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Date A Live - Volume 1 - Chapter 3


Published at 3rd of January 2016 07:59:31 PM
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Chapter 3

Chapter 3: Your Name Is......



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Part 1

"How's that!"

Still gripping the controller with his left hand, Shidou raised his clenched right fist towards the sky.

It has been ten days, including rest days, since the start of the afterschool training with Kotori and Reine.

Shidou had finally met with the game's happy ending screen.

...But well, he didn't even want to count the number of times his old scars had been dug out during that time.

"...Nn, quite a bit of time has passed, but let's say that the first step has been cleared."

"And, it seems he's viewed all the CG, so for now it's a passing mark I guess. ...But even then, in the end this is only with dealing with virtual girls."

Gazing at the credits roll from behind him, a sigh could be heard from Reine and Kotori.

"Well then, for the next training... let's move on to real females. We're tight on time after all."

"...Hm, will he be alright?"

"It's fine. Even if he fails, the only thing lost would be society's trust in Shidou."

"What did you just casually say!"

Shidou had been quietly listening to their conversation, but he couldn't control himself and interrupted.

"Uggh, were you eavesdropping? You still have such bad hobbies huh. You voyeur, peeping tom."

Kotori frowned while covering her mouth with her hand and said.

"It's not called eavesdropping or anything if you're talking right in front of me!"

Shidou shouted, and Kotori with a "Yeah whatever" held up her hand as if to silence him.

Somehow, it made him feel like he was the one who had said something weird instead.

"So, Shidou. About the next training..."

"...I'm amazingly unmotivated but, what?"

"Let's see... I wonder who would be good."

"Ah?"

Shidou tilted his head sideways, as Reine started operating the console in front of her. On the displays lined up on top of the desk, various images of the insides of the school appeared.

"...That's right, let's go with something safe first, what about someone like her?"

Saying this, Reine pointed to the right side of an image, at teacher Tama-chan.

For an instant, Kotori raised her eyebrows—

"—Ahh, I understand. That's fine, let's go with it."

Immediately, an evil smile appeared.

"...Shin. The next training has been decided."

"Wh-What kind of training is it?"

Holding back his anxiety, Shidou asked, and acknowledging his question, Reine replied.

"...Ahh. During the actual run, when a Spirit appears, we will have you hide this miniature intercom in your ear, and you deal with the problems by following our instructions. We would like to treat this training as the real thing, and practice with it once."

"So, what do I need to do?"

"...For the moment, go seduce teacher Okamine Tamae."

"Huh?!"

Raising his eyebrows, he yelled.

"Is there a problem?"

As if enjoying Shidou's reaction, Kotori said while grinning.

"Of course...! There's no way I could...!"

"You'll have to face much harder opponents during the real thing you know?"

"—Th-Thats, true, but...!"

Shidou replied, and Reine scratched her head.

"...I think she is suitable as your first opponent. Most likely, even if you confess she will not accept, and it doesn't seem like she would go around spreading the news either. ...Well, if you're against it no matter what then it would be fine to change it to a female student..."

"Uuuu..."

An unpleasant scene appeared in Shidou's mind. The female student Shidou called out to returned to the classroom and gathered her female friends together. "Hey hey, Itsuka-kun just like, confessed to me~" "Ehh~, seriously~? Even though he shows a face like he's not interested in girls, that's pretty bold of him." "But there's no way for him~" "Yeah, no way. Like, he seems super gloomy~" "Ah~, you said it~, ahahahaha."

...It seems that a new trauma had been born.

Regarding that, if it was Tamae, then there seemed to be no chance for that scene to occur. No matter how young she appears to be, she is a grown up female. She'll probably ignore it as a student's joke.

"So, what will you do? In the real thing, failure is equivalent to death, so no matter which you pick we were planning on only giving you one chance."

"...The teacher please."

Kotori so asked, and as cold sweat dripped down his back, Shidou answered.

"...Great."

With a small nod, Reine took out a small device from the desk's drawer, and handed it to Shidou. She then pulled out what seemed like a receiver with a mike and headphones attached to it and placed it on the desk.

"What's this?"

"...Try placing it in your ear."

Doing as told, he put it into his right ear.

After he did so, Reine grabbed the mike, and as if whispering, moved her lips.

"...How is this, can you hear me?"

"Woah!?"

Suddenly Reine's voice echoed in his ear. With a start, Shidou's shoulders trembled and he jumped up.

"...Great, it's properly connected. Is the volume okay?"

"U-Uh... yeah, I think..."

Shidou replied, and Reine immediately wore the headphones that were placed on the desk.

"...Nn, okay. There's no problem on our side either."

"Eh? Did it manage to pick up what I just said? But there's nothing that looks like a microphone on my side..."

"...It comes with a highly sensitive microphone installed. Background noise is automatically filtered, and it transmits only the important sounds to us."

"Haaah..."

Shidou sighed in admiration, as Kotori pulled out what seemed like another tiny gadget from within the desk.

With a flick of her finger, just like that it expanded its wings and danced in the sky like an insect.

"Wh-What is that?"

"...Take a look."

Saying this, Reine operated the computer in front of her and pulled up an image.

Displayed there was the physics preparation room that Kotori, Reine, and Shidou were in.

"So this is..."

"...Ultra-small high-sensitivity camera. We will follow you with this. Make sure not to mistake it as a mosquito and destroy it."

"Huh... these are amazing."

*boom*, his butt was kicked.

"Whatever, hurry up and go you stupid turtle. The target is in the 3rd floor corridor in the east school building. That's close."

"...Fine."

Realizing that anything he said would be useless, Shidou weakly nodded.

If he dragged it out, there's the possibility that they would change the target to another person. Shidou somehow moved his unwilling legs and left the physics preparation room.

Then, looking left and right at the bottom of the stairs—he spotted the back of Tamae in the hallway.

"Teac—"

In the middle, his voice was clogged.

It was a distance where if he raised his voice it would reach her... but he wanted to avoid the attention of the students that were still left in the school and of other teachers.

"...Guess I have no choice."

In a light jog, Shidou chased after the back of Tamae.

After a few meters, it seems that she noticed Shidou's footsteps, as Tamae stopped and turned around.

"Oh, Itsuka-kun? What happened?"

"...U-Um—"

Even though it was a face that he saw almost every day, to treat it as a target to seduce instantly increased his nervousness. Shidou faltered unintentionally.

"—Calm down. Don't forget, this is training. Even if you fail, you won't die."

In his right ear, Kotori's voice ran out.

"Even if you say that..."

"Eh? What was that?"

Reacting to Shidou's muttering, Tamae tilted her neck.

"Ah, it's nothing..."

Probably getting irritated that Shidou hadn't been able to advance the conversation at all, once again a voice came over the intercom.

"How useless. —For now let's be safe, and try giving her a compliment."

Hearing Kotori's words, he looked over Tamae from head to toe, searching for something he could compliment.

...No, wait. Shidou immediately gave up the idea. In a how-to book he read a few days ago, rather than directly try to compliment a woman's looks, it seemed that asking about other things is better for carrying on the conversation. In this case, to compliment their clothes or accessories, or more directly appreciating their fashion sense apparently is better.

Making up his mind, he opened his mouth.

"B-By the way, those clothes... are cute."

"Eh...? I-Is that so? Ahaha, you're making me embarrassed."

Tamae's face was flushed with delight as she smiled while scratching the back of her head.

—Ohh? Isn't this a pretty nice response? Shidou lightly gripped his hand.

"Yes, it suits you very much!"

"Fufu, thank you. It's actually one of my favorites."

"That hairstyle is also very nice!"

"Eh, really?"

"Yes, and also, those glasses too!"

"Ah, ahahahaha..."

"And that attendance book is also super amazingly cool!"

"Uhm... Itsuka-kun...?"

As she became more and more bewildered, her face gradually turned into a wry smile.

"You way overdid it you baldie."

In his right ear, he could hear an amazed Kotori.

But even if he was told that, he had no idea what he should say next. For a while, they stood in silence.

"Uhmm... Is that all you wanted to talk to me about?"

Tamae tilted her head.

They probably thought that there wasn't much time left, as this time a sleepy voice could be heard in his right ear.

"...Oh well. Then, please just repeat the words I tell you."

He was thankful for that. Shidou tilted his head forward a bit, showing that he understood.

And then, without thinking at all, he repeated the information he heard as-is.

"Um, teacher."

"What is it?"

"I've found coming to school recently to be a lot of fun."

"Is that so? That's great isn't it."

"Yeah. ...It was since you became our homeroom teacher."

"Eh...?"

Surprised, Tamae's eyes opened wide.

"Wh-What are you trying to say, jeez. What's with this suddenly."

Shidou continued, repeating Reine's words.

"Actually, since a long time ago, I've—"

"Ahaha... that's no good. I appreciate your feelings, but you know, I'm a teacher."

While patting the attendance book, Tamae gave a bitter smile.

As expected of a teacher, an adult. It seemed she was planning to reject him unhesitantly.

"...Hm. How should we attack."

Reine, who had been continually weaving sentences, gave a small sigh.

"...If I remember, she is 29 this year huh. —Then Shin, try saying this."

Reine gave the instructions for the next line. While thinking pretty much not at all, Shidou moved his mouth.

"I'm serious. I seriously want to—"

"Uhmm... this is troubling for me."

"I seriously want to, marry you!"

—Twitch.

The moment marriage came out of Shidou's mouth, Tamae's face seemed to change slightly.

And then after a short silence, a small voice spoke.

"...Are you really serious?"

"Eh..., ah, haa... yeah."

Faltering because of the sudden change in atmosphere, Shidou replied, and Tamae suddenly took one step forward and grabbed Shidou's sleeve.

"Really? When Itsuka-kun becomes of marriable age, I will be already over 30 you know? Even then, is it okay? Should we go greet our parents now? After you graduate high school, will you come live together with me?"

As if a different person, her eyes glittered and glowed, and with ragged breaths Tamae drew closer to Shidou.

"Uh...uhm, teacher...?"

"...Hm, it seems it was too effective."

As Shidou staggered backwards, Reine spoke along with a sigh.

"Wh-What is going on?"

In a voice that wouldn't reach Tamae, he asked Reine.

"...Well, single, female, 29 years old, for someone like that the magic word marriage is like a deadly spell. As her old classmates each start building their own families one by one, her parents start pressuring her, and the walls of being thirty closing in on her, she is in a very insecure position. ...But even then, she seems a bit too desperate."

In a slightly perplexed voice rare for her, Reine said.

"Th-That's nice and all, but what do I do about this...!"

"Hey Itsuka-kun, do you have a bit of time now? You're still not old enough to sign the marriage registration, so for now let's go make a blood pact. We can probably borrow a chisel from the art room. Don't worry, I'll make sure that it doesn't hurt."

Edging up to Shidou, words gushed from Tamae's mouth. Shidou let out a sound like a scream.

"Ah, getting caught up any more in this could be annoying to deal with. You've accomplished your mission, so give a suitable apology and escape."

Shidou gulped, and after making up his mind, opened his mouth.

"So-Sorry! I don't think I'm ready to go that far yet...! Please just treat it as if this never happened...!"

Shouting, Shidou dashed away.

"Ah, I-Itsuka-kun!?"

Hearing Tamae's voice calling from behind him, he continued running.

"Whew~, that teacher has quite the personality."

Kotori's carefree laugh could be heard. With his legs still moving, Shidou raised his voice.

"Don't screw with me...! Why are you laughing so—"

Just as he started to talk.

"Caref...!?"

"...!"

Since he was focusing on the intercom, Shidou crashed into a student that had just appeared from around a corner, and fell down.

"...S-Sorry, are you alright?"

Saying this, he picked himself up. And...

"Eh...?!"

Shidou felt as if his heart was squeezed. After all, there was that Miss Tobiichi Origami.

Also, that was not all. When she fell, it seems that she landed on her behind, and just happened to be facing Shidou with her legs spread in the letter M. ...It was white.

He involuntarily averted his eyes. However, Origami did not seem panicked at all,

"I'm fine."

She said, and stood up.

"What's wrong?"

Then, Origami asked Shidou.

But she did not seem to be asking about why Shidou was running down the hallway. If it's anything— right, it was probably about why Shidou had his head turned downwards with his hand on his forehead.

"...Nothing, don't worry about it. I was just shocked at encountering a situation that I thought was definitely impossible..."

The last fortress crumbled. <Ratatoskr>'s simulation abilities are to be feared. For some reason, it almost seemed like that game was actually quite well done.

"I see."

Saying only that, Origami started to walk down the hallway.



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At that moment, Kotori's voice rang in his right ear.

"—This is a perfect opportunity, Shidou. Let's continue our training with her."

"H-Huh?!"

"It's probably best if we could obtain some data on someone in the same generation, instead of a teacher. Also, though she isn't a Spirit, she is an important member of the AST. Don't you think she'll be a pretty good reference? As far as I can tell, she doesn't seem to be the type to spread rumors around either."

"You..., are you messing with me?"

"Don't you want to talk to the Spirits?"

"..."

Shidou held back his breath, and bit his lower lip.

Preparing himself, he threw his voice towards Origami's back.

"To-Tobiichi."

"What?"

Origami turned around with a timing that seemed as if she was waiting for him to call.

Shidou was slightly surprised, but he calmed his breathing and opened his lips. Somehow it seems that because of the experience from Tamae's case, he was a lot calmer than before. That's right, if he doesn't overdo it, then it's good, as long as he doesn't overdo it.

"Those clothes, they're cute."

"School uniform."

"...That's right."

"Why did you choose her clothes you antlion."

Even though it was just the name of a bug he felt as if he was suffering a tremendous amount of abuse. Mysterious!

—It's because it worked with the teacher...! With that meaning, he shook his head slightly.

"...Should we help?"

They were probably getting impatient, as once again Reine offered to help.

While he was still feeling uneasy, he didn't have the confidence to be able to continue the conversation by himself. Shidou gave a small nod.

Following the words he heard in his right ear, he let out his voice.

"Hey, Tobiichi."

"What?"

"I, actually... I've known about you since a while ago."

"I see."

Still with short sentences, Tobiichi continued with unbelievable words.

"I knew you too."

"—!"

While he was extremely surprised inside, he couldn't make any sound. It seemed that if he said anything other than Reine's instructions, that immediately this pace would be broken.

"—Is that so. I'm happy. ...Also, being in the same class for 2nd year made me super happy as well. This entire week, I had always been looking at you during classes."

Uwaah, even Shidou thought that was disturbing. As he thought of stalkers, it felt like that line would be what they would say.

"I see."

However, Origami,

"I was looking too."

Looking straight at Shidou, she said.

"..."

He gulped. In reality, Shidou felt awkward and had not looked towards Origami during class at all.

As if to calm his rapidly beating heart, he repeated the words that entered his ears.

"Really? Ah, but really, that's not all. After school I would stay in the classroom and smell Tobiichi's gym clothes."

"I see."

As expected what follows this would be a *dong*, was what he thought, but Origami's expression did not change at all.

Rather,

"I do so too."

"......?!"

—Do so, with whose?! With her own right?! If that's so then say that!

Shidou's face became filled with sweat.

And also, haven't the lines from Kotori and Reine become rather strange?

But with his head spinning, it was impossible for Shidou to continue the conversation with his own words.

"—Is that so? Somehow, it seems that we suit each other."

"Yes."

"Then, if it's fine with you, will you go out with me—or isn't this progressing way too fast no matter how you look at it!"

He no longer cared about the training or whatever. Unable to stand it, he turned around and yelled.

From Origami's perspective, he was a weirdo who just confessed and then randomly played a huge tsukkomi[1D 1] on himself.

"...Well, I didn't think you would really go ahead and say it."

"Weren't you the ones who told me to just say it like that!"

After shouting out his resentment, he then sighed and turned towards Origami.

Origami was emotionless like always... but maybe it was his imagination, that compared with a moment ago, just a tiny bit, her eyes seemed to be open wider.

"Ah, uhm, about that... sorry, that was—"

"I don't mind."

"...............Huh?"

Shidou let out a dumb sound. He was completely stunned. His mouth opened feebly, and his limbs grew limp. Basically, his whole body was dumbfounded.

—Wait, what is this. What did this girl just say?

"Wh-What?"

"I said, I don't mind."

"Wh-Whwhwhwhwhwhwhwhwhat?"

"I don't mind going out with you."

"...?!"

Sweat gushed out on Shidou's face. He lightly placed his hand on the side of his head, calm down, calm down, he told himself.

There's no way. If you think about this normally there's no way. No girl would give an OK to dating a boy with whom the number of conversations they've had could be counted.

...Well, it probably wasn't impossible, but he definitely did not expect this kind of reply from Origami.

—No wait. Shidou's eyebrow twitched. Maybe, Origami was misunderstanding something.

"Ah, aah... it was about going out with me to some place right?"

"...?"

Origami tilted her head slightly.

"Was that what you meant?"

"Eh, ah, no... Uhm, Tobiichi, what did you think I meant...?"

"I thought you meant dating."

"...!"

Shidou's body trembled as if his head had been struck by lightning.

For some reason, hearing the word "dating" come out of Origami's mouth felt terribly immoral.

"Am I wrong?"

"N-No... You're not wrong... But."

"I see."

Origami responded as if nothing happened.

In the next moment, Shidou regretted his decision.

—Why, why did I say something like "you're not wrong"! No, I can still do it, I can still turn it into a misunderstanding!

But. 


UUUUUUUuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu————— 


"!?"

At that moment, without any warning, the alarm echoed around them.

At almost the same instant, Origami raised her face slightly.

"—An emergency. See you."

Saying that, she turned heel and ran down the hallway.

"H-Hey—"

This time when Shidou called out, she didn't stop.

"Wh-What should I do, about this..."

Before long, he heard a voice over the intercom.

"Shidou, it's a spacequake. For now we'll have you return to <Fraxinus>. Come back at once."

"S-So, it's a Spirit after all...?"

Shidou asked, and a beat later, Kotori continued.

"Yes. The predicted location where it will appear is—hereRaizen High School."

Part 2

The time is 5:20 PM.

The three of them who had moved to the airship <Fraxinus> floating above the city while staying out of sight from the students beginning to evacuate, looked over the various information displayed on the screen in the bridge.

Changed into their military uniforms, Kotori and Reine periodically exchanged words and nodded meaningfully, but Shidou didn't really understand what the numbers on the screen meant.

The only thing he could understand was—on the right side of the screen, a map centered on Shidou's highschool was there.

"I see, mm."

Sitting in the captain's seat, exchanging words with the crew while licking Chupa Chups, Kotori raised the edge of her lips slightly.

"—Shidou."

"What?"

"I'll have you get to work immediately. Go get ready."

"..."

Kotori's words caused Shidou's body to stiffen.

Well, he had imagined this would happen, and he was supposed to have resolved himself too.

But even then, he couldn't hide his nervousness now that it's time for the real thing.

"—Are you letting him take part in the real fight already, commander?"

Standing beside the captain's seat, while staring at the screen, Kannazuki suddenly asked.

"The opponent is a Spirit. Failure is equivalent to death. Has he had enough trainin—gefu."

In the middle of his sentence, Kotori's fist sunk itself into Kannazuki's solar plexus.

"Questioning my decisions, you've become quite a person huh Kannazuki. As punishment, until I say otherwise you will speak like a pig."

"O-Oink."

For some reason, seeming extremely used to it, Kannazuki replied.

Looking at this scene, Shidou wiped the sweat that had surfaced.

"...But, Kotori, I think that Kannazuki-san has a point..."

"Ara, Shidou, you can understand pig language? As expected of someone on the same level as pigs."

"D-Don't underestimate pigs! Pigs are unexpectedly amazing animals you know!"

"I know that. They love cleanliness and are strong. It's even been said that they have more intelligence than dogs. That's why for my capable subordinate Kannazuki, or for my honorable brother Shidou, it's with the greatest respect that I am calling you pigs. Pig. You pig."

"...Guuu."

It didn't sound like she was using it as a respectful title.

However, Kotori probably understood Kannazuki's question and Shidou's anxiousness the most. Her candy's stick pointed straight upwards, and she motioned to the screen.

"Shidou, you're pretty lucky you know."

"Eh...?"

Following Kotori's gaze, he looked at the screen.

As expected, numbers of unknown meaning danced around the screen, but—on the map on the right, he noticed something different from before.

Inside Shidou's highschool, there was a single red icon, and surrounding it, many small yellow icons were shown.

"The red one is the Spirit, and the yellow ones are the AST."

"...and, what's lucky about this?"

"Look at the AST. See how they haven't moved at all?"

"Ahh... seems so."

"They're waiting for the Spirit to go outside."

"Why? Aren't they going to charge in?"

Shidou tilted his head, and Kotori gave a big shrug.

"At least think a bit before speaking. I'm so ashamed, even mold is slightly more intelligent than you."

"H-How dare you!"

"CR-Units weren't created for fighting in small rooms to begin with. Even if you expand a territory, there are many obstacles and the corridors are narrow, so inside a building your mobility will definitely decrease, not to mention that your vision is also obstructed."

Saying this, Kotori snapped her fingers. As if responding to that, the image on the screen changed to real-time footage of the school.

A shallow bowl-shaped hole appeared in the schoolyard, and surrounding it the roads and even a part of the school building were cleanly cut through. It was exactly like what Shidou had witnessed that other day.

"After appearing in the yard, it seems to have entered the half destroyed school building. It's not often you get this lucky, because now you can make contact with the Spirit without the AST's interference."

"...Ohhh, I see."

He understood the logic.

However, Kotori's words caused Shidou to consider something, as he narrowed his eyes.

"...If the Spirit had appeared outside like normal, how was I supposed to approach it?"

"Wait for the AST to be completely defeated, or to charge through the middle of the battle, something like that."

"..."

Shidou understood much deeper than before just how thankful he should be for the situation right now.

"Nn, then let's quickly move out. —Shidou, you haven't removed the intercom right?"

"Ah, yeah."

He touched his right ear. As expected the intercom he had been using just a while ago was still equipped.

"Okay then. The camera will be following you, so if you're in a pinch, make a sign, and tap the intercom twice."

"Mm... I understand. But well..."

Shidou narrowed his eyes, and looked towards Kotori and Reine, who was at her own post in the lower part of the bridge.

From their suggestions during training, they were really quite hopeless support members.

Probably figuring out what he was thinking from his expression, Kotori formed a fearless smile.

"Don't worry Shidou. There are a lot of reliable people in <Fraxinus>'s crew."

"I-is that so?"

With a doubtful face Shidou replied, and Kotori flung out her coat with a floomp and stood up.

"Such as,"

And then with vigor, she pointed at one of the crew in the lower part of the bridge.

"Having experienced marriage five times, Romance Master●<Bad MarriageTired Too Early> Kawagoe!"

"But that means he divorced four times doesn't it!?"

"Boasting great popularity with the Filipina in the stores at night, <President> Mikimoto!"

"That's completely through money appeal isn't it!?"

"Her love rivals encounter misfortune one by one. The 2AM Woman●<Nail KnockerStraw Doll> Shiizaki!"

"She's definitely got some curse on her!"

"Man With One Hundred Brides●<Dimension●BreakerPerson Who Surpasses The Dimensions> Nakatsugawa!"

"They are brides with a proper z-dimension[1D 2] right!?"

"Due to her deep love, now the law won't let her within 500 meters of her loved one●<Deep●LoveOn Probation> Minowa!"

"Why are there only people like this here!"

"...Everyone, as the crew, their skills are certainly real."

From the lower part of the bridge, Kotori's mumbling voice could be heard.

"E-even if you say that..."

"Whatever, hurry and leave already. If the Spirit goes out then the AST will come swarming."

Shidou had started complaining, and Kotori vigorously kicked Shidou's butt with a *bong*.

"...ow, y-you..."

"It's fine even if you don't worry. If it's Shidou, even if you die once or twice, you can immediately start a new game."

"Don't mess with me, what am I, a plumber?[1D 3]"

"Mamma Mia[1D 4]. A brother that doesn't believe his sister will become unhappy you know."

"I don't want to hear that from a sister who won't listen to her brother."



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Mixed with a sigh, Shidou said, and obediently walked towards the bridge's door.

"Good luck."

"Yeah."

Towards Kotori who raised her thumb, he lightly waved his hand as a reply.

His heart was still beating fast, but—there was no way he was going to run away from this chance.

To defeat them, or to make them fall in love, or to save the world.

Such grand things he was not considering at all.

It was just—he wanted to talk once more with that girl. 


The transporter placed in the lower area of the <Fraxinus> apparently uses a realizer to instantly transport/retrieve things as long as the straight line path to the destination was not blocked by anything.

At first there was a feeling somewhat like getting seasick, but after a few times he was more or less used to it.

After confirming that his surroundings had instantly changed from <Fraxinus> to behind the dim highschool, Shidou lightly shook his head.

"Now then, first I should—"

As he started to say, his words stopped.

It was because, like a bad joke, the building's wall in front of Shidou's eyes had been sliced open, and he was looking through to the inside.

"Actually looking at this, it's unbelievable..."

"Well, perfect, enter the building from there."

From the intercom attached to his right ear, Kotori's voice was heard.

Shidou muttered "...Understood" while scratching his cheek, and went into the school building. If he wasted too much time the Spirit might wander outside, and before that, the possibility that Shidou might be discovered by the AST and put into 'protection' is also there.

"Now, let's hurry. The Spirit's response is three floors up the stairs beside you, in the fourth classroom in front."

"Roger..."

Shidou took a deep breath, and dashed up the stairs nearby.

Before a minute had even passed, he arrived in front of the specified classroom.

Without opening the door, he could not confirm the figure inside, but just thinking that there was a Spirit in there naturally caused his heart to ring like an alarm bell.

"Eh—this is, class 2-4. Isn't this my class?"

"Ara, is that so. Isn't that convenient. You can't say that you have a locational advantage, but it's probably a lot better than somewhere completely new to you."

Kotori said. But actually, it hasn't been long since he entered this grade, so it wasn't as if he was really familiar with it.

Anyways, he must make contact with the Spirit before her whims start acting up. Shidou gulped.

"...Hey, good evening, what are you doing in a place like this?"

In a small voice, he repeated the greeting countless times.

Making up his mind, Shidou opened the classroom's door.

The state of the classroom, dyed red by the setting sun, was projected into his retinas.

"——"

A moment passed.

The light words he had prepared in his mind were utterly blown away.

"Ah—"

The fourth row from the front, the second column from the windows—right on Shidou's desk, the black-haired girl with the strange dress wrapped around her body was sitting with one knee raised.

Her eyes emanating an illusory shine was in a melancholic half-open state, staring at the blackboard in a daze.

Half of her body illuminated by the sunset, the girl was, to the extent of stealing the thinking abilities of anyone looking at her for a moment, mysterious.

However, that scene which had been close to perfection, immediately crumbled.

"—Nu?"

The girl noticed Shidou's invasion, as she opened her eyes fully and looked towards him.

"...! H-hey—"

While trying to calm his heart, Shidou raised his hand... or was about to.

—Hyun.

He thought the girl casually waved her hand, and a streak of black light brushed past Shidou's cheek.

A moment later, the classroom's door that Shidou's hand was holding onto, as well as the windows in the corridor behind that, shattered with a great noise.

"...!?"

Suddenly faced with this, he instantly froze in place. He tried touching his cheek, and a bit of blood was flowing.

However, he was not even allowed to stay stunned.

"Shidou!"

Kotori's voice shook his eardrums until they hurt.

While making a gloomy expression, the girl swung her arm overhead. Above the palm of her hand, what looked like round blobs of light radiated black.

"Wai..."

Faster than his shout, he scrambled behind a wall and hid his body.

An instant later, a stream of light burst through where Shidou had been standing, easily blasting through the outer walls of the school building and extending outside.

Even after that, streams of black light were continuously shot out.

"W-wait! I'm not your enemy!"

From the corridor that had become rather breezy, he let out his voice.

Then, it seems like Shidou's words got through, as with that the lines of light stopped being fired.

"...Haa, can I come in...?"

"From what I can see, she's not preparing to attack. If she wanted to, it should've been easy to blast the wall away along with Shidou. —On the other hand wasting time and annoying her is not good. Let's go in."

Shidou muttered, as if speaking to himself, and Kotori answered. The camera had probably entered the classroom already.

Gulping down his saliva, Shidou stood in front of the entrance to the now doorless classroom.

"..."

The girl was staring intently at him. As if wondering whether an attack will come, that gaze was filled with doubt and caution.

"C-Calm down for n—"

Raising his two hands to show that he had no hostility, stepping into the classroom.

However,

"—Stop."

At the same time the girl's cold voice rang out— *pshh*, the floor in front of Shidou's feet was seared by a light ray. Shidou hurriedly froze his body.

"..."

The girl carefully looked over Shidou from head to toe, and opened her mouth.

"Who are you."

"...Ahh, I am—"

"Wait a moment."

As Shidou was about to reply, for some reason Kotori stopped him. 


The screen in <Fraxinus>'s bridge was currently displaying a head shot of the Spirit, the girl wrapped in the dress made of light.

Her charming face, decorated with a thorny gaze, was glaring towards the right side of the camera—towards Shidou.

Surrounding her, a bunch of parameters beginning with the words 'affection level' were there. Reine was using the realizer to analyze/numericize and display the mental status of the girl.

Together with the AI built into <Fraxinus>, the conversation between the two of them was displayed without time lag at the bottom of the screen as text.

At a glance, it looked exactly like the game that Shidou used for training.

Selected crew members were looking at the galge screen displayed on the giant monitor with absolute seriousness.

It was an extremely surreal scene.

Then—Kotori suddenly raised her eyebrow.

"Who are you."

At the moment the Spirit said these words to Shidou, the screen flickered, and a siren echoed in the bridge.

"Th-This is—"

In the midst of a confused voice from someone in the crew, a window appeared in the middle of the screen. 

①"I am Itsuka Shidou. I came to save you!"

②"I'm just a helpless passerby please don't kill me."

③"Before asking for someone's name, state your own first." 

"A choice—"

Kotori's candy's stick stood up straight.

The realizer for analysis that Reine operates, in conjunction with <Fraxinus>'s AI, detects the changes in things like the Spirit's heartbeat or faint brain waves, and instantly displays possible response patterns on the screen.

The times that these are displayed are limited only to when the Spirit's mental status became unstable.

In other words, with the right decision, one could gain favor with the Spirit.

However, if one makes a mistake—

Kotori immediately moved her mouth closer to the mike, stopping Shidou from making his reply.

"Wait a moment."

"—?"

A sound like a breath being held could be heard over the speaker. He was definitely wondering why Kotori had stopped him there.

They could not let the Spirit wait forever. Kotori turned towards the crew members and commanded.

"Choose the option that you think is right! Within five seconds!"

All at once, the crew members operated the console before them. The results of that immediately showed up on the display in front of Kotori.

The most popular was—number ③.

"—It seems that we all share the same opinion."

Kotori said, and the crew nodded in unison.

"① seems like the obvious choice at first glance, but while the opponent has doubts that we might be the enemy, saying something like this would just seem suspicious. And it also seems a bit disgusting."

While standing still, Kannazuki said.

"...② is out of the question. In the off chance that he was able to escape, that would be the end of it."

Next, from the lower part of the bridge, Reine's spoke.

"That's right. To that point, ③ makes sense logically, and if all goes well we might even be able to control the direction of the conversation."

Kotori gave a small nod, and once again drew the mike close. 


"...H-hey, what did you just say..."

Having stopped his sentence while exposed to the girl's sharp gaze, Shidou was standing in the middle of an unpleasant atmosphere.

"...I will ask once again. Who are you."

The girl said, as if irritated, her eyes growing even sharper.

Then, at that moment, finally Kotori's voice reached his right ear.

"Shidou. Can you hear me? Answer exactly how I tell you to."

"O-okay."

"—Before asking for someone's name, state your own first."

"—Before asking for someone's name, state your own first. ...Wha"

As soon as he said it, Shidou's face grew pale.

"Wh-what did you make me say..."

However, it was already too late. The moment she heard Shidou's voice, the girl's expression distorted, this time raising both of her arms and creating balls of light.

"..."

He hurridly kicked the floor, tumbling towards the right.

A moment later, a black ball of light was thrown to the place Shidou had stood. A giant hole opened in the floor that seemed to pierce all the way through to the second or first floor.

"...Uwaa..."

"Ehh, that's weird."

"That's not what you should be saying..., are you trying to kill me...?"

Responding to Kotori who seemed to be genuinely mystified, Shidou raised his body up while holding his head.

Then—

"This is the last time. If you don't have any intentions of answering, I will treat you as an enemy."

From on top of Shidou's desk, the girl said. Flustered, Shidou immediately opened his mouth.

"I-I am Itsuka Shidou! I'm a student here! I have no hostile intentions!"

"..."

Shidou spoke while raising his two arms, and with suspicious eyes the girl dismounted from Shidou's desk.

"—Stay like that. Currently, you are within my attack range."

"..."

Signalling that he understood, Shidou nodded while maintaining his posture.

With slow steps, the girl approached Shidou.

"...Nn?"

Then, lightly bending her waist, she stared at Shidou's face for a while, and "Nu?", she raised her brows.

"Hey, haven't we met once before...?"

"Ah... ahh, this month—I believe, on the tenth. In the town."

"Ohh."

As if remembering, the girl lightly hit her hands together, then returned to her previous posture.

"I remember now. You're the one that said some kind of weird thing."

Seeing that a slight amount of harshness was gone from the girl's eyes, for a moment Shidou's nervousness diminished.

However,

"Gi...!?"

Just a moment later, Shidou's bangs were grabbed and his face was forced to face upwards.

The girl tilted her face as if to look into Shidou's eyes, as she let loose her gaze.

"...If I recall, you said that you had no intention to kill me? Hmph— I've seen through that. Tell me, what are you after. Are you planning to attack me from behind after loosening my guard?"

"..."

Shidou raised his eyebrow slightly, biting down hard on his back teeth.

It was not because he feared the girl.

Shidou's words—I did not come to kill you; words like that, the girl could not come to believe them at all.

It was because she had been exposed to an environment where she could not believe them.

He felt sick, and couldn't stand it.

"—Humans are..."

Involuntarily, Shidou let out his voice.

"... not all people who try to kill you."

"..."

The girl's eyes grew round, as she removed her hand from Shidou's hair. And then for a short while, with a questioning gaze she looked at Shidou's face, then opened her lips a tiny bit.

"...Is that so?"

"Ahh, that is so."

"The people that I've met, they all told me that I must die."

"There's no way... that's so."

"..."

Without saying anything, the girl moved her hand backwards.

She half-closed her eyes and pursed her lips—making a face which said that she could still not trust what Shidou was saying.

"...Then I will ask. If you have no intention of killing me, then for what purpose are you here right now?"

"Uh, that is—umm."

"Shidou"

Just has Shidou started to stammer, Kotori's voice echoed in his right ear. 


"—Another choice huh."

Kotori licked her lips, looking at the choices displayed in the middle of the screen.


①"Of course, I came to meet you."

②"Whatever, that doesn't matter does it."

③"It's just a coincidence."


The display in front of her instantly gathered the opinions of the crew members. ① was popular.

"Well, for ②, after looking at the last reaction it's probably impossible. —Shidou, for now just simply say that you came to meet her."



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Kotori spoke towards the mike, and shown on the screen, Shidou opened his mouth while standing up.

"I-It was to meet you."

The girl made a blank face.

"To meet me? Why?"

The moment the girl tilted her head and said this, once again choices showed up on the screen.


①"I'm curious about you."

②"It was so we could love each other."

③"I have something I want to ask you."


"Nn... what should we do."

Kotori rubbed her chin, and the display in front of her showed ② as the answer.

"It's better to go with a straight attack here, commander. Show her his manliness!"

"If you don't say it clearly this lady won't get it!"

From the lower part of the bridge, the voices of the crew rang out.

Kotori "hmmed" then crossed her legs.

"Well, it's probably fine. ① or ③ would probably get another question as the response. —Shidou. Go with ②, it was so we could love each other."

She said her command towards the mike. In that moment, Shidou's shoulders began to shudder. 


"Ah... it's, you know."

Receiving the order from Kotori, Shidou's words hesitated and his eyes swam.

"What, you can't say it? Or did you appear in front of me without a reason? Or is it—"

The girl's eyes once again started to look dangerous. Shidou hurridly saved his hands and let out his voice.

"I-It was so... we could ... love each other?"

"..."

The moment Shidou said this, the girl crossed hand over hand and swept horizontally.

In an instant, right above Shidou's head a blade of wind passed over—cutting through the classroom wall and escaping outside. Several strands of Shidou's hair were cut and danced in the air.

"Uwaa...!?"

"...I don't want to hear your jokes."

Making an extremely melancholic expression, the girl said.

"..."

Shidou gulped.

In that moment, the fear he had felt up to now faded, and his heart beat fast.

—Ahh, that was it, it was this expression.

This expression, which Shidou so despised.

As if considering themselves to be not loved at all, an expression showing the loss of faith in the world.

Unconsciously, Shidou's throat shook.

"I came here..., in order to... talk to you."

Shidou said—and seeming not to understand his meaning, the girl raised her eyebrows.

"...What do you mean?"

"Just that. I, want to, talk to you. I don't mind what the topic is. Even if you don't feel like it and just ignore me, that's fine. But, I just want you to know one thing. I will—"

"Shidou, calm down."

As if warning him, Kotori said. However, Shidou could not be stopped.

After all, until now, this girl had nobody who would reach their hand out to her.

After all, with just one sentence she could have been in a completely different situation, but the person who would tell her that one sentence, not one had existed there.

For Shidou, he had his father, his mother, and he also had Kotori.

But, the girl had nobody.

Since that's the case—Shidou had to say it.

"I will—not deny your existence."

Shidou took a heavy step forward, and as if clearly pronouncing each word, said.

"..."

The girl raised her eyebrows, and averted her eyes from Shidou.

And then, after a short silence, she opened her mouth with a crack.

"...shidou. You said you were shidou?"

"—Yeah."

"You really won't deny my existence?"

"Yeah."

"Really really?"

"Really really."

"Really really really?"

"Really really really."

Shidou answered without pausing, and the girl stroked her hair, and stood up while letting out what seemed to be a sniffle, turning her face back.

"—Hmpf."

Raising her brows and forming a sneer, she crossed her arms.

"Who are you trying to fool with those words baaka baaka[1D 5]."

"As I said, I am—"

"...But you know, that."

While making a complicated expression, the girl continued.

"I don't know what kind of insides you have, but you're the first human that I could have a proper conversation with. ...To get more information about this world you might be of some use."

Saying this, she snorted once again.

"...H-huh?"

"I'm saying that I wouldn't mind if it's just talking with you. But it's just for gaining information. Mm, that's very important. Information is super important."

While speaking—it was just a bit, but the girl's expression seemed slightly softer.

"I-Is that so..."

Scratching his face, Shidou so replied.

With this... well for the moment the first contact could be treated as successful.

While Shidou stood perplexed, in his right ear Kotori's voice sounded.

"—Good job. Just continue like that."

"A-Aahh..."

Then, the girl started to slowly circle the classroom in large strides.

"But, just try taking a suspicious action. I'll open an air tunnel in your body."

"...Okay, I understand."

Hearing Shidou's reply, the girl slowly let her footsteps sound in the classroom.

"shidou."

"W-What?"

"—Then I'll ask. What exactly is this place? It's the first time I've seen somewhere like this."

Saying this, she walked around while poking the toppled desks.

"Ehh... ahh, it's a school—a classroom, well, a place where students the same age as me go to study and learn. We sit in those desks, like this."

"What?!"

The girl's eyes balled up in surprise.

"Do all of these get filled with humans? Don't joke with me. There must be close to forty."

"No, it's the truth."

While saying this, Shidou scratched his cheek.

When the girl appears, the evacuation alert would have already sounded in the streets. The humans that the girl had seen were probably only the AST. They probably didn't have that many people either.

"Hey—"

About to call the girl's name—Shidou's words were stuck in his throat.

"Nu?"

Probably noticing Shidou's state, the girl scrunched up her brows.

And then, after placing her hand on her chin for a while, as if thinking,

"...I see, in order to have a conversation with someone, that's needed huh."

Like that, she nodded,

"shidou. —What do you want to call me?"

Sitting in one of the seats nearby, she said.

"...Huh?"

Not understanding what she meant, he asked.

Crossing her arms with an "hmpf", she continued in an arrogant tone.

"Give me a name."

"..."

After a brief silence.

—So seriooooooooooous!!

Shidou screamed in his heart.

"M-me!?"

"Yeah. I have no plans of talking with anyone else anyways. There's no problem." 


"Uwahh, another heavy problem has come."

Sitting in the captain's seat, Kotori scratched her face.

"...Hmm, what should we do."

From the lower part of the bridge, Reine nodded, as if responding to that.

In the bridge, neither did the siren sound, nor did choices appear on the screen.

If the AI just showed random names, then there were too many to show.

"Calm down Shidou. Don't rush and say a weird name."

Saying this, Kotori stood up, and raised her voice towards the crew.

"Everyone! Immediately think of names for her and send them to my terminal!"

After saying this she dropped her gaze to the display. A few crew members had sent in names already.

"Ahem... Kawagoe! Isn't Misako the name of one of your ex-wives!"

"S-sorry, I couldn't think of anything else..."

From the lower part of the control room, an apologetic male voice could be heard.

"...Jeez, let's see... Urarakane? Kimimoto, how do you pronounce this?"

"Clarabell!"

"I forbid you from having children for the rest of your life."

She pointed at the male crew member who raised his voice.

"Sorry! My oldest child is already in elementary school!"

"Oldest child?"

"Yes! I have three!"

"And by the way their names are?"

"From the oldest, Pureblue, Fullmonty, Seraphim!"

"Change their names within one week, and move outside of their current school district."

"Do you need to go that far!?"

"Think about the feelings of the children who are given the weird names you double baldie."

"It's fine! Recently everyone's been doing the same!"

*Gong Gong*, a muffled sound rang out in the bridge.

Shidou was probably tapping on the intercom.

Looking at the screen, the girl had her arms crossed, and was tapping her elbow impatiently.

Kotori looked quickly over the screen. There was nothing helpful. *Haaa*, she let out a big sigh.

Her subordinates had absolutely no sense whatsoever. Disappointed, Kotori shook her head.

She looked at the girl's beautiful appearance. Something that would suit her would be something elegant and refined in the old style. Yes, such as—

"Tome."

"Tome! Your name is Tome!"

As soon as Shidou said that, a pure red light shined in the control room, and a loud *pii pii* sound started to ring.

"Pattern green, displeasure!"

One of the crew raised his voice while looking panicked.

In that moment, the affection points meter displayed on the big screen had rapidly dropped.

Following that, in front of Shidou's feet in the screen, *zugagagagagagagagan!*, as small balls of light rapidly showered down like a machine gun.

"Nuwahhhhhhh!?"

"...Kotori?"

A questioning Reine's voice.

"Huh? That's weird. I thought it was a great old-styled name." 


"...I don't know why, but it seemed like you were making fun of me."

As veins popped in her forehead the girl said.

"...! S-sorry... wait a bit more."

Calming thinking about it, Tome was clearly out. While crouching and looking at the smoke rise from the floor, Shidou cursed his own thoughtlessness. Apologies to all of the old ladies in the nation, but it was not a name fit for a girl of this time.

Or rather in the first place, he had never considered that he would become a godfather through a sudden encounter. No matter how much he tried to supress his heartbeat, when he thought his vision started spinning. However, there was no way he was going to be able to suddenly come up with a girl's name. Name, name, name... he skimmed over the names of the females he knew. But he did not have much time. As he was doing so, the girl's face showed displeasure.

"——To-Tohka."

From the troubled Shidou's mouth came such a name.

"Nu?"

"H-How... is it?"

"..."

After a moment of silence—

"Oh well. It's better than Tome."

Looking at that Shidou made a hard bitter smile and scratched the back of his head.

However... an even greater regret formed in the back of his mind.

After all, it was because their first meeting was on April tenth[1D 6], what a simple name.

"...What am I doing..."

"Did you say something?"

"Ah, no, nothing..."

Hurridly he waved his hand. The girl seemed slightly curious, but did not pursue.

Immediately, she trotted towards Shidou.

"Then—Tohka, how do you write it?"

"Ahh, that's—"

Shidou walked to the blackboard, grabbed a piece of chalk, and wrote "十香".

"Hmm."

With a small nod, the girl imitated Shidou and traced the blackboard with her finger.

"Ah, if you don't use chalk then the words..."

He started to say, but stopped his words. The places where the girl's finger touched were cleanly shaved away, and crudely the two words 十香 remained.

"What is it?"

"...Nothing."

"I see."

Saying this, the girl stared at the words she wrote for a while, and gave a small nod.

"shidou."

"W-what?"



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"Tohka."

"Eh?"

"Tohka. It's my name. Isn't it marvelous?"

"Ah, ahh..."

It was somewhat... embarassing. In a lot of ways.

Slightly averting his eyes, Shidou scratched his cheek.

However, the girl—Tohka, once again moved her lips.

"shidou."

...Even Shidou understood Tohka's intentions.

"To-Tohka..."

Shidou called that name, and seeming satisfied the edges of Tohka's lips turned upwards.

"..."

His heart leaped.

Now that he thinks about it, it was his first time, seeing Tohka's smile.

Then, at that time,

"—...?"

Suddenly, the school building was faced with a tremendous explosion and shaking.

He instantly supported his body with the hand on the blackboard.

"Wh-What the...!?"

"Shidou, get on the ground."

In his right ear Kotori's voice echoed.

"Eh...?"

"Hurry."

Not knowing what's what, Shidou did as he was told and laid on the floor.

In the next moment, *gagagagagagagaga—*, a loud noise rang out, breaking the classroom windows' glass all at once, and opening countless bullet holes in the wall behind. It was like a scene from a Mafia's battle.

"Wh-What the hell...!"

"It looks like an attack from the outside. Probably to try to lure the Spirit out. —Ahh, or maybe it's to make the school building collapse, and thus getting rid of places where the Spirit could hide."

"Wha..., that's absurd...!"

"—But still, this was outside my expectations. Them coming up with such an aggressive tactic."

Then, Shidou raised his face.

Tohka had an expression that seemed exactly the same as when she was dealing with Shidou earlier, gazing outside the shattered windows.

Needless to say, bullets were useless against Tohka, even the fragments of shattered glass could not touch her.

However, that face seemed twisted with extreme pain.

"—Tohka!"

Unknowingly, Shidou yelled out that name.

"..."

With a start, Tohka's gaze moved from the outside to Shidou.

Even now, overwhelming gunshot sounds were ringing, but the attack on the classroom of class 2-4 had momentarily stopped.

While bracing himself for the attacks, he raised his body up. Then, Tohka gloomily lowered her eyes.

"Hurry up and escape, shidou. If you stay with me, you'll be hit by your fellow humans."

"..."

Shidou was silent, and gulped..

Certainly, he had to run away. But—

"There are two choices. To run, or to stay."

He heard Kotori's voice. After hesitating for a bit,

"...How can I run away, at a time like this..."

"You're such an idiot."

"...Say whatever you like."

"That was a compliment. —I'll give you some great advice. If you don't want to die, then stay as close to the Spirit as possible."

"...Okay."

Forming a straight line with his lips, Shidou sat down in front of Tohka's feet.

"Huh—?"

Tohka's eyes opened wide.

"What are you doing? Hurry and—"

"I know that...! But right now it's the time for our conversation. Something like that, don't worry about it. —You want the information about this world right? If it's something I can answer, then no matter how many questions you have I'll answer them."

"...!"

Tohka made a surprised face for an instant, and then sat down, facing Shidou.

Part 3

"——"

Her body wrapped in a wiring suit, Origami was holding a giant gatling gun in her two hands.

Readying herself and pulling the trigger, an unbelievable amount of bullets were scattered onto the school building.

Because her territory was expanded, she pretty much couldn't feel the recoil, but it was originally a large radius gatling gun that would be mounted on battleships. Facing the bombardment from all directions, the school building gradually became full of holes.

However—this was not the anti-Spirit equipment that uses the realizer. It was just simply equipment to destroy the building and force the Spirit out.

"—How is it? Has the Spirit come out yet?"

Coming over the intercom inside the headset, Ryouko's voice could be heard.

Ryouko was right beside Origami—but in the midst of the gunfire her raw voice could not reach.

"I still can not confirm it."

Without letting up on the attack, she replied.

While shooting her own gun, Origami opened her eyes wide and swept through the crumbling school building.

They were at a distance where normally one would not be able to see anything, but the current Origami with her territory expanded could even read the words on the paper posted on the bulletin board by the side of the building.

Then—Origami narrowed her eyes slightly.

Class 2-4, Origami's classroom.

Due to their attacks, the outer wall had completely collapsed—she saw the figure of the target, the Spirit.

However—

"...Nn? That's—"

Ryouko said in a doubtful voice.

After all, inside the classroom, other than the Spirit, a human, what looked like a young man, was confirmed. —Probably a student who was too late in escaping.

"Wh-Who's that. Is he being attacked—?"

While narrowing her eyebrows Ryouko let out her voice.

However, as if she hadn't heard it, Origami continued staring at the classroom.

She felt that the figure of the young man beside the Spirit was familiar.

"——!"

Origami's eyes opened wide.

After all—that young man was Origami's classmate, Itsuka Shidou.

"—Origami?"

From beside her, Ryouko called her in a puzzled voice.

However Origami didn't answer, she simply gave a command in her head.

A command to the realizer wrapping her body, for the fastest speed.

"What are you doing, Origami!?"

"—It's dangerous. Please avoid acting randomly on your own."

As expected, they noticed the anomaly. The transmissions from Ryouko and headquarters came at around the same time.

However Origami could not be stopped. She immediately dropped the gatling gun, drawing the close range anti-Spirit laser blade <No Pain> from her waist, and charged towards the school.

Part 4

Within a classroom faced with a rain of bullets, looking at and talking with a girl.

...Obviously, it was the first time he had such an experience in his life.

Probably due to Tohka's power, innumerable bullets, as if avoiding the two of us, drove themselves into the school building.

But even then, seeing bullets pass in front of his eyes was not an everyday experience. He felt like if he so much as moved a bit he would be hit, so Shidou stayed perfectly still as he continued the conversation.

The contents of the conversation was nothing special.

Tohka asked the questions that she never had the chance to ask anyone, and Shidou answered. Just this simple exchange was enough for Tohka to give a satisfied smile.

Exactly how long had they talk—when inside Shidou's ear, he heard Kotori's voice.

"—The numbers have stabilized. If it's possible, try asking a question too Shidou. We really need the Spirits' information."

Being told this, Shidou thought about it a bit then opened his mouth.

"Hey—Tohka."

"What is it?"

"Just exactly... what kind of being are you?"

"Mu?"

At Shidou's question, Tohka frowned.

"—Don't know."

"Don't know? ..."

"It's the truth. There's nothing I can do about it. —I don't know how long ago it was, but I was suddenly born there. That's that. My memories are distorted and vague. I have no idea about things such as what kind of being I am."

"I-Is that so...?"

Shidou said while scratching his cheek, and Tohka hmpfed and crossed her arms.

"That's how it is. I was suddenly born in this world, and at that moment the mecha mecha group was already dancing in the sky."

"Me-Mecha mecha group...?"

"Those annoying people that zoom around."

It seemed like she was talking about the AST. Involuntarily Shidou gave a wry smile.

Then, from the intercom, a light electronic sound like the sound when you get a quiz question right rang out.

"It's your chance, Shidou!"

"Huh...? What is?"

"The Spirit's mood meter has already gone above 70. If you want to make a move then now's the time."

"Make a move... what should I do?"

"Nn, that's right. For the moment... try inviting her to a date?"

"Huh...!?"

Hearing Kotori's words, Shidou accidentally raised his voice.

"Nn, what's wrong shidou?"

Responding to Shidou's voice, Tohka looked at him.

"—! Don't mind it."

"..."

Even though he hurridly tried covering it up, Tohka stared at Shidou with a curious look.

"Invite her already. The best way to increase intimacy is to go all out like this after all."

"...Even if you say that, the moment she appears there's the AST..."

"That's even more the reason. The next time she appears, I'll leave it to you to escape with her into a large building. The aquarium or the theater or a department store, whatever is fine. If there is an underground establishment then that's even better. If you do that, then the AST probably wouldn't enter directly."

"...M-mm."

"What are you muttering about since a while ago. ...! A plan to eliminate me after all!?"

"W-wrong, wrong! It's a misunderstanding!"

He hurridly stopped Tohka, whose eyes grew sharp and balls of light appeared on her fingertips.

"Then tell me. What were you saying?"

"Guh..."

Groaning while sweat rolled down his face, a voice urging him on echoed in Shidou's right ear.

"Come on, just accept it already. Date! Date!"

At that moment the crew members in the bridge were probably also stimulated, as from the other side of the intercom, a thunder like chanting of date could be heard.

"Da●te"

"Da●te"

"Da●te"

"Argh I understand already!"

Shidou gave up and yelled.

In reality, it wasn't that he didn't understand Kotori's reasons, he knew that it was important to set a stage for the next meeting... but well, you know, he was slightly embarrassed.

"Hey, Tohka."

"Nn, what is it?"

"U-uhm... t-the next time."

"Nn?"

"Wo-won't you go... on a date with me?"

Tohka made a blank face.

"What's a date?"

"Th-that's..."

For some reason he felt really embarrassed, as he averted her gaze and scratched his cheek.

Then, at that time, in his right ear, a slightly louder Kotori's voice entered.

"—Shidou! AST is on the move!"

"Huh...!?"

In a voice that Tohka in front of him could probably even hear, Shidou didn't care and exclaimed.

Within a moment—outside the classroom that had since given off a very open-air feeling, Origami appeared.

"—!"

In an instant, Tohka's emotions grew dark, and she extended her hand towards there.

Then, without missing a beat, from the unrefined machinery in her hand a blade of light appeared, as Origami charged at Tohka.

Sparks like at a welding shop scattered around the area.

"Ku—"

"—How crude!"

Tohka let out a roar, shaking off Origami with the hand that stopped the blade of light.

"..."

Slightly clenching her teeth, Origami was blown backwards. —But, she immediately corrected her posture, and landed beautifully on the bullet-hole filled floor.

"Tch— It's you again."

Lightly shaking the hand that stopped the blade of light, Tohka said, as if filled with hatred.

Origami glanced at Shidou, then gave off a sigh as if she was relieved.

However she immediately readied the unfamiliar weapon and shot a cold gaze towards Tohka.

"..."

Seeing her state, Tohka stole a glance at Shidou, then thrust her heel into the floor below her foot.

"—<SandalphonKing of Slaughter>!"

Instantly, the classroom's floor bulged up, and from there the throne appeared.

"Wha..."

"Shidou, withdraw! Let <Fraxinus> pick you up at once. If possible try to leave with both of you!"

Shidou stood dazed, and then heard Kotori's yell.

"Even if you say that..."

Tohka pulled the sword from the back of the throne, and thrust it towards Origami.

The shockwave from that one swing, very easily picked up Shidou's body, and blew it outside the school.

"Uwahhhhhhh!?"

"Nice!"

At the same time that Kotori's voice rang out, Shidou's body was surrounded with a weightless feeling.

While feeling a strange floating sensation, Shidou was retrieved by the <Fraxinus>.

 

References

Jump up↑ A part in Japanese comedy whose role is to basically criticize others. [1] Jump up↑ The z-dimension is the 3rd dimension, coming after x and y. Jump up↑ Mario from Nintendo's series of video games. Jump up↑ Mario's catchphrase. Jump up↑ Baka means idiot. Jump up↑ Tohka/Touka/Tooka is the pronounciation of both 十香 and 十日, the former is her name, and the latter means the tenth day of a month.

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