Date A Live Volume 4 Chapter 1
Chapter 6: Time Penetrating Flame
Raizen High School’s rooftop was currently encased in shadows.
It was not a metaphor.
The time was 17:00 hours and the sun had already begun to set, however the sky was still being illuminated.
Furthermore, between the stars and the earth, there was not a hint of cloud cover to block the sunlight.
It was precisely because of this that the location, where Itsuka Shidou was at, seemed to be separated from the surrounding scenery and was being covered by a shade of darkness.
It was extremely clear. Shidou and the rest were currently in the midst of a battlefield that could massacre the world.
The owner of the shadows had a whimsical attitude; she would cause an unexpected outcome when she feels like it. They were in a territory where their very existences could be easily consumed.
Within a space that had been separated from the rest of the world, Shidou widened his eyes, having difficulty breathing.
Don’t talk about turning over, he couldn’t even move. No, even speaking is problematic.
The reason for that was extremely simple. Shidou, at present, was currently having his limbs and body restrained by several girls and was firmly held down onto the ground. They were considerate to the point where they even inserted their slender fingers into his mouth, preventing his lower jaw and tongue from moving.
—Obviously it was an abnormal scene.
The rooftop was full of girls in black, and all of them had the same looks.
Black hair tied into unequal lengths on the left and right, skin so white one could have mistaken them to be ill. And that left eye that had a clock face and hands, just like a clock.
All of these girls, were all [Tokisaki Kurumi].
From one side, Shidou saw the figures of Tohka and Origami. The two of them were in the same position as Shidou and were pinned down by several Kurumis, having pained expressions.
Although Shidou was unable to see from his position, Mana, who had been shot down earlier, should be on the other side of the human wall created by Kurumi.
There was no place left to run. The fighting strength on Shidou’s side had already been neutralized, an overwhelming difference in numbers.
Under this kind of situation, Shidou was being entranced by something else.
In that state where his tongue was being clamped by fingers, his throat squeezed out unintelligible words.
In the instant Kurumi had raised her hand with the intention of triggering a spacequake.
‘That’, appeared above the heads of Shidou and the rest.
At first ‘That’——looked just like the sun. Illuminating the territory of shadows that the real sunlight could not reach, a dense mass of flames that suddenly appeared in mid-air.
Just that sight already took up Shidou’s entire line of sight.
However, in the instant he was about to recognize the true form of that mass of flames, Shidou felt an impact akin to having his brain electrocuted by an electric current. He saw sparks everywhere in his field of vision and somewhere deep within his brain throbbed with a sharp pain. It was as though his brain was rejecting visual information that may prove to be fatal.
‘That’ was a girl.
A petite girl, was standing in mid-air with her body and surroundings clad in raging flames.
Half of her sleeves were formed by the flickering flames, a white kimono. A sash of flames wrapped around what seemed to be the celestial dress of a heavenly maiden. And that, growing out from both sides of her head, were two inorganic horns.
That posture. That strength, had without a doubt proven that this girl was not human.
A spirit. A calamity that kills the world.
With Shidou’s knowledge, besides that, there are no other words that can describe the girl before him.
No——To be correct, there was, only one more word.
A name that is unique to her, Shidou knows it well.
Kotori, Itsuka Kotori. The face of the girl who he has spent many years with, he definitely could not be mistaken.
That spirit, no matter how you look at it, is Shidou’s sister——Kotori.
Shidou, who did not understand the situation, frowned. Kotori is Shidou’s sister. So naturally she is a human. She couldn’t possibly be a spirit.
However the scene that had unfolded before had totally denied his way of thinking.
Despite Shidou’s efforts to reject it……he felt that he had seen Kotori in this form somewhere before.
Even though digging through his memories proved fruitless, but the instant he saw Kotori, a feeling as though something inside his brain was expanding was present.
Right, that’s correct, this was——
“……What the hell is going on?”
At this moment, as though intentionally breaking Shidou’s train of thoughts, a voice sounded out from the front.
A gigantic clock behind her, a rifle in her right hand and a handgun in her left hand, Kurumi frowned as she glared at Kotori who was in mid-air with a face full of displeasure.
“I would appreciate it if you do not get in my way? I was just getting to the best part.”
“I apologize for that, but that’s impossible. You went slightly overboard back there. ——Kneel before me and let’s start the punishing session of love.”
At the same time she used her right hand to hoist the massive battleaxe onto her shoulder, Kotori let out a snort.
Kotori’s words were probably out of Kurumi’s expectations, Kurumi instantly widened her eyes, however that was quickly replaced by a wild laughter originating from her throat.
“Ku, kuhihihi, hihihihihihihi……it’s becoming interesting. By punishment, do you mean~~you~to me~?”
“Nn. If you do not wish to have a spanking, please withdraw your clones and Angel.”
At Kotori’s words, Kurumi started laughing again as though it were amusing. The countless Kurumi’s standing around her made the same response as well.
“Hihihi, hihi. Although you look like you have total confidence in your ability, but being overconfident will cause you to self-destruct you know? My Zafkiel
“If you have time to spew nonsense then hurry up and attack, you black sow.”
Kotori seemed annoyed as she sighed and Kurumi’s face, which had been laughing just now, twitched.
The numerous Kurumis who were positioned all over the rooftop all turned to stare at Kotori with furious glares.
And almost at the same time, pained groans could be heard from the front. It seemed that Tohka and Origami had been hit on the medulla oblongata by the clones and lost consciousness as a result.
“That’s just fine. I’ll get rid of you quickly——do it!”
Kurumi loudly shouted. Instantly, the clones of Kurumi on the rooftop all crouched down together and then leaped high to close in on Kotori.
Countless black bullets were fired into the sky. A heartless curtain fire of rifle and handgun bullets, instead of the word ‘attack’, the word ‘assault’ would be a better way to put it. Countless brutal monsters that were making use of an overwhelming advantage in numbers to pulverise the opponent. The large bullets bore closer towards Kotori.
However Kotori gave an annoyed snort, slowly raising the battleaxe on her shoulders.
On the front end of the pole that was way taller than Kotori’s own height, the flames that were burning the very air itself compressed, revealing the shape of a blade. It followed Kotori’s movements, tracing a crimson path, shining brightly.
And then, in the instant the large group of Kurumis were about to reach Kotori, Kotori silently spoke. The flaming battleaxe was swung down in front of her with a frightening pressure. The sound of air being split asunder could be heard by Shidou even from his position.
“Ahahahahaha! It’s use~less you know!”
In response to that, Kurumi let out another chuckle.
No matter how large that battleaxe was, it was impossible to eliminate the numerous Kurumis that were closing in on all sides. Even if she had butchered the few at the front, it’s not difficult to think that other Kurumis would fill in the gaps in an instant.
Suddenly, Kurumi’s smile was twisted.
The instant Kotori swung Camael
The group of Kurumis stared at their dismembered body parts, dazedly making a sound. The next instant, they were all engulfed in flames, turning into ash before they even hit the ground.
Kotori wordlessly looked down——at Shidou’s direction, once again waving Camael
Accompanied by the pitiful death cries, the burden on Shidou’s body had vanished.
Shidou spat out the fingers that were inserted into his mouth, coughing repeatedly.
Soon after, the bodies of Kurumis that were split apart by Camael
“Uu that’s hot……!”
Shidou hastily got up, *Pa Pa*, dusting off the embers that had landed on his body.
At this point, Kotori slowly descended between Shidou and Kurumi, readying Camael
“Koto, Kotori……What exactly is——”
“Listen to me, I want you to take the chance when Kurumi has an opening and escape. After all the current you——will die easily.”
“Haa……? What exactly is——”
However Shidou’s questions were cut off by the laughter at the front.
“Hihi, hihihihihihihihihi……! Not bad.”
Kurumi raised her eyebrows as she gripped the handle of her guns, raising one corner of her mouth.
“How~ever~, it’s not the end you know?”
Saying that, Kurumi readied her two guns at the massive clock face.
Shidou held his breath. That’s right. Kurumi still had that Angel—— the time-controlling Zafkiel
“Kotori, be careful, that is……!”
“Fufu, Shidou-san, please don’t do such a disappointing action as——that!”
Saying that Kurumi loaded the shadow that oozed out from the [I] Roman numeral from Zafkiel
Instantly, Kurumi’s figure vanished like mist.
At the same time Kotori suddenly raised Camael
Just before——a scene witnessed during the battle between Kurumi and Mana. Zafkiel
Using a speed that not even her shadow was able to catch up with, Kurumi endlessly continued her attack on Kotori.
“Ah~hahahahahaha! Excellent! Excellent! I expected no less from a spirit who had materialized her Angel——! It’s burning, I’m all fired up!”
“How annoying. If you are still a lady, then how about retaining some manners?”
Swinging the pole horizontally, Kotori stated. Finally Shidou’s eyes were able to see Kurumi’s figure who had been sent flying by Camael
Kurumi who had jumped into the air smiled as she readied her guns in an unsteady position, loudly shouting.
“Thank you for your reminder. Then as per your request, I’ll kill you off with a more elegant method. Zafkiel
Following that, shadows flew out of the Roman numeral [VII] on Zafkiel
At the same time, Kurumi pressed the trigger and a pitch black bullet traced its path, closing in on Kotori.
Position, speed, distance, no matter whichever way one looks at it, it was an unavoidable attack. Kotori readied Camael
But——She couldn’t. Shidou couldn’t help but cry out.
Zayin[The Seventh Bullet]. That was the one most brutal move that Kurumi used to finish Mana off before.
Defending or intercepting has no meaning. The instant contact is made with the bullet——
Accompanied by Kurumi’s laughter, Kotori’s body became motionless.
Leaving out the limbs for now, even the illusion-like sleeves of her Astral dress and Camael
“Ufufu, regardless of whatever strength you possess, it’s useless once someone catches you right?”
The same time Kurumi finished, the remaining Kurumis around them readied their guns at the same time, aiming at Kotori and pressing the trigger.
Shidou did not manage to stop them in time. The bullets that Kurumi fired mercilessly burrowed into Kotori’s body. On that soft skin, countless horrible wounds were engraved.
“This is, really refreshing.”
In the end, the Kurumi who had shot out Zayin[The Seventh Bullet] stood in front of Kotori, pressing the muzzle between Kotori’s eyes, pressing down the trigger without hesitation.
The next instant, Kotori’s body regained its movements.
From the countless wounds on Kotori’s body, blood spurted out. However Kotori did not react to this. Suffering from the momentum from the last attack, her small body fell backwards facing the sky.
Shidou let out a howl as he rushed in front, hugging Kotori’s body that fell to the ground.
However, it was too late. Her whole body was riddled with Kurumi’s bullets, Kotori’s body was brutally mangled in an alarming sea of blood, as though she would break apart from just a slight touch.
There was not even a shred of hope of her surviving. Shidou stared at his own sister’s battered appearance as he used his arms to support himself on the ground.
“Ufufu, fufufufufufu”, aaah, aaah, it’s over already. She was such a strong opponent that was hard to find. How heartless. How pitiful.”
Kurumi spun on the spot with a tone as though she were acting, chuckling as though it were amusing.
“Now, then, this time it’s Shidou-san’s turn. I——”
Suddenly, Kurumi’s words stopped.
Showing an expression of utter surprise, staring at the direction of Kotori who was lying on the ground.
Following Kurumi’s eyes to look at Kotori, Shidou did the same as he widened his eyes in surprise.
“Th, this is——”
Leaking out a dazed sound. Flames sprouted out from the numerous gun wounds carved into Kotori’s body, expanding as though attempting to lick her entire body.
Shidou had seen this scene before. No, to be correct——he had experienced this before.
“……Really now. You really went for the kill.”
Using her heel as a fulcrum, Kotori unnaturally got up.
After the flames had dissipated, the wounds had healed, the blood was gone, the rips on her Astral Dress were nowhere to be found. Everything had disappeared.
It was unimaginable that she had just suffered from fatal wounds. The thought that the previous assault was merely Shidou’s imagination resounded within his brain.
She was definitely frightened by what she just saw and Kurumi raised an eyebrow as she took a step backwards.
As though noticing this fact, Kotori once again readied Camael
“To me, it would be best if I made you lose your will to fight.”
“……Hmph, don’t joke with me——!”
Kurumi recovered, the guns on both hands pointed behind her.
Following that, the clock on Kurumi’s left eye started to rotate round and round at high speed, the shadows seeped out of the Roman numeral [I] from Zafkiel
“Aleph[The First Bullet]……!”
Kurumi called out, rapidly pressing the triggers of the guns in both hands. Aleph[The First Bullet] hit the remaining Kurumis on the rooftop.
After firing off tens of Aleph[The First Bullet], Kurumi then turned the muzzle onto her chest, squeezing the trigger.
Kotori clicked her tongue as though annoyed, her left leg suddenly kicking towards the back, hitting home to Shidou’s side flank.
Making an odd sound due to the sudden impact, Shidou was sent flying to the back at the same time. After his lower back and head stopped due to friction on the ground. Shidou rubbed his head, got up and shouted.
“Wh, what was that for——”
However those words were never finished.
The Kurumis who had obtained astonishing speed began swarming around Kotori like they were trying to hold her in with a flurry of punches, kicks and bullets.
That’s right, because before the Kurumis shot by Aleph[The First Bullet] reached them, Kotori had wasted her valuable time by allowing Shidou to escape to a safe place instead of intercepting the attack.
“Tear them apart——Camael
Kotori roared, Camael
Following that, numerous Kurumi’s were hit by that horizontally swinging blade of flames, slashing, piercing, their bodies turning to ashes.
At this moment, accompanied by a tortured moan, Kurumi retreated from Kotori’s side.
It seemed like she had been hit by Camael
“Who——do you think you are……you brat!”
After that she raised her gun, calling out.
Following that, Kurumi held the gun to her temple and fired, and as though time was rewound, Kurumi’s wounds vanished without a trace.
Almost simultaneously, the Kurumi clones that were flying around Kotori had been incinerated, disintegrating into ashes and disappearing into the wind.
“Ara, it’s already over? That was surprisingly easy. It’s okay to bring out more of your power you know?”
Kotori rested the battleaxe on her shoulders, letting out a snort.
Those words caused Kurumi’s expression to twist horribly and her teeth made grinding sounds.
“Those words——I’ll make you regret that! Zaaaaaaafkieeeeeeeel
The instant her outburst ended, Kurumi’s left eye started to turn at a speed that had not been seen before.
“! You’re still not giving up……!”
Looks like she felt a threat from that appearance. Kotori raised Camael
Kotori’s throat made a light, extremely weak sound, kneeling on the spot.
“Ku……Th, this is……”
Shidou couldn’t help but shout. Not understanding what was going on, but he only knew that Kotori was in trouble.
“Ah~hahahahahahahahaha! Looks like the tables are turned!”
Kurumi loudly laughed, aiming the rifle loaded with the bullet of Zafkiel
Shidou dashed forwards without thinking. He still has no idea what kind of effect Kurumi’s bullet will have. However, one does not need to consider that it is a fatal shot that is capable of taking Kotori’s life.
The instant Kurumi squeezes the trigger, he has to grab Kotori’s body and evade that bullet no matter what. If that is impossible, then Shidou will use his own body as a shield……!
The moment Kurumi aimed at Kotori, Kotori silently stood up.
“Kotori! Are you alright!?”
Even though he asked, but Kotori did not give a reply.
She only silently——used her flashing crimson pupils and continued to glare at Kurumi.
That face that he should have recognised, for some unknown reason, she now looked like a girl that Shidou did not recognize. “Koto, ri……”
Kotori raised Camael
Following that Camael
As though replying to Kotori’s voice, Camael
The handle withdrew part of its body, wrapping itself around Kotori’s raised right hand.
Kotori, whose right arm was engulfed by the huge rod from the elbow, aimed the barrel at Kurumi.
——That form, was just like the cannon equipped on a battleship.
And then the flames that were surrounding Kotori, were sucked into the mouth of the barrel.
Probably because she saw Kotori’s appearance, Kurumi who was pointing the barrels of her guns at Kotori frowned. An expression that Shidou had never seen before. To put it in Shidou’s own words and knowledge——That was a look that showed fear, or at least was on alert.
The same time Kurumi shouted, the clones climbed out from Kurumi’s shadow, attempting to separate the two of them.
Kotori, silently opened her mouth.
“——Turn to ashes, Camael
Hearing her voice, it totally did not sound like his sister whom he had spent several years together with. It was a cold and calm voice.
The next instant——from the readied Camael
It was as though the eruption of a massive volcano had been compressed into several centimetres, with an overwhelming heat, it drew a straight line from the roof of the school to the sky at the back. The surroundings were, in an instant, dyed vermillion akin to that of the early dawn.
Shidou involuntarily used his hand to cover his face. Even though he barely breathed in the air, the heat that entered his nose had already began to burn his mucus membranes, preventing him from breathing. Despite being positioned behind Kotori, his skin still felt like he was being roasted, and even opening his eyes was painful.
Several seconds later, the heat ray that burned the heavens slowly decreased in size——the massive barrel equipped on Kotori’s right arm spouted white smoke as though completing its cruel assignment.
Lightly coughing he looked up.
When the smoke that had clouded his vision cleared up——Shidou’s shoulders gave a slight jolt.
The ground of the roof and the fencing had melted due to the horrifying heat, nothing was left from that assault——However over there, the figures of Kurumi and Zafkiel
However the clones who had appeared to protect Kurumi had already turned into ashes and vanished, while Kurumi herself had lost her left arm. It was probably blown off due to the terrifying heat, and the stump had a burnt black colour similar to charcoal. Not a drop of blood was spilled.
Kurumi squeezed out a gasp, weakly crouching down.
No matter how you looked at it, she was in no state for battle.
“……Pick up your guns.”
Kotori said in a low voice, aiming Camael
“The fight is not yet over. The battle is not over you know. Now, continue to kill, Kurumi. This was the battle that you have wished for. It’s the one that you desired.——If you don’t point your guns at me, then please die.”
“Kotori……? Wh, what are you saying?” Shidou ran to Kotori’s side, grabbing her shoulder.
“If you fire off another one, she’ll really die! Isn’t it
However, Kotori did not pay heed to Shidou’s words. Camael
“……! Oi, oi, Kotori!”
Shidou moved to Kotori’s front——and then held his breath.
Cold pupils, eyes that were flashing with an odd red glow. Her mouth had a smile on it, an expression that was close to being enraptured by delight.
——That’s not right. Shidou shivered. It was obvious that this was not the usual Kotori that he knew.
The instant he realized this, Shidou started to run. ——Towards Kurumi who was crouching on the ground helplessly.
It was already too late to escape with Kurumi. Shidou stood in front of Kurumi, in an attempt to reduce the injuries that she could be receiving.
At the same time, within Camael
Kotori who had Camael
“Onii-chan……! Dodge it!”
Shouting that, she pointed Camael
But just doing that is not enough to completely alter the direction of the flames that had already been released——
Everything in front of him was dyed in a shade of red, and Shidou’s consciousness blacked out at this point.
Burning. Burning. Everywhere is burning.
Burning. Burning. The streets are burning.
Burning. Burning. The whole world is burning.
Shidou’s vision was dominated by the flames.
Crackling. Rumbling. Roaring.
Even so, Shidou still did not stop in his footsteps.
Calling out his sister’s name, he only concentrated on making his way through the streets of what seemed to be an underground hell.
Despite this, Shidou still seemed like he did not understand what was going on.
But this was something that could not be helped. When he was preparing to go back home, he just happened to discover that the streets that he was familiar with had been engulfed in a sea of flames.
Today was Kotori’s ninth birthday. Shidou went to the station in order to buy a present for her. Perhaps this was the reason why he had avoided the disaster, he has to thank Kotori for that——However the problem was that Kotori herself, was still at home. It was Kotori’s birthday, yet their parents were not at home due to work as usual. Currently, only Kotori was at home.
That cry-baby Kotori, must definitely be crying due to being unable to shake off that feeling of loneliness.
The instant that figure flashed past his brain, Shidou began to run.
Kotori. Shidou’s cute little sister. The one who gave a family to the orphaned Shidou, a gentle girl.
Long ago, when he was abandoned by his own birth mother, when he was wallowing in the depths of despair, Shidou was saved by his foster parents as well as Kotori.
So, this time it was Shidou’s turn to save her. If it was for Kotori, Shidou would not hesitate to give his life for her.
Shouting again and again, he ran towards the direction of his house.
However, at this point Shidou stopped. In the streets before him, the smouldering flames that were still spewing smoke had vanished without a trace as though they had been sucked away.
At the same time, in the middle of that. A petite little girl was weakly sitting on the ground while crying.
A girl that was oddly dressed. Oversized sleeves and skirt that was part of a kimono, the horns on her head. And that white sash wrapped on her body. Surrounding her body, flames were flickering back and forth.
However, Shidou quickly recognized that girl as his cute little sister.
Kotori she, was crying.
——Shidou’s actions, did not need any other information aside from this.
(Uu, ah, ah, O, Onii-chan……, Onii-chan, Onii-chan……!)
However, the instant Shidou went to Kotori’s side, the flames clothed around Kotori began to grow rapidly.
Kotori widened her eyes in shock, and her shoulders began to tremble.
(Onii-chan! Don’t come any closeeeeeeeeeeeer!!)
Using a voice that was mixed in tears, she yelled at a volume that could have torn her throat up.
Shidou made a dazed sound.
But that couldn’t be helped. When he had realized it, Shidou’s body had already been hit by the expanding flames from Kotori and was lightly sent flying.
His back hit the ground with a crunch. A strong sense of pain ran through his back, the skin on every part of his body was screaming in pain from the burns. However, despite Shidou painfully rolling around the ground, he was unable to even cry out. Although he had, with his blurred vision and consciousness, stared up at the sky and made short gasps.
If it was like this he’d rather lose consciousness. He couldn’t even move a finger, only pain tortured his entire body. Recognizing that he was about to die, he felt a sense of fear of the unknown.
Following that, Kotori seemed frightened as she ran over to him.
Despite thinking a few seconds ago that it could have been better if he had just lost consciousness, his brain easily changed its mind. Right now to Shidou, being able to see Kotori’s face was a reward that nothing in the world was able to exchange for.
Huge teardrops fell from Kotori’s eyes. When the tears made contact with Shidou’s burnt skin, a sharp pain assailed him. However, Shidou grit his teeth as he tried his best to keep from groaning. If he’d let this cry-baby Kotori continue crying, then Shidou would have failed as her elder brother.
In his blurry field of vision, Kotori’s face was streaming with tears. The sky was slowly losing its colour. Everything, seemed to be becoming blurry.
However……Just at that moment.[——Hey, do you want to save her?]
Such a voice, sounded out from above Shidou and Kotori.
A dull pain cut the urge to sleep that was within Shidou’s head. Shidou rubbed his forehead as he lightly groaned.
There were no wounds that he could see. Leaving out cuts, even bruises were nowhere to be seen. If there were any uncomfortable places left then it would be the dull pain that resided in his head.
Opening his eyes after groaning for a while, a ceiling full of piping entered his vision.
At this point, Shidou finally realized that he was lying on a bed.
“This place is……”
Shidou blinked a few times, observing his surroundings. The beds were evenly spaced apart, surrounding each bed was a curtain used for separating purposes.
It was a familiar place. Shidou had previously slept here like just now.
That’s right. This place was the
Shidou, in attempting to clear his mind from sleepiness, sat up while lightly knocking on his head.
“Ow ow ow……”
It wasn’t just his head, but every joint in his body hurt. Shidou frowned slightly.
Next was, not knowing why but there was a sense of unfamiliarity on his lips. He probably touched something before he had passed out.
However, Shidou quickly forgot about such things. The reason for that was simple. A familiar girl was resting on his bed and sleeping.
Beautiful night-coloured hair, skin as smooth as pottery. A face as perfect as though it was handmade, her sleeping position was akin to that of characters in a fairytale. ……Well, it would have been perfect if she did not have drool coming out from her mouth.
Although Shidou called her name, the girl——Yatogami Tohka did not reply. Only her shoulders rhythmically rose and fell, silently sleeping.
“Why is Tohka at a place like this……No wait, in the first place why am I——”
At this moment, Shidou’s muttering was stopped mid-way.
The door of the infirmary suddenly opened, and the footsteps of two people could be heard.
“……Nn? Aaah, you’re awake huh, Shin.”
Wearing a chestnut coloured military uniform, a woman in her twenties looked at Shidou and spoke.
Having two eyes that were surrounded by dark eyebags, she was the analytical officer of
The same time Shidou replied Reine, he suddenly looked behind her. There was a girl thirteen to fourteen years of age, hiding behind Reine.
The girl had hid her green hair that is impossible to grow naturally in this world and her beautiful aquamarine eyes under a sunhat that had a large rim. Her left hand had a rabbit puppet that looked silly in design; it occasionally waved its little hands.
“Ooh, Shidou-kun. Wh~y, you don’t seem very energetic. We were worried.”
“If you’re okay……then, that’s great.”
After the puppet finished speaking with exaggerated movements, the young girl let out a faint voice.
“Even Yoshino is…What exactly happened……?”
“……Ah, aaah, sorry. Yoshinon is here too.”
Shidou apologized to the puppet who voiced out its displeasure. He looked back towards Reine.
“Then, Reine-san. Why am I, in such a place……?”
“……Nn. Yesterday, after the battle with Tokisaki Kurumi, we brought you who had just lost consciousness here.”
Tokisaki Kurumi. The girl that suddenly transferred into Shidou’s school——a spirit.
The instant Reine said that name, the dull pain that almost disappeared inside Shidou’s head resurfaced.
The scene from yesterday, clearly reappeared within his mind.
“That’s right, ah……! Wh, what happened in the end? Why is Tohka not waking up? Is she alright? What about Kotori? That person, suddenly appearing like that……Then again, what was that appearance of hers……! And Origami!? She should have also been in critical condition after what Kurumi did to her!”
“……Calm down first, Shin.”
“——Right, how’s Mana!? I didn’t see her after the middle of all that! Is she alright!? And Kurumi——Is she alive as well!? Everyone in the school as well——”
At this point, Shidou’s words suddenly stopped, to be accurate, they were forcibly stopped.
That’s because Reine had hugged the head of the frantic Shidou, forcefully hugging his head.
Saying that, Reine lightly stroked Shidou’s head. However Shidou was only able to feel the sensation of her warm chest.
Shidou raised his two arms to Reine to indicate his surrender. As such, Reine released him a few seconds later.
“……Have you calmed down?”
After forcefully letting out a sigh, he raised his head and threw a questioning glance, Reine nodded in response to his action. Yoshino who was at the back used her hands to cover her flushed face, but she still peeked through the gaps between her fingers.
“……Relax. Everyone is fine. There were no casualties as far as I know. All nearby hospitals are in a state of bursting from the number of patients. Tobiichi Origami and Takamiya Mana were recovered by the AST members who arrived later, they should have been transported to the JSDF’s Tenguu Hospital. They have medical realizer units equipped there——In Kurumi’s case, she took the opportunity to escape. Tohka, as you can see. Despite her wounds, she insisted on looking after you. She probably fell asleep due to the fatigue?”
Hearing Reine’s words, Shidou clenched his teeth and balled up his fists.
——In the end, Shidou had not solved a single thing.
He had previously said that he will definitely save Kurumi and Mana, yet he did not accomplish anything.
Kurumi and Mana both suffered serious injuries, Origami and Tohka as well as everyone from school were dragged into this as well. Furthermore, he was unable to seal Kurumi’s power too.
Cursing in regret, he whacked his mattress.
“……You have already done your best. Don’t blame yourself too much.”
“The fact that Kurumi was hiding a power of such strength, nobody had expected that. Why not be glad over the fact that nobody had died. If you still wish to save Kurumi, then think about how you are going to use those two hands of yours to hit her face and scold her.
Shidou said as he restrained his feelings——Suddenly he widened his eyes.
Reine’s words, still did not mentioned an important person.
“Reine-san……! Kotori. Where is Kotori right now?”
He supported his upper body as he asked, however Reine did not reply as he had hoped.
“……I’ll lead the way. Can you stand?”
Shidou folded the blanket, wearing the shoes that were below the bed and stood up. However——probably due to the long time spent lying down, he felt dizzy when he stood up, and his balance was ruined.
At this moment, Yoshino ran over from Reine’s side, supporting Shidou’s upper body.
“Oo, oh, sorry. Thank you, Yoshino.”
“No, no need……”
Shidou bitterly smiled and said, while Yoshino seemed embarrassed as she lowered her head. [Yoshinon] on her left hand started to whistle *Shu——*.
“……Are you alright? It would be better if you rest a little longer——”
“No, I’m alright. Aside from this, let’s hurry up and go to where Kotori is.”
Reine looked at Shidou while narrowing her eyes, after which she lightly sighed and nodded.
Saying that, she slowly turned around. After Shidou had placed Tohka on the bed, he started walking after her.
Yoshino supported Shidou’s waist as they moved forward together.
“Yoshino? I’m alright already you know?”
“……, Ah, yes……but, that, it’s still dangerous.”
Was Shidou so weak in Yoshino’s eyes?
But there was no reason to forcefully reject her kind gesture. Shidou bitterly smiled as he said “……Then, I’ll be counting on you.”, walking onwards, for some reason the rabbit puppet kept smirking, but it seemed the same as always so he did not pay much attention to it.
With Yoshino accompanying him, their footsteps sounded out inside
Along the way, Shidou suddenly frowned. He thought they were walking towards the usual direction towards the bridge, however Reine changed direction midway.
Just like that, after walking for a few minutes.
Looking at the door in front of Reine who had stopped, Shidou involuntarily held his breath.
Shidou was not very familiar with the interior make-up of
To be honest, as to where his exact location was within the ship as well as what this room is used for, Shidou had totally no idea.
Even if that was the case, from the heavy door that looked like a door to a bank’s vault, it wasn’t difficult to deduce what it was built for.
“This place is……”
Despite him sending questioning glances, Reine did not make a reply. She stood in front of the electronic lock installed beside the door, and after inputting the password she placed her hand on it.
“……Analytical Officer. Murasame Reine.”
After her name was said, the electronic panel gave off a faint sound, the door started opening from both sides.
“……Now then, let’s go.”
Reine entered the room. Shidou forcefully cleared his throat as he followed behind her.
Following that, Shidou’s eyebrows furrowed. A very peculiar room. The front part and inside of the room were separated by a wall made of glass, using that as a boundary, the interior of the room was oddly decorated.
In contrast to the cramped and dark laboratory where various machines were placed alongside Shidou and the rest, the interior looked as neat as an apartment room where normal everyday life takes place.
It was just like a space used to observe and restrain ferocious beasts.
And in the deepest part of the room, separated by glass, was Kotori. She was coolly sitting on a chair, elegantly drinking red tea.
She was not wearing her Astral Dress but her usual casual clothing. The usual appearance of Kotori, Shidou sighed in relief.
Her name was shouted. However, Kotori did not reply.
“Sound is unable to pass through here. ——Shin. From here you must go in alone.”
Saying that, Reine started walking once more. Towards a corner of the glass wall, where a door seems to be located.
Yoshino left Shidou’s side. After Shidou gave her a short reply of gratitude, he walked towards Reine’s direction.
Reine did the same procedures as before, fingerprint recognition, voice print recognition, opening the door. Shidou slightly lowered his head and entered the room’s depths. At the same time, that glass wall that separated the strange room entered his field of vision……His relaxed sense of awareness was rudely awakened once more.
“……Nn? Ara, aren’t you Shidou. I see you have woken up.”
At the same time, Kotori had noticed the intruding Shidou.
Not knowing why, he felt slightly out of place, Shidou used an unnatural tone to reply.
“Well don’t just stand there, why don’t you take a seat? If you wish to be a scarecrow I’ll support you you know?”
“Ah, no……Nn, right.”
After being told off like that, Shidou sat down on a chair opposite Kotori. At the same time he glanced towards the direction of Reine and the others but he could not see anyone. On the other side, what seemed to be a glass wall that separates the room became a white wall that can only be seen on this side.
The two of them silently stared at each other while separated by the table.
There was a mountain of stuff that he wanted to say, but when he was in front of the person in question, he did not know what to say.
Kotori did not seem to be in a panic, after putting cinnamon into her milk tea and stirring it——she placed it in her mouth directly.
“……That’s not right, isn’t that Chupa Chups!”
Shidou couldn’t help but cry out. That’s correct. Dipped into the red tea was not cinnamon, neither was it a spoon nor was it a stirrer, it was Kotori’s favourite lollipop.
“What’s that, you got something to say?”
“No, nothing at all!”
After his shouts, Shidou let out a sigh. ……Somehow, he felt that his shoulders had relaxed without him knowing. Within his heart he silently thanked the Chupa Chups, Shidou opened his mouth to speak.
“Kotori. ——What, kind of person are you?”
“I’m Shidou’s cute little sister of course.”
“……It’s not very convincing if you call yourself cute!”
“I’m not cute?”
“……Well, I’m not going to deny what you’ve said.”
Shidou scratched his head, placing his hand on his knees, lightly lowering his head.
“Kotori……Are you, a spirit?”
No beating around the bush, a straightforward question. He asked the question that he was most concerned about.
Kotori snorted as she shrugged her shoulders.
“Hmph, if I were to say no you wouldn’t even believe me right?”
“Aaah. If you were to say that you aren’t, I’ll believe you.”
“……Really? To trust in others and not your own eyes, that’s not a wise move.”
“Even if I was a smart person, if I were to not believe in my cute little sister, I would have failed as an older brother.”
Kotori placed the teacup onto the saucer, wordlessly observing Shidou.
After eye contact was exchanged for several seconds, she gave a light sigh.
“……I am, human you know. At least, that’s how I think of myself. ——However, that’s not the case. Because the monitoring system’s values have already classified me as a spirit.”
“What is……going on?”
Shidou began frowning due to him not understanding the meaning being Kotori’s words. Kotori, who would usually snap at him, treated it like it was expected as she continued speaking.
“I am a human that was born into the Itsuka family. This fact is definitely true. However, around five years ago. ——I, became, a spirit.”
Shidou whose eyes had turned to dots, widened his mouth and let out a dazed sound.
Spirits were existences who live in a territory known as the otherworld. They were classified as special biological disasters. At least that was what Shidou had heard from Kotori and Reine.
“What on earth is going on. Humans and Spirits, weren’t they different species from the start?”
“Well……that’s right. To put it simply, ‘I became a human that holds a spirit’s power, that should be more accurate.”
“That kind of thing……”
Midway through his words, Shidou suddenly frowned.
A certain scene surfaced within his head.
That dream. The one that he saw before he woke up, that dream.
In the midst of the burning streets, Kotori who was wearing her Astral Dress and crying alone——that dream.
“Is something wrong, Shidou?”
“What’s the matter?”
Kotori questioned. That serious expression of hers made Shidou unknowingly take a step backwards.
“E, even if you ask me what’s the matter I……”
“Meaning to say, the fire five years ago——the issue of me turning into a spirit, Shidou you’ve completely forgotten right?”
“Ah, that’s right……how do you put it. ……About that, don’t laugh okay?”
“I won’t laugh.”
Kotori nonchalantly hugged her two arms, Shidou scratched the back of his head as he spoke.
“That, just now, in my dream……”
“Dream? What kind of dream?”
After Shidou finished narrating whatever he could remember in the dream, Kotori turned her slightly blushing face to one side.
“Well, although there’s a differing point where I was crying and repeatedly shouting Onii-chan……but it was rather consistent with my memories.”
Kotori used her hand to support her chin as she went into deep thought, and after that she raised the stick of her Chupa Chups.
“……It could be, because I took back my spirit power from Shidou, it caused memories to backflow from the connection. At the same time, it also triggered Shidou’s own memories……? Nn, this is interesting.”
Kotori seemed to be pondering something, she lightly nodded.
“……Don’t just understand everything by yourself. Aside from that, Kotori.”
“Nn? What is it?”
Kotori raised her head and looked at Shidou.
“Turned into a spirit——That’s what you’ve said right. Then five years ago, what exactly happened?”
Spirits and humans were totally different species. Humans turning into spirits midway——or rather, humans gaining the power of spirits and the like, what on earth is going on.
However Kotori shook her head.
“The thing is, I can’t remember it at all.”
“Haa……? You can’t remember it……huh.”
“Nn——I can vaguely remember what happened, but the exact details evade me. Ah no, I still remember becoming a spirit you know? But I don’t clearly remember why I turned into one.”
“……Don’t go and forget such an important thing!”
“I don’t want to be told that by an older brother who forgot that his sister became a spirit.”
Shidou couldn’t reply to that. However, another question surfaced once more.
“But……you seemed to be used to battling at that time.”
Shidou recalled the scene on the roof. That’s right, Kotori, despite letting the opponent escape, had without a doubt beaten Kurumi.
“It’s really unbelievable. Although I’ve been through mock battles, it was my first time fighting. ……Although, well, because my memories become blurry when I become a spirit, I have no idea what exactly happened, my body just moved as though it knew how to fight, that really gave me a shock.”
“Wha……Th, then what about the spacequakes neutralizing each other——”
“Aaah, that was just a rash attempt. Although Reine’s plans did show such a probability, I really don’t wish to do that again. If it were to fail, the spacequake would magnify in magnitude you know.”
Kotori nonchalantly spoke, and Shidou perspired.
After that, Kotori sighed as she continued.
“But……Well, Shidou is right too.”
“I shouldn’t have forgotten such an important issue. I have to agree on this point. Shidou aside, this kind of important thing that screwed up my life, I should have not forgotten it so easily.”
“What’s that ‘Shidou aside’ for……”
Shidou half-closed his eyes in displeasure. However Kotori ignored him as she continued to speak.
“Five years ago, the two of us who were there both lost our memories. ……Don’t you find that suspicious?”
“……, Now that you’ve mentioned it……”
“In other words, who erased our memories?”
—— Who had, erased the memories of the two. This extremely uncomfortable sentence caused Shidou’s eyebrows to rise.
Indeed, if the realizer unit were to be used——or if it were a spirit that had an unknown power. Those possibilities could not be ruled out. However, just who was it and for what purpose did they do it?
Looking at Shidou’s reaction, Kotori shrugged.
“Well, those were just a few of the many possibilities.”
Even though Kotori attempted to play it down, but Shidou’s back was still drenched in sweat.
If one were to think of it that way, then it would match up.
However, since he couldn’t remember, then it would have no meaning if he thought about it now. Also, Shidou had another urgent question on hand.
“But……after that, Kotori, you had returned to an ordinary lifestyle, right? What happened?”
At the very least, from the fire five years ago till now, Itsuka Kotori had lived an ordinary life with Shidou. This fact he was extremely clear about.
However, Kotori questioned him with a “Haa?”.
“If we’re talking about that, can’t you recall? It must have been Shidou youself that sealed my power right?”
Shidou let out a stupid sounding voice.
“Nnn. ——I did say it yesterday right? I’ll・temporarily・be・taking・it・back, or something like that.”
Now that she said it, yesterday when Kotori appeared, she did say that.
Shidou used his hand to hold his forehead, lightly groaning. The pain his brain felt when he saw Kotori in her Astral Dress resurfaced once again.
He——could not recall. Despite being able to remember other events no matter how blurred they were, but once he tried to recall the incident from five years ago, he was unable to properly remember.
“That’s correct. ……After Shidou sealed my power, I was selected by
Why did Kotori, who hadn’t even reached fourteen years of age, take up the commanding position of a secret organization like
As such, Kotori continued to speak.
“Choosing Shidou as the mediator for spirits, this was also the reason. Although I don’t know why, but you do have the ability to seal the power of the spirits.”
Shidou widened his eyes.
He indeed had that question. Even if Shidou did have that kind of power, but how was he discovered by
There was no reason for that. That’s because five years ago, there was Kotori to act as a living proof.
With that being said then it all matches up. Each time she was shot by Kurumi, the wounds carved onto Kotori’s skin would be covered by flames and recovered.
That was undoubtedly the source for Shidou’s regenerative power.
“Then that means——”
Probably guessing Shidou’s thoughts from his expressions, Kotori nodded.
“That’s correct. Shidou’s revival ability was originally mine to begin with……then again. Shidou, please stand there for a while.”
“Haa? Wh, what for?”
“Alright now, hurry up.”
Shidou stood up as Kotori had asked.
Suddenly, he suffered a punch to the solar plexus from Kotori, and Shidou fell to the ground with his body bent into a ‘く’ shape.
“Said it didn’t I, I have, told you already, correct? Remember this now. The you as you are now will die easily. But what? In order to save Kurumi you desperately ran in front of Camael
“I, I heard you……I heard you so stop shaking me so hard already……”
Shidou was barely able to nod. After a while, Shidou whose breathing had finally recovered went back to his seat, letting out a sigh.
“Ow ow……what was that for?”
“Hmph. Only punishment lies in wait for disobedient dogs.”
Shidou wanted to retort, but he swallowed his words back in. Aside from that, there was something that he was more concerned about.
“Kotori, just now you, mentioned something about ‘regaining consciousness’ right?”
Kotori’s eyebrows twitched.
Shidou recalled the incident at the rooftop. The Kotori who had pointed Camael
Kotori sighed as though she had given up.
“……I did say that.”
“However, to put it nicely, you were still able to accurately launch attacks at Kurumi. That was——”
“……I’m not too sure myself. After retrieving my power from Shidou for a day……Occasionally, I would have the urge to destroy something, thoughts to kill someone——my body wouldn’t listen to myself. Currently I am barely able to control myself with the use of medicine……I was, at that moment, undoubtedly intending to kill Kurumi.”
“……It could be that because Shidou ran in front of Kurumi, I was able to become myself again. For that I guess I should thank you.”
Shrugging her shoulders with a sense of sarcasm, Kotori showed a bitter smile.
However, Shidou was unable to reply to that. The information he had heard from Kotori just now chaotically knocked onto Shidou’s brain.
As such, Kotori continued.
“……I’m afraid. I don’t know what exactly I have done. I, have no way to control myself. There’s a possibility that even though I don’t have any memories, but I may have done something five years ago. ——That’s why, in that portion of my missing memories, a possibility that I may have killed someone exists. If that was really the case, I——”
At this point, Kotori stopped speaking. She shook her head from side to side, as though trying to shake off her fears.
“Forget it. I’ve said something unnecessary.”
“Aa, aaah……. But……Your power, is it still inside of you?”
“Nn. If it wasn’t, would I still have to be imprisoned in a quarantine room with such tight security?”
Saying that, she turned her head as though surveying the room.
Although it looks like a finely decorated room, but to Shidou who had walked in from the entrance, it did not feel like a room that would make one feel happy.
“B, but when Tohka’s power flowed back to her, it would return. Then why——”
“That’s because the power that flowed back to Tohka was extremely little. As long as Tohka’s mental state remains stable, it would be able to flow back to Shidou through the connection. —— However, it’s different in my case. Almost 100% of my power had been withdrawn from Shidou’s body. Therefore, it wouldn’t flow back anymore.”
“Th, then what can we do to——”
Shidou barely squeezed out his words. Probably finding his expression to be hilarious, Kotori bitterly smiled as she spoke.
“Then, we just have to reseal it again.”
“R, reseal……? How?”
Saying that, Kotori took out the Chupa Chups from her mouth, pointing it at Shidou.
“——Please, make me fall for you.”
Kotori’s words made Shidou let out a dazed sound.
“Make you, ……fall for me……What on earth, why……”
Shidou questioned while feeling troubled, Kotori once again placed the Chupa Chups back in her mouth, picking up the teacup and lightly shrugged.
“It’s the same as Tohka and Yoshino. ——Sealing the spirit’s power, there’s no other way.”
“Th, then what should I……”
Shidou recalled the encounters with Tohka as well as Yoshino.
Go on a date to raise their affection. ——And, in the end.
Shidou’s eyes unconsciously moved to Kotori’s lips.
Meaning to say, to use the same method as that time with Tohka and Yoshino——
At that moment, a sharp sound suddenly sounded out, Shidou’s body gave a jolt.
It looked like the teacup that Kotori was holding had fallen. The white ceramic teacup shattered. The remaining milk tea had spilt all over the floor.
“Koto, Kotori? Are you alright, are you hurt?”
Shidou frowned as he asked out of concern, Kotori closed her eyes as she took a deep breath and shook her head.
“……I’m fine. You don’t have to worry.”
Saying that, Kotori grabbed her right hand with her left, hiding it under the table as though trying to avoid Shidou’s gaze.
“Even if you tell me not to worry……”
“I’ve already said that I’m fine. That aside, I’m feeling tired now. May I be alone for a while?”
“No, that won’t do. Alright, show me your hand, it could have been cut——”
At this moment, just as Shidou was about to extend his hand to Kotori, the sound of a door opening behind him was heard and a voice called out. Reine entered while holding a black bag.
“Reine-san? What’s the matter?”
“……Aaah, I’m sorry but let’s end it here for today.”
“Eh? B, but……”
“……I’ll take care of Kotori. Now, hurry.”
At Reine’s words, Kotori lowered her head and started to groan.
If they put it that way Shidou had no choice but to listen to their instructions, passing through the door and returning to the room where Yoshino was at.
Suddenly Shidou felt a sense of unease. He looked to the room where Kotori was held at, the wall that was transparent like glass had turned white, there was no way of discerning what was going on at the other side.
“What is going on……?”
After several minutes, Reine walked through the door to where Shidou was at.
“Reine-san, Kotori she……”
“Aaah, it’s alright now. Don’t worry. At least for now.”
“F, for now……”
Reine wordlessly sat on the chair, shutting her eyes.
“……Two days later.”
“Two days later. On the 22nd of June. Please go on a date with Kotori.”
“Haa. That……Well, even though I’ve already heard, but why two days later?”
“……There’s only that day left. I’m afraid that any longer, Kotori would be unable to withstand the power inside her.”
Reine’s words made Shidou nervous.
“Wh, what do you mean……!?”
“……Her relapses, are becoming more frequent. I’ve just used sedatives and stabilizers to get her under control……But more or less, she can’t hold on any longer than two days. If we were to miss that window, Kotori would probably not be the same Kotori that you know anymore.”
This time not even a sound was made. His throat felt dry, his fingers trembled slightly.
It was so sudden. The worst case scenario had appeared without warning.
After this, in two more days. Kotori, would not be Kotori anymore. ——If Shidou was unable to seal off her power.
“Th, then, right now——!”
Reine seemed to be in deep thought as she used her hand to support her chin, then sighed as though she had given up on something.
“……Really, it would be best if that were the case.”
“……No. That won’t work. I’ve told you right? She’s under the influence of drugs right now. We have to wait for her condition to be stable before we can act.”
“B, but, two days later is— —”
“……That’s why, the only day that fulfils both criteria is that day. If we were to miss the day after tomorrow, we’ll never have another chance again.”
Shidou gritted his teeth hard. Reine softly sighed as she looked towards the control point.
“……For now, please leave it to me. Shin, go and look after Mana. If it’s now, you might be able to make it before visiting hours are over.”
Reine seemed to be chasing Shidou and Yoshino out as she pointed towards the door.
“……I beg of you. For now, please do as I say.”
Noticing the oddity in Reine’s attitude, Shidou obediently followed her instructions, walking out of the room with Yoshino. In the end, he said “I’ll leave Kotori to you.”, giving a deep bow.
After that, he walked towards the bottom of the ship——towards the door where the transfer unit was located.
“……Make Kotori, fall in love……huh.”
At a volume where Yoshino, who was beside him, could not hear, Shidou muttered to himself.
If he does not do so, Kotori would not be Kotori anymore. ……However.
To make Kotori. To make his little sister. To let that violent and headstrong Commander Itsuka Kotori, fall in love.
After repeating it once more, he realized that this was a mission of the highest difficulty.