Date A Live Volume 1 Chapter 4
Chapter 4: Surprise Date
“…Well yeah, normally they’d close down the school for something like this…”
Shidou walked down the steep road extending from the front of the school while scratching the back of his head.
It was the day after he had named the Spirit Tohka.
Shidou had gone to school like normal, and upon seeing the tightly shut gate and the school building that had been reduced to a pile of rubble, sighed at his idiocy.
He was there when the school had been destroyed, so normally one would assume that it would be closed… but when faced with such an overly unrealistic setting, it was possible that his mind had unconsciously become detached from reality.
Plus, he had spent all night last night in a meeting with the others, reviewing the video of his conversation with Tohka and reflecting on it, so his mental capacity might have decreased from lack of sleep.
“Sigh… I guess I should at least do a bit of shopping then.”
Letting out a single sigh, he turned to a different path than the way home.
It was true that they had run out of eggs and milk, and just returning straight home would’ve felt somewhat weird.
However—before even a few minutes had passed, Shidou stopped again.
There was a “Do not enter” sign propped up on the road.
“Oh, the road is closed…?”
But even if the sign hadn’t been there, it was clear as day that the road was unusable.
The asphalt floor had been torn up into a mess, the concrete walls had crumbled, and even the multi-tenant building had collapsed.
It was as if a war had taken place here.
“—Ah, this is…”
He remembered this place. It was part of the spacequake zone where he had first met Tohka.
It seemed like the repair forces hadn’t dealt with it yet, as the disastrous scene remained unchanged from ten days ago.
When he recalled the girl’s appearance in his mind, he let out a small sigh.
The Spirit—the girl who brought forth disaster—who did not have a name until yesterday.
Yesterday, after conversing with her for longer than ever before, Shidou’s premonition was confirmed.
That girl really did possess an unthinkable amount of power.
To the point where all of the organizations in the world would agree that she was a threat.
The scene laid out before him was proof of that.
Something like this really couldn’t be left to itself.
But at the same time, there was no way that she would use that power recklessly, like a careless, merciless monster.
Shidou hated that melancholic face that she wore. He couldn’t tolerate it at all.
…Well, those thoughts were spinning around in his head, so before he knew it, he’d ended up walking all the way back to the school gate.
“…Stop ignoring me!”
A voice rang out—from the other side of the closed off area.
Shidou tilted his head in confusion.
As if splitting the frigid air, it was a beautiful voice.
It was like a voice that he’d heard somewhere… to be specific, at school the previous day.
…It was a voice that he did not expect to hear at a time and place like this.
Shidou focused his gaze in that direction as he compared the voice he’d just heard with his own memories.
And then, his entire body froze.
She was right in front of his eyes.
A girl was leaning slightly on the top of the mountain of debris, wearing a dress that clearly did not fit the surroundings.
Indeed, unless Shidou’s mind or eyes were playing tricks on him, the girl was without a doubt the Spirit that he had encountered at school the previous day.
“So you finally noticed, stu~pid stu~pid.”
The girl’s face, beautiful enough to send chills down one’s spine, was dyed with discontent. She kicked the pile of debris with a *thump*, and approached Shidou along the barely intact asphalt.
Probably because it was in her way, Tohka kicked down the ‘Do not enter’ sign with a grunt and arrived in front of Shidou.
“W-What are you doing, Tohka…?”
“…Nu? What do you mean?”
“Why are you in a place like this…!?”
Shidou glanced behind him while shouting, and caught sight of various people such as a group of women talking and a neighbourhood resident who was walking their dog.
No one was taking refuge in a shelter. That means, the spacequake alarm hadn’t sounded.
Basically, this meant that neither
“Even if you ask me why…”
However, the person herself didn’t seem to care about the strange situation at all. She folded her arms together, as if she didn’t know why Shidou was making such a fuss about it.
“Aren’t you the one who invited me, shidou? That… on a date.”
Shidou’s shoulders trembled at her careless declaration.
“Hm? What, do you think I’m an idiot or something?”
“No, that’s not what I meant…”
“—Hmph, whatever. More importantly shidou, let’s get on with that date already. Date date date date.”
Tohka kept repeating ‘date date’ with a unique intonation.
“I-I get it! I get it, so stop repeating that word!”
“Eh, why? ……Ah, shidou, don’t tell me that you took advantage of how I don’t know what it means, and taught me an indecent, obscene word?”
With her cheeks coloured bright red, Tohka raised her eyebrows.
“—! I-I didn’t, I didn’t! It’s a completely pure word!”
He scratched his cheek when he said that.
It was a bit of a lie. As far as humans were concerned, it was a word that could be extremely impure.
Shidou turned around with an uncomfortable glance.
The women were grinning, looking at him as if they’d seen something charming.
Well, there was also some doubt mixed in in their gazes, due to Tohka’s strange appearance.
Tohka seemed to have noticed those gazes too. She hid herself behind Shidou, and watched them acutely.
“…shidou, who are they? Enemies? Should I kill them?”
Shidou’s shoulders shook upon Tohka blurting out such dangerous thoughts with no warning.
“No, no, no, why are you saying that? They’re just ordinary women.”
“What are you saying, shidou? Those fiery glimmering eyes… aren’t they like birds of prey? There’s no way they aren’t targeting me. …They might cause trouble later on if we leave them be. I think that it would be best to take them out before that happens.”
…Well, it’s true that their eyes were gleaming, but…
First of all he’d have to come up with a new conversation topic.
“Don’t worry. Didn’t I tell you? There aren’t many humans that will attack you.”
Though Tohka still hadn’t let down her guard, at least she stopped seeming about to strike at any moment.
“Whatever. So, about that date—”
“L-L-Let’s go somewhere else first. Okay?”
Shidou said that to Tohka, who had continued on unabashed, and hurriedly walked away.
“Nu. Hey, shidou, where are we going!”
Tohka followed right after him, and raised her voice in discontent while walking beside him.
Together with Tohka, Shidou entered a deserted back alley, and finally let out a sigh in relief.
“So you’ve finally calmed down. Sheesh, what a strange person. What exactly is wrong?”
Tohka narrowed her eyes in disappointment.
“Tohka… what happened after everything yesterday?”
There was an assortment of things that he wanted to ask, but the first one to leave his mouth was that.
Tohka’s lips moved with a bit of a scowl.
“Nothing really, it was just like always. They swung their blades that won’t cut anything, fired their cannons that won’t hit anything. —Finally, my body just naturally disappeared.”
Shidou tilted his head, puzzled.
Come to think of it, Kotori and the others also had a hunch like that, but they didn’t really understand how it worked at all.
“It’s just moving from this world to a different space.”
“S-Something like that exists? …What kind of a place is it?”
“I don’t really know.”
Shidou frowned at her answer.
“The instant I move there, I naturally enter a sleep-like state. From what I can remember, it felt like I was drifting around in a dark space. —As far as I’m concerned, it’s like falling asleep.”
“Then, do you come to this world when you wake up?”
“That’s not quite it.”
Tohka shook her head and continued.
“In the first place, I could never choose when to come here, I’m just randomly sent to and stuck on this side. Well, I guess it’s like being forcefully woken up.”
Shidou held his breath.
He understood that spacequakes occurred when Spirits appeared in this world, but if what Tohka said was true, then it was not by their own will that they appeared here.
In that case, aren’t spacequakes really just like accidents?
Forcing the responsibility on Tohka—on the Spirits—is too unreasonable no matter how you look at it.
At that moment, one more question passed through Shidou’s head.
There was one part of Tohka’s story just now that didn’t quite fit.
“…What did you mean by ‘could’? Is today different?”
Tohka’s cheeks twitched slightly, her mouth bent into a frown, and she averted her gaze at a slant.
“Hmph, a-as if I know.”
“Answer me properly. It might be something really important.”
But Shidou continued to press on.
That’s how it was—if Tohka had come to this world by her own will today, then that might be the reason why there was no spacequake.
But for some reason, Tohka’s cheeks were flushed slightly pink, and her gaze was sharp.
“You’re so persistent. This conversation is already over.”
Shidou started to speak, but Tohka stomped on the ground with one foot.
The asphalt that she stepped on instantly lit up, and beams of light radiated from it.
When the light touched Shidou, it scattered into fireworks with a crackle.
“—Come on, hurry up and tell me what a date means.” Tohka said impatiently.
Against that uncompromising tone of voice, Shidou couldn’t do anything but fall silent.
If he questioned her any further, it’d result in a beam of light like yesterday.
Shidou spent a little while mumbling to himself before speaking.
“…It’s when a boy and a girl go out and have fun together…I think.”
“Is that it?”
Tohka stared at him, as if in awe at how anticlimatic it was.
Even though he said it, he was still troubled because he hadn’t ever gone on a date either.
That is, he knew some things from manga and dramas, but that was the extent of his knowledge.
But Tohka grumbled with her arms folded over her chest.
“…So basically, yesterday you were saying you wanted to play together, the two of us?”
“…W-Well… yes… I guess.”
For some reason it was 20% more embarrassing when he said it plainly. He answered while scratching his cheek awkwardly.
Tohka’s expression slightly brightened as she nodded, and she took a long stride out from the alley.
“What, shidou? Aren’t we going to go have fun?”
“—! Y-You’re okay with it…?”
“Didn’t you say that you wanted to?”
“Ah… Well, that’s true, but…”
“Then hurry up. Or else I’ll change my mind,” Tohka said as she resumed walking.
And then, Shidou realized a fatal issue.
“T-Tohka! Those clothes of yours won’t work…!”
Tohka’s eyes widened in extreme surprise when Shidou said that.
“What exactly is wrong with my raiment? This is my armor and my territory. I won’t tolerate your insults.”
“You stand out too much like that…! Even the AST will find out!”
Seemingly having realized that it would indeed be troublesome, Tohka made an unpleasant face.
“What should I do, then?”
“Well, you have to change your clothes, but…”
A single drop of sweat dripped down Shidou’s cheek. There aren’t any women’s clothes here, and taking her all the way to a store would be difficult, too.
Also, his wallet wasn’t that full.
While he racked his brain for ideas, Tohka impatiently spoke up.
“What kind of clothes would be good? Just tell me that.”
Even if she asked him what kind, he couldn’t come up with anything right away.
But, at that moment, a familiar uniform passed through the edge of his vision.
A schoolgirl that he didn’t recognize walked along the road with a sleepy face.
It was probably a student that for some reason, also missed the announcement that the school was closed, just like Shidou had.
“Tohka, over there. Clothes like that would probably be fine.”
Tohka looked in the direction that Shidou was pointing in, and placed her hand on her chin.
“Hmm, I see. So that would be fine, huh?” said Tohka.
She tightly raised her index and middle fingers of her right hand together.
Then, a black ball of light appeared from her fingertips, pointed towards the schoolgirl.
“Wait, what do you think you’re doing!?”
Flustered, Shidou struck Tohka’s hand.
At that moment, the photosphere shot from Tohka’s fingers, grazed the schoolgirl’s hair, and hit the wall behind her.
A dull *thunk* rang out, and small fragments of the wall scattered around.
The schoolgirl’s shoulders trembled at the sudden event, and she frantically looked around her.
But as if concluding that it was because she was half-asleep, she tilted her head in confusion and left.
“What are you doing? You made me miss.”
“That’s not what you should be saying at alllllllll! That’s my line!”
“I was going to stun her and strip off her clothes, but…”
Tohka tilted her head as if asking what was wrong with that.
Shidou let out a deep sigh from the bottom of his stomach, and placed his hand against his forehead.
“Listen, Tohka. You can’t attack people. You just can’t.”
“…Don’t you feel annoyed when the AST attacks you? Listen to me—you shouldn’t do things that people won’t like.”
Tohka’s lips tightened in dissatisfaction when Shidou said that.
Rather than disagreeing with what he said, it seemed like she was unhappy with how he spoke to her like he was talking to a child.
“…I understand. I’ll keep that in mind.” Tohka said in consent, with that expression.
Next, she raised her face slightly as if remembering something, and said,
“—It can’t be helped. I’ll have to take care of the clothes myself, somehow.”
With that, she snapped her fingers.
Just as she did that, the dress that she wore started to dissolve into the air… or so it seemed, but then as if it was being replaced, particles of light gathered around her, coiling around her body and forming a new silhouette.
After a few seconds, Tohka stood there, wearing the same Raizen High School uniform that the schoolgirl had been wearing.
“Wh… Wh-What is this?”
“I cast off my raiment and created a new outfit. I just went by sight so the details might be off, but it shouldn’t be a problem.” Tohka said as she crossed her arms with a ‘hmph’.
“If you could do something like that then you should’ve done that from the start!”
Shidou shouted, and Tohka waved her hands around as if saying ‘I get it, I get it.’
“More importantly, where are we going?”
Shidou touched his right ear as if looking for help.
Then, he finally realized. Right now, Shidou had no intercom in his ear.
And of course, there was no camera floating around.
At any rate, the crew of Kotori’s
In other words, they were completely alone.
Shidou felt a bit dizzy.
The pressure made his stomach hurt.
There was a huge difference when Kotori and Reine weren’t behind him to give him decent advice.
“What’s wrong, shidou?”
Shidou took several deep breaths, and started walking stiffly. Shortly after, Tohka spoke up.
“—shidou. You’re walking too fast. Slow down a bit.”
He adjusted his pace after having it pointed out. Their paces were different to begin with, so it was only natural that Shidou would end up in front… it was somehow a strange feeling.
This was definitely what it was like to walk together with someone.
For Shidou, who had never gone anywhere with a girl in his life, it was a new sensation (by the way, Kotori hopping and prancing in front of Shidou couldn’t really be used as a reference).
Thinking like that—Shidou stole a glance at Tohka walking beside him.
What he saw was not a monster who could split the heavens and earth with a swing of a sword, but rather just a normal girl.
As they left the alleyways and entered a large road where various stores lined the sides, Tohka narrowed her brows and nervously glanced around her.
“…W-what’s with this number of people. Are they planning an all-out war!?”
It seems she was surprised by the incomparably more people and cars than what she had been used to seeing. While remaining alert in all directions, Tohka said in a serious voice.
Then, on the fingertips of both her hands, a total of ten small balls of light appeared. Shidou hurriedly stopped her.
“Like I said! There’s nobody who’s aiming for your life here!”
Shidou so said, and Tohka carefully looked over the surrounding again, for the moment extinguishing the balls of light.
Then—unexpectedly, the precaution that dyed Tohka’s face dropped away.
“Huh…? Hey shidou, what’s that smell?”
He closed his eyes and sniffed the surrounding, and just as Tohka had said, a fragrant odor lingered in the air.
“Ahh, it’s probably from that.”
Saying this, he pointed at the bakery on the right.
Saying just that, Tohka stared in that direction.
“Nu, what is it?”
“Wanna go in?”
Shidou asked, and Tohka’s fingertips twitched as her mouth curled into a frown. Then, with a miraculous timing, *guurururu*, Tohka’s stomach growled. It seems that even Spirits can feel hunger.
“If shidou wants to go in then I won’t not come in.”
“…I want to go in. I really want to go in.”
“Is that so, then I have no choice!”
Excessively cheerfully, Tohka responded, and triumphantly opened the door to the bakery.
Hiding in the shadow of the walls, Origami stared fixatedly at the boy-girl pair talking in front of the bakery, and without her expressions changing even one millimeter she let out a short breath.
She had gone to school only to find that it was closed, and on the return home, she had noticed Shidou walking together with a female student.
Just that was already an extremely serious situation.
Like a lover
, she quietly began to tail them.
However—there was an even bigger problem than that.
That female student, Origami recognized it.
Quietly, she muttered.
That’s right. Monster. Abnormality. The calamity that would destroy the world.
The thing that was not human, whom Origami’s group was supposed to annihilate, was wearing a uniform and walking beside Shidou.
But if she calmly thought about it, such a thing was not possible.
Before a Spirit appears, as a precursor, a foreshock of abnormal levels would have been detected. There was no way AST’s observation squad would have missed that.
But, in that case the spacequake alarm should have sounded like the previous day, and an order should have also reached Origami.
Origami took out her cellphone from her bag and opened it. There were no messages.
In that case, then that girl was not a Spirit after all, but just someone who had an accidental resemblance.
“…There’s no way that’s the case.”
Quietly, her lips moved. There was no way Origami could have mistaken the Spirit’s face.
Origami pushed some buttons on her cellphone, opening her address book and called a number inside.
“—AST, Master Sergeant Tobiichi. A-0613.”
Stating her position and ID code. She then cut to the chase.
“Send me one observation machine.”
“Ah, Reine~. If you don’t want that then let me have it.”
“…Nn, okay. Go ahead.”
Kotori extended her fork, and stabbed it into the raspberry in the plate placed in front of Reine. She then slowly brought the fork to her mouth, savoring the sweet and sour sensation.
“Mmm, yum. Why don’t you like this, Reine?”
“…Isn’t it sour?”
Saying this, Reine downed the apple tea filled with plenty of sugar in one gulp.
Right now, the two of them were in a café on Tenguu Avenue.
Kotori was wearing a white ribbon and her middle school uniform, while Reine had on a lightly colored cutsew and denims.
Kotori had gone to school as usual but, due to the spacequake yesterday Kotori’s school had more or less suffered some damages, so it was closed.
Somehow, going straight home after that would feel somewhat weird, so she called Reine out to have an enjoyable snack time.
“…Oh, this is a perfect opportunity, so tell me.”
Reine opened her mouth as if remembering something.
“…Sorry that it’s such a basic question, but Kotori, why did you choose him as the negotiator with the Spirits?”
Hearing Reine’s question, Kotori frowned.
“You won’t tell anyone?”
In a low voice, Reine nodded. Seeing this, Kotori consented and replied. Murasame Reine was a woman who will follow through with what she says.
“Actually, I’m not related by blood with my brother. It’s a super galge-like setting.”
Neither seeming amused nor surprised, Reine tilted her head slightly. She quickly processed Kotori’s words and made a pose that seemed to be asking ‘what does that have anything to do with my question?’.
“That’s why I love you, Reine~”
Reine had a mystified expression.
“Don’t mind it~. …Then, to continue. I wonder how old I was then, it was during a time that I don’t even remember, but onii-chan had been abandoned by his real mother, and our family took him in, or something like that. It was so long ago that I don’t really recall, but it seemed like he was quite troublesome when we first took him in. It was at a level where it seemed like he might just go and commit suicide.”
For some reason, Reine’s brows moved in surprise.
“…Nothing, please continue.”
“Nn. Well, there was nothing we could really do about it. To someone who wasn’t even ten years old, a mother was an absolutely essential existence, so to my brother, it was probably a big event that completely denied his whole existence. —But well, it seemed that after around a year his condition had stabilized.”
Exhaling audibly, she continued.
“Probably because of that, onii-chan had become strangely sensitive to the despair inside people.”
“Mm. Something like everyone rejecting oneself—thinking that one will never be loved by anyone else. Well, basically what he had been like back then. If there was someone with such a melancholic expression, even if it was a complete stranger, he would probably go help them without a second thought.”
That’s why, her eyes said as they were cast downwards.
“So I just thought, ‘if it’s him’. —The only one that I could think of that could cheer up the Spirit was onii-chan.”
Kotori so said, and Reine went ‘…I see’ and lowered her eyes.
“…But, what I want to hear is not that emotional kind of reason.”
At Reine’s words, Kotori’s brows moved in surprise.
“So what do you mean?”
“…It’s troublesome when you play dumb. I won’t believe that you don’t understand. —
exactly is he?”
—Even the hidden powers and traits within someone.
Kotori gave an audible sigh.
“Well, the moment I left onii-chan to Reine I kinda knew this was going to happen though~”
“…Ahh, sorry but I had analyzed him a bit. …I thought it would have been weird to engage a normal person in this strategy without a solid reason.”
“Mm, I don’t really mind~. Eventually it’ll probably become something that everyone knows anyways~”
Along with the sound of the door opening and the waitress’s voice calling out ‘Welcome’, Kotori shrugged.
She then picked up the straw that was stuck into the cup in front of her, and sucked up the remaining blueberry juice in one breath.
Seeing the couple that had just come into the store sit down in the booth behind Reine, the juice that she had sucked into her mouth was blown out with amazing force.
Somehow it seems that the couple did not notice, but Reine, sitting in front of Kotori, was not covered from the impact. Uncovered, she was covered. Well, basically she had become soaking wet.
Quietly, Kotori apologized, and as if nothing happened, Reine took out a handkerchief from her pocket and wiped her face.
“…What’s wrong, Kotori?”
“Mmm… I thought I saw something unscientific or maybe unrealistic.”
“…What was it?”
Responding to Reine’s question, Kotori silently pointed behind Reine.
Reine turned her head around—and suddenly stopped moving.
A few seconds later, her head slowly rotated back to its original posture, as she brought her apple tea to her mouth.
Then, *pfffft*, she blew tea towards Kotori.
“…That was too surprising.”
Maybe that was Reine’s way of showing her agitation.
But that was to be expected. After all, behind Reine, Kotori’s brother, Itsuka Shidou, was sitting together with a girl.
That was not all. The said girl was the one whom Kotori’s group had called a calamity, a Spirit.
“Ehhhh… what’s going on.”
Kotori wiped her face with the handkerchief that Reine passed her, as she asked with a lowered voice.
By the way, Reine’s handkerchief had an image of a bear printed right in the middle. Due to the stains from the blueberry juice and apple tea, it took on a Kikaider-like appearance.
She searched in her pockets and looked at her cellphone. There were no messages from
But, that was undoubtedly the Spirit, Tohka. There was no way that there could be many girls that beautiful.
“Is there a way for Spirits to appear without us noticing?”
“…What’s the chance that it’s just a look-alike?”
Kotori thought for a moment about Reine’s words.
But she immediately shook her head.
“If that was the case, then onii-chan would be going out with a normal girl. If you ask me whether that or a Spirit silently appearing is more likely… then by a narrow margin it would be the latter.”
It was a rather harsh comment, but Reine readily accepted it.
“…But if that’s the case then this is troublesome. I wonder whether Shin can deal with the Spirit by himself.”
Then, as the two of them placed their hand over their mouth and groaned, they heard the conversation from the two sitting behind Reine.
“Huh, so it’s fine to just choose what to eat from this book?”
“Yeah, that’s right.”
“Mushroom bread. Is there no mushroom bread?”
“Uhh I think that’s a bit… Or rather, didn’t you just keep eating that at the bakery?”
“I want to eat it again. What the heck is with that powder… that powerful addictiveness… if that was recklessly released into the world then the results will be catastrophic… people will be shaking with withdrawal symptoms and undoubtedly start wars over mushrooms.”
“Grr, whatever. Let’s start the discovery of a new flavor.”
“Yeah yeah… but I only have 3000 yen left.”
“Nu? What’s that?”
“I’m saying that because you keep buying stuff to eat my money is disappearing!”
“Muu, it’s a tough world. Well then, I guess there’s no other way. Wait a while, I’ll go gather some funds.”
“Wa…wait! What are you planning to do!”
Hearing that conversation, Kotori gave a long sigh.
Taking out the black ribbons from her pocket, she tied her hair.
It was Kotori’s way of changing her mindset. Now, Kotori had transformed from Shidou’s cute sister into her commander mode.
Then, opening her cell phone, she connected to
“…Ahh, it’s me. It’s an emergency. —Commence with strategy code F-08●Operation
Hearing this, Reine’s face twitched.
Waiting until Kotori’s phone call ended, she raised her voice.
“…Are you serious about this, Kotori?”
“Yes. It’s a situation where we can’t give him any commands. There’s no other way.”
“…I see. Since it’s like this—then it’s part of Route C. …Hmm, then I will be on my way. I will negotiate with the store ahead of time.”
Saying this, Kotori took out a Chupa Chups from her pocket, and put it in her mouth.
Comparing the numbers written on the receipt in his hand with the contents of his wallet, Shidou sighed. He didn’t have much left, but luckily it was an amount that he could barely pay off.
“Cmon, let’s go Tohka.”
Tohka said, staring in wonder. Shidou quickly stood up as if in a hurry. If they stayed here any longer then the only paths open to them would be to either wash the dishes or to eat and run.
As Shidou walked towards the front counter, Tohka caught up too. She was no longer emanating such a harsh hostility towards the surrounding customers. It seemed that she had pretty much gotten used to people being around.
For the moment, Shidou was relieved, as he placed the receipt along with three paper bills that made up 90% of his remaining money on the counter.
“I’d like to pay please.”
Shidou said towards the employee standing at the counter—
He frowned greatly, and took a step back.
That was because, the employee that stood there was…
“…Thank you for your visit.”
He recognized the woman with thick shadows under her eyes and seemed excessively sleepy.
“Nn? What’s wrong shidou, an enemy!?”
Tohka turned her trembling face towards the visibly flustered Shidou.
“N-no, that’s not it…”
He feebly denied Tohka’s question.
Then, Shidou stared at the worker wearing the extremely cute uniform with a stuffed bear sitting on her shoulder, her sleepy eyes glowing.
For a moment, he thought he felt a glare as if saying ‘if you tell anyone I’m working here then I’ll kill you’, but he soon realized that it had a different meaning.
“…Here is your change and receipt.”
During the time Shidou was shocked, Reine had quickly completed the transaction. She passed the receipt over while tapping its surface.
On the bottom of that receipt, ‘
We will support you. Continue your date naturally
‘ was written.
In other words, the glare just then was for Shidou to continue the date without letting Tohka find out that they knew each other… probably.
“D-don’t worry about it.”
Shidou said to Tohka, as he stuffed the receipt in his pocket.
Reine’s sharpened gaze returned to being her usual spaced out look.
She then took out a single colorful strip of paper from the register’s drawer and handed it to Shidou.
“…This is a raffle ticket for the shopping district. As you leave this store, if you follow the road on the right you will reach the place for the drawing.
If you would like, please have a visit.
In addition to explaining the location in detail, the last part was said very clearly.
Shidou scratched his cheek. Rather than ‘if you would like’, she was probably saying to definitely use it.
That said, it would’ve probably been fine even if she didn’t emphasize it.
“shidou, what is that?”
Because Tohka had been scrutinizing the raffle ticket with intense interest.
“Do you want to go?”
“Do you want to go, shidou?”
“…Yeah, I can’t wait to go.”
“Then let’s go.”
Tohka cheerfully left the store in large strides.
After giving a light bow to Reine, Shidou chased after her.
“—Good work, Reine.”
Hiding in the shadow of the counter, Kotori stood up after confirming that the two had left the store.
“…I can’t get used to this, thank you.”
Reine lifted the hem of the excessively frilly uniform, and said in a monotonous voice.
That had been strategy code F-08●Operation
In the case that the Spirit escapes monitoring, and meets up directly with Shidou—
For this reason, the crew had all spent a minimum of one month learning how to act.
“It suits you. Very cute.”
While licking candy, Kotori said, then she immediately pulled out her cell phone and called a number.
“Ahh, it’s me. They just left the store. … Mmm, be as natural as you can. If you mess up I’ll have you skinned.”
Concisely conveying the information and penalty, she hung up.
“The second group seems to be standing by. —Let’s see, we should return to the
“…Yeah, let’s do that.”
Hearing Reine’s words from behind her, the tips of Kotori’s lips curved upwards.
“Now—let our datebattle commence.”
“Uhm, raffle… I guess it’s that.”
As Shidou and Tohka left the store and walked along the road, they saw a space with a long table lined with red crosses and a large lottery wheel placed on that table.
There were two men wearing happi coats, one standing by the lottery wheel and one handing out the winnings. Behind them, stuff that seemed like prizes such as a bicycle and bags of rice were lined up. There were already a few people in line.
Shidou scratched his cheek.
He only faintly recalled… but in addition to the men wearing the happi coats, he seemed to remember seeing the faces of the customers in line inside of the
But there was no way Tohka would worry about something like that. Gripping the raffle ticket she received from Shidou (or rather, since it looked like she really wanted it so he handed it over), her eyes glittered.
“Cmon, let’s line up.”
Then, Tohka nodded, and they entered the back of the line.
Watching the customers in front spin the wheel, her head and eyes spun along with the wheel.
Quickly, Tohka’s turn came. Imitating the customer before her, Tohka handed the ticket to the worker, and placed her hand on the lottery wheel. Taking a good look, the worker was
“Do I just spin this thing?”
Saying that, she spun the lottery wheel around. A few seconds later, a red consolation ball flew out of the lottery wheel.
“…That’s too bad. Red is pocket ti—”
As Shidou began to speak, Kawagoe rang the bell in his hand loudly.
Shidou furrowed his brows but… seeing a different worker behind Kawagoe pull out a red marker and color in the gold ball drawn beside ‘first place’ on the prize board, he stopped his voice.
“Congratulations! First place is a complementary pair ticket to Dreamland!”
“Ooh, what’s that shidou!”
“…A theme park? I haven’t heard of it though…”
Shidou replied doubtfully to Tohka who had received the ticket in an elated mood.
Immediately, Kawagoe pulled his face close and without hesitation,
“There’s a map drawn on the ticket, so definitely visit! You should go right now!”
Taking a step back as if feeling pressured, he looked at the back of the ticket. There certainly was a map on it. And it was extremely close by.
“Was there always a theme park around here…?”
Shidou tilted his head, but oh well, this was
“…Want to take a look, Tohka?”
Tohka was filled with enthusiasm, so might as well walk there and see.
The place really was close. From the raffle stand it was a few hundred meters down an alley. The two sides were still lined with buildings, it was not a place that one would think a theme park would be built.
“Oooh! shidou! There’s a castle! Are we going there!?”
Tohka expressed an excitement more than ever before, as she pointed to the front.
While thinking that was ridiculous, Shidou looked up from the back of the ticket and turned his face towards the front.
Instantly, Shidou froze in place.
Certainly, while it was small, there was a western style castle. On the sign ‘Dreamland’ was written.
…And on the bottom of that, ‘Rest●Two hours 4000 yen~ Stay●8000 yen~’ was written.
In other words, it was a love hotel that only adults could enter.
“W-we’re leaving Tohka…! I accidentally took a wrong turn!”
“Nu? It’s not that?”
“Yeah that’s right. C-cmon, let’s go.”
“Can’t we stop there too? I want to go in.”
“…! N-nonono. Let’s not today! Okay!?”
He felt sorry for letting down Tohka, but that place was impossible after all. Shidou turned to glare at Kotori who was probably watching the whole thing from the sky, and turned back.
“Jeez, going all the way there only to turn around? What a complete chicken, even for my brother.”
Sitting on the commander seat of the
“…Oh well, what did you expect. Suddenly doing that is cruel.”
Sitting in the lower part of the bridge, Reine said while operating a console.
The numbers shown on the screen from her analysis were much more stable than yesterday. Though it was not enough to be considered lovers, the numbers showed that Tohka thought of Shidou as a trustworthy friend.
Well, that was why they tried a slightly drastic pattern.
“Even if they don’t go to the very end, even if it was something like a kiss then it would’ve been
Saying this, the candy stick moved around, and she exhaled from her nose.
“…What should we do next.”
“Nn, let’s see. Let’s go with ‘coupling’ and ‘one-way maze’.”
Even though they didn’t run, mysteriously he was out of breath. As they exited onto a road with various stores and buildings lined up, he slowed the pace.
“Are you not feeling well, shidou?”
“No, that’s not it…”
“Then what’s wrong?”
Tohka tilted her head and asked.
“…for a bit, my thoughts went to my sister in the sky.”
“In the sky?”
Making a slightly surprised face, Tohka.
“Ahh. She had been a cute sister…”
To think that she had such a split personality, he sighed.
“Is that so…”
Seeing Tohka suddenly giving off a solemn aura, Shidou suddenly realized. The way he had been speaking just then, it was as if Kotori had died.
“Ahh that’s not it Tohka, It’s—”
Shidou’s words stopped.
“Please have one.”
Suddenly, a girl had held out a packet of pocket tissue in front of his eyes.
He reached out his hand and accepted it, and the girl gave a slight nod and left.
“shidou? What’s that?”
“Ahh, this is called pocket tissue—”
Saying this, Shidou twisted his neck.
The pocket tissue given out on the streets were usually for advertisement. However, on the packaging of this pack of tissue, other than an illustration of a couple holding hands and the phrase ‘If you’re happy then hold hands’, nothing else was on it. Was it some kind of religious organization?
Then, while he was wondering, from the electronics store on his right he heard a voice that he recognized from somewhere.
On the many television sets lining the storefront, a strange show was being broadcast.
Shidou narrowed his brows and let out a sound.
There were many commentators on a set like the information programs that play during the day, but each and every one of them were faces that he recognized from
Someone who doesn’t hold hands on their first date is no good after all.
That’s right. If you’re a man then that much is obvious.
Then, as Shidou was silent, the surrounding couples increased to an unnatural level.
What’s more, all of them were intimately holding hands, and periodically saying ‘holding hands is nice!’ or ‘it feels like our hearts are connected!’ and similar stuff, as if on purpose.
Feeling slightly dizzy, Shidou placed his hand on his forehead.
—This was probably
He gave a big sigh.
After a while, Shidou placed the pack of tissues in his pocket, and trying to calm his heartbeat, turned to look at Tohka.
Tohka tilted her head questioningly. Shidou gulped, and then held out his hand.
“Uhm, want to… hold hands?”
Without any ill will, as if a pure question mark had floated up, Tohka asked.
Somehow, it seemed more embarrassing than being outright rejected.
“…You’re right. I wonder why?”
In reality, it was not something that he could explain. As he looked away, Shidou pulled his hand—
—back, but Tohka’s hand grabbed onto Shidou’s hand.
“Nu? What’s with that face. You were the one who said to hold hands, shidou.”
Lightly shaking his head, they started walking.
“Mm, this isn’t bad, holding hands.”
Saying this Tohka smiled, and she strengthened her grip slightly.
He realized that just by touching the small, soft, and slightly cooler hand, his face naturally turned red.
As much as he could, he tried to avoid thinking about the feeling, as he walked while thinking about other things.
Then, after walking forward for some time, he saw a yellow and black sign ahead that symbolized an area under construction. Men wearing helmets were busy working.
“Mm… we can’t pass through here huh. Oh well, let’s…”
Shidou turned towards his right, but this time along that path a do not enter sign was placed.
While thinking that it was suspicious, he reluctantly turned back towards the way he came from.
But, this time, the path that they had just walked along, was blocked with a sign.
No matter what this was too unnatural. Shidou squinted at the faces of the workers.
Sure enough, he recognized a few of their faces. They were the
Speechless, Shidou turned towards the hill, and looked at the road that extended from his left.
The only road they could take was that.
“…So they’re telling us to go this way huh.”
“Nu? What’s wrong shidou?”
“No, nothing. …For the moment, let’s try going this way?”
While making a face as if just walking like this is fun, Tohka affirmed.
“Now then, let’s go shidou!”
In an awkward manner, Shidou walked towards the path on the left.
Tohka is pronouncing it more like ‘deht’.