Date A Live Volume 4 Chapter 4
Chapter 9: Last Date
22nd June, 9:55 am.
Carrying the bag that contained new swimsuits and towels he bought yesterday, Shidou stood near the Pachi statue in front of the east entrance of Tenguu Station.
That was the name of a bronze statue of a seated dog. It was already pretty famous as a meeting point at Tenguu Station, however it is even more famous as a loyal dog; although its real name is hardly mentioned. The truth is that even Shidou did not know its name as well.
Shidou lightly groaned while supporting his head with his hand. Due to yesterday’s incident where he lost consciousness, he awoke to find himself in
Although they did basic checks as well as an IV drip, he could still feel some pain in his head.
“Are you alright, Shidou-kun?”
At this moment, Kannazuki’s voice rang out from the transmitter. That was to be expected, since Kotori was unable to give the orders, Kannazuki had to take charge.
“Yes……I guess so.”
Saying that, Shidou, ‘Pa!’ ‘Pa!’, used both hands to slap his cheeks.
Although he was worried about what happened yesterday, but now was not the time to pay attention to that.
No matter what, Shidou has to date Kotori and accomplish his capture of her by today.
Although it is a massive task, but if he were to be unable to accomplish this by today, Kotori’s consciousness would be devoured by the power of the spirits. There’s no room to be careless here.
“Have you memorized the plan? We will provide assistance from our side. Don’t worry, you are the playboy savior who has conquered several spirits. Do show some confidence in yourself.”
Kannazuki’s encouragement (?) caused Shidou to smile bitterly. What should he say, it really is a depressing nickname.
At this moment, Reine’s monotonous voice sounded out from his transmitter.
“……It seems like Kotori has reached the surface. She should be arriving at your location soon. I’ll leave the rest to you, Shin.”
“——Uh, al, alright.”
Saying that, Shidou took in deep breaths in order to regulate his breathing.
Not too long later, a small figure walked over from the streets.
Wearing a short sleeved T-shirt decorated with cute frills over a short one piece dress and carrying a bag with her swimsuit in her hand. She had her long hair tied into two bunches with black ribbons.
Although they haven’t met for two nights, but he felt that the situation was slightly off. It could be because she was still the Kotori that he knew which was why he could calm down.
“Hey, there, Kotori.”
“Nn, I’ve kept you waiting.”
Shidou raised his hand in greeting and Kotori replied whilst nodding her head.
……Following that, was silence.
“……Shin, why are you silent. First of all you should——”
The same time Reine spoke, Kotori let out an exasperated sigh.
“Staying silent after meeting with a girl who put in effort into dressing up? I should have taught you about this already right?”
“……! Ah, aaah——”
That was indeed the case. He had already been taught this during that time when Tohka appeared, but he had forgotten it somehow.
Shidou intended to speak as prompted——when he realized something.
Shidou asked, and Kotori’s shoulders jolted slightly.
“Hmph, that’s right. It’s a formality for dates after all. Furthermore I think that doing so would make Shidou perform better. ……Well, if I were to be praised for it, I won’t dislike it……”
“It’s nothing. That aside, the train’s arriving soon isn’t it?”
Kotori left it as such, and ran to the station before she turned around to face Shidou.
“Well then——let our datebattle begin.”
Saying that, she looked at Shidou’s face and smiled.
A familiar phrase. Shidou audibly gulped and nodded.
At that moment.
“He, hello……”[Iya—I’m looking forward to this——]
After replying to Kotori, three voices sounded out which got Shidou confused.
Having a bad feeling about this, he turned his head in the direction of the voices——and Shidou’s body froze in place.
That’s because standing right there were Tohka and Yoshino who looked like they were going on a trip.
“Tohka, Yoshino……and Yoshinon……!? Wh, why are you two here in a place like this?”
Tohka inclined her head in wonder.
“What are you talking about? Aren’t we going to the Ocean Park?”
“Wh——Why do you know about that!?”
“Even if you ask me why……”
Tohka frowned at Shidou’s apparent feelings of animosity.
Following that, Yoshino timidly spoke, as though adding on to Tohka’s words.
“That’s……Reine-san she, said……so we came, um……are we causing trouble……again?”
Shidou held his breath. After which, without even waiting for Shidou to prompt, a voice sounded out from the transmitter.
“……Aah, that’s right. It seems like I haven’t told you yet. They are tagging along for today’s date.”
“Wh, what’s wrong with this……”
Sweat rolled down Shidou’s cheek as he asked. It’s true that there was such a thing as group dates, but since they’ve said that it was a date then they should have went with the conventional two person date instead.
Reine paused for a while before continuing.
“……Well, I was just wondering if the important person of today would mind the date being like this.”
Reine said flatly. Although it doesn’t sound like she isn’t reflecting on the possibility that she screwed up……but he was still uneasy about this. Shidou lowered his voice and asked.
“However, is that really alright? Kotori’s mood is……”
“……Hm, you don’t have to worry about it that much.”
“Is, is that so……?”
Saying that he snuck a peek at Kotori behind him.
Towards Tohka and company’s sudden appearance, Kotori still had the same expression as before, however……
Shidou’s cheeks wordlessly twitched. Upon seeing that there was no change in her expression, Shidou started to relax for an instant but——he soon realized that he had made a wrong judgement.
“……Heeh, you really got guts huh, Shi, dou. I’m really looking forward to this.” Kotori’s expression remained unchanged, but the atmosphere behind her has changed significantly as she spoke with a smiling face. To put it in the words of a manga, the terrifying sound effects [Gogogogogogo……] would be drawn into the background.
“No, th, that was……”
Shidou voiced out in protest, using his finger to tap the transmitter, he let out a faint sound of protest.
“Isn’t this just impossible……! There’s a bad vibe in the air somehow……!”
“……Is that so. I thought it wouldn’t have become like this……”
“Ho, how’s Kotori’s feelings and amiability meter now……!?”
Whilst on a date with a spirit, Reine should have a specialized realizer unit to monitor the target’s mental state.
However Reine kept silent for a while,
“……Hm, well, about that, how to put it. ……Good luck.”
She said that with an irresponsible tone. ……It seems that the unit had displayed extremely dangerous numbers.
“Ah, hold on, Reine-san……!”
As Shidou shouted with feelings of despair, Kotori quickly walked over to Tohka and Yoshino’s side. Patting the backs of the two as she did so.
“Well, we should go then. Have you brought your swimsuits?”
Kotori inquired, the two of them who were dejected due to Shidou’s response quickly brightened up.
“Oooh! Of course!”
“The swimsuits, yesterday……Shidou-san had, bought them……”
“Heeh, not bad. ——How thoughtful, Shidou?”
Saying that, Kotori cast her gaze at Shidou’s direction. Although her tone and expressions were extremely gentle, it gave him a terrifying chill as though it would freeze his very innards.
“Now, let’s move along then.”
Shidou shuddered, while Kotori led Tohka and Yoshino to the ticketing area.
“Shidou-kun, let’s catch up with them first! There’s still time to salvage the situation. We will provide assistance at the intended location as well.”
“I, I understand……”
Once Kannazuki finished speaking, Shidou forced himself to take a step forward.
……They’ve barely started, yet Shidou felt that it has now become a date with many obstacles in front of him.
Ocean Park was the theme park located at Eibu Station five stations away from Tenguu Station.
The park was fashioned with various swimming facilities and large bathing areas, built with the thought of having the fairground as the exterior attraction and the pool as the interior attraction. If it was the summer holidays, it would be the perfect place to build familial or love relations.
That being said, it was currently mid-June. Although the indoor facilities and the fairground can be used throughout the year, but due to the fact that the outdoor pool that was the main attraction had to wait till next month before it could be opened, there were a lot less visitors compared to the peak period.
Well, it wasn’t like the summer news where waves upon waves of visitors were present, it could be said that it was an excellent chance for a date.
Pondering upon such things, Shidou, who had finished changing, walked out of the changing room and into the indoor pool.
Looks like the girls have not yet finished changing. Shidou inclined his body and stretched, turning his neck as he looked around his surroundings.
“Oooh……this is really amazing.”
The area covered by the semi-circular ceiling lay right over the gigantic swimming pool, and at the back, a water slide built like a cliff was placed.
It was a setup that triggered the males’ sense of adventurousness.
“It’s alright to feel excited, but do remember about the commander alright?”
Kannazuki’s words came through the transmitter as though advising him.
“I, I know that. ……Then again this communicator, is it alright if it gets in the water?”
“……Aaah, it is a model that is entirely waterproof. You just have to make sure that it does not fall out from your ear.”
Reine was the one who replied to him. As soon as she was done speaking, an energetic voice came from behind Shidou.
“shidou! Sorry we kept you waiting!”
Shidou turned his head around and standing right there were Tohka, Yoshino and Kotori who had finished changing.
What Tohka and Yoshino were wearing were, as Shidou had thought, the swimsuits that Shidou had bought for them yesterday.
Tohka’s swimsuit was a light purple bikini, Yoshino’s on the other hand was a pink swimsuit that had frills on the waistline area just like a miniskirt. Yoshino did not look like she had gotten used to changing clothes yet. ……Well, Kotori probably had to lend her a hand with that.
It was not known whether the two had gotten used to the swimsuits or it was due to the fact that the visitors around them were wearing similar clothing but they were no longer feeling as embarrassed compared to yesterday. The two of them ran to Shidou’s side in small steps.
Shidou lightly raised his hand in reply, letting out a sigh of relief at the same time.
Whether it was Tohka or Yoshino, they were both beautiful girls that could be called [rare] and [one in a million]. In truth, Shidou would probably have forgotten about Kotori and be mesmerized by them if he had not met them before.
“……It was a good thing we did this huh, coach.”
As though seeing through Shidou’s mind, Reine spoke to him. Shidou frowned slightly.
“……Don’t tell me that you already had the intention to do so when you took Tohka and Yoshino there yesterday? And the reason you made me buy those swimsuits is for……”
“……Haa, I’m not too sure.”
Reine replied half-heartedly. Shidou made a long sigh.
Tohka on the other hand yelled loudly, not noticing that dejected sigh of his.
“Oooh! This is so amazing! There are actually mountains and rivers inside a building!”
Yoshino who was following behind too was seen in a rare excited mood. She started to speak while slightly flushed and breathed rapidly. [Yoshinon] on her left hand started clapping as well.
“Th, there’s water everywhere……!”[Ha——! I’m getting excited——!]
“shidou, can we go into that lake!?”
“Aaah, of course. Besides that was meant for playing in the first place.”
After Shidou answered Tohka’s question, her eyes seemed to sparkle as she started exclaiming.
“Right! Let’s go Yoshino!”
The energetic duo ran towards the pool. Shidou stared at their backs——
“They’re so full of energy, those two.”
The voice from behind made Shidou jump.
“Um, oh, Kotori.”
Saying that he turned around. Just as Shidou had expected, standing there was Kotori who had finished changing along with Tohka and Yoshino with her arms folded and a Chupa Chups in her mouth. A white two-piece swimsuit. The top had a stringed design that was tied behind the neck, mildly exuding an erotic feel.
Speaking of which, he had not seen Kotori in a swimsuit for several years already.
As their parents were not at home, the civilization at the Itsuka residence had significantly devolved. Of course due to the presence of swimming lessons in the summer, he had washed and folded Kotori’s school swimsuit before, but he had never seen Kotori’s usual swimsuit till now.
Shidou’s dazed look made Kotori frown in suspicion.
“What’s wrong with you, staring like that. Although in terms of biology, sexual relations between close relatives don’t apply here, but there’s no cure if you feel aroused from your sister you know?”
“……! It, it’s not like that!”
Shidou hastily replied. Kotori on the other hand shrugged her shoulders whilst saying “Aaah, is that so?”.
“……What in the world are you doing, Shin?”
At this moment, Reine’s voice entered into his right ear.
“……Haven’t I told you already? The other party had spent time and effort into dressing up. You should at least say something right?”
What she said was indeed true. Shidou coughed lightly, facing Kotori once again.
“? What do you want?”
Kotori half-opened her eyes and replied. Shidou was at a loss for words in an instant. ……He had only realized just now that it was extremely embarrassing to compliment someone.
After some encouragement from Reine, Shidou turned his line of sight away slightly and slightly parted his lips.
“Um, that is……how do I put this, it, it suits you, that swimsuit. It……looks extremely cute, that’s how……I think.”
He squeezed out those lines with a stuttering that was even worse than Yoshino.
Kotori’s eyes widened and her cheeks reddened slightly. ——However, she quickly shook her head, showing an arrogant smile, she pointed the stick of the lollipop to the sky with her mouth.
“Ara, thanks. That was probably Reine or Kannazuki prompting you to compliment me right?”
Bull’s-eye, Shidou made a groan. However, he would be admitting it if he stayed silent. Shidou had no choice but to continue to speak.
“N, no, they didn’t. I’m telling the truth.”
Honestly, he felt that Kotori in her swimsuit looked cute from the bottom of his heart. Although he was a little clumsy in saying it out, he was not lying.
Kotori snorted, surprisingly showing a teasing smile.
“Heeh, I’m really flattered. ……Then, where and how exactly am I cute?”
“Huh……, eh, well……”
“……Hm, it’s time for us to work now.”
At this moment, Reine’s voice spoke into his right ear.
In the airspace that was further away, Kannazuki Kyohei, the vice-commander of the airship
“Now’s the time for everyone of us to show our strength!”
Although it was temporary, but Kannazuki had the absolute authority to command the ship at present. It would be alright for him to sit in the commander’s seat——however he did not do so.
That seat belongs to Kotori. Since he believes that she would return, he must never dirty that seat. ……To put it simply, instead of saying that he wants to sit in that seat, he would rather be the seat itself.
After that, following Kannazuki’s voice, on the main screen that displayed the current situation at the pool, the window showing three options materialized.
① “Everything! Kotori looks cute no matter what she wears!”
② “Although that swimsuit looks rather plain, but it is quite unique. It looks great”
③ “Aaah, those budding breasts are irresistible.”
As Kannazuki had ordered, the tabulated result swiftly showed on the monitor at his hand.
More than half chose ①, followed by ②, ③ on the other hand only had one vote.
“Umu, mostly everyone chose ① huh. Well, that is to be expected I guess.”
Kannazuki used his hand to support his chin as he pondered. Following that, the voices of the crew members below the bridge could be heard.
“Hm, even though it might be old-fashioned, but saying this would probably improve her mood.”
“Although ② is not a bad choice, but it does place too much emphasis on the swimsuit.”
“As for ③…… Well, it goes without saying right?
“Is that so?”
Kannazuki lightly nodded, moving close to the microphone and said.
“Shidou, choose ③. ‘Aaah, those budding breasts are irresistible.'”
——After one second.
The voices of the crew members of
“Vi, Vice-commander——Are you nuts! The opponent is Commander Itsuka here!?”
“Didn’t we say that ③ is already out of the question!”
Below the bridge, voices of disapproval……or dismay sounded out. However Kannazuki slowly spread both his arms out to stop them, and spoke to them.
“It’s exactly because the target is Commander Itsuka……that’s why.”
Kannazuki’s easygoing tone of speech caused the crew members to lose their aggressiveness. Kannazuki smiled, and pointed his finger to the monitor that had Kotori’s image wearing a swimsuit.
“See here everyone. That slender, beautiful, puerile body of hers. That moment in time where a thirteen year old girl is in the second year in middle school……She’s already irresistible. That’s all there is to it really.”
“In the end isn’t it just the Vice-commander’s tastes! Saying that would only lead to getting kicked by the commander!?”
The crew’s words made Kannazuki widen his eyes.
“Y, you are able to receive a reward from this, isn’t this just perfect!”
“That’s why we’re telling you to……”
The crew members who have long forgotten their formalities grabbed their heads. However at this period, they’ve long exceeded the time limit. Shidou’s slightly impatient voice came through the speakers.
“……Is, is this really okay……?”
“Yeah, of course. It’s fine to change the words from ‘breasts’ to ‘boobs’ if you want.”
“……I’ll go with the former way of speaking then.”
In a bid to stop Shidou, the crew members repeatedly pressed the switch of the microphone, however the commander’s seat had the highest priority. Shidou faced Kotori with renewed determination.
“Th, that is……ah.”
Shidou’s face twitched, staring at Kotori’s chest. Although he felt that it was a crazy choice, but since it was generated by
“Well, those budding breasts are irresistible.”
The instant Shidou spoke, Kotori’s cheeks dyed crimson and she swiftly used both hands to cover her chest.
“You, what are you saying……! You were actually thinking of such things!?”
“N, no, it’s not like that……!”
Shidou hastily waved his hand and an alarm sound went off in his right ear. An ominous sound that he had heard before. It was the emergency alarm that would sound off whenever a spirit’s emotions and amity significantly worsens or when their mental state becomes unstable.
“C, calm down Kotori! That was……!”
“……Shin, it’s an emergency.”
As though trying to interrupt Shidou’s explanation, Reine’s voice sounded out.
“I know! But first I need to think of a way to get Kotori to calm down——”
“……You’re wrong, I’m not talking about this side.”
At the same time Shidou made a stupid reply, a deafening wail echoed throughout the pool.
“Wh, what’s going on!?”
“Shidou, over there!”
Kotori pointed to the centre of the shallow pool.
Over there was the pool that had a part of it turned into an ice rink, as well as the bawling figure of Yoshino.
“……About that, because Yoshinon was washed away by the current, she panicked.”
Thirty minutes passed after the mysterious iceberg had appeared in the pool.
Shidou used Kotori’s handheld hair dryer to dry [Yoshinon] that was back on Yoshino’s left hand, sighing aloud as he did so.
It was fortunate that not much of a commotion was raised over it, and the pool had returned to the bustling atmosphere like before, however Yoshino dejectedly lowered her shoulders. Tohka was curling up in a ball with her.
“I’m, sor……ry, really……”
“Umu……how embarrassing. I was on the scene too and yet……”
“Well, you don’t have to mind it that much. There weren’t any casualties after all.”
Shidou said to the two, Kotori who was standing at one side took over and spoke as well.
“That’s right. Everything was the responsibility of our careless Shidou here, you don’t need to mind at all.”
Shidou waved the hair dryer, stroking [Yoshinon]’s head.
“That’s better, it’s about dry now. Are you alright, Yoshinon?”
As Shidou said that, [Yoshinon] shook its body like a dog, placing a hand on its chest as it heaved heavily.
“Iya——Iya——……That was really a great adventure——. I thought I was a goner for sure——”
“Ahhh, it’s alright it’s alright. We’re already reunited after all, in the end it’s all right Yoshino.”
Yoshino stroked [Yoshinon]’s head, nodding forcefully.
Looking at the scene while Kotori shrugged her shoulders.
“……Well, if we’re unclear about the situation then we shouldn’t force ourselves. ——I remember that they rent out swimming tubes over there, let’s get one shall we?”
“? Swimming tube?”
Tohka tilted her head in suspicion. Kotori said, “Ah——”, raising one finger and drawing circles in the air, looking upwards as she did so.
“Well seeing is believing. It’s much faster if we go there and have a look. Let’s go.”
Saying that, Kotori stepped out. Tohka and Yoshino followed behind her.
“Wa, wait for me.”
Shidou folded the hair dryer, chasing after the trio. ——Along the way, Kotori suddenly leaned close. As though she did not want to be overheard by Tohka and Yoshino.
“Wh, what’s the matter? Is something wrong?”
“……Yeah, um, about just now.”
“……About which part am I cute.”
Saying that, Shidou felt his heart forcibly contract. He originally thought that he had avoided the issue thanks to Yoshino, however it seems that it wouldn’t be that simple. As expected of Black Kotori in Commander Mode. The incarnation of sadism who, once she caught on to the opponent’s weakness, would pursue it till he cries in defeat.
“A, about that……”
Shidou tried to dispute that statement with much difficulty, but Kotori continued to speak as though ignoring him.
“That was……just now, they were
“Eh, no, no, that was……”
“……Your real feelings, right?”
As though whispering to the devil inside Shidou’s heart, Reine’s voice sounded out from his right ear. However……if he replied at such a close range he would undoubtedly be noticed by Kotori. Shidou forced down his thoughts.
“……Since Kotori is more or less aware of our presence, then if you just follow
It was just as she said. Shidou grit his teeth, turning to look at Kotori.
“That was……Well, it was really from……the bottom of my heart.”
Saying that, Kotori was speechless.
……Uhu. Although there was no way out but he said it nonetheless. Heartily saying the false truth. Shidou looked to the sky in despair.
——He would undoubtedly be looked down upon. He would be seen as a lust incarnate that would have evil designs on his little sister. He would most probably be seen as a lolicon that loved bodies that were in the midst of puberty. He would definitely be looked upon as a person who liked ecchi stuff, kneeling on the floor while getting kicked. Even if it did happen to him right now it would not seem unnatural. Such thoughts caused Shidou’s brain to short circuit.
However after several seconds, neither the violent punches nor the harsh scoldings came.
Turning back while feeling confused, Kotori lowered her head with a red face for some reason.
“……Hmph. ……Is that so.”
Mumbling those words, she used her hands to gently touch her modest breasts that were covered by the swimsuit.
After Shidou called out her name, Kotori’s shoulders shook and she gave a hook to Shidou’s diaphragm.
“……Hmph! With just that, death is too good a lesson for you.”
Saying that she turned her face, quickly leading Tohka and Yoshino away.
“Nu? What happened to shidou?”
“It looks like……he’s in, pain……”
“Hmph, don’t pay too much attention to him. It’s a relapse of some problem with his diaphragm. Don’t get too close. You’ll be infected.”
Kotori placed her hands on Tohka and Yoshino’s shoulders while explaining.
“Th, that girl……”
Shidou held his throbbing stomach, intending to chase after the backs of Kotori and the two. At that moment, a message from
“……Shin, hold on. There are several
“You’re saying……to let them be picked up?”
“……That’s right, just let it be like in those dramas, when the girls are being held hostage by delinquents, a hero gallantly enters the scene, how’s that?”
“Is that alright, this. It somehow feels like I would be beaten up……”
As Shidou said that uneasily, this time it was Kannazuki who replied with a voice full of confidence.
“It’s alright. No matter how girls act on the outside, deep down inside they are always hoping for a prince on a white horse. I am well aware of that fact.”
“Isn’t Kannazuki-san a man?”
“I crossdress from time to time.”
Although it felt like he had just heard some amazing confession, but Shidou pretended to ignore what he had just heard and looked in Kotori’s direction. The female trio had already queued up at the counter that had small boats and swimming tubes displayed and it seemed like they were in the midst of filling out the loaning form.
“……Now, the staff members who are in disguise are going to make their move. Shin you have to chase them away bravely.”
“Ah, hold on——”
Without waiting for Shidou to finish, Reine’s voice vanished. Almost at the same time, three men inched closer to the girls who had finished the process with the loan. Discoloured hair and tanned skin. They looked like delinquents who had nothing to do.
The men smiled and waved, and started a conversation with Kotori and the others.
“Hello——. Hey hey you three, where are you from?”
“Just the three of you? That’s a waste.”
“If it’s okay with you, can you all accompany us?”
And with that they said outdated lines that were used to pick up girls long ago.
“Wh, what do you want.”
“……, Um, ah……”
Faced with the arrival of the three men, Tohka frowned in suspicion while Yoshino on the other hand hid behind Tohka. As for Kotori, she was glaring at the men’s faces with an icy glare. Which was rare of her to do so.
“Now, Shin. Time for you to enter the scene.”
Reine’s voice had just sounded out as one of the three men grabbed Kotori’s wrist with a smile on his face.
“Come on. Alright? It’s just for a while, I promise you’ll be very happy?”
Saying that, he pulled Kotori’s arm forcefully. At this moment, another guy was waving in Shidou’s direction. It seemed like he’s urging him to hurry up and stop them.
“No other way then, let’s go.”
Shidou patted his diaphragm once more before he took a step forward.
“Um, I’m really sorry for interrupting, but——”
At that moment,
“——Third Executive Officer Awashima Fumio.”
Kotori said to the man who grabbed her arm.
The man’s shoulders jolted. However there wasn’t a hint of satisfaction on Kotori’s face, she continued to scrutinize the other two.
“As well as Third Officer Teshirogi Yoshiharu. Third Officer Kawanishi Takashi. ——Hm those aren’t bad disguises at all. You all pass. But your lines suck. Who’s the scriptwriter?”
As Kotori spoke with half-closed eyes, sweat poured from the men’s faces as they started retreating.
“H, how do you know people of our rank——”
“Rank? What’s with that. Since you are in my department in
Kotori’s words made the men kneel down and cry.
“It’s a hot day. Rest for now.”
Kotori waved her hand and the three who had just displayed delinquent behaviour wonderfully made a salute before returning to their original places.
Tohka and Yoshino tilted their heads in wonder.
“Muu. What was that just now?”
Kotori lightly shook her head, as though telling them to pay no attention to what has happened.
Shidou fell into confusion, scratching his face in unease.
He had met with a problem even before he set out to resolve one. However it was logical once he had thought it through. Leaving other Spirits aside, the plan involving the use of
“……Isn’t this totally useless?”
“……And I had prepared staff members who had never made direct contact before, they had special make-up applied as well……”
However Reine ignored Shidou’s words and she mumbled softly to herself.
“Th, that is indeed amazing. But what do we do now that the plan involving the staff members is useless?”
“……That’s right. I could have been underestimating Kotori.”
“Th, then what do we do now——”
“Don’t communicate so openly, Shidou.”
Suddenly hearing Kotori’s voice caused Shidou to jump. Not knowing when, Kotori had appeared in front of his eyes with her hands on her hips.
Whilst incoherent, he turned to face Kotori. He had an expression that looked like he had been discovered while talking to Reine.
“Really now……it’s alright if it was me, but what would you have done if you were caught by other Spirits?”
Kotori shrugged wordlessly. Although it was frustrating, he could not retort.
However, it’s not a solution to remain silent. Shidou shook his head and attempted to change the topic.
“To, Tohka and Yoshino……Where did they go?”
Kotori curtly replied, using her chin to indicate where. In that direction were the figures of the duo who were wearing the swimming tubes and were already swimming in the pool.
“Oooh, this is great! Look at this shidou! We won’t sink!”
Tohka let out cries of elation, and Yoshino too was nodding her head in jubilation. It seems that the two of them were enjoying their first time in the pool.
However, today’s mission was not them. Kotori, who was the most important person for today, was waving the stick of her lolipop disinterestedly. Now that he thought about it, Kotori seems to have never entered the pool before. It shouldn’t be a case where she doesn’t know how to swim, but.
“……Shin, no matter what you’re going to do, why don’t you try asking Kotori first?”
At that moment, Reine’s voice sounded out.
① Let’s go and play at the water slide together! Hugging her tightly from behind!
② Let’s go and rest in the hot springs! It’s heartpounding because it’s a mixed bath!
③ Let’s float away at the lazy river! Let me be, your exclusive float!
“Hm, well then everyone, choose!”
Kannazuki loudly declared. At the same time the crew members pressed the buttons in their hands.
The screen swiftly displayed the results. ① had the most votes. Next was ②. ③ did not receive a single vote.
……It seems like a result that they had seen before as a dark cloud appeared on each of the staff members’ faces.
However Kannazuki did not seem to notice at all and he nodded his head relaxedly.
“Hm……it looks rather apt. Since they have arrived at the Ocean Park, they should take on the rides that it is famous for.”
“Although the hot springs are quite popular, that isn’t a place that young people should go to.”
“③ is not an option, Vice-Commander, only ③ is a no.”
The crew stared at Kannazuki closely. Kannazuki, on the other hand, laughed aloud.
“How horrible. No matter the power of dictatorship, I would never repeat such a brainless act.”
Saying that, he put the microphone close to his mouth.
“Shidou-kun, choose ③. Go to the lazy river, you will be the Commander’s float——”
At that, two members below the bridge jumped out and forcibly dragged his body away from the microphone.
“Wh, what are you doing, you guys!”
“Analysis Officer Murasame! Do it now!”
As the crew members subdued Kannazuki one after the other, they cried out.
In response to the cries, Reine turned the microphone on after scratching her cheek.
“……Can you hear me. Choose ①. Go to the water slide with Kotori.”
“I understand. ……But, did something happen? It sounds so noisy on your side……”
Kannazuki was still crying out “Shidou-kun! The float! Be the Commander’s float! Face-down!” while on the bridge near the Commander’s seat, but Reine ignored that for now as she continued.
“You don’t have to care. In short, you two must go together alright?”
Shidou did not seem to understand but he still nodded his head.
Hearing his reply, she turned off the microphone. Upon seeing that, the crew members who were pinning Kannazuki down finally relaxed their hold.
“Really now……what are you all doing, everyone of you! Such a rare chance! Speaking of which, inflicting violence upon a superior officer, that’s a major felony!”
Kannazuki declared, while another staff member spoke with half-closed eyes.
“……In the situation where Medical Officer Rindou makes a medical conclusion of health problems, or two-thirds of the staff with Analysis Officer Murasame included determines that there is a problem with the ability to lead, do you know that we are able to strip you of your ability to command?”
Kannazuki surveyed the bridge. Everyone was glaring at Kannazuki’s direction.
Kannazuki made a fake cough and he continued to speak while cold sweat flowed from his face.
“……Ok, I won’t pursue the incident just now, let’s continue with the battle plan shall we?”
“Those who think that the Vice-Commander does not have the ability to lead please press the button in your hands——”
“Didn’t I say that I won’t pursue it already!”
Under Kannazuki’s pleas, the punishment was suspended for now.
Receiving the somewhat garbled instructions from
“H, hey, Kotori.”
Kotori did not move her gaze as she brusquely replied.
Shidou was at a loss for words……but he forced himself to continue.
“It……it’s such a rare chance, let’s go play for a while.”
As Shidou said that, Kotori made eye contact with half-closed eyes as though assessing him.
“Hmph, what do you want to play?”
“Hm, how about the water slide?”
Saying that he pointed to the gigantic mountain that reached to the ceiling. The long slide extended from the summit and occasionally there would be people wearing swimsuits descending from the top accompanied by screams and the strong flow of water.
After Kotori glanced at where Shidou had pointed, she turned around and sighed.
“Although it feels a little old fashioned……Well, I guess we’ll give it a try. Right, let’s go.”
After saying such depressing words, she started to walk towards the water slide. Instead of calling her a girl who was enjoying her date, it might be more fitting to describe her as a commander who was focused on the date.
At this moment, it could be that they have noticed Shidou and Kotori’s situation as Tohka and Yoshino who were floating on the water looked over at them.
“shidou, Kotori. Where are you going?”
“Eh? Aaah……We’re going to play at the water slide.”
Tohka widened her eyes and tilted her head. Shidou smiled bitterly as he pointed at the mountain once more.
“Aaah, it’s that one.”
“Oooh……! There are people coming down!”
Tohka’s eyes shone brilliantly and she waded to shore with the swimming tube still on her.
“I want to go to!”
Shidou made a surprised sound. That can’t be helped. Since he had finally created an opportunity where he and Kotori could play together and raise her feelings, he had to be faced with a complicated scenario when Tohka came into the picture.
“Nu……I can’t go?”
Tohka probably noticed Shidou’s reaction as she dejectedly let her shoulders drop. If she were to grow long ears and a tail, both of them would probably be hanging limply.
Unease naturally settled in his heart. However, if he did not reject her request outright……
“Shin, you don’t have to mind. Just bring Tohka along.”
Suddenly, Reine’s voice entered his right ear, interrupting Shidou’s words.
“Reine-san? Will this be alright?”
“……Aaah. Or should I say that she came at the right time. Probably.”
“……Nothing. Well in short, it’s no good rejecting Tohka who just wants to play.”
“I, I got it.”
Reine’s words. She must have had some plan up her sleeves. Shidou looked at Tohka once more.
“Nn, I got it. Let’s go together, Tohka.”
“! Oooh, can I!?”
Tohka’s expression changed, immediately brightening up. Although Shidou thought that he heard Kotori clicking her tongue behind him, he was probably mistaken. Shidou continued to speak.
“Ah, aaah. But we need to find a place to put that swimming tube down first.”
As Shidou was in the midst of looking around, Yoshino’s voice sounded out from the pool.
“Shidou, san. If it’s alright with you……let me hold that……for you.”
Shidou spoke with a surprised tone. He assumed that Yoshino would want to play on the slide like Tohka.
Probably sensing Shidou’s thoughts, Yoshino shook her head with a pale face.
“That’s……too scary. And……Yoshinon would, get washed away again……”
“Aaah……is that so?”
Shidou scratched the back of his head and smiled bitterly. It seems that the previous incident has caused a mental trauma.
“That’s why……Yoshinon and I, will……watch together.”
“Really. Then can I trust you with Tohka’s swimming tube?”
“Yes……Leave it to me.”
Once Yoshino agreed, Tohka grabbed the tube that was around her stomach, pulling it upwards. But naturally, the swimming tube was blocked by her bust and she found difficulty in removing it.
“Nu, what’s with this. I can’t get it off.”
Saying that, Tohka increased her strength. The swimming tube subsequently reached Tohka’s chest, pulling Tohka’s swimsuit upwards as well. Her soft breasts could be glimpsed from under the swimming tube. Shidou hastily cried out to stop her.
“Wait, Tohka! Stop stop! You remove it from below!”
Finally realizing it after being reminded, Tohka pulled the tube downwards. The swimming tube successfully fell to her feet.
“Oooh! You’re amazing shidou! How did you know?”
Shidou mumbled as he scratched his face, Tohka didn’t seem to mind as she passed the tube to Yoshino.
“Then I’ll leave this in your care, Yoshino.”
Yoshino nodded as she took over the swimming tube. Shidou started to walk towards the water slide.
At this point he finally realized that Kotori was hugging her arms with her toes tapping the ground.
“Letting your date partner wait is a NG no matter how you look at it. If this were practice you would have been punished already.”
Shidou’s shoulders shrank, but Kotori sighed as she slowly moved in the direction of the water slide. Shidou hastily followed behind her.
“Tohka, let’s go.”
After finally climbing the stairs, they arrived at the summit of the cliff. The staff members of the water slide were in the midst of instructing visitors to proceed in an orderly fashion.
It was fortunate that there were not many people playing with the water slide. It would be Shidou’s turn soon.
Shidou followed the instructions of the staff, sitting on the water current with his hands grabbing the edge.
“……Shin, I said it before, there’s no meaning if you don’t go down together.”
Reine’s voice reminded him through his right ear. Shidou tapped the ear piece to indicate his acknowledgement.
“Um Kotori, let’s go together.”
Shidou’s suggestion made Kotori widen her eyes……but she subsequently turned away while coughing.
“It’s, it’s fine. I’m not a kid anymore.”
“Don’t say it like that. There’s nothing wrong about this. Alright?”
“Gu……Didn’t I say that it’s fine already!”
Kotori hugged her arms once more, turning her face away.
……This is bad. When Kotori gets into a tantrum, she wouldn’t listen to whatever he says.
At this moment.
“What’s the matter Kotori, you don’t want to play? Then I’ll go with shidou then!”
The moment he realized that it was Tohka’s voice that sounded out behind him, his back was suddenly assaulted by something soft.
“Mm, then let’s go shidou!”
Tohka smiled innocently, pressing herself onto Shidou. Although an additional person would add to the stability when going down the water slide……How could he get it across, those two weapons of destruction located on her chest were making him feel troubled.
“? What’s wrong shidou, are you not going to play?”
“N, no……um, how do I put this.”
Even he himself could feel his face burning. As Shidou stuttered with a distracted gaze, Tohka leaned her body forward in order to have a better look at Shidou’s face. This, however, caused Shidou’s back to undergo an assault by two airbags.
On the other hand, Kotori who was standing on one side was glaring at Shidou. Her deeply furrowed eyebrows. Lips that had formed a へ shape. You didn’t have to put in much thought to know. She was definitely infuriated at Shidou who was at a loss at the situation.
However in the next instant, something unexpected happened.
Kotori took a step forward, and as though sitting in between Shidou’s legs, she sat down before him.
“Wh, what. Do you have something to say?”
Shidou said with a pathetic look, Reine’s voice softly spoke into his right ear.
“……Excellent. Nice work, Tohka.”
“……Hm, even though it’s a date, I believed that Kotori wouldn’t be honest.”
“Reine-san, don’t tell me, just for that——”
He was just about to speak when he stopped. The reason was simple. Tohka, who had incited Kotori’s retaliation, pressed her body even closer.
“Oooh, is Kotori joining as well! Alright, let’s go!”
Along with Tohka’s words, her sweet breath breezed past his neck, sapping away Shidou’s strength. It wasn’t just her chest. Stomach, hands, arms, feet, any part of his body that made contact with her soft body, he felt as though his brain would flow out from his ears.
“N, To, Tohka……Could you move a little……”
Kotori who had turned her head and witnessed this spectacle was gritting her teeth in frustration for some reason and she changed her position on the unstable water current.
“Oi, hey, Kotori……?”
Shidou did not manage to finish speaking as Kotori had already turned to face Shidou, tightly hugging his body.
It was as though she were a koala hugging a tree.
It was common for them to hug while they were bathing together before, but he felt unusually excited right now.
“Kotori, you are taking part for real!? Alright then, I guess I have to be serious as well……!”
Saying that Tohka held the edge of the water slide tightly and the weight of three people was added onto the water current.
Shidou and Kotori let out a wail from the unexpected speed.
In a position that was enough to anger the staff, Tohka was just like a launcher. Even though most of her strength had been sealed, Tohka’s strength was still beyond that of a normal person. She made use of such strength to push them off. Under the terrifying acceleration, Shidou couldn’t help but panic.
Tracing a path that almost went out of the slide, the trio left a mix of wails, inaudible screams and laughter as they went down the slide.
However——midway down the slide. The most extreme bend arrived, and the three of them flew out of the slide and were thrown into the air.
“Oooh! We’re flying!”
The same time Tohka’s excited voice entered his eardrums, Shidou felt the buoyancy that surrounded his body vanish——and just like that they plummeted to the pool at the bottom.
Gigantic waves were made and ripples formed inside the pool.
“——Puha! Ahahaha! shidou! This is really interesting!”
Tohka made a dazzling smile once her face swiftly came out of the water.
However Shidou did not have that energy. His body felt heavy for some unknown reason and he was unable to return to the pool surface.
After exerting strength to steady himself……Shidou finally realized the cause.
Kotori was making soft moans and her shoulders were slightly trembling as she was tightly hugging onto Shidou’s body like before.
On a closer look, the two ribbons that she used to tie her hair were missing.
“Kotori……are you alright?”
Kotori spoke with a blocked nose, raising her head to look at Shidou’s face. Her face made Shidou widen his eyes.
“D, don’t tell me you’re crying——”
Shidou had just opened his mouth when Kotori hastily released her hands and turned her back to him.
Shidou looked around, and noticing the two black ribbons that were floating in the water, he handed them back to Kotori after retrieving them. Kotori swiftly sank into the water once the ribbons were in her hands.
Following that bubbles started appearing on the water surface, several seconds later.
“……Really, that was ridiculous.”
Kotori, who had resurfaced, had returned to her perfect Commander mode.
……However, her nose and eyes were still red.
“……What is it.”
Kotori glared back with half-closed eyes. Shidou stared at those black ribbons as he scratched his face.
He had already noticed it before. The tenth of April. From the start when Shidou first knew about the existence of the Spirits, Commander Kotori appeared……But which Kotori was the real Kotori, as well as what was the reason which made her develop such contrasting personalities.
The white ribbons were the innocent Kotori. The black ribbons on the other hand were the strong Kotori.
It wasn’t dissociative identity disorder, but rather a near perfect adjustment of character——
“……Hey, Kotori. Today, why did you choose the black ribbon?”
Shidou asked Kotori this question.
“What’s that, you got something to say about this?”
“No, well……although it’s not entirely unrelated.”
Although there was such a thought, he would never say it. Shidou looked around to avoid her gaze. Kotori quietly took a breath before continuing.
“……I can’t. The white me, is the weak me. If it wasn’t the black, strong me, today would be impossible.”
Not understanding a single word that Kotori had said, Shidou frowned.
“What’s that, talking about being weak or strong.”
“It’s nothing, it’s better if you don’t know.”
“Wh, what’s with you……”
As Shidou frowned and said that in annoyance, Kotori looked away.
“……And I thought that the time was right, in the end she’s still not honest with herself.”
At this moment, such a voice entered his ear.
“……That’s right. Let’s try it again.”
“Try it again……No. I had enough of the water slide.”
“……Hm, you don’t have to worry. Just stay quiet and stand there.”
“? What, are you talking about……”
Shidou frowned, when suddenly Tohka, who was separated from them in midair, came closer to Shidou and Kotori.
“shidou, Kotori, aren’t we going to go again?”
Tohka asked innocently. She probably loved the slide very much.
“No……I, I think I’ll pass.”
Shidou and Kotori shook their heads causing Tohka to pout in dissatisfaction.
“Why? And it was so fun too……”
Midway through her sentence, two girls with swimming tubes swam over. Just as they were moving behind Tohka——
It seemed like one of the girls had loosened Tohka’s costume during the encounter. The top half of Tohka’s swimsuit floated to the water. Shidou’s eyes shrank to dots.
Tohka probably noticed it after a moment. She slowly moved her gaze downwards——
Letting out an inaudible wail, her hands covering her chest, she submerged her head into the water.
“shi, shidou! Di, dididididid you see!?”
“I, I didn’t! Nothing at all!”
Shidou lied to the best of his ability and as Tohka blew bubbles in the water with a reddened face, she retrieved her swimsuit and retied it while she was still underwater.
Shidou gave a sigh of relief. Although he did catch a glimpse of it, raising a ruckus about it would render his life forfeit.
However, the real threat wasn’t from just this.
A calm yet rage charged voice from behind him caused Shidou’s shoulders to give a jolt.
“……You said you preferred them small.”
The instant Shidou was bewildered by that unexpected line, that awe-inspiring right punch exploded into Shidou’s diaphragm.
“Hmph, Ogre huh. The strongest in the world.”
Kotori shook her right hand as though shaking off the blood on a sword before leaving.
Shidou twisted his body in pain when Reine suddenly spoke up.
“……Muu, did I do something wrong just now?”
“……The ones that swam past Tohka…..those girls……don’t tell me they’re
“……No, they would be noticed if they were staff. They were bribed with the angels of money prior to this.”
Shidou let his body float on the water as he felt the hallucination of cupids flying around him.
The time now is 2:10pm. Shidou and the rest were currently at a store within the Ocean Park enjoying a late lunch. On top of the white plastic table that Shidou, Tohka, Yoshino as well as Kotori were seated at, there were large plates of sandwiches and paper cups full of drinks on it. Although it seemed like there was too much……well, with Tohka being here there shouldn’t be any leftovers.
“Umu, it’s delicious shidou!”
Tohka consumed the sandwiches hungrily, revealing a beaming smile. A girl who can thoroughly enjoy any food she eats. On the contrary, Yoshino, who was seated opposite her was nodding while taking small bites out of her sandwich.
“Is, that so……then that’s great.”
Looking at the two, Shidou gave a dry smile. It wasn’t because of the two. He felt joy upon seeing the two of them eat so happily.
However, there was still the existence of a troublesome issue which caused Shidou to tense up and panic at this heartwarming scene.
The reason for that was simple. That’s because seated right opposite Shidou was Kotori who was crossing her arms and sitting with one leg over the other with a bored expression. It was not known whether she was dissatisfied with the meal but her sandwich lay untouched. Furthermore she rarely bit down on the straw of her drink, not speaking most of the time. One does not need to think to know that she was displeased.
Shidou made an inaudible groan.
It has been more than three hours since they have arrived at the Ocean Park. Although they had attempted to get closer to her via the support of
——Drafting up a strategy before the event, is it truly effective on Kotori compared with the other spirits?
Shidou waved the thought in his heart away. Which one would have been easier. It is true that with an idea of her thought patterns, it may be safer compared to the spirits before. However it was also due to this that the difficulty is exceptionally high. Itsuka Kotori is undoubtedly the strongest enemy thus far.
“Reine-san. How’s Kotori’s emotional state and affability? ”
Shidou lowered his voice and spoke while covering the side of his mouth discreetly, speaking through the earpiece to Reine who was in
“……Hm. There’s no sign of them decreasing……but there is also no sign of them increasing. It’s obvious once you look at the graph. It has been a flat horizontal line all this time.”
Shidou lightly groaned. Although he did think that it wouldn’t increase, but he didn’t expect that there would be no sign of a decrease either.
It just means that Kotori was indifferent. Was it because
In the next few seconds, time was slowly flowing away in silence.
“Shidou-kun, it is unwise to remain silent. You should hurry up and find a topic to talk about.”
“, ah, aaah……Yes.”
Once Kannazuki reminded him, Shidou’s shoulders jumped. As Kannazuki has said. Silence is the worst thing that can happen. Shidou racked his brains for a topic, his eyes looking around.
At this point——Kotori brought her drink to her mouth, after which it seemed that she had choked as she repeatedly coughed.
“!, cough, cough……”
“Ar, are you alright, Kotori?”
“……Nn, a small amount just got into my windpipe that’s all.”
Kotori answered as she rose. And just like that she walked away wordlessly.
“Kotori…..? Where are you going?”
“If you ask where a lady is going if she leaves her seat, that would be a death sentence if it wasn’t me.”
“……I’ll remember it.”
After Shidou saw Kotori walk off in the direction of the washroom, he heaved a huge sigh of relief and lay flat on the table.
“Aaah……Sorry. You two are still eating.”
Tohka’s curious voice made Shidou raise his head, his stomach growling almost at the same time. It seems that the disappearance of Kotori’s presence has caused his high-strung nerves to relax.
Shidou reached his hand out for the sandwich on the plate, swallowing it after a few bites. It was delicious. As expected of a taste that left Tohka and Yoshino satisfied.
At that moment, Shidou blinked. That’s because Tohka and Yoshino, and even [Yoshinon] were currently staring in Shidou’s direction.
“Wh, what is it? Is something wrong?”
“No……It just feels like shidou is back to normal.”
Shidou widened his eyes in surprise, Yoshino and [Yoshinon] spoke.
“Did you fight……with, Kotori……san?”
“You immediately relaxed after Kotori-chan left. You’re really readable, Shidou-kun.”
“Eh……Is, is that so?”
As Shidou asked, the two girls nodded without hesitation.
Shidou scratched his cheek. Although he didn’t notice, it seems that it had been pretty obvious.
A date with his sister, attacking her……and subsequently sealing her powers.
It was already embarrassing enough, even more so if the opponent was that commander of
The pressure somehow made Shidou overwhelmingly nervous.
Under the stares of the two girls and one puppet, Shidou couldn’t help but stand up and leave.
“I, I’m heading to the toilet for a while……”
Shidou hurriedly left, his back facing Tohka’s cries.
It was only after a considerable distance was gained did he dare to breathe a sigh of relief.
“……Really now, so, was I really that nervous?”
Saying that he furiously scratched his head. Shidou felt exceptionally frustrated.
“Reine-san……the results of Kotori’s emotional state, can you let me see them? Please tell me the values if possible……”
He raised his inquiries to the earphone, but for some reason there was no sign of a reply.
“Aaah, Shidou-kun. Although I’m really sorry about this but Analysis Officer Reine has temporarily left.”
“Ah, is that so.”
Where did she go, though Shidou wanted to ask that question, since he had already been reminded by Kotori before, he swallowed those words down.
Shidou once again used his hands to mess up his hair.
Since he said he was going to the toilet, then he had better return soon. Although he didn’t do anything, he’d better wash his face as proof that he went. Shidou started walking in the direction of the washroom.
Midway——he suddenly stopped as though he had heard something.
The automated vending machines placed in front of the washrooms. Some sounds could be heard from behind.
Shidou pricked his ears and listened. It seemed to be voices that were in a conversation. Although he did not mean to be nosy, ——that voice sounded familiar.
Feeling suspicious, he started to walk in that direction. Subsequently, as though attempting to stop Shidou’s movements, Kannazuki’s voice entered his right ear.
“Shidou-kun, that place is——”
However, it was too late. Shidou had seen what was behind the vending machines before Kannazuki could stop him.
Following that, he went speechless.
Behind the vending machines, in that pocket-sized space, even though it was not a distance away from the lively pool, it was still a quiet area that was isolated from noise.
Over there were——two people.
One of them was wearing a bikini and a white overcoat whilst in a squatting position and there was a business bag beside her as well, Reine. And the other person——leaning on the wall while seated, Kotori was holding her head in pain.
Shidou instinctively hid himself.
Seeing his sister in such pain. He should have hurriedly ran up to her——but for some reason, he felt that he should not do that.
“……Are you alright, Kotori?”
“Nn……I’ll get by. But, it’s dangerous——I’ll leave it to you.”
Kotori extended her arm to Reine. However Reine seemed hesitant as she bit down on her lip.
“……I’ve already given you fifty times the usual dosage. Anymore would have a risk to your life.”
“Huhu……The current me who has become a spirit, mere drugs can’t kill me off.”
Reine made a bitter expression. However Kotori continued speaking in between her heavy panting.
“……I’m begging you. I want to……have a date with Shidou, with Onii-chan.”
Hearing those words. Shidou held his breath.
All that nervousness and panic he had felt earlier seemed like a joke as his heartbeat accelerated and rang like an alarm. Thump, thump. Thump, thump. As though crushing it, it hurt a lot.
Swallowing the saliva inside his mouth, his dry throat made a pained sound. Trembling fingertips. Shaking legs.
Even though he was in a room that had its temperature controlled, his body was trembling as though he had been frozen.
He should have known. He should have heard. He should have understood.
Kotori who had totally regained her powers, and the issue of her battling her destructive urges.
Kotori who was the commander, was now locked up in the quarantined zone in the ship under maximum security alone.
Kotori’s limit could only last till tonight, this very fact.
——Shidou should have already been informed of all of this.
He made a sound. Although that volume was not sufficient for Kotori to recognize Shidou’s existence——but the mental blow to his own brain was sufficient enough.
He knew. He heard. He had made a decision. That was supposed to be all.
Inside Shidou, he was truly careless.
She was calm as usual, as arrogant as usual, as fearless as usual.
Faced with his sister with black ribbons who bullied him, a sense of false peace had taken root in his heart.
Such a strong Kotori, should not be consumed by something like the power of the spirits.
If his conquest fails, there has got to be another way.
Although she did not tell Shidou, she has got to have a second plan up her sleeves.
Even though it was baseless, he had thought it would be true……!
Regret, embarrassment. His own feelings of regret and embarrassment started to devour Shidou’s heart.
Breaking Shidou’s train of thought were the pained moans of Kotori. Her two hands held her head and she grit her teeth whilst withstanding her headaches, her whole body trembling slightly.
A while later, Kotori slowly opened her eyes, her gaze returning to Reine.
“——Hey, I’m begging you. This could be, the very last chance. If we fail, today, I won’t be myself anymore. ——Before that, I must hold on till the end, and go on my date with Onii-chan.”
Reine hesitated for a while……before sighing lightly, and at the same time she opened her bag by her side, taking out a syringe from inside.
“……Thanks. I owe you one.”
“……No need. However, this is the last one.”
Saying that she took Kotori’s left arm and pressed the needle in. Several minutes later, Kotori started breathing violently. When her breathing finally returned to normal, her expression looked better as well.
“I’m sorry. ……You’ve helped me a lot.”
Saying that Kotori stood up——before weakly sitting back down.
“……You shouldn’t force yourself. Rest for a while.”
“It’s alright. You should return soon, otherwise that dense Shidou will be in trouble again.”
“……No. Wait a moment. I’ll go buy some water.”
Reine stood up and started to walk this way. Shidou hastily attempted to escape……but he made eye contact with Reine.
Reine’s eyebrow twitched before grabbing Shidou’s shoulder, pulling him to another side of the vending machines.
Closing in to Shidou’s face, she used a voice that is inaudible to Kotori who is on the other side to ask.
“……Since when did you start listening?”
“No……That, probably, from the beginning.”
Reine was speechless. Shidou swallowed before inquiring.
“Reine-san. Why are you in a place like this. Then again with that way of dressing……”
Voicing out his comment about the strange combination of a bikini and a laboratory coat, Reine replied as though it was common sense.
“……Wouldn’t a military uniform stand out here?”
Although he felt that she was standing out already, he decided not to interrupt her.
——Right now, he had other stuff to worry about.
“Reine-san. Kotori……when did she become like this?”
At Shidou’s question, Reine hesitated before replying.
“……From the instant she regained her powers.”
Reine’s words made Shidou bite on his lip.
It was not as though he did not predict it. However, after being pointed out to him, he couldn’t help but panic.
“……This was Kotori’s wish. She did not wish to tell you.”
Shidou held his breath and pursed his lips. Reine continued to speak as though nothing has happened.
“……To tell you the truth, she did not wish to reveal that she only had today left as well.”
Shidou asked with a trembling voice and Reine sighed before answering.
“……She did not want you to go on a date with her while holding compassion and pity for her.”
Shidou bit down hard. It seems that his gums have bled as there was a hint of blood mixed in.
“That’s why, I beg you. Pretend like you’ve never seen anything. ——For Kotori’s sake.”
Shidou breathed out hard, before turning around and returning to the restaurant where Tohka and Yoshino were waiting.
“Oooh, shidou. You’re back.”
It seems that Tohka was in the midst of eating her sandwich while making slurping sounds on her drink. Shidou sat down wordlessly, observing the two.
“Is there……something wrong?”
He nodded to the questioning looks of the two.
“……Hm. Actually we are about to go on a boat tour next.”
“W, what is that!?”
“Sitting on a large boat, it is a tour where the boat travels around the pool. Does Yoshino want to come along?”
“Oooh……Let’s! Let’s go!”
Tohka waved her arms and cried out. However, she quickly tilted her head to one side.
“Mu……? shidou, are you not coming?”
“Aaah……I got, something to do with Kotori……”
“Really? Then I’ll go with you then……”
At this moment, Yoshino held Tohka’s hand.
“Tohka-san. I want to……go on the tour. Won’t you come with me?”
“Please……It can only be Tohka-san.”
Yoshino said that, Tohka made a reluctant expression before scratching her cheek.
“It, it can’t be helped then…..Then shidou, I’m going with Yoshino on that whatever you call it then.”
“Yeah, be careful.”
Shidou waved his hand and Tohka and Yoshino waved in reply before heading off in the direction that Shidou had indicated.
Almost at the same time, Yoshino suddenly turned around and said.
“……Please, do your best.”
“…… Uu, I took more time than I thought.”
Kotori lightly groaned as she spoke and she hurried back to the restaurant with hastened footsteps, taking a shortcut towards their table.
However, when she arrived, Kotori frowned in surprise.
The white table where Kotori had eaten lunch was there. However, right now only Shidou was left.
Kotori asked, and Shidou slowly turned around.
……For some reason, it felt like the atmosphere had somehow changed. Before Kotori had left, his actions and speech made her worry, but the current Shidou felt like—— That’s right, it was just like when he was interacting with her when she wore her white ribbons.
“Kotori. Get changed, we’ll meet at the amusement park.”
Not understanding Shidou’s words, Kotori tilted her head in question.
A few moments later, Kotori sighed.
However, as Kotori was shrugging.
Shidou stood up, interrupting Kotori’s words. After that he put his fingers into his ear——taking out the earpiece, placing it on the table.
Kotori frowned in response to this unexpected action.
Shidou used an extremely calm voice that was infused with strong will to continue speaking.
“Personally speaking, I prefer the amusement park over the pool”.
Kotori frowned even harder whilst pouting at the same time.
“What are you saying, really. What about Tohka and Yoshino? Even if you’re targeting me right now, it would be a problem to let the mental states of those two become unstable and cause a backflow of their powers you know? Did you forget about Yoshino already?”
“I’ve not forgotten. The two of them are currently enjoying the boat tour. Kannazuki-san has been informed as well, he’ll keep an eye on them. You don’t have to worry.”
“……What are you doing?”
Kotori did not have any idea of what Shidou was planning and she asked him with a bitter expression.
Shidou took Kotori’s hand, the corner of his mouth rising slightly.
“Playing of course.——This is the long awaited amusement park. How can we not enjoy ourselves thoroughly? We’re not stopping until we collapse from exhaustion, be prepared Kotori.”
And so without any explanation at all, Kotori was dragged off by Shidou.