored it.
“Er,erm about this, Yoshinon.”
The moment Shidou raised his voice, [Yoshinon]’s body shook in surprise again.
And when she immediately waved her hands, the water puddles around her rose up, forming like bullets that exploded near the place that Shidou was sitting down.
Without thinking, his body cramped.
“So-sorry! I didn’t mean to scare you!”
As if to examine the condition on his side, without lowering his guard he cautiously looked over there (………comparatively, when their eyes met she would look away) to [Yoshinon], he fixed his posture and lowered his head a little.
And then to show that there will not be any resistance he raised both of his hands up, then continued his words.
“Err………I-If it is okay…….I, will also help to search for the puppet with you?”
The moment Shidou said that, [Yoshinon] opened her eyes wide in surprise.
After a few seconds, and for the first time her face turned very bright, *um* *um* she swung her head hard up and down.
After Shidou exhaled an [okay], he finally raised his hips up from the wet ground.
It was quite wet but, well, now wasn’t the time to care about it.
“Ermmmm………soo, about that. The puppet, where and when did you lose it?”
When asked, as if she was hesitating [Yoshinon] eyes wandered around, and then she opened her cherry blossom colored lips.
And then, she pulled the rabbit ears that were stuck on the hood and covered her face, while hiding her eyes she carried on talking awkwardly.
“The scary…………people, when I realized…………we were………attacked, I lost it………”
“Hmmm……………? You, were attacked by the AST huh?”
When Shidou said that, [Yoshinon] threw her head down vertically.
“I see, it was after that………………”
While Shidou was talking, he looked around by craning his neck to the left then right.
Whether it was destroyed buildings or cracked roads, he expanded his full view as much as possible. This was going to be a hard task.
And, as if matching together with that reaction, from his right ear sounds were delivered from
“——We will send you as many cameras as we have. Try to communicate with her as much as you can while searching.”
To show that Shidou understood, he poked the intercam a little, and once again brought his eyes to [Yoshinon].
“Okay……now then, let’s start searching, Yoshinon.”
“……………!”[Yoshinon] consented——after mumbling a little in her mouth, she let out her voice.
“I, I am…………”
“I………am, not Yoshinon,………but Yoshino. Yoshinon………is my, friend………”
When Shidou replied her by saying her name, the girl— Yoshino tried to run away.
And, probably she was surprised by that voice, Yoshino twitched her shoulders again.
At that instant, the rain surrounding Yoshino suddenly turned into something like needles and flew towards Shidou.
He lowered his head on the spot in panic, and managed to somehow dodge them.
It was okay since there were just few. But, if this was shot more towards Shidou’s body, he would have been a cactus by now.
“C-Calm down! It’s me it’s me!”
When Yoshino turned this way while twitching, and after seeing Shidou’s face, she took a deep breath.
Shidou stood up while talking in a timid tone.
“I-If it is okay use this…………although you are already wet, it’s still better than nothing right?”
He picked up the umbrella that he had just thrown away, and gave it to Yoshino.
“? ? ?”
“Aah, this is how you use it.”
He grabbed Yoshino’s hand while she was tilting her head in curiosity, and then held it up.
When he did that, she was surprised by the fact that raindrops no longer touched her, and Yoshino looked up with eyes that were turning around in amazement.
The transparent vinyl umbrella was repelling the rain that was falling and hitting it while shining brightly.
Yoshino excitedly, flapped her other hand that was not holding the umbrella.
“Y-Yeah, you are happy with it huh? Use it, use it!”
And after Shidou said that, Yoshino turned her eyes to Shidou as if she was asking him.
Yoshino nodded her head repeatedly.
“Aah, I’m okay. It’s okay just use it.”
After hesitatingly looking at the umbrella and then to Shidou for a few moments.
And after she bowed and lowered her head, they continued their search for the puppet.
“Doing something cool like that.”
From his right ear, he heard Kotori teasing like voice.
“—Well, if the Spirit’s feels like it, something like a wet shirt could immediately be dried though. But even before that, she has no difficulty making rain bullets from the invisible film that she set up.”
“I-Is that right?”
………Well, that wasn’t really a problem. He just could not bear to watch, a little girl getting soaked by the rain.
Shidou lightly wiped his wet face, and began the search.
“—How did it go? Did you find the puppet?”
“No, not yet. We haven’t found it yet.”
When Kotori asked the question, she heard a reply from a crewman down at the lower bridge.
The time was now 12:30 p.m. It has been almost 2 hours since Shidou and Yoshino started their search. If they continue working under this rain, their bodies would get too cold and, their fatigue would also accumulate.
It would have been okay if [Ratatoskr] were able to send in the mechanics department members too but— it would be dangerous if too many people were to be thrown into the search, they might scare Yoshino and then they might lose everything. Even if she wasn’t scared by them, there was a chance that her good impressions that was supposed to only go to Shidou, would be spread in multiple directions.
“How about the images?”
Kotoris eyes turned to her right hand side, and the crews that were fiddling with their consoles, without looking away, replied back.
“The resolution is a little rough but…………we can manage somehow.”
“Then bring it up on the monitor.”
Kotori said that, and on one part of the
It was like it was dragged into the aftershock of the battle, the camera took some distance to get a better picture of the area, and compared to the resolution from just now the image quality now was quite bad.
“She no longer has the puppet—— in the image of when the Spirit was lost.”
After a while, the image enlarged and close-upped on Yoshino.
“——Turn it back, the image from just before the AST attacks land, we are able to confirm that the puppet is in the Angels mouth. It is right to think that it was lost during that attack.”
“So, where’s the important puppet?”
“Because of the smoke getting thicker, although I can’t say that it is for certain but…………I can confirm the shadow of it falling off, I think the worst case scenario of it being burnt up because of that attack has been avoided.”
Kotori used her hands and hit her jaw.
“Right after when Yoshino was Lost, aren’t there anymore images left of the surroundings?”
“I-I will try looking for it.”
And, at that moment the speaker went, *riiinnnngg* such a sound leaked out and she heard it.
It had been almost 3 hours, since they began searching for the puppet.
While Shidou was combing up his wet hair, he looked at Yoshino beside him who was still looking for the puppet.
It would seem that he realized an amazingly cute voice echoed.
Yoshino once again as she was scared, she twitched her shoulder— maybe she got a little used to Shidou’s voice, this time she didn’t make needle water bullets and shoot them.
“………Are you hungry?”
When Shidou asked, Yoshino face turned red and *pun* *pun* swung her head from side to side.
But, at that timing, her stomach grumbled.
It would seem that Spirits get hungry too.
He heard that for the life form called Spirit, all it needed for sustenance was Spirit energy but… …speaking of which, after Tohka’s power was sealed she became very gluttonous.
“…………What am I supposed to do.”
Although he doesn’t know how long it has been since Yoshino started searching for the puppet, but since it was already past noon, it would be weird not to be hungry. Shidou’s stomach was a little empty too.
Using his finger, Shidou gave his intercam a small poke, and a voice from Kotori that had already guessed what subject he was about to raise:
“——Hmm I guess so, how about taking a rest while having lunch?”
“Un………I guess you’re right.”
After making a light stretch he said to Yoshino.
“Yoshino, let’s take a rest, okay?”
When Shidou said that, Yoshino swung her head sideways. And then her stomach grumbled again.
And, after Yoshino had pondered for a while, she finally consented with hesitation.
“Okay, well then…………”
After saying that, Shidou rearranged his thoughts.
He had his wallet just in case but if he was this wet, it would be difficult to enter a shop.
Shidou placed his hand on his face for a while, and then he poked the intercam.
“………………Hey, Kotori. If it’s about a resting spot, is our home okay?”
And right after saying that. Kotori made an exaggerated shocked voice.
“Wow. Haven’t seen you for quite a while and you turned quite daring. If you are planning on pushing her down please be careful.”
“I know. …………Well, there is no other place to go anyway, I will specially permit it then.”
Shidou made a short reply and then, talked to Yoshino.
“Well then………let’s go.”
Yoshino while remaining silent, gave a small nod.
While Tohka was rubbing her stomach and sighing, she was following Reine as they walked through town in the rain.
She was feeling somewhat bad from having not eaten anything yesterday afternoon, and for not having slept much.
But, the reason for this uneasiness was not from her lack of sleep or from her empty stomach—Tohka somehow understood that.
Tohka clenched her teeth, and *splash* kicked the wet ground.
But even if she were to do something like that, there was no way the irritating swirling in the bottom of her stomach would just end.
And Reine who was walking in front of her suddenly stopped walking. Tohka stopped right on the verge of bumping into her.
“……How about we go and have our lunch first. Is this place okay?”
Right in front of them was a building with a colorful signboard. If she wasn’t mistaken, this place was a family restaurant.
Tohka made a big nod.
“Un…It would help if you were to do that. My stomach is so empty that I think I am going to die.”
“……Well then, let us enter.”
When both of them folded their umbrellas and entered the shop, following the shop attendant, they settled down at the end of the non-smoking area.
Immediately, they skimmed through the menu and placed an order.
While waiting for their orders to come, in order to calm her stomach, she drank the water the attendant placed on the table in one gulp.
Reine, faced Tohka with her pair of eyes decorated by thick and cloudy eye bags.
“……Before the food gets here, I would like to have a little talk……is that okay?”
“Nu…Well, I don’t mind but……What kind of talk is it?”
Tohka, in order show that she was alert, she lifted her body from the table and nodded.
The woman known as Murasame Reine was ………hard to understand because she seemed to always be thinking of something—and because of that habit, it felt like she could see through anything—it felt a little irritating.
Whether or not she realized what Tohka was thinking at that moment, Reine remained in a dreamy mood and took out a machine like object from her bag, and then unfolded it on the top of the table.
“What is that?”
“…………Aah, please don’t mind this.”
While saying that, Reine was using her other hand and *click* *click*……and lightly operated it.
She focused intensely on the terminal, filled with curiosity but Tohka finally managed to ignore it, and returned her sights back to Reine.
When she did that, Reine returned her eyes back to Tohka and opened her lips.
“……Well, I am not good at making conversation so I will get straight to the point. Tohka, the reason you are irritated—no, it would be better if you could— can you tell me the reason why you have been irritated and the origin of it?”
From Reine’s words, Tohka unintentionally gasped.
“Uh, I am not really—”
“……As expected, you can’t forgive Shin for meeting up with another woman.”
Shin. A nickname only used when referring to Shidou.
“Wha, why did shidou appear right there…”
“……Oya, is it not related to him?”
Tohka placed her elbow on the table, and then scratched her head in a sign of surrender.
And after making a big sigh, she said in a suffering voice.
“…I don’t understand.”
“……Don’t understand what?”
Reine tilted her head to the side as she replied. And Tohka whose face was down, lifted her face up.
“Umu………Even I don’t know myself why it turned into this kind of feeling.”
She seemed to be troubled as she continued her words.
“Yesterday……shidou, left the school and——that, kissed or whatever it’s called, that girl.”
Kiss. Just that single word, caused pain around her chest area.
“……Aah, it would seem so.”
“It’s not really…It isn’t any of my business who shidou meets with and where, and whoever he kisses. I am not supposed to find any faults in it. …But, the moment I saw that, it was already—How should I put it? It was rather—yes, it was a rather bad feeling.”
“When I realized what had happened…………I started raising my voice. What’s more……Right after that, the rabbit said that girl was much more important to him than me……I was already—sad, and scared, to the extent that I couldn’t do anything, and I became unable to understand what happened at all…………I don’t even understand what this means………this is the first time this happened.”
And once again she made a big sigh.
“As expected……………Is there something wrong with me?”
“…………No, you are not sick or anything. That is a normal and healthy response”
“I-Is that so?”
“……Aah, it is nothing to worry about. But——it is better if we clear that misunderstanding first.”
“……Aah, regarding that kiss, that was a total accident, and……it doesn’t mean that girl is more important to Shin than Tohka.”
After Reine said that, she glimpsed at the machine, as Tohka raised her face.
“……It is true.”
“Bu-But shidou was…”
“……If he doesn’t think of you as someone precious to him, do you think that he would go to the extent of putting his own life in danger just to save you?”
After being told that, Tohka was at a loss for words.
She completely forgot about the weird and indescribable swirl of emotion that were affecting her heart and stomach.
—Yesterday, didn’t Shidou protect Tohka? Just like last month?
And what’s more, in spite of knowing the chances of dying by getting shot by an assassin.
Tohka, while pushing her hands around her chest area, swallowed her saliva.
I’ve been so stupid.
Tohka shook her throat to make a groan, and then scratched her head again.
And after that, immediately stood up from her seat.
“Sorry, can we postpone today’s shopping to another day?”
Tohka bit her lips before letting out her voice again.
“……I have to, apologize to shidou.”
After hitting her jaw with her hands, Reine made a small nod.
“I am grateful.”
Tohka made a short reply and left the family restaurant taking the umbrella in her hands, she ran out into the raining town.
“…………Fumu. Well, that is one problem solved……maybe?”
Reine muttered while being left alone, she glanced through some values from the graph being displayed on the small terminal.
The fact that Tohka’s mind and body would be disturbed by this incident was expected.
Although she was pouting like a spoiled kid………If Tohka, really did think badly of Shidou, she would not have hated the girl that Shidou met up with.
Speaking in either ways, from the irritating feeling that she couldn’t calm down herself, she learned a weird and indescribable terror and uneasiness………speaking of which would be the closest to the truth.
Because of that, even without her mood being fixed, the thought of changing Tohka’s consciousness itself, was not really that difficult.
Yes—but, it was better if she could realize it by herself.
That fact—Shidou protected her, and what kind of meaning that holds, and when the time came, when she found that answer, she would know what she really felt.
“Well, jealousy is also a fine part of love.”
She muttered while closing the terminal.
“……But, we have to be careful. loveThat could also be, the emotion that will destroy the world.”
“——Sorry for the long wait! Here is the double cheese burger set rice with large servings of fried chicken, fried oyster set, mix grill, margarita, and the spaghetti bolognaise. And please be careful of the hot iron plate.”
And from the sudden appearance of the shop attendant, Tohka’s high calorie meal was lined up on top of the table.
“Please take your time and enjoy.”
The attendant lowered his upper part of his body by an angle of 45 degrees like he was used to it thus making a bow, and then left the spot.
Reine who was left alone, scratched her cheek in front of that abundant amount of food.
“Let’s see…………we have eggs, ah, there is also chicken meat. There’s some rice left in the rice cooker too………I guess Oyakodon is okay.”
He roughly determined what menu to make from looking inside the fridge, and right after taking out the needed ingredients, he took a small peek in the direction of living room.
Over there was Yoshino who was curiously looking around things near her while sitting on the sofa.
When Shidou returned, he immediately changed his clothes but Yoshino’s dress was still the same rabbit coat from before. Just as Kotori had said, even after getting bathed by rain, she was not wet at all.
Same as Tohka’s light dress, this was probably that AstralDress or something.
“Could you wait for a few moments. I’ll be done soon. ——Ah, if you are free you could watch the television.”
Shidou said that while peeling and chopping the spring onions, Yoshino tilted her head in curiosity.
“Un, there is a remote control there—yes yes, now push the top left button.”
Following Shidou’s instruction, Yoshino pressed the remote control button.
When she did that, the television along the wall turned on, and *Wahahaha!* such a voice echoed.
In that instant, Yoshino’s body cowered; the water accumulated in the sink rose, turning into bullets and were shot at the television screen.
“You idiot, even though I told you not to scare her.”
In his right ear, he heard Kotori’s criticizing voice.
And speaking of Yoshino, she opened her eyes that was shut tight, and lowered her head at Shidou in panic.
“N-No…………Don’t worry about it. Sorry to have scared you.”
Right after Shidou made a dry smile, he resumed with his cooking.
He heated up the pot that has water measured in it, and tossed in the sliced chicken meat and spring onions. And when it reached to a boil, he put in the beaten eggs.
And then he let it flow on top of the rice filled bowl. Finally he scattered Japanese parsley on top of it, and it was complete.
Since he was accustomed to this sort of work, it did not even take 10 minutes for him to finish cooking.
“Here you go, it’s done. Let’s hurry and fill our stomach so we can go and find Yoshinon okay.”
While talking, he held the bowls with both his hands and headed into the living room.
He put one in front of Yoshino and right across her he placed his own portion, and he entered the kitchen again to get a chair, some chopsticks, and a spoon just in case, before returning to the living room.
“Now then, Itadakimasu. .”
Shidou clapped his hands together while saying that, and Yoshino imitated that movement then lowered her head.
Then she grabbed the spoon with her hand, took one scoop of Shidou’s specialty oyakodon, and transported it into her mouth.
When Yoshino did that her eyes immediately opened wide, and *slam* *slam* starting hitting the table.
But when Shidou faced toward her direction, she turned her eyes away in embarrassment.
Afterwards, Yoshino looked like she wanted to tell him something, but instead she made an embarrassed face and found difficulty in putting it into words, *gu* she gave Shidou a thumbs up.
Shidou made a wry smile, and replied back by giving a thumbs up. It would seem that it was to her liking.
She was probably quite hungry; Yoshino opened her small mouth with all her might, and started munching down.
And—by estimating the moment when Yoshino would be finished her meal, Kotori started talking.
“Do you still want to rest? I still want more information if possible from the Spirit. Since this is a good chance, why don’t you ask Yoshino how old is she?”
And when Shidou was asking back, Kotori immediately suggested him to ask questions.
“………Aah, I get it.”
Shidou, as he had finished his bowl he exhaled a satisfied breath and then turned his eyes towards Yoshino.
“Hey………Yoshino. There are some things I would like to know though—can I ask you a few questions?”
Yoshino tilted her head in curiosity.
“Err…you seem to take care of it very preciously. That puppet—Yoshinon, what kind of existence is that to you…?”
When Yoshino got asked that question, she timidly opened her mouth with difficulty.
“Yoshinon, is …………a frie…nd, and also……………a he…ro.”
When asked again, Yoshino nodded.
“Yoshinon is… …my, ideal… …yearnings of… …myself. Unlike me… …not weak, unlike me… …not hesitant… …it’s strong, and cool…”
“Your ideal self…huh.”
Shidou scratched his cheeks, and recalled back the time when he met Yoshino inside the department store.
Well, certainly the current Yoshino compared to the Yoshino talking through the puppet, from the tone to the attitude it was like she was a different person. But—
“I…like this current Yoshino better though…”
During the time when Tohka appeared, he remembered the numbers of jokes accumulated from the puppet, he made a bitter smile.
Certainly, during that time Yoshino was talking cheerfully but—he could not bear it anymore.
Although it was hard to hear what she was saying, though she was awkward, Yoshino has been honestly answering his questions, and it was a good feeling.
But the moment Shidou said those words, Yoshino’s face went *poof*, her face was blushed red. She then hunched her back and used the hood to cover and hide her face.
“Yo-Yoshino…? What’s wrong?”
Shidou said that while was trying to peek, Yoshino lowered the hands that was holding onto the hood and, gradually raised her face.
“………Tho, those words, because… …it was the first time… …I have been told.”
“I-Is that so…?”
Yoshino made a deep consent.
Well…originally she was a Spirit that has only a few chances at having a conversation with a person. It might be because of something like that.
“Shidou, was that… …in your calculations?”
And, over there Kotori asked such a question.
“Huh? Wha-what calculations…?”
“……Never mind. If that’s wasn’t then it’s okay.”
It was his sister that said something that didn’t make sense, Shidou knitted his eyebrows.
“Don’t mind it. There is not a problem for now—it just unexpected how calm you are, I guess the results of the ‘living together training’ are starting to show.”
Shidou replied vaguely. Certainly he was calm to a certain degree but, he could differentiate whether it is from the results of the training or not.
But, he could not afford to be occupied by the other side. Shidou fixed his sights back to Yoshino, and asked the next question.
“So——Err, Yoshino, it seems that even though you were attacked by the AST, you rarely retaliate, what kind of reason do you have for doing that?”
When Yoshino got asked…………she looked down again.
Right after she grabbed the cuffs of the inner dress with the light film composition just like Tohka’s AstralDress, she let out a voice that would sound like it would disappear.
“…………I……hate, painful things. I also hate……scary things. Surely, those people too……whether its pain, or scary things, I think they……don’t want it too. That’s why, I……”
It was such a small and faint voice, Shidou could have easily missed what the she was trying to say.
But because of that—from those words Shidou, felt a piercing like wave to his heart.
“…………Yoshino…………you, just for a reason like that—”
But, Shidou did not finish the end of his sentence.
While Yoshino’s whole body was trembling, she continued talking.
“But………it’s because, I… …am, weak… …and a coward. If I am alone… …I am useless. I am… …scared of being hurt, when I can’t, do anything… …the inside of my head… …will go crazy…, that’s why, I might… …do bad things to everyone…”
Halfway through, it became a teary voice.
After sucking in her snot, she continued on.
“Thats why… …Yoshinon… …is my, hero… …when Yoshinon is… …with me, even, if I get scared… …he would say… …it’s okay. And, then… …it will really turn out okay. That’s why… …that’s why.”
Shidou unintentionally bit his lips. He was gripping both his hands so hard, that blood might spurt out.
If he did not do that—he could not bear it anymore.
Yoshino. This small girl was. Too kind—and too sad.
Whether it was [pain] or [scary] things it was certain that she did not like it.
Thinking of the enemy, that had targeted her countless times with hostility, bad intentions and killing intent, and yet—still she decided not to hurt them. She chose to do that? Such a difficult thing?
Yoshino’s head was shaking from her own evaluation—there is no way, she is weak.
Aah, but, that is—cruel, and awfully cruel sense of mercy.
Without thinking Shidou stood up from his seat.
And then circled around the table and knelt down beside Yoshino—and just like that, he gently caressed Yoshino’s head.
“I will—save you.”
He said that and, Yoshino stared in wonder. Without caring about it, Shidou continued.
“I will definitely, find Yoshinon. And…………hand it over to you. That is not all. I will make Yoshinon no longer need to protect you. You no longer need to go through those [painful] or [scary] things. I won’t let them near you. I will—become, your hero.”
While patting her head through the hood, he said that sentence that was totally out of character.
But—he did not stop there.
Because, in Yoshino’s kindness, there was something important lacking.
It was only one problem which was: even if she has the mercy of a saint, that mercy would not be shown in return to her.
If that’s the reason, then there was no choice but to have it be given from the outside.
No more, about what would happen to the Spirit or what not, it was no longer relevant to him.
To Yoshino. To this overly kind little girl, to have nothing save her, that kind of thing, he could not forgive it.
Yes—that was what he thought.
During that time, Yoshino’s eyes were turning black and white but, after 10 seconds passed, she opened her lips.
“………Th…ank you……very m…uch.”
He was a little happy when Yoshino honestly said such a thing. He made a small nod.
But, during the occasion Yoshino was letting out her voice, he accidently turned his eyes to those cute lips………feeling uncomfortable Shidou averted his sights away.
“…………? Shidou… …-san…?”
Yoshino was tilting her head while looking at Shidou.
“No, err, about that……………It’s about before. I’m sorry.”
“No……………how’d you put it………I kissed, you.”
To put it in accurate terms it was not in Shidou’s personality to bring up this kind of talk but………………it might be an important matter to a girl. He put the meaning in the apology and said it.
But Yoshino was in a blank state and was staring in wonder; once again she tilted her head.
It was like; she did not understand what Shidou had just said.
“…………What is, a kiss?”
“Eh? Aah, that is…………lips touching together, like this…”
Even though Shidou explained to her, Yoshino made a face as if she did not understand at all, and then thrust her face up directly at Shidou’s face.
It was a distance that, if he were to bring his face a little closer, their lips would touch.
His heart was about to fly out in this dangerous situation but, Shidou remembered his living together training with Tohka, and somehow succeeded in pretending to have a calm face.
“Uh, ah, aah…………yes, it feels like that.”
But Yoshino made a small groan, and again she said in a soft voice.
“……I, don’t remember……clearly.”
Hearing that reply, Shidou frowned.
But—at that instant.
“shidou…! I’m sorry, I was—”
Suddenly the door opened and Tohka who left the house early in the morning, while she was breathing hard on her shoulders, entered the living room.
And then, she saw Shidou and Yoshino’s figure facing each other and would be kissing any at moment, *piki*, and her body stiffened up.
Right after, Shidou made an absentminded face.
On his face, sweat gushed out.
Yoshino probably felt something strange; she turned backwards, and leaked a soft voice.
But it might be something that cannot be helped. To Yoshino, Tohka should be the scary opponent that took her puppet away from her—and on top of that, Tohka who was quietly lingering around the living room entrance, a difficult to explain pressure was leaking out from her.
Incidentally from just now, a loud noise was coming out from the buzzer on his right ear indicating it is an emergency situation.
While being silent, Tohka made an awfully gentle smile, and just like that she slowly entered the living room.
-*Twitch*, such a feeling was transmitted to her hands. It would also seem that Yoshino’s body was trembling.
“To-Tohka, this is……”
It was like his mental state turned into that of a man who got caught having an affair at the scene of the crime, Shidou hastily moved his hands.
But Tohka passed through the both of them, leaving the living room and headed straight into the kitchen, she then took out all the food and drinks from the refrigerator and shelves, and just like that she exited to the corridor.
From the door, *dadadadada* such footsteps could be heard—and the moment he thought it reached the second floor, this time *BAM*, the sound of the door being slammed could be heard.
…………Looks like, she plans on shutting herself inside again.
And what’s more, this time it’s a siege with a sufficient supply of food in stock.
“…………It turned into something annoying.”
From his right ear, he heard a voice mixed with a sigh.
“Wh-What should I do now……?”
“For the time being, you can only leave her alone for now. Even if Shidou were to try and talk to her now, it’ll only cause a reverse effect anyway.”
“I-Is that so……”
He said that, and takes a glimpse at Yoshino that was sitting beside him.
But, wondering when it happened, Yoshino’s figure that was supposed to be on top of the sofa suddenly disappeared.
“——It looks like, she got [Lost] to the other world when Tohka’s was approaching her. Having her puppet being taken away, must have been quite a traumatic experience to her.”
Fuu, he exhaled a good breathe—and frowned because of a bad feeling.
It would seem that Yoshino remembered Tohka taking her puppet away.
Despite that……she said she could not remember the kiss with Shidou.
No, even yesterday she was definitely also in a state that she doesn’t mind it; it might be perhaps that she holds no special emotion towards the act of kissing. Spirits have different knowledge and sense of values depending on what the matter is, there might be a possibility that it is like that.
But—in Yoshino’s reaction there was, a little sense of discomfort.
Shidou touched his mouth, while moving his lips.
“Hey, Kotori……there is something that I am worried about. Can you investigate it for me?”
Shidou, told her the questions that was floating in his mind.
“Fuun……I understand, I will send Reine to investigate it when she gets back.”
“Ou, I’m counting on you.”
And, when Shidou said that, Kotori continued on as if she remembered something.
“…………Aah, yes yes, although I missed the chance to say this because of Shidou’s interruption but we have some good news.”
“From the investigation we got from the images, we have confirmed the whereabouts of the puppet.”
“Really?! Where is it now?”
When Kotori told him the location, Shidou’s cheeks twitched.
In the room in the deepest part of the second floor where Tohka rushed in, while eating the food that was within arm’s reach that she brought in moments ago, she raised those shouts. Well from others perspective, it was a stressful way of eating.
“What is this………What is this MOU……………! Gu, muguuuu…………….!”
When Tohka was absent from home, Shidou invited the little girl from a few days ago in.
As an event that was the only thing that happened, there was no factor for making Tohka angry at all.
Shidou is Tohka’s good friend. And that friend brought a new friend back.
It was no mistake that Tohka’s correct method of interaction was supposed to be reconciling with Shidou and apologize for what happened a few days ago, after that [Welcome, and sorry about what happened before], while saying that and taking the little girl’s hands.
But—she could not do it.
The moment she saw Shidou and the girl alone in the room, the so called [bad feeling] rushed through her whole body, and it became impossible for her to be in that area.
Tohka devastated through the food one by one, and squatted down on the spot.
—I want to apologize, to shidou. I want to reconcile— with shidou.
Those feelings were not a lie.
But………because the [bad feeling] was swirling inside her chest, she could not do it.
While being in the posture of sitting on the floor while grasping her knees, Tohka moaned in pain.
Translation Notes and References
a pose done by having the arms moving up and down parallel
A bowl of rice topped with eggs and chicken
meaning something along the lines of “I will humbly receive.” It is customary in Japanese culture to say this before every meal.