Date A Live Volume 4 Chapter 2
Chapter 7: Kotori Conference
What filled her vision was a scene as though she had seen hell itself.
The usual residences and streets were engulfed in a sea of crimson flames. Whether it was the houses that were parallel to each other, the trees that were located on her usual way to school or the vegetation in the park, everything that was flammable was being burned by those flickering flames without exception, one by one they were reduced to charcoal and ashes.
Accompanied with the loud crackling sound of the massive conflagration, were the screams and footsteps of escaping humans, and occasionally, a loud sound akin to an explosion would be heard.
Witnessing a scene that was so surreal, Origami could only let out a dazed sound.
A meaningless action. She did not move when she said those words, it was obviously not a wise thing to do.
However, one should not criticize her for doing such a foolish act. It would be too much to expect a twelve year old girl to quickly understand the current situation.
That’s because on her return trip after buying groceries, the streets that she saw before she went off had completely turned into something different. She could only kneel down on the spot as Origami tried to calm down.
Suddenly——At this moment, Origami’s eyes snapped open.
That’s right. Dad and Mom should still be at home.
The instant she remembered, Origami immediately threw down the bags she was holding, sprinting back home.
Even if a small kid ran over, she wouldn’t be able to do anything, moreover they might have already escaped. However Origami, who was in extreme confusion, was unable to make such a deduction. She could only sprint down the streets which had greatly changed since a few hours ago.
After several minutes, Origami who had finally made it back home had her face painted with an expression of despair. Origami’s house was wrapped in the same crimson flames as the other houses and she could barely make out black shadows within the flames.
(How can this, happen……)
It was not like she did not think of it. But even so, until she saw them with her own eyes, Origami would still cling to that fragment of hope. However, it’s impossible like this——
After that, Origami’s shoulders gave a jolt. The door to her home, was kicked aside from the inside.
And from there, her father with his forehead full of sweat, walked out while carrying her mother.
(! Dad! Mom!)
Origami desperately shouted at the top of her voice, shouting for the two of them.
(Y, you’ve come back, Origami!?)
(Are you hurt? It’s dangerous here. Hurry up and escape!)
Saying that, her father extended his hand towards her and walked closer.
Origami was delighted by the fact that the two of them were alive. Tears streamed down from her face and she sniffed a few times. Following that, she stretched out her hand in order to grasp her father’s hand——
Suddenly, Origami made such a sound, as though something had happened.
The instant Origami stretched out her hand, light seemed to shoot down from the heavens.
A strong shockwave followed, and Origami’s body was thrown into the air.
After flying several meters and hitting a mud wall, she coughed a few times. A rib must have broken, causing her sides to hurt a lot.
It was painful enough for her to break out in tears. However, she was more concerned about her parents’ safety. She was barely able to resist the tears, turning to look at where she flew from.
——However, there was no one left. The ground where Origami’s two parents were standing on had been gouged out, turning into something like a mini-volcano.
As though wriggling, she inched closer.
Looking at what used to be her parents on the ground that was gouged away, Origami’s teeth gave off chattering sounds.
Her eyes felt an overwhelming sense of dizziness. A feeling as though the world had been twisted. A crimson world that was slowly dyed in the black and grey colors of despair was corroding Origami’s consciousness.
Why. How. Meaningless questions floating around her head, continuously circulating as she could not get an answer.
Origami raised her head. That light that burned her parents to death. To determine its origin.
And then……her body, was once again unable to move.
Dazedly muttering in a low voice. Over there was——an Angel.
Of course, she realized that it was something that should not exist in this world. But there was no other word that Origami could use to accurately describe the existence before her, that was a fact.
Pain blurred her vision, she was unable to properly see clearly, but that thing in the air definitely had a human shape.
Floating in the air as though surveying the burning streets, a slender outline. ——It was probably, a young girl.
That figure used her hand to touch her head, causing her body to slightly tremble.
That was, instead of lamenting——it looked more like she was mocking them.
(It was you, huh……)
——To Dad, and Mom.
The latter half of her words were unable to even come out from her throat. She tightly clenched her bleeding fists, grinding her teeth, hatefully staring at the angel that was dancing amongst the sea of flames, letting out a voice that was full of curse and hatred.
(I, won’t forgive you……! Kill……I will kill you……! I——will definitely……!)
At this moment, Tobiichi Origami regained consciousness, opening her two eyes in surprise.
Although she had been sleeping the whole time, her breathing was erratic.
After Origami sat up, she took deep breaths to get her rapid heartbeats under control. Air with a slight hint of disinfectant circulated inside her nose and lungs.
Having gotten her breathing under control, Origami slowly looked around, reaffirming her surroundings.
A white ceiling, white walls. From the corner of her eye, she saw a rack that was probably used to hang an I.V. drip.
Immediately she realized that she had been sleeping in the JSDF hospital where she usually got medical care. Furthermore, it was a personal room specially prepared for her.
Wordlessly, she wiped her forehead. Her head had been carefully wrapped in bandages, but it had gotten wet due to perspiration as she slept. Of course, other bandages aside from her head as well as her hospital clothes were wet as well. Origami loosened her clothing, letting them dry.
Usually there shouldn’t be this much perspiration during sleep……It could be, because of the dream that she had just now.
Five years ago. The scene where Origami’s parents died.
The name of the existence which she had mistaken for an angel, was soon known to her.
Special biological calamities, spirits. A huge conflagration was single-handedly created by that nonhuman existence.
However——This nightmare had not occurred for a long time already. Why did she suddenly have it again?
Remembering this fact, Origami held her breath.
Recalling why she was here.
Calling out the name of her lover. That’s right. Origami had been battling with a spirit on the rooftop, Tokisaki Kurumi——she had lost consciousness after being pinned down.
She was extremely concerned about the safety of Shidou and Mana, as well as Kurumi’s motives (there was a lifeform that one would have mistaken for as garbage, but it would be better if she did not notice it at all). Since Origami survived, the probability that the others were alright was high……However she could not deduce any further. In any case, she needed information.
Origami closed her eyes trying to search for her memories before she passed out——Recalling that moment, she gulped.
While Origami was pinned down by Kurumi’s clones, as Kurumi walked closer to Shidou.
From the sky, an unbelievable object appeared.
“The Spirit……of Flame……!”
Origami recalled that figure that was reflected into her eyes, speaking in a voice that was dyed in hatred.
The Spirit of Flames. Codename
——Appearing in front of Origami’s eyes was the spirit who killed her parents.
“I’ve found you. Finally……”
For five years she had searched non-stop for her enemy. With the aim of killing the target of her revenge even if it meant risking her life doing so. Even though it was coincidental, Origami had finally found it.
Her heart beat rapidly and her breathing that was under control after much difficulty had once again become ragged. Her sorrowful wish was finally coming true, and feelings akin to ecstasy raced through her head.
But……why, there was something amiss. The spirit of flames who appeared on the rooftop——
But what was the problem. Even though she frantically pondered, but she could not figure out why. Origami thought for a few minutes before raising her head and getting off the bed. Wearing the slippers that had been set aside, she stood up.
It can’t be helped if she can’t think of it now. Since Origami was moved into here, that must mean that Mana should also be inside the hospital. If she’s here, she might know more in-depth information.
Origami ignored the slight dizziness as she stepped forward——but stumbled back onto the bed due to the drip that was still on her arm.
“It should be……here.”
Shidou compared the map to the massive building in front of him, lightly muttering.
The words [JSDF Tenguu Hospital] were written. Looks like this is the correct place.
“That girl……I really hope she’s okay……”
Yesterday, Mana who was the first to arrive to Shidou’s aid had faced off against Kurumi, and had her time stopped by Kurumi’s Zayin[The Seventh Bullet]. She should have suffered severe damage.
He heard that she had been transferred into the nearest JSDF’s hospital, so he specially came to visit.
Entering the door, he walked up to the reception counter.
“Yes, is this your first time for a medical examination here? Normally you would require a recommendation……”
When Shidou began a conversation, the female receptionist spoke.
“Ah, no. I’m here to visit someone. May I ask in which room Takamiya Mana is currently staying in?”
“Takamiya-san? May I ask if you are a family member?”
“That is……yes, that’s right.”
Shidou mumbled as he nodded.
That’s correct. Takamiya Mana is Shidou’s real sister. ……She should be.
While Shidou did not have an exact memory, Mana herself insisted that she can’t be wrong……If he were to deny it here there’s no doubt that he would be questioned about their relationship. It’s better to just agree for now.
“Please hold on for a moment.”
The female receptionist manipulated the computer with experienced hands.
After several seconds, she widened her eyes in surprise, looking at Shidou once more.
“That is……I’m really sorry, Takamiya Mana-san is currently in a special treatment room. We have to reject all visitors.”
Shidou involuntarily let out a sound.
“Is, is she in danger?”
“Who knows……They don’t release detailed information to us……”
“However if it’s family then I have the right to——”
“I’m extremely sorry……Currently for the treatment of Takamiya Mana-san we are using extremely special equipment and it is against regulations for us to explain them to outsiders……”
“How can this……then, may I please ask a favor of you? At least let me take a look……”
“E, even if you say it like that……”
The receptionist made a troubled face. And then——at that instant.
From Shidou’s back, a familiar voice called out. Turning around in wonder, he saw that a girl in a patient’s robe stood over there, leaning on an IV drip stand.
That’s right. His classmate Tobiichi Origami was standing right there.
Long hair extending to her shoulder, a girl with a rather attractive doll-like face. Her forehead was wrapped in bandages, plasters were pasted onto her slender limbs.
Origami looked at Shidou’s face, breathing a sigh of relief. Despite having no change in expression, it felt as though she finally relaxed.
“Are you alright?”
How to put it, to have someone directly ask and worry about himself, he felt somewhat embarrassed. He scratched his face and turned his face aside.
However Origami continued to scrutinize Shidou’s face while continuing to speak.
“What about Yatogami Tohka?”
He got a shock due to Origami’s words, once again turning his face towards Origami.
It was understandable. Tohka and Origami, they would definitely argue the moment they saw each other. To think that Origami would be concerned for Tohka as well.
It could be that Origami had finally recognized her as a classmate and is finally willing to understand Tohka. He felt happy somehow. Shidou exaggeratedly nodded his head.
“Nn, Tohka is alright as well.”
For an instant, the cool Tobiichi-ojousama had shown an expression that was not hers, but he was definitely thinking too much. Determined that it was so, Shidou bitterly smiled.
“B, but, why are you here. The patient wards should be one floor up right?”
Origami’s gaze did not shift as she replied.
“In order, to know Mana’s ward. ——And Shidou?”
“Nn……So that’s why. I’m the same, I came here to visit Mana.”
“I see. To visit?”
“Nn, nn, that’s right.”
“……That is……A, also to visit Origami……”
“Is that so.”
Origami’s expression remained unchanged as she spoke. But why, it somehow feels like her mood has improved. ……His conscience hurt a little.
“Well then, where’s Mana warded at?”
“Ah, nn……from what they said, she’s currently in surgery, therefore we are not allowed to meet. So right now I can only ask of her to……”
“……, if it’s like that, then waiting would probably be useless.”
“Even though I can’t explain in detail, but they should be using extremely secret equipment to conduct the surgery. No one is allowed to meet her until she is moved to a common ward. You would be restrained if you attempt to enter by force.”
Shidou’s eyebrow twitched. Highly classified equipment. That would most likely be the Realizer for medical purposes. Reine had indeed mentioned that they would be used in this hospital.
The Realizer that had the technology to turn imagination into reality was the country’s highest secret. Hence it was understandable that there would be such a reaction.
“……I understand, I’ll come back tomorrow.”
After Origami nodded, no further words were exchanged. ……She just kept staring into Shidou’s eyes.
A long period of time was spent in silence.
It was disastrous to be standing right in the middle of the hospital’s hallway, although he understood that doing so would bring inconvenience to everyone, but how do you put it, he had lost the opportunity to do so.
Sweat kept pouring from his face as he squeezed out a line with much difficulty?
“U, um……Origami? Aren’t you going back to your room?”
“I, is that so. Then I should go back too……”
And then, as Shidou was intending to walk out of the entrance, Origami suddenly *Pata!*, bent her knees and fell to the floor.
“Ori, Origami!? Are you okay?”
Hastily crouching down, he grabbed her by the shoulders and helped her up. It seemed that she hurt herself when she fell down, her nose and forehead were red.
Because of the exaggerated fall, the staff and patients around them made expressions of extreme shock. However Origami seemed unfazed by the ruckus caused by the crowd, looking at Shidou.
“I can’t return to my room by myself.”
“Accompany me back.”
“Accompany me back.”
“……I, I got it already.”
Shidou nodded in surrender.
“Then……can you walk by yourself, Origami?”
“……Is that so. Then wait for me. I’ll go borrow a wheelchair.”
After that, as Shidou planned to stand up, Origami tugged at a corner of his clothing,
“Uu, is something the matter?”
“I don’t like wheelchairs.”
“I will get carsick.”
Will someone get carsick from a moving wheelchair in the flat hallway of a hospital?…What exactly is an AST member that is used to flying around with a CR-Unit talking about?
Although there were a lot of things that he wanted to ask, Shidou decided not to talk about that for the moment.
“Th, then what should I do?”
Unable to imagine that those words came out from Origami’s mouth, Shidou couldn’t help but question back.
No, actually this solution had already been within his expectations……But how to put it, he never imagined that it would be suggested by that Tobiichi Origami.
Realizing that resistance was futile, Shidou turned his back to Origami. In an instant, Origami lightly got up, pressing herself into Shidou’s back. It was hard to imagine that she was feeling dizzy just now after seeing her nimble movements. It might be more honest to say that his back had been possessed than to say that he carried her.
Carrying Kotori who fell asleep in the living room had been a daily chore, so he was used to carrying girls……But as expected, this somehow felt different. Aside from the slightly greater weight than Kotori, a softness unique to girls was accurately transmitted. ——To put it in words, it somehow felt as if she were closer than she needed to be.
“……Origami? I, I think you’re using too much strength there?”
“Nothing of the sort.”
Saying that, Origami clung even tighter. Her breasts, which were covered by a thin patient’s gown, were forcefully pressing themselves into Shidou’s back.
From an objective point of view, Origami’s development could not be said to be doing particularly well……However its close combat capabilities were terrifying. Shidou felt his face burning, and frantically shook his head in order to maintain consciousness, single-handedly pushing the IV drip stand connected to Origami’s wrist.
“Th, then……Origami. Where’s your room?”
“The west building. Third floor. Room Number 305.”
Shidou nodded to show his understanding, and started to walk while pushing the IV drip stand with one hand.
Following the directory sign, walking past the hallway between the middle building and the west building. After that——
When they were about to reach the connecting hallway, Shidou made a girl-like sound.
Origami’s fingers were moving erratically, moving around Shidou’s body as though trying to lick his entire body.
“Ori, Origami. It’s itchy……”
“Is that so.”
Saying that, Origami’s fingers finally stopped. Breathing out a sigh of relief, once again he started to walk.
Reaching the west building, they took the elevator to the third floor, walking forwards as per Origami’s instructions.
Some time later, it was his nape that was being teased.
However, Origami’s two arms were still wrapped around Shidou’s neck. Shidou felt that something was off as he frowned. ——The reason was quickly discovered: accompanied with the sound of breathing, there was a feeling of someone breathing down his neck.
“Wait a moment……”
Showing a troubled expression, he turned his head around. However.
At this instant the back of his neck felt something that was beyond his expectation and Shidou couldn’t help but jolt.
Even though her two hands were not moving, Shidou’s spine felt as though it were being stroked, a tickling sensation.
“What!? What did she just do to me!?”
Shidou finally got his chaotic brain under control, sprinting to the designated Ward number 305 and placing Origami on the bed that was inside.
After Origami was deftly put down, she licked the region around her lips for some reason.
Even though he had only walked for a short distance and Origami’s weight couldn’t be considered to be that heavy, he felt abnormally tired. Shidou leaned on the wall for quite a while as he readjusted his breathing.
After approximately a minute, he observed the room with his heartbeat finally calmed.
It was a room that had white as its main theme. In a space of roughly three tsubo, a bed, cabinet, television and chairs were furnished, there was probably a previous visitor as the vase on top of the cabinet had flowers in it and the basket had apples placed inside.
“That……Then, Origami. I should be leaving now.”
Then, as Shidou said that, Origami’s stomach began to grumble.
“? You haven’t had your meal?”
Origami nodded in reply.
“That so……Should I help you get a nurse over?”
However Origami suddenly raised her head, taking the apple that was placed on the cabinet.
And then, taking the fruit knife that was also placed inside the basket, handed them both to Shidou.
“Peel it for me.”
He has no reason to reject her demand if it was just this. Shidou sat on a nearby round stool, accepting the apple and fruit knife, placing that basket on his knees and then started to peel the apples.
To Shidou who frequently cooked in the kitchen, this was an extremely easy task. Not even a minute was spent to divide the apple into eighths and then to line them up on a nearby plate.
“Alright, will this do now?”
Saying that, he passed the plate over to her. However Origami did not seem satisfied, shaking her head left to right and did not extend her hand for the plate.
“? Why, Origami?”
Shidou stopped moving with his hands still trapped in the action of handing over the plate and his shoulders trembled for a moment. However he could not remain so wretched any longer. Faking a cough, he opened his mouth.
“No…..You are able to do that at least this right?”
“I’ve been told to avoid strenuous activities.”
“But you were walking around freely with that drip stand of yours just now.”
Origami ignored Shidou’s words, opening her mouth with an “Ah——”
“……, really now……I guess I don’t have a choice.”
Picking up a piece of apple whilst sighing, he brought it to Origami’s mouth. Then Origami twitched her eyebrows as though she were genuinely surprised.
“If you can’t move your hands then at least move your mouth——”
It somehow felt as if his words were left unheard. That’s because Origami suddenly bit into the apple, forcibly ending his sentence.
Origami looked at Shidou as she ate half of the apple piece, chewing away and swallowing it down. She seemed to be wanting the remaining half in Shidou’s hand, her mouth once again opening up.
“Uh, here you go.”
And then, once Shidou handed out the apple slice——Origami, in one large bite, held it in her mouth along with Shidou’s fingers.
This was totally beyond his expectations. He involuntarily made a sound in shock.
“Ha, haha……are you a natural airhead?”
Shidou gave a weak smile, letting go of the apple in Origami’s mouth and withdrawing his fingers. In that instant, Shidou’s wrist was tightly held, preventing it from being withdrawn.
Ignoring Shidou’s surprised screams, Origami held his wrist tight and started to lick Shidou’s fingers. *Lick* *Lick lick* *Lick lick lick* *Suck suck* *Kiss* *Suck*
“Hey, hey, Origami……! No, wait, really——Ori, Origami-san!?”
Shidou yelled in a high-pitched voice and his hands started to flail about in panic, finally escaping from Origami’s hands. Shidou’s fingers and Origami’s lips that had been connected till just now, a glistening thread of saliva extended out ……What an erotic scene, Shidou’s face couldn’t help but turn red.
“Thank you for the meal.”
Origami wiped her mouth and put her hands together, lowering her head in a bow. Shidou wiped his hands while his face had perspiration all over.
“Is……it okay now?”
Shidou had just ended his sentence when Origami pointed to the top of the cabinet.
Looking in the direction Origami had pointed. There was a simple electronic thermometer placed.
“I need to take my temperature.”
“Aaah, is that so.”
Shidou took the thermometer, handing it to Origami. However, Origami did not reach out and take it.
“Uh, what’s wrong? Didn’t you want to take your temperature?”
“It’s difficult to do it by myself. I hope you can help me.”
Shidou frowned as he questioned back.
“N, no no no. Don’t you have to just place it under your arm?”
“……Alright alright, I understand.”
Somehow it feels like he’s being taken for a ride, but it can’t be helped. Shidou sighed as he took out the thermometer from its packaging.
“Now that you said it……how exactly am I supposed to help take your temperature. There’s actually nothing I can do right?”
“You sit over here.”
After Shidou questioned in surprise, Origami, *Don Don*, patted the bed.
Shidou tilted his head and sat at his designated spot, Origami got up, sitting in front of Shidou as though she were being hugged from behind by him. It was coincidental that their positions were now completely opposite from just now.
“! Ori, Origami……?”
He could vaguely see her snow-white nape moving closer to his face from the gaps between her hair. Shidou’s eyes started to wander.
However Origami did not mind at all as she undid the buttons of her gown, revealing her chest.
“……!? Wh, whwhwhwhwhwhwhwhwhwhat are you doing Origami!?”
“When Tokisaki Kurumi transferred into our school, Shidou you were attracted to her by her actions.”
“I’ve deduced that being aggressive is effective.”
Origami muttered to herself, grabbing Shidou’s right hand that was holding onto the thermometer. And after that, she slowly guided it to her left armpit.
“——Stick it inside, Shidou.”
Although they were not talking about anything indecent, Shidou somehow felt extremely embarrassed.
“No, this, as expected this kind of thing is……”
“If you can’t then please help wipe my body down and help me change——”
“I’ll do it! It would be great if I could take your temperature for you!”
“Is that so.”
Origami seemed a bit down as she nodded, turning her head back to the front. Shidou took a deep gulp, moving the trembling hand holding the thermometer closer to Origami’s armpit.
Then, the instant the thermometer’s tip touched her skin, Origami’s entire body quivered.
“Are, are you alright, Origami?”
“It’s fine. It was just a bit…cold.”
Rearranging his feelings, the thermometer once again moved.
“……, Ah——, ……Uh——”
Each time, Origami would make a soft sound that could only be heard from his distance, a sound like moaning, like panting, an indescribable voice.
The usual Origami would definitely never give voice to such a gentle and seductive sound. Each time it reverberated in his eardrums, Shidou’s brain cells ascended to heaven by the thousands.
“Uh……Shidou, even——deeper, a little.”
“……Um, excuse me.”
“If, you……did not, stick it in properly……then you can’t……properly, measure it.”
It was just taking her temperature, then why, why did he feel like he had just done something that he should not have. It must be his imagination. It has got to be his imagination.
Shidou started to mentally recite the Prajna Paramita Sutra (even though the content was jumbled) to calm his chaotic mind and he stuck the thermometer inside Origami’s armpit.
Instantly, Origami trembled for a moment, arching her body.
After that, Origami’s breathing became more rapid.
“——Please stick it in, tighter.”
“Ma, may I ask…..w……why?”
“The thermometer……will fall.”
“Ah……That is, nn……that’s right.”
Despite Shidou putting it that way, he exerted more strength in order to let Origami’s armpit hold the thermometer more tightly.
That’s right, he would be unable to accurately measure her temperature if the thermometer were to fall off and an error occurs, that was something that couldn’t be avoided. This is unavoidable. This was the law of the universe that couldn’t be overturned by a puny human like Shidou.
Arms, chest, stomach, Origami’s softness and body temperature were transferred without exception. And a faint smell of sweat wafted from her neck into Shidou’s nostrils. It somehow felt like someone had opened his skull and stirred up the contents, resulting in him not understanding anything anymore.
——And then, at this moment the refreshing beeping sound of the thermometer rang out and brought Shidou’s consciousness back to reality.
His confused eyes sprung open and he took out the thermometer from Origami’s armpit.
At this point Origami’s body trembled once more, but he tried to distract himself by looking at the numbers on the thermometer.
“36.2 degrees……I, it’s normal.”
“……Is that so.”
Origami said with a tinge of regret, buttoning up her front with slow movements. After which, she turned around to look at Shidou once more.
“Wh, what is it……?”
“……, I, is is is is, that so.”
Shidou did not have a clue as to what he was skilled in, but he felt that he would be even more troubled if he asked for an explanation so he nodded his head and replied.
“Th, then……I’ll go back now. Origami, you have to take care of yourself.”
Shidou moved his body, maneuvering his body around Origami’s back and getting off the bed. Just like that, he headed for the door. However,
“——One last thing, is that okay?”
Origami voiced out from behind him.
“……What is it?”
He could sense a foreboding bad omen, asking in reply. What kind of request is it this time. ——However, Origami said something unexpected.
“Yesterday. I hope you can tell me about what happened after our battle with Tokisaki Kurumi. ——There should be another spirit that came from the sky. Wearing an Astral Dress that looks like a kimono, the spirit that uses flames.”
Shidou involuntarily held his breath.
An alarm bell started to sound in his head. Origami was definitely asking about Kotori.
“Do you remember?”
Shidou hesitated for a moment, before nodding his head.
Although it was a bit blurry, but since Origami had seen Kotori, there’s no meaning in hiding it. More accurately if Shidou said that he did not see a spirit, it would be extremely suspicious.
Shidou couldn’t tell if Origami had noticed his panic. She continued to speak in a calm voice.
“At that time, before I was knocked out by Tokisaki Kurumi, losing my consciousness. ——No matter how fine the details, I hope that you will be able to tell me about the location of that spirit of flames.”
“No……that, how do I put it, because I was knocked out too, so I’m not too sure about the details.”
“……, is that so. If you do remember something, I hope you will tell me immediately.”
Hearing Shidou’s words, Origami sighed in relief.
Shidou nodded, but he felt an indescribable sense of unease.
Origami was an AST member. Taking down spirits is their mission. So wanting to know information about newly appeared spirits is understandable…… But how to put it, there seems to be something wrong with Origami.
“Why do you want to know about that spirit so much……”
“That is because.”
Origami’s words were cut off at this point, softly biting on her lip as she continued.
“Do you remember about what I said before?”
“About my parents being murdered by spirits.”
“——, aaah……I remember.”
Shidou nodded to indicate his acceptance. He would never forget. The reason for Origami’s hatred for spirits, hatred for the calamity that kills the world. That was, the incident five years ago.
“Five years ago. The one that triggered that large fire at the residential district at Nankou-machi, the spirit that burned my parents. ——It was, that spirit of flames.”
Shidou was speechless.
Placing his hand on his stomach, a feeling as though his lungs would scrunch up every time he inhales. His breathing became more pained with each breath and an urge to throw up surged in his stomach.
Taking a deep breath, breathing it out. He repeated it once more, thinking about what Origami had said. ——However, Shidou’s mind could only find chaos and unease.
Origami, she definitely did say it before.
The spirit of flames killed her parents.
——Kotori, killed her parents.
“——Always, I’ve always been searching. Always, endlessly searching.”
It seemed like she did not notice Shidou’s confused look, Origami continued to speak.
“I just happened to find it. I finally found it.
Kill it. Kill it. I must kill it. Using, my own two hands.
I’ve spent these five years only for this.
For this moment, I joined the AST.
For this moment, I obtained the Realizer unit.
For this moment, I’ve honed my movements and skills.
All of that, was so that I can take down the criminal.
All of that, was so that I can confront the spirit of flames.
All of that, was so that I can kill
With a forcefulness that could not be usually imagined, Origami continuously spewed out curses.
Her expressions were dry. Her voice was flat. She did not make any exaggerated gestures. However even if it was like that, her words were dripping with venom and hatred that would make people who heard them shudder.
——Five years ago. Then, it was indeed a match with what Kotori had said.
“But, how can that be, don’t tell me……that girl——”
“? Do you know something?”
Origami tilted her head. Shidou hastily shook his head left to right.
“No, no……That’s not the case.”
“Is that so.”
Once Origami said that, she began to avoid Shidou’s gaze. Instantly, Shidou felt as though his shoulders had lost strength as though they had been released from their bonds. However, he did not intend to end the topic right here. Shidou was hesitant as he started to speak.
“What is it?”
“If you can’t talk about it then forget it……But if possible, I hope that you can at least tell me a little more about the spirit from five years ago? B, because, I think I might be able to remember something from that……”
As Shidou said that, Origami seemed to agree as she nodded.
“That day. I was on my way back from buying groceries——”
Origami started her story with a calm voice. The fact that her parents, who were thrown into that disaster, were originally alive. However, the spirit appeared, killing her parents in front of Origami’s eyes. Because of her blurry consciousness and vision, she was unable to determine her identity. Not long after she found out about the spirit who was the cause of that disaster——
Five years had passed already since it happened, however her words had not stopped even once. ——It was as though, she had experienced it just yesterday.
Listening till the end, Shidou’s heartbeat accelerated as though he were annoyed.
That’s because, the information that Shidou was expecting, was not heard from Origami’s mouth.
Meaning to say——That spirit was totally different from Kotori.
To Shidou, the possibility of Kotori killing Origami’s two parents, was definitely zero.
“——That was how it was.”
Only that, before hearing that vital piece of information, Origami’s account ended.
Shidou felt like falling down and he took a step towards Origami.
A little. Even just a little is fine. Wanting to obtain evidence that Kotori was not the criminal, he asked her a question.
“Is, is there anything else……? That, compared to the spirit that you saw yesterday——”
However, just at that moment.
“——This announcement is made for those who are still visiting. Today’s visiting hours have ended. To every visitor still in the hospital, please leave as soon as possible. Repeating once again——”
An announcement rang from the direction of the hallway, cutting off Shidou’s sentence.
“What is it?”
Origami tilted her head, wishing to hear Shidou’s question once more. However, Shidou calmly shook his head.
“It, it’s nothing——nothing at all. Take care of yourself, Origami.”
Origami nodded her head in reply. Shidou hastily left the ward before she could speak to him once more.
There should still be a few more minutes till visiting hours ended.
However, Shidou was unable to ask again. Although it was true that he was affected by the announcement. But, Shidou himself knew why he didn’t ask Origami once more.
——He, was definitely, afraid.
——From Origami’s mouth, the evidence that the spirit that had appeared five years ago was actually Kotori.
He tried not to make any sound when closing the door, turned towards the hallway and started to walk.
Despite being in the corridor of a hospital. It was also dangerous, so he could not walk too quickly.
However, it was as though he were at a loss of what to do, his footsteps naturally quickened in pace. In order to rein in his rapid heartbeat he placed his hand to his chest and his shoes made clattering sounds.
After that. The only thing that made Shidou, who did not intend to stop until he left the hospital, stop was the handphone that suddenly vibrated in his pocket.
Speaking of which, when he entered the hospital, he had forgotten to turn his handphone off. Hastily walking out of the hospital, he took out his handphone from his pocket and answered the call.
“……Hello, is this Shin?”
Due to his haste in answering he did not have time to determine the caller, but because of that sleepy voice as well as that ‘Shin’ nickname, it caused him to immediately know the identity of the caller. ……Even though they had known each other for quite some time already, Reine still did not manage to remember Shidou’s name.
“……Aaah. Are you done visiting Mana?”
“Ah……Yes. Well, I should be.”
“……? What a vague answer.”
“Well, she is in the middle of receiving treatment, I can’t visit her yet.”
“……Hmm, is that so.”
Saying that, Reine replied in a low, pained voice.
“? Is there something wrong?”
“……No, there’s nothing. That aside, Shin, are you able to come back to
The name that Reine had spoken caused Shidou to go speechless.
Kotori’s look before he left
“D, did something happen to Kotori!?”
“……No, that’s not the case. The reason for meeting, is to open up a strategy meeting.”
Shidou frowned as he asked, Reine replied, “……Aaah.”.
“……Shin, it can be said to be extremely difficult for you to conquer Kotori……But in this case, you have an extremely large advantage compared to that of Tohka’s and Yoshino’s.”
“……Aaah. There’s a simple reason why. She is different from the spirits that suddenly appeared from nowhere, the target for our conquest is one who has been with you and us for an extremely long time. Her hobbies, things that she likes, the places that she frequents, the objects that she wants……etc etc. The information that we have on hand is incomparable to that of other spirits. ……Also, there is still one day left, the time to construct our battle plan has also been decided. We can’t make use of it well if you don’t attend.”
“Y, you’re right.”
It was right when she said it. It was true that the difficulty of conquering Kotori in commander mode can be said to be unfathomable, however if you only look at the personal information on hand, it was indeed incomparable. On various levels, she could be said to be the easiest target to attack.
“Therefore, I’ve gathered the crew members who understood what happened to Kotori and we are going to engage in a discussion for the date two days later, Shin you have to join us.”
That was obvious. Shidou vigorously nodded his head.
“I understand. If I can contribute, please let me help as well.”
“Thanks for your help. ——Then
“Yes, I understand. ——Ah, Reine.”
“……Uh? Is something the matter?”
“I just……would like to ask, even though it was five years ago. Kotori she——”
Reine asked back. It’s just that, Shidou once again reflected on the words said earlier. It could be because he did not think it through about the things that he wanted to ask——Or perhaps he was hesitant to ask Reine, Kotori’s subordinate and friend about such an accusation.
“……No, it’s nothing.”
“……? Is that so. Then, I’ll see you later.”
Saying that, Reine hung up. Shidou wordlessly pressed the button and placed his handphone back into his pocket, walking forward with heavy footsteps.
“I, isn’t this Tohka. You’re awa——”
Not waiting for Shidou to finish his sentence, Tohka immediately pounced onto him.
Surprised by the sudden action, his whole body stiffened. Tohka did not seem to mind at all as she wrapped her arms around Shidou’s neck and tightly squeezed.
“Nuu! shidou! You were alright! That’s great!”
“Uu……it’s all thanks to you.”
Bitterly smiling as he lightly tapped her shoulders, indicating that it was about time to let go. Tohka, “Uuh”, softly muttering, realizing Shidou’s intentions and was about to leave——
When she felt something suspicious as she frowned and once again brought her face near Shidou’s neck.
As though trying to detect a scent, her nose did not stop sniffing.
“Wh, what’s wrong? Is something the matter Tohka?”
“No……It’s just that there was an unpleasant smell. I wonder why……It should be a smell that is pleasant to the nose, but when I smelled it, it made me feel sick, or maybe angry would be a better word for it……Aaah, that’s right, it is almost the same as Tobiichi Origami’s smell.”
Tohka said that with a straight face. What an amazing sense of smell. Shidou’s heart was about to jump right out.
“——! Is, isisisisisn’t that just your imagination……?”
“Uu……is that so. It should be. The fact that Shidou’s body had Tobiichi Origami’s smell, why did I think about that. Unless Shidou had carried that girl, that smell would never be left on you.”
“……! Th, that’s right. That kind of thing would never happen.”
“……That’s enough with the small talk, Shin.”
And then, Reine who had been in a corner looking at Shidou and Tohka, slowly shook her head as she spoke. Looking as sleepy as always, she gave off a feeling like she would fall asleep at any moment.
“Ah……Yes, I’m sorry.”
“……Mm, then follow me. Tohka, can you please play with Yoshino for a while?”
“Uu? Can’t I stay with shidou?”
Tohka’s eyebrows were knitted into a “八” as she stared at Shidou and his chest felt like it was being squeezed——but since it was a strategy meeting on conquering Kotori, it would be best if Tohka didn’t know about this.
“Tohka, sorry. I have something to take care of.”
Although Tohka pouted her lips, but she still obediently left.
“……Alright, then let’s go.”
Saying that, Reine shakily started walking. Shidou hastily ran after her silhouette.
Passing through corridors that he had never walked before, they finally arrived in front of a massive door. As Reine stood in front of the door, a beeping sound sounded out and the large door opened by itself.
“……Then, go right in.”
There was a wide space inside. The centre of the room was furnished with a large round table and quite a number of crew members had already been seated. Looks like this place was used for strategy meetings.
“……Let’s look for an empty seat.”
Reine shakily walked into the room, sitting down on an empty seat. Shidou mimicked Reine and sat down beside her. Looking to his side, there was a mini crystal display and keypad. It looked like every seat had been installed with those facilities.
And then, the man sitting at the head seat made a cough and immediately stood up.
Long hair reaching his back, a face that was not as deep-set as that of a Japanese. It was a man that one would normally find in the books of Shoujo manga.
Kannazuki Kyouhei. He was the Vice-commander of the airship
“It’s great to have you all gathered here, everyone. Due to the urgency of events, please let me take the place of the Commander, I, Kannazuki will be hosting this meeting. ——Shidou-kun, it is indeed an honor to have your presence here.”
“No, this is what I’m supposed to do.”
Shidou nodded his head and Kannazuki continued with a satisfied smile.
“Well then, let’s get straight into the main topic. Those who had already known about the Commander’s body, those who only found out after this incident……No matter which one you are, please lend us your assistance. ——Today’s topic is the date plan between Commander Itsuka and Shidou-kun that is in two days time. Please reveal all information that you hold and let us make that day an enjoyable one for our Commander.”
Saying that Kannazuki surveyed the crew members who were gathered in the room——and took a deep breath.
“……Shin. It might be better if you covered your ears.”
Reine suddenly said this line, Shidou tilted his head in question. And then——
“Well then, everyone. Dear members of
After Kannazuki’s declaration, the crew members around the round table replied with a roar. Their terrifying shouts shook the air, the soundwaves reflected off the walls of the room and hammered Shidou’s ear drums.
“Wh, what is going on!?”
It looks like he did not notice Shidou’s situation, Kannazuki continued to speak.
“Do you wish to be rewarded by our Commander!?”
“Do you wish to see our Commander’s smile!?”
“Do you wish to crawl on the floor and have the Commander kick you hard with the heel of her boot!?”
Looks like that did not gain approval. Kannazuki made a fake cough.
“Now is the time! It’s time for us to show our love! Sing it out aloud, that name we all revere!”
The briefing room went into fever. This was not an order and reply, it was more like that of an idol’s performance.
“Very good! Well then let’s begin with the report! Our Commander’s wish, our Commander’s hopes, in order to achieve all of that, we must let our Commander fall in love!”
Replying to Kannazuki’s voice, the crew members manipulated the controls at their side and began to input all of their data.
Shidou shook his head from side to side as his ears were still ringing.
“Wh, what just happened…..that.”
“……Well, because. Everyone likes Kotori a lot.”
Shidou said as perspiration started to appear on his face, when suddenly a sound was heard from the other side of the round table. It was from a thin man with streaks of white mixed into his hair. His name seems to be——
“Vice-commander! I’ll go first!”
“Very well, I grant you permission to speak!”
“Yes! It has to be a present above all else! As long as we know about the stuff that she likes, it would be easier to gain her favor compared to the usual spirits! We all know that the Commander’s favorite are Chupa Chups! If we are able to make a Chupa Chups with an original flavor and present it to the Commander——!”
“NON! Too naïve! At that level of knowledge, do you really think that would possibly be more than the Commander’s love for Chupa Chups!? Engrave it in your heart! The thing that the other party loves the most, is the one that is the hardest to give!”
“……! I, I’m really sorry!”
Complying with Kannazuki’s orders, the next crew member stood up. His significant feature was his round glasses, it was Dimension.Breaker
“From the Commander’s middle school friend, I’ve already gotten information from Kiotome Kana-chan, it seems that recently the Commander has become attached to the Mister Pig game on the handphone——”
“Wait a second, where on earth did you get that information!”
Shidou involuntarily shouted out while Nakatsugawa revealed a wide smile on his face as he gave a thumbs up.
“Rest assured. I’ve given her sufficient hush money for this, I didn’t reveal anything about Us
“What exactly is going on!?”
“Haa……Haa……Hey, little girl, the person that was with you was your friend right……? I, I will give you money, so can you tell me more about her……?”
“This is the wooorrrrssstt! Then again is that Kana-chan really that kind of person who will betray her friends for money?!”
“It seems that her mother is gravely ill, she needs money no matter what. After much deliberation she finally made her determination to do so. But then later she hugged her pillow and cried out of guilt.”
“Sorry Kana-chan I had no idea!!”
Shidou grabbed his head, the next middle-aged man——Bad Marriage
“Vice-commander, it’s my turn.”
“Very well, I’m looking forward to it.”
“Yes. ——First of all please take a look at this. It’s an image from May 2nd.”
After that, Kawagoe pressed the controls near his hand. And after that the screen at the centre of the table revealed an image of the bridge of the airship.
In the commander’s seat, Kotori was seated there. It looks like work had just ended. Kotori, “Uu……”, lightly stretched, using her hands to rub her shoulders and spoke.
“……Phew, how tiring. It would be great if I could go to the hot springs to relax once in a while.”
That scene made every crew member who had gathered in the room raise an uproar.
“She, she said……hot springs……”
“Yes. The Commander is indeed interested in going. ——And I have a proposal to make here.”
The same time he spoke, the image on the screen changed to that of a traditional hot springs inn.
“Granting you the peace that you have always been wishing for. Refreshing you in both body and soul, rest that is full of freedom! Tsukimihara Hot Springs Four Days Three Nights Tour! Using the natural hot springs, let us help the Commander relax her shoulders and feel free!”
“S, so that’s it……!”
“And, that’s not all. This hot spring, when the time is right——mixed bathing is allowed!”
Once more, all crew members trembled. Kawagoe extended his two hands outwards with a terrifying aura.
“The results of my investigations, the last time the Commander and Shidou-kun had bathed together was already five years ago!”
“Ho, how do you guys even know about that……!”
Despite Shidou’s yells, they were beautifully ignored. Kawagoe continued to speak with burning passion.
“Even though they do not have the awareness of being siblings of the opposite gender, Shidou-kun would naturally be attracted to his sister’s sudden growth, same goes for the Commander, she would start to have a peculiar interest in her brother’s body……! Their rationality losing out to their heightened emotions. The skin of the two unintentionally making contact as they realized each other’s existence……! Of course, this scene will definitely be recorded with a higher quality than the ones taken everyday.”
The crew started to get excited. Although there were a few female members inside, but for some reason they were already hyped up as though they too were excited. It was just like, that was the original intention for the meeting.
“Welcoming the final night. The happy moments were finally coming to an end. At this moment, the Commander finally mustered her courage and speaks. ‘……Hmph, it’s okay for us to sleep together for tonight.’.”
The crew members looked uncomfortable as they fidgeted.
“Not knowing which party took the initiative to hold hands, unknowingly their bodies stuck close to one another. And finally the lips that finally touched! Aaah, that is something to be celebrated! Commander! This is something that we must celebrate……!”
Kawagoe used his hand to cover his two eyes. Upon a closer look it looks like he was crying. No, it wasn’t just Kawagoe. All of the crew besides Reine, everyone looked extremely touched as tears appeared in their eyes.
“Shidou-kun……We leave the Commander in your care……”
“I beg of you, you must let her find happiness.”
Being stared at by multiple tear-streaked faces, while feeling uncomfortable, Shidou scratched his face.
“No, but, even if you all put it that way……”
“! What a wuss! Can you even call yourself a man!?”
“That’s right! Please bear responsibility!”
“I will never give the Commander to some guy like you!”
It somehow feels like everyone has become Kotori’s father. He showed a troubled expression as he pressed his hand on his forehead.
“Ahh but, his plan is excellent! I’ll grant you a Saint KotoriSacred Kotori Medal!”
“I will treasure it!”
Kawagoe used his fist to hit his palm, bowing in respect. Shidou looked at him, turning to speak to Reine who was sitting beside him.
“May I ask, what exactly is a Saint KotoriSacred Kotori Medal?”
“……Badges with Kotori’s photo in them made by Kannazuki.”
“……Is that so.”
How to put it, it was really a medal that does not need to be treasured so badly.
And then, towards the crew members that had more or less decided on the plan, Reine voiced out.
“……However, we would go over Kotori’s limit if it is four days and three nights.”
The crew members all widened their mouths in a daze, looking at each other.
A troubled expression appeared on their faces.
“U, uwu……It does indeed seems like that is the case. Can’t we just shorten the time period?”
“We can’t! This plan’s crux is to unconsciously minimize the distance between the two people for the first two days, using the final night as the trigger……!”
“……Furthermore, Kotori’s actions on the final night in your plan seem to be that of your personal wish.”
After having that pointed out by Reine, everyone held their breath.
“Uu——Then what should we do……”
Kannazuki painfully moaned. Looking at him, Reine lightly sighed.
“……Well, I believe that there’s no need for it to be so complicated.”
“Then, what you are saying is?”
“……You’re right. Shin, did Kotori ever mention to you of anywhere she wanted to go?”
“Places that she wanted to go……huh.”
“……Aaah. Places that you did not coincidentally hear from her or rumors if possible, I hope that it was at a time and place where Shidou is aware that Kotori is speaking to you. Directly to Shidou, specifically saying that she wishes to go together with you, that would be best.”
Shidou supported his chin using his hand. If it was a place that Kotori hoped to go together with Shidou——
“That……ah, I got it. Speaking of which, she did mention it before while watching a commercial that she wished we could go to the Ocean Park in Eibu……”
“……Nn, is that so. Then why don’t we choose that place?”
Reine used a light tone to speak while nodding.
“Is, is that okay? When Kotori said that, she wasn’t in commander mode but in imouto mode you know?”
“……It does not matter. It’s not like she really has another personality like Yoshino. Isn’t it better if we put it this way, that she was in a state where she freely expresses her feelings?”
However, Kannazuki frowned as though he was in pain.
“Ocean Park……huh. Well for a date location it is indeed a good choice, but if we decide on it without a concrete plan……”
The rest of the crew members seem to have the same opinion as Kannazuki. Everyone looked reluctant as their mouths bent into a “へ” shape.
“……But we would be able to see Kotori’s cute swimsuit if we choose the Ocean Park.”
Just one sentence from Reine, the sounds of everyone holding their breaths could be heard.
……The date plan that had Kotori and